Offering up the tools to make nearly any reasonable shot come in, the Maven. RS.1 2.5-15X44mm upgrades the modern hunter’s game.
Hunters—particularly those from the wide-open Western lands—have gone through an evolution over the past decade or so. Optics and rifles, as affordable as they are accurate, are to thank for some pretty amazing things happening at the fringes of game-getting. The margins, where hunters once reluctantly dared to go, are now commonplace and ethical.
One of the players who has quietly made a name for itself in the rarefied air of precision hunting is Maven Outdoors. Hitting the scene nearly a decade ago, the Lander, Wyo., optics firm has punched a strong and lasting toehold in the specialized niche. Once in your hands and on a rifle, there’s little wonder why. For low- to mid-priced hunting glass, Maven is on target.
At least that’s how I walked away from my first hunt with Maven this past fall. On the range and in the sage of Western Colorado, the RS.1 2.5-15X44mm SHR-W scope proved an absolute ace on an old deer iron.
For those unfamiliar with Maven, a slight introduction might be due.
The company is the purveyor of fairly over-engineered optics with a hunting bent. It’s solid glass at a good price—not cheap at the top end, but not out of reach for most hunters.
The company took a different tack to achieve the latter point. Instead of relying on big box stores to peddle their goods, Maven took consumer sales into its own hands with a relatively savvy media blitz and direct sales through its website. With the middlemen cut out, savings ensued.
For the most part, the company’s wares range from $470 for its fairly new second-focal plane CRS line, up to $1,800 for its premium RS lines of scopes. This hits the mark for a wide swath of shooters and hunters and is sweetened by the ability to customize your scope.
Admittedly, most of the customization features are superficial—adjustment ring color, turret color, etc. But for someone who wants a scope to feel like their own atop an absolute favorite rifle, it’s a nice touch—in many cases free. Along with this, the company offers a wider range of reticles (in your preferred angular measurement) than are typically found.
At the heart of any scope worth its weight in venison is top-end glass. The Maven RS.1 2.5-15X44mm’s Japanese-manufactured glass does not disappoint in this end.
A large concern in any hunting scope is its light-gathering ability, given most shots are taken in the dim hours of dawn and dusk. A critter made to blend in with its environment becomes a dicey shot without something to ensure a sharp image in a scope. With a 44mm objective and a very generous 43.6mm eyepiece, the scope had the physical dimensions to make images pop when light was scarce. Furthermore, its extra-low dispersion (ED) glass—fully coated—further enhanced the overall quality of the image delivered.
We could parse the nitty-gritty of chromatic aberration and how ED glass defeats the distortion common to low-quality lenses. Instead, we’ll just point out that to 500 yards—tested at the range—the RS.1 2.5-15X44mm served up an image as crisp and clear as if the target was at 50 yards. This, to boot, in the flat light of a cloudy day.
Not that duplex reticles have gone the way of the dodo, but hunters have wised-up to the advantage of more elaborate crosshairs. Technology what it is today, why play the holdover guessing game?
In the case of the RS.1 2.5-15X44mm, it comes with two MOA reticle options—the MOA-2 and SHR-W, both etched on the first focal plane. I chose the latter. In addition to 1-MOA hashes for wind adjustment, the reticle also features bullet-drop compensation hashes at 5-, 10- and 20-MOA increments.
Overall, this matched up well with the hand-loaded 165-grain Hornady Interlock bullets I shoot out of an old.30-06 Springfield Interarms Mark X, on which I mounted the scope. The load has a muzzle velocity of 2,600 fps, which gave me near-dead-nuts holds at 300, 450 and 700 yards with the BDC.
There are two additional points worth mentioning about the reticle. First, it’s clean as a whistle, presenting an unencumbered view most hunters appreciate. Second, being an FFP reticle, its measurements were functional no matter the magnification. Both made the scope fast and intuitive to use—assets hunters should look for in any equipment.
On the pro side of things, the RS.1’s turrets are extremely responsive and control a very precise erector system. Once zeroed, I tested and retested the turret’s tracking out to 500 yards and back again. The scope was right on in adjusting elevation to match the range, which was proof enough it could be dialed in for what I would consider my limit.
The 1/4-MOA per click adjustments were also very tactile and audible, making dialing—at least from the comfort of a benchrest—a piece of cake. In the field, that’s a bit of a different story.
Presenting an issue—one common to all hunting scopes—are the turret caps.
I’ll dial all day long, given the opportunity, but getting to the turrets in a practical fashion when there is a limited window for a shot is a tall task to say the least. Moreover, the turrets are small enough that with gloved hands they might prove a bit precarious to deal with.
A deal breaker? No. But something to be aware of if you’re absolutely wed to dialing your shots.
Tube size, particularly when it comes to image production and adjustment range, proves important. At 30mm, the RS.1 2.5-15X44mm offers more than enough for any hunter.
Composed of nicely machined aircraft-grade aluminum, Maven’s scope has a solid feel to match an impeccable finish. Little things, such as very aggressive knurling on the turret caps and magnification ring are also appreciated, making them much easier to manage in the often wet and harried conditions of the field.
Luckily, I didn’t test the scope’s overall wherewithal by banging it off a Poderosa or chunk of granite on my hunt. Had I, I suspect the scope would have shaken it off and continued hunting.
Maven RS.1 2.5-15X44mm In The Field
This is a scope review, not a hunting story, so I’ll turn my ego aside and keep this brief.
The second mule deer buck I saw in Western Colorado was the one I took. A high-desert hillside over, the loner was pestered by a coyote and while not at a trot, he wanted done with the impertinent canine. Suffice to say, the window was narrow between setting the RS.1’s crosshairs and watching the buck disappear over the knoll.
By the reading on my rangefinder, when he settled and the shot came it was just a hair over 300 yards. This was the first BDC hash, which I placed just behind his scapula and struck the sweet spot. There’s little more to say than the scope functioned just as it had at the range—which was on the money.
To confess, I was a bit dissatisfied to start, because I desperately desired to dial in the shot. However, this wore off with time and an appreciation of the entire system Maven presents in the RS.1 took its place.
Hunting is full of wild cards, no two shots the same. A quiet morning might allow a hunter the chance to get to the turrets, make the right number of clicks and put a bullet in the vitals. Other days, with a coyote at a buck’s heels, putting meat in the freezer requires a hold over.
Either way, I walked away with supreme confidence that no matter the opportunity, Maven allows you to take advantage of it.
Most hunters, even in big country, take their game close in—the average deer, regardless of species, is harvested at no further than 100 yards. In turn, the Maven RS.1 2.5-15X44mm might be overkill for most hunters. Then again…
I saw a ton of West Colorado deer on my hunt, only two were bucks. I might have come home empty handed had my rifle not had a scope I could rely on. Conversely, there’s the case of trophies—mine decidedly was not this. But when one happens around, you want the tools to take him.
With a Maven on top of your rifle, it seems you can be assured you certainly have one.