February 01, 2024
Predators are wily, smart and masters of hiding, whether it’s in thick brush in the Southeast or open desert out west. They’re always on the hunt for food. Yet they move quietly and stealthily, often sitting still to observe, moving smartly with the wind, always trying to get the drop.
Hunters need similar stealth tactics when pursuing predators, along with great riflescopes and binoculars. Detecting movement and then getting on target is paramount. Here are some of the best optics for predator hunting, from the 2024 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, that hunters will see this year.
The new Predator 4s is touted by Steiner Optics the industry’s smallest and lightest premium 4-16X hunting riflescope. Comrprised of a 30mm tube chassis and measuring 10.9 inches in length, the Predator 4s weighs just over 18 ounces. It has an illuminated E3 second focal plane reticle with 11 brightness settings. The Predator 4s is fogproof, waterproof and has been tested from -13°F to +145°F operating temperatures. A parallax compensation is designed for use with thermal imaging attachments.
Predator hunters who head out at night may appreciate the Burris Thermal V3, which combines a 640x480 resolution thermal sensor, 12 micron 35mm F1.0 focal length objective lens system and an ultra-fast image processor. Among its features are picture-in-picture, hot spot tracking and 10 reticles with hundreds of custom color combinations. Use the BurrisConnect app for more information and data customization, along with video recording capabilities and remote control.
Designed for long-range hunters, the Riton 3 Primal in 3-18x50 features exposed, zero-resettable turrets with zero stop, integrated (yet removable) two-location throw levers and three available height levers plus a flush mount. You’ll have multiple options with this scope for different rifles. It also 1/10 MRAD windage and elevation adjustment, 6 levels of red illumination with on-off between each, fast-focus eyepiece and more. The scope is aircraft-grade aluminum and has Riton RD glass, is nitrogen dry-purged and sealed, and designed for rugged duty.
GPO’s new Centuri riflescope series is available in six distinct models, including two super-compact options: 3-12x44i SC and 4-16x44i SC. Four other traditional-sized models include 4-16x44i, 2.5-15x44i, 2.5-15x50i and 3-18x44i. The Centuri lineup features 30mm tubes, ¼-inch or .1 MRAD click adjustments, GPObright high transmission lens coating, iControl auto-off illuminated reticles, DoubleHD objective lens technology and Zero-stop locking turrets on most models. The super-compact models are designed for shooters seeking a low-profile optic with higher magnification. The full-size are for hunters and shooters wanting traditional riflescopes at a reasonable price.
The Vudu X scope line from EOTech feature second focal plane design and an illuminated reticle for target acquisition at dawn or dusk. They start with aircraft-grade aluminum for the 30mm tube, with 1-6x24 and 2-12x40 models available. Both have a removeable throw lever, MOA adjustments, DP1 reticle with duplex crosshair or BD1 with additional circulate ballistic holds at 2MOA increments for long distance shots.
Leupold’s Mark 4HD series features a 4:1 zoom ratio and five magnification ranges for everything from close-quarter encounters to long-range sightings. The five magnification ranges available include: 1-4.5x24, 2.5-10x42, 4.5-18x52, 6-24x52, and 8-32x56. The 1-4.5x24 and 2.5-10x42 models feature 30mm tubes. All 1-4.5x24 models are Second Focal Plane. The 2.5-10x42 comes in First (FFP) or Second Focal Plane (SFP). The three higher magnification options have 34mm tubes and are FFP optics. MIL or MOA adjustments and reticles are available, as are illuminated options. Leupold’s Motion Sensor Technology ceases the illumination after five minutes of inactivity, and reactivates when the scope is moved. The Mark 4HD line is packed with Leupold’s regular features including outstanding light transmission, glare reduction, resolution, push-button ZeroLock dial system and more.
The good ol’ 3-9x40 gets the job done in many situations, but sometimes you want or need more. Step up to the Bushnell Elite 4500 2.5-10x40 Multi-X, which has a wider field of view that helps for close or long shots. Bushnell optimized the scope to get 4.4 inches of eye relief. The Multi-X crosshair reticle is there when you look into the scope, with no searching to find it. Low-profile turret caps have smooth edges to reduce snagging. The scope weighs 20 ounces, is made of an anodized aircraft-grade aluminum alloy foundation and is waterproof and fog-proof.
Predator hunters will appreciate the Vortex Venom 1-6x24 and 3-15x44 scopes for many reasons, including the illuminated reticle and included throw lever that can be added for easy adjustments. The Venom 1-6x24 is a second focal plane scope with an illuminated, glass-etched AR-BDC3 specifically tuned for common 5.56 loads in an AR-15. The BDC keeps you on target out to 650 yards. For closer shots, the first focal plane 3-15x44 has a EBR-7C reticle to effectively determine ranges, holdovers, windage corrections and moving target leads. It has fine crosshairs for precision aiming, and windage reference dots on drop lines.
Burris provides more with its Veracity PH, which pairs with the BurrisConnect app for immediate information before the shot. With the ballistics calculator on the app and Veracity PH’s Programmable Elevation Knob system, you get easily dial in elevation and more. Create custom profiles for different ammunition, along with inputting various environmental factors and more. The app also will create custom dope cards, which allows you to confirm the data in the Veracity PH’s internal display or use the scope without batteries.