5 Best Quick Detach Scope Mounts 2020

MIZUGIWA-1-inch-30mm-Quick-Release-Cantilever-Weaver-Forward-Reach-Dual-Ring-Rifle-Scope-Mount

Flat-topped ARs with a long rail across them are rapidly on the rise. This has caused a subsequent increase in popularity of quick detach scope mounts. A mount that is easily attached and detached comes in handy because it is more efficient than your regular scope mounts. The best scope mount checks all the boxes. It has to be efficient, easily detachable and affordable among other considerations.

 

What is a Quick Detach Scope Mount?

 

A quick detach (QD) scope mount is essentially a scope that you can quickly attach and detach on your rifle. The easier it is to detach or attach, the more efficient it is to use. When you buy a quick detach mount, there would be no need of buying additional screws to attach the scope. Apart from their ease of use, they are also very easy to pack down and clean after your hunting excursion.

 

Since the market is flooded with different quick detach scope mounts from a wide range of manufacturers, it could prove to be such an uphill task to find one piece that suits you best. It can be challenging to find one with the right size, eye relief, fit or weight and you can easily be driven crazy in the process. To help you find the best quick detach scope mount, we reviewed five of the best in the market right now to make your buying decision a lot easier.

The best quick detach scope mounts reviewed here are:

  1. UTG 1″/2PCs Med Pro LE Grade Picatinny QD Rings
  2. Burris Optics P.E.P.R Riflescope Mount
  3. American Defense AD-RECON 30 STD Riflescope Optic Mount
  4. UTG 30mm/2PCs Hi Pro LE Grade Picatinny QD Rings
  5. MIZUGIWA 1 inch /30mm Quick Release Cantilever Weaver Forward Reach Dual Ring Rifle Scope Mount

Best QD Scope Mounts Review

 

1. UTG 1″/2PCs Med Pro LE Grade Picatinny QD Rings

UTG is renowned company and they pride themselves in producing top-notch quality hunting and shooting accessories for many years now. They make sure that they rigorously test their products before releasing them to the market to ensure that they are not only durable but high-performing too. This is all very clear when you look at this UTG quick detach scope mount.

 

It comes with a 2-piece design that makes it very unique, especially when compared to many other QDs in the market right now. Furthermore, the design contributes to its versatility. The QD is made from aircraft-grade aluminum construction. That is why the device looks amazing and feels robust. The anodised matte black adds to its larue tactical appeal.

 

The two scope rings are designed to fit onto a weaver/ picatinny rail easily. Each of the clamps present on the scope mount locks down over your riflescope. There are four screws that will ensure that it is durable and secure to hold. They perfectly hold the scope delivering a perfect zero.

 

Unlike other QD scope mounts in this price range, this medium profile scope mount is very light, compact and you can effortlessly take it on trips with minimal space. The re-zero is near-perfect after you detach it.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Easy to re-zero after detachment.
  • It is very affordable.
  • Comes with a unique 2-piece design.
  • Highly versatile.

Cons

  • Some users claim it is too low for some rifles.

2. Burris Optics P.E.P.R Riflescope Mount

Burris Optics is also a go-to manufacturer for many law enforcement and hunting experts because they deliver products and accessories that most experts rate as excellent. They manufacture different scopes and scope accessories for different rifles.

 

When it comes to delivering robust, respectable, superior quality and durable shooting and hunting accessories, they take no prisoners. This product is no different. It is ultimately one of the best QD scope mounts in the market. When you need some reassurance when out hunting game on superior performance, this device won’t let you down.

 

It comes as a base mount and a full scope ring one piece design, with its construction built from aircraft-grade aluminum. The construction has then been finished with anodised matte black that gives it that fierce look and appeal. The mount can easily fit onto Weaver or Picatinny rails. The rings have rails at the top that function to add any additional optics you may need like lasers and lights. When you fit it, it can give maximum eye relief and up to 2-inch forward scope positioning.

 

It is also important to note that P.E.P.R is an abbreviation for Proper Eye Position Ready. This indicates that the manufacturer made sure that the scope mount easily caters for your every need. It has the ability to perfectly hold without losing zero even after you detach it. Furthermore, you have a smooth time when you want to re-zero the scope mount.

Pros

  • It is very affordable.
  • It extends the field of view and eye relief.
  • Very easy to mount.
  • Excellent customer service and warranties.

