The CMP Service Rifle competition is one of the most famous high-power rifle competitions. These types of competition value marksmanship, patience, and steady hands. Having a good rifle is, of course, a necessity if you want to win — but you also need a proper scope.
In this article I am going to be reviewing some of the best scopes for the CMP Service Rifle competition. These scopes are great at close and medium distances and will help you excel in any marksmanship tournament.
Remember that the Service Rifle competition requires shooting from 200/300 to 600 yards — you will need a scope that covers thar entire range, while also allowing you to acquire your targets quickly and accurately. Luckily, all of these scopes do the trick.
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Best Scope for CMP Service Rifle Product Review
This is scope excels in close to medium range. While you can still use it for longer distances, its magnification really lends itself to use in CMP programs and make it one of the best scopes for CMP service rifles.
What exactly does the Gen II improve over the Gen I, you ask? Well, the most significant improvement are the turrets. The Viper PST Gen II has crisper, better turrets, with true zero stop functionality. The glass is also improved — while the Gen I glass lacked clarity and was generally unimpressive, the glass on the Gen II is much clearer and easier to see through.
This new, reformulated glass is “low-dispersion glass”, which increases color fidelity over regular glass and has an increased resolution. The protective coating on the lens protects it from scratches and dirt and makes the glass very durable.
The improved turrets are similar to the ones on the original Razor. The Viper PST Gen II’s turrets have true zero stop and the dials are etched with fiber optic, so you never lose track of your settings. The turrets allow you to account for elevation, windage, parallax and the reticle illumination.
But those aren’t the only available settings in the Viper PST Gen II — as you would expect there is also a reticle focus ring near the eyepiece and a magnification adjustment ring.
Although it is also available in a FFP version, this Viper PST Gen II model is SFP. The reticle is easy to see and offers detailed hold points while still remaining uncluttered. You can change between 10 different intensity levels and turn on the illumination too, so you can customize your shooting experience.
This is a very durable scope — it is made of aircraft-grade aluminum —, but the extra durability comes with the price of added weight. If you are looking for a light and easy to carry scope, then the Viper PST Gen II might not be what you are looking for. This scope weighs 26 ounces.
Does the Viper PST Gen II have illuminated radicals?
Yes. Radicals have red illumination and are very easy to see.
How hard is the reticle to see?
The Viper PST Gen II’s reticle is not hard to see at all. This is a SFP scope and the reticle stays the same size throughout the entire magnification range — it is visible at both ends of the magnification levelhttps://www.nano.gov/nanotech-101/what/seeing-nano.
If you prefer a reticle with variable size, there are also FFP models of the Viper PST Gen II.
Is there a sunshade included in the package?
Yes. The Viper PST Gen II comes with a sunshade. Also included in the packaging is a set of optical end caps.
What are the differences between the Viper PST Gen I and the Gen II?
The second generation of the Viper PST is a considerable improvement over the first iteration of the scope. The Gen II has true zero stop and crisper turrets, which are both significant improvements.
The glass on the Gen II is also better than on the Gen I — it is clearer and has overall less parallax than the previous iteration.
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This 1×4 scope has a great SFP reticle which you will be able to see, no matter the time of day. Besides having a constant size throughout the entire magnification range, the reticle on the Trijicon AccuPoint is illuminated both by a tritium lamp and fiber optics.
The fiber optics guarantee that the reticle can be easily seen during the day, capturing the daylight, and amplifying it. At night, when fiber optics proves to be nearly useless, the tritium lamp kicks in, allowing you to see your reticle in absolute darkness. The best part is that both of these types of illumination don’t need any batteries to work.
And despite the fact that this scope has both types of illumination, there is zero forward emission. Or, in other words, despite the illumination level of the reticle, the scope doesn’t project any light.
This high-visibility reticle combined with the clear glass of the Trijicon TR24 makes this relatively unexpensive scope able to compete with much higher priced optics when it comes to visibility.
There is a special coating on the glass that increases light transmission and eliminates distortion. The glass itself lets in a large amount of light and the image is always clear.
The scope itself is rugged and seems to be pretty durable. It has waterproof capabilities up to 10 feet and the aircraft-grade aluminum housing guarantees it can take a beating before becoming useless.
If you are looking for a close-range scope for your CMP service rifle and would like a very visible reticle, then you should seriously consider the Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint.
Is this a heavy scope? How much does it weigh?
