New Red-Dot Sights and Riflescopes for 2017

By: Shooting Illustrated Staff


While AR-15-style rifles are still quite popular, there’s a growing trend toward long-range pursuits. Red-dot sights for pistols are gaining popularity, and thermal-imaging devices continue to become more affordable. As the market adjusts to the new normal, and shooters think about accessorizing the firearms they’ve purchased over the past decade, optics manufacturers have been hard at work producing clearer, more powerful riflescopes and red-dot sights with which to equip our newly acquired arms. Our roundup captures what stands out among 2017’s newest releases.

Aimpoint 3XMag-1 Magnifier

The 3XMag-1 joins the 6XMag-1 in Aimpoint’s magnifier lineup. The compact, rubber-armored unit can be used in conjunction with all Aimpoint sights for long-range aiming or observation. Its variable-diopter (-3 to +3) setting permits adjustment to the individual shooter’s vision. Aimpoint magnifiers use the red dot in Aimpoint sights as the aiming reticle, eliminating the need for re-zeroing when shifting between non-magnified and magnified aiming. The 3XMag-1 also works as a hand-held 3X monocular.

Field of View: 7 degrees
Reticle: N/A (Works with Aimpoint red-dot sights)
Length: 4.6 inches
Weight: 8.1 ounces
MSRP: $873
(703) 263-9795;

ATN ThOR-HD 640×50 mm Thermal Riflescope

The new ThOR-HD from ATN is designed to offer consumers some of the best technological advancements in thermal-imaging technology on the market. The riflescope uses ATN’s Obsidian “T” II thermal core, which includes more power and features than any other thermal scope offered by the company. Another update to the ThOR HD riflescope is the ability to record videos and images with a MicroSD card, allowing hunters and shooters to record their highlights.

Magnification: 2.5-25X
Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
Reticle: Multiple options
Length: 8.81 inches
Weight: 29.6 ounces
MSRP: $4,999
(800) 910-2862;

Axeon 4-16×50 mm Tactical Riflescope

Axeon launched its new Tactical Series scope to provide shooters with modern optics technology on a budget. The company boasts that the scope features the largest field-of-view in its class, providing 15 percent more FOV than competitors and providing 93-percent light transmission. The optic features a first-focal-plane reticle, giving it the ability to accurately measure mils at any magnification. Other features include machined locking turrets, fully multi-coated lenses and a nitrogen-purged 34 mm tube.

Magnification: 4-16X
Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
Reticle: Mil-Dot
Length: 13.35 inches
Weight: 28.48 ounces
MSRP: $279
(479) 646-4210;

Burris RT-6 1-6×24 mm Riflescope

An entry-level AR-15 optic for those looking to get started in 3-gun competition, the Burris RT-6 1-6×24 mm is designed for easy handling and has a number of features intended to be beneficial in a shooting match. A 1-6X zoom range—with a true 1X setting—allows for eyes-open engagement at close ranges. The Ballistic AR mil-based reticle features 11 illumination settings and comes with trajectory compensation to aid shooters in accurately putting shots on target out to 600 yards. There’s also an integrated throw lever that can be adjusted anywhere along the zoom ring to fit a shooter’s preferences.

Magnification: 1-6X
Objective Lens Diameter: 24 mm
Reticle: Ballistic AR
Length: 10.3 inches
Weight: 17.4 ounces
MSRP: $419-$659
(888) 440-0244;

Bushnell Advance Micro Red-Dot Sight

New for 2017 is Bushnell’s smallest and lightest red-dot sight, the Advance micro sight. Offering a 5-MOA dot projected through a water-, fog- and shockproof housing, the design is offered as a convenient option for AR-15-style carbines or handguns. The Advance is compatible with Glock mount plate number 1 for the MOS series of Glock handguns.

