How to Choose a Scope

If you are a firearm enthusiast, then getting a sighting device on your firearm should come in handy. Therefore, it is good to learn the basics of how to choose a scope.

Choosing a scope for your firearm will depend on your expectations and needs. The options are quite numerous, and there is always a scope for your tasks.

Whether you are a hunter or a target shooter, the first simple step towards choosing your scope is knowing your priorities.

However, the market is also saturated with hundreds, if not thousands of options to consider. Therefore, with the right choosing skills, you are likely to get the best scope for your needs.

Remember, there is more to choosing scopes than what meets the eye.

But, with this guide, you are guaranteed to learn the basics of a scope to get the right one that will be worth your money.

What you need to know

How to choose  a Scope

Know Your Priorities

It is good to understand how does a rifle scope work. Although scopes have similar functionality, there is a difference in every activity.

Therefore, keeping your priorities straight is a critical factor to consider.

If you are a hunter, you also need to know what animals you are hunting.

For instance, if you are hunting for small game, you will need a scope with a small magnification capacity while the big game will require high magnification

 Additionally, if you are buying a scope for defense purposes, then you need to know the size of your land.

However, if your property is not as big that you will need extra vision, the scope might slow you down.

Lastly, if you are a target shooter, then your shooting range is a factor to consider when shopping for a scope.

If you are shooting at a range of 100 yards or more, you need a scope with high magnification to enhance your accuracy.

Also, it is essential to put your firearm in mind before getting a scope. If you are planning to use a shotgun, then buying a scope that can fit on a rifle might not work best for you.

Now that you have your priorities in place, it is time to jump in on a factor to consider in a scope.

Usual Environment Conditions

Usual weather conditions within your area play a significant role while investing in a scope.

Although almost all scopes are designed with fog-proof lenses, your environmental conditions should be your top priority.

Some scopes are specifically designed to withstand humidity, heat, and moisture.

Therefore, when you are buying, take your time to find one that will not only give you precise performance but will also work in your area.

If you leave in an environment with extreme summer/winter, then it is essential to spend a few more bucks for a high-end weatherproofing device.

For instance, if you leave in areas where it rains numerously, you will need to buy a scope with exceptional grip.

The last thing you would want is your scope to slip off your hands after spending money to get it.

Additionally, you also need to know whether your scope is water-resistant and how long it can take while submerged underwater.

Scopes are delicate, and they require extra care to continue performing at their best.

However, even with all the care, protecting it from weather challenges can be a little complicated.

You also need to be sure that the scope has a compact construction with no loose ends.

If your adventure takes you to the woods or on rocky surfaces, then a scope with solid construction will make your day exciting.

Eye Relief

As a regular hunter or shooter, you understand developing eye fatigue is not a friendly experience.

You will need to invest in a scope that provides you with quality viewing and also keep you safe.

Eye relief is determined by the distance between your eye and the scope.

It also protects you from getting a “scope eye’ due to knocking the scope into your face. Getting a good eye relief also guarantees that you can use the scope even while wearing your glasses.

Therefore, it will be easy for you to see through the lens and still get quality performance from the scope without stressing your eye.

However, when testing for eye relief, ensure to use the scope as you would use it while shooting.

In other words, if you intend to use your rifle while on a bench rest, ensure to test the scope while on a bench rest to enhance its accuracy.

Commonly eye reliefs are around 4-inches for rifles. But, depending on your needs, there are scopes with bigger eye relief for up to 20-inches that you can check out.

Also, while checking about eye relief, it is essential to position your eye appropriately and ensure you have sufficient light transfer.

Check On the Lenses

You shouldn’t expect to get quality glasses in an inexpensive gadget.

You will always get what you pay for. However, that is not an indication that only expensive devices are the best quality.

Therefore, you have to be extra careful while checking at the lenses to get value for the money.

If possible, choose a scope with extra-low dispensation glass to minimize chromatic aberration.

This will guarantee to enhance the image sharpness, color fidelity, and contrast for precise vision.

Additionally, invest in scope with multi-coat lenses maximizes light transmission and ensures you have sufficient brightness.

You also need to ensure that the coating is not cheaply made and will last as long as the scope.

A good scope lens with fully multi-coated ensures to give you not only additional vision but also enhances your performance.

Also, while looking at the glass, you need to be sure that your scope lens can hasten moisture removal while working under harsh conditions.

This ensures that your scope will provide you exceptional performance even while working under complicated conditions.


