Sniper Scope Power: Navigating The World of Tactical Rifle Optics


When choosing a scope for your tactical rifle, you have to cut through a lot of the hype, because with this type of rifle, the tendency of most people is to lay on the overkill. Partially that’s because having or building a sniper rifle is cool (and it is) and partly it is because there is some terrific scope technology that is available for them, and we all want to try them out. But choosing a tactical scope that is actually going to be useful for the actual purpose of the rifle requires some thought. Here is what you need to consider.




What is The Purpose of Your Tactical Rifle?

The first thing that you have to decide is what the purpose of your rifle is. Are you building it for law enforcement use? Are you planning to use it in shooting competitions? Do you just love the idea of building a bad-to-the-bone sniper rifle? Each of these could require different types of scopes, and different glass requirements.


Scope Power Requirements Based on Use

If you’re building a tactical rifle for law enforcement use, then anything more than 6X is probably too much. Law enforcement officers never have to take shots past 100 yards and most are quite a bit shorter. If you put a 10X scope on a rifle meant for law enforcement, you’re going to end up with a very narrow field of vision at closer ranges.

For military use, a higher powered scope is probably required. The standard military scope is 10X and this is ideal for body shots at medium to long ranges.

If you are planning to enter competitions with your rifle, you could use several different scopes, depending upon your shooting style and the competition itself. In fact, having 10x, 6x and 4x scopes on hand might be a great idea – as having options at  your disposal will certainly be an advantage in competition. As long as the magnification isn’t extreme, a competition shooter can go with just about any magnification they desire.

Finally, if you’re just trying to build a great rifle that you can show off to your friends, or if you are restoring historical rifles and building a collection, you can go with whatever you can fit onto your rifle, or whatever scope was on the historical rifle originally. If your goal isn’t shooting at a very specific type of target, you have a lot more options when it comes to the type and power of scope you choose.

The Scoop on Scopes: How to Choose The Right Objective-Lens Size

8x56 big lens

When it comes to the objective-lens size of rifle scopes, it can be tempting to think bigger is better, but that’s not always the case. Choosing the right objective-lens diameter depends upon several factors and a larger scope may actually hinder your hunt in some cases. Here are some things that you need to consider when it comes to the lens size of your scope.


8x56 b


Bigger Lenses Do Not Increase The Field of Vision


Hunters are often under the misconception that a larger lens will allow them to increase their field of vision – or the viewing area that they are able to see through the scope. This actually isn’t the case. All a larger lens does is allow more light to reach the eye which means that you’ll get the same field of vision, but that you’ll have more light-gathering capabilities. So, in the early hours of dawn or late at night you’ll definitely have the advantage of being able to see more clearly. For example a 40mm or 50mm objective will give you great visibility in low light conditions, but there are disadvantages as well.


The Drawbacks to a Larger Lens-Objective


The larger objectives like 50mm and 40mm have to be mounted higher on the rifle, and that means that you have one major disadvantage right off the bat – you are going to have a problem shooting shorter distances – say 25 yards. You will have to adjust your shot with a scope that large, and you will likely require some practice before you can consistently hit your target at closer distances.


Another disadvantage that a larger objective brings is that the scope is heavier and more bulky and will add more weight to whatever else you are already packing.

 leapers utg


So, What Scope Should You Choose?

This all comes down to personal preference, and you may want to consider having a couple of different scopes for different conditions. For most hunts, a scope that delivers a 5mm exit pupil will be fine, but if your shooting style or your hunt conditions require a different objective, you can trade out your smaller scope for a larger lens-objective.


Finally, the quality of the glass in your scope can make a major difference when it comes to how much light the scope lets in. If you have good quality glass, then you should be able to have plenty of light even with a smaller objective in low light conditions.

Understanding The Eye Relief of Your Rifle Scope


Many gun owners get confused about eye relief, possibly because there is so much information out there that makes eye relief more complicated than it really needs to be. At the core, eye relief is pretty simple. It is the shortest distance from your eye to the lens of your scope that still allows you to see as clearly as possible through the scope. Here is what you need to know about the eye relief of your rifle scope.


Why is The Eye Relief Important?



