Scopes and Optics

Review: Burris XTR II Riflescope 5-25x50mm Precision Riflescope

Burris XTR II Riflescope 5-25X50mm front quartering

One of the trends I am seeing in the market is the optics manufacturers really starting to push to deliver exponential jumps in quality. The Burris’ premier XTR II lineup is definitely one of the optic lines pushing the envelope of higher quality. The XTR II is Burris’ new flagship optic line. Based on my testing of the Burris XTR II 3-15x, I will say Burris has jumped from delivering high quality, rugged optics to a premium tier which many have noted to rival the best optics in the industry. The Burris XTR II 5-25x50m was a must for a top end Devil Dog precision rifle build.

Burris XTR II Riflescope 5-25X50mm front quartering
A large 50mm objective makes this illuminated optic extremely flexible even in low light shooting

First off, let me say that I was disappointed with how the demise of Devil Dog Arms unfolded. However, it still made one of the best quality AR format rifles in the industry complete with premium Black Hole Weaponry barrels and HiperFire Triggers. This Devil Dog .308 has proved to be an exceptionally accurate gun with the capability to easily deliver groups in the ½ MOA range—the high power crystal clear capabilities of the XTR II 5-25x50m allowed me to take advantage of that accuracy. The SCR Mil Reticle also allowed a lot of data—useful for on-the-fly windage and elevation compensation adjustments without the need to touch the dial.

The original XTR v1 line of scopes was a huge success for Burris, but customers were asking for more. Not only did Burris deliver a crystal clear 5x zoom range on the XTR II 5-25x50mm optic, but also it upped the tube thickness by 25% over the original. Burris also configured the optic design as a FFP – First Focal Plane scope. FFP is the hot feature among precision and sniper rifle shooters the last few years which in essence zooms the reticle with the magnification changes. The result is that whatever holdover you have on the BDC or Mil-Dot is the same at any magnification, in this case from 5X all the way through 25X.

The big thing with FFP reticles is that this design makes elevation and wind holdovers simple and easy without having to think about what magnification you are on. If you have a 5-MPH cross wind on a 300-yard target and that is the second dot down and a quarter mil over based on your zero, then no matter what magnification you are on that same holdover will deliver the same shooting solution. Pretty cool. When comparing this to a standard BDC equipped standard second focal plane scope, the reticle does not zoom, so your hold at the maximum range is not the same at any other magnification level.

Burris XTR high precision self-centering 0-40 MOA riflescope mounts
Burris XTR high precision self-centering 0-40 MOA mounts were used to provide ultimate flexibility and precision.

I choose the SCR Mil-Dot reticle. The SCR (Special Competition Reticle) is designed to offer the faster paced long-range shooter a reticle which provides a significant amount of data including ½ Mil-Dot markings, 1/10 Mil-Dot ranging brackets, and an extended illumination reticle. The goal of the reticle design was to provide the shooter with all the data they needed to take the shot quickly and accurately whether they reached for the turrets or used the precision Mil-Dot hold over points in the reticle.

Once a shooter knows their bullet drop holds based on Mil-Dot target sizing, they can quickly take a precision shot extremely quickly even at multiple targets at different distances. If you see your shot spatter 1 mil to the left, you can make that adjustment without doing laborious math to convert what you read in the reticle with a turret adjustment. Burris notes the XTR II with SCR reticle is busier than a typical Mil-Dot reticle, however it is also a design that was intended for competitive shooting/sniper competitions.

3 examples of riflescope reticles
The sub-tense of the reticle can be used in a variety of ways according to the shooters needs.

Fit, Feel, Features, & Functions

There is a lot to love about this top tier optic. At around $1,400 on the street, this optic is not for everyone and is up there with the premium Japanese and German optics companies. For the quality it is a great deal and considerably less expensive than many competitors with similarly featured $2,000-$3,000 priced optics. The glass is just freaking unbelievably crisp and clear, but this is what you get in the higher tier of optics. Let’s not forget, Burris and Steiner are owned by the same parent company so… I don’t think it’s a stretch of the imagination that Steiner engineering and technology had a hand in Burris upping its already exceptional game a bit more.

What Burris delivered with the XTR II really sets the bar for the rest of the market—outside of maybe Vortex. Burris has everything packed into this optic with the exception of laser ranging. You have the new style thicker, heavier duty and allegedly brighter 34MM tube, big, audible-click turrets. The turrets MRAD adjustments are matched to the Mil-Dot reticle (as they always should be), zero-able and feature a resettable zero-stop. There is that very cool FFP design that everyone is asking for this Christmas, and the reticle is illuminated.

