Gear Review: PFI RR-Evolution 1.25-4x 300 AAC Blackout Scope

PFI 300 BLK Scope, c Nick Leghorn

The versatility of the 300 AAC Blackout cartridge may be its biggest weakness. The wide variety of bullet weights that you can use, and the vast differences between supersonic and subsonic velocities, means that one single BDC reticle doesn’t really cut the mustard. You need a purpose built reticle to handle the caliber, and until now that has meant a hefty price tag. But Pride Fowler Industries have come out with a budget scope for the 300 AAC Blackout caliber called the RR-Evolution BLK that claims to do it all.

PFI 300 BLK Scope, c Nick Leghorn

The scope has a 1.25 – 4x magnification range, a pretty solid feature that should allow you to make the most of the caliber. The 300 BLK round is best used at under 500 yards, and the low base magnification is perfect for close range targets while giving you the optional higher magnification for targets at longer range. It’s not a “true” 1x though, meaning that there is a bit of magnification that can throw you off your game, but to me it didn’t seem too disorienting on multiple close targets.

Housed in a 30mm tube, the optics on this gun are pretty good at low magnification. The larger tube allows for larger lenses which in turn let more light through, which is great for low light situations. But at higher magnifications, we start seeing issues.

PFI 300 BLK Scope, c Nick Leghorn

Out on the range I zeroed the optic at 50 yards and then shifted over to the long range steel to verify that the holds are correct, and they are. The reticle is a first focal plane affair meaning that the stadia will always line up with the proper holds no matter the magnification, but past 100 yards this thing is useless.

Notice how blurry everything is in the scope? That’s not some tricky camera effect, that’s how it really looks. There’s no parallax adjustment, so what you see is exactly how it looks in the field. You can either see the target very clearly or the reticle very clearly, but not both at the same time. This makes lining up your shots extremely difficult, if not impossible. I was able to hit steel at 250 yards with the indicated hold, but at 500 yards it was impossible to use.

Things get worse when you turn on the illumination.

PFI 300 BLK Scope, c Nick Leghorn

Again, what you see is exactly what you get. On a good scope, only the reticle would be illuminated and nothing else. With this scope, the entire eyepiece glows bright with your color of choice (red, green or blue). It washes out the image and makes nighttime usage impossible. Adding insult to injury the light leaks out the front of the scope and shows up as a bright blue dot downrange, which might be construed as artificial illumination by the local game wardens. In Texas, hunting a game animal with artificial illumination is a crime.

PFI 300 BLK Scope, c Nick Leghorn

Adjustment knobs on the PFI 300 BLK scope are possible in 1/4 MoA increments, and while the adjustments feel solid the turrets are extremely heavy to turn. This is probably to keep them from turning by accident, since there are no covers available for these turrets and nothing to lock them in place. I’ve been bitten by the issue of non-locking scope turrets once already this hunting season and I don’t want to repeat that experience.

At this point I would tell you if the reticle works and the scope adjustments are correct, but I just don’t care. The scope is unusable at any magnification above the base 1.25x, and at that point you’re better off with iron sights or a red dot. They want $400 for the thing, but don’t bother. For the same price you can buy a Leupold Mark AR Mod 1 1.5-4x scope and get the custom 300 BLK BDC turrets, which will give you a usable scope with an optional illuminated reticle that doesn’t blind you.

Specifications: PFI RR-Evolution 1.25-4x 300 AAC Blackout Scope
Price: $399

Ratings (out of five stars):

Overall *
I’m not saying it’s a terrible scope, but only because I don’t have to. I think the facts stand on their own in this case.

comments

  1. avatar peirsonb says:

    One star? That may be the worst review I’ve seen on this site, and it sounds like it was well earned.

    I do have a bonehead question, and am willing to accept any hate I’m about to earn: what makes it specifically for 300 BLK? The range indicators correlate to drop?

    And, if that’s the case, wouldn’t changing the magnification throw them off?

      1. avatar peirsonb says:

        H-wow. See that, that required me to add a syllable. H-wow.

        I remember seeing that review on the front page. But I generally skip over AR specific reviews as I don’t have one. I guess I need to stop doing that…..

    1. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

      If the reticle is on the first focal plane then it will zoom with the scope and not be thrown off. For that price I’m guessing it is on the second focal plane, in which case it would indeed be thrown off by zooming and would only work at one specific setting, usually at full magnification.

      1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

        It’s a first focal plane scope, so it zooms with the target.

    2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Changing magnification on 1st focal plain does not change point of impact, but it would if the scope was a second focal plane like the Nikon. 300 black drops faster than most other cartridges, that’s why they have different hold overs.

    3. avatar Anonymous says:

      What makes it specifically for 300 BLK? The range indicators correlate to drop?

      And, if that’s the case, wouldn’t changing the magnification throw them off?

