I figured Iíd give an update. After spending some time with it, Iím still very pleased. Iíd have to say the more I use it the more I like it. With about 150 rounds under it now, most from the 7-08 but also a handful on the 300 RUM it has held up nicely and everythingís working 100%. The turrets have been easy to use and totally repeatable spun from 100 to 1100 yds and everywhere in between many times, the side focus has worked well, the reticle is a joy to use and the turrets and the reticle working together works really well. I did numerous speed drills on targets at different distances, dialing the first and holding the second on the reticle and going back and forth as fast as I could accurately. Much fun. In all, performance far exceeding its price point.
Hereís a view of a gong from 1000 yds:
It really works well as a cheaper little brother to the IOR or S&B or a USO. With the good FFP Mil reticle and Mil clicks, you can switch back and forth with no real change in function or operation. Using it next to the IOR and S&B the only differences you really notice is the glass and the knobs.
On the glass, I did compare it with the 4.5-14 VXIII Leupold as I said I was going to:
I thought the Leupold was about the same sharpness or maybe a hair sharper resolution-wise, but the Falcon was clearer. My dad thought the Falcon was better all the way around. It was a fairly quick, informal comparison without getting scientific about it, looking at resolution charts, etc, so I wonít declare itís absolutely better than VXIII glass, but itís certainly comparable. HERE
is a test another guy did comparing it to his Premier MKIV, where he thought the MKIV was slightly better (he also froze it, dunked it in water and other fun stuff).
Of course thatís a ways off from IOR or S&B glass, so if youíre switching between those you will notice a big difference as I mentioned above. Often when having trouble seeing a hole in paper or a hit on steel way out there, I could switch to the S&B and see it better even though itís only 12X vs. 14X. The 18X IOR is on a whole different level. But, if what youíre used to is Leupold-ish glass, you wonít notice much if any drop-off.
As I said the knobs are mushier but functionally what you notice compared to the other two is only having 6 Mils per turn (about 20.6 MOA) which means you need to keep track of your turns at common (for me at least) ranges. Itís something you need to be aware of and can mess up that simply isnít a worry with the others. This is nothing specific against this scope as most of the scopes we use here are the same (actually thatís more travel than many much more expensive scopes) so most of us are used to that and can deal with it just fineÖbut when you get used to using scopes with the big knobs like IOR, S&B and USO, going back to the little knobs makes them seem sort of silly. I kept thinking the S&B had a zero stop but didnít really need it, this one could have used it a lot more.
So those are the main two things you notice when comparing it to the big boys. But donít get me wrong, Iím not trying to say everything else is equal. Its long term durability isnít proven and with so much China made content certainly shouldnít be taken for granted. There are things you notice if you look closely enoughólike the click value being off slightly. Once itís incorporated into your drop chart/calculations you donít notice it in use but itís not perfect either. Also the turrets and the way they engage the erector assembly arenít as robust. If you hold it solidly and grab one of the knobs and push on it while looking through it you can see the reticle move. It always seems to pop back to the correct place when you let go, but it doesnít inspire confidence like the others.
So of course there is certainly more than is skin deep youíre paying for with the more expensive scopes. Iíll always feel like this one is sort of a cheap imitation of the others. But itís one that works. I wouldnít hesitate to head out the door with it tomorrow feeling well equipped for any hunting situation I could think of. And itís so nice to be able to scope another rifle with a scope that works just like and does a really good impression of ďthe real thingĒ for such a tiny fraction of the cost. Knowing some of the luck Iíve had with much more expensive scopes lately, itís nice to have this success story to think about.
Anyway, hopefully some will find that info useful.