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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Ratings (out of five stars):
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.