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Guns For Sale - Hinterland Outfitters Online Gun Shop

More Info About Rifle Scopes

A marksman’s fantasy is having an abundance of time, money and firearms to test out every rifle scope until you’ve found the perfection desired of your new rifle appendage. Hinterland Outfitters offers a wide variety of dependable, high-performance rifle scopes for sale for all skill levels and performance demands. With our superior customer service team, you’ll find rifle scopes for sale at discount prices, and enjoy an unparalleled shopping experience for your rifle scopes, ammo, rifles and other great outdoor gear!

We carry all the major brands of rifle scopes for sale, including:

  • Leupold
  • Nikon
  • Bushnell
  • Burris
  • NightForce
  • US Optics
  • Schmidt and Bender
  • Swarovski
  • Trijicon
  • Zeiss
  • Vortex
  • Armasight
  • Sig Electo
  • Weaver

Rifle scopes have been around for over 100 years and have been used on the battlefield, on the range, and for hunting. Most shooters spend their time pondering and dreaming of their next firearm purchase and the array of gadgets to go along with them. However, they often forget about the time and money that they should spend focusing on the right rifle scope, which is actually very important. To have a clear picture of your target, you must have a great scope. You can spend a fortune on a fancy custom rifle, but without a high-quality scope to match the rifle’s capabilities, it’s simply a waste of money. The rifle and rifle scope have a symbiotic relationship so that together, they make a great rifle setup.

Here is a quick and straightforward guide to understanding rifle scopes, how they differ and key factors to consider when you buy a rifle scope.

Lesson in Distance

Accurate and precise shooting takes time to master, but for the beginner you quickly find out that you really will use what you learned in math class. In the realm of guns, accurate shooting requires one to pay attention to some basic trigonometry when trying to understand the varieties of rifle scopes. U.S. manufacturers have concluded that 100 yards is to be the reference standard distance as the basis for range calculations. Not surprisingly, most other countries primarily use 100 meters as their set variable. In any case, make sure to verify statistics when selecting and dialing in your scope.

Fixed vs. Variable Scopes

It is important to know for what purpose you are going to be using the rifle scope. What works for one shooter may not work well for another shooter because we all have varied eyesight, budgets and needs. Selecting between scopes and finding what best suits your needs is critical. Variable power scopes characteristically spec by three numbers, i.e. 4-12x40, whereas fixed power scopes spec by two numbers, i.e. 10x40.

  • With variable scopes, the consideration is the first 2 numbers. These represent magnification numbers of how many times magnification a scope can compare to the naked eye of a given range in distance. In the example 4-12x40, you would have a scope capable of at the lowest range 4 times what you can see with the naked eye, increasing variably upwards to 12 times magnification of an image. Shooting with a variable scope allows for more versatility in hunting and shooting range situations.
  • By default, as you will notice, a fixed power scope has no range of magnification. So, from the example 10x40, the denotation of 10 is simply that, 10 times magnification compared to the naked eye, and you cannot change the power of magnification. That being said, a fixed scope provides your eyes with a clearer and brighter view because the light does not have to penetrate multiple lens through the scope.

Parts of a Rifle Scopes

The Objective Lens

The larger number after the (x) magnification number(s) is called the objective lens diameter. This designation is almost always notated in millimeters and represents the diameter of the biggest lens found at the front of the scope, which can vary in size from 32 – 56mm. The importance of this lens is that it determines the amount of light allowed to enter the scope so that the optics inside can develop a crystal-clear picture for your viewing accuracy. A larger lens is typically heavier, and does require higher scope mounting and adjusting one’s head position. Depending on the rifle type, setup and application, some scope objective sizes will work better than others.

These are the typical sizes shooters use for each type of rifle setup:
Tactical Rifle Setups: 20mm-40mm
Hunting Rifle Setups: 40mm-50mm
Long Range/Precision Rifle Setups: 50mm-56mm.

Ocular Lens

Located closest to the eye at the rear of the scope, the ocular lens helps to focus light into the pupil, allowing your eye to see the desired image clearly. Strong consideration should factor into the diameter of the exit pupil light, as magnification goes up by contrast, which causes the exit pupil to contract or shrink in size. When viewing through the rifle scope clearly, you ideally want the exit pupil light to match your pupil diameter; the brighter the light, the smaller your pupil will be, and vice versa. Hence, proper scope focus is reliant on the scope’s ability to provide for necessary adjustments to the corrected exit pupil size, resulting in crystal clear distant image viewing.

