I finally got to go and play at the range with the new XTRII 1-5. To say I am excited about this scope would be an understatement. I have been a big fan and proponent of the MTAC 1-4 for the all-around AR, and I still am. For most people, the MTAC 1-4 offers a great value and all you will ever need out to about 400 yards, a tad more if you practice.
So I will try to explain the benefits the XTRII offers over the MTAC (and in reality, probably any other scope in the 1-X variable AR suitable optics).
MTAC 1-4 v. XTRII 1-5.
The XTR adds a few ounces, better accuracy (100 to 600), better illumination, dial per shot ability, better glass.
If I knew I would never shoot past 350, and only 3Gun, it might very well be a wash. I have shot the Tac30 and then the MTAC 1-4 for the last 4 years, so the holds are pretty much ingrained. I am having to think a bit with this new optic for holds and I think in a match, I would check my drops past 300 right before i shot to make sure. But that is more of a change in reticle I decided to make going away from a BDC to a mil configuration.
I did not feel the 4 ounces when I was testing it out on Friday and Saturday.
Hitting a clay at 75 yards and in was not a problem for me with the MTAC. 80 to 200 was a bit tough, but with the XTRII, I was able to make a first shot hit on a Clay from 5 to 300 yards (no timer). The horseshoe/illumination still leaves enough in the reticle to be fast, but a bit less clutter than the old XTR and the MTAC. They added enough to make it suitable for precision while still leaving enough to be fast for the hoser targets. Now we don't typically shoot clays out past 50 with the AR, but that is one of those confidence things for me I guess.
If illumination, and "daylight" visible is important to you, this alone might be worth the upgrade. It is probably twice as bright as the MTAC. It is the only illuminated reticle I have seen that is so bright I had to turn it down in full light.
I have seen very good riflemen dial for a target here and there in 3Gun, some just for one shot and some as a per shot. In most cases, I have not seen any real score benefit. So I tried with this against an MTAC so see if I could beat it dialing per shot...could not do it. However, when I shot some targets in the 200 to 400 range and then dialed for one shot at 550, I could beat it. Will I ever see that need in a 3Gun match? Probably not, but I know what I can do if the opportunity presents.
I am still on a learning curve with this optic, but so far, I am really liking it a lot. The glass quality is amazing and with my aging eyes affecting my shooting more and more, that is a very welcome as well. There is something like +/-2 diopters either side of neutral in the focus ring. I was about maxed out on the MTAC, now I have a bit more on the XTRII. Realize that if you run it at either extreme, you lose the true 1X from neutral. It is a feature wasted on youth, but if you have older eyes, nice upgrade there too.
So, is it worth the upgrade cost? To me, yes. The package offers some features that the MTAC can not and puts it right up there with some of the "popular" optics that cost a lot more. With the warranty and what I know about the QC/durability testing, I have every confidence that this will also be more durable than some of the higher priced optics. I think it is a homerun for 3Gun in the 1-5. I'll be trying out a 5-25 on the bolt gun soon and then maybe get a 2-10 for the precision AR. That is the main reason I went to the mil reticle from the BDC...to have the same reticle on multiple platforms.
In a decent mount, the XTRII is going to be about twice what the MTAC is running, so you have to consider if these improvements are worth it to you. As for other options, until you are passing the $1500 mark, I don't think you can beat the XTRII 1-5.