Introduction

In this review, we have two well-known European manufacturers of rifle scopes, binoculars, and other optical products. The first one is Minox, which has its headquarters Wetzlar, Germany. Minox is mostly known because of their spy cameras, but because they made a fusion with Premier Reticles before a couple of years, they produce now also excellent tactical rifle scopes, the ZP line. In this test, we have their long-range tactical rifle scope Minox ZP5 5-25×56, which is on the market already since 2014.

On the other hand, we have Kahles, which made a big step when they introduced the K-line of rifle scopes. Their flagship model was the K624i, but on IWA Outdoors Classics 2018 they introduced their first 5-times zoom tactical rifle scope, the K525i.

Size and weight:

 

A: Minox ZP5 5-25xx56

B: Kahles K525i 5-25×56

Weight:

1100 g

970 g

Length:

415 mm

377 mm

Tube diameter:

34 mm

34 mm

Diopter setting:

-3 / +2.5

-3.5 / +2

Parallax adjustment:

50 m to infinity

20 m to infinity

Mounting with rail:

NO

NO

Number of Colors:

1

1

In the size and weight comparison, we see the first advantage of the Kahles K525i over the Minox ZP5. The Kahles weights 970 grams and is only 377 mm long. With these specifications, the Kahles is one of the lightest and shortest 5-25×56 tactical rifle scopes on the market.

So if you have both rifle scopes in the hand, you can see how much bulkier and longer the Minox is. Normally the length doesn’t matter, but when using additional night vision or thermal devices that had to be mounted in front of the objective of the daytime rifle scope, it gets very uncomfortable to use. The weight difference is quite big with 130 grams, but when mounted on a heavy sniper rifle, I think that you don’t even notice the weight difference.

Another advantage of the Kahles is the parallax adjustment range because you can focus on a target that is much more closer than with the Minox. This is very useful for some tactical competitions, where the targets are not just a few hundreds of meters away, but in some stages, you have to engage also very close-range targets.

Both rifle scopes are available only in black color, but I am sure that Kahles will introduce also a K525i in RAL8000 like they have the K624i.

 

TL;DR
Kahles is more light-weight and shorter in size, what makes it more comfortable to use. The parallax is also adjustable for much closer targets. Both rifle scopes are available only in black color.

Minox ZP5 5-25×56 (above) and Kahles K525i 5-25×56 (below)

 

Optical properties:

 

A: Minox ZP5 5-25xx56

B: Kahles K525i 5-25×56

Minimal magnification:

5x

5x

Maximal magnification:

25x

25x

Zoom factor:

5

5

Maximal Field of View:

7.6 m / 100 m

7.1 m / 100 m

Minimal Field of View:

1.6 m / 100 m

1.5 m / 100 m

Minimal eye relief:

90 mm

95 mm

Maximal eye relief:

90 mm

95 mm

Light transmission – declared:

90%+

 

Tunneling effect at low magnifications:

No

No

Central sharpness – subjective impression at 5x, 15x and 25x magnification:

5x magnification – 6

15x magnification – 5

25x magnification – 6

5x magnification – 2

15x magnification – 3

25x magnification – 2

Edge sharpness – subjective impression at 5x, 15x and 25x magnification:

5x magnification – 2

15x magnification – 1

25x magnification – 1

5x magnification – 6

15x magnification – 7

25x magnification – 7

Inner reflections at 5x, 15x and 25x magnification:

5x magnification – 7

15x magnification – 6

25x magnification – 5

5x magnification – 1

15x magnification – 2

25x magnification – 3

FOV – subjective impression at 5x, 15x and 25x magnification:

5x magnification – 7

15x magnification – 5

25x magnification – 7

5x magnification – 1

15x magnification – 3

25x magnification – 1

Eye-box at 5x, 15x and 25x magnification

5x magnification – 4

15x magnification – 5

25x magnification – 5

5x magnification – 4

15x magnification – 3

25x magnification – 3

Overall – subjective impression:

4

4

All in all (128 total points)

76

52

Where the Minox really shines is in the optical properties. Here we see a quite big advantage over the Kahles in almost all aspects except in the edge sharpness, but more of it later.

