Gear Review: Trinity Force 3-9×42 P4 Sniper Reticle Scope

 

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If you’re looking for a reasonably priced, multi-use optic you can use on a range gun, airsoft gun or AR pattern rifle, you’ll want to take a look at the Trinity Force P4 Sniper Reticle scope. It gets a lot of things right for not a lot of dollars . . .

What’s in the Box?

The P4 comes with a red dot optic, a mount to attach the red dot to the primary optic, some basic lens caps, Allen wrenches and an extra battery.

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Primary Optic – 3-9×42

The primary optic is the P4 Sniper’s (the “sniper” refers to the type of reticle this P4 has, more on that below) 3-9×42 scope. The overall P4 optic looks similar to a Trijicon ACOG, but the P4 is designed for low-impact users, not soldiers in combat or whose life may depend on them. These are more for the shooter who wants to go to the range and have some fun, but may not have the budget for more expensive glass.

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The P4 weighs in at 1 lb 1.4 oz and is constructed of aluminum. It’s a pretty heavy package. And when you add the included red dot it totals in at 1 lb 3.8 oz For comparison, a 4×32 Trijicon ACOG weighs 9.9 oz and a Vortex Spitfire weighs in at 8.7 oz. So, it’s heavy for a standard optic, but not outside the realm of some. The 6x Trijicon ACOG weighs 2 lbs 4.9 oz, and costs over $2,700.

The overall feel of the P4 isn’t bad, it feels pretty well constructed. The anodized coating should be about as durable as similar types of optics and hold up pretty well against minor scratches, etc.

Reticle

The P4 is available with multiple reticle types. Trinity Force offers a rangefinder reticle, a mil dot reticle and the sniper reticle. The sniper reticle on this model is like a mil-hash style reticle where the hash lines are taller on the outside and get shorter as they get closer to the point of aim.

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The reticle is also illuminated with 3-color options, red, blue and green. There are three brightness settings for each color, all controlled by the larger knob on the left of the scope.

One problem with the P4’s illumination is that it’s not uniform over the whole of the reticle. One side (nearer the light source) is definitely brighter than the other. Also, with the illumination on, the left side when looking through the optic you can often see the light reflecting and coloring the inside of the tube, producing a colored halo effect. This is something that occasionally happens with other optics, but it’s usually only on very bright settings in dark environments. The P4 seems to do this in almost every instance. It’s hard to capture on camera, but the images below shows a little of what I am talking about.

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Turrets

The turrets on the P4 are uncapped external turrets designed for easy adjustment. They are also marked for both clicks and full rotations, a nice addition to any scope with uncapped turrets. There is no zero stop, not that I would expect there to be one.

The feel of the turrets is decent. They have clicks for each 1/4 MOA adjustment. That being said, there is a little play in them and the number markings (on zero) don’t exactly line up to the rotation marks. That is more of an annoyance than a functional issue, but it would be nice if it all lined up. The clicks are not as pronounced as they are with some other optics, but you can tell that they are there.

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Magnification

The magnification can be adjusted from 3x to 9x using a ring located in front of the eyepiece. With the red dot attached, the ring is a little hard to get a hold of, but you can do it. Adjustment is pretty smooth, but has a fair amount of resistance. You have to actually want to change the magnification. This is fairly standard on most optics. Very few adjust magnification easily. But it should be smooth, even if it requires a little force to get it going.

There is a little “play” in the magnification ring, you can move the ring and feel it engaging a little. Not a lot, but it’s there. Other then that, the magnification adjustment does exactly what you would expect it to.

Focus Adjustment

Focus adjustments are made with a ring on the front of the eye piece. Adjustment is pretty smooth, but also takes a bit of force much like the magnification ring. The focus has stops, so you can only adjust it so far… so you wont unscrew the end of the scope. Other than that, the focus does what a focus ring does.

Optical Clarity

For a scope at this price, I wasn’t expecting this level of clarity, but I was pleasantly surprised at how clear the optic is. It’s hard to capture in a photo, but I tried (the photo really doesn’t do it justice).

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You may notice a little distortion around the edges. It’s not so noticeable when actually looking through the optic. But a common issue with lower-priced scopes is that the center point of the optic is the only part that is truly clear. As you move out, towards the edges of the lens, there is a fall-off in clarity. Like I said, this isn’t super noticeable when actually using the scope, but it is there and the picture exaggerates it.

Mounting

The P4 comes with a quick-release style mount attached that will work with any 1913 (Picatinny) rails. The latch feels sturdy and it worked on all of the rails that I tried it on. That being said, when in the locked position, the latch sticks out a bit, and will be a pretty easy snag hazard. And there is no lock on it, so if it snags, and pops loose, your optic is going to hit the dirt.

