How Much Rifle Scope Do You Need?

Rifle scopes are available in stunning variety today. Some are simple and basic while others look like a PhD would be required to operate them. As you would expect the prices will also vary from well under $100 to several thousands of dollars. Complexity and cost justifiably have a wide range because shooters, their guns, and their targets, whether paper or game, also cover a very wide range. Some .22 rifles may only be used for squirrels or rabbits at 50 yards or less. At the other end of the scale are hunters seeking large game such as elk in conditions that may demand shots at well over 300 yards.

Though I have a web site that sells rangefinding rifle scopes that will aid shooters in making long range shots I need to let you know that not everyone needs such a scope. Each rifle owner needs to determine for themselves what scope is the best fit for them. An important step in this process is to determine what is your maximum shooting range which will vary from gun to gun. For myself I have defined my maximum hunting range as the farthest distance at which I can keep all my shots from any particular gun in a paper plate. That’s because a paper plate is about size of the heart-lung area of deer size or larger game animals. Note that for smaller game such as prairie dogs I will reduce the paper plate target to a soda pop can.

In another article I mentioned the term point blank range. Each cartridge is listed in ballistic tables which tell how much above or below the aiming point the bullet will strike depending on the range to the target and the range where the site is adjusted so the bullet hits the aiming point. Point blank range is anything from the muzzle to the distance where the bullet falls below the aiming point by more than two or three inches. Anything farther than that starts to require compensation for the bullet drop.

Now if your personal maximum range with a rifle as determined by the paper plate test is within the point blank range for that gun’s cartridge then you probably shouldn’t be shooting at game far enough away to require bullet drop compensation. In that case you also should find a simple rifle scope sufficient for your needs. A rangefinding scope would then be an unneeded complication and cost. If your maximum range is beyond the point blank range of your cartridge then you could find a rangefinding scope a useful aid to your shooting and hunting and I invite you to drop by and see what we have to offer. We have a variety of reticle types and a wide range of prices. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Related Articles


Your email address will not be published.