There’s a sweet spot when it comes to rifle scopes that’s occupied by the 1-6x variable power models. The ability to crank the scope down to 1x for quick shots with the ability to still get 6x magnification for medium range shots makes an optic suitable for everything from competition shooting to hunting in most of the country.
Just about every optics maker has a 1-6x scope in their line-up. Trinity Force is a relatively new company looking to take some of that market share with their budget priced version.
On paper the Trinity Force Legacy Optic 1-6×24 scope hits all the requirements. Just like its more expensive cousins, this Chinese manufactured scope has a slim straight-tube body with two adjustment knobs: one for windage and one for elevation. There’s no parallax adjustment knob — the only focus control is the typical eyepiece adjustment ring. That can be annoying when doing long range shooting.
Speaking of those adjustment knobs, they’re calibrated in 1/2 MoA increments. For those unfamiliar with the math, 1/2 MoA is roughly 1/2 inch at 100 yards. If you’re shooting a rifle that on a good day can only do 1 MoA groups that might be fine. It will get you in the ballpark for having your point of impact match up with your point of aim. But for those with more accurate firearms that can put out 1/2 MoA groups with boring rapidity, that’s not enough resolution. The preferred increment would be 1/4 MoA.
Size of adjustment isn’t the only issue with the Legacy. In order to make these waterproof Trinity Force designed rubber gaskets in the knobs sealing the innards from the elements. But the gaskets not only make it much harder to turn the knobs, the added resistance also makes it possible to set the knobs and have them remain at a position in between the detents. So while you might feel the “click” for a 1/2 MoA adjustment, the knobs aren’t precise enough to give you exactly 1/2 MoA. You may actually get a little more or a little less. That makes the scope much less useful for long range shooting that it otherwise would be.
The overall look and feel of the scope is good. The black anodized body feels and looks like the higher end scopes and the machining of the parts doesn’t raise any concerns. Until you get to the magnification ring.
On just about every other scope I own, the shooter twists the ring clockwise to increase magnification and counter-clockwise to decrease it. That paradigm is flipped on the TF Legacy Optic. Whether that’s a deliberate design choice or just the result of an arbitrary coin toss, I’m not sure, but I had to get used to the change.
Inside the scope is a pretty standard reticle, dubbed the P4 Sniper (spec sheet and instructions here). In short, it’s a straightforward set of crosshairs spaced 5 MoA apart with increasing substention height from 2 MoA to 5 MoA as the substentions get further away from the center. It’s an interesting configuration that seems to work fine from a mathematics point of view.
What doesn’t work quite so well is the glass itself.
The first issue is light transmission. Normally rifle scopes transmit about 90% of the light that comes in through the objective lens back to the eyepiece. The best scopes transmit north of 95%. Even on a bright sunny day without a cloud in the Texas sky, the image in the scope was noticeably dark. While I don’t have the equipment to measure the actual transmission, I’m pretty sure the Legacy isn’t reaching the 90% mark. I was not impressed.
Then there’s focus quality. As you can see from the image above, the center of the scope has a different focus position than the sides. If the center is sharp, the sides are blurry, and vice versa. That’s no bueno when you’re trying to maintain situational awareness and observe more than just what’s in the crosshair.
Out on the range I tested the Legacy (on a Warne mount) with my suppressed SCAR 17 SBR, a rifle that tends to destroy lesser optics. To its credit the scope took a licking and produced acceptable group sizes (using Eagle Eye precision ammunition) even after hundreds of rounds of ammunition down the pipe. It’s only when I turned the turrets that things fell apart.
I used a standard “box test” at 50 yards to determine if the scope tracked properly. I fired a three-round group at the center (the two on the left were good shots, the third just right of center was a flinch after a guy next to me with a Springfield 1903A1 opened fire…indoors) and began the test: four clicks up and right, eight clicks left, eight clicks down, eight clicks right.
Theoretically this should have produced a clean, equidistant box pattern around the center of the target. Even allowing some room for shooter error it’s clear that the Legacy’s turrets didn’t track properly, unevenly moving further left and down per click than up and right.
Bottom line, I can’t recommend it. The Legacy may be affordable, but you pay for the savings in just about every way you can think. Poor light transmission, balky adjustment knobs, and uneven focus. I’d really recommend saving your pennies for something more proven. But if you absolutely need something for under $190 then the Legacy would work in a pinch.
Specifications: Trinity Force Legacy Optic 1-6×24 P4 Sniper Scope
Finish: Black Anodized
Power x Obj. Lens: 1-6x24mm
Reticle: P4 Sniper
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
Tube Diameter: 30mm
Eye Relief: 4.2 inches
Focal Plane: Second
Street Price: $180
Ratings (out of five stars):
Fit, Finish, Build Quality * * *
The scope is well built, with the exception of the way the turret knobs are constructed.
Optical Quality *
Light transmission is poor, optical clarity isn’t what it should be, and the ability to focus the entire field of view on a single plane isn’t in the Legacy’s repertoire.
Turret Tracking (0)
Reticle * * *
The concept of the reticle is pretty well laid out, mainly because it’s the same basic layout as the standard MIL-DOT reticle that’s been used for ages but with a MoA twist.
If you absolutely positively cannot live without a 1-6x scope and can’t pay a penny over $200, this is an okay solution. It will work fine as long as you avoid using the turrets for their intended purpose. But for as little as $70 more you can have a Bushnell AR Optics model that does everything this kind of scope is supposed to do.
Note: When informed of the performance of the Legacy scope in this review, Trinity Force issued this statement:
Trinity Force places the highest value on constant product development and improvement. Our team works hard to make sure that our products have been thoroughly tested before going to market, and consistently listens to end-user feedback even after products have been released. By doing this we are able to quickly address any issues and incorporate consumer requests into product revisions, enhancements and new designs. We value all forms of feedback and make sure that our customers can connect with us directly if the need arises. Visit trinityforce.com for more contact and product information.