Class Glass: The 12 Best Optics for 2012

Class Glass: The 12 Best Optics for 2012

There's a plethora of awesome new optics for shooters and hunters—everything from solar-powered red-dot sights to laser rangefinders, spotting scopes, binoculars, and riflescopes.

Here's a quick look at a dozen of the coolest new offerings.

Burris Fastfire III

Available with 3- or 8-MOA dot, the newest generation of the Burris Fastfire red-dot reflex sight is great for tactical applications, hunting, and competition shooting. Improvements in the new design include top-mounted battery access, upgraded windage and elevation adjustments, a power button with three manual brightness settings plus an automatic setting, and a low battery warning indicator.

The unit weighs 1 ounce, is waterproof, and can withstand the recoil of large calibers. It fits either Picatinny or Weaver rails and can be purchased with or without the mount.

Price: $239 (without mount) or $249 (with mount).

Bushnell H2O Binoculars

For 2012 Bushnell has refreshed key features of its popular H2O binocular line. These O-ring-sealed and nitrogen-purged binoculars are said to be 100-percent waterproof and fog proof, and they feature rubber-coated chassises with new soft-texture grips, BaK4 prisms and multi-coated optics, large center-focus knobs, and twist-up eyecups. There are 24 models in the line, ranging from compact to full size, in both porro and roof prism models.

Price: $70 to $174 depending on configuration.

Leica Rangemaster CRF 1600-B Rangefinder

The compact CRF 1600-B features Leica'™s Advanced Ballistic Compensation system, which incorporates a ballistic calculator to process measured distance, incline, temperature, and absolute air pressure in order to calculate projectile trajectory. The 7X unit displays holdover, measured distance, and the number of clicks/MOA required to properly adjust point of impact. It weighs 8 ounces; measures distances from 10.9 yards to 1,600 yards; features a carbon-reinforced housing, magnesium chassis, and hydrophobic AquaDura lens coating; and comes with a case, a lanyard, and a 3-volt CR2 lithium battery.

Price: $799.

Leupold VS-HOG 1-4X 20mm Riflescope

Featuring the exclusive Pig Plex reticle, Leupold'™s new VX-HOG 1-4X 20mm riflescope is designed specifically for the growing sport of wild boar hunting. The Pig Plex reticle is calibrated to frame up a mature hog and provide the correct amount of lead on running boars.

The scope also features 1/4-MOA click windage and elevation dials, tactile power indicator, and fast-focus eyepiece. Field of view is 74.7 to 29.8 feet at 100 yards, length is 9.5 inches, and weight is 8 ounces. It'™s waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof, and it carries Leupold'™s lifetime guarantee.

Price: $290.

NightForce NXS 3.5-15X 50mm F1 Riflescope

The NightForce NXS 3.5-15X 50mm is now available as the F1 with a first focal plane reticle. A first focal plane reticle retains the same visual proportion to the target across the scope'™s entire magnification range. In other words, the reticle appears to get bigger in size as the magnification is increased. As such, the F1 offers distinct advantages in high-stress situations and when targets are encountered at varying distances, from up close to 1,000 yards.

The NXS 3.5-15X 50mm F1 comes standard with NightForce ZeroStop adjustments and a set of NightForce Ultralite rings. The scope is 14.8 inches long and weighs 30 ounces.

Price: gallery=13,410.

Nikon Prostaff 5 Laser Rangefinder

The new Prostaff 5 rangefinder is, according to Nikon, 10 percent smaller in size than its predecessors.

The 6X unit offers a wide field of view, ranging precision out to 600 yards, long eye relief, and switchable LCD to LED readout. It'™s waterproof and fog proof, and it comes in both black and Realtree APG camo finishes. It weighs 6 ounces and measures 4.4x2.8x1.6 inches. It'™s powered by one CR2 lithium battery.

Price: $230 (black) or $250 (camo).

Redfield Rampage 20-60X 80mm Spotting Scope

Redfield'™s new Rampage spotting scope comes with a 45-degree angled eyepiece, 80mm objective lens, fully multi-coated lenses, a BaK4 prism, a polycarbonate body, and a retractable lens shade.

Magnification range is 20 to 60X, making for field of views of 105 feet (20X) to 52 feet (60X) at 1,000 yards. Weight is 43 ounces, length is 15 inches, and close-focus distance is 14.3 feet. It'™s nitrogen filled, waterproof, fog proof, and covered by Redfield'™s limited lifetime warranty.

Price: $325.

Steiner Predator Xtreme Riflescopes

Steiner'™s new Predator Xtreme riflescopes come with Color Adjusted Transmission technology and Steiner'™s Plex S1 ballistic, etched reticle.

Three models are offered, including 2.5-10X 42mm, 3-12X 56mm, and 4-16X 50mm. They are waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof, and they feature 30mm, one-piece tubes; 1/4-MOA windage and elevation adjustments; large turret knobs; and deep-knurled power rings. They are constructed in the U.S.

Price: $800 to [imo-slideshow gallery=13],000 depending on magnification.

Trijicon SRS Reflex Sight

The Trijicon SRS (Sealed Reflex Sight) is great for recreational shooting, military, and law enforcement and is designed to fit on everything from ARs to shotguns.

The 1X sight'™s anodized aluminum body is 3.75 inches long, the LED-lighted aiming point is 1.75 MOA (10 brightness settings), and the unit is powered by a solar panel with single AA battery backup. Weight is 11 ounces (with battery), and height is 2.4 inches. Built to endure the same extreme testing requirements as the famous Trijicon ACOG, the SRS is parallax free, features a self-adjusting level mount, and is waterproof to 50 meters.

Price: $990 to [imo-slideshow gallery=13],075.

U.S. Optics ST Riflescopes

U.S. Optics has four new fixed-power, long-range riflescopes.

The ST-6 (6X) features a fixed parallax, whereas the ST-10 (10X) and ST-17 (17X) are offered with fixed or ergo parallax. The ST-22 (22X) has an adjustable ergo parallax. Several choices of reticles and adjustment knobs are available for each model, and the ST series scopes feature objectives ranging from 28mm to 58mm, depending on the magnification. All ST scopes are constructed from 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum and are Type III hard anodized.

Price: $970 to [imo-slideshow gallery=13],710.

Weaver 3-15X 50mm Tactical Riflescope

The new 3-15X tactical scope from Weaver features 1/10 Mil windage and elevation adjustments, five times magnification, fully multi-coated lenses, first focal plane mil-dot reticle, side focus parallax adjustment, exposed turrets with reset-to-zero function, and one-piece 30mm tube.

The matte black scope is 13.5 inches long and weighs 27.5 ounces. Eye relief is 3.98 inches, and field of view at 100 yards is 33.9 feet (3X) to 6.8 feet (15X). It'™s waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.

Price: [imo-slideshow gallery=13],118.

Zeiss Conquest HD Binoculars

The new Zeiss Conquest HD 8X42 and 10X42 binoculars utilize the Carl Zeiss HD lens system with extra-low chromatic dispersion, Zeiss T* multi-coatings, dielectric mirror coatings, and LotuTec protective coating. They are compact, lightweight, and ergonomic.

Key attributes include extra-wide field of view, large focus wheel, and rugged yet lightweight aluminum body that is waterproof and fog proof. Conquest HD binoculars come with eyepiece and objective lens covers, neoprene carrying straps, and cordura cases. They measure 4.7x6.5 inches and weigh 24.7 ounces, and they are protected by a limited lifetime transferable warranty.

Price: [imo-slideshow gallery=13],055 (8X42) or [imo-slideshow gallery=13],111 (10X42).

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