Editor's Note: Karen Mehall Phillips recently put the following gear to work on a hunt in Germany. Read that story here.
“Carl Zeiss riflescopes: The reason taxidermists drive fancy pickups.” When I heard Zeiss say this a few years back, it stuck—and here’s why. Confidence in product performance is the hunter’s greatest advantage. The Victory V8 1X-8X-30mm riflescope, lauded as the biggest of the super-zooms, offers a wide field of view (FOV); superior image quality and target resolution; 8X magnification; a 10mm exit pupil at 1X for quick target acquisition and precise shots through small openings or at close range; and 92 percent light transmission for bright, high-contrast images. The compact 36mm tube houses Schott HT (high transmission) and FL (fluoride) glass from Zeiss’ Victory HT line and pairs with a new BDC/ASV Long Range turret system that eliminates guesswork and saves time. One revolution of the turret offers more than 33 MOA of elevation adjustment (100 clicks of 1/3 MOA per click). An adjustment range of 100 clicks lets hunters stay on target at distances up to 600 yards. While Zeiss engineer Klaus Felgenhauer said, “Shooting 400 yards in Germany is not common like in the U.S. or else you’ll shoot into the next village,” making that long-range shot out West is as easy as twisting a knob.
The Victory V8 houses a new fiber-optic illumination system measuring 1 micrometer (thinner than a human hair, which spans 40-50 micrometers), delivering what Zeiss calls “the finest illuminated dot in the world” and 8mm subtension coverage at 100 meters, or about a quarter inch at 100 yards, at full magnification. Translation: Hunters make precise shots at the smallest targets at the greatest distances, thanks to minimal target coverage of the illuminated dot. The illumination-intensity-level wheel is accessed atop the eyepiece and can be turned silently and quickly even if wearing gloves. The red dot in the crosshair’s center (No. 43 mil-dot reticle) has an auto-on/off feature. Its “integrated intelligent motion sensor” automatically deactivates when you put down the rifle, enabling hundreds of hours of battery life, then reactivates as you take aim.
The scope comes with nine pre-engraved ballistic rings and a certificate for a free custom engraved ballistic turret ring ($149 retail value) to be built to match your No. 1 caliber and load. And for scope-mounting ease, Zeiss includes Talley rings ($149 retail value) and a voucher for a free set of Talley bases ($49 value).
As for the straight-pull Blaser R8 that was paired with this versatile scope, it’s prevalent in Germany for good reason. Like premium Zeiss glass, straight-pulls are more expensive, but then in Europe hunters typically buy maybe only one hunting rifle. That’s how they can better afford to top it with that one Zeiss Victory V8 super-zoom. After hunting with it, I can say that if you can swing it, you won’t regret it. No one wants to be the hunter who is slow on the draw and says, “I could have had a V8!” In the meantime, what American hunter doesn’t like to dream?
By the way, in addition to the Victory V8 1X-8X-30mm that I tested (MSRP $2,599.99), eight other models are now available in the States—collectively representing the best Zeiss has to offer—with the largest being the V8 4.8X-35X-60mm. Oh, and did I mention they sport over-sized throw levers for even faster magnification changes? I’d say the Zeiss Victory V8 is, well, brilliant.