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April 9th, 2023

Sunday Showcase: Noteworthy Optics from SHOT Show 2023

ZEISS LRP sightron leupold burris S3 Scope ocab 2023 optics SHOT Show sightron leupold Schmidt bender ffp prs nrl

Over the past 12 months we have seen noteworthy innovations in riflescopes. Some very impressive scopes were showcased at SHOT Show 2023, including the impressive ZEISS LRP S3 FFP optics, and a stunning $5790.00 10-60X Schmidt & Bender. Advanced technology is also being integrated into modern riflescopes, as witnessed by a new Burris optic with a digital display linked to a Ballistic App via Bluetooth.

Gun blogger Jonathan Ocab, a very skilled shooter with both rifles and cameras, visited the booths of numerous optics makers at SHOT Show 2023. In this Sunday Showcase, Jonathan reviews some of the most notable riflescopes seen at SHOT Show. This article features seven optics brands: ZEISS, Sightron, Schmidt & Bender, Leupold, Tangent Theta, Burris, and Bushnell.

ZEISS LRP S3 Scopes — Class-Leading Elevation and Good Value

I stopped by the ZEISS booth to check out the ZEISS LRP S3 scopes that were released in the latter half of 2022. The ZEISS LRP S3 is available in two core models: 4-25x50mm and 6-36x56mm. Both scopes have 34mm main tubes and the minimum parallax distances are 16.4 yards and 10.9 yards for the 4-25X and 6-36X scopes, respectively.


The ZEISS LRP S3 scopes earned attention because the 4-25x50mm version has 46.5 MRAD/160 MOA of elevation travel while the 6-36x56mm has 32 MIL/110 MOA elevation travel. The 32 MIL elevation range of the 6-36X is exceptionally good while the 46.5 MIL elevation travel of the 4-25x50mm is best in class. Nothing else out there really rivals this. The Zeiss LRP S3 turrets and knobs are smooth, with the elevation and windage turrets having tactile clicks with no springy play from click to click.

ZEISS LRP S3 Scope ocab 2023 optics SHOT Show ffp prs nrl

Optically, they looked very good and in discussions with people who have LRP S3 scopes, they all indicated the LRP S3 was their favorite scope before stepping into the realm of Kahles, Zero Compromise Optic, and the other very pricey optics.

ZEISS LRP S3 Scope ocab 2023 optics SHOT Show ffp prs nrl

The ZEISS LRP S3 has an MSRP of $2199.99 and $2499.99 USD for the 5-25x50mm and 6-36x56mm versions, respectively. Given the features and capabilities of the LRP S3 series, I am surprised more people are not using them for NRL22/NRL22X and PRS Rimfire competitions. [Editor: The word is getting out and, and yes, more ZEISS LRP S3s are being used now at NRL22 and PRS rimfire matches.]

Sightron SVIII 5-40×56mm ED FFP

While not new, I needed to check out the Sightron SVIII 5-40x56mm ED FFP which has been out for nearly a year. Sightron’s current flagship scope, the SVIII 4-40x56mm, has a 40mm tube main tube which facilitates the 40 MIL elevation and 20 MIL windage adjustments. The SVIII offers the choice between a traditional crosshair reticle with hashes (LRM reticle) or a tree-style reticle (MH-6).

sightron sviii ed ffp scope ocab 2023 optics SHOT Show sightron leupold Schmidt bender 4-50x56mm

The extra-low dispersion glass in combination with their MC-777 Fully multi-coated optics provides top tier image quality in a package that carries an MSRP of $2899.

Schmidt & Bender 10-60×56mm Scope

Schmidt & Bender showed off its new 10-60x56mm scope. This 10-60x56mm uses a 34mm main tube and I am going to guess that this impacted the elevation travel as the specifications indicate it has only 25 MRAD available. Note that I say ‘only’ because 30 MRAD of elevation travel is becoming a common benchmark in the industry for long range precision rifle scopes.

s&b schmidt bender 10-60x56mm ffp sfp m1FL

The S&B 10-60x56mm is oriented towards competitive rifle shooters including F-Class, benchrest, and (extreme) long range shooters. This is reflected in the M1FL reticle that is used for the 10-60x56mm.

s&b schmidt bender 10-60x56mm ffp sfp m1FL
Schmidt & Bender M1FL reticle (Source: S&B)

Note that the M1FL lacks a tree-style reticle and keeps the field of view clear with a basic crosshair reticle with MIL graduations. It is also important to note that the 10-60x56mm will be available in a Second Focal Plane (SFP) MOA scope with adjustment values of 1/4 or 1/8 MOA.

Schmidt & Bender is supporting either standard 0.1 MIL adjustment turrets or 0.05 MIL using their Multi Turn II turrets. The scope displayed had Mil turrets and was First Focal Plane (FFP). But S&B has posted: “MOA shooters take note: Soon, the 10-60x56mm will be offered with a Second Focal Plane MOA-based reticle and corresponding turret configurations with click values of ¼ or ⅛ MOA. So stay tuned.”

