Reviews of the Best Rifle Scopes for 2018

The Best Rifle Scopes

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Whether you are a hunter, or you just enjoy shooting for sport, you know that choosing a scope for your rifle will be one of the biggest factors in determining how accurately you’ll be able to shoot. A scope allows you to zoom in on your target, and precisely lock in exactly where you want your shot to land.

There are many scopes on the market from many different reputable manufacturers, so choosing the best one is a daunting task. In the end, the scope you choose will largely come down to personal preference and your shooting needs. This guide will help you figure out what the best scope is to suit your (and your rifle’s) needs.

My #1 Recommendation

If I had to pick one scope to recommend above all others, especially on a modest budget, the crown would go to the Vortex Diamondback. Vortex is an incredibly popular brand of sporting optics, and for good reason. Their products are very high quality, and generally are in the mid range in terms of price. I like their 4-12×40 model scope personally, as it allows me to zoom in just far enough while still being able to make close up shots by cranking back the zoom. Click to see the price.

The Vortex Diamondback is our top pick

Best Rifle Scopes For the Money

Rifle scopes can range from $40 up to thousands of dollars depending on how much one is willing to spend. Depending on what the rifle scope is being used for, you can sometimes get away with or at least get the same results with a cheaper scope that you could do with a higher end one. You should always think about what is economically sound for you to spend on a scope, because a some scopes that are $100 might be all you need, and you can save money by purchasing these scopes instead of getting the highest quality scope that really doesn’t improve your chances anymore than the cheaper one. Below are just a few different scopes that are considered to be the best in their dollar range, but before choosing your scope, you should look at all the details in order to make sure it will provide you with a solution to all of your individual needs.

Best Rifle Scope Under $100

There are a lot of different rifle scopes that you can get for under $100, many of which you probably want to avoid. However the UTG 3-9×32 BugBuster Scope is one of, if not the best in this price range. It offers a lot of quality features, and has a sterling reputation with thousands of online reviews.

UTG 3-9x32 BugBusterFeatures:

  • Mildot reticle with both red and green illumination.
  • Lockable and reset-able turret design.
  • It comes with 3-9x magnification, and the objective lens is 32 millimeters.
  • Included with the scope are a 2″ sun shade, quick release rings, and flip cap covers.

While it won’t compare to the Zeiss and Nightforce scopes at the end of this list in terms of optical clarity and quality, this budget scope is perfect for getting the job done with a minimal financial burden. Click to see the price.

Best Rifle Scope Under $200

There are a wide variety of scopes in this price range, including many from well known manufacturers, and it was Nikon that won here. For a price tag that is handily under the $200 mark, the Nikon P-223 3-9x40mm is of exceptional quality. It is designed for rifles chambered in .223 (although it would work for many others as well), and it is made by Nikon, which is one of the best rifle scope brands on the market (as well as optics brands in general).

Nikon P 223 3-9x40Features:

  • This scope comes with 3-9x magnification, and it has a large 40 millimeter objective lens.
  • 1/4 MOA tactical style hand adjustable turrets with reset functionality.
  • BDC 600 reticle designed specifically for .223 caliber rounds.
  • Nitrogen filled, water and fog proof design.

Also in this price range is the Vortex scope I recommended at the top of the article, which you should really consider (especially if you are shooting something other than .223). Click to see the price.

Best Rifle Scope Under $300

This scope price range was a little more difficult to narrow down, but in the end, the best rifle scope for under $300 came out to be the Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC 3.5-14×40 Rifle Scope. It offers a variety of different features that makes it stand out more so than the others in this particular price range. The average price of this scope before taxes and shipping is around $279, but of course, that depends on where it is you purchase it from. It could be slightly more or even less if you search for a good deal.

Nikon ProStaff 5 BDCFeatures:

  • This rifle comes with 3.5-14x magnification, and it is equipped with a 40 millimeter objective lens.
  • With this rifle scope, adjustments are made extremely easy thanks to its Spring-Loaded Instant Zero Reset Turrets.
  • Thanks to being a Nikon product, which is one of the best rifle brands on the market, this scope is optimized to be used with Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology.
  • This scope makes any rifle superior at long range shooting thanks to Nikon’s patented BDC reticle, which has see through ballistic circles.
  • Using this scope on your rifle will make bringing the reticle into focus quick and easy with its quick focus eyepiece.

As stated earlier, Nikon is one of the top brands on the market for making high quality rifle scopes, and this particular rifle scope is just one of the mid price range examples of why they made it to the top brand list. Click to see the price.

Best Rifle Scope Under $500

This category was a hard choice to make. Out of all the different rifle scopes in this price range, I couldn’t narrow down to just one scope, but I was able to narrow it down to the top two rifle scopes for less than $500.

The Vortex Viper PA 30mm Tube Rifle Scope – Although this brand didn’t make it in the top rifle scope brands, this particular scope could not be overlooked. It is one of the top rifle scopes on the market today. It has a variety of different aspects that make it this way, and it will surely get the job done efficiently and effectively. On average, this scope is generally anywhere from $448 to $461 depending on where you decide to purchase it.

Vortex Viper PAFeatures:

  • It comes with a one-piece tube that is 30 millimeters, which makes it easier to store without having to worry about loosing any removable parts.
  • It is actually made out of aircraft grade aluminum to guarantee it’s sturdiness.
  • It comes equipped with tall turrets which allows the shooter using it to quickly and easily make any adjustments.
  • There is also a side knob parallax adjustment for versatility. Click to see the price.

Nikon Monarch 3 4-16x50mm Side Focus Rifle Scope – Once again, Nikon makes the top! This variable scope is by far one of the top rifle scopes on the marketplace today price ranged under $500. On average, the Nikon Monarch 3 runs around $418, but that is mainly determined at where you decide to purchase it from, and that is not including any kind of tax or shipping. Nikon does not disappoint with this scope as it has many of the features that Nikon is known for using on their high end scopes.

Nikon Monarch 3Features:

  • The Nikon Monarch 3 comes with 4-16x magnification, and it also comes with a larger than normal objective lens. It’s lens is actually 50 millimeters.
  • It is renowned because of its Ultra Clear Coat Optical System which allows up to 95% light transmission.
  • It has a quick focus eyepiece that is meant to allow the shooter to instantly bring their reticle into focus.
  • It’s best feature is the MONARCH 3 Eye Box Technology which allows for a 4 time zoom range. It also allows for a four inch eye relief.
  • This scope is optimized to be used with the Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology.
  • Last but not least, it is easily adjusted thanks to its Spring Loaded Instant Zero Reset Turrets. Click to see the price.

