a gun with scope set up on long range target shooting area

The 10 Best Sniper Scope Options To Hit The Mark Every Time

In the last decade, long-range shooting has become one of the most popular sectors of the shooting sports industry. From gong-ringing competitions at the range to extended trophy shots on Western game lands, it's clear that today's shooters can shooter longer and more accurately than ever before. Much of this improved long-range capability is the product of improved ammunition with higher-velocity projectiles. An equally big part, however, is improved optics. In this article, we'll take a deep dive into the best sniper scope available to civilian shooters.

Optics and Shooting

Most experienced shooters have used a range of scopes at various performance levels. It's common for hunters to use vintage optics handed down over generations on an heirloom firearm. If you've never looked carefully at today's best sniper scopes, then you may be in for some surprises. Sure, your grandfather's old Simmons may work just fine for a weekend in the Midwestern whitetail woods. But would you really want to carry that thing up a 7,000-foot ridge while chasing sheep in Idaho?

Scope Changes

The best sniper scopes today are lighter, have better quality glass, and are far more durable than their antique counterparts. While some modern scopes may look intimidating because of a larger form factor, it's important to remember why they are bigger. The front (objective) lens on any scope allows light to pass through and offers the shooter a field a vision. The bigger your objective lens the greater clarity you'll have in low light conditions. It's also important to remember that today's high-tech materials will be far lighter weight than the overweight scopes of yesteryear.


So if you're thinking about taking the plunge into long range shooting but you're intimidated by that looks of today's best sniper scopes then you can put those fears to rest. Throughout this article, we'll get you all the information you need to make an informed choice so you'll pick the best sniper scope for your long-range shooting needs.

Product FAQ

a man looking through the sniper scope

Image Source: Unsplash.com

1. How Do Sniper Scopes Work?

2. How Are Sniper Scopes Different from Regular Scopes?

3. What Types of Shooters Need a Sniper Scope?

4. What Should You Look for in a Sniper Scope?

5. Who Makes the Best Sniper Scopes?

How We Reviewed

a sniper scope attached to a replica gun

Image Source: Pexels.com

For this article, we selected sniper scopes with a range of different price points, quality levels, features, and sizes. We broke down the features for each scope and their prices, availability, and warranty information. Every scope has pros and cons, so we offered a few bullet points for each. We also chose one overall best sniper scope from this group. We're not saying this scope is the perfect option for every shooter at the range, but we feel it's an ideal combination of price, performance, durability, and overall value.

Overall Price Range

Prices can differ for today's best sniper scopes but the products on this list range between around $300 and around $2000. Lower-end scopes usually offer excellent value but cut costs by using lower-quality glass and offering less clarity. Top-end sniper scopes will offer crystal clear vision at very long distances and offer superb durability for years of tough use afield.

What We Reviewed

NightForce ATACR 4-16x42mm F1 Riflescope C615
  • 34mm main tube
  • First focal plane
  • Tactical MIL turrets
BARSKA 3-12x50 IR Huntmaster Pro 30/30 IR Cross Riflescope
  • Ideal rifle-scope when lighting conditions are less than ideal, combining advanced optic technology
  • Fast-focus eye bell, large objective lens, and multi-coated optics deliver clear, high-contrast downrange views
  • 3 to 12X magnification, water, fog and shock-proof, adjustable for wind-age, elevation and rheostat
Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56 FFP Riflescope EBR-2C MOA
  • The Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56 riflescope is feature rich and deadly accurate; perfect for advanced precision shooting...
  • Built for dialing in long-range, precision shots, the L-TEC Turret System features a locking mechanism that prevents...
  • A 6x zoom range offers magnification versatility while the fast focus eyepiece adjusts the reticle into sharp focus....
Steiner M5Xi 5-25x 56mm Riflescope, G2 Mil-Dot Reticle
  • Steiner M5Xi is a premium, high-performance sniper riflescope with true 5X magnification
  • Precise windage/elevation adjustments provide both visual and tactile indication of rotational position in a front focal...
  • Illumination control features rotary digital control with intermediate stops rated for daytime, low-light and night...
Sniper brand 6-24x50mm Scope W Front AO Adjustment. Red/Blue/Green...
  • Red, Green, Blue illuminated color Mil-Dot reticle
  • 1/4 MOA click value for wind and elevation adjustment
  • Multi-Coated lenses, includes scope rings
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50 FFP Riflescope EBR-2C MRAD
  • The Viper PST Gen II takes incredible performance and rock solid tactical features to new heights. The 5-25x50 first...
  • Shooters who dial their turrets for bullet drop and wind compensation will appreciate the laser etched turrets,...
  • The reticle offers shooters highly functional, intuitive, and detailed hold points, yet remains uncluttered for...
Nightforce Optics 5.5-22x56 NXS Riflescope, Matte Black Finish with...
  • 100 M.O.A. of internal adjustment
  • Exceptional optical integrity
  • Speed and accuracy in all situations
Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50 SFP Riflescope VMR-1 MOA
  • The Viper HS-T 6-24x50 is one of multiple configurations in the Viper HS-T (Hunting & Shooting Tactical) line. VMR-1...
  • Incorporating our premium, fully multi-coated, extra-low dispersion lenses brings excellent resolution and color...
  • The exposed target-style turrets are constructed for precise and repeatable finger-adjustable clicks. A CRS Zero Stop...
Leupold FX-II 4x33mm Riflescope, Wide Duplex Reticle, Black
  • Leupold Model #58550 - FX-II 4x33mm with Wide Duplex reticle and Matte finish
  • 100% Waterproof, fogproof, shockproof, and backed by Leupold's lifetime warranty
  • Twilight Max Light Management System - Adds up to 20 extra minutes of shooting light and reduces glare for premium...
Leupold VX-R Patrol Riflescope
  • Leopold Model #113769 - VX-R Patrol 1. 25-4x20mm with Illum. Fire Dot SPR reticle and Matte finish
  • 100% Waterproof, fog proof, & shockproof
  • Illuminated Reticle, ideal for lowlight conditions
  • Nikon M-308 4-16X42 Riflescope
  • Schmidt Bender PMII
  • Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II First Focal Plane Riflescope
  • Steiner Optics M-Series Rifle Scope
  • FSI Sniper 6-24x50mm Scope
  • Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II First Focal Plane Riflescope
  • Nightforce Optics 5.5-22x56 NXS Riflescope
  • Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescope
  • Leupold FX-II 4x33mm Riflescope
  • Leupold VX-R 1.25-4x20mm Patrol Rifle Scope

