Guest post by Robert Sadowski, courtesy of SHOT Daily.
The influence of 3-Gun shooting has affected all sectors of the industry, including optics. This year, there are numerous compact, low- to medium-power riflescope options for those 3-Gun shooters who have a need for speed.
Going long is also a continuing trend, with plenty of long-range scopes with huge tubes and gaping objectives at all price points. Red-dots continue to be popular, with brands offering all types of sights for all classes of firearms platforms. Here’s a look at some of the players in optics and the new gear they have to offer.
The 2–6x32mm is a variable-power medium-range tactical scope with a side-mounted red-laser module. The 4x32mm tactical riflescope features a tri-illuminated rapid-ranging reticle designed for MSR platforms and calibrated to the ballistics of the .223 Rem. A simple yet durable fixed-power 3x36mm tactical scope features a tri-illuminated reticle. For hunters, the 3–9x40mm scope features a one-inch tube and covered low-profile turrets. Locking turrets are now available on the XPF line of riflescopes. (aimsportsinc.com)
The Prevo hunting scope line is designed for the diehard hunter. Models include the PV3–9x40mm (SRP: $69.95), PV3.5–10x50mm (SRP: $79.95), PV4–16x44mm (SRP: $104.95), and PV6–24x44mm (SRP: $109.95), all of which feature a 30/30 reticle. (bsaoptics.com)
The military-grade Elite 1-Mile laser rangefinder with CONX technology (SRP: $819.95) provides instant customized holdover and wind-hold data at the press of a button. The unit features Bluetooth connectivity, with a smartphone app that allows users to select or enter custom ballistic curves. It also offers an Applied Ballistics mode that connects with CONX-compatible Kestrel devices. (bushnell.com)
A 10x42mm full-size binocular has been added to the 3D/ED Series and features HD coating, ED glass, and Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity finish body armor. (carson.com)
The LinQ system (SRP: $500) is a laser/light unit designed for the MSR platform that uses Bluetooth-like technology between a pistol grip to control a tactical light/laser module without cables or touch pads. Ambidextrous buttons on the pistol grip allow the user to operate the laser/light module, which can be removed from the MSR and used on another firearm. The Carry 9 Program (SRP: $249, red; $319, green) packages a Blade-Tech Klipt Ambi IWB concealed-carry holster with a Crimson Trace laser sight for either a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield or Glock G43 pistol. Using Shock Stop (SRP: $319, red; $399, green) technology for red and green laser grips on S&W J-Frame Round-Butt revolvers helps reduce felt recoil. New Master Series 1911 laser grips include aggressive textured aluminum and faux ivory models. (crimsontrace.com)
3-Gun shooters will like the C3 1–6x24mm (SRP: $1,999) riflescope for the MSR platform. Features include lockable target turrets, with elevation zero stop and an illuminated reticle that is calibrated for a .223 Rem. 55-grain bullet. The Lazer Point MTL-OS is a tiny laser sight for Glock pistols that magnetically attaches over the rear sight. It can be removed or installed in seconds with no tools. (cmore.com)
Adding to the Trailseeker series of spotting scopes are three models: a 65mm (SRP: $238.95 straight, $249.95 angled), 80mm (SRP: $309.95 straight, $319.95 angled), and 100mm (SRP: $489.95 straight, $499.95 angled). Features include a rubber-armored housing that is water- and fogproof. Adaptors for the iPhone 5/5S, 6, and 6+ offer an exact fit for any phone and eyepiece combination. (celestron.com)
The compact Scout III comes in three thermal resolutions: 240×180, 320×256, and 640×512 pixels (SRP starts at $1,899). These are the latest generation of handheld thermal devices. Units can detect and display the body heat of animals, people, or objects up to 1,200 yards away in total darkness, and now feature refresh rates of 30Hz or 60Hz, depending on model. The Scout TK (SRP: $500) thermal handheld camera is designed for campers, hikers, and hunters. (flir.com)
Hartman is a new player in the red-dot optic space and is debuting the MH1 Red Dot Reflex Sight (SRP: $650), an advanced tactical sight with the largest (compared to other similar devices) field of view through the sight. It is waterproof up to 20 feet and night-vision-compatible. It also features ambidextrous activation buttons and a sleep mode. (hartman-il.com)
