Burris XTR II Review : Is this 34mm Burris Best Bang for the Buck?

Gungoal's Rating

 

Burris XTR II X1000 is a full-feature mid priced close/long range (depending on your magnification choice) scope under $1,000. FFP, 5x zoom ratio, big objective lens, 34mm tube for wide internal turrets adjustment range , reticle illumination with holdovers and ranging capabilities. Most likely, it could serve you well on many target shooting, hunting and competitions.

But is the Burris XTR II the best deal in its class or is there a better scope within its price range? Worry not, I’ll tell you all there is to know about this optics so you can make informed decision whether the Burris XTR II is the right optic for you.

Quick summary

Compared to Vortex Viper PST GEN II 5-25×50, the PST GEN II has slightly better glass and a little bit brighter reticle illumination. Both scope’s turrets track true, repeatable and tactile but the XTR II has larger internal adjustment range. Both scopes have reliable Lifetime warranty and are drastically better than the Vortex Viper PST Gen 1.

Compared to Sightron SIII, glass is pretty much on par, but on high magnification, the Sightron SIII has a slight edge over the XTR II. However the Sightron is not as tough both in terms of erector tube and housing. And the Sightron SIII is a Second Focal Plane scope (FFP version available at higher price)

Burris was founded in 1971 and named after its founder Don Burris. Don Burris was a design engineer with Redfield, a Denver-based optics company, who believed he could build a better riflescope than what was currently available. In 2002, Burris was acquired by Beretta.

There are 8 available combination of magnification and objective lens for you to choose from :

  • Close range
    • 1-5×24
    • 1.5-8×28
    • 1-8×24
    • 2-10×42
    • 3-15×50
  • Long range
    • 4-20×50
    • 5-25×50
    • 8-40×50

Reticle options

  • Close range
    • XTR II Ballistic 5.56 Gen 3 (1-5x, 1.5-8x)
    • XTR II Ballistic CQ Mil (1-5x)
    • SCR MOA (2-10x, 3-15x, 4-20x, 5-25x)
    • Ballistic Circle Dot (1-8x)
    • Ballistic Dot (1-8x)
  • Long range
    • SCR MOA (2-10x, 3-15x, 4-20x, 5-25x)
    • SCR MIL (3-15x, 4-20x, 5-25x)
    • F-Class MOA (8-40×50)
    • G2B Mil-Dot (2-10x, 3-15x, 4-20x, and 5-25x)
    • Horus H591 (4-20x)
    • F-Class DCH (8-40x)

PROS and CONS of Burris XTR II

Pros

  • Very clear bright glass with good contrast
  • Tracking and tactile turrets
  • Crisp, illuminated, FFP reticle
  • 34mm tube
  • Matching turrets and reticle units
  • Large internal turrets adjustments
  • High value/price ratio (good bang for the buck)
  • Lifetime warranty

Pros

  • Slight distortion on high magnification
  • Slightly tight eyebox on high magnification
  • Reticle illumination not as bright as peers
  • Minimum parallax adjustment at 50 yards
  • Heavy and bulky

 

Burris XTR II gives you the much needed upgraded from the XTR I

With its prior version, the Burris XTR 1 not suitable for serious long range shooters as the scope is a Second Focal Plane Scope and has MOA/MIL turrets and reticle combination which requires you to do mental gymnastics every time you want to dial in your turrets.

But this is an issue no longer as the XTR II comes with matching Mil/Mil, MOA/MOA of your choices. Plus it’s a First Focal Plane scope where reticle size adjusts along with your magnification, preserving the accuracy of your holdovers. That said, the XTR 1 glass quality is similar the XTR 2 and is priced at only $500 since last time I’ve heard of it.

In this article, I’ll be reviewing only Burris XTR II 5-25×50. I’ll be skipping all other models as I haven’t used them and have no direct experience to share with you.

Best for : Shooters looking for FFP, precise turrets mid-priced scope ($700-$1,000)

Glass, Reticle and Lens coatings 4.8/5
Turrets 4.9/5
Weight and Size 3.9/5
Durability 4.9/5
Value 4.8/5

 

The whole story of Burris XTR II

Since no optics nor products exists in isolation. And words such as “crisp” and “great” glass don’t really mean much when you have no benchmarks. I’ll be comparing Burris XTR II with other rifle scopes in similar price range, so you know what’s the best option for your money.

Read on to find out why Burris XTR II, even though impressive, isn’t a perfect scope.

Meet the Benchmarks

Burris XTR II 5-25×50 SCR-MIL costs about $850 (at the time of this writing). And I’ll be comparing it with :

Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50, EBR-4 MOA, SFP Sightron SIII 6-24×50 MOA-2, SFP

These are 2 popular options in the market with similar price point and should give you a realistic feel of how good Burris XTR II really is.

Burris XTR II glass : Just slightly worse than Viper PST Gen 2 and Sightron SIII

To determine Burris XTR II 5-25×50’s performance, I lined it up alongside the Viper PST Gen 2 5-25×50 and Sightron SIII 6-24×50 (SFP).

Viper PST Gen 2 : Comparing head to head with the XTR II, the Viper PST Gen 2 glass has slightly better resolution, contrast and less distortion especially on high magnification. Eyebox is also slightly more forgiving with the Viper PST Gen 2.

Sightron SIII (SFP) : Glass quality is mostly on par with the XTR II except on high magnification where Sightron SIII outperformed the XTR II with slightly less distortion.

Reticle illumination slightly dimmer than Viper PST Gen 2

All 3 optics have crisp and clear reticles. Illumination option is available with Burris XTR II and the Viper PST Gen 2. On comparison, XTR II’s illumination is slightly dimmer than the PST Gen 2 but is bright enough for sunny day outdoor use.

