MAKE YOUR FIRST SCOPE THE RIGHT SCOPE
You’ve just bought your first rifle. Or, perhaps you’ve been handed down a family treasure. Now, it’s time to set your sights on becoming the best shooter or hunter you can be. It starts with putting a quality riflescope on top of your gun. The right scope will not only help you become more successful when you pull the trigger, it will also increase the fun you have every time you step into the woods. But which scope is the right scope? Read on to learn more about making the best choice for you.
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
This old saying is true. Buying a scope that is poorly made only leads to frustration and bad performance when you need it most. The best advice we can give you is look for a company that has a proven track record of building reliable optics. As an example, Leupold® is an American company that has been around since 1907 and makes a full line of high-quality scopes. Best of all, you can get all the quality and features you need for as little as $200. Ask around. Read Reviews. Get advice from other hunters and shooters you trust.
DURABILITY IS KEY
Since most hunting occurs in fall or winter, the weather can be an issue. A quality scope must be able to give you a bright, clear picture of your target regardless of cold, rain or snow. You want a weatherproof, waterproof scope for success.
You also want a scope that can handle the recoil of your rifle and the normal bumps and bruises you’ll encounter in the field. Check your guarantee & warranty.
<photo will be the sepia colored photo on page 18 of Hunter’s Handbook>
Scope Features…What do they mean?
The basic features of a riflescope are generally the same regardless of who makes it.
- Magnification – Scopes are offered in different magnifications or “powers.” The higher the magnification, the more powerful that scope is in bringing the object closer to you as you look through the eyepiece. For example, a 9X scope brings the object three times closer to you than a 3X scope. While higher power scopes can be an advantage to make targets look bigger at longer distances, they can also limit your field of view and are more difficult to shoot without a firm, stable rest.
FIXED OR VARIABLE MAGNIFICATION?
A fixed magnification scope = one viewing power (example 4X)
Variable magnification lets you zoom in or out to make it easer to see your target & settle on an aimpoint (example 3X-9X)
The adjustment ring near the eyepiece lets you dial the power up or down. Each has their benefits, but generally a variable magnification scope is more versatile.
- Eyepiece – The eyepiece connects the scopes lens system and magnification with your eye
- Objective Lens – Refers to the end of the scope furthest from your eye, and is generally measured in millimeters. The size of the objective lens determines the amount of light that can pass through the internal optical lens system as well as how forgiving the scope is in terms of eye placement behind the eyepiece.
Larger = more light/more forgiving
- Maintube – Body of scope. Quality scopes are filled with nitrogen to eliminate fogging in cold weather conditions
- Adjustment Dials – Allow you to move the point of impact to adjust for elevation and windage
- Reticle – AKA crosshairs. Allows you to place the point of impact for your shot. Reticles come in a variety of styles and options.
- Lock it Down – Choosing a quality mounting system is critical because once you have your rifle sighted in – you want it to stay sighted in. Leupold makes a variety