Review: Leica Magnus 83634

Review: Leica Magnus
The new Magnus non-illuminated series offers excellent glass and chops a few hundred bucks off the price tag relative to the illuminated-reticle models.

Leica is a well-respected name in the European optics market, and it's back in the riflescope business with three lines of hunting scopes. One of those is the Magnus, a scope built on a 30mm tube and available in illuminated (the iMagnus) and the relatively new non-illuminated versions. I borrowed a non-illuminated 1.5-10x42mm model for evaluation.


Before getting into more boring specs, let me say right up front this scope produces one of the sharpest images I've ever seen. The Magnus promises 91 percent light transmission, and the exit pupil- the determining factor in how much light reaches your eye- ranges from 4.2mm to 12.4mm, depending on power.

To put that in perspective, the size of your pupil is 7mm in low light, and the closer a scope's exit pupil is to that figure, the brighter images will appear early and late in the day. (However, you can't make use of more exit pupil light than your eye is able to accommodate, so anything over 7mm doesn't help.) Field of view at 100 meters is 4.4 yards at 10X and a whopping 28.4 yards at 1.5X.

The exterior lenses are treated to a hydrophobic coating called AquaDura that does an excellent job of getting water droplets to slide right off the lenses. It fights dust as well.


The Magnus is not a light scope at 21.9 ounces, but it is relatively compact at 12.5 inches. Some shooters will have an issue with the mountable tube length, which is just 4.75 inches. The scope would not, for example, fit on a good ol' Model 700 .30-06 with a standard two-base mounting setup. However, in this day and age, receivers with enclosed tops and/or continuous top rails are much more common than they used to be, and mountable tube length isn't an issue with these.

As I do every time I review a scope of this kind, I'm going to gripe about the adjustments. I hate the Zeiss-style turrets, which turn in the opposite direction Americans are used to. My wife rolls her eyes when I bitch about this, telling me to just look at the directions on the turret caps. I do- then still turn them the wrong way. Too many years of cranking scopes and iron sights in smallbore matches and zeroing deer rifles with "normal" scopes, I guess.

Gripe No. 2: The adjustments are in centimeters. Sorry, but here in America all our wind dopes, ballistic tables, vital zone measurements are in inches (or mils if you're so inclined). Having to do the math to convert centimeters to inches is a pain in the butt, although I do understand that for a company like Leica it would make little sense to produce a strictly American version of a scope intended for worldwide sale.


At least the firm was kind enough to indicate on the turret caps that one click equals 0.36 inch at 100 yards. Even better, it has a nifty method of resetting the turrets: With the caps removed, simply push in on the top of the turret and you can spin the numbered scale to reset it to zero.

The Magnus offers a decent adjustment range: 285 centimeters (112 inches at 100 yards). Adjustment integrity was good but not perfect. A box test revealed a deviation in elevation of nearly half a minute in one particular six-inch travel segment.

The 4a reticle is in the second focal plane, and it features thicker crosswire sections at three, six and nine o'clock- but not at 12 o'clock as you would find on the common plex. And there's a lot more real estate between the crosshair's intersection and the thicker portions than you'll see in most plex-style reticles.

The crosshair's center section lacks any stadia lines and is very fine, and it would make an excellent reticle for daytime varmint shooting. It's not the style I would choose for big game hunting because I think you would lose the fine crosshair against a dark animal in low light. The illuminated version of this reticle (in the iMagnus) or one of Leica's other reticle options would be more suitable.

The scope is nitrogen-filled and waterproof to 13 feet. I don't have a pool, so dunking the scope in a bucket of water had to suffice; there were no bubbles to indicate a leaking seal.

The power ring is rubber-armored and features a nicely sized projection to make power changes easy. The ring turns with just the right amount of tension, and moving the power ring from 1.5X to 10X doesn't cause big changes in eye relief, which is something I really appreciate.

Suggested retail for the Magnus 1.5-10x42 starts at $1,799, with some reticle options boosting the price. That's not cheap, but if you want really good glass like you'll find in the Magnus, you're going to have to pony up.

Recommended for You

Bolt-Action

Review: Mossberg MVP Precision Rifle

J. Scott Rupp - March 21, 2019

Want to get into the long-range game and not go broke? Check out the Mossberg MVP Precision...

MSR

Review: Savage Arms MSR 15 LR

David Fortier - May 17, 2019

The new MSR 15 Long Range in .224 Valkyrie reaches out with authority.

Rimfire

Winchester Releases Wildcat 22 LR Rimfire Rifle

Rifle Shooter Digital Staff - April 11, 2019

Winchester Repeating Arms releases the new autoloading Wildcat 22 LR rimfire rifle.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to talk about the new X-Ring Takedown SBR .22LR rifle.

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

RS Sako Finnlight II

The new Sako Finnlight II sports an innovative stock and Cerakote metal paired with the terrific 85 action.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Reloading

.17-Caliber Reloading Data and History for 5 Cartridges

Layne Simpson - June 05, 2019

Some history and reloading recipes on five popular .17-caliber cartridges, including the .17...

Bolt-Action

Ruger Precision Rifle Now Chambered in .300 PRC and 6.5 PRC

Rifleshooter Digital Staff - April 27, 2019

Ruger introduced .300 PRC and 6.5 PRC chamberings for the Ruger Precision Rifle.

Ammo

.22 Memory Lane

J. Scott Rupp - January 04, 2019

The author takes stock of rimfire rifles he's known and loved.

See More Stories

More Optics

Optics

Steiner P4Xi Rifle Scope

James Tarr - October 10, 2017

The Steiner P4Xi is a 1-4X variable power rifle scope with a one-piece 30mm tube

Optics

Wolf PSU 1-4x32mm Scope Review

Jim Grant - January 06, 2017

Russian scopes aren't worth the zinc they're cast in. At least, this has been the prevailing

Optics

Steiner Introduces Next-Gen S-Series Prism Battle Sights

RifleShooter Online Staff - May 02, 2018

Steiner introduces the next generation of prism battle sights: the S432 and S332, bringing...

See More Optics

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×