The Prepper Journal

How to Choose the Right Rifle Scope: 10 Tips

Getting the right rifle scope can be quite a challenge. If you are a novice shooter, you may be completely confused as to which one to buy. And this situation still doesn’t change if you are a pro, as you still will be offered a wide variety of options that you can buy to upgrade your rifle. However, if you own a .308 rifle, you can read this page as it can help you in finding the best rifle scope that matches your preference.

You may be wondering if getting a scope is really worth the money and stress of finding the right one for you. Well, absolutely yes. If you choose the right rifle scope, it can help improve your shooting skills even more.

Benefits of A Rifle Scope

You may think that scope only helps you see up close, however, it has several other benefits as well.

Magnifies the target. Without a scope, you won’t be really able to see your target up close, and this can even mean that you miss your target. Or even worse, you hit someone or something else that you didn’t intend to. For this purpose, a scope can allow you to see closely and clearly to ensure you accurately hit the target.

Allows for more precise shooting. Scopes come with crosshairs, which are basically visual markers that allow you to focus more precisely on the target and tell you where you will exactly hit if you pull the trigger. This means you will be able to directly hit the target wherever you want without missing your target.

Helps you shoot in lower light. Riflescopes allow you to shoot or hunt even in low light conditions, as they come with certain features that allow you to do so. So, if you’re an avid hunter, you can even hunt whenever you want or whenever you think is best to hunt without worrying about visibility.   

Do you have the right rifle scope for your rifle?

Ten Tips to Help You Choose the Right Rifle Scope

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, it’s a must that you make your purchasing decision wisely, as you don’t want to miss out on your game or even lose your hard-earned money.

The right rifle scope can make a big difference between hitting and missing the target. Of course, the kind of rifle and ammunition you use is also essential, but you can’t overlook the importance of a rifle scope.

Although every scope you see on the market may seem the “best” one to you. In reality, the “best” scope is the one that best suits your needs and preference. Therefore, these 10 tips will help you invest in the right kind to take your shooting or hunting game up a notch.

1.    Define the Purpose You Shoot Your Rifle For   

If you want to get your hands on a scope, you first need to consider the objective of shooting your rifle. Are you going to hunt? If yes, will it be a big game like deer or bison or a small game like rabbits or doves? This will help you in deciding whether to get a long-range, medium-range, or short-range scope.

Are you interested in simple entertainment like target shooting or plinking?

Or will you be using your rifle for self-defense? If so, are you going to use it for a large area of land?

If you have clear answers to these questions, it may be easier for you to get the right kind of rifle scope for your needs. For instance, you simply can’t use a scope if you’re going to use a rifle for self-defense inside your home.

2.    Consider How Much Magnification You Need

The next most important factor is magnification. Magnification means how many times up close you can see your target. Whether you want to see up close two times or maybe ten times to get a clear shot, you need to decide this.

You may usually hear from amateurs that the more the magnification, the better. However, this is really not the case. In some situations, having more magnification than required can also cause you to not see your target clearly at all.

When buying a scope, you will find such numbers or range of numbers on the description: 3-9×40 mm or 2×30 mm.

In the first range of numbers, 3-9x means you will be able to magnify the view between three and nine times. Whereas in the second range, 2x means you can only magnify two times.

It’s usually recommended getting 1-4x for a small game or when you will be target shooting up to 100 yards (ca. 91 m).

The 5-8x scope is recommended for a large game or when you will be target shooting up to 200 yards (ca. 183 m).

In case of hunting in open fields or target shooting beyond 200 yards, it’s best to get a 9-12x scope.

3.    Decide Whether You Want Fixed or Variable Magnification

In the examples above (3-9×40 mm or 2×30 mm), you may have noticed that the latter has no range of magnification. The first one has a range i.e., from three to nine.

This range or no range determines the type of magnification your scope has. Fixed magnification means you can’t change the range of magnification, such as 2×30 mm means that you can only magnify for 2 times.

