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.
You get what you pay for at $180, I surprised that glass even survived the test. The old rule of spend 50% on optics what you spent on the rifle holds true here. I would consider $600 a bargain for a 1-6 power variable scope. $180 means it’s clearly intended for the mall ninja airsoft crowd.
At $269, I’ve been happy for a long time with my Primary Arms 1-6x ACSS scope. Even picked up a 1-8x version in mid August and it has been great, too. I’ve mostly just put 5.56 through them but have shot a bit of .308 also. Pretty darn solid glass at the price point — just a little distortion around the edges but clear and bright otherwise — tracks well, great reticle, true 1x, etc. Compared to my US Optics SR-6 the difference in glass is obvious but I prefer the true 1x of the PA vs. the 1.5x of the USO. At the price levels, I’d consider a high-end like the USO on a rifle where it truly “matters” (e.g. home defense gun, competition gun if I’m competing at a relatively serious level, TEOTWAWKI gun, going on an expensive hunting trip gun, hunting regularly to put meat on the table gun, etc) but will continue purchasing these PA scopes to outfit rifles that I shoot for fun. …I do think it is possible to find quality in this general price range.
Sad to hear this Trinity Force optic was so problematic. Their quality was supposed to have been upgraded with this new line. That uneven focus in the image is sort of an insurmountable problem.
I also have two PA optics, their 1-8 and their HoloSun circle dot. The rule, however, still holds true. It’s the reason why my .308 bench gun is rolling with a Vortex FPF scope rather than an el-cheapo Chinese knockoff. When you spend $2000 on a rifle for precision shooting, it makes no sense to turn around and put a $200 optic on it.
Primary Arms does have good quality affordable sights.
@NorincoJay A $2000 precision rifle is not “good quality, affordable.” That rifle is serious money for high performance, and really deserves the same level of glass placed atop it.
Full believer in the rule, but I think recent developments in scope technology have lowered the ratio to closer to 35 to 40 percent. Primary Arms and Vortex are two companies that consistently seem to deliver above their price point.
Since when did it become fashionable to wave a flag and support Trump yet throw an obviously chinese made Leupold-knockoff on your rifle?
A trend at gunshots is to have acres of tables selling chinese junk and stolen ideas. How is that OK?
If you cannot afford a proper US made product, then you cannot afford the knockoff. Like those stupid people who scream “America First” and “Build the wall” but shop at Walmart as if its mecca.
Reap what you sow America.
That’s ironic coming from a guy who has an Austrian product in his user name. I’m all for buying the best quality I can afford. If that happens to be American, I’ll buy American. Primary Arms may be made in China, but it is still a decent mid-tier product. Not every one of my dozens of guns needs a $800 red dot or a $1200 scope. My deer gun is running a $400 Vortex because I don’t see an overwhelming need to spend tons of money on a gun designed to take deer sized targets at 200 yards or less. Quite frankly, I could make most of those shots with iron sights, but the Remington 700 I managed to scrounge up didn’t come with irons. (Fun fact, I spent almost as much on the optic as I did on the rifle itself before I re-bedded it and added a Magpul magazine conversion.)
No point in trump bringing back manufacturing to America if his so-called supporters won’t even buy American.
In my experience most Trump supporters are free market types.
In a free market money goes where it’s treated best. That’s a fact whether you’re talking investments, services or consumer products.
When someone can get a product that’s comparable in terms of their needs they will take the cheapest option that fits the bill unless they’re buying something else with that money like style, pizzaz, bragging rights or some satisfying some other emotional need. To do otherwise is flat the fuck out retarded.
Being pro-USA does not require one to be retarded and waste ones money on a product that’s not significantly better just because the more expensive product was made in the USA. In fact, being pro-USA, you would do the opposite and spend the money you saved on, say a scope, on a variety of other things like maybe new boots, a nice dinner with your wife or a blowjob from that tranny hooker you’ve had your eye on. You are now *cough* stimulating multiple sectors of the economy instead of making sure two guys on a lean manufacturing production line have job security. Or, you could wisely invest the money you saved, whatever floats your boat.
Not only does this make sense from a financial standpoint, it’s also good for all the optics companies involved because it’s telling the company you didn’t buy from that they need to change the way they do business to get your dollars. The word for this is also the word of the day: incentive. Now, some companies will be run by morons and those companies will end up bankrupt and in Chapter 11. They’ll reorganize, hopefully ditch the idiots, and come back as a new company that has a better business model. If they can’t do that over a long enough period of time they’ll disappear because they’re not competitive. This is no different from the aforementioned tranny you’ve got the hots for. If you find out that “she” is terrible at servicing you then you’ll move on to some other tranny that has better skills, that’s a signal to the first tranny that to get your dick back in “her” mouth and your dollars in “her” thong, “she” needs to get better at the service “she’s” offering. Over a long enough timeline, failure means starvation.
The beating heart of a free market economy is fair competition. Just like most of those stupid children people seem to think are special, many companies are losers. They’re dead weight and they need to reorganize or be shed. In a growing and vibrant economy the people who lose jobs at those companies will find jobs at other companies.
