The Mueller APV is a scope worth noticing if you need to stay cheap without going “cheap,” if you know what we mean.
The APV keeps you on budget but brings some good features to the field.
Features like an AO, locking eyepiece, and a fully weatherproof body.
It won’t have the performance of the top scopes in the market, but then again, it’s a fraction of the cost of those top-shelf scopes.
Here is what you can expect from an economical scope.
What We Like: Good glass
What We Don’t Like: Finicky eye relief
Best Uses: Big Game Hunting, Small Game Hunting, Varmint Hunting, Target Shooting, Scouting, Close to Mid-Range, Parallax Adjustments, Light to Medium Caliber Rifles
- Magnification: 4.5-14x
- Objective Diameter: 40mm
- Coatings: FMC
- FOV: 27-9 ft/100 yds
- Eye Relief: 3.5-3.25”
- Adjustments: ¼ MOA
- Dimensions: 13.75”/17.5 ounces
Our Verdict: The APV is a great starter model if you’re new to the brand and want to check out what they have in their entry-level line before spending bigger bucks. With a few features that beats out the standard for this price point, Mueller is able to seduce newcomers into their corral. When they have quality products at reasonable costs, it’s not a bad thing to be herded into the fold.
Who is the Mueller APV 4.5-14X40 AO Best Suited to?
Right from the get-go, this is a varminter all the way. While Mueller says the APV can be used on standard big game rifles, and it may very well do that, it’s well-suited to close-range shots with as little holding over or under as possible.
It’s especially great on rimfire cartridges and .223 Rem for rabbit, fox, squirrel, and coyote hunting so that’s what we best recommend it for.
How Does the Mueller APV 4.5-14X40 AO Perform?
APV stands for All-Purpose Variable. While many of us are accustomed to 3-9x scopes as the ultimate all-purpose platform, it’s more of a tomato, tomahtoes kind of thing. It has more powerful magnification but is still equipped to be well-suited to multiple shooting applications.
However, the APV excels with close to mid-range target shooting, pest control, and predator hunting. It has an adjustable objective (AO) to help you do two things: correct for parallax and get clear focus from 10 yards to infinity. Very few buyers have complained of inaccurate AO markings, but it’s not a deal breaker because we share tips on using an AO to help out with that.
Combine an AO and American-style eyepiece, and you have a durable unit with clear and crisp views. With an SFP, non-illuminated, duplex reticle, it may be somewhat limited for those who prefer BDC and illumination, but as a budget scope under $200, it’s expected.
The scope has all the right features for a budget model. It also has great performance for a budget model. Put its features and performance together and you have a scope that gets the job done.
Features & Benefits
The Mueller APV could fall in with other budget scopes in its category like Simmons and Weaver but it’s better. So, affordability is still one of its primary advantages while you also acquire better scope quality.
Part of the better deal lies in its glass quality. While no information is provided regarding the glass crystal source, the brand is known to provide premium scopes for a fraction of the cost.
The APV has FMC (fully multi-coated coatings) and buyers have been happy with its edge-to-edge clarity at all magnification levels. The FMC level of coatings is just one notch below the brand’s best coating formula, EuroCoated. Still, to have FMC for less than $150 bucks earns two thumbs up.
The view is unlike a Leupold and is more on par with Bushnell mid-range scopes. It’s clear enough for sub-200 yard shooting to put down varmints – exactly what it was made for.
The Mueller APV scope makes a good varmint and pest hunter those who pop off rounds with rimfire calibers. With its extra powerful magnification, it’s good for getting some longer shots when you’re pushing those rounds to their distance limits.
While it’s designed to handle recoil for standard big game hunting rifles, you might find that it fits more at home on a .22LR and .22 Mag. It’s a budget varmint scope for a varmint rifle. Its performance comes from the fact that you can get range with the high, variable power and still come in close with crisp clarity thanks to the AO.
It doesn’t have a bullet drop reticle as it sports a tight duplex reticle. Designed for fast target acquisition, it makes for a good target reticle for known distances, range fun, and of course, varmint hunting.
Easy to Sight in
As a hunting scope, you should really only need to sight-in the Mueller APV just once. It’s not your long-range precision rifle scope, but it is a short to mid-range varminter.
The heavy-duty spring clip assembly ¼ MOA turrets are finger adjustable, accurate, and reliable. They’re not as tight or precise as a scope that costs twice as much, but they get the job done well enough to put down rodents of all types.
Zeroing dead-on at 100 yards or 2” high if you want to get a little more range is well within its capability.
The APV has a few standout features that makes it more than worth its price point. First off, the AO is a great feature to see since this scope has magnification over 10x. Remove parallax and acquire crisp and sharp focus with the AO. If you’re not sure what that even means, be sure to scrub up on understanding parallax before you buy a scope with more than 10x power.
You also have an American-style eyepiece focus. Unlike the common European-style fast focus lens assembly, the American eyepiece requires a little more work but it’s more secure. The entire eyepiece can be moved forward and backward along the threads on the eyebell. Once you have a solid, sharp view of the reticle, the eyepiece is locked in place. To loosen it, rotate the eyepiece counterclockwise. Still not sure how to do it? Fix a blurry reticle with our tips.
The Mueller is also completely waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. Even the magnification power ring is ready for all-weather use.
Finicky Eye Relief
Some find the 3.5-3.25” of eye relief unforgiving, but there are plenty who are fine with it. Even if you find that it has sufficient eye relief, the catch is that it’s very finicky. If you move your eye off the optical axis (out of the eye box), you will likely experience image issues.
You may need to loosen rings and move the scope around a little to find a consistent and natural cheek weld that still puts you within the eyebox and clear of scope bite.
While the APV scope is compatible for use with sunshades, a sunshade is not a standard accessory included in the box. It’s suspected that the first batch of scopes came with an included sunshade, but subsequent purchases do not.
The APV is a more affordable line of scopes and the APT line is based off the APV with tactical modifications. The improvements made to the APT scope include a mil-dot reticle, exposed turrets, 30 mm tube, and fast focus eyepiece.
The Mueller APV 4.5-14x40 AO has a 1” tube with a matte black finish. It requires 1” rings. Ring height will depend on your setup.
Mueller has not made an official announcement about country of origin of parts and assembly, however, most of their scopes, if not all, are made in China.
The APV comes with an incredible warranty. Not only is it a Mueller Limited Lifetime Warranty but it’s also owner transferable.
While you don’t need to register the product to claim warranty coverage, you will need proof of purchase. This is to ensure that it was purchased from an approved Mueller Optics dealer. If you’re buying used from someone, request the original receipt. No receipt, no service.
There’s a reason why the first batch of APV scopes sold out in less than a month. Entry-level costs for good quality and better-than-expected performance catches the potential buyer’s eye.
Because the turrets aren’t exceptionally tight for precision, long-range accuracy and finding the sweet spot in the eyebox can be tricky, it’s not going to be your professional setup. You could save up for scopes under $500 and explore better options… if you have the budget for it.
While it’s far from perfect, it performs. For less than $150, you really can’t ask for better.
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Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. When not glassing the local wildlife, you can find him in the garden with his German Shepherd.