Among other factors to consider while shopping for a scope, magnification should not be optional.

Magnification is what will determine if you will have accuracy while in the field or even spot your target.

Therefore, you need to select a scope with the best magnification for enhanced performance.

 Choosing magnification, however, varies depending on your field of shooting, distance, and the time of hunting you are doing.

For instance, if you are shooting in a field with big trees, a scope with 10x magnification might not be practical.

On the other hand, a scope with standard 3x for every 100 yards increase. This is to say, when shooting at 200 yards, 6x magnification will be perfect.

With high magnification, it becomes easy for you to spot your target from a distance.

It also increases your chances of making a superb shot hence guarantee that your round counts.

Another aspect to consider while checking magnification is whether your target is moving or still.

For moving animals, you will need a scope with high magnification to ensure you cover a large area while picking your target.

This way, it will be easy to counter the target animal and make effective shooting calculations.

Having an ideal magnification scope for your shooting gives you the courage to hunt and place your bets.

However, this should not limit you from implementing your personal choices as you take your shots. You can adjust the magnification to your liking and depending on your target.

However, when checking for magnification, it is essential to consider the furthest shot you intend to make or often make.

Remember, a high magnification scope can also perform better while shooting at a close range.

Therefore, the most critical point is to put long distances in mind and choose a scope that you will be more comfortable at the range shooting.


Whether you are working on a budget or not, looking at the price of a product before you buy is quite essential.

This gives you a range of what to expect from the product and also sets up the standard.

However, you also need to know that not all expensive products are of the best quality and vice versa.

Before heading to the stores or even thinking of the scope of your dream, make a budget and work by it.

This way, it will be easy for you to get the product that will not stress your account.

There is always a product for your price range. But, unless you plan your finances, you may never get the ideal product that you need.

Therefore, when checking on scope prices, ensure to check on specific features that contribute to the amount.

Take your time and ensure you only settle for what works on your needs and is also within your budget range.

Pricing also gives you an overview of what to expect from various scopes.

Therefore, making your decision about which scope to buy will not be difficult.

Your budget often attracts the right products to you.

When you budget for a scope, putting your ideas together on what to get comes automatically.

Manufacturing Material

The main tube material is a great factor to consider. It determines the durability of the product and flexibility of usage.

For instance, scopes made of aircraft-grade aluminum cannot be compared to those made of a plastic tube.

One is more durable and can withstand a handful of challenges. A scope made of aircraft-grade aluminum guarantees that the scope will still perform better even under harsh weather conditions.

Therefore, when buying, considering the material is as good as looking for brand reputation.

Although it may not be easy for you to tell which material is used by looking at a glance, you shouldn’t assume the obvious.

Also, on material, you need to be sure that you get one that is weather and scratch-resistant.

A cheaply made scope whose material is not durable may be cheap and look attractive, but in the long run it will cost you as much.

Therefore, it is essential to ensure that only settle for the right material quality.

Considering that you will have the scope for a long time, it is essential to only go for one that gives you satisfaction.

Material construction is also a determining factor when it comes to scope storage.

You should, therefore, ensure that if you get the right material, it has a top coating to prevent corrosion and ensure that the scope lasts much longer.

Tube Size

The size of the tube often varies from one firearm to the other. If, for instance, you are looking for a scope to fit on a shotgun, it might not be the same size as to when you are buying for a rifle.

Additionally, most small size scopes are desired with precision to provide quality performance.

You should, therefore, ensure to put the size into consideration.

The size of the scope will also dictate the mounting process and will give you specified directions.

Therefore, if your rifle or gun is pre-drilled and tapped for scope mounting, you would need to go for a size that will fit perfectly.

Additionally, while looking at the size, the shape of the scope is also a significant aspect to consider.

The shape makes it possible to notice the difference between the ocular lens and the objective lens, especially if you are new to scopes.


With the above tips on factors to consider before choosing a scope, you are good to get your scope.

Although it might be a little complicated to get one scope that has all the essential features, there is still room for picking the best.

Therefore, read through the guide and ensure always to choose what will interest you and meet your needs.

Whether you have been buying scopes in the past or this is the first time, there is no harm in always seeking assistance.

If you have people around you who have details on specific scope brands and are willing to share their knowledge with you, go for it.

Buying scopes can be both interesting and daunting at the same time, and unless you have people around you with sustainable assistance, you might make the wrong choice.

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