This is the flaship model of the Conquest Duralyt line. It is the first 30mm version of the “low priced” Conquest riflescopes, and as you can see, it is a really good looking piece of gear. This is the #60 illuminated reticle version like the one they sent us.
A 30mm tube is only technically about a milimeter wider than a 1″ tube scope, but Zeiss gets as much as they can out of that extra width and the Duralyt scope is really bright in low light.
These are the specs for all three of the new Duralyt scopes. The magnification range covers most rifle applications, from tactical to long range varmint.
This is the 2-8x without the illuminated reticle. Because the cross hairs don’t join, but are extremely fine, you can make a precise shot without having to deal with the + of the crosshairs covering the target.
This gives you plenty of precision at long distances without having to battle the dot by dialing it out as far as possible to get to the middle.
I snagged these pictures from the Zeiss website so you can see how good this scopes looks with a wide variety of rifles.
But I think the metallic steel grey of the Duryalyt series also matches the modern sporting rifle really well.
This 24″ Rock River varmint AR-15 deserves a great optic. The Duralyt will look great on your bolt gun, and as you can see it looks great on an AR as well.
Zeiss Sport Optics
Buying the best optic for your money requires that you understand at least the basics of what makes optics good, and what makes them great. Good optics are all over the place these days, and if good enough is good enough for your budget, a good optic can run you under $500 and there is a pretty wide field to choose from.
Great optics, on the other hand, are a whole other story, and that is what Zeiss has historically been all about. Great optics require precision far beyond that of good optics, and proprietary technology to coat the lenses for optimum clarity, brightness, and field of view without losing the edges. A great optic doesn’t fight your eyes. You can look through it for long stretches without eye fatigue, and without having to take your eye away to allow it to re-focus. Unfortunately great optics are not inexpensive. The time required to assemble a top piece of optic equipment is a great deal more than an average example, as is the research and development for the processes and coatings themselves, and like anything else, time is money.
If you are in market for truly great optics, Zeiss seems to be always raising the bar on how much you get for the money. The Duralyt is a new line of 30mm tube Conquest riflescopes engineered to give you great value in a top quality European riflescope, and the prices of all three models are all well under $1,500. Zeiss calls them, “outstanding for this class,” and while I don’t have a ton of experience with high end optics, the one they sent us is really outstanding. As with the last Zeiss riflescopes we reviewed, the edge to edge definition is perfect. You can let you eye wander around the sight picture at full power and it doesn’t get tired the way it does with other scopes. I am sure that side by side, there are differences between these “low priced” Zeiss scopes and the $3,000 and up models, but I can’t imagine you would ever look through one and feel like you don’t have as good a riflescope as money can buy.
The three models in this introductory Duralyt line are a 1.2-5x with a 36mm effective lens diameter (MSRP $1,055), a 2-8 power x 42mm (MSRP $1,111), and the model we were able to test, a 3-12x with a 50mm diameter (MSRP $1,166). All three come with a Zeiss #6 reticle or a #60, which is the same design as the #6, but with an extremely fine illuminated dot, for about $300 more. I looked around online and the street price is about $100 less, with the illuminated versions available at about $1300.
The applications for these three scopes are pretty wide The low power model would be great for any tactical work, 3-Gun competition, or close quarters hunting. The 2-8x is sufficient for just about any North American big game (with the exception of maybe Elk out west on the big open ranges), and the 3-12 is low power enough at 3x for deer hunting, but it also has the extra magnification power you need for long range Elk or varmint hunting, making a scope you could move from rifle to rifle for different purposes. As you can see from the pictures, I think the metallic steel grey matches what is being termed the “modern sporting rifle,” aka the AR-15 platform, really well, and it would look as great with a camo pattern as it does with this Rock River 24″ varmint rifle. Hunting is evolving with the times, and Zeiss riflescopes are evolving with it.
The #6/60 reticle has a feature I like a lot. The crosshairs stop and the very center of the reticle is empty, allowing you to take a precision shot at distances beyond the magnification range of the scope. You are able to use the natural ability of your eyes to center a target in a framed, even circular, space, like a peep sight. You don’t get stuck with the crosshairs covering too much target, having to shoot “through” the + of the crosshairs. Add to this that if you get the illuminated model, the dot is .3″ at 100 yards, or about .3 Minutes of Angle (MOA). That adds up to about a one inch dot at 300 yards. If you are camping out on a prairie dog town with this 3-12x using the illuminated dot, the precision of the dot is small enough to be able to aim, rather than just cover the prairie dog with the dot and hope for the best, the way it would be with most 1-4 MOA dot sights on the market.
I’m a big fan of the Rapid Z reticles from Zeiss, and I hope they come out with this Duralyt series with the 30mm tube and the Rapid Z, but for now, if you don’t need the ranging (which most of us don’t even though we may enjoy having it), the #60 is a great reticle for most hunting and ammo combinations. Usually you have to back the dot down as far as you can to be able to estimate something like less than 1MOA coverage, but this Zeiss actually has .3MOA, and it really works like it is supposed to. The battery is a standard 2032 lithium, available at Wal-Mart, and it shuts off automatically after 4 hours. The buttons on the scope are easy, intuitive and most importantly, big, and the zooming ring is smooth and clear, with no binding. You get a lot of scope for your money, and as a lifetime purchase, I don’t think the engineering or the construction of the Zeiss will let you down.
We’ve included the chart here of the vital specs on all three Duralyt models, and some pictures of the one they sent us to check out. Before you buy a riflescope, you really should try to find a Zeiss dealer where you can compare the Zeiss head to head with scopes both below their price point, and those that are in their same price range. You will see the difference, and you will understand why it is a really good idea to always try the Zeiss.
Zeiss Sport Optics