Chris Parkin gets his hands on the Kite KSP HD2 1-6×24 riflescope to see what he makes of this relative newcomer to the shooting market.
Kite Optics is a Belgian company that has branched out with its Japanese-made optics into the hunting market. Specifically of interest to us are its riflescopes brought to us via a connection to Browning. A variety of specifications are built around a 6x magnification range, from 1-6x through to 1.6-10x, 2-12x and finally 2.5-15x with appropriate objective lens sizes from the 24mm seen here, then 42mm, 50mm and 56mm for the highest magnification model.
Straight from the box, the finishing standards and clean design aesthetics lead you to the realisation that this is not just another rebranded lacklustre east-Asian optic. It has been designed and made to compete with European talent from the ground up. The straight 30mm maintube overhangs its 24mm objective lens by 20mm to shield it from mechanical damage and unsightly light glinting from the fully multi-coated lenses to spook any quarry. Three control dials lie at 12, 9 and 6 o’clock around a spherical saddle positioned 95mm from the front of the one-piece hard anodised tube. This allows plentiful space coupled with 50mm behind the saddle to fit scope mounts and set eye relief correctly on long or short-actioned rifles. Windage and elevation dials are sited below knurled screw-off protective caps with cleanly cut threads that show no likelihood of being cross-threaded. The dials are marked with 0.7cm-at-100m adjustment increments that corresponds with 0.25in at 100 yards. Each click is well weighted with a good feel. They are marked in stages of four at a time.
The quarter-inch-at-100-yards US favourite is getting harder to deny as the basis for a sporting optic. This isn’t a a long-range ‘dialler’s’ scope, so once zeroed, it’s probably going to get left well alone – yet both dials can be lifted, turned to visually denote zero, then pressed back into place so you will not get lost. This is also handy if you use more than one type of ammunition for which you need more than one zero. All tracking processes worked without a doubt, returning to where they were needed on a sporting rifle. Ninety-six clicks per turn access 1.4 metres at 100 metres of total internal mechanical range adjustment, which should be plenty of travel for your initial zero. The right-side dial cap also carries the company’s Kite logo in gold.
Intensity of the centre dot is adjusted from 1-11 on the left dial with intermediate off positions. There is no auto-off, which I would like to see as these things commonly get left on and batteries die. Spare CR2032s always live in my emergency toolkit these days. There are also no detents between positions, and though the dial is firm to avoid unwanted movement, it would be nicer to be able to feel the setting alter.
Fast-focus dialling at the rear of the ocular body adjusts a generous +/-3 dioptre for clear view of the simple No.4Ai reticle with thicker extensions to the posts at 3 ,6 and 9 o’clock. This second focal plane reticle remains constant in size throughout magnification settings and shows a single red dot to the centre. It is not quite in the centre, though – it’s slightly to the left side of the reticle’s exact centre junction. This seemed like my paranoia at first, but it shows how good the human eye is at aligning objects. A zoomed- in photograph clearly shows the dot lying slightly offset. On such a low-magnification optic, it is nothing that really matters, as the moving game likely being engaged will be a far bigger factor than millimetric precision of aim at 40 metres – but still, I wonder how common this is in red-dot optics where there is no reticle etching to give it away. I probably only notice these things because my job is to notice, and with the high standard of optics these days, I have to work hard to find something to pick at. Precision shots are most likely to be taken on 6x in decent light anyway, and with the dot turned off, it’s not noticeable. Even when initiated, there is no glare or flare caused by the assisted highlight it offers for fast point and shoot activities.
Zoom is controlled by a knurled collar at the front of the ocular body with a wing that sits vertically at roughly 2.25x magnification. Everything is smooth and indicative of well machined helical internals. The optics are bright and clear with no discernible faults and a nice flat view from edge to edge. A scope with a 24mm objective is never going to be a low light specialist, but the colours maintained good contrast and the optics were a definite step ahead of many of its counterparts of similar geographical origin.
Accessing the exit pupil with 100mm of eye relief is perfect for an intuitive, fast-shooting rifle with significant recoil. I liked the fact that this reticle was heavier than those on 2-12x or 2.5-15x models, which show some of the finest and most precise sighting tools in the business.
I have enjoyed using the Kite optics and found them to be totally reliable, though I would prefer an auto-off function to give a little backup. A 1-6x scope is one of the more specific-use optics in any manufacturer’s range, and as such this scope makes a great secondary addition to any rifle that’s likely to be used occasionally for a trip overseas that brings different shooting challenges to the UK standard.
Contact: 01235 514550 browning.eu