Sights And Optics For Sore Eyes!
By Aimee Grant
The Swarovski Z8i 1-8×24 impressed me with top marks for optics and luminosity, as well as for an outstanding field of view for the size. With a 1-8x magnification and an effective objective lens, the Z8i allows you to adjust things perfectly to your own requirements, from “In-close and fast” to farther away. Rifle scopes are often better than pistol scopes on handguns so keep this in mind. It weighs only 18 oz. but has a ton of features. Uber-high quality here, folks.
The Leupold Mark 5 VHD is a workhorse in all arenas. And yeah, I know, it’s a riflescope. Bet you have some sort of shortish rifle to go with all those cool handguns you have, right? Yeah, I figured. The Mark 5 VHD is up to 20 oz. lighter than other scopes in its class. It has superior edge-to-edge clarity and extreme low-light performance — and the versatility of the Combat Competition Hunter reticle. With three revolutions of elevation adjustment, it was built to max out the performance of the latest long-range rifles and ammo. The Mark 5 VHD is ergonomically designed with more tactile, audible click adjustments, larger numbers, and a high-speed throw lever so you can put accurate fire downrange faster if you need to.
The Meopta TGA makes it easy for everyone to carry a collapsible spotting scope. The classic draw-tube design of this rugged spotting scope allows the length to be shortened from 14.8″ when fully extended to 9.8″ collapsed. The Meopta TGA features a 75mm objective lens and the fully multi-coated, premium-grade optics ensures superior light transmission and edge-to-edge clarity. Meopta’s tough, proprietary MeoShield coating protects external lens surfaces from abrasions and scratches. The TGA 75 has a fully rubber-armored, lightweight aluminum body built to withstand use in the toughest terrain. It’s also small enough to throw in any backpack and you can use any tree to stabilize it, no need to pack a tri-pod.
The SIG Juliet 4 is a versatile 4X magnifier, designed for modern semi-auto pistols, MSR platforms and shotguns. This family of magnifiers is an excellent choice for transitioning from close quarters to intermediate range targets. In conjunction with a reflex optic, the Juliet 4 can be adjusted for height through the use of spacers. It has a PowerCam 90-degeree Mount so it can be quickly flipped to the side if needed, or deployed rapidly to bring targets four times closer. Its quick release mount comes with built-in recoil lugs for a repeatable zero. And the aircraft grade CNC aluminum housing ensures a lifetime of reliable service. The Juliet 4x Magnifier is designed to work as a stand-alone magnification solution or in conjunction with reflex optics. And of course, the perfect partner for the Romeo.
I counted on Trijicon night sights for 12 years on duty, and the reliability and durability have never disappointed me. Of course, I was excited when the HD XR Night Sights came out. Trijicon thinned the front sight post for a larger field of view. This expanded field of view makes it easier to identify targets, while getting precise shots. The sights are illuminated by a tritium-phosphor lamp, maximizing illumination with little or no light. The sights are capped with a sapphire window, evenly distributing the light and protecting the sights from damage. Inside, the lamps are protected with rubber cushions. I’ve seen Trijicon sights dropped and smashed and keep on glowing. You don’t want to do this on purpose but if you do, you’ll know they keep on shining.
The Dueck Defense Fixed Rear (DFR) is a fusion of a competition and fighting sight. The face of the rear sight is slightly canted rearward and matte black for a crisp sight picture, without any distracting serrations. The front of the DFR has the Dueck Defense blended hook with a multi-direction radius. Perfect for one-hand racking of the slide but without the sharp edges common on many other combat sights. The front sight has a slight angle to avoid catching on gear but still gives a crisp sight picture. They also have a line of raised sights perfect for suppressors and red dots as well. Dueck Defense has a full lineup — even if you’re running a red dot on your EDC gun.
The Burris 3-12X56 is engineered with an innovative light management system ensuring sharp, bright images without associated glare. With a rear focal plane design, the reticle stays the same size at all magnifications. The Four X features 8.9cm to 10cm eye relief, an internal focusing eyepiece and a Mil-Dot reticle. This long-range precision workhorse provides the shooter with an illuminated reticle, to boot. Burris also uses their Hi-Lume multi-coating aids for superior low-light performance. His Editorship uses this sort of thing on his Encores and Contenders.
The Swarovski 8X32 EL Range binocs are another addition to the Swarovski excellent lineup. The lenses are treated with Swarovski’s proprietary blend of coatings designed to maximize light transmission, while controlling stray light and glare. These binocs are waterproof, dust-proof and nitrogen purged to prevent any internal fogging. The shape, balance and weight combination of these 8X32 beauties are the epitome of elegance and performance. If you splurge on a pair, they’ll likely be handed down through generations of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. Call them an instant family heirloom.
Meopta’s Meopro HD 10×42 binoculars are made of lightweight magnesium, offering their tough MeoShield lens coating, nitrogen purged body, multi-coating and ultraclear fluoride HD objective lenses. I’m an optics snob and these offer a color clarity and fidelity which is stunning, along with the expected image clarity Meopta is famous for. They’re waterproof, shockproof and meet military specs so are plenty rugged for the sort of general use we’d give them. Optics today can often be astounding and these rank among the very top of that exclusive group.