PDA

View Full Version : How to Pick the Right Rifle Scope



Conceal Carry
09-07-2009, 12:13 AM
In response to the keen interest shown by the members to my earlier post "How to zero a rifle scope", here is an article to help members understand how a rifle scope works, what are its major components and what various numbers printed on them mean. I hope members would find this article interesting and helpful.

CC.

If you've just bought a fancy new rifle and you need a new scope to put on top of your rifle, you need to understand all the different models and styles available today.

The first thing to understand is how a scope works. A scope is a metal tube that encases a series of coated glass lenses. This allows the target to be viewed on the same focal plane as the sights. Rather than trying to keep the rear sight and front sight and the target all in focus all at the same time, everything is in focus together and if you add magnification, you have an almost perfect system for sighting.

Here are some of the terms used by the optic industry and what they mean for you.

Specifications of a scope are usually stated as: 3-9x40mm, or 4x32mm, or some variation of numbers. The numbers before the 'x' refer to the magnification and this can be a fixed number (ie, 4), or a variable number, (ie. 3-9). Whatever that number, it means your target will appear that many times closer than it actually is. The number after the 'x' refers to the diameter of the objective lens, expressed in millimeters.

Scopes are either fixed-power or variable-power. Fixed power scopes are permanently set at a given level of magnification, but variable-power scopes allow for adjustment. In the past, variable-power scopes weren't as durable as fixed-power scopes and gained a bad reputation from a lot of hunters. But, today there are so many advances in technology as well as exhaustive training by manufacturers, that most variable-power scopes are just as rugged as fixed-power scopes. It is hard to beat the versatility of of a variable-scope. Variables in the 2-7x, 3-9x, or 2.5-10x are most popular for hunting big game and fixed powers of 4x or 6x are more popular with hunters who still prefer the simplicity of a fixed-power scope.

Variable power scope allows you to crank up the magnification to a higher setting if you find yourself needing to take a long shot and yet keep the scope on a low setting whenever you encounter game up close or moving.

When it comes to the size of the scope's objective lens, the bigger it is, the larger the field of view FOV) will be at any given magnification setting. Depending on the coatings on the lenses, the brighter the scope will be. This is a major advantage scopes have over iron sights.

Higher quality scopes are able to gather all available light into the scope and utilizes it in such a way that you can actually see better during low-light conditions than with the naked eye. The key here, is high-quality! What makes a high quality scope? Special coatings are applied to the surface of a lens to reduce glare and the amount of light lost during the transmission of the target to your eye. The quality, number and position of these coatings determine how much light is transmitted. Here are your options:

coated a single layer is applied to at least one lens
fully coated a single layer is applied to all air-to-glass surfaces
multi-coated multiple layers are applied to a least one lens surface
fully multi-coated multiple layers are applied to all air-to-glass surfaces

The more coatings, usually translates into a more expensive and high-quality scope. Most of the high-quality scopes are also waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. These are not cheap! As in most optics, you do get what you pay for.

Sialvi
09-07-2009, 12:34 AM
very informative. very well explained. thanx CC bro.

Ka_Khan
09-07-2009, 12:36 AM
Yet again...Informative.
CC you do your Homework well before posting .

Dr Zakir
09-07-2009, 12:48 AM
just like a marksman preceise and accurate

HassaanAfzal
09-07-2009, 12:52 AM
Thanx for sharing the information

Conceal Carry
10-07-2009, 12:53 AM
Yet again...Informative.
CC you do your Homework well before posting .


Thank you Sialvi / KK.

Conceal Carry
10-07-2009, 12:55 AM
just like a marksman preceise and accurate

Thank you Dr. Zakir, I like your comment.

Adeel Ahmad
10-07-2009, 11:43 AM
Kamaal hai yaar. Your name should be changed to Sniper instead of Conceal Carry :)

Conceal Carry
11-07-2009, 12:38 AM
Kamaal hai yaar. Your name should be changed to Sniper instead of Conceal Carry :)

Sniping is my favourite subject, but due to involvement of PB weapons, I never touch upon it on the forum.

Skeeter60
08-08-2009, 03:00 PM
Kamaal hai yaar. Your name should be changed to Sniper instead of Conceal Carry :)

Sniping is my favourite subject, but due to involvement of PB weapons, I never touch upon it on the forum.


I did not realize a scoped rifle or discussions on snipping are forbidden. I think it would be great Long Range Shooting Forum. Only Full Automatic Rifles, Sub machine guns , assault rifles etc. should be PB

MIdreesTaj
08-08-2009, 06:21 PM
long range shooting is a lovely n sweet art... under inch accuracies are medals of honour
pulling out and smashing back the bolt manually on a bolt action is ... ahhh so nostalgic..
reminds me the memories of old n famous snipers of the world... :)

Slayerjatt
15-08-2009, 04:06 PM
very helpful post. thanks a lot cc.

