Phill Price takes a peek through a bargain scope from PAO
Professional Airgun Optics (PAO) has made its reputation by offering the airgunning public products that bring excellent value for money. They’ve listened to what people want and sourced scopes which provide features that tick all the boxes for a modern scope. Take a look at the 3×9 – 50 Topaz on review. It costs less than
£60, yet has a list of features that any airgunner would want, plus a few nice extras as well.
The 3-9 x 50 specification is one of the most popular around today because it’s a versatile and comfortably covers the vast majority of shooting situations. The range of magnification is a little restricted at the top end compared to a 4-12 or 4-16, but is still high enough to cover all but the longest shots. This scope is designed for youngsters and those new to the sport, so long shots shouldn’t be a part of their day anyway. For every other situation a 3-9 range will cover it easily. At the low end you’ll have the right power setting for hunting rats and feral pigeons in and around farm buildings. This has the benefit of making a brighter image as well, something that’s very important in the typically dim conditions where these pests are found.
9x mag’ is plenty of power for medium-range shots, even at paper targets. The fine mil-dot reticle in the Topaz also helps with precise shooting. Overly thick crosshairs can cover up too much of your target, making aiming unnecessarily hard. In difficult light conditions you also have the option of red or green illumination to suit your eye.
Some people prefer red, others green. With the Topaz you can try both to see which is best for you. The illumination can also be adjusted to five different levels to suit the day. I mentioned earlier that it’s fitted with a mil-dot reticle which has additional aim points along the arms of the reticle.
These help you to aim off for distance and windage in a much more accurate way than just estimating by eye.
PAO proudly states that the lenses fitted are of the highest quality, and multi-coated, and I have to say that they are very good for a scope in this price range. Not long ago, inexpensive scopes had such poor optics that they were hardly worth buying, but the Topaz is impressively bright and clear, with none of the obvious distortion we became used to.
Double-bolt aluminium mounts are included in the box alongside see-through, flip-up lens caps, greatly adding to the value for money you’re getting. The mounts are quite high to accommodate the large 50mm objective (front) lens. A large objective was chosen to gather as much light as possible, helping image quality at dawn and
The mil-dot article can be illuminated red or green. dusk when our quarry animals are most active. There’s no parallax adjustment but because these scopes are dedicated for airgun use the parallax is set for 35 yards rather than the 100 yards setting used for firearms.
The high-quality, aluminium construction is guaranteed waterproof, fogproof and is nitrogen-purged to ensure that the lenses stay clear. This is backed up with a lifetime warranty which shows that they believe in their products. So we see that, as ever, PAO gives you an awful lot for your money. This scope is a head and shoulders better than an older scope at this price and is well worth a look.