Category Archives for "Tips"

Pheasant Hunting
Aug 06

Ways to Prevent Overhunting

By Archer | Tips

Overhunting is when a species population is drastically reduced due to hunting, be it for sport or for sustenance.

It can also be used in relation to poaching.  Poaching is illegal hunting that goes against restrictions or when it happens on someone else’s land. The problem with overhunting is not only the thinning of a species. But the decrease of a given species can have long-term effects throughout the ecosystem.

If you’re a hunter, you’re likely familiar with the idea of overhunting. You’re also likely concerned how your actions may be incidentally contributing to this. There are ways to prevent overhunting and help maintain a balanced ecosystem.

Causes of Overhunting

Ways to Prevent Overhunting | The Hunt
Image Via Flickr CC: Tim Dobbelaere

Overhunting doesn’t happen immediately. There are different factors involved, some incidental and some intentional.


As the human population increases, the need to feed the masses increases, too. High demand for food increases hunting activities as does the need for raw material that come from wildlife like hides and fur. While hunting for food and resources isn’t a problem, the ecosystem will become imbalanced when the species being hunted isn’t given time to regenerate to create a sustainable system.

More so, the more people there are, the more urbanization occurs. This takes away natural habitats for wildlife forcing them into suburban areas. When this happens, people are sometimes encouraged to hunt these animals to control what looks like an overpopulation of the species. However, this is sometimes a false estimation due to the species’ displacement from their natural habitat. This encouragement is a slippery slope that can lead to the overhunting of one or more species.

Tradition and Culture

Human beings have a long history of hunting for survival. With that history come cultural traditions that still hold true today. There are indigenous tribes as well as individual families across the globe that hunt and/or fish as a traditional way of life. Again, this isn’t the problem. It’s the overhunting caused by these cultural influences that are the issue.

In these cases, overhunting occurs when there are more people to be fed. To combat this, governments may step in and put in hunting restrictions in order to try and help the species in question regenerate. However, there are instances when traditional hunters ignore regulations due to their cultural traditions. And this will cause larger problems like endangerment and even extinction.

An example of this can be found in Vietnam. There is a cultural belief in that country that a specific turtle soup will make people stronger. Based on this idea, there are some species of turtle that are now on the verge of extinction. So while they are hunting for food, it’s not due to hunger but because of a traditional, cultural belief.

Similarly, there are some indigenous tribes that hunt as cultural rites of passage and not just for food. For example, the Maasai tribe in Africa hunts lions as a rite to show bravery. There are other groups throughout the world who hunt for cultural or religious reasons, as well, leading to overhunting.

Hunting for Sport

A major issue that has led to overhunting is hunting for sport. This is hunting done for no other reason other than to kill an animal. Sometimes, the hunter is offered a prize or a payment for hunting the species in question. While it’s illegal in a lot of countries, it is legal in others causing the depletion of some animals.

Despite being illegal in some places, there are some who continue to hunt for sport illegally. This is known as poaching and is something that is actively being fought especially in Africa. Sometimes, the people doing this don’t realize the harm they’re doing but most of the time poachers are only after money, using their kills to illegally collect resources to sell to others.

This isn’t just done in Africa, however. There are some hunters in more developed places that still hunt for sport. For example, there are deer hunters in North America that hunt for bucks in order to mount their heads as a trophy. Here, there is a more of a chance that the deer hunter used the deer meat to feed their family, though, since deer are a popular game meat.

Bird hunting is also done for sport in certain places. Here, birds like quails, ducks, and similar fowl are shot in flight for competition sports. This practice has led to a decline in a number of bird species.

Hunting for Economic Gain

While it was mentioned briefly, there are resources that can be collected through hunting animals. There are raw materials that big game can provide like ivory and animal pelts. There are also ingredients found in cosmetic products that are made from certain animals.

For example, certain whales are overhunted because their skin produces oil used in a few different beauty products. Due to the high demand for these things, hunters will go after certain species without thinking about sustainability. In the Americas, this is seen through crocodile hunting who were overhunted for their skin’s use in the fashion industry.

Effects of Overhunting

Doe with Young Deer
Image Via Stockunlimited

No matter the causes behind the overhunting of a given species, the process has long-lasting and damaging effects that spread further than just the local species population. If you’re unfamiliar with overhunting and what it can do, consider the effects of overhunting the next time you question sustainable hunting or fishing regulations.

Endangerment and Extinction

Overhunting is one of the biggest causes of species extinction. In fact, the World Wildlife Fund reported that overhunting causes 23 percent of all animal extinctions. When one species is hunted to such a degree where the animals don’t have a chance to repopulate the species is considered endangered. Unless the species is given a chance to repopulate, it’ll disappear due to overhunting and will be classified extinct.

Migration and Hibernation Problems

Overhunting can actually disrupt the natural migration and hibernation patterns of different animal species. This is one of the overhunting effects that isn’t discussed much, but it is a negative effect of the practice, none the less.
Here, there is evidence that shows that species that are hunted during hibernation or migration become conditioned to expect the killings. This conditioning stops them from hibernating or migrating over time. This can cause a ripple effect in ecosystems.