Skeeter60
27-08-2009, 09:38 AM
If you want a good scope without being the student of physics. You get as much as you pay.
There are no compromises in the field of optics. Binoculars or rifle scopes.
With the present prices of ammo and the cost of big game hunting high it turns out the more expansive your scope is the more economical and rewarding your hunting/shooting will be.
Go with following brand names and you will never go wrong.
Leuopold Varix 3 and 7
Schmidt & Bender
Ziess
Sawarowski
Economical option but still excellant
Leupold Varix 2
Nikon ( ensure made in Japan otherwise no good)

Gunfire
27-08-2009, 01:06 PM
I second it...Many people will buy a rifle worth Rs.200k and will buy a scope worth Rs.50k for the reason that they think they don't need to buy such an expensive scope. On the contrary a top high end gun should always get a top high end scope probably in the region of around Rs.200K as well. All the above brands are high quality & excellent. I personally own S&B, Ziess & Leupold for my rifles & wouldn't be able to shoot/hunt without them.

Ilyas
27-08-2009, 03:15 PM
As I don't know alot about rifles and scopes, will the experts plz suggest me one
multi purpose decent scope? I need suggestions about the specs, the brand I'll decide
later according to my budget :)

Hamid
28-08-2009, 12:18 AM
Excellant post CC and the best thing is that its all in layman's language.

Rizshu
28-08-2009, 12:20 AM
very helpful post. thanks a lot cc.

Dr Zakir
28-08-2009, 12:27 AM
what do you think about sight like ACOG reflex and holographic on rifles instead of simple scope. for sniping

Skeeter60
28-08-2009, 10:19 AM
These are for CQB (close quarter battle) as they provide a very wide field of view, and one can shoot reflexively or very quickly these are very useful in cqb and beyond but not for snipping where at least six power or much more is the norm

MHMalik
29-08-2009, 06:46 AM
ACOG is also offered in 4X32 and you can get 4X magnifier for holographic sight, but those are combat optics as mentioned by Skeeter60 and not used by game hunters (unless the game is like hard target the movie LOL!). IMHO They are best used for distances up to 300 metres and under where statistically most firefights occur.

Military snipers normally engage targets beyond this distance.

Reflex and Holographics are usually unmagnified and are designed for both eye open CQB as they offer unlimited relief and wide visibility for rapid target acquisition and engagement of multiple hostiles.

MHMalik
29-08-2009, 06:49 AM
I suppose in the end it all depends on the application and compromise. Whether you are willing to invest in a dedicated purpose scope for a particular application, or a general purpose scope that will cater to multiple scenarios but would obviously come at a sacrifice.

adnan mubeen
26-10-2009, 05:02 PM
need expert advice about a reasonable scope to be mounted on bsa or parker hale 7mm rifles, an av. scope cant afford expensive brands

faisal balouch
26-10-2009, 05:27 PM
@ cc very helpful post thanx alot

Hashmat
21-11-2009, 01:39 PM
Slam mr conceal carry,Reading ur article about how to zero a scope a general rule of thumb is that the eye piece should be allinged with da lowest point of the stock I mean the grip and anyhow if I am around in Islamabad I've got the tools to sight in any rifle without taking a shot and if I could be of any help to any one he is well come at last thanks mr.c.carry no doubt u provide authentic information.once again thanks.

Malik1
21-11-2009, 04:47 PM
Nicely explained by CC and very valid recommendations by honourable Skeetor60

aq4530ba
21-11-2009, 04:58 PM
I second it...Many people will buy a rifle worth Rs.200k and will buy a scope worth Rs.50k for the reason that they think they don't need to buy such an expensive scope. On the contrary a top high end gun should always get a top high end scope probably in the region of around Rs.200K as well. All the above brands are high quality & excellent. I personally own S&B, Ziess & Leupold for my rifles & wouldn't be able to shoot/hunt without them.

I would never ever spend 200,000 rupees on a scope... Max i would ever spend on a scope would be 50k, but then again, im a sharp shooter so im not really fond of scopes.. it belittles the fun of shooting for me.

Nice article though cc bro.

Regards

303
09-02-2010, 02:15 PM
Modern scopes are are fitted with a BULLET DROP COMPENSATOR. It has to be set for the precise range to the target. It can be seen on photos of new scopes. An american who came to Pakistan for Trophy Hunt of Ibex, was shown an ibex over 600 yards and had an opportunity to get closer for the kill. He first got his Laser Range Finder and determined the exact range as 625 yards. Next he found out the elevation of the place. He took out his computer and fed this information for processing. The result he got gave him the reading for Bullet Drop Compensator, which he applied. His Rifle was custom made. He dropped the ibex on first shot, through the heart. Next he got his satellite phone and called his wife in USA telling her of his achievement. Later he went to collect his trophy and had to be partially assisted on the slopes.

KageFox
09-02-2010, 02:47 PM
I heard that a similar system was applied with US military snipers, who were issued specialized palm computers for this very purpose of range and bullet drop estimation. Will try to find a link or something...

