US Optics at SHOT Show 2023

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U.S. Optics got its start back in 1992 repairing and maintaining the US Marine Corp’s sniper rifles. Fast forward to 2023 and they’re in the rarified top tier of brands like Nightforce, Leupold, Schmidt & Bender, and Tract; producing +$3000 rifle scopes. Among this elite tier of scope makers, they are perhaps one of the least well known. But in terms of the Industrial Design of their turrets and tubes, they are one of the more progressive and stylish.

The Foundation 5-25×52 is available on Amazon through my Affiliate link:

New Hi-Lux PR5 5-25×56 FFP

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Hi-Lux is well known for their Leatherwood hunting scopes and Malcom vintage reproduction scopes. But they also make modern tactical and target scopes. At SHOT Show 2023 I got a chance to see the PR5 5-25x56mm FFP, their newest precision tactical scope that is ready to compete in both NRL22 and PRS competitions.

The PR5 has all the features you’d want in a long-range scope like HD glass, 32 Mil-Rads of internal adjustment and a modern FFP Christmas Tree reticle. In addition, the PR5 has a more modern digital controlled illuminator with auto shut-off, a feature found in most red dots but still lagging in even more expensive rifle scopes.

What sets this scope apart from bigger brand name PRS scopes, is that the PR5 has a minimum parallax focus distance of just 10yrds. That means it’s perfect for airgun competitions, NRL22, Precision Rimfire, and indoor ranges. While far from a budget scope, it still manages to come in at a street price bellow $900, which is remarkable for all these features.

At the booth I also got a walk-through of Hi-Lux’s vintage scope line. With the recent heightened interest in lever action Western guns, Hi-Lux is one of the few scope makers that offers vintage looking optics that utilize modern mounting standards and contain HD glass.

New Aero Precision SOLUS

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Aero Precision is well known for making some of the best built ARs. They brought their engineering experience in aerospace manufacturing to firearms, hence their name. Recently they’ve diversified into other rifle platforms including Pistol Caliber Carbines (PCCs) and this year officially released their first bolt-action precision riles: the SOLUS.

At Shot Show 2023’s Industry Range Day, I got a chance to shoot a SOLUS rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor. The PRS Competition rifle I shot is modeled after the Remington 700 action with a lot of parts compatibility. Aero made some improvements including a 20MOA Picatinny optics rail integral to the receiver, a short 60ยบ throw and a reinforced 3-lug bolt.

I shot a mag and half and got a good first impression. I don’t know how many rounds my sample rifle has had through it, but the bolt pulled smoothly. The trigger was crisp. The Aero designed chassis was well built with a nice thin profile hand guard with an integral ARCA/Swiss rail. I was able to reliably hit the 900m gong with a 10-30 mph gusting cross-winds.

The SOLUS system is available as a drop-in barrel and action or as a complete rifle. And sadly one of the few new guns I saw at SHOT show that will be coming to California.