Expert Tips for Choosing the Right Tactical Rifle Scope for Your Needs
Understand Your Needs
Before making your pick, it's key to know your own needs. Have a clear view of the scope's purpose. Consider the ground you'll use it in, and the rifle it will be used with. This will help you trim down your choices, and find the right tactical rifle scope for you.
Identify the type of shooting you'll be doing
Choose a tactical rifle scope based on the type of shooting you do. For example, an adjustable objective is good for varmint hunting. An external elevation turret is best for medium- to large-game shooting and long-range shots.
Look for features such as eye relief and nitrogen-sealed lenses. Eye relief is vital for offhand shooting. It ensures consistent groupings. And fogging won't be a problem if the lenses are nitrogen-sealed. This is helpful in changing light levels during dawn/dusk.
Consider your budget
Before buying a home appliance, consider your budget. Think about the purchase price plus any additional fees or taxes. Also, set aside money for service and repairs. Delivery costs, installation fees, and disposal costs of old appliances should be factored into your budget. Look at the future utility costs too.
Compare features, brands, and prices before making your decision!
Consider the Magnification
Shopping for a tactical rifle scope? Magnification is a key feature. Choose a scope with the right combo of magnification, field of view, and eye relief. Let's discuss the types of magnification and why they're important when selecting a scope.
There are three types of magnification to consider when selecting a rifle scope:
- Fixed Magnification – a fixed magnification scope has a set magnification level and cannot be adjusted.
- Variable Magnification – a variable magnification scope can be adjusted to different magnification levels.
- Variable Zoom – a variable zoom scope has a range of magnification levels that can be adjusted.
Determine the right magnification for your needs
Choosing the right tactical rifle scope depends on the right magnification. A higher magnification means a clearer view but it can be more difficult due to a narrower field of view and larger image in the reticle. Ranging from 4X to 9X or even 12X, here are some guidelines to help you decide which is best for your needs.
- Short Range: For up to 250 yards, a 4X should be enough. Any more than that can make shot placement hard.
- Intermediate Range: For 500-600 yards, use a 6-9X scope with an adjustable parallax setting for more accuracy.
- Long Range: For distances beyond 750 yards, experienced hunters usually choose a 12X or higher. Scopes with 30+ power are beneficial for bench rest shooting and long-range shots.
Consider the field of view
Field of view (FOV) is the area seen through a microscope. It is measured in millimeters and is determined by the type and magnification of the objective lens. Usually, higher magnification gives a narrower FOV. Lower magnification gives a wider FOV. Knowing your FOV before selecting a microscope objective lens is helpful.
The amount of detail seen in the specimen depends on the type and magnification of the objective lens. Higher powered objectives give greater detail but with a narrower field. Lower magnifications give less detail but with a broader FOV which allows more area to be seen at once.
When observing specimens, consider:
- How much detail is needed?
- What size specimen?
Then choose an objective lens with the right magnification and FOV for your needs.
Choose the Right Reticle
Choosing a tactical rifle scope? Look at the reticle! It's the crosshairs you see when looking through the scope. Reticles can vary – from simple duplex to more complex designs with illuminated reticles and ballistic drop compensators. Different reticles have different advantages. Select the right one for your shooting needs.
Understand the different types of reticles
When looking for a rifle scope, it's important to know the different types of reticles. A reticle is an aiming point projected in the center. It's usually thin lines or dots that line up with your target when you sight in. Knowing your preferences and needs will help you choose the right reticle.
The simplest reticle is the Duplex crosshair. It consists of thick outer posts connected by thin inner crosshairs, making a ‘X'. The advantage is that this design lets you acquire targets quickly, as the thick posts cover more area.
Mildot Reticles are often used, as they are adjustable and offer precise accuracy measurements. This design has dots on each side of each post, which measure the distance from point A to B.
Tactical rangefinding reticles like Mil-Dot, Horus H59 and Complex Dot Reticles make estimating distance easier. These designs have intersecting line grids, half circles, thicker posts or range estimator circles with mini arrows on their vertical crosshairs. These are useful when conditions are unpredictable. Some scopes also have illuminated markers on their vertical/horizontal adjustment bars, which can help with ranging targets.
