Riflescopes and television hunting shows have evolved rapidly in the past decade, and it was inevitable for the two to meet. One example is the Simmons Predator Quest 6-24X 50 mm scope, named after the popular show hosted by Les Johnson.
The scope was mounted on the integral rail of a Thompson/Center Icon in .223 Rem., using steel rings from Precison Reflex, Inc. Nosler Varmageddon 55-grain ammo had averaged 0.74-inches for five-shot groups at 100 yards with the rifle, so it was chosen for the range test.
The plex reticle showed up sharply against a 100-yard target, and parallax was removed by adjusting the side-mounted focus knob. After zeroing dead-on, the scope’s windage adjustment was turned 16 clicks to the left and 16 clicks up, and one shot fired. According to the nominal 0.25-inch adjustments, that should have resulted in 4 inches of movement left and up, and the first shot landed within 0.5 inches of that point. The elevation adjustments were then alternately clicked 32 times, with a shot fired after each adjustment, resulting in four five-shot groups at each corner of a square. The distances between the approximate centers of the groups averaged 8.5 inches.
After the final shot in the last group, the scope was adjusted to return the zero to dead center at 100 yards. After letting the barrel cool, another five-shot group was fired, forming about 1-inch high and 0.5 inches to the right of center.
The scope’s optics were testing at night on a black-and-white chart with lines starting at 1 inch at the top and progressively shrinking to 1/16 inches at the bottom, illuminated by a 100-watt incandescent light bulb 25 yards away. The Predator Quest rated 6, average for today’s fully multi-coated scopes costing under $500; but the 50 mm objective enhances the view in dim light at higher magnifications.
The scope was then frozen at minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit overnight. Afterward the caps were removed from the adjustment turrets and the scope dunked in 110° F. water for two minutes. This expands the gas inside the scope, with leaks appearing as streams of bubbles. The scope didn’t bubble, and when rescued from the water exhibited only a small amount of interior fogging, which dissipated quickly. Finally, eye relief was measured with a flashlight test, at 6X measuring 3.9 inches, at 12X 3.6", and at 24X 3.2 inches.
With the real-world price of the Predator Quest 6-24X 50 mm scope around $200, it’s a very affordable and functional bargain for those looking for a long-range optic.