Category Archives for "Scope"

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
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


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

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


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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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:

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

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
Steiner M5Xi 3-15x50mm
Scope length (in)19.619.21714.816.6
Weight (lbs)1.521.42.12.3
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!


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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+!


  • 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.


  • 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


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

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50 SFP Riflescope VMR-1 MOA
$629.99Save 2% ($10.00)
Vortex Optics
Burris XTR II Riflescope with F-Class MOA Illuminated Reticle, 8-40 x 50mm
$1,025.29Save $1.16
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
Nightforce Optics
Steiner M5Xi 3-15x 50mm Riflescope, MSR Reticle
$2,995.99Save 13% ($444.00)

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
Cheap Night Vision Scopes for Air Rifles
Apr 06

Cheap Night Vision Scopes for Air Rifles

By Archer | Scope , Scope Reviews

Just as headlights are crucial to driving in the night, night vision scopes are a necessity to air rifles when shooting after sundown. The human eye is an extraordinary tool, but it doesn’t compete well on its own against nocturnal animals in the dark. Own a night vision scope, own the night.

The perfect night vision scope has a few certain qualities that are a must-have. Before you even look through it, the first thing you’ll notice when you mount a scope on your rifle is its weight. As with any addition to your gun, a good scope should be light and should not interfere with the comfort of hunting. It should also be durable, and most obviously, it should provide a clear picture in the dark. On top of that, you’re here because of one specific trait, and that’s affordability.

In A Hurry?
The Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital is my favorite out of the 5 scopes, you can check it out on Amazon here.

There’s a very large selection to choose from, but you’re on a tight budget. I’ve narrowed that list down to a few options for under $500. Here’s my top 5 list on cheap night vision scopes for air rifles that’ll surely give you a bang for your buck.

Comparison of Cheap Night Vision Scopes for Air Rifles

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.

 Bushnell Night Vision 4.5x40 Equinox ZFirefield FF16001 NVRS 3x42 Gen 1Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5x42Armasight Orion 5x Gen 1+Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital
Dimensions (in)10.5 x 5 x 3.29 x 3.2 x 3.48.6 x 3.1 x 3.312.7 x 4.6 x 4.117.6 x 4 x 3.8
Weight (lbs)
Objective Lens Size (mm)4042424042
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Cheap Night Vision Scopes for Air Rifles Comparison Table

The prices are quite varied, $250 being the cheapest and $500 being the most expensive, but these are as low as you’ll get for night vision scopes. I put the main specs for you to take a look at and make a quick comparison, but let’s see what each of these scopes really do.

Bushnell Night Vision 4.5×40 Equinox Z

Cheap But Bulky

The Equinox Z is possibly the cheapest effective night vision scope on the market, but before you mindlessly scroll past thinking it’s the cheapest for good reason, you’ll want to give this one a chance. It’s got great magnification strength, it’s as tough as nails, and the strong material lets you know it means business.


  • Equipped with a durable rubber casing
  • Lens focus is tight, preventing it from being accidentally bumped into another setting.
  • The screen is bright even without illuminator
  • Generous 4.5x magnification
  • IPX4 weatherproof
Pros Cons
  • Very durable
  • Bright screen
  • One of the cheapest on the market
  • Great in very low-light conditions
  • No reticle
  • Heavy
  • Glare and light will shine brightly on screen

Verdict: (3.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Bushnell Night Vision 4.5×40 Equinox Z on Amazon

Firefield FF16001 NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 Night Vision Rifle Scope

Firefield FF16001 NVRS 3x 42mm Gen 1 Night Vision Rifle Scope Front View Firefield FF16001 NVRS 3x 42mm Gen 1 With BagFirefield FF16001 NVRS 3x 42mm Gen 1 Night Vision Rifle


Mid-Range Companion

One of the greatest Gen 1 scopes available, the Firefield will turn night to day for you. For its price, it provides one of the clearest views in the dark, and it has a neat adjuster for the illumination of its reticle. The scope comes with a quick-release mount which makes it convenient to snap on and off. The Firefield has quickly become many hunters’ best friend.


  • Reticle can be adjusted from nearly invisible to very bright
  • Quick-release mount
  • Solid titanium body
  • Built-in high-powered illuminator
  • Objective lens cover to preserve scope during the day
  • 3x magnification
  • IPX4 weatherproof
Pros Cons
  • Fantastic at mid-range
  • Quick-release mount allows for fast on/off setup
  • Easy adjustment of reticle illumination
  • Limited range
  • Mount is not as sturdy as others as it is a quick-release

Verdict: (4 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Firefield FF16001 NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 on Amazon

Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5×42 Night Vision Rifle Scope

Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5 x 42 Night Vision Rifle Scope


Size Doesn’t Matter

A lot of the bigger scopes offer more artillery than the smaller ones, but the Yukon Titanium proves bigger doesn’t mean better. While it only provides a 1.5x magnification, that serves well for mobility through the night. At a little under 2 pounds, the durable Titanium holds its own despite its small stature.


