• Burris FullField E1 6.5-20x50mm Rifle Scope Review

    The Burris FullField E1 looks right at home on the Savage 93R17.Let's face it, not all of us can afford the top of the line scopes whose prices often exceed $2,000 these days. Heck, most of us can't afford or simply don't want to spend over $1,000 on a scope. Fortunately if you fall into that latter group of shooters you're in luck because the quality and wide selection of scopes priced in the $500 to $1,000 range has never been better.

    First I should probably give a little background as to how I came across this particular scope. I actually purchased this rifle scope for a friend of mine's vintage Savage 110 in .22-250 Remington for shooting groundhogs around his farm. He currently has an ancient Simmons 3-9x32mm mounted on it that's about as clear as a dirty shower door in a pay-by-the-hour motel room. This friend isn't a gun nut like most of us and just wants something that he can use at various ranges without being overly complicated. Initially he was looking at the electronic range-finding rifle scopes, but he really didn't want to spend that much money and I pointed out that most of them only offer 12-16x magnification on the high end. In my search to find him a suitable alternative I came across the E1 line from Burris and found that the 6.5-20x50mm version's reticle was calibrated to perfectly match 22-250 55gr. varmint loads out to 500 yards at 20x magnification. Talk about the perfect solution - and then finding them on sale for $399 just made the decision that much easier.

    So in short, it was the calibrated E1-MV reticle that sealed the deal on this purchase. The reticle features a rather fine crosshair with six additional stadia lines spaced to match common factory ammunition trajectories with a given load. Each stadia is also flanked by a dot on either side to represent the hold-off for a 10mph full value cross wind at that range. Simply zero the scope at 100 yards with ammo that matches the prescribed ballistics and you're all set to shoot at various distances.

    Burris E1-MV ballistic reticleSo as you might expect, today we are looking at the Burris FullField E1 6.5-20x50mm with their E1-MV reticle. The FF E1 series of rifle scopes feature index matched, precision ground lenses that are multi-coated with Burris' Hi-Lume coating system. Unlike most previous Burris models, for the E1 they listened to their customers and made the magnification ring separate from the eye-piece so that flip-up caps can be used. The eye-piece also features a quick-focus adjustment to ensure a crisp, sharp reticle. The erector assembly features a twin-spring tension system for accurate, repeatable adjustments and it's nitrogen purged to ensure that it's water-proof, fog-proof and shock-proof.

    Dimensionally the E1 features a 1-inch main tube, weights 16.9 ounces, and measures fourteen inches in length. The short finger adjustable turrets feature crisp and positive 1/4 MOA clickers and offer 30 MOA total adjustment for both windage and elevation. Parallax is adjusted with a side-focus knob with a range of 50 yards to infinity. MSRP for the 6.5-20x50mm model is $599.00 with the street price typically being right at the $500 mark.

    Burris includes several decals depicting the MV reticle and indicating the ballistic path for various cartridges and bullet combinations, but since in this instance the reticle is perfectly calibrated for 55gr 22-250 varmint loads (polymer tipped boattail bullets such as the V-Max or Nosler BT) no chart is needed. Once zeroed at 100 yards the stadia lines fall withing just a few years of 200, 300, 400 and 500. The final two lines for 600 and 700 yards are still very close but are off by six yards and nine yards respectively based on the StrelokPro ballistic app which I've found to be pretty accurate thus far.

    For the purposes of testing I mounted the E1 on my Savage 93R17-GLV test mule since I didn't have access to his rifle to get it mounted this week. The ammunition used was Hornady 17gr V-Max load with a velocity of 2,530fps from this particular rifle. The distance for each stadia line came out as follows:

    StrelokPro calculated ballistic chart for the E1-MV reticle
    Stadia Line
    Calculated Distance
    1 100 yard zero
    2 141 yards
    3 199 yards
    4 254 yards
    5 306 yards
    6 358 yards
    7 412 yards

    Once zeroed in at the range I plugged the required data into the Strelok Pro app to get a drop chart and went about verifying it as best as I could with only a 200 yard range. A front was moving in with some gusty winds which further complicated things given the lightweight 17gr bullets, but I managed.

