Reports on products that increase the quality, safety and success of your hunts. If you'd like to have your product reviewed here, email (The author/owner of this website posts these reviews as a service to readers, and does not receive any compensation from the manufacturers.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mueller Optics – the New Name In Scopes

by Steve Sorensen (orginally published in NWPA Outdoors, Sept/Oct 2007)

Pricey European scopes and even high quality American brands are beyond the means of most. But just because we are unable to bankroll them doesn't mean we'll settle for inferior quality. That's why our eyes are always open for good scope values.

Last year I discovered one. Mueller Optics of Johannesburg, Michigan claims "superior performance and reasonable pricing," and that pretty well sums up a Mueller scope. But before I plunked down my money, I went online and read many reviews of Mueller scopes. I've never seen a bad word about them.

I bought the Sport Dot 3-9x40mm, with an illuminated red dot on the crosshairs. A coin-cell battery stationed above the ocular lens powers the red dot. You can turn it on and off as needed, and it has 11 different brightness settings.

This scope solved the problem of what to mount on my in-line muzzleloader. The variable power was suited to my needs, and the scope is a handsome addition to my Savage 10-ML II. I mated the gun and scope by clamping a set of Warne quick detachable rings to the bases that come installed on the gun.

This scope received a real test last October during Pennsylvania's early antlerless muzzleloader season. I've never subjected a scope to a weeklong monsoon before. The Mueller met the challenge with flying colors. I can't argue with Muller's claim of waterproof, fogproof and shockproof.

The only drawbacks I found to a Mueller illuminated scope is that it's easy to forget to turn off the red dot, which will drain the battery. So, keep an extra battery on hand. Also, the battery compartment sometimes bumps the brim of my hat. I'd like it better if they'd find a different place for it, but I haven't seen anyone else complain.

The glass-etched duplex/fine post German reticle looks heavy, but it helps with quick and positive target acquisition and assists my aging eyes. The ocular lens is adjustable for focus, and the target turrets are easy to turn. They require no tools, and feature 1/8" minute-of-angle adjustment for windage and elevation. In my tests, the fine adjustments transmit positive travel in all directions, and back again -- something that doesn't always happen in expensive scopes.

The big secret to Mueller quality is the proprietary multi-coating -- 11 layers of heat-treated microscopic film on all air-to-glass surfaces -- that goes by the trade name "Euro-Coated". The coating reduces glare, enhances clarity and contrast, and maximizes the amount of light transmitted to the shooter's eye. Mueller asserts that their scopes have as bright and sharp a sight picture as many higher priced scopes. They're probably right. All the way out to the edges of the lens, my eyes can't see any difference in brightness and clarity between the Mueller scope and others costing 2½ to 3 times as much.

Speaking of the name Euro-Coated™, you can probably guess where the lenses receive their special coating. Engineering, manufacturing, lens coatings, assembly and packaging are all done in different countries. This multi-national approach allows Mueller Optics to save you money. A dependence on word-of-mouth, with only limited advertising, also enables Mueller to keep costs down.

Most Mueller scopes are solidly backed by a Limited Lifetime Warranty, which is transferable to other owners. For warranty service, all that's required is a copy of the original receipt from an authorized Mueller Optics dealer

I actually have two Muellers. Besides the one that rides atop my Savage muzzleloader, I have the Eraticator 8.5-25×50 on my .22-250 Ackley Improved. Mueller scopes are impressive, and more might find a place in my arsenal. The Mueller line includes scopes for archery, big game, muzzleloaders, pistol, rimfire, shotgun, target shooting, turkey hunting and varmints. Go to for a list of online dealers and retailers that sell Mueller scopes.