If you’re an avid shooter, then you know the importance of a good rifle optic. A rifle optic is a device that helps you aim and shoot accurately, so it’s essential to choose the right one for your needs. However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to decide which one to purchase.
In this article, we’ll go over the 5 things you need to know about rifle optics to help you make an informed decision.
Magnification and Objective Lens Size
Magnification and objective lens size are two of the most important factors to consider. Magnification refers to how much the image is enlarged, while objective lens size refers to the diameter of the front lens.
Higher magnification means that you can see further and with greater detail, but it also means that the image may be less bright and the field of view may be narrower. Lower magnification is better for close-range shooting or when you need a wider field of view.
The objective lens size affects the amount of light that enters the scope, which can impact the brightness and clarity of the image. A larger objective lens allows more light to enter, resulting in a brighter image. However, larger objective lenses can also make the scope heavier and bulkier.
When choosing a rifle scope, it’s important to consider what you will be using it for and what your personal preferences are. A higher magnification and larger objective lens may be ideal for long-range hunting or shooting, while a lower magnification and smaller objective lens may be better for close-range shooting or quick target acquisition.
When it comes to rifle optics, the reticle is a critical component that can make or break your shot. Reticles come in many shapes and sizes, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
The most common types of reticles are crosshairs, duplex, and BDC (bullet drop compensating). Crosshairs are simple and straightforward, with two perpendicular lines that intersect at the center of the scope. Duplex reticles are similar to crosshairs, but the lines are thicker at the edges and thinner in the center. BDC reticles are designed to compensate for bullet drop at longer ranges, with hash marks or dots that correspond to specific distances.
Other reticle types include mil-dot, which is used for range estimation, and illuminated reticles, which are easier to see in low-light conditions. Some scopes also offer custom reticles that can be tailored to your specific shooting needs.
When choosing a reticle, consider the type of shooting you’ll be doing and the range at which you’ll be shooting. A simple crosshair or duplex reticle may be sufficient for shorter ranges, while a BDC reticle may be necessary for longer shots. Mil-dot reticles are popular among long-range shooters, while illuminated reticles are ideal for low-light conditions.
Ultimately, the best reticle for you will depend on your individual shooting needs and preferences. Take the time to research different reticle types and try them out in person before making a decision.
Adjustments and Zeroing
Adjusting your rifle optics is crucial for accuracy. When you first mount your scope, you need to make sure it is level and aligned with your rifle. Once you have done that, you can make adjustments to the windage and elevation to get your shots on target.
Zeroing your rifle optics means adjusting them so that your point of aim matches your point of impact. To do this, you need to shoot a group of shots at a target, and then adjust your scope so that the crosshairs are centered on the group. You may need to repeat this process a few times to get your rifle zeroed in.
When making adjustments, it’s important to remember that each click on your scope represents a certain amount of movement at a given distance. For example, one click may move your point of impact 1/4 inch at 100 yards. Make sure you know how much each click moves your reticle so that you can make precise adjustments.
Another thing to consider when zeroing your rifle optics is the distance at which you will be shooting. If you plan to shoot at multiple distances, you may want to zero your rifle at a distance that is between your typical shooting distances. This will give you a good starting point for making adjustments when shooting at different ranges.
Finally, remember that your zero can be affected by changes in temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors. It’s a good idea to check your zero periodically to make sure it hasn’t drifted off.
Lens Coatings and Quality
Lens coatings and quality are crucial factors to consider. The quality of the lens coatings can greatly affect the clarity and brightness of the image you see through your scope.
Here are a few things you need to know about lens coatings and quality:
1. Coating Types: There are several types of coatings that can be applied to rifle scope lenses. Some of the most common coatings include:
- Coated: A single layer of coating on at least one lens surface.
- Fully Coated: A single layer of coating on all air-to-glass surfaces.
- Multi-Coated: Multiple layers of coating on at least one lens surface.
- Fully Multi-Coated: Multiple layers of coating on all air-to-glass surfaces.
2. Coating Quality: The quality of the coatings can vary greatly between manufacturers and models. Higher quality coatings can provide better light transmission, clarity, and color contrast. Look for lenses with high-quality coatings to ensure the best possible image quality.
3. Lens Quality: The quality of the lens itself is also important. Higher quality lenses are made from better materials and are ground and polished to a higher standard. This can result in better image quality, especially at higher magnifications.
4. Lens Coatings and Weather: The type of lens coating you choose can also affect how well your rifle scope performs in different weather conditions. For example, some coatings are better suited for low-light conditions, while others are better for bright, sunny days.
5. Maintenance: To ensure the best possible performance from your rifle scope, it’s important to take care of it properly. This includes cleaning the lenses regularly and storing the scope in a safe, dry place when not in use.
Durability and Weather Resistance
Durability and weather resistance are crucial factors to consider. Whether you’re hunting in the rain or shooting at the range in extreme temperatures, you want an optic that can withstand the elements and last for years to come. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Look for optics that are made with high-quality materials, such as aircraft-grade aluminum or magnesium. These materials are lightweight yet durable, and can withstand heavy recoil and impact.
- Consider the lens coatings. Optics with multi-coated lenses can provide better light transmission, clarity, and scratch resistance. Some coatings can also repel water, oil, and dirt, which can help keep the lens clean and clear.
- Check the waterproof and fogproof ratings. Optics that are sealed with O-rings and filled with nitrogen or argon gas can prevent moisture and fog from entering the lens. This can help you maintain a clear sight picture in any weather condition.
- Look for optics that have been tested and certified for durability and weather resistance. Some manufacturers conduct rigorous testing to ensure their products can withstand extreme conditions, such as drop tests, temperature tests, and water immersion tests.
Overall, investing in a durable and weather-resistant optic can save you money and frustration in the long run. By choosing a high-quality optic that can withstand the elements, you can focus on your shooting and enjoy your time in the great outdoors.