Nikon M-308 4-16X42 Riflescope


NightForce ATACR 4-16x42mm F1 Riflescope C615
  • 34mm main tube
  • First focal plane
  • Tactical MIL turrets

Description

The Nikon M-308 4-16X42 Riflescope is a superb quality sniper scope with excellent versatility that won't cost you an arm and a leg. This scope is made for integration with Nikon's Spot On Ballistic Match and is optimized for use with .308 caliber rifles including ARs. It offers 4X to 16X optical magnification and the generous 42mm objective lens will keep you shooting straight until the finals hours of your hunting day.


Nikon chose a BDC 800 reticle for this scope, so you'll have plenty of confidence handling bullet drops at long range. The fully waterproof, fog proof, and shock resistant tube will also withstand the worst weather you can find.

PROS  

  • Compatible with Spot on Ballistic Match
  • Calibre specific
  • 4X to 16X zoom
  • BDC 800 reticle

 CONS

  • Smaller objective lens than some sniper scopes

Where to Buy

Warranty

This scope is covered by Nikon's limited lifetime warranty.

Schmidt Bender PMII


BARSKA 3-12x50 IR Huntmaster Pro 30/30 IR Cross Riflescope
  • Ideal rifle-scope when lighting conditions are less than ideal, combining advanced optic technology
  • Fast-focus eye bell, large objective lens, and multi-coated optics deliver clear, high-contrast downrange views
  • 3 to 12X magnification, water, fog and shock-proof, adjustable for wind-age, elevation and rheostat

Description

The Schmidt Bender PMII 3-12x50 L/P Gen II offers a mix of premium features that will appeal to high-performance shooters. This scope offers an illuminated reticle, parallax adjustment, and Schmidt's proprietary .1 MRAD MTC (More Tactile Clicks) turret adjustment system. This means that you'll be able to dial in your target easily regardless of wind conditions or low light. With a 3X to 12X optical zoom, you'll also have more than enough magnification to obtain targets at extreme distances.

PROS  

  • Easily controlled turrets
  • 3X to 12X variable magnification
  • Superior glass clarity
  • Parallax adjustment

 CONS

  • High cost

Where to Buy

Warranty

​This scope is covered with a limited two-year warranty.

Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II First Focal Plane Riflescope


Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56 FFP Riflescope EBR-2C MOA
  • The Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56 riflescope is feature rich and deadly accurate; perfect for advanced precision shooting...
  • Built for dialing in long-range, precision shots, the L-TEC Turret System features a locking mechanism that prevents...
  • A 6x zoom range offers magnification versatility while the fast focus eyepiece adjusts the reticle into sharp focus....

Description

​The Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56 rifle scope is a premium-grade scope for specifically designed for hunters who need deadly accuracy in all conditions. This scope features Vortex's illuminated, glass-etched EBR-2C MOA reticle with 11 different brightness intensities. You can dial this scope in as far as 27X magnification, so there won't be any guessing about target acquisition when you're shooting for keeps. Vortex's L-TEC Turret System offers a visual sign of windage and elevation adjustments and allows for a quick and easy return to zero once adverse conditions calm down.

PROS  

  • Illuminated reticle
  • 27X max magnification
  • Easy to use turrets
  • Excellent glass quality

 CONS

  • Higher cost than some competing scopes

Where to Buy

Warranty

​This scope is covered with a limited lifetime warranty.

Steiner Optics M-Series Rifle Scope


Steiner M5Xi 5-25x 56mm Riflescope, G2 Mil-Dot Reticle
  • Steiner M5Xi is a premium, high-performance sniper riflescope with true 5X magnification
  • Precise windage/elevation adjustments provide both visual and tactile indication of rotational position in a front focal...
  • Illumination control features rotary digital control with intermediate stops rated for daytime, low-light and night...

Description

​The Steiner M5Xi has many features found on the highest priced scopes but with a considerably smaller price tag. This scope as a 3X to 15X variable magnification for an overall 5X power. The front focal plane design on this gun is manually adjustable with easily twisted turrets on the top and side. Shooters will both feel and see how far they've adjusted with indicating lines and can easily return to zero without incident. With an adjustable illuminated reticle, this gun is ideal for both daytime and nighttime use. What truly sets this gun apart, however, is its fully waterproof body that can be submerged down to 33ft.

PROS  

  • Easy windage and elevation adjustments
  • 5X overall magnification power
  • Waterproof to 33ft
  • Variable intensity illuminated reticle

 CONS

  • More expensive than some competing scopes

Where to Buy

Warranty

​This scope is backed with a lifetime limited warranty.

FSI Sniper 6-24x50mm Scope


Sniper brand 6-24x50mm Scope W Front AO Adjustment. Red/Blue/Green...
  • Red, Green, Blue illuminated color Mil-Dot reticle
  • 1/4 MOA click value for wind and elevation adjustment
  • Multi-Coated lenses, includes scope rings

Description

​The FSI Sniper 6-24x50mm Scope offers affordable quality for shooters who want to go long on a budget. This scope has a distinct look largely due to the front AO adjustment ring. FSI uses this ring just like the parallax adjustment on comparable rifles but puts the control at the tip of your fingers with an oversized tactile ring.


Despite this scope's ample 50mm objective lens, it's very light thanks to 6061 aircraft aluminum housing. Top and side turrets provide accurate windage and elevation controls for long shots with side winds and elevation changes. Multi-coated lenses complete the package on this scope and will keep you seeing for many seasons in the bush.

