Revic Optics PMR 428 Smart Rifle Scope Review

Revic Optics PMR 428 Smart Rifle Scope Review

The 2013 Shot Show Media Day at the Range was held on one of the coldest days in Las Vegas history.  The event is traditionally held the Monday morning before Shot Show and consists of hundreds of vendors displaying the latest rifles, optics and shooting accessories.

I had just flown in from the East Coast.  Assuming it would be warm, I brought a packable jacket, t-shirt and pants.  It was twenty-something and windy.  After 2 hours on the range, I was so cold I couldn’t feel my hands.  I wandered into a food tent and began to warm up.  I saw a strange-looking rifle and scope in front of me.  I started talking to the guy standing behind it and it turned out he was the inventor of the Tracking Point system.  I spent 20 minutes warming my hands and talking to him about the system.  Pretty neat stuff.

The Tracking Point received a lot of press at the time.  The system consists of a rifle, optic and ammunition.  The shooter uses a built-in range finder to laze and identify a target and the system adjusts a ballistic solution.  The trigger is slaved to the optic and the rifle will only release the round when the rifle is on target.  It’s a neat trick, but equipment heavy and uses unproven electronics.  All of this for an entry price of over $10,000.  It wasn’t an every man solution, and, in my opinion was introduced before the technology was fully worked out.

For the Tracking Point, the step forward from the current paradigm in optics was impressive, but it needed work.  Bulky and odd-looking, wasn’t even close to affordable, and required power to work as advertised.  Since its introduction, Tracking Point has had mixed success as a company and hasn’t been widely adopted.  Considering the Tracking Point’s technology versus that of a traditional rifle scope, it seems like a step was missed.  Enter the Revic Optics PMR 428 Smart Rifle Scope.

Revic Optics was founded by Aaron Davidson of Gunwerks, the well known long range shooting company.  Revic has been developing the PMR 428 over the past five years, and the product they have come up with is absolutely fascinating.  While its external appearance is similar to a traditional rifle scope, the PMR 428 features an on-board ballistic computer that calculates environmental data in real time.  Imagine if your Kestrel and scope had a baby, that would be the Revic PMR 428.

The scope’s functions are navigated with buttons on the left side of the parallax turret.  The navigation is accomplished with five buttons, a center “enter” button, along with up, down, right and left keys.  If you are under 50 you’ll find it an incredibly intuitive interface.

When you look through the optic it looks like any other front focal plane 34mm tube optic with the exception of a window on the top.  Press and hold the enter button for 3 seconds and the heads up display (HUD) turns on.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any good pictures through the reticle of the scope, so I’ll use some of the ones that Revic has provided.

The HUD shows the profile selected, compass bearing, battery life, wind speed (user defined), nominal wind speed, wind hold, pressure, cant and temperature.  Depending on the operating mode, the HUD also shows the MOA dialed or real time distance dialed on the scope.

The PMR 428 operates in two modes, MOA and vBDC.  MOA mode simply shows the MOA dialed on the scope while the vBDC shows the real time distance dialed on the scope.  If they introduced the Revic with only MOA mode I’d have considered it a considerable leap forward, however, the vBDC mode with real time distance is absolutely impressive.  This skips a number of steps, guessing, range cards, and looking back and forth.  In vBDC mode, simply determine the range to your target, dial the top turret up until the correct real time distance shows, dial the windage correction and fire.  Note: In the image above, you’ll note in the vBDC mode there are two wind calls displayed, wind speed (left) and nominal wind speed (right).  The wind speed shows the correction for the value the shooter inputs before the shot whereas the nominal wind speed shows a correction for a predetermined full value wind call (factory default is 10 miles/hour).

Like any ballistic computer or application, the PMR 428 requires user defined parameters input into the ballistic calculator to work, this includes sight height, sight mount, mount angle, barrel twist, muzzle velocity, ballistic coefficient (G1 or G7),bullet length, caliber and zero range.  To input these values Revic has developed an app for smart phones.  Simply log into the app, input the parameters, connect via Bluetooth to the scope and upload the ammunition profile.  That is it.  It is so easy I had my 10-year-old nephew try it and he got it to upload!

Once the profile is uploaded, the internal sensors consisting of a compass, incline, cant, pressure, temperature, and absolute position, and rotary indicator.  The rotary indicator display the zero range and suggested wind call for the dope the scope has dialed in by calculating vertical drop, directional wind, spin drift, Coriolis and aerodynamic drift.

Even without the electronics the Revic PMR 428 is a solid, high quality scope. The glass and image are clear, controls crisp and appropriately laid out.

When I was getting to know the PMR 428 inside my shop, I was actually able to focus it pretty well at 25 feet (in 4.5X)!  This is something you see in very few rifle scopes.

To test the Revic PMR 428 I mounted it on a custom 308 Winchester rifle I built.  That’s right, three-o-hate!  I figured as I worked with a built-in ballistic calculator, the 308 ballistics would give a better indication of performance than the a flatter shooting cartridge that bucks wind better.

The rifle is built on a Howa 1500 action.  The Howa 1500 action is imported by Legacy Sports International and sold by Brownells.

The rifle includes the following parts:

I’m running it in a Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) ESS chassis with a continuous top rail.  Available in a wide variety of configurations for a vast array of rifles, the ESS has become one of my favorite systems.  (check out MDT here)

Zeroing the Revic was straight forward.  To set the zero set on the turrets tools aren’t required.  Simply engage a detent on the inside edge of the turret (above), unlock it, slide the turret to zero,  and reengage the zero set.

I’ll often test pre-production products and expect to find some bugs.  This wasn’t the case with the Revic, part of the reason is likely the development timeline which you can see here.  The initial concept dates all the way back to February 2013!  This scope was anything but rushed to market and the through thought and attention to detail are obvious.

It should go without saying that you need to read the owners manual before operating this bad boy, however once you have the rifle and ammunition profiles pushed to the scope you are in pretty good shape.

When operating in the basic MOA mode, the HUD simply shows how many MOA are dialed on the scope from zero.  Moving to the vBDC mode, the scope starts coming into its own, showing the calculated range for the scope that is dialed.

For field applications, to use the Revic PMR 428 you’d estimate the distance to the target (most likely with a range finder) and dial the turret up until you reached a distance close to that range (remember the scope dial is moving in .25 MOA increments so you won’t move up in a fixed interval- think of what a typical ballistic table looks like).  Next, you’d enter the wind call (speed and direction which is displayed in the HUD.  The wind can now either be dialed or held and you can take that shot.  It is that easy and that quick.  What the Revic PMR 428 does is remove a lot of equipment and steps in the long-range shooting process.  The days of glancing at an index card with your zeros taped to the side of the stock are over.

So the big question is, what happens if your battery fails?  The answer is until you change the battery, you have a very capable 4-28 scope that you can use like you would any other traditional rifle scope.  When you change the battery the profile you unloaded is still there and the rifle is ready to use.  Not too shabby!

I’m impressed with the PMR 428.  It represents a solid step forward in optical technology without a large size, flaky technology or burdensome price tag.  I plan on spending more time putting in through its paces and reporting back.  If you get a chance to get some trigger time behind a Revic PMR 428, I suggest you give it a shot!

To learn more about the Revic PMR 428, visit Revic Optics.