Frequently Asked Questions About Rifle Scopes

Rifle scopes can be a hunter’s best friend because they greatly help to improve accuracy, especially so at long distance shots. Rifle scopes are pretty complex things with a whole lot of dials and factors to consider before using any one scope. Today we are here to talk about some frequently asked questions about rifle scopes to give you all of the info you need to get scoping as soon as can be.

What Kind Of Magnification Should I Use?

Different scopes come with different magnification capabilities which are ideal for various things. Scopes can also come with a variable zoom feature that allows the user to adjust the magnification strength. Rifle scopes can come with magnification capabilities anywhere from 10x zoom to 100x zoom.

The magnification strength that you should use depends on the activity that you are engaging in. Short range shooting and shooting moving targets is best done with a low magnification scope. Medium range shooting and game hunting is best done with a medium range scope. The shooting of still targets at long range or the shooting of vermin is best done with a high powered long range scope.

What Size Objective Lens Should My Scope Have

Once again the size of the objective lens will determine the width of the field of view that your scope can see. A smaller objective lens is ideal for game hunting and target shooting whereas a larger objective lens is better for things like moving targets, bird shooting, and even bird watching too. How wide your field of view needs to be depends on the shooting activity that you are engaged in.

What Size Rings Do My Scopes Need?

Depending on the size and make of the scope you are trying to mount to your rifle you will need different sizes and heights of rings. When mounting your scope you want it to be as low as possible to the rifle without actually touching it. You can get low, medium, high, or extra high rings for the various sized scopes out there.

What Is Parallax

Parallax is when your reticle appears to move slightly when looking through your scope at long range targets. This happens when the eye you are looking through the scope with is not perfectly lined up with the reticle. Parallax usually happens when you are aiming at targets longer than 100 yards away.

It can also happen when the scope is set to compensate for parallaxes other than the distance you are aiming at. You can get a specialized scope with a parallax compensation capability if you are shooting at extremely long range targets such as over 500 yards.

Should I Use A Fixed Or Variable Zoom Scope

Now this is really up to you to choose because it is all about personal preference. If you are going to be shooting at the same distances all the time a fixed zoom scope will do, but if you are going to be shooting at various different distances a variable zoom scope would be the ideal choice. Of course variable zoom scopes are much more versatile than fixed zoom scopes. Fixed scopes are also easier to get the hand of than variable zoom scopes as they can be difficult to properly adjust for beginners.

What Is The Reticle And Which Type Should I Have?

The reticle in a rifle scope is the marker in the middle of the scope which constitutes the aiming point and it is physically set on one of the inner lenses. To put it simply the reticle is the target or cross hair that you see when you look through the scope. Various activities will require different reticle types.

Crosshair reticles are good for accurate shooting, and are usually for targets, but not hunting. The most common type of reticle is the duplex reticle. There are also illuminated reticles as well as Ballistic reticles meant to compensate for bullet drop.

What Are Fiber Optics?

Sights that use fiber optics use some kind of glowing or fluorescent material to make the sights and especially the reticle much more visible. These are great for low light shooting and for night time conditions. There are some scopes that have fiber optics on the front and/or the back.

What Is Windage And Elevation?

When you are aiming through your scope you can change the aiming point by shifting it either on the horizontal or vertical plane. The windage adjustment lets you shift the aiming point either to the left or the right and the elevation lets you move the aiming point up or down. Both types of adjustments are made in increments that are called “minute of angle” or MOA. Each turn of the respective knob shifts the aiming point by a certain amount at 100 yards, the amount depending on the settings of the rifle scope. If the click values is set for ¼ then the MOA will change by ¼ inch at 100 yards.

Why Can Some Objective Lenses Be Adjusted?

Some objective lenses can be adjusted in order to help compensate for parallax and these adjusted can be made through a turning ring at the front objective bell or with a dial beside the windage dial. Larger objective lenses allow for a wider field of view.


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