Minox ZP5 5-25×56 – Reviewed

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Being lucky enough to own some nice scopes presents a real “First World Problem” because it becomes harder to be super-impressed with new scopes that come along. Occasionally, however a scope does present itself that makes me say “wow” and the Minox ZP5 is one of those scopes – so for those who like a short read, you can stop here.  For those who want to find out why I say the Minox ZP5 is a “wowzer” please read on.

Minox ( apparently pronounced MEE-Nox ) is based in Wetzlar, Germany and while it is probably best known as a camera company it now makes a variety of optical instruments including riflescopes for hunting and tactical applications.

This particular model – the ZP5 – is unique amongst the Minox offerings in that it can trace its lineage back thru to the Optronika / Premier riflescopes and therefore it is a cousin of sorts to today’s Tangent Theta scope – not the same, but a shared heritage.

A solid 34mm tubed scope – the technical specs on this scope can be found here:

http://www.minox.com/index.php?id=zp_tac_technical_data1&L=02

Unlike some of the European scopes which arrive very ‘bare bones’ the Minox comes nicely packaged with a foam insert and is complete with the excellent Tenebraex scope covers from Armament Technologies as well as a comprehensive, easy to read instruction manual.  No sunshade is provided but – pro tip – the sunshade that fits a S+B 5-25×56 or Kahles 624i fits this Minox.

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Playing with the turrets find them to be crisp with a nice audible ‘click’ to them and the magnification ring while a wee bit stiff comes with a useful bump that acts as a built in throw lever.

I ordered this scope with the MR5 reticle which is really useful for the shooting I do which is (mostly) at known distances.  A PRS competitor may however prefer the MR4 which is more of a Xmas Tree design.  Turrets and ret are in MILs with 1/10th MIL adjustments of the turrets and 1/2 MIL hash marks on the MR5 ret.

Initially, mounted the scope on my custom R700/AICS and started to make my observations of the glass.

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Disclaimer: Readers of my reviews will know that to assess optical clarity and such like I use “Eyeball, Human Ver. 1.0” and so my opinions are based on what I see.  Your mileage may vary and so while I say a scope A is optically ‘better’ than scope B you may (literally) see things differently.

My observation about the Minox image is that it is noticeably brighter than most.  It is very crisp and clear and there is no fading or dulling at the max magnification.  Clarity is edge to edge and I couldn’t see any chromatic aberration at all.  It also cuts through mirage very well.  Overall, this Minox is – to my eye – a clearer, sharper and brighter image than Vortex Razor II and I am calling it brighter than my NF ATACR 5-25 and 7-35. I am putting this glass right up there with my S+B Pmii and that has been – up to now – my favorite glass.

I found this an easy scope to ‘get behind’ – it is reported to have 90mm of eye relief – and controls were easily viewable from my shooting position.  Diopter adjustment is the European style and is lockable – simple to do.

The zero stop is easily marked and is also easy to set – in my view it is not as good as say the Razor II  but it is MUCH easier to use than the NF ATACR and it allows the shooter to go 1/2 mil below zero stop if necessary.

I like the crispness of the turrets though truthfully I think I prefer the feel of the ATACR ones but I am being very picky here and it might be that I am more used to one over the other. The turrets are double turn and rather than rise up and down a ‘white dot’ appears in windows at the base of the turret when you are on the second rev ( I have learned that this is called non-translatable turret operation – huh, who knew ?) .

On a second outing I switched rifles so as to avoid rifle bias and confirmed my initial impressions.  An excellent – Tier One – optic.

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Warranty on the ZP5 is for 30 years and must be registered online.  This warranty may worry some people who are used to the ‘no fault lifetime warranty’ offered by companies in North America but it simply isn’t something I worry about.

Price in Canada is just shy of C$3800 plus tax so this is right on par with the NF ATACR 5-25, Kahles 624i and Razor II scopes and – honestly – it betters them all; some by a smidge (ATACR) and others (624i) by a lot.

I got my Minox through Go Big Tactical in Prince George BC.  Tom ( the owner ) is an excellent fellow to deal with and someone I’d have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending.  Go Big Tactical can be found online at: http://gobigtactical.ca/

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