Test: Minox ZP8 riflescope

Minox ZP8 view
The Minox ZP8 1-8x24mm variable magnification riflescope weighs just a tad less of 700 g and is 295mm long; the maintube diameter is 34mm.

We first saw the innovative Minox ZP8 1-8x24mm variable magnification riflescope – toghether with the other Minox tactical riflescopes - at the 2015 Shot Show, when the German manufacturer introduced the fruit of the strategic alliance with Optronika, a Biebertal (Germany) based riflescope specialist, announced at the end of 2013.

Eyepiece of Minox ZP8
The eyepiece with the fast-focus dioptric adjustment ring and its lock down ring, both built of the same alloy as the body of the riflescope

The Minox ZP8 1-8x24mm riflescope joins the competition in a niche of the market, the one made of optics featuring an 8x zoom ratio optical scheme, that counts very few high end products offered by the the world's very best optics manufacturers.

There are, however, some specific features in the Minox riflescope that makes it rather unique: in example, the Complete Combat Reticle (CCR) concept, that combines both  a First and a Second Focal Plane illuminated reticle.

reticle Minox ZP8
The MR10+ reticle of the Minox ZP8 1-8x24mm riflescope with the windage and elevation holds; red indicates the portion of the reticle illumnated one magnification goes past 2.5x

The reticle in the Second Focal Plane is essentially just a very sharp illuminated red dot, that can be dimmed in 9 different brightness levels, that activates automatically once the magnification is set between 1x and 2.5x; the First Focal Plane reticle is a traditional glass-etched mil-based reticle that has the central portion that illuminates once magnification is set past the 2.5x mark, while the SFC dot turns off. 

The 1x magnification is absolutely true, so it is possible to actually use the ZP8 riflescope as if it was a reflex red dot scope (the FFP reticle basically is invisible at this setting), aiming with both eyes open for typical CQB engagement distances, while the 8x magnification allows to aim very accurately at longer distances. The parallax is fixed at an unusual 200 meters, instead of the standard 100m of most other similar optics.

shooting test
The Minox ZP8 1-8x24mm riflescope during our live-fire testing at the Schießanlage shooting range in Philippsburg (Germany); note the size of the 42mm turrets

The zero-stop elevation and  windage turrets are quite large (42mm of diameter), at the same time are low profile, so they do not interfere with situational awareness ("looking around" the scope); both are lockable - actually, un-lockable: ideally, during use, both turrets would be locked, by pushing them down, on the zero position, and, using the MR10+ reticle (which we recommend vs the other two available reticles, the  MR10 and A8-D)  all bullet drop adjustments shooting at different distances can be quickly made using the holds and hash marks of the reticle. The turrets can be locked only in the "zero" position, and will not lock at any other.

turrets
The turrets are quite large, making dialing extremely easy even though the are quite stiff. Each click moves the reticle by 0.1 MRAD and the single-turn elevation turrets offers 10 MRAD of total adjustment
battery
The third turret only houses the battery and the reticle brightness adjustment knob, with 9 intensity setting and an "off" position between each, as the parallax is fixed at a 200m distance

The single-turn elevation turret offers a 10 MRAD adjustment range, with 0.1 MRA clicks; however, internally the riflescope has a whopping 30 MRAD total adjustment range available for zeroing the scope. The third turret, with the same 42mm diameter, is only used for housing the battery and the reticles brightness adjustment knob. Nine levels of brightness are available, and between each level there is an "OFF" position. This turret can also be locked, but it is done in exact opposite as the other turrets, so to lock it it must be pulled out, rather than pushed in. The reticle turns itself off after 6 hours of inactivity, thanks to an accelerometer.

dimensions riflescopes
The size of the Minox ZP8 1-8x24mm riflescope is aligned to the competition (i.e. Schmidt & Bender's Short Dot) and perfectly matched for a CQB rfile

The Minox ZP8 1-8x24mm variable magnification riflescope weighs just a tad less of 700 g and is quite compact, being 295mm long; the extremely tough maintube diameter is 34mm.

We had the chance to live fire test this interesting riflescope at the Schießanlage shooting range in Philippsburg (Germany): we mounted the Minox ZP8 riflescope on a SIG-Sauer 516 CQB semiautomatic rifle with a 10” barrel chambered in .223 Remington, testing the weapon and optics combination on shooting distances ranging from 15 to 200 meters. We used GECO and RWS ammunition for all tests. The riflescope was mounted on the Picatinny rail interface using an excellent Spuhr mount.

Minox ZP8 riflescopes
The Minox ZP8 1-8x24mm riflescope has been conceived for professional use, but is equally at home in a 3gun match competition and other sporting uses

We have been impressed with the the wide angle of the field of view, almost amazing at all magnification settings.

We are not going to delve into the optical quality of this riflescope, since it is absolutely on a par with the best of the commercially available, state of the art 1-8x riflescopes in just about every aspect, such as definition, chromatic and geometric aberrations, resolution and brightness.

wide magnification control
The wide magnification control knob on the eyepiece features an oversized "fin" to facilitate zooming during quick switches of the shooting distance

Of course, we did find some trade-offs: compared to a "real" reflex red point aiming system, with the ZP8 we have to get used to the eye relief once we dial down the magnification to 1x; however, this is common with every single variable magnification riflescopes that feature a true 1x setting. 

On the other hand, the exit pupil at 8x magnification is very small (3mm), making the shooter's head position and cheek weld very  critical; in other words, the so called eye box is very small.

To obtain the best results, a very good and consistent head position  must be maintained shooting at longer ranges - nothing new, here.

riflescope on SIG Sauer 516 CQB
We mounted the Minox ZP8 1-8x24mm riflescope on a SIG-Sauer 516 CQB semiautomatic rifle with a 10” barrel chambered in .223 Remington, testing the weapon and optics combination on shooting distances ranging from 15 to 200 meters. We used GECO ammunition for all tests
Riflescope on SIG Sauer carbine
We mounted the Minox ZP8 1-8x24mm riflescope on a SIG-Sauer 516 CQB semiautomatic rifle with a 10” barrel chambered in .223 Remington, testing the weapon and optics combination on shooting distances ranging from 15 to 200 meters. We used GECO ammunition for all tests

In a sense, we've been initially put off by the turrets that can be locked down only when they are in the zero position, however they have been conceived that way so that the special holds and hash marks included in the MR10+ reticle can be easily used for BDC, (a concept similar to the reticles offered by Horus Vision), since thay have been designed to work when the riflescope is zeroed at 100m and the turrets are on zero.

The Minox ZP8 1-8x24mm variable magnification riflescope has a MSRP of 2700 euro on the European market.

Video: Minox ZP5 and ZP8 

For more information please visit the Minox web site

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