Although not exactly a light scope, the Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint weighs 14.4 ounces.
What range is the parallax on this scope set to?
The parallax is set to 100 yards.
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Before I get into the scope itself, I should note that one of the best parts about the Burris MTAC is that it comes with a tactical kit. This kit includes a red dot sight and an AR-P.E.P.R. mount. The mount is very good and works with most rifles, while the red dot comes in handy in dangerous CQC situations.
The MTAC 1-4×24 offers a very comfortable eye piece. There’s a 4-inch eye relief and a rubber coating that prevents discomfort during extended uses.
The glass is average at best, but that’s not exactly a dealbreaker. Average glass works just fine — it won’t amplify the existing light or do any fancy stuff, but it still provides a clear enough image that will not hinder your target acquisition.
For some people, the reticle can be a tougher sell. It is small and it will take some getting used to. Still, once you get used to it, it works just as you would expect — but you might just not get used to its small size.
On the plus side, this is an illuminated reticle. There are 10 levels of illumination, controlled by a power ring which can sometimes feel too tight. The 10 levels seem like overkill — the last few are extremely bright and will reflect the light off from your eye. I found the illumination worked best at the lowest levels, but, of course, your experience might differ.
The included red dot sight, the FastFire, is also very useful for CQC. The only major inconvenience is that it uses a different type of batteries than the main scope — you might be forced to carry around two types of batteries.
But, overall, the Burris MTAC is a great scope for CMP service rifles with no major drawbacks. You should consider it, especially if you also want a scope that works great in close quarters combat.
Does this scope include a FastFire red dot? If so, which version is it?
This scope ships with an included FastFire 3 red dot. This red dot is 3 MOA.
What’s the type of mount of the Burris MTAC?
The Burris MTAC uses a P.E.P.R. mount.
Do lens covers come with the package?
Sadly, there are no lens covers included. You can buy them separately: size 16 for the eyepiece and 02A for the objective.
What type of batteries does this scope use?
The Burris MTAC uses CR2032 batteries to provide illumination. You can also use it without any batteries, but you will not have an illuminated reticle.
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The Mueller Opticshttps://muelleroptics.com/ Speed Shot is a budget scope that gets the job done. It does not have any fancy attachments or top-shelf technology — it is just a barebones reliable rifle scope.
The 1×4 magnification makes the Mueller Speed Shot ideal for hunting large animals (such as bears or hogs) and close quarters encounters — which makes it great for a CMP service rifle.
One of the best things about this scope is its eye relief — often overlooked in cheaper optics. There is plenty of space and you can use this scope comfortably for a long period of time — even if it is a bit on the heavy side.
The reticle is a standard red dot reticle. As you would expect, it requires batteries in order to act as a red dot. There’s a black dot etched on the scope in case the battery runs out, but you don’t want to have to rely on that — the black dot is small and hard to see.
The red dot, on the other hand, is really easy to see. This is an SFP scope, so the red dot increases its size as you increase the magnification, but it never gets overwhelming. Since this scope is meant to be used in close to medium encounters, there is minimal chance of the reticle obstructing the target, even at the highest magnification.
To guarantee you can properly see the reticle in any type of lighting (or try to, anyway), there are 10 levels of illumination on the Mueller Speed Shot. However, under harsh sun light, it might be a bit difficult to spot the red dot, even when on the brightest setting.
The glass is also very clear — which can be surprising for the price range. It lets in plenty of light while providing a bright and undistorted image. Now, you shouldn’t expect the same type of glass you would find on a more expensive piece of equipment, but it is still very good for the price.
One thing you should note is that this scope does not have a focus lock ring. You will constantly need to refocus the optic, and that can be quite tiring. Still, I’d say you are absolutely getting your money’s worth with the Mueller Optics Speed Shot.
Can you see the reticle under harsh sunlight?
Yes. It is a known fact that some illuminated reticles do not have enough brightness to be used under direct sunlight, however that is not the case with the reticle on the Mueller Speed Shot.
This reticle has 10 different levels of brightness and anything above a “5” is easily visible even in the brightest conditions. The higher settings can even be too much and flare.
How long will a battery last?
The longevity of a battery will depend on your use case. A whole day on the field with the brightness set to “6” did not drain my battery. I doubt it still has plenty of juice left, but at least I know it lasts for an entire day, so you shouldn’t need any spare batteries for a daytrip if you’re starting with a fresh battery.
