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Selecting Your First Rifle Scope

By April 27, 2023No Comments
Sisterhood Outdoors Rifle Scope Blog

Three tips for choosing a scope for big game. 

Choose long term value.

Big game rifles are built to last generations, choosing an equally durable scope doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. While it is true that you get what you pay for, there are ways to get the most out of every dollar you spend. Warranties can vary greatly between what is covered, how long it’s covered and what is required from you. Choosing a scope from a company that gives you a lifetime, transferable warranty with helpful support is an extremely valuable asset for your investment.

Know what and where.

To find the best scope for your rifle, you need to know what and where you will typically be hunting. Close distances in thick woods hunting for hogs is a perfect situation for a red dot or holographic sight. Long distances for deer or elk at last light you’ll benefit greatly with a high-power magnification and larger objective lens for light gathering. Long distance also means dealing with wind and choosing a scope with uncomplicated features for holdover (up and down) and windage (left and right) is essential for accuracy. 

An illuminated reticle scope can combine both worlds with an option of turning on the reticle in low light situations and having magnification. Always check the regulations of the states you hunt for rules relating to scopes with electronic elements.         

Make a list and get hands on.

Choice overload can cause scope shopping to be a stressful event. Make a list of must haves for your scope before you walk in a store.  Knowing how far you need to shoot, what you are hunting, where you are hunting, what caliber your rifle is and what it is capable of will help you narrow down your selection. Simple features can mean being on target quickly while adding more features can help accuracy in longer distance or low light situations. 

Magnification brings you closer optically but also magnifies your every movement. Choosing your magnification includes the choice of first or second focal plane. First focal plane the reticle changes as you increase or decrease the magnification. Second focal plane the reticle stays the same. Personally, I feel first focal plane scopes have a less cluttered sight picture when at the lowest magnification.

An educated choice means getting your hands on the scopes with features you think you want and comparing and contrasting them to other scopes. Don’t hesitate to look through them all and make notes of what you do and don’t like. Test all the features out as if you were test driving a new car, you may find you prefer one brand’s style over another. Pay attention to how smooth the magnification dial turns; in a hunting situation you don’t want to add stress. 

The bright retail lights can be deceptive, making scopes seem brighter and clearer than in a hunting scenario. Find a sale sign at the far side of the store and compare the clarity of the words. Most stores have taxidermy or at minimum a hunting magazine you can set up and look at a photo of your target game through the scope.

Not all brands or models will be available in stores. Don’t feel pressure to buy one before you test drive as many as you can either in store or by looking through a friend’s scope. Once you find a scope you like, get online and look at the comparable models. A more budget friendly version or an upgraded feature version might have closer price points than what’s available in a brick-and-mortar store. Keeping it simple and then upgrading later is always an option. 

Let us help you become the sportswoman you want to be, book a rifle hunt with Sisterhood Outdoors.  Click here to join us on an adventure.


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