Dont Buy a Rifle Scope Until Youve Read This Insider Tips and Tricks Revealed
Gun fanatics need rifle scopes! They upgrade accuracy, trajectory, and performance. Rifle scopes are great for close or long-range shooting. Before you buy one, understand the basics. This article gives all the important info for making the best investment. Get informed before investing in a rifle scope!
- Understand the basics.
- Get informed.
- Make the best investment.
Definition of a Rifle Scope
A rifle scope is a device that helps shooting accuracy. It magnifies objects and provides crosshairs for aiming.
There are two types of scopes. Variable magnification scopes let users adjust the magnification. Fixed power scopes have only one level of magnification, and are used for close range targets.
Scopes have either one piece of glass (monocular) or multiple pieces (binocular). Coated optics increase light transmission and reduce glare. All modern scopes have an adjustable eyepiece and a reticle, also called ‘crosshairs'. This helps with range and wind drift.
Types of Rifle Scopes
Rifle scopes: Lots to choose from! The traditional ones come with many features. Or, you can go for simpler scopes, like red dot sights. Every rifle scope has its own unique things. When buying, consider what type works best for you.
Let's take a closer look at the different kinds of rifle scopes. We'll start with the most popular ones:
Fixed power scopes offer a permanent magnification level, from 3x up to 30x. 3x is great for close range shooting, while 30x is perfect for long-range. 3-9x scopes have been replaced by variable ones.
Fixed power scopes have their own benefits: they're lightweight and compact, with similar optical quality. They cost less than variable models too. The downside? You can't adjust the magnification based on the distance from your target.
- Fixed power rifle scopes are affordable and lightweight.
- However, their fixed magnification might not be good in every situation.
- Choose the right rifle scope for your job – if unsure, ask an expert!
Variable power rifle scopes are a top choice for hunters and precision shooters. This is because they offer flexibility with adjustable magnifications (field of view) depending on the distance targeted.
For example, 3 – 9x or 4-16x indicates that the field of view will be 3-9 times larger than with the naked eye. The higher the magnification range, the more zoom capabilities there will be.
For general hunting, low powered variables ranging from 1 – 4x are perfect. This is ideal for North American hunting scenarios. If focusing on ever closer shots at moving targets in thick timber, a low powered variable scope with an aiming point reticle is ideal. This is perfect for wide open field hunting or bird shooting.
Riflescopes with night vision are important for the right scope. Night vision gives you the ability to identify targets without producing any light that might give your position away. There are 3 classes of night vision optics: Gen 1, Gen 2 and Gen 3.
- Gen 1 scopes are not for long range shooting, but can be used for mid-range distance.
- Gen 2 optics have brighter lenses and improved image intensifier tubes.
- Gen 3 devices provide maximum brightness and can show details from 500+ yards in the dark.
All night vision technology needs illumination from stars, moonlight or IR illuminators. IR illuminators have longer wavelengths which can be detected at close range, so caution should be taken when using them.
Thermal scopes use infrared, instead of visible light, to scan their surroundings. This lets you see in the dark, or through fog and smoke. It provides a better view for long-range shooting or low-visibility scenarios. Thermal scopes amplify thermal radiation, which then appears as a visible image. This helps shooters locate targets in any weather, day or night.
Uncooled scopes are for game hunting, and cooled models give accuracy for tactical shooting and military uses. There are also handheld devices for law enforcement and search & rescue teams.
Most thermal scopes have:
- Digital reticles
- Adjustable brightness
- Color palettes
- Contrast/sharpness levels
- Video recording/playback
- Optically powered reticles
- Black hot/white hot modes
- Fixed/motorized zoom capabilities
This allows users to customize their sighting experience for their environment.
Choosing the Right Rifle Scope
Shopping for a rifle scope can be daunting. So many brands and features! To make sure you invest in the right one, we have some insider tips. Here we go! Learn what will be the best fit for you:
- Tip 1
- Tip 2
- Tip 3
- Tip 4
- Tip 5
Magnification is a key factor when picking a rifle scope. High magnification can be great for long-range hunting or shooting. But too much magnification makes it hard to spot targets quickly and accurately. Smaller magnifications work better in close-range situations. And higher magnification is great for long-range shots. The type of hunting you do will determine the ideal magnification for you.
For example, if you hunt big game in thick vegetation, lower magnifications (2-7x) are better for quickly spotting targets. Medium magnifications (8-16x) are good for many scenarios and environments. Higher magnifications (17-50x and up) offer precise accuracy at long ranges. They should only be used by experienced shooters who understand proper trigger control and breathing techniques.
When buying a scope, consider eye relief, field of view, and reticles. Quality scopes come with good warranties and strong materials for tough conditions in the field.
The reticle, also known as the crosshairs or aiming point, is an essential part of a rifle scope. It is the central point of reference etched onto the focus plane which helps take accurate aim and make precision shots. Reticles come in many forms; for example, a crosshair pattern or an encircled dot pattern.
- Crosshair Reticles: These are the most commonly used reticles. They have thin lines crisscrossing from up to down and from left to right in the center, with very small divisions. Crosshair reticles allow for quick aiming at short ranges and are ideal for hunting fast-moving animals. However, they can obscure target details at long ranges due to their thick center lines and small divisions.
- Dot or Circle-Dot Reticles: These consist of a single dot or a circle with multiple (usually 4) dots placed at cardinal points inside it. Dot reticles are perfect for targeting smaller creatures or objects since they don't obstruct target views. They are also great for longer range shots since they cause minimal hindrance while looking through them.
