January 24th, 2012

SHOT Show: Quick Reviews of New-for-2012 Optics

Show Report by Jason Baney
Nearly every major optics manufacturer showcased innovative new products at this year’s SHOT Show. And some of the scope-makers surprised us by venturing into new product areas. For example, Vortex came out with a nice, compact Laser Rangefinder, and Sightron released a 1-7×24 hunting/tactical scope. Here are new product highlights from Kahles, Meopta, Schmidt & Bender, Sightron, and Vortex.


New Tactical Scope with Parallax Control On Elevation Turret
Kahles has brought out a beefy 34mm-tubed tactical scope with some smart features. The parallax adjustment on Kahles’s new 6-24x56mm scope is located at the base of the elevation turret — not on the side like an Nightforce NXS. It may seem odd to put the parallax control BELOW the elevation adjustment, but when you think about it — this is pretty clever. Locating the parallax below the elevation is very convenient — when you dial for longer range, you can quickly dial the new parallax without changing your hand position, or fiddling around for a second turret. Putting the parallax control on the central turret allows the illumination rheostat to be placed on the left side of the tube. This allows much more scope-mounting freedom — you don’t have a big illumination module positioned next to the rear ring, limiting how far forward you can position the scope.

Kahles 6-24x56mm scope

Initially the Kahles 6-24×56 will be offered with just two (2) reticles. We would like to see a wider zoom range, but overall, this is a very well-thought-out scope. Kahles is also offering a 1-6 with nicely designed reticles.The 6-24×56 is expected to cost about $3000 while the 1-6 should be priced around $2700. Both scopes should be on dealers’s shelves by summer 2012.


All-New 82mm Spotting Scope and iPhone Adapter
Meopta has totally redesigned its top-end spotting scope to keep up with current market trends. But we’re pleased that Meopta has maintained a more moderate price-point than most in this class of 80mm spotters. The new spotter has a 82mm objective, solid rubber armor and is available straight or angled. Two eyepiece options are offered: a 30-60X Wide-Angle and a 20-70X standard eyepiece. Meopta’s new 82mm spotter should be available in March 2012, priced at about $2200 for a complete spotter with eyepiece. Meopta has also introduced a handy adapter to allow iPhone users to take pictures through the spotter. This adapter retails for $50.00.

Meopta 82mm Spotting Scope

Schmidt & Bender

New PMIIs — at Higher Prices
Schmidt & Bender had a few new scopes on display, most notably, a redesigned (and still unavailable) 3-20×50 PMII as well as S&B’s 1-8x PMII. The most obvious difference on the revised 3-20 was the updated locking turret that is different, and much better than it was 2 years ago. Street price on the PMII scopes will be in the $3500-$4000 range depending on reticle choice. We also noted the very aggressive tactile fins on the magnification adjustment dial. Also shown was a prototype compact, tan 1.5-6x20mm straight tube dot scope. Based on S&B’s track record, this 1.5-6X might actually make it to North American dealers in 2014.

Schmidt & Bender 2012 Scope


New Compact 1-7X Variable
Sightron unveiled a new 1-7×24 scope, which should please hunters and 3-Gun shooters. The new 1-7×24 is only offered with one reticle currently; this appears similar to the Meopta 4C red dot reticle. The reticle features an illuminated red dot in the middle, with a thinner upper post and thicker left, right and bottom posts. The scope features 0.1 MRAD clicks and 5 mils per turn with covered low profile target turrets. We hope to see an improved reticle with holdover stadia for longer range shooting in the future. The 1-7×24 will retail for $799.00 and should be at dealers by the end of March, 2012.

Sightron 1-7x24mm scope


New Compact Rangefinder with Angle Correction
Vortex introduced a very cool little laser rangefinder at a nice price point. The Ranger 1000 is rated for 1000 yards, has a great feel, great size, pleasant red-cross aim point display, and unlike any other similar laser products out there, offers a LIFETIME warranty. Along with all these features, it also gives angle-corrected readings for shooting more accurately uphill and downhill. The Ranger 1000 is very easy to operate one-handed and has a nice rubber coating and removable pocket clip as well. Retail price will come in at $379 with availability in May 2012.

Vortex Ranger 1000 laser rangefinder

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