Today, Tangent Theta unveiled their new brand of riflescopes to the world at SHOT show. They were my first stop, and it was an incredibly fruitful and informative visit. This write-up is going to be a first-look preview of their new products, and give a little background on what the organizational structure looks like with the new brand. Primal Rights is excited to be working with Tangent Theta in 2014. We have been a dealer for their various sister companies for the last couple years, and have grown accustomed to their professionalism and the direct nature in which they answer questions. I hope this article will shed some light on events past and present, and give you a preview of things to come.
Lets get down to the dirty facts of history. As any responsible person knows, you must adequately address the past to have any shot at a positive and meaningful future. You'll be happy to know that the folks at Tangent Theta believe this to their very soul, and did not side-step or skirt around any difficult question that was asked in regard to the history of Premier Reticles. This was not really a surprise to me, as I've experienced this attitude from the start of our relationship. There has been a lot of speculation in regard to the acquisition of Premier, so today we set the record straight. This morning I had nearly a 1.5hr meeting with Andrew Webber, President of Tangent Theta, and Jim Whitty, Vice President of Tangent Theta. Also Present were Eric Eichhorst and Paul Lange. Unfortunately I failed to get Paul's official title, but he's the Virginian Premier service technician we all know and love. Eric is the Senior Engineer for Tangent Theta. So the facts represented below come from as direct source as possible, or at least as closely as I can absorb and relay them to you all.
First, lets take stock of the brand names and companies involved in the back story here. Premier Reticles, Tangent Theta(TT), Armament Technology (ATI), Tennabraex, and Optronika.
Fact #1 - Tangent Theta was started by Andrew Webber (owner of ATI), and had commissioned a scope design before they purchased Premier. ATI had become the exclusive distributor for Premier products around this same time, and no doubt kept them solvent for longer than they would have been without their involvement. Eventually, Premier was basically mismanaged into bankruptcy. It was at this time that ATI purchased Premier. The remaining inventory was rolled into ATI, and the technology was purchased by Tangent Theta. The key thing to take away from this is that Tangent Theta was already designing a new product prior to acquiring Premier's assets. Keep that in your mind as you read on.
Fact #2 - Optronika was the design firm that was commissioned by Premier to create the Heritage line of optics. The way this works is that Optronika comes up with essentially a "rough draft" for the design, based on the requirements of the commissioning company. (premier) Then when the design is received by Premier, their engineers go to work on the finishing touches and design improvements. This can range from a complete feature redesign or a simple change of material to be used. I'm not certain as to what parts of that scope were Premier's idea vs. which parts were Optronika's. Suffice it to say it was a joint collaboration.
Fact #3 - The Tangent Theta scopes are not simply re-branded Premier's. They had commissioned Optronika with their own list of features prior to acquiring Premier, and have their own patented features which did not come from Optronika or Premier. This is a very important fact. When TT/ATI discovered that Premier was insolvent, they decided to buy Premier. Then they essentially scrapped everything that was bad with Premier's products, kept the good, and incorporated them into the new Tangent Theta Professional Marksman series. The turrets, clickers, parallax, illumination, and main tube have been completely redesigned. The optical assembly (lensing) has been tweaked slightly. More on this later.
Fact #4 - Premier Reticles is history. That means completely, and likely for all eternity. The way they did business, the attitude they had, and the products they shipped, all of it has been addressed or is currently being addressed by Tangent Theta. This does not mean owners of Premier scopes are going to be left out in the cold. Tangent Theta will warranty every single Premier product as if it were a TT product. This means if your Premier scope fails, you can get it fixed via Tangent Theta as if it were theirs. That means they will service anything with the Premier name on it, regardless of when or where it was purchased.
Fact #5 - Andrew Webber didn't just wake up one day a few years ago and say "Hey, I think I'll start an optics company." No sir. Virtually every single employee at Tangent Theta has a long history in shooting. Mr. Webber is heavily tied into the shooting sports industry in Canada and routinely competes in various competitions all over the world. They absolutely love shooting, and the people within the shooting community.
That pretty much covers the back-story leading up to the present. It has been a very complicated and exciting time for all of us involved with the Premier product line, and I know I'm not alone when I say it feels very good to breath a sigh of relief and move toward a brighter future. If you have any other specific questions in regard to any of the above, feel free to let me know and I'll present them to the guys at ATI/TT sometime this week when they are available.
Now, lets get on to the good stuff, and my oh MY is it good!
Their are three models rolling out this year from Tangent Theta. The TT315P, TT525P, and TT315M. The P series is the full "tactical" model, while the M series more closely resembles the "light tactical" version. I hesitate to compare these scopes to the Premier models of the past, but it's good to correlate it for ease of understanding what each scope is aimed at.
Above you see the TT315P. Both the 315P and 525P have very similar specifications aside from magnification, so we'll just focus on the 315P today. The overall size and weight are similar to the Premier model, but that is where the similarities end. There are significant improvements across the board in nearly every aspect of this scope. You can consult the spec sheets above for exact numbers.
