I have owned Leupold Optics, Bushnell Optics and many others in between. The biggest pain point is the price and quality vs. features. The Sightmark Triple Duty SM13022MDD offers a lot of features for a $300 optic. It has 1/4 MOA per click adjustment, locking knobs for quickly changing your optic’s point of aim/point of impact and making sure your adjustments don’t move around when it’s in a bag or banging around while on a sling.
This optic has an illuminated reticle with no bleeding, so the reticle is still crisp even when on maximum brightness. I personally don’t use illuminated reticles in any situation but it works well for those who find this an enticing option. The maximum recoil rating is 1000G’s, which is more than enough for any caliber you would mount a 2.5 – 10x magnification optic on.
We tested this optic with the KelTec RFB (7.62 x 51) and the Head Down Products PV13 AR15 rifle and both turned good results, the scope didn’t lose zero and was easily zeroed when swapped from rifle to rifle. The eye relief on this optic is generous, between 105-98 mm, and it has a large distance which you can still use the optic in front of and behind their rated eye relief.
What I didn’t like
I used this scope for about 4 months during the testing of the RFB and on my personal rifle as well. There were a few things I really loved about it and of course a few things I think would be best left out. Everything you give a customer with a product makes a statement about your product and your company. I feel like Sightmark puts a few too many things in the box that start making it feel cheaper than it performs.
There were two things in particular that drove me a little batty about what came in the box, now these are VERY minor gripes but, something you should know. They send flip up caps for the scope when you receive it and I feel their product would have been better received without them in the box. These caps are held on using a plastic sleeve that wraps around the end of the optic and they slide on and off with minimal pressure. I tried using them the first day and every time I went to flip them up, the flip cap and sleeve came right off the scope. So that’s a $0.30 piece that I could live without and not a flaw in the scope at all.
The second thing that could be improved upon or left out are the scope rings. The optics come with the mounting hardware you need to get started. The rings are pretty flimsy and the quality is enough to get them on the rifle but not much more. The screw on each mount needs to be tightened after about 50 rounds or so on a 5.56 and after every few rounds on a .308. This is the only thing I think I would change as far as quality.
The things I loved about this optic
There really isn’t much not to love, I have payed a little more than three times this price for significantly less time and time again. The scope held zero after 1000 rounds of 5.56 and 500 rounds of .308 without needing readjustment. Holding zero is generally what should be your biggest concern with optics in the price range and with this one you don’t have to worry.
The adjustment knobs are clearly marked for use without the manual. Some scopes mark windage and elevation and some do not. Going to the range and having a moment of forgetfulness and adjusting in the wrong direction gets annoying when the manufacturer could have saved you the annoyance by simply adding a letter on each. The adjustment knobs have a very positive click so you know what is going on whether you are watching the marks on the oversized knobs or not.
Eye relief rating in Sightmark’s specs is a heavy understatement, they rate the eye relief at 105-98 mm. I’ve found that I have about a 3-4 inch range where I could comfortably operate this scope and still see what I needed to. This is a huge point of concern if you are looking to use this on a three gun rifle where quick target acquisition is imperative.
All in all I have had yet another very positive experience with Sightmark’s products. They are cost effective and reliable. This is really the balance we are all looking for in this type of product. We all want something with the look and feel of a high end product with a lower price tag. Given they could change the mounting rings and leave out the flip caps, I won’t give too much grief over that as they are very cost effective to change out for better ones and not really something that goes into reviewing the optic itself. In my book, Sightmark still maintains its status of high quality and function vs. price over many other brands we have reviewed and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend their products to anyone with or without a disclaimer.