THE 2018 OP­TICS TEST

Death of the du­plex? New ri­fle­scopes are high on tech but low on ba­sic func­tion­al­ity and af­ford­abil­ity

Outdoor Life - - GEAR - BY ANDREW MCKEAN

Th­ese pre­ci­sion scopes fea­ture chubby 34mm tubes, com­pu­t­er­drafted first-plane ret­i­cles, and tur­rets with seem­ingly miles of in­ter­nal ad­just­ment. They typ­i­cally weigh about 3 pounds and cost $1,900 on av­er­age.

But one vic­tim of all of this in­no­va­tion is con­ven­tion. As op­tics mak­ers focus on new tech­nol­ogy, the ven­er­a­ble 3-to-9vari­able-power scope with a du­plex ret­i­cle and ¼-inch click val­ues has be­come a quaint throw­back, re­placed with pur­pose­built op­tics that have gee-whiz ca­pa­bil­ity but lim­ited ver­sa­til­ity. An­other vic­tim is re­straint. The ca­pa­bil­ity of th­ese scopes is re­mark­able, but we hope man­u­fac­tur­ers put as much em­pha­sis on coach­ing cus­tomers to shoot (and hunt) within their abil­i­ties as they do on pro­mot­ing the bells, whis­tles, and mil­li­ra­dian ret­i­cles of their new prod­ucts.

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