Discover the Best Hunting Rifle Scopes for Your Next Outdoor Adventure
Hunting? Get the right rifle scope! It's essential. No matter if you're a novice or an experienced hunter – learn the basics of scopes.
In this article, we'll delve into the basics of rifle scopes and show you the best ones on the market:
Types of Rifle Scopes
When shopping for a rifle scope, you'll want to figure out your type. Two common types are fixed and adjustable power.
- Fixed power comes with 3x, 4x, or 6x magnification. It offers some flexibility, but not much.
- Adjustable power lets you customize vision and magnification for accuracy and low-light settings.
Fixed power is lightweight and affordable. It's good for the average shooter who needs basic 1-6x magnification. But it doesn't have the same flexibility as pricier models.
Adjustable power is more versatile. You can get 1x up to 24x depending on your needs. It's great for precision shooting in different terrain. And they often have digital night vision built in.
At the end of the day, you must assess your shooting style and budget to find the right scope.
When shopping for hunting rifle scopes, the most important thing to consider is magnification power. This tells you how much bigger the object you are looking at will be. To figure out the power, look at the first number in the scopes' specs. For example, 3-9x40mm. This means the scope has a minimum of 3X and a maximum of 9X.
The second number shows the size of the objective lens, in millimeters. The larger the number, the brighter and clearer the image, but it will also be heavier and bulkier.
Here are a few examples:
- 3-9x40mm Scope: adjustable from 3X to 9X, an objective lens of 40mm.
- 4-12x50mm Scope: adjustable from 4X to 12X, an objective lens of 50mm.
- 6.5-20x44mm Scope: adjustable from 6.5X to 20X, an objective lens of 44mm.
Reticles are used on scopes for aiming. There are various options to please the shooter's preference.
- The duplex reticle is popular, with thick crosshairs thinning out at the edges.
- Another is the BDC reticle. It compensates for bullet drop and consists of hash marks.
- Lastly, there is the mil-dot reticle. It has evenly spaced circles along crosshairs. Two dots aligned indicates one milliradian, used to estimate range and adjust aim.
Features to Consider
Hunting rifle scope shopping? Consider the environment, the animal, and the game. Here's what to look for:
- Designed for the type of hunting you'll do.
- Features that suit your environment.
- Suitable for the animal you're hunting.
- Features that match the game you want.
Eye relief is an important thing to think about when selecting a rifle scope. It is the distance between your eye and the eyepiece lens of the scope, so you can get a full view through it. Enough eye relief prevents injuries or sight problems, especially when using large calibers such as .308s, .30-06s, 7mm Rem Mags and higher.
There are three types of eye relief:
- Standard is usually 3” or less. It's best for .22s and .223s.
- Long eye relief is between 3-4”, which works with more powerful rounds.
- Adjustable eye relief lets you change the eyepiece length for different distances and calibers.
Objective Lens Diameter
When you're shopping for a hunting rifle scope, the objective lens diameter is super important. It's the size of the lens at the end of the scope that lets light pass through, giving you brighter and more detailed images. The bigger the lens, the bigger the eye relief distance – the distance between your eye and the rear ocular lens. Bigger lenses also mean bigger size and weight.
The most common sizes are 32mm, 40mm, and 50mm, so plenty of light gathering ability but still compact. Some scopes have larger lenses but they could be too bulky. When deciding, consider the magnification power and what size you want your objectives to be. Enough light for clear images without sacrificing portability or weight.
Parallax is an optical event that happens when you see a picture move its spot from different points. Riflescopes must have their reticle go with the target as you move in all directions. Parallax adjustment makes sure of this. Most great scopes have adjustable parallax tailored to particular ranges. Usually 25 yards to infinity or 50 and 100 yards.
Parallax isn't a must-have if exact accuracy is not needed. But if you can afford it, it's a nice perk.
Mounting the Scope
Mounting your scope is essential. Utilize the correct mounting rings for stability. Make sure the mounting is done correctly, to guarantee precise aiming and accuracy. Here, we'll talk about the best ways to mount your rifle scope for maximum performance.
Keeping a scope's accuracy is crucial, so mount it with two rings on the rifle. They can be made of steel, aluminum, or titanium. Each ring should have four screws. Put two opposite each other and two 90° away. Use hand tools to attach them. Don't over-tighten. It may damage the scope or its mountings. Just make them snug.