For XTR II, illumination knob is located on the left hand side of the scope. There are 11 brightness levels with “off” position at intervals between each brightness settings, which is a nice thing, because you don’t have to dial a lot to return to your prefered position.

Its illumination is powered by a CR2032 battery and 3 hours auto turn-off feature to preserve batteries. This feature can be disabled by contacting Burris customer service and let them fix it.

Viper PST Gen 2 illumination controls are similar. It has 10 brightness with “off” position at intervals. It is also powered by a CR2032 battery.

Sightron SIII used to be only Second Focal Plane scopes. In 2019, however, Sightron released its new SIII First Focal Plane version, with some marked up price in those models and I didn’t use it as a benchmark.

The SIII does have illuminated reticle option, but there is only one reticle pattern with illumination, the “illuminated MOA-H”, and is priced higher.

Reticle Pattern

For Burris XTR II, Christmas tree style reticle is not available on 5-25×50. You can get it with only the 4-20×50 model.

On the other hand, you can only choose Christmas tree style reticle with Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 5-25×50. Sightron SIII has Christmas tree, Plain MIL or MOA and Clutter-free style reticle available.

My personal preference is with the Christmas tree design. But if you prefer less clutter reticles, those are also available.

Check out available reticle patterns here on these links :

Precise, Tactile Turrets

One of the prerequisites for scopes in this price range is turrets trackability, precision and tactileness. All 3 scopes turrets are high, target turrets which track well. They all passed my 5 MOA box tests with flying colours.

Furthermore, all three scopes have tactile and audible turrets. You can easily count clicks on the field with any of these optics. That said, Burris XTR II has slightly better turrets feel and the largest internal adjustment range, thanks to its 34mm tube.

Internal Turrets Adjustment Range

Model Elevation Windage
Burris XTR II 5-25×50 90 MOA 55 MOA
Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 70 MOA 35 MOA
Sightron SIII 6-24×50 80 MOA 80 MOA

If you want to reach out beyond 1,000 yards, larger internal turrets adjustment range is a favorable factor.

Other additional turrets feature

  • Burris XTR II 5-25×50: 10 Mils or 25 MOA per rotation, Zero reset, Zero stop
  • Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 : 25 MOA per rotation, Zero reset, Zero stop
  • Sightron SIII 6-24×50  : 15 MOA per rotation, Zero reset, Zero stop

Side parallax knob, 50 yards to infinity

Model Parallax
Burris XTR II 5-25×50 Side parallax knob, 50 yards to infinity
Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 Side parallax knob, 25 yards to infinity
Sightron SIII 6-24×50 Side parallax knob, 40 yards to infinity

Viper PST Gen I has the advantage of smaller minimum parallax adjustments. That said, these scopes are designed for longer range shots and shouldn’t be affected much by 25 or 50 yards parallax adjustments.

34mm Tube : Heavy but Durable

Due to its 34mm tube, Burris XTR II is deemed as heavy, bulky but durable. And don’t forget to add 34mm rings into your cost calculation.

Burris XTR II 5-25×50 Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 Sightron SIII 6-24×50
Length (inches) 16.31 16 14.9
Weight (oz) 32.1 31.2 24.3
Tube Size 34mm 30mm 30mm

Sightron SIII is much lighter than the other two.

Durable and Rugged with Lifetime warranty

Durability is where Burris XTR II really shines. With its 34mm tube, the XTR II is famous for its ruggedness and ability to withstand abuse. I’ve heard many stories where the XTR II had fallen to the ground or slammed to a tree then withheld its zero.

Personally I have a great run with all 3 optics and have no durability issues with the scopes. Furthermore Burris and Vortex are two of the most reliable brand in the market, with Vortex being slightly better in terms of warranty reputation.

Sightron’s Lifetime warranty also has top notch feedback, even though not as reputable as Vortex’s. My friend once had a faulty parallax knob after 2 years of use. With the warranty, he even got a brand-new replacement (instead of repairs).
 

Hear What Others have to say about Burris XTR II


 

My Verdict of Burris XTR II

Gungoal's Rating

Compared to Vortex Viper PST GEN II 5-25×50, the PST GEN II has slightly better glass and a little bit brighter reticle illumination. Both scope’s turrets track true, repeatable and tactile but the XTR II has larger internal adjustment range. Both scopes have reliable Lifetime warranty and are drastically better than Vortex Viper PST Gen 1.

Compared to Sightron SIII, glass is pretty much on par, but on high magnification, Sightron SIII has a slight edge over the XTR II. However the Sightron is not as tough both in terms of erector tube and housing. And Sightron SIII is a Second Focal Plane scope (FFP version available at higher price).

Pros Cons
✓ Very clear bright glass with good contrast and resolution ✗ Slight distortion on high magnification
✓ Tracking and tactile turrets ✗ Slightly tight eyebox on high magnification
✓ Crisp, illuminated, FFP reticle ✗ Reticle illumination not as bright as peers
✓ 34mm tube ✗ Minimum parallax adjustment at 50 yards
✓ Matching turrets and reticle units ✗ Heavy and bulky
✓ Large internal turrets adjustments
✓ High value/price ratio (good bang for the buck)
✓ Lifetime warranty

 

Alternative options

1. Vortex Viper PST Gen 2

  • Slightly better glass
  • Brighter reticle illumination
  • Turrets track true, but slightly less tactile
  • Smaller internal turrets adjustment range
  • Christmas tree reticle
  • Lower minimum parallax adjustment

 

Sightron SIII

  • Less distortion on high magnification
  • Clutter-free reticle option
  • Second Focal Plane (FFP available at higher price)
  • Only 1 illuminated reticle pattern (at higher price)
  • Lower minimum parallax adjustment
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