U.S. Optics ST-10 TPAL 10x37mm

US-Optics-ST-10

I’ve thrown down the coin ($1500 each) to own a pair of these. Their reputation precedes them so hopes were really quite high at the time of ordering.

When you look at USO you have to remember that they’ve positioned themselves as a custom scope company with a production line. When you call to order your scope you get a human in California that speaks clear English on the other end who will help you make sure your optic configuration is sane and who will listen to you. When I called I let them know my mission parameters and they gave me a suggested set of features. One of the features they recommended was an illuminated reticule. I don’t like lit reticules and they serve no purpose for me. I can’t legally shoot anything after dark. If there’s not enough light to see my crosshairs clearly then there’s not enough light to shoot anything at all. So I opted out of the lit crosshair. All illuminated reticules do for me is waste CR2032 batteries. The guy on the phone said ok and moved on. They did recommend; and I wanted and ordered, their EREK elevation knob in .1MRAD and US #1 windage knobs in .1MRAD. He mentioned their accessories and I passed on those and didn’t get any pressure about it.

Here’s a pic of the ST-10 on project Gabriel.

gabriel_now

The purchase experience was, in short, fantastic. It did not help with the post-order-placement worrying and second-guessing. Just had to accept that I dropped three grand on two scopes and move on. At least they’re my own custom made scopes. I’ve long wanted to own this exact scope. Now I own 2.

After a 6 week wait they arrived. These are huge for a 10x37mm. The knobs are large and in charge with easy to read numbering. Clicks are not super notchy like an old Ferrari transmission or even like Bushnell Elites or SWFA’s but the click feel comes through even if it’s a bit on the light side. So does the sound, enough sound and tactile output to keep things from being a mystery. I think they could have set a stronger spring on the detent and made a more notchy knob but it’s not a major failing. It’s nothing near as vague as the high end Leupold scopes I’ve been fuddling with.

Optics are so bright and clear you really have to see it to believe it. I was really worried about the 37mm objective. How much light could that gather? Comparing it to my 10×40 and 10×42 and 10×44 optics isn’t useful though. USO’s glass is in a different category and there is no comparison, not any fair one at least. At 1000 yards I was reading text that was invisible and/or illegible through every other optic at the bench that day including 32x Nikon target scopes, 16x Super Snipers, and a 25x spotting scope (a really fine and expensive one). The image is crisp and the MPR reticle while a tad busy is awesome for ranging.

The parallax knob is large and has just enough resistance to being turned. The markings weren’t dead on from 100m to 500 but infinity sure as hell is where it is labeled. I think they don’t think it matters and it mostly doesn’t. Some companies don’t even have numbers for parallax adjustment, just gradually thickening lines. With some of my adjustable objective type scopes I’d use the parallax adjustment for quick and dirty ranging but I guess until they bring back the ERGO models we’re limited to the TPAL.

Every elevation and windage adjustment was totally precise and repeatable. Once I got it zero’d I took them home and set up my scope collimator and got the EREK knobs bottomed out so I had maximum elevation left. As a way to turn $1500 into something really useful there’s no more satisfaction for me than sinking it into this sort of amazing optic. Quality, fit, finish…
Shut up and take my munneeez

The pic below was taken with an iPhone at dusk with me holding the rifle and my spotter (The Disco Tripper) trying to get his phone to take a decent pic. The scope is looking at the 400m line. Notice you can make out individual bullet marks on targets, target coloration changes and the texture of the soil. Talk about super clarity.

The scope weighs almost 2lbs and makes it easy to heavy up a gun but it delivers tough, precise and pretty all at one time. I’m ok with a little heavier package if the contents don’t break.

I won’t go into all of the tossing of the scope off balconies, soaking it in various fluids, or otherwise torturing it. USO once had a guy at the SHOT show bang nails into a board with their scopes to demonstrate the toughness. I think we all get it by now and I don’t need to damage my toys to demonstrate that fact further.

ST-10 TPAL through the reticule.

ST-10 TPAL through the reticule.

In short, this is the finest 10x rifle scope I’ve ever looked through. It’s pretty close to being the finest piece of optical equipment I’ve ever looked through but I’ve been doing a lot of that lately and while there is some representation in the marketplace of better optics, they’re not being put in rifle scopes. Most of that kind of stuff is being put into scientific instruments. USO hits every ball out of the park and this one was no exception.

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