Both rifle scopes have the exact same magnification range from 5 to 25 and a big objective lens diameter of 56 millimeters. With such a magnification range, these rifle scopes are very universal for fairly close distance shooting to extreme long distance shooting. In the specifications, we can see, that the Minox has a little bit bigger field of view, especially on the biggest magnification. Kahles whatsoever has a 5 millimeters longer eye relief, for a more safe shooting of strong recoiling rifles.

In the central sharpness, we can see that Minox is a clear winner, scoring 17 points against only 7. On the edge sharpness, on the other hand, the Kahles scored much better, with a result of 20 points against just 4 on the Minox. But I think that this is only because of the smaller field of view of The Kahles, that they reduced the FOV to have a clear picture also on the edge. Like previously mentioned, the edge sharpness is the only category where Kahles scored, everywhere else the Minox has the upper hand.

What is worth to mention is that 3 testers noticed a very thin ring around the edge in the Minox, like if you would see the edge of a lens. For these 3 testers this ring was a little bit disturbing, but for me personally, it didn’t matter at all.

In the end, from 8 testers 4 would buy the Minox and 4 would buy the Kahles. The decisions were made only because of the optical characteristics and not of the whole design of the rifle scopes.

 

TL;DR

Both rifle scopes have the same magnification range from 5 to 25 and a 56-millimeter objective lens diameter. Minox has much better optical characteristics, except in the edge sharpness it scored everywhere else more points than the Kahles. From 8 testers 4 would buy a Minox and 4 Kahles.

Minox ZP5 5-25×56 (in behind) and Kahles K525i 5-25×56 (in front)

Reticle properties:

 

A: Minox ZP5 5-25xx56

B: Kahles K525i 5-25×56

Focal plane:

FFP

FFP

Reticle name

MR4

SKMR 3

Reticle illumination:

Yes, RED

Yes, RED

Daylight strong illumination:

Yes

Yes

Illumination intensity tuning:

Yes

Yes

Illuminated dot coverage:

0.05 MIL

0.04 MIL

Minimal reticle thickness:

0.05 MIL

0.04 MIL

Motion sensor:

No

No

Auto turn-off:

No

No

Reticle styles:

4

5

The reticle in both rifle scopes is in the first focal plane, what is usual in all tactical rifle scopes because you can make calculations for the distance, use the reticle for quick shot corrections and use the reticle for bullet drop and windage compensation.

The reticle in the Minox is named MR4, which has a Christmas tree design, with very nice markings for windage corrections. In the middle is a really small dot with a free space around it, for easier aiming and as low as possible target coverage. In the upper right corner is also an even smaller ranging scale with 0.1 MIL markings, for very precise range calculations.

In the Kahles, we have an SKMR 3 reticle, which also has a Christmas tree design and a floating center dot, but it does not feature an additional ranging scale like the Minox. Under the center are like mentioned additional horizontal lines for easier windage corrections, but in my opinion, these lines cover too much and you can see the impact easier with the MR4 reticle of the Minox, because of the small dots.

Both reticles are in MIL configurations and both are illuminated with red color. In the Kahles the entire reticle is illuminated, and on the Minox, only 5 MIL left and right, and 10 MIL down, what is, in my opinion, the better solution. The illumination on both rifle scopes is very strong and is very easily adjustable. On the Kahles is a step-less brightness control, what is great, so you can really fine-tune the illumination to your needs. On the Minox, on the other hand, you have 11 intensity settings. On both rifle scopes, the strongest illumination is strong enough even for daytime use.

Like previously mentioned, both rifle scopes have very thin reticles, what is great for very precise shooting on bigger magnifications, but on small magnifications, the reticles are very thin.

In the Minox are 4 different reticles available and in the Kahles 5.

 

TL;DR
Both rifle scopes have a first focal plane reticle with a Christmas tree design. Although, the MR4 reticle of the Minox has an additional ranging scale in the right upper corner, and instead of full lines the MR4 reticle features small dots for the horizontal lines under the center. The reticles are illuminated with red color. Minox offers 4 reticle styles for the ZP5 rifle scope and Kahles 5 reticle styles.

