Watch the video above on the Kahles K525i and K318i riflescopes.
Kahles, the sister company of Swarovski Optics, is Austria’s oldest optics manufacturer. Kahles has new riflescopes like the 56mm objective lens K525i and 50mm K318i that are both tailor-made for precision rifle shooting. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to try out both of these scopes at FTW Ranch in Texas Hill Country, and they are definitely gamechangers for long-range shooters. Here’s why.
The new K525i is a first focal plane scope with an illuminated reticle and a 34mm tube. It’s definitely a worthy contender for best new long range scope this year. There’s just something about high-end European glass that sets it apart. The view provided by the 56mm objective lens is incredibly sharp—like 4K HDR TV sharp. You get used to it in a good way. It’s crisp and distortion-free from edge-to-edge. I always saw my targets clearly and could read the wind at 1000 yards.
The eye relief is 3.74-inches, which is perfect for many commonly-used PRS rifles. The parallax wheel is integrated into the elevation turret—similar to the K624i introduced last year. This makes it relatively easy to keep in position when shooting, because either hand can be used to adjust the parallax. You start to appreciate this quickly because it allows you to acquire targets quickly at different distances, which is similar to what you often encounter at precision matches.
Now here’s the feature that competitive shooters will really appreciate: the twist guard windage system. It uses this freely rotating end cover, so you can’t prevent accidentally move the windage turret. It also lets you adjust windage without locking or unlocking the turret.
I spent less time with the K318i, but the 50mm optic image was just as vivid as the 56mm K525i. The K318i is more compact than the K525i, while also sporting the twist guard windage turrets, and the parallax wheel integrated into the elevation turret.
The scopes were mounted on H-S Precision Pro-Series 2000 bolt-action 6.5 Creedmoor rifles, using Talley rings that kept the hardware secured solid as a rock. Prime Ammunition supplied their 130-grain OTM 6.5 Creedmoor rounds.
FTW Ranch’s Sportsman All-Weather All-Terrain Marksmanship course teaches you how to use your Kestrel to true your rifles and build a “worldwide range card.” After morning classes, we’d go out and shoot hundreds of steel targets that peppered the ranch landscape. The targets ranged from 100 to 1690 yards. FTW had a small fleet of Jeeps taking us around the ranch. We spent our time split between shooting from covered firing points, and also out in the terrain, where we were taught to use whatever objects we had around us to gain the stability needed for precision accuracy.