PROS  

  • Front AO adjustment rings
  • 50mm objective lens
  • Adjustable parallax view
  • Light 6061 aircraft aluminum body

 CONS

  • A retro look that may not appeal to modern shooters

Where to Buy

Warranty

​This scope is covered by a limited lifetime warranty against defects but also a satisfaction guarantee.

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II First Focal Plane Riflescope


Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50 FFP Riflescope EBR-2C MRAD
  • The Viper PST Gen II takes incredible performance and rock solid tactical features to new heights. The 5-25x50 first...
  • Shooters who dial their turrets for bullet drop and wind compensation will appreciate the laser etched turrets,...
  • The reticle offers shooters highly functional, intuitive, and detailed hold points, yet remains uncluttered for...

Description

Vortex's Viper PST Gen II offers maximum clarity and performance for shooters who want a top tier sniper scope at a mid-level price. This scope offers a robust 50mm objective lens with a 5X to 25X first focal plane magnification. The wide objective lens and 5X zoom on this scope make it one of the best sniper scopes available for both close range and long-range shots.


One of the most powerful features of this scope is the RTZ turret adjustment system. As you make windage and elevation adjustments an optical indicator keeps your initial zero-point illuminated. This way you can easily return the scope back to zero when needed.

PROS  

  • Vortex's RTZ zero adjustment turrets
  • 50mm objective lens
  • 5X overall magnification
  • Excellent reputation and customer support

 CONS

  • More expensive than some competitors
  • Slightly larger form factor than some comparable scopes

Where to Buy

Warranty

​This scope is covered by Vortex's limited lifetime warranty.

Nightforce Optics 5.5-22x56 NXS Riflescope


Nightforce Optics 5.5-22x56 NXS Riflescope, Matte Black Finish with...
  • 100 M.O.A. of internal adjustment
  • Exceptional optical integrity
  • Speed and accuracy in all situations

Description

The Nightforce Optics 5.5-22x56 NXS Riflescope is a high-performance product that easily ranks amongst the best sniper scopes on the market. This scope has a unique look with a matte black finish and some unique features to match. It offers 100 minute of accuracy internal adjustment to help you dial in long-range shots in even the most extreme weather conditions.


It has a massive 56mm objective lens that may have you feeling like you're using a spotting scope. And despite the scope's ample size, it's surprisingly light thanks to the premium-grade aircraft aluminum construction. This a tough and durable scope ready for anything you can throw at it.

PROS  

  • Large objective lens
  • Versatile internal MOA adjustments
  • High-grade materials
  • Exceptional warranty

 CONS

  • This scope could look massive on shorter guns
  • Higher cost

Where to Buy

Warranty

This scope is covered with a lifetime limited warranty.

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescope


Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50 SFP Riflescope VMR-1 MOA
  • The Viper HS-T 6-24x50 is one of multiple configurations in the Viper HS-T (Hunting & Shooting Tactical) line. VMR-1...
  • Incorporating our premium, fully multi-coated, extra-low dispersion lenses brings excellent resolution and color...
  • The exposed target-style turrets are constructed for precise and repeatable finger-adjustable clicks. A CRS Zero Stop...

Description

The Viper HS-T 6-24x50 from Viper offers some of the best glass on the market for a low-middle priced sniper scope. This unit has lenses that are fully multi-coated and offer extra-low dispersion to help improve color recognition and overall clarity. The VMR-1 Reticle (MRAD) is easily adjustable with top and side turrets and the premium CRS Zero Stop system will never leave you second guessing about your zero.

PROS  

  • Large objective lens
  • VMR-1 Reticle
  • CRS Zero Stop

 CONS

  • May feel cumbersome compared with competing scopes.

Where to Buy

Warranty

​Vortex covers this scope with a limited lifetime warranty.

Leupold FX-II 4x33mm Riflescope


Leupold FX-II 4x33mm Riflescope, Wide Duplex Reticle, Black
  • Leupold Model #58550 - FX-II 4x33mm with Wide Duplex reticle and Matte finish
  • 100% Waterproof, fogproof, shockproof, and backed by Leupold's lifetime warranty
  • Twilight Max Light Management System - Adds up to 20 extra minutes of shooting light and reduces glare for premium...

Description

​The Leupold FX-II is a scope that offers sniper-quality target acquisition at an affordable price. This is a four-lens system with full multi-coating throughout. It offers superb clarity and color representation in an ultra-tough, American-made casing. While this scope does not offer MOA adjustment, the 33mm objective lens is ideal for short range shooters who need to take the occasional long shot.

PROS  

  • Affordable quality
  • Light and compact
  • Ultra-durable

 CONS

  • No adjustable turrets

Where to Buy

Warranty

​This scope is covered with a limited lifetime warranty.

Leupold VX-R 1.25-4x20mm Patrol Rifle Scope


Leupold VX-R Patrol Riflescope
  • Leopold Model #113769 - VX-R Patrol 1. 25-4x20mm with Illum. Fire Dot SPR reticle and Matte finish
  • 100% Waterproof, fog proof, & shockproof
  • Illuminated Reticle, ideal for lowlight conditions

Description

​The Leupold VX-R 1.25-4x20mm Patrol Rifle Scope offers a slim and compact option for shooters using one of the many scout and patrol rifles on today's market. With just a 20mm objective lens, this scope doesn't have any wasted size or material. In fact, it's made of ultra-light aircraft aluminum to give the lowest possible weight. It's a totally waterproof scope and also boasts an illuminated FireDot Duplex style reticle to improve visibility in low light conditions.

PROS  

  • Light and compact
  • Affordable
  • Superb build quality
  • Leupold's sterling reputation

 CONS

  • Only a 4X maximum zoom
  • Very small optical lens

Where to Buy

Warranty

​Leupold covers this scope with a limited lifetime warranty.

The Verdict

Our choice as the best sniper scope from this group is the Nightforce Optics 5.5-22x56 NXS Riflescope. This is a premium-grade scope and has the price tag to prove it. And while you'll dig deep for the honor of mounting this scope, we think it falls under the "buy once, cry once" category. With its huge 56mm objective lens and 100 MOA internal adjustment capabilities, this scope will give you the chance to make shots you simply wouldn't with other scopes.

