Choosing a firearm is an important decision, but the accessories you use with your gun can make a big difference. Optics, such as rifle scopes, can help you shoot more accurately. There are many options to choose from and it can be overwhelming to consider all the choices. This is especially true if you are a first-time gun owner. At The Hub, it is our goal to help you find the best firearms and accessories. Whether you have something specific in mind or need some guidance, our experts are happy to assist you.
Here are some options for rifle scopes:
Magnification is the degree to which a scope makes targets appear larger. The notation for this is fairly straightforward: a 3X scope makes what you are looking at three times larger, a 9X variety will make it nine times larger, et cetera.
The amount of magnification you need depends on how you plan to use your rifle. You need to make sure that you can see your intended target clearly. Too little magnification can make it difficult to determine where you are shooting and too much can prevent you from seeing everything around the target. Between 1X and 4X works well for target shooting up to 100 yards, small game, or home defense. 5X to 8X are suited for large game hunting, target shooting up to 200 yards, or hunting in an enclosed landscape such as the mountains or forest. Finally, scopes between 9X and 12X are best for target shooting beyond 200 yards or hunting in an open landscape like the desert or a field.
Fixed vs. Variable Magnification Scopes
Some rifle scopes are fixed, meaning they only have one possible magnification setting. Others are variable magnification and you can set a different level depending on your needs. You will see this written as a range, e.g. 3-6X for a scope that can be 3X, 4X, 5X, or 6X.
The benefit of a fixed scope is that you can aim and shoot more quickly. These also tend to be less expensive. However, you can only shoot from one specific range, so it may not be the best choice if you know you will need to change magnification. In general, you should choose a variable scope if you know you will be hunting from a variety of distances. A fixed scope is usually suitable for home defense.
Objective Lens Diameter
The objective lens is the portion at the end of the scope. Its diameter is listed in millimeters (mm). The bigger the diameter, the clearer and brighter the image will be. However, a bigger objective lens also makes the scope heavier and can reflect sunlight and give away your position if you are hunting.
An objective lens under 28 mm is best if your firearm has little recoil, you are hunting at a closer range, or you are using a lower magnification. An objective lens between 30 and 44 mm is suited if your gun has more recoil, you are hunting in low light conditions, or you are using a higher magnification. You should consider a lens over 50 mm if you are using a higher magnification scope in low light or if you are hunting at an extremely long range.
The reticle is the crosshairs you see when looking through a scope. There are three common types and each one has different benefits. We recommend trying them out and choosing the one that works best for you. The most important thing is that shooting and aiming should feel natural.
This is the default variety for reticles and is the best choice if you are new to scopes. It works well for hunting and target shooting.
This type of crosshairs estimates a target’s distance. It is mainly used by the military, law enforcement, and security. However, it may be helpful for hunting purposes if you are shooting from a long distance.
A ballistic drop compensating (BDC) reticle uses lines or dots to mark the expected drop of a bullet at different ranges. This is an especially good choice for long-distance shooters, although once you learn how to use it, it can be beneficial for all purposes.
Choosing the Right Scope
These are just a few of the different choices you can make when choosing a scope and there are also additional features like night vision, strobe lights, and more. We carry a wide variety of options and can help you find the right scope for you.