This past Tuesday, I ran an post regarding the end of civilian sales of the Leupold Mark 4 and a question as to the viability of the Shepherd scope. The magic to the scope is that it requires little in the way of calculating a range estimate. You simply place the reticle in the correct sized circle and pull the trigger. It sounds deceptively simple, which is why I had so many questions. Moreover, the company does little in the way of promotion outside of their long running Firarms News ad and the website. No, the scope is not appropriate for true sub-MOA work at extended ranges (out of a battle rifle anyway). For normal medium range work it is well within my capabilities to quickly get on target. This is exactly what I wanted for my M1A, but was naturally hesitant to drop the $800-900 on a scope with very little peer reviews.
I received a lot of great commentary as to the quality of the scope but Mr. TypeAy was so kind as to send in the enclosed review of the scope. Once again, I would like to express my profound gratitude in readers like TypeA that send me these wonderful tidbits to share with the community, and make us all better for it.
I own a Shepherd P2 - 3-10x40 with the 18" stadia range finding circle. I purchased the glass directly from the company 21 years ago. At the time, I was living in the desert of New Mexico. My goals were to set up a serious long range rifle for week-end shooting at a 1000 meter KD range, as well as a possible SHTF piece on a sane budget. Because of the weight of my rifle, I knew this wouldn't be a lightweight, ruck hunting, hump-the-hills for deer set-up.
I think I paid about 600 dollars for the Shepherd at the time.
My Savage FP110 tactical (.308) with the factory issue black composite stock would serve as the test bed. A local Gunsmith mounted the P2, and gave my factory trigger a minor lightening adjustment.(Note: The early FP110 models were pre-accutrigger.)
My new rifle cost about 350, and shot 1/2 MOA right out of the box.
I then took a standard "C" battery, wrapped in fine grit sandpaper, and gently "free floated" my barrel by carefully enlarging the stock support channel from the length of the receiver forward.
After a few full length strokes, a 20 dollar bill wrapped underneath the bbl., would slide full length
to verify the void.
A full length, adjustable heavy weight match shooting sling was also added.
The results were, and remain, jaw dropping, impressive.
Cold on site, within a few seconds, the P2 will quickly range, engage and center-punch any medium sized, thin skinned, game animal in the 140 - 220 pound class or a reasonable paper facsimile almost instantly, out to 800yards. First time. One shot. Game over.
The one shot zero works as advertised.
The 18" range finding stadia works as advertised.
Optical quality is "upper mid range Japanese quality good." I would compare clarity and brightness as similar to a Nikon or Leupold in the same price bracket. Color and resolution are very good.
The scope has appropriate weight and heft, feels solid and well made.
After over 20 years of fairly light, range use, all controls and adjustments continue to operate smoothly.
Would this scope survive in a 24 / 7 combat environment ?
Your guess is as good as mine.
Would I buy another one? If the current quality remains as good as it was 21 years ago, in a heart beat.
It's scary fast, it's scary accurate, it's easy to use.
I would NOT want to have to fight a motivated rifleman equipped with a Shepherd scope.
Matthew's note: One day I will have the time, (and more importantly money), to graduate my skills enough to be able to utilize really good front focal plane scope to reach out past 700. I just am not there yet. After this review, I think I will have to pull the trigger on the Shepherd. It will do most anything that I will want it to do. Quick target interdiction was my intention and I think this may fit the bill. I will post a follow up review to this once when I have it in may hands and can use and abuse it at will. I am generally pretty hard on my gear, so if this old Soldier can't break it, then it can't be broken.