If you're planning to mix in some close-range still hunting, then this may not be the right choice as it nearest zoom is 5.5X. For most forms of Western hunting and any competitions, however, we think this is one of the best sniper scopes on the market.

Featured Image Source: Pixabay.com

Best Laser Bore Sighters

Click here for the Best Laser Bore Sighters available in 2019!

laser boresighters
One of the best things about being a hunter is showing off during live fire tests while friends are watching around.

This is not just fun to do; it is also a good way to test if your gun sighting is aligned with your gun’s bore. However, not many places have firing range where you can do your live fire test plus why spend on ammunition when you can actually do this at home!

There are two known ways of bore sighting: the traditional one where you have to pay for ammunition and drive to a range to do a test fire and the modern one with the use of a laser bore sighter. If you are wondering what options you have in terms of bore sighter- here is a list for you.

Laser bore sighter below $25

EconoLed All in One .22 to .50 Caliber Rifle Red Dot Laser Boresighter

Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars from 107 customers. CLick the image for prices and reviews!
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars from 107 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

If you have a .22 or .50 rifle or pistol, this laser bore sighter from EconoLed is surely a winner.

It only cost $14.49 and is easy to use with its quick push button activation system.

It is also easy to mount and a set comes with tools, four adapters and batteries for longer bore sighting exercise.

After aligning your sight, you can set place it inside its premium case to avoid losing it.

One thing we heard about this bore sighter though- the adapter screw always get screwed so be warned.

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Red Dot Laser Bore Sighter BoreSighter Kit for .22 to .50 Caliber Rifle Scope

EconoLed All in One .22 to .50 Caliber Rifle Red Dot Laser Boresighter
Rated 3.1 out of 5 stars from 68 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

For serious shooters who want to aim perfectly but don’t have the money to waste on ammo, get the Red Dot Laser Bore Sighter by Warfire for only $15.99.

This bore sighter kit comes with four arbors for a .22, .50, 20 and 18 gauge shotgun.

It is powered by an LR-50 battery and a package contains one free battery, ready to use.

What do customers say about this affordable bore sighter?

Well, aside from the fact that it works, it looks decent too.

Common issue that customers talked about was its rubber plug for the .22 – it easily gets broken.

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F.Dorla New Red Dot Laser Boresighter Bore Sighter Kit .17 to .50 Caliber Rifle Gauge Kit

F.Dorla New Red Dot Laser Boresighter Bore Sighter Kit .17 to .50 Caliber Rifle Gauge Kit
Rated 2.0 out of 5 stars from 68 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

You might think that cheap and affordable laser bore sighters are not worth it until you get a New Red Dot Laser Boresighter Bore Sighter Kit .17 to .50 Caliber Rifle Gauge Kit from F.Dorla.

This bore sighter is one of the best laser bore sighter out there because of its design and ease of use.

For only $21.99, this new version of laser bore sight has seven adjustable core adapters, making it snug and fit perfectly n any pistol or rifle.

It can be used to align your optics on your .17 to .50 rifle regardless if you are using iron, optical, laser or holographic sight.

The laser can be easily turned on and off as well to save battery as needed.

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TMS Red Laser Bore Sight Kit Boresighter for .22 to .50 Caliber Scope Handgun Rifles

Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars from 46 customers. CLick the image for prices and reviews!
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars from 46 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

For $24.99, you can get a bore sighter that works rom TMS.

The TMS Red Laser Bore Sight Kit Boresighter for .22 to .50 Caliber Scope Handgun Rifles is lightweight, assures durability and promises accuracy without the need to fire ammo.

It can be used on a 0.22 to 0.50 caliber handguns and complete kit comes with the necessary tool for installing the bore sighter, four adapters and extra batteries.

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Laser bore sighter within a $50 range

Bushnell Laser Boresighter

Bushnell Laser Boresighter
Rated 3.6 out of 5 stars from 1,137customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

Just like its rifles and scopes, Bushnell also offer affordable yet quality bore sights making them one of the known brands of best bore sights in the market today.

The Bushnell Laser Boresighter is only $25.79 but it can produce rapid and precise laser for a precise aiming.

The kit also comes with 7 arbors that can be used on a 20 and 12 gauge shotguns and .22- through .50-caliber rifles.

It is powered by its 6 inches long LR-44 batteries and a single kit comes with one free battery, ready to use.
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CVLIFE .22 to .50 Caliber Rifle Gauge Boresight Red Dot Laser Boresighter Bore Sighter

CVLIFE .22 to .50 Caliber Rifle Gauge Boresight Red Dot Laser Boresighter Bore Sighter
Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars from 356 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

For $25, you can have a solid, cool looking and easy to use laser bore sight from CVLIFE. This bore sighter weighs 150g and has a wavelength of 650nM.

It also comes with 4 adjustable adapters that can fit any .22 caliber up to 0.5 caliber pistol or rifle. When not in use, it can sit comfortably on its case to avoid losing or any of its small parts/adapters. The case is good with cut-out foam inside for every part of the bore sight.

What do customers say about this bore sighter from CVLIFE? Pretty good actually! Most users praised the solid product although some had problems with the laser of their received product. It was compensated though with a great and prompt customer service and action.
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LaserLyte Universal Bore Sighter

LaserLyte Universal Bore Sighter
Rated 3.9 out of 5 stars from 132 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

The LaserLyte Universal Bore Sighter is one expensive toy at $43.39 but with a working laser that ha a range of 500 yards even at night, this is a pretty cool stuff.

LaserLyte is an American brand and you can be assured that this product is made in the US. The LaserLyte Universal Bore Sighter is very easy to use.

Just choose the bore adapter that you will use, slide it in your barrel and turn the laser on. Once the laser dot is on, start adjusting your scope!

LaserLyte assures user of its LaserLyte Universal Bore Sighter that it is one of the best laser bore sighter in the market today with its precise and calibrated accuracy.