      From your statement we can tell you are not a scope guru – but that's ok. Just a short while ago – I knew nothing about scopes. But after sandy hook and all the publicity of how bad guns are and that crap – they became infinitely more interesting.

      the range indicators on the reticle should correlate to drop – Yes. There is always some variance however due to bullet weight, etc. But a close approximation.

      A reticle can lie in the FFP (first focal plane) or SFP (second focal plane). Most scopes are SFP. BDC (bullet drop compensation) reticles work great on a FFP. If they are on a SFP, then they will only work at a specific magnification (usually maximum) and work great on a fixed scope with adjustable magnification. SFP scopes have exactly the same size reticle regardless of magnification. On FFP scopes however, the reticles zooms in and out with respect to the magnification and the landscape behind it. Therefore regardless of magnification the FFP scope is always in scale with the landscape behind it.

      1. avatar peirsonb says:

        Nope, definitely not a scope guru. I have a basic understanding of optics that comes with mechanical engineering, but I know next to nothing about scope construction specifically. I’m just glad I wasn’t completely off base that if the reticle didn’t zoom it would be thrown off…..

  2. avatar Chris102 says:

    Has PFI responded to anything about this Nick?

    I was one of the unfortunate souls (or perhaps naive is a better term) who put in for a pre-order on this thing. After months of delays I finally got mine, and was completely confused as to why I could never see the reticle. I guess it’s just me. They said the delays were because they were “obsessed with quality” and wanted to “get it perfect”. Hrm. So much for that.

    Their facebook page is all rah-rah over the thing, and I kept it because I thought I was perhaps just using it wrong and hadn’t had a chance to try it in the field, but this makes me think I threw away $400.

    Probably behooves PFI to make a response to this.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      Great, so you can give us a review to compare with Nick’s.

      Maybe Nick just got lemon? At $400 I’m sure if he returned it – they would make it right or at least provide a response.

      Not to slap nick around – but I do know one thing. There is one more lens that a person cannot judge it’s brightness or clarity or quality. The one in our eye. I have a rather expensive Vortex target scope that I purchased and was displeased with it because when I looked at the illuminated reticle it looked smeared and somewhat blurry. I made lots of adjustments and I couldn’t fix it. A few minutes later I looked through it with my other eye and found everything in perfect clarity. This is because I am near 20/20 in one eye and very nearsighted in the other. Had I not looked through my other eye I would have thought I got a crappy scope. Even with my glasses the reticle did not look right. However everything in the room and in the distance were clear and bright. Therefore, when I go looking through scopes I look through both eyes when I do. Sometimes I read some reviewed about low quality reticle illumination, etc, and passed them over when maybe I shouldn’t have. The moral of the story is you should physically look through the exact scope you intend to buy to make sure it looks good to you.

      1. avatar ropingdown says:

        The blurry illuminated reticle thing really is often a matter of having astigmatism or cheap eye-glasses. This often disturbes users of EoTechs or red dots. They’re shocked by the large and oddly shaped dot. Then they learn the answer. (The scope review has bigger problems…)

        I’m so used to a SFP reticle (say a Leupold Duplex or Circle Dot) for use as a range estimator on animals, that I find the mil/moa reticles for anything but long range sniping (with a range finder in hand) hard to fathom. I’m used to getting the range from the % of the plex subtended, then estimating my holdover or under. I wonder what Miculek uses. At unknown range on +300 yard shots does the mil FFP actually improve scores? Within the PBR the mil/moa FFP reticle seems beside the point, though I’d like to hear the opinion of someone who’s used both fast at long ranges.

        1. avatar ropingdown says:

          -make that “the scope reviewED has bigger problems.”

    2. avatar ChainsawWieldingManiac says:

      I’d also like to see the PFI response. One would hope this is a lemon, given how amazingly blurry the scope was at 4x.

      I own a bunch of their Japanese-made reflex sights, and they’re really quite excellent. It’d be a shame if they dropped the ball with their Chinese-made stuff.

  3. avatar lolinski says:

    Bummer.

    I hoped to get something like this for an AK. 4x magnification and BDC. I will stick to the original plan and get a PSO (or POSP) with a Simonov reticle.

  4. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    When I saw the headline, I got all excited.
    Alas, for naught.
    Thanks again for an honest review that kept me from wasting money.
    I think I will just keep using my trijicon for now.
    I was really looking for some decent magnification.
    Your review of the nikon seems to make my choice for me.

  5. avatar a.a. says:

    If you pay 400 hundred dollars for a scope and expect something good you got to be high. Everything I have been taught(two different service sniper schools and have attended shooting course with the like of David Tubb is you should expect to pay more for the optic than the gun. So the fact you are surprised by the scope being a piece is hilarious. And I don’t understand the whole purpose built for the round concept. And I have yet to understand what the rage is with having a variable power scope is. Set it to max power and learn to use a dope card. If you need to shoot anything under a hundred just get a 45 degree red dot holder.

    1. avatar lolinski says:

      Variable power is nice because of the wide field of view. shooting with a 10x magnification at 300 or 500 metres is confusing IMO (especially with my bad eyesight). I prefer 1x for every 100 metres. If I had to have a long range (1000 metres) fixed power I would go for 8x or 4x but never above 10x.

