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March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 Riflescope Review | Optics Trade Reviews

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 scope hit the shelves in 2021. This is one of the most interesting tactical and hunting scopes available on the market right now – both in physical design and optical performance. Let’s dive right in.

Looking for a top-notch tactical scope?


March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42

About March Sport Optics

March Sport Optics USA is a highly reputable company that got its start with tactical rifle scopes but now offers a wider range of scope products. They are especially well known in the F-class community for their high-powered 8-80x and 10-60x models.

In recent years, March became a popular choice for the tactical and ELR type of shooting. A great example of ELR scopes is the March Genesis, which is a one-of-a-kind riflescope produced only by March because it has a completely different design than any other scope on the market. 

All March rifle scopes are made by the company DEON Optical Design, located in Central Japan. The company was established in 2004 by engineers with a lot of expertise. March scopes are made in Japan, and it is also extraordinary that all the parts in their rifle scopes come only from Japan. This includes the lenses

Size Comparison: March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42 - March FX Tactical 4.5-28x52 - March Tactical 10-60x52 SFP
Size Comparison: March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 – March FX Tactical 4.5-28×52 – March Tactical 10-60×52 SFP

Physical Properties

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 is one of the shortest and smallest rifle scopes available, coming in at only 268 millimeters long (10.55 inches). That’s the same size as the March Tactical 1-10×24 SFP model! The weight is also a huge plus – it has only 624 grams (22oz).

This scope is entirely made of metal, with the main tube measuring 30mm in diameter. So finding the right mounting solution won’t be a problem. The mounting surface measures 111 millimeters (4.4 inches). There is no model with a built-in rail available.


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Argon purging ensures you will have no internal fogging even if using the scope in very cold weather. The scope is completely waterproof. Per March’s words, you can submerge this 1.5-15×42 model into 4 meters of water depth and no liquid damage will occur. Truly impressive. The scope is also shockproof, so it can be used on all calibers without damage, including .50 BMG.

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42 - Length of 268mm
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 – Length of 268mm

42mm Objective Lens

This model is almost of the same length as some wide-angle rifle scopes in 1-6×24 or 1-8×24 configuration. But the March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 has a bigger objective lens, which is 42 millimeters in diameter. This allows more light to come through the scope, making the image brighter and easier to see in lower-lit conditions.

Use with Clip-Ons

While the objective lens measure 42 millimeters note that the outside objective diameter is 51 millimeters 51mm (2.0inch). You will need this scope measurement if you want to mount a clip-on or thermal attachment.

The scope’s short design gives you a distinct advantage – it’s much easier to manipulate the control buttons of the thermal or night vision device attached to the front of the scope (than if using a model with a longer main tube).

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42 - 42mm Objective Lens
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 – 42mm Objective Lens

Locking Eyepiece

March implemented an eyepiece ring that locks the eyepiece in position. This is great because you only need to adjust the ocular once, then you’re set. With this locking ring, there is no chance of accidentally rotating the eyepiece. The glide is very smooth.

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 fast-focus ocular can be adjusted for -2.0/+2.0 diopter points.

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42 - Fast Focus Eyepiece with Locking Function
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 – Fast Focus Eyepiece with Locking Function
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42 - Fast Focus Eyepiece with Locking Function
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 – Fast Focus Eyepiece with Locking Function

Magnification Ring and Throw Lever

The knurled magnification ring is also very smooth, so you can easily go through all magnification powers in a 180-degree turn.

March also supplies a two-part throw lever, which gives you a better grip for faster magnification changes. The design of this throw lever is admittedly not the best. It doesn’t look particularly sturdy. But the lever is straightforward to mount and is flush with the housing. We appreciate that we don’t have to buy it separately.

Why plastic material? If you use the scope for hunting, on a short DMR rifle or AR platform and hit an obstacle, the plastic will break off. Unlike an aluminum lever, which would scrape or further damage the scope.

Click Value

The MIL version of this scope has tactical turrets configured in 0.1 MIL steps. So 1 click on the turret moves the reticle for exactly 1 centimeter at 100 meters.

On the MOA model, the value of a single click is 1/4 MOA. The clicks are very tactile and feel great. You can make one click at a time with no skipping.

March 1.5-15×42 Elevation Turret

In one revolution, you get exactly 10 MILs of travel. March claims you have only 24 MILS of elevation. So 12 up and 12 down. But the entire internal elevation of this scope is 45 MILs, which is incredible. Let’s remind ourselves that this scope has a standard, 30mm tube. So the wide elevation range in such a neat package really wowed us.

On a less positive note, once you go beyond the 24 MILs, you will notice the image clarity is reduced. So if you max out the reticle travel in either direction, the optical performance will be compromised.

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42 - Turrets
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 – Turrets

Setting the Zero on Turrets

To set the zero, unscrew the turret and rotate the dial till your zero is facing forward. There’s a small arrow symbol on the main tube to guide you.