Debuting is a line of 34mm tube and first-focal-plane scopes. First-focal-plane models include the compact CMR8 1–8x34mm (SRP: $799) and the PentaLux 4–20x50mm (SRP: $599). The 34mm tube models include the CMR8 1-8x34mm and the long-range Vanquisher 6–26x50mm (SRP: $499), as well as the BMG scope and a Uni-Dial series 5–30x56mm (SRP: $599) with 34mm tube and customizable ballistic turrets. (hi-luxoptics.com)
The economical Pro M30 riflescopes are redesigned to provide clearer views for long shots in low-light conditions. Two models include a 2.5–10x50mm (SRP: $219.99) and a 3–12x56mm (SRP: $249.99). Both use an engraved 30/30 reticle with dual illumination. The upgraded SightPro DP (SRP: $79.99) red-dot sight offers 1X power for close-range shooting and a 2X power-booster attachment for medium range. It works on pistols, shotguns, MSRs, bolt-action rifles, and even blackpowder rifles. The affordable Rex 8x42mm (SPR: $169.99) binocular uses a silver coating on the prisms for improved light transmission. (konuspro.com)
The powerful NS-300 Subzero series features two models—NS300-SZ (SRP: $339.95) and NS300x40-SZ (SRP: $389.95)—with a focusable 520mm green laser that can paint targets out to 500 yards. (lasergenetics.com)
The Spartan Laser series (SRP: $99, red; $149, green) features a mounting system designed specifically for handgun accessory rails, with ambidextrous activation and automatic shutoff after 10 minutes. (lasermax.com)
The 8X power T8 Series 2–16x44mm MRC (Multi-Range Combat & Competition) riflescope (SRP: $399.97) is set up for close-, medium-, and long-range distances. Three reticle options include a mil-dot, a circle dot, and a reticle for airgunners. The 3.9-inch Open Reflex Sight (SRP: $199.97) is built for MSRs and offers a large field of view, a Picatinny mount, and dual red and green illuminated circle dot or dot reticle options. The 6-inch ITA Red/Green CQB Dot Sight (SRP: $74.97) offers 1X magnification in either a T-dot or dot reticle option. (leapers.com)
The ER 5 series of riflescopes includes six new models—a 1–5x24mm, 1.5–8x32mm, 2–10x50mm, 3–15x56mm, 4–20x50mm, and 5–25×56 mm (SRP: $749 to $1,429). The ER line features extended 5:1 zoom ratios, 4-inch eye relief, and .25 MOA turret adjustments. The Geovid HD-R 42 laser rangefinding binocular comes in two models—an 8x42mm (SRP: $2,599) and 10x42mm (SRP: $2,649)—and features an open-bridge design and accurate ranging from 10 to more than 2,000 yards. Effective Horizontal Range (EHR) technology provides precise shooting solutions based upon distance and angles within .2 seconds of pressing the activation button. (us.leica-camera.com)
Designed and assembled in the U.S., the new VX-3i hunting scope line (SRP: $499.99 to $1,249.99) features the Twilight Max light-management system, which balances light across the visible spectrum for a brighter, crisper image. Scopes are equipped with an easier-to-turn power selector, with bold, tactile power indicators and a dual-spring-adjustment system that provides match-grade accuracy adjustments while maintaining its in-the-field ruggedness. The BX-3 Mojave Pro Guide HD binocular line has two 50mm models—a 10x50mm ($774.99 to $819.99) and 12x50mm ($839.99 to $874.99)—that offer a 15 percent increase in field of view. The open-bridge design is durable but light in weight. Available in Kryptek Typhon and Kryptek Highlander camo patterns or black. Bowhunters take note: The Vendetta 2 (SRP: $439.99) bow-mounted laser rangefinder now has a faster software package and improved mounting system, and it can be used on a crossbow. Leupold’s built-in True Ballistic Range (TBR) calculator automatically compensates for the shot angle, delivering the correct incline-adjusted range instantly. (leupold.com)
The P7 4X optic (SRP: $435) offers fast targeting with a ballistic MOA holdover reticle. The 19-ounce unit runs up to 2,500 hours on a single AA battery, and is waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof. (mylucidgear.com)
The one-inch-tube MeoPro line now has two additional models—a 6.5–20x50mm and 6.5–20x50mm HTR (SRP: $1,092.49 to $1,149.99, depending on model and reticle). The scopes are designed for long-range hunting and precision shooting, and feature a powerful magnification range and side-turret parallax adjustment, and are available with four different reticle options, depending on the model: Z-Plex, BDC, McWhorter HV, and Windmax 8. The MeoPro HD binocular series now includes the MeoPro 8x56mm HD (SRP: $1,034.99), designed for low light with a large objective lens, advanced fluoride high-definition optics, and MeoBright multi-coated lenses. (meoptasportsoptics.com)
