NcStar Scope Review: Helping You Set Your Sights on the Target

With the fall hunting season right around the corner, now is the time to find a scope that helps you set your sights on the target so you can be prepared when the time comes. It’s time to take advantage of the end-of-summer lull to find the scope that upgrades your rifle and perfects your shot. But which one to buy? One of the more popular options on the market is the focus of this NcStar Scope review. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the NcStar Scope and others like it so you can make the best choice possible.

Got your eye on the target? Let’s get started!

[amazon box=”B0030H59PG, B006UKMDFO, B00784RRNY, B004803YTW,” template=”table”]

What Is the NcStar Scope?

Like any other scope, the NcStar Scope is an additional attachment to your rifle that helps you see distant targets better. Scopes like these are often called precision scopes or sniper scopes and are usually appropriate for any kind of hunting rifle that can handle an additional attachment. Scopes like these are easy to use and easy to install.


In this NcStar Scope review, we have discovered that the NcStar Scope does have some special features that set it apart from other scopes. The NcStar Scope is part of a family of tactical scopes for rifles that can be mounted or dismounted at any time. The difference between the NcStar Scope and its predecessors is the red dot sight and the upgrades to the lens magnification, which has sharpened and perfected the view of the sighting through the scope for any distance.


The NcStar scope is a moderately small size and made completely of metal, so it might be heavier than other scopes with similar functions. However, the NcStar Scope is easy to use, easy to look at, and easy to install, which definitely sets it apart from its competitors.

Product Specs

With an ultimate sighting system, the NcStar Scope combines the best features of a classic tactical scope with a backup red dot sight, which makes this particular scope great for close sighting and long distance.


The scope also has multi-coated lenses designed for better brightness and clarity, along with a red and green illuminated sniper reticle with multiple brightness settings. The NcStar Scope also has open target turrets, a bullet drop compensator, a rotating mount, and a quick focus eye-piece.


For tactical scopes, there can be a great variation in price. Usually, getting a scope that does everything you need and does everything well means spending at least $75 or more. You can’t skimp on the quality of your scope if you expect it to last and serve your needs.


That said, some scopes come in under $100, while others price upward of $1000. If the price of a scope makes you cringe, you should remember that scopes are investments that are meant to last several years, and that there are certainly more inexpensive options if hunting is a casual hobby.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare to the NcStar Scope reviewed here.

  • Bushnell Elite Tactical
  • Nightforce NXS
  • Vortex Optics Diamondback

Product Comparison Table

NcStar Scope Review

[amazon box=”B0030H59PG”]

  • Ease of Use
  • Assembly Time
  • Design Quality 
  • Durability

The NcStar Scope has an integrated, Weaver-style quick release that makes it easy to mount or dismount the scope at a moment’s notice. The scope also has a rotating mount so you are able to use the scope off-center if you want. The red dot sight makes it very easy to center your vision on the target.

 5 Stars

The NcStar Scope comes already assembled and ready for mounting.

4 Stars

It’s undeniable that the NcStar Scope reviewed here is nicer looking than many other scopes on the market. While clearly a military-inspired tactical scope, the NcStar Scope has a simplistic design with a matte black finish that doesn’t look like a complete eyesore on your rifle.

5 Stars

The NcStar Scope is made completely of metal and weighs about 1 pound. Overall, the scope is very durable and can handle some rough handling. There have been issues with the top cap falling off, but the NcStar company is quick with any replacements.

 4 Stars


  • Good for short and long distance
  • Easy mounting
  • Red dot sighting


  • Heavy
  • Might need replacement parts
  • Some assembly required

Bushnell Elite Tactical Review

[amazon box=”B006UKMDFO”]

If you’re looking for a military grade scope, then look no further than the Bushnell Elite Tactical scope. The Bushnell Elite Tactical scope has multi-coated lens optics for light transmission and clarity, a rain guard anti-fog technology, adjustable magnification power, a milhash marked first focal plane, and a throw hammer throw lever for quick adjustment. Everything about the Bushnell Elite Tactical scope is top-notch and high quality. This scope is ideal for ranging, holdover, and windage correction.

  • Ease of Use
  • Assembly Time
  • Design Quality 
  • Durability

​With so many features on the scope, using the scope may present something of a challenge at first. However, once you are used to the adjustments that can be made to the lens and the mill hashed marks on the first focal plane, then everything else about the scope becomes a breeze. Overall, the Bushnell is pretty easy to use.

 4 Stars

There is some assembly required for this scope while it is being mounted, which can mean that assembly and adjustment time can take a while.

4 Stars

The Bushnell Elite Tactical scope is sleek. Once mounted, the scope is a subtle telescopic shape that doesn’t add too much weight to your rifle and doesn’t take up a lot of space. Ultimately, the Bushnell looks as nice as it functions.

5 Stars

This Bushnell scope is an investment that is high on durability and will last a long time with the right care and use.

 5 Stars


  • Rain guard and sunshade lens
  • Adjustable magnification power
  • Mil hashed marks on first focal plane


  • Expensive
  • Long, large scope
  • Can be confusing for beginners to use

Nightforce NXS Review

[amazon box=”B00784RRNY”]

The Nightforce NXS scope is another military grade tactical scope with a price tag to match. The ultimate in long range tactical scopes, the Nightforce NXS has features like a 56mm objective lens, a fully adjustable magnification, and an illuminated reticle. The scope also has Zero Stop Turrets, .250 MOA, and a 30mm tube.


This is a scope that is ideal for long-range hunting of small game, such as ground squirrels, and works best if you need to track minute movements across a long distance. This is the perfect choice for the hunter who wants the best sight possible without any extra fuss.

  • Ease of Use
  • Assembly Time
  • Design Quality 
  • Durability

​This scope is all about long distance sighting, and it approaches this problem with a very low-frill objective lens with fully adjustable magnification that is excellent for long range targets and great for close range targets. The clarity of the lens is aided by the illuminated reticle, so the scope can be used in many different lighting settings.

 5 Stars

THe Nightforce NXS comes nearly fully assembled, so all you need to do it mount it on your rifle.

5 Stars

Like the previous scope, the Nightforce NXS is a scope with a sleek design and a matte black finish that makes for a subtle addition to any rifle.

5 Stars

The Nightforce NXS is so durable there is even a video online proving how much abuse the scope can take before it finally sees any damage. This scope is also moderately weighted and made entirely of metal.

 5 Stars


  • Great for long-range hunting
  • 56mm objective lens
  • Illuminated reticle


  • Expensive
  • No additional lens features

Vortex Optics Diamondback Review

[amazon box=”B004803YTW”]

If you aren’t interested on mounting anything on your rifle but you still want an improved sight while hunting, then the Vortex Optics Diamondback Binoculars are a great option for you. Unlike the other scopes in this NcStar Scope review, the Vortex binoculars are not limited to being used with a rifle mount.


The Vortex binoculars have an o-ring seal to protect from moisture and debris, anti-fog technology, fully coated glass for better light transmission, adjustable eyecups, both a center focus wheel and a right eyepiece diopter, rainguard, and tethered objective lens covers. These binoculars really have it all and are ideal for hunting as well as birdwatching, hiking, or other outdoor activities.

  • Ease of Use
  • Assembly Time
  • Design Quality 
  • Durability

​These binoculars are truly very easy to use. They are fully adjustable for eye width and for different clarity in each eye. The Vortex Optics Diamondback binoculars are a high tech, easy-to-use set that delivers better light transmission and weatherproofing without additional fuss. Overall, the adjustable center focus wheel and right eyepiece diopter make these binoculars easy to use for everyone – including those who wear glasses.

 5 Stars

There is no assembly time for these binoculars. The Vortex Optics Diamondback binoculars come out of the box fully assembled and ready for use. The most you will have to do is adjust the sight and the comfort neck strap that is included in the purchase.

5 Stars

Despite all the features these binoculars have, their overall design leans more toward the minimalist side of things. With a small, lightweight, and narrow design, these binoculars have a matte black finish and a plan neck strap for a simplistic design.

5 Stars

At just under 2 pounds, these Vortex Optics Diamondback binoculars are about as durable as binoculars get. The multi-coated glass and weatherproofing features on the binoculars mean that they will last for several years, which means these binoculars are a worthwhile investment regardless of what you will use them for.

 5 Stars


  • Ideal for hunting, birdwatching, and hiking
  • Rainguard and anti-fog technology
  • Center wheel focus and right eyepiece diopter


  • Cannot be mounted on a rifle
  • Not hands free
  • Some people experience headaches using these


We’ve talked about a lot of scopes in this NcStar Scope review. For rifle mounted tactical scopes, the best brands are also the most expensive and are typically referred to as military grade scopes. The Bushnell and the Nightforce scopes are both military grade scopes made to be mounted on rifles. The Bushnell sets itself apart by having a milhash marked first focal plane and additional weatherproofing features for clarity in all conditions.


The Nightforce NXS scope is the ultimate long-range scope that keeps things simple but has an incomparable illuminated reticle and easy clarity tracking features that are frankly the envy of all other long distance scopes.


However, the downside of all of these scopes is the steep price. If you are a casual hunter or someone with a budget, these scopes are likely out of your price range even for a one-time investment. Even for all these cool features, most hunters don’t have the pocket change to drop a few hundred dollars on a scope to help them see better.

soldier using a rifle scope

Image source: pixabay


The NcStar

Luckily, the feature product in our NcStar Scope Review is the answer to this dilemma. Who said that great scopes have to be expensive?


The NcStar Scope is an affordable, full range tactical scope that comes at an affordable price. Unlike other scopes of the same class, the NcStar can upgrade the sight on your rifle without making a massive dent in your wallet. The NcStar Scope has a rotating, quick release mount and a red dot sight that will help you make sure every shot counts. Our final verdict for the NcStar Scope is a full 5 Star rating: this scope is effective, easy to use, easy to mount, and easy on your wallet. If you want a scope that delivers a better close and distance sighting for hunting, then look no further than the NcStar Scope

rifle aiming the target

What Do The Numbers Mean On A Rifle Scope? Analyzing The Digits To Improve Your Shot

image source: unsplash

Rifle manufacturers are consistently making improvements to their scopes to offer hunters and rifle enthusiasts reliable equipment. With a wealth of models on the market, it can be difficult to decipher the evolving technology and how best to capitalize on the functions to improve your shooting experience. You may be an experienced shooter and still ask “what do the numbers mean on a rifle scope?” So do not worry, we have gathered everything you need to know!

What Do the Numbers Mean on a Rifle Scope?

The numbers on a rifle scope reflect the range of its magnification (or power) and the size of the objective lens. The first 2 numbers relate to the minimum and maximum magnification level of the scope, also known as the zoom scope, whilst the last number refers to the objective lens diameter in mm. Navigating and understanding these numbers are critical for improving the speed and accuracy of your shot.

Magnification or Power

A rifle scope’s primary function is to magnify the chosen target, and the most common series of numbers you will see on a scope signify the magnification level.The magnification, or power, is specified as a multiplication factor compared to the naked eye, meaning that a target in the reticle of a scope with a ‘3-9′ power range can appear 3 to 9 times larger depending on where the shooter sets the zoom.

The first number signifies the lowest magnification and the second number the highest. Some scopes with a fixed power will just have one number; for example, ‘4x40mm’. This signifies that the target in the reticle of this scope will appear four times larger, or four times closer, than the naked eye. The higher the number, the higher the magnification. 

