Schmidt and Bender PMII LP MTC LT 5-25×56 review

Schmidt and Bender PMII LP MTC LT 5-25×56 Review

Schmidt and Bender is known for making high quality rifle scopes.  If you take a look at the PM II lineup, you see it offers a wide variety of options.  Scopes are available from 1.1-4×20 all the way up to a 12-50×56, with plenty of options in between.

For precision rifles, I think the 5-25×56 allows use over the widest variety of operational environments.  The Schmidt and Bender PM II 5-25×56 has been held in high regard since it was awarded the US SOCOM PSR contract in 2011.

In my first review of the PM II line, Schmidt & Bender 5-25×56 PM II SFP Review, I took a look at the second focal plane (SFP) model as well as how Schmidt and Bender is making a renewed focus on the US commercial market.  Schmidt & Bender has upgraded production technology, changed their pricing structure and introduced a USA 20 year transferable lifetime warranty.  In this post, I’m going to review the first focal plane (FFP) model of the 5-25×56.

Before we get into specifics, let’s look at the wide array of available options Schmidt and Bender offers:

  • DT: Double Turn elevation turret – with 2nd rotation visual indicator
  • ST: Single Turn windage turret
  • DT-MTC-L: Double Turn elevation turret, with More Tactile Clicks, and with Locking feature – with visual and tactile 2nd rotation indicator
  • ST-MTC-L: Single Turn elevation turret, with More Tactile Clicks, and with Locking feature
  • Reticles SFP: Three unique Second Focal Plane reticles (Promoted for 2017)
    1. P3L: Illuminated Mil-Dot reticle – Mil- Based
    2. P4FL: Illuminated Graduated Fine Line reticle – Mil-Based
    3. P4FL2-MOA: Illuminated Intelligent Graduated Fine Line Reticle – MOA-Based
  • Reticle FFP: Six unique First Focal Plane reticles: (Promoted for 2017)
    1. H2CMR: Illuminated Hybrid Reticle – Mil-Based
    2. P3L: Illuminated Mil-Dot reticle – Mil- Based
    3. P4FL: Illuminated Graduated Fine Line reticle – Mil-Based
    4. MSR: Illuminated Hybrid Graduated reticle – with ranging and measuring tables – Mil-Based
    5. H59: Horus specialty reticle
    6. TReMoR3: Horus specialty reticle
  • LRR-MILPending New – Illuminated center dot – Intelligent Graduated Fine Line Reticle – Mil-Based with .1, .2, .5, and whole Mil indicators

The test scopes shown here is a First Focal Plane (FFP) PM II 5-25×56 DT-MTC-L.  It has a double turn locking turrets with more tactile clicks.

First Focal Plane (FFP) Reticles

The First Focal Plane (FFP) reticle design is beneficial for more dynamic settings, like true tactical long-range shooting, specific hunting applications, and Precision Rifle Series (PRS) competition.  Consider FFP ideal for situations where the power zoom range is constantly being adjusted, the target distances vary greatly in short periods of time, and where targets are moving.  Typically, FFP reticles are associated with Milliradian/Mil/MRAD-based reticles; however, sometimes these also apply to MOA-based reticles as well.  

When used as a smart reticle, the math associated with these FFP reticle designs is accurate/relevant at any given or selected power range.   Example: 5-25×56 PM II model, with P4FL FFP reticle, would subtend properly at any power zoom range setting between 5x and 25x power; and the MRAD mathematical hold values would be true and accurate at any of these power/magnification settings.  

FFP reticles can be a bit distracting at first, as the shooter zooms up and down in power settings.  The most common complaint is the issue where, when zoomed down to the rifle scope’s lowest power setting, the intelligent reticle can quickly looked cluttered and undefined.  This is where reticle illumination becomes very important in regards to intelligent FFP reticle designs.   It is often the case that FFP reticle lines and markings are much thicker than their SFP counterparts; but this is improving with newer FFP reticle design technology.

FFP reticles are becoming more and more popular in various applications, and are the absolute preferred reticle types in today’s Special Forces branches of the military and in Precision Rifle Series (PRS) competition shooting.  If you like to use the reticle to compensate for elevation corrections and windage holds, regardless of power settings, for various shooting distances and conditions, FFP reticles are fast, accurate, and are indeed the preferred choice.

