Rifle Scopes

Rifle Scopes – What To Look For?

Today, quality rifle scopes are produced throughout the world even China is starting to produce a few good scopes for the money? [not that I’m buying them] for me when you are looking for the best rifle scope – you can’t go past the solid performers from Germany, Austria or Japan.

Quality has improved noticeably over the 30 + years that I have been hunting, but the basics of rifle scope design and construction have changed very little – when buying a rifle scope the key factors for any grade of scope remain the same – they must remain watertight and withstand recoil

If it fogs up or the reticle doesn’t stay at the same point of adjustment due to recoil or light knocks – you will never get acceptable accuracy from one shot to the next.

Scopes – points to consider

  • what magnification do you need?  [3-9×40 is a great all-rounder]
  • do you want parallax to be adjustable?
  • what type of reticle?
  • do you want a fast-focus eyepiece? [yes]
  • do you require windage or elevation adjustment? [If you are shooting out past 300 + yards]
  • what is an ideal objective size? [40 mm-50 mm]
  • choose a rifle scope with long eye relief?

The most common choice for a hunting rifle scope would be 3-9×40 and 2.5-10×40, these are compact rifle scopes that can be mounted sufficiently low that they won’t upset the balance of your rifle.

Even the quality brands such as Leupold produce 3-9×40 rifle scopes in large numbers so you can get a quality scope for your money…

Scope Mounts

There are many hunters who dislike aluminum scope rings I’m uncertain where this bias originates from? but several hunters I know will only use steel rifle scope mounts – they simply trust steel rings more than aluminum.

There are several advantages in using aluminum scope rings, as well as being super-strong aluminum rings don’t weigh a ton – but alignment is the most important advantage, they can be made identical from one to the next due to the fact they are extruded not machined.

There is nothing seriously wrong with steel scope mounts, many do an excellent job despite the fact they can’t be extruded they have to be molded or machined This can lead to slight differences in each set of mounts and possible distortion of the scope once fitted.

Extruded aluminum scope mounts have the advantage of being identical – so each pair exert the same pressures on the scope without the risk of minute distortion that you can get with mismatched machined steel mounts – if you must use steel mounts, don’t  buy cheap mounts – buy quality steel scope mounts and they will last for years.

Objective size?

The less light there is, the less we see,  a term you often see  associated with optics is light gathering – referring to the ability of a rifle scopes ability to capture  light, the larger the objective (front) lens of a scope, the more light it will gather – the better you can see your target in low light.

This is the reasoning behind the 50mm scopes that have come on the market the last few years – they gather more light

Lens Quality

Poor quality glass will present distortions and distractions. Chromatic Aberration is a form of distortion you will notice around the outer edges when looking through cheap rifle scopes.

Combine this distortion with parallax error and your likely hood of hitting your target is reduced.

A premier rifle scope using quality glass will give you the exact opposite,  they will cost more – but you get more for your money! They are often well worth that extra cost, though this will depend on how demanding your hunting conditions are?

Lens coatings are used to reduce reflection and improve light-gathering the best  lens coatings is  – Fully Multicoated

Rifle Scopes Need To Absorb Recoil

A rimfire rifle scope such as a 22 rifle scope will cost you less and work just fine on light calibers that have very little recoil but don’t be tempted to fit them to a centerfire rifle.

Centerfire rifle scopes are designed to withstand the recoil from larger cartridges, but you may need a specific scope for the recoil of magnum cartridges if you are using the bigger cartridges you should make certain your scope is designed to take that level of recoil read the rifle scopes spec’s to be sure you still have a warranty when your chosen scope is fitted to magnums.

A good rifle scope can make or break your hunting trip so choose the best rifle scope you can afford from a brand you trust, as the saying goes… Nobody Ever Regretted Buying Quality!

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