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

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.


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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.

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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.

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