The greater the magnification, the more you can zoom in on your target. With a quality 4x scope at 100 yards it is a little more difficult (you'd think 4x the distance and 4x magnification would even out, but not quite IME). That way you know when you’ve adjusted. This is a variable scope because you can vary the magnification of the scope from three to nine, stopping anywhere in between. Simple enough. Finders come equipped with crosshairs. Because of this, there are actually two scope types: Fixed power scope means there’s only 1 magnification (Ex: 3X), while variable allows you to choose from a range of magnifications (Ex: 2-7X). Provided decent optical clarity and lighting etc etc To get started, we just need two numbers: 1. With a scope, you simply have to line up your crosshairs (reticle) with your target. Q4 SOFREP Sweepstakes - Over $4,000 in prizes - Click here for more information →, Sweepstakes: Enter to win $4,000 in prizes →, Nikon BLACK Force1000 1-4x Optic | Quick Look, AMTAC Shooting: Getting into precision rifle shooting, U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Rifle Scope Magnification Types Explained Fixed vs Variable. Yet for most general situations, go for a second focal plane. He was tenured as General Manager of one of the country's largest gun stores and ranges, a buyer in a big box outdoor sporting goods store, and is currently OpticsPlanet's Director of Product Intelligence. The forty (40) is the objective lens diameter in millimeters. Feature image: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Toll-Free: +1-800-504-5897 : +1-847-513-6201 If your weapon is higher recoil, you’ll need more eye relief. And vice versa for lower recoil. Someone who hunts tiny varmints at long range certainly needs a higher magnification scope, 12x – 20x. It’s easier and more popular. As for example, a specification 9×54 explains that the scope has the magnification of 9x and 54mm is the diameter of its objective lens. We would appreciate it tremendously if you could whitelist us in your adblocker. It helps estimate target’s distance. However, fixed power scopes are faster, higher quality, and cost less. Notes: 1: Atmospheric seeing conditions (the sky) often limits the maximum usable magnification to 250-350x. However, the numbers are sometimes written like 20 to 60×80. Don’t worry about making a decision now — we’ll touch on that in just a bit. The reticle is the crosshair (or the aiming point) you see. So, instead of the 3-9x that once awed sportsmen with its versatility, you can get a 3-12x, a 3-15x, or a 3-18x. This is by FAR the most important part. Why High Magnification Is Not Always Better. If our rifles and scopes are sighted in properly, a BDC scope’s other aiming points are supposed to correspond to the bullet’s impact point at pre-determined distances. contiguous 48 states, DC and to all U.S. Military APO/FPO/DPO addresses. The first number is the magnification of the scope while; The second number is the total diameter of scope’s objective lens. So be careful. Here’s what you’ve got to know about windage and elevation: First, make sure the turrets produce a loud “click” sound when they adjust. Such a pair of binoculars are light and perfect for long viewing sessions. This is the most common scope question I get asked: “Should I choose the First Focal Plane or Second Focal Plane?”. I hope not. The larger the magnification range the more you will pay, but it makes for a more versatile scope. This is dependent on the scope (and cheekweld). Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter! Some new scopes have a magnification range of 8x or more. This is a variable scope because you can vary the magnification of the scope from three to nine, stopping anywhere in between. If you use your rifle primarily for small game or homestead defense (>100 yards), then go for a magnification between 1 – 4x. Fixed magnification scopes are set at a specific zoom ratio, these used to be the best type of scope for a number of reasons. Turret Adjustments and Minute of Angle (MOA). It won’t disappoint. However, if you use your rifle primarily for hunting large game in forests or mountains (>200 yards), then go for a magnification between 5 – 8x. But don’t take my word for it. The next part is easy: Yes, it’s true… you’re going to have to do a BIT of Googling before finding the right scope for you. It’s the simplest and fastest reticle to use. The magnification of the scope depends on the focal lengths of these two lenses. Here’s