Eye relief is important for a couple of reasons: First, the recoil of the rifle one some models can make quite an impact and an eye relief that is too short and puts the eye in danger of being hit by the recoil can cause serious injury or even blindness. That’s why eye relief is quite a bit farther away on rifle scopes than it would be on other devices that have eye relief like binoculars and microscopes.


eyerelief_glasses100For someone with glasses, eye relief is even more important. Those who wear eyeglasses and cannot remove them to shoot without impairing their vision need to be even further away from the eyepiece of the scope, so they need a longer eye relief or else they aren’t able to see the full range of the image in the scope. If you want to know whether or not your scope eye relief is long enough for your glasses, try  looking through the scope with and without them, and if the field of vision (the area that you can see through the scope) remains the same, then your eye relief is long enough for your glasses.


How to Determine Sufficient Eye Relief


Your eye is normally dilated to 5 millimeters, and the exit pupil of your scope should match that measurement so that the diameter of the exit pupil on the scope and your eye pupil match. When there is less light, your eye opens up to allow more light in, and this can cause a ring around the image in your scope. Basically, you should find the balance between being close enough to the scope in whatever light conditions you are hunting in to avoid the ring around the image, without actually being close enough to allow the recoil to impact the eye or the skin around it.


One of the ways that you can ensure that you always have the maximum use out of your scope is by using a rifle that does not have a large recoil, but some may choose to sacrifice a partial field of vision through the scope because they like the gun that they are shooting. This is a personal choice that every shooter will have to make, but the main thing to keep in mind is that you will recover fairly quickly if you miss a buck due to not having a full field of view through your scope; you may not recover as quickly if you do serious damage to your eye. Safety should always be your number one priority.

Understanding The Basic Components of a Rifle Scope


Rifle scopes may seem like simple tubes with lenses on the both ends and several adjustment controls on the surface. However, these devices are manufactured with many intricately arranged parts – and their own unique terminology. These components work together to magnify an image and place an observer’s eyes on the same optic plane as the target.

Although most scopes differ slightly in design, they all have several similar parts. This tutorial looks at the internal and external structure of a basic rifle scope to help you understand the device and its capabilities.Riflescope_Terminology

√  External Components

  • Main body – The main body of a rifle scope takes the shape of a tube. In reality, there are two tubes, one placed inside the other. The outer tube protects internal components of the scope, provides the surface area required to mount the scope on a rifle, and holds adjustment controls. The inner tube houses lenses and other internal components of the scope.



  • Eye bell – The eye bell is the end from which you look into a scope. It houses the eyepiece, which helps to determine the furthest distance from which your eye can be positioned and still get a full view when looking into the ocular lens. Located at the eye bell also is the ocular lens, which works together with other lenses to establish the final image.


  • Turret knobs – A turret is one of two knobs, which usually protrudes from the middle section of a scope. These knobs adjust windage and elevation settings of the reticle. The reticle or crosshair is usually a ‘+’ sign marker superimposed on the target. It indicates the point of impact when a shooter hits the target. The windage turret is usually located on the side of the tube. By adjusting it, this allows you to move the reticle and correct the aiming point in the horizontal plane (that is left-to-right or side-to-side). The elevation turret, often located on the top side of the scope, moves the reticle up and down or corrects the point of impact on the vertical plane. Turret adjustments may be increased or decreased in a 1/4 or 1/8 MOA (Minute of Angle).


  • Power ring – The power ring is a dial usually found on or slightly in front of the eye bell of variable rifle scopes. This part simply adjusts the power or magnification of your scope.


  • Parallax knob – Some scopes have a parallax knob. As the name implies, this control helps to correct parallax error to a predetermined distance until a clear picture of the reticle is achieved. This setting prevents the apparent movement of the reticle and the target when you move your eyes away from the center of the rifle scope. Rifle scopes that do not have a parallax knob may have an adjustable objective (AO) instead. This adjustment is essentially a dial located at the objective bell. When correcting parallax error, you will turn the AO dial to focus the objective lens.
  • Diopter – This is an additional adjustment at the ocular end of the scope. It rotates the ocular lens so that the observer can focus the reticle on the target. The diopter also matches your viewing condition depending on whether you are short or long-sighted.


√  Internal Components

The internal structure of a rifle scope mostly houses lenses. From the eyepiece to the rear end of the scope, you have the ocular, magnification, focus and objective lenses. Lenses may be coated to reduce light loss and glare caused by reflection.