      But I agree with you on price. Here in Norway we say: “Cheap rifle, expensive scope”. Not unusual to buy a rifle (308/3006 mauser) for 1000 NOK (about 150 USD)and then put a 10000 NOK (1500+ USD) scope on it.

      1. avatar ropingdown says:

        It’s the same in the US, though the numbers might be 700 for the rifle, 1100 for the scope. If hunting in Norway is similar to Stockholm område, you have very short days during most of deer/moose season. Good glass repays you much more than in the US, latitude more like Madrid, mostly. Speaking of Norway: It makes me kind of laugh when I read of ‘hunting’ Caribou in Alaska. In Northern Norway all the Caribou seemed to be herded like cattle. Having driven from North Cape down the coast to Trondheim, then Oslo, and entered at Bergen several times, hiked Rondeslottet, I can say “what a beautiful country.”

        1. avatar lolinski says:

          Oh, its beautiful the 5 days it doesn’t rain. JK but it does rain a lot.

          Caribou is kept by the indigenous people (they keep them like cattle). Moose is most popularily hunted here.

          A regular, cheap setup is just what I described. If I would “translate” it, it would be like buying a Mosin-Nagant (which is actually rare in Norway) and putting a US Optics or Zeiss scope on it.

          But yes, big glass is important due to it being legal to hunt at night but illegal to use artificial light whatsoever. That is why many people use the scopes with the 50mm or 56mm objective. This is also why people who buy night-vision have to remove or make the IR light inoperable.

        2. avatar ropingdown says:

          I think moose is the best game animal in existence. I’ve lived many summers (more than 24) on nothing but moose and roe deer meat, plus potatoes and tomatoes…and occasional restaurant food. My hunting in SE has always been on a farm, with a good allocation of roe deer and (laugh) 1.5 moose per year. Since every point is accessible by ATV and a front-end loader is used to bring moose to the barn, it feels much more like harvesting than hunting. But the environment is beautiful and the camaraderie is pleasant, I’ve no complaint. Not nearly so much rain as southern Norway. I find the counting of cartridges used, ammo rationing, a bit odd, and it took awhile to get used to driven hunting with dachshunds. Scopes: I actually use a very old Redfield 3 x 9 in SE, because that’s what’s there already. No Zeiss. Tyvärr.

      2. avatar a.a. says:

        I understand the concept of a nice field of view, but that is what a spotting scope is good for, or a nice set of binos. Your eye muscles or going to be shot if you spend to much time looking with your scope. And I prefer a 20 power myself, you not even wanting to use 10 astonishes me. I enjoy the 20x because it allows me to aim small, miss small.

        1. avatar ropingdown says:

          You absolutely must be a varmint hunter.

        2. avatar a.a. says:

          Nope. Don’t hunt at all.

        3. avatar ropingdown says:

          That was the other possibility.

        4. avatar a.a. says:

          Shooting for me is more work related.

        5. avatar Jeff says:

          jesus christ, get over it. this scope and others like it are for a particular type of shooting. extremely powerful scopes are for another. who cares what your job is?

        6. avatar lolinski says:

          I enjoy less magnification because of speed(am partial to the Bosnian and Russian scopes).

          But you can get something good for little money the 4-14 FFP scope by Primary Arms comes to mind. I never liked the “expensive is good” mindset. I try to buy something that works and if I can get it cheaply, hooray for me.

          On a side note: Does anyone know for sure what the reticle of the Pilad 2-10×52 L scope looks like? Different sites have different pictures and I am confused.

    2. avatar Paul W. says:

      So Ziess and most Leupold isn’t good enough for you? For most of us, 300 yard or under shots are the limit. And I frankly can’t afford a 500+ dollar scope (not if I want a gun to put it on). That’s as bad as someone saying you need a Core i7 CPU or it’s junk…

      1. avatar a.a. says:

        If you are shooting 300 yards or less you should try a acog or elcan. And my problem with cheaply made products is it brings everything else down with it except the really high priced stuff. Even moderately priced, decent reliability items due this. Its pretty much what Glock did to all the other quality pistol makers.

        1. avatar Paul W. says:

          ….those both cost over a grand for a decent one.

          Again, lots of us can’t afford that, full stop. So what the hell’s the problem with finding a good lower cost alternative? Your definition of “midrange” seems to be a bit high by the standards of literally anyone I know. 300-400 for a scope and other 500 for a rifle is a good chucnk of change for a lot of us. For me that’s 5-6 months of saving up. 1500 for a scope and 500 for a gun? Try several years (and kiss some of the value o fmy dollars goodbye due to inflation in that time frame).

    3. avatar ropingdown says:

      a.a.: It is absurd to say you can’t get a good durable useful scope for $400. A prime example of a good one is the Leupold VX3 1.5-5 non-illuminated. It is almost certainly the most commonly used scope on heavy rifles in large parts of Africa and Alaska. It has good glass, large eye relief, is very weather-proof, doesn’t fog, and provides as much magnification as needed at 250 yards while also allowing two-eyes open shooting at close range with a wide field of view.