I learned how to fire a sniper rifle, which I’m sure will be useful at some point.

Paul Giamatti

Variable power on a scope will always have the numbers separated with a dash, and most modern rifle scopes will have this capability. Variable power enables a shooter to have far greater versatility at the range or in the field because of the number of values that can be set in between the lowest and highest settings.

Deciding on the power of your scope will depend on the environment and the expected distances to your targets. For example, if you are hunting in thick forest or areas of close cover, you would be better off using a low-power fixed scope, like a ‘4x’ or a variable power scope with a low power of 3.5x or lower. This increases your overall field of vision, which can allow you to quickly acquire the target and freely switch to other targets.

If you are operating in mountainous areas or long range environments, then a rifle scope with a high fixed or variable power is the best option (i.e: ‘16x’ or a ‘20x’). This will provide the shooter with a clear image of a small target even if it’s hundreds of yards away. Most hunters will opt for rifle scopes with variable powers like ‘3.5-10x’ or ‘4-12x’ because they allow for large variations from long range to close cover.

soldier using  gun with scope

image source: pexels

Objective Lens Size

This is the final number in the sequence and signifies the objective lens size in millimeters (mm), also referred to as the objective diameter of the scope. For example, the ‘3-9×40′ scope has a variable power of 3 to 9 times and an objective diameter of 40mm.

The objective lens of a scope is the one closest to the target and farthest from the rifle’s stock. The larger the lens, the greater its capacity to let light in, and as a result the target will be illuminated. The more a scope magnifies a target, the larger its objective diameter needs to be to maintain brightness and clarity. For instance, a ‘3-9x32mm’ scope will not be as clear on 9 times magnification than a ‘3-9x50mm’ scope, which will be bright on all variable power settings. 

Rifle scopes with low objective diameters will get darker and darker the more you magnify the target, so opting for a larger objective lens will be of great benefit, especially in low-light conditions.

In low-light conditions, scopes with larger objective diameters are more effective due to their larger exit pupil. The exit pupil is the size of the beam of light that leaves the scope and can be calculated by dividing the objective diameter by the power. For example, a ‘4x32mm’ scope will have an exit pupil of 8mm. To help put this in perspective, the human pupil on a clear sunny day will vary between 2mm to 4mm depending on the brightness. At pre-dawn or after sunset, the pupil will vary from 5mm to sometimes as high as 9mm.

So, even though a scope with a larger exit pupil will have a minimal effect during the day, it will be a huge benefit to precise vision in low-light conditions.

Tube Diameter

Tube diameter is the diameter of the scope’s tube. When you’re wondering “what does the numbers mean on a rifle scope,” you should know that you aren’t likely to find this number displayed on many scopes; but it is found on the manufacturer’s box in the description and details. You will need to know this number as it’s necessary for purchasing the correct rings to mount the scope on your rifle.

Two of the most common sizes for scope tubes are ‘1inch’ and ‘30mm’, with the latter being the largest. A larger tube diameter enables the lenses inside the scope to be larger, allowing more light to pass through for clearer vision. ‘30mm’ tube diameters are often more expensive, with ‘34mm’ versions being even more so.

How the Scope Works

A fundamental part of answering “what do the numbers mean on a rifle scope?” is understanding the basic workings of the scope. The scope has four main components: the glass, optical coatings, parallax adjustment and eye relief.

Glass (the Lens)

High-definition glass or extra-low-dispersion glass (ED glass) is used to make the lens of the scope. It directs the wavelengths of external light into a focal point, increasing clarity, sharpness and true-to-life colors.

Optical Coatings

Reflected light in rifle scopes is the main cause of decreased light transmission and blurry images. When light hits a glass surface, between 1% and 5% of the light is reflected. To eliminate this chance of reflection on the ED glass, manufacturers coat the surface with a thin chemical film (commonly magnesium fluoride). Multiple layers reduce glare and light loss, which results in vibrant, clearer images.

There are three main terms used to describe the types of coatings available for your optics:

  1. Coated – Single layer on the exterior surfaces of the glass for protection from abrasion
  2. Multi-coated – Multiple coats on the exterior surfaces of the glass to prevent abrasion and reduce glare
  3. Fully Multi-coated – All glass surfaces are thoroughly coated to maximize durability and the best light transmission

Parallax Adjustment

Every scope has a standard focusing knob which adjusts the reticle to your eye. The reticle is the series of fine lines in the eyepiece that measures the scale/size of distant objects. Parallax occurs when you are viewing distant targets, with magnification over 10x, and the reticle appears to shift or move. To return the reticle to the same focal plane as the target, use the parallax adjustment.

Most scopes that do not have adjustable objectives compensate for parallax by being preset to find focus at 150 yds. However, if you are looking for a higher power scope for distant targets, consider one with an adjustable objective.

Eye Relief

Eye relief refers to the physical distance that you can hold the scope from your eye without losing sight of the entire image The eye relief on a rifle will vary with the power of the scope, but try to find options with generous eye relief, as it will allow you to acquire the target more quickly, especially for running shots.Most hunters will use 3″ to 4″, but for those of you with large magnum rifles, you will need maximum relief to avoid injuring yourself when the rifle recoils.

Common Terms to Understand

If you are new to rifle scopes, you will probably encounter terms you don’t understand. To avoid confusion, we have defined a few important terms that will help answer your question “what do the numbers mean on a rifle scope?”

Field of View (FOV)

The field of view references how wide the area is (in feet) that you can see at 100 yds. The higher a number is, the wider the area appears, while a smaller number indicates a narrower area. Therefore, as you increase the magnification, the FOV becomes smaller. These numbers are influenced by the focal length of the objective lenses, the design of the eyepiece and the power of the scope. If you are interested in close cover, quick-target acquisition, you will need a wider field of view, so you should seek a smaller power.

Minute of Angle (MOA)

When designating variances on a target at 100 yds, MOA is the term used to describe the adjustment on a scope. To calculate MOA at any distance, just multiply the distance in yards by 1.047 and then divide by 100.

For example: If the adjustments on the scope are 1/4 MOA, then the bullet’s point of impact will move 0.26175″ (rounded to 1/4″ at 100 yds) for every click of the adjustment knob.

Milliradians (MILs)

MILs serve the same function as MOA. They are both equal at 100 yards, but their math is different:

  • 1 MOA = 1.047 inches or 1/4″ at 100 yards
  • 1 MIL is equivalent to 3.438 MOA
  • To calculate the inches in 1 MIL, multiply 1 MOA (1.047″) by the amount of MOA in 1 MIL (3.438)


Understanding these terms, along with the components of the scope and its numbers, will ultimately improve your overall accuracy, speed and target success when shooting. We hope this has helped to answer “what do the numbers mean on a rifle scope?” If you are seeking a way to improve your confidence and success rate when shooting, take time to familiarise yourself with your scope and then practice with a target!

What Is a Prism Scope? Doing Away With Traditional Lenses to Focus an Image

The ideal goal of every shooter is to achieve a one-shot kill. For those shooters who only concentrate on paper targets, their ideal goal is to hit the target exactly where they intended to hit. The chances of achieving the ideal goal are greatly enhanced when shooters choose to mount and use scopes on their firearms. The question then becomes, should they do away with traditional lenses to focus an image or should they try a newer alternative? Read on to discover the answer to the question ‘What is a prism scope’?

​What Is a Prism Scope?

A prism scope is an aiming device that uses a prism to focus an image coming through the scope rather than the series of lenses used in a traditional scope. Prism scopes are usually more compact and limited to the lower range magnifications between 1X and 5X. Size and lower magnification range makes them ideal for tactical rifles such as AR-15s. They often serve as alternatives to other short-range optics, such as red dot sights.

The best way to answer the question ‘What is a prism scope?’ is by breaking down the basic concept of a prism scope and comparing and contrasting it to a traditional multi-lens scope. The advantages of doing away with traditional lenses to focus an image by utilizing a prism scope can then be discussed.

​What Is a Prism?

Those of you sharpshooters out there that can already answer the question ‘what is a prism scope?’ may need to take a break while we begin at the beginning. In geometry, a prism is a figure that has two similar, equal end-faces, parallel rectilinear figures and parallelogram sides. For this discussion, a prism is a glass or other transparent object the shape of a triangular prism with refracting surfaces at acute angles to each other so that white light is separated into a spectrum of colors.

 What Is a Traditional Multi-Lens Scope?

In order to answer the question ‘what is a prism scope?’ we need to compare it to the traditional multi lens scope.


A traditional rifle scope is similar to a miniature telescope. A series of lenses within the tube or body of the scope focuses light in a specific location. The lens closest to the end of the barrel is called the objective lens. The lens closest to the shooter is called the ocular lens. The purpose of the objective lens is to transmit light back to the ocular lens. The ocular lens magnifies the light from the focal point.


When the shooter looks through the ocular lens, the light illuminates the focal point of the target. Rifle scopes also have reticles, which are also called the crosshairs. These are markers inside the scope that show the shooter where the shot will go (hopefully) once the trigger is pulled.


Magnification is measured in X times your vision. When the scope is set to 5X, the image that is viewed will appear five times larger than when viewed without the scope. Most manufacturers set their rifle scopes so that they are focused at 100 yards. This means that the target should be clear when seen through the scope 100 yards away. Errors can occur with magnification.

​Eye Relief

Eye relief refers to the distance between the scope and the user’s eye such that a full picture is visualized. The distance between the eye and the scope must be far enough so that when the rifle recoils after firing, it doesn’t send the scope back far enough to hit the eye; this is called “getting scoped.”

​Parallax Issues

Parallax refers to a displacement or alteration in the apparent position of an object when viewed along two different lines of sight, as measured by the angle of inclination between those two lines. This means that nearby objects show a larger displacement or parallax than farther objects when observed from different positions.

Focal Plane

In terms of shooting, the focal plane of the target in the scope is offset from the reticle or crosshairs, creating a change in position of the target when the user shifts their gaze. Parallax is usually negligible in low magnification. Tactical style scopes such as the prism scope commonly measure at 100 yards.

 How Does a Prism Scope Work?

A prism scope works similarly to a traditional scope, but instead of lenses, a prism is used to focus the light. This creates a much more compact optic. Prism scopes usually have an etched reticle and an illuminated reticle.

​Etched Reticle

An etched reticle is made of glass with laser incised marks called hashmarks and bullet drop compensators. Etched glass tends to be more precise, because it allows for the customization of hashmarks and bullet drop compensators, and are much more durable than wire reticles.

​Illuminated Reticle

An illuminated reticle shows a red or green light point. It uses light to illuminate the point of focus. This enhances accuracy in low light and at night.

Advantages of a Prism Scope

Woman aiming a gun using a prism scope

image source: unsplash

Prism scopes are limited to lower range magnifications, typically from 1X to 5X. As previously mentioned, the compact size and lower magnification makes them suitable for tactical rifles such as the AR-15s. They are preferred by many shooters as an alternative to other short-range optic devices.


A prism scope provides a brighter, crisper and sharper image. This makes the acquisition of a target quicker. The prism is compact and lightweight.


A prism scope allows for magnification, giving the shooter a larger site picture and extending the effective range, when compared to a red dot site. Magnification with a prism site is low when compared to a traditional scope.


The illuminated and etched reticles give the shooter what they need to achieve their goal of achieving a one-shot kill. The etched reticle does not require batteries or fiber optics to be viewed.

