John gets some range time on the Sightmark Pinnacle 3-18×44 TMD Riflescope and gives us his feedback under West Virginia conditions.
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- I recently started a refresh on my long-range rifle, and one of the most important things for a long-range shooter is a great riflescope.
There are a lot of great gun scopes on the market for long range shooting, but I also wanted a scope that I could use for targets at close range targets as well. While looking around, Sightmark contacted me to see if I would be interested in trying out their new Pinnacle 3-18x44TMD Tactical Precision Riflescope.
Sightmark Pinnacle 3-18×44 TMD Tactical Precision Riflescope
Honestly, I wasn't even looking at Sightmark, but the offer to test out their scope intrigued me. It seemed to check off all the boxes I was looking for in a new scope. I agreed to give it a try for a few weeks to see if this would be the scope I would land on for my build.
I received the Pinnacle 3-18x44TMD Tactical Precision Riflescope shortly after I agreed to test it out. It seemed to be a well-built scope. Coming in at 33.5 ounces it is around the weight of the other scopes I was looking into purchasing. The matte black finish on the scope was flawless. It also included a sunshade which is pretty standard for long range scopes.
Sightmark used aircraft grade aluminum for the body of the Pinnacle scope. They went with a 34mm tube that is nitrogen filled. The nitrogen is a gas that prevents the riflescope from fogging up in humid areas. What you want is to avoid moister and oxygen from getting into the tube, so they are filled with gas. Nitrogen tends to leak slower than other gases.
The nitrogen is excellent, but I would have loved to see Sightmark use argon. That would have added cost to the scope since argon is a rarer gas. The advantage of argon is that it leaks less than nitrogen. Since I am not a sniper and will not depend my life on this rifle, the nitrogen works excellent. Again, I don't know any scope in the Pinnacle price range that uses argon.
The Sightmark Pinnacle 3-18x44TMD Tactical Precision Riflescope can operate in temperatures from -20 to -160. My preferred long-range shooting ground is in the mountains in West Virginia. It can get cold during the winter there, but it rarely gets as low as -20. Unless the operator is using this scope in the winter during an extraordinary cold spell, there shouldn't be an issue with the scope due to low temperature.
The IP rating of the scope is IP67. Manufactures use IP ratings to show how dustproof and waterproof a product is by using a scale of one to six for dust and one to eight for water. The first number is for dust. Six means the scope is dust tight. The second number of for water. Seven implies the Pinnacle design protects it against temporary submersion in Water. According to Sightmark, the operator can submerge the scope in three feet of water for up to one hour.
One of the cool things that the Sightmark scope has is a zero-stop elevation dial. What the zero-stop elevation dial does is gives the shooter a way of setting a point on the elevation. The shooter can zero the rifle at a fixed range then lock in the rifle elevation. The operator can then adjust the scope on the fly and then return the scope to its zero setting.
Each click on the knobs of the Pinnacle is equal to .1mrads. This measurement is equal to 1cm at 100 meters (.36″ at 100 yards). This range gives the operator a lot of adjustment during long range shooting.
The Pinnacle 3-18x44TMD Tactical Precision Riflescope uses a TMD-HW Etched first focal plane reticle. Sightmark designed the reticle specifically for long-range shooting. I liked the design of the reticle once I figured out how to use it.
The vertical and horizontal mil scales of the Pinnacle scope is scaled in .5mil increments. The shooter will use these for range finding and holdover. At the top of the vertical mil scale and the right of the horizontal mil scale, the increments measure .2mil. For long range shooting, this is a must.
The drop lines of the Pinnacle scope contain a bunch of dots. These dots provide a reference point for windage holdover. I used these dots a lot when I was shooting. The crosshair is .03mil. This size makes aiming even at 1000 yards plus much more natural than a lot of scopes on the market.
Sightmark also illuminated the reticle on the Pinnacle scope. The user has a choice of a red or green reticle. On my second day of shooting, we shot until dusk when I switched to the illuminated reticle.
There are five different brightness settings. I was most comfortable with the with the brightness set to two. One wasn't bright enough for me, but the others were too bright, so I settled where I did. Which setting is best will be determined by the actual shooter and how dark it is outside.
I also prefer the green setting on the reticle of the Sightmark scope. The red was just too distracting for me. The red reticle will give you a little more use time than the green one. Sightmark says the red will last between 50 to 1000 hours and the green will continue from 30 to 800 hours depending on brightness settings. A common CR2032 battery powers the illumination on the reticle.
The last dial is on the Pinnacle scope is to adjust for parallax. Parallax isn't going to be a problem for hunters since most of their targets are going to be under 200 yards away from their position but for the long-range shooter, it becomes crucial. This scope is a long-range purpose built scope, and I was able to adjust for parallax quickly and easily.
The most important thing on a scope is the glass and Sightmark did not skimp on it. They sourced the lenses from Japan. Japanese lenses are some of the best in the world, but also are expensive. The objective lens is 44mm. The lenses are multi-coated to protect them from damage.
I found the lenses on the Pinnacle to be very clear. It isn't as clear as the Nightforce Competition Series scope that I am used to using, but it is damn close. The lenses remained clear when adjusted from three times to 18-times magnification. The Nightforce comes in at $2000 more than the Sightmark scope. I can't think of a scope that I have used that is in the Pinnacle price range that is clearer than it.
Sightmark also offers a lifetime warranty on all their products. They stand by their products. I have a few different products of theirs, but I never had to use the warranty.
Overall the Pinnacle 3-18x44TMD Tactical Precision Riflescope is a great inexpensive alternative to other long-range scopes on the market. At an MSRP of $ 1,559.99 and a street price of $1,299.97 (even less $$ online) the scope might seem expensive, but other long-range scopes I have used cost $3000 and up.
If you want a good scope for long-range shooting and cannot afford a Nightforce Competition Series scope than check this one out.
Readers can check out Sightmark at www.sightmark.com/.
About John Crump
John is an NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot-News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.