Rifle scopes come in many different power and magnification ranges, price ranges and there are dozens of brand names out there. So what do I need to know to be empowered to purchase the right scope for me? It can be a difficult process unless you know what to look for.
The first thing to know is the market is very competitive and therefore there are no real bargains on optics. Once you know what to look for it is easy to compare prices on the internet. Optics are also one of those pieces of equipment where you get what you pay for. Therefore getting a good value for your money means know what to look for based on what you will use it for as to be sure to get good quality yet not more than what you need for what you will be using it for.
As you may have already found, rifle scopes come in a huge range of prices. There are discernable differences between the less expensive 100 dollar scopes as compared to the more expensive five hundred dollar scopes. The more expensive Scopes have: rifle training
a). Better optics and coatings
b). are more rugged and reliable
c). have more reputable and precise adjustments
d). offer better light gathering capabilities
e). possess enhanced clarity
Most hunters though do not need the most expensive rifles scope on the market. It all depends on what you will be hunting with the scope and your budget. I will repeat that with rifle scopes you really get what you pay for therefore it is highly recommended that if you cannot afford the best stay away from the inexpensive scopes and try to buy in the middle range and purchase specific to your needs. If you have to make a choice, you will be better off purchasing a less expensive or medium priced rifle and getting a higher quality optic.
How large of an objective lens do you need? The larger the objective lens, the greater light gathering capability it has. So a better question, based on the conditions you will be shooting in, is how much light do you need?
The larger more expensive objectives, while providing greater light gather capabilities and allowing you to have better vision in darker environments, come with their own problems to consider. The larger the scope and objective, the heavier it is and heavier than it may need to be. The larger objective also requires the scope to be mounted high enough to clear the barrel. What this means is that you will need to have a high comb on your stock or lift you head off the stock to obtain a proper sight plane or picture. The benefit of the more expensive, higher quality objective may not be worth the cost and the possible adjustments you may have to make you your mounting, than it is really worth. It would be very rare that you would need an objective lens larger than 44mm. The more common recommended range is to purchase an objective from 36mm – 42mm.
You should also consider the size of the scope tube. The larger tube also allows you to have greater light gathering capability. You will need to decide between a 1 inch tube or a 33mm tube. You will need to be sure that the 30mm tube actually has 30mm optics. Many scopes labeled as 30mm scopes actually just have 1 inch optics within. Therefore this does nothing to enhance the brightness of your sights and is also heavier and bulkier than necessary.
The conditions under which you will be hunting, as stated earlier, the type of game you will be hunting and other factors need to be considered to help you make valuable decisions on the magnification you will need in your rifle scope. Varmint hunting and very long range shooting requires a more powerful magnification in your scope. Big game hunting does not require a very high powered scope and in fact, most hunters are usually “over scoped” in big game hunting.
For most general purpose hunting you will likely only need a magnification of no greater than 10X. For most hunters, magnification variables of 2X – 7X, the most popular 3X – 9X or an 3.5X – 10X are all plenty of magnification required for big game hunting. You may not need a variable optic scope at all if most of your shooting is going to be at 200 yards or less. A quality fixed 4X scope offer’s all the magnification you will need for big game hunting and is very simple and is a most reliable and durable scope. When Timber hunting or when using a dangerous game rifle, you will normally only need to mount a variable scope of 1.75X – 5X. This scope is quite compact and light but does not offer much light gathering capability. A 1.5X – 6x is not as compact yet does offer significantly more light gathering capability.
So when shopping for your next optic scope, there is no need to purchase the most powerful of most expensive scope available in your price range. By considering the above factors, the conditions under which you will be hunting and the type of game you will hunting, you will now be able to better identify the characteristics and type scope you will need.