Eye Relief

Prism sites need to be aligned with the eye and set at a certain distance away in order to obtain a clear image. In terms of eye relief, a prism scope has a relatively shorter distance. Unless the shooter requires extra long eye relief, this is an ideal situation.


A diopter is a small dial or knob that allows the user to adjust the sharpness to match their own eyesight. This feature is a godsend for people with astigmatism or other eyesight deficits that make other scope types useless. Shooters who apply excessive diopter change usually experience more parallax issues.


Hand drawn retro telescope

image source: Freepik

Part of discovering what a prism scope is includes determining the specifications. Since there are different types and brands of prism scopes, we randomly selected one to describe. The specifications for prism scopes include more details than discussed here. This means that due diligence and adequate research will be required to decide which prism scope is ideal for any given person:

  • Battery Type = CR2032 3V Lithium Coin
  • Brand = Primary Arms
  • Click Value = 1 /2 MOA
  • Eye Relief = 3.70 in
  • Field View =1 0076.30 ft
  • Illuminated = Illuminated
  • Magnification = 1X
  • Manufacturer = Primary Arms
  • Night Vision Compatible = Non-Compatible
  • Reticle = ACSS Cyclops
  • Total Elevation Adjustment = 50 MOA
  • Total Windage Adjustment = 50 MOA
  • Turret Features = Capped Turrets, Tool Adjustable
  • Type = Fixed Magnification
  • Weight = 9.7 Oz

Is a Prism Scope the Best Option?

Man in black uniform holding a black rifle

image source:pexels

Depending on your needs, you may not want to do away with traditional lenses to focus an image. That is because a prism scope has benefits and drawbacks, once again depending on the user’s needs. A prism scope is an aiming device that uses a glass prism to focus an image coming through the scope, rather than a series of lenses.

Prism scopes are limited to lower ranges of magnification; between 1X and 5X. This means that prism scopes are indicated for use to acquire targets that are at the short to medium range. Prism scopes are ideal for tactical weapons intended for use at close to medium ranges, for example between 25 and 50 yards.

The Goldilocks Range

Scopes that have too much magnification at close range will take time to visually acquire the target. Scopes that have too little magnification at longer ranges will fail to achieve a one-shot kill. The best advice that can be given about a prism scope is to practice. Learning to use your preferred scope in synchrony with the weapon it is attached to is the only way to determine the perfect range for you, in terms of your intended target.

 Bigger Is Not Better

Out there in the world of social media, advertising and male competitiveness, it’s tempting to buy more magnification than necessary. Certainly, there are some very sexy and very high-powered, multi functional scopes out there to seduce the shooter, but just as you would not show up at a gunfight with nothing but a paring knife, shooters do not want to be in a situation where their choice of scope could result in a failure to achieve a one-shot kill or even a failure to save their life.

atn night vision

ATN Night Vision Review: An Absolute Scope To Try On

Hunting and shooting enthusiasts have an unlimited amount of options when it comes to choosing new rifle optics. There are standard optics available that provide you with a crystal-clear view of your target, tactical sights that feature multiple magnification adjustments and high-tech features. Night vision optics are especially advanced, and many models are loaded with multiple features that can turn any ordinary hunt into something straight out of a modern video game.

If you love hunting, target shooting, and high-tech gadgets, you should consider buying an ATN night vision sight. They manufacture some of the most highly advanced sport optics that will further enhance your nighttime hunting expeditions.

To get a better idea of what you can expect from ATN, we have reviews one of their most popular and feature-loaded night vision sights, the ATN X-Sight II.

Review of the ATN Night Vision X-Sight II

Star ratings

The ATN Night Vision X-Sight II was designed after researchers spent many hours looking over the current needs of their customers and learning about the latest developments in night vision technology. With this sight, ATN has managed to introduce a digital night vision optic that is packed with features, all at a price that won’t break the bank.

These days there are all types of hunters with different interests outside of the great outdoors. Hunters who are into shooter video games or those who have to get the latest smartphone device want to bring their love for technology to their favorite sport. The ATN X-Sight II makes it possible to do just that.

[amazon box=”B01BYDUV4G, B01BYDUZ60, B079TDC1XS, B071WHWM5L” Template=”list”]

There are so many great things to say about the X-Sight II. First, it is a day/night optic, which is great if you enjoy hunting at any time and don’t want to switch out your sights. It provides the user with ballistic corrections and ranging capabilities that can be extremely useful while out on the field. This optic also allows you to film your shot in quality HD format.

You are probably thinking that a sight with so many high-tech features would be out of your price range. But the ATN X-Sight II is actually one of the more affordable night vision optics currently on the market. It is available on Amazon, which is a steal when you compare it to similar night vision scopes on the market.

Features & Specifications for the ATN Night Vision X-Sight II

[amazon box=”B01BYDUZ60″]

  • Generation: Smart HD Optics
  • Magnification: 5x-20x Digital Zoom
  • Eye Relief: 65mm
  • IR Illuminator: 850mW Detachable
  • Sensor: HD 1080p 130 Sensor
  • Ports: Micro HDMI, Micro USB, Micro SD
  • Power: 4 AA batteries, or extended power kit
  • Compatible Mounts: A.R.M.S #17 or #35, LaRue LT270, American Defense AD 170
  • Data Storage: Micro SD card, up to 64 Gb
  • Video Out: 1080p at 30 fps
  • Remote View Finder: Yes, via iOS or Android app
  • Dimensions: 11.36 in. x 3.5 in. x 3.45 in.
  • Weight: 2.55 lbs.

What to Expect Straight Out of the Box

The ATN night vision optic may appear to be heavy with its bulky exterior, but it is surprisingly lightweight which is great if you don’t want to add any more weight to your rifle. It was just over 2.5 lbs. and operates on four AA batteries.

Battery Use

The manufacturer recommends using lithium batteries for this sight, but owners have been known to use rechargeable batteries instead and were able to get at least 3 hours of use out of the sight before the batteries needed recharging.

Heavy-use features like the camera and range finder will drain your batteries faster, so if you plan to be out longer than 3 hours, you may want to limit your use with these extras. Or you could purchase one of ATN’s Power Weapon Kits that provide your sight with up to 22 hours of use.

The Picatinny Mount

Mounting the sight to your rifle is a simple and easy process. The X-Sight II comes already attached to a Picatinny mount that makes the mounting task much easier.

Picatinny mounts have become very popular with hunters lately because they make adding all types of optics to rifles a much simpler task. The mount features a spring tensioner that prevents the screws from becoming loose while the sight is in use. That eliminates the need to use a thread locket.

An 850mW infrared illuminator is included with the sight. This can be attached to the optic to use in dark environments. Once you have the optic mounted, all you need to do is install an SD card (up to 64 GB, sold separately), and power on the sight.

Welcome to the Home Screen

Once you reach the home screen, you can start using the sight by taking a snapshot or browse the menu to check out the features. There are several great features available on the ATN X-Sight II that are sure to improve your hunting experience.

Features found on the home screen menu of this ATN Night Vision sight include:

  • Night Vision
  • Digital still and video camera
  • Wi-Fi
  • Compass
  • Look angle display
  • Range finder
  • Ballistic calculator with automatic correction

If you were to purchase each of these features as standalone devices, you will quickly see how much money you have saved by purchasing the affordable X-Sight II. Plus, you don’t have to struggle with carrying around so many extra devices when you have it all available on one lightweight, high-tech sight.

[amazon fields=”B01BYDUZ60″ value=”thumb” image_size=”large”]

The Ballistic Calculator and Why You Need It

The ballistic feature on the X-Sight Ii is essential for anyone interested in long range hunting. This tool can save you a lot of time and effort while out on the field so that you can focus on zeroing in on your next target.

When using optics without a ballistic calculator or similar feature, you need to range the target using your reticle, a range finder, or calculate the distance using separate ballistic software.

Afterwards, you will need to determine how much distance to subtract to accommodate the slope you will be aiming from. Once all that is completed, you will need to work on making an accurate shot, all before the target moves.

The ballistic feature on the X-Sight II has a two-step system that takes care of all the calculations for you. All you need to know is the estimated size of your target, then range the head and feet. The calculator will provide you with the distance and, based on your input, provide you with a shot correction.

Zeroing in for the Perfect Shot

With a traditional scope, you zero in by firing a shot and then placing the reticle where the shot actually made an impact. It can be a tedious process that usually isn’t resolved with the initial shot.

But, with an optic like the X-Sight II, you can save preset zeros which is much faster than using a dial. While the sight doesn’t have any traditional elevation and windage knobs which is a significant disadvantage for the tool, the ability to zero in faster than ever before makes up for it.

The Very Best Night Vision Features

While all the features discussed so far easily make up for the low cost of the X-Sight II, the night vision features are the one thing that sets this optic above any other in the same category. ATN did an exceptional job at making this optic affordable while never cutting corners on the contrast, sharpness, or clarity.

You have the option to change themes from black and white to green. You can also easily adjust the light sensitivity while you are on the move. Unlike many other day/night optics, if you happen to activate night vision mode during the day, you will not cause any damage to the X-Sight II.

Along with providing excellent visuals for your hunting rifle, the X-Sight II can be used with any CO2 air gun or pre-charged pneumatic. The only type of firearm you shouldn’t use this optic with would be anything with a spring piston powered system. This type of style can damage most optics.

Full HD Video, Wi-Fi Compatibility & More

The final feature to discuss is the media suite that allows you to take still photography or record full HD videos using the X-Sight II. You never know what you may see while exploring the outdoors, and how many times have you wanted to take a picture of wildlife, but your phone’s camera just wouldn’t suffice? Having access to a sight-mounted quality camera will keep you from having to reach for your phone or miss out on a great photo.

But aside from the photography side of things, taking pictures of off-season game or where they are gathered can help you keep track of their location later in the year.

The recoil-activated video system, RAV helps make all the media features on the X-Sight II even more interesting. The RAV buffers 10 seconds of video and starts to auto record any time it detects recoil.

That means when you are hunting, you don’t have to worry about activating the camera before you fire a shot. After the hunt, you will end up with a video that shows what occurred seconds before the shot, as well as the shot itself and everything that happened after that.

The X-Sight II also has Wi-Fi capabilities, so that you can transmit your photos and HD videos to a tablet or smartphone device and share with your friends. The feature is a great tool to use when training beginners or simply sharing the shot of a lifetime with others.

Why Purchase from ATN?

ATN Logo

American Technologies Network has changed the way that we look at sports optics. They specialize in creating all types of modernized scopes, sights and imaging tools that can be used in the great outdoors. If you prefer optics that include the latest features in night vision technology, you can count on ATN to deliver.

For two decades, ATN has been a leading manufacturer and developer of quality Night Vision optics and Thermal Imaging. The company is dedicated to producing quality, innovative products all at a value to their loyal customers. ATN manufactures the largest variety of low light optics and their products are used by consumers, military clients, and law enforcement.

ATN products are Made in the U.S.A. and all devices are built from scratch by the company’s production team. The brand is proud to say that their innovative products are designed, built and developed in America. And they encourage their clients to visit any of their facilities to receive a tour of their manufacturing areas.

The company’s traditional Night Vision line has grown over the years to include a variety of new products. They have recently added Night Vision Binoculars, Monocular optics, Goggles, and various Weapon Scopes.

In 2012, ATN introduced their line of Digital Night Vision products which featured Ultra Bright technology. The DNV line featured monocular optics with full color high-resolution display capable of providing brilliant, sharp images even in pitch black settings.