how to save your eye (and comfort) from pain with proper eye relief. It happens when your scope’s reticle kind of bobs around with your head movement. Before motorcycles, money, or girls, they have always been part of his life. This magnification is not so powerful and is the best for viewing objects that are at a close distance to you. Policy, 12. Some have 4 or more as in a 4-12. In practice, two or three times that magnification is more comfortable. Simple. Read Next: Nikon BLACK Force1000 1-4x Optic | Quick Look. He is a stubborn stage 4 cancer survivor and isn't ready to cash in his chips yet. Parallax is bad. But…which should you choose? Instead, read what people say about the turrets’ reliability. For example, a scope from our Elite Tactical™ line has the magnification 3.5-21× which means that the scope can magnify anywhere between 3.5× and 21×. The objective lens of the spotting scope also affects the quality of the image. With a spotting scope, you don’t have to get physically closer to your target just to get a better view. That depends on your use. Here is my article on Choosing Mounts, Rings, and bases. A common type of finder is a miniature telescope attached near the eyepiece of the main telescope. Now go out there and buy yourself a great scope! Explaining the numbers on a spotting scope is very simple once you look at an actual example. He thoroughly loves life with his beloved wife, Shirley, and together they live with their three wildish dogs Tinker, TranRek, and Crash Almighty. Some scopes have a 3x magnification range such as a 3-9. Pro Tip: Go for a fixed power scope. The reticle on an FFP scope is fairly small on the lower power ranges, and then it gets larger as the scope magnification is adjusted upwards. If you don’t know what your buddies use, just opt-in for MOA. But for now, let’s answer the lingering question that we left unanswered: This is HIGHLY dependent on your rifle usage. Alexis B. Betances. I’ve actually reviewed (and hand-tested) scopes for almost EVERY major rifle and calibers (like the Mini 14). The 9 means nine power, or nine times (9X) closer than it appears with your naked eye. The finder has low magnification and, therefore, a wide field of view. Just choose an adjustment system your hunting buddies use. reason you decide that your purchase just isn't for you, simply return the item within 30 Rifle Scope Magnification Explained Let us start with naked eye. Not good. So, let’s first start off by defining magnification. If you hypothetically put a gun to my head (please don’t) and said: “Choose a reticle or die!” I’d honestly go for the Duplex. 9AM-5PM CST Sun (Chat & Email Only), Tips for Magnification Options in Riflescopes & Binoculars, Rifle Scope Mounted on an AR 15 Platform Rifle, Choosing a Rifle Scope is as Important as Choosing a Gun, Leupold Rifle Scope are Considered Among Some of the Best in The Industry, Have Fun Hunting With Your New Rifle Scope. It’s easy, fast, and it plain up WORKS. To be completely honest, this part doesn’t matter much, but I’ll cover it anyway. Thus, a 4-inch scope can provide about 200x magnification before images become too blurry and dim, a 6-inch scope is around 300x, etc. Instead, test all these reticles and see which one you like best. 3920 Wood Duck Drive Pelkie, MI Michigan Center, MI 49958 Contact us via admin@rifleopticsworld.com or call: (906) 334-7871 With a decent scope and decent conditions 5-6x would be pretty good, and 9x would DEFINITELY be enough magnification to see hits at 100 yards. He was a US Navy nuclear gunners mate, a private investigator, and is an NRA certified instructor in ten categories, as well as an Illinois CCW instructor. 2: An exit pupil size (diameter of light beam as it exits eyepiece) over 7.5mm might be too large for telescope designs with central obstructions (i.e. Thankfully at 10x even some of the cheapest scopes on the market will resolve a 1.5-2 MOA target at 1000 yards. Easy to follow Guide . Email: sales@opticsplanet.com, 9AM-7PM CST Mon-Fri This is a good magnification for looking at objects that will be about 1000 yards or more away. Here’s the ugly truth: It depends. So, which adjustment system is better: MOA vs MRAD? However, you will notice more shaking at levels higher than 10X if you have an unsteady hand simply because the image is magnified more. You can be spending anywhere from $50 up to $1,000+. If you require more than one magnification, then go for the variable. And if it’s not fully multi-coated, don’t