Crimson Trace 5 series - now half price

ma smith

Sergeant of the Hide
PX Member
Minuteman
Sep 29, 2020
383
174
Not saying they are good or bad, just the facts....Feb 2020:

That is basically their regular price for the past 12m
 

Nosigforyou

Private
Minuteman
Oct 29, 2020
12
9
Tallahassee FL
I think the earlier Midway sales were only on the non-illuminated. FWIW I just picked up the 3 series 5-25 for a .22. Glass is surprisingly good, dots are pretty big but tolerable, illumination is weak (but ok to me since I don’t use it in bright light anyway), but 500 for a Japanese scope...I’m very happy with what I got, for its intended use. I will say that I’m unimpressed by the reticle in the 3-24 and 4-20. Way too busy.

With all that said if I were doing a 3-18 I’d have gotten either the Brownells MPO for 900 on sale or the Bushnell 3.5-21 at the Midway sale prices.

And if I wanted more magnification I would get another Cronus from @gr8fuldoug in a heartbeat. Just don’t think that his current closeout pricing can be beat for that quality optic.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fanon

Asiparks

Sergeant
PX Member
Minuteman
Apr 26, 2010
267
92
53
Portland, Or
i grabbed one of the 5-25 MPO’s from Brownells in December, like it very much. Was curious if the CT was bringing anything new and exciting at that reduced price or whether it was just where it should be.
 

Nosigforyou

Private
Minuteman
Oct 29, 2020
12
9
Tallahassee FL
I think the MPO pretty much upends the market at its price point, and seems to be very well apex’s. The CT scopes appear to get decent marks for the optics (and I agree) but the turrets, reticles, and illumination knock it down a notch or two.

For $500 I don’t think there’s a better scope, for me and my purpose, that’s made in Japan or Europe.

Once you hit $800, there are some good alternatives that don’t appear to have the same weaknesses as the CT’s. I think the CTs had overly optimistic price points in what is an incredibly competitive market.
 

Neurotic

Sergeant of the Hide
PX Member
Minuteman
Jul 6, 2020
101
29
I think the MPO pretty much upends the market at its price point, and seems to be very well apex’s. The CT scopes appear to get decent marks for the optics (and I agree) but the turrets, reticles, and illumination knock it down a notch or two.

For $500 I don’t think there’s a better scope, for me and my purpose, that’s made in Japan or Europe.

Once you hit $800, there are some good alternatives that don’t appear to have the same weaknesses as the CT’s. I think the CTs had overly optimistic price points in what is an incredibly competitive market.

What do you see as weaknesses in the 5-25? I Ilso jumped on one for a 22lr, and aside from it's size and weight I'm impressed. The illumination isn't daylight bright (their LVPOs are daylight bright), but I don't really shoot with illumination. The glass seems as good or better than my LRTS 4-18 with a more forgiving eyebox. My only real gripe is the lack of a zero stop, but with the limited travel (same as the MPO) and a 20+ MOA base I don't think it matters.

The LR1 reticle in the 3420 and 5324 is truly unfortunate. If they had the MR1 reticle from the 3525 and 5318 I probably would've bought them.
 

Nosigforyou

Private
Minuteman
Oct 29, 2020
12
9
Tallahassee FL
What do you see as weaknesses in the 5-25? I Ilso jumped on one for a 22lr, and aside from it's size and weight I'm impressed. The illumination isn't daylight bright (their LVPOs are daylight bright), but I don't really shoot with illumination. The glass seems as good or better than my LRTS 4-18 with a more forgiving eyebox. My only real gripe is the lack of a zero stop, but with the limited travel (same as the MPO) and a 20+ MOA base I don't think it matters.

The LR1 reticle in the 3420 and 5324 is truly unfortunate. If they had the MR1 reticle from the 3525 and 5318 I probably would've bought them.

I think the turrets could be a bit better, the illumination is weak, no zero stop, and only 22 mils of elevation. But to be clear, overall I think it’s a very nice scope with surprisingly good glass, and I have no complaints since these are trade offs I was willing to make for J-glass at the price. And you’re right about the eye box-it is quite forgiving. At $500 I think it’s a screaming deal overall as long as one knows what they’re getting. But everything is about compromise, right?

Honestly the 5 series are probably very good for what they are currently priced. I’ve read enough posts with complaints about scopes that cost many thousands more than these at the sale price. But that LR1 reticle-damn.
 

Cotay

La Planète des singes
PX Member
Minuteman
Oct 4, 2017
216
84
North Idaho
So Crimson Trace has removed the 2 Series, 3 Series, and 5 Series scopes from their site. I guess this confirms that these are closeouts prices...they may in fact go lower if folks don't bite. I have the 1-8x28 and it's a nice scope. I also have a 1-5x24 arriving Thursday.