For example, if a species that hibernates in the winter no longer do so, they’ll need to eat during the months when they’d usually be hibernating. Instead of their food supply having the time to regenerate, it will be eaten instead. This can cause a deficit in whatever that food source is and lead to other problems throughout the ecosystem.
The effects on ecosystems

Ecosystems are directly impacted by overhunting. Every living organism sharing a habitat needs one another to thrive and survive. When the natural order of a habitat is disturbed through something like overhunting, it has an effect on the entire ecosystem by creating an imbalance in that biosphere. For example, if you overhunt a predator species, you can have an overpopulation of their prey which can then lead to a deficit in the food of that prey species.

For example, foxes eat rabbits which eat vegetation. If foxes are overhunted it can lead to an overpopulation of rabbits since there won’t be as many foxes to keep the ecosystem balanced. When this happens, the overpopulation in rabbits can lead to a decrease in natural vegetation. This can push rabbits into farms and gardens in the hunt for food which will cause new problems including a surge in rabbit hunting.

Overall Harm to the Environment

Hunters, no matter how cautious they try to be, leave behind a carbon footprint. In most cases, they drive to hunting fields and set up camps leaving behind clouds of carbon dioxide and litter. This negatively affects the environment. Too much carbon dioxide can kill plant life while the smoke from campfires can also harm different parts of the ecosystem.

All of this adds up and can completely destroy natural habitats over time. When natural habitats are destroyed, the organisms that live there will not only be displaced but will lose out on their food supply creating the aforementioned imbalanced ecosystem.

Ways to Prevent Overhunting

Ways to Prevent Overhunting | You’re Being Hunted
Image Via Flickr CC: Matthew Baldwin

The damage caused by overhunting can be severe, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be stopped. There are ways to prevent overhunting and preserve populations and ecosystems as a whole. If everyone does their part, normal hunting can continue without the biosphere suffering.

Stricter Laws and Enforcement

One of the best ways to prevent overhunting is to make and enforce regulations. When laws are put in place to stop things like poaching or illegal animal trading, overhunting will happen less frequently. However, even with laws in place, they need to be enforced in order to do any good. If there are no fearful punishments for these crimes or if they aren’t prosecuted properly at all, people won’t be inclined to follow them.

When poachers see that they can’t sell their kills due to the fear of illegal animal trading laws, they won’t waste their time or energy hunting. This will help species replenish themselves and help keep illegal activity in the hunting world to a minimum. In the same vein, there can be manufacturing laws put into place that limit or ban products made with ingredients derived from endangered animals.

Regulating normal hunting is another way to prevent overhunting. There are some hunting laws that not only designate set times when you can legally hunt certain species but that also put limits on how many legal kills each hunter can have during a given season. While this might seem unfair to those who hunt for food, it’s a strict law that can help species repopulate to a sustainable number.

Awareness Campaigns

Providing people with knowledge on a topic can help them make better decisions. There are some hunters who may not know what overhunting is or what damage it can do. By actively creating awareness of the topic you can create enough of a buzz where you can affect change in individuals and even in the law.

With social media and campaign websites like, you can bring light to under-discussed topics like overhunting. By making people pay attention to the dangers of overhunting you can hold these irresponsible hunters accountable for their actions. Debunking claims that all hunters are to blame for bad practices at the same time. Similarly, you can hold lawmakers’ feet to the fire and convince them to make, pass, and/or enforce overhunting laws.

Funding Conservation Agencies

If you aren’t able to effectively create awareness campaigns on your own, you can instead support conservation agencies that are already working on bringing awareness of overhunting to light.

The World Wildlife Fund, Oceana, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare are some agencies that you can help fund to stop overhunting. Most conservation agencies already put a lot of time and effort into campaigns to protect wildlife and natural habitats from a variety of threats including overhunting and poaching.

Boycott Products made with Endangered Animal Ingredients

Overhunting for economical gains like that done by whale hunters or ivory hunters only happens because there is demand. If that demand didn’t exist, there would be no need for the supply. By boycotting products that you know are made with endangered animal parts you can help shift the supply and demand chain.

You can choose to stop buying leather products, boycott certain cosmetic companies that use oils made from animals, or abstain from buying fur. These are all products that benefit from overhunting. If enough people do this, the manufacturers will get the hint and stop making those products. Without the products, there would be no need for the animal parts thus preventing overhunting and poaching.

Jul 30

Best Mid-Range Tactical Scope

By Archer | Reviews , Rifle Scopes Reviews , Scopes , Tips

A good scope can be the difference between hitting and missing your target.

While this is bothersome when hunting or in competitive shooting, it could be a major problem in a serious military situation. A good mid-range tactical scope will help you zoom in on your specific target and lock in the precise point where you want your shot to go.

Knowing how important your scope is, it’s important to buy the best one. However, with so many choices available on the market picking the best one can be confusing and frustrating. While picking a scope can be done strictly by looking at the specs and features, a lot of it comes down to personal preferences so be sure to keep your own needs in mind. To help you make an informed decision, some of the best mid-range tactical scopes on the market have been compiled and reviewed so you can compare and contrast them easily.

Key Features for A Mid-Range Tactical Scope

You need your scope to have certain features to ensure that it’ll work the way you need it to when the time comes. Put simply, you need your scope to properly magnify your target so that you make your shot easily. However, any scope will do this to some degree so you need to dig a little deeper and look at some of the other features. While you can compare all available specs when shopping for a scope, you can narrow it down to eye relief, objective lens size, and the field of view. These are the features that most experienced shooters tend to consider when shopping for a scope.

