Chris Redlich enjoyed GPO’s Spectra 4x riflescope
A couple of years ago I reviewed a pair of GPO rangefinding binoculars and up until then I hadn’t heard much about German Precision Optics (GPO). Relatively new to a competitive optics market, GPO now appear well established with a solid array of riflescopes and binoculars available, so when Australian distributor Raytrade invited me to review a new GPO Spectra 4x scope I was more than happy to accept. There are many models in the Spectra scope catalogue to suit almost any requirement and the one supplied to me was the basic yet popular 2.5-10×44 (4x zoom), which I consider one of the best zoom and lens diameter configurations for general hunting.
Out of the box
At first glance the new Spectra 4x displayed all the tell-tale signs of high-quality build. Like all scopes in the GPO Spectra series it came supplied with a lens cleaning cloth, bikini lens protectors and, as per standard, the user manual. What was immediately noticeable was the inclusion of a throw lever attached to the variable magnification dial and by all accounts easily removed if you prefer. In the hand the Spectra 4x at a total length of 335mm wasn’t dissimilar to other scopes in the niche hunting category and its weight of 620grams was expected considering it has a 30mm maintube.
In a durable matte black protective coating the tube is made from aircraft-grade aluminium. Starting my investigation south, the Spectra’s ocular lens and magnification dials are bucking the trend somewhat by not using rubber as a grip material – both dials are extremely grippy and appear to be made with machined lugs out of aluminium. As mentioned the magnification dial came with a throw lever but honestly the dial is easy to grip without it. As expected, the eyepiece dioptre adjustment ring is rubber and will protect the shooter in the event of a recoil ‘kiss’ from a hard-kicker.
The ocular housing, like most other scopes of European pedigree, is quite large and this one at 45mm diameter required high rings for mounting to my Remington Model 700. The Remington’s 90-degree bolt throw can take some of the blame for high mounting but for many European rifles with 60 and 70-degree bolt-actions the scope can be mounted in low rings.
When mounted to my Remington though the extra few millimetres of height made no difference, taking a clear sight picture through the large ocular thanks to the stock’s raised cheekpiece.
Although the user manual didn’t appear to shed any light on the reticle’s focal plane, I soon established it to be in the second plane and situated within the ocular housing is one of my favourite hunting reticles the G4 (German 4). Differing slightly to a standard German 4, the Spectra’s G4 reticle has the balance right with heavy 3, 6 and 9 o’clock outer posts which taper sharply at the tips to the fine centre cross-hairs. The G4 actually appears to be a hybrid of German 4 and Plex-styles, the reticle designed with incremental metric values at 100m and the corresponding values can be found in the manual.
Occupying the turret housing is the standard elevation adjustment at 12 o’clock and windage at 3 o’clock, both turret caps generously proportioned and allowing easy grip and removal. The user manual states the Spectra 4x has an ample 235cm (2.35m) at 100m of travel in both directions thanks to the 30mm main tube and click adjustment on the dials are worth 1cm each. The 2.5-10×44 model isn’t equipped with parallax correction and is factory set to be parallax free to 100m. Lastly but more importantly at the business end of the scope is its multi-coated 44mm objective lens providing a bright and crisp image enabling 16.2m field of view at 100m on low power (2.5x) and 4.1m on high (10x).
On mounting it to the Remington Model 700 in the Accurate Mag stock chassis my first sight picture through the scope was as expected, crystal clear with comfortable eye relief of almost four inches so with much anticipation I had to wait for a break in the bad weather to put it to use.
Range and field test
The day finally arrived and I managed to jag a few range sessions with my kitted-up Remington 22-250 and from the outset the Spectra 4x lived up to expectation, providing easy target acquisition in varying light conditions. After testing in the review tactical stock chassis I remounted the Spectra to my Model 700 in its original BDL timber stock for the chance to field test in a hunting environment. Once again continuous rain was hampering my efforts to venture out but eventually my son Carl and I managed a brief night’s shooting on a friend’s property not too far from home.
Just prior to last light I set up a target at 100m to check-sight the rifle and straight out of the safe I was pleased to land a confidence-boosting 10mm 3-shot group using Nosler 55-grain ‘Varmageddons.’ Needless to say I was happy with the scope and its ability to provide a clear image of the paper target in poor light. After enjoying a ‘billy brew’ over a campfire immediately after our target session, I clamped my Nitecore torch to the scope before an early night of vermin shooting by spotlight though the first hour turned out to be uneventful, as if the local ferals had heard we were coming.
With our stomachs reminding us it was close to dinner time we decided to make our way to the gate and head for home. Nearing the last paddock a couple of hares scurried in and out a few clumps of grass and I followed them through the scope while Carl pinned them in the spotlight. At about 100m they paused momentarily and I was able to despatch both in quick succession without the aid of the attached torch so our night turned out to be quite eventful after all.
As far as a genuine quality-built hunting scope is concerned, GPO’s Spectra 4 2.5-10×44 fits the bill nicely. There’s nothing worse than struggling for a clear sight picture when it matters most and shooting those two hares cleanly in grassy cover on our night shoot reinforced the lowlight performance of the Spectra lens and enhancing its capability even further, this scope is also available with an illuminated reticle. Very well priced around $750 at time of writing and backed by a lifetime warranty, the Spectra 4x 2.5-10×44 (non-illuminated) is ideal for the demands of lowlight hunting. For the full range of Spectra scopes visit www.gp-optics.com and find stockists at www.raytrade.com.au