Top Rifle Scopes For an Unlimited Budget

When money is no object, all the rules of the game completely change. A lot of the scopes over $1000 are made by brands that are not seen at the lower budget products. There is a simple answer as to why that is. When most people think of the best brands, they think about the brands that the majority of people who buy a product actually purchase. That is why the higher end rifle scope brands may vary from the over all best and most popular brands. Seeing as this category in finances is so broad, below are two different rifle scopes that can be considered the best rifle scope for those that have an unlimited budget. You should also consider looking at Schmidt & Bender and Swarovski.

Zeiss Conquest Rifle scopes 5-25×50 Black Rapid Z 1000 – On average, this particular scope runs around $1100. It has a lot of different features, and it is manufactured by Zeiss one of the more popular brands among those that enjoy the high end and expensive rifle scopes. Below are just a few of the many features that makes this rifle scope stick out among all of the other unlimited budget scopes on the market today.

Zeiss Conquest Rapid Z 1000Features:

  • This scope comes with a 50 millimeter objective lens, and it comes with 5-25 magnification ability.
  • It is used mainly for hunting anything at long range, including predators, big game, and varmints.
  • It has a robust, one piece tube that is built to stand some of the worst recoils even on extremely demanding terrains.
  • For the rifles that have a harsh recoil, this scope has a 3.5 inch eye relief in order to help protect the shooter’s face from the rifle’s recoil.
  • The Zeiss Conquest rifle scope is one of the most ideal scopes for those that enjoy target shooting on the range.
  • One of the things that helps this be an ideal scope for long range shooting, it offers precision aiming with accurate holdover and wind-corrected information.
  • The lenses of this scope are MC multi-coated, and this help by achieving outstanding brightness regardless of low light situations that might arise on the hunt. Click to see the price.

Nightforce NXS Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 5.5-22x 56MM Hi-Speed – The Nightforce NXS Rifle Scope is a high speed scope that could not be ignored for the unlimited budget best category. Nightforce is one of the top brands for professional rifle scopes, and that is why it didn’t make the top brand list. Most Nightforce scopes cost way more than the average person would even think about paying for a sports scope for their rifle. This scope generally runs anywhere from $2,250 to $2,500. Generally, the price depends on where one purchases this scope. Below are just a few of the unique features that this scope has to offer someone.

Nightforce NXSFeatures:

  • The NXS Rifle Scope comes with 5.5-22x magnification, and it also has a 56 millimeter objective lens.
  • It has a 30 millimeter diameter tube.
  • The eye relief for the NXS Rifle Scope is 3.9 inches.
  • It has finger adjustable turrets and it has a click adjustment.
  • The field of view for this scope at 5.5x magnification is 17.5′, and the field of view at 22x magnification is 4.7′ at 100 yards.
  • The NXS Rifle Scope has a exit pupil diameter of 10.2 to 2.5 millimeters, and the scope weighs around 32 oz.
  • This scope can be recommended for just about all types of weather, because it is shock proof, water proof, and fog proof. Click to see the price.

Types of Scopes

There are a lot of different types of scopes, but they can practically all be placed in two categories. It is important to understand the different types of scopes and the pros and cons to each one before purchasing one. Below are three of the different types of scopes, and they are the most common scopes on the market.

1. Variable Scopes – By far the most common, variable scopes are useful if magnification of the target is needed for a clean shot. With these types of scopes, the shooter can adjust the magnification of the target that they are looking at. These types of scopes come in a variety of magnification variables, and depending on what you are hunting, this could be extremely important. Sniper rifles often use variable scopes, because sniper rifles are used at a much farther distance than a normal hunting rifle.

2. Fixed Scopes – These scopes can be a little less complicated than variable scopes, but they are also only better if people know exactly the specs they need when shooting their gun. You cannot adjust the magnification on fixed scopes like you can on variables. Therefore, these scopes are only recommended in certain occasions and for certain types of firearms.

3. Night Vision Scopes – These are specialty scopes. They can be combined as a variable scope or a fixed scope. What makes these scopes different is the fact that they are used for shooting at night or at times of day when there is a small amount of light to naturally see the target. They are very expensive and bulky, so before choosing a night vision scope, make sure that you actually need to shoot during low light hours of the day.

How to Choose a Rifle Scope

buying a rifle scopeThe majority of rifle users want the best scope for their rifle in order to help with whatever it is they are hunting. In the past, the old metallic sights that were placed on rifles were a lot harder to aim with than the newer scopes on the market today. When using a rifle scope, one thing should come to mind: simplicity. The use of a rifle scope has made it a lot easier for the majority of people to be able to line up a kill shot on their target.

When using a rifle scope, all you have to do to get a kill on your target is line up your cross hairs or reticles on the target that you are aiming at. Learning to shoot with a rifle scope is an extremely useful skill. Not only is it easier to line up the gun to your target, but it also magnifies your target, making it easier to tell which part of the target you will actually hit. There are a large number of factors that need to go into thought when choosing the right rifle scope.

Is bigger and more expensive always better?

This can be a tricky question to answer when you are dealing with rifle scopes. The best way to answer this question is this. When you are going to look for your idle rifle scope, you should ask yourself what is it that you are going to be shooting at. In general, if you are a deer hunter, using anything over a 3-9x or 4-12x scope on your rifle would be overkill, and it could actually hinder you in the long run. Those are the average scope sizes for anyone wanting to go hunting, because they offer what is needed for the majority of rifle users.

You also need to figure in what kinds of shots you are planning on having to take. If you know that you are going to be shooting far away at your prey, then you will be using a different scope as opposed to shooting at something closer. This has a lot to deal with having the proper magnification on the scope that you choose in order to be able to perform the hunting that you wish to do.

What do the Numbers on a Scope tell me?

This is a good question to ask. Before you can properly choose a rifle scope, you need to know what the numbers on your scope actually mean. In order to help with this, I am going to reference you to a Nikon P-223 3-9×40 SF rifle scope in order to explain the importance of the numbers on a rifle scope. The numbers when choosing a scope that are important are the 3-9×40.

In this particular number, the 3 means that any image that you look at through this scope will appear three times closer to you than it would to the naked eye. The 9 means the same thing. If the scope that you choose has a 9 like this one it means that you can see your target 9 times closer through the scope than with the naked eye. The last number, in this case the 40, is the objective lens diameter in millimeters. If you see a number like this, these scopes are classified as variable scopes. Basically, you can choose if you want your target to be 3 times magnified up to 9 times magnified. In general, the larger the magnification range, the more that particular scope will cost. This is because the wider the range the more versatile that scope will be.

Why is eye relief and light transmission important when choosing a scope?

A shooter’s age can affect the dilation of their eyes. People who are older will experience smaller dilation than someone of a younger age. An exit pupil is extremely important when choosing your scope. Basically, an exit pupil can be determined by holding a scope out at arms length from you. The small circle of light that appears in the scopes eyepiece when doing this is the exit pupil. The exit pupil is extremely important when thinking about eye relief because the larger the exit pupil is the less important head positioning in relation to the scope becomes.

