The first major change to rifle scope optics technology in more than a century may very well be one of the most important things to hit the shooting world in ages.
Sandia National Laboratory has developed a variable power rifle scope that changes magnification by changing the shape of lenses, rather than moving the lenses. This mimics the way our eyes change focus, requires very little power, and can be operated by pushbuttons – so you can zoom in or out without moving your eye, gun, or hand out of shooting position.
Like so many other firearms-related developments, it came as a result of military desires. Taking one’s hand off of a rifle to change magnification slows down a shooter’s response time and may make him vulnerable to enemy fire. Sandia’s new RAZAR (Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles) was created as an answer to that problem, and it appears to have great promise.
The system is very power-efficient, and will produce 10,000 actuations on a pair of AA batteries. It’s also very fast, requiring only about 1/4 of a second to change magnification.