The laser works with the help of A-76 batteries that can last up to an hour of continuous use.

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SightMark Laser Bore Sights Cartridge Sizes: SightMark AccuDot Laser Bore Sight – 223 Model SM39001

SightMark Laser Bore Sights Cartridge Sizes: SightMark AccuDot Laser Bore Sight - 223 Model SM39001
Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars from 639 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

Another bore sight below the $50 range is the SightMark Laser Bore Sights Cartridge Sizes: SightMark AccuDot Laser Bore Sight – 223 Model SM39001 that only costs $28.95. This bore sight allow users to practice up to 100 yard with its 632 to 650 nm laser wavelength. This means you can still see the 2 inches red laser dot even at 100 yards. This bore sight from SightMark is made of brass, making it tough and solid for a bore sight of such price.

For this bore sight, you just have to load the chamber to your rifle, aim and check if the laser is hitting your target precisely. This shows you your aim and how you are doing with precision without firing single ammunition. Why it is just one of our best lasers bore sighter and not the best? It is the fact that it doesn’t have an on and off button keeping the laser on and wasting the battery unless removed!

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Laser bore sighter above $50

SiteLite Mag Laser Boresighter

SiteLite Mag Laser Boresighter
Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars from 179 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

If you are the type of a marksman that invests in everything that you use, then you can do so with SiteLite Mag Laser Boresighter for $99.99. This bore sighter is one of the best laser bore sighter to date with its guaranteed superior accuracy. SiteLite also offers a lifetime warranty for this product.
Why spend so much on a bore sighter like SiteLite? For one, the SiteLite Mag Laser Boresighter comes with a BTS program that allows you to printout your target for your laser regardless of the type of rifle you have. With its SRL Scope Leverer, you would know if your bore sighting is on level or not. As a bonus, if you are a Muley Crazy collector, then you can have the Muley Crazy DVD featuring a massive 255″ that was taken by SiteLite President Rich Langner. Fanatics – rejoice!

In addition, unlike cheaper and affordable bore sighters; expensive ones always offer the value for your money like what SiteLite offer. With SiteLite, you won’t have to put up with breakable adapter and consistently changing O-rings. Best of all, it is feels solid to touch and works on different rifles and guns.

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Wheeler Engineering Laser Bore Sighter, Red

Wheeler Engineering Laser Bore Sighter, Red
Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars from 18 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

Wheeler Engineering is a known manufacturer of different gunsmith supplies and accessories and one of the best products they have is their bore sighter. At a price of $79.79, the Wheeler Engineering Laser Bore Sighter can help users to make scope adjustments very easy, simple and fast. This bore sighter is also compatible with any gun and uses a red dot laser to indicate aim and alignment. When not in use, you can put this bore sighter inside its plastic storage case to keep it clean and ready to use for the next session. Powered by a single Lithium 123A battery, this bore sighter from Wheeler Engineering is considered as one of the best laser bore sighter in the market today.

Since this bore sighter from Wheeler Engineering is normally set-up with a magnet (to make sighting accurate and precise), it can be set up with any type of gun. The issue is the manual labor it takes to make sure that everything is set-up correctly especially the distance of the barrel from the magnet. One problem though that users found is the short distance capability of the laser which is just 5 yards. Beyond 5 yards and the red dot cannot be seen anymore.

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Laser bore sighter above $100

Wheeler Laser Bore Sighter

Wheeler Laser Bore Sighter
Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars from 84 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

Another laser bore sighter product from Wheeler Engineering is the Wheeler Laser Bore Sighter that has a green laser, visible during the day. Unlike the laser bore sighter from Wheeler Engineering that comes with red laser light, this is more expensive at $119.99.

This laser bore sight from Wheeler also offers easy scope adjustments allowing an easier, faster and more precise alignment. It also uses a single Lithium 123A battery and can be used on different types of guns and rifles.

At twice the price of the red dot laser bore sighter from Wheeler Engineering; customers who used this laser bore sighting are more positive when it comes to their experience. Users praise the green dot being visible in the broad daylight even as far as 50 yards. As a bonus, this laser bore sighter even comes with a reflective target, making practices easier during the day.

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SiteLite Ultra Mag Laser Professional Boresighter

SiteLite Ultra Mag Laser Professional Boresighter
Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars from 61 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

Further researching and looking for the best bore sighter in the market led us to the ultimate bore sighter from SiteLite, the SiteLite Ultra Mag Laser Professional Boresighter. At $149.99, this bore sighter promises high accuracy and a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. Just like any bore sighter from SiteLite, it also comes with a BTS program to print out laser bore sighting target and the SRL Scope Leverer for a more accurate sighting.

This laser bore sighter from SiteLite is compatible with a .22 to .50 cal. plus 20 & 12 gauge shotguns. Most users applaud the printed target and the bright laser light of their Site Lite bore sighter. Since the target can be customized using the SiteLite downloadable software, users are happier to have their own designed target.

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Buying Guide

As you can see, bore sighters come in all different shapes and sizes. Let’s take a look at the various features that can make a difference in your experience of using one.

1. Versatility

Some bore sighters can be used for more calibers, others can only be used for a single caliber.

Ones that can be used for more calibers generally have various adapters to fit on the gun’s barrel. These will have to be changed each time you want to use the sighter on a different gun, but they aren’t too challenging to change. It will come with all of the equipment you need, which very well may just be a single screwdriver.

Single caliber sighters are extremely simple to use. They don’t come with screws or adapters and are able to be used as soon as they leave the box.

2. Type of laser

One way to determine the quality of the sighter is to figure out the laser’s class. Most come with class III, but there are certain models that have better ones.

The class affects the visibility. The lower the class, the more visible the laser is. Higher classes are known to be more dangerous for your eyesight. However, class III lasers are considered to be safe.

Last Words

With so many lasers bore sighter in the market today with most of them at an affordable price; it is best to check reviews and what users have to say first before purchasing one. You would not want to end up purchasing three or four affordable bore sighters that breaks down easily when you can get a better one for a few more dollars.