ATN is also well known for their excellent customer service and support. They believe in providing their customers with 100% satisfaction with every sale. The company has a dedicated team of professionals who’s role is to help customers resolve their problems in a quick and efficient manner. If a customer does need a repair, they can send their products to the Warranty Repair Center based in California for quick repairs. For more information about ATN’s warranty and repair services, contact their customer service number at 800-910-2862.

ATN X-Sight II Sheds New Light on Night Hunting

The ATN X-Sight II Sheds New Light on Night Hunting 

If you are interested in an all-encompassing optic that is loaded with features and also extremely affordable, this is the sight for you. The ATN X-Sight II can be used on big game hunts, predator hunts or everyday target shooting. It will help you get the job done without costing a small fortune. Some hunters may not want optics that include high-tech extras such as Wi-Fi and a Full HD video camera. And that’s fine. Whatever sight or scope works best for you is the type of optic you need to use. If you are into all things technical and love to get your hands on the latest gadgets, and also love hunting for big or small game, you need to own the ATN X-Sight II.

bsa scopes

BSA Scopes Review For Hunting And Tactical Use

BSA Scopes may have only recently become a commercial sports optics company, but they have been around for much longer than many of their customers realize. The brand started out as a British optics company and later become a brand that is known throughout the US and the UK for manufacturing high quality rifle scopes.

BSA Scopes is still seen as a small company when compared to other major sport optics brands. But they produce a wide assortment of optics and accessories used for hunting or target shooting.

If you would like to learn more about BSA Scopes and what they have to offer, be sure to check out the following reviews for what we consider to be the best BSA Scopes on the market.

BSA Scopes Reviews

bsa rifle scope

BSA Scopes offer high-quality, durable, and reliable accessories for your firearms so that you can hit your desired target more often. They feature a modernized design and include high-tech extras that you would expect from a top-rated, industry leading brand.

Surprisingly, most BSA Scopes are within a reasonable price range, allowing all hunters to take advantage of their quality optics, regardless of how much they can spend on a rifle scope.

BSA Optics TW223-14x24CP Tactical Weapon 223 Scope, 1-4x24mm

Designing a scope for use with a tactical weapon is very different from designing a scope for a hunting rifle. Tactical weapons are used for either close or medium-range targets while hunting scopes are used to zero in on targets that are typically much farther away. Therefore, the demands for a tactical scope will not be the same as those for a scope used for hunting or target practice.

The BSA Optics TW 223 is a versatile scope that can be used for several different tactical applications. It has two different caps, one is designed for use with a .300 Blackout. The other is designed for use with a .223. The caps are interchangeable and are easy to swap out as needed.

The TW 223 features a two-piece body made from durable and lightweight aluminum material. While the two-piece design may not work well with full powered cartridges, when used with light-recoiling rounds such as the .223 or the .300 Blackout, the two piece scope design works perfectly.

The TW223 has mil-dot reticle that uses the mils to compensate for elevation and windage. This BSA Optics scope is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. It is a small and compact design that will not add a lot of extra weight to your rifle.

This is especially important when using a tactical rifle because the lighter the weapon is, the more accurate your shot will be. The BSA Optics TW223 Scope provides tactical gun owners with an affordable and reliable option for use with either the .300 Blackout or the 5.56mm/.223. This Tactical Weapon Scope retails for $82.99.

[amazon link=”B00HNSP5L6″ title=”BSA Optics Tactical Weapon 4x30mm Rifle Scope with Mil-Dot Reticle, Rings and AR/SKS Mount” /]

This BSA Optics Tactical Weapon is a fixed-power optic scope that is intended for use with rifles such as the AK series, the SKS, or the AR-15. The 4x30mm is simpler to use than variable optic scopes which makes it a popular choice for those who want a hassle-free optic. The simplicity of this scope makes it very lightweight, easier to use, and more affordable than other similar tactical scopes.

The BSA 4x30mm uses a 30m objective lens which makes it possible to use the scope in low light conditions without restricting your view. The scope has a one-piece tube design that is rugged and strong. This helps to increase the overall longevity of the product, it’s precision when aiming at a target, and the scope’s overall strength.

This tactical rifle scope features push-pull turrets that you can easily adjust without using additional tools. It is ideal for use with medium to short-range target shooting or hunting. The low magnification settings allow you to use it at close ranges without issue. And you can smoothly transition between targets to take fast and effective shots.

This optic scope is designed for hunting in the brush or putting together a versatile rifle while on a budget. Although it is a tactical site, you are not limited to using it only with tactical rifles. This scope may also be used with rimfire rifles, bolt guns, and even shotguns that are modified into slug guns. This BSA Tactical Weapon Scope retails for $72.94.

[amazon link=”B000NJUPAS” title=”Plinking – BSA Optics Sweet .22 3-9x40mm Duplex Reticle Rifle Scope” /]

[amazon box=”B000NJUPAS”]

When you need a quiet round for plinking, you probably think of using the .22 LR. This round is affordable, features a light recoil, and is almost silent which makes it useful as a hunting round. It makes sense that a company would create an optic scope that is based around the specifications of the .22.

The BSA Optics Sweet series of scopes are some of the brand’s most popular items. They are simple, easy to use, affordable and highly effective for plinking purposes.

There are two types of scopes in the BSA Optics Sweet Series, .22 and .17. The Sweet 22 has a bullet drop compensator that shows you where the round will hit in various ranges. This helps you compensate for distance before you shoot. This scope also features crystal-clear glass that provides you with a brilliant view of your target even if it isn’t a sunny day outdoors.

The BSA Sweet 22 optic scope has an interchangeable turret system that allows it to be used with 36, 38. And 40-grain bullets. You can adjust quickly and easily to accommodate for your chosen round. Although this scope may be designed for plinking, it is waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof.

It features hand adjustable turrets that assist in zeroing the optic. It also features resettable turrets which is something that isn’t seen much on optics specifically designed for plinking. The BSA Sweet 22 Plinking Scope retails for $65.95.

[amazon link=”B0039BBETI” title=”BSA Optics Rifle Scope with Rings 3-9×40” /]

[amazon box=”B0039BBETI”]

The BSA Optics Rifle Scope 3-9×40  features one of the most popular configurations for rifle scopes. The 3x to 9x magnification range guarantees that you have both close and long-range shooting capabilities. Plus, the 40mm is a great option to use with any type of rifle since it is small enough to work with low mounts yet large enough to adapt to low light conditions. The end result is a sharp and clear image with an easy-to-use scope that is durable and reliable.

The 3-9x magnification power has been widely used in hunting for many years. It is the go-to configuration for many hunters that prefer to hunt all types of game, large or small.

The practical 30/30 design reticle will not crowd your sight with anything you don’t need. It is a simple scope that will get the job done. It uses 1/4 MOA adjustments that make sighting in easy. While they work well, 1/4 MOA adjustments are typically used for hunting instead of precision shooting.

This BSA Optics scope is waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof. It features fully coated optics for crystal-clear clarity while zeroing in on your target. The scope features longer than average eye relief and allows plenty of space for those harsh recoiling calibers. This is a great scope for any North American hunter. It retails for $53.81.


Choosing the Perfect Rifle Scope 

[amazon box=”B00GP421W0,B000NJUPAS,B0039BBETI” template=”list”]

If you are new to sports optics and have no idea where to start when buying a rifle scope, you are not alone. Many hunters are confused when it comes to purchasing a scope, mainly because there are so many high-tech options available now. You can’t simply go and pick up any scope to use with your rifle.

You need to know about the technical specs, reticle details, recoil information and eye relief. But once you understand the terminology and what all these features actually do, it will be much easier to choose the perfect rifle scope.

How Do You Plan to Use the Scope?

The first thing to consider when you buy a rifle scope is what you will be using the scope for. Do you prefer long distance hunts or short range? Will you be using the rifle in low-light conditions? Will this be used primarily for hunting or target shooting?

What is Your Price Range?

Once you have decided what the primary use for your scope will be it’s time to check out the many different scope models and styles that you can purchase online. You can find scopes that cost as little as $30 and scopes that are priced as much as $4,000. The features, brand, durability, technical aspects, and where the product was made all contribute to the cost.

The good news is there is no need to pay a small fortune to get an excellent quality scope that will satisfy all your sport optics needs. Remember that cheap and affordable are two different things. You want to avoid a cheap rifle scope, but you shouldn’t pass up on a great deal on an affordable scope from a reliable company.

Another important thing to remember is that you may not need all the special high-tech features that often cause the price of a scope to rise significantly. Simpler scopes that offer the basic features any hunter can use out on the field are typically preferred by experienced hunters. They are made from strong and durable materials and they are much more affordable.

The best way to determine the value of a particular scope is to read any and all customer reviews. This will help you find out first hand how well the scope performs and if it is a great deal for your money or if you should move on to another brand.

Understanding Scope Reticles

Scope reticles

Reticles are the lines, dots and hashmarks that are used to precisely aim the rifle at your target. The reticle is also commonly referred to as crosshairs. There are several different types of reticles, and the two most popular are MIL DOT and MOA.

MIL Dot reticles are the standard type and can help you accurately place shots on target. They can also be used to assist with adjusting for windage or the approximate range of targets. They are the metric equivalent to MOA reticles. If you use a MIL DOT scope, one MIL is equal to 1cm of variance at 100 meters.

MOA or Minute-of-Angle is a common unit of measurement when making scope adjustments. It describes the unit of measurement of a circle that is equal to 1.0472 inches at 100 yards. One MOA is equal to 1 inch at 100 yards. If someone shoots a sub-MOA group using their rifle, it means that the circle that all their shots fit inside on the target is less than an inch in diameter at 100 yards.

If you are more familiar with imperial feet, yards and miles, a MIL DOT reticle will be easier for you to use. A MOA reticle is easier for someone who is more familiar with the metric system.

Importance of Magnification

scope magnification

Magnification is the power rating of a scope. If you have a 10x scope, it will cause the target to appear ten times larger than when viewed without magnification.

You can purchase scopes that are either fixed magnification or variable magnification. Variable scopes give you the option to change the magnification range depending on your shooting condition.

For beginners, it is recommended that you start out using a 3-9x variable power scope so that you can get used to adjusting without zooming in too far.

Why You Should Choose a BSA Optics Scope 

BSA is a small company that manufactures simple and affordable sport optic scopes that are practical and designed for today’s hunters. Their line of rifle scopes are very impressive, especially when you consider their retail price. They offer many of the same quality features that you would find on optics that cost twice or three times as much.

If you are new to sports optics, or if you are an experienced hunter, BSA Optics is a great place to find your next rifle scope.

Man shooting using a rifle with simmons scope

Simmons Rifle Scopes Reviews And Comparison

Simmons is a high-quality sport optics brand that got its start in the 1980’s. The low budget brand made a name for themselves by focusing the needs of their target audience made up of hunters and outdoor sports lovers. Taking the time to understand what their customers want in a quality rifle scope has helped the company experience tremendous success over the past 30 years.

Reviews for the Top 10 Simmons Rifle Scopes 

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If you are interested in purchasing one of the many Simmons Rifle Scopes currently available, you have come to the right place. Here you will find helpful reviews on some of the most popular and best-selling Simmons Rifle scopes on the market.

