In the first part of this two-article series, we have discussed about type of shooting, magnification ranges, prices, and examples of some best riflescopes in the category. In concluding part of the series, we will discuss about the features of riflescopes and their qualities that make good quality riflescopes better than the rest in their respective categories.
What is a Cheap Riflescope?
If you have already searched for riflescopes in the market, you must have heard about ‘cheap riflescopes’. However, ‘cheap’ does not always mean ‘affordable’. Here, it means low quality optical device. If you are aware of the right device, you will surely be able to buy an affordable scope that comes with commendable features, thereby enhancing your shooting experience.
Features to Check in a Riflescope before Spending Your Hard Earned Money
If you want to know whether a scope is of high quality or low quality, you must check the quality of glass first, followed by turret adjustment, lens coating, and the ability to set zero.
1. Glass Quality
To know whether a glass is of high quality, you have to look through the device at a distance of 300 yards or more. If you are unable to locate an object at higher magnification range and it seems to you that the scope is out of focus, you are most probably holding a ‘cheap scope’. It is better to avoid a scope that comes at a price of $100.
It must be kept in mind that lens is the costliest part of a scope and it is almost impossible to manufacture a device with high quality glass at $100. Even if you have limited budget, try to buy a scope that is priced at around $200. Vortex rifle scopes are well known as good quality affordable riflescopes. So, try to get an optical device from Vortex Optics. Two categories of scopes that you may consider buying within the $800 mark are Vortex Crossfire II, and Vortex Viper PST. Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14X44 and Zeiss Conquest 3-9X40 are other riflescopes that come within the $800 price point. These optical devices are also well known for their quality lenses.
If you have a riflescope budget within $1500-$4000 range, it is prudent for you to choose devices from well-known brands such as Nightforce Competition 15-55×52, Schmidt Bender PMII 3-12X50,Nightforce ATACR, Swarovski Z5 3.5-18×44, Trijicon ACOG scopes, Vortex Razor rifle scope (the HD variant), Swarovski Z6i 3-18×50, Trijicon TARS scopes, Nightforce NXS, and many more.
2. Elevation Adjustment
While spending your money on a scope, you must first check the extent of adjustment possible in a riflescope internally. Generally, pro-shooters like to have an elevation adjustment of at least 27.3 mil or 100 MOA. It is prudent for you to prefer scopes having larger tube diameters because they give users larger elevation adjustment range. You can go for devices that come with tube diameters of 35mm, 34mm, or at least 30mm.
3. Reticles, Turrets, and Adjustment
The first most important thing is the matching of turrets and reticles. There are many riflescopes where mildot reticles come with MOA adjustment that unnecessarily complicates the entire process. Therefore, you should check whether your mildot reticle is coming with mils adjustments or MOA reticle coming with MOA clicks adjustment. If you prefer calculation in meters, mils system should be preferred. In case, calculation in yards are convenient to you, MOA system are preferable. Though there are multiple click adjustments available, ¼ MOA clicks or 1/10th mil clicks are preferred by advanced shooters.
4. Zero Setting
This is one of the main features that you should have in your riflescope because this feature helps in aligning aim-point with point of impact. However, it also needs to be verified whether a scope has enough tolerance level to shocks and recoil. Otherwise, the zero setting will tend to shift. Most Nightforce scopes come with ZeroStop feature, thereby giving these riflescopes ability to hold the zero setting firmly.
5. Lens Coating and Water/Fog Proofing
Quality coating on lenses help the scope from being fogged or glare. Most scopes come with single coat. If the single coat is scratched during combat operations or hunting expeditions, performance level of the glass falls rapidly. That’s why most good quality riflescopes come with multiple layers of coating on lenses, even the ones present in the main tube.
Good quality riflescopes come with fog proofing and water resistance features. Insertion of argon-type gas makes a scope fog and water-resistant. So, check this feature before selecting one.
If you don’t have time to compare different riflescopes and choose the right one, you can buy scopes from different categories, per your budget, belonging to renowned brands such as Nightforce Optics, Zeiss, Swarovski, Vortex Optics, Nikon, Schmidt Bender, Trijicon, and US Optics.