Precision airguns deserve to be paired with precision optics, and Mat Manning reckons the ZEISS Conquest V4 is an excellent choice
It never fails to amaze me how many airgun shooters are prepared to spend serious money on high-end airguns and then try to cut corners when it comes to buying a telescopic sight. The only way to fully exploit the accuracy potential of a precision air rifle is to pair it with an optic of equal quality. Skimping in this department is a false economy, and will almost certainly compromise downrange accuracy.
The ZEISS Conquest V4 is, in my opinion, an excellent choice for anyone looking for an optic to complement a modern pre-charged airgun. I have been using a V4 for the past year and it has performed brilliantly both on the range and in the field.
For airgun shooters who aren’t familiar with ZEISS, this German optics brand has a proud history associated with making high-quality telescopic sights for powder-burning rifles. The Conquest V4 range builds on that heritage and has been made with side parallax adjustment down to ten metres, making it a perfect allrounder for airgun use.
The Conquest V4 is available in several different formats, with objective lenses as big as 50mm and magnification up to 24x. The model I have been using is the 4-16×44 with 60 reticle and Ballistic Turret. This scope retails for £1,060 – that asking price is more than justified by its performance, and remember, these scopes are built to give decades of reliable service.
I was immediately struck by the Conquest V4s excellent light transmission – a very impressive 90 percent, thanks to good glass and ZEISS’s performance-boosting T-Star lens coatings. Apart from being bright, the sight picture is also very sharp right to the edges.
My testing of the Conquest V4 has seen it in use on a BSA R-10 TH, a Weihrauch HW100 and a high-power FX Impact; and it performed brilliantly with each of these very different airguns. I shot right through to dusk on my very first outing with it, taking full advantage of its excellent low-light performance. As the crosshair began to disappear into the gloom, the illuminated central element of the reticle still ensured a clear aiming point. Illumination is controlled by a dial next to the parallax wheel on the left turret and has 10 levels of brightness.
This variant of the V4 has a 30mm tube, weighs 670g and is 350mm long. Build quality is excellent – it is shockproof, properly water-proofed and nitrogen-purged to stop it from fogging up in rain, plus it’s covered by the ZEISS limited lifetime transferrable warranty and five-year no-fault policy.
I really like the V4’s clean, simple design with minimal notches and grooves. Although easily overlooked, it has made for quick and easy cleaning after covering this durable scope in dirt while crawling around muddy field margins to get within striking distance of wary rabbits.
The second focal plane Conquest V4 has numerous reticle options. I actually favour the 60 reticle: a basic layout, similar to the familiar Duplex design. It makes for quick target acquisition and the very fine central element assists with precise shot placement. There are some great options for shooters who want more aim points to compensate for pellet drop and wind drift – although sophisticated, these reticle designs don’t overcrowd the sight picture and are easy to use.
There are also various turret options for the V4. These include resettable, finger-adjustable dials that turn with very positive clicks – each one adjusting point of impact by ¼ MOA – and ZEISS’s Ballistic Turret. The latter feature enables you to set exactly where the elevation turret stops turning, so you can dial-in for different ranges and always be assured of an exact return to zero.
The 4-16x zoom range has covered all my general airgun shooting when using this scope, but the 6-24x version is likely to be a popular choice with serious target shooters and hunters using slug ammunition at extreme range.
Even if you aren’t planning to invest in a premium telescopic sight in the near future, do take a look through a ZEISS Conquest V4 if you get the chance. The brightness and clarity of this optic is a real eye-opener.