Every year it seems we start looking sooner than ever for standouts amid all the gear produced annually by the shooting, hunting and outdoor industry. The past 12 months stand as testament to that. Indeed, the list we tabulated includes products covered as far back as 11 American Hunter print issues—such are the lengths we go to be sure no stone is left unturned in our spirited search, review and debate of the best of the best firearms, ammo and gear produced for hunters.
Golden Bullseye winners are selected by a seven-member committee from NRA Publications that represents more than a century of collective experience in the shooting and hunting industry. To qualify for consideration, a product must have been: recently introduced and available to consumers prior to nomination; used/tested by an NRA staff member or trusted contributor; reliable in the field, meeting the consumer’s expectations; innovative in design and function; readily perceived as a value to the consumer; styled in a manner befitting the shooting, hunting and outdoor industry and its enthusiasts.
2021 Optic of the Year: Trijicon Huron Hunting Riflescope Last year Trijicon introduced no less than six lines of new riflescopes. One we spotted immediately was the Huron, a budget-priced family of scopes ideal for hunters who don’t want to sacrifice performance just because they can’t break the bank on a new optic.
The Huron line features both 30mm and 1-inch main tubes. Focal lengths include 1X-4X, 2.5X-10X, 3X-9X and 3X-12X, so there’s something for any hunting style or arm. Of course, it’s waterproof and fogproof, qualities any hunter expects these days. Fully multi-coated, broadband, anti-reflective glass delivers excellent light transmission and zero distortion. Prices for any scope in the line top out below $700.
Unlike most Trijicon optics, the Huron's reticle is not illuminated. But for that price, most hunters won’t notice. What they will notice is that beneath the caps, turrets pop up and readily adjust in quarter-minute clicks. Hunters who don’t want to dial in elevation may instead use the BDC Hunter Holds reticle, which compensates for bullet drop out to 500 yards (it covers most popular deer-hunting calibers). The reticle is built in the second focal plane, so the scope must be set on maximum magnification for holds to align downrange.
Yeah, this is value—and performance. Clearly, Trijicon never thought you had to sacrifice one to get the other, and they just proved it. MSRP: $650-$699; trijicon.com.