Reader Ken Whitmore writes:
ACME Machine is a relatively new entrant in the firearm parts, accessories, and optics business. They’ve been around for a couple of year now, while their parent company, Global Precision Parts (originally known as ACME Machine Automatics), is over 30 years old. I have gotten a chance to review some items from ACME Machine over the last year ranging from optics to accessories, most have centered around the AR-15 platform.
ACME Machine is deep into AR-related gear and equipment and, and they do it well with budget-minded AR builders in mind. They do a lot of off shore manufacturing to their own specs when it comes to optics, and certain other AR accessories and their prices reflect that.
For some firearm parts, that are much more critical to fit and finish, they source bolt carrier groups, receivers, and barrels through American companies, producing American made components. I have used their handguards, and a full lineup of their optics, and I can honestly say, considering the price-point, I have always been pleasantly surprised with the overall fit, finish, and performance of the items I have tested and evaluated. But enough about all of that. This review is about their new line of optics for shooters that want to really reach out and touch something.
They have a new line of affordable optics for those who need to reach out and touch something and I got my hands on their 6-24×50 First Focal Plane Tactical Rifle Scope. The optic has an official MSRP for $599, and as I am writing this, the price online is $349.99. I have even seen it available as low as $299.99.
Some people love optics at this price point, while it serves as a warning to others who wonder how a first-focal plane design scope that’s worth a damn could possibly sell for that price. While the price point should definitely raise some eye brows, as I’ve seen, the quality for the price point here will also raise a few.
As you’d expect with from a budget-priced optic, the 6-24×50 is made off shore in China. That will no doubt turn some people off, and, honestly, I get it. I’ve played around with some cheap budget optics made of “Chinesium” and was greatly disappointed at both the reliability and performance.
But, I can also say that Chinese manufacturing has come a very long way in the past decade. Companies such as Atibal, Athlon, Primary Arms and Vortex have demonstrated that, when managed well, off-shore manufacturing can mean shooters get a lot of performance for their dollar.
Even the 6-24×50’s packaging is a step in the right direction. It’s a solid box with a magnetic closure and has their logo on it. At first glance, the scope’s glass was very clear, and the side focus adjustment was tight, but also smooth when rotating it. The side focus knob doubles as the brightness adjuster. It has an “off” setting between each brightness level which is a nice touch in a budget optic.
The windage and elevation turrets are tactile, and have audible clicks for each adjustment which are set at ¼ MOA. The windage and elevation turrets are also capable of being taken off so that the shooter can “zero” their scope after your dope is properly set.
The magnification adjustment moves smoothly without any grit or creep. As mentioned before, the scope’s TR-MOA reticle is on the first focal plane, so when the shooter increases magnification, the reticle also zooms in closer. That means a reticle that stays constant in measurement with each hash mark, or stadia line. Each stadia line remains a measurement of 1 MOA, regardless of the range. The optic has 60 MOA adjustment for elevation and windage. ACME Machine claims it is nitrogen purged, o-ring sealed, and waterproof.
To test the adjustments on the scope, I did the standard 100-yard box test. If an optic doesn’t have reliable, repeatable adjustments, then you’re wasting your time when it comes to longer range shooting. It’s the acid test as to whether a budget scope is actually worth anything.
I mounted the 6-24x50mm FFP TR scope on a rifle I built for more precision shooting, along with dispatching groundhogs and coyotes on my family farm. It’s chambered in .223 Wylde with a 416R stainless steel, 20-inch barrel supplied by Rick Hoffmeyer at Radical Barrels, LLC
The load I used was 77 grain IMI Razorcore, in three-round groups. On a good day, and if I do my part, I can keep .4 MOA five-shot groups with this set-up, so the barrel and load were proven.
To begin the test, I started out dead center. Going from of my original zero, I then made 16 clicks left and 16 clicks down, sending my next three-round group at the bottom left target while holding on the center bullseye.
I repeated this process, using the appropriate amount of clicks shooting for each corner target while maintaining a hold on the center bullseye.
As you can see from the target that I shot at 100 yards, the scope tracks was dead-on. My final center target shot was less than .4″ low from my original dope. Considering the price point of this scope at well under $400, that’s impressive.
I’ve only reached out to 300 yards with the ACME Machine 6-24x50mm FFP TR, which is about par for most shooters. Even then, ringing a steel torso at that distance has become boringly regular. Using the MOA hash marks and knowing I have about four minutes of angle drop at 300 yards with the load I used, they’re accurate.
This optic comes feature packed for the price. The light transmission and clear glass are on par or better than other optics I’ve used that were made off shore. The side adjustment focus is easy to use, and the “off” settings in between each brightness adjustment is a plus. The optic comes standard with surprisingly solid, flip up caps that are a tight fit. The reticle is easy to see at full magnification and is equally easy to use. This optic also comes with a limited lifetime warranty through ACME Machine.
The field of view isn’t the best I have seen, but it’s still usable. For the price point, it would be hard to upgrade to a wider field without increasing the cost substantially. The finish on the tube looks cheaper than other budget scopes I’ve seen. It’s more of a matte finish, than a flat, and has a small amount of glare to it. That by no means affects function, but it’s noticeable compared to higher-end Vortex, Nikon, or Leupold optics.
Specifications: ACME Machine TR-MOA
Objective Lens Diameter: 50mm
Tube Diameter: 30mm
Focus Adjustment: Side Mounted Adjustment
Adj. Per Click: ¼ MOA
Adj. Range: 60 MOA
Illumination: Red (6 Levels)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Build Quality: * * * *
While the matte finish isn’t the best, for the price point the scope is solid and adjustment knobs don’t feel cheap or have any play in them.
Optical Quality: * * * * *
Based on the price point, the glass rivals higher end Vortex, and even lower level Leupold optics.
Adjustment & Controls: * * * *
Adjustments are rock solid and sure considering the price point. Not perfect, but pretty damn close.
Overall: * * * *
While this optic won’t be competing against anything from Nightforce, Schmidt & Bender, or Kahles, for the price point, this first focal plane optic with illuminated reticle is a hell of a deal for someone on a tight budget, or just getting their feet wet in longer-range shooting. The glass is very clear for an import optic, and adjustments tracked well.