Review, Then Destroy: Osprey 4-16x50mm MDG Rifle Scope

2020/05/28

Two Gen-1 Osprey scopes failed. How about this Gen-2 that they finally sent as an exchange?

Before I get too far into the review, be aware that Osprey customer service is questionable. The website mentions a No-BS lifetime warranty, but getting an exchange may be a battle.

On with the review! This scope I’m testing is the Gen2 4-16x50mm MDG model that features an illuminated Mil-Dot reticle. It includes a side parallax adjustment knob and tall target turrets. Each click adjusts 1/8 MOA. Both turrets span 7.5 MOA per turn, making these the second most frustrating turrets I’ve ever dealt with (Simmons .44Mag takes the trophy). HOWEVER, mechanically everything seemed to work as advertised, both in my garage tests and my practical tests out in the field. Tracking was reliable, and the scope returned neatly to zero each time. Unlike my previous two Osprey scopes (Gen1), the reticle was level.

Osprey touts their glass quality, and it did indeed perform pretty well. In the center 80%, the resolution was crisp enough to read mirage and pick out small details. This resolution degrades somewhat toward the edges of the image, and at extreme turret adjustment ranges. Eye relief was long and forgiving, but horizontal and vertical positioning is critical. It’s easy to lose the image unless your head is in just the right position. There was also a tendency in the field for the image to “flash” and wash-out off-center with the sun slightly behind me. I’m not sure what the culprit was, but I suspect internal reflections from the lens coatings or tube. You’ll see that wash-out in the video.

Compared to the Bushnell Engage I reviewed simultaneously, the optical contrast is rather flat. Part of this will be due to the higher magnification.

Fit, finish, and feel were a mixed bag. The rheostat for the illuminated reticle felt solid, and the rheostat clicks were distinct. The magnification ring had two slight hang-ups when rolling zoom. The side parallax adjustment felt just fine. The windage turret was mounted canted into the body, and it felt a bit stiff, like the knob was dragging on the sleeve. Both turrets had rather indistinct click feel, though they are loud. Coatings look and feel cheap, with several chips and flakes right out of the box.

All-in-all, the scope felt and looked like an NCStar, but it performed just fine. It tracked well, returned to zero, and provided enough resolution to meet the requirements I had for it at ranges from 100 yards to 500 meters.

Final Takeaway: I personally would never buy one of these, despite its positive performance in my tests. I’m not sure what these cost at gun shows, but the two online stores where I can find them indicate a cost of roughly $300 for this 4-16x model. For that price tag, you can pick up the Bushnell Engage 2.5-10x44mm scope, which I highly recommend. You can also buy an SWFA or a Falcon for roughly the same price. They might not have all the features of the Osprey, but they are solidly built, the glass is vastly superior, and their reticles are more precise. Product aside, consider Osprey Global’s customer support. Osprey’s return policy looks good on paper, but my experiences don’t reflect that.

In the next two videos, I’ll be destroying this scope at the people’s behest. I’ll be piercing the lenses in video number one, then blowing the whole thing up with Tannerite in video number two.