Scope Body

 Most modern rifle scope bodies, also called tubes, are made of aircraft aluminum. The body of the scope can come in different diameters, such as 1-inch (the most popular), 30mm (second most popular), 34mm and 35mm. As rifle scopes get larger, they allow for more elevation and wind-adjustment. They are also brighter, since they let more light in. A larger tube is also stronger and creates more surface-bearing contast between the scope and rings.

Type of Lens Glass

A quality scope will employ a low dispersion objective lens glass construction that ensures a controlled beam of light, preventing the light from spreading out like a prism and enabling for a crisp, clear image and easy target identification. A quality optics lens will employ multi-coated wavelength filtration against light ranges that can be harmful to the human eye, which helps protect against retinal damage and enables shooters to see clearly.

Reticle Focus

 The reticle focus on a rifle scope is located at the rear of the ocular lens. This allows adjustment of the reticle for clarity. You need to focus your reticle before moving any other dials. Make slight adjustments while looking through the ocular in two or three second increments, and then look away for a few seconds. Once the reticle is focused, do not touch it again unless, over time, you feel it has drifted out of focus.

Magnification Adjustment Ring

Located in front of the ocular lens on variable scopes, this allows you to magnify the sight picture. The target picture will increase and decrease as you rotate the ring, which also indicates the current magnification the scope is at.

Side Focus/Parallax Adjustment

Parallax occurs when the reticle and image you are viewing are not on the same optical plane. As you move your eye away from the center of the ocular, you may notice the reticle move in relation to the image you are viewing. As range increases, the scope is unable to maintain target clarity. You must adjust manually to ensure proper removal of parallax is achieved. If you do not adjust it properly, your accuracy will suffer.

Elevation Adjustment Knob

The elevation adjustment knob is the top turret on a rifle scope. The adjustment will compensate for trajectory or bullet drop. It is graduated in increments of an angular measurement called Minuets of Angle (MOA) or Milliradians (MRADS). Some rifle scope manufacturers like Nightforce will feature a zero stop so that once initial zero has been established, the dial will come back to zero after any elevation has been removed.

Wind Adjustment Knob

The wind adjustment knob is located on the right turret of the rifle scope. This adjustment will compensate for wind deflection to the right or left. It is graduated in MOA or MRADS. Learning to read the wind and adjust your scope is crucial and often what separates a good shooter from a great one.

Scope Adjustment

As mentioned above, wind and elevation adjustments allow the shooter to align the crosshairs with the correct bullet trajectory so that the scope will be zeroed at a set range and load. Standard scopes have adjustment knobs that can be set and covered to protect the scope’s zeroed set range. Some shooters prefer to make adjustments on the field and opt for scopes that come with target turrets, which are unprotected adjustment knobs shooters can turn with their hands either left or right and up or down accordingly. Zeroing your scope for windage and elevation takes time and practice; however, with mastery you save yourself a lot of time and frustration trying to track shots around a target and second-guessing accuracy.


The rifle scope reticle is one of the most important aspects of the scope. Without a reticle, you would have no reference mark to place onto your target. There are a wide variety of reticle patterns and styles for sale in today’s marketplace, from simple crosshair-style reticles to some of the more complex reticles that have many lines, dots and other reference marks to aid the shooter.
Once a rifle scope has been zeroed at a set range and load, the shooter can then use the reticle to make a modification to their point of aim. Besides the plain reticle, there is the calculator reticle, which measures lines to calculate distance and length, requiring the shooter to make manual adjustments. Then there is the popular compensation reticle, which encompasses multiple crosshairs to compensate for specific distances or windage factors, making it easy for the shooter to take shots without having to make any adjustments or perform calculations by understanding the range and compensation reticle.