Magnification: 1X
Objective Lens Diameter: N/A
Reticle: 5-MOA red dot
Length: 1.8 inches
Weight: 2.2 ounces
MSRP: $254
(800) 423-3537;

Bushnell Enrage Red-Dot Sight

Also new for 2017 in Bushnell’s line are the Enrage and Incinerate red-dot sights. The Enrage offers a 2-MOA dot, while the Incinerate offers a 2-MOA dot with a 25-MOA circle. The Enrage red dot offers increased battery life (Bushnell claims twice the battery life of its previous line of red-dot sights) with “off” settings between each of eight brightness levels for ease of operation. A high-rise mount is included with the Enrage, and the lenses are multi-coated for glare resistance.

Magnification: 1X
Objective Lens Diameter: N/A
Reticle: 2-MOA red dot
Length: 4.5 inches
Weight: 9.8 ounces
MSRP: $239
(800) 423-3537;

EOTech Vudu 1-6×24 FFP Riflescope

EOTech designed its new Vudu riflescope to be a compact option loaded with high-quality features usable by all kinds of shooters. The company’s Speed Ring reticle is designed to provide shooters with the ability to engage targets quickly at close range on the low-power setting, but also to take intermediate-range shots with accuracy due to its clarity. The Vudu is built on a 30 mm tube to provide a bright sight picture and can be mounted on ARs and bolt-action rifles alike. It sports a first-focal-plane (FFP) reticle.

Magnification: 1-6X
Objective Lens Diameter: 24 mm
Reticle: EOTech Speed Ring
Length: 10.63 inches
Weight: 20.1 ounces
MSRP: $1,399
(888) 368-4656;

GPO-USA Passion 1-8x24i Riflescope

GPO-USA aims to bring German-designed technology (albeit inside scopes made in Asia) in a feature-rich, tactical-riflescope package. The Passion scope incorporates mil-based lockable turrets, a first-focal-plane horseshoe reticle along with the company’s trademarked iControl fiber-optic illumination system that features auto-off capability. The main tube on the optic measures 34 mm and offers a total adjustment range of 104 inches, ensuring that shooters can meet almost any adjustment need for elevation.

Magnification: 1-8X
Objective Lens Diameter: 24 mm
Reticle: Horseshoe illuminated
Length: 10.7 inches
Weight: 19 ounces
MSRP: $1,499
(844) 692-4667;

Hi-Lux Close to Medium Range CMR8F Riflescope

All longarms beg for quality optics, and Hi-Lux Optics has delivered a precision, high- quality optic in the Close to Medium Range CMR8F. Each lens is multi-coated with DiamondTuff14 for maximum light transmission, and the scope has a 1-8X magnification range. The glass is housed in a solid, 34 mm aircraft-grade aluminum tube. Nitrogen and rubber gasket seals guarantee fog-proof performance in all climates. The Zero-Lok turrets prevent the user from losing the scope’s zero.

Magnification: 1-8X
Objective Lens Diameter: 26 mm
Reticle: CW-4 FFP
Length: 10 inches
Weight: 22 ounces
MSRP: $800
(888) 445-8912;

HoloSun HS515CM Red-Dot Sight

HoloSun added a number of upgraded features to its HS515C series, incorporating what the company calls “military-grade” aspects to the latest model of red-dot sight out from the company. The red dot features a maximum battery life of 50,000 hours and includes a built-in solar panel that acts as a fail-safe and automatically adjusts the reticle brightness based on available sunlight. The optic also features the company’s trademarked Shake Awake motion activation that recalls the optic’s last brightness setting.

Magnification: 1X
Objective Lens Diameter: 22 mm
Reticle: 2-MOA red dot
Length: 3.375 inches
Weight: 7 ounces
MSRP: $470
(909) 594-2888;

Kahles K624i Riflescope

Kahles has long been known for its superior optics, and the company’s entrance into the tactical market is no exception. The Austrian-made K624i is available in a host of models, with choices for the location of the windage-adjustment turret (either left or right side) and between four mil-based reticles or an MOA-based option. Thanks to its sturdy 34 mm tube, the K624i offers 25.5 mils (86 MOA) of elevation adjustment and 11.5 mils (37.8 MOA) of windage, in .1-mil increments (.25-MOA in the MOAK version).