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I’m not sure if there are any other mounting solutions for the optic, but the quick release latch is attached with two screws, so it is something that can be removed.

Range Time

Doing a little plinking with the optic was no big deal once I got it situated on the rifle and sighted it in. For testing, I attached the P4 to one of my custom built AR-15s running a BCM upper receiver group, Coronado Arms lower and a Palmetto State Armory lower parts kit.

I got everything set up and sighted in at 50 yards (the farthest distance the range I was at had). Below are some pictures of the groups. Using boxed PMC ammo from the prone position.

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The P4 optic worked great. I didn’t have any issues and the adjustments, windage and elevation work as advertised. I performed a basic 1 MOA box test with the optic, and other than me throwing a round, the adjustments seem to be true and reliable.

Red Dot

The red dot optic that is included with the P4 is a very generic, basic red dot, that appears to have 3 MOA dot. The one I received works, but it seems to be missing a screw from each side of the protective hood. Other than that, it’s a basic red dot with windage and elevation adjustments (they require an included wrench to change). The on/off is via a large switch on the back of the optic. I imagine it’s pretty easy to accidentally smack on and off, but other than that, it seems to work. All in all, it’s not something I would recommend for any type of high impact situations.

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Also, to replace the battery, you must remove the red dot from its included mounting base. The base that’s included is a low height one, so if you are planning to use the optic on something else, you will need to accommodate for it being very low (no riser included). The kit did include a ring for mounting the red dot to the top of the P4 scope. This mount goes around the eye piece of the optic.

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Another thing worth noting is the height over bore with the red dot on top of the P4 optic. It comes in at about 3.5 in off the rails, and if you add another about 1.5 in for rail height over bore, you’re looking at about 5 inches of height over bore. That means at close range, your bullet impact will be 5 in lower than your point of aim. So if you’re thinking of using this setup for some type of CQB situation, I would think again.

Warranty

The P4 is covered by a Trinity Force limited lifetime warranty. This covers defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the product.

Specifications: Trinity Force P4 Sniper

Magnification: 3x-9x
Objective: 42mm
Length: 8 in
Weight: 17.4 oz (1 lb 1.4 oz)
Reticle: Mill-Hash Style
Mount: Quick Release (included)
Battery: CR2032 (3v, extra included)
MSRP: $135.00

Ratings (out of 5 stars):

Durability: * * *
The P4 isn’t designed to be bullet proof, but for the price point, it will hold it’s own. It’s sturdy and will last under normal use. The Red Dot on the other hand is a lower quality item and will not withstand a beating.

Usability: * * *
The P4, with it’s 3x to 9x magnification, will work well for any smaller caliber rifle, .223, .22LR, etc. at ranges from 25 yds to 100+ yds. Also with the included red dot, you will have the added ability to easily shoot at closer ranges. The only downside is that I would not recommend the red dot for any high impact situations (like training classes).

Value: * * * *
At the price point of $135, the P4 package is a good entry level package for the shooter that just wants to get out to the range and send some rounds down range.

Overall: * * * ½
The P4 is a good low-cost optic. For $135 you can take a rifle out and put some rounds down range. It’s not something that’s designed to be beaten up or taken into high-impact training, but for the occasional shooter, this optic will work out just fine. If you think you’re going to be a little more on the rough side with your rifle or are planning to take it to a tactical training class, you may want to look into something a little more robust.

comments

  1. avatar VB says:

    Probably a neat option for a .22 AR. At that price, why the hell not?

  2. avatar collver says:

    Wish this was out before I bought the nikon p223. But even still, my little nikon was a hell of a deal.

  3. avatar Sian says:

    The reflex sight looks exactly like the generic Chinese crapsack airsoft stuff sold on Amazon under the Global Sportsman, UTAC, and other brands for $25-35. Poor battery life, hard to adjust and won’t hold zero.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      Yup, I had this exact thing on my Kel-Tec SU-22. It stopped working after a few months – the red dot is completely off and can’t be zeroed anymore.

    2. avatar Doc says:

      Is a lasersight to focus on the scope I did I was on target no questions asked on how to shoot

  4. avatar adam says:

    So we got a M&P10 with one of these strapped to it. Needless to say it doesent hold up to 308 real well.

  5. avatar DrVino says:

    What, no toothpick dispenser?….

    1. avatar Avid Reader says:

      It’s right next to the snuff box.

  6. avatar William says:

    Ncstar by any other name still shitty

  7. avatar Publius says:

    Any recommendations for a cheap scope for a PSL?

    1. avatar lolinski says:

      Just get a POSP scope. The fixed 4x or 8x variants aren’t too expensive and are very good (glass quality) + very durable/rugged. I am not a too big fan of the PSL but it can be surprisingly accurate.

      http://kalinkaoptics.com/rifle-scopes/standard/variable/pv-2-10×52-pilade-zoom-weapon-rifle-scope-w-german-post-reticle.html

      That one might interest you but you would need a mount to attach that one.

