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U.S. Optics LR-17 3.2-17x44mm Scope

usoptics_1U.S. Optics is a California company that specializes in building custom scopes, much like noted gunsmiths build custom rifles.

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 2.21.55 PMMany readers are familiar with the concept of custom rifles that allow the customer to specify everything from stock type to action to barrel length and caliber. More that a few readers might be surprised to learn that a scope manufacturer offers the same flexibility with magnified optics.

U.S. Optics is based in Brea, California, and builds variable- and fixed-power scopes. Their product line covers everything from a 1-4X variable to a 5-25X variable and includes a single fixed 10X model.

What makes U.S. Optics special is the ability they give the customer to order features à la carte when purchasing a scope. Of course, there are stocking dealers around the country if the customer chooses not to wait for a bespoke optic.

I had the opportunity to get my hands on a 3.2-17X to test for several months and came to appreciate the features it offered.

U.S. Optics' #1 windage knob has 48 clicks within one revolution. Tenth-mil adjustments are marked. Full and half mils are numbered.

One of my favorite U.S. Optics features is the EREK elevation adjustment system. Unlike elevation turrets from most manufacturers, the EREK system is low profile and large diameter.

The low profile keeps the turret out of the way and the large diameter puts a lot of real estate between each elevation mark on the turret.

The eyepiece of the LR-17 is smaller than on many other optics in this category, allowing this scope to be mounted significantly lower.

I've found myself frequently double- and triple-checking some turrets to ensure I have the correct elevation dialed because the marks are small and close together. I never had to double-check the EREK. It is easily visible, even when looking through the scope.

The turret housing in the center of the scope is larger than normal because U.S. Optics uses knobs for windage, parallax adjustment and illumination. The modularity of the three knobs enables U.S. Optics to build exactly what the customer seeks without including options that aren't desired.

When ordering a U.S. Optics scope, the customer chooses from a series of drop-down menus on the right side of the webpage. For example, a 3.2-17X scope has options for scope color, elevation turret type, windage turret type and reticle lighting, to include color, reticle type and eyepiece housing.


Most scopes come with standard black anodizing, but they are available in five colors and all are Cerakoted. Cerakote is a ceramic coating that is incredibly hard and wear resistant.

The Turret Parallax Adjustment Locator system (TPAL) helps to achieve sharp image resolution through the magnification range.

The elevation and windage knobs are customizable. Elevation turrets can be EREK or standard, and they come in mils and MOA. Windage turrets can be capped, exposed, standard or large diameter to offer more adjustment per revolution. Windage turrets will match elevation turrets in either mils or MOA.

Reticle options are illuminated or not. The illumination color and 14 reticle options covering everything from traditional mil-dots to the latest "Christmas tree" type reticles are offered. The number of reticle options might appear intimidating to some, but the freedom to create a scope perfectly suited to an individual's needs is alluring to many.

Finally, U.S. Optics has an option to place a level in the bottom of the field of view as the shooter looks through the scope.

Undoubtedly, many have seen levels hanging off the sides of scope maintubes and wondered if they ever get hung up on seatbelts, tree limbs and clothing. (They do.)

For those committed to long-range shooting and who need a level, U.S. Optics now offers a way to have it inside the scope. If only more manufacturers had these options.


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