Gray’s Best Awards 2016

Acrylic painting of camper

SHOOTING: Leica ER 5 1.5–8×32

Leica ER 5 1.5 8x32Leica is the most venerated name in sports optics, renowned seemingly forever for its cameras and binoculars. Leica has moved in and out of the riflescope market over the years, seeking its exact niche. In a world of ultra-high-end glass, ever-higher power ranges, and endless technological innovations, it is an intensely competitive market, which is why Leica’s newest offering is so noteworthy: In its ER 5 1.5-8×32, Leica has produced a scope almost radical in its sheer practicality for hunters who visit tough places, climb mountains, carry their rifles, and do more hunting than sitting. Although the scope is built on a 30 mm tube, with all the optical benefits that confers, it weighs just 14.4 ounces, measures 12.25 inches in length, and with its 32 mm objective lens and unobtrusive adjustment turrets, allows for low mounting. The scope is available with a variety of reticles, including the familiar plex, German #4, and a couple of ballistic reticles that allow for holdover and windage; our test scope was fitted with a reticle called the “circle plex,” and is exactly what the name suggests, providing a standard plex reticle inside a large circle. Since it is in the second focal plane, it remains the same size regardless of magnification. On anything from an elk rifle to dangerous game or a fast-handling gun for driven boar, it is just about ideal. Optically, the scope is a Leica, which tells you everything you need to know.