The trend is easy to see. Glass for Modern Sporting Rifles (MSR)—such as the AR-15 and other rifles of the ilk—and long-range shooting continues to gain ground.
By Robert Sadowski
Optics for the MSR platform continue to cover the range from red-dots for close-up work to magnified optics for precision long-range shooting. If you sell MSRs, then having a range of optics choices is a must-have. If you are looking for a new piece of glass to top your rifle, read on for the best new optics of 2017. The trend in long-range shooting optics is toward FFP (first-focal-plane) reticles, which have the ability to increase in size as the magnification is increased. This means the ranging capability of the reticle is easier to use. These scopes also are getting a bit smaller and more compact, so they have less of a footprint. This year you can expect some new spotters and some economical binocular models as well. Here’s the field to view.
The TANGO6 riflescope line now is equipped with LevelPlex, an anti-cant system, and new T120 turrets. A Dev-L holdover-style reticle is also now being offered. Most models have a shortened 34mm tube, so they are more compact. Models include 1–6x24mm (SRP: $1,680), 3–18x44mm (SRP: $2,400), 4–24x50mm (SRP: $2,520), and 5–30x56mm (SRP: $3,120). The Whiskey5 Gen2 line of scopes includes a 30mm tube and locking turrets. The Dev-L reticle will be available in Tango4 4–16x44mm and 6–24x50mm models.
The full-size ROMEO6 red-dot sights now feature a ballistic circle dot or plex reticle and a solar-power option. The KILO2400ABS laser rangefinder offers longer ranging and features a built-in applied ballistics system that is app-based. The KILO2200MR laser rangefinder is the big brother to the KILO2000, offering longer ranging, a milling reticle, and reduced laser-beam divergence.
The new Z8i riflescope series offers 8X zoom magnification with a large field of view. Available models include Z8i 1–8x24mm, Z8i 1.7–13.3x42mm P, Z8i 2–16x50mm P, and Z8i 2.3–18x56mm P. Z8i 1–8×24 and Z8i 1.7–13.3×42 P riflescopes also feature the Flexchange 4A-IF, which allows the user to switch the illuminated ring around the illuminated center dot on and off with the press of a button. Another option on the Z8i line is the ballistic turret flex (BTF), which can be configured separately using several different types of ballistic compensation correction. It can also be attached and removed at any time without tools.
The new Essentials line of value-priced binocular models offers multiple compact, roof-prism designs—some small enough to fit into a pocket. Models include 8x21mm, 10x25mm, 12x25mm, and 16x32mm (SRP: $14 to $37). A 10x25mm monocular (SRP: $12) is also being offered. Mid-size porro-prism binoculars include 8–24x25mm, 10x25mm, 4x30mm, 7x35mm, 10x50mm, 10–30x50mm, 10x32mm, and 12x50mm (SRP: $12 to $132). The new Focus Free series of mid- and full-size binoculars offer an instantly clear view with no focus necessary. Models include an 8x25mm, 7x35mm, and 8x32mm (SRP: $58 to $59).
The MGRS (Machine Gun Reflex Sight) was created to withstand the constant, violent battering of machine guns and features a large objective lens with a 3×2-inch viewing area and a 35 MOA segmented circle reticle. SRP: $4,999. Centered within the reticle is a 3 MOA dot for precise aiming at close combat as well as extended ranges. The unit is powered by a single CR123A battery that lasts for about 1,000 hours of continuous operation.
The design of the new B-Series was developed based upon requests from military, law enforcement, and competitive shooters. The B-10 (SRP: $2,450) and B-17 (SRP: $2,900) are lighter, shorter, and more streamlined. Features of this new line of scopes include a shorter scope to accommodate night vision, compact turret section for better compatibility with commonly used mounts, locking elevation and windage knobs, elevation revolution counter, elevation zero stop, and integrated parallax and illumination control.
The Razor AMG UH-1 (SRP: $700) is the first holographic sight to combine the durability, reliability, and energy efficiency of a red-dot, but with the sight picture, zero-distortion, and comprehensive reticle pattern of a holographic sight. Runs on a Micro USB rechargeable LFP 123A battery or CR123A battery.
The Victory SF binocular series now has new features available in 8x42mm (SRP: $2,850) and 10x42mm (SRP: $2,900) models that include a more precise focusing system and smoother handling. Additionally, an extra click stop has been built into the rotating eyecup. The new Victory SF is also available with new black armoring. The Conquest Gavia 30–60x85mm angled spotting scope (SRP: $1,999) was specially developed for hunters and wildlife/nature observers. Powerful 60X magnification offers great detail. The spotter also is lightweight and compact for easy transport. The Victory V8 riflescope line now includes three rail-mount scopes in 1–8x32mm (SRP: $2,999), 1.8–14x50mm (SRP: $3,666), and 2.8–20x56mm (SRP: $3,999). The 50mm and 56mm objective models include the ASV bullet-drop-compensator system. Terra ED binocular models are now available in black, gray, green, and brown. Model include 8x32mm (SRP: $370), 10x32mm (SRP: $400), 8x42mm (SRP: $400), and 10x42mm (SRP: $450).
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.