The Tasco Tasco Custom 8-40x Target Scope

By Brad Troyer

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When I started airgunning many years ago the selection of airgun scopes available on the market was very limited and those that you could find were very pricey. Fortunately for the airgun community, optics manufacturers have recognized the growing airgun market and started producing a wider variety of scopes for airgunning.

Tasco has had airgun scopes in the product line for several years now and a few years ago they introduced the Custom 8-40x target scope. This scope is a variable, high magnification scope with an adjustable objective that will focus down to 10 yards using a sidewheel adjustment rather than the traditional adjustable bell. The scope was designed for firearm shooters as well as airgunners. The scope is a long, heavy scope weighting in at 31.5 ounces and measuring 16 inches (or 22 inches if you mount the two 3 inch sunshades that are included with the scope).

This test was not my first experience with this particular scope. I have seen several of them at various Field Target matches and I can honestly say that I wasn't very impressed with the optics as compared to others scopes available on the market. The 8-40x uses a 56mm front objective and a 30mm tube that you would expect to provide a very bright and clear sight picture. However it appears that Tasco settled on a lower grade set of optics for this scope as the image is a bit dim and murky.

In most target applications the lower brightness and clarity won't be a problem as these factors figure mostly in adjusting the objective accurately. It does make a bit more difficult for Field Target use and a bit more care has to be used when using the objective for range finding. I noticed over the last year that lots of shooters use this scope for Field Target and perform very well with it. As the testing progressed I found out why that is, even though the scope isn't as bright or clear as other scopes used for Field Target, the image would snap in and out of focus quickly and with a bit of practice I could estimate the distances accurately. Using the power adjustment ring located just forward of the rear eyepiece, the magnification was turned down to around 35x. At this setting, range estimating was better and the image was somewhat sharper.

The objective is adjusted using either a 1" or 2 3/8" sidewheel which is positioned on the left side of the elevation and windage adjustments. The 1" sidewheel is fixed to the scope while the larger sidewheel attaches over the top of the 1" wheel and can be removed if so desired. Objective tests showed the scope was able to consistently focus to the same point on the sidewheel at near, mid and far distances. I have heard some shooters complain of some slop in the adjustment but I didn't find any in the unit tested.

I set about mounting the test unit on a Daystate CR97 to perform some serious tests. Mounting the scope didn't present any big problems but I did find it necessary to use a reach-ahead type mount to get the right 3" eye relief. The reach-ahead mounts aren't needed if the larger sidewheel is not used, but with it installed it tended to interfere with the mounts and would not let the scope slide far enough forward for proper eye relief.

Of course no target scope is worth much if the target adjustments aren't repeatable. The 8-40x uses short, 3/4" diameter target turrets for adjusting the 1/4 minute elevation and windage adjustments. The turrets are numbered every ten clicks but the numbers on the turret are half of the number of clicks, ie. at twenty clicks the mark reads 10. The turrets are set using 1 grub screw which allows quick and accurate adjustment to the zero mark after sighting in.

With the scope mounted the real testing began. The first test performed is what I call the box test. After zeroing the scope at 40 yards, three shots were taken and then the elevation knob was rotated up one full revolution. After three shots at that position the windage knob was rotated right one full revolution and three more shots were taken. The elevation was then rotated back down to zero. After three shots the elevation was rotated back to zero and then the process is repeated. After about a dozen times through the process I stopped to examine the groups and found that both the windage and elevation adjustments tracked perfectly throughout the entire test.

The scope was then put through a gross adjustment test, turning the adjustments to their extremes and then back to zero. In all cases the scope tracked zero without any problems. A common problem among scopes is that the point of impact will shift when the power is changed. This was tested as well and the unit tested did shift point of impact as the power was reduced. More significantly, when the power was returned to 40x where all of the testing was performed, a slight point of impact shift was discovered. This is common with just about all variable power scopes, the shift is very small but still it occurs so be aware of it and try not to adjust the magnification during a match.

The Tasco Custom 8-40x turned out a solid performance during all aspects of testing. The only criticism of the scope would be the lower grade optics that resulted in reduced clarity and brightness. I regret that I was not able to test it on a spring piston rifle during this round of testing but perhaps I will be able to get to that in the future. The 8-40x has been around a while now and many airgunners shoot with it and perform very well. Considering the lower price of this scope, it makes it a good value for any shooter desiring higher power and good performance on a budget.

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Tasco Custom 8-40x Target Scope Specs

Model Custom Shop 8-40x
Manufacturer Tasco Sports Optics
Magnification 8-40x
Objective Diameter 56mm
Tube Diameter 30mm
Eye Relief 3"
F.O.V. @ 100 yds. 11.5'-2.6'
Reticle Duplex
Length 16"
Weight 31.5 oz.
Apprx. Price $350


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