Burris C4 - An Explosive New Rifle Scope?
Burris continues to be a leader and innovator in the optics world. While much of the attention they receive in the riflescope category is directed at their laser rangefinding Eliminator scope series, Burris has also rolled out a more traditional riflescope series called the C4. While this new series looks similar in appearance to their Fullfield E1 line, the new C4 scopes are different in several key ways.
Custom Elevation Dials
These Burris optics feature a Cartridge Calibrated Custom Clicker turret system thus the name C4. Basically this is like the Custom Dial System (CDS) found on Leupold scopes, where the shooter can send their ballistic information into the manufacturer and order custom elevation dials to match their favorite load. These scopes also ship with a standard ¼ MOA dial for dialing in elevation in MOA, whereas with the custom dials you simply rotate the dial to the correct yardage mark on the elevation dial.
Range + Wind
The custom dials Burris will make for your C4 scope not only come with the ranges marked in 50 yards increments engraved at the appropriate spot; but they also come with the corresponding amount of 10mph wind drift at that yardage engraved above each yardage number. While they didn’t state so on this particular model on a similar mode,l Burris clariefies that 10 mph wind calculation was used so it can easily be divide by 2 for a 5mph wind or multiplied by 2 for a 20 mph wind, and of course similar calculations can be made for other various winds speeds and 10 mph is a good base number to work from.
MOA Wind Reticle
Probably the feature that stands out the most about the C4 riflescopes is their reticle which features MOA (minute of angle) hash marks. However, unlike most reticles that feature windage marks, these scopes only offer one vertical hold point on either side of the crosshair intersection making for a much less cluttered view of the target.
What really makes these scopes unique is how these turrets and wind reticle work together. The lack of vertical holdover marks result in a less cluttered view of the target and these holdover marks aren’t necessary for shooters that dial in the elevation, which is kind of the whole purpose of the C4 system to start with. The MOA windage reticle is marked in 1 MOA increments which is very close to 1” at 100 yards which will be familiar to most shooters who have ever used a hunting scope. So once you have the range to the target, you simply rotate your customized elevation dial to that yardage, if there is any wind read the 10 mph wind correction number above the yardage distance on the elevation turret and make a simple calculation for how much wind to hold for; finally, place the correct windage mark on the target and fire.
1” and 30mm Main Tubes
While most series of rifle scopes are made up of only one tube size the C4 scopes are available in both 1” and 30mm main tube models. While more options are always good, this could easily result in confusion so be sure to carefully check what version you are looking at. Both tube sizes are available in a 3-9x40 or 4-15x42 configurations, so we have included product numbers to help insure you are looking at the right model.
|1” Models||30mm Models|
3-9x40mm - $309
3-9x40mm - $359
4.5-14x42mm - $399
4.5-14x42mm - $525
So What’s the Difference?
When a scope has similar models like this and one has a larger main tube, there are three main things a scope manufacture can use this additional internal space for: more field of view, increased tube thickness for increased strength, or increased adjustment range of windage and elevation. Usually optics companies tend to use some combination of the above. However, in this case since the field of view of both versions are the same and the weights are pretty similar it appears that Burris used the extra internal room provided by the larger 30mm almost entirely for more range of adjustment. For example the 4.5-14x42 with a 1" tube has 42 inches of windage and elevation adjustment at 100 yards, while the same scope on with a 30mm main tube has 66 inches worth of adjustment. Usually this added adjustment only really comes into play for extremely long range shooting.
New and Old
Besides the custom dials and MOA reticle, the C4 utilizes some pretty aggressive gripping on both the magnification ring and turrets for a positive hold when adjustments need to be made no matter what the condition. These scopes also feature a quick adjust eyepiece which is a fasted method of correctly setting the eyepiece the the old locking ring style that many hunting optics used to utilize.
While much of the technology on the C4 series is new, these scopes still use the older adjustable objective style of parallax correction on the higher power 4.5-14x42 models. While not really an issue many people prefer the speed and placement of a side focus parallax on a scope of this type. Our guess is that these models appear to be based on the Fullfield E1 series which also uses an adjustable objective and therefore Burris went with that method on this scope, which probably resulted in significant cost savings.
Hunting and Tactical Roots
Low Profile Turrets
This scope is in many ways like a hunting scope and tactical scope hybrid mix. While the target market for this optics seems to be hunters, many of the features found on this scope have tactical roots. For example, most hunting scopes have capped turrets requiring them to be removed to make windage and elevation adjustments. However, even though the elevation turret is uncapped like a tactical scope, the C4 scope has low profile style turrets more like those found on hunting scopes.
MOA Windage Reticle
The new MOA wind reticle is a bit of a hybrid as well. Many hunting scope now feature some marks, dots or circles for us as holdover points; however, these new Burris scopes feature marks on the horizontal crosshair for wind compensation and do so in MOA increments instead of MIL increments. These windage marks are often found on tactical scopes but rarely if ever without holdover marks which often come in useful on tactical scopes, just provide added clutter for hunters who choose to only dial in their elevation.
There are a lot of new scopes on the market this year but the Burris C4 probably caught our attention more than any other. Many shooters like to dial in the elevation and hold off for windage; however, this whole group of shooters has pretty much been over looked. You either had to go without windage marks or get a reticle with holdover points as well. This scope appears to be the just the ticket for that group of shooters.
We were a little disappointed in the fact in didn’t have a side focus parallax adjustment but realize that every feature adds to the cost of a scope and the cost of a completely redesigned scope body would have probably greatly increased the final price. So with that in mind we are glad that Burris went ahead an introduced this scope since there really isn’t any competition or options in this category.
The C4 scope series is an exciting and interesting optic for its unique reticle, custom elevation dials with windage, and the fact that there really isn't any competition yet in this category of scope. However, what makes this scope really appealling is its price; while these are just coming to market as this article is being written it looks like the 3-9x40 1" main tube verison will be going for about $299 while the 30mm version will be about $50 more. Early estimates have the 4.5-14x42 1" tube version probably selling for $399 with the 30mm version going for about $100 more.
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