This is not intended to be a typical test report, but instead a long-term experience report on one of my riflescopes. The sight is not a new invention and should already be familiar to most of you: the ZEISS Victory V8 1.8–14x50. ZEISS categorizes it as the “ultimate all-rounder,” and, after three years of using it, I can personally vouch that it lives up to what it promises. I chose this sight at the time because it had recently hit the market. In addition, it was a minor revolution in many ways – at least for me.
Of particular interest to me was the possibility of offsetting the disadvantages of the .308 Win caliber with the fast reticle adjustment (ASV). In addition, a “one-size-fits-all” rifle was wanted, and the choice seemed appropriate to me. I paired it up with a Blaser R8 Professional Success, which I am still using it on today. And even though I have changed a few details of the weapon here and there (shortening the barrel, installing a suppressor, adding a stock pouch to raise it on my cheek, exchanging the bolt handle, etc.), the sight has always stayed the same.
ZEISS Victory V8 1.8-14x50 riflescope: first impressions
I can clearly recall the first time that I picked up the sight. The 36 mm solid central tube makes no secret of its long-distance capabilities, as it allows for the necessary adjustment range. I also like the fact that the proportions of the sight are truly harmonious.
The scope and the gun therefore fit together perfectly to form a well-rounded overall package. The workmanship is flawless, with a solid and high-quality feel.
The illuminated dot has been wonderfully implemented: fine and very easy to adjust. The adjusting wheel spins smoothly and without play, which is naturally a delight to my Gearhead heart.
ZEISS Victory V8 1.8-14x50: using the riflescope
I mostly used the scope in my home territory for classic hunting from a blind, with distances of up to 120 m in the woods. Naturally, such a standard hunting situation did not prove very challenging for the optics. Nonetheless, it was constantly a faithful companion to me. Since I have always used an illuminated dot for hunting from the very beginning, I was glad to discover that the dot can be very finely adjusted to the light conditions.
Thanks to an object lens diameter of 50 mm, there were no problems with the all-rounder sight, even when hunting from a blind at night. This is what often separates the wheat from the chaff. With some optics, the light dots are too bright, or the image is too grainy. There was none of that here. And it always performed well on driven hunts. This was mainly of interest to me since I only take part in a driven hunt occasionally and did not want to purchase any additional optics for this. It is set perfectly when turned to 1.8.
Something else about me is that I wear glasses due to congenital curvature of the cornea. However, since I do not need strong glasses, I often leave them off when hunting. But this means that the demands I make on optics are somewhat higher.
Adjusting the diopters works perfectly. However, the sight cannot compensate for the cylinder – that is, the correction of my optical axis. That is why I normally wear glasses. This is particularly noticeable with the illuminated dot. For this reason, a small scope for driven hunts would not be an option for me anyway.
Due to my visual impairment, the illjminated dot looks like a grainy lump. But even here, I did not have any major difficulties with the ZEISS Victory V8. While I noticed that the edges of the dot became slightly hazy, it was mainly at home when I was specifically looking for this. As soon as I am hunting in a blind, and particularly when game is around, I have other things to do besides checking whether the dot is too dim. It is particularly the fine adjustment of the illuminated reticle that truly helps a lot here!
As far as the fast reticle adjustment (ASV) is concerned, it also works perfectly. There is detailed load data available for the factory loads of many ammunition brands, and this data has even been revised within the last few years. It is also possible to enter your own load data as an alternative.
All of the loads I tested and the rings recommended for them worked together outstandingly. Naturally, the whole thing needed to be tested on a “dry run,” which I successfully did multiple times at the indoor Müller Schiesszentrum Ulm (MSZU) from a distance of 300 meters – and I had a lot of fun doing it.
ZEISS Victory V8 1.8-14x50: ASV is not always advantageous
One critical thought about ASV, however: regardless of how fun the technology is, everyone should think carefully whether ASV is truly sensible and necessary. A lot of hunting situations require quick action, and sometimes in hindsight I would have somewhat preferred a weapon that simply fired at the most advantageous zeroing-in distance.
The game comes into view, you measure the distance and perhaps measure it again because you are a little unsure, and then you have already missed your chance. However, this is a personal decision that every hunter has to make. ZEISS offers you all of the options here, and the rest is up to you. For my part, I have the Victory V8 zeroed in to a spot 100 meters away, thereby matching the ASV ring.
In “normal operation,” however, I usually set it to “4 clicks up.” Then I have the most advantageous zeroing-in distance set and do not have to adjust the ASV in a pinch. This is because the situations in which I can actually use ASV to my advantage are less frequent in my case than I thought. And yet, whenever such a case comes up, I know I can rely on it.
Stumbling blocks when using the ZEISS Victory V8 riflescope
Where there is light, there is also shadow. But not much, I need to add. As long as the sight did what it was supposed to, there were no problems. However, I experienced 2 minor failures in the 3 years. Both times, it was the switch for the illuminated dot that stopped working. Thin membrane switches are fragile mechanisms, after all. The first time it happened, I quickly sent in the sight to ZEISS Service and got it back fixed after 2 days. It was annoying, of course, especially since it happened during a hunt in Brandenburg that I had been invited to. But the top service helped to quickly smooth over something like this.
The second time, this time during a driven hunt in Mecklenburg, I was able to revive the illuminated dot with a small piece of plastic foil jammed under the switch, since it no longer popped back. After contacting ZEISS, I learned that the problem had meanwhile been discovered. ZEISS decided to use another component instead. Following the second failure, ZEISS – without further ado and wonderfully unbureaucratically – replaced the entire sight with the overhauled version. What more could you ask for?
By the way, I clearly noticed the difference compared to the old sight: the pressure point and resistance were much better than that of the first series switch. I believe that will finally take care of the issues with the illuminated dot switch. I hope that the service, which has been excellent so far, will stay that way.
What I would also like to see would be more options for the objective cover. I simply do not like the typical “lens caps”. That is why I have equipped all of my sights with flip covers. ZEISS offers a high-quality and solid flip cover for the Victory V8, but only for the objective lens, not for the eyepiece as well. I just like to cover both sides.
Conclusions about the ZEISS Victory V8 1.8-14x50 riflescope
Even though I have added a few other weapons to the arsenal I regularly use and also have scopes from other manufacturers, the ZEISS Victory V8 1.8-14x50 is and will always be of great value to me. I have certainly never found myself in any hunting situation where it did not serve me well. And when things did not work out, I was usually the one to blame.
In this respect, ZEISS definitely delivers what it promises: the “ultimate all-rounder.” Since I am now thinking about expanding my Blaser setup with a .300 WinMag conversion barrel, I am currently somewhat interested in getting a ZEISS V6. Should there ever be a problem, the service is truly outstanding!