The Schmidt & Bender 1-8x24 PM II ShortDot CC

By Alton P. Chiu

The S&B 1-8x24 ShortDot CC combines both close combat and precision marksman capabilities into one scope. At close ranges, the FlashDot and CC mode impart red-dot-sight-like handling. At longer distances, the brilliant optics and precise turrets enable precision-rifle-scope-like performance. This versatility makes this scope a natural candidate for the modern rifleman, especially in a marksman role.


As expected of any Schmidt & Bender product, the ShortDot is robustly constructed and finely finished. All adjustments are “bump-resistant” and require deliberate user action to actuate. This avoids accidental changes and unpleasant surprises. To that end, the turrets feature positive locks while both the diopter and magnification rings are stiffly held by friction.

Size and Weight

The scope features a 30mm tube and is comparable in size and weight to similar scopes. It is 29.3cm (11.5in) long and 46.1mm (1.8in) wide at the eyepiece. Weighing 631g (22oz), it does not impede rifle handiness.


The low profile elevation and windage turrets are sharply pushed inwards to lock and outwards to unlock. The movements feel very “binary” with no mush or hesitation; this positive tactile feedback is helpful for making adjustments in the dark. As an additional visual indicator, green bands are visible under the turret caps when unlocked. While dialling both turrets, all “clicks” are precise, tactile and audible.

The elevation turret cap has a resettable zero in addition to a zero stop. The 0.1mil (milliradian) adjustments range from -0.1mil to 10.1mils and are spread across an arc just shy of one revolution. This arrangement dispenses with revolution tracking and prevents one from “getting lost in the dial.” The amount of travel is sufficient to bring a 7.62x51mm 175gr projectile to roughly 800m. While the limited travel and closely spaced graduations may not be desirable on a target or long-range rifle scope, they provide the 1-8x24 ShortDot CC with a distinct advantage in reducing rifleman workload.

The windage turret also features a resettable zero and is locked in the same manner. The adjustments are graduated in 0.1mil and range from -5mils to 5mils. The travel is not limiting for typical military cartridge (5.56x45mm and 7.62x51mm) at medium distances since target movement dominates environmental conditions, and that is best addressed with the hold-off method. At 500m, a 4m/s wind requires roughly 1.5mils of deflection. A target sauntering at 1.4m/s requires 2mils, while a target running at 5m/s requires 7mils. As such, the ShortDot windage turret design is not limiting.

Magnification Ring

Both diopter adjustment and magnification rings are not locked but are instead tightly held by friction. The non-snag design of both rings prevented accidental adjustments even when the scope was rubbed against gear such as magazine pouches. The magnification ring is knurled with a smooth throw. The author found the ring needing considerable effort to adjust when newly out of the box, but it settled into a very reasonable amount of resistance after being worked end-to-end a number of times. A throw lever (UPC 191992999400) can facilitate rapid changes.


The Close Combat (CC) mode markedly distinguishes this scope from others. The 10m parallax setting, 1x magnification and FlashDot illumination allow the rifleman to utilize this optic like a red dot sight.


Turning the magnification ring past the soft click at 1.1x into CC mode sets the parallax at 10m. Note that the full travel is necessary to rearrange optical elements and that the image may become fuzzy in the intermediate settings. The soft click when dialling the magnification below 1.1x reminds the user of this consideration.

Since there are optical elements in the scope, there are slight apparent magnifications in CC mode when used inside its optimized distance of 10 meters. At three meters distant, the author observed the scope rendering objects slightly larger than life with the apparent magnification changing with diopter adjustments. However, this did not hinder target acquisition or transition. At 10 meters distant, the author did not perceive any magnification but noted slight distortions at the image edge when panning. At 25 meters distant, the scope image is virtually indistinguishable from the naked eye and is distortion-free. Note that these observations may vary person to person and that the author is heavily near-sighted with severe astigmatism.

The forgiving eye relief, in conjunction with the FlashDot illumination, allows a useable albeit degraded sight picture even in the supine position. In contrast, the scope is less tolerant of lateral errors. The 9.6mm exit pupil at 1x does not allow much movement before the image occludes. Despite this, the author found the scope quick and easy to shoulder in typical shooting positions, especially when mounted with a good cheek weld. The true 1x magnification and absence of distortions offer a fast and comfortable sight picture for close combat use.


The Second Focal Plane CQB2 reticle does not change with magnification and proves too fine for rapid acquisition in the absence of the FlashDot. The reticle is similar to a German No.4 reticle with fine crosshairs in the center augmented by thicker outer bars that are outlines instead of solid bars. While this arrangement encourages precision, it does not naturally draw one’s eye to the point of aim unlike the thick solid reticles of Zielfernrohr 41 or NPZ Rakurs. The fine reticle made illumination a de facto necessity for close combat use.


