Sightron STAC 4-20×50 FFP Illuminated

Sightron introduced a new offering in the STAC lineup that could prove as a decent option for a squirrel optic. Being that I’ve never owned or evaluated a First Focal Plane scope, this seemed like a good place to start. Having already evaluated the STAC 4-20×50 MOA2, I knew the glass was good enough to give this scope a shot. The thinner MOA2 reticle only lacked illumination to make it a viable squirrel reticle, and this new Sightron STAC FFP offers illumination. So let’s see what this new Sightron offering is all about.

SCOPE APPEARANCE:

Sightron hasn’t changed anything here. This model still carries the matte finish that will show markings if scuffed, but the advantage is it keeps the glare muffed with the dull finish. The turrets are exposed and the focus, illumination control, and battery compartment are very aggressively textured.

Glass/Clarity:

After evaluating the original STAC MOA2, I was already aware of the decent glass I’d be getting with this optic. I don’t see any difference in this glass from it’s predecessor. In my opinion it’s very close to being SIII quality glass, without the price. This model is threaded for a sunshade, but doesn’t have one included. Too bad because I’m a sunshade fan!

Adjustments:

Really big, well marked turrets are something I’ve come to expect with the newer breed of scopes on the market. No worries for me because I’m a fan. As long as they are re settable to zero I invite them on any new optic I try. If I’m able to re-set to zero, and have a field issue, I can at least know if my turrets have been adjusted. I’m also happy to report that the turrets are both audible, and tactile. To me, more companies should spend time making sure the turrets are not mushy to the feel, and very precise to their markings. Sightron has that covered with this optic! The FFP version also offers a zero stop option for those of you who shoot long range with your 22’s. While I don’t do much dialing for longer ranges, I appreciate the option.

Who doesn’t like big, aggressive turrets?

The turrets are re-settable to zero via the torx head screw in the center of each turret. It’s a very simple process to reset these turrets to the zero mark for solid validation that your optic is where it’s supposed to be. The side focus wheel, along with the illumination control, and battery compartment are all jumbled together on the opposite side from the windage turret. This is about the only real estate on the scope for this type of arrangement. These wheels are overly aggressive, and are better suited for gloved hands. The side focus wheel moves smoothly, but still lacks any yardage markings. The illumination control is extremely stiff, and sharp. It offers eleven different brightness levels, with off positions between each level. That’s a nice touch, and much less time spent operating that switch. The battery compartment is simple to access and houses a single 2032 battery for power. Like the first STAC MOA2, this scope keeps the fast focus eye piece.

Tracking has been excellent thus far in my evaluation. I’ve had no issues getting my point of impact to match my point of aim. Side focus is quite precise, and will focus under 10 yards. That’s a huge benefit for anyone shooting air rifles or rimfires! I really wish all scope manufactures would lower the parallax on the bottom end to at least 15 yards. That way they would pick up the rimfire market. When a scope maker bottoms out at a 50 yard parallax, I won’t consider that optic, as it doesn’t fit my needs. Anyone that has been squirrel hunting knows what a blurry image you get of a 10 yard squirrel if you are working with a 50 yard parallax….. The magnification ring is very smooth, and easy to adjust with the proper amount of knurling.

Ring Height:

This will be no surprise as I have a very deep affection for the BKL-303 low rings for any 30mm tubes under 56mm on my CZ 452′ or 455’s. They work no matter the rail size being 3/8′ or 11mm, they are aluminum for reduced weight, and they are single strapped.

Reticle:

Reticles are something I’ve become rather particular about. When squirrel hunting I prefer something I can range out with. Most people enjoy the standard duplex and that will work perfectly if you don’t engage squirrels much over 60 yards with a sight in of 50 yards. At 60 yards I like to think I’m just getting started, especially in the late season. Using a Mildot reticle this past season, I made a headshot on a squirrel at 119 yards! The FFP STAC I chose came with a Mil-Hash reticle, of which I have no prior experience with. It was very simple to understand, and the holdovers aren’t too confusing. The numbers etched in the reticle are helpful to keep you true to what hash you are using.

Sightron STAC FFP @ 4X

Sightron STAC FFP @ 10X

This scope gave me my first opportunity at trying out First Focal Plane. I’ve solely been in Second Focal Plane camp for all my hunting tenure. While the reticle on an FFP scope is still usable at the lower powers, it makes the crosshair very small and difficult to see. I find on this optic that eight power is about the point where the reticle is large enough for me to pick up in the woods. Barring having a squirrel at 10 yards and needing to make a shot with a lower magnification, eight power and above would typically be my choice. Maxing the scope out at 20X, I still find the reticle small enough to shoot 1/2″ groups while sighting in. The sleeper in this whole reticle discussion is the addition of illumination! This takes away any issue of loosing your reticle in low light or in thick vegetation. When considering a thin type, ranging reticle I’d always opt for illumination. This is all the SFP STAC MOA2 lacked in being a perfect contender for the long range squirrel timber.

Sightron STAC FFP @ 20X
Sightron STAC FFP 20X Illuminated

Manufacturers Specs:

If anything deters you from this optic it will be the weight. Anytime you add a feature like illumination you are going to incur additional heft. Aside from that nitpick, the scope offers many features that make it a great optic for any game animal or just paper punching.

Item Number:26016
Sku Number:793139-260161
Model Name:S-TAC4-20X50FFPZSIRMH
Magnification:4-20X
Objective Diameter (mm):50
Focal Plane:FirstFocal Plane
Fov (ft@100 Yds.):22.2-4.36
Eye Relief (in.):3.9-3.7
Reticle Type:Mil-Hash-4(IR)
Click Value (@100 Yds.):.1 MRAD
Minutes Per Revolution:5 MRAD
W/E Travel (@100 Yds.):12/22.9 MRAD
Knob Style:Tactical (Resettable)
Zero Stop:Yes
Focus Type:Side Focus
Parallax Range:10yds to Infinity
Finish:Matte Black
Waterproof:Yes
Fully Multi Coated:Yes (Zact-7 TM 7-Layer)
Weight (oz.):25.6
Length (in.):15.0
Tube Diameter:30mm
Sunshade Included:No
Illuminated Reticle:Yes

Two things that will keep this scope off of squirrel hunters rifles are cost, and weight. If you are planning a sit and snipe mission, then this is a great scope for that job. If you are shooting in the Precision Rimfire Leauge, this is a good option. It’s difficult to pick the perfect scope for every type of setup, but I appreciate the additions Sightron has made to the STAC lineup to cover some of the misses on the non-illuminated options. Now if I can just get them to add mildots……

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