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.
Designed for hunting or target shooting, the new Level Series of riflescopes debuts with a 3–12x50mm (SRP: $535.75) model equipped with a red-and-green illuminated reticle that allows the user to select the optimal reticle and brightness for the current environment lighting. The new 20–60x85mm Level spotting scope (SRP: $2,500) is great for both hunting and bench shooting, and offers good image quality with an apochromatic extra-low-dispersion objective lens and a BaK-4 prism. Other features include a tabletop tripod, hard travel case, and all-weather protective soft case. The Level ED 8x42mm binocular (SRP: $714.40) is an all-purpose binocular featuring extra-low-dispersion (ED) lenses that reduce chromatic aberration. Shock-absorbing rubber armor provides protection to the optics and creates a non-slip ergonomic design.
The compact Elite Tactical DMR II-i 3.5–21x50mm (SRP: $1,932 to $1,999, depending on reticle) is designed for long-range, precision shooting and features the new G3 illuminated reticle, which provides precision holdovers at any range. It also allows shooters to more quickly to engage moving targets in any light. The Elite Tactical LRTSi in 3–12x44mm (SRP: $1,616 to $1,680) and 4.5–18x44mm (SRP: $1,813 to $1,867) are designed for precision shooting on MSR platforms. The Elite Tactical SMRS (SRP: $1,822) is designed for short- and mid-range shooting with an illuminated BTR-2 reticle and should appeal to 3-Gun participants.
The AR Optics line has five new models. The Enrage Red Dot (SRP: $240) is equipped with a 2-MOA dot with eight brightness settings and a high-rise mount. The Incinerate Red Dot (SRP: $240) features a tube design and a circle-dot reticle. The Engulf Micro Reflex Red Dot (SRP: $255) is super compact and compatible with MSRs and pistols. The 3X Magnifier (SRP: $259) mounts behind nearly any red-dot and flips into place when magnification is needed. The Digital Sentry Night Vision (SRP: $353) is a 2X monocular that can be helmet- or firearm-mounted.
The HookUpz 2.0 (SRP: $89) connects nearly any smartphone to an optic—binocular, monocular, spotting scope, riflescope—to digitally record and capture everything seen through the optical device.
The new value-priced Spectrum series riflescopes feature a first-focal-plane reticle. Models include a 1–4x24mm (SRP: $199) and two side-parallax-adjustment models—3–9x40mm (SRP: $219) and 4–12x44mm (SRP: $249).
The LinQ system (SRP: $649) is now available for AK-type rifles. This laser/light unit design uses Bluetooth-like technology to control a tactical light/laser module without cables or touch pads. The Master Series for 1911-style pistols goes green (SRP: $449) with new green-diode laser grips made of wood or G10 for full- and compact-size 1911s. The laser/holster packages now include a Blade-Tech Klipt Ambi IWB concealed-carry holster with a Crimson Trace laser sight for a Walther PPS Gen2 pistol (SRP: $229, red; $309, green). The latest Lasergrip in red is now available for the Kimber K6 revolver. SRP: $399.
The Phenom 5–30x56mm (SRP: $950) features a 34mm tube and first-focal-plane reticle. The massive 56mm objective lens delivers enhanced clarity, and the CW-3 reticle offers a Christmas tree grid for precise shot placement. The PentaLux TAC-V 4–20x50mm FFP (SRP: $770) is also a first-focal-plane scope with a 30mm tube, and it’s well suited for long-range shooting on the MSR platform. The CW-1 reticle is an intuitive and fast MilRadian ranging reticle.
The new LZ30 series of riflescopes includes two models—2.5–10x50mm (SRP: $400) and 3–12x56mm (SRP: $430). Both feature an illuminated and engraved Duplex reticle, a 30mm tube, and a dual-locking system designed to maintain zero.
Long-range shooters will like the Accushot 4–16x56mm (SRP: $280), as it comes equipped with a 30mm tube, bubble leveler located at the 6 o’clock position to eliminate cant, and an etched-glass illuminated mil-dot reticle with dual red/green color. The BugBuster series of compact scopes now has a no-frills 3–12x32mm scope featuring a 1-inch tube, adjustable parallax, and mil-dot reticle. Other features include premium zero lockable and resettable target turrets with ¼-MOA per click adjustments plus a pair of medium-profile quick-detach MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rings.
For MSR shooters, the 6.4-inch ITA red/green CQB T-Dot Sight (SRP: $63) offers economy along with a rugged 1X power red-dot sight. Other features include a red/green illuminated T-Dot reticle, flip-up lens caps, and a QD mount base. UTG Steel Picatinny Ring sets are available in 1-inch, 30mm, and 34mm sizes, in various height profiles and snap-free contours. Need some height? The Super Slim 20 MOA Elevated Picatinny Mount (SRP: $28) offers 20 MOA of height and a 13-slot Picatinny rail, so long-range shooters can get the most elevation out of their scope.
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. [gallery type=”slideshow” ids=”http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Zeiss.jpg|,http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Vortex-Razor.jpg|,http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/US-Optics.jpg|,http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Trijicon-MGRS.jpg|,http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Nikon-Monarch.jpg|,http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/SBDD217_DA2_004.jpg|,http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Sightmark.jpg|,http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Swarovski.jpg|,http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Nightforce.jpg|,http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/blog/wp-conten