  • Solid titanium body
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Adjustable reticle
  • Built-in high-powered illuminator
  • Objective lens cover to preserve scope during the day
  • 1.5x magnification
  • IPX5 weatherproof
Pros Cons
  • Small and lightweight
  • Perfect for mobile shooters
  • Only available in green
  • Not effective for targets farther than 75 yards
  • Very low magnification

Verdict: (3.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5×42 on Amazon

Armasight Orion 5x Gen 1+ Night Vision Rifle Scope

Armasight Orion 5x Gen 1+ Night Vision Rifle Scope Front View Armasight Orion 5x Gen 1+ Night Vision Rifle Scope Side View Armasight Orion 5x Gen 1+ Night Vision Rifle Scope Attached


The Heavy Duty

The Orion is a bit bigger and heavier than the other scopes listed, but that’s a small price to pay for its capability. The Orion boasts a 5x magnification which is much more than the competitors at its price range have to offer. It easily provides a great visual past 100 yards, and the flexibility of the brightness is great (offering 4 different settings). If you can see past the bulk and weight, the Orion is the way to go.


  • Adjustable brightness settings
  • Built-in infrared illuminator
  • Durable, solid rubberized body
  • 5x magnification
  • IPX4 weatherproof
Pros Cons
  • Greater magnification than most of its competitors
  • Flexible brightness settings
  • Clear visuals past 100 yards
  • Very bulky and heavy (3.7 pounds!)
  • Too much zooming in generates a fisheye effect
  • Built-in IR doesn’t utilize scope in its fullest potential

Verdict: (4 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Armasight Orion 5x Gen 1+ on Amazon

Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope

Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope Mounted Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope With Bag Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope Close Up Front Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope Close Up Back Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope Back View


Last But Not Least

If you made it this far, I think it’s safe to assume that you’re willing to spend $500 if it’s worth your money. Well, believe me when I tell you that the Photon is worth your money. If effectiveness and simplicity is your thing, and you don’t need all the snazzy bells and whistles, you may want to look at the Photon. It’s got a tolerable weight, good magnification, and like the Orion, it can give you that crystal clear picture of a target further than 100 yards without too much weight.


  • Day/night flexibility
  • Lots of eye relief
  • Built-in high-powered illuminator
  • Resistant to light exposure
  • 6 reticle options
  • 4.6x magnification
  • IPX4 weatherproof
Pros Cons
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Day/night flexibility
  • Extended battery life in lieu of extra features
  • Very few extra features
  • Narrow FOV

Verdict: (4.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital on Amazon

Different Shooters Need Different Guns

While most shooters may find themselves in similar situations, the shooters themselves are very different.


If you find yourself getting tired easily or struggling to keep your rifle up for long periods of time, I would stay away from the Orion despite its quality. Stick to the lighter scopes that weigh less than 2 pounds.


If you’re a beginner hunter and would rather not have to go through a long-winded process of complicated setups, the Photon will be a better option for you. Very functional without all of the mess. If you like to have your options open with a variety of extras, the Photon might prove unsatisfactory.


If you need to move around and are looking for more of a close-range, mobile-friendly scope, the Yukon would be great for you. But if you need something that can provide you sight from far away, the Yukon would be a poor purchase.


What if you could care less about all of the above, and you just want the overall best night vision scope as long as it’s under $500? My vote goes for the Photon. Personally, I’m a minimalist. If it can be unobstructed while pulling its own, then I’m sold. Aside from its effectiveness in the dark, the Photon is barely over 2 pounds, and it’s the only scope on the list that’s also decent in the daytime.

I’ll also give honorable mention to the Bushnell. Despite its weight, the quality offered for its price is amazing. It also has a very secure and tough feeling, which I love since I can be a bit clumsy at times.

With all that said, only you can make the best decision for yourself. Find the scope that maintains accuracy and can drop four-legged trespassers before they can even smell you. Be a hunter at day, and the Boogeyman at night.

Can’t get enough? Then check out our reviews of cheap night vision scopes for AR15.

Man looking through the Rifle Scope
Apr 05

How to Sight in a Scope Without Shooting

By Archer | Scope

Getting Started

In case you haven’t found out already, sighting a rifle scope correctly is the most important part after you’ve bought a new scope. Yet one of the most basic preconceptions about it is that the best way to sight your newly bought rifle scope is…well..shooting it, right?

