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The current rage for tactical shooters is first focal plane scopes. These scopes contain a unique set of attributes that make them the superior choice for tactical shooters. However, they also tend to be extremely expensive, often costing anywhere from 2 to 3 thousand dollars for a good model.
Often, this is not a price most shooters and police departments can pay. So, what if there was an alternative? A first focal plane scope that costs half of what they typically cost, and is a quality piece of glass? Well, it seems there is. I’ve had my hands on the Burris XTR II for a few weeks now.
In our Burris XTR II review, we’ll cover the weapon’s specs, its usability, and of course, how it handles at the range.
Long Range or Precision, or Both?
The Burris XTR II is a scope designed for either long range shooting or precision shooting. Long range shot is often striking a large target far away. Precision shooting is hitting a small target at an intermediate distance.
As a tactical scope, it has to be adept at both long range shooting and precision shooting. It may be used in at any range at any given time. That is just the nature of tactical situations. No one ever gets to plan them.
The first focal plane is a must for both precision and long range shooting. A first focal plane scope, or FFP, is named as such because the reticle is placed in front of the erector. If the reticle was put behind the erector, it would be a second focal plane scope.
Burris XTR II FFP Scopes
Tactical shooters need an FFP scope because the reticle grows and shrinks per the magnification. This is critical because the reticles of these scopes often have wind and elevation holdovers. These holdovers will not remain accurate holdovers if they do change with the magnification.
Holdovers are either MOA or MIL, which are both units of measurement. So if they do grow or shrink as your target does likewise, they are relatively useless in different settings.
The Burris XTR II features a reticle with elevation and wind holdovers.
Let’s talk reticles. You have three choices with the Burris. The G2B MIL-Dot, the SCR MOA, and the SCR MIL. I chose the G2B Mil-Dot because I have experience in mils mostly, and the reticle is nice and straightforward. You also have the choice between 3-15 power, 4-20 power, and 5-25 power. When it comes to Burris XTR II scopes you do have a lot of options. I chose the 3-15 power since it suits my 500 yards and undershooting range.
My first impression was, man the new Burris XTR II is heavy. At over 30 ounces it’s no feather. However, I dug into why it was heavy before logging it as a complaint.
The tube is actually 25% thicker than the older Burris scopes. It is also triple spring tensioned to make the thing as shockproof as possible. The added feature for tactical shooters is that vibration won’t cause any POI shift. So, if your gun and scope are cruising down a dirt road, hitting potholes left and right, it’s not going to damage anything. Or, cause POI shift. Even a gun in a city cop’s car will be subject to hours upon hours of vibration.
If a scope isn’t tuned to take that kind of constant vibration, it may eventually break, or fail at the worst possible time. It’s certainly worth the extra weight.
Burris XTR II at the Range
At the range, we did a quick zero from a hundred yards and only needed to make a few adjustments. The rifle used was an AR with an 18-inch barrel and a free float handguard, equipped with bi-pod.
Aside from having built for accuracy, the rifle was also consistent in precision shooting. The trigger is a Geissele, and it’s been scope free too long.
Mounting was easy with a good set of Vortex rings. The 50mm objective lens means the Burris XTR II does have to sit rather high.
I can still get a solid cheek weld with a standard A2 stock. We started on the bench with a bipod mounted at 300 yards. Set to 15 power was shaking hands with the berm. I dialed it back to ten to get a better picture.
The day is slightly overcast, with a storm on the horizon. Still, the picture I received was top notch. The light transmitted through the scope was perfect. I could make out the details of our targets easily enough.
The Hi-Lume lens coating was certainly doing its job. It increases perceived light and eliminates glare. The coating gives you an excellent sight picture, and even in the low light we had it; there were no issues.
Once we started firing, we didn’t want to stop. Round after round ding and danged on the range’s steel targets. We created our little symphony of metal on metal music.
We experimented with the different levels of magnification and found the slight holdover remained the same regardless of magnification setting. The scope remained dead on through over 400 rounds, without so much as a shift in POI.
We backed off to 500 yards and assumed the prone position. Then, we varied the magnification between shooters, but it didn’t really matter. There were a few misses on smaller targets, but that was a skill issue not a scope issue.
Once we found our footing and the proper elevation mark for bullet drop we began to ring metal silhouettes with ease. All day long it was bang, ding, bang, ding, bang, ding. Overall I was extremely pleased with the scope, and my SPR is now complete with it riding on top.
Burris XTR II Review - Conclusion
My Burris XTR II review was a pleasant surprise. I assume, with this, you get what you pay for. However, this optic proved to be a killer deal at the right price, at the right time. I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase it again.