Tract Optics Toric UHD 30mm 4-20x50mm Review

Tract Optics Toric UHD 30mm 4-20x50mm Review
Photo by Mark Fingar

The Tract Optics Toric UHD 30mm is a direct link to precision success. It may be just the edge you need to win that next long-range contest or bag that big elk.

Tract Optics is a relatively new company in the precision rifle world, but the men behind the company, Jon LaCorte and Jon Allen, have been working on and with riflescopes for a few decades. Their wealth of optic knowledge allows Tract to deliver better products at a cost lower than anyone else.

Tract’s business model is simple: cut out the middle men (dealers and distributors) and sell direct to the consumer. By going direct, Tract knocks off about 30 percent from the scope’s cost. The newest product to come from Tract is the Toric UHD 30mm with the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) reticle. Like other scopes Tract sells, this one brings more performance and more features to the consumer for less money.

TORIC

Tract Optics Toric UHD
Photo by Mark Fingar

The Toric line contains Tract’s flagship models. These are the most fully featured scopes Tract offers with the best performance. Tract’s Toric line of UHD scopes contain lenses made by Schott, a glass company that surfaces in scope debates from time to time.

No scope manufacturer makes their own glass. Glass is a very complicated product that has to be made by companies that specialize in it. A handful of scope manufacturers shape their own lenses, but even they are dependent on an outside manufacturer for the unshaped lenses because lens composition, done incorrectly, can never be fixed.


The two best glass manufacturers in the world are Schott and Ohara. These two companies can produce lenses of highly sophisticated and uniform composition. This allows the optical engineers at scope companies to come up with high-­performance designs that utilize better or fewer lenses. Using these lenses, a scope company can give its scope better contrast, improved low-­light performance and better resolution.


Putting Schott extra-­low-­dispersion (ED) lenses in the Toric UHD 30mm gives this scope exceptional image quality, especially when considering the price. Part of the reason this scope doesn’t cost a lot more is how LaCorte and Allen run lean at the top and streamline the supply chain to keep overhead down to pass savings to the consumer.


Another feature that Tract has engineered into the Toric line is 4 inches of eye relief. Most scopes hover right around 3.5 inches, so 4 inches of eye relief represents about a 15-­percent increase. Longer eye relief is a huge benefit for hard-­recoiling rifles or rifles that are shot from unconventional positions, like competitors do in the Precision Rifle Series.

Positional shooting requires the shooter to use whatever rests are available in the field or stage to get stable. This often means contorted body positions that don’t put much of the shooter’s body behind the rifle to control recoil, or the rest itself is unstable and the shooter can’t do anything but balance the rifle on the obstacle and touch the rifle just enough to steer it onto the target.

Recoil is greatly exaggerated in both situations. If there’s not something solid behind the rifle, it’ll move a bunch when it’s fired. Having 4 inches of eye relief means the chance of ever having the scope hit the shooter’s face is very low. When I am competing, I look for maximum eye relief on my scope. If I was looking for a scope to put on my 7-­pound .300 Winchester Magnum that I take hunting in the mountains, I’d also want 4 inches of eye relief in my scope.


THE TESTS

While the Toric line already had all the features you’d want, the PRS reticle is new for this scope. Scope technology has changed rapidly over the last five years, with reticles and features that shooters desire in them.

Just about every major manufacturer has gone to a floating dot in the center of the reticle. A small floating dot, isolated from the rest of the crosshairs, obscures very little of the target.

Tract Optics Toric UHD
With an etched reticle, the Toric UHD also features a .04-mil floating dot in the center of the crosshairs. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

I shot a PRS finale in January 2017, and I vividly remember having a test-­your-­limits plate rack at 592 yards. The smallest piece of steel on that plate rack was a 3-­inch square (.5 MOA). The .04-­mil floating dot in the PRS reticle works out to be about .15 MOA, so it would have still allowed for precise shot placement on that small target.


Once away from the central floating dot, the horizontal crosshair subtends at .2 mil for most of its length. This lets the shooter make very precise wind corrections, even in shifting conditions.

The vertical crosshair also has .2-­mil subtension marks, but at every 1-­mil increment below the central crosshair, there is another lower-­profile horizontal crosshair that extends away, making this a Christmas-­tree reticle.