Not quite! What if I were to tell you that using a couple of easy to learn methods you can save yourself the trouble of wasting ammo for nothing.

The most important advantage when trying to sight a gun without shooting first, is saving ammunition for when it really matters. These methods will save you from any unnecessary shoulder recoil. Moreover they’ll give you an excellent reference to start sighting. A perfect sighted rifle ensures you that nothing dangerous is going to happen. Not to you, or anyone.

How to Sight in a Scope Without Shooting

There are 4 ways to sighting your scope without shooting, namely visual, laser, optical and magnetic. We will take a look at each of them and the necessary steps needed.

Visual Boresighting

One of the more traditional methods of sighting your rifle without shooting is a pretty straight-forward one. Boresighting is no more that aligning the center of the rifle’s barrel with it’s sights. It’s a quick and simple procedure (a couple of minutes), that will help you enjoy an accurate shooting day

Rifle With Silencer Close Up
Image Via Flickr CC: Samuel Johnson

Visual boresighting relies on your patience and discipline. For this, you will need to point your rifle on a steady platform (or a couple of sandbags) to give it stability. It is very important that your rifle remains still during the sighting process. After you remove the bolt, try looking with one eye through the bore centering your target (set at 100 m). Without moving the rifle fine-tune the knobs. The scope crosshairs align themselves with the target point. After zeroing the scope with the specific target point, you’ve got yourself a sighted rifle.

Another method, the so-called “mirror method”, involves (as you might have figured out), a mirror. You just need to place the mirror so far enough, that you can see your own reflection while looking through the scope. You need to point your rifle with the barrel straight in it’s own reflection. After that you can adjust the windage adjustment so that it’s lined up with the barrel.

Laser Boresighting

Of course, nowadays easier methods have been developed to aid rifle owners spend less time on sighting and more time on shooting. This can be achieved by using a device called a boresighter. It’s an instrument that mounts on the arbor and fits in the muzzle of the riffle. The laser boresight has the advantage of being in line with new technology. It’s a more professional alternative to manual doing the heavy work.

One of the main advantages of a laser bore is that it’s far more precise that using your eyes. And while visual boresighting counts for getting you on paper from 100 yards (25 m), the laser bore sighting method will put you much closer to center. Doing that will save you time and money. They come in two shapes: end mounted or bullet shaped. The first is installed at the end of the barrel, activating the laser, while the later goes into the chamber of the gun.

In both cases you can notice the laser point, while looking through the scope of the rifle. By carefully rotating the adjustment dials on the scope’s body all you need to do is to centre the crosshairs on the laser point. After that you’l have a perfectly zeroed firearm. Don’t forget to remove the boresighter before firing!

Optical Boresighting

An optical boresighter follows the same pattern. Just attach it at the end of the barrel and make sure that the lens is lines up with the scope. While looking through the grid of the lens, you should adjust the crosshairs to match the centre of the grid. Remove the optical boresighter and have a great time hunting!

Magnetic Boresighting

A lesser known, but effective method is using magnetic boresighters; You just need to attach them to the muzzle of your gun using strong magnets. The strong advantage in favor of magnetic boresighters is its versatility, fitting all gauges and calibers, without having to buy or use any additional parts. Moreover it’s an alternative for people who fear inserting anything in the barrel. It’s proven to be very effective when trying to zero a gun after transportation, hard drops, or high usage.

Costs and Rules

In order to choose the best boresighter for your particular rifle, you can consult somebody from your gun retailer’s office. Prices vary from $48 for a Sightmark .22LR Boresight to $150 for the SiteLite Ultra Mag Laser Professional Boresighter (laser bore sighter with a 40 hours autonomy).

Whatever method you may choose from the list, always be aware of a couple of rules that will keep you and others safe:

  • Keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction
  • Treat is as if it was loaded all the time
  • Always be sure of your target
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot


Long Hunting Riffle
Apr 01

How To Choose A Rifle Scope For Deer Hunting

By Archer | Scope

You want to get yourself a sizable deer, but can’t get close enough without scaring it off? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in that situation.

The simple solution is to shoot from further away, but how accurate is your shot then?

Deer hunting involves patience, time and distance. When these 3 elements come together you will need good visual to execute a fast, clean and humane kill.

The scope makes a big difference. Your shot will be accurate with the right scope that has variable magnification. So if you want to make that shot you see the characters do in movies, you need to add a scope or change the one you already have. Here’s my 2 cents on what to look for and how to choose a rifle scope for deer hunting.

Hunting Rifle With Scope
Image Via Flickr CC: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources


Matte: All That Glitters Is Not Gold

I’ve once had the perfect shot on a deer, but as I was about to pull the trigger, the sun crept through the trees and a glare bounced off of my scope. Goodbye, deer.

