There are some things to consider when buying a rifle scope.
Apart from just having to know the best rifle scope on the market to buy, you also need to know some things that may further guide you in your choice just so you may not go wrong at all. Here…
No doubt, there are certainly a couple things to consider before buying a rifle scope.
These 14 things might just be the most important.
- 1 14 Things to Consider When Buying a Rifle Scope
- 1.1 Brand
- 1.2 Budget and Price
- 1.3 Field of View
- 1.4 Glass quality
- 1.5 Lens coatings
- 1.6 Light transmission
- 1.7 Magnification
- 1.8 Objective lens diameter
- 1.9 Range Adjustments
- 1.10 Resilience and Waterproof
- 1.11 Reticle Style
- 1.12 Scope tube
- 1.13 Zoom Ranges
- 1.14 Weight
- 1.15 Eye Relief/Exit Pupil (Bonus Tip)
- 2 Final word
14 Things to Consider When Buying a Rifle Scope
The following are some of the most important things to consider when buying a rifle scope.
Brand is one of the things to consider when buying a rifle scope.
This is something you must not put aside when looking to get a good scope any day and anytime.
There are some established brands that have been doing this a long time. It is better to go with them for many reasons.
Here are few trusted brands that you may want to consider:
The America Technologies Network Corp offers some of the best optics on the market today.
Some of their night vision devices are great in technology and delivers excellence as far hunting and tactical are concerned.
ATN offers high definition digital rifle scopes for day and night hunting.
You would like the choice of an ATN scope.
This is a sport optics company as it chooses to call itself.
Barka manufactures rifle scope, binoculars, spotting scopes and telescopes.
Barka is good at what it does.
BSA is British. It is British optics manufacture.
BSA has been around a long time – more than 100 years.
This is a trusted brand.
Burris is also good brand as far as optics/scopes are concerned.
Bushnell is a well know brand. It is trusted by so many people.
Bushnell has been doing optics for more than 65 years.
You may not go wrong with a Bushnell optic
Leupold is one of the best rifle scope brands on the market.
Leupold optics are great quality, they are really outstanding.
Your choice of a Leupold brand may be one of the best choices you’d ever make in your purchase of a rifle scope.
You may never regret it.
Mueller scopes are good for their price.
Nikon is one of the world’s best manufacturers of rifle scope.
Nikon scopes are high quality and excellent.
You may never go wrong with a Nikon optic if you chose to settle with it.
The Nikon brand is one you can bet your money on any day any time. Go for it.
Redfield has been doing optics for more than 100 years.
Though acquired by Leopold in 2008, they still go by the brand name and are great optics for the money.
Simmons optics is great in every way.
This Austrian based optics makers are good at what they do.
This manufacture offers low priced but good quality optics.
The Vortex optics is some of the finest optics on the market today.
It is quality, excellent and affordable.
Don’t look away from a Vortex optic in your choice of a rifle scope. You may never regret the choice of a Vortex.
Weaver is sister to Bushnell and Simmons.
The Weaver optics are great in every way.
It compares to its sisters – Bushnell and Simmons in quality and also in price.
Undoubtedly, Zeiss may be the oldest brand in the market as far as optics is concerned.
This German based manufacturer produces some of the best high-quality-high-price optics there is on the market.
If Zeiss is your choice of a rifle scope brand, you can be sure that you are on the right.
Whatever your choice, the best thing would be to go with a brand that resonates with your rifle.
Tips: Read our review on the best rifle scope under 500. You will get a feel of some great brands you like to go with.
Budget and Price
The price of your scope is important. It can make all the difference between day and night.
A good rifle scope will come with great features like 4x zoom and above, a great objective lens diameter and even must be water and fog-proof.
You may not have all these features with a low price scope.
Plus, if you are a seasoned rifleman, you do not need a cheap scope.
You need a good one with some good price.
Cheaper scopes are for beginners.
Tips: Read our review on the best rifle scope under 100. You will get a feel of some low cost scope that deliver on excellence price notwithstanding.
Field of View
One of the things to consider when buying a rifle scope is field of view (FOV).
Your field of view is the area visible in the scope at 100 meter range.
A wider FOV guarantees better results.
Your FOV is also greatly affected by the diameter of your objective lens.
So get a scope with a super FOV would mean to look for a scope that is at least 50mm objective lens diameter.
Tips: Read our review on the best long range scope under 1000. You will get a feel of some amazing scope with elaborate objective lens diameter.
Do not get a low quality glass scope. It is vulnerable.
Low glass quality will affect clarity and mirage calculation.
It can get foggy, let water in and may even crack under pressure.
A 30mm and above is good.
This also is one of the things to consider when buying a rifle scope.
Rifle optics that is multi-coated is great.
That means that you have protection on the lens, the glass surface and many of the other surfaces you are working with.
In all, this helps to protect your scope and make it useful in many weather conditions.
So you must look out for rifle scopes that are multiple coated.
Some scopes are coated; some are fully coated, while other is multi-coated and multi-coated fully.
Again, we say: a multi-coated scope; that is scopes that are multi coated on all lenses and on all glass surfaces is the ideal.
Tips: Read our review on the best rifle scope under 200. You will get a feel of some great and affordable scopes that come fully multi-coated on all glass objectives.