Magnification: 6-24X
Objective Lens Diameter: 56 mm
Reticle: MSR, AMR, SKMR, SKMR-3 or MOAK
Length: 15.9 inches
Weight: 33.5 ounces
MSRP: $3,332
(800) 426-3089;

Leupold Quest Thermal Imager

Following quickly on the heels of the LTO Tracker, the Quest thermal imager from Leupold offers another take on hand-held heat tracking. With a 2.4-inch LCD screen and built-in, 300-lumen flashlight, the Quest offers a 15-Hertz display that’s easy to see in most lighting conditions. The Quest has eight color palettes for viewing, offers a camera with easy output for saving images and a simple, three-button interface for toggling through the various options.

Length: 5 inches
Weight: 6.25 ounces
Field-of-View: 20 degrees
Range: 300 yards
Power Source: Internal lithium-ion rechargeable battery
Run Time: 4 hours
MSRP: $649
(800) 538-7653;

Leupold VX-5HD 3-15X Riflescope

Whether your interest lies in 3-gun competition, long-range pursuits or home defense, Leupold’s new VX-5HD series has you covered. Positioned between the VX-3i and the flagship VX-6, the VX-5HD utilizes a 5X erector assembly and offers 1-5X and 2-10X variants in addition to the 3-15X. A custom dial system allows two complete revolutions of each turret, ensuring a precise match to your rifle’s ballistics. A variety of reticle options include the FireDot illuminated reticle, a standard duplex and Leupold’s Impact-29 MOA reticle for ranging.

Magnification: 3-15X
Objective Lens Diameter: 44 mm
Reticle: Duplex, FireDot 4, Wind-Plex, Boone & Crockett Big Game and Impact-29 MOA
Length: 13.5 inches
Weight: 19 ounces
MSRP: $1,169
(800) 538-7653;

Lucid MLX 4.5-18X Riflescope

Lucid’s first-focal-plane riflescope, the MLX, contains a proprietary mil-based reticle that allows 10 mils of holdover and 5 mils of holdunder on the highest magnification level. Changes in windage or elevation are made in .1-mil increments with both audible and tactile confirmation, and the MLX provides 6 inches of mounting length for optimal eye relief. A one-piece, 30 mm, 6063-aluminum tube allows for added internal adjustment.

Magnification: 4.5-18X
Objective Lens Diameter: 44 mm
Reticle: MLX reticle
Length: 13.9 inches
Weight: 26 ounces
MSRP: $649
(307) 840-2160;

Meopta ZD 6-24×56 mm RD Riflescope

Created expressly for long-range, precision rifles, the latest scope from Meopta features resettable .1-mil windage and elevation turrets. The second-focal-plane MilDot II RD illuminated reticle is calibrated for 7.62 NATO, .338 Lapua Mag. and 12.7 mm rounds. Its MeoBright lens coating promotes 99.7-percent light transmission per lens surface, while the MeoShield ion-assisted coating protects those surfaces from scratches.

Magnification: 6-24X
Objective Lens Diameter: 56 mm
Reticle: MilDot II RD
Length: 15.2 inches
Weight: 30.6 ounces
MSRP: $2,184
(800) 828-8928;

Meprolight MicroRDS Red-Dot Sight

The versatile MicroRDS can mount to pistols or long guns, making it a solid option for any shooter. With the company’s Night Sight & Quick Release Adaptor (included), the MicroRDS can attach to a wide variety of handguns (this mount also fits micro red dots from Trijicon, Leupold, Docter and other manufacturers). On a rifle, the MicroRDS takes up only a tiny space on a rail and adds little weight, making it ideal for a lightweight platform or a truck gun. Thanks to motion-detecting technology, it conserves its CR2032’s battery life, adding peace of mind to your defensive firearm.

Magnification: 1X
Objective Lens Diameter: 22×17 mm
Reticle: 3-MOA red dot
Length: 1.9 inches
Weight: 1.37 ounces
MSRP: $458 (with Adaptor)
(631) 843-0490;

NcSTAR FlipDot Reflex Sight

The VISM FlipDot reflex optic has a very unique folding lens assembly that folds down flat into an incredibly compact size, making it less likely to snag or print when in a holster. The FlipDot is designed to mount directly onto Glock MOS pistols and will also fit onto most RMR cut slides with the included spacer. The folding lens also functions as the On/Off switch. When the lens is deployed upright the optic automatically turns on and when the lens is folded down, it powers off.

