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Courtesy Joe Grine

I have been a big fan of the Romanian-made IOR scopes since they first started becoming readily available in the U.S. in the mid-1990s. Back in those days, IOR scopes seemed to mostly follow rugged Russian military designs, but used improved German glass from Schott AG.  In those early years, however, the downside to IOR scopes was that they seemed to be behind on the latest technology. All that has changed in recent years, however, and now IOR is an industry leader on many fronts . . .

For example, just a few of IOR’s accomplishments include:

  • IOR’s MP-8 Reticle is the first ever to incorporate tick marks in ½ mil marks and eliminating the thick bar at the bottom of the reticle, to make the mil-radian reticle system easier to use (since the lines do not obscure the target like Mil- dots).
  • IOR introduced the first ever 6:1 zoom multiplier in a 35mm tube tactical scope system: 1.5-8×26, 2-12×32 and 3-18×42 scopes. The technology was regarded as an unprecedented engineering marvel within the optics industry.
  • IOR made the first 7:1 zoom multiplier when it released the 4-28×56 40mm MX-7 scope.
  • IOR released the first 10:1 zoom multiplier in a tactical scope (1-10×26).

All IOR scopes feature glass from Schott AG of Germany, etched reticules, steel ball bearings, and the proprietary MC-7 Wide-Band fully-multi-coating process that includes 7 to 11 layers of coatings per lens surface. And in case you are curious, IOR stands for “Industry Optic Romania.” Headquartered in Bucharest, Romania, IOR has been making scopes since 1936.

Courtesy Joe Grine

Valdada IOR Optics USA, which is the exclusive North American Distributor of IOR scopes, had a booth at the SHOT Show and I had an opportunity to visit with its Owner and President, Valentin “Val” Leatu.  He was pretty jazzed about IOR’s new tactical scope: the  3-25×50 FFP.  Based on my brief hands-on with this scope at SHOT Show, this new 3-25×50 just may be the best thing to come from IOR in a while.  Its definitely on my “must have” list!  It is a compact (13 inches in length), first focal plane tactical scope with Mil/Mil capability and side focus. It also features:

  • New HD low dispersion glass from Schott
  • New Xtreme 1 reticle digitally illuminated
  • New turret with Re-zero, Zero Stop turret lock and secondary POI indicator

Expect pricing to be in the $ 3k  range.

Courtesy Joe Grine

Another hot IOR scope is the 4-28×50 RECON.  It has been out for a while now and has made a (relatively) big splash on the market.  It is unique because it features a huge 40 mm main tube.  In part, its success in the U.S. marketplace may be due to a few highly favorable reviews, including placing very high in the excellent tests conducted by the Precision Rifle Blog.

This FFP, front (AO) parallax adjustment tactical scope is loaded with the following features:

  • HD low dispersion glass Schott
  • fully multicoating MC-7 IOR technology
  • 40mm tube dramatically reduces the whip and vibration effects associated with large magnum calibers
  • 35 mil (aprox 125 MOA) of vertical adjustment
  • Rock solid internal mechanisms,
  • new parallax adjustment system will allow the scope to focus as close as 21 feet @ 28x power.
  • compact size (14 inch)


Other technical specifications of the 4x28x50 include:



FIELD OF VIEW………………………………..58 ft to 6 ft.

EXIT PUPIL………………………………………12.5mm to 1.75mm

EYE RELIEF…………………………………….3.75 inch


CLICK VALUE…………………………………..0.1 MRAD

WEIGHT……………………………………………39 oz.

And, no, that last bit is not a typo – it is a three pound scope!  It’s a pig!

And lastly, the bad news:  the IOR 4-28×50 RECON will set you back $3 grand.  For that price, it does comes with a set of 40mm rings, as well as a sunshade and lens covers.

