The large number of telescopic sight designs multiplied by the number of manufacturers can create a lot of dilemmas for prospective scope users and buyers who are looking for appropriate scopes for their rifles. Even if the prospectors decide on what brand to buy, he would still find himself confused with the multitude of products at hand. Moreover, aside from the dilemma caused by the available multitude of brands, the scope prospector still needs to learn more about the important parameters and categories in buying a scope. Similarly, a prospector needs to learn some basic knowledge on optics like the concepts of focal length and parallax. Additionally, the prospective scope user needs to know about accessories, like mounting rings and base mounts that go along with the scope. The prospector should also familiarize himself with his rifle in order to delineate the criteria of scope that he would eventually choose.
Before buying a telescopic sight, one should know the other minor details of the product that one intends to buy. Say, for example, you want to buy a scope for hunting; then, you have to address questions like “What kind of game do you frequently hunt?” “At what range?” and “Do you hunt from dawn to dusk?” Some people might even look into the reliable scopes’ reviews online to enhance their knowledge about the scope. Others, however, would readily check on some comparative review videos which may provide a thorough rifle scope comparison. However, relying on these reviews alone may prove to be insufficient, especially, for an uninformed newbie.
Important Scope Information
The most prominent markings on a telescopic sight, that is very apparent to the view of a prospective buyer is the scope’s power or category, e.g., 4–16 X 56 or 10 X 50. Both these categories belong to high-powered scopes, although 4–16 denotes variable power while the 10×50 is a fixed power scope design. The four times (4X) power means that you are viewing an image that is 4 times larger than the actual object, while the numbers after the “X” signify the objective lens diameter. Moreover, ten times (10X) denote the object is magnified 10 times. These scope designs are suitable for varmint hunting, i.e., hunting smaller animals such as squirrels. For hunting larger games, however, a low power scope is more appropriate to use due to its larger field of view.
In addition to magnification and lens diameter, there are other parameters such as exit pupil, eye relief, and field of view. It is worth noting that the “field of view” is inversely proportional to the scope’s magnification. The larger magnification you have means that you would have a lesser field of view. Similarly, the exit pupil is equal to the ratio of the objective lens diameter over magnification, i.e., for 10 X 50 scope, you’ll have an exit pupil of 5mm or 50mm/10= 5mm. The optimum size of an exit pupil should be the same size as an average men’s iris which is about 7mm.
The prospective scope buyer should also know more about the scope’s reticle. With regards to reticles, there are illuminated and unilluminated reticles. Moreover, while most reticles come with standard crosshairs, some manufactured products come with bullet drop compensation reticles. Similarly, some scopes come with military-standard mil-dots. Additionally, other manufacturers have pushed further their design by incorporating thermometer and even laser range finders into the design of their scope.