[amazon link=”B000KOSB34″ title=”1. Simmons .22 Mag 3-9×32 Rifle Scope” /]

[amazon box=”B000KOSB34″]

The Simmons .22 Mag 3-9×32 Rifle Scope can hold its own beside other top-selling scopes in the industry. It is a reliable rimfire scope with plenty of special features every hunter can benefit from.

Along with the patented Simmons True Zero adjustment system, this scope offers excellent light transmission, crystal-clear clarity, and glare control. But the most unique feature on the .22 Mag 3-9×32 would have to be the dial design for the True Zero adjustment. The dial uses a ball bearing and spring system that provides audible clicks with each adjustment.

Features & Specifications

  • Fully-coated optical glass lenses
  • Includes Rimfire 3/8” dovetail mounting rings
  • Parallax correction preset
  • High-quality HD optics
  • HydroShield lens coating
  • SureGrip rubber surfaces for easy adjusting
  • Attractive design that’s also rugged and reliable
  • True Zero elevation and windage dials
  • One-piece tube construction for easier handling
  • Waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof
  • Each scope comes with a full set of mounting rings
  • Includes a QTA quick target acquisition eyepiece

[amazon link=”B000EHUE00″ title=”2. Simmons .22 Mag 4×32 Rifle Scope” /]

[amazon box=”B000EHUE00″]

The Simmons .22 Mag 4×32 Rifle Scope offers exceptional results time and time again for avid hunters. This scope features the True Zero adjustment system and a quick target acquisition eyepiece.

This rifle scope stands apart from its competitors with its durability and reliability. It offers plenty of eye relief thanks to the QTA eyepiece, and that can help make acquiring your target fast and easy.

The .22 Mag rifle scope provides the user with excellent light transmission, glare control, contrast and clarity. It has features that are equal or better than any other scope in its category.

All Simmons .22 Mag 4×32 rifle scopes are equipped with SureGrip adjustments that allow you to easily transition and adjust without hassle. They also include a set of rimfire rings.

This scope is available in a black matte, silver matte, or black glossy finish. For a quality rimfire scope that offers amazing optics, the Simmons .22 Mag 4×32 is an excellent choice.

Features & Specifications

  • One-piece tube construction for better durability and strength
  • Fully coated high-quality optical glass for better image clarity
  • Waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof
  • Truplex Reticle
  • True Zero Flex Erector System
  • QTA quick target acquisition eyepiece for optimal eye relief
  • HydroShield lens coating for high contrast views
  • SureGrip rubber surfaces that easily adjust in all weather conditions

[amazon link=”B002882QYU” title=”3. Simmons .44 Mag Side Parallax Adjustment Rifle Scope” /]

[amazon box=”B000JJL8VW”]

The Simmons .44 Mag 4-12x44mm Side Parallax Adjustable Matte Rifle Scope features a sleek design and lenses that offer crystal clear imagery. The vibrant image is thanks to the brightly lit multi-coated camera lens system.

The .44 Mag 4-12x44mm scope offers a 1/4 MOA click adjustment so that you always stay on target. It also features a Truplex reticle that provides the user with a wide field of view. All .44 Mag scopes from Simmons are shockproof, waterproof and fog-proof.

They are fully equipped with the brand’s QTA quick target acquisition eyepiece to help you lock in on your target easily and reduce the amount of eye strain you experience.

Features & Specifications

  • Shockproof, waterproof, and fog-proof
  • Side Parallax adjustment
  • Fingertip adjustments for 1/4 and 1/8 MOA
  • Multi-coated optics for crystal-clear clarity
  • 4-12x magnification
  • One-piece tube construction makes the scope lightweight and easy to use
  • QTA eyepiece features Fast Focus
  • True Zero elevation and windage adjustment system allow you to lock in zero easily even during extreme weather conditions
  • This scope comes with a useful sun shade
  • Full Simmons warranty included

[amazon link=”B001R0KOGC” title=”4. Simmons .44 Mag 3-10×44 Rifle Scope” /]

The Simmons .44 Mag 3-10×44 rifle scope features superior brightness that allows the user to experience a clear, crisp and brilliant view every time they use it. Like all other Simmons scopes, the 3-10×44 is waterproof, fog-proof and shockproof. It has an easy to use 1/4 MOA click adjustment system and a quality Truplex reticle.

Features & Specifications

  • This scope has an objective lens diameter of 44 mm
  • It features 3x-10x magnification
  • It is waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof
  • Features a Truplex reticle for optimal viewing
  • Comes with a Full Simmons brand warranty
  • Field of view is 33 to 9.4 feet at 100 yards
  • Click value is .25” at 100 yards
  • Adjustment: 60” at 100 yards
  • Eye relief: 3.75”
  • Exit Pupil: 14.6 to 4.2 millimeters
  • Weight: 11.3 oz.
  • Black Matte Finish

[amazon link=”B001RMWTJA” title=”5. Simmons 8-Point 3-9×40 Rifle Scope” /]

[amazon box=”B001RMWTJA”]

The Simmons 8-Point 3-9×40 Rifle Scope is a durable and practical scope that is perfect for any type of hunter or target shooter. It constantly receives positive reviews from owners who are pleased with their purchase. And it is a very affordable scope priced under $100.

The 3-9×40 scope may be budget-friendly, but it also comes with some great premium features. It has a Truplex reticle with a cross that reaches to the top, bottom, left, and right. These fully coated optics and multi-coated lenses help enhance your view so that you always see bright, vivid images that are crystal-clear.

As with all Simmons scopes, this item has been tested so that it can be marketed to all types of firearm users. But if you would like something different for your additional firearms, Simmons offers a broad range of scopes that are ideal for shotguns and handguns. The 3-9×40 scope however was designed with rifle users in mind.

Features & Specifications

  • The Simmons Truplex reticle offers crisp and clear cross hairs in any type of hunting situation.
  • Fully coated lenses offer rich color contrast and extremely brilliant images
  • Waterproof, fog-proof and recoil proof to work efficiently in all types of extreme weather conditions
  • 1/4 MOA clicks with True Zero elevation and windage adjustment systems
  • QFA eyepiece for easy target acquisition and quick focus
  • Magnification: 3x to 9x
  • Variable Power
  • Objective Diameter: 40mm
  • Length: 12”
  • Tube Diameter: 1”
  • Field of View: 100 yards
  • Eye Relief: 3.75”
  • Exit Pupil: 3.6mm to 10.7mm
  • Truplex reticle
  • Fully coated optics
  • Black Matte Finish
  • Waterproof and shockproof
  • Best used for target shooting and big game hunting

[amazon link=”B000JJL8VW” title=”6. Simmons 8-Point 3-9×50 Rifle Scope” /]

[amazon box=”B000JJL8VW”]

The Simmons 8-Point 3-9×50 Rifle Scope is one of the best entry level scopes on the market. It is backed by the amazing Simmons reputation; this scope offers impressive performance and is one of the best budget-friendly scopes currently available.

This rifle scope features the patented Simmons True Zero adjustment system and their QTA eyepiece for exceptional eye relief. It also comes with a large 50mm objective.

The 1” tube is lightweight and easy to add to any rifle. It may be an entry level scope, but it has all the features that you would expect from the Simmons brand and therefore it would make a good rifle scope for experienced hunters as well. It features a Truplex reticle and is fitted with a quality coated lens.

Features & Specifications

  • High-quality fully coated lenses
  • Fog-proof, shockproof and waterproof
  • True Zero flex erector system allows for ongoing accuracy
  • The SureGrip tactile rubber surface allow you to make adjustment easily
  • The Quick Target Acquisition eyepiece enables rapid target acquisition for accurate shots every time
  • The Truplex reticle features four posts and fine cross hairs for accurate targeting
  • The scope features quality optical glass and fully coated optics that deliver crisp and clear images
  • HydroShield coating helps you to maintain a clear sight at all times no matter what type of weather condition you are in
  • Magnification: 3-9x 50
  • Eye Relief: 3.75”

[amazon link=”B004QPYEOI” title=”7. Simmons 8-Point 4-12×40 Rifle Scope” /]

[amazon box=”B004QPYEOI”]

The Simmons 8-Point 4-12×40 Rifle Scope features the True Zero adjustment system and Quick Target Acquisition eyepiece for comfort and clarity. The eight point 4-12×40 scope offers an undeniable and trustworthy performance that all shooters need while they are hunting or target shooting.

Features & Specifications

  • Magnification: 4x to 12x
  • Objective: 40mm
  • Field of view: 8.2 to 23.8 feet at 100 yards
  • Truplex reticle
  • HydroShield lens coating
  • Weight: 11.1 oz.
  • Length: 12.5”
  • Tube diameter: 1”

[amazon link=”B000KOQ7QW” title=”8. Simmons 8-Point 3-9×32 Truplex Reticle Rifle Scope” /]

[amazon box=”B000KOQ7QW”]

The Simmons 8-Point 3-9×32 Truplex Reticle Rifle Scope is a reliable scope even in the worst weather conditions. If you enjoy hunting in the winter or rainy season, this is the ideal scope for you.

It features a rugged design and the reliable Truplex fully coated optics technology that allows you to lock in your target regardless of what may be inhibiting your view. This scope is a high quality piece with excellent optical precision and durable construction.

Features & Specifications

  • Fully coated quality optics for crisp and clear images
  • QTA Quick Target Acquisition eyepiece allows for fast target acquisition and decreases eye strain
  • This Simmons scope is waterproof, fog-proof, and recoil-proof
  • The 1” tube is suitable for use with a variety of scope rings

[amazon link=”B000LJT8AI” title=”9. Simmons Pro Diamond 4×32 Shotgun Rifle Scope” /]

[amazon box=”B000LJT8AI”]

The Simmons Pro Diamond 4×32 Shotgun Rifle Scope is a great choice for avid hunters. It has been designed with care to include special features that will make your hunting season the best one yet. All Pro Diamond scopes feature the patented True Zero adjustment system that makes it easier to adjust for accuracy and precision.

The QTA eyepiece ensures fast acquisition of targets even in poor weather conditions when your sight can be limited. This eyepiece can deliver up to 5.5” of eye relief. It is good for all types of hunting, especially turkey hunting since it can quickly identify a turkey’s vital zone as far away as 40 yards. The high-quality glass in this scope paired with the multi-coated optics provide you with the most vivid and high contrast image.  

The lightweight and compact scope features ProDiamond reticle which assists the user in finding the vital zones for their prey. This scope is designed for rapid target acquisition at short ranged. It is made with 1/4 MOA clicks and 70 MOA adjustments.

Features & Specifications

  • One-piece tube rugged construction for years of durable use
  • High-quality optical glass and multi-colored optics provide crystal-clear clarity when you need it most
  • HydroShield lens coating allows you to maintain a clear sight no matter what the weather conditions are like
  • Simmons SureGrip rubberized surfaces on the power, change springs and eyepieces make the ProDiamond scope one of the easiest to adjust and use.

[amazon link=”B000PW6AGG” title=”10. Simmons ProHunter ProDiamond 1.5-5×32 Shotgun Rifle Scope” /]

The Simmons Pro Hunter ProDiamond 1.5-5×32 Shotgun Rifle Scope can be used with a rifle, shotgun or handgun for clean and concise targeting. Expert hunters and target shooters alike enjoy using this ProHunter series scope because they know it provides them with the right combination of high-quality optics and professional-grade reliability.

The benefits of using this ProDiamond scope include Simmons True Zero elevation adjustment system for accuracy. And the QTA Quick Target Acquisition eyepiece promotes eye relief throughout the magnification range.

