best hunting optics

Best Hunting Optics

best hunting optics

Vortex Razor HD 4000 GB Laser Rangefinder

This is one smart Rangefinder! It includes a variety of features to aid long-distance shooters like GeoBallistics ballistics solver, a full bullet database, compass, sensors for temperature, barometric pressure and humidity, Cross Wind Mode and Wind Bearing Capture Mode. It also pairs with weather-meter devices like the Kestrel. It’s capable of ranging to 4000 yards; we used it at distances of 400 yards and in, and found that it provided outstanding image clarity and fast target acquisition. The unit is built to be durable, with scratch-resistant lenses, rubber armor on the body and O-ring seals to keep out moisture.

best hunting optics

Vortex Razor HD 13-39×56 Spotting Scope

This spotting scope changed the glassing game for us. We typically stick to glassing with binos because of the weight and bulkiness of a spotter and tripod. But there’s no denying that you will find more game if you spend the time to scour an area with a good spotting scope. Because of this spotting scope’s compact size and reduced weight, we were able to pack it with us on several backcountry hunts. This scope is made with premium components to provide outstanding resolution and a clear image. It held up perfectly to the abuse we shelled out in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, where this fall’s hunting was wet, windy, and cold.

Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56 M1C3 FFP PR1-MOA

This first-focal-plane scope, though designed for long-range shooting, is much lighter than most scopes with this sort of capability. It weighs just 28 ounces. The 35 mm main tube increases dialable elevation for long-range shooters—120 MOA elevation and 60 MOA windage for the scope we tested. The throw lever makes it easy to zoom, and the Zero Lock dial makes is simple to return to zero. Parallax is adjusted with the Side-Focus knob (left turret). Editor George Krumm tested the version with the PR-1 reticle; in his opinion, this reticle is less busy and is perhaps easier to use in hunting situations than some of the reticles designed for long-range target shooting.

The scope he tested had 1/4 MOA increments, but 1/10 MIL versions are also available. The scope comes with flip-open lens caps. The Mark 5HD has extremely clear glass and provides a very sharp picture—it is strikingly noticeable compared to less expensive scopes. Eye relief is 3.6” to 3.8”—plenty for even magnum-caliber rifles. The Mark 5HD line includes almost 50 different models. Magnification levels include 2-10×30, 3.6-18×44, 5-25×56, and 7-35×56, each with a variety of reticle choices. The Mark 5HD comes with a lifetime warranty, whether you’re the original owner or not.

Leupold BX-4 Range HD TBR/W

best hunting optics

Scott Haugen has been a contributor to Hunt Alaska since inception, and for good reason. Decades of worldwide experience give Scott a lot of real-world perspective on gear. He states, “Downright impressive in low light, heavy shadows, even on flat, bright terrain, I was instantly impressed with Leupold’s new BX-4 rangefinding binoculars. I used them in the Roosevelt elk rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, sage country habitat for Rocky Mountain elk, and on dozens of hunts in between. Whether you’re a long-range rifle hunter or a bowhunter, the BX-4 Range will meet your needs.

Leupold’s True Ballistic Range/Wind (TBR/W) technology is all about precision, offering 25 selectable ballistics groups that account for your preferred cartridge, thereby allowing you to dial-in the exact distance of your target. The guesswork is gone thanks to the TBR/W’s 10-mph wind holds that provide information needed to connect on the first shot. Combined with Leupold’s Custom Dial System and you’ll be on target in seconds, with no question as to where your point of impact will be. The edge-to-edge clarity and quality of glass is exceptional, and you can configure the unit to operate with either hand.” The BX-4 Range HDs provide accurate ranging, plus ballistics solutions all in one unit.

best hunting opticsLeupold RX-2800 TBR/W Digital Rangefinder

Most humans are incredibly bad at estimating distance. This can lead to misses or worse in the field. A rangefinder is an essential part of your hunting kit to help you make clean kills on game. Leupold’s BX-4 Range HD TBR/W rangefinder not only provides distance, but also TBR/W ballistics calculations. TBR/W, which stands for True Ballistic Range/Wind, and the ballistics calculations it produces, account for range, angle, and a 10-mph crosswind. This 7x optic not only provides digital ranging on deer-sized targets to 1,100 yards, but it also includes ballistic solutions for a wide variety of calibers and loads.

You simply select the load group that most closely matches the caliber, bullet weight, and muzzle velocity for your rifle. Once set, the TBR/W will use that load group in its calculations. Leupold claims TBR/W elevation adjustments are accurate to 1/2 MOA at any range. The waterproof unit weighs 7.9 ounces and is 1.5” wide by 3” tall by 4.3” long. The reticle and data are displayed by red LEDs.

Vortex Razor HD LHT 4.5-22×50 Riflescope

best hunting

Publisher Marcus Weiner had this to say, “This is a bad-ass rifle scope that will handle with ease those common 100- to 250-yard shots that we usually get in Alaska, but also allow you to reach out and hit targets at greater distance, as is common in some of the open-country hunts in states like WY, ID, CO and MT. The scope is built with an illuminated first-focal-plane reticle featuring their XLR-2 reticle system. It also features their RevStop Zero System for a reliable return to zero. Image clarity is truly excellent, giving hunters added confidence when evaluating game.

Vortex’s Razor HD LHT scopes are built tough, light, and have proven to hold up to the crappy weather which is a trademark of our hunting season. We use Vortex binoculars, rangefinders, spotting scopes, and riflescopes and are impressed with their continuing performance and excellent customer service we’ve received over the years.”