It’s not everyday you go around looking for a suitable riflescope. So when you do, you must know what you are investing in. A riflescope can cost you anything from $500 to $3000, on the basis of your specific requirement. Therefore, it is important to know whether the optical device you are buying is fulfilling your needs or not. That is why we have come up with a comprehensive checklist that you should follow while purchasing a riflescope for getting best out of your spent money.
Checklist 1: The Purpose of Use
If you are looking for a scope that you are planning to use for general purpose, you can skip this step. However, you should also keep in mind that general purpose devices are not considered quality ones. While choosing a riflescope, knowing the purpose of shooting is paramount because requirements of a long range target shooter is not the same as that of a hunter wanting to take down a deer at short range. There are typically three kinds of intended application of riflescopes: Hunting, Tactical shooting, and Long range or Bench Rest shoots.
i. Hunting Purpose
Riflescopes are mostly used by the hunters, besides military combat operations or law & order. A hunter may prefer to chase a deer at short range and take down a coyote from 1000 yard distance.
Lightweight – No matter what the range of shooting is, one thing most hunters prefer is the light weight of scope. This is because they have to carry entire riflescope combo on their back with the help of a sling.
Simplicity Rules – During a chase and hunt expedition, a hunter will not get much time to take down the hog, deer, or whatever animal they are chasing. Quick target acquisition and shoot is the name of the game. That’s why for these kinds of hunting experiences, fixed power scopes are preferred and not the target style adjustable turrets. Trijicon ACOG scopes are fixed power devices and you may choose from the different range of these scope types. Some of the most popular versions of this variant are Trijicon ACOG 5.5×50 scopes, Trijicon ACOG 2×20, Trijicon ACOG 1.5×16 scopes, Trijicon ACOG 3×30 scopes, and Trijicon ACOG 4×32 scopes.
Varmint Hunting – It requires variable scopes, where 3x to 15x range are preferred. Nightforce SHV scopes are one of the best riflescopes available in this category. They come in 4-14×56 and 5-20×56 variants.
Long Range Coyote Hunting – Coyotes are clever animals and you can’t fool them easily. Therefore, you have to take them down from long range (for instance, 1000 yards or even more). Therefore, you may require a variable scope whose maximum range extends to 25x. Nightforce Competition scope, Vortex Razor riflescopes, Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56, Vortex PST scope, Trijicon Accupoint 5-20×50, Nightforce Benchrest, and Nightforce NXS 5.5-22×56 are some of the high quality scopes that can be used for long range hunting.
ii. Tactical Shooting Purpose
These kinds of shooting experiences are required in military style combat operations as well as law-enforcement. Tactical firearm enthusiasts prefer these kind of riflescopes though they hardly get involved in hostile target acquisition. These kind of riflescopes come with adjustable turrets in variable as well as fixed power settings. Parallax setting options are also helpful for these purposes. Tactical scopes are used by rodent hunters or farm owners who want to get rid of the varmints to keep their farms safe. In tactical shooting, target fixation is done by keeping rifle system on sandbags or bipods. In this kind of shooting durability of the riflescope gets more importance than weight. Nightforce SHV scopes (4-14×56 and 5-20×56) are considered to be the best ones available for the purpose.
iii. Long Range and Benchrest Shooting Purpose
These categories of shooters require hitting target at 1000 yard range or above. Regardless of the optical device being a variable power scope or a fixed one, they come with the largest objective lenses. Weight of the scope is not a consideration in this case because shooting is done from bench rest. They are considered as the highest quality scopes available in the market and are the most expensive ones, too. Some of the scopes in this category include Trijicon TARS scope (3-5×50), Nightforce NXS 5.5-22×50, Nightforce Competition, and Vortex Razor scopes.
To conclude, you can choose and buy the riflescope that best suits the needs after you know the purpose or type of shooting. If you have identified the purpose or type of shooting, you may check the points mentioned in the following parts of this article series. Stay hooked!