For a regular shooter, firearms gear is a personal choice and more than often their choice of guns and scopes do not really change. If you are used to a Vortex scope, you will probably like to stick to it. However, since last year, the manufacturers have been competing fiercely to offer different from the usual, so that shooters have more choice than what they had a few years back. In addition to this, the huge popularity of the PRS has also lead many manufacturers to be actively associated with matches or sponsor shooters. So which of the scopes are highly popular with the shooters over a couple of years? Let’s find it out in this post.
Let’s begin with Vortex. The brand has successfully taken a lead in the last year. It has almost double the variety to offer the shooters as compared to most of the brands. Simultaneously, there has been a steep rise in its popularity among the users as well. From a number of long range scopes, Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27×56 scope provides a huge upgrade as compared to the previous scopes. It has proved itself to be a very useful scope for the shooters. In fact, there has been a surprise rise in the use of Vortex scopes in the PRS matches as well. The pros in this field are quite amazed at this turn of events. The brand has actively sponsored PRS over the years and they even sponsor shooters too. But if you think that is one of the reasons for its popularity, it is not so. Vortex does sponsor but not at this scale. The participants are not someone on whom you can force a choice. Rather it is all about the scope. The new Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27×56 seems to have created a lot of believers among these top shooters.
Nightforce is another popular scope that is being represented. But the surprising fact is that for the last 3 years, Nightforce was not represented at all in the PRS. It was Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56 F1 scope that staged a comeback for the brand. It is a First Focal Plane scope with all the features shooters were asking for. 86% of the Nightforce scopes at the championship were that ATACR F1 scope, so it has apparently been well-received by the precision rifle community. Just a couple years ago, almost all of Nightforce’s scopes were Second Focal Plane designs.
Kahles has also made a significant jump in popularity, which could be due to the excellent SKMR and SKMR2 reticles they released this year. Those reticles were designed by Shannon Kay from K&M Precision Rifle Training “to be uncomplicated, practical and visually expedient for both tactical operations and the most demanding long range competitors.” A reticle can dramatically enhance how you use a scope, and it seems like Kahles hit a home run on those two.
The other dramatic change was the decline of Schmidt & Bender’s popularity among these shooters. There are likely several things that play into that. First, a Schmidt & Bender PMII 5-25×56 costs 50% more than most of the scopes these guys are running. They just aren’t involved in the precision rifle community (at least in the U.S.’s competition world), and they don’t appear to be as interested in integrating feedback from competitors as other brands.
Let’s quickly take a look at some of the most popular scopes used in PRS:
- Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27×56 scope
- Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56 F1 scope
- Kahles K 6-24×56
- Bushnell Elite Tactical 4.5-30×50
- Schmidt & Bender PMII 5-25×56
- US Optics 5-25×58
- Nightforce Beast 5-25×56
- Leopold Mark 8 3.5-25×56
- Burris XTR II
While you pick a scope, keep an eye on those reticles because that’s what actually make a scope work.