9 Tips for Choosing Quality Used Scopes

Ever wondered why seasoned marksmen often opt for used optics? The answer is simple: smart buyers understand that quality, not newness, is what truly counts when it comes to performance.

In the field of firearm accessories, a used scope can offer unmatched value, providing the same high-level performance as new models at a fraction of the cost, but the caveat lies in the quality.

Navigating through the second-hand market can be a daunting task. How do you ensure you’re not falling for a dud deal?

What aspects should you consider when buying gun scopes? In this guide, we will arm you with nine essential tips for choosing quality used scopes, helping you to make an informed decision with confidence.

  1. Understand the Basics of High-quality Used Scopes

Used scopes offer a balance of cost-effectiveness and performance, attracting firearm enthusiasts who aim to purchase used scopes of high quality. However, it’s critical to grasp what the term “used” truly implies.

A used scope refers to an optical sighting device or instrument used in firearms or other precision shooting applications that have been previously owned and may have been utilized by one or multiple individuals before being offered for sale again. Unlike a brand-new scope, which has never been owned or used by anyone, a used scope may show signs of wear or cosmetic damage resulting from previous use. However, it should still be in functional condition and capable of providing magnification, aiming aids (such as crosshairs or reticles), and other optical features necessary for accurate shooting.

Buyers interested in purchasing a used scope should carefully inspect its condition, including the lenses, reticle, and adjustment mechanisms, to ensure it meets their expectations and shooting requirements. Buyers shopping for used optics online should consider requesting high-resolution images or videos to get a closer look at the scope’s optics. Ultimately, a high-quality used scope offers a cost-effective and practical alternative to brand-new models, providing exceptional value without compromising functionality or accuracy.

  1. Identify Your Optimal Second-hand Scope Requirements

When it comes to buying used scopes, it’s important to go beyond appearances and identify your specific needs. Consider the intended use of the scope, whether it’s for target shooting or hunting, as this will determine the features you require. Don’t forget about practical aspects like weight and ease of use, especially if you plan on extended hunting trips.

By considering these factors, you’ll find a scope that not only fits your firearm but also complements your shooting style and preferences, making it a valuable addition to your collection of firearm accessories.

  1. Research the Brand of the Scope

When purchasing a used scope, it’s crucial to consider the brand. The reputation of a manufacturer can give you an indication of the scope’s reliability and durability. By researching the brand, you can gain insights into the reputation and reliability of the manufacturer. Reputable brands are committed to producing high-quality scopes with superior performance and durability. Reviews, customer feedback, and expert opinions can help you assess the brand’s track record and ensure that you invest in a scope that meets your expectations.

Established brands often invest in research and development to bring cutting-edge technology and innovative features to their scopes. By choosing a reputable brand, you increase the likelihood of acquiring a scope that incorporates the latest advancements in optics, such as improved lens coatings, advanced reticle designs, or enhanced adjustment mechanisms. Staying up-to-date with brand innovations ensures you benefit from the latest optical advancements.

Reputable brands typically offer comprehensive warranties and reliable customer support. This means that if you encounter any issues with your scope, you can rely on the brand’s support to resolve them efficiently. A strong warranty demonstrates the brand’s confidence in its products and provides you with peace of mind, knowing that you are protected against manufacturing defects or malfunctions.

Researching the brand of the scope you plan to buy is essential to ensure quality, access the latest technology, receive reliable customer support, and potentially enhance the long-term value of your investment. Take the time to explore reputable brands, compare their offerings, and make an informed decision that aligns with your specific needs and preferences.

  1. Examine the Condition of the Scope

Buying quality used scopes requires thorough examination. Begin with a visual inspection of the scope’s exterior. Look for any signs of damage, such as dents, scratches, or cracks, which could affect its accuracy or functionality. Checking the condition lets you identify potential issues that might compromise the scope’s performance. The lens is one of the most critical parts of the scope, so inspect it closely. Scratches, smudges, or debris on the lenses can significantly impact the clarity and quality of your sight picture. By inspecting the condition of the lenses, you can ensure that they are clean, free from defects, and provide a clear view. Any imperfections on the lenses could hinder your ability to acquire targets accurately.

Verify that the reticle, or crosshairs, is intact and undamaged. A damaged reticle can obstruct your aiming point or cause inconsistencies in your shots. Checking the condition of the reticle ensures that it is in good shape and aligned correctly.

Assess the functionality of the scope’s adjustment knobs for windage, elevation, and parallax. Ensure that they move smoothly and precisely without any resistance or excessive play. Faulty adjustment mechanisms can compromise your ability to zero the scope accurately or make necessary adjustments in the field.

Examining the condition of the scope allows you to assess its overall quality and determine if it aligns with the price being asked. If a used scope is advertised as being in excellent condition, it’s important to verify that claim before making a purchase. This way, you can ensure that you are getting a scope in the expected condition and receiving the appropriate value for your investment.

If you are purchasing a used scope online without the option to see it prior to purchase, conducting a thorough examination becomes even more critical. Begin by carefully scrutinizing the scope’s exterior through any available images or detailed descriptions. Look for any signs of damage, such as dents, scratches, or cracks, which could impact its accuracy or functionality. While you may not physically be able to inspect the used scope, diligently examining its condition through available resources allows you to assess its overall quality and determine if it justifies the asking price.

  1. Test and Check the Optics of the Scope

Beyond its physical appearance, you’ll want to check the optical performance of the scope. To do this, begin by looking through the scope. The image should be clear and bright. Dark or blurry images might signal lens damage or poor-quality optics. Next, focus on the scope’s alignment. Misalignment could affect your shooting accuracy. Test the scope on the intended firearm to verify that it’s correctly aligned and maintains its alignment even after recoil. Adjustment settings are vital as well. When testing, be sure to turn the windage and elevation knobs to ensure they are functioning properly. Make sure the scope holds its settings even after heavy recoil.