Salahuddin Ayubi
09-02-2010, 03:04 PM
Modern scopes are are fitted with a BULLET DROP COMPENSATOR. It has to be set for the precise range to the target. It can be seen on photos of new scopes. An american who came to Pakistan for Trophy Hunt of Ibex, was shown an ibex over 600 yards and had an opportunity to get closer for the kill. He first got his Laser Range Finder and determined the exact range as 625 yards. Next he found out the elevation of the place. He took out his computer and fed this information for processing. The result he got gave him the reading for Bullet Drop Compensator, which he applied. His Rifle was custom made. He dropped the ibex on first shot, through the heart. Next he got his satellite phone and called his wife in USA telling her of his achievement. Later he went to collect his trophy and had to be partially assisted on the slopes.

Nice read.

Gilani
09-02-2010, 06:13 PM
Very informative thread :)

khakiMB
11-02-2010, 09:35 AM
A highly informative thread. Technology has no limits. BULLET DROP COMPENSATOR is something i had not heard of. I suppose it is an option better suited for stationary targets.

Salvation
25-02-2010, 11:27 PM
i happen to purchase a barska red dot (which is on its way) to use on my military issued rifle ... thou the option for sights like "aim point" and "EO tech" is still officially available ... if any one of u can coment on the barska red dot for ar15.. criticism is wellcomed please

Skeeter60
26-02-2010, 12:21 AM
Long Range shooting is an art and a science.
Unless one is an excellent shot no amount of science will help. also there are factors like wind which needs a lot of experience and practice to judge, the wind at long ranges is difficult to judge and while your gauge may tell you 20 KM/H the wind a couple of hundred yards down range may be gusty and much faster or much slower.
Unless one trains a lot, shots beyond 300 m should not be taken. Training would involve reading mirage and wind and actually shooting at longer ranges on paper to keep track of shots.
I have seen some friends shoot at small rocks from 600m, it was impressive till I pursuaded them to climb up with me to the rock and to their embarresment the so called little rock was about the size of a Volks Wagon.
Always train on paper and not rocks etc

Dr Zakir
26-02-2010, 01:25 AM
good one sir

Moeen
26-02-2010, 08:41 PM
+1 Skeeter60

Skeeter60
27-02-2010, 01:05 PM
While we are discussing scopes I want to add one more thing, a Scope does not turn a weak shooter into a Marksman. It has much to do with trigger control and judging distance,reading wind and a proper position.
A scope only helps in selecting a vital point of aim resulting in fewer wounded animals.

Also I suggest, please stay away from scopes with Bells and Whistles. There are scopes with coloured filters, with BDC or Bullet Drop Compensators, and illuminated reticles. These gimmiks are fine when you are using a $2200 Shmidt and Bender, a Ziess or a Leupold Mark 4 otherwise on cheaper scopes there are as many places to seep moisture into the scope and for the reticle to rattle lose.

As a hunter you must know the Point Blank Range of your Rifle /Bullet. A PBR is the distance at which you can shoot without having to compensate or hold over. If you are shooting a Sindh Ibex , the vital area is about a 20 inch circle in the chest cavity. That means if you are aiming in the centre you have 10 inches to cater for your bullet drop. If you are using any of the high velocity calibers and your Rifle is zeroed at 250 yards your bullet will not rise above 3 inches at a 100 yds and will be only about 5 to 6 inches low at 300 yds. ( I am giving approximate figures as these are Caliber and bullet specific ).

If you zeroe your Rifle keeping in view the maximum PBR relative to animal size you do not need these gizmos .
If you must shoot beyond three hundred then you can aim in the upper shoulder of the animal, never see light between the horizontal reticle and the shoulder of the animal or you will shoot high.

Illuminated reticles give up when needed in the freezing cold of the Karakorams and Himalayas, when shooting Himalayan Ibex and when the cells leak ( they virtually do so right inside your scope) also when you aim at the animal the scope is not usable due to internal fogging caused by moisture entering the scope from any one of the several dials of the gizmos.
If you need your illuminated reticle it means the light is low, please do not shoot as chances are you will lose the wounded animal as following it up late in the mountains is not psossible due to dropping temperature and lack of visibility.
Same for urial as it will hide behid some rocks or bushes to be waisted in the dark.
Even the night shooting with search lights ( I do not encourage it except for wild boar) the animal is lit with the spot light and one does not need an illuminated retical.
When buying a scope or a binocular Keep it Simple and as expensive as you can afford. Never buy a binocular with a zoom, always divide the dia of the objective lens with the magnification of the Bino an ( 8 x 40 ) means the dia of the exit pupil is 5 mm and that you will be able to use it in low light as your eye will dilate to about that much. If you are using a 10 x 25 the exit pupil would be only 2.5 and it will be a pain to use this bino in less than bright sun light. Most mountain animals move early in the morning just before sun light and on cloudy days.
There is much more on the subject and I have tried to explain as simply as possible; as a number of our members are younger hunters not yet aware of these things.
You must have seen the Rambo Knives with 10 inch blades and a saw for sawing wood and a fish hook in the grip and a compass and a match box in the grip. Have you tried to skin a deer with it or cut an apple or slit the throat of a partridge with it? If you have then you already know what I am trying to convey

Gilani
27-02-2010, 07:12 PM
Very informative. Thanks Skeeter60 Sir. :)