When we were introduced to the new Leica Magnus series, we were told that the optics of the new scopes would be the same as the previous series because it was impossible to improve the performance of the optics without the price becoming astronomical, which was absolutely incompatible with the hunting market the Magnus scopes are intended for.
What is more, this is a hunting scope that was first presented in the premium market segment and must compete with the very best other renowned manufacturers have to offer.
But there is always something that can be improved and the new generation Magnus consumes less energy than the first generation, meaning a notable extension of operating life. Battery replacement is also easier in the second generation, and the illuminated dot at the center of the reticle now has sixty levels of adjustment, guaranteeing optimal dot intensity at any time of the day or night. Brightness adjustment is the same, but it is now less prone to accidental adjustment.
The new Magnus series maintains the same rugged adjuster elements as the previous series. Even when you are rough with the adjustments, when you return to your starting point it is still precisely focused; this is thanks to the internal bronze gearing.
Another test during the presentation was on the windage and elevation adjustment (15 clicks up, 15 to the right, 15 down and 15 to the left: the scope must return to exactly where it was aimed before adjusting) and the optics were tested for reflections using a neon light.
There was no evident internal reflection, although it must be said that this test is less severe than when a lamp is used but the Siemens star was not available to check for flare. Nevertheless, the results of the test were impressive. Perhaps it is not entirely pertinent for a hunter, who will be hard pressed to find a luminescent chamois in their sights, although it was interesting.
The new Magnus range has a larger tube diameter than the first version and the turret can be zeroed in without tools, while light transmission remains around 92% with excellent contrast.
The riflescope is available in four versions: the first three are the Magnus 1−6.3x24 which guarantees immediate acquisition of the target when hunting moving game; the Magnus 1.5-10x42, the universal all-rounder scope for retrieval, hunting from a hide or on a driven hunt, from close or long range, offering the greatest versatility and the highest accuracy in any hunting situation; and the Magnus 1.8.12x50 which, at its minimum magnification is ideal for the driven hunt while remaining particularly versatile when hunting from a hide or retrieving.
Finally the Magnus 2.4-16x56 at its maximum magnification gives you the greatest accuracy in ambitious long-range shots. The very limited vignetting also at low magnification, combined with the high level of light transmission and the large diameter front lens, is a great help to get that last shot in before dark in fading light and low light conditions.
The new Magnus riflescopes will be available from May 2016 (with some models available in June 2016) at the following retail prices: Leica Magnus 1−6.3 x 24 from €2,080, Leica Magnus 1.5–10 x 42 from €2,280, Leica Magnus 1.8-12 x 50 from €2,430, Leica Magnus 2.4-16 x 56 from €2,680.
No scope can be perfect, but it can be perfect for its intended use when there are no perceivable residual aberrations, even under the closest scrutiny from qualified users who know what they are looking at and looking for.
The Leica Magnus riflescopes passed the test.