By: Brian Morgan

A rifle scope is an exceptional tool used by those who enjoying hunting or target shooting a lot. If you are a hunter or a firearm enthusiast then precision with each shot fired should be an important factor for you. But using the right scope is very crucial to your success. The rifle scope is a complex instrument for attaining specific focus at a different shooting range.  The normal drill is to fit the rifle scope to the gun to increase precision on target while hunting or ranging.

Riflescopes have gone through careful engineering processes to help increase visibility. They are usually light weighted, detachable and portable but could be quite pricey too. So, what does one look out for when shopping for a rifle scope?

Considerations for Picking the Best Riflescope

Main Tube or Construction

To a large extent, a 1” is just as perfect a tool for your hunting needs. But for a more classical experience, the 30-mm main tube can give the user an awesome experience. Going for a point 34-mm means you are ready to part with a little more funds as its more expensive. The benefit of having a larger diameter main tube is that you have more range to make adjustments. With better range, the user can experience better visibility and attain better targeting from longer distances.

Objective Lenses

For objective lenses, it is a lot easier to find 40-mm to 50-mm sizes in the market. The range starts from as low as 20-mm to as high as 72-mm. The size of the objective lens is very vital in increasing the resolution of the lens. You get more optic light into the lens with higher sizes and useful when working under low light situations. However, the perk with higher riflescope objective lens above 50-mm is that it would require higher mounts over the rifle barrel. And such heights could lead to inconsistent cheek weld and score-to-eye view. A good case in study is the AR-styles riffles with a high objective lens.

You need to also remember that the bigger the size of the objective lens the more cumbersome carriage becomes. So, to keep it safe, your objective lens should be in the range of 40-mm to 44-mm as an excellent choice.

Focal Glass

The lower you go in terms of the price the poorer the quality of glass the rifle scope carries. It’s better to stick to the glass with premium quality materials with very low dispersion. Low dispersion glasses help reduce the color fringing or chromatic aberration. The right glass standard helps increase the color fidelity, gives clearer images and contrast. Always remember to go for multi-coated lenses with the hydrophobic coating. Such coating helps to increase and maintain the lens’ light transmission and brightness.

Focal Plan and Reticle Type

The market is flooded with a myriad of reticles to choose from. But preference and performance differ based on the distance or location to use the firearm, the nature of firearm and quarry. On a general note, a standard duplex will help you achieve excellent shots under different conditions and ranges. For more classy choices you have the Boone and Crockett Big Game, Leupold or Nikon scopes’ BDC. Basically the best reticle for thicket hunting is the Heavy Duplex or German No. 4. In the case of varminting at long-range, the standard crosshair should be the best pick. Also, hunting for long range, mildot’s reticle is an excellent choice while some hunters though prefer the Huskemaw or Horus.

Make sure to position the reticle in the first focal plane. It helps to ensure that there is consistency in the magnification range in proportion to the target image. With an excellent sub-tension, you get consistent windage corrections, accurate holdovers, and range on the magnification setting. If you opt for the second focal plane for the reticle then you would experience consistent size with the reticle. But the implication is that your image would increase and decrease any time there is a change in the magnification. That means, your sub-tension would change constantly. Therefore, if you are going to use the trajectory-compensating reticle you must have a consistent magnification setting. It would help you achieve accurate holdover and ranging. Less expensive riflescopes place the reticle on the second focal plane.

Turrets Adjustments

It takes a lot of practice to make adjustments on the go especially for long distance shooting. Newbies make a lot of guesswork trying to rapidly dial-in. The essence of turrets is to help for the adjustments called elevation and windage. Each riflescope serves a different purpose and therefore turrets also differ based on the need. Always go for standard ballistic turrets after taking into cognizance your shooting distance in yards. For non-tactical models, you would find ¼” and 1/8”. You can also find ballistic knobs to cap and prevent accidental adjustments. But you can also find open styled turrets with target knobs to fits a specific adjustment.

You can also find adjustment systems featuring two keys. The first key is the Minute Of Angle (MOA) with 1 inch (25 cm) to cover 100 yards. The second keys it the more complex MRAD of 1 MRAD at 3.6 inches (9.1 cm) to cover 100 yards. However, the long-range shooters prefer MRAD but the MOA is most popular amongst shooters.


If you are looking for the parallax in a low-magnification scope I’m sorry you won’t find it except for high-power scopes. Parallax helps you attain optical illusions that increase during magnification. You experience an error in the margin at high-power but requires adjustments.


Issues relating to magnification are subjective and would vary based on user experience. So to go shooting or hunting you need to have a clear picture of the where and what to hunt. The trends change with time so as a rule of thumb sticking to a 3X per 100 yards puts you on the safe zone. To achieve a better scope today work with lower magnification levels using 4:1 (2.5-10x) zoom as a ratio.

For longer distance shooting on a full-scale rifle then work with no less than 12x-20x zoom range. But understand that once the magnification goes beyond 10x it would need a supportive position.

More Tips

  • Hire power cartridge- magnifications works best for longer distances and higher calibers.
  • Lower power cartridge for lower power magnification pistol is more suitable for shorter distances and smaller calibers.
  • For a hunting scope, you should consider lightweight finder and a large objective lens.

In trying to find out how to choose the right rifle scope you definitely would be confronted with a myriad of options. Very important information to also consider is to align the scope to the purpose for which you require one. There are rifle scopes for as low as $50 to the more high-priced $2,000 scopes. But I always recommend not spending more than half the price of the rifle on the rifle scope.