Many hunters and shooters believe that quality, serviceable optics can only come at a high cost. TRUGLO’s new Intercept hunting scope puts such notions to rest.
by Rob Reaser
For many shooters, rifle scopes have become something of a status accessory. Those with bigger tubes and the higher prices get all the oohs and aahs and “I wish” responses at the gun counter. There’s certainly nothing wrong with top-end glass, and the good stuff is sometimes worth the asking price. But it really boils down to intended use as to whether it’s worth it or not.
If you’re planning to ring steel at 1,000 meters with a custom rifle, it would be silly to drop a bargain basement optic onto your receiver. Instead, you’re best served by ogling those $1,000-and-up scopes with elaborate BDC reticles, superior glass quality, and precision adjustment knobs. On the flip side, if you want a scope for hunting deer within the typical 200-yard range with your factory rifle, common sense says you’d be better off spending a few hundred on a good scope and use your extra money to find or work up the most accurate ammunition for the task.
So, while we like and appreciate high-end optics, we get more excited when we come across quality scopes that meet our typical hunting needs and are priced within our “every hunter” budget.
Fortunately, more manufacturers are stepping into this category. One such company that has recently stepped UP to this segment is TRUGLO. Their new Intercept rifle scope in 4-12x44mm with a BDC reticle sits at the $200 mark with most retail outlets (MSRP is $235.99), but its performance belies the comfortable price point.
How much so?
During a recent range session, we were testing the Intercept on a Remington 700 in 6.5 Creedmoor. On another bench, we were developing loads for a custom-built .300 topped with a high-dollar scope made by a leading manufacturer of long-range tactical optics. Let’s just say that our on-target performance with the TRUGLO Intercept was not only head-to-head with the $1,200+ optic, we actually preferred the Intercept’s reticle view and its illumination to that of the considerably more expensive scope. And given that both setups were intended for hunting within the 300-yard envelope, it really made us question the whole “expensive rifle needs an expensive scope” mindset so many of us seem to suffer.
Typically, when most of us think of TRUGLO, red-dots and tactical optics come to mind. Sure, the company makes several rifle scopes for hunting, but with their low price points, these optics have often been overlooked as first-round contenders in the big-game hunting category. The new Intercept, however, sweeps such notions aside. This is the company’s top-line hunting scope, and from our experience with the Intercept, it’s evident that TRUGLO has taken a serious step to put their name on the big-game hunter’s “must check” list.
The Intercept is built on a one-inch aluminum tube housing. It measures 13-7/8 inches and weighs 18.3 or 23 ounces, depending on the model. Four models are offered in the series—a 3-9x42mm and a 4-12x44mm, each available with either an illuminated duplex or illuminated BDC (MOA) reticle. Windage and elevation adjustments are 1/4 MOA per click.
The reticles are high points for the Intercept. The exceptionally fine center stadia lines offer precision aiming at distance without covering the aim point on small bullseyes. That’s a big plus for target shooters or hunters looking to really dial in their zero at longer distances. Both glass-etched reticles feature crosshair illumination, or black when not illuminated. We found the illumination feature to be a big advantage even in bright sunlight given the slender width of the crosshair stadia lines.
The illumination dial displaces the focus/parallax adjustment. It offers 11 brightness settings to match any ambient light condition. Since the second focal plane Intercept does not offer side focus adjustment, parallax correction is set at 100 yards.
The Intercept comes with either a 42mm or 44mm objective lens. Field of view is 11.7 to 33.12 feet at 100 yards for the former and 8.8 to 26.77 feet for the latter.
A welcome touch is the rubber-coated diopter ring on the ocular lens, which offers an exceptional grip when focusing. Eye relief for both 42mm and 44mm models is 3.75 to 4.10 inches.
Another big plus on the Intercept is its machined aluminum, knurled magnification ring. It rotates with modest resistance yet offers plenty of friction to keep from unintentionally moving out of adjustment. The adjustment ring incorporates a raised tab located at the 7X position (about mid-way in the magnification range) that facilitates grip for fast rotation and quick zoom indexing. It’s also a huge benefit when you need to adjust magnification while wearing heavy gloves.
Removing the machined aluminum hunting turret covers reveals indexed windage and elevation adjustment knobs. Finger adjustment and tactile/audible clicks make zeroing or point-of-impact adjustments easy. One click represents .25 MOA. The MOA adjustment range from center is 80 clicks for the 42mm model and 60 clicks for the 44mm model.
Although not much used (if at all) by most hunters, the Intercept has single-screw windage and elevation turret dials, allowing the shooter to set the dials to “0” after initial zero sight-in at 100 yards. To do this, simply remove the dial screw, lift off the dial, align the dial’s 0 with the etched and painted index lines, reinstall the dial, and then secure with the screw. When adjusting for bullet drop or wind drift, simply rotate the turrets as needed to make the shot and then return them to their initial zero setting. Of course, for bullet drop compensation without adjusting the elevation dial, shooters can use the MOA BDC reticle on scope models so equipped. The Intercept’s MOA BDC reticle has stadia lines below the center crosshair representing 2, 4, 6, and 8 MOA.
The bottom line from our time spent with the TRUGLO Intercept is that we were totally impressed with the scope’s performance. The clear glass was absent of any noticeable aspherical or chromatic aberrations, the reticle is exquisite in both illuminated and non-illuminated states, the robust zoom dial makes changes easy, and the zero-index dials means the Intercept stands ready should we want to quickly dial-in long-range shots. That this optic comes at a price below what one would expect from a scope with this quality and features is a win for hunters and shooters who’ve come to realize that “intended purpose” in a rifle scope should always trump the notion that a high-priced optic defines a firearm.
TRUGLO Intercept Rifle Scope Features
- Available in 3-9x43mm (TG8539BI, TG8539BIB) and 4-12x44mm (TG8541BI, TG8541BIB) magnification ranges
- One-inch machined aluminum tube
- 1/4 MOA click adjustment
- Glass-etched reticle can be used without illumination (black crosshairs)
- Water-resistant / fogproof / nitrogen gas-filled
- Specially formulated multi-coating provides maximum brightness, clarity, and contrast
- Aggressive grip machining on control surfaces (zoom ring and turret caps) for easy use with winter gloves
- Protective caps cover fingertip-adjustable windage and elevation turrets
- Available with a duplex reticle or a MOA-based bullet drop-compensating reticle
- One-screw turret dial design to easily slip the dial back to zero after making an adjustment
- Rubber-coated speed-focus eyepiece
- Generous eye relief (3.75 – 4.10 inches)
- Durable scratch-resistant non-reflective matte finish
- Neoprene scope cover included
- Lifetime Limited Warranty