Variable magnification means you can adjust the level of magnification as per your requirements, such as 3-9×40 mm lets you magnify anywhere between three and nine.

The type of magnification you want depends totally on your needs. If you need to change magnification all the time while using your rifle, you must go for a variable. If you shoot from a fixed range, fixed magnification will be your best bet.

4.    Look for Objective Lens Diameter

The objective lens is at the end of the scope and when you’re buying a scope for your rifle, you will see another number after the “x”. For instance, 2×30 mm.

This 30 mm is the diameter of the objective lens, and it determines the clarity and brightness of the view. The higher the diameter, the more the clarity. However, it can come with a hefty price tag. It is also heavier to carry and may reflect a lot of light, which may give away your location.

Therefore, it’s recommended to get 28 mm or less, in case your rifle comes with low recoil, and you want to hunt close-range.

You should opt for 30-40 mm if your rifle has a lot of recoil and you want to hunt in low-light.

50 mm or more is ideal for firearms that use higher magnification in low light, and you shoot long-range targets.

5.    Choose Between Different Rifle Scope Lens Coatings

Riflescope lenses are equipped with special coatings to increase the sharpness and contrast of the view, therefore, overall improvement in the scope’s view.

You will be offered four kinds of coatings:

Coated: Just one surface comes covered with a single layer.

Fully coated: The entire external glass is covered with a single layer.

Multicoated: Just one surface comes covered with multiple layers.

Fully multicoated: The entire external glass of the scope is covered with multiple layers.

Although a fully multi-coated lens can be a bit expensive, it’s recommended to get this one as it allows for the clearest view of all.

6.    Look for the Reticle Design

Reticle or crosshairs are basically visual markers that allow you to aim at the target. The purpose of crosshairs is to make sure you can shoot easily and precisely while estimating distance.

You can get three main kinds of reticle designs in the market:

Duplex: It features simple, basic lines and it’s easy to use. The best option for beginners or for hunting and target shooting.

Mil-Dot: It resembles the duplex design, however, it comes with dots in the middle. Ideal for military and law enforcement.

BDC/Ballistic: It allows you to estimate the bullet drop and is ideal for long-range shooters.

7.    Check If It’s Weatherproof

When getting a scope for your rifle, you need to take into account the weather conditions that you will be using it in. Whether it’s going to be extremely hot or cold, you need to get a weatherproof scope to ensure its longevity.

You can feel and check the material to make sure it doesn’t wiggle, and the construction is rock solid. If you shoot or hunt in extremely foggy or humid locales, it’s best to get a fog-proof one. Those extra dimes will definitely be worth it and will improve your vision.

8.    Consider Eye Relief

Eye relief allows you to keep a safe distance between the rifle scope and your eye while being able to see clearly. If you don’t keep a distance and your gun recoils, your eye will be badly hurt.

Hence, you should opt for at least 3.5 to 4 inches (10.16 cm) of eye relief and if your rifle recoils a lot more than normal, it’s better to increase this number for your safety.

9.    Take Into Account How the Rifle Scope Adjusts for Parallax

You may or may not have noticed that whenever you move your head, the crosshairs also tend to move and this restricts you from hitting the bull’s eye. This is called parallax, and it can be adjusted either by parallax adjustment turret, adjustable objective, or factory set.

Adjusting it yourself can be quite a hassle using the other two methods, therefore, you should opt for the factory set option as it’s the most convenient method to deal with it and is built-in by the manufacturer, so you don’t have to fret about it much.

10.   Consider How Much You’re Willing to Spend  

Last but not the least, you need to take your budget into consideration. Although you can get under $200 scopes, it will undermine your performance while hunting or shooting.

But if you want your investment to be one-off and worthwhile, it’s better to purchase a quality product, and you can expect to spend about half of the price of your rifle. In case your budget is low, it’s better to wait and save up rather than buy a cheap product.

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