Rifle Scopes New March FFP 5-42x56 High Master FML-TR1 preliminary review

Glassaholic

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  • Nov 30, 2012
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    Don't worry, I'm soon to join the club. I've already started to see my vision decline and have scheduled a visit to my ophthalmologist to find out how thick my lenses are going to need to be. :)
    It's not a "fun" club but it's one all of us have to join usually somewhere in our 40's to 50's at the latest.
     

    Clearlight

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    Yes it’s easy to blame an optic when in fact it’s our mk1 eyeball at fault!
    Back on topic, I’m amazed at how March have managed to package
    everything in such a small design. Some manufacturers innovate, some
    just imitate....

    I have a couple of the FX 5-40 model which is quite a bit longer. The 5-40
    is my favourite March. it’s so good that quite often it gets used as a spotter
    for fellow shooters.
     

    ChristianSilver

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    Received my March 5-42x56 Tuesday, couldn’t be happier. Had the ZCO 527 and feel there’s no comparison between the two.
    Was concerned about DOF and eye box, those concerns were completely gone after first outing. Eye-box, DOF and IQ is nothing short of amazing with the March. At 27X power comparing to the ZCO everything is clearer, brighter and image quality is just absolutely amazing.
    Should have made the move sooner...
     

    Gil P.

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    Received my March 5-42x56 Tuesday, couldn’t be happier. Had the ZCO 527 and feel there’s no comparison between the two.
    Was concerned about DOF and eye box, those concerns were completely gone after first outing. Eye-box, DOF and IQ is nothing short of amazing with the March. At 27X power comparing to the ZCO everything is clearer, brighter and image quality is just absolutely amazing.
    Should have made the move sooner...

    I'd love to see some comparison pictures.
     

    ChristianSilver

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    No pictures, everyone’s eyesight is different, I know what works for me. This is my personal opinion. It’s everything I say to dominate eye at 20/20.
    I do know I bought a new ZCO, tennebreax flip ups and spuhr mount and kept for 3 days before selling here at a loss. I was truly disappointed in the ZCO. My wallet felt it also.
    The March is an amazing piece of glass. I’m well beyond satisfied with the swap in optics.
    No harm no foul, March fits my needs so much better than the ZCO....
    Now waiting on the Gen II to be out in July...
     

    ChristianSilver

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    New for 2021! 5-40x56 Genll
    Generation ll of a hot seller and long time favorite 5-40x56 Scope with precise 0.05MIL click adjustment.
    5-40x56Genll is an ultimate scope for serious competition shooters, enthusiasts and hunters
    who demand the utmost in optical/mechanical performance.

    Added features in 5-40x56 Genll are;
    - Lockable Elevation and Windage turrets
    - Fast focus eyepiece

    The new reticle is really nice also...

    Can’t find it right now, will post later...
     

    ChristianSilver

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    B76E1A8C-F13D-406B-BF0F-8B4E2788684A.jpeg
     
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    Chickentoast

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    Right, I still want the high power S&B with MSR2, but the tariff and Eurooptic monopoly is pushing me to this March. Otherwise probably spend less and get another XTR3.
     

    ChristianSilver

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    I think either would be a great choice, I have one on Pre-order from Long Range Supply.
    I will do a comparison to what best suits and fits my needs. I see it being a wash.
    Hard to imagine anything anything better. Only thing I could ask for would be tool-less RT0...
     

    Chickentoast

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    Seems like the edge clarity should be better since not wide angle, and I'd expect cheaper. I want the wide angle though. I'm not yet convinced that the last year or so of enthusiasm for March isn't driven by marketing, but I'm leaning over the fence to buy one anyway. I have a ZCO 527 and a few of the benchmark $2K class scopes to compare.
     

    Denys

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    Will it have the same glass as the gen 1 5-40 or be an upgrade to the glass in the 5-42?
    The March-FX 5-40X56 Gen II will have the same ED glass lenses as the current 5-40X56. The differences between the excellent 5-40X56 and the Gen II are: the lockable turrets for the elevation and the windage (not the side focus), the 6 level illumination module, the use of the fast focus eyepiece instead if the original eyepiece, and it introduces the FML PDKI reticle. The High Master lens system found on the 5-42X56 will not be in the 5-40X56 Gen II.
     
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    ChristianSilver

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    The March-FX 5-40X56 Gen II will have the same ED glass lenses as the current 5-40X56. The differences between the excellent 5-40X56 and the Gen II are: the lockable turrets for the elevation and the windage (not the side focus), the 6 level illumination module, the use of the fast focus eyepiece instead if the original eyepiece, and it introduces the FML PDKI reticle. The High Master lens system found on the 5-42X56 will not be in the 5-40X56 Gen II.

    I could have sworn Don @ Long Range Supply said it would have the HM lens system...
     

    Denys

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    It's at the marchscopes website. It's going to be an awesome scope. I can't wait to test it. it's a different animal than the 5-42X56. When I tested the existing 5-40X56, I was totally impressed with the IQ. It was F-class quality; in other words, I could sit behind it for a long time and look at the target at 40X without a break. Excellent IQ.
     