When talking about eye relief in regards to rifle scopes, eye relief is the distance that your eye can be away from the ocular lens of the scope and still provide a full and clear picture of your target. Currently, four inches is the largest eye relief available for any standard rifle scope. If you are using the rifle correctly, four inches in plenty of distance for your face to be out of the way of any recoil your rifle might do. You should always pay attention to the amount of eye relief and exit pupil that a scope offers before purchasing it.

What should I look for in a scope in regards to the objective lens size?

On most medium variable scopes, the standard object lens size is anywhere from 40 to 44 millimeters. There are objective lenses on the market that are larger, but in most cases these larger lenses are not necessary. As a matter of fact, the larger the objective lens on a rifle scope is, the harder it is to be able to hold your rifle properly. These larger lens also can cause your rifle to be a little less comfortable to shoot due to the fact they can make the rifle feel unbalanced, clumsier, and heavier.

Why is Field of View on a rifle scope so important?

When speaking about rifles, field of view is generally measure at every 100 yards. What this means is the field of view is the amount that you are actually able to see from right to left at a distance through your scope. When adjusting the magnification of your scope, your field of view will be adjusted. In general, if you decrease the magnification of your scope your field of view will actually increase. This is generally more important with variable scopes, because the difference in magnification can change the field of view drastically. For instance, if you are using a 3-12×42 scope, if the magnification is set to 3 then your field of view will be the full 100 yards. However, if your magnification was turned closer to 12, your field of view would actually decrease down to somewhere around 14 to 10 yards.

For more about choosing the top rifle scope, watch the below video:

Best Rifle Scope Brands

  • Leupold
  • Redfield
  • Sightmark
  • Burris
  • Bushnell
  • Barska
  • Nikon

revies of rifle scopesJust like any other product, there are a lot of different brands and companies that make rifle scopes, but just like with every other product, there are a number of brands that stick out in the market. Below are a list of the top six brands that make rifle scopes, and they all got on this list for a variety of reasons. Some have created special features that make their scopes better in certain aspects, and some brands have an all around aspect to their products that put them on top.

Leupold

A family owned company since its founding in 1907, Leupold & Stevens is without one of the highest quality optic manufacturers in the world. It’s scopes are used by the United States Marine Corps and Navy SEALs, which definitely is a major vote of confidence in their design and manufacturing. They make everything from simple hunting scopes to the incredibly powerful and adjustable tactical designs used by the military.

Redfield

Redfield was purchased by Leupold & Stevens, Inc. back in April of 2008, but they did not acquire any of Redfield’s capability of repairing their products that were made prior to them buying the company. However, Redfield is still currently one of the top manufacturers of rifle scopes on the market. Their motto is “No Excuses”, and they offer a full lifetime warranty to their customers on all of their non-electronic products like their rifle scopes.

Sightmark

Sightmark was founded back in 2007, and they have steadily been growing in the modern shooting market thanks to their products and rifle scopes. Currently, they are operated out of Mansfield, Texas, and there motto is “Make Your Mark”. They offer a variety of different products that are ranked top of the market, and they are known for making Triple Duty, Ezekiel, and Pinnacle rifle scopes that excel in performance.

Burris

Burris considers themselves specialists when it comes to making rifle scopes. They vow that they only employ the most passionate and knowledgeable engineers to manufacture their products. Burris products are not only used by the occasional hunter or sports shooter, but some of their rifle scopes are used by professionals throughout the entire world. Burris is best known for their scopes having lenses with larger diameters than most of their competitors.

Bushnell

Bushnell is one of the older popular rifle scope manufacturers with their products still on the market. They have been in business for over 65 years, and they pride themselves on providing only the best quality to their customers. The majority of their products are some of the more reliable and affordable hunting products, like rifle scopes on the market to date. Their shotgun scopes are also among the best.

Barska

Barska is currently operated out of Pomona, California, which is on the southern end of California. Their priority products all deal with sport optics, and they are considered to be one of the top brands that puts out rifle scopes on the market today. They actually have a global customer base. They have over 40 countries that they distribute their products too outside of the United States. They even offer products that can be individualized for their corporate customers if needed.

Nikon

Nikon is one of the more well known Sports Optics companies in the world. They have a variety of different products that they create, and they are well known in the hunting industry for both their cutting edge hunting optic rifle scopes. Some of their company strengths include their commitment to innovation, quality, and the performance of their products.

See the current bestselling rifle scopes here.

Ozark Armament Rhino Rifle Scope Review

We enjoy talking about Ozark Armament’s products because they rarely come out with a lackluster product. Though on the cheaper side, their products are lauded around the web for being of great quality. Their Rhino 4x magnified scope is one of four different rifle sights they have and the first to have magnification.

Consider this scope if you’re looking for a shakeup from red dot or reflex sights. Its price is only a little higher than the most expensive red dot or reflex sights, so it’s definitely affordable if you trying to stay cheap.

 

Rhino 4x Magnified Optic

Purpose

To give hunters mid-long range sighting capabilities at a fraction of the price of the most popular riflescope manufacturers. Despite its all-metal construction, it weighs in at around a pound.

The top dial changes the illumination of all three reticle colors. Those who are upgrading from red dot or reflex sights may be used to having this dial on the side, so it may take a little adjusting.

  • The Picatinny mount comes with the scope, so you can try it on shotguns and rifles alike.

 

Stats

Magnification: 4X
Objective Lens: 32 mm
Exit Pupil: 8 mm
Field of View: 7.0 degrees
Field of View @ 100 yards: 36.8 ft
Eye Relief: 3.5″

 

Overall

Is the Rhino the best rifle scope on the market? Probably not, but its almost unbeatable as a beginner’s or budget scope. The tri-color illumination is perfect for those who prefer the choice and 4x magnification is powerful enough for ample viewing at 600 yards.

FOV at 100 yards is about 37 feet, which doesn’t seem like much at first, but it really depends on the target and terrain. If you’re tracking a moving animal, 37 feet is a modest range

Perhaps the most notable fact about the Rhino is its simplicity. It doesn’t try to be a higher-end scope with bells and whistles dominating the exterior. Its cheap, accurate, and clear, which is probably all you need in a good beginner’s scope.

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Vortex Viper PA 30mm Tube Riflescope Review

vortex viper pa 30mm tubeThe Vortex Viper PA 30mm Tube Riflescope is one of the best scopes for its price. Many users have stated that this scope is so good that you would expect to pay more for the purchase of it and that they are amazed at the affordability of the scope.

The Viper PA is what we would consider a premium scope, so there’s little doubt that this is one of the best on the market (especially when you factor in the price). It’s premium thanks to the high-quality ED glass, the superior build and durability, and fast, accurate focus. It is a 6.25-20×50 rifle scope that is perfect for use in tactical, predator or varmint, long range, and target practice.

