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Burris XTR II 5-25X50 [Review]

The Burris XTR II 5-25X50 riflescope was designed with the Tactical/Competitive shooter and serious plinker in mind.

Stars?  I personally don’t do stars, especially when it comes to optics.  I truly believe that optics are personal to the operator.  Everyone is different, especially these days.  Giving this 4 or 5 stars isn’t going to make this, or any, optic work for everyone; there are too many variables in application.  Hunting woods versus mountains and open plains, competition, what type of competition, Benchrest, PRS, ELR, NRL, or just long range plinking. I could go on and on.

Burris XTR II 5-25X50 SCR MOA and Burris XTR II 5-25X50 SCR MIL RIFLESCOPES
Burris XTR II 5-25X50 SCR MOA & Burris XTR II 5-25X50 SCR MIL Riflescopes

Would I Recommend It?

I would definitely recommend the XTR II for hunting at longer distances where time is allowed to range your trophy of desire, whether that’s a whistle pig at 375 yards or that bull elk of a lifetime at 600 plus yards.  I would recommend it even more so to someone interested in PRS, NRL, some Benchrest, and most of the competitive 22lr shooters.  This optic could get a person with the right gear deep into some serious competition.  All in all this is a great optic. Is it for everyone?  Absolutely not.  Are there better scopes out there in the wild, you bet, but the price almost doubles.  Stick around and find out if this scope may be in your field of view!  

Burris XTR II 5-25X50 Riflescope side by side

I have been shooting almost my entire life.  I have clear memories shooting with my dad and grandpa at 5 years old, so let’s just say a FEW decades at this point.  (Insert belly laugh)  In my earlier days I was convinced that “long range” was 150 yards, until I was invited on a hunting trip to Wyoming.  That trip was not only an eye opener, but it started my love affair with long range shooting. 

Two Burris XTR II 5-25X50 mounted on rifles

My kids have also been bitten by that same bug, and that is how we came about the “Twins.”  My middle son (age 14) wanted to build a precision rifle, so he and his grandpa got to work!  I decided to build one for myself at the same time.  Twin rifles chambered in 6 BR Norma; everything except the stock is the same.  This way we could compete with each other with a goal of eventually getting into competitive shooting. 

The Burris XTR line of scopes are highly recommended for a number of reasons that will be addressed in this review. 

Eyepiece

European style, very smooth and easy to adjust.  I did find that spending some time fine tuning greatly improved eye fatigue during longer shooting sessions. 

Turrets

Large, knobby, exposed and are excellent for gripping with or without gloves.  The clicks are audible, tactile, smooth, and repeatable.  10 MIL per rotation, 30 MIL total elevation adjustment, 16 MIL total windage adjustment. Factory set at 20 MOA low to accommodate a 20 MOA rail. Plenty of adjustment to reach out 1000+ yards.   Incorporated in the elevation turret is the burris zero stop, very easy to adjust and extremely effective.  

Burris XTR II 5-25X50 Riflescope Adjustment turret knobs

Parallax adjustment

This and the illumination knob can be found hanging out on the left side of the scope and sport a very similar texture to the elevation and windage turrets.  I did find the predetermined yardage printed on the parallax knob is not “true”. Meaning, at 200 yards the predetermined 200 yard mark is not necessarily in focus and parallax free, and i have yet to find a scope that is.  This is not an issue whatsoever.

Illumination

11 illumination settings for any situation, night vision compatible, low light, and all the way up to bright daylight.  I personally find illumination very handy in low light situations or when engaging a dark target. 

Burris XTR II 5-25X50 Riflescope 11 illumination settings

Reticle

Multiple reticle choices both in MOA (Minute of Angle) and MIL (Milliradian). All of these choices are FFP (First/Front Focal Plane).  Some would say that these are very simple reticles and not enough. For myself, i love simplicity so these choices are perfect.

Burris XTR II 5-25X50 Riflescope Reticle

Zero stop

Almost perfection!  Very simple to adjust and extremely effective.  The only drawback is when set to zero, it’s at zero.  I wish it had the option to dial down .5 to 1 MIL for those close range targets that come up in competition or the odd hunting situation.  This is not a deal breaker by any means, just something that would be nice.

Glass

Burris states, the index matched, high lume coatings aid in low light situations and glare.  I agree with this, however, in my opinion the glass is not up to par with the quality of the rest of this optic.  The features included in the XTR II’s are right up there with scopes that are double the price, until it comes to the glass.  This was disappointing considering the quality and feel of everything else, and it’s possible that my expectations were too high after putting the scope through testing at a minimal range.  Don’t get me wrong here, the glass is good; good enough to get out past 1000 yards without any concerns. I will discuss this more in depth and explain myself.

The Experience

The scopes arrived!  Nestled in some seriously dense foam that even an egg could survive the rigors of shipping, we found the scope in perfect condition.  Each box had the scope, instructions, cleaning cloth, scope caps, and sunshade.  Eager to get them mounted, we went straight to work.  They mounted extremely well in a set of Seekins Precision 34mm medium height rings.  You can see in the pictures, we could have gotten away with low rings, but i prefer my optics a little higher than most for my comfort.  Sitting on a 20 MOA picatinny rail, it was easy to bore sight with no issues at all. I can’t remember the exact amount of clicks, but it was minimal, within a MIL for both windage and elevation.  

