Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report! This ongoing series is all about the rimfire firearm world and its various guns, gear, and optics! Right around the turn of the year, Maven Optics released a new set of riflescopes. One of these was the Maven CRS.1 3-12×40 SFP riflescope. For some serious centerfire shooters, this riflescope may seem a bit underwhelming but as a rimfire shooter, I saw it and instantly thought it might make a great companion for nearly any varmint hunting or shorter-range rimfire rifle. Today on The Rimfire Report we will take a look at this new optic to see if Maven has released a lemon or perhaps the best mid-range rimfire scope to date.
More Rimfire Report Articles @ TFB:
- The Rimfire Report: The Budget-Friendly MDT Oryx Chassis for Ruger 10/22
- The Rimfire Report: Rimfire Steel Challenge Basics
- The Rimfire Report: Ruger Wrangler Birdshead .22LR Revolver
- The Rimfire Report: HK91 Conversion Kit – It Shoots .22LR
The Rimfire Report: Maven CRS.1 – Best Mid-Range Rimfire Scope?
This new mid-range riflescope joins other great offerings in the CRS (Classic Rifle Scope) series. While there are much more feature-rich options out there, they often come with a host of features that newcomers to precision shooting won’t be accustomed to and as a result, lots of these features may never be used or understood by a newer shooter. However, that doesn’t mean that the CRS series features a bunch of cheap optics that can’t hold their own.
I have found that Maven Optics, despite being priced very affordably, often punch well above their weight in terms of performance and I instantly recognized that this same trait came along with the CRS.1 when I pulled it out of the box for the first time. If I can put it simply, the Maven CRS.1 as well as the rest of the CRS lineup is an offering to the shooting community that is both simple and elegant. What I mean by this is that a lot of shooters don’t want or don’t need features like illumination, complicated Christmas tree reticles, zero stops, exposed turrets, or super heavy and large footprints which always bring along more cost, complexity, and weight. The CRS.1 is a return to simplicity with a price tag to match.
Maven CRS.1 Specifications
- C Series
- Size: 12.4 in.
- Weight: 14.2 oz.
- Second Focal Plane
- 0.25 MOA/click
- Wire CSHR Reticle
- Clear, Bright, High Contrast
- Excellent Color Fidelity
- Waterproof and Fog Proof
- Lifetime Warranty
- Assembled in Japan
- Direct to Consumer
- Price: $450.00
The Not so Good
I normally like to start out my reviews with what I really like about the item in question. However, for this review, there really isn’t a huge swath of problems I’ve found so far with my experiences with the CRS.1. For example, I don’t have regular access to private land for low-light and night-time shooting so aside from looking outside of my windows during the waning hours of the day, I can’t really attest to how well it performs in those particular conditions. During daytime hours, I noticed a slight bit of chromatic aberration (the green variety) when the sun was out in full force.
I did, however, find that the CRS reticle is almost too simple for its own good. However, I think that is simply just Maven allowing the CRS riflescope line to live up to its name – they are classic and don’t have a lot of clutter, and the subtensions are still quite useful at 5 MOA, 10 MOA, and 20 MOA increments. With this being a second focal plane scope, those who grew up in the MOA environment will be able to do some quick and simple conversions to get the right holdover for their range but I also think that more reticle hashes would have added some more versatility to the rifle without compromising its simplicity.
Lastly, I would have really liked to have a zero stop included in at least the elevation adjustment turret. This is honestly just a personal preference as I’ve come accustomed to dialing my scope for range based on a dope sheet rather than doing simple holdovers. Not really a knock against the optic itself but more of a personal desire of mine for almost every riflescope. However, given that the turrets are capped, this is kind of a moot point and I think that this kind of limits the CRS.1 to hunting duty rather than competition use.
Does it work like a scope should?
A huge problem with a lot of budget-friendly scopes is that they don’t really stack up to other optics when it comes to reliability of function as well as glass quality, light transmission, and weight. Cheaper scopes are often wholly inconsistent when it comes to running a box test but the Maven CRS.1 does excellent with a predictable return to zero. So you can confidently adjust your windage and elevation without having to worry that your next trip out to the range being a glorified sight-in session.
Although a lot of you will turn your nose up at the fact that the turrets are capped and not exposed like a more competition-minded or tactical scope, the CRS.1 actually features toolless turret adjustments. The turrets themselves have fine 0.25 MOA adjustments which I think is perfect for rimfire duty. The eye relief and eye box were all very accommodating, especially when used alongside a properly adjusted stock.
As a last note, I like to abuse a lot of my optics and as a result, the Maven CRS.1 was tossed in a soft-sided range bag multiple times over the last couple of months and had a nice ride to and from my ranges while sitting in the back of my truck. Not the most tangible test of durability but given that the roads where I live consist of more potholes than actual pavement, I think it’s safe to say this is a more relatable test of the scope’s resistance to bumps and drops. I experience no breakages or loss of zero during my entire testing procedure.
2022 has thrown a lot of unpredictable weather at us so far and because of that I had plenty of opportunities to shoot with the scope in both wet and dry conditions and aside from a little dust gathering on the ocular lens, I didn’t experience any performance issues due to direct exposure to moisture. The scope is nitrogen gas purged and also carries with it a 3m submersion waterproof rating.
The bottom Line
I like the Maven CRS.1 riflescope. While a lot of my other inventory features higher-end optics with lots of extra features, the Maven CRS.1 brings simplicity and durability to the table all contained within a lightweight package. You can certainly opt for much less expensive scopes but unless you are competition shooting, I don’t think that a lot of the extra features you’ll get will be needed or taken advantage of at the ranges you’ll be engaging rimfire targets with.
So aside from the few nitpicks I had above, I think that the Maven CRS.1 does indeed hold the title of “best mid-range rimfire scope” for me. It is as close to a no-nonsense medium magnification optic as I think you can get and it doesn’t have a lot of the pitfalls, and concerns that you’d normally find with less-expensive or “budget-friendly” optics.
Although the CRS.1 can be used with centerfire rifles without issue, the lightweight design, simple holdovers, and smaller overall profile make the Maven CRS.1 a fine pairing with any bolt action or semi-auto rimfire rifle. As always I’d like to hear your thoughts on this optic. Thank you for stopping by to read TFB and The Rimfire Report. We’ll see you next time!