Eye Relief and Exit Pupil

When it comes to riflescopes the eye relief is how far you can keep your eye from the ocular lens of the scope while still getting a clear look at your target. This is usually measured in inches with standard scopes having a relief of no more than four inches. The eye relief is important because how far away your head and face is from the rifle helps keep you safe from strong recoils when you fire off a round.

Similarly, you should consider the exit pupil of a scope. The exit pupil is the circle of light that forms in the scope when you hold the scope toward a clear patch of sky (not toward the sun) at arm’s length. The larger this disc of light is, the clearer your target will be. It will also mean that you have a little more leeway with how you position your head in relation to your scope since the exit pupil is larger.

The Lens

A scope needs a good lens for obvious reasons. You want the lens to be clear at every magnification so that you can read your target properly. The clarity of the lens will also allow you to read the wind properly even if there are no markers like tree branches or flags. While the only real way to tell the clarity of a scope is to look through the lens, you can usually trust the top brands to use the best glass to achieve the best clarity.

Similarly, you should compare the objective lens size of the scopes as you shop. While some amateur shooters think that the larger the diameter is the better the scope is but this really isn’t the case. In fact, the larger the lens, the more cumbersome it can be. This is because a larger lens can throw your rifle off balance making it harder to hold in order to properly make your shot.

Field of View

This is how far you can see from left to right at a given distance through the scope. This value is usually measured for every 100 yards and adjusts as you adjust the magnification. Specifically, when you increase the magnification, the field of view will decrease and vice versa. Seeing a wider range of the plane in front of you is important since you’ll be able to track a target better so the available field of view needs to be considered as you shop.

Overviews of the Best Mid-range Tactical Scopes

Now that you know what to look for and have a general idea of the important details of the top scopes, here are the detailed reviews of the best mid-range tactical scopes on the market. Take each one into consideration and see how they match up with your own preferences and requirements before making a final decision.

Mid-Range Scope Comparison Chart

Whenever you buy a product, there are certain features you should look at to determine if it fits your needs and preferences. When it comes to a mid-range scope you should look at the body specifications, the eye relief, the reticle and reticle location, and the objective lens size. For your convenience, here is a quick comparison chart of some of some of the best scopes.

 Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40Elcan Specterdr 1/4x5.56 NATO Flat Dark EarthPride Fowler PFI Rapid-Reticle RR Evolution 3-12x42mm
Length12 inches6.02 inches13.8 inches
Weight14.6 oz23.2 oz22.1 oz
Eye Relief (inches)3.1 inches2.75 inches3.93 inches
ReticleDead-Hold BDC (MOA)SelectableBDC
Reticle LocationSFPSFPFFP
Objective Lens Size40mm32mm42mm
Price ($USD)Check PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

In A Hurry?
The Elcan Specterdr 1/4×5.56 NATO Flat Dark Earth is my favorite out of the 3, you can check it out on Amazon here.

1. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope

Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Efficient and compact, this quality scope tends to be geared more toward hunters but is used by marksmen of different backgrounds. It features multi-coated glass, an unlimited parallax adjustment, and quick-focusing features. It’s on the cheaper side in terms of price while still offering the trusted quality craftsmanship that Vortex is known for.

It’s important to note that this scope doesn’t have an illumination feature. However, the multi-coated glass uses anti-reflective material to increase the light transmission of the lens so that you can see properly without illumination. The objective lens is also adjustable to create quality image focus. Here, there is also a parallax removal option which will stop any blacking out while you aim.

The scope features a second focal plane Dead-Hold BDC reticle as well as sub-tensions that can help you make more accurate corrections for windage and range. It is also fog proof and waterproof making it easier to use in the elements as well as capped turrets with a zero-reset option to prevent accidental adjustments while in the field. Finally, the single-piece tube construction makes it durable and smooth.

While the scope is great, there are few disadvantages worth noting. There is no natural zoom on this scope which can make sighting your target a little harder than it’d be with other scopes. There are also no sunshades for this scope so you’d need to find an after-market accessory for it if you want one. Finally, the field of view at the top magnification is a short 11.3 feet at 100 yards. All that being said, considering the affordable price of this scope, a lot of people seem to think that these are acceptable losses.

Pros Cons
  • Affordable
  • More accurate corrections for windage and range due to second focal plane Dead-Hold BDC reticle
  • Unlimited parallax adjustment
  • Fog proof and waterproof
  • No natural zoom, this makes sighting target a little harder
  • No sunshades
  • Field of view is short

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 on Amazon

2. Elcan Specterdr 1/4x 5.56 NATO Flat Dark Earth

Best Mid-Range Tactical Scope | Elcan Specterdr 1/4x5.56 NATO Flat Dark Earth

This is a high-end scope used by the military in both the US and Canada. It’s incredibly easy to use and effective in the field. You can switch smoothly from the 1x magnification to the 4x by only moving a lever on the scope. As a fallback option, there are also iron sights located on the top of the scope’s optic. When it comes to the reticle, it is a standard red dot at the 1x zoom that changes as you increase the magnification while still remaining less than 2 MOA in size. The eye relief is a comfortable 2.75 inches.

