Kahles 10x-50x MOAK Long Range Riflescope Review
By James Mock
The first item of business for me was to learn to pronounce the name of this scope: K-a-h-l-e-s. The pronunciation that I have heard most is Caa’ less. Please forgive my phonetic spelling, but that’s the way I heard it. With that out of the way, let me say that the Kahles company of Austria is very old….dating back to 1898. They claim to be the oldest scope manufacturer in the world.
What are the features of this scope that endear it to the discriminating long range shooter? First, is the high power, with it being a true 10X-50X. Also, it has some unique features such as a parallax adjustment ring incorporated with the elevation turret. Included with the scope is a large ring which can be attached to the parallax ring to facilitate adjustments without removing one’s head from the stock. Another unique feature is a small red and white pin that indicates how many elevation turret revolutions one has made… i.e., if one red band shows, the scope is in the first revolution; with a one red and one white band, it is in the second revolution, etc.
This scope has a 56mm objective lens, fast focus eyepiece, and 1/8th MOA adjustments. This is a very expensive scope, but there are no short cuts in its construction. The lenses have a proprietary multi-layer coating called AMV and it is reported to transmit almost 100% of the light. Also, there is an oilphobic coating to resist scratches and keep contaminants such as oil or dirt from sticking to the lens. It is nitrogen filled and features hardened steel mechanisms for adjustments.
I got to test the Kahles in competition on 6/3/2017 at a 300 yard match. The scope performed flawlessly with spot-on, positive adjustments. The new parallax ring worked perfectly giving me parallax-free viewing with the ring set on 300. The quick focus ocular adjustment also brought the image into sharp focus. We had some mirage that day, but I had no problem seeing bullet holes with the scope set at 40x. The MOA reticle served me well by allowing me to know how many 1/8 MOA clicks to adjust from the sighter target. I shot my Bartlein 13.5 twist 6mm PPC barrel with N133 and Bart’s 65 gr. Super Man BT bullets. I shot 296-4x out of 300 possible. The 65 grain BT seems to be at its maximum range and I was edged out by an excellent 297/?x by a 6mm Dasher. The scope certainly did its part, but I didn’t.
The picture below shows me shooting at 200 yards to get ready for the aforementioned 300 yard match. The quality of this scope makes zeroing it a pleasure. The clicks are positive and audible.
With every new scope that I test, I shoot the “square.” This target above has ½ inch squares and my aim point was the small square in the lower right quadrant. I shot two shots at it then moved the windage knob 5 MOA left and fired one; moved 5 up and fired again; moved 5 right and fired; followed by my final shot after a 5 MOA down. This last shot went through the hole made by the original 2 shots…amazing. These were shot at 100 meters and with no wind flags. The top left shot was a little right due to wind deflection, but overall one can see the precision of adjustments by this scope.
On the 3rd Saturday of each month, we shoot a 600 yard match consisting of four, 5-shot targets on the IBS target. For this I replaced my 6 PPC barrel with a 8 twist 6mm Dasher. In it I shoot 32.8 grains of Varget pushing a Bart Sauter 105 grain rebated boat tail bullet.
The 600 yard match demands a scope that is very reliable and spot on in its adjustments. Since I don’t have a 600 yard range on which to zero, I simply zero at 100 yards and click up 11 MOA. At our matches we shoot steel gongs for sighting in. There is NOT a sight-in period before the match and all are expected to be “on target” upon arrival. Since I have not shot this scope at this distance, I will place my faith in this premium product.
We had our 600 yard match and this provided me my first opportunity to use the new Kahles at that distance. One of my goals for a premium scope is to be able to see 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards. Was I able to do that today? NO! However, with the mirage we had, one probably could not see bullet holes with the Hubble telescope. I shot the scope set at 40X all day.
The crisp adjustments allowed me to get on target quickly and in the first match, I shot a respectable 48/50 w/ 1X. The second target found me shooting an 8 and a 9 for a 47/50 w/2x. So far, so good. The 3rd target required a few clicks of windage because the wind picked up. I did okay with another 48/50 and went into the final target trailing the leader by 1 point. Then the wheels ran off and I shot a disaster. It was so embarrassing that I won’t even state what I shot. The group size was okay but the score was terrible. The scope was not at fault and the winner, Jeff Turner, shot 48, 48, 48, and 49 using the same scope as I used.
Here is a summary of the specifications for this rifle scope.
Power- 10x -50x
Tube diameter- 30mm
Length- 16.9 inches
Weight- 31.4 oz.
Lens coating- Proprietary multicoated w/ an oilphobic coating to resist dirt and oil (almost 100% light transmission)
Parallax range- 8 meters to infinity
Adjustments-1/8 MOA / 20 MOA per revolution
Range of adjustments- 5.3 ft. elevation/ 3.6 ft. windage @ 100 meters
Field of view at 100 m- 8.7’ @10X & 3.6’ @ 50X
Eye relief- 3.74”
Hardened steel click mechanisms
Parallax ring on elevation knob (see above picture)
Second focal plane with MOA reticule (at 40X)
Quick focus objective
Although I am still evaluating this scope, there are some definite conclusions that I have reached. This scope is for the person who will not compromise his demands for quality, regardless of price. This is not the most expensive large scope on the market at $2799, but it represents an extremely high quality product for those willing to pay a premium for a premium product.
Are there things that I do not like about this scope? Yes, the primary one is the weight (31.4 ounces). This is not a problem for those shooting long range with a 17 or 22 pound limit, but it is not for those shooting short range varmint classes (10.5 or 13.5 pounds). Also, I would appreciate screw on lens caps rather that the large bulky cover. I know that both of these are minor things and do not reflect the quality of the instrument.
Many shooters’ primary concern with scopes used for competitive shooting is their ability to hold point of aim. To test the Kahles, I mounted it on the Hood Scope Checker alongside my 36X Valdada. By aiming both scopes at a given point on the paper and firing several shots, one can determine if either of the scopes is moving. I don’t have a “frozen” scope to use, but the Valdada has been rock solid for me during many competitions over the last eight years. Pictured above is the setup that I used to test the scopes.
It is a pleasure to test a scope of this quality. Everything works as advertised and there are no unpleasant surprises. Many premium scopes fail the POA test outlined above.
If a scope holds point of aim, has repeatable crisp adjustments, and sharp clear images, what more could a person ask?
This scope has all of the features listed above, but if I had to offer any type of critique, it would be for a lower price and lighter weight. I cannot fault the price or weight too much however because quality costs and the scope has a large objective lens and a sturdy tube.
All in all, I can recommend this scope without reservation to all who want the best and have the ability to pay for same. Good shooting…James Mock.
James Mock is a retired high school teacher who has been hunting since the 50's. After graduating from college, and serving 2.5 years in the US Army in the 60's he returned home and began his teaching career. In about 1969 he began his lifelong search for accuracy and began hand loading ammunition since that date. Prairie dog shooting became an obsession in the 1990's and in 1997, Benchrest competition replaced prairie dog shooting. In 2002, James began writing for "Precision Shooting Magazine" and continued until they ceased publication in 2012. Presently, he shoots 300 and 600 yard matches and is still pursuing that elusive accuracy goal.