      Suggesting that a fixed power 20x scope has a purpose in any line of work is peculiar. As for two service sniper schools, there isn’t a major US service sniper school that hasn’t gone to preferring a variable scope and 10-12x even for the longest shots, for rifles less than the .338 Lapua, which clearly isn’t at issue.

      As for putting an Acog on a rifle for anything but grunt service, why? They’re too high above the barrel for hunting use, too low in power for police use, absurd for mil sniper or competitive target use, and too expensive for what they are. Acogs are built for physical robustness, nothing else.

      As for the scope costing more than the rifle, that’s actually a bit out of date, mainly because the Japanese entered the market with high (not low) quality glass, and because Leupold started to assemble excellent scopes with Zeiss parts (including glass) to produce the Conquest line. A perfectly good Winchester Model 70 cost from 800 to 1,200 depending on the model. An excellent Leupold VX6 or Zeiss Conquest scope is in the same range. Indeed, if you buy a good custom hunting rifle you’ll spend at least $6,000, and even the best Zeiss Victory scope costs only about $3,000. “What, I spent half as much on my optic as on my rifle?” Well, that’s often the result.

  6. avatar Hkfan says:

    For slightly more, you could have bought a real scope, albeit used, such as the swfa 1-4.

  7. avatar ensitue says:

    My response as always:
    Just because some Markting Dept. demands that I am SOL unless I buy their product and will be torn to shreds by wild hogs or tortured by the Taliban if I am discovered sans BDC for X-caliber does not mean I deem their ernest concern for my welfare to be grounds for dropping cash like a sailor on the 1st night of leave after a year at sea. As a young man (a mere child, actually) I was dropping ground squirrels at near 400 yards using a 1960s 3-9 Redfield w/plain cross hairs. That is a target akin to a cheap uncooked hotdog with a filbert nut for a head.
    I rest my case

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      I agree with this point of view. Only a very few people in the world need to shoot more than 100 yards past MPBR, and those guys are using the same loading they zeroed with, so the need for elaborating the scope is overdone. Such people seem to just go to a higher magnification scope with some common reticule, German #4 or Duplex, and a variety of stabilization devices

      The entire elaboration of scopes aimed at both SWAT and 3Gun sales strikes me as silly, though it clearly makes somebody lots of money…and mostly at taxpayer expense. SWAT doesn’t need more than a typical hunting scope at ordinary prices, which saves us money. In the US they never, so far as I have seen, shoot at ranges past about 78 yards, though even at 280 yards a standard scope and skill with it would suffice.

      I read the newspapers. I never see any of the high-end fancy hardware actually get used to stop a crime in progress, although I see it trotted out now and then on TV, as in snipers all jacked up, but only 50-100 meters from the building of interest and generally to no avail. The shooting’s still all pistols, shotguns, and plain jane AR’s with HWS’s. The snipers just kind of show up for the photo op. They are not and should not be needed.

      When the highest paid professional hunters in the world, under conditions in which missing a shot at 300 yards means the client still pays $15,000 for an animal he wounded but didn’t stop… still use Duplex reticules on $1,400 scopes often mounted on $1,300 rifles…I call BS on all the expensive SWAT (er, 3 Gun) scopes. People just ain’t that hard to hit or stop, and the call for it at range is exceedingly rare. Wind down Afghanistan and we won’t need much sniping at all. That’s what drones are for.

  8. avatar Jeff says:

    Count me in as another who is wondering if you even contacted the manufacturer over these issues? It doesn’t appear that the scope is functioning correctly.

  9. avatar tim.m says:

    the new primary arms 1-6 with the .300 blackout reticle will be out soon

  10. Nick, your review is possibly the worst review I have ever read about our RR-Evolution-BLK. I am disappointed that you didn’t feel the necessity to consult with me with any issues prior to bashing the optic on the public forum. Given the chance, I would have happily tried to rectify any issues that you might possibly have had just as I was happy to oblige your request to review the optic in the first place.

    That being said, PFI is dedicated to building quality optics…period…regardless of where it is made. Customer satisfaction is our number one goal, and I personally answer almost 90% of all inquiries and give personal support for almost all technical questions or issues whether it be a soldier in Afghanistan or a novice shooter somewhere in the midwest. My dedication to this company goes far beyond any compensation. I truly believe that our reticle concepts help shooters engage targets much faster and more precise by giving them the ability to acquire, range, and impact a target without the need to manually adjust or make calculations. In my eyes, if a novice shooter can pick up a rifle and smack a target 600 yards out without any experience with the weapon system, we are doing something right. Then, imagine that capability in the hands of a soldier or a LEO who must use that system in the face of not just a threat but multiple threats. Our reticle systems have proven themselves time and time again in combat especially with our RR-900 series that was designed for the Army’s M14 EBR program,

