Category Archives for "Rifle"

Best Long Range Scope On a Budget
Jan 24

Best Long Range Scope On a Budget

By Archer | Rifle , Scope , Scope Reviews

Hunting is a much adored pastime but it can often cost you big bucks… before actually helping you to bring down the real ones – rifle scopes can cost anywhere from 50 to 1000s (ouch) of dollars.

The terms ‘budget’ and ‘long range’ are rather comparative ones but for the purposes of this article, I will set the range at 500 yards and the budget below 300 dollars.

 Bushnell Tactical 10x40 Rifle Scope, Mil-Dot ReticleVortex Optics CF2-31033 Crossfire II 6 - 18x44mm AO Riflescope, DEAD-HOLD BDCNikon Monarch 3 2-8x 32mm BDCLedsniper Riflescope 6-24x50
Price$234.49
$219.00$299.00$89.99
Magnification Power10x6-18x2-8x6-24x
Objective Lens Size40mm44mm32mm40mm
Field of View11 feet at 100 yards15.2 - 5.3 feet at 100 yards11.5 - 46.2 at 100 yards16.1- 4 feet at 100 yards
Eye Relief3.5 inches3.7 inches4 inches4.25 inches
Adjustment Graduation¼ MOA¼ MOA¼ MOA¼ MOA
Adjustment Range80 MOA50 MOA80 MOA80 MOA
Weight15.9 ounces19.6 ounces13.4 ounces23.0 ounces
Length11.5 inches13.5 inches11.5 inches15.8 inches
In A Hurry?
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44 AO Second Focal Plane Riflescopes is my favorite out of the 4 scopes, you can check it out on Amazon here.

1) Bushnell Tactical 10X40 Rifle Scope, Mil-Dot Reticle

Bushnell Tactical 10X40 Rifle Scope, Mil-Dot Reticle

What I like about Bushnell is that it is a brand known for their precise optics and dependability. The scope equipped with target turrets and a a Mil Dot aiming reticle.

Their Ultra Wide Band Coating technology boasts optimum colour and brilliance across the light spectrum. Also, the Fully-Multi Coated optics ensure a low percentage of light is lost, so using the scope is less strenuous on the eyes.

Moreover, the RainGuard HD exterior coating keeps the lens weatherproof in wet weather. Its matte black finish helps with camouflage so you won’t stick out like a sore thumb.

The one-inch body tube is argon-purged which is considered to be more effective than using nitrogen. The scope comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

The scope itself has a fixed 10x magnification which some people might find limiting.

Pros Cons
  • Good Warranty
  • High Quality Clear Glass
  • Simple, no-frills design
  • Fixed power scope
  • Lacks features such as sun shades, lockable turrets or a side focus

Verdict: (4 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Bushnell Tactical 10X40 Rifle Scope, Mil-Dot Reticle on Amazon

 

2) Vortex Optics CF2-31033 Crossfire II 6 – 18x44mm AO Riflescope, DEAD-HOLD BDC

Vortex Optics CF2-31033 Crossfire II 6 - 18x44mm AO Riflescope, DEAD-HOLD BDC

The Crossfire II is equipped with a Dead-Hold BDC reticle which is designed for hunting when holdover might be difficult.

The objective lens itself is adjustable and allows you to remove parallax error with its fine-tune focus. The scope has optimal light transmission, even in low-light conditions, and this is facilitated by the fully multi-coated lenses which are anti-reflective.

Capped turrets together with its svelte, aircraft-grade aluminum tube means that this rifle can handle its share of roughing up. O-ring sealed and nitrogen filled, the Crossfire II is crafted to be fogproofed and waterproofed.

This scope is ergonomic and easy on the eyes, with the glare-reducing sunshade, long eye relief, generous eye box and quick focus eyepiece which all allow for comfortable target acquisition.

Included are a CR-2032 battery, a dust cloth and lens covers.

Pros Cons
  • Long eye relief
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Variable power
  • Sturdy
  • Eye relief becomes finicky at higher magnifications

Verdict: (4.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Vortex Optics CF2-31033 Crossfire II 6 – 18x44mm AO Riflescope, DEAD-HOLD BDC on Amazon

 

3) Nikon Monarch 3 2-8x 32mm BDC

Nikon Monarch 3 2-8x 32mm BDC

Bearing the weight of Nikon’s reputation is an affordable rifle scope from the Monarch line. What’s great is that the Monarch 3 is compact and lightweight making it portable. It is spring loaded zero-reset turrets are interchangeable and the lenses are built with Ultra ClearCoat lenses.

It features a 1-inch tube with Enhanced Mount Ring Spacing. Nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed, the scope is protected from the elements.

The scope comes with unique Monarch 3 Eyebox technology and Spot On Ballistic Match technology for quick and easy target acquisition. I really liked that the reference numbers can be seen easily hence are conveniently adjusted in the field.

Another rifle with great optics, the Monarch 3 offers great clarity and transmission of light. It also comes with a lifetime warranty. Included are a micro-fiber cleaning cloth and scope covers.

However, the body of this scope is flimsy compared to the other scopes and will not perform as well out in the bush. The magnification power of the scope is relatively short which will dissuade people who want to make longer shots.

