The problem that I see most shooters encounter when trying to outfit their latest rifle is choosing an optic that meets the intended purpose of the rifle, as well as suits the shooters’ ability. Is the rifle intended to be a three-gun style speed demon, blasting steel silhouettes inside of 100 yards? Is the rifle to be tasked with dispatching varmint across wide open soybean fields? If, like me, you try and build your rifles to meet as many needs as possible, there is an option in the optics world that lets you have advantages at multiple ranges.
The low power variable optic is the jack of all trades in the mid range rifle scene. Usually adjustable from one power magnification up to as much as eight power, the LPVO gives the shooter options in almost every scenario. But, the glaring question remains. Which one do you pick? As with many products, the consumer is spoiled for choice with offerings from most optic manufacturers. EOTech makes the VUDU. Trijicon makes the VCOG. Vortex makes the Razor. All of the aforementioned sights are outstanding options, with one major detriment. The price tags will make your wallet hurt even by staring at them for too long. After realizing this, many people will turn down a terrible path in the firearms world; Amazon. Price tags suddenly go from the thousands down to below $150 and the options are plentiful. LPVO’s in every cringeworthy color, laced with cheap laser pointers, poorly machined cantilever mounts, and murky glass stand ready to disappoint whoever foolishly purchases them.
Between the posh, high end, operator optics and the filthy, air soft grade, hollow tubes lies another option. Enter the Burris Fullfield Tac30.
Coming in between $350-$500, depending on the dealer, this particular LPVO stands as a solid option for someone wanting a durable, effective optic without having to take out a second mortgage. Featuring a thirty-millimeter objective lens, a one-to-four power adjustable zoom, and an illuminated, etched, second focal plane reticle, it definitely ticks most of the boxes. All of that, coupled with the pairing of a top mounted red dot, makes the Tac30 a surprisingly appealing package.
In direct comparison, the Tac30 stacks up well against other mid-range offerings. The Strike Eagle from Vortex and the SLx from Primary Arms are the most apt competitors and the Tac30’s price falls right in between the two, depending on the internet sales of the day. Other comparable scopes, like the Vortex Razor, Trijicon Credo, or the Leupold VX-6HD are not even close to the same level of affordability, priced well above $1000. There are plenty of less expensive options from Monstrum and other lesser known brands, but I fear that the quality, durability and overall utility do not equate.
Out of the box, the Tac30 is an impressive package. The optic comes mounted in Burris’s P.E.P.R. cantilever mount (an acronym whose meaning remains a complete mystery to me). Atop the rear scope ring sits a Burris Fastfire 3, making this an even more impressive deal. Although, I find the added height with the mounted red dot to be cumbersome and unnecessary, so it was promptly removed and repurposed to another firearm. Alongside the LPVO, the red dot, and the mount comes the tools you need to remove the scope from the mount and a plethora of manuals that are destined never to be read.
Remember kids, do not throw away your optic boxes. They are often required to send the scope back in case of a warranty claim.
The crowning feature of the Tac30 is Burris’s Ballistic CQ reticle. It features an etched, adjustable illuminated reticle with a bullet drop compensator for ranges between 100 and 600 yards for both 5.56 and 7.62 NATO cartridges. All of that combined allows a great deal of versatility but makes the sight picture a bit busier than I would prefer. Inside of 300 yards the bustling reticle causes no problems and accurate target acquisition is not a problem. Outside of that range, the size of the dot starts to obscure smaller targets. Engaging round steel plates at 500 yards may prove a bit more troublesome than with other sights, even at four power magnification. At closer ranges the dot and ring setup allows for lightning-fast target acquisition and definitely aids in transitional shooting. At fifty yards, the outer circle is roughly the width of the shoulders on a silhouette, allowing for an element of quick, reflexive shooting with some practice.
Burris lists the sight as having ten different brightness settings but, in all honesty, there are only two or three that are noticeable. There is off, which works well in very bright, daylight environments, there is a medium setting that works very well at darker indoor ranges and there is a max setting that works well in outdoor environments where light is constantly shifting, or a black reticle might become muddled against the natural backdrop.
The button for changing these settings is quite finicky but useable enough. Under the adjustment button is a CR2032 battery that has lasted me much longer than I expected. Honestly, I am not sure in the four or five years that I’ve owned the Tac30 that I have ever changed it. I should probably get around to that sometime.
Burris includes a detailed explanation of each of the reticles featured in the literature provided with the optic, or, if you have thrown all that useless paper away, you can also find it on their website.
All of the screw caps on the scope body are nicely threaded with rubber o-rings placed firmly in the recess where the cap screws in fully, providing very adequate protection against the ingress of moisture from rain, snow, or particularly humid, foggy mornings.
The zero adjustments are fantastically tactile with clean clicks for every quarter minute adjustment. The durability of this optic and mount are exemplary overall. I am not gentile with my “fighting” rifles and the Tac30 has survived being dropped, dragged and concussed for many years without so much as a knick in the paint.
In summation, the Burris Fullfield Tac30 is a quality, durable optic that will meet the needs of most shooters looking to maximize the utility of a mid-range rifle platform in either 5.56 or 7.62 millimeter NATO. At roughly $400-$500, the price tag comes in very reasonable when compared to competitors of similar performance, such as the venerable offerings from Vortex.
It has some detriments, such as an overly busy reticle and a temperamental brightness adjustment, but those are not nearly enough to sully my recommendation for this optic. I have yet to find an optic that is perfect, regardless of the price and I have yet to find a better, robust value than the Burris Fullfield Tac30. It has a permanent home on my Tavor and will continue to serve me well.
Charles Dutro is a lifelong firearm enthusiast with experience in everything from NRA Highpower competition to running Mk. 19 ranges in the Army National Guard. Charles is currently the owner/operator of an FFL gun shop.