Every shooter I know is on a quest to find the best optic for their AR-15 for the least amount of money.
They are all aware of the benefits of spending thousands of dollars on one of the top name brand scopes, but most of us don’t have the budget to mount a scope that costs 3 or 4 times what we paid for our AR-15. Enter the CVLife 2.5-10×40 riflescope.
The CVLife 2.5-10×40 variable magnification scope features precision windage and elevation adjustments, as well as a Kellner eyepiece with diopter adjustments. Each of these scopes features fully multi-coated lenses that provide 90 percent light transmission. A built-in gun sight laser pointer can be co-witnessed with the reticle for fast and precise aiming.
These are just a few of the many options that attract attention from shooters to the CVLife rifle scopes. Taking a closer look may leave you surprised at what can be packed into a rifle scope that can be purchased for less than $75. Good or bad, the CVLife hunting rifle scope deserves some consideration.
CVLife Rifle Scopes
Let’s start this discussion with the subject that is like the big gorilla in the room for most people. CVLife is a Chinese company whose headquarters are in China where their products are manufactured. For many people, this would be the end of the discussion. Chinese manufactured optics products don’t have a stellar reputation among shooting enthusiasts, especially in the United States. Years of sloppy quality control and cheap optical glass put a serious dent in the reputation of almost all Chinese optics manufacturers.
I am not saying things have changed significantly. I do believe that the Chinese manufacturers recognize that they need a higher quality product to effectively compete in the U.S. markets and changes are slowly happening. CVLife rifle scopes are certainly not in the tier of Leupold, Ziess, or even Vortex Optics. However, looking carefully at what CVLife is producing may uncover some hidden gems for budget-conscious shooters.
The CVLife 2.5-10×40 Tactical Rifle Scope
CVLife is relatively new to the U.S. market for firearm accessories and optics. The company entered the market 9 years ago. The CVLife 2.5-10×40 Tactical Rifle Scopes are aimed at shooters who use AR-15-style platform rifles. CVLife advertises the concept of “Let science and technology burst into power.” Some of the features of these scopes are a direct result of this philosophy. I intend to look at this scope from CVLife in detail, examining the features, technical details and construction quality before I make a recommendation.
The Optical Systems
The heart of any rifle scope is the quality and clarity of the glass used to manufacture the lenses. Cheap scopes have cheap glass. Nice scopes have expensive glass. There are some characteristics of most cheap scopes and optical glass that you should look for when considering a riflescope.
Clarity defines the quality of the image that is transmitted through the scope to your eye. The image you see in your scope is created as the light passes through a number of glass lenses. The quality of the glass and the preciseness with which it is ground determine the clarity of your riflescope.
Poor quality glass tends to deliver distorted images to the shooter’s eye. The distortion may be minor, but as magnification increases, the distortion also tends to increase. A good scope typically uses mid-range optical glass which can deliver very useable images.
I find that the CVLife 2.5-10×40 Tactical Rifle Scopes have reasonable clarity especially when you consider the price of these scopes. If you have had the chance to use a really high-quality scope such as a Swarovski or a Leupold, you may be able to see the difference in the clarity of the CVLife scopes. On the other hand, shooters hunting at the ranges of most AR-15 platform rifles will notice no appreciable lack of clarity from these scopes.
Color in a riflescope describes how well the optical glass in the scope transmits the actual colors of the image. Cheaper optics often use optical glass that contains impurities or imperfections which affect the way colors are transmitted through the glass. Cheap scopes will often show variations in colors, rainbow effects, or color distortions in the image.
The optical glass used by CVLife to manufacture their rifle scopes doesn’t show many defects in the transmission of the color through the lens. This indicates that the optical glass used in these scopes is upper-mid-range glass quality. All in all, the optical color of the CVLife scopes is above average for scopes in this price range.
Don’t be misled by some scope reviews. The brightness of a riflescope has nothing to do with its light gathering capabilities. Brightness is a description of how bright or intense the light passing through the scope remains. CVLife claims that the 2.5-10×40 Tactical Rifle Scope passes 90% of the gathered light through to the shooter. I have my doubts about this claim. Even the most expensive high-end scopes on the market have a hard time achieving a 90 percent light transmittal rate. Unfortunately, I don’t have the expertise or the equipment to accurately check this claim.
The skeleton and framework of a scope determine how well the scope can perform. The best optical glass available is virtually worthless if the framework and adjustments on the scope are not well-designed and well constructed. It is almost impossible to check the internal parts of a rifle scope. However, there are tell-tale clues to how well the internal mechanics of a riflescope are made.
Windage and Elevation Adjustments
Any good scope should have the ability to be brought to a zero point and should hold that zero baring any unfortunate mishaps such as a drop of the rifle and scope. The windage and elevation adjustments on the CVLife scope are positive features. The turrets are tall and easy to manipulate. Each click on the turrets is precise and clear and makes a 1/4 inch change in the reticle.
On the downside, these turrets don’t have zero lock or return to zero features as do some other comparable rifle scopes. This can be a problem in the field if you tend to change the zero on your rifle to accommodate different conditions or ranges.
The CVLife 2.5-10×40 rifle scope comes with a mount to attach the scope to your rifle’s Picatinny or Weaver rail. This mount is machined to standard height and should co-witness with your iron sights. The clamp on the mount uses two thumbscrews that can be tightened with a standard flat blade screwdriver.
We do recommend that the threads on this mount be treated with a blue thread locker to ensure that they do not loosen and back out of the mount when subjected to repeated recoil from your rifle.
