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Buying a rifle scope: What should I bear in mind?

5 practical tips

Rifle scopes are standard equipment for hunting firearms and allow you to take a precise shot in all kinds of hunting situations. When making a new purchase, the focus is therefore on the question: WHERE and WHAT do I want to hunt?

Which rifle scope for which application?

Ideally, the rifle scope is used in combination with other high-grade optics, depending on the specific use. Here you will find an overview of which rifle scope is best for which application, including the ideal combination for a perfect product package.

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Practical tips when buying a rifle scope

It can be tricky to assess the quality of the optics in a store. But there are a few things you can check in store:

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1.

Try out the shooting position


First of all, it is good if a scope is mounted on a dummy stock or a rifle. This gives you a good feel for the optics and for finding the right eye distance when trying out the shooting position, which is immensely important. The first time you try them out, it's all about the feel-good factor or “see-good factor”. Do you see a clear, round image without shadows suddenly appearing at the edge of the eyepiece? A pleasant viewing experience is really important.

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2.

Can you see a harmonious image?


Modern optical systems show an absolutely harmonious image despite a less than perfect shooting position – as is often the case with fast hunting shots. Always having the target in view gives you the confidence and opportunity to concentrate fully on the shot.

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3.

Is the safety distance correct?


The actual distance between the eye and the optics is at least 90 mm (3.5 in) for a high-quality hunting rifle scope.

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4.

Test outdoors (color fidelity)


The quality of the optics themselves is easiest to assess outdoors. You should be able see nature in all its true colors and beauty. There should be no annoying color fringing on trees or the body of the game. To test this, look at a snow field with trees, for example. Alternatively, you could use a white sheet of paper in the store. The snow or paper should be just as white as when you look at it without the rifle scope.

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5.

Can you see sharp contours (without color fringing)?


Color fringes (often violet) are often seen at transitions, such as at the edge between snow and trees or around the body of the game. Modern, well-calculated optics with correspondingly high-quality lenses always produce a perfect image.

Find your dream product with just a few clicks

Our online product advisor knows which rifle scope will be right for you. Simply describe where, when and for what purpose you want to use your device and it will display the perfect recommendation. 

Try it out straight away:

What kind of product are you looking for?

Rail or ring? The mount

In most cases, the “marriage” – how your firearm is connected to the rifle scope – is the responsibility of the professionals in the store. Outstanding craftsmanship means that it can be easily mounted, which guarantees that your rifle and rifle scope form a seamless unit. Depending on the firearm and ammunition, when the shot is fired the equipment is briefly required to withstand the weight of a small car (around 10,000 newtons or 1 metric ton). It is therefore crucial that a top-quality rifle scope mount provides outstanding stability and shock resistance.

There are two basic options:

  • a ring mount or

  • a rail mount

Both are equally good. Nowadays, the standard is a 30 mm (1.18 in) center tube. With high-quality optics, it is possible to accommodate a modern optics system in this limited installation space to fit a slim hunting rifle with the lowest possible weight. To give you a feeling for this, modern hunting rifle scopes for a wide range of applications weigh around 600-700 grams (21-25 ounces).

Tip: The choice of the correct mounting depends primarily on the firearm but also on the existing rifle scope. In order to avoid surprises, it is recommended to contact the gunsmith to ensure the ideal configuration of firearm, optics, and assembly.

More on target optics

Would you like more information on target optics or long-range optics in general? Explore our “Long-range optics explained” section and immerse yourself in the exciting world of seeing more.

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