The FlashDot projects a red-colored dot in the middle of the crosshairs. The ShortDot CC model only has the dot illumination via FlashDot technology, while the ShortDot Dual CC model provides both dot (via diffractive grid technology) and crosshair illumination. While a red dot sight coats the inside of the objective lens to reflect light back to the user, FlashDot technology uses a split beam prism to reflect the light 90 degrees into the eye. A CR2032 battery, residing inside the knob, provides 100+ hours of illumination.

The scope provides 10 FlashDot brightness levels (marked 1 through 11) and an off position (marked 0), controlled by a knob opposite the windage turret. There are no intermediate off positions between the brightness levels. In addition, the knob does not rotate from 11 to 0 the short way round. For constant-on use, this scheme ensures that the illumination stays on since it takes a good amount of rotation to turn off.

The illumination intensity is not as bright as some red dot sights. At the maximum setting of 11, the dot is visible without bloom under a mid-day sun in the American Southwest. However, the author did not find it immediately eye catching. Indoors, the author found the setting of 6 suitable for dimly lit interior and the setting of 9 for a well-lit interior. The FlashDot combines with the 1x magnification and wide field of view to provide an almost red-dot-like experience. This allows the 1-8x24 ShortDot CC to fill the close combat role.


As with more traditional scope offerings from S&B, the 1-8x24 ShortDot CC couples impeccable optics with rugged mechanics to present a superlative precision rifle optic.


The ShortDot has parallax fixed at 100m as the associated error is negligible in most use cases. Two important relationships can be observed from the equation given the nominal use case of 100m parallax and range to target greater than 100m. Parallax error increases as range to target increases. Parallax error decreases with higher magnification. The small 24mm front objective and 8x magnification yield a theoretical exit pupil of 3mm. This keeps a very tight bound on y and all but obviates the need for parallax adjustment.

The “eye box” of this scope is generous at moderate magnifications but can be restricting at 8x. The small front objective limits the exit pupil and increases sensitivity to lateral head movement. This is exacerbated in low light as the pupil dilates but can be alleviated by reducing magnification. The constant 90mm eye relief allows comfortable use with 30-caliber rifles. The author found this scope easy to use at 8x in the traditional marksmanship positions, and reducing magnification to 5x allowed him to cope with unstable firing positions.

The field of view is very generous at moderate magnifications but shrinks rapidly towards 8x. At 100m, the user can see 35.3m at 1x and 4.9m at 8x. The author experienced no difficulty in locating targets at moderate or maximum magnifications.

The ShortDot provides stunning optical clarity and acuity. Even with a 100m fixed parallax, the scope sharply rendered the mountainside miles distant at 8x. The high light transmission and low dispersion lenses deliver sharp images that do not cause eye strain, even with prolonged used. The colors have a neutral, true-to-life, rendition. The achromatic lens construction, adjusted to correct red against blue, admirably controlled chromatic aberrations. As expected of S&B offerings, the 1-8x24 ShortDot CC provides first-rate clarity, acuity and wide field of view while being easy to shoulder.


The fine Second Focal Plane CQB2 reticle works well for precision shooting. The thin crosshairs were punctuated by small hash marks denoting 1mil subtension. This gives 5mils of holdover marks in all direction. The hashes are not numbered and do not obstruct the sight picture when using holdovers. Note that the second focal plane nature means that the 1mil subtension is only accurate at 8x. During practical shooting matches, the author did not find this arrangement wanting. A well-chosen zero (e.g., 300m with 5.56x45mm) alleviates the need for holdovers in most commonly encountered distances.

The author did not find the FlashDot illumination helpful during precision work. Even during twilight, the author could differentiate the crosshairs from a moderately busy background. However, the 1-8x24 ShortDot Dual CC adds an illuminated crosshair for adverse lighting conditions.


The Schmidt & Bender 1-8x24 PM II ShortDot CC delivers a well-balanced combination of close combat and precision rifle scope features. Brilliant optics brings distant objects into view with sharpness and clarity at 8x. Nearly distortion-free lens elements give seamless transitions between scope image and peripheral vision in CC mode. Robust and “bump-resistant” controls ensure that setting changes are deliberate and precise. However, the FlashDot illumination is not quite eye catching in the overwhelming desert sun. In conjunction, the thin reticle is not conducive for rapid sight picture acquisition without illumination.

From recent history, the modern rifleman may pivot at a moment’s notice from clearing a village to fighting across an open field. For the competitive shooter, having both distance and close-range capabilities in one optic allows the sportsman to compete in tactical rather than open divisions. Whatever the use case, this ShortDot scope provides a versatile sighting solution.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N6 (June 2018)
and was posted online on April 20, 2018


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