June 13, 2018
GPO stands for German Precision Optics, a relatively new name in the optics biz but one run by an old hand in the riflescope and binocular business — Mike Jensen, who formerly worked at Zeiss and Kahles.
GPO optics feature German components assembled in Asia. The firm's Passion line of illuminated-reticle riflescopes is segmented into three-, four- and six-times zoom classes — with a 1-8X thrown in for good measure. I tested the 6xi 1-6x24mm. Built on a 30mm tube, it features a lens and coating system that promises 91 percent light transmission. The images I saw when testing were very sharp, and the diopter made focusing quick and easy.
The name is "German" Precision Optics after all, so the turrets adjust the opposite of what I'm used to, and the adjustments are in centimeters. One click moves bullet strike one centimeter at 100 meters — 0.39 inch at 100 meters. I'm not a fan of this setup. I think a scope being marketed to American hunters should have "normal" adjustments and be based on inches — which jibe with the drop charts and wind tables most hunters use.
Having said that, adjustment integrity was good. It passed the box test, and once I got used to the click values (and direction), it was easy to zero various .30-06 loads with just a few clicks. And you have plenty of adjustment at your disposal. GPO's website says the range for both elevation and windage is 232 centimeters (clicks in this case) at 100 meters, but I counted 302 clicks for each — which would produce 120 inches of adjustment at 100 meters. Also, the turrets are easily resettable; pulling them up disengages the adjustments and allows you to place the dials at 0 without disturbing zero.
Mountable tube length is not an issue with this scope because it essentially has no objective bell. Overall length is 10.6 inches, not counting the clear flip-up front lens cap that comes with it. I'm usually not a flip-up scope cover fan, but I loved this setup.
The scope features a German No. 4 reticle in the second focal plane. The German No. 4 is not my favorite. It lacks the bracketing feature of the American plex and is bare of stadia lines to assist holdover for longer shots, but I will grant it offers an uncluttered view of the target.
However, the 6xi's reticle is illuminated by a sensible system. Forget a bunch of clicks for particular illumination levels or alternating on/off positions. The iControl used in GPO's reticle is a simple rheostat: The farther you crank it, the brighter the powered fiber-optic dot at the crosshair intersection gets, and vice versa. It turns on and off with an audible but faint click, and if you forget to turn it off, the illumination turns off automatically after three hours if the scope remains motionless.
While I am decidedly not a fan of some features of European-style scopes, GPO's Passion seems a well-built piece of glass with a useful illumination system. And at $1,150 it's competitively priced.