A Data-Driven Approach To Precision Rifles, Optics & Gear
Home / Optics

Optics

These are all the posts related to optics, including rifle scopes, binoculars, rangefinders, scope mounts, and scope rings.

Long Range Scopes: What The Pros Use

Best Long Range Scopes

I recently surveyed the top 100+ shooters in the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), and this post reviews the scopes those guys are running this year. For those of you who may not be familiar with the PRS, it’s an organization that tracks how top competitors place in major rifle matches across the country. PRS matches are tactical/practical long-range rifle matches shot in the field conditions. Typical ranges for steel targets are from 300 to 1200 yards, and they are engaged from prone and improvised positions, often under extreme time pressure. It is one of the fastest growing shooting sports, and ...

Read More »

Best Tactical Scopes & Reticles – What The Pros Use

Best Long-Range Scopes

I recently surveyed the top 100 shooters in the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), and this post reviews the scopes and reticles those guys were running in 2015. The PRS tracks how top competitors place in major rifle matches across the country. These are the major leagues of sniper-style competitions, with targets typically from 300 to 1200 yards. For more info on the Precision Rifle Series and who these guys are, or to view what other gear they’re running scroll to the bottom of this article. This is one of several posts based on that gear survey of the top PRS shooters. ...

Read More »

How Much Does Accurate Ranging Matter?

As long-range shooters, we tend to obsess over every little detail. After all, we’re trying to hit relatively small targets that are so far you may not even be able to see with the naked eye. While you might can get away with minor mistakes and still ring steel at short and medium ranges, as you extend the range those small mistakes or tiny inconsistencies are magnified. So, most things are important … but to differing degrees. This series of posts is taking a data-driven approach by using Applied Ballistic’s Weapon Employment Zone (WEZ) analysis tool to gain insight into how different ...

Read More »

Scope Mounts – What The Pros Use

This post is covers the scope mounts and scope rings the best precision rifle shooters used in 2014. The data is based on a survey of the top 50 shooters in the Precision Rifle Series (PRS). The PRS tracks how top competitors place in major rifle matches across the country. These are the major leagues of sniper-style competitions, with targets typically in the 300-1000 yard range. For more info on the Precision Rifle Series and who these guys are scroll to the bottom of this article. Scope Rings or One-Piece Mount? This year we added a couple questions to the ...

Read More »

Best Tactical Scopes – What The Pros Use

This post covers the scopes and reticles the best precision rifle shooters used in 2014. The data is based on a survey of the top 50 shooters in the Precision Rifle Series (PRS). The PRS tracks how top competitors place in major rifle matches across the country. These are the major leagues of sniper-style competitions, with targets typically in the 300-1000 yard range. This is the 3rd year we’ve been able to collect this data. For more info on the Precision Rifle Series and who these guys are scroll to the bottom of this article. Best Long-Range Tactical Scopes Here is ...

Read More »

Custom 6XC Precision Rifle Build

I recently had custom precision rifle built by Surgeon Rifles to use for tactical/practical rifle competitions. Those competitions typically include shots from 300 to 1,000 yards. As I walked through SHOT Show this year, I was on a hunt to find the best components for each part in a quest for the ultimate precision rifle build (or at least try out the latest and greatest to see how it stacked up to the hype). I’ve already put 600+ rounds through it, and ran it in 2 competitions. One of those was the 2014 Steel Safari, which is a grueling 3 ...

Read More »

Tactical Scopes: Field Test Results Summary & Overall Scores

This is the executive summary and overall scores from an epic scope field test focused on long-range, tactical rifle scopes in the $1,500+ price range. This represents an unprecedented, data-driven approach to evaluating the best scopes money can buy. Over 400 hours have gone into this research, and the line-up and tests are built on advice from some of the most respected experts in the industry. My goal with this project was to equip fellow long-range shooters with as much hard data as I could reasonably gather, so they could see what they’re paying for. I’ve published ridiculously exhaustive details, ...

Read More »

Tactical Scopes: Advanced Features Summary

Sorry, guys! I forgot to calculate the scores and post the summary for the advanced features section (e.g. reticles, zero stop, etc). I didn’t notice it until I went to calculate the overall scores! So I’ve gone back and figured that out, which is what this post is about. Don’t worry … the next post published will be the final overall results, I promise. Rifle scope innovation seems to have found a new gear lately, and that has led to a mountain of new features that simply weren’t available a few years ago. While many of these new features are ...

Read More »

Tactical Scopes: Mechanical Performance Summary

A great scope is more than just sharp glass. I surveyed 700+ shooters, and mechanical performance was rated as the most important feature of a scope. In fact, mechanical performance received 30% more votes than optical performance. A scope that doesn’t track, or doesn’t have repeatable adjustments seems to be viewed as the biggest flaw a scope could have. Mechanical performance is a critically important topic, but has been largely neglected in the shooting press. Here is what Dennis Sammut, Founder/President of Horus Vision, has to say on the subject: “Yearly, a virtual mountain of written information is spewed forth ...

Read More »

Tactical Scopes: Mechanical Performance Part 2

The previous post contained the details of the mechanical calibration test, which I think was one of the most enlightening tests of this entire field test. This post reviews several other tests I ran related to mechanical performance, including: Scope repeatability and whether it could reliably return to zero Reticle cant Reticle calibration Max internal adjustment range (i.e. elevation travel) Elevation travel per revolution Windage adjustment range Magnum recoil box tests Lots to cover, so lets dive into the results. Repeatability & Returning To Zero The setup of this test was identical to the click calibration test I covered in Part 1. Instead of ...

Read More »