Australia has over 3 million registered firearms belonging to sports shooters, collectors and enthusiasts. Sports Shooting Association of Australia promotes sports shooting events, competitions and secure the interests of enthusiasts. Although the highlight of these events and competitions are the guns, the role of good scopes must not be undervalued.
A rifle scope is a set of lenses arranged with a reticle to provide magnification and aim to shooters, offer multiple functions and features. This makes purchasing them, especially for beginners, a daunting task as they would not know where to begin. The first step in choosing the right-rifle scope is understanding all the features it offers. They can then make an informed decision by matching the riflescope with their style of shooting or hunting.
Features to Look for in a Rifle Scope
Rifle Scopes help all shooters, from novices to experts, to execute a well-placed long-distance shot to hit the target accurately. They come with multiple configurations, constructions, sizes, styles and price points. The debate about which reticle, magnification, or scope maker is best for the job is endless. Here is a list of the various features that they offer.
1. Objective Lenses
Objective lenses are the ones that are present at the end of the scope, opposite to the eye. They are responsible for transmitting light and providing a clear view for the shooter. Generally speaking, the bigger the diameter of the lens, the clearer and brighter the image will be. Bigger objective lenses are best suited for low light conditions. But if one buys a scope with many objective lenses, it could not be beneficial. Lenses could make the scope heavy, need more accessories and scope rings, be prone to sun reflection and not to mention expensive. Therefore, one must choose their objective lenses based on the purpose. For general rifle scopes, 40mm to 42mm is the ideal choice.
2. Scope Glass
Rifle Scope glasses from the centrepieces of any rifle. Therefore, one must pick the best one available in their budget. Glasses that offer extra-low dispersion are great at minimising chromatic aberration to provide sharper and more colourful images. HD lenses provide higher image quality, and the quality of the glass and coating enhances it and makes it scratch resistant.
3. Scope Magnification
Magnification helps shooters with greater accuracy as the images in through the riflescopes appear larger and brighter. The amount of magnification one needs entirely depends on the kind of game one is hunting and the shooting range. Target shooters, small game or homestead defence shooters who shoot from less than 100 yards away use magnification between 1 to 4X. For big game hunters who aim from 200-300 yards away, a scope with 3X to 9X or 4X to12X is sufficient. Open country hunters who target smaller games benefit from higher magnification and better zoom ranges.
4. Variable or Fixed Power
The lens magnification also comes in fixed or flexible features; rifle scopes with fixed power come with a single magnification range, and riflescopes with variable power offer multiple magnification options. Variable power enables shooters to aim in different situations and environments, which is helpful when the target’s position is unknown and unpredictable.
Reticles are the crosshairs or the aiming points that one sees when they look through the riflescope. There are different kinds of reticles, and each of them performs a task. Duplex reticles are the simplest of the lot, with a simple crosshair pattern, ideal for hunting or target shooting. Mil-dot reticles, with their dots, help shooters estimate their target distance based on the size. BDC reticles help long-range shooters estimate bullet drops.