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ZEISS Conquest V6 1.1-6×24 – should airgunners consider it?

Should you buy an expensive scope that was never intended for airgun use? Yes, says Ray Garner, if it’s a ZEISS Conquest V6 1.1-6x24

ZEISS Conquest V6 1.1-6×24 – should airgunners consider it?

Names, it seems, are important. This is probably something which marketing folk have known for a good long time. Words that sound right can help sell things. ZEISS, of course, was around long before marketing as we know it was dreamed up, making optical equipment of the highest quality. “ZEISS.” Say it slowly and listen. It sounds like ‘spice’ or ‘nice’ – phonetically correct with a shape to it. And when you add the word ‘zielfernrohr’ (telescopic sight) to it you are halfway close to buying one! The company’s most recent additions to the lines of sporting optics are the ZEISS Conquest V4 and ZEISS Conquest V6 range of telescopic sights, with ‘V’ indicating variable magnification. There are five in the ZEISS Conquest V6 series, the 1.1-6×24 being the smallest and lightest with an all-up weight of 545g. 

What is perhaps unusual about this particular scope is the rail mounting system by which it is attached to the rifle. Many shooters in this fair land will not be familiar with rail mounting, although it has been available in Europe for many years from high-end makers such as Schmidt & Bender, Swarovski, Karl Kaps and of course ZEISS. 

Rail mounting is an alternative to the more widely used system of ring mounting which we are used to here in the UK. With rail mounting, a profiled section of steel or light alloy is permanently attached to the underside of the main tube, and sometimes additionally to the objective housing tube. The most significant advantage of rail mounting as opposed to ring mounting is that this method causes no stress to the scope body, and consequently no distortion of the lenses or internal mechanical parts.

These lenses are Schott fluoride glass, offering 92% light transmission for a bright viewing image and optimum target resolution

A continuous rail beneath the scope also allows increased versatility for mounting as there are no rings to get in the way of the windage and elevation adjusting turrets. This permits the scope to be positioned either fore or aft until perfect eye relief is obtained.

Primarily intended for centrefire rifles with heavy recoil, rail mounting usually gives a very solid connection to the rifle. 

To enable this, special mounts are required which attach both to the scope rail, and to the rifle dovetail or Picatinny rail. These are expensive, which might be a part of the reason why they are less than ubiquitous in some parts of the world. This is a shame, as rail mounting is in many ways superior to ring mounting. The only drawback is that the combined height of the rail and the mount do cause the scope to sit a little higher than ring mounts.

ZEISS uses its own rail system which it calls ZM/VM. Both Recknagel and EAW (Ernst Apel Würzburg) make mounts that enable this rail to be connected to the popular 11mm dovetail found on many air rifles. The Conquest range is available with or without the rail, and the price is the same, about £1,400.



Rail mounting aside, the ZEISS Conquest V6 1.1-6×24 is in many ways a very traditional variable magnification scope. The straight tube configuration is reminiscent of many of the old scopes from Germany and Austria, and even with the 30mm main tube it still looks sleek and relatively compact. The rail does add a little weight to the scope, but at 545g it is still a relative lightweight.

If the name sounds good, it is even better to look through, which is what ZEISS would encourage you to do. Considering the compact nature of this sight, the image is super bright and pin-sharp throughout the magnification range, with ZEISS stating 92% light transmission. 

The V6 1.1-6×24 is attached to the rifle using a rail rather than the ring mounts that we are more used to here in the UK

The field of view at 100m is 38.1m at the lower magnification and 6.6m at maximum magnification. The low magnification field of view is perhaps more important to centrefire rifle shooters who might favour close to unit magnification for rapid target pick-up when after driven game.

Of greater importance to air rifle shooters, however, the low magnification setting does provide the brightest image in low-light situations, with ZEISS quoting an exit pupil diameter of 9.5mm. Even at six power, the exit pupil is 3.7mm, easily passing enough of nature’s finest to the shooter’s eye for most daylight shooting conditions. 


Dot sight

This particular telescopic sight has what ZEISS calls the No.60 Plex-style reticle with dot, the dot being illuminated and small enough for precision shooting at the higher power settings. For example, at 6x the dot covers just 11mm at 100m. At the reduced ranges common to air rifle shooting the dot will cover only 4mm at 33m! That’s tiny, and with manually variable levels of dot illumination available, fine aiming fidelity is assured.

Parallax correction is set by the factory at 100m, which is standard for firearms. When using this sight on an air rifle however, such a parallax setting does require careful and consistent consideration of head position and shooting eye alignment if sighting errors are to be avoided at shorter distances.

Eye relief at 90mm is again of more value to shooters of recoiling firearms than to airgunners equipped with recoilless rifles. This should not be a disadvantage, however; the rail mounting system provides for considerable forward or backward positioning of the sight relative to the eye of the shooter. Point of impact (POI) corrections are made in the normal way, with elevation and windage adjusting dials giving 10mm per click at 100m, or about 3mm per click at 30m. Precision air rifle shooters might like to have it measured
in slightly finer adjustment increments than this, but on an all-rounder scope such as this, a click value of this order is completely acceptable.

Ray loves using this scope on its lowest magnification setting when he needs a super-bright image and ultrawide field of view

The advantage of the rail system is the fact that no stress is being placed on the tube, and therefore no stress on the internal components

Optics in the ZEISS Conquest V6 series are not designed primarily as air rifle scopes, but there is really no reason why they shouldn’t be used on a good-quality airgun intended for hunting or mid-range target shooting. There are so many rifle scopes on the market right now, and it is true to say that in recent times the mechanical and optical performance of even the modestly priced instruments is generally very good. 

It seems that the gap regarding the functional differences between the expensive scopes and the cheaper alternatives is surely closing. If cost is not your first consideration, however, then there is no doubt that an enormous amount of pleasure is to be had from owning and using optical equipment of the highest quality. It’s a type of functional art. Money in a tangible form. Go on, talk yourself into it!

So is the ZEISS Conquest V6 really worth the money? I think so. The design characteristics won’t suit every shooter, but then no one scope ever will. But it is elegant, reasonably compact, precise and gloriously expensive. It works as you might expect from ZEISS, and is a joy to use. The rail mounting system is astonishingly good and completely practical and neat. 

My wife recently bought a pair of shoes from Italy. It said on the box: “When you buy the best, you only cry once.”