Features & Specifications

  • High-quality optics with stunning HD clarity
  • 100% quality materials used and tested extensively
  • Sleek design that is durable and built to last
  • Shotgun rifle scope with 5x magnification and 32mm objective lens
  • Multi-coated optics and quality optics and optical glass for sharp and clear images
  • Weight: 8.6 oz.

soldier shooting using a rifle with a simmons scope

Why You Should Choose a Simmons Optics Rifle Scope 

Simmons is a reliable and trustworthy brand that hunters have trusted for decades. The brand provides their customers with exactly what they need in a scope, all at an affordable price.

With the Sport Optics industry become more high-tech than ever before, it is nice to have a company that remains true to the sport of hunting and manufactures simple yet effective tools that don’t cost a small fortune.

best long range caliber

Best Long Range Caliber: Top 8 Options To Try

Long range hunting is not for beginners. There is a certain level of science associated with this hunting style that you must achieve over time, not instantly. It is a task that requires plenty of practice and a good lengthy range to work on. You have to adjust for everything including the wind and weather conditions.

Not every hunter will be good at long range hunting. You have to have patience, determination, and the perseverance to admit your flaws to yourself so that you may correct them while practicing. If you decide to jump into long range hunting without enough practice, it’s likely that you’ll end up wasting your day.

One thing that many expert hunters will recommend when you first start long range hunting is to make sure you are using the right caliber for the job. Certain cartridges can make it easier to have a successful day on the field.

Reviews of The Best Long Range Caliber

The best calibers used for this type of hunting are often flat-shooting and hard-hitting. You want to use long range calibers that have a great track record for successful hunts.

Fast magnum cartridges are a good place to start, however, speed is not the only thing you need to consider when looking for the best long range caliber. You also need to think about recoil and reloading options as well. Here are our suggestions for the best long range caliber ammunition that you can use for this often difficult type of hunting.

.300 Winchester Magnum

Although there is an endless amount of .30 caliber cartridges available on the market, it seems as if there are more appearing every day. There was a time when the .300 was believed to be the fastest of all, however, today, it has been overrun by the many .30 caliber cartridges that with extreme shooting power. So, if it’s not the best of the best, why is it included on this list?

The .300 Winchester Magnum can shoot very flat and it produces a recoil that most shooters can easily manage. That means you don’t have to deal with the harsh recoil that you would receive with the much faster .30s.

The Winchester Mag can also benefit from a broad range of high-quality .308 bullets. Although it may not be the fastest caliber cartridge on the market, or the fastest in its category, the .300 Winchester Magnum can still provide serious hunters with quality results. It is capable of forcing a 150 grain bullet at 3,2000 fps, and a 180 grain bullet as much as 3,000 fps.

The ammo is usually easy to find which is another plus. You can purchase it at most sporting good stores, and you have plenty of factory loads to choose from. Velocity is a good thing, and vital when long range hunting, but the .300 Winchester Magnum proves that you don’t always need the fastest caliber to have a successful hunt.

7mm Remington Magnum

The 7mm Remington Magnum is now over 50 years old, along with several other 7mm cartridges that were introduced at the time from other brands. But regardless of how many different types of 7mm calibers there are, the Remington Magnum is by far the most popular. And after half a century, it is still considered one of the best long range calibers on the market.

The 7mm Remington Magnum can drive a 140-grain bullet at 3,000 fps. And the heaver 160-grain bullets can travel even faster than that. There is a large selection of bullets available from Remington that are different densities from .284 to .310 and everything in between.

Heavy bullets are good if you want deep penetration and retained energy. However, they can be difficult to find at your local sporting goods or hardware store.

The 7mm Remington can be used for any type of hunting you have in mind. And unlike the heavier bullets, they can be found anywhere ammo is sold.

7mm Shooting Times Westerner

The 7mm Shooting Times Westerner or STW was first developed in 1979 by Layne Simpson. While it never reached the same level of popularity as the Remington Magnum, the STW is just as good, if not better than the Remington caliber cartridge.

The STW features the same design as the 8mm Remington Magnum which is necked down to allow use of 8mm and 7mm bullets. Hunters in the western part of the nation appreciated the 7mm STW because it was a flat shooting, medium bore cartridge.

The 7mm STW is a hard hitting caliber which can propel 160-grain bullets as fast as 3,200 fps. It carries more than 2,000 lbs. of force at an impressive 400 yards. And when you use heavier or longer caliber bullets, you don’t have to worry about them drifting as much when using the STW.

Although the Shooting Times Westerner may not be as popular as the 7mm Remington Magnum, it is still a great quality long range caliber that deserves some recognition.

8mm Remington Magnum

Another popular choice for most hunters is the 8mm Remington Magnum. The caliber cartridge has many loyal fans who will always turn to this product over any other in the same category. The 8mm

Remington was first developed in 1978. It features impressive ballistics and is one of the best choices out there for hunting large game in the U.S. and foreign countries. The only issue with the 8mm Rem. Mag, is that it needed a long action bullet and when it was first made available, there weren’t many .323 bullets produced.

The .338 Winchester Magnum however was already a popular option, and at the time there were plenty of .30’s for hunters to choose from. As a result of this, the 8mm Remington Magnum was forgotten by most consumers. However, there are still plenty of long-range hunters who are big fans of the 8mm. And it has a lot of features that make it a high-quality caliber. It is capable of firing 180-grain bullets at 3,300 fps and 200-grain bullets at 3,000 fps.

The 8mm Remington Magnum produces as much s 2 tons of muzzle energy and can shoot flat enough for you to hunt successfully in open country.

.220 Swift

The .220 Swift was the very first factory cartridge to break the 4,000 fps record. The .220 was first introduced to the public in 1935 by the Winchester brand. They placed the cartridge inside a Model 54 bolt-action rifle for testing and were more than pleased with the results.

Early releases of the .220s received mixed reviews from hunters. Most believed that it was a barrel burner. A few changes were made to the design and today the .220 Swift is considered a great cartridge for hunting small game such as squirrel or rabbit. That’s because the barrels that are made today are capable of handling the fierce speed behind the .220 Swift.

The 40-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip Load by Federal shoots from the barrel at an impressive 4,250 fps. It is also one of the best to hunt small game with from far away distances. There are very few varmint loads now available that can hold up the same way that the .220 Swift can.

.30-378 Weatherby

In the 1950’s, Roy Weatherby started experimenting with a .30 caliber load made from his company’s .378 Magnum. And that is how the 30-378 Weatherby caliber was invented. In 1996 this cartridge became more commercially available and the statistics were very impressive.

The Weatherby is capable of sending a 180-grain bullet out of the barrel at a speed of more than 3,400 fps. It could also produce a staggering 4,676 ft. lbs. of energy. Weatherby manufactures several variants of their Mark V line that is chambered especially for this cartridge, however, the firearms pack some strong recoil and ammo can cost around $150 per box.

.270 Winchester Short Magnum

The .270 Winchester Short Magnum or WSM is similar to the .300 Winchester Short Magnum and is capable of driving a 130-grain bullet more than 3,2000 fps. Because the .270 Winchester is so popular among hunters, there are many varieties of the .277 bullets available to purchase. The .270 Winchester Short Magnum is extremely accurate and generates enough force to kill all types of game large or small.

And thanks to the short length of the .270 WSM, it can be chambered in lightweight rifles making it the perfect cartridge for hunting in the mountains. This cartridge generates about 10% more recoil than other popular models, but it retains around 20% more energy at 300 yards. This makes the .270 Winchester Short Magnum a good choice for long range hunting.

It is recommended for varmint hunting with light 100 and 110-grain bullets. For larger game such as deer, you will need to use 130-grain bullets. Any heavier bullets such as 150-grain will work best on caribou and elk.

.338 Remington Ultra Magnum

The .338 Remington Ultra Magnum is a great long range hunting round, but hunters should be aware that it can generate a very high recoil level that is intolerable for many hunters. But, if you can deal with the recoil issue, this cartridge can deliver an impressive 225-grain bullet at 3,200 fps. That generates around 4.500 lbs. of energy and shoots flat enough to be considered the best possible long range cartridge there is.

The case for the .338 is developed using a shortened .300 Remington Ultra Magnum rebated, beltless case that has a modified shoulder and necking to accept a .338 bullet. Experienced hunters who can take the kick that this .338 caliber can handle will love using it for long range hunting. It is the ideal cartridge to use for taking long distance shots on moose, elk, or caribou.

What Exactly is a Caliber?

While it seems like a question that all experienced hunters should be able to answer, there is a little confusion when it comes to what people are referring to when they talk about calibers. The word “caliber” is one of the oldest terms in relation to firearms. It originated in Ancient Greek times long before the first firearm was made. Then ‘caliber’ referred to hard wood objects that shoemakers used to mold leather to create footwear.

Over time, the term was used to describe bullet molds, but it was initially used to describe lead sling bullets and not the firearm bullets we are familiar with today.

After the first firearms were made, the term made it to the Early Modern English language which can be used to describe everything from quality to measurement. Initially, it was in reference to the diameter of the bore, or barrel of a gun. Since practically all firearms were muzzle-loaders prior to the 1850s, and all firearms used round lead balls, there wasn’t a need for a term to describe the different sizes of ammo.

Today we associate the word ‘caliber’ with the diameter of ammunition since there is now a broad range of bullets available such as .22, .45, 9mm, and so on. However, caliber is also used to describe the type of firearm that can be used with each type of bullet, such as a .45 Caliber Rifle.

When referring to bullet caliber, you are talking about the diameter of the slug portion of the bullet cartridge. However, the caliber number may be slightly off from the actual measured diameter of the slug. The same goes when referring to the caliber of a gun barrel. The actual diameter could be slightly smaller or larger, but the gun still uses the specified cartridge.

Which is the Best Long Range Caliber for You?

There are many different types of long range caliber cartridges available, some that are more powerful than others. Finding the caliber that works best for you depends on what type of game you are hunting and how much experience you have using a caliber with a powerful recoil.

By learning more about how each caliber on this list works, you will be able to narrow down your choices and find the right cartridge to use for each long range hunt you have planned.

gen 2 night vision scope

Gen 2 Night Vision Reviews And Comparison

Night vision scopes represent a huge advancement within rifle scope technology for a number of reasons.

On a basic level, night vision scopes allow you to see your target when there is minimal light. This makes you more dynamic as a hunter, as you don’t have to be controlled by the daily cycles of the planet when stalking your prey.

Instead, you can transcend the sun. This means being able to hunt not only when it’s completely dark but also when there simply isn’t enough light, like at sunrise and sunset. Many animals that humans typically hunt are nocturnal animals, so this amazing technology extends our sensory capacities and turns us into relentless predators.

Yet, within the night vision technology, there have been many developments over the years. In particular, there are different kinds of night vision scopes as well as different generations within each kind of night vision scope.

While most night vision scopes are used for hunting, they can also be used for any activity that is performed without sufficient light, like camping, security enforcement, and fishing.

In this article, we will be mainly focusing on night visions scopes that utilize light amplification technology, specifically when applied to hunting. In particular, we discuss generation (gen) 2 night vision scopes as compared to generation 1 and 3.