Quality scopes don’t come cheap and this one is no different. It’s quite expensive with most shops pricing it over $2,000. This is something that can make a lot of people look elsewhere but the scope is so effective that the price is worth paying according to experienced tactical shooters. Another reason why some shooters shy away from this mid-range scope is its weight. The scope is built solid and can be heavy to some users weighing in at 22.7 ounces. Overall, if you don’t mind this and money is of no concern, this is one of the best mid-range tactical scopes available.

Pros Cons
  • Easy to use, can switch smoothly between magnification
  • Effective in the field
  • Comfortable eye relief
  • High-end used by military
  • Solid built
  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Elcan Specterdr 1/4×5.56 NATO Flat Dark Earth on Amazon

3. Pride Fowler PFI Rapid-Reticle RR Evolution 3-12x42mm

This is an affordable, multi-functional scope with a wide range of features including immediate ranging on both 9-inch and 18-inch objects. This scope also features a fast-focus ocular and first focal plane reticle with ballistic holds across the magnification range. The lens BK-7 glass producing beautiful clarity even in dimming sunlight.

The PFI scope is also shockproof, fog proof, and waterproof thanks to multi-coated lenses. This will allow you to accurately hit your target while out in the elements and will also keep the scope from becoming damaged while in use. The durable aluminum tube and anodized finish mean that you can feel comfortable transporting this scope even in rough terrain. These are important features when looking for tactical equipment since you’ll be moving around frequently with your equipment. Similarly, the turrets are solid and won’t move around on their own.

Pros Cons
  • Afforable
  • Beautiful clarity even in dimming sunlight
  • Shockproof, fog proof, and waterproof
  • Bad design of magnification ring
  • Heavy

Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Pride Fowler PFI Rapid-Reticle RR Evolution 3-12x42mm on Amazon

General Impressions

All of these mid-range tactical scopes are incredibly functional in the field and have great features that will help you aim and hit your target every time. Each one has positive user reviews touting the effectiveness of each ensuring that purchasing any one of them will be beneficial for you.

However, if you want to get down to it, the Elcan Specterdr 1/4x 5.56 NATO Flat Dark Earth is a fantastic choice if money is of no consequence to you. It’s trusted by military operatives in multiple countries and is so durable that it can withstand frequent use and rough handling. That being said, if you’re on a budget the more affordable, American made Vortex is a fantastic choice even if it is geared more toward hunting instead of tactical shooting.

As you compare these options or any other mid-range tactical scopes, always keep your personal needs and preferences in mind. Even the highest quality scope might not be the right fit for you if one of the features doesn’t line up with your needs.


At the end of the day, your mid-range tactical scope should help you hit your target no matter the circumstances. It should offer clear optics, be durable, and have a simple user interface so you’re not left fumbling in the field.

Thankfully, there are plenty of options on the market. Start with the reviewed products here and then expand your search if you’d like more options. Now that you know what to look for while shopping, you can confidently make an informed purchase decision on your own.

On a budget?
Then check out our article for Best Long Range Scope On a Budget
Jul 11

Best Long Range Scope Under $1000

By Archer | Gear , Reviews , Rifle Scopes Reviews , Scopes , Tips

If you’re a hunter looking for something that will help you hit distant game or a competition shooter looking for something reliable but still affordable; you have to do some comparison shopping to make sure you get what you need without getting a subpar, cheaply made product.

Finding the best long range scope under $1000 can be difficult but it’s not impossible. As long as you know what to look for and what’s available on the market you can find something to fit your needs. These reviews and comparisons can help take some of the guesswork out of your search.

Key Features for Long Range Rifle Scopes Under $1000

After comparing some of the more important aspects of available long range scopes, you should look into the other important factors that can make one scope better for you than another. Your personal preferences will end up playing more of a role in your purchasing decision than actual technical differences. For example, your reticle preference will more likely be based on what you like to use better instead of which method is better (both are good in the field). Here are the key features you should look at when looking for the best long range scope under $1,000.

Scope Body

You might not realize that the material your scope is made of matters. You want to get something that is the right size for your rifle, lightweight, sleek, and durable. While the length and weight are something that you should look at first to make sure that the scope you like fits your rifle and won’t be too heavy to carry around, the durability of the scope has to be taken into account.

If you’re out in the elements or using your rifle and scope often, you’ll need something sturdy enough to withstand the weather and frequent use. When buying something on a budget, the materials used to make the scope are sometimes less durable than the more expensive models. There are durable options under $1,000 but you always have to make sure that you weed out the cheaper products that can break quicker than others.


If you use your rifle in different situations like hunting and competitive shooting, for example, you need a scope that is versatile enough to be used for both. This will save you money since you won’t have to buy different scopes for different purposes and will also save you from changing out your scope before using your rifle. Keep your individual needs in mind and pick a scope that will fit all of those, if possible.

Matching Turrets

While the growing trend is to have matching turrets, there are still some scopes out there that will use mix reticles and turrets. For example, there are scopes that use mil-dot reticles but MOA turrets. Not only does this not make logical sense, it can cause a lot of confusion when using your scope. You’d have to make on-the-fly calculations to match your turrets to your reticle which can result in wasting time and missing your target. Thankfully, most scopes will have matching turrets but it’s still something you’ll want to double-check when buying a budget scope.


This is where shopping on a budget can get a little hairy. Usually, the quality of a long range scope and the price are directly related with the more expensive scopes being the better quality products. In fact, scopes that fall between $1,000 and $1,500 are usually considered to be the best-valued scopes. However, when you dip under $1,000 there are still plenty of scopes that have good value for their price.