As such, you will often hear rifle scope manufacturers describing their lenses as coated, fully coated, multi-coated, or fully multi-coated. Coated lenses enhance the light gathering abilities of a scope, especially in low light shooting conditions.

The internal structure of a rifle scope may look a bit complicated, but it can be broken down into three major sections as explained below.


  • Objective lens assembly – The larger its diameter, the more light your scope will transmit to the eye.


  • Focus lens assembly – A focus lens is responsible for correcting parallax error. With fixed focus scopes, it is set to a parallax-free factory setting at a specified range, usually 100 yards. Scopes that have a parallax knob move the focus lens toward and away from the objective lens.


  • Erector tube –The erector tube assembly holds the magnifying lenses and reticle components. When turning the power ring on a variable power scope, the magnifying lenses move within erector tube to adjust magnification power. The reticle may be placed in front or behind the magnifying lenses depending on the manufacturer’s assembly. The former assembly is called a first focal plane (FFP) reticle, while the latter arrangement is known as a second focal plane (SFP) reticle. With FFP reticles, the cross hairs remain the same size as the target. In scopes that have SFP reticles, the cross hairs become larger or smaller as magnification on the target changes. There are many types of reticles. For instance, some may be simple cross hairs or three post arrangements. Other reticle assemblies come with some illumination feature or have a calibrated system with dots or harsh marks.


This guide is just a simple tutorial on the basic anatomy of a rifle scope. It should by no means replace the instruction manual provided by your manufacturer. However, it can help you with some useful information when shopping for rifle scopes. Keep in mind that the ideal scope for you will depend on your shooting conditions, type of gun you use and personal preferences for features like reticle type and color.


Getting the Best Spotting Scope For Your Money

best spotting scope

If you are looking for a greater magnification than a standard pair of binoculars then you probably are going to need a spotting scope. A spotting scope can be used for a large number of purposes. The most popular reason or activity where to use one of these is bird spotting. Other uses may include simply watching wildlife or perhaps hunting. It does not matter the purpose really, as long as you know how to choose the best spotting scope for your money and your needs.

best spotting scope

The atmosphere is going to play a major role in the amount of zoom that your spotting scope can require. This means humidity, temperature, wind speed etc. The harsher the atmosphere, the more impact it is going to have on your spotting scope. However, you are obviously never going to get 100% clear conditions. Thats why we suggest do not choose anything over 60X. In some cases you may even want to go down to 40X (i.e. if the environment where you are using your spotting scope is very harsh)

If you want a good quality spotting scope at a low price, then you should look for one which utilizes BAK-4 Glass. This is NOT the best quality glass available on the optics market. There are other far better options out there. However, they tend to attract prices into the thousands of dollars which you probably do not want to spend.

So this way, you know you will get a high quality unit.  It is important to note that no matter how good the spotting scope is, the image quality will go down as magnification goes up. And that is completely normal.

By the other hand, if you are interested in detailed targets on longer distances then you may want to opt for the best spotting scope that you can afford. Yes, they are going to be expensive, but there is no point in purchasing a low quality spotting scope with a super magnification. You won’t be able to see anything and this is usually where most beginners mess up.

Remember; when you are searching for a good spotting scope you should attempt to read through as many reviews on the products available as you can. Reviews are important because they will enable you to determine the capability of the scope and also you can learn from other users experiences. So, get all the info you can and try to find out whether you are going to get good value for your money or your needs!


Choosing the Best Crossbow Scope

best crossbow scope

There are plenty of people out there who just love to use their crossbow without any sort of scope. However,  if you want to get the most accurate shots then you are going to need one. Crossbows are like any bow – the better the accessories, the better your results will be. On the following sections, we are going to give you some tips about how you can find the best crossbow scope that best meets your needs.

best crossbow scope

After you’ve decided to go for a scope for your crossbow, you will need either a red dot scope or a multi-reticle scope.

Generally speaking, choosing a good crossbow scope is not very different than choosing one for your regular rifle. One of the most important things to check is its optics quality. This ensures you actually have a clear view of the target (this is especially important when you really need to focus on the details of your target).

You are also going to want to think about the zoom level. Many people who are looking for the best crossbow scope seem to think that the higher the zoom level, the better. This is not always the case. In fact, you do not actually need a very high zoom level at all. If you are shooting targets at less than 100 yards (most cases), then you are not going to need anything more than 4X. If you go for a higher zoom level, you could have a narrow field of view and hitting targets will be harder. Some people may even drop down to 2X.