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    Glassaholic

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    The March-FX 5-40X56 Gen II will have the same ED glass lenses as the current 5-40X56. The differences between the excellent 5-40X56 and the Gen II are: the lockable turrets for the elevation and the windage (not the side focus), the 6 level illumination module, the use of the fast focus eyepiece instead if the original eyepiece, and it introduces the FML PDKI reticle. The High Master lens system found on the 5-42X56 will not be in the 5-40X56 Gen II.
    It is my understanding the Gen II 5-40 turrets will be the same turrets as the current 5-42 scope which is to say they will be phenomenal, closest to Tangent I have felt IMO. Schmidt’s DT II+ are very close as well. It’s nice to see the manufacturer’s upping their game with turret feel and function. The locking mechanisms on the March and Schmidt DT II+ are the best out there IMO as you can turn them on/off vs the “lift” locking mechanisms which you cannot turn off and must always deal with when dialing, nothing muscle memory can’t help you overcome but appreciate a system that gives the user the option.
     
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    Denys

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    The 5-40 gen2 will have the same lens at the 5-42, except for the mag range. Apparently the parallax mechanics are tweaked also.
    That is incorrect. As I have stated earlier, the March-FX 5-40X56 GenII will NOT have the High Master Lens system like the March-FX 5-42X56 HM. The Gen II has the same ED-glass as the current excellent version. The GenII will have the lockable elevatio and windage turrets of the 5-42X56, and it will have the fast focus eye-piece and the 6-level illumination module, and the new PDKI reticle. It will NOT have the High Master Lens system.

    Can we put this one to bed now? BTW, I very much look forward to testing this bad boy. The current 5-40X56 is awesome.
     
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    st1650

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    Does the new March have some kind of toolless rezero? Looking for something for a switch barrel DTA. Ideally I want to be able to set the zero stop at the lowest point but be able to quickly re-zero the turret without tools, ideally in a way that I could mark the other zeros. I don’t mind that the zero stop isn’t following the turret zero.
     
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    Does the new March have some kind of toolless rezero? Looking for something for a switch barrel DTA. Ideally I want to be able to set the zero stop at the lowest point but be able to quickly re-zero the turret without tools, ideally in a way that I could mark the other zeros. I don’t mind that the zero stop isn’t following the turret zero.
    Unfortunately not. This is something I also find highly desirable and think all alpha manufacturers should be looking for
     

    st1650

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    Unfortunately not. This is something I also find highly desirable and think all alpha manufacturers should be looking for

    I'll never understand how a 500$ made in China Bushnell has that feature but none of the 2500$+ top tier glass do ... except the TT. I think a hybrid bushnell/vortex l-tec would be the best combo - remove the turret tool-less but be able to reset the zero it via witness marks.
     

    Glassaholic

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    I'll never understand how a 500$ made in China Bushnell has that feature but none of the 2500$+ top tier glass do ... except the TT. I think a hybrid bushnell/vortex l-tec would be the best combo - remove the turret tool-less but be able to reset the zero it via witness marks.
    I believe the Element Nexus 5-20 has a toolless zero
     

    Denys

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    I believe both the Element Nexus and the Leica PRS require the use of an hex key/tool to set the zero stop. On the March, you only need a coin; most any coin will do. I've even done it without a coin.
     

    Hegre

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    The question was specifically about and not zero stop.
     

    Denys

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    I wrote a bit too quickly earlier. On the March-FX 5-42X56 HM, the turrets are lockable and they do require a hex key to 0-set and reset 0. It gets very challenging to build turrets that have excellent feel, tracking and control, and also be lockable and dependable. In the box with the riflescope from March, you get a small hex tool that you can attach to your keychain. That way I always have it with me.
     

    adisan77ro

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    I am looking for a scope for AI ATX 6.5 creed. and for now on my list are KAHLES DLR5-25*56 SKMR4, NF ATACR 5-25*56 MIL XT, MARCH FX 5-42 HM and 5-40 Gen II. Until now, Kahles DLR is still at the top of my preference, but these two MARCH intrigue me more and more. What would you choose between FX 5-42*56 HM and 5-40*56 Gen II?
    Field of use: dynamic shooting, steel and competitions like F Class with paper targets between 300 and 1100m.
    I would prefer to be able to see the holes in the paper target as well as possible, and a better performance in mirage conditions.
    I would appreciate an advice especially from those who had the opportunity to look through these scopes
     
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    rnlzkbrs

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    I would prefer to be able to see the holes in the paper target as well as possible, and a better performance in mirage conditions.
    In that case I wouldn't consider scopes that can only go up to 25x. Besides the March scopes you've mentioned (and a few other models you did not mention) I would only have a ZCO 8-40x56 in my list.
    5-42x56 has an HM (Super ED) lens system while 5-40x56 has only ED. There have been a number of reports that HM glass is doing extremely well with mirage: https://marchscopes.com/column/shimmer-protection-in-march-riflescopes-with-super-ed-glass/ . 5-42x56 is a great scope and I never regretted getting one. If you choose to go with a March scope I would suggest adding a couple of accessories: an MD disk (it should provide even better performance in mirage), and a focus wheel (it makes it easier to fine-tune the parallax).
     
