S&B 34mm Tactical

Ian M

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2001
Sask. Canada
Shot a new S&B Tactical this afternoon, the 3-12 with 34mm tube. Only fair way to describe the scope was - underwhelming. Not sure why but like the other S&B's I have had and used, looked like someone smeared vaseline around the outer edge compared to most other tacticals I have. Nice image sharpness in the middle and real soft out at the edges. This is not a big deal, have never shot using the edge of the field of view but it bugs me. Howcome the Jap lenses are tacky sharp to the outer edge? At least this one does not have the yellow over-all tinge like the two other big 30mm S&B models I had.

Nice optics but... They do not "blow your eyes out" like a certain Zeiss 3-12x56 on one of my rifles. ("Blowing my eyes out" is a quality that I look for when the image is so **** bright and sharp that I cannot believe it.). Might put the optical quality pretty close to my 3-12x56 Swarovski, but too early to make that statement.

Scope has a one-turn elevation dial that is great, except the **** thing is metric. Turrets are excellent for "snappy" clicks, no slush. Side focus worked nicely as does the eyepiece focus to sharpen up the crosshairs. Overall it is a very nice looking scope, finish and appearance is classy. 34mm tube is chunky, I like the looks but not sure what you gain vs 30mm. Did not do much except zero it today, no playing with repeatability or accuracy, got too **** cold. Shooting partner has shot through more different tactical scopes than most people could dream of - he was also underwhelmed by the optics.

I will wring it out, only sighted in at 100 today and will get some long range experience with it as weather permits.
Ian, good morning!

So...in a year's time, how many shootinig "toys" do you evaluate?
Wish I lived closer, would like to shoot some of this stuff with you. Have so **** much to shoot and not enough time or opportunity - losing half a year to winter does not help. Am very fortunate to have some great buddies who help a ton, particularly one lurker-partner who is the best shot and best gunnie I have ever met.

Good question, varies with what the opportunities are and what articles I might be working on or assigned. Some of these topics take months to get meaningful info on, or months of planning for a single hunt. Bottom line is that I like shooting and hunting more than writing or I would be punching out a lot more writing

Current issue of NRA Am. Hunter has a product test I did on the Surefire flashlights, testing quality equipment like that is enjoyable to say the least. I am very lucky to get to do these tests, have several going on right now.

Even more so I enjoy doing bigger jobs, more like "projects" that take much more time and effort. Have some stuff coming out on hitting moving targets for instance - accumulation of three years of shooting and thousands of rounds. Am really enjoying writing about the realities of long range hunting, have some interesting new topics for next year on the burner.

I am trying to use as much privately owned equipment as I can (like that S&B), gets rid of some of the onus that occurs when you get stuff direct from some factories. Most manufacturers I deal with are great, but some have some strings attached or implied.

The equipment stuff is fun but even better is meeting and becoming friends with some of the incredible guys I have hunted with since I got into this game. That plus meeting a lot of really great long range shooters courtesy of your site. Gotta go, a dog just jumped on my lap and he really needs a good backscratch
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