To start with – thank you GECO!! 🙂
It was sometime during the first half of 2016 when I noticed entirely new product line on the GECO’s website. To my big surprise it was not new bullet line, neither anything related to their standard product – ammunition. GECO – a member of RUAG group – decided launch a new line of affordable optical sights and riflescopes. Base parameters of their models pretty much reflected most popular choices of optics on the market.
- First of all, there is fast acquisition riflescope GECO 1-6×24 IR which is an exceptional choice for a driven hunt and other fast paced, short range engagements.
- Next riflescope is universal and relatively compact 1.7-10×42 IR, which we can pretty much call “Mr. I can do it all”.
- Last and definitely very intriguing option among rifle scopes – 2.5-15×56 IR is a variable scope with adjustable parallax (only one out of the portfolio to have this feature), which will not let you down even when stretching the reach of modern rifles past 300 meters.
- And then there is small 1×20 red dot sight with integrated mounting system for weaver bases.
And GECO’s – “ALL YOU NEED” was screaming at me from every corner of their web. Since I had plentiful experience with GECO ammunition and it was mostly very pleasant, I decided to have a go at testing optics from GECO myself. Without any hesitation, in order to find out first important parameter – the price – I opened few Slovak & Czech e-shops just to find out moments later, that it will not be as easy as I expected. There was none which even listed riflescopes on their web.
Well, I googled a bit and found out that if I wanted to get them, I will need to contact GECO directly. So I wrote an email and to my very pleasant surprise, they have responded swiftly and used their Czech importer to ship me 3 out of 4 optics from their portfolio. Within few weeks, thanks to GECO’s customer service, I was an owner of GECO 1-6×24 IR, 2.5-15×56 IR riflescopes, and 1×20 red dot sight.
The importance of impression…
You know the feeling, when you come and pick up optics, and from the first moment, you know that it is a piece of sh*t.. It did not happen this time, and I was honestly very relieved. No offense to anyone, but market is already flooded with cheap “tacos, nikos, rubises, tacticool or hewkeys” which are robbing hunters of many wonderful experiences and often even money, as some of them tend to break as soon as their standard two-year warranty is over…
GECO’s new optics, on the other hand, just felt very robust and well built from the very first moment. Their stylish packaging was once again reminding me, that GECO is ALL YOU NEED. Next positive impression was my first peek through the GECO 2.5-15×56 IR. Clarity was amazing and I immediately recognized that classic german number 4 crosshair with pronounced 1/2 MOA (red illuminated) dot in its center.
Of course, I tested out intensity settings on the illumination of the red dot itself. It is reasonably divided into 11 levels, with lowest settings providing very soft illumination for hunting in low light situations, while its most powerful levels simply blazed red to make sure that you do not miss that red dot even during crazy fast action, e.g. driven hunt. The same good impression came out of the box with 1-6×24 IR riflescope and 1×20 red dot. And taking into account price point of these optics, all I had been able to say at that time was: “Well done GECO, well done! 🙂
Real reviewing begins…
Since first impressions did not let me down, I decided to compare GECO riflescopes against known best of the best in the price range and also popular & affordable optics which had been top choices among Slovak and Czech hunters during last 20 years. Riflescopes (all with illuminated RD) I compared are following:
- Meopta Artemis 2100 3-12×50 (retail price in Slovakia – 715 €)
- Meopta Artemis 2100 7×50 (retail price in Slovakia – 525 €) > cheapest riflescope overall
- Meopta R1 3-12×56 RD (retail price in Slovakia – 765 €) > most expensive option
- Delta Titanium 2.5-15×56 SF HD (retail price in Slovakia – 750 €)
- GECO 2.5-15×56 IR (retail price in Slovakia – 635 €) > cheapest variable option
There were some obvious differences between these scopes. Most notable and probably most important was the presence of adjustable parallax on two of riflescopes. GECO 2.5-15×56 IR was the first and Delta Titanium 2.5-15×56 SF HD was second. This brings a lot of positive points for GECO and lot of negative to Meopta riflescopes within this price range. But why? Even cheaper hunting bolt actions on the current market are usually exceptionally precise rifles if the shooter does his part right. Adjustable parallax allows you to use that high magnification to place a very precise shot at extended medium ranges even without external ballistic turrets allowing a knowledgeable shooter to combat parallax error. (If you are interested in learning more about parallax and why it is important, please read this article).
But here I have to mention the first negative I came across on GECO 2.5-15×56 IR. If you look at the picture above, you can see that spacing between individual values on the parallax adjustment knob is very tight. This makes setting correct value pretty difficult, especially at ranges over 200 meters. It is pretty common on some cheaper riflescopes, but when compared with Delta Titanium 2.5-15×56 SF HD, I have to admit, that Delta Optical did it better (but it is also about 15% or 115 € more expensive).
Low light optical performance comparison.
After I compared riflescopes from the functional point of view, I took them out for the spin in the dark… Comparing optical performance without exact scientific instruments can not be labeled as other than subjective, but I believe that you can get an idea how good the optics perform.
Having all of the riflescopes side by side during multiple evenings and varying light conditions, I was comparing how easy it was to pick up details of different objects and take an aim with the illumination of a red dot both on and off.
How did they compare?
