Sightmark 5-30×50 Pinnacle Riflescope Operations Review for Long-Range Shooting

Tom does some long range shooting with the Sightmark 5-30×50 Pinnacle Riflescope off a Ruger Precision Rifle in this review.

This Sightmark 5-30x50 Pinnacle Long Range scope can be yours - along with a Ruger Precision Rifle.
This Sightmark 5-30×50 Pinnacle Long Range scope can be yours – along with a Ruger Precision Rifle in an upcoming AmmoLand News giveaway.

USA –-(Ammoland.com)- If you tuned in last month, then you already know that one of you is going to become the proud owner of a Ruger Precision Rifle chambered in 6.5mm Creedmoor when that new rifle and scope giveaway begins in a few weeks. [enter our Current Giveaway, while you wait.] During our testing, the Precision Rifle is proving to be one seriously accurate piece of equipment.

A sweet rifle like that wouldn’t be all that useful without an equally sweet optic, purposely matched for long-range functionality. Enter the kind folks at Sightmark. They’ve contributed the 5-30×50 Pinnacle Riflescope you see here. So, if you’re the lucky winner, you’ll get both the Ruger Precision Rifle and this Sightmark optic to match. Not a bad deal, right? Let’s take a closer look at what the Sightmark 5-30×50 Pinnacle has to offer.

Sightmark 5-30×50 Pinnacle : The Specs

Let’s start with the basic stuff. This is a variable-power magnified optic that ranges from 5x to 30x. I’m normally a fan of less magnification rather than more, but for F-Class competition or other long-range use that gets to or exceeds four-digit territory, you’ll want 25x or more assuming that the scope presents a clear and crisp image without distortion. At 1,000 yards give or take, it’s supremely helpful to see where your impacts go, and with a 30x you can do that depending on the target in use. Painted steel is a great example.

If bigger is better... The Sightmark 5-30x50 Pinnacle features a 50mm objective lens and a 34mm tube.
If bigger is better… The Sightmark 5-30×50 Pinnacle features a 50mm objective lens and a 34mm tube.

The main tube has a diameter of 34mm, so this scope is a beast, but I mean that in a loving and complimentary way. The objective lens is 50mm, so at full magnification, the exit pupil is a bit small, so you’ll have a bit of eye placement sensitivity. Welcome to the price of big magnification. In a minute we’ll talk more about the magnification sweet spot of this scope.

The Pinnacle has target turrets, but with covers. Kind of a neat solution. I’d keep both covers on when transporting and only remove the top turret cover when shooting. I prefer to use the reticle for windage and lead rather than the windage turret, so at least for me, there’s not frequent need to adjust the windage turret once the rifle is zeroed. Speaking of turrets, they adjust in .1 mil per click increments, or just over one-third of an inch per click at 100 yards.

The Sightmark 5-30x50 Pinnacle scope has big target / tactical turrets, but with covers for transport.
The Sightmark 5-30×50 Pinnacle scope has the big target / tactical turrets, but with covers for transport.

The magnification ring moves about 180 degrees from the 9 o’clock to the 3 o’clock position when moving from 5 to 30x magnification. There’s also a nub on the adjustment ring so you can mount a throw lever if you like. Even without a lever, that nub makes it easy to adjust the power level with your support hand. The ocular reticle focus wheel doesn’t lock but is easy to adjust. There’s enough friction that it’s unlikely to move out of focus on its own.

On the left is a dual-purpose parallax focus and reticle illumination dial. You can adjust parallax all the way down to 30 yards and to infinity the other way, although the last yardage marking is 500 yards.

The parallax adjustment turret also has the illuminated reticle controls. Red and green have five intensity levels each.
The parallax adjustment turret also has the illuminated reticle controls. Red and green have five intensity levels each.

Zero Stop

The Sightmark 5-30×50 Pinnacle features a hard zero stop that you can adjust once you zero the rifle for your load and zero range. If you make a big elevation adjustment, you can return the elevation reticle to zero without looking by merely spinning the turret clockwise until it stops. That’s it. Here’s how it works.