The test model I have is equipped with the MSR reticle (below).

This reticle offers a wide array of functionality without obscuring the target area.  I like the thickness of the reticle and think the .1 MRAD scale is beneficial for everything from making minor adjustments to range finding.

Testing the PMII

For testing and evaluation purposes I mounted the scope on a custom made Remington 700 rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.

The rifle is equipped with the following parts:

The PMII is a big scope that means business.  Many shooters will often overlook how the scope is attached to the rifle.  Buying a great scope and rifle and using cheap rings is always a bad idea.  I really like Spuhr ISMS scope mounting system, I find it offers solid option for optics.

Getting behind the 5-25×56 you can tell it means business.  The turrets are easy to access with clearly marked adjustments.

The turrets on this model lock.  Take a look at the image above, the turrets are in the locked position.  Note the collar below the word “locked”.
To unlock the turret, the collar is simply slid up (above).  This system is easy to use even in the dark and doesn’t add bulk to the scope.

On this version of the PMII, the top of the turret acts as a second revolution indicator.  When it pops up, as shown in the photo above, the shooter knows he is on his second revolution of elevation adjustment.  In darkness, you can simply feel the top of the turret to see where you are.

The left side of the PMII had a large easy to access parallax adjustment knob as well as a dial to adjust the illumination of the reticle.

Zeroing the FFP PMII was extremely straight forward.  You don’t have to deal with removing caps, adjusting cams or adding shims.  To zero the scope it should be adjusted so it is hitting point of aim/point of impact.  Next, the turret is placed in the locked position and the exposed hex head cap screws are back out 1/2-3/4 of a turn (the other exposed screws are left in place).  The turret is unlocked and the turret is turned to zero.  The two screws are now tightened.  The scope is now zeroed. If you try to remove screws or pull off turrets the scope needs to go back for service, so keep it simple and follow the directions.

This scope is equipped with a sub-zero stop.  This means once the scope is zeroed, the shooter still has the ability to move to the scope down from zero.  I like this type of zero stop better than one that stops on zero.

The PMII is by far the easiest scope I’ve used to zero.

I went ahead and conducted a box test at 50 yards.  Moving the target in closer would allow me to move 4 MRAD left/right and 8 MRAD up. I’m shooting a rifle with factory ammunition that averages around .8 MOA.

To conduct the box test, I:

  1. Placed a target a white IPSC target at 50 yards with a 1″ orange dot towards the bottom.
  2. Fired one round at the dot.
  3. Moved the scope 4 MRAD left, fired one round.
  4. Moved the scope 8 MRAD up, fired one round.
  5. Moved the scope 4 MRAD right, fired one round.
  6. Moved the scope 4 MRAD right, fired one round.
  7. Moved the scope down 8 MRAD, fired one round.
  8. Moved the scope left 4 MRAD, fired one round.

If everything goes well with the box test, you get something that looks like a box.  That is exactly what happened on the target above.  You’ll not the initial point of impact is low and to the right of the orange dot.  It is low because the rifle has a 100 yard zero on it.  It is slightly to the right because I had zeroed the rifle in that position.

Shooting the PMII I couldn’t help but love it.

Check out this load development target I shot at 25X.  Five shots, prone, from a bipod and rear bag at 100 yards.  Using the 142 gr. Sierra MatchKing (SMK) over H4350 and Norma brass.  .232″ (.222 MOA)!

So what are do I think of the Schmidt and Bender PMII LP MTC LT 5-25×56?

  • Solid.  This is a solid scope with clear glass, high resolution and a lot of functionality.  For dynamic shooting, this is definitely a go to scope.
  • Locking turrets.  I like the addition of locking turrets as well as the system this scope uses.  It is low profile and easy to use.  The system doesn’t add bulk to the scope.
  • Easy to zero.  The ease of zeroing is a top feature of PMII scopes.  Simply loosen two screws, slide the turret to zero and tighten them.  That’s it.  No shims, cams or complicated process.
  • Precise.  The PMII tracks well.

To learn more about the Schmidt and Bender PMII LP MTC LT 5-25×56, or any scopes in the Schmidt and Bender line, please visit Schmidt and Bender’s website.