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January 25, 2022

Why the XTR Pro is the ultimate race scope

I thought to myself “calling something ‘Pro’ is a bold claim.” After the chance to run this scope through the most rigorous of matches, I can sincerely say I believe it hits the mark.
By Jose Gardner

I want to go fast!

The booming growth in the various race gun rifle series have lead to warp speed innovation in optics the last few years. One that may very well stand out above the others this year would make Ricky Bobby himself want to build a 20 lbs 6mm and start slinging lead just to get a chance to run this beautiful, All-American work of Art. The newly released XTR Pro, designed and built in Greeley, CO, takes the foundation of the XTR3 and upgrades a plethora of features to make the ultimate race gun scope designed by race gun shooters for race gun shooters.

Now you may hear me emphasize ‘race’ and ‘speed’ a lot here and think to yourself “Well you can’t miss fast enough to win. Speed isn’t everything.” That may be true, but there isn’t a single series, be it PRS, NRL22, Competition Dynamics, Vortex Team or others that don’t have a par time on every stage. Time is of the essence. I really feel that comparing the Pro to the XTR3 almost does the Pro a disservice, but let’s go over a few key feature changes to show just how much Burris took an already incredible scope and made it simpler, faster, more efficient.

The moment you open the box, you notice the turret is absolutely not the same. The elevation cap itself is bigger. This does a couple of things. First, it is now 12 mils per revolution with much larger numbers to read. Good vision, bad vision, either way, this helps everyone get correct dope just a little bit faster. The other thing you notice is that it likely comes with a “race dial” mounted and a standard dial in the box. While a race dial was offered with the XTR3, this one has two distinctions. It’s larger, meaning more surface area for easier drawing of targets, wind, holds, etc. More importantly, it’s quick detach, meaning unlike the XTR3, you don’t have to bend down at the firing line to draw on the cap. Pop it off with a pinch of two fingers, and bam, you’re saving the core muscles and old knees for the wear they’ll receive on the next PRS Skills stage.

Now let’s pop the QD caps off, and what we find underneath is a novel new system for a toolless zero stop. Once you’ve dialed your scope’s elevation to proper zero, pop the cam bar (think the QD clamp on a bike seat), return the dial to zero, close the cam bar, and she’s set. No digging for allen wrenches or playing scope yoga to find where those pesky set screws are on the dial. It’s just….fast.

One further feature of note that shows just how versatile the scope is, zero stop can be set to true zero, zero minus .4, or completely removed. All can be done by the user, again with no tools. This is a great feature for the avid precision rimfire shooter running the very common 50 yard zero and engaging 25-50 yard targets. Too easy.

Burris XTR Pro mounted on a bolt action rifle

Now let’s actually look through the scope. First, you will notice how easy the eye box is for any given user. Ever shoot a stage weak handed? A picky eyebox can lead to precious lost time trying to get your head right. Wobbly barricade can lead to more of the same. The XTR 3 was great here. The Pro is even better.

Next, we notice the reticle options. The SCR2 has been my favorite reticle on the market since the day it was announced. A clean grid with .2 mil marks in each direction just makes sense to me. No lost time trying to ‘guess’ where a 0.7 holdever lands between 0.5 and 1.0. However, I admit some folks find it more busy than they care for. May I offer you the new SCR2 ¼ mil? Exact same design, with 20% less content in the scope. Spot impacts easier. Find precise hold overs easily. All the things you want out of a race gun scope. Now what if you’re a hold-over-always kind of shooter for the utmost speed? Burris has you covered there to with the TREMOR 5 reticle. Talk about options…

And one more thing about the reticles. They are now illuminated. With 2 colors and 11 brightness settings each, finding the perfect setting to easily draw your eye to center reticle is now not a problem regardless of lighting conditions, range background, or even poor vision. User friendly means more efficient employment and more time to put accurate rounds on target.

Now I’m no optical design guru, so I can’t tell you why the following occurs, but one give and take the XTR3 experiences is the somewhat pickiness of the parallax setting. What I mean by that is when parallax is set for a given target, the picture is beautiful. However, especially inside of 150 yards (think precision rimfire) just a 10 yard difference, and the picture starts to blur a little, leading the shooter to either change parallax for every target, or else give up a perfect picture in order to save time. The PRO is much more forgiving in this aspect and finding a parallax setting that can work for an entire multi target stage, even in rimfire, should not be a problem. Thus, precious time is saved. This upgrade really impresses me.

Finally, we arrive at the feature you as the reader are likely most interested in, and is likely the most impressive upgrade of all, Glass quality. I will refer you to my claim in the prior paragraph of not being an optical design guru, but I will explain my own experiences. First, the day I first mounted the new Pro, I first shot about 40 rounds through my trusty XTR3 for some load work. It cannot be argued that the XTR3 is not incredible in its own right. It absolutely is. Nonetheless, 80 degrees out and 90+% humidity had me starting to notice small amount of target dancing even at 100 yards regardless of parallax setting or magnification. Thank you, Florida mirage. Well, I mount up the pro, and the difference was astounding. I’ve likened it to taking a video from 1080p to 4k. Both are awesome, but the difference is there.

Two weeks later, I take the Pro to Mammoth Sniper challenge, and this is what truly sold me on the scope. I could write for hours on all the various challenges to this match, but the two I will emphasize is target identification is paramount, and high volume shooting means you rarely finish a stage. Time is of the essence. When I say Target ID, I don’t just mean finding targets, but also confirming the target is, in fact, yours. One stage may have you trying to differentiate between blue and green T-posts at 600 yards, or 10” circles and 10” spades at 750 yards. On a flat range in the Georgia humidity, this can be a tall task for any scope. Regardless of lighting or time of day, the Pro flat out excelled. With lesser glass, I can only imagine how much time I may have lost second guessing targets. In PRS matches, where 90-120 par times leave no margin of error for mistakes, this is once again a priceless feature. Confidence leads to assertive decisions. Assertive decisions mean speed.

When I heard the new name for this latest Burris release, I thought to myself “calling something ‘Pro’ is a bold claim.” After the chance to run this scope through the most rigorous of matches, I can sincerely say I believe it hits the mark. The scope is reliable, frankly gorgeous, and built to go fast. If you’re looking to up your race gun game, the Pro is likely for you.