How to choose a rifle scope – Detailed instructions

The choice of rifle scope completely depends on your needs. In fact, whatever your goal, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different rifle scopes to choose from. It is important that you realize what you really need in a properly selected rifle scope. Thus, you should know more about what you want, not what you think you “need”. The article will give you useful information on how to choose a rifle scope!

How to choose a rifle scope

“What’s the best Rifle scope to use?”. There is no accurate answer to the question. As mentioned above, the choice of rifle scope depends entirely on your needs. Nevertheless, there are a few points you need to know in advance:

  • Short range rifle scopes
  • Medium range rifle scopes
  • Long range rifle scopes
  • Objective lens size
  • Tube size
  • Ballistic turrets
  • Parallax
  • Reticles
  • Costs
  • Brand
  • Build

1. Short range rifle scopes

If you want to hunt or practice aiming within 100 yards, short range rifle scopes will be the great choice for you. It can include two types: fixed magnification and variable magnification.

For a fixed magnification scope, the ideal power could be 2x or 2.5x. In case of variable magnification, a 1-4x rifle range would be great. You can also use the 1-4x scope in case of mid-range aiming.

A short range rifle scope
A short range rifle scope

In fact, for hunting down dangerous game, short range rifle scopes are the best choice. The reason is hunters often like to hunt large animals at a distance of 50 to 150 yards. And, if you use long range rifle scopes at 50 to 150 yards, your field of vision will be severely affected due to the high magnification. Things could even get worse if the animal decides to lunge at you.

2. Medium range rifle scopes

If you prefer a shooting range of around 100-300 yards, you need a rifle attached with a medium range rifle scope. Like short range rifle scopes, medium range rifles include fixed magnification and variable magnification.

For mid-range sights, you will need a 4x fixed magnification scope as well as a scope with variable magnification like 2-7x or 3-9x.

Variable magnification above 4x can help you cover a much longer range. However, besides rifle scopes, the range you can cover depends on your rifle’s capabilities and the cartridge.

3. Long range rifle scopes

Long range rifle scopes can cover a range greater than 300 yards, with maximum magnification exceeding 10x. For some cases, it can even go up to 30 times and more.

4. Objective lens size

Typically, you will find 1 inch and 30 mm tube sizes. You can also find a small market of 34 mm tubes like the Leupold VX6 4-24X52. They are suitable for tactical shooters who want a high class scope. Besides, the 1-inch tube scope has a lower production cost than the larger sizes, so they are the most popular.

The fact of the matter is that 30 mm tubes are obviously thicker. Thus, they are suitable for harsher environments and intents. In particular, it cannot be denied that it usually has a wider range for internal adjustments. Therefore, they are extremely suitable for long-range to extreme long-range shooting.

In case you are interested in making shots beyond 500 yards, then a rifle scope with a 30 mm tube size might be suitable for you. However, it can hardly be denied that 1-inch tube scopes can match the performance, transmission durability, and light rates of their larger counterparts.

5. Ballistic turrets

In fact, most rifle scopes have ballistic turrets. Thanks to that, they allow you  zero in your scope with your favorite rifle. However, not all rifle scopes have ballistic turrets,  the Swarovski Z6i 3-18×50 for example.

There are many advantages when you equip yourself with ballistic turrets. However, it also suffers from a number of disadvantages including an extreme cost jump to ditch the ballistic reticle.

6. Parallax

Basically, a parallax knob helps you dial in distance. In other words, it is a knob that helps with “adjustable objectives.” Adjusting for parallax is not a must! It is really only needed if you are aiming with a scope with more than 10x magnification or you are using an air gun with extreme close range distances (under 50-75 yards). 

7. Reticles

There is no denying that reticles will greatly affect your aiming and accuracy. Thanks to that, you know whether or not you can make  that long shot to account for bullet drop.

Reticles will greatly affect your aiming and accuracy
Reticles will greatly affect your aiming and accuracy

8. Costs

It is true to say that the more leeway we  have with our budget, the more rifle scope options we have. Sometimes, you can choose the right rifle scope for yourself, but your limited budget doesn’t allow you to do that. Every feature, tacked-on gadget, and extra power and size will increase the cost you pay, so if your budget is big enough and with a bit of experience, you can almost get the The most suitable rifle scope.

It is important that you set a budget for what you want to spend and adjust your choices from there. As a result, you should buy the best of what you can afford.

9. Brand

While a high-end rifle scope from a well-known brand may not come cheap, it would be wiser to choose one from well-known brands. Their products are not only of outstanding quality but they are also very reliable and last you years to come.

You choose rifle scope from well known brands
You choose rifle scope from well known brands

10. Build

If you want your rifle scope to be durable for a long time, make sure the rifle scope you buy is made of Aircraft-grade aluminum. Furthermore, it should be purged of either Nitrogen or Argon to assure that it can suffer any type of weather condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Hickmanrifles

1. What is the best brand of  rifle scopes today?

You can refer to some high-end rifle scopes under $300. I recommend products from popular brands like Sig Sauer Whiskey (Illuminated), Carl Zeiss Terra, Millett and Vortex Optics Diamondback HP, and more.

2. What scope should I use for 1000 yards?

Any rifle scope with a 3-9×40 scope scale is suitable for this case. As such, you must check whether a rifle scope has the right magnification and objective lens diameter before deciding to buy.

3. What kind of scope is for snipers?

Military snipers use advanced high-precision rifles with large rifle lens, such as the 80x magnification of the March X-series (8-80 x 56 mm). Thanks to it, they can shoot targets more than 1000 yards away with high accuracy.

4. What kind of scope is for Marine sniper

They use the night vision feature. It was the kind that made it possible for them to see targets in the water or dark environments. For example, in the past, US Marines have used the Mark 13 Mod 7 military scope rifle which is integrated with the Night-force ATACR technology and with the Horus Tremor 3 Reticle. Thanks to that, marine soldiers can observe the target in the water or dark environments.

Closing Points 

All in all, the different types of rifles available in the market largely depend on the features they sport. Their features are important in helping you determine the rifle scope you need for your purposes.

  • In addition to considering the above factors, you must also answer questions such as:
  • Do you buy a rifle scope first and then a proper rifle to match?
  • How much are you willing to spend?
  • What are you using your weapon for?

Do not forget to consider your options according to your budget, Read the article How to use a rifle scope and Buy the best of what fits your budget!

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