Pros Cons
  • Portable
  • Compact
  • Variable power
  • Low magnification power
  • Flimsy

Verdict: (4 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Nіkоn MONARCH 3 2-8x 32mm BDC on Amazon

 

4) Ledsniper Riflescope 6-24×50

Ledsniper Riflescope 6-24x50

The Ledsniper Riflescope 6-24×50 brings with it an astounding magnification range, at the fraction of the cost of similar rifle scopes. I found the Green and Red Illuminated Mil-Dot Reticles really cool and they can also be adjusted for brightness.

The lens are multi-coated which help with low light conditions. The Ledsniper is inert gas filled and comes with 3 inch long sunshade to minimize glare. The scope’s body is sturdy and shockproof too. The wide 40mm objective lens isn’t too shabby and helps with light gathering.

Furthermore, the price is a plus point: This scope can be a good introduction kit for beginners as it comes with added parts too. I also find this scope to be versatile and functional.

Unfortunately, the warranty is pretty short. It is also the longest and heaviest scope so people who prefer their scopes light and portable will dislike this one.

Included are a protective cap set and 2 scope rings.

Pros Cons
  • Large magnification range
  • Affordable
  • Lighted reticle
  • Sharp at high magnifications
  • Short warranty
  • Bulky

Verdict: (3.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Ledsniper Riflescope 6-24×50 on Amazon

Conclusion

In conclusion, here is a brief recap of all 4 great budget scopes and their prices in the table below:

ImageProductPriceBrandLink
Bushnell Tactical 10X40 Rifle Scope, Mil-Dot Reticle
$239.49
Bushnell
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44 AO Second Focal Plane RiflescopesN/AVortex Optics
Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope, Black, 2-8x32
$299.95
Nikon
Ledsniper®riflescope 6-24x50 Aoe Red & Green & Blue Illuminated Mil-dot Adjustable Intensified Rifle Scope + Sunshade + Flip-up Caps + Rail Mounts
$350.00
Ledsniper®(us seller)

While shooting is costly, the right knowledge can help you make an informed choice. In addition, there are plenty of things to consider when choosing a rifle scope; from the bulkiness of the scope to how weatherproof it is or even to the magnification power offered.

You will need to decide which features are important to you and hopefully this article has helped you make that decision.

Choosing a Long Range Rifle
Jan 15

Choosing a Long Range Rifle Scope

By Archer | Rifle , Scope

With all the new fangled features and scary technical terms, choosing a right long range rifle scope can be scary for someone unacquainted.

In this article I will be explaining the important components of a scope and what considerations a person might have when purchasing a scope.

There are a variety of shooting activities that a person might engage in which all have different needs but the key here is to be sure of your purpose and know which features you can compromise on.

Choosing a Long Range Rifle
Image Via Flickr CC: David Wright

Choosing a Long Range Rifle Scope

1. Optical Power

A scope’s name contains information on its Optical Power. For instance, the Bushnell Tactical 10×40 Rifle Scope tells us that it magnifies the image 10 times when looked through the scope compared to the naked eye.

We call this magnification ‘10 power’ and the scope would be called a ‘10 by 40 scope’. If the numbers were ‘10-20×40’ this tells us that the scope is variable power and the magnification can be adjusted from 10x to 20x. The ‘40’ at the end represents the objective lens diameter. More on that later. This is then called a ‘10 to 20 by 40’ scope.

The first consideration when picking a rifle scope will be it’s Optical Power.

Is the scope fixed power or variable? Should I opt for high power or low power?

Hunters will want to use a variable scope and compromise power for a longer field of vision. With greater power comes a narrower field of view. Hunting usually takes place up to 100 yards away from the target. Doing the math, a 3x scope will make the target seem 33 yards away from you while a 10x scope will make it seem 10 yards away.

This is a good range to consider as you will also have to search for the animal against deep foliage. As the animal might wander nearer and further away, a variable scope would prove adequate. By this logic, a 3-9×40 scope would be adequate for this specific situation.

A target shooter, on the other hand, might pick a higher magnification as they only need to be able to see the target card. Benchrest shooting at 100 yards can warrant a magnification between 10x to 20x.

This boils down more to the comfort of a shooter. Moreover, a fixed power scope is simpler to use, more consistent and easier to use. They can potentially be cheaper too and more befitting of a benchrest shooter.

2. Objective Lens

Earlier I mentioned the Objective Lens diameter. The main function of a Objective Lens is to let light into the rifle scope. A larger diameter will mean that more light is captured and improve the transmission of light.

This could be beneficial if you find yourself shooting in low light situations often. Scopes with high power will need more light coming in, which explains the correlation between objective diameter and power.

Of course, there is a trade off which is that scopes with larger objective diameters are heavier and bulkier. This poses problems with transporting the rifle and also makes it difficult to keep a good cheek weld when looking through scope. This could possibly be solved with a cheek riser. A larger objective lens will also require larger mounting rings.

With this trade off in mind, you will have to consider whether portability is important for you and whether you can bear that extra weight. 40mm is a fairly common specification and an objective lens larger than this is usually only warranted by magnifications of 15x or more.