Consider the size of the reticle
Size and weight are essential when picking a tactical rifle scope. Excess weight can reduce accuracy, so keep the size in mind when selecting. Consider the Reticle or CrossHair pattern too. These units differ in size, from fine crosshairs to bold patterns with illuminated rangefinding dots and meters. Smaller reticles can stop target obscuring, while larger ones can help center on moving targets fast.
Duplex, Mil Dot, Ballistic Drop Compensators, Target Patch reticles – even illuminated ones with batteries or switches – all have special features. Consult the manufacturer catalog before you buy to get what you need.
Select the Right Turret
Choosing a tactical rifle scope? Consider the turrets! These are the knobs or dials that help you adjust elevation and windage. Accurately shoot with various types of turrets. Different ones offer different levels of accuracy. Know your needs and which turret is best for you.
Determine the type of turret you need
The turret is the piece at the end of the scope that adjusts the sight to its target. There are three types: click adjustment, manual adjustment or quick-throw aperture (QTA) turrets.
- Click Adjustment Turrets: These turrets have small clicks when adjusting the objective lens. Most come with outside knobs for easy access. Depending on the scope, they can move in 1/10 mil or 1/8 minute increments. They make it easier to adjust angle and magnification precisely.
- Manual Adjustment Turrets: Such turnable dials have no audible feedback. They have an entire wheel system. This allows for more accurate and repeatable shots at medium to long range shooting. Distances may be over 400 yards or meters.
- Quick-Throw Aperture (QTA) Turrets: These devices allow quickly adjustable objective lens. You don't have to turn any knobs or dials. This reduces transition times between targets. It also provides precise one-click increment adjustments when needed. It is ideal for rapid working scenarios that involve broken terrain and changing landscapes. Getting accurate shots fast is key here!
Consider the type of adjustment you need
Finger adjustable and target turrets are two types of scope adjustments to consider when choosing a tactical rifle scope.
- Finger adjustable are great for hunting in dense cover or unknown terrain; they allow for large, mechanical adjustments quickly.
- Target turrets provide more precise windage and elevation corrections, especially when shooting across long distances. Consider the ease of use and durability when selecting a scope with finger adjustable turrets.
- Target style knobs are favored by serious tactical shooters due to their precision and smaller clicks, which help keep the rifles point-of-impact consistent over time.
Choose the Right Finish
When deciding which tactical rifle scope to choose, the finish is key. It varies depending on the rifle type and where it'll be used. Knowing the finishes aids in making an informed decision. Get the most out of your rifle!
Consider the type of finish you need
When selecting the right tactical rifle scope, think about the type of finish. The three main types are matte black, silver, and camo.
- Matte black is most common. It won't show reflection, nor will it reflect ambient light. This makes it great for low-light. Plus, matte black blends in better than silver or camo.
- Silver finishes are usually used on cheaper models. It has less glare but reflects more light.
- Camo is used on higher quality models. It's labor intensive and therefore adds extra cost. Camo provides concealment with various colors and irregular patterns that look natural up close.
Consider the durability of the finish
When selecting a tactical rifle scope, durability of the finish is a factor to consider. Various finishes can be used, such as black matte, silver, bronze and camouflage. The type of finish to choose depends on how it will be used.
- If in wet environments, bronze or camouflage may be better, as they offer good corrosion resistance.
- In dusty conditions, black matte or silver may be best, as they don't show dirt and dust.
Keep in mind, certain manufacturers use special finishes for superior performance and protection against wear and tear. Be sure to familiarize yourself with each finish before choosing one for your gun, so as to ensure it meets your needs and provides reliable performance for years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is a tactical rifle scope?
A1. A tactical rifle scope is a specialized type of optics designed to be used with tactical and sporting rifles. They are designed to provide a very clear view of distant targets and are often used for precision shooting.
Q2. What should I consider when selecting a tactical rifle scope?
A2. When selecting a tactical rifle scope, you should consider the type of rifle you are using, the type of reticle you prefer, the magnification level, the light gathering ability, and the durability of the construction.
Q3. What is the best tactical rifle scope for my needs?
A3. The best tactical rifle scope for your needs depends on your individual shooting preferences and the type of rifle you will be using. It is best to research the different models and ask questions to ensure you are selecting the right scope for your needs.