Cons

  • It is a bit heavy.
  • It can be tricky to adjust it.

3. American Defense AD-RECON 30 STD Rifle scopes Optic Mount

It is a great QD scope mount that is incredibly lightweight. This scope mount is particularly designed for AR-15s. Its lightweight nature is mostly because of the precision-machined high-quality aluminium. Furthermore, all of the scope rings on the mount are skeletonised on their sides to further reduce its weight.

 

Additionally, the rings are aligned vertically and each of them is secured with four bolts. These rings are designed this way to ensure that you have the best grip and alignment. However, mounting the scopes can be a bit challenging because of this. The QD scope mount uses a proprietary quick-detach lever mounting system.

 

Even Picatinny rails that don’t exactly meet the base specifications can work with the mounts because of the mount’s design. Moreover, you have the ability to align the levers rearwards or forwards. This cantilevered design is the reason why you can get the chance to achieve perfect eye relief.

 

You don’t need any proprietary tools to make adjustments. You can even use a fingernail to manipulate the standard flathead bolts. Under normal use, you can enjoy a lifetime warranty, which is pretty impressive. You may find it a bit challenging to find one fault with this product or anything that comes with it in the box. What stands out are the tool-free adjustments and proprietary levers.

Pros

  • Comes with proprietary levels.
  • Tool-free adjustments.
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty under normal use.
  • Superior clamping surface.
  • High-grade aluminium rings.

Cons

  • It can be a bit difficult to mount your scopes because of the vertically split design.

4. UTG 30mm/2PCs Hi Pro LE Grade Picatinny QD Rings

If you are looking for a 2-piece design QD scope mount that will offer you value for the money, this is the product to go for. The rings are built out of aluminium and steel components. The rings are skeletonised to further reduce the mount’s weight. They are skeletonised in the top strap and the region below the rings. This does not only contribute to keeping the weight down, but also making it look pretty cool.

 

You can mount scopes with a 30mm tube, which is facilitated by their design. You can mount your scope either on a Picatinny rail or weaver rail. Each ring is secured with four bolts in a horizontal-split configuration, making mounting very easy. The surfaces are coated with superior quality, synthetic material to protect it. You can also easily adjust the tension of the best QD levers with an Allen key. This is only to make sure it properly holds and to easily re-zero it afterward.

 

You can buy some lo-cost rings that come with the best machining specifications if you want to use the scope mount on any other rifle apart from an AR. This mount typically checks all the boxes.

Pros

  • It is machined with precise tolerances.
  • Very affordable.
  • It is guaranteed against any manufacturing defects.
  • You can adjust the levers to optimise the rail’s tension.

Cons

  • There are some occasional flaws here in there, which Quality control misses.

5. MIZUGIWA 1 inch /30mm Quick Release Cantilever Weaver Forward Reach Dual Ring Rifle Scope Mount

Mizugiwa isn’t a very popular manufacturer unless you do a lot of online shopping. This is a Chinese manufacturer producing a small range of hunting, fishing and shooting equipment. Despite producing a small range of products, the products themselves are of superior quality.

 

This Mizugiwa quick detach scope mount isn’t only simple and cheap but also very affordable. It is the Swiss army knife scope mount version, quite literally. It comes with exceptional design and delivers optimum performance. When you buy it, you will enjoy shooting at your best.

 

With a length of 13.5cm, you are sure it will support a variety of scopes. The body is finished in matte black, giving it a tactical mount look and feel and it features 25.4 mm reducer inserts. If you exclude the inserts, you can use the mount with 25 mm and 35 mm body riflescopes with no issue. It will also easily fit 20 mm Weaver rails.

 

The design also allows you to add some accessories like lasers and flashlights, especially because of the built-in Weaver rail style. Such accessories come in handy when you want to support your shooting needs. It will also allow to move it back and forth to support eye relief.

 

Another great feature is the clampdown design that comes with six bolts. This plus the quick release lever mounts makes it very easy to detach in case you want to remove the scope for cleaning or safe storage. Furthermore, you can use your iron sights without the need to remove the scope because of its height.

Pros

  • It allows you to fit accessories.
  • Comes with quick release locks.
  • Very versatile.
  • You don’t have to remove the scope to use iron sights.

Cons

  • The manufacturer is not very well known.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. Do quick release scope mounts hold zero?