Here are the key specs of the Viper PA:

  • Eye Relief: 3.1 inches
  • Field of View: 17.4-6.2 feet/100 yards
  • Turret Style: Tall Capped
  • Max Elevation Adjustment: 65 MOA
  • Adjustment Graduation 1/4 MOA
  • Travel per Rotation 12 MOA
  • Parallax Setting 50 yards to Infinity
  • Length 14.4 inches
  • Weight 21.6 ounces

We took an in-depth look at this riflescope so you can see a breakdown of the best features.

Features

Glass

It’s the glass in any optics that sets it apart from the competition —  and we believe it’s the most important thing of all. The glass on the Vortex Viper is professional extra-low dispersion (ED) glass and is comparable to the glass you’ll find on $1000 scopes. It features multi-coated optics with light transmission. A fast focus eyepiece completes the optical package.

There is no need to worry about re-coil, moisture, or darkness with the Vortex Viper PA 30mm Tube Riflescope. XR anti-reflective coatings ensure target clarity every single time. ArmorTek coating on the exterior glass helps protect it from damage and helps resist oil or dirt buildup.

Durability & Build

When choosing a scope, durability is an absolute necessity. The Vortex is one of the most durable out there, made of aircraft grade aluminum in a continuous tube. The scope is waterproof, making it an ideal scope for outdoor hunting. The turrets are tall and provide an easy adjustment, with smooth adjusting and audible clicks.

This scope will help you measure the windage, the range, and the bullet-holdover, making this a great scope to purchase. Dial in the appropriate windage and elevation and even through 500 rounds it still holds that number. Modifying the aim for wind speed, distance, and ammunition size is quick and easy, especially with the Mil Dot Reticle.

The viewing range runs around 6.2 ft from a field view of 1000 yards. This gives you a longer range of distance for site when hunting or target shooting.  The Mil dot reticle was designed for ease of use when out in the field hunting, which makes it a great addition to the scope. The precision heavy duty force springs, and the smooth as glass precision glide erector system are all features that add to the appeal and prestige of this particular optic. The MAG-View Bar is a raised section with the magnification on it, so you can simply glance at it without disrupting your positioning.

We particularly appreciate the accuracy and ability to use long distances. Again, when factoring in the cost, this is practically a steal. The consistency and clarity are marks of a solid scope for the best possible experience while shooting, and a must for effective and ethical hunts.

Verdict

It’s quick and easy to adjust and use, the warranty is outstanding, and the reviews are magnificent. So next time you’re in the market for new scope check out the great deals that are online for the Vortex Viper PA 30mm Tube Rifle Scope.


Take a look at the video review below for even more info.

The Best Scopes for a 30-06 Rifle

The .30-06 cartridge was first introduced to the United States military in 1906 to replace the .30-03 rimless service round. It was developed to satisfy the necessity for lighter-weight, higher velocity, service rounds with pointed (spitzer) bullets, and was used for seven decades after that.

Today the .30-06 is one of the most popular hunting and sporting cartridges in the world – and for a good reason. As a target round, this one is handy, reasonably priced, and accurate. As a hunting cartridge, it is moderate enough in recoil to be used by even the most inexperienced hunters, and flexible enough to cover the vast spectrum of North American game species: from varmints to mid-sized and large game.

It is only logical that a caliber with as much versatility and performance as the .30-06 should be mated to an excellent scope. Failure to do so not only limits its functionality but also affects your user experience. It does not take an expert to know that you cannot randomly pair a rifle with any scope and achieve the best results. Yes, you might hit your target; but with as much effort as it takes to eat soup using a fork.

So, esteemed shooters, that brings us to the trillion dollar question: Which are the best scopes for the .30-06? Reading this article shows that you have found out, in one way or the other, how difficult it is to find the right scope for this traditional, yet grand scope. You see, a caliber this popular ordinarily has a surfeit of scopes out on the market that is compatible with it, if not made directly for it.

What to Look For

But you should not give up just yet. Because, though there is not one scope that we can name as the overall winner, there is certainly one that will be a perfect fit for you. Just as each hunter’s needs differ from those of the next, so are each scope’s characteristics. Manufacturers have tried, and still, are trying, but they have not yet found a way to build a single scope that will cover everything. Therefore we will evaluate the ones that come close enough and leave it to you to choose the one that suits you best. But before we do that, it is imperative that you first understand how your new sight will work. So – with much apologies to the pros – I will give you a crash course on the front-to-back basics of the scope, and the standard terminology used before I start hitting you with big words.

Here are the scope basics from front-to-back:

  • The objective lens is the front glass, and its size is directly proportional to both the field of view and amount of light transmitted.
  • The scope body also known as the tube is usually one inch or 30mm in length. You should ensure that the rings that hold the tube in place are of the same size as the tube.
  • Adjustment knobs change the windage and elevation of the scope – although some larger magnifications feature parallax adjustment as well. Standard is one click changes impact ¼” at 100 yards. They can be adjusted using finger pressure, a flat-tip screwdriver, or turrets.
  • The eyepiece, the focus knob, and the magnification adjustment make up the rear.
  • The reticle is the series of fine lines in the eyepiece used as a measuring scale. Some are battery-powered.

It will also not hurt to know a few of the terms used:

  • Single or fixed power means that the scope’s power cannot be adjusted while variable power means the opposite.
  • Objective size is the size of the objective lens. The larger it is, the bulkier the scope usually is.
  • Lens coatings repel water and block some wavelengths. They determine how much reflection you might experience.
  • A charged scope is one that has been filled with nitrogen or oxygen to keep out fog r moisture.

Top Scopes for the .30-06 Caliber

You might have heard of the old thumb rule which states that you should only buy a scope that costs more than half as much as your rifle. I beg to differ with that line of thinking. Most experts out there and I believe that price should only be a factor if you are on a budget. That is because there are cheaper brands that work as well as pricier ones, just as there are expensive ones that ride on brand name but offer very little functionality.

Here is our list of the best scopes for your rifle in no particular order.

1) Vortex Optics DBK-10019 Diamondback HP 4-16×42

Though one of the newest companies in the scope and optics industry, Vortex has not only proven to be worth their salt but are giving the bigger names a run for their money. The Vortex Diamondback (HP) 4-16x42mm is no exception. For starters, it is equipped with an array of high-quality features that you will not find in some of the pricier comparisons.

The 42mm lens is made of XD extra-low dispersion glass to increase resolution to the already large field of view. Its XR multi-coated lens maximizes light transmission and reduces reflection to give you a squint less and glare less hunting experience. The 4-16x magnification allows you to push your rifle to its limit at ranges above 1000 yards.

As is the case with most rising stars, Vortex strives to produce the highest quality products in a bid to establish itself and cement its position in the industry. The Diamondback is rugged, to say the least, and the HP in its name is an acronym for “High Performance,” and it shows for it. Click here to see it.

2) Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm with Duplex Reticle

From the state of Oregon comes the Leupold VX-2, an all American scope for a genuinely American caliber. Leupold’s seven-decade experience in scope-building is reflected in the VX-2’s ruggedness and excellent material quality. And as if to flaunt its superiority, Leupold provides a lifetime warranty for an almost indestructible product.

Leupold goes green with the Index Matched Lens system with lead-free glass and edge blackened lenses. The result is an environment-friendly scope with best-in-class clarity. Waterproof and argon-filled to prevent fogging, it enables you to enjoy your rifle in any weather. What’s more, zeroing has been made much quicker and more precise with the finger adjustable 1/4 MOA click windage and elevation adjustments.

The ergonomic eye piece now features a fast focus that eliminates the need to adjust a lock ring every time you want to change focus. The Leupold VX-2 is a functional and reliable scope that will not disappoint. Click here to see it.

3) Nikon ProStaff 4-12×40 Black Matte (BDC)

Nikon ProStaff 4-12×40’s two-hundred-dollar-ish price tag is a surprise to many seeing how fully loaded it is. A perfect blend of ruggedness and aesthetics, this sight, will satisfy even the most demanding hunters and shooters. The finger adjustable turrets of the Prostaff 4-12×40 can be quickly reset to zero allowing for quick adjustments in the field.

Hunting in the most undesirable conditions is made possible by the nitrogen-purged, O-ring sealed tube and the sun shade adjustable lens. Brilliant sight picture and versatile magnification range come in handy in any hunting situation, from heavy timber to the open prairies.

Multicoated lenses increase light transmission up to 98%, and precise hand-turn 1/4-MOA click adjustments get you zoned in quicker. Nikon’s patented BDC reticle gives you an advantage at long distances but still provides normal sight picture for shorter-range shots while the crosshair itself is the aiming point.

Although recoil is not much of an issue with the .30-06, the Prostaff 4-12×40 still offers generous and consistent eye relief. Nikon Prostaff Rifle Scopes include a lifetime factory warranty. Click here to see it.

4) Nikon Buckmaster 3-9×40 BDC

The Nikon Buckmaster 3-9×40 is what you get when Nikon, a premium lens maker, and Buckmaster, a top-class scope builder, team up. Buckmaster riflescopes constitute Nikon’s medium priced line, and the 3-9x40mm model is the most popular of them all. Nikon itself describes this scope as a: “Classic variable, excellent for game hunting from deer to varmints.”

The Buckmaster is Nitrogen-filled, and O-ring sealed for waterproofing and fog proofing purposes. The Nicoplex reticle, a better copy of the famous Leupold Duplex, is standard on the 3-9x40mm.

The multi-coated 40mm objective lens allows nearly one hundred percent light transmission, making this the right scope for dawn or dusk hunting. 3.6″ of eye relief is enough to protect you while still offering plenty of field of view throughout the magnification range. With a lifetime warranty sweetening the deal, this scope competes with others that double the price. Click here to see it.

5) Leupold VX-I 3-9x50mm

Here comes another Leupold, and it is almost identical to its VX-2 sibling save for its slightly lower lens quality and optical clarity. The 3-9x50mm is considered the best of the VX-I models because it offers you more magnification range and larger objective lenses than the others.

Shooting at distances of about 400 to 500 yards is a bargain for its price and an objective lens of 50mm makes this possible even in dim conditions. The VX-I 3-9x50mm guarantees professional performance on an amateur’s budget and will revolutionize your next hunt.

Expectedly, VX-I 3-9x50mm shares the same ruggedness and reliability with its siblings. Likewise, it is offered with a lifetime warranty. Click here to see it.

6) Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40

You may wonder why I have decided to include the Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 while its overall specs are almost similar to those of both the Buckmaster and the ProStaff 4-12×40. I was also reluctant until I realized two important things: the ProStaff 3-9×40 is one of the best-reviewed riflescopes on the market, and it strikes a balance between the other two. It has earned notoriety for its capabilities in deer hunting, especially in thick cover. It is also very useful at short ranges and is the scope of choice for stealth hunters.

Multi-coated, multi-colored, and layered with anti-reflective compound, the optical system is made for high performance and efficiency. Similar to the ProStaff 4-12×40, its patented BDC enables you to adjust the bullet drop to up to 600 yards and allows you to stay and hold ‘dead-on’ at various ranges. The crosshair plays as the aiming point for close range shooting and the parallax setting increases the scope’s precision.

It is suitably fog proof, shock proof, and waterproof, given that it is Nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed. Its simplicity makes it perfect for beginners, and its light weight is ideal for situations that call for speed.

This is the right alternative if you are after a scope that will fulfill your hunting and shooting needs with as little complication as possible. Click here to see it.

7) Simmons 8-Point Truplex Reticle, 3-9x50mm

Not many experts would have expected the Simmons 8 Point Truplex to make it to this list, but I dared to include it. Now this is for those of you that are not afraid to explore the roads less traveled – and well, to save a few bucks in the process. As easy on the wallet as it is on the eye, the 8-Point riflescope offers more high-quality features than any other in its class.

Fully coated optics ensure a brighter, higher contrast image while the 1/4-MOA SureGrip audible click windage and elevation adjustments allow for fast and effortless changes. The 50mm objective lens is more than generous for its price range, but hey, no one is complaining. 3-9 power magnification at its best, this waterproof, fog proof, and recoil proof scope will offer you more than you bargained for – literally. Click here to see it.

Zeiss Conquest 5-25x50mm Riflescope Review

Power, reliability and high-magnification sum up the Zeiss Conquest 5-25x50mm Black Rapid Z 1000 Riflescope. If you want a scope that’s going to last and is one of the most powerful magnification rifle scopes in the industry, this scope is a good bet. It’s a mid-range scope that packs a lot of features into its small package. This is a good scope if you’re looking to get some mid- to extra-range hunting practice.

Overview of Features

  • High-resolution & five times zoom for extreme versatility and accuracy.
  • German workmanship: ensures that the highest quality materials, expert craftsmanship and expert attention to detail are maintained.
  • Compact profile, which adds a sleek look to your rifle.
  • Available with RAPID-Z or standard Z-Plex. RAPID-Z provides increased accuracy by using a pre-calculated reticle.
  • High-precision mechanics allow for one-quarter MOA adjustments and 100 percent repeatability from click to shot.
  • Package comes with an objective lens cover and scope.
  • Five-year no-fault policy
  • Lifetime warranty against defects in manufacturing

Carl Zeiss Sport Optics

Expert hunters know that Carl Zeiss Sports Optics is the industry standard for hunting scopes. With each new line of scope that comes out, the accuracy is enhanced and features are improved. The HD5 line of scopes brings with it a five times magnification rate, which is a welcome addition to any hunter. With near-perfect light transmission and high clarity, this line of scopes is sure to please any hunter. Unlike lesser quality scopes, this scope is able to provide a crystal-clear image across the entire spectrum. It also has good light gathering capabilities through the fading daylight hours. Long range and small game hunters will both find this scope a welcome addition to their arsenal.

