Schmidt and Bender 5-45×56 PM II High Power Review

Schmidt and Bender 5-45×56 PM II High Power Review

When I started shooting in the mid-90s the optics weren’t anywhere near as impressive as those we have today. You’d see mostly 3-9X scopes.  Occasionally you’d see something crazy like a 4-14 or 6-20, but they weren’t common and mostly limited to target and varmint guns.   As a new gun guy you’d often wonder why all scopes weren’t just 3-50x, that would make things so much easier.

As the shooting community matured and the optics progressed, we learned it isn’t so easy.  Most of the earlier scopes had a 3X zoom, then 4X.  As you increased the range of magnification, other issues started to crop up.  In particular, small unforgiving eye boxes and limited windage and elevation.  Schmidt and Bender, known for making hard-use military and law enforcement scopes, now offers a 9X zoom in its PM II High Power Models; of particular interest is the 5-45×56 scope.

With a 34mm tube, the Schmidt and Bender 5-45×56 PM II High Power offers 66 MOA of elevation with the locking ultra flat double turn elevation turret with tactile indicator and a flat windage turret cap.  It is large scope, but it offers a combination of features you haven’t seen in a scope to date.

You can see the specifications and dimensions of the optic above.  It is large and requires special consideration when mounting.  Hakan Spuhr, maker of the Spuhr ISMS, pointed out that the 5-45×56 has a relatively large bell housing and low profile elevation and turret adjustments.  Hakan recommended separate rings, so I ordered a set of those from Brownells and installed the 5-45 on my custom 308.

The test rifle is a customized Remington 700 built with the following parts from Brownells:

Zeroing the rifle and setting the zero stop requires the scope to be adjusted to the point of impact with the turret locked and the set screws backed out slightly.  The turret then gets unlocked and moved to zero, then the turret gets locked again and the set screws tightened.  This was a fairly simple and straight forward process.  The windage adjustment is housed under a removable cap.  Note: In the image above the elevation turret is in the unlocked position.

This image shows the windage turret exposed, with the cover removed.

The left side of the turret has a parallax adjustment that includes ranges.  Note that the location of the arrow indicating the range isn’t located directly behind the scope, but is higher up so that when you look at the optic from a shooting position, you have a clear view of it.

Tall target and box test.  I tested the 5-45×56’s tracking ability on a tall target and box test.  For the tall target I ran a 48″ level at 100 yards.  Everything went well, next I posted an IPSC cardboard target at 50 yards for the box test.


To conduct the box test, I:

  1. Placed 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.  I’d say that this target passed.  The load I was shooting wasn’t the best, only around 1 MOA, so I think the proximity of it to the first impact is acceptable.

The glass, as should be expected for a scope of this price, was crystal clear.  At higher magnification the eye box wasn’t as forgiving as a 35x scope, but it was manageable.

So what did I think of the Schmidt and Bender 5-45×56 PM II High Power?

I liked it.  The Schmidt and Bender 5-45×56 PM II High Power offers a level of functionality not seen in rifle scopes before.  The large range of magnification coupled with the generous internal elevation adjustments offer long range shooters a package that hasn’t been available yet.  The optics are clear and low profile adjustments have a positive tactile feel.

The complete line of Schmidt and Bender 5-45×56 PM II High Power scopes can be found here.

To learn more about Schmidt and Bender, visit their website here.