The Sting (SRP: $1,557) dual-wavelength laser pointer incorporates two lasers—visible and infrared—in one unit. Features include single zeroing, high- and low-power options, and color-coded LED indicators for visible or infrared modes. Available to LE and military personnel only. (themakogroup.com)
The new ZX5 line of riflescopes features four models—a 1–5x24mm, 2–10x50mm, 3–15x56mm, and 5–26x56mm (SRP: $499.99 to $749.99, depending on model and reticle). Features include a 30mm tube, with or without an illuminated BDC or Plex reticle, and 5X magnification. (minox.com)
The VISM Reflex Sight with Green Laser (SRP: $119.99) is a compact sight system that combines a red reflex sight and a green laser. Both the dot sight and laser are controlled by a push-button control panel and powered by a single CR123A battery. The sight provides a 1/3 co-witness with BUIS. (ncstar.com)
The SHV 4–14×50 F1 (SRP: $1,250) scope is Nightforce’s first first-focal-plane reticle scope and latest addition to the SHV line. The scope features illuminated reticle options, side parallax adjustment, and .25 MOA or .1 Mil-Radian adjustments with 90 MOA of elevation and 70 MOA windage. (nightforceoptics.com)
Six new riflescopes, three in the Monarch 3 series—3–12x42mm (SRP: $549.95), 4–16x42mm (SRP: $579.95), 4–16x50mm (SRP: $629.95)—and three in the Prostaff series—3.5–14x40mm (SRP: $359.95), 3.5–14x50mm (SRP: $459.95), 4.5–18x40mm (SRP: $459.95)—will now be equipped with BDC Distance Lock. The new BDC Distance Lock function keeps everything in the first focal plane, which allows the riflescope to maintain its scale and distance proportions on a target throughout the entire zoom range. (nikonsportoptics.com)
The Hunter H1 3–9x40mm (SRP: $294.95) scope is designed for medium and long distances in centerfire and rimfire calibers, and features a D1 reticle. The Varmint Hunter VH 4–16x50mm (SRP: $1,095) scope features a T3 reticle, efficient light transmission, a wide magnification range, and long eye relief. The Tactical T1 6–24x50mm (SRP: $1,295) scope comes equipped with a T3 reticle calibrated in true .25 MOA values at 20X magnification and can be re-indexed to zero after sighting in. (rudolphoptics.com)
SIG has gone all in with a complete line of optics for 2016. All of SIG’s riflescopes feature one custom SBT (SIG Ballistic Turret) elevation dial calibrated to your customer’s ballistics and environmental conditions. TANGO6 6X zoom premium riflescopes were designed for a wide range of uses, from close-quarter battle and long-range shooting to 3-Gun and dangerous-game hunting. Models include a compact 1–6x42mm, 2–12x40mm, 3–18x44mm, and a long-range 5–30x56mm (SRP: $1,749.99 to $2,999.99). These scopes come with the HDX optical system, HellFire fiber optic, and glass-etched illuminated reticles, first- or second-focal-plane designs, and zero stop turrets. With a 4:1 zoom and first-focal-plane design, the TANGO4 riflescope line is intended for mid- to long-range shooting. Models offered include a 1–4x24mm, 3–12x42mm, 4–16x44mm, and 6–24x50mm (SRP: $749.99 to $1,249.99), all with illuminated glass reticles, 30mm tube, and ZeroLock turrets.
The WHISKEY-5 series of 5X riflescopes were designed for traditional hunting rifle and MSR platforms. Models include a 1–5x20mm, 2–10x42mm, 2.4–12x56mm, 3–15x44mm, 3–15x52mm, and 5–25x52mm (SRP: $874.99 to $1,624.99). WHISKEY-3 scopes feature low-dispersion glass, a rugged chassis, capped turrets, and one custom SBT elevation dial. Models include a 2–7x32mm, 3–9x40mm, 3–9x50mm, 4–12x40mm, and 4–12x50mm (SRP: $229.99 to $374.99). The prism-design BRAVO series of red-dot battle sights are designed for MSR shooters. These fixed-power sights include a BRAVO3 3x30mm (SRP: $437.49) and a BRAVO5 5x30mm (SRP: $499.99), which are compact and offer 10 levels of illumination intensity. The BRAVO4 (SRP: $1,624.99) features a 53-foot field of view at 100 yards versus the standard 37 feet.
The red-dot and reflex sight ROMEO series can fill most shooters’ pistol, shotgun, and rifle needs. The miniature ROMEO1 reflex sight (SRP: $374.99 to $437.49, depending on mounting system) is designed to fit most popular pistols; it co-witnesses with iron sights on SIG pistols with machined slides. Manual brightness controls use SIG’s MOTAC (Motion Activated Illumination) system, which remembers your last setting after powering off. The larger ROMEO3 reflex sight (SRP: $474.99 to $499.99) is designed for MSR rifles, shotguns, carbines, submachine guns, and full-size handguns. ROMEO4 tube-style red-dots (SRP: $474.99 to $499.99) come in four different models that offer Picatinny and KeyMod mounts, combo solar/battery power, and have either a 2 MOA dot or 65 MOA circle/2 MOA dot reticle options.
