IOR Valdada QR-TS 3x scope review


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Disintegrating Links
August 2, 2010, 05:27 AM
Hi everyone, I'm new to THR but I've been reading it for a while. I got a new optic for my AR, so I decided to review it and do my first post here.

First, the IOR Valdada 3x25 QR-TS "Naked" is one very unique scope. I think it's pretty great, but I don't think it's for everyone. I put it through a very quick evaluation at my range today, so this isn't a torture test - more of a range day review.

Starting with the positives. First, it's about the size of my Aimpoint Comp C3, which qualifies it as compact. It's also a roof prism design like the ACOG with outstanding image quality. The exit pupil is over 8mm, which means it passes a lot of light to your eye. Not only that, but the image is sharp, clear and the colors are true. It works very well at night, too. The field of view is good and wide - the manufacturer IOR claims 38 feet at 100 yards. That's slightly better than an ACOG TA-31 4x and much better than a compact ACOG like the TA-33 3x. The IOR also has ample eye relief and a focus control on the eyepiece. And the reticle... did I mention it? It looks awesome. You get this big, bold horseshoe that's quick to put on your target but still has a fine dot in the center. It can be used for range estimating anything you know to be 18 inches across at 100 yards...large Costco pizzas, for example. Yeah, the reticle is a bit cluttered. It's kind of like IOR couldn't decide whether it was gonna be for a sniper rifle or a CQB rifle. But I like it.
http://www.valdada.com/images/productimages/3x25.jpg
Now the negatives. First, it's not an ACOG. The both-eyes-open aiming concept does not work (for me) with this scope during daylight hours. I was a bit disappointed, because I thought it would. Interestingly, both eyes open aiming does seem to work at night with the battery powered illumination on. Secondly, this optic is a bit heavy. At over 12oz, it's not as light as a compact 3x ACOG, however the few extra ounces aren't that noticeable once you get it on your rifle. Another negative is the battery powered illumination, which is pretty much useless during the day. The illumination only becomes usable at dusk and beyond. I don't find this to be too big of a problem, because the etched horseshoe reticle is bold and jet black. But keep in mind you won't get a blazing red chevron like Trijicon gives you. Additional negatives include: illuminated reticle is visible from the objective side, cheesy rubber objective lens cover, unimpressive factory cantilever scope mount... however, this optic does work in many Aimpoint type 30mm mounts. I put mine in a LaRue Tactical QD mount.

Finally, some 'neutrals.' The windage and elevation adjustments aren't what you're used to unless you grew up in Romania. From what I understand, 99% of all scopes have an erector tube that "tilts" in order to zero the reticle. This scope doesn't. In fact, IOR's web site says it has no erector tube. Instead, the reticle itself moves around when you rotate the adjustment knobs. This will drive you nuts if you're are a person who likes symmetry (like my brother, who spends half an hour trimming his sideburns). But if you can stand the reticle being somewhat off center, there is a supposed benefit. I'm not an optics expert, but no erector tube means no leaf spring holding the erector tube zeroed - thus no leaf spring to fail under heavy recoil or upon being dropped. The IOR website says the QR-TS adjustment system is "incredibly durable in combat situations." I would tend to believe them, since they used to make scopes for the Eastern Bloc military with the same moving reticle principle. One more neutral are the adjustment knobs/turrets. They are big and stick way out. I guess you can think of the exposed turrets as a either a nice bonus, or something to accidentally get bumped and knocked off zero. But they do have audible/tactile clicks and they are cleanly marked.

All in all, I really like this optic despite it's shortcomings. It's more of a traditional rifle scope design than an ACOG wannabe/competitor. It offers 3x magnification in a robust, compact design. It provides enough magnification for shooting close to medium range. For me, it didn't work 'as advertised' in both-eyes-open mode. I also wouldn't call it a great CQB optic and I think there are much better options for indoor shooting. But where the QR-TS really impresses me are in image clarity, field of view, robustness, compactness and value. And if you enjoy being different, you'll likely be the only person at your range with one of these.

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