Maven has developed an entirely new riflescope line called the CRS, the Classic Riflescope Series or is it Classic Rifle Scope? You get the idea though.
I managed to get my hands on a CRS.2 to test out how Maven does ‘simple’ in a scope.
Overall, the Maven CRS.2 scope is mid-range compared to the RS series, but it offers a punch above its weight in performance for most expectations that hunters may have. Though it can be considered stock with its wire SFP reticle and capped turrets, it’s a reliable hunting scope through and through.
This review is an account of my hands-on experience with it on multiple rifles over several range days.
What We Like: C-series glass
What We Don’t Like: Eyebox at max mag.
Best Uses: Big Game Hunting, Small Game/Predator Hunting, Short to Mid-Range, Light to Heavy Caliber Rifles, Rimfire, AR15/AR10, SFP Reticle, Ruger AR-5.56
- Magnification: 4-16x
- Objective Diameter: 44mm
- Coatings: FMC
- FOV: 25.6-6.4 ft/100 yds
- Eye Relief: 3.4-2.4” (approx.)
- Adjustments: ¼ MOA
- Dimensions: 11.61” L/16.9 oz
Our Verdict: Without the bells of whistles of 30mm+ tubes, glass-etched reticles, and oversized exposed turrets, the CRS.2 can very well seem simple and outdated. However, it offers form and function that works, and it works well for hunters in the field.
Why Trust Me?
After hundreds of hours of hand-testing riflescopes in the field and on the hunt, and thousands more hours researching, writing, photographing and creating videos about them, I feel I have earned the title of expert when it comes to optics!
Optics are not just my passion, but also my full-time job!
I get my hands on as many of the optics I test as possible (through buying, borrowing or begging!) and run them through their paces to make sure they will perform out in field.
Check out our optics testing process here.
Over a decade of experience big game hunting, predator hunting and SFP reticle has been integral in putting together this Maven CRS.2 review.
Who is the Maven CRS.2 4-16x44 Best Suited to?
The Maven CRS.2 is best suited to hunters who demand optical quality and tracking dependability in an affordable but uncomplicated package. In fact, it has my recommendations as one of the best scopes for a 30-06 for mountain elk hunting. The CSHR reticle was custom-tailored for the CRS series for holdovers that provide long-range distances out to 500-600 yards (approx.) depending on the setup.
The CRS series was intended to fill the gap in Maven’s riflescope catalog as a mid-range series with the same dependability known of C-series optics with like affordability.
Like Maven’s other scopes, it can be purchased alone with standard accessories or as a bundle package that includes Warne Maxima 1” Medium Horizontal rings.
How Does the Maven CRS.2 4-16x44 Perform?
The Maven CRS.2 4-16x44 is a no-nonsense, fast, and dependable riflescope. It can be considered a stock model due to its wire reticle in the second focal plane, capped turrets, and 1” tube, but rarely do hunters need more when their shots are inside 200 yards.
During my hands-on CRS.2 range trips, I mounted it to an AR-15 and Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in 30-06. Maven includes the rings needed to mount it in the riflescope bundle, and it sat right at home atop the Model 70. During testing, I also mounted the CRS.1 scope to a S&W .270 and determined that the CRS scopes are perfect pairings on bolt action hunting rifles.
Sighting in for 200 yards gave me almost 600 yards with the 20 MOA holdover on the CSHR reticle at 16x. Though I personally won’t hold over that much, it can get out that far if needed without dialing for it in the field and while under pressure.
The key to this kind of success depends on many factors, the most important of which is lots of time behind the trigger and the scope. For the money you’re saving on a CRS versus a RS model, you can buy more ammo… right?
Mounting to the AR had its issues. Medium rings wouldn’t cut it with the large 52.6mm objective bell on a Picatinny rail that runs longer than the scope. I mounted it with high rings (it’s what I had) and cut it close – 3mm off the rail kind of close. Even so, I found excellent eye relief and a fair bit of leeway within the eyebox on this rifle.
At the end of the day and many hours shooting with the CRS.2 at the range, I can say that it’s a solid hunting scope with quality where it matters. It has Maven’s super clear glass, it’s reliable, and it’s lightweight. It’s not without modern touches here and there like zero reset, a side focus, and 4x zoom.
Features & Benefits
The CRS riflescopes have procured the same optical quality as the mid-range C-series binoculars. C-series optics with extra-low dispersion (ED) glass offers excellent contrast and resolution.
When it comes to the CRS.2, it remains bright, sharp, and clear during the hours you need it most with no chromatic aberration that I could discern. Though digiscoping introduces a lot of aberrations into the captured photo, there was minimal field curvature until maybe the very last 5% of the outer edges of the FOV if you’re looking for it.
The scope has an 88% light transmission rate with brightness that is likely to be very similar to the field-tested RS.1 riflescope. The 44mm aperture is larger than the CRS.1’s 40mm aperture, and though bigger, it strikes the right balance between lowlight performance while maintaining a light weight.
To further sharpen and focus the optics, the CRS.2 has a side focus for parallax correction. It starts at 25 yards and focuses out to infinity with a lot of under 100-yard markings (25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 75, and 100). It’s fairly accurate, easy to see while shouldered, and focuses fine enough to see what’s happening at a shoot-n-see target 200 yards downrange.
