Ms Montana, as the XWR has come to be known, needs optics to be useable.
You may have thought why Ms. and not Miss?
Two previous owners, relationships, adventures, love, hate, maybe it just didn’t work out. This XWR-SS has a past, and like any new relationship, her past is no business of mine. Unless she cares to share it.
What matters is that we suit each others needs and get stuff done together in a manner that I enjoy. And in this case, from build-up, through tuning and on into the mountains.
Scopes, in a sense, are like jewellery on a woman. It can be very expensive. Conversely it may be cheap. It can exude class, or it can look trashy. If the selection and form doesn’t match the character of the rifle and enhance its lines and beauty then it does nothing for either functionality or appearance.
Ultimately, the scope needs to match the capability of the owner and the ability of the rifle?
Yet in the end, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And regardless, the piece should be a quality item.
I will point out that if I was to build my perfect rifle Ms. Montana wouldn’t be it. Sure, there are elements of the XWR-SS that I love, and nothing I hate, but things that I would alter. Yet life and relationships are rarely ever perfect and when opportunity comes knocking, then open the door. Like Hunter S Thompson famously said “Buy the Ticket. Take the Ride.”
So, what would be my perfect rifle?
Given the evolution in materials and design, combined with my desire to maintain tradition but balanced by my technical interest, the new Weatherby Back Country would come close. A light sleek rifle with a “classic” stock shape manufactured from modern materials with great looking camo design that isn’t over the top, with attractive and functional cerakote.
Not quite. It would need a carbon wrapped barrel. And whilst the 6.5mm RPM cartridge looks great, I would go for something in the 7mm class. A little more payload at the other end whilst maintaining that ballistic coefficient.
But back to reality.
A big part of this build-up is trying a few new things and learning along the way. Consequently, the choice has been made. Ms Montana will be wearing a Maven Built RS1 2.5-15 X 44 SHR.
Firstly, a bit about Maven Built. They are a small optics company based in Lander, Wyoming in the United States. Initially they entered the market with binos and spotting scopes and then introduced rifle scopes. Coincidentally, in the last week Maven Built announced a longrange rifle scope, the RS.3.
Maven’s C.1 Binoculars were selected as one of Field & Stream’s top ten binoculars in 2017. In a competitive, and at times cluttered market, this is certainly a great achievement.
The Maven Built company model is sales-direct-to-consumer. The same model that KUIU uses. Ideologically, there are less margins added to a product before the consumer purchases it. Meaning that the company can offer a product of higher quality at a lower retail price point.
Maven’s binos are assembled in the US from Japanese manufactured components. The rifle scopes are completely built in Japan, according to Maven’s website. By who is not stated, likely guarded by commercial confidentiality agreements. The media consensus appears to be Kamakura, who are reputed to build excellent quality optics.
The RS.1 uses ED glass (Extra low dispersion). ED is used in lenses to minimise chromatic aberration, the colour fringing around the edge of an object viewed through a lens. In theory this should provide a sharper and more defined image to the eye.
Here in Australia, Maven Built optics can be purchased through Outdoor Sports. And by all means reach out to Josh and ask away. I found him most helpful in answering all my questions.
On paper, the Maven RS1 suits my requirements very well. Low end magnification at 2.5 times and a top end of 15 times. The objective diameter of 44 millimetre is sweet. And I have taken the option of purchasing the MOA Elevation Turret to allow me easy dial up. The scope is also fitted with side parallax adjustment.
On the reticle you have a choice of either the MOA or the SHR (Simple Holdover Reticle). I have chosen the later, clean and simple. A significant point of difference in the RS.1 over most other scopes of this style and size, i.e. hunting focussed scopes, is the RS.1 being a first focal plane reticle. This may take some getting used to having previously briefly owned only one FFP scope.
The advantage of First Focal Plane is that wind hold offs, ranging and size assessment can be achieved with accuracy on any power. For those that have never handled a FFP scope the reticle appears small at low power and increases with size as the magnification is wound up. Put another way, the reticle will cover the same actual lengths across a target regardless of the power setting.
Maven MOA Reticle
The RS.1 isn’t a lightweight scope coming in at 695 grams. On this 300 Win Mag, firing 200 grain projectiles, the added weight should settle the rifle down a little, making it more manageable to shoot.
The main tube is 30mm in diameter, providing a greater elevation adjustment over a 1 inch tubed scope. The main tube length is 160mm, likely having enough length to mount the scope without needing a rail.
All in all, the RS.1 looks to be solidly built with good resistance on the power and parallax rings, indicative of good sealing to maintain the nitrogen gas fill within the scope. The power ring is precision knurled likely providing good grip in poor conditions with both gloved and bare hands.
Parallax & Turret
Importantly the scope has very good eye relief, hovering between 86 to 100mm, dependant on the users eyes and required ocular adjustment.
The image appears sharp and clear across the entire scope. I will wait till the scope-rifle combination is in action so I can more appropriately judge it under field conditions, and along side some well known contenders.
In my opinion, the only true manner in which a scope can be judged on its performance.