For hunters and target shooters, making a clean kill is easier when they have the best rifle scope handy during the hunt. Mounted on top of a rifle, this type of equipment simplifies sighting of the prey and magnifies the target a lot better than metal sights. Light is refracted through the internal lenses to make it all possible, making rifle scopes work better compared to metal sights. Investing in a good quality rifle scope is essential, and here are the aspects to check out in this type of device.

rifle scope

Scope Strength/Power

Typically, rifle scopes are available with extremely high magnification levels. This does not guarantee that a stronger level is always better, however. Since higher magnification allows the user to see every bump and tremor, high-powered scopes may prove to be difficult to stabilize. A series of numbers is used to denote power or strength, such as 4×32 or 3.5-10×50. The first number indicates the power, which in turn denotes magnification as compared to the naked eye. Thus, when using a fixed power scope such as a 4×32, the target being viewed gets magnified four times, meaning, it appears to be four times closer than it would using the naked eye. Higher numbers denote greater magnification.

The magnification is inversely proportional to the size of the exit pupil and the field of vision. Thus, using a scope that’s too powerful may result in getting an overly close view of the target, so one will be unable to interpret what is seen as the target, making it appear like an indefinable blob of hair. The exit pupil, which is the element that allows light to pass through the eye, will be inhibiting one’s sight instead of helping the user see things properly. The exit pupil can be obtained by dividing the diameter of the lens by the magnification. Thus, on a 4×32 scope, the exit pupil is 8mm.




There are a number of scopes on the market sold as variable power types, such as the 3.5-10 used in the example above. Variable power scopes offer higher versatility, allowing the shooter to use a whole range of magnifications, with an infinite choice of values in between.

The kind of hunting to be done determines the proper magnification/power to be utilized. For dim lighting conditions, selecting a powerful scope with a smaller exit pupil is not sensible.

When hunting under close cover, go for either a variable scope in the low range of 3.5x or lower, or a low power fixed scope such as a 4x. You can get a wider field of view and get a sight on your target quickly.

For target shooting and long range prey, choose a scope that offers 16x or even 20x. The high magnification allows the shooter to clearly see small prairie dogs or a 10-ring. even at a distance of 400 yards.

A range of 4-12 or 3.5-10 works fine for all around hunting, providing the user with some serious range variation while still being able to dial down for close shots.

The weapon caliber and the target determine the right type of rifle scope to be used for competition purposes. Moving targets and fixed ones require different types of scopes. When unsure what to get, don’t be afraid to ask shooting club peers and members for guidance and advice.




The center reference in the rifle scope that shows the aiming point is the reticle or crosshairs, a term that appropriately describes the configuration of two thin wires crossing in the middle. Available in a variety of combinations such as dots, pointed posts, bars and multiple dots, reticles are commonly structured as duplex or multiplex designs in which the main crosshairs are deliberately made thicker for effortless viewing, particularly in low light. The crosshairs become fine as they near the point where they cross, enabling precise placement of the target.

Select the best type of reticle you are most comfortable working with and that fits your shooting style. No matter what you choose, make sure the reticle has evenly spaced dots or hash marks. along its horizontal and vertical axes.



Elevation Adjustment Range

Working much in the same way as windage adjustment, the elevation adjustment modifies the aim point along the vertical or up-and-down plane. A single turn of the knob for ¼ minute-of-angle (MOA-designates variances on a target at a distance of 100 yards, commonly used to define a scope’s adjustment) changes the aim point ¼ inch up or down. Shooting long range is better with a greater elevation adjustment range. Choosing an elevation adjustment range that’s too low will make it difficult to make a shot that requires a higher range, as the target will just be seen floating in the middle of nowhere in the reticle.

A factor that could optimize the elevation adjustment for the rifle scope is a larger diameter of the tube, which will not, however, ensure greater light transmission.

rifle scope with a large diameter tube


Optical Coating

A thin chemical film used to coat the glass surface can help reduce glare or reflected light while protecting the lenses from scratching. The most common optical coating used is magnesium fluoride. Coatings improve resolution and light transmission, thereby reducing the amount of lost light due to reflection and delivering clearer, brighter images. The buyer can opt for coated (one layer on one lens surface), fully coated (one layer on all air-to-glass surfaces), multi-coated (several layers on at least one surface) and fully multi-coated lenses (several layers on all air-to-glass surfaces).



Buying a rifle scope entails evaluation of several factors to ensure a good purchase. One also needs to consider their hunting style and needs when all that’s left to base the choice on eliminates all the fundamental aspects of a rifle scope. Choosing sensibly enables optimization of every hunting adventure.