    As for the RR-Evolution-BLK, I have never been told anything but that the glass clarity is impeccable which is to be expected since it is BAK-7 glass. Further, I have never seen the illumination problem that you have stated. I don’t know what brightness setting that you have it on, but here is how my reticle looks at the highest brightness setting:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/23055226@N06/sets/72157639719913286/

    As you can see from the pics in the link, nothing is washed out whether in complete darkness or in low light conditions. These pictures were taken just now with my phone camera. The reason that we spec’d 3 brightness settings was to give the shooter the ability to manage the brightness especially over time where a degrading battery will lessen its intensity inherently. Generally, with a new battery, the 1st brightness setting is all that will be needed, but as time goes on, a higher setting can be used to mitigate any lost brightness. It might just be a battery issue. If so, just leave it on for a few hours, and any washout will be gone. Any notion that the scope produces artificial light to a game warden is preposterous. I am from TX, and I have hunted with game wardens. That comment was absolutely uncalled for.

    As for clarity beyond 250 yards, I am flaberghasted at your comments. There is a fine focus for a reason and a parallax setting is absolutely unnecessary for a 1.25-4x. The preset parallax setting has been designed to handle both close range and long range clarity. It is a compromise and balance that certainly does not affect the shooter’s ability to impact a target. Recently, I was conducting military tests with the US Optics version of the BLK scope. The soldiers testing the scope were so excited that while they were waiting their turn to shoot with the US Optics version, they picked up the rifle with the civilian RR-Evolution-BLK scope. With supersonic loads ranging from 110gr to 125 gr, they were impacting targets out to 600 yards. With subsonic loads, they were impacting targets to 300. A civilian contractor conducting a non-firearm test with another group stopped by. This gentleman had NEVER shot a firearm before. With less than 5 minutes of instruction, he impacted the SAME targets as the trained shooters did with less than 1 mag and in under 3 minutes. Remember, the trained shooters saw this optic system for the first time that day. The novice shooter did as well, but before that day, never pulled a trigger in his life! So, if a first time shooter can impact a 600 yard target, then the comment saying that it is impossible to use it at 500 yards is quite puzzling. As an even further note, the fastest time to impact 5 targets with our scope vs the plethora of other scopes was 52.83 seconds. The longest time was 103 seconds with a military issued optic. The absolute fastest time on those same targets was 35 seconds with our RR-CQLR-1 on an M4.

    It might be possible that Nick got a lemon. It happens but rarely. Nick, please do send the optic back, and I will personally take a look at it. If there is an issue with that optic, I will gladly send another for further testing and review if you would like to test it. When I get back from SHOT, I will add more pictures to show clarity beyond 250 yards. I have never had an issue seeing both the image and reticle clearly at any distance.

    I will be shooting a video to show how this scope performs as well. The video will not only show impacts at 100 yards but also on the speed to engage multiple targets at various distances.

    Now, I am going to continue preparing for SHOT. Anyone with questions can post it to this page or feel free to email or call me directly. Please leave a message if I do not answer. I will return your call. It would be my pleasure to assist you. Godspeed and God bless.

    Sincerely,

    Richard M. Nguyen
    RROSM – Pride Fowler Industries
    Vice President – Military/LE Liaison
    Ph: (832) 377-6765
    Fx: (877) 893-4502
    Email1: richard@rrosm.com
    Email2: richard@rapidreticle.com
    http://www.RapidReticle.com

  11. In regards to clarity, here is a quick photo I snapped with my phone.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/23055226@N06/11933736566/

    The building in the background at the top is just short of 500 yards from me. The clarity is outstanding as designed and spec’d. I am looking forward to seeing the scope that Nick actually has. Again, please feel free to field me any questions.

    RMN

  12. avatar Mick Stoddard says:

    I am respondig to Nick from Texas review. I can’t hardly believe what I read about his review on PFI products. I have used their scopes for several years on all of my center fire and rimfire rifles and have found them to be second to none,including some of the top brand name scopes such as leupold,weaver,bushnell just to name a few.I shoot several thousand rounds a year at various game and varmits and feel I have given PFI products a good testing.I would recommend their scope to anyone, The glass is as good as any scope on the market.
    I believe Nick either got a lemon,which can happen to anyone,and should contact customer service at PFI which I am sure that they resolve any problem he may have OR Nick isn’t as good as he would like people to think he is.He has shone that he is absolutely not a very curtious soul.

  13. avatar Mike says:

    I have 3 PFI scopes now and I can say with 100% certainty that these scopes outperform any Leupold scope I’ve ever owned.
    PFI makes quality scopes that far exceed what the average shooter can utilize. I have shot 500yds with no issues with my 300 and PFi scope. To do that with my last scope was a crap shoot at best.
    For the money you will not find another scope on the market that will do what a PFI can do.
    The author of this article happens to work for Leupold. Go figure he would write a trash piece about a superior product.

