MTC Cobra F1 4-16x50 riflescope - test & review
- Credit: Archant
Dave Barham puts the MTC Cobra F1 4-16x50 scope to the test in this detailed review - it’s a classic hunting scope, but would be equally at home as an HFT scope!
Named the ‘F1’ in reference to the optical configuration of its lenses, the MTC Cobra is a classy first focal plane affair. For those who don’t know what an FFP scope does, it basically keeps the relationship between your target and crosshair size constant throughout the scope’s entire magnification range. As you zoom the magnification up or down, the crosshair zooms with it. This is particularly useful when allowing hold-over and hold-under on targets.
Designed primarily as a hunting scope, the MTC Cobra F1 is equally at home on the HFT circuit. As you’ll read here, for me, it makes a great addition to any modern hunting rifle set-up.
One of the great features on this scope is the locking turrets. The Cobra F1’s first focal plane crosshair has mil click-stop adjustments (1 click = 1cm @100m), and these are adjusted by pulling the top part of the turret up to release the locking mechanism, dailling the turret to the desired adjustment, then pushing the top of the turret back down again to lock everything in place. It’s a really neat system and a foolproof one at that. The concept does away with screw on/off dust caps, and makes adjusting windage and elevation much quicker in the field.
MTC SCB2 Reticle
MTC’s Small Calibre Ballistic (SCB) reticle offers an incredible number of aim points with a floating cross for clear and accurate target acquisition.
As a hunter, primarily, I love how clear and easy to use this reticle is. It’s ideal for use on small targets, and the 1 mil dot square around the cross gives a rapid acquisition for small fast-moving targets such as rats and squirrels,
There are multiple aim points, too, which are essential out in the field, especially when windage and holdover/under are wreaking havoc!
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What’s more, the SCB2 reticle is illuminated, not all of it, just the cross in the middle, and with six different levels of intensity to choose from, you’ll soon work out which works best for the given light conditions.
To maximise light transmission the specially-coated lenses of the 50mm diameter objective have been matched with the large, 30mm tube to give a crystal clear image.
The Cobra F1 also comes supplied with a set of rather solid magnetic, flip-up lens covers with an inbuilt magnifying pane to assist with turret scale reading. Simply flip up the rear cover and you have a built-in magnifying glass that points directly at the elevation turret. Spin in 90 degrees clockwise and there’s your windage turret, magnified in all its glory!
The new F1 also boasts sidewheel parallax adjustment to eliminate aiming errors and assist in range estimation from 15 yards to infinity. The adjustment for this is housed on the left-hand-side turret where the illuminated reticle adjustment is also sited.
You basically have a separate turning ring nearer the scope body for the parallax and then the multi-stage clicker ring for the illumination outside of that. It’s smooth to operate, and stiff enough to give minute adjustment capability. There is a large adjustment sidewheel available as an optional extra for those who like them (I do), and you can also purchase a sunshade too if you want one.
I thought I’d also mention the mounts that accompany this scope – the new MTC Blueprint Mounts, made exclusively for MTC by Sportsmatch in the UK – pedigree if ever it were required. These 2-piece mounts are available in low, medium and high for 9.5-11.5mm dovetails in both 25mm and 30mm tube diameters. There are four variations of Picatinny mounts available in the range as well. They cost between £25 and £79 per set, with the ones I’m using here, the 30mm medium costing £37.
Cobra F1 Features
First Focal Plane reticle: aim-points do not change with magnification adjustment
Glass-etched crosshair: design exclusive to MTC Optics
Edge-to-edge multi-coated lenses: bright, clear picture quality
Side parallax adjustment: eliminates parallax error and assists in range-finding
15-yard minimum focus: suitable for airgun use and ultra-close-range shooting
Reticle illumination: assists with tricky background and lighting scenarios
Magnetic, rotating flip-up lens cover: fast and practical protection for lenses when in the field
30mm body tube: more substantial build quality and light transmission
Fully water, fog and shock proof: increases longevity of the scope
Nitrogen purged: internal regulation of scope’s high-end performance
Optional extras: objective sunshade and large parallax sidewheel also available
Model: Cobra F1
Manufacturer: MTC Optics
Tube Size: 30mm
Optical System: 4-16x
Illumination: 6-stage red
Focus/Parallax: 15 yards to infinity
Field of View: 82-22m @ 1000m
Eye relief: 115-105mm
Battery: CR2032 (included)