So, what sort of characteristics should a hunting riflescope have? The answer depends to a great extent on what type of hunting you'll be doing, with notable difference for hunting, tracking or stalking.
This Minox ZX5 5-25x56, the most powerful of the ZX series produced by the German company, is obviously designed to take long range shots when stalking game, a situation which justifies having the maximum possible magnification.
You could also use a scope with this magnification for tracking too, in some specific circumstances such as in the case of the Pamir argali (also called the Marco Polo sheep), but in any case the scope is obviously designed for taking difficult long-range shots.
A scope of this kind must provide good colour definition, essential to identify the animal against a woodland background in autumn for example, the reticle must be well visible especially in poor light, the image must be bright as many shots will be taken at dusk, and it must be quite strong.
You carry your rifle into the woods on rough tracks, and it won't always be a Kipplauf you can break down and keep in your backpack, where it's protected from knocks. I'm sure there's someone who's managed to carry their rifle for hours uphill, following difficult trails, through narrow gaps, without ever knocking it against anything, but it's someone your average mountain hunter probably won't ever have met. Your average hunter carries a rifle with a synthetic stock not only because it's lighter, but also because it's more resistant to knocks and you won't be scratching fine walnut. The optical body of the scope is made of aeronautical grade aluminium, which helps keep the weight down without sacrificing strength.
Another characteristic of a good hunting riflescope is a certain level of distortion. We've been able to produce theoretically perfect distortion-free optics for over one hundred years now, but they're no good for hunting. With your rifle resting on your backpack, you may have to examine the field of fire from one end to the next; if there wasn't a minimum amount of distortion, the “rolling ball” effect which would be evident when panning from one edge of the woods or mountain ledge to the other, would be terrible.
Our Minox ZX5 5-25x56 scope has all the above characteristics, with a magnification that ranges from a minimum of 5 up to a maximum of 25 it's well-suited for shooting at all useful hunting ranges, and even for trying your luck with that long-range shot.
The Minox ZX series includes six other models, from 1-5x24 suitable for drives, two 2-10x versions (with 45 and 50 mm diameter lenses), two 3-15x versions (with 50 and 56 mm diameter lenses) to our 5-25x56, the top-of-the-range in terms of magnification, also available with a 50 mm lens, all with or without an illuminated reticle, and on those with an illuminated reticle the product code is followed by the suffix “i”.
The front lens with a real diameter of 56 millimetres (the lens has a larger diameter; 56 millimetres is the free diameter after subtracting the space occupied by the mounting elements) and transmits a good amount of light, offering an excellent field of vision on moonlit nights, as long as you don't overdo the magnification. With up to 8-10x, a quarter moon and clear sky, results are good. The magnification adjustment is smooth and stable, and we never found it hard to adjust. The eye relief of approximately 10 cm means using calibres that produce a harsh recoil isn't a problem.
The reticle, available in two versions, Plex or BDC, is on the second focal plane, a solution preferred by many without compromising precision. The optical body is filled with Argon, an inert gas, to prevent fogging and infiltrations of humidity. The turret adjustments are by 1/8 MOA per click and can be adjusted by up to 16 MOA, which corresponds roughly to 65 centimetres at 200 yards; with this adjustment range you can correct even major scope mounting errors. The price of the Minox ZX5 5-25x56 with the BDC reticle is €923, while with the Plex reticle it's a little lower, €852.60, both VAT inclusive.