Shopping for Riflescopes
Riflescopes magnify a target, which gives you a much clearer view than you’d get with the naked eye. This increases accuracy and lets you shoot from a greater distance. Riflescopes also increase safety, as they allow you to see what’s around the target. The scope you need depends on what you’re shooting. To select the best one, you need to understand the technical specifications and types of riflescopes available.
What Does AO Mean on Riflescopes?
AO stands for adjustable objective. This feature allows you to focus the scope so it’s free of parallax at various distances. Parallax describes the optical illusion where the target’s focal length is offset from your scope’s reticle. With an AO focus ring, you make more accurate shots. Some scopes lack this adjustment feature, but they’re set at the factory to be parallax-free at particular distances, such as 100 or 150 yards.
What Do the Numbers on Riflescopes Mean?
If a scope has a specification of 4x32, it means that it has a magnification power of 4 and an objective diameter of 32mm. When you view a target from this scope, it’ll appear four times closer than it would with your naked eye. This means that the Vortex Crossfire II riflescopes, which come with a specification of 4-12x50, have an adjustable magnification of between 4 and 12, with an objective diameter of 50.
To shop for the best riflescopes, you need to know the right magnification power that’ll allow you to complete your tasks successfully. For instance, a novice close-range shooter will have a difficult time with a 32X scope, while an expert competitive shooter may be under-equipped with a 4X scope.
The objective lens diameter determines how much light your scope can gather. The larger the diameter, the more light it captures, hence, the brighter the field of view.
Types of Riflescopes
Riflescopes are available in different types, and the one that's best for you will depend on your intended purpose,
If you want to travel light, this scope is right for you, as it’s compact and lightweight. Most compact scopes aren’t over nine inches long. They’re a great optic for mini-rifles and handguns.
Just like other laser aiming devices, these scopes use laser technology to focus on the target. They measure the distance between you and the target for precise shots. Many red dot/holographic sights use this technology. Available for both rifles and handguns, these sights are ideal for shooters who need faster target hitting speed. For precise shots, consider using magnifiers for reflex sights.
For long distance shots, this is the perfect scope. It comes with specialized components that lay the reticle on the magnified image, to help you focus on where you want to shoot. They’re often used on sniper rifles.
Night-vision scopes boost dark scenes to help you shoot better at night or in poorly lit areas. They are the ideal scopes for your midnight adventures and hunts.
Whether you’re looking to buy your first riflescope, or just want to upgrade to something efficient, check out B&H Photo and Video’s wide assortment of scopes to find what you need.