It’s simple. If it shines, don’t bother. Your best bet is to get a scope with a matte finish.

Magnification: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

The whole purpose of getting a scope is to be able to see from far distances. But how far do you have to go, really? I suggest you stick with a 3-9×40 scope. Not sure what the numbers mean? It’s really simple!

3-9x means that you can adjust the scope to magnify your sight anywhere from 3 times to 9 times.

The 40 refers to the diameter in millimeters of the objective lens (that’s the lens opposite of the one you’re looking into).

3 to 9 times by 40 is the way you would say 3-9×40.

There are scopes that have a stronger magnification, some even going up to 20x. But you’re trying to shoot a deer, not a mouse.

Also, think about how you shake as you try to steady your aim. Can you imagine how chaotic that tremor would look through a 20x magnified lens? The slightest movement could throw your entire shot off. Having said this, getting a scope over 10x is a waste of weight, size and price.


Hunter On The Prowl With A Hunting Rifle
Image Via Flickr CC: David Cockburn

Eye Relief: A Whitetail for the Cost of a Black Eye

The first time my dad let me shoot a rifle was through a scope. I had my eye pressed right into the lens and squeezed the trigger. The recoil hammered the eyepiece into my face, leaving a small bruise above my right eye.

Make sure that the scope for your rifle offers you space away from the scope while still giving you a clear picture. This space is called “eye relief.”

The standard is 3 to 31⁄2 inches.4 inches is the most you can get for eye relief which is more than enough space to prevent injury from any recoil your rifle kicks at you.

Exit Pupil: What You See is What You Get

Just because you have your cheek on the rifle and can see the lens doesn’t mean you can actually see through the other side. You have to correctly position your face to actually see from the eyepiece through the objective lens. If misaligned, you won’t see a thing.

Don't Risk Taking An Illegal Shot - Know The Difference Between A Mule Deer and A Whitetail Deer
A Mule deers antlers fork in two directions as they grow, splitting again to create more tines (points). Whitetail deers have one main beam from which all other tines emerge.

Remember the 3-9×40 we mentioned earlier? Those will have an exit pupil size of 13.3mm (at 3x magnification) to 4.44mm (at 9x magnification). This is the standard pupil size range.

There’s a formula to quickly find the exit pupil of a scope, and that is to take the diameter of the objective lens and divide it by the magnification. For example if you have the 3-9×40 scope, and you want to find the exit pupil at 3x magnification, you would take 40 and divide it by 3. Easy, right?

If these numbers mean nothing to you or you simply don’t want to deal with the math, you can actually see this by holding the scope out at arm’s length and looking through the lens. You’ll see the small circular light (the exit pupil), and when you adjust the magnification it’ll get bigger (as you zoom out) and smaller (as you zoom in).

In short, if the exit pupil is big, you can correctly position your face quicker and easier. If it’s small, you may have to read just your face positioning a few times before getting the best picture through the lens.

Light Transmission: Don’t Shoot in the Dark

Let’s get one thing straight. Scopes don’t gather light. Light transmission gives your scope the ability to use the light in the environment.

Anything above 90% light transmission is fine, above 95% is great, and above 98% is pristine. However, if you’re on a budget, don’t feel like you’re missing out too much by getting a scope with 90% light transmission. In my opinion, that’s good enough.

**If you are planning to hunt at night, check out our reviews on cheap night vision scopes here.

Lens Size: The Bigger the Better?

A bigger objective lens means more light transmission which means you’d get a better shot, right? Not necessarily.

A bigger lens doesn’t just add more light transmission. You have to take into account the size, the weight, and the high mounting required for larger lens. The size of your lens factor into your ability to shoot comfortably. The most common objective lens size is 40 – 44 mm.

Main Body: Get A Tough Cookie

Do you think the sun will always be shining or the stars will align when you are hunting? Make sure your scope is tough enough to endure the rain and rough terrains. Get a scope made of a one piece solid material and the body tube is O-ring sealed.

The scope must still be able to adjust accurately and must NOT leak even when subjected to smashing and trashing.

TLDR: How to Choose a Rifle Scope for Deer Hunting

The best advice I can give to you is to not over-complicate things. You can get the scope with the best specs, but if it changes your shot too much from what you’re used to, it won’t be worth it. It’ll feel cluttered, overwhelming, and although you may be able to see clearly, you might not feel the most comfortable.

You should start with the standard specs and build up little by little from there. I’ve bolded them in each section, but for easier reading, here they are in bullet form.