What's interesting is the replacement lineups. It looks like CT has ended its relationship with JOL and is now pushing scopes made in the Philippines or China: https://www.crimsontrace.com/products/riflescopes/

I'm underwhelmed by these new offerings. Clearly the bean counters are fully in charge over there and CT has decided to compete with lower quality and price. They look similar to some of the Sighmark Latitude line of scopes from the Philippines.

Makes me a bit sad; CT could have been contenders if they'd worked on their reticles in their existing designs. Some good news is that if you like the JOL designs, Riton looks to be sticking with them.
 
Last edited:

FrozenMinnesotan

Sergeant of the Hide
PX Member
Minuteman
Apr 28, 2018
251
100
Ne MN
So Crimson Trace has removed the 2 Series, 3 Series, and 5 Series scopes from their site. I guess this confirms that these are closeouts prices...they may in fact go lower if folks don't bite. I have the 1-8x28 and it's a nice scope. I also have a 1-5x24 arriving Thursday.

What's interesting is the replacement lineups. It looks like CT has ended its relationship with JOL and is now pushing scopes made in the Philippines or Chinese: https://www.crimsontrace.com/products/riflescopes/

I'm underwhelmed by these new offerings. Clearly the bean counters are fully in charge over there. CT could have been contenders if they'd worked on their reticles in their existing designs. Riton looks to be sticking with many of the JOL designs however.
I also have a 1-5 coming Thursday. Post your impression if you will. These made in Japan I take it?
 

ma smith

Sergeant of the Hide
PX Member
Minuteman
Sep 29, 2020
383
174
I'm underwhelmed by these new offerings. Clearly the bean counters are fully in charge over there and CT has decided to compete with lower quality and price. They look similar to some of the Sighmark Latitude line of scopes from the Philippines. CT could have been contenders if they'd worked on their reticles in their existing designs. Riton looks to be sticking with many of the JOL designs however.
Be mindful of any warrantee issues before they go out of stock of spares/spare parts. Hopefully none of you guys that have them will be negatively impacted. But something to always keep in mind with short shelf life SKUs ... :(
 

Cotay

La Planète des singes
PX Member
Minuteman
Oct 4, 2017
216
84
North Idaho
Be mindful of any warrantee issues before they go out of stock of spares/spare parts. Hopefully none of you guys that have them will be negatively impacted. But something to always keep in mind with short shelf life SKUs ... :(

Fair point, but that really is the risk you take with most scopes. Most scopes end up having parts availability issues in short order after being discontinued, so that really isn't a reason to avoid the CT JOL scopes in my opinion. Everyone that bought a Bushnell LRHS is having the same issues for example. The bigger risk is that your scope goes belly up and they offer to replace it with something inferior. Bushnell is known to be very good about upgrading people in that situation. With CT's new lineup, you won't be getting upgraded for sure. I'm definitely not impressed with CT's new Simmons-esque color motif.
 
Last edited:

Neurotic

Sergeant of the Hide
PX Member
Minuteman
Jul 6, 2020
101
29
The 3525 was a pretty good value at it's previous low street prices of $700-750. The weight, limited travel and reticle certainly didn't help, but it was still a good value compared to the MPO. I'm curious how the illumination compares between the two.

I also grabbed a 1-5 as a cheap entry into the LVPO world. The reticle is daylight bright, at least for the brightest days we've had recently (not very). The reticle seems to work well. At minimum magnification there is some fisheye / barrel distortion, but somewhere around 1.2-1.3x that seems to subside. I highly recommend the separately available throw levers.

Since these are contract manufactured, any repairs were likely handled by replacement for previously warranty repaired scopes. So, if CT has stopped doing business with JOL, then any replacement would likely be from the current product line. Which, as you've noted, do not appear to be equivalent products. Getting a discontinued scope from Bushnell means you'll likely be 'upgraded' to a current equivalent product if direct repairs/replacement is not available.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Asiparks

Cotay

La Planète des singes
PX Member
Minuteman
Oct 4, 2017
216
84
North Idaho
The 3525 was a pretty good value at it's previous low street prices of $700-750. The weight, limited travel and reticle certainly didn't help, but it was still a good value compared to the MPO. I'm curious how the illumination compares between the two.

I also grabbed a 1-5 as a cheap entry into the LVPO world. The reticle is daylight bright, at least for the brightest days we've had recently (not very). The reticle seems to work well. At minimum magnification there is some fisheye / barrel distortion, but somewhere around 1.2-1.3x that seems to subside. I highly recommend the separately available throw levers.

