An Enlightening Discovery! The mid-price scope market is competitive – and it’s going to need to make room for another major player. Mat Manning introduces the Discovery VT-T
UK distributor: Sure Shot Airguns
Objective lens: 44mm
Tube size: 30mm
Features: Push-lock 1/10 mil turrets; side parallax; first focal plane DLT FFP MIL reticle; fog-, water- and shock-resistant
Extras Mobile phone mount, flip-up lens covers, chamois lens cloth, honeycomb insert or 3in sunshade
When it comes to choosing a quality scope that can deliver in both the optical and all-round performance stakes, airgun shooters really are spoilt for choice – especially if you’re shopping in the £200 to £300 bracket. And that choice has just got even wider, as the new Discovery VT-T from Sure Shot Airguns is worthy of serious consideration by anyone who’s shopping for a scope that can deliver the goods in the hunting or HFT arena.
Even before mounting up the VT-T in its 4.5-18×44 SF VF guise (a 6-24×50 version also available), I could tell that it was a quality item. Constructed from single-piece aircraft-grade aluminium alloy, it feels very robust. It’s nitrogen-purged to seal out moisture and prevent it from fogging up, and is also shockproofed to a level that should be able to withstand the recoil from even the harshest of gas-rams. Despite its tough build quality, the scope’s weight is still a comparatively modest 710g, and its 360mm length shouldn’t look out of place or feel unwieldy on most airguns.
My primary concern with any scope is optical performance, and there’s no faulting the Discovery in this department. The generous 30mm tube ensures good light transmission from the 44mm objective lens, and multi-layered coatings further optimise the glassware’s performance. The result is a sharp, bright sight picture with extremely crisp edges and impressive clarity, even in relatively low-light conditions.
The reticle on the test scope is the DLT FFP MIL version, which is very fine and allows for a high degree of precision. It also appears in the first focal plane so the mil-dot spacing remains true when you wind the magnification up or down. The reticle features 10 reference points along each quarter of the crosshair, with half-points marked along the vertical line and quarter-points on the horizontal. All those reference points are hard to distinguish on lower magnification, but become quite clear once you crank up the zoom to 10x or more.
And this model’s 4.5-18x zoom range should cover pretty much everything an airgun shooter could ask of it. The lower settings enhance light transmission and give a wider field of view that assists fast target acquisition, while I found the higher magnification very useful when tackling long-range targets from the stability of a bipod. Neatly stylised diagonal grooves along the zoom ring really improve grip – it turns very smoothly, but still has plenty of torque to prevent it from shifting should it snag your jacket.
The same diagonal grooves are present on the side parallax wheel, which turns equally smoothly to snap the subject into focus at ranges right down to just 10 yards – very handy when you’re tackling rats or feral pigeons at close-range. The fast-focus eyepiece at the rear of the scope offers further refinement to ensure that the reticle is focused for your eye, and the ring won’t get in the way if you want to fit a night vision add-on such as the Nite Site.
Oversize scope turrets are very much in fashion at present, and the ones on the Discovery are nice and chunky while being low enough not to get in the way of most scope-mounted lamps. They’ve got the same deep, angled grooves as the zoom ring and parallax wheel so grip isn’t going to be an issue, even when you’re wearing thick gloves. Pull the turret caps up and they turn to distinct stop points with clearly audible clicks. The 1/10 mil adjustment means that each click shifts the point of impact just over 1/3 of an inch at 100 yards – it’ll be a quarter of that at 25 yards, so zero can be fine-tuned over typical airgun ranges. Once you’ve set the zero, the caps click back down into position to lock into place. Slacken off the finger-turn lock in the centre of the turrets, and you can even reset the caps so their calibrations correspond with your zero setting.
It’s hard to fault the Discovery VT-T when it comes to features and performance, and its list of extras is equally impressive. It comes with a set of quality flip-up lens covers. I’m not too sure about their blue finish – though they should look pretty neat on the range – but their push-fit sleeves are really secure and styled to complement the lines of the scope. You also get a chamois lens cloth and a choice of a screw-in honeycomb objective lens cover or a three-inch sunshade to reduce unwanted flash.
And there’s even more. The package also includes a phone mount so you can fasten your mobile behind the objective lens and record the action through the scope. Comprising a threaded sleeve that screws to the rear of the scope and attaches to an adjustable clamp that should fit most smartphones, it takes a while to set up but gives excellent alignment once it’s on there. This piece of kit would cost £70 if you bought it on its own. It’s a great add-on to an already admirable package, and is sure to go down a big hit with shooters who fancy trying their hand at scope-cam recording.
Build Quality: 16
Zeroing In: 16
“A solidly-built scope that offers good optical quality, reliable performance and some seriously impressive extras. The free phone attachment is a boon for shooters who want to record the down-range action.”