Kahles K525i tactical riflescope test

Kahles showcased its new K525i 5-25x56 flagship variable magnification riflescope with a 5x zoom optical design at the IWA OutdoorClassics 2018 (find our first look on the K525i here): based on the highly acclaimed K318i, with all the solution and features of the ultrashort and smaller magnification model, the Kahles K525i is aimed at the sports competition and professional long-range shooting field.

The Kahles K525i 5-25x56 tactical riflescope for lomg range shooting
The Kahles new K525i 5-25x56 flagship variable magnification riflescope for long range shooting.

The Austrian manufacturer sent all4shooters a sample of the right-handed users version of the K525i, with the windage turret on the left side and the illumination brightness knob on the right, to test in the 300m shooting range in Niederweimar.

We mounted the riflescope on a HK MR308 A3 semiautomatic rifle chambered in .308 Winchester, and we used Premium RWS Target Elite plus Match ammo with 168 gr. HPBT bullet for the live fire test.

The most obvious ergonomic features of the Kahles K525i 5-25x56 riflescope are the top mounted focus adjustment wheel, coaxial with the elevation turret – a real “trademark” of Kahles scopes for some time now -, the windage turret mounted either on the left or right side depending on the shooter’s preference, and the Twist Guard system on the windage turret.

All4shooters live fire tested the Kahles  K525i 5-25x56 riflescope in Niederweimar. Here's the video of the test:

Reticle illumination knob of the Kahles K525i tactical riflescope
On the right side of the Kahles K525i we find the reticle illumination knob; the windage turret is on the left side.

On the performance side, the K525i offers a double turn elevation turret with a 29 MIL adjustment range (2.9 meters at 100m), five different illuminated reticles on the front image plane, outstanding optics with bright, sharp and high definition images, good size exit pupil and 95mm eye relief. The tube is 34mm diameter.

All controls feel solid, perfectly braked and smooth; the turrets have audible and tactile feedback which makes counting clicks easy, and the placement of the controls, although awkward at first for who, like me, uses conventional riflescopes all the time, become second nature in a single session at the range.

Shooting with the Kahles K525i 5-25x56 tactical riflescope
The Kahles K525i 5-25x56 makes it extremely easy to adjust windage without having to break hold or remove the shooting hand from the grip of the firearm.
The Twist Guard system on the K525i tactical riflescope
The Twist Guard system on the K525i protects the windage turret from unwanted turret shifts. Note the second rotation indicator on the elevation turret.

The Kahles K525i 5-25x56 makes it extremely easy to adjust windage without having to break hold or remove the shooting hand from the grip of the firearm. In many scenarios, it is possible to adjust windage and elevation without ever losing sight of the target or breaking the hold of the gun. The same can be said of the Parallax adjustment wheel, at the base of the elevation turret.

The riflescope is equipped with the Patented Twist Guard system. The end side plate of the windage turret is simply allowed to rotate freely; what this does is prevent unintentional windage turret movement.

In a professional environment, when moving or walking with the rifle against the body, the turret may be scraping against body armor, PALS webbing etc. (more trivial things also come to mind, i.e. pulling the rifle out of a drag bag), therefore Twist Guard will drastically reduce unwanted turret shifts. It is worth noting that Twist Guard is only installed to the windage turret and not on the elevation turret, most probably due to the red button turn indicator that pops up from the top at the second turret rotation.

Eyepiece of the K525i riflescope
The large and comfortable eyepiece of the K525i, with an Exit pupil diameter of 9.5 – 2.3 mm and an eye relief of 95mm.

What makes Twist Guard stand apart from all other turret locking systems is that it is totally silent (pushing or pulling the turret in many Premium competitor scopes produces a very audible click) and that it does not require conscious effort to operate; on the other hand, it does not totally lock the turret from any movement.

Kahles K525i tactical riflescope: test at the 300m range
We tested the Kahles K525i at the Schiess-Leistungs-Gruppe (SLG) in Niederweimar at the 300m range.

In our test, the riflescope behaved admirably. Clicks are perfectly constant and repeatable, accuracy of the turrets mechanics are state of the art. Operating either turret does not feel “gummy”, and the movements of each click is sharp, crisp and precise.

Optics are very clear and very definite, the eyebox is good; exit pupil is reduced from 9.5 to 2.3 mm at 25x, while eye relief stays the same (95mm). Worth noting that inside the battery cap on top of the reticle brightness knob on the right side of the riflescope, we find the Allen key to set the turrets zero – a nice touch.

Our brief shooting experience in Niederweimar with the Kahles K525i 5-25x56 is absolutely positive. The scope is excellent, offers unique features and although the MSRP is quite steep (3300 Euro including taxes at the time of this test) we believe it is worth it.

Further information about the Kahles K525i  can be found on the Kahles website.