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    Denys

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    @rnlzkbrs points to a good article at the Deon website. I would urge you to read it, maybe even a few times.

    I'm an F-class shooter (boo, hiss) and one the challenges of that discipline is that which is incorrectly, but colloquially referred to as "mirage". The article explains how ED and especially Super ED glass seems to tame this mirage. In effect, this type of glass seems to retard the degradation of the IQ of a riflescope compared to non-ED/Super ED glass. In F-class, we run our riflescopes at 30X and above. I've run my March-X 5-50X56 at 40X year-round for years, regardless of mirage conditions. This SFP riflescope is a design very similar to the March-FX 5-40X56 both generations. When I upgraded this scope to the March-X 10-60X56 HM with Super ED glass, I increased my base magnification to 50X. I'm always at 50X.

    Let me state right here and now that the IQ of the image at 50X is affected by mirage, but even in heavy mirage, I can still make out the rings and the aiming black is still very round. To my eye, it appears as if there's an electrical aura to the various rings, but they are distinct and they are not moving. Because of that I am able to place my aiming dot exactly where I want on the target, in a repeatable manner. The lesser riflescopes that I used before that simply could not do that, I had to dial down the magnification just to get the aiming black to be round and sit still.

    What I have noticed also is that in the Super ED March-X 10-60X56, I can detect the mirage very early on and it appears like a river in the riflescope, showing direction and amplitude. This has helped me recognize switches in conditions and save many points.

    The article does state that there are riflescope designs that have inherently better "shimmer protection" than others and it does on to name a few such as the aforementioned March-X 10-60X56 HM. One thing the article does not mention is the difference between non-ED glass and ED glass. They only talk about the difference between ED and Super ED, simply because there are no non-ED glass March riflescope they could use for comparison.

    I have not used the March-FX 5-40X56 in an F-class match. It's an FFP design and I need a thin reticle at high magnification. Also 40X is where I start, not end. I would expect its "shimmer protection" to be similar to the 5-50X56 meaning that for me, I could use it at 40X all the time, regardless of mirage. I have never used a 5-42X56HM except on a tripod but I would think its "shimmer protection" would be similar to the 5-40X56; it will not be at the same level as the three scopes named specifically in the Deon article.

    My understanding is that for improved "shimmer protection", you need to start with good quality ED glass and a certain design and you can increase this protection with higher quality ED glass and improved design.
     

    adisan77ro

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    Taking into account what was discussed above, I think I will need 2 scopes. One dedicated to each PRS/F-class discipline.

    I have attached a mirage recorded with the phone through the Swarovski STR scope at targets of 1107m, 15C, 44% Rh, 4m/s wind.
    It would be very interesting to see a comparison with MARCH HM10-60*56 under the same condition.
     

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    Denys

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    Taking into account what was discussed above, I think I will need 2 scopes. One dedicated to each PRS/F-class discipline.

    I have attached a mirage recorded with the phone through the Swarovski STR scope at targets of 1107m, 15C, 44% Rh, 4m/s wind.
    It would be very interesting to see a comparison with MARCH HM10-60*56 under the same condition.
    At 50X, my FOV is one full target and 2/3 of the target on either side. Your video looks to be at about 20X and in no way would compare to the 10-60X56 HM at 50X. You need to compare at the same magnification, in the same conditions, at the same time.
     

    adisan77ro

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    The recording was made through SWAROVSKI STR 80 at 60 x power, at a competition in Poland. Distance 1107 meters
     

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    Glassaholic

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    Just to be clear, mirage (or rather heat waves coming up from the surface of the earth) is an atmospheric condition and will have an effect on perceived "sharpness" of the image, I can just about guarantee that going out on a 60° day and looking at a target at a given distance, then going out on a 100° day looking at the same target and same distance, the target on the 60° day will almost assuredly "look" better. It's the same scope, same target, same distance but atmospheric conditions are causing interference. We hear on the interwebs all the time "my scope cuts through mirage better than scope X" but unless you compare side by side in exactly the same conditions you are going to have skewed results. Can a scope "cut through" mirage/shimmer/heat haze? Well I suppose it depends on what the definition of "cut through" actually means, if we're saying, can scope X eliminate some of the effects of mirage then I'd say there is a scientific explanation for this, but if we're saying "scope X actually eliminates mirage" then we're not saying (or thinking) about it properly because nothing can eliminate those heatwaves without changing the atmospheric conditions at hand, but when we're talking about the effects of the heat waves then yes, I do believe there is a scientific explanation for how Super ED, high resolution, high definition, etc. glass, whatever a manufacturer wants to call their highest grade glass doesn't really matter, the inherent quality of this glass to resolve a better image I think will help "cut through the effects" of mirage by providing a better image in these conditions. This is a common theme with TT, ZCO and Hensoldt (and certain Schmidt models) but rarely talked about with Japanese glass; however, the NF 7-35, certain March scopes and now the new Vortex Gen III 6-36 are going to change that conversation moving forward it would seem.

    As more and more manufacturers pursue greater and greater IQ out of their scope designs I think we'll continue to see this trend.