The Burris XTR II 8-40x50 riflescope has a modest price tag, great light transmission and impressive build quality... Chris Parkin puts it through its paces in this in depth test and review

PROS: Excellent build quality and ease of operation; Good to see an MOA scope with matched reticle; Clear image without too much distraction from the reticle; Pretty good value for money I think

CONS: ¼ MOA and mRad options might be appealing to some

OVERALL: This is an excellent scope for entry into longer distance target shooting or vermin control. The turrets are clearly marked and very usable without any likelihood of mistakes being made, and it’s good too see a finer 1/8th MOA specification without sacrificing too much mechanical travel. I always find high magnification optics can be hard work on lighter field rifles, but the Burris remained pleasurable to shoot with.

RRP: £1,375

CONTACT GMK Limited - 01489 579999


The Burris XTR II 8-40x is the highest magnification scope in the range, specified for long-range vermin shooters and for F-Class and target shooters. It’s a one-piece tube with a medium-sized 50mm objective lens that feeds light through a 34mm main tube towards the rear fast-focus eyepiece.

The reticle is in the first focal plane so swells throughout the 5x magnification range, the flip side of which is that all those hash marks remain precise in subtension on target.

The elevation turret stands 33mm proud of the body with an easily manipulated 35mm diameter featuring heavy serration to aid grip with gloves or without. This pattern is shared on the windage, parallax and illumination dials as well as on the magnification control ring at the front of the ocular body. Flip-up lens caps are supplied in a matt black that really suits the sleek, hard anodised finish of the tube. This finish does not scrub the skin from your hands and stays smart and easy to wipe clean at any time.

All the joints on the scope (stationary and moving) remain closely sealed with full waterproofing and a nitrogen fill inside to ensure longevity across environmental changes. Overall build quality carries a slight air of higher class that is tricky to describe, and there’s some nice aesthetics.

Burris’s claims for triple spring mechanicals and a consistent point of aim, as well as zero retention throughout the magnification range, are confident. I was unable to find fault during my test.

Mechanical adjustments are in 1/8 MOA clicks with a nice logical 10 MOA (80 clicks) per rotation of the turret, which features a resettable zero stop to ensure you can’t get lost, only ever dialling up from your initial datum zero. Some will call for a 1/10 mRad version with 10mm clicks, but to be fair, 1/8 MOA is a finer adjustment value that can really pay off on small targets at long range – with a matching MOA reticle, I found the Burris seamless in use. Parallax is adjustable from 50 yards to infinity in just under ¾ of a turn without backlash, and that enables a good clean focus to be pursued at 40x magnification.

As always, however, you will rarely ever get to see a fully sharp image as a mirage will appear quite vividly as zoom is pushed. Down nearer to 20-25x is the best option in hot conditions before the reticle becomes a bit too small to read clearly (it gets very skinny below 16x). The outer illumination dial runs from 0-11 with intermediate ‘off’ positions and a full ‘off’ option at either end of the travel.

The very centre dot is lit up, so you can retain a sharp aim point and, in low light with less magnification wound on, you can use the optic as a more capable point and shoot device if necessary. Eye relief is generous at 100mm, but quite critical in terms of back and forth head position as well as side to side. A second set of lateral hash marks are present, spanning the field of view at the 20 MOA vertical offset, and these disappear from the field of view as the zoom increases above about 32x, although that is no great loss. Secondary illuminated dots are present on the reticle at 10 and 20 MOA below centre to allow for fast long-range aim offs, or simply to give you an extra long-range capability beyond the 70 already available from the optic’s internal mechanics. There is no loss in field of view or tunnelling as magnification is taken all the way down to 8x, although the reticle is very fine and only for use on distinctly visible targets in good optical contrast.

The riflescope over-delivers its modest price tag and is protected by the Burris ‘Forever Warranty’. In use, I found it be a reliable optic which looked good value at the price. It is not a low light optic, but at longer distances out to 400m on my .223, it shot well with good contrast for paper and reactive targets and enough eye relief/eyebox space to allow retention of sight picture through the bullet’s flight. I found the clicks reliable when dialling known data into the scope for long shots, and it tallied well with the reticle for precise aim offs called by my spotter’s position in the wind.

The half and full MOA markers are just big enough to read and count without too much trouble on the main reticle arms, but the smaller ones on the lower set spanning the field at 30 MOA below centre are a little slower to read accurately.

Importantly, the field of view has good flat focus and I was able to spot my own fall of shot in the dry sand backers without a problem. There was little visual strain from the easily set-up fast-focus reticle. The small exit pupil is somewhat a fact of life with high magnification and good gun fit with a decent cheekpiece becomes more critical to avoid neck muscle strain in long stints on the gun – so just watch out.

Mechanically, the scope stood up well with smooth movement from all internal mechanisms and a nice balance on the turret clicks, which were tactile and gently audible. This meant not having to directly look at the controls when shooting and rarely a mistake made on corrections, especially on the clearly marked windage dial running left and right of centre.

This is an area far too many scopes scrimp on – unclear markings which can be misinterpreted – and thankfully Burris have not! Given the overall specification from a 50mm objective lens, I think the coatings used by Burris have done a good job of maintaining better-than-average light transmission and a bright, clear picture. My only complaint is that when using high mag, you can see the illuminated dot drift slightly relative to the reticle, although this is a very good reminder to keep your eye positioned perfectly in the exit pupil to avoid any unwanted parallax error.


Objective lens - 50mm

Magnification - 5-40x

Overall weight - 890gr

Overall length - 424mm

Maximum Elevation travel - 70 M.O.A.

Maximum Windage Travel - 30 M.O.A.

Click value - 1/8th M.O.A.

Exit pupil - 6.25-1.25 low to high

Field of view - 13.2-2.8ft @100 yards

Eye relief - 100 mm

Parallax - 50y to Infinity

Reticle - M.O.A. subtensions in First Focal Plane

Maximum elevation and windage - 85 elevation, 55cm windage @ 100m

Tube diameter - 34mm

Waterproof - 2m, Nitrogen charged

Warranty - Burris Forever Warranty

Accessories - Flip up lens caps included