    Those who have spent much time shooting the 17 HMR at longer distances know that by 300 yards it's pretty much out of gas and is on the verge of going sub-sonic. As such this reticle at this magnification (20x) makes for a fairly accurate match to the little HMR cartridge. Being limited to a 200 yard range I could only validate the first two stadia lines, but both had the bullets hitting within a half-inch of the aiming point vertically (horizontal was all over the place due to the gusting winds). If the ballistics truly match up as well with the 22-250 55gr varmint loads my friend will have no excuse for misses anymore.

    Finger adjustable turrets reside under the unmarket capsMechanically the Burris FullField performed flawlessly. Zeroing in and doing some quick tracking tests showed that adjustments are accurate and repeatable. The short finger adjustable turrets offer the easy to adjust convenience of a full target or tactical turret without the bulk. The only missing feature is the ability to reset the turrets to zero, but it's really not an issue with the ballistic reticle as you shouldn't need to be moving them once you are zeroed. Each click is crisp and precise with solid detent and an audible click making it easy to feel and hear each click of adjustment. Travel is a bit limited at only 30 MOA, but that's pretty much average for 1-inch tubes these days.

    Both the magnification ring and the fast-focus eye-piece move smoothly with just the right amount of resistance without being overly loose or stiff. The side-focus is equally as smooth

    Optically I was very impressed with the E1. I have a few friends who swear by Burris scopes and I've looked through them and couldn't find anything to complain about with them, but the only Burris I have ever owned was a 3-12x handgun scope that was mounted on my Savage Striker. The image through the scope was surprisingly bright given the overcast conditions. The field of view was crisp and sharp all the way out to the edges with no noticeable signs of distortion or chromatic aberration. The contrast and resolution were pretty good, but not quite as good as some of the more expensive scopes I had on hand to compare it with. For the price point I definitely wouldn't complain about it, and you really, REALLY have to know what you're looking for to notice the slight differences.

    The fit and finish on the E1 is also very nice with a nice even matte coating that isn't chalky feeling like some other brands. Burris goes a little overboard with their branding and labeling on the ocular housing, but that's a minor nit-pick and is subject to personal preference I suppose. The objective bell is threaded for a sunshade, but one is not included and would need to be purchased separately.

    Overall I'm very impressed with the quality of the Burris Fullfield E1 - mechanically, optically and visually. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of
    some of the much higher prices scopes on the market, but it has everything it needs and won't break the bank. Is it better than everything else on the market that's similarly featured and priced? That I really can't say as I haven't had a chance to evaluate every option out there, but I can say that I'm so impressed enough that I'm seriously considering ordering another one for myself. I must not the the only one with that idea though as right now everyone seems to be out-of-stock on this particular model - a true sign that it's earned a good reputation with hunters and shooters alike.

    Additional Photos:

    Another hard day at the office Taller Weaver bases and medium Burris Signature Zee rings provide just the right mounting height on this rifle.
    Magnification ring is not separate from the ocular bell to allow use of flip-up lens caps..

    Contact Information
    Burris Company
    331 E. 8th Street
    Greeley, CO 80631

    Comments 4 Comments
    1. scooterf79's Avatar
      scooterf79 -
      Good review Mr. Baker, I may need to take a look at one of these myself
    1. big honkin jeep's Avatar
      big honkin jeep -
      Thanks for the review Jim. I'm a big fan of The Burris product line, have several E1s and recently received a 50% off MSRP coupon on any one of their optics to order through Burris. I was having a pretty hard time selecting a product and think I'll give the 6.5-20X50 E1 a try. Or will it be another 3-9x50? ( Amazing exit pupil and after dark brightness on the 3-9x50)
    1. lefty 1's Avatar
      lefty 1 -
      I have 3. They are great, for the amount spent!!
    1. penna shooter's Avatar
      penna shooter -
      good review......Worth trying in the future...Thanks

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