We first give a brief overview of each generation, highlighting the pros and cons of each. Then we offer a review of some of the most popular gen 2 night vision scopes, ending with our final thoughts on the future of the night vision industry.

gen 2 night vision

[amazon box=”B00I9CDTZO,B007SYJ4JE,B0019CWT6Q,B007SYJ3OK” template=”table”]

Thermal Imaging vs. Light Amplification 

When it comes to night vision technology, there are two main methods that products use to provide us with an image of our environment.

First, there is thermal imaging, which essentially measures the heat emitted by things in our environment.  A specific sensor within the scope is able to interpret this heat by determining the differences in heat within our environment. Then, an image called a thermogram is provided on a screen within the scope. What’s unique about this method is that no light is required to reproduce an image.

On the other hand, light amplification technology requires light in order to provide us with an image of our environment. It does this using an image intensifier tube which records photons on a plate, magnifies them, and then recreates an image from these light particles.

Depending on how advanced the light amplification technology is, there can be multiple plates that these photons interact with, and each plate provides additional enhancements that result in a more precise image.

While not much light is needed with light amplification technology, there still needs to be some light.

Many hunters will carry with them an infrared light source that they use to provide this light. Most of the time, the image that is reproduced is shown using some combination of black, white, and green coloring, as these are the most effective colors for displaying contrast within a dark environment.

Gen 1, 2 and 3 Night Vision Scopes

Night vision scopes that use light amplification technology have a rich history of usage dating back to World War II. In this section, we will give a brief overview of the 3 main generations of night scopes.

Gen 1 Night Vision Scopes

Gen 1 Night Vision Scopes

Gen 1 night vision scopes were introduced during the Vietnam war and were an improvement on the first night vision scopes invented during World War II.

In particular, while the initial models of night vision scopes required infrared light, the gen 1 night vision scopes could utilize ambient light and were able to produce a light amplification of 1000x, which was a significant development.

While Gen 1 night vision scopes are still around today, they are still based on this old technology which makes them inferior to later generation models. Mainly, they require moonlight or an infrared illuminator to operate successfully and are extremely heavy when compared with the lightweight guns available on the market.

This is important since most night vision scopes are usually attached to guns when hunting, and if they aren’t, they still must be carried by the hunter.

Gen 1 night vision scopes are also very cheap, so they appeal to many hunters on a strict budget.

Gen 2 Night Vision Scopes

Gen 2 Night Vision Scopes

Gen 2 night vision scopes are much more efficient then gen 1 night vision scopes mainly due to the presence of a second plate for interpreting photons. This results in cleaner, brighter images with a higher resolution.

Gen 2 night vision scopes also require less ambient light then their earlier generation counterparts and are effective anywhere from 100-200 yards. This is significant, as gen 1 night vision scopes are only effective at distances of 75-100 yards.

Furthermore, gen 2 night vision scopes are able to minimize the amount of blooming that occurs, which represents a notable drawback of earlier generations of night vision scopes.

In particular, blooming refers to the temporary blindness or “whiteout” that can occur when a bright light is introduced while using night vision scopes. This light can overload the intensifier tube and can distract the hunter even though the night scope is able to eventually correct the compromise.

Gen 2 night vision scopes are able to reduce the impact of blooming as well as correct for this phenomenon more quickly. This is because some of the most expensive gen 2 night vision scopes are equipped with auto-gating technology, which allows the power of the system to turn itself on and off rapidly.

In addition to this auto-gating technology, many gen 2 night vision scopes feature longer battery life and greater functionality since they can be attached to a wider range of guns. As such, if you do not have the money to purchase a gen 3 night vision scope, then gen 2 is considered the next best option.

Gen 3 Night Vision Scopes

Gen 3 Night Vision Scopes

Gen 3 night vision scopes were only introduced within the last 20 years and offer superior performance at an expensive price.

Gen 3 night vision scopes almost entirely eliminate blooming and provide images of your environment up to 300 yards. In addition, their battery hardly ever needs to be replaced, lasting up to 10000 hours.

They are considered so effective that even the military uses them. Even further, their technology is considered so advanced that they have been banned from being transported outside of the US.

The main drawback of gen 3 night vision scopes is their price, which makes them inaccessible to most hunters.  Most gen 3 night vision scopes the sky’s the limit for the most expensive ones.

[amazon link=”B00CVLWPBI” title=”Night Optics D-300 Gen 2 Night Vision Scope” /]

[amazon box=”B00I9CDTZO”]

The D-300 from Night Optics only weighs a pound. It can be mounted on headgear or a weapon and is considered extremely durable. Many customers have noted that it provides outstanding image quality under a decently lit sky.

Additionally, the D-300 is considered weather resistant, which means you don’t have to worry if it starts raining, as this gen 2 night vision scope will still function despite the moisture.

This makes the D-300 extremely dynamic as it can operate in a number of environments, thus extending the mobility of the hunter.

[amazon link=”B007SYJ4JE” title=”Armasight Avenger Gen 2 Night Vision Scope” /]

[amazon box=”B007SYJ4JE”]

The Avenger from Armasight is unique for offering Automatic Brightness Control.

This feature allows the night scope to constantly adjust the brightness of the image you are seeing in order to account for changing environmental conditions. This translates to less work by the hunter when they are focusing, which can lead to better accuracy and precision.

Even having to tinker with a setting for several seconds can be costly, especially in low-light conditions when the hunter’s vision is already compromised.

This night scope also comes with a hand strap and neck strap to improve mobility as well a tripod mount.

Many customers commented that the Avenger is ideal for close-range activities and that its images are greatly compromised when viewing a target greater than 200 yards. While this is the typical limit for most gen 2 night vision scopes, some gen 2 night vision scopes still provide a decent image at distances over 200 yards. Yet, the Avenger is hardly functional over 200 yards.

[amazon link=”B0019CWT6Q” title=”ATN Night Spirit-2 Gen 2 Night Vision Scope” /]

[amazon box=”B0019CWT6Q”]

The Night Spirit-2 from ATN is the cheapest gen 2 night vision scope that we will be discussing.

What sets it apart is not only its price but its high-quality 50mm lens that is coated for protection. This lens coating helps make the lens fogproof and weatherproof so that it can be used in any environment, making the hunter more versatile.

Many night vision scopes are advertised as fogproof yet only resist moisture when certain conditions are met. In particular, many of these inferior scopes will still fog up in certain temperatures. Yet, the Night Spirit-2 can withstand temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it extremely reliable and durable.

Some customers have noted the edges of the image appear slightly distorted on the Night Spirit-2. While this is usually not a problem, as the center of the frame is most frequently utilized on night vision scopes, it’s still a factor to consider before purchasing.

Most gen 2 night vision scopes are considered law-enforcement grade, which means they are relied upon by police officers frequently for performing their duties.

The Night-Spirit 2 lives up to this distinction, as many former police officers have commented that this gen 2 night vision scope is just as good as the scope they used when they were actively on duty. In particular, most customers exalt its clear images and top-quality optics.

[amazon link=”B00C8AIFBG” title=”Armasight Nemesis Gen 2 Night Vision Scope ” /]

[amazon box=”B007SYJ3OK”]

The Nemesis from Armasight is the most expensive gen 2 night vision scope on this list.

While this scope does come with some extra features, like the ability to adjust reticle brightness, many customers have noted that it’s too expensive and that a similar quality scope can be purchased for a fraction of the price.

In addition, some reviewers have commented that the scope does not mount well and comes loose over an extended period of time. This has forced some hunters to pay for a custom mounting of the scope, which only makes the Nemesis cost even more.

Additionally, some customers have noted that while the clarity of the image is amazing, this quality decreases as magnification is increased. Thus, the Nemesis is best for short-range distances.

Our Final Thoughts on Gen 2 Night Vision Scopes

We think the market for night vision scopes has undergone much evolution over the years and that this trend will only continue in the future. This is especially due to the prevalence of violence in our society, as many countries are funding innovation when it comes to military technology.

This is not necessarily a good thing, per se, as it’s an indication of a world on the brink of war. Yet, it does mean that customers who use night vision scopes for more sustainable activities like hunting can benefit from these advancements.

We think that the gen 2 night vision scopes in particular represent an affordable option for hunters looking for a durable, high-quality night vision scope.

When gen 2 night vision scopes were first released, they were very sensitive to blooming. Yet, many modern gen 2 night vision scopes have mitigated this imperfection through auto-gating technology, thus making them practically flawless when it comes to blooming.

The only drawback to purchasing gen 2 night vision scopes is that gen 3 night vision scopes exist, and these are more effective at longer ranges and have a longer battery life. If none of those factors matter, then we recommend that you purchase a mid-priced gen 2 night vision scope like the Night Spirit-2 from ATTN or the Avenger from Armasight.

a soldier looking through one of the first focal plane scopes

First Focal Plane Scopes: How to Choose the Right FFP Scope

Rifle scopes are an incredible technology that enhance the technology of your rifle. Without them, you would not be able to shoot accurately at your target, especially when that target is at a long-distance.

Yet, when first purchasing a rifle scope, the amount of information to consider can be overwhelming, and this is only compounded by arcane much of the language is. For a beginner shooter, this could be disconcerting.

Buying the​​​​ Perfect First Focal Plane Scope for Your Shooting Needs

In this article, we discuss 5 steps you should take when choosing a specific kind of rifle scope, namely a first focal plane scope.

We will gear these steps towards people just beginning their research about what rifle scope to purchase, and discuss the various aspects of what the scopes have to offer.

Do You Need a First or Second Focal Plane Scope?

The first step in purchasing a first focal plane scope is to determine if you actually need one. This entails educating yourself on the differences between a first focal plane scope and a second focal plane scope.

The reticles on first focal plane scopes change in size as the image’s magnification changes. This is ideal for long-range shooters or tactical shooters as it makes the gun more dynamic.

The reticles on second focal plan scopes, on the other hand, do not change as the image’s magnification changes. They are ideal for short-range shooting. At longer distances, the reticles on second focal plane scopes can obscure the target because the reticle is so large compared with the tiny target.

Therefore, an important first step is to consider if you will be doing long-range shooting or short-range shooting.

Past Scope Usage – Do You Know What You’re Doing?

a marine looking through a first focal plane scope while shooting the gun

Shooting a gun involves a particular set of skills that build over time. Like any other sport, if you condition yourself to perform under a certain set of conditions, then you will underperform when those conditions are absent.

Some people have used second focal plane scopes their entire life and are used to a constant reticle at different magnifications. Thus, when using first focal plane scopes, they are thrown off when magnifying the image, as this affects their precision and accuracy.

Alternatively, even though first focal plane scopes have only risen in popularity recently, some shooters are more accustomed to a changing reticle as magnification changes. Thus, they perform best when the reticle changes, and if the reticle is stable, they are thrown off.

First Focal Plane Scopes – Weight and Size

If you have decided that the first focal plane scope is right for you, then the next factor to consider is what type of gun you will be using it on. Many customers have noted that first focal plane scopes are significantly heavier then second focal plane scopes. This can make the gun extremely heavy, which could affect your accuracy if you are moving around while shooting.

Thus, make sure you properly research the weight and size of the first focal plane scope you are considering. Sometimes it might be light, but relatively large, which could limit your line of sight or the portability of your gun.

Finding Your Plane Scopes Budget

a rifle installed with bipod and ffp scope

Depending on your budget, certain first focal plane scopes will give clearer images than others. This is because of the quality of glass used and is similar to how a camera will perform better if the lens glass is of a higher-quality.