Since these are contract manufactured, any repairs were likely handled by replacement for previously warranty repaired scopes. So, if CT has stopped doing business with JOL, then any replacement would likely be from the current product line. Which, as you've noted, do not appear to be equivalent products. Getting a discontinued scope from Bushnell means you'll likely be 'upgraded' to a current equivalent product if direct repairs/replacement is not available.
I've noticed that on 1x magnification, most sub-$1400 LPVO's have at least some minor edge distortion until you get to about 1.5x. It seems to be more noticeable on LPVOs that have a 1x FOV above 100ft @ 100yds. At first it used to bother me, but I've come to realize that I don't notice it while I'm actually using the scope on a rifle.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Neurotic

Neurotic

Sergeant of the Hide
PX Member
Minuteman
Jul 6, 2020
101
29
I've noticed that on 1x magnification, most sub-$1400 LPVO's have at least some minor edge distortion until you get to about 1.5x. It seems to be more noticeable on LPVOs that have a 1x FOV above 100ft @ 100yds. At first it used to bother me, but I've come to realize that I don't notice it while I'm actually using the scope on a rifle.

The CT 1-5 has a pretty wide (listed) FOV at 115'. Where the higher cost CT 1-8s are listed at only 105', which seems pretty normal for most LVPOs.
 

FrozenMinnesotan

Sergeant of the Hide
PX Member
Minuteman
Apr 28, 2018
251
100
Ne MN
Got my series 3 1-5x24 today. So far I'm liking it. Clear image and at 1x inside the illumination is daylight bright. Turrets and mag ring are stiff but that's to be expected. Clicks arnt horrible and the glass seems to be pretty darn clear.
Weight seems heavy enough to give impression of solid construction without being too heavy.
 

Attachments

  • 20210113_155029.jpg
    20210113_155029.jpg
    364.1 KB · Views: 21
  • 20210113_155239_HDR.jpg
    20210113_155239_HDR.jpg
    217.2 KB · Views: 17
  • 20210113_155228_HDR.jpg
    20210113_155228_HDR.jpg
    181.5 KB · Views: 19
  • Like
Reactions: Cotay

Cotay

La Planète des singes
PX Member
Minuteman
Oct 4, 2017
216
84
North Idaho
Given that these appear have been discontinued, I wouldn't wait too long to grab the throw levers. I ordered mine directly from CT since I need them for the 1-8x as well. It was cheaper than Amazon with free shipping and $6 off ($32 shipped for four levers for both scopes). They sent me a further 10% off coupon for future use for signing up for their newsletter. My 1-5x is still out for delivery.

EDIT: Mine just arrived. Initial impressions are very good. Glass is definitely ED and comparable to the 1-8x. Edge distortion is minimal at 1x and very clear. Illumination is brighter than the 1-8x. This thing destroys an RT-6 at the current price point and in my opinion is just as good as a PST Gen 2. I had a new PST show up yesterday and it may get sold for a second one of these.
 
Last edited:

Fanon

Private
Minuteman
Mar 27, 2020
18
9
I'm intrigued by these, but not sure about the reticle. In the pics it looks like a very large circle and a very small dot at 1x. Is the center dot easily visible at 1x / would it work for quick target acquisition?
 
Last edited:

FrozenMinnesotan

Sergeant of the Hide
PX Member
Minuteman
Apr 28, 2018
251
100
Ne MN
I'm intrigued by these, but not sure about the reticle. In the pics it looks like a very large circle and a very small dot at 1x. Is the center dot easily visible at 1x / would it work for quick target acquisition?
For myself it is dependent on lighting. But everyone's eyes are different too
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fanon

Twistid

I'm pilot, I can fly
PX Member
Minuteman
May 17, 2020
118
66
Code 3 to Hawaii
Given that these appear have been discontinued, I wouldn't wait too long to grab the throw levers. I ordered mine directly from CT since I need them for the 1-8x as well. It was cheaper than Amazon with free shipping and $6 off ($32 shipped for four levers for both scopes). They sent me a further 10% off coupon for future use for signing up for their newsletter. My 1-5x is still out for delivery.

EDIT: Mine just arrived. Initial impressions are very good. Glass is definitely ED and comparable to the 1-8x. Edge distortion is minimal at 1x and very clear. Illumination is brighter than the 1-8x. This thing destroys an RT-6 at the current price point and in my opinion is just as good as a PST Gen 2. I had a new PST show up yesterday and it may get sold for a second one of these.

Could you give your impressions on the 1-8? It looks pretty good but haven't found any comparisons with the LOW variants (Bushnell Elite tactical, vortex razor 1-6, ect..)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fanon

Cotay

La Planète des singes
PX Member
Minuteman
Oct 4, 2017
216
84
North Idaho
Could you give your impressions on the 1-8? It looks pretty good but haven't found any comparisons with the LOW variants (Bushnell Elite tactical, vortex razor 1-6, ect..)
The CT 1-8x is an excellent bargain at the current prices. Build is solid and it feels like quality. Turrets are low profile and similar to the PST Gen 2/Razor layout but much easier to turn than the PST Gen 2. The .2 MRAD adjustments is a bummer...I'd prefer .1 mil but this isn't really a long range precision optic so I'll let that slide. They are tactile and not as mushy as the 1-5x. There is an ever so slight bit of play between detents on the turrets, but they otherwise feel good to me.