The elevation turret of Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 comes with a zero-set function. You’ll feel resistance when you rotate the turret and near your zero. That means your zero is already set. What’s especially handy about this March zero set is that you can choose the position of your zero. Let’s say you want it positioned at 3 clicks beyond zero, 10, or even 20. It’s your choice.

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42 - Turrets
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 – Turrets

Visual Turn Indicator Only

Unfortunately, there is no mechanical turn indicator. This is a massive disappointment since this elevation turret can make over 4 full turns. When you’re not looking at the scope of the environment light is scarce, you’ll realize the lack of a mechanical turn indicator is a real issue. You can easily make an error of a whole revolution with only thin lines under the turret to guide you.

Windage Turret

The oversized windage turret is also easily resettable with great clicks. The turret can go 9 clicks left and 9 clicks right. This is nicely marked in both directions. Once you dial all the way to 9L or 9R, the turret stops. You can go no further, so there it’s not possible to over-dial by mistake and end up in the opposite direction like 2R without noticing. This turret also has no mechanical turn indicator.

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42 - Turrets
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 – Windage Turret

Side Parallax

The side parallax turret on the March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 is well-made. The movement of the turret is very smooth. You really have a lot of space for fine-tuning, the distances are not all jumbled together. The parallax goes from 10 yards all the way to Infinity. This wide range is what we’re looking for.

See the VIDEO Review of this MARCH Scope HERE!

Optical Properties

Now let’s talk about the optical performance of March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42. The image quality is excellent, as you would expect from a March brand product. March is well-known for its high-optical quality products.

Even with rifles that have a lot of recoils, you’ll still be safe thanks to the eye relief of 70-93.7 millimeters.

The eye box is particularly good at lower magnifications, and it remains decent at higher numbers. So it’s easy to use the scope and stay with the target at all times.

Slight optical degradation occurs when you use the scope at either the lower or higher end of elevation. So, the image will not be as clear as if you were to use this device in the middle of the elevation range.

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42 - Magnification Ring
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 – Magnification Ring

Magnification

This riflescope has a magnification range from 1.5x to 15x, which is especially impressive for such a compact model. With its true 10x zoom, you’ll be able to get great details on your target while still allowing for fast acquisition at lower magnifications. This is good news for hunters that are interested in the 1/4 MOA variant of March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42.

March 1.5-15×42 Field of View

With 1.5x base magnification, you have a decent field of view of 23.4 meters at 100 meters. This comes in handy when hunting so that you can quickly acquire your target. At 15x magnification, the FOV narrows to 2.3 meters/100 meters.

The 10x zoom allows you to get a clear look at details, and the scope has no tunneling effect.

March Compact Tactical - Type 0.1 MIL Reticles
March Compact Tactical – Type 0.1 MIL Reticles

Reticle

For the purpose of this review, we mainly tested the MIL scope variant with the FD1 reticle. This is a typical European hunting reticle. There are more designs: FD1, FD2, MML, MTR-3, MTR-4 and MTR-5.

All reticles are in the second focal plane. Because the reticle is placed behind the magnification lenses, the design does not change its size with the magnification.

At 10x magnification, you can use the reticles to calculate the bullet drop. March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 is a true MIL (or true MOA scope), meaning that at 10x the lines in the reticle are really the same as on the turret.

March Compact Tactical - Type 1/4 MOA Reticles
March Compact Tactical – Type 1/4 MOA Reticles

Reticle Illumination System

Depending on which reticle you choose, the area of illumination will be different. For example, the FD1 has a center dot that is illuminated, while designs like MTR-3 and MTR-4 are almost entirely lit up.

The illumination system has 6 intensity levels. Reticles with illuminated center dots (FD1, FD2, MTR-5) are daytime bright. So even in direct sun, you can see the red illumination. Reticles that have illuminated vertical and horizontal lines are not as intense (MTR-3, MTR-4, MML).

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42 - Innovative Illumination Turret Design
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 – Innovative Illumination Turret Design

Illumination Turret Design

The design of the illumination turret is novel. There is a soft-touch rubber button in the center that, when pressed, turns the red light ON or OFF.

The intensity levels are regulated by a ring wheel around that same button–meaning that you never have to rotate all the way down to 0 to switch off the scope illumination. You can always remain on your preferred level of brightness; just push the central button to activate or deactivate as needed.

Automatic Light Shut-Off

What is more, this March scope has an automatic turn-off function. If you’re no longer using the scope but forgot to turn off the illumination, don’t worry – the scope will do it for you after 1 hour. This is a great battery-saving feature. The CR2032 battery compartment for illumination is inside the turret.

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42 - Open Illumination Turret with CR2032 Battery
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 – Open Illumination Turret with CR2032 Battery

Modifier Disc

In the product box, you’ll find a modifier disc, which can be screwed inside the objective. It is a small aluminum piece and weighs only 7 grams. It does not obstruct the view-through in any way. What does this disc do? This disc cuts incoming light by 50% and increases the depth of focus by 50%. Use it when your scope objective lens is positioned against the sun to reduce mirages.

