In Focus: Stretching Out with the Presidio 3-18x50 LR2

In Focus: Stretching Out with the Presidio 3-18x50 LR2

In the realm of gun writing, few experiences are as gratifying as tinkering with shiny new products and the good experiences that accompany them. One experience that comes to mind was the time I spent behind Sightmark’s Presidio 3-18x50 LR2 Riflescope. As far as optics go, the Presidio 3-18x50 offers exceptional versatility. I've trusted it for vastly different tasks — both range shooting and hunting. While I'll spill the beans now (I had tag soup – no fault of the optic), the setup was ready to perform when I hit the range.

Beyond Aesthetics

Upon opening the box, you'll find the scope itself and a handful of accessories. The Presidio 3-18x50 LR2 comes with lens covers, a throw lever, and a battery for reticle illumination. Weighing just over 30 ounces, this scope has some heft while not feeling like a device you need to baby, reminding you that you're holding a quality optic capable of withstanding rough weather and demanding conditions in the field. The sleek, aesthetically pleasing profile and matte-black anodized finish, along with the adjustable diopter and three oversized, knurled turrets, were some of the first things which caught my attention. The windage and elevation turrets feature a popup-locking style, and the parallax turret includes an additional adjustment ring for reticle-illumination brightness, with a CR2032 battery compartment under the endcap.

When it comes to adjustments, the variable magnification range is 3x to 18x, clearly marked on the scope. The Presidio 3-18x50 LR2 Riflescope's turret adjustments use .1 MIL click values, complementing the fine-etched, first-focal-plane mil-dash reticle. The LR2 reticle, incorporating a lower holdover grid, proved consistent in MIL subtension values across the magnification range. Using 100 yard and 500 yard known-distance and known-size targets, MIL subtension (actually .5-MIL) values were consistent throughout the magnification range.

Trigger Time

Like I said before, deer hunting at my honey hole was a bust while testing the Presidio, but at the range it shone like a diamond, even in the absence of sunlight. In the early Midwest winter, I chose the warmest of chilly days to head to the range. I mounted the Presidio on a Ruger American model bolt-action rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. After a quick visual boresight and a few initial shots, I made my initial windage and elevation adjustments, refining them further as the barrel warmed. The overall sighting-in process was quick and easy, and I particularly appreciated the tactile knurling on the adjustment turrets. The combination of distinct adjustment clicks and positive turret-cap locking boosted my confidence in the scope's true click values, tracking, and rapid returns to zero.

Having zeroed in my rifle, I dialed in windage and elevation adjustments for 600 yards. The turrets' clicks remained distinct, and as the sun began to set, I focused through the crisp, fine-etched reticle. Even in the fading light, the field of view remained exceptionally bright. Cycling through red-illumination brightness levels, I decided the non-illuminated reticle was clear enough for my needs. Parallax adjustment was quick, and with a final diopter micro-adjustment, I was prepared for longer shots.

At 600 yards, my DOPE was on point, with every shot hitting the mark. Moving to an 800-yard, 2-MOA target yielded consistent results, though groups slightly expanded to around 1.5+ MOA. Nevertheless, a solid win for the optic.

As I reflected on the Presidio's fast and easy setup process, from mounting through zeroing and setting the zero-stop, I realized it was one of the most user-friendly riflescopes I’d ever laid my hands on. I always get a little giddy when trying new range toys for the first time, and opening up the Presidio only made the experience that much more enjoyable. Shooting and grouping at 600 and 800 yards made for another enjoyable day at the range.


While the Presidio's glass demonstrated impressive clarity, there was some very slight chromatic aberration at the top magnification level. However, it was absent at lower-powered magnification levels. The throw lever proved handy during magnification adjustments, and my only suggestion would be for it to include a sunshade.

For a waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof first-focal-plane riflescope with features like .1 MIL W/E adjustments, a rock-solid zero stop, illuminated reticle, adjustable parallax and diopter, precise tracking, and a lifetime warranty, it's challenging to find anything negative to say about it. Plus, it's priced right!

In summary, here's a list of the Presidio's features:

  • Magnification: 3-18x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 50mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30mm
  • Reticle Type: LR2 (Etched glass)
  • Illumination: Yes (0-6 brightness settings)
  • Shockproof: Yes
  • Waterproof and Dustproof: IP67-rated
  • Weight: 30.8 oz


The Presidio's fully multi-coated glass and 6:1 zoom ratio offer a versatile range for long-distance shooting. This scope suits all shooting-skill levels, from novices to seasoned veterans, and excels in both close and long-range pursuits—making short work of targets 1,000 yards and beyond. For hunters, it’s tough to beat a base magnification of 3x, since the most popular variable-powered deer hunting scope in America has been a 3-9x40 for decades. As a multipurpose optic, it checks off all of my boxes for both hunting and sports shooting, and the only thing I could’ve asked for to make this review better was a buck in between my crosshairs.

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