The fit and finish of the CVLife scope appear quite nice. The parts are manufactured from aluminum and have a dark anodized finish. The tube diameter is 1.57 inches. There are no apparent matching marks and the precision of the joints is tight. CVLife does not include any information about the types of seals used in the assembly of the scope and doesn’t give any information about waterproof, fog-proof, or shockproof testing.
The lack of information about the way these scopes are assembled gives me some concern. If the scope tubes are not sealed in some manner, leakage and humidity can be an issue. The fact that CVLife doesn’t advertise these scopes as being nitrogen or argon purged is a red flag in my book.
Reticles and Illumination
The working end of any scope is the reticle. There are many takes and variations on reticle design and considerable debate about where the reticle should be placed. In general, CVLife takes a middle-of-the-line approach to reticle design and operation in the CVLife hunting rifle scope. However, for the cost of this scope, I am impressed with the number of reticle features and options.
Reticle Style and Functions
The CVlife tactical riflescope features a mil-dot reticle. The reticle is very basic but is functional if you are acquainted with using a mil-dot scope. Don’t expect some features of more expensive scope reticles such as ballistic calculators, a true bullet-drop compensator or ranging information.
There is no parallax adjustment on this scope. The manufacturer does not list a parallax distance in the specifications. My best guess is the parallax setting to be at 100 yards, more or less.
Second Focal Plane Reticle
The reticle on the CVLife tactical rifle scope is on the second focal plane. If you increase the magnification, the reticle does not automatically adjust with the magnification. Some shooters prefer a second focal plane reticle. However, my choice is a first focal plane reticle that automatically adjusts to the magnification I am using.
Illuminated Reticle Options
Illuminated reticle options are all the rage. An illuminated reticle can add a few more minutes to your hunting day or give you a better sight picture when light conditions are not optimal. The CVLife rifle scope includes several illumination features that add value to this scope:
- This red or green illuminated gun scope features 5 illumination levels for each color.
- The large reticle illumination control is located on the left side of the scope body and can easily be grasped for quick adjustments.
- The reticle is still easily useable if the illumination is not used.
- One CR2032 battery powers the illuminated reticle.
There are a few drawbacks to the reticle illumination system in this scope. There is no automatic on/off system on the illumination. Failing to turn off the reticle before storage will ensure a dead battery. There is also no battery indicator on the scope so it is difficult to tell the condition of the battery.
Reticle Bullet Compensation
The mil-dot reticle on the CVLife rifle scope is pre-ranged for the standard-issue 5.56 NATO ammunition in use worldwide. The reticle allows you to quickly range from 100 to 500 yards using the markings on the reticle. You should understand that the bullet drop compensator only works at a specified magnification and cannot be adjusted for other cartridge loads or bullet weights.
Integrated Laser Sight
One standout feature of the CVLife rifle scope is the integrated laser sighting system. The 2.5-10×40 Tactical Rifle Scopes come with a Class IIIA 2mW laser sight that features separate windage and elevation controls. The laser sight is useful for close-range work or can be co-witnessed with your optical sight for longer-distance shooting.
In addition, the laser sight gives you a backup sight, should your optical sight fail. This feature harks back to the old survival adage: “One is none, two is one.” I always advocate for backup sights on any firearm used for hunting that is equipped with a rifle scope.
Specifications From The Manufacturer
- Magnification – 2.5x to 10 x
- Objective Lens Diameter – 40 mm
- Adjustable Objective lens – No
- Lens Type – Multi-coated green lens
- Eye Relief – 4″ @ 2.5x, 3″ @ 10x
- Field of View – 34.86 feet at 100 yards @ 2.5x, 11.53 feet @ 10x
- Reticle Type – Mil-Dot
- Reticle Location – Second Focal Plane
- Reticle Illumination – Yes
- Illumination color – Red and green illuminated
- Windage and Elevation Adjustments – One clicker per 1/4 inch at 100 yards
- Laser – Class IIIA 2mW 650 nm
- Battery – Laser LR1130 x 3, Reticle CR2032 x 1 (batteries included in package)
- Dimensions – 85″ x 3″ x 3″
- Weight – 20.5 ounces
- Bullet Drop Compensator – On reticle
What the Package Includes
Each CVlife 2.5-1-0x40 rifle scope comes with the following in the package.
- 1 CVlife 2.5-10×40 scope
- 1 lens cover with an elastic yoke
- 1 CR2032 battery
- 3 LR1130 batteries
- Mount adapter for 20 Picatinny or Weaver rails
- 1 Allen wrench
- 1 cleaning cloth
My Final Thoughts on the CVLIFE 2.5-10×40 Rifle Scope
My first impression is that this is a nice scope for the money. It doesn’t feel or look cheap. However, it is what is inside and out of sight that is the real concern when buying a rifle scope. There are points that I really like such as:
- Red and green illumination
- Adequate eye relief
- Built-in integrated mounts with free mount adapters for different styles of rifle mounts
- Mounting is easy and straightforward
- Relatively compact when compared to other scopes with these features
On the other hand, there are some things that give me concerns:
- User reports give me the impression that customer service from the company may be lacking
- I am not a fan of second focal plane reticles
- Recoil can loosen some screws so it pays to add a thread locker to everything you can
- The mounts are questionable and this scope will not work with other mounts.
Overall, CVlife rifle scopes get good reviews from users. For a hunting rifle scope, I think the CVLife 2.5-10×40 tactical style scope would be a good choice for the average shooter. You aren’t going to get a tier 1 riflescope, but you aren’t going to have to pay for a tier 1 rifle scope, either.