Ammo & Gear Reviews

Gear Test: Pentax Gameseeker 30

Mike Piccione Editor, Guns & Gear
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By  NRA’s American Rifleman

Pentax has two major riflescope lines; the U.S.-made Lightseekers and the less-costly Gameseekers. Last year the Gameseeker 30 was introduced, and now there are four power ranges offered, including the 6.5-24X 50 mm reviewed here.

The imported Pentax Gameseeker 30 6.5-24X 50 mm is a solid design contained within a one-piece, 30 mm-diameter aluminum tube. Thanks to the 50 mm objective lens, the Gameseeker features an exit pupil of 8.3 mm at the low end of the power range and 2.1 mm at 24X; eye relief also varies throughout the power range from 3.5 inches to 3 inches as magnification is increased. The 6.5-24X 50 mm is not a compact scope, with an overall length of just over 15 inches and with a total weight of 24.3 ounces.

Housed within the unit’s matte-black aluminum exterior are 12 lens elements, each of which is fully-coated with the “Pentabright” lens coating system. The system results in good visual clarity across the image. The nitrogen-filled interior is advertised as waterproof and fog proof, claims that were verified by both submersion and temperature tests.

A side-focus parallax adjustment knob allows adjustment from 15 yards to infinity. The oversize knob is easy to manipulate and ideally positioned. The turret-style windage and elevation knobs allow for 1/8-inch click adjustments through the 50 m.o.a. of adjustment range. Though it takes careful attention to keep track of the turrets’ barely audible and tactile clicks, visual reference marks are also provided. Using an included hex wrench, the turrets can be reset to “0” after the scope is zeroed to the rifle so adjustments may be tracked. The “shoot-the-square” test was used to evaluate the optic’s tracking accuracy and repeatability and yielded passable results despite the challenge of the subtle adjustments. Testing from the bench also established that point-of-impact was consistent throughout the scope’s power range.

One of the scope’s unique features is the “Precision Plex” reticle system. This reticle features a set of horizontal reference lines designed to correspond with aiming points for various distances. Using the primary crosshair for a 100-yard zero, the reticle provides 100-yard aiming points out to 500 yards. A reference sheet included with scope provides detailed instructions, as well as a table that indicates how several common cartridges deviate from the Precision Plex reticle. Though the reticle provides a starting point for estimating holdover, it is based on average conditions and velocities and cannot correspond precisely to a given load. Our tests indicated a trajectory that deviated significantly from the reticle and the chart due to differences in barrel length and, consequently, velocity. Like other reticle systems, its compatibility with a given load must be verified by actual shooting.

The Gameseeker 30 exhibited good optical clarity and has features usually reserved for costlier models. With the exception of the minor adjustment issues, this is an excellent scope. At less than $200, it represents a good value.

Importer: Pentax Sport Optics; (800) 877-0155;

Model: Gameseeker 30 6-24X 50 mm

Magnification and Objective: 6-24X 50 mm

Finish: matte black

Field of View (Ft. @ 100 Yds.): 17.8 Ft. (6X), 4.4 Ft. 24X)

Eye Relief: 3.5″ (6X), 3″ (24X)

Click Value: 1/8″ @ 100 yds..

Windage and Elevation Adjustment Range: 50 m.o.a. (windage and elevation)

Reticle: Precision Plex (tested)

Length: 15 1⁄4″

Weight: 24.3 ozs.

Features: side-focus knob for parallax correction from 15 yds., to infinity; click-adjustable turrets; range-calibrated reticle

Accessories: scope cover, cleaning cloth, manual

Suggested Retail Price: $199

Mike Piccione