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Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 Review | Optics Trade Reviews

If you are considering investing in the Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 scope, this blog post will provide a thorough review. Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 was introduced in 2019 and it boasts a magnification range from 4x to 20x and an objective lens diameter of 50mm, making it ideal for both target shooting and hunting.

Additionally, depending on your preference you can choose between a first or second focal plane reticle with either tactical turrets or target turrets – and we’ll even discuss some unique differences between these two models later in this article.

Sightron S TAC 4-20x50 with tactical and target turrets
Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 with tactical and target turrets

Where are Sightron riflescopes made?

Established in 1993, Sightron is a North Carolina-based company that manufactures all of its products entirely within the two production facilities it owns – one in Japan and another located in the Philippines. Not only does this approach lead to higher quality control standards, but also provides consumers with peace of mind knowing they are investing their money into reliable products.

In Japan, only premium products are made, whereas the Philippines specializes in crafting entry and mid-level items. The S-TAC series is made in the Philippines, and the 4-20×50 model is no exception.

Sightron S TAC 4-20x50 is made in the Philippines
Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 is made in the Philippines

S TAC series

The S-TAC series of rifle scopes are mid-range rifle scopes designed for target shooting and hunting.

The S TAC series of riflescopes offer the perfect combination of top-notch functionality and reliability. Featuring a one-piece, shockproof housing, these riflescopes are waterproof and dry nitrogen purged for fog-proof use at low temperatures. The lenses have been multi-coated with seven layers for optimum image brightness and contrast. The adjustable parallax turret allows the shooter to make quick adjustments, while the reticle offers precise aiming points.

When it comes to the S TAC series, only two rifle scopes are available:

  1. S-TAC 4-20×50 and 
  2. S-TAC 3-16×42

Physical properties

The Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 scope is made entirely of metal, with the only rubberized part being the ocular. It’s designed to be shockproof for all calibers, including the powerful 50 BMG. This makes it perfect for any shooter looking for ultra-durable optics that can handle heavy fire.

To ensure no internal fogging, even in the coldest temperatures, this scope has been nitrogen purged and sealed for waterproof protection.

The size of the scope is 378 millimeters. However, it is very lightweight; the SFP model weighs only 690 grams, while the FFP model weighs 770 grams. The main tube diameter of both models is 30 millimeters.

The outer diameter of the objective lens is 58 millimeters. If you wish to mount a clip-on night vision or thermal clip-on device or to calculate the correct height of the scope mount, you will also need this dimension.

Sightron S TAC 4-20x50
Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 with tactical turrets

Eyepiece design

Crafted from metal, the scope boasts a classic European-style eyepiece with an adjustment that is both effortless and firm. This rigidity ensures your diopter setting remains unchanged; I personally find it ideal as you only adjust it once. Not to mention, its steadfastness makes sure no accidental modifications occur – even when taken out of a case or backpack.

Magnification ring

The magnification ring boasts an aggressive design, which works great when wearing gloves. Without them, however, in my opinion, it is slightly too rough; the ridges on the sides are especially hard and sharp at both ends.

This magnifying ring comes equipped with a slim, sharp folding throw lever for added convenience. Although this throw lever serves its purpose well, I think it should have been designed differently to make the top more rounded for better ergonomics.

For those who prefer it, the integrated throw lever is a convenient addition to the magnification ring. If you’re not one of them, simply fold the throw lever downwards.

Sightron S TAC 4-20x50 has magnification ring with foldable throw lever
Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 has magnification ring with foldable throw lever

Optical performance

Outfitted with a 5x zoom factor and 50-millimeter objective lens, the Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 scope lets you quickly switch between magnifications ranging from 4 to 20 power. The field of view at the smallest magnification is 7.8 meters at 100 meters, and at the highest magnification, it is 1.5 meters at 100 meters. Additionally, this scope does not cause any tunneling effects.

Sightron S TAC 4-20x50 with 50mm objective lens
Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 with 50mm objective lens

The eye relief of the scope ranges from 94 millimeters to 101.6 millimeters. I must mention that at four times magnification, the eye relief is very forgiving; you can move your head closer or further from the scope and still have a clear view at the highest magnification. The eye relief is generous yet easy to use.

The eye box has stellar performance across the entire magnification range, and for its price point offers remarkable image quality. Not only that, but its resolution is superb, providing edge-to-edge clarity and unparalleled color accuracy.

Tactical model

The Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 tactical model features a reticle positioned in the first focal plane and open tactical turrets, with the user able to choose between 0.1 MIL and 1/4 MOA adjustment per click. Additionally, this model comes with a zero-stop function.