In general, scopes will diminish in clarity, additional features, and durability when you jump to a lower price range. This is why it’s important to read up on your available options and see what fits your needs within your budget. By sticking to scopes that are more than $500 but still under $1,000 you can find good scopes that will function properly and meet your standards. Just remember that you get what you pay for and if you find a scope that seems too good to be true based on its features and price, it probably is and you should avoid it.


While looking at the value of a scope, look for warranties. This will help because budget-friendly scopes can sometimes have a higher risk of damage based on quality. If the product comes with a warranty, you’ll be protected in most instances including accidental damage in some cases.

Keeping these key features in mind along with your personal preferences and needs you will have an easier time choosing between the available products in your price range.

Overview of the Best Long Range Scopes

Knowing how to compare models when shopping for the best long range scope under $1,000 can really help you make an informed purchasing decision, but to make things even easier some of the best available scopes have been reviewed for you. More than just basic specifications, these reviews will give you a little more detail on what each scope can do for you in the field.

Long Range Scope Comparison Chart

There are certain features that you should look for when shopping for a long range scope. When comparing different products, take into account the body, the reticle, and the magnification before looking at any of the other important features. Here are how some of the best long range scopes measure up in these aspects.

 Sightron 10-50×60 SIII LR Mil Dot RiflescopeVortex Optics Viper PST 6-24×50 Ffp RiflescopeBurris XTR II 3X-15X-50mm RiflescopeSWFA SS 3-15×42 RiflescopeVortex Optics Viper VHS-4310 Riflescope
Weight30.1 oz23.4 oz30.9 oz24 oz22.6 oz
Length16.90 inches15.5 inches14.13 inches13.66 inches15.5 inches
Price ($USD)Check PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

In A Hurry?
The SWFA SS 3-15×42 Riflescope is my favorite out of the 5, you can check it out on Amazon here.

1. Sightron 10-50×60 SIII LR Mil Dot Riflescope

Best Long Range Scope Under $1000 | Sightron 10-50x60 SIII LR Mil Dot Riflescope

This scope is slightly under $1,000 and quite worth the money. It has one of the higher magnifications (10-50x) among the other scopes in this price range making your accuracy and precision much better. Since this is one of the more important features of a long range scope, it’s definitely an option to keep in mind for this reason alone.
The clarity, according to users, is also top-quality despite the price tag. Users report crystal-clear images even at the highest magnification. Since this is something that is sometimes lacking in scopes under $1,000 this shouldn’t be overlooked.

With the magnification and clarity checking out, this scope can be the difference between hitting your target and just missing it. Couple those factors with the military-grade specs and materials, and you get a well-rounded product that is functional, durable, and affordable.

The only issues seem to be the price and the mismatched turrets. When reviewing the specs of this Sightron scope you’ll notice that the turrets are MOA turrets while the reticle is a Mil-dot reticle. This means that you’ll have to know how to calculate between the two when setting your shot up. If you don’t have an issue with that, this scope is a great option although it is on the higher end of an under $1,000 budget.

Pros Cons
  • High magnifications
  • Crystal-clear images
  • Better accuracy and precision
  • Military-grade specs and materials
  • Price, slightly under $1000
  • Mismatched turrets

Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Sightron 10-50×60 SIII LR Mil Dot Riflescope on Amazon

2. Vortex Optics Viper PST 6-24×50 Ffp Riflescope

With a matte finish, an illuminated reticle, and strong magnification, the Viper PST is also under $1,000 and meets high-quality standards that you’ll want your scope to have. It is a 30mm one-piece scope made of durable, aircraft-grade aluminum making it rigid and strong giving it the ability to withstand frequent use and outdoor elements.

This scope also has simple adjustments for things like windage and elevation making it versatile and functional in most circumstances. It’s also lightweight and balanced so you won’t have to worry about your scope throwing off your precision. More so, the sight was Argon-gas purged resulting in a clear and bright sight.

Besides the price being on the higher end, some users complain that the reticle is slightly off resulting in recalculations and missed shots. Specifically, there were complaints about the turrets not matching up with the crosshairs. It should be noted that these issues were reported by only a small percent of users.

Pros Cons
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Withstand frequent use and outdoor elements
  • Versatile and functional
  • Argon-gas purged
  • Reticle slightly off
  • Turrets not matching up with crosshairs

Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Vortex Optics Viper PST 6-24×50 Ffp Riflescope on Amazon

3. Burris XTR II 3-15x-50mm Riflescope

Burris XTR II 3-15x-50mm Riflescope

This is a popular brand when it comes to scopes so it should be no surprise to see one of its products on a list of top scopes. Luckily, this top-rated brand also has an affordable long range scope available. The Burris XTR II is a quality scope that can help you make those long distance shots.

While the magnification isn’t as powerful as some of the other scopes (3-15x), it is also more affordable than some of those scopes with higher magnifications. It features a thick and durable 34mm tube that gives you more support and protection against damage. The front-focal plane reticle lets you focus in on your targets easily no matter the magnification.

The scope also features power settings along with trajectory compensation. With precision adjustment knobs and zero-click stop technology, you’ll enjoy high-end features and quality without going over your budget. To contribute to the high quality, all internal assemblies are hand-fitted with triple spring-tension to add to the durability and make the scope shockproof to battle against recoil and vibration. Overall, the Burris XTR II is a high-quality scope for an affordable price.

