When it comes to choosing a rifle scope, there are a few key factors that you need to consider. This will help you narrow down your choices and make the best decision for you.
Magnification, field of view, light transmission, and reticles are all important factors to consider. Understanding these factors can make the difference between a good scope and an excellent one.
Magnification, or the degree to which an object appears to be bigger than it is, is a key feature of a rifle scope. Choosing a rifle scope with the correct magnification can help you focus on the target and make accurate shots.
Choosing the right magnification for your needs is important because it affects several different aspects of the rifle scope, including accuracy and field of view. If you’re a competitive shooter or you’re serious about precision rifle shooting, you’ll want to choose a scope with high magnification so you can see small details in the target’s movement.
The magnification of a rifle scope is determined by the lenses inside. The objective lens captures light reflected from the target and bends it to create a magnified image of the target. The lenses also keep the target in focus, which is an essential part of ensuring the rifle scope performs as it should when you need it most.
Most rifle scopes have an adjustable magnification, which means you can set the power ring to change the magnification from one number to another. The higher the power, the more detailed your target will be and the smaller the field of view will be.
For hunters, a 3x magnification is typically ideal, as this will allow you to view your target at a closer distance than if you were using only your naked eye. This allows you to make precise shots at a range and reduces the risk of accidentally hitting your target when you’re trying to hit it from farther away.
However, a rifle scope with high magnification can cause you to miss targets because you’ll be unable to see details in the scene around the target. This is known as the tunneling effect. This can be a real pain when you’re hunting, as it will make it harder to spot your target and ensure that you can make an accurate shot.
You can usually find two similar rifle scopes that have different field of views, due to the shape and contouring of the glass used in their construction. Having a scope with a wide field of view can be helpful when hunting for larger animals such as deer, but it’s not always necessary.
Field of View
The field of view (FOV) is the measured area that can be viewed through a rifle scope from a specific distance. This value is often indicated in feet at 100 yards or meteres, though it can also be expressed in degrees.
Rifle scopes are a great way to get a clear, precise image of your target in a variety of situations, including on a hunting trip or at the range. However, you should always ensure that the scope is mounted correctly to avoid any problems that could impact your accuracy.
When it comes to the field of view, you should understand that it is dependent on both magnification and the focal length of the eyepiece and target. Magnification determines how much of the field of view can be seen through the rifle scope and also influences the quality of the image.
As a rule, higher magnification rifle scopes will produce a dimmer image than lower magnification rifle scopes since there is less light transmitted through the lens as magnification increases. This is because the diameter of the objective lens and tube affects the exit pupil and therefore the light transmission of the scope.
Another factor that can influence the field of view is the type of lens used. Some lenses have thicker or more layers, which affects the light transmission of the scope. Moreover, some types of lenses are coated with anti-reflective coatings that help to transmit more light through the lens.
If you are looking for a high-quality, precision rifle scope, you should select one with a good field of view. This will allow you to see everything that is happening around the target, allowing you to be more accurate when shooting.
In addition, you should also look for a scope that has a consistent FOV across all magnification levels. This is because it will prevent you from experiencing tunneling, which is an undesirable effect that occurs when changing the magnification of the rifle scope.
Lastly, it is important to choose a rifle scope with windage and elevation turrets that are calibrated with minutes of angle (MOA). This will allow you to accurately adjust the elevation of your rifle so that you can zero in on your target.
Light transmission, or the ability of a scope to gather and transmit light to your eye, is an important consideration when choosing a rifle scope. It affects the image you see through the scope as well as how the lens and reticles work.
The objective lens on a rifle scope is responsible for catching and transmitting the light you see through the scope. The diameter of this lens is referenced in millimeters and is typically listed on a scope’s product description as “4-16x50mm.”
Once the light hits the front lens of the scope, it passes through the ocular or eyepiece, which is the part of the scope closest to your eye. When you look through the ocular, the light is magnified to make the image larger and clearer. The ocular lens then emits the light into a small circle of light that is called an exit pupil (EP).
Holding the scope at arm’s length and looking through it, you can see this little circle of light in the eyepiece. When the scope is set at its lowest magnification, that little circle of light is very large and bright.
As you turn the magnification ring on the scope, this circle of light shrinks and gets smaller. When you look through the scope at its highest magnification, this circle of light becomes very small and dark.
You can also see this difference if you use the scope in poor lighting conditions, such as during dawn or dusk. As the light fades and becomes darker, the image in the eyepiece will become blurry.
Another way to see how magnification affects the transmission of light through a scope is to try it with a variable power scope. With a variable power scope, the ocular lens will shrink and get smaller as you turn the magnification ring up or down.
When using a scope in low-light conditions, you should choose a model that has a larger objective lens so that more light is transmitted to your eye. You should also select a scope that has a larger field of view so that you can more easily identify the game you are shooting at. A larger field of view is a valuable feature for any rifle scope because it allows you to quickly acquire your target and keep them in view longer.
When you’re shopping for a rifle scope, there are a lot of different choices to make. In addition to the magnification level, you need to decide which focal plane and which measurement system you want your scope to use. The type of reticle that your scope uses is another important factor in choosing the right scope for you.
First focal plane (FFP) reticles are best for shooters who spend most of their time in the top half of the scope’s magnification range. Second focal plane (SFP) reticles are better for shooters who use the lower half of the scope’s magnification spectrum.
FFP reticles adjust in size as you change magnifications while SFP reticles remain the same no matter what magnification level you are using. SFP reticles can also have range estimation features built into them, which makes them great for hunters and law enforcement.
The reticle is the part of the scope that reflects light and allows you to see your target through it. It can be a variety of different types and colors. These include dot reticles, crosshairs, and range estimation reticles.
A dot reticle is an extremely common choice and can be found in many different styles and sizes. Most dot reticles feature a single bright dot in the center of the reticle as your aiming point. They are usually a color that matches the rest of your optic, like red, green, and orange.
Reticles can also be illuminated electronically, with tritium or with fiber optics to enhance their contrast against dark backgrounds, especially at dusk or dawn. Illumination is an expensive option that has limited usefulness in cold weather or heavy overcast conditions, but it has proven a popular addition to many scopes.
If you’re not sure which reticle style is best for you, try out several options at the gun store and consult with experienced shooters or hunters before making a final decision. You’ll find that they all have their own unique traits and advantages that will help you choose the best rifle scope for you.
The reticle of your rifle scope will have an enormous impact on the accuracy of your shots. You need to choose one that will allow you to zero in on your target with ease. Once you’ve zeroed in, you should continue to focus on your target until the reticle is crisp and clear. Then, move the reticle back and forth until you’ve reached the optimal position for your eye, making sure to stay in the correct shooting position.