Burris XTR II 5-25X50 Riflescope setup laying down long range shooting

Sighting them in was a breeze, as well as enjoyable, with the low recoil of the 6 BR, all while fireforming brand new brass.  Within 10 or so rounds we set our initial zero with the unbelievably simple Burris zero stop and tested the ability to return to zero periodically throughout the day.  We did this by dialing up 1-1.5 MIL’s and then returning to the zero stop and firing 3 rounds.  Every dial up and back down the scopes were putting holes in the same spot as before.  With only 50 rounds each (component supply) it was a rather short day at the 100 yard range.  

On the next trip out we decided to put them through the paces.  We did this by performing a  Box test, as well as a Tall Target test.  First up was the box test, 3-5 rounds per target for a total of 18 – 30 rounds. This was a single target with 1 center target, as well as targets on all four corners, starting with the center target dialing around and ending with the center target.  Each target was engaged only by dialing with the turrets, meaning your POA (Point Of Aim) never changed. Not only is this a great way to test the tracking of your scope, it is also great practice for anyone that is accustomed to using a hunting scope and getting comfortable with a tactical style scope.  The Burris XTR II did not disappoint whatsoever on this test as the windage and elevation on both scopes are perfection.

Burris XTR II 5-25X50 scope Mounted on rifle

We were excited about our results so we moved on to the Tall Target test. Typically, this test is at 100 yards and dialed from zero to 30 MOA or 1 MIL, 31.41 inches for MOA, or 36 inches for MIL, shooting 3 – 5 rounds.  Similar to the Box test, this is also performed by dialing the turrets, except during this test there is no windage dialed, only elevation.  The purpose of this test is two fold. One, to measure the precision of the internal adjustments of the optic vertically, as well as measuring the vertical offset; does it cant left or right.  First let’s look at vertical precision. When  you dial the turret 30 MOA is it 31.41 inches on target, or is it 30 inches?  You might say “it’s only 1.4 inches, that’s no big deal”. Keep in mind, long range, that 1.4” is 14” at 1000 yards. You definitely need to know if your scope doesn’t hit the mark at 100 yards.  Now for vertical offset, you may dial 30 MOA on the scope and it is dead on at 31.41 inches vertically, but all your bullets landed 1 inch to the right, again, this will be off 10 inches at 1000 yards.  This can be caused by a few things, such as your scope is not level, or the internals of your scope are slightly off to the right.  I apologize for the lesson but I wanted to convey how important this is, no matter how good your shooting ability is. If your scope doesn’t track correctly you will not hit your intended target.  

Both of these Burris XRT II 5 – 25 x 50 performed flawlessly. In fact, they were perfect, so much so that we did the test twice that day for a total of 80 rounds each;160 between the two rifles. We were impressed to say the least with both of these optics. At this point it was true love.  But, like most things in life, the honeymoon was short lived. No, there was no divorce or lawyers involved, just a bit of disappointment with our next outing.

Two Burris XTR II scopes side by side

We attended a “Mid Range” class, out to 600 yards.  I highly recommend something similar to anyone looking to stretch out your shots, whether that’s hunting or competition. This could mean the difference in hits on target or meat on the table.  Our first day of the two day class was part classroom and part shooting. The classroom was definitely good information, but the shooting was great!  It was sunny, fairly warm at 65 degrees, and calm winds.  We engaged targets out to 300 yards that day and our optics once again performed flawlessly.  After a good night’s rest we were at it again, only this day was cold, misting rain, windy, in the high 40’s.  This is when we discovered the only thing about the Burris XTR that we thought was not up to par with the quality of the rest of this riflescope.  In the overcast skies, we found it harder to define targets at around 500 yards.  The light gathering and crispness was not what we expected, however, at the same time, we did have an edge on some of the other shooters that day and that was the illumination that saved our hides without a doubt.  Between the two of us, we shot the best out of all 15 shooters that day.  Even though we were disappointed with the glass in low light , it was plenty good to get the job done that day.  I can’t say for sure whether this is a case of our expectations not being too high, as everything else on these optics is amazing, or it’s the glass you get that comes with an affordable optic.  I personally own optics with better glass, although they lack in other areas and cost twice as much.

Burris XTR II 5-25X50 Riflescope

PROS

  • High 5X magnification for shots in the 50 – 1000+ yards range
  • Highly tactile exterior turrets; works well in wet conditions, as well as with, or without gloves
  • Accurate and Repeatable elevation and windage adjustments, with audible and tactile clicks
  • Common CR2032 battery for the illuminated reticle
  • Simple yet very effective zero stop adjustment
  • Comes with a sunshade, cleaning cloth, and flip-up scope caps. 
  • Excellent build quality
  • Burris forever warranty.  Whether you purchased it or not, and this includes the flip-up caps!

CONS

  • Glass (The only thing that is not above average)

Who would benefit

  •         Long range hunters
  •         Competitive shooters
  •         Serious plinkers

Who wouldn’t benefit

  •         Professional shooters
  •         Woodland hunters
  •         Plinkers
  •         Weekend warriors

Conclusion

Are you wanting more from your current long range optic, or do you have the desire to get further into the long range game, hunting or competing? The Burris XTR II won’t let you down.  The reliability alone is worth the cost. 

Don’t be discouraged by our disappointment in the glass as it’s far from bad considering the price point.  Although the glass on this optic did not live up to our expectations, I would not hesitate to purchase another one. Especially when my youngest son gets the long range itch, this riflescope will definitely be able to serve our needs for years to come.

Excellent scope for long distance shooting Burris XTR II 5-25X50 Riflescope

I apologize for the dirt on the rifles and optics.  We just finished with a session of friendly competition.  With a wife, full time jobs, 4 kids, all of their sports, and everything else life throws at you.   We as a family truly enjoy all types of shooting sports, and that doesn’t leave a lot of time for cleaning! 

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