The additional horizontal crosshairs that exist below the central crosshair allow the shooter to use fast and effective holdovers without dialing for elevation. Regardless of whether or not a shooter likes to holdover, everyone should know how to do it. While holding over isn’t quite as precise as dialing, it is much faster and is often precise enough to get hits on target.

The turrets on the Toric UHD are locking and include a zero stop. The turret caps telescope, so pulling it up is all that’s necessary to unlock and allow for rotation. Pushing the cap back down towards the housing locks the turret in place.

Tract Optics Toric UHD
The Toric UHD features locking turrets and a zero stop. The stops are a good feature that keeps a shooter from getting lost when dialing for longer come-ups. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

I did a tracking test on the UHD 30mm to test how precisely the scope tracked by measuring the distance between two three-­shot groups that were 14 mils apart. I fired one shot at the center of the target, dialed up 14 mils and fired a second shot. I then dialed back to center for the next shot and repeated this process until I had my two groups. When conducting a scope-­tracking test, the more you dial the turret, the easier it is to spot scope error. Tests of 8 mils or fewer don’t really show anything but gross error.

I measure first for vertical tracking error and recorded a 1.1-­percent error. To put that in terms that are easily understood, I would have to shoot my 6.5 Creedmoor out to 1,480 yards to require 14 mils of elevation adjustment. The 1.1-­percent tracking error causes the same vertical dispersion as having a variation in the bullet’s muzzle velocity of 1 feet per second (fps). Since a good reloader will probably have about 10 times as much error, no one needs to worry about this scope. It tracks exceptionally well, and I’d be shocked if something that costs as much tracks as well.

One thing I noticed when doing the tracking test is the scope’s 20 mils of elevation travel. I had no problem zeroing the scope and still had enough travel to get my rifle out to 1,480 yards, but any farther than that will need a biased scope base. Since there were only about 6 mils of travel left, putting this scope on a standard 20-­MOA biased mount or base might be too tight a fit.

I next checked for a canted reticle. My elevation test is shot by carefully leveling the reticle prior to each shot. I then measure the distance away from a vertical line to measure how much cant is in the reticle. I measured .33-­inch of deviation between the two groups on my target.

Putting that deviation in real-­world terms, a .5-mph error in a shooter’s wind call at 1,480 yards causes the same amount of error. No human being that has ever walked the earth can read wind that accurately, so I am unconcerned by the small amount of cant. Once again, finding a scope with the same or less reticle cant anywhere near this price point would be a challenge.

PARTING SHOTS

While the reticle and turrets are ideally designed for the scope’s intended application, there a few other features that shooters of all demographics will appreciate. The side focus adjustment will work all the way down to 25 yards, making it ideal for a rimfire shooter.

Tract Optics Toric UHD
With 4 inches of eye relief and side focusing down to 25 yards, the Toric UHD 4-20X can be used on rimfires and centerfire rifles. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

The reticle in the scope is etched, and the illumination system is powered by a regular 2032 battery. When illuminated, the entire Christmas tree lights up, making it possible to use the entire reticle in most lighting conditions. However, in bright, direct sunlight with no cloud cover, illuminating the reticle will not make it more visible. There’s only so much juice in a 2032 battery, and the brightest sunlight is just too much for it. As soon as the sun dips towards the horizon or some cloud cover shows up, the illumination helps the reticle stand out.

My time behind the Toric UHD 30mm proved the new scope to be mild-­mannered and easy to use. The side-­focus is very forgiving and allowed me to focus on the 600-­yard target and clearly see everything between 300 and 1,000 yards. I had no need to fiddle with the side focus knob to keep everything sharp.

I’m not convinced one could find a better-­featured scope that offers this level of performance for less money. The way the company is structured and the way LaCorte and Allen leverage emerging technologies makes it hard for bigger, more top-­heavy companies to keep up. Anyone wanting to know more about these scopes should visit Tract’s website.

Tract Optics Toric UHD 30mm 4-20x50mm

  • Power: 4-20X
  • Objective: 50mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30mm
  • Elevation adjustment: .1 mil per click
  • Windage: .1 mil per click
  • Reticle: MRAD PRS
  • Length: 13.7 in.
  • Weight: 34 oz.
  • Eye Relief: 3.9 in.
  • MSRP: $1,294
  • Manufacturer: Tract Optics, tractoptics.com

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