So, you should focus on the quality of the scope and its ability to ensure a highly accurate shot on your target.

Our best advice is to buy something that you are comfortable with. When you are searching for the best crossbow scope you need to make sure that you read through as many reviews as possible. There are plenty of low quality scopes out there that should be avoided. There are also a few high quality products out there which are nothing short of being a dud.

Looking for the best crossbow scope considering these tips will hopefully help you separate the top quality products from those which leave a lot to be desired.


Recommended resources:

How to Sight a Crossbow

Crossbow Red Dot and Multi-Reticle Scope Explanation



Selecting the Best Hunting Scope

best hunting scope1

Just like any other product out there you will find a massive selection of hunting scopes. Some scopes are fantastic. Others aren’t so great. In the following section, we will talk a little bit about how to find the best hunting scope for you.

First and foremost, you need to think about what you will be aiming for and how far away your target is going to be. Selecting the best hunting scope depends on individual conditions, such as type of rifle, terrain, shooting distance and perhaps light conditions. The scope’s reticle center must be adjusted to accurately indicate where a rifle’s bullet will hit at some predetermined range.

best hunting scope1
In order to choose a hunting scope, you must check its optics. Lenses should ensure accuracy and produce a high quality image. Additional features to be considered include finish and durability. If you are performing in outdoor conditions you should also considerate weatherproofing, glare, and fog reduction features of the scope.

Another question you may ask yourself is… “Am I going to be shooting in the dark?” Well, if you are, then you should go down the route of a night vision hunting scope. Although they are going to cost you a lot more than your standard hunting scope, they are going to be a lot more useful.

Another tip is to never purchase a scope just because is cheap. You do not need to spend a fortune either. Just focus on finding the best value hunting scope for your needs. Usually you will find that cheap or lousy scopes lose their zero quite quickly making it hard to aim. Also, the optics are not going to be the best either.

Remember, when you are searching for the best hunting scope, whether it is for varmint hunting, deer hunting, or something completely different, you must make sure that you take the time to read through as many customers reviews as possible in order to choose the right for you.


—>Click Here to See Reviews of the Best Hunting Scopes on the Market!<—

How Night Vision Scopes Make your AR-15 Even More Effective


There are many reasons why the night vision scope for AR-15 has become something of a mandatory accessory for the AR-15, and it isn’t hard to see why. While undoubtedly an effective weapon, a night vision scope just makes it even more so. But before you buy one, you need to understand what they are and how do they work.



A night vision scope refers to any device or optical instrument that can produce an image even in low lit areas or near complete darkness. These devices are frequently used by law enforcement officers and the military but have now become available for civilians. When the term night vision scopes are used, it usually refers to the whole unit including the mounting system, waterproof housing and the image intensifier tube. Because of the way technology has evolved, night vision scopes now include telescopic lenses, IR illuminators and other special lenses.

Night scopes first came into being during World War II but were widely used in the Vietnam War. Since that time technology has improved tremendously and with the term “generations” you can distinguish the specifications of each night scope model.




How Night Vision Scopes Work

There are many kinds of night scopes used for rifles and night vision in general, and they use different technologies. The most widely used are Near-infrared Illumination, Thermal imaging and Low-Light Imaging, and they are applicable not just to the AR-15 but also to other purposes such as search and rescue, wildlife observation and night security among others.

The most widely used night vision method is image intensifying, although on-chip gain multiplication CCD cameras have gained popularity as well for surveillance and low light security. Most image intensifiers work by amplifying the available light to produce clearer vision, and this is done by using an objective lens to focus photons (light) on the image intensifier’s photocathode. What the light energy does is release the electrons in the cathode.

The electrons then go through openings inside a micro channel plate and bounce off walls that generate more electrons. The end product of all this activity is a dense electron cloud displaying the original image, but with more intensity. Not only is the image more intense, but during the final process the electrons strike a phosphor screen that causes them to glow. If you’re wondering why the night vision scope for ar-15 and others is green, that’s because human eyes can distinguish more shades in green compared to any color.

Of the many night vision options available now, on-chip gain multiplication cameras are proving to be one of the most popular because they are very sensitive even in low light. In addition, they provide high speed imaging.

