A Beginner’s Guide to Rifle Optics

Did you know that your target range gets longer with the right rifle optics, allowing you to shoot at targets from afar? You can never underestimate the value of comfort when aiming at a particular target. A great rifle scope can give you extra comfort and relaxation.

As you anticipate the next hunting or shooting season, you should invest in a good rifle scope. The scope uses lenses to magnify your target’s image. It has to be dependable and durable to improve your shots at the field.

If you are new to rifles, it can be challenging to know the specific elements of a rifle scope. Furthermore, scopes come in different types and styles that can be difficult for a beginner to understand. Here’s a simplified version of the things you should look for in the scopes:

Consider the Magnification

With the correct magnification, you can see distant objects and improve your shots. You wouldn’t want to have the wrong magnification on the rifle optics.

Details about the magnification are usually included in the scope’s title. The number will tell you how far the scope can see. If you’re using your rifle for deer hunting, choose a 3-9x scope for close shots and plenty of magnification.

As you choose the right magnification, understand the difference between the two types of scopes. A fixed scope relies on a single magnification, while a variable one is more versatile. Though it costs less and aims faster, the fixed scope doesn’t allow you to zoom in on the field of view.

Understand the Scope Reticles

A reticle is a series of fibers or fine lines in the eyepiece of your rifle’s optics. It’s what you see every time you peep into the scope.

The scope reticle can help you estimate distance and shoot easily. It can be a duplex, mil-dot, or BDC, depending on the experience levels.

A duplex reticle is ideal for beginners since it’s fast and easy to use. Mil-dot reticles estimate the actual distance of the target and are used by the military and law enforcement. A BDC reticle will be suitable if you enjoy long-range shooting since it estimates the holdover and bullet drop.

Your choice of a scope reticle depends on the use. Go for a duplex if you want to hunt or participate in target shooting or a BDC for all-purpose use. The mil-dot reticle will be ideal if you have military, security, or law enforcement training.

Review the Scope Lens Coating

Though it’s one of the underrated gun accessories, the lens coating is an invisible coat that improves the sight. Depending on the quality, it can increase brightness and clarity. You can also count on it to enhance your field of view and improve light transmission.

Your options for lens coatings include coated, fully-coated, multicoated, and fully multicoated. For the coated type, a single coat layer is applied on one surface of the scope. The fully-coated type has a single coating layer on all the external glass.

A multicoated scope has several layers of coat on one surface, while a fully multicoated one has several coat layers on all of the external glass.

Read and understand the fine print to determine how much coating the scope lens has. For optical quality, go for a fully multicoated scope though it’s quite expensive. It allows you to shoot or hunt in low-light conditions.

Look at the Objective Lens

The objective lens is the lens at the end of a rifle scope that controls the brightness and clarity of the rifle’s optics. Objective lenses can come in different diameters, including 28mm and under, 30-44mm, and 50mm and up. Go with a diameter of 28mm and under if your firearm has little recoil and you want to do close-range hunting.

A 30 to 44mm diameter will work on rifles with more recoil and high-power scopes. It also pairs well with a firearm used in low-light hunting. If you do extreme long-range shooting or have a rifle with higher magnification in low-lit conditions, a diameter of 50mm and above will work.

Figure out the Field of View You Need

A field of view is an open, observable area that you can see through the rifle scope. Rifle optics are usually constructed with the field of view in mind. A scope with a wide field of view can help you take more efficient and accurate shots.

When measuring the FOV, factors such as magnification, lens thickness, and quality of lenses are considered. It is usually measured in feet per 100 yards and is directly related to the scope’s magnification. The FOV will be smaller at a higher scope magnification and vice versa.

Choose an Adjustment System

The two adjustment systems used in rifle scopes include minute of angle (MOA) and milliradian (MRAD). MOA measures accuracy at 1-inch per 100 yards. On the other hand, MRAD measures accuracy at 0.36 inches per 100 yards.

Choose the same adjustment system used by your hunting buddies. MOA will be ideal since it lets you fine-tune the scope to the right angle.

Know How Much to Spend on the Rifle Scope

Spend as much as your rifle scope budget allows to get the right features. This is because there’s no easy measure or proven formula for the price of the rifle parts. You may be surprised to find the less expensive ones performing better under the right situations/conditions.

You may also buy used rifle optics at your local gun store, pawnshop, online gun forums, or local classifieds. However, ensure that the parts are fully-functional before buying them. You should also look at the brand and check if the seller allows you to test them beforehand.

Now You Know the Basics of Rifle Optics

You don’t have to master all terminology used in gun gear right away. Learn them at your own pace and experiment with the rifle gear as much as possible. You stand a chance at becoming a better shooter once you know how to accessorize the right rifle scope features.

We hope that this guide was an eye-opener for you in the world of rifle optics. Find more insightful posts about gun equipment on our blog.


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