Pros Cons
  • Thick and durable tube
  • Front-focal plane reticle
  • Power settings with trajectory compensation
  • Precision adjustment knobs and zero-click technology
  • Magnification not as powerful as other scopes

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Burris XTR II 3-15x-50mm Riflescope on Amazon

4. SWFA SS 3-15×42 Riflescope

Best Long Range Scope Under $1000 | SWFA SS 3-15x42 Riflescope

Featuring the brand’s patented Mil-Quad reticle, the SWFA SS scope is a black matte scope offering a modest yet functional 3-15x magnification. However, this is one of the most affordable, quality scopes on the market so the value is actually quite good when compares to the scopes that cost closer to $1,000.

You’ll be able to customize your shots easily with simple elevation and windage adjustment that help you hit your target no matter your environment. Similarly, the scope is waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. There is no illuminated reticle here which keeps the price low but unless you absolutely need this feature, it won’t affect the function of the scope in normal circumstances.

As far as clarity and lens quality goes, there are a few complaints about this with some saying the quality could be better especially for those who highly scrutinize glass clarity in scopes. That being said, these complaints are far and few between with most users stating that the scope tracks well in the field.

Pros Cons
  • Patented Mil-Quad reticle
  • Affordable
  • Easy customization of shots
  • Weather-proof
  • Shockproof
  • Tracks well in the field
  • Slight complains about clarify and lens quality

Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of SWFA SS 3-15×42 Riflescope on Amazon

5. Vortex Optics Viper VHS-4310 Riflescope

Vortex Optics Viper VHS-4310 Riflescope

This is another model offered by Vortex that falls under $1,000. This is the most affordable option out of all of the scopes reviewed but doesn’t lack in features. It’s made of durable aluminum and built to last. The images remain sharp at all magnifications (6-24x) as do the crosshairs thanks to extra-low dispersion glass.

There are also easy adjustments for windage and elevation that allow you to customize your shots. Unlike the other scopes here, this is a second-focal point scope where the reticle remains the same size no matter the magnification. An additional benefit is the unconditional lifetime warranty that the company offers.

While there are a lot of benefits for this scope, there are a few notable issues according to users. There are complaints about the eye relief position with some saying it makes for uncomfortable shooting positions. Similarly, you have to be positioned perfectly in order to be able to see anything through it. This can present a problem for hunters looking to position themselves quickly to make a shot.

Pros Cons
  • Durable aluminum
  • Easy adjustment for windage and elevation
  • Unconditional lifetime warrant
  • Uncomfortable shooting position due to eye relief position

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Vortex Optics Viper VHS-4310 Riflescope on Amazon

General Impressions

As with every other type of product, there are some options that are better than others. However, it really does come down to personal preferences and your exact budget. There are options closer to $1,000 that offer great features and high-quality craftsmanship, but the lower prices scopes still provide great functionality with some giving you more value for the price.

If you’re specifically looking at user reviews, you can see that there are some with almost no complaints while others have issues that can change your mind about the scope. For example, the complaints about the Sightron scope’s mismatched turrets aren’t as bad as the bad positioning of the Vortex VHS-4310. The former is a slight inconvenience whereas the latter can actually inhibit your ability to make a shot in a timely manner.

Solely looking at these options, the best long range scope under $1,000 based on the price and the features is the SWFA SS scope. This is quite affordable, well-built, and has a lot of good features that you wouldn’t expect a scope under $1,000 to have. It seems to be a great value for the price and a worthy piece of equipment to add to your arsenal.


When using a long range scope your main objective is to make your shot despite the distance between you. As you shop for one, keep in mind what you need as well as the features to look out for. Remember, you get what you pay for so the lower you go in price, the bigger risk you take in terms of quality.

Luckily, these options and information you have about each can give you a slight advantage as you shop. Take this knowledge, compare your choices, and make an informed purchase decision that will fit your budget as well as your needs.

On a budget?
Then check out our article for Best Long Range Scope On a Budget
Jun 23

Best Bow Stabilizer for Target Shooting

By Archer | Archery , Reviews , Tips

If you use any type of bow for target shooting or for hunting you know that accuracy is important. When you add a stabilizer to your bow, your bow will naturally be steadier and help you focus, aim, and shoot with more accuracy.

However, all bow stabilizers aren’t created equally and some are definitely better than others. If you’re in the market for a good product but aren’t sure what to get; read through these reviews to find the best bow stabilizer for target shooting and make a more informed purchase decision.

Key Features of Bow Stabilizers

Every aspect of a bow stabilizer is important. You need your stabilizer to be the proper weight and length for your bow while also making sure that it will function right whether you’re shooting at a target for practice or hunting live game. Keep these features in mind when shopping for the best bow stabilizer for target shooting.


In order to have balance between the stabilizer and the bow, you have to look at the weight of the stabilizer. It shouldn’t be too heavy for your bow because it will be hard to handle and keep it steady. However, if the stabilizer is too light for your specific bow it can cause too much vibration. In both of these scenarios, the stabilizer can harm your accuracy.  

While you can usually move around the weight of a stabilizer, the best one will keep the weight at the furthest point from the bow in order to keep the whole thing balanced. Ideally, a stabilizer should be no more than 1 pound otherwise you risk limiting the bow’s performance.