But that’s not the only option available because there is also thermal imaging, which many prefer because it offers the highest amount of thermal sensitivity. Furthermore, a rifle equipped with thermal imaging will be able to detect vehicles and people from a great distance away, and your vision won’t get hampered by other light sources.

IR illumination is another type of night vision and is ideal if you want to get rid of distracting shadows and see numbers, letters and other small objects. Unlike other night vision devices, IR illumination can be used for facial identification, and it doesn’t get affected by snow, mist, rain or fog, perfect if you use your rifle in different weather conditions.

Major Brands and Common Features

There is no shortage of options if you’re looking for night vision scopes, with ATN, Armasight, Carson and Bushnell considered among the biggest brands today. Aside from offering clear night vision, today’s AR-15 rifle scopes have other special features such as greater fields of view, infrared illuminators, longer battery life and advanced reticle systems.

If you’re looking for a night vision scope for AR-15 you need to look beyond the night vision capabilities as that is already a given. Instead you should check the magnification capability, warranty, its durability and of course the price. While you don’t want to settle on anything cheap for your AR-15, there are many high quality night vision scopes available for a low price. It will also help if you do some research online and read reviews of these products and see which ones come highly recommended.

—>>Click here to see ratings and ar-15 night vision scope reviews<<—

Laser Sights: A Comprehensive Buyers Guide for AR 15 Laser Sights

best ar 15 laser sight

Before you buy an AR 15 laser sight you need to understand some basic facts so you’ll make a more informed decision. Laser sights and scopes are very similar as they both use straight lines of light for targeting objects. There are different kinds available but basically all you’re required to do is aim a green or red dot on your target and start shooting.

Top 5 Best Laser Sights for AR 15

 Brand & ModelOur RatingPrice & Reviews

Streamlight 69261 TLR-2 High Lumen Rail-Mounted Tactical Light with Red Laser
Streamlight 69261 TLR-2 Rail-Mounted
Tactical Light with Red Laser
4.9 out of 5 stars
Click to see prices on

Ozark Armament - 5mw 532nm High Powered Tactical Green Laser
Ozark Armament - 5mw 532nm High Powered Tactical Green Laser4.6 out of 5 stars
Click to see prices on

Streamlight TLR-4 Tac Light with Laser
Streamlight TLR-4
Tac Light with Laser
4.8 out of 5 stars
Click to see prices on

Vector Optics Viper Wolf IR <br />
Laser Combo Sight for Night Vision
Vector Optics Viper Wolf IR
Laser Combo Sight for Night Vision
4.4 out of 5 stars
Click to see prices on

Truglo Micro-Tac Tactical Micro Laser
Truglo Micro-Tac
Tactical Micro Laser
4 out of 5 stars
Click to see prices on

→ Types of Laser Sights

As mentioned there are many kinds of laser scopes but the following are the most widely used and the most practical for the AR-15:


Real Laser Sight

This replaces your rifle’s rear sight with a laser that goes along the barrel’s topmost part. With real lasers you have the option of using assisted or manual scopes.

Laser Grip

The laser grip is the most advanced scope today and comes with a pressure sensor integrated in the gun’s grip, activating the laser when touched. One of the reasons why this has became so popular is that it reduces the risk of being detected at night.

Rail Mount Laser

This is by far the most affordable option and not a bad one either. With a rail mount laser, the scope is clipped to the rail using your firearm’s frame, allowing the sight to keep its pinpoint precision even if there is recoil. While effective, the biggest drawback with rail mount lasers is that it doesn’t work very well in a low light environment.

Guide Rod Laser

A guide rod laser is built into the gun, so there’s no risk of the scope accidentally coming off or getting out of alignment. Because the laser is placed very near the barrel, the guide rod is considered by many to be the most accurate scope available.

→ Consistency

You also need to consider the consistency of the laser beams, and they generally take two forms: pulsating and constant. Constant beams are the most ideal if you are going to use a real laser light scope because with a constant consistency the laser will always be on.

A pulsating laser on the other hand, is sometimes harder to spot for animals but easier for people, and it is a lot like a strobe light. For this type of AR 15 laser lights to work properly, the light needs to remain twice as long compared to the time it is off.

Related Article: The Best Iron Sights for AR 15: What are Your Options?