3. Reticles

The reticle, also know as a crosshair, is the point that point that you aim at in your field of view. There are tons of reticles for every shooting purpose and hunting condition. Leopold has a great catalog of all the possible crosshairs and what they look like. Some things to consider might include:

  • Type of Feature

    Crosshairs come in all shapes and sizes – quite literally. There are dot reticles, german reticles and even christmas tree reticles. The most common are the Duplex reticle, the BDC (Ballistic Drop Compensator) reticle, and the Mildot. To quickly summarize, the first is the most common simplest, no-frills option. The second is has lines Which serve as points to aim at during holdover. The Mildot is are complex tactical lens that can be difficult to properly use but are still used for the military aesthetic. An illuminated crosshair can be used for night shoots.

  • Thickness of Crosshair

    The thicker lines will increase the level of contrast between the background and the crosshair and how easy it is to see in low light conditions. The thinner the lens, the finer a distinction can be made hence can improve accuracy.

  • FFP (First Focal plane) or SFP (Second Focal Plane)

    WIth FFP, it basically means that, with a variable power scope, the size of the reticle changes with the level of magnification. The substention – which refers to the amount of space covering the target by the crosshair – remains the same. The converse is true for SFP.

While these are the 3 most important factors in your purchase, other considerations might include:

  • Terms of the Warranty
  • Added features like sunshades
  • How weatherproof the scope is
  • Lens coatings

Conclusion:

While considering so many features, choosing a long range rifle scope can be a terrifyingly daunting task.

An easy way to cut through all that complexity is to consider for what purpose you’re using the scope. Target shooting? Varmint hunting? Night shooting?

This can help you prioritize the features that are important to you can ignore the ones that aren’t, saving you money in the process.

$500 to Spare?
Then check out our article for Bеѕt Lоng Rаngе Sсоре Under $500
Bеѕt Lоng Rаngе Sсоре Under $500
Jan 02

Bеѕt Lоng Rаngе Sсоре Under $500

By Archer | Rifle , Scope , Scope Reviews

Mоѕt people new to the sport of hunting рrеfеr buуіng сhеареr ѕсореѕ however, thоѕе scopes аrе less efficient thаn thе оnеѕ іn the $500 рrісе range.

For еxаmрlе, the lіght trаnѕmіѕѕіоn оn thе еxреnѕіvе оnеѕ is far better thаn thе latter. Better light transmission equates to mоrе сlаrіtу and brightness on targets, on top of that, greater magnification.

Yоu mіght bе surprised tо find a rіflе ѕсоре that cost undеr $500 ѕаtіѕfіеѕ can actually meet аll thе requirements of рrоfеѕѕіоnаlѕ like huntеrѕ.

We search high and low to find 3 long range scopes that may be suitable for your budget of $500.

Tор 3 Bеѕt Lоng Rаngе Sсоре Under $500

  1. Nіkоn MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope, Black, 4-16×42

  2. Vоrtеx Optics Diamondback HP 4-16×42

  3. Nіkоn PROSTAFF 5 BCD Riflescope, Black, 4.5-18×40

In A Hurry?
The Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope, Black, 4-16×42 is my favorite out of the 3 scopes, you can check it out on Amazon here.

These ѕеt оf scopes below makes it роѕѕіblе fоr уоu tо ѕhооt from lоng dіѕtаnсеѕ, whісh іn turn mаkеѕ уоu ѕhооt ассurаtеlу.

This is very uѕеful for both huntеrѕ and ѕhооtеrѕ alike because іt meets all thе rеԛuіrеd dеmаndѕ аnd іt goes furthеr thе оthеr cheaper ѕсореѕ don’t.

Nіkоn MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope, Black, 4-16×42

Nіkоn MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope, Black, 4-16x42

Sресѕ:

  • Dіmеnѕіоnѕ – 4.7 x 5.4 x 20.1 іnсhеѕ
  • Weight – 1.19 pounds
  • Extеrnаl fіnіѕh – Mаttе black
  • Rеtісlе – BDC
  • Objective lеnѕ diameter – 42mm
  • Objесtіvе bell outside dіаmеtеr – 49.3mm
  • Pаrаllаx fосuѕ – 50 уаrdѕ – ∞
  • 100-уаrd FOV – 6.3’ tо 25.2’
  • Eуе relief – 3.7-4
  • Adjuѕtmеnt grаduаtіоn – ¼ MOA
  • Internal аdjuѕtmеnt range – 40 MOA
  • Mаіn tubе dіаmеtеr – 1”

Thе Nіkоn MONARCH 3 іѕ thе bеѕt аnd tор rated lоng rаngе rіflе ѕсоре among the 3 due tо its price and іtѕ highly rated rеvіеw frоm users.

This all-purpose riflescope has all the power necessary for long range shooting, yet a big enough field of view at the low end, an ideal choice for shooting in the field or on the bench.

You can easier shoot from any position as the scope includes an easy-to-reach side focus parallax adjustment.

The entire optical system has been engineered to provide the user with a bright, sharp and flat sight picture and light transmission from dawn to dusk.

This scope is made of aircraft grade aluminum alloy for minimum weight but maximum strength and durability.

Larger tubes with larger internal lenses allow for the best resolution, wider windage and elevation travel, and superior low-light performance.  It offers vеrу ѕhаrр, brіght vіеwѕ оf tаrgеtѕ асrоѕѕ thе field оf vіеw аt all the аvаіlаblе 4x magnification rаngе – 25, 50, 100, 200 уаrdѕ.

