Undoubtedly, Schmidt & Bender is internationally renowned for the excellent quality and performance of its professional glass, especially that Police & Marksman II series that established a reference standard many years ago and that still is considered to be among the best tactical riflescopes on the market.
The German manufacturer, on the other hand, also always carried a hunting riflescope line, with quality on a par with their more known military and professional products. Introduced quietly, so that only connoisseurs would be considering the use of such scopes, since the Zenith line (that earned S&B the prestigious international IF Design Award), Schmidt & Bender actively promoted its hunting scope line, and progressively more and more shooters and hunters began appreciating these products.
Responding to the market’s requests, Schmidt & Bender invested in research and innovation, and release a new line of hunting scopes at the 2013 Edition of the Shot Show in Las Vegas (USA), the Stratos, that is comprised of three models at this time: an 1,1-5 x 24, an 1,5-8 x 42 and a 2,5-13 x 56.
Each of the three Stratos riflescopes feature the same rounded, elegant esthetics and design of the Zenith, a rugged, monolithic 30mm tube, the Flash-Dot first focal plane reticle illumination technology, quick adjustments , a new, removable without tools and programmable Flash-Dot illumination control unit placed on the third turret on left side of the scope and a 1:5 zoom magnification ratio.
All the Stratos riflescopes are available with the choice of FD 0, FD 4, FD 7, FD 9 reticles; other reticles available on request.
Schmidt & Bender’s Flash Dot technology introduced a red dot of varying brightness, extremely useful in many lighting conditions; what sets apart the Stratos line from its predecessors is the removable and programmable illumination unit.
The module also contains the 3V Lithium coin cell battery, features only three buttons to control every operation – a “moon” and “sun” plus the S&B logo – and, once removed, can be connected to a PC with a USB cable; this allows the user to program the Flash Dot reticle illumination behavior.
It is possible to choose the number of steps in brightness for daymode and nightmode, the behavior after reactivation, the number of hours until automatic shutdown (so that whenever the rifle and scope goes in storage, the battery life is preserved), the activation of the low battery warning and the angle sensor for automatic on / off when the rifle is, for example, laying on its side or placed upright in a rack.
The other two Schmidt & Bender products are the PM II 5-20x50 Ultra Short and the PM II 3-27 x 56 High Power military riflescopes. The 3-27 x 56 PM II High Power is a dedicated riflescope for long range shooting, featuring an impressive 9x zoom magnification ratio for versatility, rugged military design, all metal construction (no rubber rings on the zoom adjustment control) that’s completely waterproof up to a depth of 25 m, locking MTC turrets, ultra high accuracy and shock resistant for large calibers. The High Power has been tested and selected by the elite USSOCOM.
The other riflescope, the PM II 5-20x50 Ultra Short, featuring 4x zoom magnification ratio, has been manufactured in response to a specific request by a military customer; it is extremely short, just below 30cm in length, and features the same completely waterproof all-metal rugged build of the High Power. The 30mm body features a capped windage turret, and an ultra low profile locking elevation turret with an internal elevation adjustment range of 40 mrad. The reduced length of the PM II 5-20x50 Ultra Short allows the use of clip-on optronic devices in front of the riflescope saving Picatinny rail real-estate and allowing for more compact weapon platforms to be deployed.