Hardware: Burris Veracity 4X-20X -50mm

posted on November 12, 2014

The closest you can get to the dog town is 400 yards, and the wind is blowing a hard 10 mph out of your 9 o'clock. Your spotter reveals rodents running rampant, but this is going to be tricky. You settle in and try to remember if the drift is 20 inches or 25 …

When you pop over the ridge after a long hike, two muley bucks take off toward the far treeline. No need for the bino; these are big boys. You flop down and get the safety off, hoping one will stop and look back before he gets out of range. At 350 yards, the second buck does just that. Your mind races as you try to gauge holdover …

I've been in both situations, and having a scope that quickly told me where to hold would have made life easier on me and harder for the animals I was chasing. These are the types of real-life hunting scenarios for which the Burris Veracity was designed.

Just about every major riflescope manufacturer has some solution for placing shots with greater precision at extended ranges. Some are great, others are not so great. These systems usually incorporate a reticle or dials calibrated either for generic measurements, or to match the trajectory of a given load or spectrum of loads.

Burris went the calibrated reticle route and offers two versions: the Ballistic E1 FFP in its big-game scopes and the Ballistic E1 FFP Varmint in its high-magnification varmint optics. I tested the latter. The Veracity's reticle is located in the first focal plane, which means the size of the reticle changes in concert with the variable magnification. When a reticle is in the second focal plane, given calibrations can only be accurate at a single power setting, usually the highest one available. With first-focal-plane scopes, the calibration remains correct throughout the power range, which makes for a far more versatile system.

The Veracity is an imported scope made in the Philippines. Its 30mm tube is constructed from a single section of aluminum, which increases strength and eliminates additional seams that can allow the intrusion of moisture. During testing, I submerged the Veracity in hot water as well as exposed it to freezing temperatures, and neither test caused any internal fogging. The lenses are index-matched and multi-coated with a compound that Burris calls Hi-Lume, which is designed to aid light transmission while cutting glare when shooting into the sun or over a reflective barrel.

Point-of-impact adjustments come in .25 MOA increments by using finger-adjustable knobs that provide audible and tactile clicks to help you keep track. I was able to feel the clicks while wearing double hearing protection, a feature that is missing on too many scopes. Once zeroed, the dials can be reset to the "0" mark by loosening a single hex screw. The turret-style knobs are covered by threaded aluminum caps to keep them from turning inadvertently, which is good news on a hunting scope. During my evaluation, the adjustments tracked accurately.

All of the Veracity models allow the user to manually adjust parallax rather than relying on a fixed factory setting. This isn't a big deal if you're taking shots at 100 yards, but it plays a role when longer shots are necessary. The parallax adjustment knob is on the left side of the scope and provides a range of settings from 50 yards to infinity in 100-yard increments.

Testing things like optical clarity and low-light performance can be incredibly subjective. A recent acquisition has made this process far more scientific: A gunmaker friend built me a jig that holds four scopes at once and can be mounted on a bipod. This system allows me to do a side-by-side comparison of multiple scopes simultaneously. I tested the Veracity alongside two of the most user-friendly scopes on the market, the Nightforce NXS Compact 2.5X-10X-32mm and the Leupold FX-3 6X-42mm, under a variety of lighting conditions, and at various distances and power settings. The Veracity's glass was clear and crisp, right on the heels of the NXS. When it came to distinguishing objects in low light, the Burris performed slightly better than the Leupold but not as well as the Nightforce. (Note that both comparative scopes were more compact than the Veracity and performed incredibly well.)

The Ballistic E1 FFP Varmint reticle in the Veracity provides bullet-drop and 10 mph, full-value wind holds out to 700 yards. "Veracity" means "truth," so it is important to verify the accuracy of the ballistic reticle on targets. Of course, different cartridges, loads and barrel lengths mean different trajectories, so no one reticle will be perfect for every load in every rifle. Burris constructed a reticle that's in the ballpark and requires fine-tuning on the part of the shooter.

For example, the Varmint reticle does a pretty good job of matching the Hornady Varmint Express .22-250 Rem. 40-grain V-Max load, staying within a couple of inches of the factory-specified trajectory out to 600 yards. Move up to the 55-grain load, though, and the reticle is off the mark enough to cause a miss at anything past point-blank range. There are two ways to mitigate this, the first being to zero a hash mark that corresponds to one of the longer ranges. Zeroing at 400 yards using the reticle's 400-yard hold will minimize dispersion at other distances. The other method is to use the scope's elevation turret to dial for any difference between the reticle and the trajectory of your load. These issues are not unique to the Veracity; any reticle but a custom job specifically designed for your load in your rifle will require some adjustment at extended ranges.

To illustrate the versatility of the Varmint reticle, I mounted the Veracity on a very accurate AR-15. Though the Federal Premium V-Shok 55-grain Nosler

Ballistic Tip load is certainly great varmint medicine, it doesn't produce traditional varmint cartridge velocities out of my rifle's 18-inch barrel. Shooting at 10-inch round steel targets at 300, 400 and 500 yards, I was able to determine the correct holds to make my hits despite the disparity in trajectory. The 500-yard mark on the Varmint reticle is set up for slightly more than 6 MOA of bullet drop, while my rifle was dropping rounds right at

9 MOA at that distance. A quick look at my cheat sheet told me the 600-yard hash mark was 9.23 MOA, so with no wind to speak of, I held that spot at the bottom of the target and sent a round across the pasture. A satisfying smack of copper and lead on steel told me I'd found my hold, and several more shots confirmed it wasn't a fluke.

The 4X-20X-50mm Burris Veracity is a big scope, but it offers a lot of features that will help long-range hits on varmints, predators and targets become a reality if the shooter does his part. It offers good eye relief, good glass and generous vertical adjustment. The reticle is not a "plug and play" setup, but a benchmark for fine-tuning. If you're willing to spend some time on the range, the Veracity can be a truly effective long-range solution.

Technical Specifications:

Type: variable-power riflescope
Magnification: 4X-20X (tested), 2X-10X, 3X-15X, 5X-25X
Objective Lens Diameter: 50mm
Eye Relief: 4.25" (4X), 3.5" (20X)
Exit Pupil: 12.5mm @ 4X, 2.5mm @ 20X
Field of View @ 100 Yards: 26' @ 4X, 5.5' @ 20X
Reticle: first focal plane, Ballistic E1 FFP Varmint
Adjustments: .25 MOA
Coatings: fully multi-coated; Hi-Lume
Dimensions: tube diameter 30mm; length 15"; weight 27.2 ozs.
Construction: one-piece aluminum tube, nitrogen filled, waterproof; side parallax adjustment
Accessories: flip-up lens caps, sun shade
MSRP: $1,199


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