  14. avatar Eric Feldman says:

    I find this review to be completely one sided. Almost seems like someone is trying to sell scopes for leupold…….

    Personally, I have one of PFI’s older Japanese scopes as well as one of their new Chinese made scopes. I have been extremely happy with both of them. I think the pictures posted by Rich are way more accurate regarding the quality of these scopes.

  15. avatar Mike Ballard says:

    I own many PFI scopes and have never used a more intuitive system for hitting targets at moderate to long range. I’ve been in the firearms industry for over 20 years and have used it all. The super high end stuff the cheap but functional Walmart stuff, and also the products I only use for door stops. I’ve removed ALL of my Leopold, S&B and Night force glass in favor of PFI’s Rapid Reticle. While I haven’t actually shot with one of the new evolution scopes covered in this review, I have looked through them and checked them out pretty good. I didn’t find any of the characteristics that Nick described in this review. I actually liked the new reticle better than my 1-4 PFI. Unless this is just a case of a lemon being sent to the wrong guy, I’m having a hard time believing this is an honest un-biased review. Now I guess I need to try one out for myself. I’ve got a new upper that is looking quite bare….

  16. avatar Jamie Franks says:

    Between this review, and some of the other extremely inaccurate and grossly exaggerated TTAG posts relating to Top Shot, something doesn’t smell right to me, here.

    Until about 4 years ago, I had never heard of PFI Reticle optics. Today, 5 of my rifles are outfitted with PFI Tactical Series optics, and I have literally sold all my Trijicon and AimPoint optics. Through my military service, having served as direct support as well as a firearms instructor for Naval Special Warfare and EOD units, I have tons of first-hand experience with some of the biggest names in optics: USO, Leupold, Nightforce, Schmidt-Bender, Elcan, Trijicon, AimPoint, and EoTech just to name a few. For years I would have told you that Trijicon was the best intermediate-range optic in the business. Until I tried PFI.

    With all of my PFI optics, I have experienced NOTHING but top-shelf quality, clarity, and performance. Their trademark BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator) Reticles are hands-down the most true and accurate I have ever seen or used. My eyes can detect no difference in the quality and/or clarity of the glass in my PFI optics and that of Trijicon, Leupold or the others.

    The points of this particular review that stick out as being questionable are:
    1.) No focus or parallax knob. While there is no “knob” or turret for parallax adjustment, the PFI optics can be focused with an adjustment ring built into the rear of the optical lense (visible in the posted review photos). Once your desired magnification is set, you can quickly adjust your focus for image clarity, when necessary.
    2.) Illumination bright and unusable. This, to me, seems like a rookie user error. I could show you that with an AimPoint CompM4 where if you turn the brightness up to max, the red dot would completely obscure a human sized target at night. This, of course, is not the intention of the brightness levels, and you would be an idiot for turning the brightness up all the way at night.
    3.) Hunting with artificial illumination in Texas is a crime. This entire statement is intentionally misleading and is completely irrelevant. Hunting with artificial illumination refers to illuminating YOUR TARGET – i.e. “spotlighting” game. This is in no way related to illuminated reticles or illuminated “glow in the dark” night sights. Again – I believe the inclusion of this statement to be purposely misleading to readers who may not know better.
    4.) At the conclusion of this “review”, Nick Leghorn recommends that you purchase a Leupold Mark AR instead of the PFI scope. As a professional 3-Gun shooter, I happen to know that Nick Leghorn is sponsored by Leupold. Interesting. (http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/02/foghorn/gear-review-leupold-mark-ar-mod-1-1-5-4x20mm-spr/)

    I personally endorse Pride Fowler Industries (PFI). I have an extensive background in shooting and have recommended PFI to my family, my best friends, fellow competitors, and a number of military members. I would highly recommend PFI to anyone reading this. In competition I stake my name and reputation and performance on the line – riding on PFI optics – and they have never let me down.

  17. avatar Jamie Franks says:

    Between this review, and some of the other extremely inaccurate and grossly exaggerated TTAG posts relating to Top Shot, something doesn’t smell right to me, here.

    Until about 4 years ago, I had never heard of PFI Reticle optics. Today, 5 of my rifles are outfitted with PFI Tactical Series optics, and I have literally sold all my Trijicon and AimPoint optics. Through my military service, having served as direct support as well as a firearms instructor for Naval Special Warfare and EOD units, I have tons of first-hand experience with some of the biggest names in optics: USO, Leupold, Nightforce, Schmidt-Bender, Elcan, Trijicon, AimPoint, and EoTech just to name a few. For years I would have told you that Trijicon was the best intermediate-range optic in the business. Until I tried PFI.

    With all of my PFI optics, I have experienced NOTHING but top-shelf quality, clarity, and performance. Their trademark BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator) Reticles are hands-down the most true and accurate I have ever seen or used. My eyes can detect no difference in the quality and/or clarity of the glass in my PFI optics and that of Trijicon, Leupold or the others.

