Frequently Asked Questions about Rifle Scopes {Q & A}

frequently asked questions about rifle scopes

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Here are some frequently asked questions about rifle scopes.

As a beginner hunter or shooter, no doubt there are some question you’d need to ask about rifles and rifle scopes in particular.

This post is an attempt to answer some of those questions.

So here are the frequently asked questions about rifle scopes and their answers.

We hope this helps you.

frequently asked questions about rifle scopes

Frequently Asked Questions About Rifle Scopes


#What is the difference between a first focal plane rifles cope and a second focal plan rifles cope?

This question is about the reticle position in a scope.

In the First Focal Plane rifle scope (FFP), the reticle is installed at the front of the magnification lenses such that when the magnification is increased or decreased, the reticle correspondingly increases or decreases alongside the image you are looking at.

In a nutshell, the FFP reticle increases with magnification because the reticle is placed at the front of the magnification lens.

On the other hand, the Second Focal Plane (SFP) rifle scope positions the reticle on the eyepiece end of the scope such that the reticle remains the same at every magnification.

That means that magnification does not affect the size of the reticle as far as SFP is concerned.

The FFP and the SFP are good and serve their purposes

But if you are considering long range shooting for example, the First Focal Plane rifle scope may be your best bet.


Tips: Read our review on the 11 best scope under 500. You will get a feel of scopes with FFP and SFP reticle type that meets your need.


#What is a rifle scope reticle?

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:


Fine Crosshairs

This is the basic reticle style.

Crosshair reticles with thicker lines are called Duplex reticles and German numbered reticle.

frequently asked questions about rifle scopes


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.


The Mil-dot Reticle

A mil-dot reticle allows you to determine the exact distance of your target.

The Mil-dot uses tiny milliradian dots on both ends of the crosshairs for measurement.


A Dot Recticle

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.


The Illuminated Reticle

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 that is peculiar to Primary Arms brands.

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 best rifle scope under 500. You will get a feel of some great scopes with reticle types that you may like to go with.


#What are the benefits of a rifle scope?

If you have been hunting a great deal without a rifle scope, you may be limiting yourself.

Now the rifle scope helps you in every way. It offers a great deal of benefits.

Rifle scope offers two major benefits; improved accuracy and long range shooting.

With a rifle scope, you are able to easily aim at your target accurately.

Most rifle scopes come with standard crosshairs reticle with which you can aim your rifle with the scope.

Without a rifle scope, you cannot shoot farther at a distance.

You are only limited to targets that you sight at close range with your eyes.

But with a rifle scope, the distance notwithstanding, the scope brings the target closer to your view such that you aim and hit target with accuracy as though target was at close range.

Most digital riflescopes have ballistic calculators and smart rangefinders which help to calculate the distance of your target from you; all these so that you may be able to shoot at long distance targets with accuracy.

#What kind of magnification should I use?

This depends on the kind of shooting you are doing.

If you are shooting a short range target or at moving objects, then what you need is a low magnification.

And if you are shooting at mid range target and or game hunting, medium magnification is what you need.

In the same vein, if you are shooting at long range, you would most certainly need a long magnification.

You may need the Nikon Black X1000 6-24x50SF Matte IL X-MOA for that.


Tips: Read our review on the best rifle scope under 200. You will get a taste of some low cost scope with various magnification range.


#What is Parallax?

Manufacturers most often set their scopes at a 100 yards focus. With that you can aim at a target 100 yards away with utmost clarity.

But when you begin to think of adjusting the magnification settings from default-100 yards focus, such that you can aim at longer distances, you will most likely come across an issues with target. It will look like your aim is off; your reticle has moved slightly away. That is called parallax error.

Well, there are specialized scopes that have parallax compensation capability.

Be sure to look out for this is your choice of a rifle scope.

Frequently asked questions about Rifle scopes


#What is windage and elevation

You may want to change your aiming point by shifting it horizontally or vertically. The windage is the adjustment that lets you shift your aiming point to the left or to the right, and the elevation is what lets you move the aiming point up and down.

They are made to work with the scopes


Tips: Read our review on the best long range scope under 500. You will get a taste of some amazing scope with versatile adjustment range.


#What size objective lens should my scope have?

This depends on your type of engagement.

A larger objective lens is ideal for moving objects.

A smaller objective lens is best with game hunting and target shooting.

But don’t forget that the size of your objective lens determines your field of view.

So larger objective lenses allows for wider field of view


Tips: Read our review on the best long range scope under 1000. You will get a taste of some amazing scope with elaborate objective lens diameter.


#What are the most popular and most trusted rifle scope brands?

There are some established brands that have been in the business of rifle scope a long time.

They are tested and trusted.

Here are few of them:


The America Technologies Network Corp offers some of the best optics on the market today.

Some of ATN 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.



The Athlon optics is some of the high quality.

They are one of today’s best on the market



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 manufacturers.

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 scope for AR 10 to have a feel of a wide variety of brands available on the market today.


#What are the different types of rifle scope?

If you are new to hunting, you might want to know a few things about rifle scope and the different types of rifle scopes

We have the aperture sights, the red dot sights, the open sights and then the laser sights.

These are the different types of rifle scope.

They serve similar purposes.


Tips: Read our review on the best rifle scope under 100 to get a feel of few types rifle scopes available on the market.


Wrapping up

We only intend to provide you with answers to some frequently asked questions about rifle scopes.

But there’s more.

This work is by no means exhaustive.

But these to us are some of the most basic frequently asked questions about rifle scopes.

We do hope we answered your question.


Please share if you find the post helpful; sharing is caring!


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