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March FX 5-42×56 High Master Gen II

March, a renowned manufacturer of high-end riflescopes and reticles, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The company has earned a strong reputation, particularly among F-class and Benchrest shooters, who have consistently praised the first generation of the March High Master series launched in 2020 as an outstanding first focal plane (FFP) riflescope.

During our visit to this year’s Shot Show 2024, we stopped by the March booth to speak with Mary and Gary about the latest addition to their lineup, the March FX 5-42×56 High Master Gen II riflescope.

Technical Features of the High Master FX 5-42×56

The first generation or the original High Master series set a really high standard with its exceptionally sharp and clear image, attributed to the use of ‘Super ED‘ lens elements. Now, with Gen II, March is stepping up the game. The High Master Gen II introduces an upgraded High Master lens system that builds on the strengths of its predecessor.

The biggest upgrade is in the optical quality, especially noticeable at the extreme ends of elevation adjustment, where the image quality has seen a clear improvement.

March 5-42x56 Highmaster Gen II
March 5-42×56 Highmaster Gen II

Staying true to the original High Master design, the Gen II maintains the series’ high standards in technical specifications as well. The scope includes the zero-stop function, features an elevation range of 130 MOA (40 MIL/MRAD) and comes equipped with the FML-1 wire crosshairs reticle positioned in the first focal plane (FFP). The scope retains the uncapped tactical turrets that include a useful turn indicator at the base, an additional Shuriken turret lock and a pull-out/push-in locking system on the side focus. The parallax adjustment ranges from 10 meters to infinity, and the scope also offers six levels of reticle illumination, housed on the side of the parallax turret.

March 5-42x56 Highmaster Gen II
March 5-42×56 Highmaster Gen II

The High Master Gen II Concept Model

During our visit, we also had the opportunity to view the Gen II ‘concept’ version of the scope, which presents both visual and physical modifications from the standard model. The concept version incorporates an integral mount similar to the Genesis 4-40×52 model, where the mount is designed to bolt directly to the scope body. This aims to reduce the potential for alignment errors often associated with more traditional mounting methods, such as scope rings.

March 5-42x56 Highmaster Gen IIMarch 5-42x56 Highmaster Gen II Concept Model
March 5-42×56 Highmaster Gen II Concept Model

Furthermore, the March team is exploring the possibility of integrating the elevation adjustment feature into the mount itself, allowing users to directly select the MOA setting by adjusting the rail. Such a feature would position this scope as a highly suitable, all-in-one solution for extreme long-range (ELR) shooting. Keep in mind that, for the moment, this remains a concept and not yet a final product.

March 5-42x56 Highmaster Gen IIMarch 5-42x56 Highmaster Gen II Concept Model
The integral mount on March 5-42×56 Highmaster Gen II Concept Model

Our Impressions

Our firsthand look at the Gen II, including the ‘concept’ version, left us quite impressed. All March scopes are made entirely in Japan, using high-end materials which is immediately evident when you handle any of their products. The March 5–42×56 FFP High Master Gen II is no exception as it aims to meet the needs of demanding long-range shooters. We expect to see the standard 10-year warranty for the device, which is standard practice with March products.

The potential innovations in the concept model, especially the integrated mounting system aimed at enhancing ELR shooting, have caught our attention. We’re curious to see how this concept model’s mounting system evolves. The price and release date for the Gen II, however, haven’t been announced yet, so stay tuned to our blog for updates.

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March FX 5-42x56 High Master Gen II
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March FX 5-42x56 High Master Gen II
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During our visit to this year's Shot Show 2024, we stopped by the March booth to speak with Mary and Gary about the latest addition to their lineup, the March FX 5-42x56 High Master Gen II riflescope.
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Optics Trade
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