Minox is probably best known for its micro cameras—tiny devices that look like something James Bond would have stowed in his tuxedo. The German company has been around for the better part of a century manufacturing quality glass, and it has, at long last, entered the tactical riflescope realm with a complete line of scopes. The most interesting to me is the ZP8 1-8x24 mm.
Beyond its 8X magnification range, Minox put an innovative reticle into the ZP8. Called the MR10, it combines an illuminated, mil-based reticle in the first focal plane with a red dot at the center of the crosshair in the second focal plane. Using the company’s Complete Combat Reticle (CCR) technology, the red dot comes on when the magnification ring is turned slightly to roughly 1.1X and stays on until the power is increased beyond 2.5X, at which point illumination switches to the first-focal-plane reticle. This allows for easy target acquisition and engagement at close range using the red dot at low magnification, and seamless transition to more distant targets using the reticle, all by simply turning the magnification ring.
The illumination itself is also different from most other riflescopes. While the red dot glows brightly (which makes it easy to pick up when shouldering the rifle), the first-focal-plane reticle makes use of twilight illumination. This means it doesn’t wash out the rest of the image in low light, nor does it “grow” like so many illuminated crosshairs. Rather, it is best described as turning red, with a hint of brightness, which I found to be less of a distraction in low light. In bright conditions, you may not even notice the illumination, which would probably be superfluous anyway, since the reticle itself is easy to see in normal light. Although I really like this reticle, I found the illumination a bit finicky. The battery cap on the port-side rheostat must be tightened down to the extreme to get the reticle to turn on, and I found the lowest third of its 10 brightness settings impossible to see, even in low light.
Left: Off positions between each brightness level are a plus, but ensure the battery cap is tightly shut. Right: Positive, .1-mil clicks and lockable adjustments add to the ZP8’s versatility at longer ranges.
From its extended magnification-adjustment knob to its mil-based, zero-stop elevation adjustment, this optic is top-of-the-line across the board. What stood out most, however, was the glass. Images were crisp, clear and bright, and its superior light transmission allowed me to spot targets at ranges out to 50 yards long past dusk. I would put the ZP8 up against any riflescope on the market when it comes to optical quality.
Elevation and windage adjustments are well designed and easy to use—once you remember that every click is .1 mil and not .25 MOA or inch. After I smacked myself for forgetting this, the scope shot the “box” flawlessly, proving its adjustments are accurate and repeatable.
Given its wide, 8X magnification range, the ZP8 is ideal for a DMR-type AR. Transitioning between close- and medium-range targets is easier with this riflescope than any other I’ve used. For a first effort at a tactical scope, the Minox ZP8 knocks it out of the park.
On target: Innovative reticle, superior glass
Off Target: Cost, finicky illumination if battery cap is not excessively tight