Laser bore sighters within the $50 to $100 range often promises durability and high accuracy as compared to those below the $50 range. Still, if you can understand how your bore sighter works with a laser that works properly and is visible regardless of the time of the day, then you definitely found the best laser bore sighter that works for you. Also, bore sighters that comes as a kit or a set is always advantageous because of the case that comes with it, the extra batteries and the different adapters that you can get.

Click here for the Best Laser Bore Sighters available in 2019!

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!

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.

Pricing

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

NcStar Mark III Tactical P4 Sniper 3-9X42/Scope Adaptor Mount/Red Dot...
  • Mark III tactical scope with backup red dot sight
  • Fully multicoated lenses offer brightness and clarity
  • Red/green illuminated P4 sniper reticle with multiple brightness settings
  • 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

PROS  

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

  CONS

  • Heavy
  • Might need replacement parts
  • Some assembly required

Bushnell Elite Tactical Review

Bushnell Elite Tactical G2DMR FFP Reticle Riflescope (6-24x50-mm)
  • Ultra Wide Band Coating and fully multi-coated optics for light transmission and image clarity; Rain Guard HD anti-fog...
  • Adjustable power, tactical target scope with 6 to 24x magnification and a 50-millimeter objective lens offers...
  • G2DMR features a mil-hash marked First Focal Plane (FFP) reticle designed for ranging, holdover and windage correction

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

PROS  

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

  CONS

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

Nightforce NXS Review

Nightforce Optics 5.5-22x56 NXS Riflescope, Matte Black Finish with...
  • 100 M.O.A. of internal adjustment
  • Exceptional optical integrity
  • Speed and accuracy in all situations

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

PROS  

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

  CONS

  • Expensive
  • No additional lens features

Vortex Optics Diamondback Review

Vortex Optics Diamondback 10x42 Roof Prism Binocular
  • Roof prism full-size 10x42 binoculars provide 10x magnification through a 42mm objective lens.
  • VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty means Vortex Optics will fix or repair at no cost to the customer, no questions...
  • Multi-coated optics and phase corrected prisms

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

PROS  

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

  CONS

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

Conclusion

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

a man using a rifle with scope while lying on ground

How To Adjust A Rifle Scope To Improve Your Accuracy And Precision

Understanding how to adjust a rifle scope is an important step to achieve consistently accurate shots. Adjusting, or sighting, the scope is not difficult if you understand the right way to do it, beginning with properly mounting your scope.

Nothing is more important than your scope because it is the most responsible piece of equipment for hitting the target. A well-adjusted scope and some practice can result in precise accuracy that is not possible without a scope or with a scope that has not been adjusted and sighted. It pays dividends to learn how to adjust a rifle scope.

Sighting a Scope

a man wearing a cap looking through the scope attached to the rifle

Image Source: Unsplash.com

Sighting your scope, also referred to as “sighting in” a scope, is crucial. If you install without making proper adjustments to sight it, you will ultimately have a useless scope. It is more accurate to use an iron sight than an unsighted scope.


Follow these steps to understand how to adjust your scope.

  • Install the scope but do not fully tightening it.
  • Be sure the rifle is stable.
  • Line up your reticle with your target.
  • When you are confident with the alignment, tighten the scope.
  • Fire test shots to measure accuracy.
  • Adjust as necessary until your point of impact matches the target.

Before considering the process of how to adjust a rifle scope in more detail, it is important you understand your scope.

Understanding Your Scope

Scopes are primarily the same among brands and types with a few extras here and there. It is important that a good scope be simple for quiet and quick operation on the hunt. They also need to be sturdy enough to the woods and elements of bad weather.


Scopes are rated by power, and their power can be a fixed or variable measurement. A scope will usually have a power of 20 or less. A military scope is usually between 8 and 10, so anything beyond 20 is probably exorbitant.


At the end of the day, the scope's job is to aim through magnification.

Magnification

Every scope magnifies. You have to understand how much magnification you prefer. But understand as you learn how to adjust a rifle scope that your scope will only be accurate at the magnification you use when sighting your scope.


Changing magnifications after sighting the scope will leave it unreliable. So be sure you know what magnification you want. Biggest is not always best.


Remember, a more magnified scope will be less bright, and even the military rarely uses more than 10 power. It does no good to choose a high magnification if you do not have an objective lens with the size and coating needed to provide appropriate light.

Parts of a Scope

In learning how to adjust a rifle scope, it is important to note that your scope likely comes with critical adjustments for wind and elevation. They help you adjust for the difference between the reticle and the bullet's launch trajectory as well as the wind patterns.


The wind adjustment moves your reticle left or right as needed, and the elevation moves the reticle up and down. Together they can help ensure that your bullet meets at the crosshairs of the reticle.

Turrets

Turrets are knobs on your rifle used to execute your wind adjustments and elevation adjustments. The windage turret controls your left and right movement while the elevation turret controls up and down movement.


Sometimes there is a side-focus parallax turret to focus the reticle, but not always. Sometimes the turrets are easily accessible and other times they are covered with protective caps. One style offers ease of use and the other offers protection. It's a personal preference.


The turrets do nothing to adjust the bullet flight or direction. That is dictated by your barrel, and there are no adjustments for a barrel. Turrets actually move the reticle in your scope. You need the reticle to be aimed where the bullet will hit, but the reticle cannot control the bullet in any way.

MOA

Windage is measured by Minute of Angles (MOA) and expressed in inches. You can adjust the MOA by turning the turret. The more you turn, the more windage you make up for.


The elevation turret uses the same Minute of Angles principle measured in inches, but this turret adjusts up and down. Minutes of Angles measure the angle very similar to the way degrees are measured. A 180-degree turn is a U-turn, and right angle has 90 degrees. Similarly, the angles of adjustment needed to adjust for wind and elevation are measured by MOA in inches.

Tips

If you adjust your elevation you should be sure you have enough bullets to fire test shots while making continuous adjustments. Try to use the same bullets for consistency, and allow the rifle to cool between shots.


