You may recall that I reviewed the S2Delta 1-4X24 Carbine Scope last year and, in my opinion, it was the best budget low power variable optic (LPVO) available… especially since it retails for less than $200 on Amazon. That optic is a true competitor to the biggest players in the budget optic space at an incredible price… with Prime shipping to boot! What do you do to top that? Well, you bring out a 1-6X24 version of the same optic with all the same strengths and, while you are at it, you improve your already great reticle.
I was fortunate to get to spend time with the first and only production unit of the new 1-6X24 Carbine Scope which should be newly available at the time of this writing. The following are my thoughts based on that time in which I was instructed not to baby this optic in spite of the fact that it was the only production version in S2Delta’s possession at the time!
I am going to frame this review in the context of the 1-4X version of this optic which I am more familiar with having owned 2 of them. This also seems appropriate given my impression that this 1-6X24 is very much an improved version of the 1-4X24.
In my opinion, the original 1-4X24 is a great budget optic on the strength 3 features that S2Delta majored on: Reticle, Glass, and Turrets. The clear emphasis on these perceived quality features are all clearly present on the new 1-6X24 version (or in even improved in one case).
Reticle – The reticle in the 1-6X is the same trend busting reticle that I loved in the original 1-4X. Most ranging/BDC reticles on the market are floating reticles with thick, eye-catching elements rings or horseshoes. S2Delta’s reticle takes the time-honored approach of providing a finer (but still eye-catching) reticle with full crosshairs to draw the eye to the aiming point. This provides a balance of speed and precision that I appreciate.
I describe my experience with this reticle in-depth in my original review so I won’t spend many more words on it here other than to say that the reticle really benefits from the new 1-6X format. This SFP reticle appears larger and more legible at 1X (which corrects the criticism by some user’s that the 1-4X can be hard to read due to its small size). It is an excellent and thoroughly modern reticle and this is the best iteration of it to date.
Turrets – I know from talking to S2Delta that they wanted to convey the quality of these optics through the parts like the turrets and magnification ring with which the user interacts. The magnification ring, with its included removable throw lever, turns smoothly (even more smoothly than the 1-4X that I have on hand). Like the 1-4X, the turrets are particularly noteworthy in how positively and audibly they click through their adjustments. These optics have very nice turrets.
When I first received the optic (along with a borrowed Geiselle mount from S2Delta), I leveled and mounted the scope with the intent of starting my testing with a box test. The 1-6X passed that test and I was glad to have that kind of bench shooting out of the way. The positive action of the turrets makes this kind of diagnostic task less painful.
Glass – Finally, the optical quality is still good enough that I think the 1-6X punches above its weight class. My impressions were that the 1-4X is slightly brighter and possibly a bit more clear from edge to edge but the 1-6x is no slouch. The additional magnification is welcomed.
The glass is brighter and clearer than two other older LVPOs from other large US-based brands that cost more than twice as much. The 1-4X showed similar performance so this was not surprising. I am not trying to say this is going to be better than premium glass, just that it performs well in its class and better than you might think with its price tag. This is still a budget optic but it clearly benefits from the impressive improvements that many Asian OEM optics have seen in optical quality recently. This glass will not hold you back.
Other Observations – One thing that I particularly liked about the 1-4X, was the generous eye relief and eye box. I would say that the 1-6 may take just a bit of a step back in this area. The eye box isn’t tight or difficult to deal with but my impression is that it was not as forgiving as the 1-4X.
The 1-6X retains the neat fluted diopter ring of the 1-4X and the scope cap that interfaces it. This seems like a small thing but it allows the user to set their diopter ring and then mark its location by installing the scope cap with the hinge in a reference position. This effectively witness marks the diopter ring.
I put just over 300 round through two different rifles with this optic installed. During that admittedly small round count, it performed well. I didn’t do anything too crazy with it though it did get tipped off my truck unto the ground and some rocks at the range. This resulted in a hard knock to the scope cap. I confirmed that it held zero after this and noted that it did scrape some anodization off the scope caps.
The retail price on the new 1-6X24 Carbine Scope is higher (currently $359) than that of the original 1-4X but it is still available from Amazon which is convenient. This price plants it firmly in the budget optic category where it delivers a compelling list of features that make it VERY competitive.
The 1-4X24 is still available at a steal of a price and still represents what might be the best value in this space. The 1-6X24 rounds out the S2Delta Carbine Optic line with an improved, slightly more premium option for those who love the reticle but want a little more from their optic.
You can check out the 1-4X24 and 1-6X24 Carbine Optics at the S2Delta website (the 1-6X should be listed shortly if it is not already): S2Delta.com
Both are also available via Amazon Prime in the S2Delta Amazon Store: 1-4X24 and 1-6X24 Carbine Scopes on Amazon