Sightron S-TAC 4-20×50 MOA2 Review

I think I can already hear what you are saying out there in squirrel hunting land.  “Nate, why in the world would you choose a long range rifle scope for your squirrel rifle?”  Trust me, I asked myself that question.  Honestly I had no idea these were on the market until I received an e-mail from Midsouth Shooters, and saw they had the Sightron STAC 3-16×42 model on sale.  That piqued my interest.  After talking it over with LaBrad James, he decided to “guinea pig” the Sightron STAC 4-20×50 model.  You know, if it comes to “more magnification,” Labrad James is just like Tim Taylor from the show Home Improvement, “Oh, Oh, Oh, More Power!”  After putting a few shots on target recently, I fell hard and fast for this scope.

Sightron is headquartered in my home state of North Carolina.  For a couple of years now, I’ve had one of their SII Big Sky models.  I have to say I really appreciated the quality of glass in that scope, also paired with a mildot reticle.  What I didn’t like was the way the adjustable objective was laid out, and the fact that the markings didn’t line up with the correct parallax adjustments.  On a scope of this price ($500) I expected a more accurate AO.  The 1/8″ MOA (Minute of Angle) clicks were positive, and tracked well I just couldn’t get over the other two downfalls.  Knowing how good Sightron’s glass was and seeing LaBrad’s scope, I had to spring for one.

Scope Appearance:  This scope has a very sleek and smooth look to it.  The housing isn’t polished, but has a dull matte appearance.  All the better as their won’t be any reflections to scare the squirrels off.  The STAC belongs on a long range rifle, be it a deer rifle, prairie dog rig, or a 1,000 yard competition gun.  Don’t let that fool you though, it has the glass and a precision reticle just right for 22 rimfire shooting.  I enjoy the enhanced magnification that scopes like this offer myself, so to me it doesn’t appear to set the balance off on any of my American model CZ’s.

Glass/Clarity:  Having spent last season shooting with Sightron’s SII Big Sky model (discontinued) I knew that I liked that level of glass.  I’m happy to say I’m almost equally as impressed with the STAC’s glass.  I only notice a small amount of flare when on the bench at 20 power.  It by no means compromises my ability to be able to be effective with the scope at that power.  It’s almost so minuscule it’s isn’t worth mentioning, but I’ve noticed it so I figure I’d mention it.  Is it a deal breaker?  No way!   At the lower powers the glass is outstanding for clarity, and brightness.  I believe both the 50mm objective and the 30mm tube aide in drawing ample amounts of light in.  One thing that doesn’t come with the scope is a sunshade.  I wish they would include those in the box.  It’s not everyone’s thing, but I find them effective and useful.  It could also cure the minimal flare.

Adjustments: You know, when I make an adjustment on my scope I want to hear, and feel that adjustment. Listen up scope companies, Sightron has some of the best marked, most audible/tactile adjustment turrets on the market! Take a page from best practices, and copy what they are doing.  The knobs are big, and easily adjusted just with a twist of a few fingers.  They are also protected with provided caps, although you could leave them off if you like that look.  The long range guys will be disappointed that their is no “zero stop” included on either turret.  Heck, as a squirrel hunter/rimfire target shooter, I’d like to have them.  

Turrets are re-settable to zero via one allen screw.  So far though my tracking tests, I haven’t found anything to complain about.  I really appreciate the ergonomics of the side focus wheel.  It is quite aggressive, but that’s for gloved, long range purposes.  Along with that same aspect, the side focus wheel doesn’t provide designations to which yardage of parallax you are set on.  Hasn’t bothered me on the bench, and hopefully won’t in the woods either.  If I find it does, I’ll order some marking tape, and mark mine accordingly.  Side focus will go down to as low as 9 yards, which is perfect for rimfires or air rifles.  The rear eye bell also houses a fast focus eye piece, and it should on a scope of this price level.

Adjustments on the turrets are in 1/4″ at 100 yards.  I feel on the 4-20 they could have been 1/8″ at 100 yards, especially with the MOA-2 precision reticle.  The magnification ring is very easy to adjust, and has a recessed flip up lever for the long range shooter to make a quicker adjustment in colder weather.  As a side note, if you don’t prefer the larger 4-20×50 model, their is a 3-16×42 model that may fit your needs.

Ring Height:  Rimfires in general can be a bit of a hassle to find the right rings for.  Leave it to BKL, though, to have you covered.  I found no issue attaching this scope to either a CZ 452/455 with BKL-303 low rings.  I know you’re going, “Whoa, low rings on a 30mm tube with a 50mm objective?”  Well just take a look at the pictures and you’ll see their is ample clearance.  I have also confirmed, via LaBrad James’s rifle, that Talley high rings will work also.

Reticle:  I was on the fence about this decision.  I knew the Duplex would likely be better for hunting, and is cheaper on the market than the MOA-2 reticle.  However, after shooting the MOA-2 reticle on target, and seeing it’s capability for precision I went that route.  If you ever wanted to shoot flies off of a target at 50 yards, this is an outstanding reticle.  I’m not 100 percent sure how it will preform in the squirrel woods, but I’m going to give it a chance this fall.  I feel though at first light, and dusk I may have trouble picking the reticle up.  That’s where the Duplex would have been better, but I lose my ranging capabilities in the reticle at that point, and I wasn’t willing to give that up. Long distance, precision head shots, for squirrels shouldn’t be an issue with the MOA-2 reticle!  After a couple of trips in the squirrel woods, the MOA2 reticle is not visible at first or last light.  Only with ample daylight, can you see the reticle.  I would not recommend it  for squirrel hunting, but for target work it is outstanding!

Manufacturer Specs:  If anything were to stop you from choosing this scope for a squirrel rifle it may be the weight.  It tips my scales at 24 ounces.  Most folks like a lighter weight package, and while I’m in both camps at times, I’ll take the added weight for the extra magnification.  That’s why you can’t have just one squirrel rifle.  

Item Number: 26015
Sku Number: 793139-260154
Model Name: S-TAC4-20X50MOA
Magnification: 4-20X
Object Diameter (mm): 50
Fov (ft@100 Yds.): 23.6-4.4
Eye Relief (in.): 3.7-4.0
Reticle Type: MOA-2
Click Value (@100 Yds.): 1/4 MOA
Minutes Per Revolution: 15 MOA
W/E Travel (@100 Yds.): 40/80 MOA
Knob Style: Target (Resettable)
Focus Type: Side Focus
Parallax Range: 9yds to Infinity
Finish: Matte Black
Waterproof: Yes
Fully Multi Coated: Yes (Zact-7 TM 7-Layer)
Weight (oz.): 23.8
Length (in.): 14.8
Tube Diameter: 30mm
Sunshade Included: No
Illuminated Reticle: No

This scope may not fit most of my readers requirements.  Maybe it’s cost, or weight, or too much magnification?  Frankly, it wasn’t on my radar, although I’m happy to have had the chance to test it out.  Honestly, it belongs on a long range centerfire rifle.  I have no doubt that’s what it was built for.  That being said, if you own a bench precision rimfire, or just want better glass and more magnification, the Sightron STAC line just might be what you’ve been looking for.


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