Kahles SKMR 3 reticle (on the left) and Minox MR4 reticle (on the right)

Turret properties:

 

A: Minox ZP5 5-25xx56

B: Kahles K525i 5-25×56

Turret Style:

Tactical

Tactical

Click value:

0.1 mrad

0.1 mrad

MTC function:

No

No

Number of turns:

Double-turn

Double turn

Turn indication:

CCW

CCW

Zero stop:

Yes

Yes

Position locking:

No

No

Elevation in one turn:

15 mrad

16 mrad

Total travel of turret:

28 mrad

29 mrad

BDC turret type:

   

BDC turret accuracy:

   

BDC turret flexibility:

   

Turret size:

9/10

9/10

Elevation range:

28 mrad

29 mrad

Windage range:

12 mrad

13 mrad

Click sound

10/10

10/10

Click feeling

10/10

10/10

Ease of zeroing

10/10

10/10

All in all (40 total points)

39

39

Both rifle scopes, Minox ZP5, and Kahles K525i are tactical rifle scopes, and that’s why the turrets on both are exposed for quick adjustments. The clicks are 0.1 mrad per click, and because the reticles are also in MIL, these are true MIL/MIL rifle scopes. With such a configuration it is much easier to calculate distances, make bullet drop corrections and adjust for windage.

The elevation turrets are double-turn and both feature great clicks, for which you need the right among of force to adjust them. The clicks are really good audible, so even at night, you can hear how many clicks you adjust. Even if they have 15 MIL of elevation per turn, the clicks are so good that you can not accidentally make 2 or 3 clicks at once. On the elevation turret, Kahles has one big advantage, and this is the great turn indicator, which comes out on the upper side as you come into the second revolution. On the Minox, on the other hand, only 2 small white dots appear on both sides under the elevation turret. The white dots are very well visible in the daytime, but when it gets dark, you can not see them anymore.

On the windage turret from the Kahles, is a unique ˝Twist Guard˝ wheel, which prevents the turret from being accidentally turned. This wheel is located on the outer side and is freely rotatable, so if you hit an obstacle, it just rotates but the clicks stay in the same place. Minox does not feature any locking function, but because the clicks are very strong I doubt that they will turn if you hit an obstacle.

On the left side of the Minox rifle scope is the parallax control and the illumination control. The parallax control is a big rotatable turret, with just a mark from minimal to maximal. I have to say that the parallax is not so easy to adjust, you really have to be cautious when adjusting. On the parallax turret is also the illumination turret, like previously mentioned, there are 11 intensity settings of the illumination. On the Kahles, the illumination control turret is located on the right side of the rifle scope, what is unique and very handy. For me personally, the switched turrets are great, because on a tactical rifle scope you have to adjust the windage clicks more often than the illumination, and because I am right-handed, it is more comfortable to use. The illumination on the Kahles is step-less and very fine adjustable. Under the battery cover is also a small hex key for zeroing the rifle scope. What is unique on the Kahles is the parallax wheel, what is in my opinion on the perfect place for left or right-handed shooters. I have to say that the parallax is very easily adjustable, and you can quickly find the perfect setting. The numbers that are written on the parallax wheel are also very precise, so you could even determine the distance with the parallax.

Both rifle scopes have an equal elevation and windage adjustment range from 28 or 29 MIL for elevation and 12 or 13 MIL for windage. With such a big elevation range you can push the projectile extremely far.

 

TL;DR
Both rifle scopes are true MIL/MIL tactical rifle scopes with very good turrets, perfect clicks, and nice design. Whatsoever, the turrets on the Kahles are more user-friendly, especially the parallax wheel under the turret, and the option to decide on which side do you want to have the windage/illumination turret. Both have a similar elevation and windage adjustment range.

Minox ZP5 5-25×56 with the elevation turret in the second revolution (note the white dots under the turret)

Kahles K525i 5-25×56 with the elevation turret in the second revolution (note the red indicator on the upper side of the turret)

General properties:

 

A: Minox ZP5 5-25xx56

B: Kahles K525i 5-25×56

Made in:

Germany

Austria

Introduced in:

2014

2018

Available original accessories:

Yes

Yes

Warranty period:

30 years

10 years

MRSP Price:

>2849 €

3300 €

The Minox is made in Germany in Wetzlar and is in the production already since 2014. There are some additional accessories available, but thanks to the exact same thread on the objective, also accessories from other manufacturers are available to install. Whatsoever, the Minox comes with high-quality Tenebraex flip up covers, that are adjustable for the direction of opening.