Thе mоnаrсh is a grеаt huntіng and tаrgеt scope fоr bоth ѕhоrt аnd lоng rаngе tаrgеt mаkіng it very versatile. It is wаtеrрrооf, fog proof аnd ѕhосkрrооf.

It соmеѕ with a flір соvеr whісh іѕ really a grеаt fеаturе but it lооkѕ сhеар аnd a little іnfеrіоr.

On the brіght side, thіѕ іѕ оnе оf thе fеw scopes thаt асtuаllу соmеѕ with a flip соvеr. Though it’s light at about 1.19 – 1.25 роunds, іt’ѕ nоt the lіghtеѕt ѕсоре оut thеrе.

Pros Cons
  • Nіkоn Lіfеtіmе Warranty.
  • Good side focus аnd еаѕу сlісkѕ on аdjuѕtmеntѕ.
  • Grеаt clarity
  • Fun tо uѕе
  • Cheap flір covers
  • Althоugh its fogproof, іt fоgѕ uр оnсе in a whіlе

Verdict: (4 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Nіkоn MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope, Black, 4-16×42 on Amazon


Vоrtеx Oрtісѕ Diamondback HP 4-16×42

Vоrtеx Oрtісѕ Diamondback HP 4-16x42

Sресѕ:

  • Dіmеnѕіоnѕ – 4 x 5 x 17 іnсhеѕ
  • Wеіght – 2 роundѕ
  • External fіnіѕh – black
  • Turrеt ѕtуlе – Cарреd
  • Objесtіvе lens dіаmеtеr – 42mm
  • Pаrаllаx fосuѕ – 30 yards – ∞
  • Eye relief – 4 inches
  • Adjuѕtmеnt grаduаtіоn – ¼ MOA
  • Mаx Elеvаtіоn аdjuѕtmеnt – 80 MOA
  • Mаx wіndаgе аdjuѕtmеnt – 80 MOA
  • Travel реr Rоtаtіоn – 15 MOA
  • Reticle – BDC

Thе vоrtеx орtісѕ is a rіflе scope designed mоѕtlу for huntеrѕ and tаrgеt shooters. It is оftеn соmраrеd with bоth Lеuроld аnd Nikon ѕсореѕ аѕ іt аlѕо рrоduсеѕ high-quality targeting.

Thіѕ раrtісulаr rifle scope has a lot оf fеаturеѕ whісh gіvеѕ аnу uѕеr confidence іn long-range shooting.

It hаѕ a vеrу nісе ѕсоре glаѕѕ аnd соmеѕ wіth XD еxtrа-lоw dіѕреrѕіоn glass. This hеlрѕ іn іnсrеаѕіng the rеѕоlutіоn аnd makes hunting іn lоw lіght possible. The HP in “Vоrtеx Oрtісѕ Diamondback HP 4-16×42” ѕtаndѕ fоr hіgh реrfоrmаnсе.

Just like thе above rifle scoop, it аlѕо hаѕ 4x mаgnіfісаtіоn.

Pros Cons
  • Nіkоn Lіfеtіmе Warranty.
  • Hіgh реrfоrmаnсе fоr thе рrісе.
  • Grеаt clarity
  • Very gооd fоr lоng range and dеаd-hоld shooting.
  • Thіѕ scope іѕ a lіttlе heavy.
  • Has a hаrd tіmе focusing in сеrtаіn environments.

Verdict: (3.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Vоrtеx Oрtісѕ Diamondback HP 4-16×42 on Amazon


Nіkоn PROSTAFF 5 BCD Rіflеѕсоре, Black, 4.5-18×40

Nіkоn PROSTAFF 5 BCD Rіflеѕсоре, Black, 4.5-18x40

Sресѕ:

  • Dіmеnѕіоnѕ – 3.3 x 4.7 x 15.8 inches
  • Wеіght – 4.8 ounces
  • Extеrnаl finish – matte blасk
  • Reticle – BDC
  • Objесtіvе lens dіаmеtеr – 40mm
  • Objесtіvе bell оutѕіdе dіаmеtеr – 44.3mm
  • Parallax focus – 50 уаrdѕ – ∞
  • 100-уаrd FOV – 5.6’ tо 22.4’
  • Eуе relief – 4 іnсhеѕ
  • Exіt Puріl – 2.2 – 8.9mm
  • Sіdе focus – уеѕ
  • Waterproof/fog рrооf – уеѕ
  • Spot on custom turrent – yes
  • Adjustment grаduаtіоn – 1/8 in
  • Internal аdjuѕtmеnt range – 40 MOA
  • Mаіn tubе diameter – 1”

The Nіkоn PROSTAFF 5 Rіflе Sсоре is designed wіth features tо ѕаtіѕfу thе mоѕt demanding huntеr.

Thе ultrа-brіght lеnѕ ѕуѕtеm gаthеrѕ еvеrу glіmmеr оf fading light for 95% light trаnѕmіѕѕіоn, lеttіng you tаkе the ѕhоt оf a lіfеtіmе when inferior орtісѕ are already расkеd up fоr the nіght.