  • Your best bet is to get a scope with a matte finish
  • I suggest you stick with a 3-9×40 scope.
  • The standard eye relief is 3 to 31⁄2 inches.
  • Standard exit pupil range is 13.3mm (at 3x magnification) to 4.44mm (at 9x magnification).
  • Anything above 90% light transmission is fine.
  • The most common objective lens size is 40-44mm.

Regardless of brand or features, most decent scopes have a few things in common like:

  • Crosshair type: standard duplex.
  • At least 1″ diameter body.
  • Tube purged with inert gas to prevent fogging
  • Waterproof
  • Hold their zero despite the heavy recoil

Happy hunting!

We got you covered! Here are 5 rifle scopes suitable for deer hunting

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Multi-X Reticle Riflescope (3-9x40-mm)
Sightmark Core HX 3-9x40 Hbr Hunter's Ballistic Riflescope
Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope (Nikoplex)
Leupold LP110797-BRK VX-2 3-9x40mm Compact Waterproof Fogproof Riflescope, Matte Black
$232.73Save $0.01
Sightmark Core HX 3-9x40VHR Venison Hunter Riflescope


Armasight Vampire 3x CORE IIT Night Vision Rifle Scope With Hunter
Mar 29

Best Night Vision Scope for Air Rifle

By Archer | Scope , Scope Reviews

When I think of night vision devices (NVDs), I think of high paced military operations where soldiers look through grainy, green viewfinders in order to carry out missions. It has always seemed high-tech and unnecessary for civilian use. This is not the case however, and these NVDs are not only becoming necessary, but they are also becoming more available for the general population.

For pesky critters such as hogs and raccoons, night-time hunting is often necessary, and therefore so is the need for a night vision scope to aid visuals.

I will be looking for a few things when choosing my scope. The main factors I will look at will be:

  • Recognition range (the ability to see details on what I’m shooting)
  • Level of magnification
  • Image resolution
  • Infrared (IR) illumination capability
  • Overall practicality

There is a bit to consider, so I’ve chosen 3 mid-range scopes on amazon to help find the best night vision scope for air rifle that I would recommend.

In A Hurry?
The ATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Rifle Scope is my favorite out of the 3 scopes, you can check it out on Amazon here.

Best Night Vision Scope for Air Rifle Comparison

Before looking at each of the scopes individually, let’s look at the different technical specifications in one table for easier comparison.

ScopeSightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle ScopeArmasight Vampire 3x CORE IIT Night Vision Rifle ScopeATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Rifle Scope
Dimensions (in)17.6 x 4 x 3.810.8 x 3.4 x 3.711.4 x 3.5 x 3.5
Weight (lb)2.332.6
Eye Relief2.4 in-2.6 in
IRBuilt-in LEDDetachable long-rangeBuilt-in LED
Battery4 hrs40 hrs8-12 hrs
Field of View4.3 degrees10.5 degrees5 degrees
Resolution38 lines/mm60-70 lines/mm160 lines/mm
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Best Night Vision Scope for Air Rifle Comparison Table

Important Key Features

This depends on what kind of shooting I am doing. Some features apply to whatever kind of shooting I am doing, and others are not so important. For example, if I am only shooting at close-range, magnification and recognition range do not have to be extraordinary.

For overall comfort and ease of use, weight, eye relief and battery life are important to look at. If the scope is too heavy, it could upset my shooting style and balance. I would also prefer to not have to worry about my batteries running out while lining up a shot, so long battery life is a plus.

Also a plus, is having a decent amount of distance for eye relief. If the distance is too short, the recoil could cause unnecessary pain.

If I want a scope for close, quick target acquisition, a wide field of view (FOV) is important but not so much if I am shooting over long distances where decent magnification is a must. For night shooting, I want accuracy and knowledge of what I’m shooting, so resolution and recognition range are factors to take into account.

Now I have an understanding of what to look for, I’ll go into detail about each of the scopes.

Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope

Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope Mounted
Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope Front ViewSightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope Close Up Back Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope Close Up Front Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope With Bag

The Sightmark Photon XT 4.6 x 42 delivers bang for buck in this compact package. Its 4.6x magnification allows for longer-range shooting whether I decide to shoot during the day or night. It is not too heavy, so it doesn’t impact my aiming as much as some heavier scopes might.

One feature that really stands out for the Sightmark Photon XT is its reticle system. It comes with 6 reticle options including 2 crossbow reticles, two duplex reticles, a Mil-Dot reticle and a German-style reticle. They also come in 3 different colors, red, white and green, making my shooting experience quite a lot more personalised and applicable to different situations.

The IR illuminator is highly regarded by users of the Photon XT, as quite often an extra illuminator is needed when shooting at night. This built-in LED is definitely up to the task however, with no extra costs going into extra purchases.

