A Solid, Compact Optic for Handguns
When I received Nosler’s new handgun to review, the M48 Nosler Custom Handgun (read here), I immediately remembered what I’d forgotten: the M48 has no sights! I jumped on the internet to locate potential handgun scopes and put together a short list. Several emails later, I had a Burris 3-12x32mm Handgun Scope heading my way.
Once the scope arrived, I attached it to the Nosler Custom Handgun with a set of Burris Signature Zee Rings. First, I mounted a Leupold Picatinny rail atop the receiver, a Backcountry Cross-Slot, Short Action, 20 MOA (P/N 175218).
I use scopes all the time—rifle scopes. While I have used handgun-mounted scopes, at the range and in the field, these are still relatively “occasional-use” optics for me. So, my learning curve started with me adjusting to the very long eye relief on the Burris Handgun Scope. I kept wanting to push in for a closer look, but of course with a long eye relief scope getting closer results in a visual blackout.
For my eyes, I found the optimum eye relief with the Burris 3-12 was in the 12- to 13-inch range, depending on the magnification. I had to keep the scope and handgun very, very still or the smallish sight picture jumped around too much for accurate shooting.
Zeroing the scope and handgun was easy. The 1/8 MOA click values for elevation and windage meant a good deal of clicking, but my shots clearly and steadily moved with the clicks.
The turrets are covered with aluminum caps that threaded on and off securely. Elevation and windage adjustments can be made with your fingers on the knurled edges of the turrets or, using the half-moon depression in the middle of the turret, a coin. Clicks were firm and audible.
The magnification ring turned easily between power settings. Fine tuning of images was accomplished by the eyepiece focus ring at the rear of the scope, and it worked very smoothly.
A parallax adjustment is located at the very front of the scope, allowing for adjustments between seven (7) yards and out to infinity.
The reticle on the 3-12x32mm Handgun Scope is Burris’ “Ballistic Plex,” a simple-yet-effective MOA holdover reticle with sub-tensions to allow for bullet drop compensation out to 500 yards.
On a recent South Texas hunt with the Nosler M48 Handgun, the Burris 3-12 let me see well enough to shoot right up to dark and then several minutes beyond. I also set up a night light for hog hunting on a feeder at 100 yards away. While no hogs showed up, the windy conditions kept setting off the night light. In the greenish glow of the hog light, the Burris Handgun Scope provided more than enough illumination that I could’ve made a successful, accurate shot, had Porky Pig and his Cousins showed up.
It’s also a fairly rugged scope. I didn’t drop test it, but the Burris-topped Nosler got a lot of bouncing around in trucks and hunting stands, and the zero never changed. I know about the zero because I practiced with the Nosler during lunch breaks while on my hunt.
Still, this is not a full-sized rifle scope, and smallish 32mm-tube and relatively short length simply are not going to pull in the light like a rifle optic. Translation: the view is a bit darker than a rifle scope.
All in all, the Burris 3-12x32mm Handgun Scope is a handy and compact, and will easily get the job done for hunting and recreational shooting. The suggested retail is a little hefty, but I found this scope on the web for $100 off the suggested price.
Specs: Burris 3-12x32mm Handgun Scope
Magnification: 3 to 12 power
Reticle: Burris Ballistic Plex™
Finish: Matte Black
Objective lens: 44 mm
Ocular lens: 38mm
Tube Size: 32mm
Tube Material: Aluminum
Field of View: at 100 yards, 14 feet at lowest magnification, 4 ft. highest magnification
Eye Relief: 10 to 19 in. at low magnification, 10 to 12.5 in. at high
Click Value, elevation and windage adjustments: 1/8 in. @ 100 yds.
Parallax Adjustments: 7 yds. to Infinity
Length: 10.8 in.
Weight: 16.0 oz.
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