This feature depends more on the type of bow you have and what you’re using it for (target practice or hunting, for example). If you’re moving around as you would be when hunting, you might prefer a shorter stabilizer that won’t hinder your movements too much.

Shorter stabilizers usually come with more of a reduction in things like vibration, torque, and shock. All of this leads to better noise reduction, too—an important consideration for hunters looking to stay hidden from their prey.

That being said, longer stabilizers tend to offer a higher rate of accuracy and precision while also being able to cover longer distances. The real issue with a long stabilizer is that they can make it harder to move around in the field due to their size. These are usually better for target practice or for recreational archery.

Vibration and Noise Reduction/Dampening

You also need to consider the vibration and noise dampening of a stabilizer. The vibration has to do with the recoiling you feel when you shoot your bow. A good stabilizer will help keep the vibration to a minimum which will keep the bow better balanced and give you a more accurate shot.

The noise your bow makes can be the difference between you hitting your prey when hunting and having them scamper off before your arrow reaches them. That vibration not only causes a physical reaction, it also causes audible sounds that animals can pick up on easily. The right stabilizer, while reducing the vibration of a bow, will also dampen that noise to help you stay hidden while hunting.

By keeping this feature and the other key features in mind while shopping, you’ll be able to compare and contrast products and find one that is perfect for you.

Overviews of The Best Bow Stabilizers for Target Shooting

Knowing what to look for in a stabilizer can help you with a purchasing decision, but an in-depth look at the best bow stabilizers on the market can help even more.

Bow Stabilizer Comparison Chart

When shopping for a bow stabilizer, there are certain things to initially take into consideration. Compare the weight and length of each along with the vibration reduction and noise dampening effects in order to find something that suits your bow as well as your needs and preferences.

 Bee Stinger Sport Hunter Xtreme StabilizerEBBQ Axion SSG Silencer StabilizerLimbSaver S-Coil Bow StabilizerNAP Apache Bow StabilizerTrophy Ridge Static Stabilizer
Weight8.8oz – 1.4lbs6-8oz4.5oz1lb3.2 – 4.8oz
Length6”, 8”, 8.6”, 10”, 10.8”4”, 6”4.5”8”6”, 9”
Vibration ReductionExcellentExcellentGoodExcellentExcellent
Noise DampeningExcellentExcellentExcellentExcellentExcellent
Price ($USD)Check PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

In A Hurry?
The EBBQ Axion SSG Silencer Stabilizer Review is my favorite out of the 5, you can check it out on Amazon here.

1. Bee Stinger Sport Hunter Xtreme Stabilizer

Bee Stinger Sport Hunter Xtreme Stabilizer

This stabilizer is made by the well-known Bee Stinger brand and is considered one of the best ones on the market. The Sport Hunter Xtreme comes in a variety of sizes to accommodate more bows. The smallest size weighs only 2.7oz and is 6 inches long while the largest size is 1.4lbs and 10.8 inches.

In every size, the weight is at the end of the stabilizer for balance. With a good range of options, you can get the best stabilizer for your purposes or pick up different sizes and switch them out depending on what you’re doing.

The Sport Hunter Xtreme is made of light yet durable carbon fiber that helps it stay steady to promote accuracy while also ensuring that the stabilizer will last even with frequent use. This material along with a rubber component is also what reduces vibration and noise when you take a shot.

This stabilizer is more expensive than some of the other models available (over $200 in some cases) but the trusted brand name and the high quality of the product make it worth the money if you can fit it in your budget.

Pros Cons
  • Light
  • Made of durable carbon fiber
  • Promote accuracy
  • More expensive

Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Bee Stinger Sport Hunter Xtreme Stabilizer on Amazon

2. EBBQ Axion SSG Silencer Stabilizer

This stabilizer by EBBQ is available in two different sizes, both under a pound and as short as 4 inches making it ideal for hunters. You can maneuver easily with this small stabilizer while also benefiting from the improved accuracy it provides.

The Axion SSG Silencer Stabilizer also offers wide resistance thanks to its hollow design. With this, your shots come off cleaner and reach the target faster. The stabilizer also features up to four Mathews dampeners (three in the smaller size) for excellent noise and vibration reduction.

This particular stabilizer features an easy assembly and installation process that will fit most bows. Durable materials allow it to last a long time, but some users have complained about the colors fading over time. The Axion SSG is a little on the higher end of the price scale for stabilizers (slightly under $100), but the features and quality make up for that.

Pros Cons
  • Easy maneuver
  • Lightweight
  • Wide resistance
  • Excellent noise and vibration reduction
  • Durable
  • Slightly expensive

Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Click here for reviews of EBBQ Axion SSG Silencer Stabilizer Review on Amazon

3. LimbSaver S-Coil Bow Stabilizer

A small, lightweight option, the LimbSaver S-Coil stabilizer is great for hunting. It also features Noise and Vibration Control Material (NAVCOM) technology in the signature coil design to better control vibration and diminish noise.

It is easy to install onto your bow and comes in a variety of colors to suit your personal style. The well-balanced design makes for better stability and comfort but its small design might not be best for long-range shooting according to users.     

The stabilizer is made to withstand the elements and is great for outdoor use. More so, this particular product is quite affordable (under $20) making it a great option for budget-conscious shooters who still want a quality product.

