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#8864821 - 05/14/14 08:16 PM Minox USA Riflescopes 1yr, USE/CS EXPERIENCES
hh4whiskey Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 10/11/13
Posts: 384
Last year, I decided to try a couple of the new Minox ZA5 scopes, based on some reviews of their glass quality. Now, I'm posting this from the perspective of a military shooter and civilian hunter/shooter, that gets to look through a lot of different stuff...but not the perspective of any sort of optical expert or glass snob, as it were.
Keeping in mind that (I gather) Minox is an old hand at quality glass, but a rather new entry into riflescopes, some growing pains and learning were to be expected.
Scopes originally purchased:

ZA5 2-10x40 Duplex
ZA5i 2-10x50 Illum. Duplex

The 40 was mounted on a .358 win encore bbl for the last 9 mos, and the 50 rode on a 7.62 AR for the same time. The .358 probably saw between 150-200 rounds between range stuff and hunting/shooting 5-6 deer (can't recall if one was with it or another encore bbl). The 50mm had (best count) 470 rds of range work, but no hog herds showed when I hunted it. Bad luck rifle, I guess. Both were excellent in low light, with good reticle visibility on the 40, and a slight illum flare on the 50, at lowest brightness. Overall, as bright as anything else I could compare them too, and brighter than many. I did not notice the flare issues in low sun, to the extreme I've seen mentioned. I did notice some slightly at an edge opposite the sun. Eye relief was great, though the eye boxes were a bit small, compared to Leupold or Sightron, for instance. Still, both worked very well. While I'd rather not have the flashy minox lettering, it never spooked any game.;) The rubber power adjustment rings are a little stiff, and mushy to turn, but that's a personal thing, not a knock, as they worked fine (to a point, covered later). Windage/elevation adjustments were positive and accurate, and both boxed fine, initially.

At the end of the season, I went to the range to check them again, and found a few issues. Well, I had already noticed the 40 power ring starting to have a 'slip' or loose spot when reversing twist on it to go up or down in power. At the range, the 40 showed it was out of zero by about 3", and I double checked my mounts, but they're overkill and everything was solid, so I re-zeroed it and boxed it, and it was a sort of quadrilateral, that wouldn't close....wish I had pics. This scope/rifle got bounced around in trucks/ATVs/brush/rocks the most, so maybe that was it, though it didn't look it, as they include a decent scopetector cover. Okay, so maybe my bad luck is to blame? Liked the scope. Next, I decide to pull out the AR, and something rattled when I took the scopetector off: threaded ring over the objective lens was loose! Hadn't noticed it before, and there were no issues with it, otherwise....probably could've tightened it back down and been fine, but it shouldn't happen. I figured Doug at CLNY would for sure take care of me, but I figured I'd just see how their CS/Warranty is ....

Edited by hh4whiskey (05/14/14 10:02 PM)

#8864883 - 05/14/14 08:37 PM Re: Minox USA Riflescopes 1yr, USE/CS EXPERIENCES [Re: hh4whiskey]
hh4whiskey Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 10/11/13
Posts: 384, I call and get the service addy, and send them in. CS sends them to their new US service facility for repair. It took about 4-weeks to get them back. Not great, but not terrible. All issues had supposedly been addressed, and they had definately been inside both scopes: each had fuzz clinging on the internals. Holy crap! So I called Minox back and explained things. I could tell that CS was not happy with the fuzz from the repair facility, and quickly decided to send a pickup ticket and replace both scopes. The only issue was: no models identical left, as they'd gone to an updated, HD model. Solution? Minox upgraded them both to HD models from the 30mm line, one 2-10x50 illum, and a 1.5-6x24. Excellent response, IMO. I can say the 2-10 has a WAY better eye box than the previous one. Waiting to get to try the low power, and comment.

Does it suck to have optics have issues? Sure. Does it stink that I had the luck to catch all the pocket lint at the repair facility? Yep. I don't think my long odds bad luck is anything typical of Minox, whatsoever. I could be wrong, but I've heard of few issues at all. I just had to be that guy.

Their CS has been 1000% pleasurable to deal with, professional, responsive, and more than fair in standing behind their product purchase. They've been patient enough to listen to my gripes/suggestions, as well...whether I know anything or not. I also feel they WANT to learn where these scopes need to be to go with the glass tgey can put in them. In the end, I'd buy another Minox tomorrow, just knowing that they'll back them, and they'll be better tomorrow than they are today. That doesn't mean I'm plugging them or making comparisons. I'm not. Crap happens to all of them, and I can't fault their approach to becoming another good or even great riflescope maker.

Anyhoo, good and bad, there it is. I merely wanted to write this up in fairness to the way they have dealt with my less than perfect first experience with their scopes. Despite my initial issues, I feel they're committed to getting it right, at least for me personally.

Fire away.

Edited by hh4whiskey (05/14/14 10:05 PM)

#8866712 - 05/15/14 12:54 PM Re: Minox USA Riflescopes 1yr, USE/CS EXPERIENCES [Re: hh4whiskey]
jimmyp Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 11/28/03
Posts: 10563
Loc: Georgia
Thanks for your write up.

I have one of the older ZA3 3-9 scopes from when they first came out. The focus turns easy and as you say the eye box is not big as you say. This scope has been shot 400 plus times and been on-off the rifle in an attempted scope swap. It rides in Talley LW rings and held zero for at least 3 years, I forget when I bought it. This year I took it off and did have to re-zero it when i put it back on. It is a moderately good scope for moderate money. I have NO idea if the new ones are still good. The 30 mm jobs should be OK I guess.

#8866935 - 05/15/14 02:13 PM Re: Minox USA Riflescopes 1yr, USE/CS EXPERIENCES [Re: jimmyp]
hh4whiskey Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 10/11/13
Posts: 384
So far, this 2nd iteration ZA5 is a major improvement in eye box. It is the 30mm tube, and I do prefer 1" for my hunting rifles....this one will ride on a dual use 308 AR, so it will be fine with a 30mm tube and 50mm obj for hog culling and tactical target work. The test will be whether I like the 1.5-6 with a 30mm tube for a hunting scope. Worst case, it could end up as part of a dual setup for that AR, or another AR. I think their discontinued 1.8-8 ZA5 model probably made the best 'package', but they need a better #4 reticle, too.

#8866960 - 05/15/14 02:21 PM Re: Minox USA Riflescopes 1yr, USE/CS EXPERIENCES [Re: hh4whiskey]
reelman Online   content
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 01/10/04
Posts: 2434
Loc: Wisconsin - Land of the PACKER...
Good customer service is nice but I don't care how good the CS is when you're on a hunt and the scope goes bad!

#8867068 - 05/15/14 02:55 PM Re: Minox USA Riflescopes 1yr, USE/CS EXPERIENCES [Re: reelman]
hh4whiskey Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 10/11/13
Posts: 384
I agree with that, totally....however, neither instance was a true 'failure' during a hunt, and neither cost me any game or shots on game. Only one of them even had the potential to, but it was slight, given the minor shift and it's use for mostly <200 yards. Overall, one could be viewed as a real problem, and the other was mere cosmetics, really. I've had true scope failures during hunts, and this (while in no way 'good') wasn't nearly as impactful.

Even so, it is unacceptable, if they're gonna be a player to the level it appears they want. I sense these are growing pains or part of a learning curve, since they don't have decades of riflescope background to draw upon. Good or bad, it is what it is.

Edited by hh4whiskey (05/15/14 03:30 PM)


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