A Guide on How To Choose A Scope In 2020

Struggling to know how to choose a scope? At first, you have to understand why you need one because there are hundreds of options to choose from. Whether you are a hunter or a shooter, you have to own the right scope to make your target perfect. You don’t need to be an expert on an optical physicist to know the types and purpose of the scopes.

how to choose a scope

A good guideline with consideration factors to choose the right scope makes the picking task easy. After doing extensive research with scopes, here I have tried to outline the important things you need while choosing the scope for your rifle.

Types Of Scope

Different scopes offer different purposes. Once hunters needed such scopes, that will help them to target from a long distance accurately and hunt the smallest one from that range. Now, these types of scope are available, thanks to modern technology. To understand which scope is better for which needs, here I have categorized the common ones that are used widely.

  • Tactical scopes:

Though you will see the tag “tactical” on almost all of the scopes in the market, but the real tactical one is the specific peace of the rifle’s equipment. You may find the 40x scope with a huge objective lens cool, but it is not a tactical scope. The tactical scope comes with less magnification, like 4x. The magnification extends the range of engagement. The standard range stays is 300 meters to 600 meters, and with the tactical scope, you can maintain the standard range.

  • Hunting scopes:

Hunting scopes need to be durable, suitable, and weather resistant. This scope comes with extra features and has a plain reticle with 20 power. You can use the power as fixed or variable and can view a clear and bright image. Don’t use power scope more than 20 power; it is excess.

  • Sniper scope:

Military persons usually use this type of scope.  Some people tend to fit this scope on their rifle, thinking that it is a super-powered scope. But it is a moderately powered optics with precise setups that are specially designed for military weapons. The weapon now the military uses is a rifle with 10 power scope, and it is fixed. The turret of this scope is a fine adjustment, and the reticle is mil-dot. This type of scope requires training before using to shoot in the long-range.

  • Competition scope:

If you need a powerful scope than you can pick this scope. It offers you .22 competition in low power. You have to shoot the smallest target with accuracy. 40x scope is recommended for this scope to complete.

How To Choose A Scope?

So, you can understand now that to get a quality image while hunting or shooting, you have to depend on the optics. The optic technology is developing day by day to ensure the betterment of the scopes. This is why choosing the right optic gets tough. Here are the main consideration facts while choosing the right scope:

Why You Need A Scope:

Before purchasing the scope, you have to know why you need a scope. Let me clear with these needs


With a good scope, you can extend and have a clear image of the target. The chance of hitting the target without hampering the surroundings gets increased with the scope.

Shooting in the low light:

For a hunter, the challenging hunting time is in the evening and dawn. In this time, it is hard to view a target in a naked eye, but a good scope increases the light transmission to make the view clear.

Accurate shooting:

The reticle in the riflescope allows you to mark the place where your bullet will hit after pulling the trigger. It makes shooting precise and safe.

Understanding The Numbers And Jargon:

As there are different types of scopes in the market, you have to keep knowledge about the specifications, numbers, and performance levels of different scopes in different situations.

The power of magnification:

While checking the magnification power, you will come across a series of numbers like 3-14×44 or 4-16×56. These are the diameters of the objective lens and magnification power. For example, 4-16x means the object will appear in 4 times to 16 times closer with the scope. You can adjust the magnification with the power ring. However, the highest magnification will not work effectively in low light, and the target will be less visible in 8x magnification.

The diameter of the objective lens:

In this number 4-16×56, 56 is the objective lens diameter in millimeters. The diameter size helps to increase light transmission. The larger the scope diameter gets, the light transmission gets increased. The more you increase the light transmission, you will have a brighter and crispier target even in low light conditions. The size of the objective lens makes the field view of the scope clearer.

The diameter of the tube:

It is not true that the tube diameter controls the light that will reach your eye. The tube diameter increases the stiffness of the scope to handle the weight of the large ring and cross section.

Notes: You have now had the idea about how to choose the scope and now to make the purchasing process complete, check out the review article about the best rifle scope under 400.

How To Adjust A Rifle Scope?

To get a perfect shoot in long-range accuracy, you have to know how to adjust the rifle scope properly. I will try to give the steps in summary.

  • Before anything, make sure you have installed the scope accurately. The rifles with modern design come with a fixed mounting system for a scope. You may have a rifle with tapped and pre-drilled holes or rail systems like Picatinny and weaver rail systems, you have to make sure the mounting of rings and scope are properly fit for the rifle. Different rifles come with the different fitting system. Match the design first, and install the scope properly.
  • After mounting the scope properly, you have to adjust the eye distance. This adjustment will help to make the image clear to view. To sight the scope properly, you have to fine-tune the scope, create a perfect amount of eye relief, which is the distance between the scope end and your eye. Make sure this distance is far enough to avoid the scope movement after firing. It causes severe eye injury.
  • To get the proper sight, you have ensured a stable shooting place. You can use a bipod or a bench where you can place the rifle in the position you want.
  • The reticle alignment is important while adjusting the rifle scope. The reticle has to be aligned with the direction of the windage and elevation adjustment to make the target accurately.
  • You have to set the MOA(minute of an angel) to make the right shooting range. It is important when you are targeting at multiple distances. For example, if you want to shoot in 200 yards distance then your MOA will be ½ inch if the shooting range is 400 yards, then your MOA will be 1 inch.
  • After following all the processes, try to shoot in different distances to know your scope adjustment right or not and make the shot proper.

Note:  Before adjusting the scope, you have to know how to use a scope? So check out the next article on this topic.

Frequently Asked Questions

What scope should I use for 1000 yards?

A 10x-18x scope is perfect for to use in the 1000 yards. The super sniper scope that comes with fixed power 10x and 20x x44 mm is a better option.

What scope do I need for 300 yards?

For the shooting range to 300 yards, you can go for a 3-9x magnification scope. This scope allows you to shoot anywhere from 50 yards to 500 yards.

What power scope do snipers use?

The snipers, especially military snipers, use a 10x power scope. This is the ideal magnification to make the shoot at medium to long-range. 

Final Thought

I hope your confusion about how to choose a scope is now cleared after reading this guide. As you are reading this, I am sure that you love to hunt, and you are trying it for the first time. So before going for hunting, you have to take the perfect scope with a rifle to make your hunting smooth and safe.

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