High-resolution images can provide a closer look at the scope’s optics when purchasing a used scope optic online, allowing you to identify any potential issues. Additionally, read customer reviews or reach out to the seller with specific questions about the scope’s performance and functionality. Inquire about the clarity of the sight picture, the reticle’s condition, and the scope’s ability to hold zero accurately. Ask for videos or images taken through the scope to assess its optical quality and ensure it aligns with your shooting needs. While you can’t physically perform the tests, leveraging available resources and the seller’s transparency will enable you to gauge the used scope’s optics’ condition and make a confident purchase decision online.

  1. Understand the Scope’s Reticle

The reticle, or the crosshairs, is another vital aspect to consider when buying a scope. The reticle plays a fundamental role in aiming and target acquisition. Different reticle designs offer varying features and functionalities, such as crosshairs, dots, or hashes, which help you align your shot accurately. Understanding the reticle allows you to choose a design that suits your shooting style and preferences, ensuring that you can quickly and precisely acquire your targets. For example, a simple crosshair or duplex reticle might be ideal for hunting or target shooting at close to medium ranges, while a mil-dot or ballistic reticle could be better for long-range shooting.

Take the time to understand different reticle types and their uses. Understanding the scope’s reticle before purchasing lets you choose a reticle design that aligns with your shooting style, preferences, and intended use. It enhances your aiming precision, allows for better target acquisition, and ensures that you have a reticle that caters to your specific shooting needs and conditions. Whether you’re a seasoned marksman or a shooting novice, being well-informed about a used scope’s reticle ensures you make a wise and confident purchase, enhancing your overall shooting experience.

  1. Verify the Used Scope’s Age

Knowing the age of a scope can provide a useful perspective on its expected lifespan. The age of a scope can provide insights into its overall durability and longevity. Optics can degrade over time due to factors like exposure to harsh weather conditions or inadequate maintenance. Verifying the scope’s age enables you to assess its potential wear and tear, ensuring that it will continue to perform reliably for your intended use.

Age can impact the pricing of used scopes. Newer scopes or those with advanced features and technologies generally have a higher price point than older models. By verifying the scope’s age, you can assess if the asking price aligns with the scope’s condition, features, and overall value.

Scopes often have compatible accessories, such as lens covers, mounting systems, or sunshades, which may vary depending on the scope’s age and model. Verifying the scope’s age ensures that you can find suitable accessories to enhance its functionality or protect its components. It helps avoid compatibility issues that may arise when trying to find accessories for an older or discontinued model.

Considering the age of the scope allows you to make an informed decision and select a scope that meets your requirements in terms of performance, longevity, and value for money.

  1. Ask for the Original Documentation

When buying used scopes, it’s advisable to ask the seller for the original documentation. This can include the user manual, warranty card, and purchase receipt. These documents are not just proof of ownership but also provide valuable information about the scope.

Original documentation provides evidence of the scope’s authenticity and origin. It helps ensure you purchase a genuine product from a reputable source. Counterfeit or unauthorized scopes can be of inferior quality, lack proper warranties, and may not perform as expected. Having the original documentation helps you to validate the authenticity of the scope and have confidence in the purchase.

The original documentation typically includes important product information, specifications, and features specific to the scope model. It details the scope’s magnification range, reticle type, adjustment settings, and other essential characteristics. Having access to this documentation helps you verify if the used scope aligns with your intended use and requirements.

In addition, original documents could be helpful if you ever need to contact the manufacturer for any scope-related inquiries or concerns. It makes it easier to provide any necessary details about the product, especially if there is a need to claim a warranty or get repair services.

  1. Choose a Reliable Seller

Finding a reliable seller is a crucial and necessary step when purchasing used scopes. It’s important to choose a seller who prioritizes transparency and provides accurate information about the scope’s condition, age, and history. A trustworthy seller will readily address any inquiries you have, furnish necessary documents, and instill confidence in the product’s quality.

Feel free to ask the seller questions about the used scope. Their responses can indicate their level of knowledge about the product and their dedication to ensuring customer satisfaction. Take into account the seller’s reputation. Reputable sellers often have established protocols for thoroughly examining and certifying the condition of the scopes they offer. This extra layer of assurance can significantly enhance your confidence in buying a used scope.

Additionally, consider seeking out sellers specializing in firearm accessories. These sellers are more likely to possess a deep understanding of scopes, including their intricacies, and offer a range of high-quality, reliable products. By choosing a specialized seller, you increase the likelihood of finding a used scope that meets your needs and expectations.

When searching for quality used scopes online, you should look for clear communication channels, responsive customer support, and a willingness to address your specific inquiries about the scope’s performance and functionality. A quality reseller will also offer fair return policies and warranties, indicating their confidence in the products they sell. By carefully vetting online optic resellers based on these criteria, you can confidently choose a trustworthy source for purchasing a used scope online and enhance your shooting experience without any uncertainties.

Find the Perfect Match of Quality Used Scopes

RKB Armory is the only seller of used optics that offers all of the above advantages on your behalf.

Whether you’re a seasoned marksman or a shooting novice, understanding the important qualities of used scopes is the first step to enhancing your shooting experience. Now equipped with these nine tips, you’re ready to navigate the market of used scopes with confidence.

At RKB Armory, we strive to make the world of firearm accessories more navigable, offering a wide range of top-quality, dependable used optics. If you have any questions about buying or selling a used optic, contact us today.

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