Magnification: 1X
Objective-Lens Diameter: 22×16 mm
Reticle: 3-MOA red dot
Length: 2 inches
Weight: 1 ounce (without MOS interface plate)
MSRP: $109
(866) 627-8278;

Nightforce ATACR 7-35X Riflescope

As the name might indicate, Nightforce’s newest ATACR (Advanced Tactical Riflescope) is designed for the long-range precision shooter in mind. With a 34 mm main tube for superior strength and greater adjustment range, capped windage turret and 30-MOA/12-mil per revolution elevation turret, parallax adjustment down to 10 meters and an integrated throw lever for magnification range, the ATACR is built for distance. Three reticle choices and Digillum illumination round out the ATACR’s impressive list of standard options.

Magnification: 7-35X
Objective Lens Diameter: 56 mm
Reticle: Mil-R, MOAR, TReMoR3
Length: 16 inches
Weight: 39.3 ounces
MSRP: $3,600
(208) 476-9814;

Nikon Black Force1000 1-4X Riflescope

Featuring capped turrets and Nikon’s Speedforce reticle, the Black Force1000 is clearly aimed at the MSR market. A double-horseshoe-style reticle is visible at 1X for rapid target acquisition and the Force1000 is compatible with Nikon’s Spot-On custom turrets for various popular calibers and bullet weights. A 30 mm main tube supports this water-, shock- and fogproof optic, which also features spring-loaded, zero-reset turrets.

Magnification: 1-4X
Objective Lens Diameter: 44 mm
Reticle: Illuminated Speedforce BDC
Length: 10.5 inches
Weight: 16.4 ounces
MSRP: $399
(800) 645-6687;

Schmidt & Bender 5-45×56 mm PM II High Power Riflescope

Available with four different first-focal-plane reticles, including the TReMoR3, this illuminated scope is designed for long- and ultra long-range use. The elevation turret is a revelation, as it is a low-profile, lockable, double-turn unit with 35 mils of total travel. Every tenth click is exaggerated, and a top-mounted gold pin indicates the second turn both visually and tactilely. The turret is lockable and has a zero stop.

Magnification: 5-45X
Objective Lens Diameter: 56 mm
Reticle: H@CMR, P4FL, P4FL-MOA, TReMoR3 (illuminated)
Length: 17.08 inches
Weight: 39.01 ounces
MSRP: $5,400-$6,325
(603) 287-4830;

SIG Sauer Juliet4

In its quest for world domination, SIG Sauer has cleverly paired its new Juliet4 magnifier with its existing Romeo line of dot sights. Should you find yourself in dire straits, the Juliet4’s ability to turn the unmagnified Romeo into a 4X scope could be life-saving. Thanks to the included PowerCam QR mount, the Juliet4 can be easily pushed to the side to transition for CQB purposes. Clear optics are housed in a CNC-machined, waterproof, aircraft-grade aluminum housing, ensuring reliability in rough conditions.

Magnification: 4X
Objective-lens diameter: 24 mm
Reticle: N/A
Length: 4.2 inches
Weight: 12.5 ounces
MSRP: $479
(603) 772-2302;

SIG Sauer Romeo5XDR

The latest addition to SIG Sauer’s Romeo line of red-dot sights is the XDR, which powers from a single, readily available AAA battery. Thanks to the Romeo5XDR’s Motion Activated Illumination (MOTAC), it can preserve that battery for up to 50,000 hours of use. The optic boasts a user-selectable Dual Reticle, allowing switches between a 65-MOA circle and a 2-MOA dot, making it extremely versatile. Its total adjustment range is +/- 40 MOA for both windage and elevation, and the dot sight is fully waterproof.