CSHR SFP Reticle
Much can be said about BDC-style reticles and how the manufacturer determines holdovers. For context, the CSHR reticle was custom designed for the CRS series based off the RS SHR scope reticle. It has 5, 10, and 20 MOA holdovers at 16x magnification.
Some may prefer intermittent hashmarks and smaller subtension values at max power. Even so, the CSHR reticle fits the overall theme of the CRS series – simple does it. It still begs the question though, is anyone really holding over 20 MOA? Regardless, Maven supplies the ability to do so. If you don’t, then stick to the center crosshairs and what you’re comfortable with. BDC reticles have an advantage over duplex alternatives, and I stand behind the design move here.
Of note is the wire material that was used to make the reticle. Yes, that’s still a thing – not every scope must have glass-etched, illuminated FFP reticles, and not every hunter needs that or wants to pay for it. Wire reticles are cheaper but they’re strong and highly visible.
As an SFP scope, the crosshairs are bold and easily seen in most terrains in most light conditions at any magnification range.
The CRS.2 scope has .25 MOA adjustments with a total of 36 MOA in elevation and windage travel and 18 MOA per revolution. The capped turrets sit on a 1” tube. Each full 1 MOA is referenced by number with ¼ MOA line markings that are easily visible while shouldered.
The adjustments are not the most tactile and crisp I’ve ever handled, but they are audible, precise, and each click is distinct enough to positively feel with gloves on. This does pose an advantage to the hunter who does not want to alert potential tag-fillers.
I want to be clear here - just because the turrets are capped does not mean they require tools to adjust. They are finger adjustable, and the only tool needed is to reset the zero if you wish to do so.
Each turret features two tiny screws that can be removed to allow the turret cap to be reindexed to “0.” It’s not in the manual but I did it anyway. The CRS.2 is most definitely a set-it-and-forget-it kind of riflescope.
I started off with getting on paper at 25 yards with a boresight and worked my way to 200 yards with the Model 70. This gave me plenty of opportunity to dial in and get a feel for the turrets.
It tracked true and using sight-in targets was essential to get an accurate adjustment versus guesstimating and wasting ammo. Repeatability is a must-have, so it was done all over again with the AR-15. Long story short? It tracks true.
As mentioned, the CRS.2 is available in a riflescope bundle that includes Warne Maxima Horizontal Medium 1” Picatinny rings. They’re quality rings and have a convenient horizontal split over vertical split rings.
The medium height is perfect for bolt action hunting rifles, but you may need to consider high or super high rings for an AR/MSR rifle.
I torqued the scope ring screws between 15-18in.lbs because the manual says not to exceed 18in.lbs in torque. No Loctite was used on any of my mounts for field testing and the rings and screws held up well. Considering that they’re anywhere between $50-$70, they’re a bargain deal if you get it in the package.
Maven CRS riflescopes may only be mid-range quality against the RS series, but they’re just as tough as any Maven scope should be. They’re waterproof to 3m of depth and have been nitrogen-purged for fogproof protection.
The moving parts of the scope do not have significant knurling, but the magnification fin makes it workable for use in the field. The finish has a moderate amount of reflection and glare in very bright conditions. After rigorous testing, the turret caps have a little bit of a scratch, and it got plenty dusty given the abuse and terrains it regularly saw.
I have not put the CRS scope through any rigorous build quality tests (intentionally), but I have used it below freezing temps when it’s snowed and fought for groupings in wind advisory conditions.
It has sat wedged between a metal stool, metal target stand, 2x4 post, and all my other gear in the trunk of my truck for 11 miles on pothole-ridden, violent washboard dirt roads – more than once.
I pack a lot of gear to head to the range, never set foot in indoor ranges, and I often hike the pines and high mountain desert of my backyard. If the CRS.2 can handle all that on a regular basis, it’ll have an easy life with most other owners.
Eyebox at Max Magnification
According to the specs, the CRS.2 should have an approximate eye relief of 2.4” at max magnification. Though acceptable for many hunters, the eyebox is less forgiving of inconsistent positioning.
I had this experience with one rifle but not with the others. In this case, I determined that it’s user error. Mindful matching of the CRS riflescope to a hunting rifle that you are familiar with will make the difference.
Maven recommends the Strelok Pro app that can be purchased and used on any iOS and Android device. I can confirm that it indeed has the new CRS CSHR reticles in the database to acquire customized specifics for the shooter’s setup.
In general, the Maven CRS.2 comes with a Maven-branded scope coat that is ideal for storage but lacks caps. To consider flip-up caps, the objective outer diameter is 52.6mm while the eyepiece outer diameter is 39.4mm. Also, the objective bell is threaded to take a sunshade.
The Maven CRS.2 riflescope has capped turrets and does not require tools to adjust. Both the windage and elevation turrets are finger adjustable. After sighting in the scope, it’s intended to be a set-it-and-forget-it setup.
The CRS series of scopes is no different to the RS series when it comes to being a product the company stands behind. Like Maven’s high-end riflescopes and other optics, the CRS.2 is covered under the unconditional lifetime warranty.
For those who seek higher magnifications with all the benefits of a SFP reticle in a tough, rugged package, the Maven CRS.2 riflescope meets the need.
The 4-16x magnification, reliable tracking, and optical clarity and resolution won’t let you down, even in low light.
The CRS.2 4-16x44 is an all-purpose hunting scope that nails the balance between no-nonsense and a touch of modern features.