- Beam Splitter Reticles: These have horizontal and vertical lines dividing your scope’s field of view into four quadrants. This helps with fast target acquisition for moving targets. Moreover, these areas can help measure range estimation of distances between two points by counting the number of divisions between them. Beam splitter reticles can have adjustable brightness which aids in changing lighting conditions.
When choosing a rifle scope, one factor to consider is the size of the objective lens. This is measured in millimeters. The bigger the lens, the more light can come in, improving clarity and brightness. Plus, you'll have better low-light performance. If you're hunting in most situations, a 42–50mm lens should be enough.
But if you're firing at longer distances, or in dimmer conditions, then you should get a 56–62mm lens. That way, you'll get better resolution and better range. Remember, bigger lenses mean more weight. So you may want to take that into account. Also, a wider field of view can help you hit targets at different distances.
Make sure you understand these factors before buying. Otherwise, you might be disappointed.
Eye relief is a must to consider when choosing a rifle scope. It's the distance from the eyepiece to your shooting eye. You need to see the whole view. Long-range scopes need more eye relief; tactical scopes less.
The 3-6-9 Guide is a good rule of thumb: 3 inches of eye relief at 3x magnification, 6 inches at 6x, and 9 inches at 9x or higher. It differs depending on the rifle and ammo. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations. And try out different models with your setup, as sizes may differ. Try before you buy!
Mounting a Rifle Scope
Choosing a rifle scope for hunting or target shooting can be daunting for new buyers. But there's no need to worry – mounting doesn't have to be hard. Our article will cover it all. Here's some helpful advice for a smooth and successful mounting experience. Tips and tricks to make it worry-free!
Rings and Bases
Mounting a rifle scope properly is essential for accuracy and safety. To do this, you need the right size and caliber of rings and bases. Rings attach directly to the gun barrel or action with two screws. Bases attach to grooves in either a receiver or pre-drilled holes. Rings and bases come in various sizes and configurations.
When attaching rings and bases, adjust the action nuts with screws to ensure the proper fitment without any movement. When aligning the optical, use plumb bobs and tighten the screws ¼ turn past finger tight. This ‘ring' system is the safest and provides match grade performance and reliable zeroing over time.
Leveling the Scope
Before mounting a rifle scope, it's important to make sure it's level. If it's not leveled correctly, it can cause inaccurate shooting.
There are two methods to leveling a rifle scope:
- Carpenter's bubble level. Stick it to the top of the riflescope tube with double-sided tape. Then, use an adjustable wrench to tighten each mounting screw until they are snug, but not too tight. The scope should move a bit, but not freely.
- Ring alignment dowels. Put them into two holes drilled in the mount base, or through two empty screw holes. When you view them from above, the top half and middle section should line up perfectly. Adjust the mounting screws until they are snug, but not too tight. Again, the scope should move a bit, but not freely.
Aligning the Reticle
For the reticle to fit with the rifle's bore, the mount and scope must be leveled. This can be done in various ways. Most shooters use scope rings with leveling bubbles. The bubbles show when the scope is level and stay fixed after adjustment.
Alternatively, a fluorescent crosshair between two reticle lines on each plane of elevation & windage can be compared until it looks like a true crosshair, with no distortion. Don't use tape or any other means to level the mount or scope.
Finally, make sure the rifle stock is also level, so that the sight picture is exact. If not, the results at the range will be inconsistent. Correct any improper ergonomics before using the rifle and make sure the mounts and scopes are aligned with leveling bubbles.
Adjusting the Turrets
The turrets of your rifle scope are two knobs. One is near the ocular lens at the back, and the other is by the objective lens at the front. These knobs help you fine-tune windage and elevation, so you can hit your target. Every rifle scope is different, so read your manual and follow the instructions.
Start by taking off the turret caps, if any. Then, turn each knob until you're happy with the windage or elevation. If your knob is mouse-style, press it firmly. Once you're done, put the turret covers back on.
Many rifle scopes come with target turrets. These help with precision at longer distances (50 yards or more). With target turrets, you have to turn the knob counterclockwise half a turn before you can adjust it clockwise. That way, you can adjust windage or elevation quickly, just by counting clicks.
Rifle scopes are a great choice for hunting rifles. Look for the size, magnification, reticle design, mounting options, eye relief and parallax. Do your research. Read reviews and check forums. Find the best quality option that fits your budget.
Making the right choice is key. Invest in a reliable product that will last. With the right features, your rifle scope can make long shots possible. Make sure it meets your individual hunting needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Rifle Scope?
A: A rifle scope is an optical device used on a rifle to magnify distant objects and make them appear closer. It is typically mounted onto the top of a rifle and has a range of magnification settings.
Q: What are the Benefits of Using a Rifle Scope?
A: Rifle scopes are beneficial for hunting and target shooting as they provide a greater field of view, increased accuracy, and better range when shooting. Additionally, they help to compensate for parallax errors and offer a range of reticle options.
Q: What Should I Consider When Buying a Rifle Scope?
A: When purchasing a rifle scope, there are a few key factors to consider. Firstly, consider the type of reticle you need. Different reticles are better suited to different shooting scenarios. Secondly, consider the magnification range you need. Lastly, consider the size and weight of the scope, as well as the quality of construction and the coating used.