The ROMEO7 (SRP: $374.99) is a full-size 1X red-dot sight designed for MSR platforms. The KILO2000 rangefinder (SRP $624.99) updates four times a second in HyperScan mode with LightWave DSP technology that is fast and accurate, and can range reflective targets at 3,400 yards, trees at 1,500 yards, and deer at 1,200 yards. The built-in inclinometer calculates range for angled shots.
The rugged roof prism ZULU binocular line combines high-quality glass, Spectracoat lenses, and Abbe-Konig prisms for brightness, contrast, and crisp resolution. ZULU3 models include a compact 8x32mm (SRP: $312.49) and 10x32mm (SRP: $337.49), the single-hinge ZULU5 8×42 and 10x42mm, the open-hinge ZULU7 8x42mm (SRP: $849.99) and 10x42mm (SRP $912.49), and the ZULU9 9x45mm (SRP: $1,437.49) and 11x45mm (SRP: $1,499.99).(www.sigoptics.com)
The new HX series of binoculars is designed for comfort during extended scouting and uses new lens coatings for better light transmission. These roof prism binoculars include four models: 8x42mm (SRP: $919.99), 10x42mm (SRP: $999.99), 10x56mm (SRP: $1,499.99), and 15x56mm. (steiner-optics.com)
The X5(i) riflescope series was developed with the long-range shooter and hunter in mind. The two models are a 3.5–18x50mm (SRP: $3,432 to $3,666, depending on reticle) and a 5–25x56mm (SRP: $3,666 to $3,888, depending on reticle). The scopes have up to 116 MOA of elevation adjustment inside the 30mm tube body and a 5X zoom range. The improved EL binocular family has six new models, including an 8x32mm (SRP: $2,443), 10x32mm (SRP: $2,554), 8.5x42mm (SRP: $2,832), 10x42mm (SRP: $2,888), 10x50mm (SRP: $3,110), and 12x50mm (SRP: $3,188). The line features SWAROVISION technology and the FieldPro package, which enhances binocular comfort and ease of use. (swarovskioptik.com)
The Miniature Rifle Optic, or MRO (SRP: $579 without mount, $629 with mount), red-dot sight features a large objective lens and shortened optical length to eliminate the tube effect common with so many tube red-dot sights. Comes equipped with a 2 MOA dot aiming point. (trijicon.com)
The TRU-BRITE 30 compact rifle series includes a 1–4x24mm and 1–6x24mm (SRP: $184 to $270) that feature an illuminated reticle and two pre-calibrated BDC turrets for .223 Rem. and .308 Win. The compact ultralight TRU TEC 20mm (SRP: $221) tactical red-dot sight offers a 2 MOA reticle and unlimited eye relief. The larger TRU TEC 30mm red-dot (SRP: $368) offers a larger tube. (truglo.com)
The design of the ER-23 3–23x50mm riflescope was based upon requests from military, LE, and competitive shooters. The scope is compact to accommodate night vision and features locking turrets. Reticle options include the MIL GAP and the Horus H59. (usoptics.com)
The Diamondback binocular line has been redesigned with eight new models: 8x28mm, 8x32mm, 8x42mm, 10x28mm, 10x32mm, 10x42mm, 10x50mm, and 12x50mm (SRP: $189 to $319). Features include a short-hinge design and rubber-armored housing. (vortexoptics.com)
The all-new Victory V8 illuminated riflescope line includes a 1–8x30mm (SRP: $2,888.99), 1.8–14x50mm (SRP: $3,333.32), 2.8–20x56mm (SRP: $3,888.88), and 4.8–35x60mm (SRP: $4,111.10). Select models include the bullet-drop compensator ASV system, which uses nine engraved rings to allow shooters to match the appropriate ring to their specified long-range ballistics. The pocket-size Terra ED 8x25mm (SRP: $299.99) and 10x25mm (SRP: $329.99) binoculars are lightweight and compact, weighing just 10.9 ounces. The Terra ED 32mm binoculars, in 8x32mm (SRP: $411.10) and 10x32mm (SRP: $444.43), are now equipped with an exclusive Under Armour bino harness that features durable, thick hypalon attachments, solid metal hardware, and adjustable elastic straps. (zeiss.com)
Reporting by SHOT Business Daily, reprinted with permission. SHOT Daily, produced by The Bonnier Corporation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, covers all facets of the yearly firearms-industry show. Click here to see full issues. Product pricing and availability are at of time of publication and subject to change without notice.