Telescopes | Astronomy | Cosmos

Finding the Best Rifle Scope for Your Needs

After spending untold amounts on your rifle, hunting equipment and traveling all the way out into the country in order to go on a hunting trip, it can be immensely frustrating to find that you cannot hit your prey. Odds are, the problem is in the scope of your rifle. After all, it does not matter how accurate or powerful your weapon is if you cannot aim it properly.

The first thing you should consider for your scope is what you will be using this for. Of course, you will be mounting it on your rifle, but then what will you be shooting with it? Magnification is a key factor when selecting a rifle scope; and you might be surprised to know that higher is not always better. There is no need to be able to study your prey’s fur in exacting detail when what you want to know is where to place your round in order to bring your prey down in one precise shot. Anything else would be inhumane. More importantly, higher magnification levels will take away the light you need to form a usable sight picture in the first place, thus being counterproductive.

In general, it is more important to know how low the magnification can go, rather than how high. This is because you might need to “zoom out” to acquire your prey, and then “zoom in” again to pinpoint the location on it where you wish to land your shot. For most deer-sized prey, the range of magnification for your scope should be 3-9x range. If you hunt smaller game, or vermin, and especially at longer ranges, you might want to use a 6-20x or a 8-25x scope instead.

Light transmission is another important factor in selecting your scope. Most good rifle scopes will transmit about 95% of the light they collect, with the very best peaking at 98%. However, the average rifle scope will only let 90% of the light through. Light transmission is important when hunting at dawn or dusk, where there might not be sufficient light for you to form an effective sight picture. Lens coating plays a big part in this – single coated lenses are inferior to fully coated lenses that are inferior to multi coated lenses which are inferior to fully multi coated lenses. When it comes to lens coats, the more is truly the merrier.

Finally, consider your budget. While skimping on your scope is not recommended, there is no need to purchase features and functions that you will never use. If it helps you hit your target, then it is good enough.

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