Starting at the ocular housing, you'll find a locking diopter adjustment. I'm very happy that they've kept this feature. European-style fast adjust diopters can be quite annoying.
The magnification ring has been redesigned to allow for a much easier adjustment and has a "lug" incorporated into the design to ensure a firm grip. A common complaint with Premier models was that the power ring was difficult to manipulate due to its design and the amount of force required to move it. The magnification ring on these Tangent Theta scopes are fantastic. Easy to move, but not so easy that you'll be accidentally moving it.
The turrets are a completely new design from top to bottom, despite being very similar to the Premier design in outward appearance. The new zero stop mechanism is as ingenious as it is simple. You simply rotate the top of the cap counter clockwise with your fingers. A turn or so is all that's required. Then you lift up on the turret, which disengages the cap from the clickers, and turn it back to zero. When turned to zero, you can then push the cap down, and you will feel it go into the precise "click location" so there is no guessing at being in the right spot or taking time to align a tiny mark with the triangle. Once in the correct location, you simply tighten the top of the cap by turning it clockwise. I can't really imagine a zero stop adjustment that is faster, more precise, or more idiot-proof.
See a video of this feature in action on the Tangent Theta website.
The clicks on these turrets are unlike anything else available. Like the Premier, they are extremely tactile, very audible, and exceedingly precise. However, they lack the "nastiness" of the clicks that Premier had. There is no sharpness, no backlash, and no jumping past your intended click. In a word, these clicks are mesmerizing. To date, I have never handled an optic which had turrets that clicked as nice as these do... Ever. Mr. Webber and Mr. Eichhorst chuckled and said "We've been clicking turrets around the office and in the field for so many months, to find the just the right design, that we're wearing out our hands." I believe him, and it shows in the product.
Tangent Theta has went to great lengths to ensure there are no operational problems with these scopes. The turrets were subjected to automated testing which performed 30,000 revolutions which equals to about 6 million actuations of the "clickers" and associated components. The equipment used for this testing included thermal variances to test in cold and hot conditions. It was also programmed to run the turrets at a normal speed of about 15 revolutions per minute. After and during testing, precise torque measurements were taken to determine the wear. The guys at TT ran the turrets by hand as well, because there is only so much a machine can tell you. "It doesn't 'feel' the way we do" said Mr. Webber.
Another tidbit that I know all of you will love: The turrets are available with MTC (more tactile click) or without MTC.
The parallax knob and illumination control has been completely redesigned as well. The key thing you need to know here is that none of the parallax problems which existed in the Premier scopes are present here. They have an entirely new parallax adjustment mechanism and a thicker main tube. When asked if there was a potential of this type of problem in these scopes, Eric Eichhorst responded with a very firm, "Absolutely not."
The illumination control no longer needs to be pulled out to manipulate. You simply turn it to the desired setting. There are detents incorporated into the design, so you can click to your desired illumination adjustment. Simple and effective.
They have also tweaked the optical assembly a bit. It's clear to me there have been improvements. It was fairly easy to get behind a Premier, but these Tangent Theta scopes have the largest and most forgiving eyebox of any optic I've used. They are just a pleasure to look through, even in the confines of SHOT show and it's lackluster lighting.
The next model we'll talk about is the 315M, which you can see above. There are a lot of similarities to the Premier 3-15 light tactical, but it's easy to see the Tangent Theta influence.
The turrets are totally new, and have absolutely amazing clicks compared to the premier light tactical. They are very solid, yet due to their smaller size, have a slightly different feel than the P series. Still, there is no question which click you are on. You'll notice those little windows on the side of the turret. That is your 2nd revolution indicator and windage direction indicator. Very clever! The zero stop is adjusted by loosening two hex screws in the side of the cap. No tool-less zero stop on the M series.
Illumination and parallax work identically to it's big brothers. Simple, and effective.
We are now taking Pre-orders for these scopes!
TT315M Gen2XR reticle, mil/mil/ffp - $2,998
TT315M MOA reticle, moa/moa/ffp - $2,998
TT315P Gen2XR reticle, mil/mil/ffp - $3,697 (please specify MTC or no MTC)
TT315P MOA reticle, moa/moa/ffp - $3,697 (please specify MTC or no MTC)
TT525P Gen2XR reticle, mil/mil/ffp - $4,250 (please specify MTC or no MTC)
TT525P MOA reticle, moa/moa/ffp - $4,250 (please specify MTC or no MTC)
The P-series has an ARD included with every scope. I will need to confirm if ARD's ship with the M series as well.
PM me or send your order to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will give priority on a first-come first-serve basis. We will notify you within a week of your scope being ready and payment by check or credit card will be required at that time in order for your optic to ship. Right now, all we need is your name, address, phone number, email, and the specific model you want.
The scopes on the table at SHOT were not prototypes. They were from the first production run. So these will be ready quite soon. Tangent Theta has quoted me a second quarter 2014 delivery time. We placed a fairly substantial order this morning, and our order was the first they had received... so believe me when I say if you order from us you'll have one before anyone else in your neighborhood does!
Thanks everyone, and if there is anything else I can do, just let me know!
Primal Rights, Inc