    The points of this particular review that stick out as being questionable are:
    1.) No focus or parallax knob. While there is no “knob” or turret for parallax adjustment, the PFI optics can be focused with an adjustment ring built into the rear of the optical lense (visible in the posted review photos). Once your desired magnification is set, you can quickly adjust your focus for image clarity, when necessary.
    2.) Illumination bright and unusable. This, to me, seems like a rookie user error. I could show you that with an AimPoint CompM4 where if you turn the brightness up to max, the red dot would completely obscure a human sized target at night. This, of course, is not the intention of the brightness levels, and you would be an idiot for turning the brightness up all the way at night.
    3.) Hunting with artificial illumination in Texas is a crime. This entire statement is intentionally misleading and is completely irrelevant. Hunting with artificial illumination refers to illuminating YOUR TARGET – i.e. “spotlighting” game. This is in no way related to illuminated reticles or illuminated “glow in the dark” night sights. Again – I believe the inclusion of this statement to be purposely misleading to readers who may not know better.
    4.) At the conclusion of this “review”, Nick Leghorn recommends that you purchase a Leupold Mark AR instead of the PFI scope. As a professional 3-Gun shooter, I happen to know that Nick Leghorn is sponsored by Leupold. Interesting. (http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/02/foghorn/gear-review-leupold-mark-ar-mod-1-1-5-4x20mm-spr/)

    I personally endorse Pride Fowler Industries (PFI). I have an extensive background in shooting and have recommended PFI to my family, my best friends, fellow competitors, and a number of military members. I would highly recommend PFI to anyone reading this. In competition I stake my name and reputation and performance on the line – riding on PFI optics – and they have never let me down.

    Petty Officer First Class Jamie Franks
    US Navy
    Top Shot Season-2 / Top Shot All-Stars

    1. avatar over-educated economist says:

      Nice post, Jamie. This isn’t some fly-by-night outfit that just sent you their latest cheap throwaway scope, this is a company with a name in the business (albeit not one of the big hitters) that makes scopes for US military usage. They deserve a chance to respond. EVERYTHING I’ve ever used from them was top notch. And while it’s not impossible for a company to screw up a new product, it would be out of character for them to shlock junk.

      And, frankly, Nick, not disclosing that you’re sponsored by Leupold is a real problem, especially when you go and recommend one after bashing a competitor.

  18. avatar Alan Davenport says:

    Gentlemen

    I could not help but way in on this discussion. I do not have the professional credentials that many of you that have posted on this site does. ( and by the way here is a much deserved thank you and God Speed to all of you service men ) but I also had not heard of Pride Fowler products until a couple of years ago and stumbled on to them on the web. I am nobody in the shooting industry but Rich Nguyen has personally fielded every call that i have made to Pride Fowler and gives me his cell number as he does everyone I believe. Customer Service great! I will say that the (2) different scopes I have of PFI are better than any scope that cost 3 times as much. No one makes a better reticle for engaging different yardage targets quickly than these folks (and on the 1st focal plane). The glass is better or as good as any scope 3 times the price. I have the 22 wmr scope and it is on target on every hold over and thats out to 300 yds. Now that s fun with a rimfire. Crows around here are sick of it… I also have the RR 7.62 and my lit reticle performs great.

  19. avatar over-educated economist says:

    FWIW, I bought this scope and could not replicate Nick’s focus problems (which I suspect stem from him not seeing the focus adjust ring on the ocular because of the flip-up cap). I have it mounted up on my Sig 556R, and it performs with distinction. Only problem was, ironically enough, the Leupold QRW rings got loose. Must not have torqued them enough?

    The reticle photo is extremely misleading. He’s got it dialed all the way up on blue. Red and green are far more subtle (but daylight visible, which was surprising to me!). No trouble using the reticle.

    My only nitpick is that the eye relief on 4x seems more unforgiving than 3″. My sister had a lot of trouble getting into the right position for it, and even I have to admit that it takes practice to nail the cheek weld every time. I run a TA01NSN, so I am used to bad eye relief… may also have been the front sight ghost, since this thing could nearly cowitness with the Sig factory sights.

  20. avatar j. king says:

    Thanks for addressing the review Mr. Nguyen. I just purchased a .300 BLK upper & had been searching the World Wide Web for an optic catering to the .300 BLK & within my $500 & under targeted budget. I will be doing more reading & research on this optic with hopes of purchasing one. Thanks again for addressing the review & offering to back up the quality & standards of your company & it’s products.