Is there a crosshair reticle as well on this scope?
No. This scope only has a red dot reticle.
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Let’s get straight to the point: if quality comes with a price, then the Leupold VX-6HD must be pretty darn good — and it is. I will not go as far as to say that this is the best SFP 2-12×42 scope out there, but it certainly is pretty close to perfection.
The image on this scope is a true sight to behold. If you are familiar with Leupold optics, particularly the VX line, then you probably know that the glass is pretty good, even in the cheaper scopes. The glass is even better on the VX-6HD.
Besides offering a clear and very bright image, the VX-6HD as a little Leupold-specific feature called “Twilight Management System” cranked all the way up and performing even better than on other Leupold optics. Maybe that’s why it’s called Twilight Max HD Light Management System.
This Leupold technology increases the quality of the image by a considerable amount in low-light situations. As the name indicates, it offers higher visibility during twilight — even when the sun is setting you will not miss your target thanks to this technology.
The reticle on the Leupold VX-6HD is a classic duplex reticle, but with a twist. At the center of the reticle is an illuminated red dot which further increases the usability of this scope in low-light conditions. There is also an in-scope electronic level which facilitates the mounting of the scope and helps improving accuracy.
The turrets on this scope are very crisp. This scope has a Zero Lock custom dial system, which removes the need for calculations when trying to zero your scope. The dial can be customized to match your preferred caliber and rifle and you will never have to worry about math when trying to zero.
This scope can take quite a beating. Besides being completely fog and waterproof (up to 33 feet), this scope can perform perfectly from -40ºF to 160ºF. It is also designed to survive a minimum of 5,000 impacts from the Leupold testing machine, which mimics 3x the recoil of a .308 rifle with each impact.
So, for the price you get an extremely rugged scope packed with functionalities. Is it worth the money? Absolutely. Is it indicated for you? Well, that depends. Are you looking for the best of the best for your CMP service rifle? If so, then the Leupold VX-6HD is the right buy for you.
What type of scope is this, FFP or SFP?
The Leupold VX6-HD line only has SFP optics. While Leupold does sell FFP scopes on the VX line, the VX6 is completely SFP.
For a FFP Leupold VX model, try looking at the VX-3iLRP.
Does this scope have an illuminated reticle?
Yes. The reticle on the Leupold VX-6HD is illuminated.
Is this a heavy scope?
While not particularly heavy, this is not a light scope — the Leupold VX-6HD weighs 19.7 ounces.
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Best Scope for CMP Service Rifle Buyer’s Guide
What is a CMP service rifle?
The Civilian Marksmanship Program prefers rifles that are similar (or the same) as military rifles. However, the “Service Rifle” is also a competition category in the CMP.
The Service Rifle is a marksmanship competition, traditionally with four legs. The first leg is 10 shots at a 200-yard range in a standing position; the second leg is 10 shots at a 200-yard range in a standing and seating position; the third leg is 10 shots at the same range, from seating to prone; and the last leg is 20 rounds at 600 yards.
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What should you look for in a scope for a CMP service rifle?
Due to the ranges in Service Rifle usually varying from 200 to 600 yards, it is indicated to look for a scope with close quarters and ranged capabilities. Usually, 1-4x scopes are preferred.
What types of targets do you use with CMP service rifles?
The Service Rifle competition uses standard targets.
When competing in the CMP Service Rifle, your accuracy will not be determined by your scope — although a good scope won’t hurt you either. If you just want to compete for recreational purposes, the scope should not be a major problem. However, if you truly want to win the competition, then it is essential to have a good scope.
All of the scopes on this list can help you become the best marksman in your CMP, but that doesn’t mean that they are all the right scope for you. You need to look at the pros and cons of each scope and decide what you value the most.
If you want a good budget scope, then the Mueller Optics Speed Shot is a no-brainer. It is unexpensive and offers plenty of quality for the price.
The Burris MTAC is a good choice if you want an entire tactical kit. Besides the scope, the Burris MTAC also comes with a red dot, which might prove itself very useful, depending on your use case.
If the price is not a problem, then you would be foolish not to go for the Leupold VX-6HD. While very expensive, you truly get what you pay for with this scope. This is one of the best scopes I have ever reviewed, and you will not regret your purchase.
Which scope do you prefer? Did it help you win the competition? Let us know!