Trijicon TARS Takes on Long Range Tactical
The Trijicon TARS is a new entry into the high end tactical riflescope market and is packed with a list features highly sought after in a tactical scope; however, its $3000+ plus price tag would put a damper on the social activities of even those with the deepest of pockets. The new Tactical Advanced Riflescope is Trijicon’s first long range tactical scope line, although some shooters have been known to use certain Trijicon scope models like the Accupoint 5-25x50 for long range tactical style shooting. Never the less the TARS was designed from the ground up to be a serious long range tactical optic.
MOA/MOA or MIL/MIL – Trijicon's Tactical Advanced Riflescopes come with either matched reticles and adjustment turrets. Scopes with the Mil style reticles make windage and elevation adjustment in Mils, while scopes with MOA reticle make adjustments in MOA increments. Also, there are models with a standard duplex reticle that can be had in either a MIL or MOA adjustment version.
3-15x50 – Currently this scope is offered in only on configuration which is a 3-15x50 version, but with the different reticle options there are currently four unique variations of this scope. The 5x magnification range of its 3x-15x power range makes the TARS suitable for a wide array of shooting applications.
Turrets – Turrets on the Tactical Advanced Riflescope feature push/pull style locking adjustment knobs. To dial in windage and elevation adjustments the shooter lifts the corresponding knob to unlock it, then rotates the desired number of clicks and then depresses the knob back down to lock it.
34mm Tube – These riflescopes are built on a 34mm main tube, which allows for 120 MOA of windage adjustment and 150 MOA of elevation adjustment. However, the tradeoff of this larger tube is weight; with this scope weighin in at 47 ounces which is fairly heavy even for a large main tube tactical scope. Despite its heftiness the TARS rather compact for a 34mm long range scope, coming in at under 14 inches long without its sunshade attached.
FFP – These scopes feature a First Focal Plane riflescope which means that the reticle will stay in proportion to the target as the magnification is increased or decreased. The main advantage of this feature is that reticles, like a mil-dot style reticle, will be accurate at any magnification.
Illumination – The center of the crosshair is illuminated on this Trijicon scope, while illuminated reticles and Trijicon are a pretty common pairing what makes the TARS unique it that its illumination source is a CR2032 battery. While not the only battery powered optic in the Trijicon line, most Trijicon optics are powered by either Tritium or Fiber Optics, and sometimes a combination of both. However, by using a battery for power the TARS reticle has ten different brightness settings, three for low light or night vision and seven for daytime use.
Constant Eye Relief – The Trijicon TARS is listed as having a consistent eye relief of 3.3” and any magnification in its 3x to 15x power range. Having a constant eye relief enables the shooter to place his cheek on the stock in the same spot for every shot, instead of moving his head to match the eye relief at different magnifications.
Included Accessories – The Tactical Advanced Riflescopes ship with flip up style lens covers, and a three inch sunshade. Also included with the purchase of the scope is a free lens pen. Not included are 34mm rings, which can be ordered from Trijicon or other manufactures. While 34mm rings are more readily available than in previous years they can still be a little hard to find and are generally relatively expensive when compared to 30mm versions.
Trijicon TARS Key Information
Mil/Mil or MOA/MOA
34mm Main Tube
Made in USA
First Focal Plane
3-15 x 50mm
Turrets – The elevation dial features a zero stop for a quick return to zero without looking or when in the dark, as well as 30 MOA of adjustment per revolution. The elevation knob also has horizontal markings to help keep track of revolutions made when dialing in long shots. The windage dial when unlocked features a directional arrow indicating which direction adjusts to the right; furthermore the TARS windage dial also counts up in both directions a feature favored by many tactical shooters but not often found even on high end tactical scopes.
Matched Reticles – The trend of having matched reticles and windage and elevation adjustments has really been gaining popularity over the last couple of years. Having a MIL/MIL or MOA/MOA scope just keeps things simple, and simple is good.
First Focal Plane – Having a reticle that stays in proportion to your target throughout the magnification range is a feature that most tactical shooters find beneficial especially those that are proficient with mil style reticles. A First Focal Plane allows the shooter to use the entire magnification range of a scope without losing the reticles measuring abilities.
Weight – This optic tips the scale at nearly three pounds without a sunshade or rings, both of which will add several more ounces. Trijicon has a reputation for building hard use combat optics and they now doubt made the TARS a durable scope but durability doesn’t come without a tradeoff and in this case it appears to be additional weight.
Eye Relief – Most tactical rifles aren’t known for ferocious recoil, generally even the larger calibers are relatively mild recoiling since tactical rifles tend to be heavier than their hunting counterparts. That said 3.3” inches of eye relief seem to be bordering on the short side, so if you are looking for a scope your lightweight 300 Win. Magnum this might not be the best choice. To be fair the constant eye relief is a nice feature that promotes consistency and many tactical scopes when on their highest powers setting will have a similar eye relief distance.
Price – Trijicon didn’t mess around, you can tell that they sent out to build a top notch no compromise tactical scope. However, with a suggested retail price of $3990 and a street price looking to be over $3000, they have put themselves in a high end market of extremely high quality optics, with competition from well respected European and American optics makers.
At first glance the TARS scope line seems a bit insane for Trijicon who is not known as a long range tactical riflescope manufacturer. Also, a quick glance at the Schmidt & Bender Police Marksman 2 line, widely considered one of the best scope lines on the planet, revealed some comparable models for equal pricing. Let’s face it in this economy people aren’t exactly lining up to buy $3000+ tactical scopes. However, the Trijicon TARS has military and law enforcement use written all over it. While apparently not designed for any specific agency or military branch, it wouldn’t be surprising if Trijicon is betting on picking up some military or law enforcement contracts for the TARS line.
Trijicon has built a name for themselves within the combat optics market, and their new TARS line introduces their name to the long range tactical shooting crowd. Trijicon didn’t hesitate to swing for the fence with the Tactical Advanced Riflescope and will be facing tough competition from large well respected and established long range scope manufactures. However, Trijicon does have a loyal following and established brands in the close to mid range tactical scope markets, especially with their ACOG brand of optics. While the price tag of the Trijicon TARS will prohibit many tactical shooters from owning one of these high end optics, serious long range shooting fanatics as well as military and law enforcement agencies will likely have a close eye on the TARS.
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