Upgrade Your Shooting Game with These MustHave Types of Rifle Scopes


Are you wanting to enhance your target practice? It takes more than accuracy and skill to take shooting to the next level – you need specialized gear.

High-quality rifle scopes are essential for any shooter. They come in all sizes, shapes and forms. An AR-15 or .308 hunting rifle? There are scopes for that! This guide explains the popular types of rifle scopes you can find on the market:

  • Fixed power scopes
  • Variable power scopes
  • Illuminated reticles
  • Rangefinding reticles
  • Specialty optics reticles

Consider all these before selecting the right scope for your gun. Read on to learn how these scope types can upgrade your shooting game!

Types of Rifle Scopes

Rifle scopes have advanced a lot recently! You can easily upgrade your shooting skills with the many options available. What should you pick? A popular choice is the variable power scope – it provides multiple magnifications. We'll also explore fixed power and illuminated scopes, and more. Let's get started!

Fixed Power Rifle Scopes

Fixed power rifle scopes offer precision aiming without magnification adjustment or focusing. These scopes usually have a single magnification level between 4x and 9x. They're best for accurate shots at close-to-medium ranges in well-lit settings, such as shooting from a standstill or prone position.

Features on these scopes include:

  • Adjustable exits eyes relief – for comfortable sighting with heavy caliber firearms.
  • Brightness adjustment knob – adapt to different lighting.
  • Mil reticle dot sizes for finer aiming points – for estimating wind and other weather conditions over long distances.

Due to their “zero magnification” setting, these scopes are lightweight and small, making them ideal for hunters and marksmen looking for an easy way to take quick shots over long distances.

Variable Power Rifle Scopes

Variable power rifle scopes, also called variable magnification rifle scopes, let you change the power level. This gives you a choice of 1X to 3X-9X and higher. You can quickly switch to a lower or higher power setting. This lets you get your target accurately.

The scopes have two lenses. You look through the front lens and adjust the amount of magnification needed. This helps hunters and competition shooters use proper techniques.

There are adjustable objective, fixed-power and parallax adjustable models. Adjustable objective models have an extra adjustment feature on the objective lens. This reduces parallax errors. Fixed-power/variable magnification models don't have the extra feature. Yet you can adjust the settings for different fields of view. Parallax adjustable models have both adjustments. This gives you more control and accuracy at longer ranges.

Night Vision Rifle Scopes

Night vision rifle scopes come in two forms: Image Intensifiers and Thermal Imaging. Both these technologies use different ways to help shooters see in the dark.

Image Intensifiers use a chemical process to intensify even the faintest moonlight, and create an image for the shooter. These scopes come in varying levels of intensity, from 1st Gen to 5th Gen tubes.

Thermal Imaging uses heat as its source of illumination. It has sensors to detect small changes in temperature, and convert it into an image. Thermal Imaging is great for pitch-black environments, as it doesn't rely on any existing light. Although costly, it is very reliable and accurate for target detection and identification.

Thermal Rifle Scopes

Thermal rifle scopes are your go-to for accurate shooting in low light. When the light levels drop, thermal scopes detect the heat from a target. They then create an enhanced image to take aim.

You can use the scope in absolute darkness. It is perfect for night shooting or hunting without needing light. And thermal imaging works even better in bad weather. Rain, fog, and snow don't block infrared radiation.

Thermal rifle scopes offer many advantages. They have:

  • An integrated ballistic calculator;
  • Longer distances than standard optics;
  • The ability to travel across obstacles;
  • Pilots on air combat missions have greater situational awareness at night;
  • Pick up and retain slight changes in ambient temperature;
  • Video recording capabilities to exclude blind spots.

Choosing the Right Rifle Scope for You

Selecting the proper rifle scope for your shooting is essential. There are many varieties of rifle scopes out there. Knowing which type fits your shooting style is key.

This section will explain the various types of rifle scopes and guide you on which is best for you:

Consider your budget

When selecting a rifle scope, think about your budget. Prices can go from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. High-priced scopes often have better features, such as adjustable zoom, coatings on the lens, illuminated reticles, and mil-dot reticles. Remember to consider the cost of attaching the scope, rings, and bases.

If you're new to this or don't have enough money for an expensive scope, there are still options. Start with a basic variable power scope with an adjustable objective (AO). It has a 4X to 10X magnification, suitable for shooting up to 1000 yards. The cost is usually moderate and it's great for recreational or competitive use.

Consider the features that suit your needs and make sure they come standard with the product. You can read customer reviews to help you decide which rifle scope is best for you:

  • Adjustable zoom
  • Coatings on the lens
  • Illuminated reticles
  • Mil-dot reticles

Consider your shooting needs

When selecting a rifle scope, assess what you will use it for. Are you hunting or shooting targets? Will you be in low light? All scopes have common features. However, it depends on your shooting needs and preferences.

  • Fixed power scopes have minimal magnification settings, usually 4x, 6x, or 10x. They are for precision shooting and are used for varmint hunting, target shooting, and personal defense. These scopes often use Mil-Dot reticles for accuracy.
  • Variable power scopes have adjustable magnification settings from 1x to 30x. They are best for hunters who may come across animals at different distances. Some models have multi-coated lenses for brighter images in low light.
  • Red dot scopes are great for quick target acquisition and engaging moving targets at less than 200 yards. 100 yard shooting with red dot sights is becoming increasingly popular due to their versatility and lightweight design.

Consider the features you need

When picking a rifle scope, think about the features you need. Illuminated reticles are great for dim shooting and Parallax adjustment stops crosshair shift when zooming. Side focus parallax adjustment changes the reticle focus by spinning its lens on the side of the scope. Weatherproofing and waterproofing help your rifle to withstand any type of weather when hunting or shooting.

  • Choose a scope suited to your weapon, so you get accuracy even at long distances.
  • Adjustable eye relief is important to adjust eye comfort when shooting long distances and avoid strain.
  • Quality lenses like multi-coated optics increase light transmission up to 95%, improving visibility for more accurate shots at dawn and dusk.
  • Easy magnification settings allow shooters quick zoom adjustments for close range shots and far away shots.
  • Scopes made from aluminium ensure durability in any terrain, so accuracy and durability are not compromised.


Choosing the right rifle scope can make a huge difference in your shooting accuracy. Don't spend too much – think about the shooting type, distance, and light condition. There are two options: open sight and telescopic sight, each with its own benefits. Plus, there are various reticles to choose from – German post, duplex/crosshair, MOA reticle, BDC or traditional dot reticle, illuminated reticle, and more. Each reticle is designed to maximize precision in different light conditions or distances. Ultimately, shooters have different needs and preferences.

If you want to upgrade your shooting game, don't miss out on these must-have rifle scopes!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the types of rifle scopes?

A: There are three primary types of rifle scopes: Fixed power scopes, variable power scopes, and red dot scopes.

Q: What are the advantages of using a rifle scope?

A: Rifle scopes provide a number of advantages, including improved accuracy, faster target acquisition, and better visibility in low-light conditions.

Q: What type of rifle scope is best?

A: The best type of rifle scope depends on your needs and budget. For most shooters, a variable power scope is the best choice as it offers the most flexibility in terms of magnification and range.

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