Trijicon Tactical Advanced Riflescope (TARS) Review

Trijicon Tactical Advanced Riflescope (TARS) Review
By Nicholas Gebhardt

Page 4


Edmund Resolving Power Chart

Optically, the TARS gave up very little to the Steiner. Color fidelity, resolution, and contrast appeared to be identical and I spent considerable time switching back and forth between the two looking for differences. The only thing I could ascertain was that the TARS seemed to give an ever so slightly darker image, but it would be impossible to tell without these two scopes being next to each other. The TARS was fairly sensitive to eye position however. Once a perfect eye position was established, the image was nice and clear but became slightly blurry with little movement off axis.

The TARS gave adequate contrast from what I could see at 100 yards on the Edmunds resolving power chart. The yellow color was the most difficult to resolve compared to the red and blue but the color fidelity appeared to be very natural. Contrast was also excellent when viewing the distant grass, mud, and rock covered hillside as well as ability to resolve small details in the shadows. One characteristic I noticed with both scopes however was color fringing along the edges of scattered patches of bright white snow. Without the white background, I'm not sure I would have noticed this issue with either scope.

The turrets tracked precisely in true MOA. I tested the tracking by coming up in 3 MOA increments to a total of 26 MOA and the scope returned to zero as it should. I ran the tall target test twice and the impacts were within the accuracy of the rifle. I did not test the windage turret for tracking or return to zero however. Even given this simple elevation tracking test, I would be confident in the adjustments of this scope for making accurate firing solutions out to extended distances.

There are a couple things I'd like to see modified on this scope. First would be the size of the numbers and etching on the turrets and magnification adjustment ring. When a fellow shooter who happens to be a few years older than I am initially looked at the scope, the first comment was how small the numbering was and he was having difficulty with his aging eyes seeing the numbers on the turrets. The click spacing is pretty close but distinct enough that with larger numbers and possibly heavier etching on the major value lines, it would be easier for those with vision problems to be able to determine the setting. The magnification adjustment ring is similar but of less concern as the reticle is FFP. The magnification setting for an FFP scope is less an issue as the magnification doesn't really matter much other than for some situational awareness. As long as the user has the field of view desired, that is really all that matters since the reticle subtensions are always true. Regardless, I'd like to see the numbers a little larger.

My only other criticism with the turrets is that the index lines beneath the turret sleeve do not extend to the very bottom against the main tube. If a shooter were to have a high angle inclined scope base, the potential exists for the elevation knob to rotate a complete turn without having any indication which click the turret is exactly on. I'd like to see the index line extend to the main tube of the scope. This goes for the windage turret as well though with a properly aligned scope base and rings, the windage adjustment should be fairly well centered on the index line. I'd also like to see a stop built in to the windage turret so that the turret can't turn past the 15 MOA mark (half turn) but there are others that would surely appreciate the full turn capability.

I would also like to see some form of numbering on the parallax knob to indicate approximate location of parallax free settings. Many companies only provide an infinity marking with either hash marks or other form of scale but having some form of approximate setting is nice to have. Were this my scope, I would utilize a silver fine tip paint pen to mark certain distances on the parallax knob once I verified the setting.

One final thought regarding the absolute zero stop feature on the elevation knob for those looking for some tips. If a user desired to have some adjustment below their established zero, it is simple enough to actually zero a specific amount low. For instance, if I wanted to use a 100 yard zero on my rifle and use the absolute zero stop on this scope, but have an additional 2 MOA of adjustment below my 100 yard zero, I would actually zero my rifle for that 2 MOA low at 100 yards. When I set the absolute zero stop on the scope, it would be for this 2 MOA low impact. When reinstalling the numbered portion of the turret, I would align it for the 2 MOA below the "0" mark, in this case the 28 MOA setting. After that is installed and tightened, I'd simply dial up those 2 MOA back to the "0" mark on the turret for my true 100 yard zero and I'd still have the capacity to dial down.

The Trijicon TARS is mechanically sound, sealed up well, and designed to take a high degree of abuse. This will make an outstanding optic for serious marksmen, hunters, competition shooters, and military personnel who depend on their optics on a daily basis. To answer my own question at the beginning of this article; yes, the TARS continued to impress!

Nicholas Gebhardt has been an active hunter primarily pursuing mule deer, antelope, coyotes and prairie dogs since he was old enough to legally hunt. Nicholas is a precision rifle competitor and uses the knowledge he gains from competition shooting to aid in his ethical taking of game in the field under most any condition. He enjoys custom rifles and is usually in some form or another of either planning or building the next one. Nicholas earned his B.S. in Wildlife Biology from t