In 1999 Safari Press published Optics for the Hunter. Timing could not have been better because hunters were just then getting serious about riflescope. They wanted to know about bright scopes, reliable scopes, eye relief, field of view and even how to properly mount a scope. They were also getting serious about binoculars and as surprising as it might seem, few knew the difference between a Porro-prism and roof prism binocular.
Optics for the Hunter became the bible for hunting related optics. It was the first real look at optics from a hunter’s standpoint and it did a great job of highlighting what mattered and what did not. In the gun and hunting world there are few best sellers. Optics for the Hunter was one of them. I still reference it on occasion but like many have wished for a modern version.
Wishes can come true. The book’s author John Barsness has recently released what might be considered Optics for the Hunter 2.0. His latest book is Modern Hunting Optics and it, like Optics for the Hunter, is right on time because while not a lot has changed with rifles in the last 15 years, a lot has changed and a lot is new with regard to optics. And, guess what? As Barsness admits in the very first chapter, he’s learned some new things too.
If you read or reference Optics for the Hunter, Modern Hunting Optics is a logical next purchase. In this new book Barsness talks about laser range finders, red dot sights, reticle placement and parallax, and even targets that will help you shoot better. He also addresses the mythical 25 yard zero. (More on that and my One Third Second Rule in an upcoming post.)
This is a soft cover, 198-page book but it is of very high quality. The pages are thick, glossy, and filled with more than 90 photos and drawings. It contains an index and a neat catalog of the companies mentioned in the text, with web addresses and phone numbers. And, its full of technical information delivered in an entertaining and readable way like only Barsness can do.
If you have a hunter on your Christmas list and have no idea what to get them, or if you know a shooter who thinks they know everything there is to know about scopes and binoculars, get them this book. That way, when you have a question you can all them and say, “Hey dude, how do I convert MILs to inches?”