Many rifle scope manufacturers claim their new reticles and scopes will make you faster and able to shoot farther and more accurately, but they are often so busy that the dots and lines can hide your target beneath a barrage of distraction. If you cannot focus on the task due to your eye not being able to concentrate on the target, the complicated reticle will become a liability as opposed to an asset. Choosing the right rifle scope reticle to buy can be challenging.  This is usually the shooter’s personal preference, with no right or wrong answer.
Some of the most common rifle scope reticles are:

  • Mil Dot Reticle
  • Tactical Milling Reticle
  • Dot Reticle
  • BDC Reticle
  • Duplex Reticle
  • Heavy Duplex Reticle

Many modern day rifle scopes are offered with optional illuminated reticles. These are the fastest growing segment of the sporting optics market and growing in popularity with tactical shooters, long range/precision shooters and even hunters. Illuminated reticles give the user the ability to light up the reticle (usually in red) making it easier to see the cross hairs. They look cool, and can also help the user be a more effective shooter, being especially useful when shooting at dusk, dawn or in heavy cloud cover.

First vs. Second Focal Plane Rifle Scopes

Many first time rifle scope buyers get confused about this feature of a scope. It’s important to understand the difference between the two so you can choose the right one for the application for which you plan to use the scope.

Second Focal Plane: This is the most common type of focal plane in a scope. When you look through a rifle scope, you will notice that the reticle takes up most, if not all, of the target area. When you increase the magnification, the reticle stays the same size throughout the magnification process, even though it looks like your target is getting closer. The benefit of a second focal plane rifle scope is that it makes it easy for your eye to focus on the target. The reticles are clean-looking without a lot of dots and hash marks cluttering the sight picture. Second focal plane scopes are great for hunters and all round shooting.  The majority of rifle scopes for sale will be second focal plane and are often cheaper than a first focal plane.

First Focal Plane: The issue using the second focal plane for long range shooting is that you cannot place the magnification to any random setting and range to find the target. With a first focal plane rifle scope, the reticle will grow and shrink in size as magnification changes. The main advantage with this type of reticle is that the reticle subtensions used for ranging, bullet drop compensation and wind deflection are accurate at any magnification. If you are using a first focal plane scope for long range shooting and hunting, keep in mind that the reticle becomes smaller as magnification decreases, which means the reticle may be difficult to pick up against the backdrop of a live animal or dense tree cover. The majority of first focal plane scopes for sale are used by target/precision shooters, and are typically more expensive than a second focal plane.

Scope Rings

The scope rings are what bring the scope and rifle together. While this is one of the most important aspects of matching up the right scope for a rifle, it’s often overlooked by shooters. It can also be difficult for people to understand what rings and sizes they will need for the complete package to work.If the quality of the ring is poor and if they are not aligned properly, they can cause many problems. Scope rings come in different heights: low, medium, high and ultra-high. The larger the objective lens of the scope, the higher the ring height will need to be. The height of the rings will also depend on the type of rifle and base you will be using.

You will want to consider the rifle scope tube diameter, rifle scope objective and firearm base to make sure all will fit together. You will want to get the scope as low to the firearm receiver as you can while still fitting and not touching any part of the rifle. We carry a large selection of rifle scope rings from all the top manufacturers, such as Leupold, Nightforce, Weaver, Talley, Warne, and many more.

Scope Bases

Like scope rings, scope bases are an extremely important part of the scope setup. It’s the foundation on the rifle scope package. It’s important to use the best base you can afford, making your equipment rock-solid and giving you the confidence that everything is machined to exact specs. Choosing the right type of mount that will fit properly can also sometimes be challenging.  The sales team at Hinterland Outfitters can help you find the right scope bases for your package.

Mounting a Scope

You want the scope to be set to a comfortable placement as if you were out in the field shooting so that your face sits comfortably, meaning there is room for your shoulder, cheek and eye socket to align perfectly with the eye relief and recoil considerations. Preferably maintain the centerline of the optics as close to the centerline of the bore as possible while also considering the size of the scope. Make sure the mount rings are perfectly aligned to ensure that the scope is mounted level, and use the correct manufacturer’s recommended torque settings. You are now ready to go to the range and get the scope to zero.

Simple Guidelines For Your Perfect Rifle Scope

You can spend as little or as much as you want when you buy a rifle scope, but first decide what you want to do with your rifle scope and what features you desire for it to have. A good scope will provide you with the accuracy needed. Quality will always last a lifetime with proper care, so it is worth the investment and you will be pleased at the range or out in the field. If you have any questions regarding any of our rifle scopes for sale, feel free to contact us so we can help you determine the right scope for your firearms needs.

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