THE BEST NEW BINOCS AND RANKED SCOPES, AND RATED
We put 14 new scopes and 13 new binoculars to a grueling four-day test to figure out which will give you the best—and most affordable—view this fall
This year we put more scopes and binoculars than ever (27 total) into the hands of more testers than ever, including myself; gun writer and F&S contributing editor Richard Mann; and University of Rochester optics professor Jim Zavislan and four of his hunting buddies and fellow optics nuts: Jeff Arndt, Joel Hoose, Marty Lasher, and Tim O’Connor. The result is our biggest, most exhaustive optics test to date. The clear trend in binoculars for 2017 is value. Never before have so many mid- to low-priced models competed so closely with the top-shelf stuff. In scopes, it’s all about massive tubes, exposed turrets, and sophisticated sighting systems for long-range hyperaccuracy. There’s an uptick, too, in first-focal-plane reticles, with which subtensions and holdover values remain the same at any magnification. What’s that? You just want a scope for normal hunting? Don’t worry. That’s here, too. After days of testing, we narrowed the field down to the top 10 in each category and picked the best performers and can’t-miss bargains for both. Here’s how it all shook out. —D.H.
Shining Examples Some of the nearly 30 models in this year’s test.