Magnification: 1X
Objective-lens diameter: 20 mm
Reticle: 65-MOA circle, 2-MOA red dot
Length: 2.5 inches
Weight: 5.6 ounces
MSRP: $299
(603) 772-2302;

Steiner P4Xi 1-4×24 mm

Designed for close-combat use, the Steiner P4Xi 1-4×24 mm balances adaptability, precision and speed in a variable-power optic. It offers true 1X magnification for shooting with both eyes open and 4X zoom to maintain situational awareness and welcome versatility. A generous field-of-view and more than 3 inches of eye relief make it ideal for quick acquisition of close- or intermediate-range threats. Five daytime and six nighttime illumination settings, with an off position between each setting, make this purpose-built riflescope go-to gear for any life-or-death situation that may arise.

Magnification: 1-4X
Objective-Lens Diameter: 24 mm
Reticle: P3TR
Length: 10.3 inches
Weight: 17.3 ounces
MSRP: $579
(888) 228-7747;

Tract Response 2.5-10×42 mm Impact BDC

Tract continues to expand its tactical line with the new 2.5-10X Response, which boasts specs normally found on scopes twice its price. By selling direct to consumers via its website, the company cuts out several layers of middle men, keeping the retail price low for a scope with so many high-end features. The 1-inch tube is argon purged to ensure it is water- and fogproof, and the glass-etched Impact BDC reticle is calibrated for a 55-grain, polymer-tipped .223 Rem. round, making it an ideal choice for an AR-15.

Magnification: 2.5-10X
Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
Reticle: Impact BDC
Length: 11.7 inches
Weight: 18 ounces
MSRP: $354
(844) 747-4928;

Trijicon 1-8×28 mm AccuPower LED Riflescope

Built around a 34 mm tube, this scope maximizes both light transmission and versatility. Multi-coated, broadband, anti-reflective glass and an increased exit pupil assure a bright image. The LED-illuminated, first-focal-plane reticle is available in Segmented Circle in either mil or MOA. The turrets are locking and resettable without tools and graduated in .25-MOA or .1-mil increments. The tough, compact scope benefits from Trijicon’s military heritage, and is eminently practical and should prove very durable.

Magnification: 1-8X
Objective Lens Diameter: 28 mm
Reticle: Segmented Circle
Length: 10.8 inches
Weight: 25 ounces
MSRP: $1,699
(800) 338-0563;

TruGlo Eminus Series Riflescopes

Utilizing TruGlo’s illuminated, second-focal-plane TacPlex Reticle (T.P.R.), both scopes in the Eminus series are designed to maximize the potential of modern sporting rifles. Available as the Eminus9 (3-9×42 mm) and Eminus16 (4-16×44 mm), these scopes have MOA adjustments on the dials and MOA measurements in the reticle, simplifying use. The series features multi-coated lenses, a 30 mm main tube, glass-etched reticle, .25-MOA locking target turrets, quick-zoom lever and a one-piece APTUS-M1 mount.

Magnification: 3-9X
Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
Reticle: T.P.R.
Length: 12.80 inches
Weight: 19.15 ounces
MSRP: $280-$369
(888) 887-8456;

TruGlo Omnia Series Riflescopes

Comprised of two models, the Omnia4 (1-4×24 mm) and Omnia6 (1-6×24 mm), these compact scopes feature TruGlo’s illuminated All Purpose Tactical Reticle (A.P.T.R.) calibrated for the 55-grain XM193 5.56 NATO round, with a 50/200 zero and bullet-drop compensation indicated to 600 yards. They include multi-coated lenses, a 30 mm tube body, locking target turrets and an included APTUS-1 mount. The scopes are waterproof, shockproof and fogproof, and offer generous eye relief.

Magnification: 1-4X
Objective Lens Diameter: 24 mm
Reticle: A.P.T.R. BDC
Length: 10 inches
Weight: 16.23 ounces
MSRP: $280-$369
(888) 887-8456;

Vixen Performance Optics VX82031 Riflescope

Vixen Series V-III riflescopes are engineered and built in Japan for superior quality and performance.  High-quality aviation-grade aluminum construction ensures long-lasting durability under extreme conditions. The 30 mm tube is also Nitrogen purged for complete fog and waterproof performance. With a second-focal-plane, illuminated etched-glass zero plus reticle and fully multi-coated lenses, the VX82031 provides a versatile platform for medium-range pursuits.