→ Red or Green Laser Beams

The difference here is more than just the color because each one has a different set of wavelengths, strengths and weaknesses that need to be considered.

Red lasers are the most widely used, the most popular and is considered the traditional choice. Even though they are cheap to produce, they are very durable and can work in hot and cold conditions. Usually the range is between 20 to 50 yards, although this can vary depending on the product. To this day red lasers are used by law enforcement officers in the US, a testament to their quality.

Green lasers represent the latest technology and they are easier to use in the daytime compared to red. Also, green lasers have a visibility range of more than 100 yards so it is perfect for use with a rifle. However, green lasers are expensive so they’re not as practical as red lasers.


→ IR Laser Sights

IR laser sights represent the highest quality of lasers and are most suited to use with night vision devices. IR laser sights are also distinguished by many features other scopes just don’t have. Among the many advantages they offer are: clear targeting even in low light environments, it allows you to shoot without being seen, infrared light is also very hard to detect unless you are using one as well. (when used indoors a supplemental light is needed for it to work though)


—>Click Here to See Laser Sights Deals on Amazon<—


What You Need to Know About Scope Mounts for AR 15


Now that you have your AR 15, the next step would be to improve your accuracy by getting a rifle scope. But, even with a great AR 15 and a superb scope, you also have to choose among the many scope mounts for AR-15 available on the market. Without the proper mounting, even the perfect scope for your well-cared for AR-15 won’t let you shoot successfully.

mounting a scope

—>Check Price on Amazon:Scope Mounts for AR 15

The point of the mount is to make the scope remains in place, no matter what happens. The mount should be suitable for your AR-15, and it should also be right for the scope you want to get. And, since scope mounts for AR-15 are the “weak link” in your shooting system, you may want to get a qualified gunsmith to make sure that it’s properly installed.

So let’s take a look at what kind of scope mount you need to get:


Do you plan to use the scope mount on just a single weapon?

If you answer yes here, then a fixed mount is your best option. It will help keep your scope stable and sturdy. With a scope that’s permanently affixed. You also won’t risk damaging your scope when you move the scope from one rifle to next.

With fixed mounts, you have two options:

• Dovetail scope mount. The mounting system of rings and base has a wedge (called the dovetail) on the bottom half of each ring. It inserts into the base and enables the scope to turn 90 degrees. This mount may be a bit too heavy for the AR 15, but there’s a new version called a dual dovetail, which can really stand up to hard recoil.

—>Check Price on Amazon for Dovetail scope mount

• Universal scope mount. This system isn’t as sturdy as the dual dovetail, but you can use it for many different types of firearms.

—>Check Price on Amazon for Universal scope mount


Do you have lots of guns, but don’t want to buy a separate mount for each one?

Then what you need is a detachable mount, and you have three options:

• Weaver style scope mount. The most popular option in this category. It allows the scope to be removed while the mount is still attached to the gun. That means you can always remove the scope anytime you want. You can remove the scope when you’re travelling, when you want to clean it, when you want to use the scope on another gun, or you want to use another scope on your AR 15.

—>Check Price on Amazon for Weaver style scope mount

• Picatinny style scope mount. It’s similar to the Weaver system, but the Picatinny system has wider base slots. You can’t use Picatinny rings on a Weaver base, but you can use Weaver rings on a Picatinny base.

—>Check Price on Amazon for Picatinny style scope mount

• Clamp-on mounts. These are very easy to use. They can even work on a gun that has been pre-drilled for scope mounts. They are also easy to remove without damaging the gun or the scope.

—>Check Price on Amazon for Clamp-on mounts

How high is the scope mount?

Here you want to make sure that it clears the iron sights so you get a clear view of your target. A lot of AR 15s come with fixed A2 front sights despite the fact that most of us put scopes or reflex sights on them. But if the mount is high enough, then the line of sight of the scope won’t be impeded by the front sights.


Does it have enough slots for scope ring adjustments?

A very important feature that you should check before getting your mount.


Does the design allow you to use AR 15’s front sight?

Some scope mounts are designed with a peep sight that allows you to use the front sight as well.

How much does it cost?

While sticking to a budget is important, what’s more important is to remember that with scope mounts, price and quality tend to match. You truly get what you paid for. So it doesn’t make sense to get an expensive scope and then try to get a cheap mount to go with it.