You won’t notice the modifier disc during the day, but the filter effect will show up in a poorly lit environment and affect your picture quality (darken it). If you’re going to use the scope in lower light, take down the disc first.

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42 - Magnification Ring
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 – Magnification Ring

Scope of Delivery

Okay, what do you get in the box? You get flip-up covers, which are made of plastic but they actually feel really nice and a lens cleaning cloth. Next, you get a sunshade, which probably won’t get much use.

March included a small key for zeroing the turret, which has a handy ring. You can attach this tool to your keys or shooting bag’s zipper, so it’s always there when you need it.

There’s also some informational stuff like the owner’s manual with all the info you need on the scope. It includes instructions on mounting, reticles, etc. Lastly, a warranty booklet. Should something go wrong with the scope, you can write down what’s the issue here and add your contact info.

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42 - Scope of Delivery
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 – Scope of Delivery

Looking for more March 1.5-15×42 Compact Tactical accessories?

  1. Panasonic CR2032 Battery
  2. 20 MOA Scope Mounts
  3. March Flip-Up Lens Caps
  4. Scope Covers

Pros

The overall build quality is at the highest level, as we come to expect from March riflescopes. The locking function on the eyepiece is a really great solution. March also includes plenty of scope accessories – from the sunshade and modifier disc to the throw lever.

The scope is extremely lightweight with only 670 grams to its name. 1.5-15x magnification range adds great flexibility. You get a wide FOV at base magnification but can also enjoy a detailed view of targets at 15x.

Another thing that’s immensely advantageous about the scope is its compact size. It is just perfect for ARs or short-barrel hunting rifles. If you have a rifle fitted with a suppressor, this March 1.5-15×42 is a great scope for your set-up.

Turrets are also a great feature. We like that the scope is available with MIL and MOA clicks. The clicks themselves are great – audible and tactile, so you can feel every single one. The 45 MILs elevation adjustment is just incredible for a 30-millimeter main tube. But the downside of such a high adjustment is the image that it is a bit worse if you are not perfectly in the center.

Pros Summary:

  1. top-notch design and durability
  2. locking eyepiece
  3. lightweight and short scope
  4. flexible 1.5-15x magnification
  5. no tunneling effect
  6. tactile and audible clicks – MIL or MOA
  7. 45 MIL elevation
  8. throw lever, sunshade, and modifier disc included
  9. 10-year warranty

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42 - Size Comparison with Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 – Size Comparison with Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18×44

Cons

This brings us to the things we believe March could improve. The lack of a mechanical turn indicator is our biggest gripe with the March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42. After all, the elevation turret can be completely rotated 4 times. It’d be great if March implemented a silver pin that would pop up when nearing the end of the turret range. The thin white lines under the turret just don’t cut it.

The next thing that bothers us is the loss of image clarity when you nearly max out the elevation turret travel. Luckily, almost nobody needs to use up the full 45 MILs of adjustment.

Lastly, we don’t like the odd design of the illumination control. Not only is the adjustment not intuitive at all, but when you move the intensity-adjusting ring, the parallax dial moves with it. We appreciate the innovative idea but the execution is just not on par with the March standard.

Cons Summary:

  1. no mechanical turn indicator
  2. image quality near elevation turret limit
  3. illumination turret design

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42

March Compact Tactical Warranty

March gives 10 years of customer guarantee on this tactical scope. Illumination is covered with a separate, 2-year warranty. All in all, standard protocol.

When choosing the right scope, it’s better to look at the quality of the mechanics rather than how inflated warranty numbers are. Anyone can make a shabby scope and stamp it with a sparkly “lifetime”, “30 years”, or “VIP guarantee” promises of customer care. We’ve seen these phony tricks too many times. Apologies for the slight tangent, now back to March customer care.

It’s good to have a safety net on your investment. Experience tells us that you most likely won’t need to ever worry about March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42. We sold a great number of March scopes and not a single one was returned to Optics Trade for repairs. That’s a true testament to product ruggedness and durability. We almost don’t wanna jinx it.

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 Price

The March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 price is €2719, so it is quite expensive for such a small optic. But as shown in this review, the March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 is a really special riflescope. One of the most versatile and reliable scopes in the game. It’s well worth the money.

March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42

Final Thoughts on March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42

The March Tactical 1.5-15×42 Compact riflescope is perfect for tactical shooters who need a scope that can do it all. With a magnification range from 1.5x to 15x, this scope can handle any situation imaginable. The 42mm objective lens ensures a bright, clear image, even in low-light conditions, and the tactical reticles allow for quick and accurate shooting. If you’re looking for a versatile riflescope that won’t let you down, the March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 is a perfect choice.

Looking for a compact tactical scope?


March Compact Tactical 1.5-15×42 Photos

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42 Riflescope
Author Rating
51star1star1star1star1star
Product Name
March Compact Tactical 1.5-15x42
Price
EUR 2719
Product Availability
Available in Stock

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