2020 New Optics Guide: Low-Power Variable Optics

posted on August 5, 2020
Lots of folks just bought new firearms during both the COVID-19 pandemic and recent riotous social unrest. Many of those guns need (or at least should have) an optic mounted. No matter your firearm, budget, intended use or requirements, we’ve got a newly introduced optic for you, particularly if you're interested in a low-power, variable style of optic. Read on to learn about your options!

Crimson Trace | CTL-5108
Crimson Trace | CTL-5108
With a significant 34-mm-diameter main tube, first-focal-plane reticle and zero-reset turrets, Crimson Trace’s new CTL-5108 expands the range of the traditional low-power, variable optic.

Magnification: 1-8X
Objective Lens Diameter: 28 mm
Reticle: SR1-MIL
Length: 10.9 inches
Weight: 23.9 ounces
MSRP: $1,499
(800) 422-2406; crimsontrace.com

EOTech | Vudu 1-8X

EOTech | Vudu 1-8X 
This low-power, variable optic is trim, light and useful. EOTech’s new Vudu 1-8X scope offers a daylight-visible dot and ballistic-drop compensating reticle with dedicated subtensions for a multiplicity of options.

Magnification: 1-8X
Objective Lens Diameter: 24 mm
Reticle: Quad BDC with daylight-visible dot
Length: 10.6 inches
Weight: 21.3 ounces
MSRP: $1,399
(888) 368-4556; eotechinc.com

German Precision Optics | Passion 5X 1-5x24i

German Precision Optics | Passion 5X 1-5x24i
With features like the GPObright lens coating and Passiondrop hydrophobic exterior lens coating, this scope promises bright, clear images and easy aiming when mounted on your carbine. 

Magnification: 1-5X
Objective Lens Diameter: 24 mm
Reticle: G4i
Length: 10.6 inches
Weight: 19.4 ounces
MSRP: $879.99
(844) 692-4667; gpo-usa.com

Kahles | K18i 1-8x24i 3GR

Kahles | K18i 1-8x24i 3GR
Optimized for IPSC and 3-gun matches, the K18i allows for a wide field-of-view. A Max Light function provides for extreme backlight situations and integrated throw levers can be adjusted in two sizes, giving the ability to operate in all elements. 

Magnification: 1-8X
Objective Lens Diameter: 24 mm
Reticle: 3GR
Length: 11.8 inches
Weight: 19.6 ounces
MSRP: $2,777
(800) 426-3089; kahles.at/us

Leupold | VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20 AR

Leupold | VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20 AR
Part of the VX-Freedom line, the 1.5-4x20 AR is tailored to the AR platform and is extremely affordable for a Leupold scope. It has a 1-inch main tube and .1-mil click adjustments. The VX-Freedom incorporates Leupold’s Twilight Light Management System and is waterproof and fogproof.

Magnification: 1.5-4X
Objective Lens Diameter: 20 mm
Reticle: AR Ballistic reticle
Length: 9.35 inches
Weight: 9.6 ounces
MSRP: $324.99
(800) 538-7653; leupold.com

Steiner | M8Xi IFS

Steiner | M8Xi IFS
Combining a variable-power optic with intelligent-firing-solution capability, this optic provides real-time targeting data such as cant, wind speed and direction, windage and elevation settings and target distance on a customizable heads-up display.

Magnification: 1-8X
Objective Lens Diameter: 56 mm
Reticle: DMR8i
Length: 10.8 inches
Weight: 31.7 ounces
MSRP: $7,199.99
(888) 550-6255; steiner-optics.com

Sun Optics | Mantis

Sun Optics | Mantis
With an illuminated BDC reticle and a magnification range up to 6X, Sun Optics’ Mantis helps you squeeze the most performance from your MSR. Close- and intermediate-range targets become easy pickings. Best off all, at less than $200, you can buy more ammunition.

Magnification: 1-6X
Objective Lens Diameter: 24 mm
Reticle: BDC
Length: 11.5 inches
Weight: 18.3 ounces
MSRP: $249.99
(817) 783-6001; sousaoptics.com

Trijicon | Ascent 1-4X24

Trijicon | Ascent 1-4X24
Created for the AR platform, the Ascent is lightweight, yet offers military-grade ruggedness. Its multi-coated lenses deliver edge-to-edge clarity, quickly achieved with the easy-focus eyepiece. An extra-wide field-of-view and uncluttered reticle aid in fast, efficient scanning of your surroundings.

Magnification: 1-4X
Objective Lens Diameter: 24 mm
Reticle: BDC with Target Holds
Length: 10.4 inches
Weight: 15.9 ounces
MSRP: $650
(800) 338-0563; trijicon.com

TruGlo | Omnia 1-8x24

TruGlo | Omnia 1-8x24
Joining the Omnia line is the second-focal-plane 1-8x24 mm. It features a Quick-Zoom lever for rapid magnification adjustment and a one-piece Picatinny rail mount. The etched and illuminated reticle provides multiple aiming options without clutter and bullet-drop compensation out to 600 yards. 

Magnification: 1-8X
Objective Lens Diameter: 24 mm
Reticle: All Purpose Tactical
Length: 14.1 inches
Weight: 26 ounces
MSRP: $447.99
(888) 887-8456; truglo.com

Vortex Optics | Razor Gen3

Vortex Optics | Razor Gen3
Two first-focal-plane reticle options for accurate ranging and compensation for holdover/under and wind drift make the Razor Gen3 a solid option for shooters seeking an optic (with a 10X magnification range) to engage targets at a variety of distances.

Magnification: 1-10X
Objective Lens Diameter: 24 mm
Reticle: EBR-9 (MOA); EBR-9 (MRAD)
Length: 10.1 inches
Weight: 21.5 ounces
MSRP: $2,899.99
(800) 426-0048; vortexoptics.com


Rock River Arms Operator
Rock River Arms Operator

First Look: Rock River Arms DMR Rifles

Lots of new ways to take an AR-pattern rifle out to longer distances.

Why Choose A Slim Pistol?

Handgun thickness is dictated by magazine dimensions, which vary based on capacity, construction and feed geometry.

Review: Bushnell Match Pro ED 5-30x56 mm

Let’s start with the non-traditional review stuff right now. The new Match Pro ED 5-30x56 mm scope from Bushnell is not earth-shattering.

Red Dots for Old Eyes

It has happened against my will and without my permission, but I got old. Parts of me did anyway. I first noticed it in my late 40s when I had trouble reading the headstamp on a cartridge.

First Look: Vortex Defender-CCW Micro Red Dot

Designed from the ground up with concealed carry in mind.

Shoot United Launches 2023 Nationwide Event Schedule

Twenty events across the country, all designed to introduce people to the shooting sports.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.