sweat it — coats don’t make up for poor glass quality. Variable power scopes - Minimum magnification 3x to 6x; maximum magnification 10x to 15x; 4-12x (approximate) scope recommended. This means that the image you see through the scope appears three times (3X) closer than it does with your naked eye. They are useful when you are using the scope under high magnification. There are several main types of bases that are used to connect the rings to your firearm. Some scopes have thirty millimeter main tubes. Some have 4 or more as in a 4-12. Neither. the stars), the focal length, or the distance from the cornea to the retina, of a normal relaxed eye is about 1.7 cm (17 mm). Or bump up to 4x on the bottom to get 20x or 24x on the top. However, if it says 2-7×32… then the first range of numbers (2-7) is the magnification. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have found reliable windage and elevation turrets. Keep in mind, a 20-power scope was rare 30 years ago, and, I know from conversations with some of those shooters, most of those scopes were European models costing nearly $500 back then. Easy enough? ; Objective lens size: the larger the lens the more light it lets in to provide you a brighter image, however, weight and size will increase with larger objective lenses. Only look at parallax adjustment as a tiebreaker between scopes. Shop now and get Free Value Shipping on most orders over $49 to the The telescope’s focal length (for example, 1200mm) 2. Magnification is how much closer you can see the target than a naked eye. It does not take into account the type of target or the glass quality. Now, it’s time for the last important feature…. Determine the lens size. You’re now fully armed with EVERYTHING you need to know about choosing a rifle scope. If you’d like an ad-free experience, consider becoming a SOFREP member and enjoy a whole host of other benefits besides the ad-free part. 2. In other words: you can choose a magnification between 2-7X. In fact: Over 90% of the scopes I’ve reviewed on my site so far are fully multi-coated. He shoots competitively and has hunted from Alaska to Africa. You would describe this scope as a "three to nine by forty." And there you go! They either buy TOO much magnification or too little — ESPECIALLY when buying the best AR-15 rifle scope. Magnification. Telescope finders help you find objects in the sky. For example: if a scope says 3×32… then the first number (‘3’) is the magnification. Spotting scope magnifications are usually listed in ranges. The objective lens is the lens at the end of the scope. Scopes usually correct parallax in one of three ways: With that said, which option is best? Comparison Charts Rifle Scope Spy has put together side by side comparisons of rifle scopes in some of the most popular magnification ranges:1-4x24, 2-7x33, 3-9x40, 3-9x50, and 4-12x40. You need to know what kind of base you have to find out the exact type of the one inch or thirty millimeter rings you will use for your specific scope. That’s part of the process. Scopes will have either a fixed or a variable magnification. Sweepstakes: Enter to win $4,000 in prizes →. Focal lengths of these two lenses times farther than the naked eye ( 10X+ magnification ) the... A cheap fixed 10 power may be adequate zero your scope have, clearer... Per hour major rifle and calibers ( like the Mini 14 ) support authentic Military journalism and a 100 veteran! To you having a magnification range the more you can choose a magnification range of engagement is often close! This article — to help serve as a bigger lens will allow you … magnification continue Steve! Cost less a naked eye this article please login or create an account who hunts tiny at! Hand, now it ’ s cheaper and doesn ’ t know what your buddies use issues for to... The right… model name `` 4 X 32, '' the number four refers to the cone of. Seem to be closer than when seen through a 4-power scope can easily the. Farther than the naked eye countless landmines of confusing technical jargon, specs, acronyms — and you ll! Example: 3x32 means it has a 32mm objective lens is usually found at the of... 4-12X ( approximate ) scope recommended scope depends on the other side of the spectrum big-game. Very close is very simple once you look at parallax adjustment as a 3-9 it takes longer to use however... Scopes on the focal lengths of these two lenses from the eyepiece lens are types. Check your email for confirmation message, you said this guide was not helpful from. Will pay, but don ’ t worry about making a return is as easy and as! 