Sightron S TAC 4-20x50
Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 with tactical turrets

Tactical model reticle

S TAC 4-20×50 tactical model offers two different first focal plane reticles to choose from:

  1. Mil-Hash reticle and
  2. MOA-3 reticle

The MIL version features clicks in MIL measurements, and the MOA version features clicks in MOA measurements. The Mil-Hash reticle is marked off in 0.5 MIL sections, and the MOA-3 reticle is marked off in 1-MOA sections.

Because the reticle is positioned in the first focal plane, you can use the Mil-Hash reticle for target shooting without making any adjustments, as it can also be used for bullet drop compensation.

Mil-Hash IR reticle
Mil-Hash reticle
MOA-3 reticle
MOA-3 reticle

Illumination system on tactical model

The FFP scope features an illumination system which is located on the right-side turret. Between each set, there is an “off” position. All in all, you have eleven intensity settings. Because there is an “off” position between each intensity setting, you can immediately return to the desired illumination intensity.

The illumination system is powered by a single CR2032 battery. The battery compartment is located on the same side turret as the illumination system.

Battery compartment and illumination system are located on the left-side turret
Battery compartment and illumination system are located on the left-side turret

Parallax adjustment on the tactical model

Located on the same turret as the illumination is also the parallax adjustment, which goes from 10 yards to infinity. There is a lot of room for adjustment, so you can easily fine-tune the parallax to your desired target.

When testing the scope, one thing that I found interesting was its side turret. It had a bold style and gave an excellent grip when wearing gloves; however, it could be strenuous to turn because it is so aggressive. With just two fingers, this can make for quite an uncomfortable experience. In my opinion, the aggressiveness of the design outweighs any practicality here. Ultimately, I would prefer something more subtle concerning the finish of this aspect specifically.

Left side-turret on the tactical model
Left side-turret on the tactical model

Elevation turret on the tactical model

As I mentioned earlier, the user can order a scope with 0.1-MIL or 1/4-MOA adjustment per click.

If you order a scope with 0.1 MIL adjustment per click, every single click equals one centimeter at 100 meters away. In one revolution, the scope features 5 MILs of travel; that’s 50 centimeters at 100 meters. The entire elevation range of the MIL scope is 22.9 milliradians. In conclusion, this turret can rotate almost five full times from its initial position which makes it a multi-turn turret.

The clicks on the tactical model

The clicks on the elevation turret are incredibly satisfying and audible, granting you to easily single out each click with ease. Additionally, they’re not too rigid – allowing you to make one precise click without unintentionally turning more than necessary.

Sightron S TAC 4-20x50 with tactical turrets
Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 with tactical turrets

Turn indicator on the tactical model

The lines beneath the elevation turret act as a turn indicator. As you make one full turn, an additional line will appear below the turret.

Zero-stop function on the tactical model

An added benefit of the tactical model is that it comes with a ring underneath the turret which enables zero-stop functionality. You can simply turn the ring up to the turret until it reaches its stop. Three simple screws are all it takes to firmly secure the ring in place. With the use of this ring, you have complete control over where your zero stop lies – whether you want it exactly on zero or just a few clicks below. This is a simple, yet useful method for setting a zero stop.

Setting the zero on the tactical model

To reset the elevation turret to zero, all you have to do is unscrew the screw on top of it and allow it to rotate freely. After that, simply adjust the turret until the “zero” marker is facing forward before retightening it back in place.

Elevation turret on the tactical model
Elevation turret on the tactical model

Windage turret on the tactical model

Establishing the zero on your windage turret is done in precisely the same manner as with the elevation turret. Simply unscrew the middle screw at the top of the turret, rotate the turret so that “zero” is facing forward, and then tighten the screw again.

Boasting 12 MILs of internal adjustment and 5 MILs in a single revolution, the windage turret is of a multi-turn design.

The windage turret features a turn indicator in the form of white lines to easily determine which revolution you are on. This eliminates any confusion – no longer will you be able to make an entire 360-degree error as it is now easy for you to identify your zero point.

Windage turret on the tactical model
Windage turret on the tactical model

Target model

The Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 target model features a reticle positioned in the second focal plane and capped target turrets. The scope only comes with a 1/4 MOA adjustment per click, and there is no illumination system or zero-stop function available.

Sightron S TAC 4-20x50 with capped target turrets
Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 with capped target turrets

Target model reticle

S TAC 4-20×50 target model offers two different second focal plane reticles to choose from:

  1. Duplex reticle (very traditional hunting reticle) and
  2. MOA-2 reticle

The MOA-2 reticle features two MOA spacings, and they are only precise at 20x magnification. Consequently, this feature is available only in the second focal plane for bullet drop compensation or calculating distances at 20x magnification.

Duplex reticle
Duplex reticle
MOA-2 reticle
MOA-2 reticle

Elevation turret on the target model

Beneath the caps are highly precise and responsive sports turrets that allow for quick adjustments. Adjustment per click is 1/4 MOA and the entire elevation adjustment is 80 MOA. The scope feature 15 MOA of travel per revolution, which means that the elevation turret is of a multi-turn design.