    Thanks,
    Jay

  21. avatar Thad says:

    If you are a webmasters who is interested in using Wiki website as your backlink- mediawiki linking resource, You should try GSA
    SER Web Ranking Software. Furthermore, Russavia’s account on Wikipedia has been blocked since April 2012, so this entire kerfuffle has been fought over the identity of someone who was already kicked off of the site.
    Instead coaching focuses on effecting change in a client’s current and
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  22. avatar jamie ingram says:

    I don’t know weather to call straightup BS or you a liar. And wonder what u got of the back end. The RR .300 blk. Is clear as day
    I’ve sold many and had not one
    complaint. I dare any reader to do his or her homework. And compare THE PFI .300 to the me Leopold I have. Not only have i sold many but sold seconds to consumer’s for gifts to others. We build the 7.62x 39 ar and can’t get enough love from our market
    The I don’t see socom running to anyone elae but PFI which ianwhynUS OPTICS came to PFI. Itsthe most aaccurate .300 blk out. And ffp under $400 dollars. Give me a brake . Anyone who has looked through then glass will tell you . You must be looking at a UTG. Or something else cause the .300 BLK u are trying to trash just isn’t it. Your to far odd to be wrong. Your so off your full of garbage. And the CQLR. Is by far a superior combat scope. I only ask people to realise this was written by a man with a agenda. Feel free to contact me direct ranger3081@yahoo.com I’ll be more than happy to tell you how CQLR did in combat
    And if your close to leeaburg fl or Wildwood . Fl stop in and check them out
    If you are near ST Augustine fl feel free to get with me
    I field this .300 on rifles when I take groups out on pig hunts so if you would like to try one on a ak or 7.62×39 or any other weapon of similar BC email me ill be more then happy to have you demo one. The glass is clear without tunneling. And perfect eye releife. And mention this article and I’ll give you a discount. I’ll do an..300 blk custom rifle and PFI RR.300 package deal
    Trust me who carries more weight UA optics ams socom or this nay sayer with am agenda. Vernon Harrison Dan rhe ballistics on this glass. Leopold isn’t even in same league. There reticle is off. 5; stars put up or shut up
    I guarantee any consumer will.be happy with this choice of glass. And to boot. U can reach the president of the company yourself. Try that at Leopold. UA Optics and socom or this guy. You choose
    Jamie Ingram RR distributor and shooter. Jamie@eastcoastcustomractical.com or ranger3081@yahoo.com
    Good luck and god bless.

  23. avatar jamie ingram says:

    And for those wanting to know my back ground. It comes from over 20 years In the SOF community and tactical community
    I didn’t fall of a apple truck yesterday. So. You can have the truth or distortion of someone with something to gain.. and yea
    That’s me calling you out. Truth is truth

  24. avatar jamie ingram says:

    Sorry everyone. I typed that all on the run. From my phone. Feel free to reach me at Jamie@eastcoast!customtactical.com.

  25. avatar Larry Schillinger says:

    I do not have a dog in this fight, until a week ago I had never heard of PFI. My remarks come from a government quality assurance back ground and as such here are some observations . Had I been a company selling optics, of the quality that has been purported, I would have verified that the quality assurance procedures and final inspection were followed and then re-inspecting the optics before shipment. I find it very disingenuous that PFI did not want the reviewer to share his findings without giving them a chance to review and correct noted problems. As a reviewer, he should post his findings without bias and give the readers a honest opinion: to do otherwise looses creditability. Farther, as was mentioned, PFI has dealt with the military and should know the proper procedure. If PFI does not follow military specifications and procedures then other questions do come to mind. As I mentioned previously, it is the company’s responsibility to assure their product is built to spec. I agree the reviewer could have notified PFI with his finding. However it PFI’s responsibility to initiate the follow up ,. After PFI had corrected the reviewers finding, then the reviewer should have retested the optic with a caveat that PFI had repaired or replaced the optic and posted his new findings.

    PFI has lost creditability with me and I would think anyone that reads all of the follow up comments on this blog, this because of the tact that PFI took slamming the reviewer for reporting his findings on the blog. Any reputable company would not lower themselves to such tactics. It was not the reviewers responsibility to do anything more than what he did, report his findings. I also find the comment made by the distributor grossly repugnant, to make the statement he did. Then there is all the others piling on, no doubt PFI had something to do with it trying to repair their reputation. I do have contacts with numerous distant shooters, I will assuredly pass on my findings.

    1. avatar over-educated economist says:

      I happen to know the inside story. PFI _most certainly_ tried to follow up. The review author screwed them. No shock, he’s sponsored by Leupold.

      Six months later, I still think the author is full of shit. I’ve had this scope for a while, and it has performed admirably. Perfect? No, Anything like what the review claimed? Absolutely not. This is one of TTAG’s worst reviews, and they owe it to PFI to do a follow up.

    2. avatar JM says:

      It’s the reviewer’s responsibility to report his findings for sure, but it’s also his responsibility to be sure his findings aren’t being induced by improper usage as seems to be the case here.

  26. avatar Mike Oates says:

    I may be wrong but it really appears the focal ring is WAY out of adjustment with the Illumination turned all the way up………….had that problem with another scope. Turn the illumination down to #2 and readjust the focal ring……..that should correct a lot.

  27. avatar JM says:

    Did the reviewer bother to properly set the reticle focus adjustment? Because it really sounds like he didn’t. If the reticle is out of focus your eye will adjust to bring the reticle into focus and cause the target image to be out of focus.

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