How To Use & Find The Best Gun Scopes
Whatever your decision is to own a gun, whether for fun and recreation, for home defense, competition shooting, or even hunting, we are going to explore and learn about finding the best gun scopes and how they can aid your gun and skills in shooting!
There are some factors when finding the best gun scopes for you and your situation:
- Learning gun scopes basics
- What a gun scope can do for you
- How to read the numbers on gun scopes
- How to find the best gun scopes for you
- What you can expect to pay for a gun scope
Gun Scopes Basics
There are some of you who don’t even know what a gun scope is. Let’s start here. A gun scope is simply a tube with a lens that magnifies so the shooter can see at longer distances than the natural eye. Gun scopes use a reticle (or cross hairs) to help you aim through the scope to hit your target.
Scopes were originally made for rifles, but today you can find an optic for almost every gun you can think of including hunting bows and even handguns.
Some rifles are even made without their iron sites. This shows how common, reliable, and effective rifles scopes have become.
What A Gun Scope Can Do For You
A big reason why scopes are so widely used on rifles today is that they allow the shooter to see farther and shoot more accurately since rifles can shoot at such long distances and it’s hard to see that far with the naked eye.
And even with a pistol, a gun scope will help you shoot more accurately and give you faster target acquisition as well.
For home defense, a gun scope can help with accuracy and faster target acquisition.
For hunters, it can mean the difference between a fast, clean kill or no trophy or food on the table..
For target shooters, it could be the difference between a 1 inch grouping on paper, or a 5 inch grouping on paper.
Gun scopes can also increase be used low light conditions, like at dusk or dawn, capturing more ight to enter the scope to be able to see your targets.
They also come with a variety of reticles depending on the scope and your use and preference.
Keep in mind, gun scopes do not replace skill and you still need to practice shooting your gun to know how to shoot it. But with the aid of gun scopes, they make beginners and professionals that much better, shooting more precise shots than before thought possible.
How to Read The Numbers On Gun Scopes
Once you understand the numbers associated with different gun scopes, it makes choosing the right gun scope for your needs that much easier.
One of the most common gun scopes a shooter can purchase is on with the specs: 3-9x40mm
Notice that there are two parts in the numbers:
- Magnification Power (x)
- Objective Lens Size
The magnification number is the power of magnification represented by the ‘x’. Two numbers for the magnification with a dash between them means that the level of magnification is adjustable over that particular range from the lower number to the higher one. The higher number has a greater magnification.
In the example, the 3-9x40mm means the optic will be able to adjust from 3x up to 9x magnification and anywhere in-between.
The second number in a scope’s description is the diameter of the objective lens. In this case, at 40mm, the objective lens is 40mm.
How To Find the Best Gun Scopes For You
Let’s get into how to choose the best gun scopes for your situation. It really depends on the type of gun you will be using and how you plan on using the gun. Some things to consider:
- How much magnification power do you really need?
- What size of objective lens is needed?
- What type of reticle style and shape is for you?
Let’s go into the different uses for a pistol and a rifle and then filter out which gun scope specs are needed.
Guns Scopes For a Pistol
Pistols are extremely popular. They are easier to carry around, sometimes cheaper to buy, and are easier to use.
Your gun scope will be much different for a pistol than if you were going to choose a rifle scope.
A pistol is typically meant for close range shooting. 25 yards is likely the farthest you will shoot . Because of this, you don’t need a variable scope for your handgun.
You want to look for a fixed gun scope such as a 1x25mm, for example, because you don’t need the extra magnification power to reach longer distances.
If you are going to be using a handgun for home defense, consider getting a mini red dot sight. Red dot sights are also very small and don’t add a lot of bulk to your handgun making it easier to conceal.
If you really want capabilities of shooting at longer distances (25 yards or more), consider getting a variable power scope (2-7×30) or a higher fixed power scope (4×32).
But normally, you won’t be needing a handgun scope with very much magnification power.
Shotgun scopes follow the same general guidelines as a handgun due to its close to medium range capabilities.
Rifles can be used for long target shooting, big game hunting, varmint shooting, home defense and military situations.
A rifle is typically meant for medium to long range shooting, but can also be used for close range shooting if you need it for tactical uses.
If you have a hunting rifle like a .308 or a .30-06, and you are planning on shooting big game at long distances consider getting a variable power rifle optic (3-9x40mm). 9x will still allow you to shoot at 500 yards accurately.
If you are going to use an AR-15 for more tactical purposes at close and medium ranges, there are a lot of different AR-15 scopes to get. Consider getting a fixed scope, around 4×32.
If you want to shoot sniper distances, get a higher magnification power. The scope will be heavier and bulkier and will likely need rifle bipods or a stand to shoot on and a good spotting scope to keep track of your shots.
What’s Your Budget?
Everyone has a different budget. What’s yours?
The higher the budget and more expensive of a gun scope you are willing to buy, the more premium features you are getting. The brand is something you will likely be paying for as well.
But, just because you can spend a small fortune on a gun scope doesn’t mean that you have to. There is a lot of competition in the market which means you have lots of options at many different price points.
I recommend budgeting at least $200 for your gun scope. You could find a great gun scope under $200 or even a little over.
Final Thoughts – How To Use & Find The Best Gun Scopes
It’s possible to find the best gun scopes for your needs, just do your research and consider how you are going to use your gun.
Whether you’re planning on plinking, target shooting, hunting big game, varmint shooting, or home defense protection, a gu scope can greatly help aid you to become a better shooter!
Stay safe and happy shooting!