Pros Cons
  • Small, lightweight
  • Features NAVCOM technology
  • Easy installation
  • Afforable
  • Small design not suited for long-range shooting

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Click here for reviews of LimbSaver S-Coil Bow Stabilizer on Amazon

4. NAP Apache Bow Stabilizer

A versatile stabilizer great for target practice and hunting, the Apache stabilizer can be customized based on your preferences. The 8-inch stabilizer can be modified by removing a 3-inch attachment to make it shorter and more suitable for hunting—a unique feature that really adds value to this affordable (around $30) product.

Slightly on the heavy side, the NAP Apache weights around 1 pound when fully assembled but will lose 2 ounces when you take off the removable attachment. It’s made of carbon fiber for a long-lasting design that can withstand frequent use but can feel off-balanced due to the weight distribution and size of the stabilizer. Patented dampening materials further the stabilizers usefulness by reducing vibration and noise.  

While the Apache can help improve accuracy and stability, there is a downside to it. According to reviews, it can be hard to assemble and dismantle when looking to remove the longer attachment. The product is held together by small screws that need to be removed so this isn’t a change that can be done quickly on the field and isn’t very user-friendly.

Pros Cons
  • Affordable
  • Customizable
  • Great noise dampening feature
  • Heavy
  • Hard to assemble

Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Click here for reviews of NAP Apache Bow Stabilizer on Amazon

5. Trophy Ridge Static Stabilizer

Trophy Ridge Static Stabilizer

Trophy Ridge is one of the most trusted brands for bow accessories known for high rates of precision as well as durability. Made with comfort in mind, the Static stabilizer comes in two sizes making it suitable for hunting and target practice.

The design features a rubber coating to absorb vibration and noise while the braided structure—made of Ballistix copolymer materials—allows for better airflow around the bow along with increased strength. All of this creates a smoother shot along with better balance and stability. This also helps you maintain accuracy in windy conditions.

If you prefer a heavier design or need more weight for your particular bow, there are additional weights that you can add to the stabilizer to improve the balance of your stabilizer. It is an affordable option (ranging from around $21 to $60) but users report that it can’t be used with all bows.

Pros Cons
  • Durable
  • Smoother shot with better balance and stability
  • Maintains accuracy in windy conditions
  • Affordable
  • Cannot be used with all bows

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Click here for reviews of Trophy Ridge Static Stabilizer on Amazon

General Impressions

After looking at some of the popular bow stabilizers on the market, it’s clear that there are some options that are better than others. While everything really comes down to your personal preferences and your particular bow, pay particular attention to the weight and balance of the stabilizer you choose.

According to user reviews for all of the stabilizers, each does its job but some have limits. For example, the LimbSaver S-coil stabilizer is affordable and offers lightweight, but has been reported to be unsuitable for long-range shooting making it less versatile than others.

Similarly, the NAP Apache stabilizer is quite durable and can be modified for different situations making it versatile. However, people who’ve purchased this say that it isn’t very user-friendly and is hard to dismantle making the versatile design more of a hassle than a convenience.  

When choosing the best bow stabilizer for target shooting out of these options, versatility, usefulness, and the price seems to make the EBBQ Axion SSG Silencer Stabilizer the best choice. It is good for all bows and all shooting situations thanks to its size while also providing quality vibration and noise reduction to improve accuracy. While there are cheaper options available, those seem to come with downsides including a lack of versatility or balance problems.


Your main goal as a bow shooter is to hit your target, be that a static practice target or prey. The right stabilizer can make all the difference here.

With so many options available, picking the best one is a daunting task. However, with the information here, you can make an informed purchase decision and find the best product to fit you and your bow.

Need a bow?
Then check out our article for Best Recurve Bow For Beginners
Choosing a Long Range Rifle
Oct 21

Choosing a Long Range Rifle Scope

By Archer | Reviews , Rifle Scopes Reviews , Scopes , Tips

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
Man looking through the Rifle Scope
Jul 05

How to Sight in a Scope Without Shooting

By Archer | Rifle , Scopes , Tips

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
Jun 15

How To Choose A Rifle Scope For Deer Hunting

By Archer | Reviews , Rifle Scopes Reviews , Scopes , Tips

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!

5 Rifle Scopes Suitable For Deer Hunting:

 Sightmark SM13068HBR Core Hxx 40mm, 3-9X40mmXOPin Hunting Rifle Scope Combo C4-16/12x50EGBushnell Engage Riflescope, Matte Black, 30mm TubeVortex Optics Crossfire II Adjustable Objective, 1-inch Tube
Dimensions (in)17 x 4 x 4 15.8 x 3.9 x 4.715 x 2 x 114.5 x 2 x 1.7
Weight (lbs)
Magnification3-9x4x-16x/4x-12x 3-12X 4-12x
Objective lens diameter (mm)40504240
Eye relief (in/mm)4 - 3.73 -
Price (USD$)Check PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Mounted Rifle With Scope
May 07

Adjusting Parallax on Non-AO Scope

By Archer | Scopes , Tips

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!

Double Barrel Rifle
Apr 25

How To Break In A New Rifle Barrel

By Archer | Rifle , Tips

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


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:

Rifle Scope Close Up
Apr 05

What Do The Numbers Mean On A Rifle Scope?

By Archer | Rifle , Scopes , Tips

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.