The purpose of this blog post is to provide an evaluation of the Sightron SIII Competition 36x45 ED scope. The scope is offered in two configurations, with the only difference being the type of reticle.
The Sightron SIII 36x45 ED belongs to the premium SIII riflescope series and is manufactured in Japan. Its large magnification of 36 times is fixed, making it suitable only for precise target shooting from a bench, qualifying it as a true benchrest rifle scope.
- About the Sightron company
- Physical properties
- Optical performance
- Mounting solution
- Sightron SIII 36x45 ED price and warranty
- Scope of delivery
- Who are the main competitors of the Sightron SIII 36x45 ED?
- Final thoughts
About the Sightron company
Sightron is a company that was founded in North Carolina, United States in 1993. It has a parent company called Kenko Tokina, which is based in Japan. Both companies have a longstanding tradition in optics, with Sightron being around for about 30 years and Kenko Tokina having a tradition that goes back even further to 1957.
Sightron has two production facilities located in Japan and the Philippines, respectively. The company produces all its products completely in-house and does not outsource production to third-party companies. The Philippine facility specializes in manufacturing entry-level and mid-range products while the Japanese facility produces premium products.
As the SIII riflescopes are of premium quality, all of them are manufactured in Japan.
The SIII series offers a selection of 7 different riflescopes to choose from:
- Sightron SIIISS Competition 45x45 ED
- Sightron SIII 10-50x60 LR
- Sightron SIII 10-50x60 FT
- Sightron SIII 3.5-10x44 LR
- Sightron SIII 6-24x50 LR
- Sightron SIII 8-32x56 LR
- Sightron SIII 36x45 ED
The Sightron SIII 36x45 ED is constructed entirely from metal, making it recoil-proof and suitable for use with powerful calibers such as 50 BMG. It is nitrogen purged, which prevents internal fogging and allows for use in colder environments. Additionally, it is waterproof, making it impervious to rain.
The scope is 381 millimeters long and weighs only 581 grams. It is interesting to note that a colleague of mine uses this scope for F-class target shooting since it adheres to the weight limit required for F-class TR competition. If you have a heavy gun, you might want to consider this lightweight optic.
The main tube has a diameter of 30 millimeters while the objective lens's diameter is 45 millimeters. To calculate the height of your scope mount rings, you will need the dimension of the outer objective diameter, which is 53 millimeters.
The reticle is positioned in the second focal plane. As previously mentioned, you have the option of selecting from two different reticles when placing an order for the Sightron SIII 36x45 ED.
You can choose between these two reticles:
- Fine Crosshair reticle and
- Target Dot reticle.
The Fine cross and the Target dot are almost identical, except that the Target dot has a small dot in the center.
Fine Crosshair reticle
The Fine Crosshair reticle is a popular type of reticle used for short- and long-range target shooting. It consists of thin lines intersecting at the center of the scope's optics and does not have a dot in the middle. It is known for having the smallest aiming point of all reticles.
Target Dot reticle
The Target Dot reticle is designed specifically for high-power and ED glass target scopes used in target shooting. It has a fine crosshair with a slightly larger 1/8 MOA dot in the center, which is needed to accommodate the larger field of view. This reticle is best suited for mid-range center fire and short-range .22 rimfire.
The SIII 36x45 scope does not have illumination, which is typical for such a scope.
The left side turret houses the parallax adjustment, which has a smooth feel and a range from 10 yards to infinity. The adjustment offers a lot of rotation for precise tuning of the scope to a specific distance.
The SIII 36x45 comes with high-quality capped-target turrets. The unique feature of this scope is that it has a 0.1 MOA adjustment per click, which is not typically found in other scopes. With one click, the reticle moves only 2.9 millimeters at 100 meters, making it very precise. Other scopes typically have a click value of 1/8 MOA or 3.5 millimeters at 100 meters.
This riflescope has a total internal elevation of 50 MOA, which allows for many rotations, as each rotation provides 5 MOA of travel. The turret has 10 rotations available, indicating that it is a multi-turn turret.
The turret clicks are easily distinguishable, with a satisfying tactile sensation. It is highly accurate, making it easy to produce just one click without accidentally creating another. Overall, it's a great turret.
The fine lines under the turret indicate the current revolution, but they are closely spaced because each revolution has only 5 MOA of travel, which is normal.