Use a similar process for windage adjustments, but remember the wind will vary. It is more of a guess and check technique


If you have a parallax turret, be sure the reticle is clearly in your vision and adjust little by little until there is no movement in the reticle's relation to the target.

Focus Adjustments

Learning how to adjust a rifle scope means learning how to make focus adjustments. Just like a pair of binoculars, you need to have your scope in focus, This is usually accomplished through by a turning eyepiece or extra knob. This moves your ocular lens into position for a clear focus.


Some scopes also have a parallax focus adjustment to account for eye relief, meaning how far you like to have your eye from touching the scope. There will be more to say on eye relief below as you learn how to adjust a rifle scope.

Lenses

A scope has two primary lenses, the ocular lens and the objective lens. The ocular lens is the one closest to your eye, and the objective lens is on the target end of the scope.


The objective lens is actually the more critical piece of glass. A large objective lens allows more light into your scope. This is important because magnification will naturally make your scope dim.


A large lens doesn't increase magnification, but it is needed with increased magnification to allow proper light.


Brightness can also be affected by coating your lens. A good lens coating can also provide clarity by manipulating light spectrums. A coated lens is one with a layer of coating on the objective lens. Others will be labeled as a fully coated lens, meaning all lenses are coated.


Multi-coated lenses have multiple coats applied to the objective lens, and fully multi-coated lens all lenses are coated with multiple coats.

Reticles

Reticles are the traditional crosshairs of your scope. From the simplest crosshairs to the most advanced high-tech reticles, they come in many types.


Some crosshairs have no additional markings. They are the simplest of the simple. If your scope is properly adjusted, this is often all you need.


Other reticles have partial distance markings. Think of hash marks on a football field. They are generally used for a bullet drop, meaning it accounts for gravity's force on a traveling bullet.


More advanced scopes have can have any number of extra markings all the way to military-style crosshairs. But if they are beyond your individual purpose, they are little more than a distraction.

Eye Relief

Learning how to adjust a rifle scope involves understanding eye relief. How far your eye is from the scope affects your ability to have a proper view through the scope. You want to avoid blackness around the edges of your vision known as parallax.


Glasses are a variable. Shooter with glasses will need extra eye relief to use the scope properly. This also involves recoil. Rifles recoil when fired, so if you do not have enough eye relief this will lead to a hard knock around our orbital socket.

Field of View

Your field of view is basically the ratio of feet to yards that measures the width of your scope view at a particular distance. In other words, a field view of 10' at 150 yards means that eying a target 150 yards away, you will be able to view five feet on each side of the centered target.
This also plays into your magnification decision, because the more magnification you use, the less field of view (FOV) you will enjoy. The advantage of a broader field of view is being able to quickly locate your target.


Naturally, your eye fixes on a landmark and you adjust accordingly until your target is in your sight. This is more difficult on larger magnifications with less FOV.

Practice Makes Perfect

Sighting your scope and shooting will involve practice. You have to be determined to do more than simply attach your scope and fire. You need to put thought into your scope and make each shot count.


You need to know if your inaccuracy is due to the scope or the shooter, and settling for bad shots in practice will muddy the waters greatly. Did you flinch? Was your trigger squeeze compromised? Or is your scope inaccurate? Slow down and take your practice seriously.

How to Adjust a Rifle Scope

a person holding a rifle with scope

Image Source: Unsplash.com

Now you are ready to sight your scope. Much like you take practice shots seriously, be prepared to take the aforementioned steps to sighting your scope seriously too.

Loose Installation

Install the scope but do not fully tighten it. Get it just tight enough to be sure you have proper eye relief. If the distance from your eye to the scope feels good, you are ready to proceed.

Stability

Be sure the rifle is stable. This is a simple but crucial step. Get your rifle on a level, secure surface. To proceed, the rifle must be absolutely stable.

Line It Up

Line up your reticle with your target. With proper positioning and eye relief, be sure your target is squarely in the crosshairs. This needs to be done at a particular distance. By sighting down the bore of the gun to a fixed point at a fixed distance, you can adjust the scope to also aim at the same distant object.

Tighten It down

When you are confident with the alignment, tighten the scope. Ask yourself one last time if you've done everything carefully and with purpose. Also, be sure your target is on an essentially level plain.


Go as far as to level your scope by ensuring it is level to barrel before you tighten it down. An unlevel scope will destroy your precision and the overall reliability of your scope. The longer your shot, the worst it will be.


Much like carpenters use levels to keep their structures plum, leveling kits are available to help make sure your scope is level.

Test Fire

Fire test shots to measure accuracy. Shoot small groups from your stable position and see if they go where you think they should. If they do, great. If not, you will need to continue making small adjustments.


Again, make every shot count and be sure adjustments are needed due to the scope and not to the shooter.

Patience, Patience, Patience

Adjust as necessary until your point of impact matches the target. You may be realizing by now that one of the most important aspects of how to adjust a rifle scope is being patient. Taking your time and making the necessary adjustments will pay dividends in the long run.


It is easy to spend time asking how to adjust a rifle scope and forget the main reason you are doing it. You do not want to miss that trophy buck or other targets because you were impatient. You need an accurate weapon.

​Conclusion

a man using a rifle with scope during target shooting practice

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Your scope is meant to make you a better shooter, but it is up to you make your scope the best it can be. There is a give-and-take that is well worth the effort.


It is not much different than a man who wants to be able to read road signs from farther away. If he is wearing his glasses and cannot see the signs, he stands no chance of being able to read signs farther away until his prescription is adjusted.


Adjusting the eyeglass lens prescription is analogous to properly adjusting your scope. The better your scope is sighted, the better longer and more accurate shots will be equipped to make.


You already have elements such as wind, terrain, gravity, and slope to deal with. You do not need any unnecessary factors to add to your task. To make the most accurate shots, you need the most accurate scope. That can only happen on a properly installed and adjusted tool.

Featured Image Source: Pixabay.com

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 ‘3-9x40' 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)

Conclusion

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!

