Hunting Scopes: Five Factors for Consideration


Finding the right optics for a specific rifle can be a challenge. Understanding that a scope is a specialized tool that can be applied in many different ways to a wide variety of firearms. One must consider all the thousands of scope options in conjunction with the desired results.

In today’s conscientious climate, it is also important to account for the life of the animal you are wanting to shoot at. Using a scope is one of the most considerate and compassionate tools a hunter can implement to ensure loss-of-life with the least amount of suffering. In the Monty Python sketch titled Mosquito Hunting Graham Chapman says, “I’ve been a hunter all my life. I love animals, that’s why I like to kill’em.” This hits at the heart of the matter. If you really want to precisely ensure the transition from sentient being to fallen meat effectively, then a scope is like an angel of mercy.

The importance of finding the right scope for the right situation could make all the difference. Understanding that some rifle scopes are specific to a unique task, such as: super-long range scopes, thermal, infrared, and standard variable scopes.

Know what needs to be done with the scope first by assessing exactly what is the desired outcome one is wanting to accomplish with a hunting rifle. Also, knowing when it is time to retire a scope that is fog-prone or just broken will serve a prudent hunter well.

There are many factors to consider before purchasing the perfect scope for the prescribed situation. For our purposes, we will focus on just five key factors for great scopes: Magnification, Mounting, Cost, Recital type, and appropriate features.

Most importantly, one should select the best magnification level for the weapon platform and desired use. Some scopes are definitely more suited for unique applications and some aren’t as appropriate in others. Simply, know the distance that one is using the rifle, shotgun, or pistol at and what magnification level is the most appropriate

There is a spectrum of recital styles. Thank about what your intended use is and make sure you’re getting the right tool, again, for the task.

When one is shooting at longer ranges, a decision between scopes that use mils or MOA angular units of measure will need to be made. They’re both equally useful, according to shooting experts, but most stay with the system they’ve been taught. This hits on the point that what one trains with is usually what they are most comfortable with. Even if the application is counterproductive to the goal.

One is going to have to mount the new scope on your rifle or shotgun. Most folks will use scope rings for a standard hunting rifle scope. Many heights are available to accommodate any shooter and the size of the scope. Durability can be a factor with high-powered pistols.

If one is looking to purchase a scope for an AR platformed rifle, a shooter may want to consider a one-piece mount.

If there is already a scope installed, make sure that the tube is compatible with the ring. The fortunate part is that most scopes on the market are 30mm (1 inch) tubes just like most scope rings and because of that they don’t necessarily require new rings. Keep in mind that not all are. Much larger scopes for Hyper long-range applications have larger tunes. Again, one should check before buying the next scope rings or mount.

Next, make sure the scope has the desired features needed for what is intended to be done, in terms of windage and elevation adjustment. One should also consider what features are actually needed. Think about what the use is, if the scope is going on a hunting rifle that will never be fired at long range, then one just needs the windage and elevation to be a zero. If one’s plan is to be piercing steel plates at 3,500 yards, then a standard two-turret scope probably won’t do the desired job.

Finally, the most important deciding factor when considering what kind of scope to purchase is the price. There is a semi-old saying in the hunting/shooting community that says, “One should never spend more money on the scope than the gun it’s worth.” This speaks to being wholly conscious of what it is one is doing. Ultamalty, the projectile, and the rifle are the most important aspect of the shooting experience. The scope as illustrated above is just an assistant to a tool.

-In collaboration with Hunting Mark

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