For example, this [amazon link=”B07JCC1W21″ title=”Leica Magnus scope”] costs almost $3000 but features some of the highest quality glass on the market. In addition, it features illuminated reticles when the gun is horizontal, but the illumination is turned off when the gun is turned vertical. This allows the scope to save battery, so it can be utilized for longer.

Intended Usage

Thus, another consideration is how long you will be using the gun. Some hunters might be away from a charging station for several days at a time. In this situation, it would be crucial to save battery life so that the scope could be used for longer. Yet, some shooters might only be hunting for a brief period of time, so they might not benefit from a feature that focuses on batter conservation. In that case, buying a cheaper, simpler first focal plane scope might be more worthwhile.

Regardless, you need to reflect on how much money you are willing to spend on a first focal plane scope. These kinds of scope can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to well over $3000.

Our Final Thoughts on First Focal Plane Scopes

a hunter using a rifle with ffp scope

We think that the market for first focal plane scopes can appear overwhelming at first. This is because each scope offers a number of different features, ranging from weatherproof covering to illuminated reticles.

The main step in choosing these types of scopes is to first consider if you actually need one, which depends on your past usage as well as your intended usage in the future. If you have determined that a first focal plane scope is right for you, then you should determine your budget, the features you desire, as well as if you are even able to handle the size and weight of these kinds of scopes.

Many shooters end up investing in an expensive first focal plane scope only to find that they rarely use most of its features. Thus, make sure you honestly reflect on why you are purchasing a scope before you dish out several thousand dollars on a top of the line scope.

Ruger Pellet Gun review

Ruger Pellet Gun Review – Considered Less Dangerous

Pellet guns are becoming a popular alternative to more traditional firearms due to a number of reasons. Specifically, they are often quieter, easier to use, cheaper, and even more accurate at shorter distances.

In addition, pellet guns utilize a much lower pressure when discharging the pellet then traditional firearms. Thus, they are considered less dangerous because the pellet is not fired as fast. Yet, pellet guns are still considered powerful weapons, and they are often used for pest control as well as target shooting.

In this article, we offer a comprehensive review of 3 of the most popular Pellet Guns from Ruger, which is a firearm manufacturing company that was founded in the mid-20th century.  We will discuss the pros and cons of their products before comparing them to products from their competitors.

Ruger Targis Pellet Gun 

[amazon box=”B00KNB0AL0″ /]

The Ruger Targis pellet gun is considered ideal for small-game hunting and target shooting, as it offers a high-velocity, high-impact system.

What’s unique about this gun is that it features Ruger’s notable SilencAir Noise Dampening System. Essentially, this is a 5-chamber piece of technology that is installed in the barrel of the gun that allows the pellet to push air out as it is discharged. This minimizes the sound stemming from the muzzle as the pellet is discharged.

This Noise Dampening System is a significant feature that makes this Ruger pellet gun ideal for practicing in your backyard or at a range. Many inferior pellet guns on the market do not feature this patented technology, and thus they are extremely loud when fired. This not only makes them annoying to neighbors but also less effective when hunting pests around your yard.

Many pests, like mice, squirrels, and rabbits are extremely sensitive to sound. Thus, Ruger’s pellet gun is extremely efficient at hunting these kinds of animals.

At $140, this Ruger pellet gun is also extremely affordable and even features a 4-32X scope that can magnify the target you are aiming at. This makes it extremely accurate when hunting small animals, and many customers have noted that it is perfect for killing squirrels.

Cons of the Ruger Targis Pellet Gun

Some customers have noted that this Ruger pellet gun takes some breaking in. Many have noted that it is hard to cock for the first few months, but that this difficulty dissolves after prolonged usage.

Other customers have noted that this is a relatively heavy gun when it comes to pellet guns, and that the weight limited their mobility when hunting small game. This is particularly important considering how crucial it is for hunter to feel light when moving around.

Even a small amount of discomfort can impact their focus and precision, affecting the accuracy of their shot.

Additionally, some customers have noted that this Ruger pellet gun is not that powerful, as they fired at various squirrel and birds in their yard but did not kill any of them. Thus, if you are looking for a deadlier pellet gun, Ruger’s Targis pellet gun might not be ideal for you.

Alternatively, if you are looking for something to practice with and finetune your skills, then Ruger’s Targis pellet gun might be the perfect fit.

Ruger Yukon Pellet Gun

[amazon box=”B00AU6EB72″]

Ruger’s Yukon pellet gun is a break-barrel rifle that includes the same SilencAIr Noise Dampening System as the Targis.

Yet, many customers note that this system still results in a relatively loud shot when compared with some of the quietest guns of the market. Thus, while the system certainly minimizes sound, it is now where near the effectiveness of a silencer.

What’s really unique about this gun is its aesthetics, as it features a sleek wood finish that allows it to camouflage with forest settings. Many customers have noted that this Ruger pellet gun is one of the most beautiful in the company’s arsenal and that it’s a shame to even dirty it in rugged environments when hunting.

One drawback to this gun is the trigger mechanism, which many customers have reported as unreliable and not durable. Some customers have noted that they had to purchase a new trigger after several months of usage while other customers noted that the trigger was faulty out of the box.

While it’s difficult to determine how much this is related to packaging errors or human error, it’s still a factor to consider before investing in this Ruger pellet gun.

Ruger’s Yukon pellet gun is so aesthetically attractive that it might even serve as a display piece in your house if you were particularly fascinated with guns. Many customers have commented that they hang the Yukon on their wall in case they need to use it, but they prefer to keep it there more as a piece of art than a weapon.

Ruger Explorer Youth Pellet Gun

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The Ruger Explorer Youth pellet gun is designed specifically for children who are interested in a single-stroke break-barrel air rifle.  

What’s unique about this gun is not only its smaller size but its ambidextrous thumbhole stock, which means it can be utilized by someone who is either right-handed or left-handed. This is an important distinction, as many children have not yet developed a dominant hand, which is a function of later brain development.

Yet, recent research has shown that the connection between hand dominance and brain development is a two-way street. In particular, brain development can be influenced by which hand becomes dominant.

Thus, forcing a child to develop a dominant hand through the purchase of a less dynamic pellet gun might actually influence their brain development. The safest approach is to simply buy an ambidextrous weapon that gives them more control over which hand becomes dominant. The Ruger Explorer pellet gun offers this possibility.

Many customers have noted that this pellet gun offers plenty of power despite being designed for a child. Specifically, it can fire a .177 pellet at 495 feet per second (FPS). Both the Yukon and the Targis max out at a little over 1000 FPS, which means that the Explorer pellet gun from Ruger is almost half as powerful as those intended for adult usage.

Perfect for a Beginner

Hunter- Ruger pellet gun

In addition, this pellet gun from Ruger offers fiber optic sights, which facilitates accuracy and precision when shooting. This is especially important for building the confidence of beginner shooters, who are often just getting a hang of how to fire a firearm.

Guidance and support during the initial stages of learning a skill can often make or break an athlete. Thus, it’s great that Ruger’s Explorer pellet gun is easy to use, as a more difficult gun could demoralize a child and prevent him from mastering the sport of shooting.

The Explorer Youth pellet gun is also very affordable, costing only $75. This would make it a great birthday gift paired with a pack of pellets and several targets.

Many customers have commented that 3-foot length is a bit overwhelming for some children. Ideally, most customers recommend this pellet gun for kids in their early teens, as it’s a relatively larger gun that can be difficult for smaller children to manage.

What is the Reputation of Ruger?

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Ruger is known as a reliable company that provides an affordable, durable range of firearms. While their pistols, revolvers, and rifles are more popular than their pellet guns, they have made considerable strides in recent years in the pellet gun industry.

Most importantly, many customers note how seamless their customer service is. In particular, some customers have reported receiving faulty equipment. Yet, Ruger’s customer service swiftly handled the complaints and shipped out a new item within a week. This is a significant feature, especially when purchasing a pellet gun for the first time.

Ruger’s primary demographic with their pellet guns is beginner shooters who are on a budget. This does not mean that their guns are not powerful or accurate, only that they are not loaded with every feature available. Thus, they are considered very easy to use and ideal for someone without much shooting experience.  

This affordability in combination with flawless customer service translates to a positive experience.  Many company’s offer entry level products for a much higher price, which is a risky investment since it sometimes takes several purchases to determine a shooter’s preferences.

How Does Ruger’s Pellet Guns Compare to Competitor’s Products?

In this section, we will compare Ruger’s pellet guns to some popular offerings from competitors. 

Gamo Big Cat Pellet Gun

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The Gamo Big Cat pellet gun costs the same as many of the Ruger’s pellet guns, specifically about $160. Yet, it can shoot at 1400 FPS, which is a significant upgrade.

The main drawback to this pellet gun is that the scope that it comes with is ineffective. Many customers have claimed that the gun itself is powerful and accurate, but only when paired with a more expensive scope. Thus, in reality, the retail price of the Big Cat does not reflect the total investment required to maximize its performance.

While many of Ruger’s pellet guns are not perfect either, customers speak highly of their scopes, claiming that they are sufficient for many activities and that it’s usually not necessary to purchase additional scopes. In this sense, Ruger’s pellet guns are more affordable than the Big Cat from Gamo.

Crosman Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle

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At only $44, the Crosman Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle is the most affordable gun on this list as well as the lightest. Specifically, it only weighs 3.5 pounds, which makes it extremely mobile.

Yet, it has a firing velocity of only 625 FPS, which is considerably slower than the firing velocity of Ruger’s pellet guns.

Thus, this pellet gun from Crosman would be ideal for entry level shooters on a budget who want something extremely portable.

Yet, many shooting experts claim that a heavier body is sometimes more ideal, as the weight of the gun can help stabilize the shooters grip, making the shots more accurate. This is especially the case when you mount the gun, as a lighter gun might be more prone to moving around while aiming. Thus, Ruger’s pellet guns might still be more ideal despite their heavier weight.

Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock Pellet Air Rifle

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The Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock pellet gun costs about $500 for the .177 caliber version. It features a similar velocity to most of Ruger’s pellet guns, specifically about 1100 FPS.

Yet, it is also considered a much more versatile gun, which is reflected in its price. In particular, a laser scope or a red dot sight can be attached later if necessary, and the gun already comes with a dovetail mount.

The main drawback to this gun is its price. Thus, if you were more interested in cost and did not care about the ability to add various sights, then Ruger’s pellet guns would be more worthwhile.

Our Final Thoughts on Ruger’s Pellet Guns

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We think Ruger’s pellet guns are reliable and durable, but definitely not the best on the market. They are ideal for shooters on a budget who want a gun that is going to perform well.

We think Ruger’s Explorer pellet gun geared for children is a particularly good deal considering its firing velocity and price. Additionally, this gun has gotten rave reviews for its ease of use, so would be perfect for a child just getting into shooting.

We think that the market for pellet guns is only going to flourish in the future as customers crave smaller, cheaper, more portable weapons for hunting small-game. This is particularly important as farming becomes more localized, as many farmers will want to protect their crops from animals like squirrels, foxes, rabbits, and deer.

While Ruger’s pellet guns might not kill larger animals, they will certainly scare them away and protect your crops.

Ultimately, we think that any movement towards purchasing non-lethal weapons is a good thing, especially considering how often accidents occur when operating a firearm.

If a less dangerous gun can fulfill your needs, then there is truly no need to invest in a more expensive, higher-velocity gun. Thus, we think Ruger is well-positioned to experience much success in the future.