Kahles is made in Austria and was just introduced on IWA Outdoor Classics 2018. The rifle scope comes with a nice neoprene cover, but also additional accessories are available. Also the thread on the Kahles is the same, so you can take accessories also from other manufacturers.

The warranty for the Minox is 30 years, what is really a lot for a tactical rifle scope, that can be used in a harsh environment in all weather conditions. The Kahles, on the other hand, has a 10 years long warranty, but I am sure that even after this time they will repair their products if something gets damaged.

The Minox can be purchased already for 2849€, what is very much, but for such a high-quality it is a reasonable price. The Kahles costs you 3300€, what is a proud price, but for the extra money, you get some extra features.

 

TL;DR
Minox is made in Germany and Kahles in Austria. For both are available some additional accessories. The Minox comes with high-quality Tenebraex flip-up covers and Kahles with a neoprene cover. Minox has a 30 years long warranty and Kahles 10. Minox is also much cheaper.

 

Conclusion

The two tested scopes represent the premium class of tactical rifle scopes, and I can totally confirm that they are worth the price. The Minox is definitely much better in optical characteristics, and this is also the strongest point of it. A small disadvantage is whatsoever the length and the weight, what makes it a little bit uncomfortable to use compared to the Kahles.

The Kahles can score everywhere else except by the optical quality, and my personal favorite is the parallax location, and also the possibility to order the scope with the location of the windage/illumination turrets. The ˝Twist Guard˝ wheel is also great to prevent accidental movement with a simple yet effective solution.

The elevation and windage turrets on both rifle scopes have a great feeling and are really well-made. I like the clicks on both rifle scopes because they are nice and sturdy. The Kahles features a better turn indicator, which in not only visible but also tangible. All in all, I think that the Kahles has a more user-friendly design, but it lacks a little bit with the optical quality, where the Minox can score.

Disclaimer

We would like to thank Optics-Trade for letting us use and test the above-mentioned products. We also thank them for letting us use their videos.

This featured test is impartial and we always try our best not to prejudice and favor one product over the other. Our team of enthusiasts who tests these products and writes these articles is doing it from dedication, as rifle scopes are our big passion. We also feel a great amount of joy and satisfaction when we know that we have contributed and shared with you our experiences. We try not to be biased and try to be as accurate as possible when interpreting our sightings. We will do our best to described things as they really are.

How the testing is done:

Our team comprises of two enthusiasts who write the articles for hobby and our very helpful unbiased friends who help us make the evaluations, such as the optical characteristics. As we are volunteers/enthusiasts we are not always present in the same numbers. Our ranks can fluctuate from 5 to around 8 people at the time of a test. Other than the two of us who are responsible for writing the articles our friends have almost zero experience in rifle scopes. They have no prejudice and are as such perfect for our objective observations. None-the-less we always try our best to hide all the labels that can give away the products ID. For that reason, we mount the rifle scopes in parallel on a special stand and cover them so the brand names are not visible.

We accurately fine tune the parallax on all the testing products for observing trees and buildings at 330 m and each person sets the diopter for their specific needs.

After we are sure that the test can be done without preferations we ask our volunteers to test the following parameters:

  • Central sharpness – subjective impression at 5x, 15x and 25x

  • Edge sharpness – subjective impression at 5x, 15x and 25x

  • Inner reflections at 5x, 15x and 25x magnification:

  • FOV – subjective impression at 5x, 15x and 25x magnification

  • Eye-box at 5x, 15x and 25x magnification

  • Overall – subjective impression:

In this article, we tested optical properties with 8 volunteers, which have no experiences with tactical scopes and have no bias towards any of these two brands. To be exact none of the volunteers even knew any of these two brands before the test. Both scopes were mounted in parallel and people observed trees and buildings about 350 meters away. Parallax was fine-tuned before the test and each person also adjusted the diopter setting for himself. From 7 volunteers 4 were women and 3 were men.

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