Here are the latest rifle scopes for hunters and competition shooters
By Richard Mann | Published Dec 28, 2022 12:00 PM Epoxy Glass Cloth Tubes
If you’re in the market for a rifle scope you can use to hit stuff that’s a long, long, way off, there’s some good news for you in 2023. If you’re in the market for a more general-purpose rifle scope, like a fixed 4X or the one-time industry standard 3-9X, you may have to fire up your time machine. Consumers drive the market, and the market says we need more long-range optics, and that’s what 2023 has given us. From a 1-10X LPVO to a 5-30X rifle scope that retails for less than seven Benjamins, you should be able to find something you like this year. Of course, there are sure to be some new red dot sights as well. From around $370 to ten times that much, here are the latest rifle scopes for 2023.
Bushnell has created a new rifle scope that should appeal to hardcore rimfire shooters and to those who enjoy the long-range precision game. This new scope is called the Match Pro ED 5-30X56 FFP. It offers a 6X zoom factor, a large objective, and a first focal plane reticle. The ED in the name signifies that this rifle scope has extra-low dispersion glass and all exterior lens surfaces are treated with Bushnell’s EXO barrier coating. This scope has a 34mm tube and 30 MIL/103 MOA elevation range. The adjustment turrets include a zero stop and a pop-up revolution indicator. The DM2 reticle is illuminated with 11 brightness settings, and the parallax is adjustable from 15 yards to infinity. The scope also comes with a threaded sunshade and removable throw lever, and you get it all for only $699.
A new addition to the Crimson Trace HardLine optics line is the 1-10X28mm. This low-power variable optic (LPVO) is built on a 34mm aerospace aluminum tube and weighs 18 ounces. The scope is fitted with a second focal plane illuminated reticle called the CT TR1, and it is available in an MOA or MIL configurations. The eye relief is set at 3.5 inches, the zero-reset adjustment turrets are capped, and it the scope is shockproof, waterproof, and nitrogen purged. A removable throw lever, flip-up lens covers, and a lifetime warranty are standard at $649. This should make a fantastic optical sight for a general-purpose modern sporting rifle.
For 2023 GPO has launched several new optical sights. The first is the Spectra 6X 4.5-27X50i SFP. Billed as the ultimate long-range hunting scope, it does have a lot of features long-range hunters should appreciate. The reticle, which is illuminated, is busy, but it does offer lots of reference points for elevation and windage holds. It has fully multi-coated lenses with the total light transmission rated at 92 percent. The Spectra 6X comes with uncapped ¼ MOA-click-adjustment turrets with a zero-stop-lock and 30 MOA of adjustment. The scope also has a parallax adjustment knob, a removable throw lever, and see-through flip-cap lens covers with an MSRP of $1249. It should work well for center hits on steel or fur at distance.
At the first SHOT Show I attended, a new scope reticle would have been big news. That’s not so much the case anymore. Today, manufacturers create new reticles that could solve calculus problems all the time. However, I think this reticle is newsworthy because, unlike most new reticles, this one is simple. GPO has added their very practical illuminated hunting reticle to one of their very practical hunting rifle scopes. Their Spectra 1.5-8X44i rifle scope now has the G4i reticle. This is a thin-wired German #4 style reticle with a small, illuminated dot at the center. The reticle brightness is fully adjustable and powers down when the scope has been stationary for more than three hours. This is a wonderful reticle option, in a great hunting scope, with a suggested retail price of $949.
Another new GPO optic is purpose-built for pistols. It’s the Spectra Reflex Dot and is a first-of-its-kind from GPO. It features dense polymer lenses that are fully coated with GPObright. And like all GPO products, it’s 100 percent tested in Germany. The Spectra Reflex Dot has a built-in photo sensor that adjusts the brightness of the 3mm red dot automatically depending on outside conditions. There’s also no on button to break; the sight is ready to go all the time and has a built-in motion sensor to turn the sight off and on. Battery life is estimated at 25,000 hours. At only 1.04 inches wide, 1.6 inches long, and 0.90 inches high, this sight is incredibly compact and weighs only three-quarters of an ounce. It should fit a wide variety of handguns and comes with a rail mount for a carbine or rifle. The optic will cost around $379.
Though very popular in Europe, you don’t hear a lot about Khales optics in the United States. Their new-for-2023 scope is the K525i DLR. It has a 5X zoom factor with magnification from 5X to 25X. The elevation turret features 100 clicks/10 MILs per rotation, with highly visible indicators, and the SKMR4 first focal plane reticle should be ideal for match shooting or field use. It has a 56mm objective and a 23.16-foot field of view (5X) at 100 yards. What’s unique about the K525i DLR is that all the operating elements—including the top-mount parallax adjustment—can be easily manipulated with either hand. This is a relatively compact scope with an overall length of only 14 inches. It has a 34mm tube and weighs 35 ounces. MSRP is $3943.
Read Next: Long-Range Competition Shooting Gear I’d Actually Hunt With
The new LRP S3 line of rifle scopes—which includes a 4-25X50mm and a 6-36X56mm model—are fantastically configured for precision rimfire or long-range shooting. Both have a 34mm tube and a first focal plane, daylight visible, illuminated ZF-MOAi or ZF-MRi reticle, that has 160 MOA/46.5 MRAD (4-25X) 110 MOA/32 MRAD (6-36X) of adjustment. These scopes are built with ED glass and multi-coated lenses and deliver 90 percent light transmission. Zeiss LotuTec and T* coatings are standard, as are highly visible turret markings, a zero stop, a locking windage knob, and a throw lever. With 3.0 to 3.5 inches of eye relief, the 4-25X model weighs 36.7 ounces, is 13.4 inches long, and retails for $2199. The 6-36X version weighs 39.1 ounces, is 15.1 inches long, and costs $2499.
Richard Mann was born and raised in West Virginia and has hunted from the Montana mountains to the green hills of Africa. In 2015, Mann began contributing to Field & Stream to cover guns, ammunition, ballistics, and hunting. In 2022, he was named as the brand’s Shooting Editor.
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