How Much Scope Power Is Needed for Long-Range Shooting?

In the United States, weapons are popular, with possibly 39 million being purchased in a single year.

This incredible number covers guns of all shapes and sizes, but a good part of the weapons sold were rifles. People buy rifles for a lot of things, such as hunting, target practice, defense, and long-range competition. When it comes to rifles for long-range shooting, what kind of scope power do they need?

Let’s break down what scope power means, and how you can get the right scope for your needs.

What Kind of Guns Use Long Range Scopes?

While there are a few examples of pistols that have scopes attached to them, the world of long-range shooting is all about rifles. Full-size rifle cartridges do the best at long range, so you’ll see scopes on a lot of them. This usually means a rifle that is a 30 caliber, like .308, 7mm mag, or long-range specific like a 6.5mm rifle.

For the most part, long-range rifles are bolt action. This helps with mounting the scope, as the bolt slides back and the scope mount won’t interfere. Semi-automatic rifles need specific types of mountings and aren’t usually considered the best for long-range shooting.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at scopes and scope power.

What Is Scope Power?

Scope power is presented as a number that indicates scope magnification. This number can be presented in two ways. One way is to have the number indicating magnification on its own, such as a 2x, 3x, etc. scope.

The other way scope magnification is indicated is with more information, such as a 4x38mm scope. In this case, the scope power is 4x, and the objective lens diameter is 38mm. This magnification means that the scope shows things with 4x the magnification than a person who has 20/20 vision could see.

The objective number is important but does not indicate magnification. It indicates the size of the lens that is furthest from the eye, closest to the end of the gun. This controls how much light gets into the scope, it doesn’t change the size or field of vision.

Variable Magnification vs Fixed Magnification

Some of the best rifle scopes are available in fixed and variable types. A fixed magnification will be indicated by the number, as shown before, like 4×32. A variable magnification will have two numbers, like 2-12×42.

This means that the scope can employ anything between a 2x magnification and a 12x magnification. A lot of shooters like having the option of having a lower magnification for most shots, and more magnification if they need it. This is helpful for people hunting, who aren’t sure of the ranges they will be taking shots from.

Variable magnification can also come in handy when doing the long-range shooting. The lower setting can give you a broader idea of the conditions in which you’re shooting in. This can help you if you need to make calculations on the fly, seeing the wind and range conditions before zooming in.

Not everyone likes to have variable magnification, they prefer the simpler single magnification. This comes down to personal choice, but you should experiment with both to see which one you like the best. However, fixed magnification scopes are becoming more unusual at this time. If you’re going to be doing the long-range shooting, you may find one works better for you.

What Is Long Range?

The term long range is the range at which a shooter must make calculations based on the environment. So, for instance, wind speed against the trajectory of the bullet. Some people may consider a 100-yard shot to be long-range, but with full-size rifles, this is not the case.

The base for long-range shooting with full-sized rifle rounds is usually about 600m, or 660yds. At this range, a shooter must be aware of the environment and take it into account before making a shot. The extreme long-range indicates a range that is even further, reaching out to 1,000m and beyond.

So, what kind of scope would you need if you’re going to be shooting at a range of 600-1,000m?

Good Long Ranger Scope

Long-range shooting is a discipline that requires practice, patience, and the right gear. A long-range riflescope is generally accepted to be in the 5-20x range. This is one of the most popular variable magnification scopes for long-range shooting.

Here is a great example of a good long-range scope that would be suitable for long-range shooting disciplines. It has enough scope power to see targets at a great distance and allows enough light into the aperture. A good scope is an investment, they aren’t cheap.

Scope Mounting

There are several types of rifle scope mounts of which you should be aware. Most of the time you’re going to be dealing with scope rings. It is important to remember that no matter how expensive your scope is, it won’t matter if not mounted right.

The reason you’re going to be dealing with scope rings is that long-range shooting they are the most common.

Which Scope Is Best?

There is no single answer to this question. The best scope is going to be the one that works the best for you. It will feel comfortable, you’ll be able to see your target well.

The only one who can answer this question is you. Get out there and experiment with available scopes and rifles. Ask people you know if you can shoot their rifle and see how the scope works.

The Best Combination

If you’re looking to get into long-range shooting disciplines, we wish you the best of luck. Shooting at long range is fun, challenging, and rewarding.

RKB Armory is here to provide you with great optics that offer excellent scope power and come at competitive prices. We even buy optics if you’re not using them anymore.

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