First Look 2013: Optics

posted on March 28, 2013

This May guns and gear take center stage in the Lone Star State. From May 2-5, an estimated 550 companies will display their latest products across 445,000 square feet of space in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center during the 2013 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits. This year it’s quite possible more attendees will gather than in 2012 in St. Louis, when 73,740 visitors showed up for the three-day event. Herein we provide a glimpse of noteworthy 2013 introductions that’ll be on display in Texas; however, there simply isn’t enough room to cover everything. Your best opportunity to see the latest and greatest new products firsthand is to head to Houston.

BURRIS says custom-click your way to perfection with its C4 (Cartridge Calibrated Custom Clicker) scopes. Provide your cartridge info and receive an MOA-calibrated custom knob matching your favorite load that determines the 10 mph wind for your cartridge at a given distance. The C4 Wind MOA reticle sports tick marks extending 10 MOA in each direction, eliminating guesswork for wind. Available in four models: 3X-9X-40mm and 4.5X-14X-42mm, in 1-inch and 30mm tubes. The Eliminator III rangefinding scope with X96 reticle technology provides windage compensation and accuracy at longer ranges at any magnification.

BUSHNELL offers a Fusion One Mile laser rangefinding binocular featuring BAK-4 prisms with PC-3 phase-corrective coating for superior resolution, multi-coated optics with XTR Technology for ultimate light transmission and RainGuard HD lens coatings. Offered in 8x32, 10x42 and 12x50, each delivers measurements to 1,760 yards. The Scout DX 1000 ARC (Angle Range Compensation) instantly accounts for terrain angles to provide bowhunters, in particular, with “shoots like” distances. It features the new E.S.P. processor, providing .1-yard precision within 125 yards, and reads distances out to 1,000 yards with half-yard precision. Two budget-friendly NatureView spotting scopes in 15X-45X-50mm and 20X-60X-65mm feature twist-up eyepieces and all-weather construction.

KONUS USA introduces its T30 3X-9X-40mm and 3X-12X-44mm tactical scopes ideal for hunting rifles with fast-focus ocular lenses, finger adjustments and dual-color illuminated reticles. For varminters, M30 riflescopes sport ultra-high magnification with a 10X-40X-52mm model with a mil-dot reticle and lockable tactical turrets. All Konus optics are fully multi-coated.

LEICA combines superior optics, laser rangefinding and ballistic technology in its Geovid HD-B 42 laser rangefinder binocular. The 8- and 10x42 units feature renowned Leica brightness and resolution, and the Geovid’s famous pinpoint ranging accuracy. An Advanced Ballistic Compensation function provides a proper point of aim thanks to an on-board processor that instantly analyzes information with the touch of a button. Trajectory, distance, angle, temperature and air pressure are all taken into account; The CRF 1000-R laser rangefinder uses Equivalent Horizontal Range from 10-600 yards. Leica says it boasts the brightest LED display available, and self-adjusts to light conditions. Seven-power magnification, AquaDura hydrophobic coating and waterproof construction are all contained in a 4.5-inch-long housing.

LEUPOLD expands its VX-6 line to include two riflescopes with 18X magnification: the VX-6, 3X-18X-44mm and 3X-18X-50mm. Features include Leupold’s illuminated FireDot reticle and free CDS (Custom Dial System) allowing users to match the scope to the ballistics of ammo. The Ultimate Slam Shotgun/Muzzleloader scope is available with FireDot SA.B.R. (Sabot Ballistics Reticle), providing precise holdover points for 50-300 yards. Both the VX-6 and UltimateSlam scopes feature Motion Sensor Technology (MST) that automatically shuts off the illuminated reticle after five minutes of inactivity and reactivates once motion is detected. BX-4 McKinley binoculars provide excellent color rendition and low-light visibility; available in 8- or 10X. The RX line of rangefinders expands with four models ideal for bowhunters. Small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, the RX-800i, RX-800i TBR and RX-FullDraw include the trophy scale feature that allows hunters to judge the width of an animal’s spread. Most models have True Ballistic Range (TBR) technology that automatically introduces the shot angle to its range calculation.

MINOX introduces its German-made line of ZE 5i riflescopes in 1X-5X-24mm, 2X-10X-50mm, 3X-15X-56mm and 5X-25X-56mm with illuminated reticles. ZV 3 scopes offer excellent performance at entry-level prices in 3X-9X-40mm. Distinguished by lightweight design, BL series binoculars are available in 15x56 and 8x56 at just over 35 ounces each.

MEOPTA is a Czech company that produces outstanding optics. Its flagship MeoStar 3X-12X-56mm RGD scope is one of the brightest. It has a 30mm tube, all the features you’d expect from a top-end European scope and now features both a red and green illumination system for varying conditions of darkness. The MeoPro 3.5X-10X-44mm is a perfect all-around hunting scope with its MeoBright 5501TM ion-assisted multi-coatings that eliminate glare. It’s touted to deliver an industry-leading 99.8 percent light transmission per lens surface.

NIKON Monarch 3 binoculars are available in 8- and 10x42 units with waterproof bodies, fully multi-coated Eco-Glass lenses and phase-corrected prisms housed in Realtree APG camouflage for around $250. The Monarch 3 riflescope line now offers eight magnifications and five different reticles. Features include Nikon’s Ultra ClearCoat optical system to provide up to 95 percent light transmission and optimization for use with Nikon Spot On Ballistic Match technology. The ProStaff 3 Fieldscope combines a 16X-48X zoom eyepiece in a rugged, budget-minded package that includes a tripod and carry case for $329. The ProStaff 7 laser rangefinder displays distance in .1-yard increments to 600 yards; boasts one-hand, single-button operation; Nikon’s advanced ID (Incline/Decline) technology that compensates for various shooting angles up to 89 degrees; and Tru-Target technology that lets users choose between two different modes (“priority,” which targets objects as small as fence posts, and “distant,” which displays the distance of the farthest object among a group of targets measured).

PENTAX’s Gameseeker RD Mini WP Dot Sight houses seven levels of adjustable brightness and half-MOA-per-click increments. The waterproof sight features a 5-MOA dot that covers you from turkey hunting to honing pistol target-acquisition skills. The price is right at $99, including multi-layer coating, long eye relief and the convenience of locking and clamping onto any size rail.

REDFIELD introduces an illuminated red- or green-dot reticle combined with a high-powered red laser in the new Counterstrike optic. Powered by a CR-123A battery, it runs up to 500 hours on the highest setting. Battlezone 3X-9X-42mm waterproof riflescopes feature fully multi-coated lenses and the TAC-MOA reticle with horizontal and vertical hashes, and they are shipped with two BDC dials calibrated for .223 Rem. and .308 loads. Raider 600, 600 Camo and 600A rangefinders provide for fast, accurate ranging and scanning with 6X magnification. The 600A compensates for angle to give you a true horizontal distance for precision shooting.

SWAROVSKI launches the 4W reticle for its Z6 riflescope line, a wind-compensating reticle designed for use with the company’s Ballistic Turret (BT) system. It allows hunters to dial in the shot elevation on a Z6 turret then compensate for the wind using vertical lines on either side of the central intersection placed 2 MOA apart. The ATX/STX family of spotting scopes features zoom and focusing rings that lie next to each other for one-handed operation. Two eyepieces (straight and angled) and 65-, 85- and 95mm modules combine to create in effect six different spotters for all situations. HD lenses produce razor-sharp, edge-to-edge resolution, rich contrast and exceptional color fidelity. Expect a wide field of view and of course proprietary coatings like SWARODUR, SWAROTOP and SWAROCLEAN.

TRIJICON has large-scale contracts with the U.S. military for its amazing ACOG riflescopes, and now there is a compact, battle-tested version for crossbow hunters. The ACOG Crossbow scope is dual-illuminated (fiber optics and tritium make it battery-free), rugged, waterproof and calibrated for the drop of crossbow bolts. The Adjustable RMR is a lightweight red-dot sight that adjusts for windage and elevation. It’s perfect for ARs, slug guns, muzzleloaders and hunting handguns.

VORTEX OPTICS adds first-focal-plane reticle models to its popular Viper HS LR scope line. The first focal plane allows better use of mil-dot and other ranging systems that will not change subtensions in relation to the target as magnification is altered. For the budget-minded hunter, Diamondback 20X-60X-60mm and 20X-60X-80mm spotting scopes offer tremendous value. Crossfire II binoculars build on the features of the original with fully multi-coated lenses in 8- and 10x42 waterproof units for less than $200.

WEAVER unveils a premium line of optics with its Super Slam binoculars. The 8.5x45 and 10x45 models feature fully multi-coated glass and Bak 4 prisms for stellar resolution, a dual-hinge bridge design for ergonomics and an innovative dial that locks interpupillary distance. Grand Slam waterproof riflescopes range from 2X-8X-32mm to 4X-16X-44mm. All offer multiple reticle options, fully multi-coated lenses and feature an updated Micro-Trac erector system. A 1X-4X-24mm scope in the KASPA line is ideal for muzzleloaders and shotguns.

ZEISS enhances its Conquest American-style riflescopes with its HD5 line that has a 5X zoom ratio. Models include 2X-10X-42mm, 3X-15X-42mm and 5X-25X-50mm, and offer the noted Rapid-Z 800 reticle options. Terra ED binoculars and scopes are equipped with most of the features of German-made optics—most notably incredible crispness—at a fraction of the cost, making Zeiss affordable to the average American hunter. Scopes include a 2X-7X-32mm, 3X-9X-42mm and a 4X-12X-42mm with Rapid Z6 or RZ8 reticles.


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