Field and Stream - - FRONT PAGE - By Dave Hurteau and Richard Mann, with James Zav­is­lan

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.

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