Now, I generally have some serious gripes about illuminated reticles because most companies try to deliver sunlight red dot illumination brightness. However, in this case, Burris delivered perfection. Too often, manufacturers make illuminated reticles for daytime use and thus far too bright for the night work they were originally developed for.

The illumination on this 5-25x50mm XTR II delivers 11 settings of illumination from “I can barely see a hint of the reticle in a dark closet in the basement with the lights off” to something brighter and useable at dusk. Burris has also included off positions between each illumination setting so you don’t need to cycle through all the brightness settings just to turn the reticle illumination on or off.

Devil Dog .308 with Burris XTR II riflescope
This XTR II was mounted on a Devil Dog .308 to take advantage of the accuracy potential of the Black Hole Weaponry match barrel.

Burris even has a well thought out side focus knob, which is neither interfered by the illumination knob, or interferes with it… and then there is the huge magnification range. Normally you would see a 3-10x or 3-14, but here we have a scope that can deliver everything you might need on very close (maybe too close) targets all the way out to the distant capabilities of the shooter with a 15x magnification. This is a very nice setup affording the shooter lots of flexibility.

The range is also one of the widest magnification ranges on the market. Top tier models from Bushnell, Nikon, and Vortex are almost there with similar features and arguably similar optic quality. However, from a price and quality perspective the XTR II is a very attractive option when you add in all the features. Burris has just put in all into an exception package that just works.

Final Thoughts

This optic has lived on a few builds, but lately has taken root on my Devil Dog based AR .308. If you are looking for a general-purpose sniper rifle then this magnification range is too much—Burris’ 3-15 XTR II would be a better choice. If you are looking for an optic for a dedicated precision rifle that has the magnification to deliver that accuracy at longer range, this is one amazing optic.

Turrets on the Burris XTR II riflescope
The XTR II line feature heavy audible click turrets which make adjustment precise.

I am not one of those guys who likes or enjoys figuring out the math on a reticle calibrated for 25x when I need to be at 5x of magnification. For me, simpler is better, and I like the FFP concept both in theory and in use. Literally just print out a ballistics card noting all the holdover points for your pet round, and you are good to go at any magnification. This is a great optic which deserves to be on a rifle that can deliver the accuracy and do it quickly. There is a lot to love about this scope and not much at all to hate; that’s probably the reason I tightened it onto one of my most expensive and accurate AR-10 builds to date.


XTR II Riflescope 5-25x50mm

All hand-fitted internal assemblies are triple spring-tensioned for absolute shock-proofing, even under severe recoil. They are vibration resistant, even on extended vehicular patrols.

» Zero Click Stop adjustment knobs let you quickly and easily revert back to the original yardage setting without counting clicks.

» Advanced windage and elevation adjustments are fast and easy; accurate and repeatable reticle adjustments match the measurement system of the reticle.

» High-grade optical glass provides excellent brightness and clarity with lasting durability.

» Index-matched Hi-Lume multicoating aids in low-light performance and glare elimination, increasing your success rate.

» Double internal spring-tension system allows the scope to hold zero through shock, recoil, and vibrations.

» Waterproof

» Nitrogen-filled body tubes prevent internal fogging in the cold and rain.

» Precision-gauged and hand-fitted internal assemblies maintain a consistent point of impact through the magnification range, regardless of shock and vibration.

» Solid, 1-piece outer tube is stress-free and durable; withstands shock and vibration from even the heaviest-recoiling calibers.

» Covered by the Burris Forever Warranty.

XTR II Riflescope 5-25x50mm
Magnification 5x-25x
Objective Lens Diameter 58 mm
Clear Objective Lens Diameter 50 mm
Ocular Lens Diameter 44.25 mm
Finish Matte
Focal Plane First Focal Plane – FFP
Main Tube Size 34 mm
Field of View 21 low – 4.3 high (ft. @ 100 yds.)
Eye Relief 3.50 – 4.25 in.
Exit Pupil 10 low – 2 high (mm)
Click Value
  • 1/10 mil; 100-Click Knob (201031)
  • 1/4 MOA; 100-Click Knob (201032)
  • 1/10 mil; 80-Click Knob (201030)
Elevation Adjustment, Total Capability 110 MOA (Example: 50 MOA is roughly 25 MOA from center)
Windage Adjustment 55 MOA (Example: 50 MOA is roughly 25 MOA in any direction from center)
Parallax/Focus Side focus/PA
Adjustable Parallax 50 yds. – infinity
Length 16.31 in.
Weight 32.10 oz.
Illumination Control Rotary dial; intermediate “battery saver” stops
Illumination Settings 11 brightness settings
Battery CR2032

Gas maskMajor Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

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