This is an abbreviated version of a to-be-published article,
published here in this form so shooters can get important information as quickly as
The art and science of practical long-range shooting has blossomed impressively in the last six
years. There are more shooters, more field matches, and more equipment choices. A would-be
long-range shooter today can more easily buy an off-the-shelf rifle and scope combination that is
ready for top-level competition. Equipment is not a substitute for skill, but good gear can
accelerate learning, help to reduce human error, and give higher performance.
Heretofore unavailable in the USA, the Hensoldt sniper scopes are a natural match
for high-end sniper rifles like this Accuracy International.
The latest exciting news in the field is that the Carl Zeiss Optronics Hensoldt line of sniper
scopes is now being imported by HuDisCo. Up until this year, Hensoldt scopes were impossible to get
in the United States and represented super-high-end cachet of European sniper scopes.
Nathan Hunt, HuDisCo owner, sent me a Hensoldt 4-16x56 mm FF for testing. There is also a 3-12x56
mm version of the same scope. These two scopes are directly comparable to the S&B 3-12x50 mm, the
Premier Heritage 3-15x50 mm, and the US Optics 3.2-17x44 mm SN-3. The Hensoldt 4-16x56 mm is only
13.1 inches long and weighs 31.7 ounces. It is a very compact and efficient package. Although
about the same weight as a USO SN-3 or S&B of comparable magnification, it is about three inches
shorter than the SN-3 and about two inches shorter than a S&B 4-16x50 mm. The Hensoldt 4-16x56 mm
is almost exactly the same size as the S&B 3-12x50 mm!
The Hensoldt 4-16x56 mm FF has a mil-dot reticle in the first-focal plane (FFP) configuration. This
means the reticle features always demarcate the same angle and that it appears to "grow and shrink"
as the scope magnification is changed. This allows the reticle marks to be used for windage or
holdover accurately at any magnification setting. The 4-16 has matching 0.1 mil (mrad) knobs with
approximately 24 mils total elevation in over two turns of the elevation knob. This elevation knob
setup classifies as a "big, many-click" type since it has 12 mils - the equivalent of 41 moa -
elevation per turn. The big, many-click feature is important to practical long-range shooting
because the scope can be dialed to 1000 yards without going past one turn, which reduces the
opportunity for human error when dialing up or down multiple turns. The Hensoldt also has an
adjustable lit reticle for low-light and night shooting. It has a 34 mm scope body tube, which
matches the S&B scopes including the new USMC 3-12 daytime scope adopted a couple years ago.
The Hensoldt 4-16x56 mm packages impressive optical capability in a very compact format.