There are a couple of drawbacks to be found. The first one is that compared to many new scopes, the Photon XT has a very low battery life (4 hours). This can be offset by taking extra batteries, but I would worry about it cutting off mid-aim.

Another draw-back is that the adjustments are different from other scopes, and are also quite stiff. With a bit of reading and practice this will all but disappear as a problem.

Overall it is great value for money, simple to use and a good competitor!

Click here for the manufactures’ video.

Pros Cons
  • Multiple reticle options
  • Relatively light
  • Great recognition range
  • Simple to use
  • Value for money
  • Video output feature
  • Good magnification
  • Adjustments differ from other scopes
  • Low battery life
  • Low resolution

Verdict: (4 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope on Amazon

Armasight Vampire 3x CORE IIT Night Vision Rifle Scope

Armasight Vampire 3x CORE IIT Night Vision Rifle Scope Mounted

Armasight Vampire 3x CORE IIT Night Vision Rifle Scope Front ViewArmasight Vampire 3x CORE IIT Night Vision Rifle Scope Side ViewArmasight Vampire 3x CORE IIT Night Vision Rifle ScopeArmasight Vampire 3x CORE IIT Night Vision Rifle Scope With Hunter

As a dedicated night vision scope, the Armasight Vampire 3x definitely provides a high standard with which to compare other night vision scopes.

Its high resolution (provided by its Ceramic Optical Ruggedized Engine, or CORE) is almost double that of the Photon XT. This gives it an advantage in recognition, working even in challenging light conditions. Its FOV is just over double that of the Photon XT, adding increased ability for quick target acquisition.

The Vampire not only has great IR technology and FOV, but it is also hard-wearing and has a very long battery life of 40 hours. Durability is an absolute must for those of us who seem to drop everything we touch!

Once again, we come to the cons of this scope. First and foremost, if I am looking for a day/night scope, this is not a scope I want to buy. It is very easily damaged by daylight, or any bright light if exposed for long enough.

Secondly, it is very heavy compared to many other scopes. I would have to be willing to practice a fair amount to become used to the extra weight.

All that considered, we have another contender for best night vision scope!

Pros Cons
  • Dedicated night vision scope
  • Great zeroing
  • Long battery life
  • High scope resolution
  • Durable
  • Can’t use during the day
  • Heavy
  • Easily damaged if pointed at bright light

Verdict: (4 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Armasight Vampire 3x CORE IIT Night Vision Rifle Scope on Amazon

ATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Rifle Scope

ATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Rifle Scope Front View

Last, but not least, we have the ATN X-Sight II 5-20x. This high-tech, highly functional scope is run by an Obsidian Core II. Having grown up with technology, a night scope with the ability to connect to my device is a plus point.

Features included that most other scopes lack are Wifi, GPS, an E-compass, Micro USB, Micro SD card and Micro HDMI. Magnification is comparable to the Photon XT up to 5x, however it is capable of up to 20x with digital zoom even if it becomes grainy.

Its resolution is superior by far to the aforementioned scopes at a high 160 lines/mm. This is evident in its 1080p recording. I can choose either black and white or green for night vision.

One feature that requires special mention is the one-shot zero. Often it takes a lot of effort to zero a scope, however the X-sight II incorporates technology that allows it to be done in one shot. Fantastic!

While all this technology can be great, it is also a drawback. Set-up will take a lot longer, as will getting used to the system. The scope is also heavier due to all the inclusions, therefore needing aim adjustment.

Time consuming with firmware updates, which have the potential to introduce bugs if phone updates are anything to go by. However this does not seem to be an issue with most users so I’m not too worried.

In summary, the X-Sight II successfully incorporates new technology without sacrificing traditional features.

Click here for the manufacturer’s video.

Pros Cons
  • Multiple reticle options
  • Record in 1080p
  • Ability to save different profiles
  • Makes zeroing easy
  • Continuously improved software with updates
  • Very high scope resolution
  • Updates can often cause errors, bugs
  • Long set-up
  • Difficult to navigate through menus
  • Heavy
  • Extra IR illuminator required

Verdict: (4.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of ATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Rifle Scope on Amazon


There are some high quality night vision scopes, and deciding which one is a winner for you depends on your intended use. If you are on a tight budget, check out our reviews on cheap night vision scopes for air rifles.

For an easy to use, light and somewhat cheaper scope, the Sightmark Photon XT is a great buy.

I’m wanting a bit more resolution however. It’s a big toss-up between the Vampire and the X-Sight II as both have the resolution I need.

Given that I don’t need much FOV and I love technology, the winner is… The X-Sight II!

Happy night vision scope hunting!