The scope's zero is located in the middle of the elevation, allowing it to be mounted without any inclination. However, if you use a scope mount with 20 MOA inclination to utilize more of the scope's elevation travel, the lines won't match because the zero will then be on the lower side of the elevation, around where the second line is located.
Resetting the turret to zero
To reset the elevation turret to zero, follow these simple steps: Unscrew the three screws located on the top of the turret. Rotate the screw approximately one full revolution, and the turret will rotate freely. Adjust the turret until zero faces forward, then screw the screws back in.
The scope lacks a zero-stop function, which means that it is possible to go below zero even after resetting the turrets to zero.
The windage turret can adjust up to 2.5 MOA in both left and right directions, with two markings in each direction. It is a multi-turn turret, so it can make multiple revolutions if necessary. The internal adjustment range of the windage turret is the same as that of the elevation turret, which is 50 MOA.
Resetting the windage turret to zero is identical to resetting the elevation turret.
To adjust the focus, rotate the entire eyepiece as it moves as one unit. The eyepiece enables you to make precise adjustments, so you can finely adjust the reticle with great accuracy.
There is a counter knob located at the end of the eyepiece which is used to lock the eyepiece in place. This ensures that the eyepiece is completely fixed and won't move when you take the scope out of a bag or case.
The Sightron SIII 36x45 ED scope has an excellent price-to-performance ratio, as do other Sightron products. For approximately 1,450 euros, you receive a high level of quality.
The scope's magnification is 36x and its objective lens diameter is 45 millimeters. It doesn't have any tunneling effect and has a field of view of 1 meter at 100 meters. The eye relief is 91.4 millimeters, which is the distance from the eye to the scope. Eye relief is forgiving, so you can adjust your distance from the scope and still get a clear image.
I mentioned earlier that the image quality is excellent for the price. The edge-to-edge clarity is also impressive, and the color accuracy is good. Overall, the optical performance is great.
To mount the scope on the rifle, you will need scope mount rings with a diameter of 30 millimeters since that is the size of the main tube.
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Sightron SIII 36x45 ED price and warranty
The cost of this scope is 1450 euros, regardless of whether you choose the Target Dot or Fine Crosshair reticle. Additionally, the scope comes with a 10-year warranty.
Scope of delivery
The rifle scope comes with a detailed manual providing information about its features. Additionally, it includes flip-up covers, a sunshade, a cleaning cloth, and a hex key for resetting the turrets.
Looking for more accessories?
The Sightron SIII 36x45 ED scope has some positive aspects that should be highlighted. Firstly, it boasts excellent build quality for its price. The scope also offers great optical quality and a fine-tunable parallax. The turret clicks are both audible and tactile, which I like. Moreover, zeroing the scope is very easy.
I appreciate that the scope offers a 0.1 MOA adjustment per click. This is a feature that sets it apart from others on the market.
Lastly, the scope is very lightweight, making it a great option if you have a weight limit.
- great build quality
- excellent price-to-performance ratio
- good clicks
- 0.1 MOA adjustment per click
- very lightweight
Where do I see some room for improvement?
The lines beneath the turret need to be improved. When the scope is mounted at zero inclination, they align fine since the zero is in the center. But when a scope mount with inclination is used, the lines do not align with the turret.
I am disappointed because there is no MIL model currently available. It would be great to have a MIL model that offers at least 0.05 MIL adjustment per click.
- turn indicator could be improved
- no MIL model
Who are the main competitors of the Sightron SIII 36x45 ED?
I think that Sightron SIII 45x45 and Sightron SIII 36x45 ED are similarly priced and the closest competitors to each other.
I believe the IOR Benchrest 40x45 riflescope is the main competitor and it is more expensive, costing around 130 euros. It is heavier than the SIII 36x45 but has a slightly higher elevation and clicks in 1/8 of MOA.
Finally, I would like to mention the IOR Benchrest 36x42 Competition rifle scope. It is a pricier option and has 1/8 MOA clicks.
I think these are the only rifle scopes that can be compared with the SIII 36x45 ED.
In conclusion, the Sightron SIII 36x45 ED is an ideal choice for benchrest shooting. It offers great build quality and excellent optical performance at a very reasonable price point of 1450 euros. The scope has some nice features such as 0.1 MOA adjustment per click, edge-to-edge clarity, color accuracy, and a 10-year warranty that set it apart from its competitors.
There are more expensive options available for this purpose, but if you don't want to spend more, this one is perfect.