This is the degree of light that can ultimately flow through the scope.
The best scope will achieve a pass through rating of about 95 percent.
Most scopes allow 90 percent.
You need scopes with good light transmission for clearer image no matter the lighting conditions.
With magnification, you are able to see what is 100 yard away as if it is 10 yards close.
Great scope comes with good magnification size.
A variable 4x to 20x magnification will be most ideal for long range shooting, that is if you are considering long range shooting.
Tips: Read our review on the 15 best night vision scope to have a wide variety of scopes with different magnification ranges.
Objective lens diameter
The objective lens diameter affects your field of view.
A larger objective lens diameter will mean a larger field of view.
A 50 mm objective lens diameter and above is great for long range shooting; that is if you are looking at scopes for long range shooting.
Tips: Read our review on the best long range scope under 500. You will get a feel of some scope with elaborate objective lens diameter.
You need to anticipate what range you will be shooting at in your acquisition of a rifle scope.
There is a rifle scope that is good with short range, some are best for mid-range and while still others are best with long range.
And to be able to compensate for windage, elevation and distance, you need a scope with which you can make quick and easy adjustments on the fly.
So your scope should have wide adjustment range.
Tips: Read our review on the best scope for 308. You will get a taste of some scopes that are versatile with adjustments.
Resilience and Waterproof
Every good scope must be resilience, durable, fog-proof, waterproof and even shock proof.
So look out for a scope that has almost all of those variables.
The reticle in a rifle scope is the crosshair or aiming point in your field of view – FOV.
For proper aiming, you would need a scope with milled reticle, space dot and crosshair.
This will enable you judge distance, windage and elevation more accurately.
Look out for this in your choice of the best long range scopes under.
Here are some reticle styles you may want to consider:
This is the basic reticle style.
Crosshair reticles with thicker lines are called Duplex reticles and German numbered reticle.
The BDC stands for Bullet Drop Compensation.
Basically, the BDC reticle is a modified crosshair or duplex style reticle.
It is a crosshair or duplex style reticle with some markings or dots below the center.
A mildot reticle allows you to determine the exact distance of your target.
The Mildot uses tiny milliradian dots on both ends of the crosshairs for measurement.
A Dot reticle is usually illuminated.
This type of reticle uses one dot in the scope as the aiming point. For example we have the red dot or green dot.
This is a reticle with some type of light.
The light makes seeing at night very easy.
There are other reticle styles that originate with brands.
For instance, there is the Nikoplex reticle which is actually the Nikon brand of the Crosshairs Duplex reticle.
We also have the DOA reticle that is associated with the Bushnell brands of the rifle scope and the VMR reticle that is associated with the Vortex brand.
Plus, there is MOA – minute of angle reticle that is particular with some brands of rifle scopes like the Vortex and the Leupold.
And there is also the patented ACSS HUD/DMR reticle style which the Primary Arms brand is customized with.
There is also rifle optics that uses MRAD reticle – or what is called the milliradian for angular adjustments.
These reticle styles – the Nikoplex, the DOA, the MOA, and the MRAD are great for long range shooting. They make for wind and elevation adjustments.
Tips: Read our review on the 11 best scope under 500. You will get a feel of scopes with different reticle style and type that meets your need.
The length, diameter and weight of scope tube are also a very important factor to consider when buying a rifle scope.
Most scopes come in 30mm diameter tube. And that is very great and easy to handle.
A scope with a 30mm tube is good.
Such can easily be altered through the adjustment turret knobs for long range shooting.
So scope tube is important in your choices too.
A critical factor in a good rifle scope is its zoom capacity.
A good scope can go as low as a 4x zoom and as high as 50x zoom.
A 4x zoom and above is a take for a good rifle scope
Tips: Read our review on the 25 best night vision scope. You will get a feel of different scopes with different zoom capacity.
Weight is one of the very few things to consider when buying a rifle scope.
In short it is as important as zoom.
The best long range scope must be compact with your rifle and lightweight.
When a scope is too heavy, it can affect the balance of your rifle.
When rifle balance is affected, aiming becomes difficult.
A few pound weight rifle scopes are good and best for long range shooting.
Tips: Read our review on the best scope for AR 10. You will get a handful of scopes that are lightweight; designed to not add additional weight to already heavy AR 10 rifle.
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil (Bonus Tip)
The eye relief and exit pupil of a scope is something to also of the most important things to consider when buying a rifle scope.
Eye relief of a scope is the shortest possible distance between your eye and scope lens that allows you to see through the scope as clearly as possible.
On the other hand, the exit pupil is the cone of light that is available to the viewer within the limit of the eye relief.
You need a scope with a consistent eye relief to keep your focus in place.
Plus, one that delivers excellently on light transmission.
Tips: Read our review on the best scope under 200. You will get a taste of some scopes with consistent and generous eye relief and exit pupil.
These 14 things to us are some of the most important things to consider when buying a rifle scope.
They are the basics.
These 14 things and every other thing you need to know about rifle scopes will help you make intelligent buying decisions as far as rifles scopes are concerned.
So in your choice of a rifle scope, whether it is short range, mid-range or long range, these points are things you must consider before you bet your money on any.
You will most likely not go wrong in your choice with these 14 things to consider when buying a rifle scope.
All the best!