      If your budget is in the 500 USD range then you could get a 4-12x Variposp, those are nice but expensive.

      1. avatar Publius says:

        I have the stock 4x scope, but I’d like something adjustable and illuminated. I know I’d need to get a new mount to go with it. I just don’t know enough about scopes to know what would be a good budget option.

        1. avatar lolinski says:

          The one I linked to should be nice. I believe it is illuminated. Though the one I linked to has the Dragunov reticle, there is also a version with mil-dot retice.

  8. avatar A-Rod says:

    Mall ninjas rejoice the world over for this new toy.

  9. avatar Jhon Philips says:

    Wish TTAG would stick to what they do best….news…..not gear….

  10. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    What is up with all the negative comments regarding a gear review? The website is called The Truth about Guns. Last I checked scopes mounted to guns. I will be honest I wasn’t going to drop $550 for an Eotech so I spent $160 on a vortex. As someone said above great idea for .22 lr.

  11. avatar Accur81 says:

    Looks like a junk NCStar clone. I don’t own a scope that hasn’t taken at least a moderate amount of recoil, weather, and field use. For my money, Redfield, Leupold (but I repeat myself), and Burris take a good beating at a reasonable price.

    1. avatar lolinski says:

      Don’t forget Primary Arms. Not the most glamorous but their red dots and 4-14 FFP scopes are nice.

  12. avatar BDub says:

    Save your pennies and buy a Trijicon. Use it on multiple rifles, and use it for life.

  13. avatar Michael says:

    Nice honest review, Not everyone can afford ACOG or EOTECHs.

  14. avatar Joe says:

    If you have $ for a car, a rifle and ammo to feed it, a house or apartment. Theres no reason you cant afford to put a decent scope on your primary rifle.
    SWFA, Burris, Nikon, Redfield, Bushnell, Aimpoint, Eotech, and Vortexx. These companies all make excellent optics for under $400.

  15. avatar doesky says:

    You can get a pretty decent 3×9 for $200 by burris/redfield. The red dot is worth $25 tops. I question the value of this solution.

  16. avatar Mrbadnews says:

    The thing is a hole lot of “nope”.

  17. avatar Bob H says:

    What exactly is a “reticle”? Is Elmo involved?

  18. Whhy people still use to read news papers when in this technological world all is presented on net?

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    You need targeted visitors for your Gear Review: Trinity Force 3-9×42 P4 Sniper Reticle Scope | The Truth About Guns website so why not get some for free? There is a VERY POWERFUL and POPULAR company out there who now lets you try their website traffic service for 7 days free of charge. I am so glad they opened their traffic system back up to the public! Sign up before it is too late: http://gr0bi.de/33

  20. avatar E.C.Dood says:

    Decent review – accurate, even if slightly understated – good job Josh.

    I looked closely at one of these in our local sportsman’s store, and Josh wasn’t lying. But, putting it lightly (PUN intended) he didn’t express the magnitude of the problem (again, PUN intended [sorry, last one]) with the illumination. For the one I looked at the interior glowed like a jack-o-lantern on LSD (from both ends). Not too stealthy, and definitely not a clear recticle when illuminated. On the other hand, turn off the LED and the lense and reticle are fairly clear. Just remember, you usually get what you pay for, and (IMHO), even in this price range, you can do better than the P4. But wait awhile, save your dimes, and buy better – you’ll be much happier in the long run.

  21. avatar Keith says:

    my first impression with this scope was that I was super happy with it.
    after shooting and while cleaning the rifle, a big piece of the lens from the red dot fell out… don’t think I hit it on anything but I just assumed it was me and tossed the red dot portion, it was the scope I liked.
    last weekend I went to shoot and the electronics fell off, 4 tiny screws (inside under the circuit board that’s under the battery). Damn, it’s not like it was a spot I could loctite either. basically, if I could go back in time, I’d advise myself not to buy this and buy something else. I did manage to spend a few hours trying to figure out the electrical contacts and with some bending and trial and error (and a volt meter and patience) got it back together and working… but who knows for how long

  22. avatar burropardo says:

    after 10 round on my AR .308 it get loosen. I have been using Loctite but still same problem.

  23. avatar catfish, my real name says:

    Nice review, probably be great for a plinker rifle with little to no recoil. Still not sure it would hold up well to 223/556.

  24. avatar John says:

    Ok, so my question to all the experts out there from the comments, should I get it for the new mini-14 I got or no ? 5.56 by the way

  25. avatar Chad says:

    will it fit on a “Quad Rail” and will it have all mounting parts and pieces ?

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