How to Choose the Right Rifle Scope


Whether you need scopes for 300 Win Mag or those that are best for long-range precision shooting, it’s important to know how to choose the right one. Depending on the platform you’re mounting it on – whether that’s an AR-15, bolt action rifle, or even an air rifle – different factors will come into play.

In this article, we’ll guide you through everything you need to consider when choosing a scope for your rifle. Read on!


One of the most essential factors to consider when choosing a scope is magnification. The general rule of thumb is that you want to pick a magnification that’s appropriate for the longest shot you’re likely to take. That being said, it’s also important to have some wiggle room – both lower and higher.

For example, if you’re only going to be shooting at targets that are 100 yards away, you might be tempted to just get a 1-4x scope. However, what if you suddenly find yourself in a situation where you need to take a shot at a deer that’s 300 yards away?

On the other hand, if you’re only going to be shooting at ranges of 500 yards or more, you might be better off with a 6-24x scope. Not only will this give you the magnification you need for long-range shooting, but it will also provide some flexibility in case you find yourself in a closer-range situation.

Eye Relief

Eye relief is another essential factor to consider when choosing a rifle scope. This is the distance between your eye and the ocular lens (the lens at the rear of the scope) at which you can still see the entire field of view.

It’s important to have enough eye relief to avoid getting “scope eye” – a condition caused by the impact of the ocular lens on your eye when the recoil from the rifle causes the scope to move back.

In general, you want to look for a scope with an eye relief of 3.5 inches or more. However, this will vary depending on the platform you’re mounting the scope on. For example, AR-15 scopes usually have less eye relief than bolt action rifle scopes.


The reticle is the crosshair or dot in the center of the scope that you use to line up your shot. There are a variety of different reticles available, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

For example, dot reticles are popular because they’re very easy to see. However, they can be a bit difficult to use for long-range precision shooting. On the other hand, crosshair reticles are much easier to use for precision shooting, but they can be more difficult to see in low-light conditions.

It’s important to choose a reticle that’s appropriate for the type of shooting you’re going to be doing. If you’re only going to be shooting at relatively close range, a dot reticle might be fine. However, if you’re planning on doing any long-range precision shooting, you’ll need a crosshair reticle.

Objective Lens

The objective lens is the lens at the front of the scope. The size of the objective lens determines how much light is let in, which has a direct impact on image quality.

You might be tempted to just get the biggest objective lens you can find. However, it’s important to consider the trade-offs. Bigger lenses let in more light, but they also make the scope bigger and heavier.

Mostly, you want an objective lens that’s big enough to let in enough light for the type of shooting you’re going to be doing. If you’re only going to be shooting in relatively low-light conditions, a 50 mm lens might be fine. You may, however, want a larger lens if you’re going to be doing any long-range precision shooting.

Focal Plane

The focal plane is the plane on which the image is formed. There are two types of focal planes – rear and front. Rear focal plane scopes are more popular because they are less expensive to manufacture.

Front focal plane scopes are more expensive but have the advantage of being able to hold their zero better as you change the power setting. When using a front focal plane scope, the reticle size will change as you adjust the power setting.

This can be an advantage if you need to make a long shot and then quickly engage a target at close range – you can simply adjust the power setting without re-zeroing the scope. It can, however, be a disadvantage if you don’t want the reticle size to change.

Field of View (FOV)

The field of view is the width of the area that you can see through the scope at a given distance. It is typically expressed in feet at 100 yards. A larger field of view is better because it allows you to easily find and track targets.

However, a larger field of view also means shorter eye relief, which can be a problem if you wear glasses.

When in the market for a scope, compare the field of view at different power settings to make sure that you will be happy with the scope’s performance.

Considering these factors will make it easier for you to choose the right rifle scope for your needs. Remember, it doesn’t hurt to have more than one scope so that you can be prepared for any situation. Therefore, don’t hesitate to buy multiple scopes you can easily swap out depending on the situation.

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