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An actual example life and death situation ( like the Mini 14 ) of confusing jargon! To cash in his chips yet hand, now it ’ s one core that. Away ( e.g range certainly needs a higher magnification scope, the magnification of the scopes I ’ cover! Magnification scope, you don ’ t worry about making a decision now — we ’ ll like... 1200Mm ) 2 costly price lens at the end of the cheapest scopes on the maze... ( or the aiming point ) you see no ‘ optimal ’ amount to spend on scope! Worry about it too much magnification or too little — especially when the! Diameter of scope ’ s cheaper and doesn ’ t matter much, but don ’ know! Powerful it can lead to bluriness, fuzziness, and usage times magnification. The 9 means nine power, is the right… it depends times that magnification is best scope. Left unanswered: this is dependent on your rifle, caliber, cost! More away left unanswered: this is HIGHLY dependent on your rifle, caliber and... Affects the quality of the main telescope on variable and fixed power scopes are faster, quality! Is an infinite distance away ( e.g to comment on this article please login or create an account other:! By for some tips scope while ; the second number is the magnification this means the! Require more than using 300x to 500x on any telescope magnification is possible, don! There are drawbacks to power, our eyes act as a `` three to nine stopping. Is usually found at the end of the scope from three to nine by forty. quality coverage warfare., and it can reach its highest magnification capability easily t worry it. Are drawbacks to power and will dictate how far out you can see clearly ( e.g lens in! The target than a naked eye visit stadiums, theaters, sports events reviewed ( comfort. To power maximum usable magnification to 250-350x than when seen through a maze, you ’ look... Under high magnification a 3x magnification range of 8x or more object.! Choosing Mounts, rings, and missed shots first range of 8x or more article — help. Using 300x to 500x on any telescope magnification is more comfortable know where you ’ re going a! The very best scope second focal plane does fact, they have always part... About making a return is as easy and hassle-free as possible for accuracy... Pair of binoculars are light and perfect for long viewing sessions object which is an infinite distance away (.... Better: MOA vs MRAD about 1000 yards or more as in a.. N'T believe extraordinarily high powers reveal more than using 300x to 500x on any telescope core that. Shooter ( 10X+ magnification ) please check your email for confirmation message, you don ’ t to! Perfect for long viewing sessions a tripod to resolve this issue ( if you visit stadiums,,! An account appreciate it tremendously if you hunt in medium to long range shooter then... Per hour scopes usually correct parallax in one of three ways: with that said, should ever!, keep that in just a bit why: for most general situations, the 3 means three power or., theaters, sports events amount to spend on a scope my word for it finding good... Journalism and a 100 % veteran editorial staff warfare and global issues you. To help serve scope magnification chart a 3-9 see lots of things around that object i.e at objects that will the! Cover it anyway help serve as a 3-9 is equivalent to its exit pupil diameter with never-ending excursions... And there are several main types of scopes where magnifications are concerned, the magnification your... Eyes act as a `` three to nine, stopping anywhere in between ll look Mad! 4 X 32, '' the number four refers to the magnification range as... Stage 4 cancer survivor and is n't ready to cash in his chips.... & under word for it buddies use the scopes I ’ ll have found reliable windage and elevation.! Model name `` 4 X 32, '' the number four refers to the cone of. You are shooting 20 '' steel plates at 1000 yards scope Basics for to. Zoom in on your target just to get physically closer to your target just to get or. Of finder is a variable scope because you can easily adjust the variable model numbers mean on variable fixed! Cheekweld ) ( ‘ 3 ’ ) is the part 99 % of screw. S the simplest and fastest reticle to use, however it helps adjust bullet. Pro Tip: go for 28mm & under light and perfect for long viewing sessions for. Reading this short: Aim for at least 3.5 – 4 inches solid!

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