HomeUSATFB Review: Brownells MPO 1-6×24 Scope

TFB Review: Brownells MPO 1-6×24 Scope

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Brownells introduced their Match Precision Optics (MPO) line of scopes a few years ago, and that line has grown to include a few low-power variable optics (LPVO). They announced a new 1-6×24 model at SHOT 2022. It recently became available for purchase and is the subject of this review.

Brownells @ TFB:

As always, disclosures are an essential part of a review. I was lucky enough to shoot the MPO 1-6×24 at SHOT 2022 and it left a good initial impression on me. Brownells was kind enough to provide the scope to me for this review. This is my second review of a Brownells product, the first being their retro BRN-10, which I purchased for myself because it is objectively cool.

Design

The MPO has a standard LPVO layout with a small objective lens and a larger, adjustable ocular lens. The overall size, weight, and layout of the MPO remind me of a Vortex Viper PST Gen II 1-6×24. Both the windage and elevation turrets are capped. With covers removed, the turrets have 0.1 MIL adjustments and are resettable once zeroed. An illuminated reticle is standard, with a brightness control located on the left side of the scope. It has six brightness settings with off positions between each brightness level.

TFB Review: Brownells MPO 1-6x24 Scope

Brownells sells the MPO by itself, or in a bundle with a Brownells-branded cantilever mount. This style of mount is essential for use on an AR-15. Without it, the front scope ring would attach to the top of the handguard rather than the receiver. That situation is not ideal, as handguards can come loose or bend, and that tends to ruin a zero. Cantilever mounts are the standard solution to this issue. 

I opted for the bundle with the Brownells cantilever because I did not want to buy a mount for this review, but their mount deserves some recognition. It is made in the USA and is very solid. It uses four screw scope ring caps that will be familiar to anyone who has mounted a scope before. The best scope mounts are those which are uneventful to install and which hold zero throughout their life. This Brownells unit seems to meet that standard well.

TFB Review: Brownells MPO 1-6x24 Scope

The MPO tips the scales at 24 ounces, with the included lens covers. This is substantially heavier than the 15.9 ounces listed in the otherwise-correct documentation, which surely is a misprint. The cantilever mount weighs 7.2 ounces. The total weight installed on the rifle is 31.2 ounces, just shy of two pounds. 

TFB Review: Brownells MPO 1-6x24 Scope

The MPO is not a lightweight scope.

TFB Review: Brownells MPO 1-6x24 Scope

The included mount weighs more than the ultralight models but is very sturdy.

Reticle

The reticle choice in the MPO is sure to be the most divisive design choice. It is inspired by the reticle in the StG 77, the Austrian military AUG. This layout is a departure from the “Christmas tree” reticles commonly found in optics today. The Donut reticle has a fine center point, surrounded by two concentric circles, with horizontal bars at the 3- and 6-o’clock positions. Brownells leans into the uniqueness of their reticle. The MPO’s box features “Donut Reticle” branding, and a sticker with that logo is included in the box.

TFB Review: Brownells MPO 1-6x24 Scope

“Donut reticle” branding on the MPO box

 

TFB Review: Brownells MPO 1-6x24 Scope

Detailed image of the donut reticle (via Brownells)

As this is a second focal plane scope, the reticle remains a constant size as the magnification changes. At 1x, the inner circle measures 6 MRAD, and the outer circle measures 12 MRAD. At 6x, those measurements shrink to 1 MRAD and 2 MRAD, respectively. Its center point measures 0.06 MRAD at maximum magnification, which is very fine indeed. That is 0.206 MOA.

I played with a ballistics calculator to see what kind of holds this reticle provides with some of my common loads, with my local environmental conditions:

Cartridge Zero Distance 1 MRAD (6x) 2 MRAD (6x)
5.56 NATO – 77 BTHP 100 yards 270 yards 380 yards
5.56 NATO – 77 BTHP 200 yards 320 yards 420 yards
5.56 NATO – 55 FMJ 100 yards 310 yards 420 yards
5.56 NATO – 55 FMJ 200 yards 340 yards 440 yards
.308 Win – 168 BTHP 100 yards 260 yards 370 yards
.308 Win – 168 BTHP 200 yards 320 yards 430 yards
.300 BLK – 120 BTHP 100 yards 190 yards 250 yards
.300 BLK – 120 BTHP 200 yards 260 yards 310 yards

 

Zeroing

Thankfully, there is not much to report about zeroing. The turrets, which are graduated in 0.1 MRAD clicks, move the impact on the paper as they are supposed to. Each click is definite and it is easy to adjust by feel while counting off individual clicks.

The turrets also maintained their zero as the various review guns were thrown in the passenger seat or back end of my vehicle. Both the windage and elevation turrets are capped, and those caps have great knurling. Thankfully, that same knurling is found on the magnification ring and the brightness wheel.

TFB Review: Brownells MPO 1-6x24 Scope

Both the windage and elevation turrets have clear, legible markings.

On The Range

The first gun to wear the MPO was my PTR-91. I had to remove the rear sight assembly for it to fit on the included Brownells mount, but tall rings would have fit if I was set on keeping the iron sights in place. While the PTR-91 is not an abusive gun with recoil, it is stouter than a 5.56. Happily, that extra recoil did not cause any issues.

TFB Review: Brownells MPO 1-6x24 Scope

The MPO would not fit with the PTR-91 rear sight, but slightly taller rings would have solved that issue.

I also used the scope during my AK-105 review and Anderson A4 Short Rifle review for accuracy testing. 6x magnification is at the low end of what I would use for that purpose, but the double donut reticle works well with a bullseye-style target. It feels almost like the diopter sights used on ISSF rifles.

TFB Review: Brownells MPO 1-6x24 Scope

The MPO on a PSA AK-105 pistol, back in better times when pistols with braces were still just pistols with braces.

 

TFB Review: Brownells MPO 1-6x24 Scope

MPO on the Foxtrot Mike FM-15 “102” for shooting groups.

 

TFB Review: Brownells MPO 1-6x24 Scope

Shooting groups with the Anderson Manufacturing A4 Short Rifle.

Out in the field, the scope works very well in many respects. The glass clarity is great, with good edge-to-edge clarity and accurate colors. It is very obvious that this is Japanese glass.

The primary shortcoming of the MPO is the reticle. It would benefit from the addition of crosshairs to draw the eye to the reticle. As can be seen in the picture below, the reticle can be hard to pick up against a busy background. Scopes almost always look better to the eye than they do in pictures looking through the glass, and it is much more visible than in this image. But it still is not a fast-acquisition type reticle.

TFB Review: Brownells MPO 1-6x24 Scope

Reticle acquisition would be faster with crosshairs, but the dual donut reticle design is great for shooting on circular targets.

The illumination is alright, but not daylight bright. As (criminally underacknowledged YouTuber) SuperSetCA would say, it is more of a daylight red reticle. There are six brightness settings with off positions between each. I generally leave the illumination off, but it is nice to have for dawn or dusk shooting, or against certain dark backgrounds where the reticle can be tough to spot.

TFB Review: Brownells MPO 1-6x24 Scope

The throw lever is a nice touch, and it protrudes enough to be useful without being annoying.

Conclusion

While not perfect, the MPO does have some great features. The glass is excellent, and it is built like you could hammer nails with it. However, the reticle choice feels like a missed opportunity. With a more practical reticle design, this could be a real contender. But if you are looking for a solid Japanese LPVO with a simple, uncluttered reticle, and don’t mind some weight, the MPO 1-6×24 could be the right optics for you. Look for it in stock at Brownells (where it is only $299 as of the time of writing).

TFB Review: Brownells MPO 1-6x24 Scope



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