Technical Information

The tube comes in at a one-inch diameter, with a one-quarter MOS adjustment click value. The scopes exposed turrets are capped, and it comes with finger adjustable turrets that can be reset to zero. There is no zero stop on this gun and it has a medium turret height, which helps to give it a sleek design. The scope comes complete with a fully multi-coated lens and fast focus eyepiece. The scope is lacking is a sunshade, illuminated reticle and there are no rings included.

Scope Construction and Adjustments

The scopes reticle focal plane location is second, and it has a side focus to adjust for parallax. Parallax can cause issues if you don’t view the scope correctly, but this feature can help you correct for it. It has variable power settings ranging from five times to 25 times. The reticle construction is glass-etched, making for a more reliable and durable part. The construction is water and fog proof, and if you drop your scope, it can also withstand shock. The maximum internal adjustments for windage is 40 MOA and elevation is 60 MOA.

Practical Application and Use

The one drawback to the scope is that it does come in a bit on the heavy side. The new Rapid-Z 1000 scope was newly designed for 2013. It has the only reticle in the complete line of New Rapid-Z products that is designed for use with specific calibers — the tactical 7.62 or the .308 Win. Overall, this product has the most advanced super zoom in the industry, precision mechanics and a state of the art reticle. This is a scope that will last a lifetime, and virtually eliminate the need for any other scope.

 

CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope 2.5-10x40e

The CVLIFE 2.5-10x40e scope doesn’t look like your average scope by hunting or tactical means but it sure comes with some cool features to help level the playing field. It’s not your typical long barreled scope and thus has a shorter range than say your high powered Leupold scope.

The 2.5-10x40e is the ideal beginner’s scope, and not just because it has a shorter barrel or range. Rather it has a number of features particularly for beginners to help you become accustomed to shooting with optics.

As a lightweight scope, it also comes with two different mounts (20 and 11mm) so it’s interchangeable between rifles. This is another point about this scope—it’s versatile. It’s insanely cheap compared to other high-quality scopes, but we rarely found a customer who was dissatisfied with the optics or level of focus and magnification.

Features

This scope has a laser, simply put. Why? To help with targeting. The laser’s range is only about a hundred yards, which further adds to the proposition that this is a beginners scope. Anyhow, the laser will help you know if you’re locked onto a target, but only at a close distance. It’s also mounted to the side of the scope (right next to the main barrel), so the targeting may be off by a slight inch.

  • The laser can be controlled independently and adjusted to suit your needs.

The reticle also illuminates in a couple of different colors to aid you at certain times of the day.

Specs

  • Magnification: 2.5-10x
  • Field Of View: 100 yards of 32.5′ at 2.5x/8.9′ at 10x
  • Laser Reaching Distance: 100 yards

Overall

This is a budget scope that comes with a couple of neat perks to back up its low price. The laser is thought of by most customers as enjoyable or unnecessary depending on preference. Regardless, this CVLIFE would make a great beginners scope for most rifles that fit its mounting system.

With the addition of power settings for the reticle and other dials for adjustments, the 2.5-10x40e scope will make a great entry for you into the world of sporting optics.

Monstrum Tactical 3-9×32 AO Rifle Scope

At first glance, one might think the Monstrum Tactical 3-9×32 AO Rifle Scope is one giant dial with all the adjustment rings it has. These dials and rings do not limit the performance of the scope but do you a variety of options when it comes to magnification, illumination, and range estimation.

Due to its variation, the AO has uses in hunting and tactical situations. It’s not your average long barrelled scope like the ones you might find on Leupold’s market.

Features

One of the neat aspects about the AO is that its target reticle can be illuminated five different ways to help you see better in low light. This portion of the scope does require a CR2 battery however, which can be annoying to replace whenever it’s depleted. Unless you are using the scope every day, the battery should last you a long time.

Perhaps the most notable feature of this 3-9×32 scope is its adjustable objective lens (AO) which is promptly named for. This focus allows for increased sharpness in imagery and range estimation. The ring at the very end of the scope can also be used for focusing.

  • Some people prefer to carry a rangefinder which may give a more accurate representation of range, but it’s your preference.

This scope might be preferable for the extreme marksmen who is looking for a parallax free scope. The AO on this scope allows for adjusting that should eliminate parallax in most cases.

Ranging

As we all know, a bullet begins to drop away as soon as it leaves the barrel. Beyond three-hundred yards, that drop is going to increase dramatically. Now that aspect has more to do with the ballistics and the rifle itself, but this scope can still help you get on target. With a 3-9x magnification and adjustments to the other dials, you can still be on track (while accounting for your ballistics weight and drop).

When zeroing in your rifle (preferably before you introduce it to hunting and competitions), it is especially important with this scope, in particular, to practice with different magnification and focus levels. This will help you understand your target when conditions and terrain aren’t ideal compared to a shooting range.

Specs

  • Materials: 6061 Aircraft Grade Aluminum
  • Compatibility: Rifles with Picatinny or Weaver Rails.
  • Scope Range: Close to Mid Range, 300+ Yards.
  • Magnification: 3-9
  • Objective Diameter: 32 mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.5-3.8 in
  • Weight: 1 lb
  • Length: 9.3 in

Overall

We may have described this scope as perfect for extreme marksmen, but its various features make it very user and beginner-friendly. If you intend to brave it against the elements, you can rest assure that its interior will remain safe. The body is nitrogen sealed to keep the inner workings and optics free of contamination.

You may find that you have little need for all the rings and dials on the scope but in the end they’ll always be there if you need them. This scope compensates for the smallest of optical aberrations and elements so one way or the other, you’ll end up hitting very tight groups.

Click here to see the price!

Leupold VX-3i 25x50mm Rifle Scope Review

Leupold is one of America’s top rifle scope manufacturers, as we’re sure you’re well aware by now. The extremely popular VX line of rifle scopes boasts some pretty eye-opening specs that cannot be ignored. Of course, you’re going to be digging into your pockets with the VX-3i 25x50mm. The lowest price tag for the least powerful version of the VX-3I is just over a grand. Don’t let the price tag be a huge deterrent, however.

Let’s take a look at the impressive specs for the 25x50mm:

 

Linear FOV (ft/100 yd) - Low11.20
Linear FOV (ft/100 yd) - High4.40
Weight (oz)22.40
Eye Relief (in) - Low5.30
Eye Relief (in) - High3.70
Elevation Adjustment Range (MOA)80.00
Windage Adjustment Range (MOA)80.00
Actual Magnification Range8.2 / 25.1

 

The scope’s focal planes are interchangeable between MOA (minutes of angle) and MIL (1/1000in) depending on your preference. For those that might be unaware, MIL and MOA are measurements used to zero in rifles. They help you determine the placement of your shot if it doesn’t hit on the dot (which is rare as it is.)

