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On Sale - September 19, 2023
Firearms News - September 2023 Issue #18: Special Optics Issue

Seeing The Light

Current Precision Rifle Optics

Firearms News - September 2023 Issue #18
(Photo by Sean Utley)

Precision rifle optics. I almost don't know where to begin. There was a time when the choices were fewer and if you preceded fewer with the word “quality,” then the choices became even thinner. I’m fairly confident in saying that is no longer the case. There was an old saying that your rifle optic should cost as much, if not more than your rifle. In retrospect I’d have to guess that’s because even less than 10 years ago, certain levels of features, performance, and let’s say perceived quality, weren’t available until you hit a certain price-point, intentional or not. Now, I know for a fact that you can get solid performance without spending multiple thousands of dollars. There are several factors to consider when look- ing into a precision rifle optic. And if I were to ask most anyone, their first response would be glass tant, but it may not be the most important for certain end users. There are other things to consider such as tracking accuracy/repeatability, durability, reticle choices, weight, parallax distance, zero stop capability, illumination, and overall elevation travel or come ups. Frequently, clarity is secondary to some of these features. 

Clarity is a bit subjective as well. While there are means by which to definitively and scientifically measure light transmission and clarity, in the end it still may come down to the user’s perception. Optics manufacturers use different recipes for differ- ent optics. These recipes contain different lenses of varying specs, with different coatings. These recipes bend and shape the light that reaches the shooter’s eye, and thus give a result. Different coatings means different colors are boosted or muted. Contrast and story short, these recipes will be more or less attractive depending on the user’s eyeballs. While there may not be a one-glass-suits all solution, there can still be very obvious examples of superior clarity in certain products.

[Continue reading "Seeing the Light" in September 2023 Issue #18]


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Pick up a copy of "Firearms News September 2023 Issue #18 at your local magazine stand, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, or major book retailer. Firearms News prints two exciting issues per month so be sure to get both copies or subscribe!

More Inside This Issue:

Sightmark Wraith Mini Thermal Scope

This thermal scope under promises and over delivers. For a mere $2K, you can own the night like never before.

Leupold's New Mark 5HD 2-10X

Leupold's new Mark 5HD 2-10x30mm is a mid-range tactical scope meant to provide a flexible magnification range for carbines and rifles.

Nightforce NX8 2.5-20X50mm F1

NX8 series, another smash hit, or a swing and a miss?

Night Vision and the PVS-14

A look at the history of night vision, how it works and the hugely popular PVS-14 monocular!

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