**Hunting in the day? Then check out our review on the best long range rifle scope here.

Mounted Rifle With Scope
Mar 27

Adjusting Parallax on Non-AO Scope

By Archer | Scope

Adjustable Objective Scope VS Non Adjustable Objective Scope

If your rifle scope features an adjustable objective (AO), you won’t need to perform anything on it because it has the ability to make parallax adjustment.

However, these types of scopes are expensive and you may not have sufficient budget for them.

Do You Know?
Higher end scopes have a third turret/knobs, often referred as side focus. This is a very useful feature as it allows the shooter to read the settings with minimal movement of the head. 

For starters, the other alternative is to use a non-AO scope. This article will show you how to change parallax on non-AO scopes.

How Does Parallax Occur?

Parallax happens when the image and the reticle are not on the same central plane causing movement of the reticle across the target.

To eliminae the problem, you will need to:

  1. Properly focus the reticle to the shooter’s eye
  2. Adjust the focus knob.

Adjusting parallax on non-AO scope aka fixed objective scope is not exactly nuclear science. A few simple steps will get the job done. Nevertheless, you will need to be extra careful to avoid wrecking the scope in the process.

Take Note
Nitrogen will escape if you take the lens carrier out of the scope after the 1/4″ lock ring is removed leading to expensive factory repair work.

Long Range Rifle With Scope
Image Via Flickr CC: Jun Wang

If you have a fixed scope, you will discover that you have one parallax-free distance due to its single power setting. Now, this is what you wish to change, don’t you?

If you are on a tight budget, you may go for a variable low power scope or a cheaper version of a fixed power scope. Most of these scopes have no adjustable objective knobs to enable parallax adjustment.

Well, I’m sure that you have a different range in mind other than the factory settings on your rifle scope.

Take Note
Low power variable scopes must be set to the highest power during the entire adjustment.

Adjusting Parallax on Non-AO Scope

Step 1: Locate the ¼ inch Lock Ring

You probably own a Tasco, Nikon or Simmons, or any other delicate types. To find the ¼ inch ring, focus your eyes on the bell of the scope. The bell of the scope is that part at the opposite end of the eyepiece.

This is important because you have to take off the lock ring so as to adjust parallax. I recommend that you pay the local hardware store a short visit to purchase a strap wrench. Make sure it has a rubber strap to protect your ring from any damage.

You may not easily spot it because it is finished to appear smooth or matte to ensure it is not too obvious. You will soon realize it is firmly locked in place by some seal.

Step 2: Remove the Lock Ring

The lock ring may not come off easily. You may use a damp wash rag to enable you have a better grip on the scope without messing it. You may also grasp it using the rubber material that is used for lining shelves.

Once you get a firm grip on the scope, proceed to gently turn the lock ring in an anti-clockwise manner until it comes off completely.

Step 3: Adjust the Objective Lens Ring

Having carefully removed the lock ring, peer into the scope and you will see the objective lens nestling inside yet another ring. This new ring has two slots opposite each other. This is the ring you need when adjusting parallax on non-AO scope.

You will need a thin but strong bar of steel to change the object the same way you would for an adjustable objective scope. Be extremely cautious not to scratch the lens. Scratching the lens may not hurt you but definitely, your wallet will.

Some scopes have this ring recessed. To access and adjust it, you may choose from several home-made tools. You can trim a steel ruler to fit into the inside of the scope. Alternatively, a spark plug wire removal tool but you have to file it down for a good fit.

I know a broad smile of satisfaction is now lighting up your face. But you are not done just yet. You have been adjusting parallax on AO scopes for half of your adult life. That was relatively easy because the AO scopes have been calibrated according to shooting ranges.

You should have noted that manufacturers don’t bother marking non-AO scopes to reflect distances. They are probably not expecting you to adjust them anyway. You may require a little adventure at this stage.

Step 4: Adjust the Objective Lens Inwards

Before trying to make any adjustments, note the positions of the two slots on the objective lens ring. You may need to return everything to their original position later. Start by adjusting inwards.

I prefer changing inwards because, this way, there is decreased the possibility of tampering with the airtight seal of the scope. Having made the inward adjustment, you can now check parallax. Has it increased or decreased? Move in or out as necessary.

Step 5: Re-adjust the eyepiece

You will realize that changing the settings of the objective lens has caused the eyepiece to lose focus. You have to readjust it by undoing the eyepiece lock ring. Adjust it to re-establish the focus for the reticle and the target.

When everything is well, you will have the ability to see the goal over the scope as well as through it without changing your eye focus. You have a clear line of sight now and can aim accurately at anything without further ado.

Step 6: Re-fix the ¼ inch Lock Ring

Are you satisfied with the new setting? Do not forget that you have one ring lying on the table. Put in back to the scope and rotate it into place without turning the objective lens.

