Zero Compromise ZCO 5-27 FDE ZC527 Precision Riflescope T3 ret

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Zero Compromise ZCO Long Range Precision Riflescope ZC527 with Tremor 3 reticle - in FDE

Quite possibly one of the best First Focal Plane long range scopes, built by people who want to build the best scopes, with legacy expertise from Kahles and Nightforce

ZCO rifle scopes

You probably have heard of ZCO, and you probably know enough to wonder what the buzz is all about.  The people at ZCO are designing and making some of the best precision riflescopes with Schott glass, and joint design in the US and Austria, with primary manufacturing in Austria.  A small group of top scope designers and shooters formed ZCO back in the 2018/2019 time period with the mission to build the best long-range optics in the business, sparing no cost and cutting no corners. 

The ZCO 5-27x56mm scope is their flagship and clearly one of the alpha scopes in a very small peer group of names like Kahles, Minox, Tangent Theta, Nightforce, Schmidt & Bender and March.  We probably left one or two out.  But there is the top tier of scopes that consistently wins ELR and PRS tournaments and is tested and bears out the best of the best in design and manufacturing.  Sure, there is the occasional Leupold, US Optics, Steiner, Sig Sauer or Vortex, but this one group of alpha scope manufacturers are consistently just top shelf.  And in just a few years, Zero Compromise has joined this prestigious group of well-designed and well-built scopes with superior glass.

This model includes the Tremor 3 reticle and in FDE.  Clearly a specialized sniper rifle scope.  The US Military sniper units train on Tremor reticles to get ranging information as well as windage and dots for moving targets, all without dialing in.  The T3 reticle can be dialed in for sure, but its strength is in is ability to find, range and hit moving targets with speed.  The quality of ZCO glass also allows for easy follow-up shots and the ability to see misses.  Seeing a miss is probably more important that seeing a hit, as the ability to see the miss in HD vision allows for better correction on the second shot.

The Zero Compromise Z527 combines everything you want in a scope:  the best glass and clarity of image, well constructed body, low, clean and tactile turrets, and a great selection of milRAD reticles.  This scope has sought after Tremor 3 reticle.  US Army, USMC and Navy SEALS snipers train on Tremor reticles.

The Zero Compromise Optic ZC527 is 15.24 inches long, weighs 37.9oz, and reaches 35 mil in elevation adjustment and at 21 mil in windage adjustment.

Among all other optics in this magnification range, a very generous field of view of 7m / 100 meters (21ft/100Yds) results in one of the widest in the industry. Outstanding light transmission and exceptional resolution are just two attributes of the best optical design ever developed, complementing some of the very best mechanical properties in the industry.

The Zero Compromise Optic (ZCO) ZC527 has incorporated feedback from the shooting and scope engineering and design community to gather as many target engagement requirements. With a generous low end of only 5X and a massive field of view of 21 feet, close range needs are fulfilled. Topping out at 27X gives ample magnification for long range target engagements beyond 1000 yards.  ZCO felt that somewhere between 25x and 30x was the best long range scope, and that going much beyond 5x zoom compromises optical performance.

Optical performance is optimized. – Optical engineers at ZCO have created what they feel is the optimal balance of clarity, light transmission, and resolution in a compact package. Performance like this is rarely seen in this magnification range and objective size. Color rendition is natural with a slight enhancement in contrast for the finest view possible. Total light transmission to the eye is 92% and the resolution is best in class.

Mechanical construction balanced – precision shooters demand ultimate reliability, and ZCO has developed one of the more robust construction techniques in the industry to deliver.  Mechanical engineers have designed some of the most well respected rifle scopes in the world, and have gone several steps further for increased durability, repeatability, and ruggedness. Hardened steel components are used in high wear areas such as the internal click mechanisms for the elevation and windage turrets to ensure a lifetime of repeatable adjustment values. Optical lenses are mechanically locked in place as well as bonded along the edges for total and complete structural integrity. ZCO has worked at other scopes manufacturers, and they know how others build their scopes, and ZCO has developed techniques and methodologies to deliver what they believe is the best rifle scope ever produced.  The leadership and engineers and craftsmen at ZCO have a passion for excellence and listen to customer feedback.

Enhanced features – ZCO products are built for the most demanding users, so Zero Compromise believes they offer the best features never before seen in a single product. Shooters can have enhanced ergonomics with locking turrets, multiple illumination settings including levels compatible for night vision equipment, fast focus locking diopter, true to indicated parallax adjustment with zero backlash, large adjustment range for elevation and windage travel, built in Return 2 Zero, and easily reset turrets once zeroed. These features are all rolled into a rifle scope, only measuring 15.24 inches long and weighing a mere 37.9 ounces.

This model features locking turrets


Note on FDE, tan and Coyote Brown colors:  tan colors are one of the hardest to depict online.  The nature of lighting and variations makes it very hard to accurately show the correct tan colors.  This is true of all the tan, FDE, Coyote, DDC, Sand, Taupe, etc. colors that we work with, and not just this product.  There are many technical reasons for this, but mostly it has to do with defining what the color white is in a studio setting.  In our homes, lights have a yellow hue, and our brains know this and remove that, but cameras are not as smart, so yellow shines through and the tan colors will look more yellow.  With fluorescent lights, they produce a greenish hue, and again, our eyes and brain tune it out, but the camera shows the blue-green hue, and tan colors will show that as well.  The color of this scope is more of an FDE than a Coyote, if that helps. 

Some scope companies identify the actual color, for instance, "Pantone" or RAL8000.  ZCO refers to this as FDE, which is a little more general.  What we have noticed, at Charlie's is that we tend to take extra care in our own studio to get the colors as accurate as we can, while manufacturers are less concerned, as their dealers better understand what we are buying.  But end-customers do not, and tan colors are amoung the hardest to get closest to real life color that you will see.

The Tremor3 Reticle

The Tremor3 is chosen by SOCOM snipers.  

The TREMOR3™ reticle is designed to maximize the speed and accuracy of marksmen. Its unique use of patented features gives users the capability to quickly estimate the range to targets, while also giving the user wind speed and drop correction information for fast and accurate Second Shot Corrections. The reticle is used by USSOCOM*USMC Scout Snipers*, US Navy SEALS*, and by multiple Precision Rifle Series (PRS) Champions, it’s ideal for those looking for the maximum capabilities in a reticle.

"The TREMOR3™ reticle is personally my favorite reticle because its the fastest way to get a multiple target engagement done." Tom Beckstrand, U.S. Army Special Forces Sniper, Guns & Ammo Rifles and Optics Editor.

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Try the Horus Tremor 3 simulator