Friday Firepower – Zeiss Conquest 3.5-10×44 MC

Regular readers may know that I was looking to decide on a calibre for my new deer rifle. I decided to get a .308 Winchester. I also decided on a rifle as well but that is for another post.

Today i want to review the scope I chose for the project rifle. Once again I have used the expertise of Zee at Hamills Manukau and his able staff. I have found them to be the most knowledgeable and helpful shooting sports staff in Auckland. I am fussy and do tend to be a know-it-all when it comes to firearms, but these guys suck it up and still offer great advice. When they say something about a rifle/scope combination is a wise person that listens to them.

So, onto the scope I chose and the reasons I chose it.

Since I decided that a bush rifle with possibility of longe range was to be the preference we decided that a medium power scope but decent objective lens would be best fro its light gathering abilities. For that reason we chose the Zeiss Conquest 3.5-10×44 MC with a Rapid-Z 600 reticle on the off chance I get to knock over some deer or goats out to 600m.

Zeiss Conquest 3.5-10x44 MC

The techinical specifications are as follows:

3.5-10×44 MC
Effective Lens Diameter
44 mm
Exit Pupil Diameter
12.6-4.4 mm
Twilight Factor
Field of View (ft/100 yards)
35.1-11.7 ft
Diopter Range
+2/-3 dpt
Eye Relief
3.5 in
Parallax-Free (yds)
Square Adjustment Range (in/100 yds)
Adjustment per Click (in/100 yds)
Center Tube Diameter
1 in
Eye Piece Tube Diameter
41 mm
Objective Tube Diameter
50 mm
Nitrogen Filled
Reticle in Image Plane
12.7 in
15.87 oz

I also chose the Rapid-Z 600 reticle.

The four state-of-the-art RAPID-Z® ballistic reticles by Carl Zeiss offer long-range hunters the supreme advantage of precision aiming with accurate holdover and wind-corrected information for shots at extended distances – without complication. And because the reticle is located in the second image plane, there is minimal target cover, even at high magnification. Combined with an integrated ranging feature, all the information you need to make clean, precise shots from the greatest distances is displayed clearly within the scope. Eliminating the need for estimation or timely calculations.

RAPID-Z® ballistic reticles feature numbered holdover lines that correspond to target distances and wind compensation hashes to correct for crosswinds. Once the distance and crosswind has been determined the corresponding holdover line is placed over your target for a precise shot, even from long range.

Handily Zeiss has a ballistic calculator on their site as well for calculation of the necessary sighting information to sight in the rifle on a 100m range for a 200m zero point.

NZDA Taupo RangeWhen I sighted in the rifle it was a cold and windy day in Taupo, and it was also quite dark as storm clouds rolled in. The NZDA range in Taupo is well set-up and visitors can bowl up and put a $2 donation in the can and use the range. It is well set up on the 100m range with decent solid (concrete) bench rests. The range lighting is somewhat dark and green though because of the backdrop.

Though it was dark on this day the sight picture offered by the Zeiss was crisp and clear. I was easily able to pick out exact bullet placement on the target at 100m. It was very easy to acquire the target and with correct diopter setting a beautiful crisp in focus sight picture was a real pleasure.

The rifle and scope were bore-sighted at Hamills and it was initially off the paper…though with a good spotter I could see it was high. A few clicks later it was shooting on the paper and then it was simple maths after that to adjust the point of impact into the bullseye. Adjustment is easy and positive with the windage and elevation adjustments. No fiddly screw drivers needed and the adjustment dials under the caps are easily done with large hands like mine. Once zeroed you can even pull up the click stop mechanism on the elevation and windage dials and set the zero mark of the graduated ring to the index mark. This is so you can relocate the original setting when the reticle is later adjusted for other ranges and loads.

I can’t wait to get the sight out into the bush now the rifle is sighted in properly. So far I am very, very happy with the advice and also the result from the chaps at Hamills.

Stay tuned for the rifle review in the next couple of days.


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  • kehua

    What did you pay for the scope?

    • The RRP for that scope is $1,499.99

      There is quite a difference in the view out of it compared to a cheaper scope. A marked difference.

  • bigkev

    that’s a nice beast, hey i got on the leader board on the “get what it takes” sniper game you posted a few weeks ago, in at 66th @ 1012.69 points

  • Sonny Col

    I am a “townie”,now aged 68. When I was young, my dad taught me hunting. When I was 15 we bought an x-army 303, and I paid 2 packets of tobacco to his mate who cut it down for me. I have used this rifle to shoot many pigs, goats and deer without the aid of a scope.
    My dad and other people taught me how to hunt, which nearly always meant getting close enough to the prey so you could kill, and so0metimes meant using your dogs (if you had them) to get even closer so you could kill with a knife.
    People who use scopes to shoot from enormous distances aren’t hunting. They are exploiting technology.

    • oswaldbastable

      Still using my cut down no. 4 .303- even though I have a fancy ‘shoot them on the other ridge’ Remington.

    • I have shot plenty of deer under 100m with an old 8mm Mauser VZ33 with open sights. I know perfectly well how to hunt down and dirty.

      Most hunters I know can shoot a deer perfectly well out to about 150m or 200m with a scope or without, but very few can make a shot past 300m let alone 500m. There is something very satisfying in making a good shot past 500m. Precision shooting at range is a skill to be admired and sure the technology helps but you still have to be capable of shooting that far. The maths required, the assessment of distance, the weather conditions and prevailing wind all have to be factored in. It is by no means easy, the fact you think it is, just because of technology, shows you have never done it.

  • oswaldbastable

    Yep, I have seen more than a few turn up with a couple of grands worth of rifle and throw rounds all over the paper at 100- you still have to be able to shoot.
    Where I hunt, anything more than the .303 would be wasted on deer & pigs, but I like long range rabbit exploding with the 6mm out in the open!

  • oswaldbastable

    .308 is a good choice- a lot get led astray by exotic magnum rounds. Same result for five times the price.