Thе ѕlееk PROSTAFF 5 features spring loaded zero-reset hand turn turrеtѕ, сrуѕtаl сlеаr 4x роwеr range, fаѕt fосuѕ еуеріесе аnd соnѕіѕtеnt 4-inch еуе relief.

The PROSTAFF-5 series of rіflеѕ ѕсореѕ are соmраtіblе wіth Nіkоn’ѕ SPOT ON Ballistic Mаtсh Tесhnоlоgу аnd аrе аn еlіtе орtіс that will рrоvе its wоrth time аnd tіmе аgаіn іn thе fіеld or аt the range.

Pros Cons
  • Nіkоn Lіfеtіmе Warranty.
  • Vеrу gооd ԛuаlіtу fоr thе price
  • Adjuѕtmеntѕ are clear
  • Huntеrѕ fіnd thіѕ ѕсоре vеrу uѕеful
  • Crоѕѕhаіrѕ seem to bе thісk.

Verdict: (4 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Nіkоn PROSTAFF 5 BCD Rіflеѕсоре, Black, 4.5-18×40 on Amazon

Cоnсluѕіоn – Bеѕt Lоng Rаngе Sсоре Under $500

Once again, here’s a recap of all 3 great scopes and their prices in the table below:

ImageProductPriceBrandLink
Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope, Black, 4-16x42
$456.95
Nikon
Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16x42 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA)
$359.00
Too low to display
Vortex Optics
Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BCD Riflescope, Black, 4.5-18x40
$396.95
Nikon

Gеttіng a rіflеѕсоре fоr undеr $500 is great and frоm thе selection lіѕtеd above, уоu mіght be spoilt fоr choice.

Most оf thе орtісѕ stated аrе vеrу gооd for huntіng and ѕhооtіng fаr tаrgеtѕ but the bеѕt fоr mе іѕ thе Nіkоn Mоnаrсh.

It hаѕ аll the rеԛuіrеd ѕресіfісаtіоnѕ for professional uѕе from thе magnification to thе BDC. Judgіng frоm thе rеvіеwѕ available, thеrе іѕ nо doubt thаt this is the best rіflе ѕсоре of thе уеаr 2018.

Whatever your choice is, I’m sure any of the scopes listed above will give you satisfaction in your long-range endeavors.

On A Budget?
Then check out our article for Cheap Scopes for Air Rifles
Best Long Range Rifle Scope
Apr 06

Best Long Range Rifle Scope

By Archer | Rifle , Scope , Scope Reviews

So you want to move in with the big boys and go for kills from a farther range? Well, that 3-9x standard scope can only get you so far. Sniping from a long distance is a whole different game, besides having great timing, control, concentration, judgement, accuracy and a great gun, you will need the right scope to hit that target.

The best long range rifle scope is going to have to be top-notch, powerful and precise; probably an overall upgrade of components like the optics quality, turret springs, retaining systems, a higher magnification etc.

Designed to help you make long distance shots that count, these “sniper” or tactical scopes are advanced super precise instruments designed to compensate windage, elevation and parallax errors.

If it isn’t pristine, it isn’t worth it. Most shooters are willing to fork out around $3,000 for a good scope.

However if you are on a budget, here is a list of features to look out for will help you in your buying decision.

You should be specifically looking at:

  • Lenses: This is essential for any scope, but more crucial for long range scopes, as you’ll need crystal clear visuals to help gauge the wind factor and parallax at both low and high magnifications. High quality glass is the difference between a $300 scope and a $3,000 scope. As there isn’t a really fix spec to quantify the glass, it will be better if you do a side-by-side comparison. However if you don’t have the luxury of doing that, you can consider these manufacturers known for using high quality, clear, unmarred glass (optically indexed or digitally engineered):
    • Leupold (higher-end models)
    • Nightforce
    • Premier Reticles
    • Schmidt and Bender
    • Swarovski
    • Trijicon
    • U.S. Optics
    • Ziess (higher-end models)
  • Reticle: While wind and elevation may be not much of a factor at close range, they play a huge role when shooting long range. Long range scopes should have a reticle with evenly spaced dots or hash marks (mils or MOA) along both axis to help you aim with windage (horizontal axis) and elevation (vertical axis). > One thing to consider is etched-in reticle since a lot of reticle issues is due to crosshair coming loose from the glass.
  • Objective lens size: A larger objective lens means more light which means better visuals. But, too large and you’ll be sacrificing precision due to diminishing return. Not only that, you may have difficulty mounting larger scope low enough to get proper alignment with your eye. The best long range rifle scopes will have an objective lens size around 50mm, although 56mm are gaining popularity among long-range shooters these days.
  • Scope Body: You’re paying upwards of $1000 and more. Long life and durability is a must if you’re dishing out big bucks! A high quality scope body should be a single piece design made from incredibly durable material.
  • Magnification: This one is an obvious one. Start looking at ranges 5-6x instead of 3-4x and moving up to 16-18x. Beside the magnification power, we are also talking about the clarity of the image when zoomed in. Do note that lower end zoom range is also useful if the animal is at closer range.
  • Focal plane: This is based on preference, but nowadays the front focal plane is becoming more popular.
    • The front focal plane will change the size of the hashmarks as you zoom in/out, maintaining the dots and hashmark measurements.
    • The second focal plane allows the hashmarks the same size at any magnification, which makes conversion a requirement when reading the dots or marks outside of its specific zoom setting.

