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When the door bell rings in the middle of a 110 degree summer afternoon it can only be one person; my poor UPS guy. Bad for him but good for me because it usually means a test product has just showed up. My son must be able to smell good glass because he usually shows up about the time I cut the packing tape.

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It is kind of like Christmas in summer and today Santa delivered a brand new Zeiss 4-16×50 FL riflescope.

With any Zeiss product you would expect the optics to look phenomenal but we both enthusiastically agreed that this riflescope far exceeded our expectations. I knew the FL name meant that it had fluorite lenses with special coatings to eliminate color fringing and enhance resolution, but to be honest, I did not expect to see a difference. I can assure you the difference is not just noticeable-it is dramatic.  Even if you have no interest in buying a new riflescope, you owe it to yourself to take a look at one the three new FL models, 4-16×50, 6-24×56 or the gargantuan 6-24×72.

Zeiss 4-16×50 FL Rifle Scope Review

Given that these scopes are on the upper end of the power range most hunters are looking for, it stands to reason that they would make great long distance scopes. To that end, Zeiss has integrated and ballistic turret or ballistic reticle into each new model. Theh 4-16x employs the Rapid-Z 800 ballistic reticle and the 6-24x FL models are available with either a Rapid-Z 1000 or Rapid-Z Varmint version.

Two Versions

The new Zeiss Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) ballistic turret is available in two models, the hunting version which is shorter or the shooting version which is taller. The 4-16×50 is available with the hunting version of the BDC. I have seen way too many problems with exposed turrets being accidentally turned in the field, so I was relieved to find out that the  BDC has a locking system to avoid such accidents and save a hunters sanity at the same time. The hunting BDC also employs a zero stop with restricts the rotation of the turret to one full revolution. You have your choice of two reticles, the heavy duplex style #20 or the finer cross hair #60 illuminated.  Each BDC turret comes with five metallic strips that correspond roughly to the ballistics to the most common hunting calibers. These strips can be applied to the hunting turret to create semi-custom BDC out to 400 yards.

The shooting turret is a higher profile lockable version available on both of the 6-24x FL model along with a full selection of illuminated and non-illuminated reticles.  You will want to consult the Zeiss website for more information. I really mean that! Go to the Zeiss website and spend some time researching the reticle options and the ballistic calculators.

There is so much going on that we cannot possibly get all of the information into a few pages.

rifle scope


I have heard it said many times that a riflescope is an aiming device and the optics are not as critical. I can agree that I would rather have a poor optical scope that will reliably hold a zero than a beautifully clear scope that sprays bullets all over the paper. But when you get both along with a ballistic compensation system you have all the mandatory ingredients for a great riflescope…the new Zeiss FL scopes deliver just that.

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