3.5–18x50 $3,200 Rheostat illumination control
Kahles has done it again. The Austrian scopemaker won last year’s riflescope test, and this stubby powerhouse nearly won this year. The first thing you notice is the compact 12-inch length of the 34mm K318i. Then you notice the controls. As with last year’s 624i, the focus dial is tucked under the elevation knob, where it’s easy to turn. The windage dial has a surprise too. A free-spinning disk keeps the exposed knob from turning accidentally, without relying on a cumbersome locking mechanism. The Kahles won our low-light and resolution tests, the SKMR3 Christmas-tree reticle is fast, and the controls are rock-solid.