Courtesy Joe Grine

Finally, I need to let you guys know about IOR’s new rings, because these are pretty slick.  These rings come in matched serial-numbered sets.  One ring is roughly 1/16th of an inch (or so I’m guessing based on observation) taller than the other, in order to add approximately 20-27 MOA of additional offset, depending on how far apart the rings are mounted.  In order to keep the scope straight in these offset rings, the engineers at IOR milled out a convex surface on some inserts, and mate them to a concave curve on the inside of the ring itself.  Hopefully those curved surfaces are apparent in my (admittedly crappy) photo above.

TTAG hopes to have a 3-25×50 available for testing later this summer.

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    • Don’t forget about US optics either. If I am spending 2-3k on a riflescope, I’ll buy American thank you.

        • At least some of their stuff is built at a warehouse 2 miles from my house in Brea, CA. I’ve seen it made. It would have been great to make a purchase if I had an extra 3 grand with no particular place to go. Instead, I got a set of 30 mm XL rings, Rem 700 rail mount, and scope leveler from them. They’ve all been excellent.

          I’m not aware of US Optics have any Chinese production.

  1. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say unless your life depends on your optic, or you are pulling down major bank with your firearm or are just pretty darn rich, you don’t need a freaking $3k optic. I’m curious how many of these top tier scopes are actually sold on a yearly basis frankly. I guess every company needs a flagship product, but for something like 99% of the shooting population a FFP 6 x 20 Vortex at right around $1k should cover almost every conceivable extremely long range shot you’re likely to attempt. Hell, weren’t most of Hathcock’s shots made with fixed 8x and 10x Unertls?

  2. This could be some awesome glass. It certainly has heroic magnification range. Going above 30 mm rings offers some interesting optic capabilities including light gathering, short range focus, elevation / wind age adjustability, etc. Too bad there is a significant weight penalty.

    My 3.5-21x Bushnell ERS FDE has a pretty good magnification range. With a FFP optic, the retical is tough to see at 3.5x. Mines is the TRMR 2. I’ll take a look at how IOR sets up their reticals to mitigate that problem.

  3. Damn, I’d like something like this, wish I could afford it. And here I thought getting an Aimpoint was expensive…

  4. Similar features to SWFA SS line, with lifetime warranty, but almost twice the price. IOR seems to have upped prices a lot in last couple years. I believe SWFA is also coming out with adjustable zoom MOA (vs mil/mil) for those of us who prefer to use MOA’s. I will be buying on of those. At the stated $3k price point, I would go with a March, but that is just my opinion.

  5. I have a platoon of Nikon scopes, and my precision tactical 700 wears a Monarch 5-20x44mm SF BDC scope, in no small part because it was high quality at a very very reasonable price. Unfortunately I knew it wasn’t a NightForce or even a Leupold Mark 4 but felt it compared EXTREMELY FAVORABLY if not better than the Leupold VX3/VX3L’s (I actually was able to compare side by side at a gun shop), and other scopes I tried to research and check out. But I surely would LOVE to have a $1000 scope, like a Trijicon AccuPoint 5-20x50mm or a Leupold MK4, a NightForce or Vortex Razor HD etc.

    a $3-4000 scope? Come on. No point even in reading the articles about them really, I’ll never own one let alone try one most likely.

    I betcha they’re sure nice, though. But I am a regular guy, $3000 is not something I usually get to lay my hands on, let alone for a Romanian riflescope.

  6. I got the 10×42 last year. I became and IOR fan for life. I think this scope comes standard on Russian Military sniper rifles. If so, this scope has taken out more targets than all other scopes combined courtesy of Spetznaz. I’m acquiring the Recon or Terminator later this month for my SS 5R.

    • I have the Terminator. I have it mounted to my 6.5 Creedmore. It is by far the most amazing scope I have ever looked through. Tracking is dead on. You won’t be disappointed.

  7. I love your use of “new math” or is it “common core”? 39 ounces is 2 lb 7 oz almost 2 1/2 lb but not 3 lb!
    Where did you all go to school Hillary Rodham High? When in doubt use your calculator, there is probably one on your phone?

  8. There has to be the best in everything, that includes scopes, you can put a tier 1 optic on an otherwise average rifle, and that rifle will shoot like a tier 1 rifle, I’ve got both

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