Scopes are one of the most useful tools you can buy. Almost everyone uses them and there are hundreds to choose from. So how do you know which one is right for you?
Specialist brands like Aimpoint have a huge range to offer, but selecting the right scope isn’t about choosing the most high-end, high-spec or expensive model.
You’ll need to take into account the type of firearm you use and your target sport of choice if you’re going to find the right fit for optimum performance.
Here is an easy guide to help you pick your scope with confidence.
Why use a scope?
Shooting requires us to keep the rear sight, front sight and target all in our line of vision at once in order to get the perfect shot.
This is something the human eye just isn’t adapted to do properly and although it is possible, it’s not ideal.
Because most rifle scopes magnify the target, they’re essential for recreational target sports enthusiasts with less than perfect sight and help beginners learn the ropes before moving onto the challenges of iron sights.
Magnification isn’t the only plus point to using a scope. The crosshairs help you perfect your accuracy, lens coatings help visibility and you can even get a perfect shot in the dark.
Lens coatings: scope lenses are often available with a variety of coatings to help visibility and to improve the transmission of light, which is essential for good vision.
A simple “coated” lens has a single layer on one lens surface. A “fully coated” lens has a single coating on all its surfaces, a “multi-coated” lens has several coatings and a “fully multi-coated” lens has multiple coatings on all surfaces.
Magnification: you’ll need to consider just how much magnification you need on your scope. Too much will shrink your field of view and too little will make the target impossible to hit.
The general rule for big game hunting is 4x for accuracy at 300 yards and x6 for shooting at 400 yards.
Here are the best recommendations for your gun type:
Big game and sport-shooting rifles
If your weapon of choice is a game or sports shooting rifle, a scope similar to the Aimpoint 9000L is a great place to start.
By choosing something designed for rifles with standard or magnum-length actions, you’ll be equipped even when the conditions are extreme.
Scopes like the 9000L are built to handle heavy recoil, which makes them incredibly popular among big game hunters.
Modern sporting rifles
Shooting for sport is all about being rough and ready.
Scopes like the Aimpoint ACO are ready to use right out of the box and will work alongside iron sights for better accuracy.
It’s designed specifically for use with sporting rifles, so you know you’re in good hands.
Standard/magnum action rifles
If you’re a hunter that likes a classic line of a full-length sight or that typically uses a standard or Magnum action rifle, you should consider an H30L Aimpoint scope or something similar.
Because it’s designed specifically for hunters, you get all the benefits of a piece of kit made purely for the sport.
Shotguns and short action rifles
A lightweight gun needs a lightweight sight.
Choosing something with a sleek and lightweight composition, like an Aimpoint H34S, are a good way to help you keep your firearm easy to handle.
The final piece of advice here is to always invest. Once you find the right model scope for your gun and are happy with the finish, magnification and mounting system, go for the best you can afford.
Your technique will thank you for it.