Choosing a rifle scope can be a complex endeavor and that’s why we have put together this guide. Here you will find some suggestions to help make that choice a little easier.
Provided that you are in the market for a scope aimed at your new rifle or even looking to upgrade, it can be difficult to know which scope to get. For instance, there are so many scopes on the market it can be overwhelming to figure out what features you need.
As a result, here are some things to consider whether you are looking at scopes for target shooting, hunting or both.
Best Scope for a Target Rifle
It is important to realise that scopes for target rifles have different requirements than that of a purely hunting rifle.
For instance, the major differences being that hunting rifles often include less exposed turrets and dials. Therefore, they aren’t as likely to get caught on anything whilst out in the field.
With this in mind when looking at different optics, hunting scopes will more often have caps over the dials to prevent the dials from moving when in the field. As such, this also helps keep the dials from moving when getting in and out of vehicles.
On the other hand, the majority of target and tactical style scopes will have exposed dials. For the purposes of easily making changes in elevation and wind without removing a protective cap from the dial.
In addition, the other major difference will be the reticle styles available. Notably, target rifle scopes allow for more complex markings within the reticle.
When you have time to take a shot, it can change the features you want in a reticle. For this reason, having more hash marks in your scope means that calculating hold over adjustments can be a lot easier. In short, reticles with more hash marks help long distance shooters make those adjustments.
What Scope for a Hunting Rifle
Without a doubt hunting scopes are exposed to a radically different environment than target scopes.
Unlike target scopes, durability becomes important for a hunting scope for a number of reasons. For example, you don’t want to knock or bump your scope when you are out in the field, shifting your point of impact. This could lead to missing that vital shot. Consequently, a well-built scope is recommended for hunting.
Likewise, the protective caps over dials are there to prevent the rifles zero from changing. When you and your rifle are moving around in the field, the last thing you want is a change in zero. A scope with caps over its dials and lower profile turrets are recommended.
Equally important is having a simple reticle for a hunting rifle. Simple reticles can help when needing to quickly obtain a sight picture of your animal. Complex reticals can make it harder to see the crosshair and ensure you are on target.
Another key point is the weight of the scope. Some scopes come packed with features, however come at a cost of weight. Consider how you will be carrying your rifle, if its on foot or in a vehicle.
It is important to realise that if you are carrying your rifle on foot, you may want to consider a lighter scope to make the trip a bit easier.
What Scope for a Target and Hunting Rifle
Some optics manufacturers have designed specific scopes to appeal to both the target rifle and hunting rifle owners.
For example, the Vortex Viper HST (Hunting Shooting Tactical) scope was designed to be a lighter scope for hunting. In addition, including a simple reticle that includes additional hash marks for longer range shots. For this reason, the scope can also be used for easy hold over shots when target shooting at longer ranges.
As can be seen, the light weight and hash mark reticle enables the scope to be a practical choice for both hunting and target shooting.