The 10-60x56mm also has the illumination and parallax adjustment on the same turret. While this is not new to scopes in general as many manufacturers do this, many previous S&B scopes have a separate reticle illumination knob which would affect what scope mounts could be used.

Given the reticle choice and the ability to go very fine on the turret adjustments, I feel that this scope will be sought after by F-Class and Benchrest shooters. Not to mention the 60X maximum magnification will turn the rifle scope into a spotting scope as needed (e.g., seeing hit locations when shooting on paper as opposed to electronic targets). The S&B 10-60x56mm is not a scope meant for the NRL/PRS type shooter. shows a starting price of $5790.00 for the the Schmidt & Bender 10-60x56mm. There is also a version priced at $5940.00, making this one of the most expensive optics on the market.

Leupold’s New Mark 5HD 2-10×30mm

I went to the Leupold booth to discover a new Mark 5HD iteration in the form of the 2-10x30mm optic. It is quite apparent, based on the magnification range, that new Mark 5HD 2-10x30mm is meant to compete in the Low Power Variable Optic (LVPO) arena. However, unlike other LVPOs, the Mark 5HD 2-10×30 has adjustable parallax from 40 yards to infinity — thank you Leupold!

leupold mark 5hd LPVO ffp prs nrl

The new Mark 5HD has the typical features found on prior Mark 5HD scopes including a 35mm main tube, locked elevation turret, capped windage turret, and the mini-throw lever on the magnification ring.

The Leupold Mark 5HD 2-10x30mm will be available in MOA with the PR1 reticle and in MIL with the TMR reticle (either illuminated or non-illuminated), and all are First Focal Plane. The MSRP is $1999.99 for the non-illuminated reticle versions and $2499.99 for the illuminated version.

Tangent Theta TT735P 7-35x56mm

Those who prefer top-tier scopes will be enamored with the new Tangent Theta TT735P scope. Tangent Theta, a Canadian company, produces very exacting scopes that are renowned for their high degree of quality including optics, functional performance, and construction and durability.

tangent theta canada 7-35x56mm tt735p tool-less zero windage App

tangent theta canada 7-35x56mm tt735p tool-less zero windage AppThe new TT735P from Tangent Theta is a 7-35x56mm zoom scope with a 56mm objective. Unlike the other Tangent Theta models already in production which have a 34mm tube, the TT735P uses a 36mm tube. The TT735P has the same tool-less zeroing turrets which are highly regarded in existing Tangent Theta scopes.

10M Minimum Parallax Distance
The one huge feature in the TT735P is that it has a minimum parallax of 10 meters, which makes it viable for high-end rimfire platforms (e.g. NRL22/PRS). I really do not know how to convey the quality of the TT735P scope to anyone who has not handled a Tangent Theta before. The turrets are superb in tactile feel and the tool-less turret re-zeroing capability is a very exceptional (and useful) feature. This scope also offers a lockable diopter.

The new TT735P scope is one very pricey optic. The Tangent Theta 7-35×56mm is listed on the website as ranging from USD $6,369.00 to USD $6,872.00 depending on reticle.

tangent theta canada 7-35x56mm tt735p tool-less zero windage App
Gen 3 XR reticle is one of the reticle offerings for the TT735P (Source: ATI/TT)

Burris Optics 4-20x50mm Veracity PH with PEK

There is one quite notable new scope that I wanted to bring up that I saw during SHOT Show 2023 and that is the Burris Optics Veracity PH 4-20x50mm.

burris veracity PH PEK programmable elevation knob windage App

The Veracity PH is a 4-20x50mm riflescope with a 30mm main tube. It has a MOA reticle with 66 MOA and 37 MOA travel available on 1/4 MOA elevation and windage turrets, respectively. This sounds like a very hunter-oriented scope given the relatively short amount of elevation travel and the fact that it is in MOA. So, given the basic specifications, the Veracity PH is nothing spectacular to behold. That is until you learn more about the Programmable Elevation Knob (PEK) that is featured on the Veracity PH scope.

burris veracity PH PEK programmable elevation knob windage App

The PEK elevation knob does not have tactile clicks like a normal turret would and freely spins (albeit with tension). The reticle moves up and down mechanically with the erector as it normally should. However, the elevation turret is tied to the PEK system to control a digital display inside the scope’s sight picture. Note: Cant/bubble level is not visible in this photo.

The display shows a distance, the windage hold, and the rifle cant (level). The distance and windage hold values are based on the ballistic profile that will be synced with the scope via the Burris Connect phone App over Bluetooth. Note that you can elect to display the distance (that the elevation knob is set to given the ballistic profile) in yards or meters, or display the MOA dialed on the elevation turret.

burris veracity PH PEK programmable elevation knob windage App
Burris Wind MOA FFP Reticle with PEK. (Source: Burris Optics)

The cant/bubble level in the digital display is probably the highlight feature for me as this gets a level reference in the same plane of vision as the sight picture. No changing focus to the scope rail, scope mount, or the physical scope where a bubble level may be attached. The shooter can stay on target with the sight picture and see the level of the scope (and rifle).

Furthermore, the Burris Optics representative indicated that you can set the zero of the level using the Burris Connect App. The Burris Optics Veracity PH 4-20x50mm has an MSRP of $1200.00.

Bushnell Optics Match Pro ED 5-30×56mm

Bushnell Optics Match Pro 5-30x56mm ffp sfp $699.99

Bushnell Optics Match Pro 5-30x56mm ffp sfp $699.99Affordable Bushnell 5-30x56mm Match Pro
I made sure to visit Bushnell to see the new Bushnell Match Pro ED 5-30x56mm scope. This scope came out in December 2022 and is getting positive buzz because of its good glass quality and feature set at a $699.99 price point.

The Match Pro ED is a 5-30X magnification scope with a 56mm objective and 34mm main tube. It has locking turrets with a zero-stop for the elevation turret, and 30 MRAD and 14.5 MRAD travel for the elevation and windage, respectively.

The elevation knob has 10 MRAD per revolution for clear, easy to read graduations. The minimum parallax is 15 yards making this suitable for rimfire matches like NRL22. It comes with the Deploy MIL 2reticle, a tree-style illuminated reticle.

SHOT Show exhibition lighting is bad, but the glass looks solid. The fact that this scope is sold out at Bushnell could indicate that consumers are already clamoring for this scope.

About the Reviewer — Jonathan Ocab
Jonathan Ocab publishes various shooting sports articles on his Blog and shooting sports videos on his YouTube channel.

jonathan ocab rimfire photography video firearms ffp prs nrl

A former High Power Service Rifle competitor (Distinguished Rifleman), Jonathan is now primarily a recreational shooter in pistol, rifle, and rimfire, with a heavy emphasis on the latter as he is currently the NRL22 Match Director at his local range. See

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April 9th, 2023

Wind Speed Vs. Wind Direction — What Counts the Most?

Wind reading bryan litz speed direction

Wind-Reading Lesson from Bryan Litz

Q: What’s more important — wind speed, or direction?

A: Obviously they both matter, but they do trade dominance based on direction. For example, a 10 mph wind between 2:30 and 3:30 is only changing its value from 9.7 to 10 to 9.7 mph (bracket of 0.3 mph). However a 10 mph wind between 11:30 and 12:30 is changing its cross wind component value from 2.6 mph left to zero to 2.6 mph right (bracket of 5.2 mph). There is the same 30° change in direction, but this results in a massively different bracket.

Point being, in this case, a direction change is far more critical if it’s near 6 or 12 o’clock. A small direction change when it’s close to 3 or 9 o’clock is negligible.

On the contrary, a change in wind SPEED when it’s near 3 or 9 affects your crosswind component directly. But for a near head or tail wind, a fluctuation in wind speed only causes a small fraction of a change to the crosswind component.

SUMMARY: If you’re in a near full-value wind, pay more attention to wind SPEED. If you’re closer to a head- or tail-wind, nailing the exact DIRECTION will be more important.

Get More Tips on Bryan Litz Ballistics Facebook Page
This post is from the new Bryan Litz Ballistics Facebook Page. FB users should check that page regularly for more tips from Bryan, American’s leading ballistics expert and founder of Applied Ballistics LLC.


Bryan Litz coaching Team USA in Canada using a WIND PLOT.

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April 9th, 2023

Chess Set for Gun Guys and Gals — Clever Concept

Gun cartridge Chess

Gun cartridge ChessHow about a game of “Cartridge Chess”, with chess pieces sourced from your own ammunition collection? We think the concept of a Cartridge Chess Set is pretty clever, and it’s bound to be a conversation-starter at home or at the hunting lodge. With a little creativity, our readers could make their own Chess Sets like this, using a variety of cartridge types.

Create Your Own Cartridge Chess Set
This is a 3-D rendering found on the Cheaper Than Dirt Facebook page. We’d like to see a chess set with actual cartridges (assembled without powder or primers), perhaps with .32 ACP pawns and the 50 BMG and .338 LM as King and Queen.

Challenge: How many cartridge and shotshell types can you identify? The Pawns look like 9mm or 40sw pistol cartridges, while the Rooks (Castles) are obviously 12ga shotgun shells.

What’s Wrong with This Picture?: How many of you sharp-eyed chessmasters noticed a mistake in the placement of the “Royals” in the Cheaper Than Dirt 3-D rendering. Hint — look at the grid layout (top left) for the correct placement of Kings and Queens.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 2 Comments »