Gallery: Great New Binoculars for Shooters

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Zeiss TERRA ED

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When Zeiss introduced its TERRA ED line I was not alone in praising them; the image and build quality seemed out of sorts with the low price tag. But the TERRA ED line has lived up to the hype; I’ve carried mine on several hunts and am always pleased with the performance. This year Zeiss is offering a smaller, lighter, pocket version of the TERRA ED line perfect for those who are willing to walk the extra mile for their game. There are two new models—8x25 and 10x25—both of which offer extremely crisp image quality and a double link bridge design, which folds up easily for pocket storage. The ED glass uses all available light and at just under 11 ounces, these compact binos can go absolutely everywhere you go, from the range to the field to the highest mountain peaks. The waterproof body construction helps protect the TERRA EDs, and they are backed by Zeiss’ transferable limited lifetime warranty. The 8x25 and 10x25 represent some of the best bargains in field optics. ($299.99 for the 8x25s and $329.99 for the 10x25; Outdoor.zeiss.com)

Over the course of a shooting or hunting career our views and beliefs change, and perhaps the most polar shift over the past 20 years for me has been my reliance on binoculars. When I was in my teens hunting squirrels and deer in Ohio, I never owned a pair of binos; it was a struggle to afford shotgun shells and .22 ammo, and I couldn’t see the value of investing in optics that I considered, at least at that time, a luxury and not a necessity. But I slowly began to appreciate good binoculars and started considering them an essential tool for hunting, shooting and scouting. Today I have no less than four pair of binoculars and I use them almost daily for everything from bird watching to scouting whitetails. There are binos in my hunting packs, in my shooting bag, in my home and in my truck, and I have carried them around the world. I’ve used binos to glass game in south Texas, Montana, Namibia and elsewhere, and almost weekly I help someone else center a rifle at the range by calling shots with my binoculars. I’ve changed my mind. Binos are, in fact, a necessity.

Today there are binoculars to fit every budget and every hunting or shooting situation, from larger, heavier binos that are perfect for serious long-range work on the bench to light, compact binoculars that can be carried to the world’s highest summits. Here’s a look at the best new options for 2016.

Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from the October 2016 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.


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