It is possible to adjust parallax on a second non-AO rifle scope, but you must be careful. Carefully remove the objective lock ring and rotate the objective lens, then check for parallax. Once done, readjust the eyepiece to the new settings.

You may prefer buying the more expensive AO scopes and have no problem to adjust parallax manually. Adjusting parallax on a non-AO scope is delicate, and damaging any of the internal parts will require you to purchase a new scope.

I know you are now ready to pull your non-AO rifle scope apart. Just be careful not to scratch the objective lens, or let the nitrogen in the scope escape. Otherwise, you can go ahead and turn your cheap scope into a complicated affair. Good luck!

Rifle Scope Close Up
Mar 23

What Do The Numbers Mean On A Rifle Scope?

By Archer | Scope

What Do The Numbers Mean On A Rifle Scope?

No one scope is right for the job! Being able to see the sight and target both clearly at the same time is the key to hitting that bull’s eye.

With so many jargons ad endless models of scopes floating around, I hope this article will help you understand the terminology and what do the numbers mean on a rifle scope so you can make a better decision when it comes to choosing The One.

What is a Rifle Scope?

A rifle scope is also known as a telescopic sight. It is a sighting device that is based on an optical refracting telescope. These devices are used in all types of systems that requires accurate aiming. They are most commonly found on firearms, more particularly rifles.

Man With Long Rifle
Image Via Flickr CC: Viewminder

These scopes can help out more than one thing. For one, they relieve the shooter of the worry of lining up the front sight with the rear sight and lose focus on the target while lining up the sights. In this article, I will be writing about what the numbers mean on a rifle scope and their purpose.

What are the Magnification Types for Rifle Scopes?

The main topic is the numbers in the scope. They measure the magnification power rating of a rifle scope. The magnification refers to how much larger an object will appear when looking through the scope in comparison to how it would look using just the naked eye. The numbers just tells you how powerful the magnification power in a scope.

There are two types of rifle scope magnification. The first one is the scope with a fixed magnification, though they’re not as popular as they used to be but they still have some uses. These scopes are set at a specific zoom ratio. The most popular configurations of this type are 4×32, 6×42 and 10×42.

The second one is the scope with a variable magnification scope. This type of scope can change the zoom ratio of the image you will see. It’s like adjusting your camera lenses manually before you shot that perfect picture by just rotating that magnification ring at the front of the eyepiece.

Ruger Rifle with a Mueller Rifle Scope
Image Via Flickr CC: Mitch Barrie
A Ruger 10/22 rifle with a Mueller APV 4.5-14×40 rifle scope.

What is Variable Power?

Many scopes have variable power as shown in the image (Mueller APV 4.5-14×40 rifle scope) above. The first number on the rifle scope connotes its magnification power. For example, 4.5-14×40 means the scope has a magnification power ranging from 4.5x on the low end to 14x on the high end and a variable magnification with a 40mm target lense.

To simplify, you will see the image 4.5 to 14 times bigger by just adjusting that magnification ring right in front of the eyepiece. The fourty (40) is the diameter of the objective lens in millimeters. The way you can describe this scope is “four point five to fourteen by forty”.

The objective lens is found in the objective bell that is in front of the scope. Do note the larger the objective lens size the brighter the image through the scope appears but larger lenses are heavier and can add a bit more weight the scope.

What are the Uses for Different Magnification Scope?

Lower magnifying scopes, like with the numbers of 1-5x are best used for close range or quick shooting like turkey hunting. The most common zoom scopes is the 3-9x. These scopes are good for everyday hunting uses such as deer or prairie dog hunting. Can be use for close range or long range shots with good accuracy. The newer scope models have a magnification of 8 or more; for example the 9-12x scopes, it is pretty much used exclusively for long range target shooting and competition shooting.

The ring on the back of a scope indicates what setting is selected. These scopes are popular as they allow the user to choose different power settings. Low power for close range while high power for precision? A good variable scope gives you the best of both worlds.

In the fixed rifle scope, the numbers have the same meaning as the variable scope as explained above. The difference is the user cannot adjust the magnification power for a fixed magnification scope.


Here is a little tip, when choosing the best long range rifle scope you have to consider, as magnification increases the brightness diminishes. For example a scope at 4x magnification power the image in the scope will be brighter with a 50mm objective lens than with a 32mm lens.

Not all scopes have variable magnification. A few scopes have fixed magnification but if you’re planning for a long range hunt or target practice then you better choose the scope that have a variable magnification instead of a fixed one.

So there you have it. I have explained the meanings of those numbers in the scope a bit thoroughly. Hopefully you understand this information and make use of this to better buying decisions.