Review: Discovery Optics VT-3 3-12 x 44 SF-FFP
PUBLISHED: 13:06 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:07 20 November 2018
Phill Price looks through another new model from Discovery Optics
Discovery Optics seems to be a growing brand here in the UK, with an ever-expanding catalogue. I think it’s fair to say that it’s defined by what you might call long-range, tactical-style scopes, crammed with features designed to help hit distant targets. Big magnification and big lenses are all well and good on the range, but what about the hunter on foot who doesn’t want to be burdened by excess weight? With this in mind, I noticed the new VT-3 model on the Discovery website which stood out sharply in contrast to the other models in the range. It’s very short at just 10” and weighs just over a pound, massively less than its stablemates. Discovery UK told me that they felt it was the ideal optic for the current taste in bullpups that seems to have swept the airgun scene.
Although it’s quite small, it still has a 30mm body tube, and tall exposed windage and elevation adjusters, so it has a bulky feel and on a lightweight carbine like the Weihrauch HW110K pictured it looked chunky. It seems Discovery China team enjoys its milling machines and they love to add a slot here and there, or in this case, some holes to add some visual appeal to their products. If you look at the windage and elevation drums you’ll see they’ve been drilled pepper-pot style and a bright red ‘O’ ring fitted inside each hole. I don’t think they do anything: they’re just there for fun.
The chunky drums lift to unlock the mechanism and move with distinct and audible clicks, just as they should in this application. If you like to ‘dial’ your windage and range corrections you’ll enjoy these. A quick press down locks them securely again so that your zero cannot be accidentally affected.
On the left of the central saddle you find the side-wheel parallax adjuster which is marked from 10-yards to infinity, showing it airgun use credentials. This moved with a smooth and well-weighted action that was very pleasing. In front of the 44mm objective lens is a honeycomb-style reflection hider, as used by military snipers to avoid giving away their location. Again, I’m sure this is just there for fun and it can be simply unscrewed if you prefer to use the scope without it.
The VT-3 employs a reticle that’s typical of the Discovery range in that it’s extremely fine and loaded with additional aim points to assist you with hold corrections. I’ll let the picture explain just how detailed it is rather than trying to explain it here. In keeping with the latest trend, it in the first focal plane, meaning that the relative distances between the aim points remain the same no matter the magnification you select. It also means that the reticle appears to change size as you zoom, which is odd if you’re not used to it. At my chosen hunting magnification, 7x, I found it rather hard to find in low light, and as this is not an illuminated model, something of a challenge. Increasing the mag’ to 10x made it bolder at the expense of a narrowed field of view.
Discovery fully multi-coats all the lens surfaces for maximum light transmission and I found the image bright and clear during my time with the scope. They’re also proud that their products are shock resistant and fully waterproof, so there should be no worries about failures in hard conditions. Flip-up lens covers are supplied and whilst the front one worked well, the rear one was a poor fit and refused to stay in place.
Good image quality
I found the image quality good and low light performance also quite acceptable. This proves the point that you don’t always need a 50 or 56mm objective lens, even if they are becoming the norm these days. The Weihrauch HW110 is a sensible weight for a hunting rifle and deserves a scope to complement it, and I felt that the VT-3 was a good fit. Too much weight up high on a sporter spoils the handling, so choosing carefully is important.
Such short body scopes can present a challenge because there’s less room to adjust the mounts backwards and forwards to get exactly the fit you need. This can become critical on pre-charged guns with magazines that protrude above the scope rail. In the past, I’ve found this quite a difficult to overcome on some guns, so some careful research will need to be done before committing to such scopes.
It’s always good to see manufacturers offer something interesting and different in their range, and the VT-3 is certainly that. It still offers all the performance we’ve come to associate with the brand, in a very compact package, so if you do own a lightweight sporter or indeed, a bullpup, this appealing little scope is well worth a look.
Manufacturer: Discovery Optics
Tel: 01284 850941
Model: VT-3 3-12 x 44 SF-FFP
Body tube: 30mm
Length: 10” (254mm)
Weight: 1.1lbs (500grammes)
Parallax adjustment: Side wheel
Adjuster turrets: Exposed, lockable