Two types of rails are used in modern rifles: Picatinny and Weaver. They look similar, but it’s important to know the difference between them.
Picatinny rails are the most common. They have mil-spec or T-slots for attaching accessories like scopes and bipods. These slots have an identical size, shape and spacing, so any accessory will fit on any rifle with a Picatinny rail system. This makes it easy to switch out components. Picatinny rails are also more rigid than other options, making them hold up better over time and providing a secure attachment.
Choosing the right rifle scope is a must. Mounting it is the next step. Tightening the screws is key. The torque settings usually range from 8-10 inch/pounds for low profile screws and 15 inch/pounds for large, high profile screws. Select a screwdriver that matches each type of screw. Make sure the correct driver is used.
Use an adjustable torque wrench or T-handle to apply pressure until it reaches 8 inch/pounds or 15 inch/pounds. Don't exceed 20 inch/pounds. Read the instruction manual to understand special directions and torque requirements for your model.
Seeking a hunting rifle scope for your upcoming outdoor expedition? We will review some of the top rifle scopes on the market! Information on features, types, and benefits will be provided. This will aid you in making the best decision for yourself. Let's begin!
Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40
The Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 is perfect for hunters who want quality and dependability. It's made from aircraft grade aluminum for unbeatable performance and durability. It was designed with hunters in mind and all weather conditions. The adjustable objective and reticle ensure accuracy and precision when taking aim. The rubber eye piece and relief grooves reduce windage and parallax distortion. The lens is multi-coated with 9 layer Nikoplex for up to 92% light transmission and a clear view.
This scope is lightweight and compact with a weight of 16 ounces and length of 13.1 inches. It's also water proof/fog proof with adjustable turret tactical knobs. The Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 is an essential tool for any hunting excursion!
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9×50
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9×50 is a hunter's dream scope. It's renowned for its accuracy and clarity. Its 50mm objective lens offers excellent light transmission. Plus, the fully multi-coated lens boosts image quality no matter the lighting. The illuminated center dot helps you spot targets quickly, even in near darkness. The side parallax adjustment ensures clear focus at any range or magnification.
This scope is also perfect for reliability. Its rugged construction offers durable and waterproof performance. With adjustable turrets, you can easily adjust elevation and windage to hit your target quickly and accurately. And, the 10 intensity levels on the illuminated reticle means you can find the right brightness level for any hunting situation. Finally, the fast focus eyepiece makes reticle focusing easy, allowing you to take shots with confidence.
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40
The Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 is ideal for first-time buyers of premium scopes. It is lightweight and compact, plus comes with the Leupold lifetime guarantee. It is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. It offers clear and sharp images with a 3:1 zoom ratio.
The 1″ tube body diameter makes it affordable. The 40mm objective lenses transmit enough light in lowlight conditions. The lenses are fully multicoated to reduce glare and ensure crisper images.
There is ¼ MOA elevation and windage adjustment with fingertip pressure on the external turrets. Also, the magnification ring on the eyepiece zooms target in/out. All these features make it perfect for any outdoor hunting or shooting excursion.
To sum up, there is no one-size-fits-all “best” hunting rifle scope. Your hunt's success depends on your own preferences and expectations. Pay attention to your criteria and do your research before picking a hunting rifle scope. Compare features and benefits, while keeping your needs and type of use in mind. Establish a budget too! That way, you won't go overboard with spending.
So, make educated decisions, do in-depth research, and consider carefully. Then, you'll find the best hunting rifle scope for your outdoor adventure!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What are the most important factors to consider when choosing a hunting rifle scope?
A1: The most important factors to consider when choosing a hunting rifle scope are the type of reticle, magnification power, size, weight, and field of view.
Q2: What type of reticle should I choose?
A2: For hunting, the most commonly used reticle is the duplex reticle, which has thicker posts on the outer edges and thinner posts in the middle, making it easier to identify your target and aim quickly.
Q3: How do I know if the rifle scope is a good fit for my rifle?
A3: It's important to make sure the scope is compatible with your rifle. You should measure the diameter of your rifle's tube and compare it to the rifle scope's size and compatibility specifications. Additionally, you should check the eye relief to make sure it's compatible with your particular rifle.