How to Buy a Rifle Scope: A Comprehensive Guide

Rifle scopes are a critical component for most hunters, enhancing accuracy, range, and overall shooting performance.

A good rifle scope can be the difference between a missed opportunity and a successful hunt. With the plethora of options available on the market, choosing the right scope can be an overwhelming task. This article aims to demystify the process and provide you with a roadmap on how to buy the perfect rifle scope for your needs.

Understanding the Basics

  1. Magnification: Simply put, magnification determines how much closer the target will appear when looking through the scope. A scope labeled as ‘6x’ will make the target appear six times closer than with the naked eye. Some scopes offer variable magnification, which can be adjusted depending on the shooting distance.
  2. Objective Lens Diameter: This is the size of the lens at the front of the scope. A larger diameter allows more light, resulting in a brighter and clearer image. However, a larger lens may also make the scope bulkier.
  3. Reticles: The reticle, or crosshair, helps you aim at the target. There are several types, including duplex, mil-dot, and BDC (bullet drop compensator), each serving a different purpose and shooting scenario.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Rifle Scope

  1. Purpose: The kind of hunting you’re planning determines the type of scope you need. Big game hunting in dense forests might require a low magnification scope, while long-range shooting demands higher magnification.
  2. Budget: Like with most equipment, you get what you pay for. Higher-end scopes offer better clarity, durability, and features. However, many mid-range scopes offer excellent value for money and perform admirably in hunting scenarios.
  3. Weight and Size: A large, heavy scope might be cumbersome, especially during long treks. Consider the weight and size, especially if you’re a mobile hunter.
  4. Lens Coating: Coated lenses reduce glare and increase light transmission, resulting in a clearer image. There are different levels of coatings: coated, fully coated, multi-coated, and fully multi-coated. The latter offers the best clarity and brightness.
  5. Parallax: This optical illusion can cause the reticle to appear to move against the target. Scopes with adjustable parallax settings can correct this, especially crucial for long-range shooting.
  6. Field of View: This refers to the width of the area visible through the scope, typically measured in feet at 100 yards. A broader field of view is beneficial for tracking moving targets.
  7. Durability: Ensure the scope is constructed using high-quality materials. It should be waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof to withstand the rigors of hunting.
  8. Adjustment Ranges and Turrets: Turrets adjust the reticle for windage (left-right) and elevation (up-down). Consider scopes with finger-adjustable turrets and a zero-reset feature for ease of use in the field.

Where to Buy

  1. Local Gun Stores: Buying from a local store allows you to physically examine the scope, get a feel for its weight and size, and seek advice from experienced sellers.
  2. Amazon Online: Has every day Great Deals. Click here to see Rifle Scopes deals. Offers a broader range of products, often at competitive prices. Ensure you purchase from reputable sites and read product reviews before buying.
  3. Hunting Shows or Expos: These events often showcase the latest products and innovations. It’s an excellent opportunity to compare different scopes and get expert advice.


A rifle scope is more than just an accessory; it’s an investment in your hunting experience. The right scope can significantly enhance your accuracy, confidence, and success rate in the field. By understanding the basics, considering critical factors, and knowing where to buy, you can make an informed decision that best suits your hunting style and needs.

Remember, the goal is not to find the best scope on the market but the best scope for you. So, take your time, do your research, and you’ll be rewarded with a scope that serves you well for years to come. Happy hunting!

More to Explore