 

Features

As to the VX-3i’s features, it is water and fog proof as constructed of fine, aircraft-quality aluminum so you know you’re protected against the elements. Perhaps the most noticeable feature of the VX-3i is its Twilight Max light management system. When visibility is low or unclear, the VX-3i will utilize the Twilight Max to give you clear and consistent light emission.

While user-friendly in most respects, the knowledge that goes into operating the VX-3i is little more advanced. The magnification levers are all within hands reach and the interior of the scope boasts updated optics that are specifically designed for long life. Since it is Leupold’s most advanced and up to date scope so far, it would make sense that it would be.

 

Compared to the VX-2

The VX line of scopes are extremely popular, no doubt, but what makes one better than the other? Cosmetic and tubular changes to the scope are one thing, but what additional features and enhanced optics come with the VX-3i?

It’s not uncommon to see these types of scopes mounted on bolt action rifles, in particular, the Remington 700 series. Everyone has their preference on how accurate they want their rifle to be. The VX-2 utilizes the CDS (Custom Dial System) that allows you to change the elevation of your shot according to the bullet you are firing. To be more specific, you can tune the VX-2 to be more accurate according to the weight of the bullet.

The VX-3i, on the other hand, uses the same system and has enhanced optics for greater range and target identification. This rifle scope accounts for elevation and windage as well, two very important factors when considering a target a long ways off.

Sure, the VX-3i is going to cost you a lot more than the VX-2, which is why the extreme marksmen is going to prefer it above any other scope. This means that its definitely not your average beginner’s scope. When conditions aren’t ideal, you want to make sure you’re able to get an accurate shot off before your target disappears. As the latest model in the astounding VX line, the VX-3i is definitely the scope for the job.

Bushnell’s New Engage Line of Binoculars and Scopes

Bushnell Engage Binoculars

Bushnell’s new lineup of Engage Binoculars is shaking things up in the world of optics.

The Engage binoculars feature multicoated glass with Bushnell’s new EXO Barrier protective coating. These are designed to withstand pretty much everything. This Bushnell exclusive coating repels water, debris, oil, and fog.

The Bushnell Engage binoculars come in four configurations:

8 x 42 mmBushnell

  • FOV 142m
  • eye relief 19mm

10 x 42 mm

  • FOV 113m
  • eye relief 18mm

10 x 50 mm

  • FOV 113m
  • eye relief 15mm

12 x 50 mm

  • FOV 93m
  • eye relief 15mm

The rugged nature of these doesn’t do anything to skimp on image quality, though. The ED Prime Glass feature and dielectric prism coating produce high reflectivity, great color, amazing resolution, and fantastic details. Each configuration offers twist up eyecups and a locking diopter.

These work well in low light conditions, thanks to a host of other features that enable the best brightness and details available.

One of the best features of this new line is its affordability. The Engage line of optics drives home Bushnell’s commitment to making high-quality optics that everyone can afford.

 

Bushnell Engage Riflescopes

The Engage lineup also includes new riflescopes. Like the binoculars, these feature the exclusive EXO Barrier protective coating. This slick coating repels everything from oil and water to dirt and debris.

The riflescopes come in nine configurations: Bushnell riflescope

  • 2-7x 36mm
  • 3-9x 40mm
  • 3-9x 50mm
  • 4-12x 40mm
  • 6-18x 50mm
  • 5-10x 44mm
  • 3-12x 42mm
  • 4-16x 44mm
  • 6-24x 50mm

These scopes feature:

  • EXO Barrier
  • Waterproof construction
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Ultra-wide band coating
  • Side focus parallax adjustment
  • Tool-less Zero Reset (on some models)
  • Locking Turrets

 

Engage riflescopes include Bushnell’s new Deploy MOA reticle. This gives shooters 1-MOA windage and elevation hashmarks and can reach both short and mid-range targets.

Like the binoculars, the Engage riflescopes are affordable, yet high on quality. Find out more on Bushnell’s website.

How to Sight in & Use a Rifle Scope

Rifle owners know exactly how critically important it is to effectively use a rifle scope. Commonly referred to by short as “glass”, a rifle scope is used to view distant targets and surrounding objects magnified to seem closer. Many scopes are also designed to identify a potential bullet’s point of impact. When used effectively, rifle scopes provide safer and more accurate shooting in the field.

Scope Terminology

Newcomers trying to research the right scope for their rifle may encounter a baffling array of terms. To effectively use a rifle scope, it’s important to know its essential components.

Body – Sometimes called “the tube”, this is the diameter of a rifle scope. One inch or 30mm are common sizes.

Adjustment knobs – on rifle scopes, knobs come in a variety of forms, including turrents, flat tip screws or finger pressure knobs that are adjusted to change elevation and windage.

Elevation – Just like it sounds, elevation refers to the vertical – or up and down – motion of the potential bullet’s trajectory.

Windage – Regardless of its source, windage refers to horizontal – or left and right – motion that would affect the potential bullet’s trajectory.

Reticle – Rifle scopes come with a variety of reticle styles, including mil dots and cross hairs. The reticle is used to estimate the landing point of a potential bullet. Some complex reticles use lines to compensate for bullet drop or other environmental factors. Some reticles are illuminated via battery or by using ambient light.

via Wikipedia

Eye Relief – this term refers to the distance between the shooter’s eye and the leans at the rear end of the scope. Eye relief is calculated by measuring the maximum distance that the shooter can see a full crisp view with no dark ring around the edges. Proper eye relief distances are a critical safety factor in preventing eye damage caused by high recoil calibers. Learn more about eye relief from Buckmasters here.

Sites – sometimes referred to as iron sites, these are two metal indicators physically mounted on the shaft of the rifle to provide for an approximation of the path of travel for a potentially fired bullet. These generally do not provide the accuracy or adjustment flexibility offered by a lensed rifle scope.

Parallax – Some modern rifle scopes are equipped to measure parallax, a term that refers to the optical difference between the view presented in the scope and the reticle. By adjusting the rate of parallax, the reticle can be precisely brought into optical focus on the intended target.

Waterproof/Fogproof – Quality rifle scopes are sealed with O-rings to provide waterproof protection. Some rifle scopes are classified as fogproof, which means they have been filled with nitrogen. Fogproof and waterproof scopes can be immersed in water and remain completely dry, and thus are reliable in all weather conditions.

Power – Rifle scopes are often identified by their power of magnification, referring to how many times the view through the scope has been enlarged. The magnification power of scopes is usually expressed by two numbers, such as 4×32. This simple notation means that the scope in question has the ability to magnify a viewed object from four to 32 times its original size.