Wow. Struck a nerve with that guy. As damaged as he is I still hope he finds supporting the American craftsmen and women worthy of more than trafficked sex toys.
Well, sounds like someone failed Econ 101
Sounds all well and good. I would imagine that if we ALL had your kind of money we would all buy American Made. Now there is another little thing to think about. Do you watch TV? Do you have a refrigerator, washer, dryer, microwave, cell phone, water faucets ??????????……… And the list goes on. What kind of vehicle do you drive? Almost everything we use each and every day is either MADE in another country or many of its components are.
I always heard to be prepared to spend as much on your optic as on your gun. With competition driving prices down, it’s not as useful of a saying as it used to be unless you’re playing the Ultra Long Range game or if you want a nice scope for your 10/22.
It would be nice to see a review of something similar in the $300 range, where we might see better value.
Jeremy did a review a while back on the Primary Arms 1-6.
I bought their SFP 1-8 and was not disappointed. It’s not a $1000 optic, and has some drawbacks, but definitely worth the cash as long as it’s not something that’s mission critical.
What you say makes logical sense but it’s not the way I roll I guess.
Growing up I shot a lot of rabbits and other small game with an old Browning T-Bolt equipped with a old Redfield 3-7 power scope. While some of the shots were casual where you had some time, most were not so I got damn good at bringing a 3x optic to my eye and having it be on target. Kinda like point shooting with a pistol. Maybe not exactly where you want it but really close. As I got older and could handle larger and heavier rifles I did the same thing, so I’ve never much seen the point in having less than 3x magnification once I go past irons.
On the other hand 3x magnification inside a structure sucks unless that structure is well lit because you often can’t see through the optic.
This is also part of the reason I have little affinity for the AK, but that’s another story.
It’s all in how you practice… 90%+ of my shooting is done without magnified optics. I am used to the slightly sloppier battery of arms I can get away with due to the absence of the “eye box” common in magnified optics. In fact, the only guns I own with variable power scopes that don’t have a 1x are my .308 bench gun and my .30-06 deer rifle. (They carry a 5-25x and a 3-9x respectively.)
My problem with the AK is that it’s just different enough from most other rifles that it doesn’t quite fit my body naturally. That’s not a problem with every one of them but most. My buddy has an AK he changed the stock on and it works pretty well for me.
One day I’ll figure out what he did and do it to my Nodak but for now I have other projects in the pipe.
I own a pair of their flip up polymer $20 sights for the pair. They are better quality than useless MFT polymer sights.
Magnified optics isn’t a world I’m super well versed in because I don’t have the time, money and inclination to test every one of the zillion scopes out there, but it seems to me that in many cases optics quality is somewhat independent of price point until you get down really low on the price.
Too bad considering that lens grinding isn’t the art it used to be, but c’est la vie.
I also don’t really get the concept of having glass that can be set to 1x either, but I’m sure some people find it useful for competition.
I’m a big fan of true 1x options on SPRs. Basically, it lets you use the rifle as a decent CQB carbine with a red dot or take it out to a medium (300-400 meters) range without too much trouble.
A sub-$190 1-6x? Jeeze, no wonder it performed the way it did. This is the equivalent of a $40 red dot.
The Bushnell ar223 1-4 scope is under $200 and is a decent option. It is a little heavy, a little dark, the BDC isn’t measured anywhere that I can find, but it works. It sounds like unless you want the 6x magnification the Bushnell might suit someone better. There are decent options out there for that price range.
People will buy this, mount it on their $300 rifles, shoot deer, fill freezers and feed their families economically.
There are reasons a Lexus costs more than a Hyundai, but that doesn’t mean everyone needs a Lexus.
If the optic breaks when you are sighting it in, or out in the field on the first range trip, then you aren’t going to be feeding your family or filling the freezer. Regardless of your budget, you’re still stuck with a $190.00 paperweight.
“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.”
It didn’t break for Nick.
Are you going to be reviewing aim sports, nc star, and monstrum tactical now?
We sorta know what to expect..
For budget magnification I’d go with Primary Arms, Vortex, or Burris.
Though honestly I’m impressed with a $20 field and sport red dot I picked up. It’s just as nice as a bushnell trs-25.
But a red dot is harder to screw up than a magnified scope.
Does anyone do anything besides play these tactical games most of us don’t hunt our fellow man so I get sick of all this shit how about we learn how to shoot at deer or some other big game leave that ugly added at 15 in the closet untill you need it as far as optics go the scope companies are ripping us all they could all build a good scope in the 300 to 500 dollar range that’s all you need I think shooting at human targets gets some of these nut jobs wanting to for real take it from me you better hope you don’t have to but some nuts get the idea to shoot the innocent !Helpless kids in schools are not targets nor are mall shoppers or anyone else ingrates in pridefully activities but it does happen I think these games shooting at human targets give some people the wrong idea!Just my two cents o by the way no at type gun can compare to a fine weather by rifle
I love how this computer leaves out whole sentences plus auto corrects words and then misspelled them but I hope you get my drift I’m not going to rewrite this again!!
Very Impressive article. everyone should need to know the impotent fact before the buying a rifle scope. You wrote the awesome impotent fact in this article.
Thanks for sharing
Best Spotting Scope