June 12, 2020
As much as I enjoy testing and evaluating premium products, I am fully aware that the reason I get to play with a lot of those things is because I can borrow them from the manufacturer. Shooting, especially rifle shooting, can become prohibitively expensive if a guy isn’t careful. With that thought in mind, this article is written for the younger me, when there wasn’t a lot of discretionary cash available for my favorite pastime.
The Omnia line has been out for a while now with the Omnia 4 featuring 1-4X magnification ($270) and Omnia 6, a 1-6X ($356), but the new Omnia 8 1-8X model is here for 2020. Retail for the Omnia 8 1-8X and the mount it comes in is $448. I’d expect to find it in a gun store with a street price near $400, which makes it one of the more affordable 1-8X scopes available.
For comparison, Vortex advertises its Strike Eagle 1-8x24mm for $500 (vortex.com). At the high end, Nightforce’s NX8 1-8x24mm starts at $1,750, while Trijicon’s 1-8x28 VCOG commands $2,800 (trijicon.com) and Leupold’s Mark 8 1.1-8x24 CQBSS sells for $3,900 (leupold.com).
The Omnia 8 has a ton of features for the money. Though I’ve always been suspicious of optics made in China, it’s time to take a detailed look and report my findings.
Immediately upon initial examination, the 1-8X appears reasonably well-made. That assumption held true throughout testing. Anyone picking up this scope will enjoy its wide magnification range, the exposed and locking turrets, and the illuminated All Purpose Tactical Reticle (APTR). The fact that the Omnia 8 comes leveled and secured a cantilever mount also means that there is no fuss needed to get the scope set up correctly on a rifle. Just attach it to your rifle’s optic rail and go zero.
Since this scope tops out at 8X and has exposed adjustable turrets, I thought it prudent to see how well it tracked. If we dial 40 minutes of adjustment on the scope, we want to know if it will adjust 40 minutes exactly. This matters when working with a ballistic calculator and when target size measures less than 2 MOA.
Frankly, I also wanted to see how good or bad Chinese manufacturing is these days. Since accurate elevation tracking requires extremely precise manufacturing in any optic, a tracking test is a quantifiable way to find out. I mounted a target with a plumb vertical line and a perpendicular horizontal line. After ensuring the reticle was level, I fired one round. I then dialed up 40 minutes and fired another. Next, I dialed back to my original zero and fired again. I repeated this process until I had three shots at both the top- and bottom-most groups.
This test told me a couple things. The first was that the reticle was mounted perfectly in the scope with zero reticle cant. Reticle cant occurs when the crosshairs don’t sit precisely underneath the turrets, so adjusting the elevation turret also induces a small windage adjustment. In the case of this Omnia 8, the top group was directly above the bottom group and, considering that was 40 minutes of travel apart, that’s impressive. I’ve seen scopes cost three or four times as much as this one have more reticle cant. Score one for TruGlo. The not-so-good news was that there was an 8.2 percent error in tracking across 40 minutes.
This is actually slightly better performance than I expected. Twisting a turret on any scope is nothing more than turning a fancy screw. The difficulty in manufacturing is that the thread pitch on the screw has to be perfect. Perfection is the tune of one click of the turret providing .001-inch adjustment. Every. Single. Time. If thread pitch is slightly off, the scope won’t track.
The truth is, many shooters never notice. Unfortunately, tracking tests are done infrequently and usually don’t cover enough adjustment range to expose errors. Incorrect thread pitch is a percentage error, so only adjusting 10 or 15 minutes will only expose gross error. A 40-minute adjustment makes even a small error percentage visible.
I adjusted the Omni 8’s turrets 40 minutes and, at my 50-yard testing distance, the space between the two groups was 22.81 inches when it should have been 20.94 inches. However, this result was better than I expected because my previous testing of Chinese-made optics demonstrated a 10 percent tracking error.
Before anyone gets upset about having to accept any tracking error at all, it’s necessary to remember the expense associated with perfect tracking. Again, the Omnia 8 is a $460 scope, not a $2- to $3,000 scope. That price difference almost seems to manifest itself on a tracking test.
To quantify what an 8.2 percent tracking error looks like in the field, that’s about 20 inches of error at 600 yards. That amount of error will make it difficult to sync up this scope’s reticle with a ballistic calculator.
The good news is that the tracking was highly repeatable. My zeroed three-shot group at 50 yards was an oblong hole, this after dialing up 40 minutes and back to zero between each shot. So, while the 1-8X Omnia may have some tracking error, it does an excellent job of returning to zero.
Unusual for a scope in this price range are the locking elevation and windage turrets. Pushing the turret cap close to the 30mm maintube ensures it won’t rotate accidentally. Few things are more aggravating than missing a target only to look up at the turrets and see that the elevation or windage turret adjusted itself at some point. That’s not an issue with the Omnia 8.
Truglo’s APTR reticle has a fine center crosshair surrounded by a thick circle. It’s made to work best on an AR-15 in 5.56 NATO or .223 Remington shooting 55-grain loads. The APTR should be zeroed for this at 50 yards, which will allow the top of the center crosshair to work as the 100-yard hold-under, back to the center for 200 yards, and the bottom of the center crosshair for 300 yards. The three hash marks below are for 400, 500, and 600 yards.
The reticle is etched in the glass and illuminated. Illumination control is by way of a rheostat with 11 settings. It does well in everything from very dim to sunlight.
While the Omnia 8 1-8x24mm isn’t the ideal choice for precision riflery, it is an excellent choice for recreational use — about 90-percent of all rifle shooting. The wide magnification range lets the owner use it from the muzzle out to several hundred yards, useful under a wide variety of lighting conditions. As long as the targets are 4 MOA or bigger, the elevation turret will work well enough to allow hits out to 500 yards when dialing the turret.
As much fun as it is to test expensive optics, scopes don’t always need to cost a lot. The point is to have fun without smoking a credit card.
TruGlo Omnia 8 1-8x24mm
- Power: 1X to 8X
- Objective: 24mm
- Tube Diameter: 30mm
- Elevation Adjustment: .5 MOA per click
- Windage: .5 MOA per click
- Reticle: TruGlo APTR
- Length: 11 in.
- Weight: 1 lb., 9 oz. (w/ mount)
- Eye Relief: 3.7 in.
- MSRP: $460
- Manufacturer: TruGlo, 888-887-8456, truglo.com
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