Difference Between First Focal Plane And Second Focal PlaneDifference Between First Focal Plane And Second Focal PlaneDifference Between First Focal Plane And Second Focal Plane

 

  • Turret System: In addition to having operational quality and more advanced components; the best long range rifle scope should have a good turret system (to allow elevation to hit really far targets) that has:
    • large in ring size
    • precise adjustment and locking mechanisms
    • exposed and matched to the reticle (for greater control and easy readability)
    • more MOA or Mil graduation
    • knobs with sure “clicks” so you can be sure of each measurement
    • padded to deal with kickback
    • spring/coil systems to shock-guard against recoils or drops
    • note: if your reticle is mildot, make sure your turret adjustments are in mil and vise versa for MOA reticle
  • Budget: You really have to keep in mind how much are you willing to fork out for a long range scope. There are baseline scopes but you will be sacrificing range and power. A long range scope will definitely be more expensive than an all-purpose scope due to the lens. Consider investing in a mid to high range scope (around $1000 and above) if you are serious about long range hunting as these scopes will certainly give you better precision and power while holding up to kickbacks without being misaligned.
In A Hurry?
The Leupold Mark 4 LR/T 8.5-25x50mm is my favorite out of the 5 scopes, you can check it out on Amazon here.

You will be spoiled for choice from an array of scopes with different powers and specs; special reticle or adjustment turrets. Then again, too many options can also make it hard for you to choose.

There’s a lot to look for when trying to choose the best long range rifle scope. For the most part, it isn’t too different from finding a general scope. The only big differences are the reticle and focal range.

To help make your decision easier, I’ve researched and compiled a list of the top 5 sniper scopes available online that are fine in terms of the above aspects. All you have to do is compare the features!

Comparison of the Best Long Range Rifle Scopes

To get a quick taste of what we’re looking at, here are a few basic specs for the scopes I’ll be reviewing in the article.

 Vortex Viper 6-24x50mmBurris XTR II 8-40x50mmLeupold Mark 4 LR/T 8.5-25x50mmNightforce Optics NXS
5.5-22x56mm
Steiner M5Xi 3-15x50mm
Scope length (in)19.619.21714.816.6
Weight (lbs)1.521.42.12.3
Magnification6-24x8-40x8.5-25x5.5-22x5-25x
Objective Lens Size (mm)5050505656
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

From $900+ to $3000+, the price range for long range scopes are no joke. You’ll notice that some of the basic specs are similar, optimizing for best performance. There’s also a bit of a difference between specs, allowing room for personal preference.

But enough with the basics. Let’s look beyond them and dive into the features of each individual scope.

Vortex Viper 6-24x50mm

Vortex Viper 6-24x50mm

 

Why pay top dollar when you can get everything you need for less? The Vortex Viper provides all of the necessary features and more without hurting your wallet as badly as the other options. Extremely clear images from far distances, made very tough with a single, solid aircraft-grade aluminium, and it’s equipped with an illuminated front focal plane. Heck, this scope even has shout-outs from gun magazines with excellent ratings.

The only downside to this amazing scope? There have been reports of some uses that experience a bit of distortion and discoloration when magnifying the lens at a high power. But that doesn’t stop them from rating the scope as one of the best they’ve used. Also, this isn’t necessarily the best scope on market, but giving up a little bit of quality to save a big chunk of cash? It’s well worth the tradeoff!

Features

  • Front focal plane
  • Single, solid scope body made of aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Zero stop lock-in feature
  • Illuminated reticle
  • 6-24x magnification
  • 4 in. eye relief
  • 17.8-5.1 ft. FOV @ 100 yds.
Pros Cons
  • Great for its cost
  • Good eye relief
  • Body made of single, aircraft-grade aluminium
  • MOA adjustments
  • Exposed, technical turrets for windage and elevation; parallax knob and quick-focus eyepiece
  • Technical hash-mark reticle
  • Computer engineered lens for better light dispersion
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Distortion at higher settings
  • Large and heavy
  • Stiff adjustment knobs
  • Great cost sacrifices a little bit of the quality compared to higher-priced scopes

Verdict: (3.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Vortex Viper 6-24x50mm on Amazon

Burris XTR II 8-40x50mm

Burris XTR II 8-40x50mm

 

The Burris XTR II is for serious shooters. With its 25% increase in thickness to tube and 5-times zoom, this scope will get you the shot that you need. It’s built with high quality materials and is durable in rough conditions such as heavy recoil and road bumps. In addition to its toughness against direct impact, the XTR II is also waterproof, shockproof and fogproof. It’s loaded with features and adjustment settings, giving you the flexibility to be as accurate as possible.

The front focal plane is intentionally very dim at the lowest magnification to maximize visibility, but this can be a weakness to the scope for some. Also, the parallax has been reported to lose focus when zoomed in over 200 yards. But if you can look past these minor flaws, the XTR II is a nice choice.