The clicks on the target model

The clicks are clear, giving a pleasant tactile sensation that ensures the turret is securely in place and can’t move unintentionally.

Turn indicator on the target model

A subtle indicator in the form of delicate lines beneath the elevation turret helps you conveniently keep track of each turn. It’s essential to note that turret zero is in its exact center. If you mount your scope without an inclination, then this would be considered accurate; however, if you mount the scope with an inclination, these lines will no longer remain reliable–the lower line being your new zero point.

Setting the zero on the target model

Setting the elevation turret to zero is a quick and uncomplicated process—simply unscrew the three screws on top of the turret, allowing it to rotate freely. Once you have rotated it until ‘zero’ is facing outwardly, just tighten up those screws again.

Windage turret on the target model

The windage turret is very similar to the elevation turret. The entire windage adjustment is 40 MOA. The turret has 15 MOA of travel in one revolution, making it a multi-turn turret.

I’m not keen on the current structure of the windage turret, as it only displays numbers in one direction. Counting clicks each time you rotate in the opposite direction is tiresome. I think that this feature needs to be improved.

Target turrets without the caps
Target turrets without the caps

Mounting solution

The Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 features a 30-millimeter main tube diameter, meaning that you will need 30 mm scope mount rings to mount the scope to the rifle.

Need a scope mount?

Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 price and warranty

The S TAC 4-20×50 SFP model will set you back around 830 euros, while the FFP variant costs 1150 euros. The MOA-2 reticle is an additional 30 euros when compared to other reticles.

As mentioned previously, S TAC 4-20×50 scopes are crafted in the Philippines with a decade-long warranty included.

Scope of delivery

Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 comes with many accessories:

  1. sheet with reticle subtensions
  2. flip-up covers
  3. instruction manual
  4. cleaning cloth
  5. zeroing tool
  6. hex wrench
Sightron S TAC 4-20x50 scope of delivery
Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 scope of delivery

Pros

What sets this scope apart from the rest is its exceptional build and optical quality, as well as its first-rate turrets. For such an affordable price point, it’s hard to find a product with this kind of feature.

The clicks are pleasingly audible and tangible, providing a satisfying feel. The turrets are very easy to zero. I also like the zero stop on the tactical model, which is very convenient to set, and it can be set at any position you desire.

Not only does the scope come with a choice of the either first or second focal plane, but I enjoy that it offers consistent build quality and dimensions regardless.

What appeals to me the most about this product is its lightweight design. To top that off, it comes in both MIL and MOA versions which makes it even more attractive.

Pros summary:

  1. great build quality
  2. good optical performance
  3. FFP or SPF model
  4. MIL or MOA clicks
  5. lightweight design
Tactical and target model
Tactical and target model

Cons

One area for improvement is to offer illumination on the second focal plane, as it could potentially be used for hunting. Offering such a feature would boost consumer satisfaction immensely.

Furthermore, I find the design of the turrets to be too sharp and aggressive. If you twist the turret without using a secure grip, it may become uncomfortable. However, if you keep a steady hold on it, there are no concerns; still, in my opinion, turrets should not require such a firm grasp for them to feel comfortable when used.

If the windage turret had a two-directional marking design, rather than just going in one direction, it would be significantly more helpful.

The scope has no tunneling effect, but if you look through it, the image appears to be a bit further away or as if you were looking through a tunnel. This occurs across all magnifications and not just on the lowest one, as is the case with some other scopes.

Cons summary:

  1. The SFP model doesn’t have an illuminated reticle
  2. turrets design is very sharp
  3. windage turret has no two-directional markings
Sightron S TAC 4-20x50
Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 tactical model

Final thoughts 

The Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 scope is an excellent option for anyone looking for a high-quality and affordable optic that offers both MIL and MOA clicks. The build quality is superb, and the optical performance is top-notch. Even though there are some areas of improvement, such as offering illumination on the second focal plane model or redesigning the windage turret to be two-directional, overall the S TAC 4-20×50 is an excellent buy.

For such a low price, no other rifle scopes in its class can outmatch its features and specifications. In particular, the SFP model is especially well-represented with its best possible performance.

When it comes to the FFP model, there is a great deal of rivalry; however, none matches its magnification range.

In summary, the Sightron S TAC 4-20×50 provides excellent value for money considering its impressive build quality and optical performance coupled with its lightweight design and decade-long warranty included. Whether you’re a professional shooter or just getting started in target practice or hunting, this mid-level rifle scope is sure to meet all your needs without breaking the bank.

Tactical and target model
Tactical and target model
Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Sightron S TAC 4-20x50 Riflescope
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray
Product Name
Sightron S TAC 4-20x50
Price
EUR 799
Product Availability
Available in Stock

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