If you are not one of those lucky enough to own a Minox ZP5 5-25x56, it will not be hard to convince you that this riflescope, both in optical and mechanical terms, has all it takes to be considered one of the “big” names, offering a series of interesting features that left us quite impressed during the tests.
Good performance in just one field is not enough in a tactical riflescope: the “complete package”, which includes strong construction, precise and reliable mechanisms, quality optics and, last but not least, ergonomic qualities are a must; the manufacturer of these scopes cannot afford to leave anything to chance.
The body of the ZP5 5-25x56 is a sealed and particularly strong monolithic tube made of aeronautical grade black anodised aluminium machined by numeric control. The diameter of the central tube is 34 mm and the scope is waterproof to 15 m. The tube is filled with argon, which is less volatile than the more commonly used nitrogen as the molecules are bigger.
During the test, the optical performance of the Minox ZP5 5-25x56 left no room for doubt. The manufacturer presents the scope with an innovative optical system and multi-layer coating.
These suitably worked quality ingredients leave their mark at the firing range. The image in the scope is clear all the way to the edges, which lets you also use the reticle scale at the edge of your field of view to great advantage. Often on high magnification scopes, the coloured edges are almost completely invisible against the black and white outline of the target: this is clearly a quality scope, and even on high-contrast targets it performs wonderfully, producing an image rich in easily recognisable detail.
The elevation adjustment turret has the so-called Double Turn function; offering two turns of adjustment from zero, with an elevation travel of 28 mrad. A pre-angled mount is required to make the most of it.
The zero stops on the turrets are marked by large triangles that meet point to point. One might think it would take quite a while to get used to this system; in reality, even in poor light conditions, the zero stop is well visible. The scale lines and figures are large enough to be easy to read; furthermore, the right and left marks on the windage turret provide clear indications of the adjustment direction. The adjustment direction of the knobs is “American” style, in other words anticlockwise to aim higher and more to the right.
The marks on the turrets are impressively high contrast, and were easy to read even in the poor light conditions at the firing range.
The distance between the end of the scope and your eye (eye relief) on the ZP5 5-25x56 is a constant 90 mm throughout the magnification range, so you do not have to get the scope too close to your eye when using powerful long range ammo like the .338 Lapua Magnum. The diameter of the exit pupil at max. and min. magnification is 2.3, equal to 11 mm. The front lens and eyepiece on the Minox ZP5 are protected by sturdy screw-on lens caps, which can be fixed firmly to the scope once open.
The dioptre adjustment has one special feature: a locking ring nut that locks the dioptre adjustment in place to prevent accidental movements of the dioptre adjustment within reasonable limits. It is a little complicated to use but you only need to make this adjustment once to set the desired resistance.
The parallax adjustment (from 50 m to infinity) is controlled by the “third turret” on the left side of the scope, which also adjusts the luminous reticle. There are no numbers, and simple graduated and neutral marks are used to show the direction of rotation. This system, with quite a reduced angle of rotation of 180°, lets you easily return to previous settings; in these cases it would be a good idea though to be able to see metric marks; although, on the basis of experience, these often do not correspond to the correct setting at any given range. Micro-adjustments must be made to the focus in any case; even at 25x magnification this is easily done.
The reticle is on the first focal plane; a standard characteristic of tactical riflescopes. This means coverage remains constant regardless of the magnifications used; so the Mil scales can be used for example with 10x or 25x magnification without having to continuously choose the “correct” magnification level.
There are currently three reticles available for the Minox ZP5 5-25x56: as well as the MR2 on the scope we tested, there is also an MR5 and the classic Mil-dot reticle. According to the information supplied by Minox, the MR4 reticle should also soon be available, so there is something for everyone.
The reticle illumination can be adjusted to 11 levels, each of which has an intermediate "off" position, and the illumination shuts down automatically after six hours. The brightest illumination is especially advantageous by day in bright lighting conditions; but it is not a daylight reticle; according to the manufacturer the reticle is designed to be used at dusk only. In fact, the illuminated crosshairs are well visible when it gets too dark to see the black reticle against the target.
The overall length of the scope is 415 mm and it weighs 1,000 g; it is by no means a lightweight, but it is certainly competitive in this category.
Minox ZP5 riflescope - the verdict
Our experience with the Minox ZP5 5-25x56 was positive throughout the test. The specifications are well-suited to its intended use and the mechanism and optical elements were impressive. All the features of this scope highlight its strength and reliability; the very latest state-of-the-art optical quality.
With the ZP series, Minox has earned its place in the premium class. The recommended retail price of the model we tested is 2,699.00 euros, VAT inclusive. It is quite pricey, but is great value for money in the premium class.