Picking the correct scope

Top tips for picking a suitable rifle scope for hunting

Nowadays, firearm fanatics utilize certain kinds of optical sighting device on their gun equipment. This is plainly for the reason of simplicity. Having a rifle scope gives you the realization of power, of being able to reach out your target from a distance.

A rifle scope’s main mission is to hold zero for you to plaster the rectangle on your target and you can expect the bullet to land approximately to that spot. The important thing is to understand what you really need the scope for and select appropriately.

Most rifle scopes for hunting is simple with very few additional features. They require to be easy to operate without being affected by harsh occasions. Therefore, here are a few important tips for you to consider before selecting a rifle scope.

1. Types of rifle scopes
Rifle scopes can be separated into 3 main categories, which covers practically most hunting situations. A low-magnification scope are more flexible than what most hunters visualize. Mid-range scopes are usually more favored by professionals when hunting larger targets. Lastly, a high-magnification precision scope are popular for long-range shooting.

Therefore, it is important to think about where are you hunting and what are you hunting for. If you are a small game hunter, you would not require a a zoom above 10x. However if you are going big, you will require a further visual for precision.

2. Types of reticles
There are many different types of reticles for you to choose from. Reticles can be divided into 3 different categories. First, the simplest reticle is a simple cross with no extra markings. This is the classic type of crosshair and can be used effectively when matched accordingly. Next are scopes that have semi distance markings. There may be a few lines under the center of the cross or numerical lines. Normally these are only for bullet drop.

Lastly, the most advanced scopes have fully marked crosshair in a specific style. However, styles ranging from this category are usually used in the U.S military field.

3. The numbers
Scopes comes with 2 numbers for example “3-9×40”. The number 3 in front represents the power of magnification for your target. This means that the target you
see through your device will be 3 times bigger compare to what your naked eye sees. The number 9 means your target will be 9 times closer than actual sighting and 40 represents the objective lens diameter. Scopes comes with a series of magnifications according to what you need.

However, most hunting scopes require less than 20 power with a simple reticle. There are no beneficial outcomes hunting with a scope more than 20 power as it often leads to missed shots.

4. Light transmission
Scopes do not gather light instead it transmit feasible light through the lenses and then to your eye. However,  there is a tendency of losing a bit during the process. A good lens would be multi-coated or have a larger purpose to be able to clear out target from its environment.

The top scope can transmit theoretically 95% of light. Therefore, if you have a scope that is able to transmit above 90% of light is consider great. The more magnification your lens offers, the less light will be transmitted into your scope.

5. Eye-relief
Eye-relief means how far of a distance your eye can be away from the rifle scope and still be able to have a proper visual through the scope without parallax. This is crucial to measure to prevent your rifle from knocking the scope of your face during recoil. Basic eye relief for rifles are around 4 inches. However, if you are wearing glasses, you will require a distance of at least 14mm of eye relief to use the eye scope accordingly. Your eye should be able see the whole view through the scope to know whether you have enough eye relief.

6. Field of view
The field of view is a concept describe as yards or feet at a fixed distance for example 9’ at 100 yards. This means that you will be able to see around 9 feet at 100 yards from one edge to another. The more a scope magnifies, the less field of view you will achieve.

The main purpose of field of view is for you to be able to locate your target when looked through the device. It is important to understand the variation of effects it can have on your scopes. A larger field of view will allow you to locate your target faster than a tighter field of view.

7. Main Tube
Rifle scope main tube comes in 3 measurement which is 1” , 30-mm and 34-mm in diameter. The larger-diameter main tubes have a wider variation of adjustment which is crucial for long distance targeting. However, bear in mind that the extra material used in their manufacturing increases the weight and tends to be pricier. So do you really need that extra weight on your rifle when steadily holding your rifle on your target? A good quality 1” rifle scope is sufficient for hunters out there. Even if you are looking for something more advance, an optic with 30-mm diameter main tube already offer all the require variation of adjustment a hunter needs.

8. Parallax
Parallax is a feature least considered by users but it is important to know about. External parallax adjustments are usually offer on scopes with more than 10 power or short distance shootings. They are built at the objective lens with a rotating dial marked in graditional distances.

Having a parallax adjustment is beneficial as it reduces the need to check on whether your eyes is in a lesser ideal alignment with the rifle scope when in a hurry.
However, acquiring it may complicate the use of your rifle scope so train up before bringing it to the real field.

9. Adjustment and consistency
A rifle scope should be solid and well aligned to your rifle. From one shot, the impact from the recoil may shift the reticle tube against the spring. This may not give you the same aiming precision for the next shot, which is a common mistake most hunters make.

To tell whether you have a good scope, the scope should have minimal movement of  the reticle tube and adjustments will remain consistent regardless of the recoil. However, this situation rarely happens with the scopes we have today but it is still best to test it out beforehand.

There you have it, top tips to consider before committing to an expensive scope. Rifle equipment may be hard to understand and to choose from but understand each of their unique features and you just might find the perfect one for you.

1 reply
  1. sky garner
    sky garner says:

    I just bought a Ruger 308. I will be using the gun primarily for hog hunting in Texas. It seems to me I’ll need a scope for low light: big objective lens, maybe illuminated reticle?

    Ruger 308 American Predator bolt action rifle – hog hunting in Texas – low light probably…. suggestions


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