My buddy—fellow bowhunter and NRA member Joel Harris—is one of the nicest people I know, but while I’d looked forward to catching up with him at the NRA show in Nashville this past weekend, I admit part of the reason was because he works for Zeiss, and I had to take another look at Zeiss’ new TERRA 3X crossbow scope! Considering Carl Zeiss Sports Optics is known for high-performance optics, it was no surprise when it launched the first premium crossbow scope—the TERRA 3X XB75—earlier this year. Technically dubbed the XB75 2-7x32, the scope’s patented ballistic reticle makes it possible for us crossbow hunters and shooters to determine aiming points from 20 to 75 yards in 2½-yard increments based on the chronographed speed of our bows!
I’m proud to say that as Zeiss’ marketing and public relations manager, Joel was a driving force behind the scope’s innovation every step of the way, so it was twice as fun for me to listen to him sharing the scoop with NRA members in the Zeiss booth firsthand. Here’s how it works. The scope has six separate crosshairs. The main cross section of each crosshair represents whole yardages from 20 to 70 yards. The dot in between each set of crosshairs represents half-yardage marks. The top and bottom of each individual crosshair represents the 2½-yard marks. The top of the reticle wire protruding from the bottom of the reticle is the 75-yard indicator mark.
The scope’s ocular ring has engravings covering speeds from 275 fps to 425 fps and magnification from 2X to 7X. To program it, just mount the scope on the crossbow rail then set a target at 10 yards using the 20-yard crosshair (the first crosshair from the top). Shoot at it until you hit the center, then repeat the process at 20 yards. Once the main 20-yard reticle is sighted in, you turn the speed indicator on the ocular to the given crossbow manufacturer’s listed speed, which may vary based on bolt length and weight. Then move to 30 yards and sight in using the 30-yard reticle (the second crosshair from the top). Once the 30-yard crosshair is sighted in, the scope is now calibrated to your crossbow and all other aiming points will be correct! How remarkable is that? Crossbows with speeds over 425 fps that are using a lighter crossbow bolt may require a main crosswire sight-in point of 30 yards instead of the typical 20 yards. To compensate for the lighter bolt’s flat trajectory, you will need to calibrate the scope at 40 yards. (The owner’s manual includes more detailed setup instructions.)
For more attributes, hunters will appreciate that the TERRA XB75 2-7x32 sports a lightweight, low-profile, rugged and compact 1-inch-tube design and MC anti-reflective coatings that ensure bright, high-contrast images eliminating the need for an illuminated reticle. Translation: We can hunt longer and eek out that last tiny bit of shooting light.
Company president Mike Jensen said it best when he noted, “This was a much needed product for the hardcore crossbow crowd,” adding, “Finally, an optical device has caught up to the high-tech crossbows out there!” I say Amen to Zeiss’ commitment to archery as it becomes the first premium optics company to launch a dedicated scope for the crossbow hunters. And, of course, the scope is backed by the Carl Zeiss U.S. Limited Lifetime Transferable Warranty so Zeiss has your back on the most rugged hunt you can ever concoct.
As for the MSRP, I don’t know how they came up with this relatively inexpensive price tag for a German-engineered crossbow scope, but it’s listed at $444.43. Personally, I at least would have priced it a penny higher—$444.44—just to have the same numbers all the way through! I guess that’s what you’d call too much numeric alliteration!
By the way, we NRA members also send a special thank you to Zeiss for being a key sponsor of National NRA Foundation Banquet and Auction in Nashville on Thursday, Apr. 9, marking the official kick off of the 2015 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits. With more than $1 million raised, the funds will go far in benefitting The NRA Foundation, America’s leading charitable organization in support of the shooting sports and hunting!