Mid-Priced Optics

These are the scopes around the $400 price point.

The two most popular scopes are the Weaver T-36 and the newly re-introduced Sightron SII 36X42 BR D.



Both Weaver and Sightron claim a very repeatable and reliable tracking system.


What is the Weaver Micro-Trac 4 Point System?

All Weaver Riflescopes have an erector tube. These tubes are equipped with a means to adjust one end. This causes the point toward which the scope is looking (along with the crosshairs) to change. The Micro-Trac 4 Point System is similar to an automobile's dual independent suspension. Any adjustment made to the tube for windage is independent of any elevation changes. Therefore, when you change windage, elevation is unaffected and vice versa.

Most conventional conversion systems use 2 screws and 1 spring to adjust their erector tubes. Eventually, adjusting one screw "too much" of your Weaver Rifle Scope will cause the spring to inadvertently affect the adjustment of the other variable. These other systems do not operate independently from one another like the Micro-Trac.

Most systems also have the screws baring directly down on the cylinder, whereas the Weaver Micro-Trac System bears down on a specific point of contact. Just like a ball joint in a car, this gives you better precision. The Micro-Trac erector tube is always being directed from the same point; angular motion is consistent.

What is the Sightron Exact Track System?

ExacTrack is the most revolutionary breakthrough in modern shooting history.
Thanks to Sightron's patented Windage and Elevation Adjustment System, this simple, yet innovative advancement, features an exclusive erector tube that keeps a positive, flush point of contact from zero alignment through even the most dramatic adjustments The heart of any scope is accuracy. This is obtained by a combination of different components: Quality of lenses; the design and resistance of the main body tube: the erector tube and the windage and elevation assembly. This is the neurological system of any scope, and what makes any Sightron scope overcome the competition, and stand at a higher level of quality. Within your riflescope is an erector or pivot tube. The windage and elevation adjustments move this tube for proper alignment.
Conventional scopes have a curve surface against a flat surface. This contact is only complete at zero adjustment (when the erector tube is in the ideal centered position, (see Figure 1).
As the adjustments press the erector tube in any direction, the contact becomes imperfect (see Figure 2), causing the reticle to drift from the optical center (Horizontal and vertical reticle trajectory or movement). Also, in many cases since the point of contact is less than what is required to hold the erector tube in position, the result is what every sportsman knows as point-of-impact shift.
Sightron has developed a new erector tube with an integral ring. This ring and the redesigned adjustment screws have become the first positive contact system in the market. ExacTrack will keep constant and perfect point-of-impact, at or off zero (see Figure 3 and Figure 4).
This constant pressure point will insure the accuracy of all Sightron scopes during the most rugged conditions.

order_catalog_ex_fig1 order_catalog_ex_fig2
Figure 1 & Figure 2

Figure3 & Figure 4

Jackie Schmidt's Opinion

"Well, I have had every brand of popular Benchrest Scopes apart, (except a March), and you will just have to trust me when I say that mechanical wise, there is not a hill of beans difference in any of them. All three major Japanese brands, (Weaver, Sightron, and B&L), all share the same basic ball and gimble joint as the piviot point for the erector tube, and all share the same basic turret designs and leaf springs. They may all have different names for their "system", but in the end, they are all pretty much the same.

I refer to this system as the "basic Japanese design".
They all also encorporate the same system to mount the front objective, mainly a lens cartridge assy compressed against a large spring. O-rings are used to keep the lens assy from wiggling around in the scopebody. The part that turns,(the bell), is simply a nut that acts as a stop, allowing the objective lens assy to move in and out as the bellis turned. When I was freezing scopes, I found Weavers with loose erector tube gimble mounts, even found a couple of brand new ones that had been assy without the lock tite, and the securing nut was not even tight. Think about the havoc that would cause if someone would have mounted that scope on a Rifle. I attribute this to a quality control problem, not the basic design. If all brands of these scopes are assembled correctly, they should hold POA.If a Weaver is assembled correctly at the Factory, you should have no problems. As for glass, I have seen Weavers with glass that would rival the best, and some that looked like the whole world had turned brown."


A Test of Product Support and Customer Service

My last two benchrest scopes had issues right out of the box.

A portion of my letter sent in with my new Weaver T-36.

"The problem with this scope is large tracking errors when the objective is changed. Twice I have used the scope and rifle setup to spot my friend’s shooting at 300 and 600 yds. When returning the objective to 50 yds, I was no longer zeroed. In one case I was no longer on paper. Also the scope may exhibit lack of holding point of aim. When making tracking adjustments, the groups will change to the new point of adjustment, then after a few shots the group will move."

A portion of my letter sent with my Sightron 36X.

"This is a new scope and I am the original purchaser. It was mounted on my .22 rimfire benchrest rifle. Bore sighting looked nearly perfect at my friend’s shop so no elevation and windage adjustments were made there.

When sighting in at the range I noticed immediately that the elevation knob turned and clicked but the reticle did not move."


Scope sent to Weaver Optics.
Weaver found a sticky eerector. Scope replaced with a new scope. No problems. Excellent service.

Sightron scope sent to Sightron. They could not duplicate the problem in their lab. Alan Orr mounted the scope on his test rifle and sent me the following e-mail:
"Bruce here is the test on your scope.  Let me know what you think."

May-be the reticle broke loose during shipping. The scope will be mounted on the rail fixture for testing. Alan Orr has an excellent reputation for service.


I have 2 other Sightrons and they are excellent. I think they are brighter than my Weavers.