Optical coatings – some rifle scope lenses are treated by special coatings to help adjust for brightness and the ability of a scope to gather light, allowing for higher contrast and brighter images. Coatings are described as:

  • Coated = A single layer on at least one lens surface.
  • Fully Coated = A single layer on all air-to-glass lens surfaces.
  • Multi-Coated = Multiple layers on at least one lens surface.
  • Fully Multi-Coated = Multiple layers on all air-to-glass surfaces.

Scope Basics

The purpose of the scope is to allow shooters precise information as to where any potentially fired bullet will land. After a scope has been mounted to the rifle, the first step is to “zero” the scope, or to adjust various alignments until it provides accurate information. Key information about bullet’s caliber, velocity and weight is then used to make precise calculations to adjust the scope for maximum accuracy.

Additionally, various environmental factors must be taken into consideration, including elevation, shot angle, humidity, windage (horizontal air movement), and the presence of a head or tail wind, in order to compensate for the bullet’s trajectory. The distance to the ground as well as the ground temperature compared to air temperature can be used to calculate bullet lift or drop.

Once parallax has been used to make precise adjustments, range can be accurately compensated for. Finally, the reticle of the rifle scope is placed on the intended target at your zero distance. Done correctly, the rifle scope is now ready to provide accurate guidance in achieving precise targeting.

Looking to purchase a rifle scope? A common rule of thumb is that a rifle scope should cost approximately half of what the rifle itself did, although recent advances in precise machining have led to a drop in prices. Check out our buying guide of the best scopes on the market here.

Warnings

It is extremely important to follow all local, state and federal laws while shooting. Many laws on firearms and scopes can change drastically between state to state, or even between different counties and cities. Check with the mandated jurisdictional authority for further guidance in the legality and applicable guidelines and restrictions for using scopes in your area.

As all experienced rifle owners know, firearms have the potential to be lethal or cause serious injuries. Rifles and scopes should only be used by potential shooters who are well educated in the safe handling and use of firearms.

Sighting In Your Scope

Most scopes are not adjusted properly out of the box, so additional adjustments will need to be done, depending on distance, velocity, wind, ballistic coefficient and much more. Sighting in a scope requires precision and patience on the shooter’s part.

The scope must first be bore sighted at 100 yards before making any other adjustments at the range. Bore sighting simply means adjusting the scope to where the bullet would hit the center of the cross hairs at a given distance, given the bullet has a perfectly flat trajectory. In reality, bullets do not have a flat trajectory, mainly because of gravity. Once the scope has been bore sighted at 100 yards, take a trip to a shooting range that has a distance of at least 100 yards. Some ranges are only for short distance, so going to an appropriate location in the mountains would be the best alternative. While taking this trip, bring a portable shooting bench rest. Distances should be accurately measured, rather than eyeballed.

First setup a large paper target at a 25 yard distance, preferably one that already has a bull’s eye. Before making any shots, get very comfortable with both the rifle and shooting bench. Any muscle tension or movement can easily throw-off a bullet. The best method is to avoid as much human contact with the rifle as possible. Pillows and folded blankets can make a big difference in comfort-ability. Use sandbags to rest the rifle on the shooting bench. Cat liter bags are a great alternative for those who cannot obtain sand bags.

While looking through the rifle scope, adjust it to where there is a clear image. Interestingly, the level just below the maximum magnification level is usually the clearest. Once a round is chambered and the cross hairs are over the bull’s eye, close the eyes for a good 10 seconds then open them. If the cross hairs moved from the target, then it means that there’s still muscle tension in the shooter. Find a comfortable position and keep doing this until the cross hairs don’t move.

Finally, fire a shot into the target once everything is lined up. It’s important to gently pull the trigger rather than suddenly tug it. Tugging at the trigger can throw off a shot. If the rifle moved while firing, then do it again. After firing a well-aimed shot, inspect the target to see where the bullet went. Sometimes, a person may be able to see the bullet hole through their scope, but they should definitely see it through a spotter scope. More than likely, the bullet won’t hit dead center on the target. However, it should hit somewhere on the target. Measure where the bullet hole is in respect to the bull’s eye and write it down. For instance, a miss that is three inches low and two inches to the right.

To make up for this, adjust the clicks on the scope according to the instructions. For an example, if it says that one click moves the center one-fourth of an inch at 100 yards, then multiply the number by four since the distance is only 25 yards. In the case where the bullet hit three inches low and two inches to the right, the person would want 48 clicks up and 32 clicks left. After everything is adjusted, take another shot at the target. Keep repeating this process until the bullet hits the center of the target. However, it doesn’t have to be a dead-center shot since the next step will be at 100 yards. If for some reason the bullet keeps missing the target, make sure that the scope is tightly mounted on the rifle, as this can dramatically affect shot placement.

Once everything is aligned at 25 yards, move the paper target out to 100 yards. Again, it’s important to actually measure it with some type of device. Repeat this very same process at the 100 yard mark, but wait until the rifle barrel has cooled down to ambient temperature, as barrel temperature may affect accuracy by causing more barrel harmonics. Wind is another factor to take into consideration. However, wind is a changing variable, so it would be wise to write down the click adjustments when there’s no wind. Doing so will allow one to easily adjust the scope while wind factors change.

For really long-range shooting, it’s best to have the bullet impact around three inches above the bull’s eye. This higher impact point will compensate for the bullet drop at longer distances, such as 300 or more yards. It also prevents the shooter from having to aim above the target. Keep in mind that different ammunition will give different trajectories. For instance, a lighter, faster bullet will have a flatter trajectory at relatively shorter distances but lower trajectory at longer distances. On the other hand, a heavier, slower bullet will have a lower trajectory at shorter distances but a flatter trajectory at longer distances.

In general, it’s best to stick with one particular type of ammunition, whether it’s factory or reloaded ammunition. Keeping one type of ammo will allow one to fine tune their accuracy. Once everything is adjusted, one will be able to shoot long distances without having to worry much about bullet drop. A scope has two main advantages. It allows one to see objects at longer distances in much greater detail. Two, it allows the person to compensate for bullet drop, which can’t accurately be done with iron sights. Keep in mind that scope adjustments are mainly up to the person’s liking. For instance, one doesn’t necessarily need to have the bullet impact a few inches higher at 100 yards.

Adjustments in the Field

Military snipers use elaborate methods for determining precise environmental conditions such as humidity and exact wind speeds in order to zero their scope in the field. For most outdoor shooters, it’s often wiser to use the reticle based on approximations of environmental conditions. Depending on the selected bullet, the zero range may cause the bullet’s point of impact to travel through the reticle location in the scope’s view.

If you want to see some videos of experts showing the rifle scope sight in process, here are some recommended ones to watch: