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Sniper School Training

The world's top combat shooters teach you about the skills, gear and mindset you need to become a better hunter.
1 | Read the full photo gallery »

Best Binoculars 2011

After a week of the toughest tests in the industry, we pick the winners of our 2011 Optics test.
2 | Read the full photo gallery »

Review: New Scopes

Bushnell and Burris took home top honors from our Optics Test.
6 | Read the full photo gallery »

New Optics 2014

We strip away brands and reputations to determine the best glass for sportsmen. Check out our review on the hottest new spotters, scopes and binos.
0 | Read the full blog post »

Optics Articles

Record Quest: Scouting with Optics

Good optics will help you scout an area from a distance without disturbing the deer....

New Optics 2013

A hunter is only as good as his optics. With this edict in mind, we round up the best...

Optics Review: OL Ranks the Best New Full-Size...

Our team of experts spent a week at the foot of the rocky mountains, where they fired...

Sniper School Training

The world's top combat shooters teach you about the skills, gear and mindset you need...

New Spotting Scopes 2011

We tested the new spotting scopes in 2011 and Leupold took home top honors.

Best Binoculars 2011

After a week of the toughest tests in the industry, we pick the winners of our 2011...

  • May 19, 2014

    2014 Optics Test: OL Reviews and Ranks the Best New Scopes, Spotters, and Binoculars - 0

    This is the year of the riflescope. Optics companies have figured out that there’s just not much they can do to improve a 10x42 binocular. Sure, they can add a laser rangefinder, or enhance the optical coatings or rubber armor. But when an open-hinge body or a softer eyecup passes for innovation, we have reached the latter days of progress. [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 21, 2014

    Nightforce SHV: An Affordable High-End Scope ... No, Seriously - 1

    Nightforce was able to keep the costs down on its new SHV (Shooter, Hunter, Varminter) by utilizing simpler controls, employing a less complex manufacturing process, and by reducing the overbuilding that goes into their tactical scopes. The SHV will stand up to any kind of sane treatment, but you can’t break rocks with it, or chock truck tires, or beat recalcitrant mules, as you can with the higher-priced Nightforces. [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 15, 2014

    New Optics: Vanguard Endeavor ED2 Binoculars - 0

    Vanguard updated its popular Endeavor ED line with the new ED2 binos in 10x42 and 8x32. These binoculars are comfortable, utilize Japanese glass, and have great edge-to-edge clarity. The 10x42 will retail for about $500 and the 8x32 will be around $400. [ Read Full Post ]

  • May 31, 2013

    Mil-Dot Reticles: Use Mils to Estimate Range - 4

    The “mils” in a mil-dot scope refer to milliradians, which is a measurement of angle. If you picture a mil as an ice cream cone, with the tip originating at the shooter’s eye and an open end that gets ever wider the farther out it goes, you get the idea. So if the mouth of our imaginary cone is 1 mil in diameter, making it 3.6 inches across at 100 yards, it would grow to 36 inches at 1,000 yards.

    Learning the principle behind mils (see illustrations), coupled with some homework on your part, can yield remarkable benefits to your shooting.

    For instance, mils allow you to hold over (or hold off) a target without the need to adjust your scope turrets for elevation and windage. With a come-up at 375 yards of 15 clicks, for example, you can hold the crosshairs 1.5 mils high on the target for a direct hit.

    It takes time, but once you master it, the mil-dot system is lethal and fast. [ Read Full Post ]

  • May 30, 2013

    Riflescopes: Finding the Proper Eye Relief - 1

    Three inches of eye relief (the distance between your eye and the ocular lens of the scope) is ideal for most big-game hunting rifles. But the key is to have 3 inches of relief at the scope's highest magnification. Editor Andrew McKean explains why. [ Read Full Post ]

  • May 24, 2013

    New Spotting Scopes: OL Reviews and Ranks the 7 Best New Scopes of 2013 - 1

  • May 16, 2013

    Objective Lens Size: Finding The Perfect Riflescope for Deer Hunting - 4

    American hunters have been brainwashed into thinking they want the brightest riflescope they can buy.

    They don’t.

    Light-gathering ability is mainly a function of objective-lens size, which means the brightest riflescopes would be too large and unwieldy to be much help in the places most of us hunt. Picture a 65mm or an 80mm spotting scope strapped to your rifle. Bright as hell, but hugely impractical. [ Read Full Post ]