Magnification: 1-6X
Objective-Lens Diameter: 30 mm
Recticle: Zero Plus
Length: 10.9 inches
Weight: 34.40 ounces
MSRP: $1,359
(817) 783-6001;

First Look at SIG Sauer MCX Virtus

By: SI Staff


SIG Sauer launched a new and improved model of its popular MCX platform, called the MCX Virtus, after consulting with numerous special operations groups around the globe to improve the qualities of the firearm.

“SIG has supplied firearms to meet the unique demands of specialized units for decades,” said Ron Cohen, president and CEO of SIG Sauer. “Similar to the P320 pistol, the MCX Virtus was created to be the ultimate modular platform, a design that will change the demands of the modern rifle for years to come.”

The company named the redesigned rifle the Virtus to highlight the values of courage, bravery and exellence, all qualities embodied by the professional operators for which this rifle was built. The upgraded components of the new Virtus are designed to provide users with greater accuracy, longer service life and wider versatility and modularity. The new rifle is designed to give users 20,000 rounds of operation without requiring a single part replacement.

Some of the upgrades to the platform include a heavier-profile barrel that works to improve accuracy potential. The gun also comes with the company’s new Matchlite Duo Trigger, which provides users with a two-stage arrangement that still ensures a clean trigger pull. SIG Sauer also improved the design of the bolt lug in order to provide smoother cycling, thereby lengthening the service life of the bolt.

Increased modularity was also an aim of the upgrades, and SIG Sauer delivered with eight different M-Lok handguards that are available in both suppressor-ready and standard arrangements. The company also provides cold-hammer-forged barrels that come in lengths of 9 inches, 11.5 inches and 16 inches. The barrels are easily interchangeable and can be swapped out by the end user.

The SIG Sauer MCX Virtus platform still uses the company’s short-stroke piston system, along with the internal recoil arrangement that removes the need for a buffer tube. The platform can be had in Patrol (rifle-length), Pistol and SBR models. Color options are available in either gray or flat dark earth, and available caliber options are 5.56 NATO and .300 BLK. The suggested retail price on the new MCX Virtus starts at $2,233.

By: SI Staff


Heckler & Koch is providing consumers with an extra incentive to pick up new handguns from the company with the launch of its 2017 “Summer Magazinepalooza.”

The promotion, which launched on July 1, provides H&K pistol buyers with four free handgun magazines from the company, an estimated value of $200, with the purchase of a brand-new full-size P30 or VP Series handgun.

“We are excited to offer the first time ever Summer Magazinepalooza to show our appreciation and provide a valuable incentive to our customers this summer,” said Mike Holley, H&K vice president of sales and marketing.

The event covers every eligible handgun purchased from July 1 to Sept. 30, 2017, and H&K will allow rebate offers to be sent in on qualifying purchases until Oct. 31, 2017.

Handgun models that are eligible for the promotion include the P30, P30L, P30S, P30LS, VP9, VP9 Tactical, VP40 and VP40 Tactical. The promotion does not include the HK P30SK series or the VP9SK pistols.

To enter the promotion, consumers must provide the model and caliber of the handgun they purchased, along with the part number and serial number of the gun. The customer’s name and physical mailing address must be provided, along with a valid email and the name of the dealer where the gun was purchased.

A proof-of-purchase receipt must also be scanned and included. The company accepts .jpg and .pdf files, which can be uploaded directly to the rebate website. After all of the information is processed, customers will receive four free magazines in 8-10 weeks.

The H&K VP9 is the first striker-fired pistol produced by the company since the 1980s and builds on much of the knowledge gained by engineers in the process of developing the company’s hammer-fired P30 pistols. The VP9 is built to provide a consistent, high-quality trigger pull. Both the P30 and the VP9 have an ergonomic grip design that provides interchangeable panels in order to mold the grip to a shooter’s particular hand shape.