The Leica Magnus 1-6.3x24 is considered by many to be one of the best riflescopes in the world for a driven hunt. Besides the records it holds for many key boar hunting parameters, the extraordinary success of this riflescope in recent years speaks for itself.
Those who use it appreciate how quickly you can target a running boar at close range, making it much more effective than a red dot sight, while at the same time helping you target the game at any range.
Legendary shooter Raniero Testa set new world records with this riflescope thanks to the quick targeting and generous field of view. Relying on its superior mechanical properties, he has taken over 90,000 shots in shows and while training in the two years he has been using the same riflescope, without ever having to replace it. Some shooters, such as Carlo Mattiello, use the Magnus to win boar target shooting competitions, mounting the riflescope both on a rifle or smooth bore, something that many consider impracticable due to the destructive effect a 12-gauge can have on the mechanical integrity of many optics.
Recently, the Magnus 1-6.3x24 was also nominated official riflescope by ADC Armi Dallera Custom, an Italian manufacturer of IPSC target shooting firearms. These are just a few examples, telling the success story of the Leica Magnus in the field.
Excellent mechanical properties, and that’s not all.
The famous mechanical reliability of the Magnus series is obvious both in the soundness of the 60 HRC steel click adjustment system and the reticle centring, even after thousands of shots have been fired. The secret lies in the inner tube, on which the reticle rests, which Leica fits into the outer tube to produce a monolithic assembly that is resistant to any kind of stress.
Until now, a solution of this kind would cost you an extra 100 grams in weight compared to competitors, but the latest models are more or less the same weight as the competition. In fact, the Magnus is actually more compact being 3 centimetres shorter than the others.
The quality of the image produced by the Magnus is befitting of its mechanical properties, and the sharpness of the Leica lenses will impress even the most demanding shooters.
Good electronics too: the illuminated reticle with 60 brightness levels shuts down automatically but switches on quickly again as soon as you shoulder the rifle to take a shot. Something you will not notice immediately, but which is of the same high standard, is the resistance of the AquaDura water and dirt repellent lens coating, practically impossible to scratch. A thumbs up also in terms of versatility, with a max. magnification of 6.3x giving you the best possible chance of success at ranges of 200 metres.
But optical, mechanical and electronic qualities aside, what really sets this riflescope apart from red dot sights is the shooting performance. On a driven hunt, success almost always depends on how quickly you can acquire a fast moving target at close range, and what a good riflescope should do is help the hunter’s eye get the animal in the crosshairs as quickly and steadily as possible, to take the time you need to aim and shoot effectively.
Two record-breaking features
There are just two parameters that count, no more. One, which anyone will immediately understand, is the so-called field of view, in other words the portion of space the scope can take in. The wider this space is, the faster the human eye can acquire, follow and if necessary lead the boar in the scope. The Leica Magnus holds the world record in terms of field of view, with 44 metres of targeted width at a range of 100 metres. Less obvious but just as important is the exit pupil, in other words how much space there is for the eye to sight in the scope. You can see this by looking into the scope while holding it at a distance of around 50 centimetres.
The illuminated circle with its black edges can clearly be seen, everything a human pupil needs to observe and take aim. The larger this circle compared to the size of a human pupil, the faster and easier it will be to acquire the target through the scope, as you have more room to find that perfect aim. Here the advantage of the Magnus is evident: with its 12.4 millimetre diameter it gives you twice as much room than a human pupil would when dilated in low light conditions.
The secret of the Magnus therefore lies in how fast it is to acquire the target.
Small changes make a big difference
At the beginning of the article we mentioned the Magnus i: the “i” introduces a number of changes for the new series that Leica started shipping to customers in June. The old scope and the new scope are the same product in terms of optical, mechanical and aesthetic properties. So, we are not talking about a new product, but some useful, if not entirely obvious, improvements to the old scope.
On the outside, the only difference you will notice is the addition of the letter “i” in the name and the removal of the metal protrusion between the reticle illuminator and the scope. As for the rest, the Magnus and Magnus “i” are identical.
The click adjustment turret has a new patented zero memory system. On earlier models, you had to unscrew the centre of the turret with a coin to turn the numbered ring to zero once you’d zeroed the sight in. Now all you have to do is press the centre of the turret to release the numbered ring so it can be adjusted to zero. This is not a crucial modification, but it is something shooters will surely appreciate.
The system for switching the reticle on and off, with the central dot (which can be illuminated) smaller than before, has been revised: the clean switching action now makes it very hard to turn the system on accidently. The reticle battery compartment has been completely redesigned and, while this is obviously a lesser element in terms of the cost of the scope, it really is a work of engineering art, simplifying things for the hunter when you need to change the battery, which is easier to insert than on any other scope, locking and unlocking in a moment. Life battery of the illuminated reticle was already good, but now it is even better thanks to the redesigned electrical components.
Price of the Leica Magnus 1-6.3x24 riflescope
The price remains the same. The Magnus i costs €2,140, just like the Magnus. This is also something new, as the trend with riflescopes is to consider any new feature an excuse for increasing the price.