Brownells is serious about firearms. They carry just about everything you could want to pimp out that tactical shotgun, outfit your pistol with a red dot, or change out the buttstock on your favorite AR15 rifle. Did you know they now offer precision rifle scopes in a price range many people can afford? They do, which is why we’ve published this MPO Scope review.
Specifically, today we review the MPO (Match Precision Optic) in 3-18×50 from Brownells!
Brownells MPO Scope Specs
- Battery CR-2032
- Click Value 0.1 MRAD
- Eye Relief 3.50″
- Finish Black
- Focal Plane First
- Illumination Yes
- Length 14″
- Max Magnification 18x
- Min. Magnification 3x
- Objective Size 50 mm
- Reticle N-OMR
- Tube Size 34 mm
- Weight 33 oz
Brownells MPO Scope Background
It should come as no surprise that there are people working for Brownells that enjoy shooting and competing with long range precision rifles.
These folks, like many others, have realized the rapid growth of the precision rifle segment of the firearms market. They began offering many of the products that competitors and hunters de-mand. Quality optics are included in that product list now.
Unfortunately, you don’t have to go very far down the precision rifle rabbit hole before you run into a roadblock. You will have purchased or built a quality bolt action rifle, a bipod, and maybe a barricade bag, but what about a scope? This is always a difficult decision for people new to the sport of precision rifle competitions, mainly due to the prices of quality optics.
Brace yourself for what I’m about to say.
$700 to $1000 scopes represent the entry level when it comes to getting something that will perform in a way that doesn’t detract from your overall experience or enjoyment of this sport.
What do I mean by that? There are certain features that you will want/need, and they can directly affect your performance.
A feature such as a milling or holdover reticle allow you to measure target sizes or get a better visual representation of how far off the target you missed your last shot. A zero-stop feature will allow you to quickly dial your elevation turret back down to your 100-yard zero point without having to count clicks or rota-tions.
Optical clarity and quality will allow you to see your target better, to the point of being able to “cut through” mirage and better identify target edges at greater distance. Unfortunately, these kinds of features cost more money.
Brownells MPO Scope Features
The Brownells MPO scopes feature the Japanese Hoya glass. It is fully multi-coated, and edge blackened so as to produce excellent edge to edge clarity and light transmission.
In case you’re wondering, edge blackening is a process a manufacturer can use to help eliminate light from es-caping out the edges of a piece of glass. This means more light through the optic reaching your eye. It’s a good thing.
2 Main Tube
The 34mm main tube is strong and provides a greater adjustment range. Many rings and mounts are available for this popular size.
First focal plane MRAD reticle boasts .5 mil holdovers marks on the vertical and horizontal stadia lines as well as .1 mil “target measurement” lines. Further down the reticle “christmas tree” there are .2 mil marks which is where you need them to be for holdover shots.
The MPO has a return to zero feature, making it very simple to dial back to your 100 yard zero point without having to count clicks or revolutions.
The MPO has 7 different brightness settings for the illuminated reticle.
The Brownells MPO scopes, whether the 3-18X model or the 5-25X model, are listed at an MSRP of $999.99
Scope Models and Colors
The Brownells MPO scopes are finished in matte black and come in two configurations, the 3-18X50 model I reviewed, and a 5-25X56 model.
Brownells MPO Scope – Our Take
The Brownells MPO has proven to be a reliable scope, offering all of the features that I find most important for the type of shooting I do regularly. The controls are what you would expect from a quality optic in the precision rifle niche.
The glass is clear and bright out to distance with minimal chromatic aberration (CA) around the edges. It wasn’t noticeable enough to become a negative rating in my evaluation. The low-light performance is excellent. I had no trouble picking out details in shadowy areas in the woods. Obviously, pitch black areas are still too dark – no magic fairy dust for that issue.
I found the reticle to be useful, and the .2 mil dots that begin at the 1 mil holdover elevation line, are ideal for precise holdover adjustments. The lines and dots that make up the “Christmas Tree” style reticle are thin and unobtrusive, yet not too thin so as to become unusable above 7 power. That being said, if you run the optic down in the range of 3-4 power, the reticle Christmas tree becomes rather unusable to my old eyes. Even so, as long as the target is bright/clean against the background, the vertical and horizontal lines become a standard “fine duplex” cross-hair.
Turret feel is a big thing to me. I can’t stand when turrets feel mushy. What I really like is a tac-tile and audible experience when it comes to turning the turrets. In my mind, there should be no second-guessing whether I’m advancing the clicks or not. The Brownells MPO has both tactile and audible clicks. The turrets aren’t mushy, they are rather crisp. The mil numbers and lines match up perfectly as well. Another positive to me is the capped windage turret. This keeps the shooter from accidentally bumping and changing the windage value. This is preferable for the competitive shooter, and is most likely a welcome feature for the hunter as well.
Scope tracking is another box that needs to be checked when evaluating the worthiness of an optic. Obviously you need to be able to trust that your optic is not inducing cant errors into your drop data without you knowing about it. These calculations and adjustments need to be precise when it comes to making consistent shots at long range. I tested the Brownells MPO during a precision rifle class taught by Frank Galli this past summer. The model supplied to me tracked perfectly to a value better than 99%.
I think the MPO scopes are an excellent value. They really do have all of the features that the hunter and competitor could want, and the glass is good quality too. On my arbitrary 1-10 scale of scope awesomeness, I give the MPO a solid 7.5. In case you’re wondering, a ten would be a scope like the Zero Compromise 5-25. A six, for comparison sake would be the Vortex Viper PST gen2.
Brownells MPO Scope Pros and Cons
- Good glass – clear and bright with minimal edge distortion. The edge blackening likely helps with this.
- Turret feel and function – tactile, audible, and capped windage are all pros.
- Return to zero – by far one of my favorite features. I can’t stand counting clicks.
- The Price – for $999.99, I think this is possibly one of the best scopes on the market in that price category. I honestly have yet to see its equal.
- Heavy magnification ring feel: The mag ring is rather difficult to move even with the supplied throw lever.
- Mag ring wrong direction: The magnification ring, when turned in the clockwise direction, adjusts the power to a lower number. Most scopes that I own and/or have tested increase in power when turned clockwise. This is just a personal preference, but it has taken me some effort to re-learn.
Clear and bright for the price point. Better glass exists on the market, but this is decent.
It’s very usable for competition, but the hunter might find the “Christmas tree” style a bit too much.
The turrets function well on this scope and are not mushy. Unfortunately the magnification ring is unnecessarily hard to move.
All of the features, customer service, and price make this an excellent entry level choice.
Reviewed by Joel Wise
Based on 1 Reviews
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Starter Pack for the Brownells MPO Scope
Brownells did a pretty great job when designing this scope. However, there is one thing we recommend picking up in order to really make the most of it. And that’s a cleaning kit.
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