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.

ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope w/1080p Video,...
Use Day & Night in HD resolution - our HD technology gives you crystal clear vision whenever required
ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope w/1080p Video,...
Use Day & Night in HD resolution - our HD technology gives you crystal clear vision whenever required
Black Cat Works focus knob for ATN X-Sight II 3-14x and 5-20x scopes
attaches to focus knob on ATN X-Sight II 3-14x and 5-20x scopes

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



ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope w/1080p Video,...
  • Use Day & Night in HD resolution - our HD technology gives you crystal clear vision whenever required
  • Zero range: 100 yard. Day & Night Vision in Millions of Colors - best hunting optic that fits the situation at...
  • Ballistic Calculator - shifts Point of Impact on the fly letting you quickly calculate ballistics for any shooter's...

  • 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.

ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope w/1080p Video,...

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.




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.



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.



BSA Rifle Scope with Rings, 3-9 X 40
  • Fully Coated Optics
  • 1/4 MOA windage and elevation adjustments
  • 30/30 Duplex reticle

The BSA Optics Rifle Scope 3-9x40  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.

question

Choosing the Perfect Rifle Scope 

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 



Simmons 511039 3 - 9 x 32mm .22 Mag(R) Matte Black Riflescope
High-quality fully-coated optical glass lenses
Tasco Target/Varmit 6-24x42mmx 40mm
Made in USA or imported
Simmons Truplex Riflescope (3-9X50, Matte)
High quality fully-coated lenses
Simmons Truplex Riflescope (3-9X40, Matte)
8-point riflescope with fully-coated optics
Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope with Truplex Reticle
Riflescope offers robust feature set for the price; coated optics provide bright, high contrast images; Fully coated optics, Waterproof, Fog proof & recoil proof
Simmons 517793 Prodiamond Shotgun Prohunter Riflescope (4x32, Matte)
Multi-coated optics and high-quality optical glass provide the brightest, sharpest image in its class

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.



Simmons 511039 3 - 9 x 32mm .22 Mag(R) Matte Black Riflescope
  • High-quality fully-coated optical glass lenses
  • Parallax correction preset from 50 yards to infinity
  • Rimfire 3/8" dovetail mounting rings included

The Simmons .22 Mag 3-9x32 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 3-9x32 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


Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope (4X32, Matte) with Rings
  • 4 inch Eye relief
  • Trueplex reticle
  • Waterproof, Fog proof & shockproof

The Simmons .22 Mag 4x32 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 4x32 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 4x32 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


Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope with Truplex Reticle
  • Riflescope offers robust feature set for the price; coated optics provide bright, high contrast images; Fully coated...
  • 1/4 MOA SureGrip audible click windage and elevation adjustments
  • Proprietary TrueZero windage and elevation adjustment system stays locked to 0 through strenuous conditions; QTA...

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



The Simmons .44 Mag 3-10x44 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 3-10x44 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


Simmons Truplex Riflescope (3-9X40, Matte)
  • 8-point riflescope with fully-coated optics
  • 1-4-MOA SureGrip audible-click windage and elevation adjustments
  • Fully coated optics, Waterproof, Fog proof & shockproof

The Simmons 8-Point 3-9x40 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 3-9x40 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 3-9x40 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


Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope with Truplex Reticle
  • Riflescope offers robust feature set for the price; coated optics provide bright, high contrast images; Fully coated...
  • 1/4 MOA SureGrip audible click windage and elevation adjustments
  • Proprietary TrueZero windage and elevation adjustment system stays locked to 0 through strenuous conditions; QTA...

The Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50 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”


Simmons 8-Point 4-12x40mm Riflescope with TruPlex Reticle, Matte Black
  • Quality optics with stunning HD clarity
  • 100% quality materials used and tested extensively
  • Beautiful design and durability built to last

The Simmons 8-Point 4-12x40 Rifle Scope features the True Zero adjustment system and Quick Target Acquisition eyepiece for comfort and clarity. The eight point 4-12x40 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”


Simmons Truplex 8-Point Riflescope (3-9x32, Matte)
  • Finish: black matte
  • Field of view (ft 100 yds): 31.4/10.5
  • Eye relief (inches): 3.75

The Simmons 8-Point 3-9x32 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


Simmons 517793 Prodiamond Shotgun Prohunter Riflescope (4x32, Matte)
  • Multi-coated optics and high-quality optical glass provide the brightest, sharpest image in its class
  • Exclusive truezero windage and elevation adjustment system for a locked-in zero that lasts through even the most extreme...
  • Raised tab on power change ring provides an easier grip and surer adjustment

The Simmons Pro Diamond 4x32 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.



The Simmons Pro Hunter ProDiamond 1.5-5x32 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.

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

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.

Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular, 4.5 x 40mm
  • Digital Night Vision monocular with 4.5x magnification, 1-3x digital zoom and a 40mm objective lens,size 6.5 x 3.2 x 2.1
  • Day or nighttime use (Daytime color with IR off); built in Infrared Illuminator for up to a 750 ft. viewing distance
  • Multicoated glass objectives produces outstanding optical clarity; Picatinny style rail for accessory mounting

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.

Armasight Nemesis4x-SD Gen 2+ Night Vision Rifle Scope w/4x...
  • Powerful 4x magnification with 10 degree FOV and shock protected optics
  • Features bright source protection and auto brightness control and illuminated center red cross reticle for optimal...
  • Waterproof body with simple and easy to operate controls and adjustments

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.

ATN Night Spirit-2 Gen 2+ Night Vision Multi Purpose System
  • Multi-purpose, waterproof Night Vision system with 2nd Generation intensifier tube
  • Built-in infrared illuminator for use in total darkness
  • Multi-coated optics for maximum light gathering

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.

Armasight Orion 5X Gen 1+ Night Vision Rifle Scope
  • Powerful 5x magnification
  • Mounts to standard weaver rail
  • Detachable IR810 infrared illuminator

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 one of the first focal plane scopes 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 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.