The zero stop is easy to set and makes big adjustments and return to zero simple.
The zero stop is easy to set and makes big adjustments and return to zero simple.

The elevation turret has three embedded hex screws. Loosen, but don’t remove them, and you can remove the turret cap. That exposes a locking ring which you can loosen and rotate freely. Once you have zeroed your rifle, adjust this ring so that the two mechanical stops touch. Then tighten the locking ring, reinstall the cap with “O” in the desired position, and tighten the embedded Allen screws in the cap. It’s a lot simpler than it sounds and the manual has clear instructions and photos.

First Focal Plane Reticle Performance

As the Sightmark 5-30×50 Pinnacle riflescope uses a first focal plane reticle, as you increase magnification, the reticle itself grows in size. With a big magnification scope like this, there’s a tradeoff to be made. How big should the reticle be in the viewfinder at the lowest and highest magnification settings? If you make it small at 5x, you’ll see more of it at 30x. If you make it larger at 5x, then more of it will be “lost” outside the viewable area at 30x. As a result, the manufacturer needs to make a tradeoff to get the most efficient use of the reticle at the lowest and highest magnification levels and everywhere in between.

The windage and elevation turrets adjust in .1 mil increments per click.
The windage and elevation turrets adjust in .1 mil increments per click.

At the 5x setting, this Pinnacle TMD-HW reticle fills roughly one-third of the viewable area. There are heavy crosshairs outside of that – I’m just talking about the graduated section of the reticle that extends ten (10) mils in each direction from the center. When you move to 30x magnification, you can see just shy of 6 mils in each direction from center, so there’s your tradeoff.

I did find that the reticle is usable for holdover even at the 5x setting. Even though it’s small, you can make out the hash marks due to the fine pattern of the reticle markings. At 8x and above, the reticle is large and clear enough for both holdover and ranging use with ease – and my eyes are old.

If you see the line below the turret, you're on your second revolution of the turret.
If you see the line below the turret, you're on your second revolution of the turret.

The graduated section of the reticle extends from edge to edge in the viewfinder at right about 16x magnification. In a way, this is kind of the sweet spot, because you have the full view of 10 mils of reticle hashmarks in each direction right, left, and below the crosshairs.

Sightmark 5-30×50 Pinnacle Scope's TMD-HW Reticle

This reticle, in my opinion, offers a nice balance between full-featured and too busy. The primary hashmarks on the windage and elevation bars are in half-mile increments, and even numbers are printed to help you keep track of where you are. On the far right and upper segments, you will find that the areas between 7 and 10 mils are graduated in .2 mil increments. These areas help you “size” targets more precisely so you can better estimate range.

Note the fine graduations at the top and right of the reticle. The Christmas tree also features .2 mil marks for more precise measurement.
Note the fine graduations at the top and right of the reticle. The Christmas tree also features .2 mil marks for more precise measurement.

Below the center crosshairs you’ll see a Christmas tree pattern that allows you to hold over both windage and elevation with precision. Large dots on that tree (see the illustration above) are at 1 mil increments while the small dots in between are also at .2 mil increments for more precise windage and lead adjustments. They also provide another handy target sizing scale.

The reticle is illuminated in both red and green and each color offers five different intensity levels.

The bottom line is this. Whichever one of you wins this scope is going to be a happy camper. I hadn’t used any Sightmark gear before and I am suitably impressed with this optic.

