At this time of the year, most renowned optics manufacturers are usually in full preparation for the Shot Show hunting fair which takes place in the second half of January in Las Vegas. Not this year, though – both Shot Show and IWA 2021 have already been cancelled to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 2020 was not much different – a fair portion of it was plagued by the coronavirus pandemic, which is why presentations of new products happened online. Presenting a novelty online has many drawbacks, such as the impossibility for the viewer to check the optical quality on the spot, but it is the safest way. The disadvantages of such presentations might have convinced some manufacturers to postpone the release of something big. Let us take a look at the new releases in the field of target riflescopes this year – even though there have scarcely been any.
Premium (2000 €+)
The biggest news in this price class comes from Romania. IOR launched a brand-new target scope this year, Invictus 10–60x56 SFP, designed for precision shooting at long distances. It is a typical IOR riflescope – long, bulky, and robust. We are used to having the parallax adjustment between the objective bell and the tube with IOR scopes, but this new one has a classic side focus. It is intended for the field target competitions as well, so it makes sense to put the parallax setting so that a parallax wheel can be put on and reached with ease. It comes with a 40mm tube and 80 MOA of internal elevation adjustment. The turrets lack a locking function but produce crisp, audible clicks. The shooter can benefit from the reticle subtensions at three different magnifications. Optically, the scope is great, which is no surprise since it features the famous Schott HD glass.
Upper Midrange (1000–2000 €)
Sightron’s SIII series still dominates the upper midrange market which we can attribute to their great mechanics and optics. At the beginning of 2019, Sightron introduced a simple and intuitive Zero Stop function on some of these models. This year, they upgraded the turrets and redesigned the chassis of the 10–50x60 model. It used to be made of two pieces but now they use a single-piece aluminium, making it even sturdier.
Lower Midrange (500–1000 €) and Entry level (below 500 €)
In 2020, nothing extraordinary has been launched in these price classes. It might be that manufacturers are cooking something up for the next year – who knows.
We cannot say that 2020 was a year of target riflescopes and the shortness of this article proves that. IOR’s Invictus stole the spotlight in the premium category this year, and Sightron SIII is still the key player in the upper midrange class.