A Guide On How To Choose The Right Rifle Scope

Nowadays, most of the rifles come without the iron sights that had always been associated with gun production. What is the reason for this? People have come to discover the massive benefit of using the 22lr rifle scope when aiming at a target.

It doesn’t matter whether you are going out for a hunt, target shooting or defending yourself; the scope is a must have for your rifle.

With a more accurate aim and a better view of the target, scopes are understandably popular. However, how to choose a right rifle scopes can be a tricky, if not a complicated, affair. For a perfect choice, consider the following aspects while selecting the rifle scope.

How To Choose a Rifle Scope [Step by Step Guideline]

A Right Reticle for Target Aim

There is a wide variety of reticle that on the market today. They range from simple center dots to complex patterns. A shrewd buyer considers the right model that suits the need. Duplex is one of the essential designs that can be used for short range shooting.

Of the many reticle patterns in existence today, two stand out. The first is the duplex reticle, a crosshair that thins at the center. Its design keeps your eye fixed on the center of the scope even in low light, making it perfect for hunting.

The second, the mil-dot, is a duplex with evenly spaced dots at the thin center. The dots enable you to calculate the range of your target and to adjust for elevation and wind. This makes it ideal for military and law enforcement use.

With the thin crosshair at the center, it is easy to adjust and hit the target right. This is the same case for mil dots. However, for a longer range where there is a need for more adjustment, consider investing in bullet drop compensator.

Right Reticle


How useful and effective your rifle scope largely depends on its magnification level. In case you are looking for the rifle scope for standard range shooting 3-9×40 would be an excellent choice.

The numbers 3-9x indicate the range of magnification. The target can be magnified 3 times from how you would view it with your naked eyes. This can be adjusted up to 9 x (9 times). 40 represents the objective lens diameter in millimeters.

To shoot faster and track targets better at distances not exceeding 500 yards, go for a scope of not more than 10x. For more excellent target resolution, settle for heavier, supported scopes of more than 10x.

For long range shooting exceeding 1000 yards, look for a scope with 25x reading for clarity. This is a crucial consideration. For instance, 4x or fix magnification is insufficient at a 1000 yard shooting range.

A 32x magnification on a hunting rifle scope, on the other hand, is overkill. So, before anything else, determine the magnification level that best suits your needs.


Light Transmission and Eye Relief

The more the target is magnified, the lesser the light is transmitted to the eyepiece and vice versa. A gun user is supposed to take into consideration the balance between the scope magnification and the light transmission.

It is important to remark that the larger the objective lens, the more the light enters the eyepiece. On the other hand, eye relief is how far back from the scope your head should be positioned. Four inches is the standard distance, but this can change depending on the purpose.

Eye Relief

Objective Lens Size

The objective lens size determines how much ambient light reaches your eye at the other and of the scope. Larger lenses transmit brighter and more accurate images than smaller ones. However, their bulk and weight affect the balance of your rifle.

A larger scope lens also mounts higher over the barrel and action, which affects your ability to maintain the proper cheek weld. To compensate, you must either buy or make your own cheek riser.

The Size of Field View

Usually, this is measured in feet at 100 yards. It is the scope from the right to the left eyepiece. The field of view (FOV) increases with the decrease in magnification.

The importance of looking for the right FOV is to reduce the chances of getting surprised by an unexpected occurrence especially during game hunting.

Most animals while hunting a hunt can get scared away by a predator causing you to miss a shot. It’s, therefore, crucial to have a favorable FOV.

Favorable Scope That is Waterproof

Depending on the climate that you will be engaged, choose a scope that will not break down. In foggy and moisturized conditions for proof, lenses would come in handy.

In extremely high temperatures, the lens that does not crack easily and disperses sunlight would be better to use In a terrain like a desert, using dust proof lens can make life easier and target more visible.

how to choose a right rifle scope

Scope Adjustment

Two main ways to adjust your scope exist. One is the MOA (Minute of Angle) system where you adjust your scope for 1/60th of an angular degree or about an inch for every 100 yards. For more fabulous precision, you can even adjust for a 1/4 or a 1/8th of an inch.

The other is the MRAD (milliradian) system. Here you adjust for 1/1000th of a radian or about 3.6 inches for every 100 yards. They may sound complicated, but MRAD calculations are simpler than MOA calculations.

Focal Plane

The reticle can occupy two positions within the scope, the first focal plane (FFP) and the second focal plane (SFP). SFP reticles, the most common type, do not change their size when that of the image changes. They remain clear and consistent, especially in low magnification.

In contrast, FFP reticles scale up and down with magnification. Although this is an advantage in high magnification, in low magnification you cannot see the reticle. This makes FFP rifles good for long range shooting, and SFP, for long range shooting.

How to Select a Rifle Scope – On YouTube

Final Verdict

How to buy a rifle scope does not have to be a nightmare. Yes, there are endless options to choose from and a lot of hype surrounding each.

But, the key is to understand for what purpose you will use your rifle be it at the shooting range or deer hunting. Only then can you choose the right magnification, objective lens size, reticle pattern, scope adjustment, and focal plane.

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