Sightmark 5-30×50 Pinnacle Specifications

Reticle, TypeTMD-HW
Reticle, ColorRed/Green
Reticle, IlluminatedYes
Setting, Brightness5
Finish/ColorMatte black
Magnification5 – 30 x
Diameter, Objective Lens50 mm
Diameter, Eyepiece32.9 mm
Diameter, Exit Pupil8.8 – 1.7 mm
Eye Relief97 – 96 mm
Field of View6.7 – 1.1 m @100m
Field of View3.4 – 2.2 ft @100yd
Field of View3.86 – 0.64 degree
Diopter Adjustment+2 to -2
Diameter, Tube34 mm
Parallax Setting30 – ∞ yds
Windage Range of Adjustment18 MRAD
Elevation Range of Adjustment26 MRAD
MRAD Adjustment, 1 click0.1 MRAD
Travel Per Rotation10 MRAD
Maximum Recoil800
Battery TypeCR2032
Battery LifeRed: (high) 50 – (low) 2000 / Green: (high) 30 – (high) 800 hours
Battery Voltage3 V
Sunshadeyes
Nitrogen Purgedyes
Shockproofyes
Fog Proofyes
Focal Plane1st
IP StandardIP67 (submergible to 1m)
Body MaterialAluminum
Material, Lensglass
Lens CoatingFully multi-coated
Operating Temp,�F/�C-20 to 160 / -29 to 71 F/C
Length14 / 357 in/mm
Width3.65 / 92.9 in/mm
Height3.14 / 79.9 in/mm
Weight34.5 oz
MSRP$1,799.99

Bounus Video from Sightmark:


 

Tom McHale
Tom McHale

About Tom McHale

Tom McHale is the author of the Practical Guides book series that guides new and experienced shooters alike in a fun, approachable, and practical way. His books are available in print and eBook format on Amazon. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

  • 3 thoughts on “Sightmark 5-30×50 Pinnacle Riflescope Operations Review for Long-Range Shooting

    1. Oldmarine
      If this scope had both 1st AND 2nd focal plane then it would be a superior scope but there is only one scope on the market that does that. The Shepherd scopes hold the Patten on the double reticle scopes. that makes the reticle accurate at any zoom level. the 1st makes the reticle accurate and the 2nd collates the image with the reticle. by keeping just the crosshair at the same size. The first also make the range circles accurate at the same time no matter what the zoom level. A FIRST FOCAL PLANE CAN DO MOST OF THAT, but takes the cross-hairs with it so that at max zoom the cross-hair gets really small and the reticle is harder to read. That is the reason I prefer the Shepherd / Salve scope. Besides that the price value for high end scopes is one of the best I’ve seen, approximately 1/2 to 1/3 the cost. By the way its is the most popular scope for big game hunting. Unheard by most fut trusted by those who use them as the most rugged scope made. >>> Oldmarine

      1. Old Marine, I have this scope and love it. As a precision long-range addict, I have a hankering for first-focal-planes and have scopes that cost twice as much–at the most they are equals in clarity and features to this model but cost twice as much and DON’T offer 30x. I have no problem reaching out to 1,800 yards with it, could go more with another rig–sharp sight picture at that range is not an issue at all, except mirage. to your point the price point on this scope is pretty awesome and it still has a lifetime warranty like my $3,500+ optics. Haven’t tried a Shepherd but I don’t know that I’d be into both focal planes at once. I use second focal planes for hunting. By the way, I think you mean the other way around with max zoom. With increased magnification the reticle gets larger and easier to read (If figured you simply mean min, not max. Just my .02. Semper Fi!

        1. Oldmarine >>> Leatherneck Sgt
          You are right, a error that my old brain made. Yes I love a good value purchase. In my collection of guns and edge weapons I have a lot of different scopes also and favor the Shepherd / Salvo scopes more than the others. They have many good characteristics but the one I like the most is the fast target acquisition There is one other scope that I don’t have that I have to investigate. My gunsmith was a competition shooter and showed me a scope {make I can’t remember) that was a 2nd FFP that was chosen as the winning scope. Although it had a 32x zoom it had a special mark on the zoom ring at the 10x where all reticle measurements were to be the zoom ot any zoom for the actual shot. A very good scope but a time consuming operation for a shot, but really good for long range good for competition only. Not what I would call a hunting scope. When I get the brand on the scope I’ll post it. Oldmarine >>> Semper Fi
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNrdzrlJNfI
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icKt-7FhI0A

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