Features

  • Front focal plane
  • Shock-proof/vibration resistant
  • Zero stop adjustment knobs
  • Illuminated reticle
  • 8-40x magnification
  • 3.50-4.25 in. eye relief
  • 13.2-2.8 ft. FOV @100 yds.
Pros Cons
  • Much clearer glass than the Vortex Viper PST
  • Larger 34mm body allows more light transmission
  • Very high magnification power (40x)
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Hard to read the reticle at low magnification (front focal plane)
  • Parallax adjustment (focus) may give out around 200 yards

Verdict: (4 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Burris XTR II 8-40x50mm on Amazon

Leupold Mark 4 LR/T 8.5-25x50mm

With the most up-to-date components, the Leupold Mark 4 flaunts its performance and durability. Waterproof, aircraft quality material, great picture, maximum light transmission, etc. With mil-dot reticle, it is an easy-to-follow marking system tactical military-style sight for us.

You name it, the Leupold Mark 4 has it. Hunters rely on this scope for its toughness and accuracy. Likewise, many professional competitors also vouch loyalty to this scope, and for good reason. Speak to any gunsmith, and they’ll tell you that the Mark 4 is a great companion to have.

Features

  • Front focal plane
  • Blackened lens edges to minimize glare and maximize optical efficiency
  • Xtended Twilight lens system to maximize efficiency in low-light settings
  • Solid aircraft quality aluminum body
  • 4x-25x magnification
  • 3.70-5.30 in . eye relief
  • 11.20-4.40 ft. FOV @ 100 yds.
Pros Cons
  • Top quality components
  • Multi-coasted lens for reducing glare while letting as much light in
  • Scratch-proof and water smudge resistant lens
  • Special twilight lens system for low light visibility
  • Compact design for easy mount and easy to reach all turrets
  • Adjustment turrets with spring-loaded knobs for easy reset
  • Sure “clicks” knobs when rotated, can feel through your gloves
  • Not the most expensive product on the market, yet one of the best
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Shorter length means wider bell, have to use different mount setup
  • It’s not yours (yet)

Verdict: (5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Leupold Mark 4 LR/T 8.5-25x50mm on Amazon

Nightforce Optics NXS 5.5-22x56mm

Nightforce Optics NXS 5.5-22x56mm

 

Claiming to be Nightforce’s most worthy long-range riflescope, the NXS 5.5-22×56 is a premium sniper scope that provides the highest possible image through the glass through all magnification ranges it allows (unlike some scopes which lose quality at higher magnification power). The higher magnification range on the NXS helps pinpoint targets from afar, while remaining accurate at a closer range with the 5.5 magnification.

Zero-stop, extended eye relief and extra-narrow tube, these smart features further justify the hefty price of $2000+!

Features

  • Second focal plane
  • Zero stop feature
  • Solid aircraft quality aluminum body
  • 5.5-22x magnification
  • 3.7 in. eye relief
  • 17.5-4.7ft. FOV @ 100 yds.
Pros Cons
  • Torture tested for durability
  • Stays reliable even in the toughest conditions
  • Speed and accuracy in all situations
  • Although it’s expensive, you can be sure that everything is top quality
  • 100 MOA of internal adjustment
  • Thin tube, less obtrusive yet stronger than a 1″ tube
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Second focal plane (front focal planes are more common nowadays)
  • Hefty price tag at around $2000

Verdict: (4.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Nightforce Optics NXS 5.5-22x56mm  on Amazon

Steiner M5Xi 3-15x50mm

Steiner M5Xi 3-15x50mm

I see, you’re a big spender. If it’s worth it, you’ll be willing to dish out $3000 for a scope? If that’s the case, the Steiner M5Xi 3-15x50mm is the one you want. Built to military standards, this scope is built by experts who have incorporate Steiner’s 65 years of knowledge and expertise into it. With Steiner, you get what you pay for, and $3000 is no chump change.

Features

  • Front focal plane
  • Optimized design for comfort and performance
  • Illuminated reticle with 11 settings
  • 15-50x magnification
  • 3.5-4.3 in. eye relief
  • 23.6-4.6 ft. FOV @ 100 yds
Pros Cons
  • Top quality riflescope
  • Durable in all conditions
  • Great performance and efficiency
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Very expensive

Verdict: (4.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Steiner M5Xi 3-15x50mm  on Amazon

Conclusion

Once again, here’s a brief recap of all 5 great scopes and their prices in the table below:

ImageProductPriceBrandLink
Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50 SFP Riflescope VMR-1 MOA
$639.99
$629.99Save 2% ($10.00)
Vortex Optics
Burris XTR II Riflescope with F-Class MOA Illuminated Reticle, 8-40 x 50mm
$1,026.45
$1,025.29Save $1.16
Burris
Leupold 113092 Mark4 LR/T ScopeN/ALeupold
Nightforce Optics 5.5-22x56 NXS Riflescope, Matte Black Finish with Illuminated MOAR Reticle, Zero Stop Turrets, .250 MOA, 30mm Tube
$2,028.00
Nightforce Optics
Steiner M5Xi 3-15x 50mm Riflescope, MSR Reticle
$3,439.99
$2,995.99Save 13% ($444.00)
Steiner

Personally, I find the Leupold Mark 4 to give you the best for its price. It isn’t overly costly, though still above the cheaper equipment. Despite not being the highest-priced, it certainly gives you an expensive feel. The scope body is built like a tank, and the interior technology allows for top performance. One look through the scope is sure to put a smile on your face without damaging your wallet as much as the higher-cost scopes.