Obviously, there can be only one winner. And despite all of them being very close to each other, Delta Titanium 2.5-15×56 SF HD seemed the best in low light conditions. However, the difference between all of the tested riflescopes was minor and difficult to pick up. But if I have to quantify – it would be at worst about 2-5 minutes of difference in usable time during evening twilight. The final chart based on low light optical performance would be following –
- Delta Titanium 2.5-15×56 SF HD
- Meopta Artemis 2100 7×50 – (Very good low light performance of this cheap optics is tied to the fact that it is not variable zoom model, therefore it has fewer optical components which in turn allows more light to pass through, giving you advantage)
- GECO 2.5-15×56 IR (this riflescope was lacking just a little bit behind first two compared)
- Meopta R1 3-12×56 RD
- Meopta Artemis 2100 3-12×50
Once again it is time to mention that GECO, unlike many cheap riflescopes on the market, does allow you to set illumination appropriately for varying light conditions – from very soft illumination to very bright. This allows you to successfully use all of the optical performance in low light conditions very easily.
You have probably noticed that I did not compare optical performance of GECO 1-6x24IR in this test. Yes, but that is on purpose as this riflescope is not meant to be used in low light conditions. It was designed for the broad field of view, fast acquisition and close range encounters with “dangerous game” and therefore that is the setting where it will be judged later in the test.
Well, so they look good, work good, but do they last?
We know that “seems robust” and “is robust” necessarily does not mean the same things. But relying on GECO’s 5-year warranty I did not refrain from putting the scopes on rifles chambered in not so subtle cartridges. GECO 2.5-15×56 IR went on .30-06, where it can be tested with this relatively flat shooting cartridge within reasonable hunting ranges (from the European point of view).
GECO 1-6×24 IR landed on my custom rebuilt based on BRNO’s ZKK 600 which was rebarreled and turned into formidable 9.3×62 which earned nickname boarbuster. It is fair to mention that both riflescopes provide exceptional eye relief and this really makes them easy & relatively safe to shoot even on rifles with heavy recoil. But once again I have to mention small negative – ring around eye-pieces on both riflescopes has a very sharp edge, which will definitely punish (slice through) your eyebrow in case improper shouldering of heavy recoil rifle. But this can be of course easily avoided by proper shooting technique and is hardly a big negative. So finally, it was time to hit the range 🙂
Thanks to the construction of the capped turrets, which do not require any tool to adjust, zeroing had been pretty easy and straightforward. .30-06 got zeroed at 200 meters, while boarbuster loaded with 285 grainers got 100 meter zero. As I was not able to thoroughly test two riflescopes at the same time, GECO 2.5-15×56 IR was sent to one of my trusted friends, while fast acquisition GECO 1-6×24 IR remained in my possession. And gosh, we had a blast! 🙂
I was hitting shooting range when it was freezing and when it was warm, when it was raining and when there was sun!! I shot at least 120 rounds of 9.3×62 with the scope on the rifle and there was not a single shift in zero during all that time. And that is a success as I took the rifle for a driven hunt as a beater twice and even managed to fall and land with all of my 90 kilograms directly on the scope, during one of those freezing mornings when ice was simply everywhere…
So how is the real life with GECO riflescope?
I already mentioned that taking into account the price point of GECO riflescopes, their optical performance is very formidable. We established, that GECO 2.5-15×56 IR can easily compare with the best in the class. But how about its skinnier brother? Does it shine as well?
To be honest, this was my first fast acquisition riflescope I thoroughly tested. And I have to admit, that I simply do not want to take it down from my 9.3×62. Why? Because of many reasons, but mostly due to two facts. Field of view on GECO 1-6×24 IR is simply amazing (38.4 m / 100 m) and its price allows me to use it heavily and without fear of breaking “expansive” gadget. And best of all, it does not feel cheap.
Actually, there was a lot of interest and curiosity among dozens of hunters who have seen the riflescopes on the rifles.
You know, that kind of curiosity as if somebody brought high-end rifle or riflescope which most of us can not afford. And that was something that really reinforced my feeling that these riflescopes despite being very affordable do not have the aura of cheap Chinese sh*t.
Even after few months of pretty heavy use and few more or less serious falls both riflescopes look almost like new. Finish proved to be of a very high quality and it did justice to all of the remaining components. Well, I kind of started to like it so much, that I am not sure that I will be able to part with it easily when I will be taking another product for next review sometime soon. But life is about the change
PLUSES OF GECO RIFLESCOPES:
- Affordability and great value
- 5-year warranty
- Robust construction
- 6x zoom range
- High-quality optical components (taking into account its price)
- GECO 2.5-15×56 IR – adjustable parallax and decent low light performance
- GECO 1-6×24 IR – broad field of view, generous eye relieve.
- 11 red dot illumination settings (very dim to very bright)
- High quality & resistant surface treatment
- Despite being affordable, they do not have the aura of cheap optics
MINUSES OF GECO RIFLESCOPES:
- Little bit on a heavy side (about +10-15% in comparison with Meopta or Delta)
- Sharp eye-pieces can cut your eyebrow easily
- GECO 1-6×24 IR has little bit less precise click value of (16mm/100 meters), which may frustrate people who are seeking perfect zero, but it did not concern me, taking into account it’s primary design + I was able to take 200-meter shots with this riflescope hitting small soda cans without hardly any sweat
- Small gaps between parallax adjustment values over 200 meters on GECO 2.5-15×56 IR
So to conclude, I can honestly say, that I would advise any of you who is taking a look at sub 800 € riflescopes to think about GECO 2.5-15×56 IR. Also GECO 1-6×24 IR, which is retails at slightly over 430 € did not let me down for a moment. Both provide one of the best in class performance and exceptional value. Furthermore, they are built very robust and I suspect that you can expect them to last for quite a while.
COMPLETE GECO PORTFOLIO CAN BE FOUND AT: https://geco-munition.de/en/optics.html
*After IWA 2017, there were new product lines and models added.
Thank you for your time. Do not hesitate to reach out and let me know about any questions in the comment section down bellow!