The Different Types of Rifle Scopes and How to Choose One

Given that rifle scopes can have a light transmission rate of up to 90%, they are certainly a worthwhile investment. Nothing beats the feeling of hitting a target accurately with a rifle. But taking a clean shot depends on the rifle scope you’re using and your experience levels.

You may end up choosing a rifle scope not suited for a particular situation if you don’t understand how it works. A good rifle scope can improve your shooting accuracy by magnifying the target.

There are many types of gun scopes that you can consider for your rifle. Here’s a breakdown of each and how to choose one.

Fixed Scope

As one of the most basic types of rifle scopes, fixed scopes have a fixed magnification level. Zooming in or zooming out for a better view of the target won’t be possible when using them.

Fixed scopes are generally lighter and compact compared to their variable counterparts. It also takes quite some time and immense skill to operate them. The best part is that they are reasonably priced if you’re on a budget. However, fixed magnification scopes are becoming something of a rarity.

Variable Scope

Unlike fixed scopes, variable scopes allow you to adjust the magnification level. They enable you to zoom in or out of a field of view to improve shooting accuracy. However, the image may be dimmer, shakier, or more obscured when the scope is set at high magnification.

Variable scopes have different calibrations on them to help with sighting. For instance, a 5-20×56 scope has a size 56-mm objective lens and 5-20x magnification. It means that the device can magnify an object from 5X to 20X.

Tactical Scope

While most rifle scopes are categorized as tactical, a tactical scope is designed for a specific shooting purpose. For example, it can help improve the standard engagement range in ground combat. This type of scope is helpful for military, or self-defense operations due to this specification.

Expect a magnification as low as 4X on this device. However, they come with reticles that are designed for the task at hand, making it easy to aim at objects at close to medium ranges.

Night Vision Scope

Consider getting a night vision scope if you shoot in low-light conditions. This scope is also ideal for night hunting since it features a built-in infrared illuminator to improve visibility at night.

Night vision scopes use different technologies to make them more functional. A traditional one can feature optoelectronic image enhancement to sense small amounts of infrared light reflected off-targets. You may also find a modern one with digital image enhancement technology that illuminates images in full-color displays.

Hunting Scope

Hunting scopes are usually robust and built to withstand harsh weather elements. Thanks to their lower magnification, you can use them for hunting at shorter distances. The scope also can feature a fixed magnification for durability.

A hunting scope is easy to use and lighter to carry. It can also create a clear and bright image in any weather to improve your shooting accuracy.

Long Range Scope

Long-range scopes can deliver enough magnification for targets as far as 1,000 yards. They make distant targets appear as though they are nearer. Any rifle scope with a magnification of more than 10x can be categorized as a long-range scope.

Though most long-range scopes come with variable magnification, you can find others with fixed magnification.

Sniper Scope

As the name suggests, a sniper scope is built for snipers for many reasons. It likely has variable magnification and a reticle that allows for observation and adjustment of a subsequent shot.

Sniper scopes also come with fine adjustment turrets to accommodate precise movements. If you are a new shooter, it’ll be difficult to make good shots with this device. This is because the scope uses advanced adjustments and tools designed for experienced shooters.

Competition Scope

Rifle scopes designed for competition feature very high magnification to make a distant object visible.

Competition scopes can help you shoot smaller targets from average distances. They boast up to 40X magnifications suited for competitions. Expect them to add weight to your rifle when you get them due to their large size.

Red Dot Scope

The red dot scopes (these are not usually referred to as a “Scope.”) have to be the most unique firearm optics types on this list since they come with little magnification. Instead of relying on magnification to aim at targets, they use a red dot. Due to its central position in the optic, the red dot will be your aiming point.

You can use the red dot scope in close-quarters shooting to quickly find targets. The scope can also help you make accurate shots. It’s ideal for close to moderate range shooting since it has little or no magnification. Both eyes are meant to be kept open, and the shooter should focus on the target.

Scout Scope

With a close resemblance to tactical scopes, scout scopes are better suited for shooting in denser woodlands. You can use one to hunt deer in thick or dense forests.

Scout scopes are usually mounted on the front of the receiver on a rifle barrel. They are available in a light, compact design and offer suitable eye relief.

The optics come with a low magnification ranging from 2X to 8X. They also feature a simple design but limited adjustability. Depending on the manufacturer, you can find one with or without an adjustable magnification.

Buy Used Rifle Scopes Today

Rifle scopes can help increase your shooting accuracy at different distances. You can count on one to magnify the image of a target to your desired level. The optics are suited for competitions, hunting, military use, self-defense, close-range shooting, or long-range shooting, among other purposes.

Make RKB Armory your trusted source for quality used rifle optics. We help rifle owners like you buy and sell optics at an affordable price. Feel free to consult us on firearm accessories and shop used rifle optics on our site today.

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