The word ‘illuminated’ speaks volumes for a reticle rifle scope. If you are a shooter or hunter then you know what is being discussed. An illuminated reticle rifle scope features a light source that is integrated internally. This light source illuminates the reticle or crosshair so that shooting becomes easier in low light conditions. However, there is always this stupendous debate about Illuminated vs. Non-illuminated reticle scopes. The only reason why illuminated reticles are recommended is because they are of great help in shooting in low light conditions or in the dark. If you use a non-illuminated reticle scope in the dark, shooting will become a nuisance for you. In this regard, Nightforce illuminated reticles are suggested by hunters and shooters across the world. But you can also look out for other brands, like, Leupold.
These rifle scopes can be categorized into 2 types: general purpose scopes for hunting or recreational shooting and tactical sights used in self defence, military, and police applications. And it is the light source that differentiates the two types. The tactical sights utilize radioactive tritium lamps or a passive light gathering fibre optics. On the other hand, the hunting scopes make use of the battery enabled LED (light emitting diode). There are several benefits that the illuminated reticle scopes offer over the traditional iron sights.
Firstly, the scopes used by the hunters have a better magnification that the iron sights. When you view through the illuminated ones, they are able to bring in the targets closer to even though they are at pretty long distances. Normally, an iron sight would produce blurred images for such long distances. The tactical sights, on the other hand, offer a wide view picture that makes instinctive shooting possible even under pressure.
Secondly, the usual glass sights are not packed with adequate light gathering facilities. This makes the aiming point or the reticle disappear during low light conditions. In this regard, the illuminated reticle rifle scopes are of tremendous help for the shooters and hunters who want to use it for low visibility conditions.
As far as their design is concerned, the Nightforce illuminated reticles follow the similar basic design patterns as the traditional optical devices. There is an additional mechanism associated with these kinds of scopes. A separate light source is integrated within these scopes. In any standard retilce scopes the illumination is switchable and is placed behind the reticle. The LED works with one or more flat batteries used in a watch. These are also available with various power settings for the illumination. You can choose as per your requirement in the low light conditions.
As far as the color of reticles is concerned, then red is the most common one used. This is because it is the easiest color to trace in low light conditions. However, there are various sights that are available with green, yellow and amber hues.
However, there is one problem that you can face with this kind of a scope and that is over-illumination. In such a condition the reticle glows so brightly that you have difficulties is placing the target. Thus, it is recommended that you do your research well about the brands offering these products. It will help you to choose a suitable illuminated reticle.