The glass clarity is on par with the SMRS II Pro and other LOW-made offerings I've seen. I haven't noticed any CA but I need more time with it under different conditions to be sure. It does have a minimal bit of distortion around the edges but that isn't unusual and it can be minimized by dialing in the diopter. The illumination on mine is not daylight bright in bright direct sun but it's still very usable. I'm not a stickler for nuclear brightness in an LPVO but you may be disappointed if that's important to you. On 1x, the center dot is very small but the illumination helps considerably and the large circle does help bring your eye back to the center. I didn't think I'd like the large circle but it works better than I'd thought. The center may still get washed out at 1x on a very bright day...it's been too cloudy the past few days to test. I'm not a fan of the lack of off settings between brightness steps...that is a major fail on these scopes. I'll be on 11 or off most of the time.

The 1-8x has a tighter eye box and slightly shorter/more critical eye relief than the SMRS Pro and Razor, but it isn't bad by any stretch. The LOW 1-6x scopes are a bit easier to get behind so if you are looking at an LPVO for 3-Gun I'd probably go with one of them. My CT 1-8x is going on a 6.5 Grendel AR pistol and it'll be perfect for that role or an SPR-ish build.

Compared to the SMRS II Pro and the Razor 1-6x, I'd choose one of them over the CT 1-8x if prices were similar. I think LOW has a leg up on JOL in its optical designs, but not by as much as you'd expect considering that LOW has been making LPVOs for a lot longer.

When the SMRS II Pro was $599-$699, it was the better bargain. Now that it's back up around $999, it's a more difficult choice. Since I have more than 30 rifles to scope and I'm regularly upgrading/moving around scopes, I buy based upon most value per dollar. The SMRS II Pro and Razor are better scopes, but not at a 50%-100% premium unless your use case demands their features (daylight bright reticle for the Razer), wider FOV and their slightly easier to get behind nature. I think the CT was overpriced at $1400; I think a $999 MSRP would have been a more reasonable ask. The CT 1-8x at $650 is ridiculously good value.
 

Twistid

I'm pilot, I can fly
PX Member
Minuteman
May 17, 2020
118
66
Code 3 to Hawaii
Thanks for the writeup!

I ended up buying the Riton X7 for $540 ( Riton X7 TACTIX 1-8×28 - Bereli Inc. with coupon code Riton10) it appears to be the same exact JolUSA clone scope, just how LOW has a bunch of clone scopes as well. At $540 I think the gamble is pretty palatable if it turns out I don't like it. My current LVPOs are an Athlon Cronus 1-6, Bushy Elite 1-6.5 and 1-8.5 so I can compare it to those. I've previously owned the PST2 1-6 and got rid of it when I got the Bushy 1-6.5 so I do agree with you I think the Bushy 1-6.5 at $600 was a phenomenal deal.
 

Cotay

La Planète des singes
PX Member
Minuteman
Oct 4, 2017
216
84
North Idaho
Thanks for the writeup!

I ended up buying the Riton X7 for $540 ( Riton X7 TACTIX 1-8×28 - Bereli Inc. with coupon code Riton10) it appears to be the same exact JolUSA clone scope, just how LOW has a bunch of clone scopes as well. At $540 I think the gamble is pretty palatable if it turns out I don't like it. My current LVPOs are an Athlon Cronus 1-6, Bushy Elite 1-6.5 and 1-8.5 so I can compare it to those. I've previously owned the PST2 1-6 and got rid of it when I got the Bushy 1-6.5 so I do agree with you I think the Bushy 1-6.5 at $600 was a phenomenal deal.
The Riton is a great deal for sure. I just won't buy another MOA scope so I had to pass. If that were MRAD I'd be ordering one right this second. Let us know your thoughts on it when you get it.
 

Twistid

I'm pilot, I can fly
PX Member
Minuteman
May 17, 2020
118
66
Code 3 to Hawaii
Yes I'll do a side by side with the SMRS 2 1-6.5, 1-8.5 and an Athlon Cronus 1-6 I currently have on hand.

I think the main downsides will be the heavy weight and size (10.9" 25oz). Weighs the same as the Bushy 1-8.5 but it's about an inch longer.

Like you alluded to I think it's a decent compromise of price vs performance. I'm not aware of any other Japanese LVPO in the $540shipped price range and as long as it's not going on a SBR/pistol it should be a home run.

Fwiw I paid $680 for my Bushy 1-8.5 and thought that was a great deal (thanks again to Doug!), this at $540 is a crazy deal!