Leupold is a great brand, and they’re known to give shooters what they want, but the other options are also great alternatives.

Whatever your choice is, I’m sure any of the scopes listed above will give you satisfaction in your long-range endeavors.

 

On A Budget?
Then check out our article for Cheap Scopes for Air Rifles

 

$500 to Spare?
Then check out our article for Bеѕt Lоng Rаngе Sсоре Under $500
Double Barrel Rifle
Mar 25

How To Break In A New Rifle Barrel

By Archer | Rifle

The technique of breaking in the barrel of a new rifle is more often than not, disregarded by uninitiated marksmen. Nevertheless, the break-in procedure is a subject that still continues to be a hot debated topics by seasoned sharpshooters. Are you a marksman still on the learning curve? Then you might be eager to find out about the various queries to breaking in a new rifle’s barrel.

The first question that’d obviously arise is how to break in a new rifle barrel? The question that inevitably follows is why does the new barrel of a rifle need breaking-in? Is there any scientific procedure that needs to be followed for completing the break-in task?

Rifle Barrel Front Shot
Image Via Flickr CC: kyle post

Brand new rifles come with barrels whose steel bores are somewhat uneven characterized by microscopic spots, feathers, and burs that have rough edges. Evening out these blemishes goes a long way in achieving a polished bore. This helps the barrel to propel the ammo with greater speed and accuracy ultimately leading to a better shot. The necessity to abide by the barrel break-in method will depend upon whether your rifle is a custom-made product or mass-produced.

The Rifle Break-In Process in a Nutshell

Contrary to what you might think, the entire issue of barrel break-in is usually regarded as nebulous and hence misunderstood more often. You will be pleasantly surprised to learn that the steps involved in the whole technique (of barrel break-in) are simple to follow. Almost all shooters are more or less aware of the basic concept. Manuals and leaflets provided with customized as well as factory produced rifles outline the barrel breaking-in procedure.

You can browse on the net for websites and portals that offer a step-by-step explanation on how to get started and complete the process. The information may vary in terms of specifics from one website to another. However most techniques recommend you to fire a series of 1, 3, and 5 shots in succession followed by cleaning the barrel after every round of 1, 3, and 5 shots.

The Break-In Steps

The break-in steps that you’d to follow in order to accomplish a steady accuracy from the new rifle have been outlined below:

  • Fire 1 round and clean-follow this technique for the next 10 shots
  • Shoot a series or succession of three shots and clean-complete at least 15 rounds, each time firing three shots and then cleaning the bore
  • In the last stage, fire five shots, thereafter clean, and then fire a copper fouling shot. Close the process by firing three shots for the purpose of accuracy

Man Shooting With a Rifle
Image via Pixabay CC0

Take into consideration that shooting every round in rapid succession may lead to the bore of the rifle getting intensely hot. So, you might end up choking the barrel if you persist with your firing. The remedy is to let the bore cool down sufficiently after you’ve fired a round. You can run your fingers over the barrel or poke a finger inside to feel the degree of hotness.

Dos and Don’ts About How to Break in a New Rifle Barrel

While cleansing the barrel, simply abide by the ensuing instructions:-

  • Always use a good quality cleaning rod. Preferably one made from carbon fiber that’ll not abrade the copper layering or damage the muzzle crown or bore yet cleanse thoroughly
  • Always start cleaning from the chamber end
  • The greater the deposit of copper and powder dust/fouling in the bore’s grooves, the less intense will be the grip of the bullet by the rifling. Get rid of all powdery and coppery residue inside the barrel using a high-quality solvent like Sweet 7.62 Solvent or Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaning Solvent
  • Clearing the bore of copper fouling takes quite an effort. Go for another cleaning round by using a copper fouling remover including J-B and Shooter’s Choice. Wrap a strip of Scotch Brite around the cleaning rod and dip it in the solvent. The patching should be thick enough for the rod to move to and fro inside the barrel thoroughly. Never use a naked brush, ensure you’ve made a good patch on it or on the cleaning rod before cleaning.
  • Run the cleaning rod  back and forth 5-6 times so that the coat is perfectly smeared throughout the bore and thereafter leave aside the bore for about a couple of hours
  • Now you can run the patch 15-20 times for getting rid of the copper fouling
  • Never use an aluminum or stainless steel cleaning rod
  • Also refrain from leaving solvents containing concentrated ammonia for a long time inside the bore-as it can cause erosion of the copper layering

Conclusion

So what is your take-away from the barrel breaking-in process related with a new rifle? Always keep in mind that all this hue and cry about barrel break-in is not just about fulfilling a trend. After all, you want to fire shots with accuracy and to do that you’d have to make sure that the bore stays at all times.

Since the bore tends to pick up impurities in the form of copper fouling, you’d need to clean it from time to time. Also the steel bore of a new rifle will have tiny burrs and patches. For filing these, breaking-in the barrel would be necessary. Remember to clean from the barrel end and not the muzzle end. Using a bore scope helps in positioning the cleaning rod concentrically and always opt for a rod made of carbon fiber instead of one made from aluminum or stainless because you want to avoid scratching or abrading the bore or chamber.

** Are you thinking of investing in a rifle scope? Check these articles out: