January 21, 2014
By Brad Fitzpatrick
The annual SHOT Show provides hunters and shooters with a look at the latest guns and gear, and this year was no exception. The 2014 SHOT Show was for the most part dominated by tactical and long-range equipment. It follows, then, that this year's optics would go along with those same themes, and that has proven to be true.
Even budget-priced scopes are now incorporating tactical features like ballistic reticles. Resettable turrets were popular, as were larger scope bodies and illuminated reticles. As shooters stretch their limits, optics companies are doing their best to keep up with the demand, offering new options for shooters in every price range. Here are a list of the best new rifle scopes at the 2014 SHOT Show in Las Vegas.
Bushnell Elite Long Range Hunting Scope (LRHS)
new LRHS 3-12x44 riflescope
provides hunters with the magnification they need for making long shots on game.
This first focal plane scope has a G2H milliradian-based reticle, which allows for ranging at any magnification. The LRHS comes with a 30 mm forged aluminum tube and low profile turrets that allow for .1 mil clicks and 10 mils of adjustment per revolution. The RevLimiter zero stop turrets allow the shooter to quickly and easily return to zero.
The Leica ERi
extends the brand's successful ER line of riflescopes. The new ERi is available in both 2.5-10x42 and 4-16x50 magnifications, both of which come with a choice of three different illuminated reticles.
The ERi has an advanced battery save system that helps prolong battery life. This enables the illumination system to run for 210 straight hours on medium setting, which is one of the longest run times in the industry. The ERi offers a generous four inches of eye relief, which helps protect the shooter from scope cuts when firing hard-kicking magnums, and the ERi is available with ballistic drop turrets as well. There are two mounting systems available, either a sturdy rail system or traditional rings depending upon the shooter's preference.
1,599 to 2,349
Leupold Mark 6
is seeking to expand their Mark 6
line with the addition of the compact M5C2 3-18x44. With a 34 mm main tube and a 6x zoom, you won't be sacrificing features when buying a smaller scope, though.
The Mark 6 comes with a tactical milling reticle (either illuminated or non-illuminated) and the large 34 mm tube provides plenty of room for windage and elevation adjustment. The Mark 6 combines rugged waterproof/fog proof/shockproof construction with premium Xtended Twilight Lens Coatings. This front focal plane scope offers no less than nine different reticle options, and its tough construction, tactical options and compact size make it a great choice for a tactical scope.
Meopta Meostar 2
The Meostar 2
scope is designed for hunting dangerous game and features a true one power setting with no distortion. The illuminated reticle offers eight different intensity settings and the scope is treated with the company's MeoLux lens coating that allows for an incredible 95 percent light transmission that provides a clear, bright image.
This compact scope is available with either the KDot2 or 4C reticle, both of which are simple and clean. Although primarily a dangerous game gun scope, the Meostar 2 has the clarity and durability required of a short-range tactical scope, and the MeoShield ion-assisted coating protects the lenses against damage. This is a compact, durable scope and an excellent addition to the Meopta line.
Nikon Monarch 7
The Monarch 7
has a 30 mm main tube with dual bullet drop compensation, which allows the shooter to dial in a distance on the crosshairs or use the BDC reticle holdover points. Each new Monarch 7 also comes with a voucher for one customized turret that matches the ballistics of your firearm, providing the shooter with a custom scope that is perfectly matched to their rifle.
Additional turrets may be ordered separately. Like other scopes in the Nikon line, the Monarch 7 comes with the company's Ultra ClearCoat lens coating system for optimal light transmission and clear, scrip images. The Monarch 7 is available in a 2.5-10x50 version for $849, while the 4-16x50 version comes carries a price of $999.
849 to 999
Redfield Revolution Tactical Scope
line has been a favorite among hunters since its introduction because it offers robust build quality and good glass at a reasonable price.
Redfield is now giving their Revolution scopes a tactical slant with the Revolution/TAC 3-9x40, which offers the Rapid Target Acquisition (RTA) lockable eyepiece with plenty of eye relief and 2 MOA stadia lines on the vertical and horizontal crosshairs. The large, easy-to-control knobs offer ¼ MOA adjustment for rapid, easy sighting adjustments and has a nitrogen-filled waterproof main tube. The scope is backed by a 100 percent no-excuse warranty and is the perfect optic for someone who wants the advantages of a basic tactical scope without spending a lot of money.
Schmidt and Bender PMII PSR Digital
Schmidt and Bender's
line of PMII (Police Marksman) riflescopes is extensive, and serious shooters recognize these are some of the very best optics on the market. This year, Schmidt and Bender are taking the precision of the PSII line a step further, adding an option that allows you to incorporate ballistic data from a computer, rangefinder, or wind measurement device directly into your scope.
The modular scope incorporates the brand's solid build quality and superb glass with highly advanced ballistic compensation software that will provide digital readouts of aim point correction within the lens of the scope. Expect MSRPs to be high, and this is much more scope than most shooters need, but the new PMII PSR Digital represents a major step forward in the art of blending quality optics with state-of-the-art technology.
Military and law enforcement professionals have trusted Trijicon's ACOG, or Advanced Combat Optical Gunsite, for years. Now the company is introducing the VCOG
, a variable version of the ACOG that offers illumination and a first focal plane reticle that maintains the same subtensions and drops at any magnification.
The housing is made from rugged 7075-T6 forged aircraft aluminum alloy, and the dual-purpose reticle offers bullet drop compensation and ranging applications. The intergral mounting system locks onto any rail and eliminates the need for rings, providing a solid, secure platform for the optic. The VCOG also offers generous eye relief for easy target acquisition and to help prevent getting hit by the scope.
Zeiss Conquest HD5
has expanded their line of hunting and target scopes, and the latest addition to the Conquest HD5
lineup is the 3-15x50.
The new HD5 is one of the top 1 inch tube scopes on the market and provides class-leading light transmission. Count on colors to be vibrant and for easy distinction between objects when using this scope. It is available with Zeiss' Rapid-Z reticle, lockable turrets and custom turrets as well so that you can pair the marks in the scope with ballistic data from your favorite load. The new HD5 scope also features HD lenses, which offer the brightest, clearest images. The Conquest HD5 is designed and built in Germany and offers hunters a great new option in 1 inch scopes.
1,000 to 1,100 (depending on your choice of reticles)
is a first focal plane scope with reticle marks for both windage and elevation and a six position parallax adjustment knob. With objectives ranging from 42 to 50 mm, this scope will fit easily on most rifles.
Despite having plenty of magnification, the Veracity isn't an extremely large, heavy scope. It's available in 2-10x42, 3-15x50, 4-20x50 and 5-25x50 versions, and the two higher powered scopes come with ballistic turrets. MSRP should range from about $900 to [imo-slideshow gallery=199],350, making this a moderately-priced tactical scope that is nitrogen filled, fogproof, shockproof, and is backed by Burris' Forever Warranty.
900 to 1,350
The Essentials Gear Box.
Our editors have hand-picked these essential pieces of gear to make you a more successful hunter when you hit the game trails this season.