 

The best QD scope mount is designed to hold zero perfectly even after you detach it. Furthermore, they are also designed to make it easy for you to re-zero after cleaning or storage.

 

2. Why offset scope mount?

 

Offsetting a scope mount gives you the chance to mount your scope directly at the top of the receiver and at the same time sitting well forward of the mounting position. This means that your cope will be set at a desirable distance from your eye.

 

3. Why cantilever scope mount?

 

If you are using a large frame AR, a cantilever scope mount may not be entirely necessary. However, they play an instrumental role in getting your scope out far enough to make sure that you get the perfect eye relief.

 

Conclusion

 

A QD scope mount will be an excellent addition to your hunting equipment. All of these QD scope mounts are amazing in their own right. However, this post is meant to give you an idea of some of the best QD scope mounts out there and why most users prefer them. Choosing any of these scope mounts will do the job. It will now be up to you to factor in your needs and budget range to make the best choice.

5 Best Clip-on Thermal Scopes 2020

Best Clip-on Thermal Scopes 2020

Although natural skill and determination are prerequisites to hunting, the right equipment too plays a very crucial role. With the rapid technological advancements, the face of hunting has completely changed, especially with the inception of special hunting equipment like thermal imaging and night vision scopes.

 

If you are a day and night hunter, the best clip-on thermal scope will be an excellent additional tool you can bring with you on your hunting expedition. Since hunting is increasingly becoming a popular sport, more and more night vision and thermal sights equipment are flooding the market to enhance the whole hunting experience.

 

What is a Clip-on Thermal Scope?

 

A thermal scope is a device that comes with certain advanced features like thermal imaging technology to enable a shooter execute a shot, not only quickly but precisely too. They function by detecting differences in temperatures in the environment to detect a target in the line of sight.

 

On the other hand, a clip-on thermal scope is a type of versatile thermal scope that packs advanced features to produce accurate outputs when you clip it on to your rifle. Once a clip-on thermal scope is clipped on a rifle, you can identify the targets in your field of view whether during the day or at night with no restrictions.

 

Since the night vision scopes niche is growing rapidly, there are plenty of clip-on thermal scopes in the market right now. To find the best clip-on thermal scope, you have to do some background checks and put in some effort to find the best clip-on thermal scope for you. This post is aimed at making your search for the best scope within your budget range a lot easier.

Can a thermal riflescope work during the day?

These thermal scopes products essentially function by detecting thermal infrared light that animals emit. Even if a target is not in range or potentially hidden, these products will pick up on them using their heat signatures. Therefore, the best night vision thermal scopes will detect the amount of heat a target produces regardless of the time of day or the lighting conditions. They are the best scopes if you are looking to go on 24-hour hunting adventures.

The best clip-on thermal scopes reviewed in this post are:

  1. Pulsar Core FXQ38 Thermal Monocular Scope
  2. ATN ThOR 4, 384×288, Thermal Rifle Scope
  3. Trijicon Teo Snipe-IR Thermal CL Teo IRCO-35 Snipe-IR Thermal CL Scope
  4. Armasight by FLIR Apollo 336 50mm Thermal Imaging Clip-On System
  5. Pulsar Helion XP Thermal Monocular

Best Clip-On Thermal Scope Review

 

1. Pulsar Core FXQ38 Thermal Monocular Scope

Pulsar Core Thermal Monocular - Front Attachment

Pulsar Core manufactures some of the best clip-on thermal scopes in the market. Their thermal scopes are not only reliable but also the top-tier quality and the Pulsar Core FXQ38 is no different. It is one of the top-rated clip-on scopes in the market based on its features and quality.

 

It is compact and lightweight in nature, offering a simple night hunting solution by using the night vision feature that is enhanced by thermal imaging technology. Its high sensor resolution of 384×288 and display resolution of 640×480. This makes the scope capable of making targets as far as 1400 yards away very clear, which is quite impressive.

 

If you want to produce better quality images, you can use the three operating modes to make sure that you have precise viewing. The modes are Forest, identification, and Rocks. There are also three calibration modes; Semi-Automatic (H), Automatic (A), Silent manual (M).

 

Taking its versatility into consideration and the price attached to it, it is ultimately the product to beat. Furthermore, the monocular and thermal scope double functionality make it a great tool for scanning your surroundings for possible targets. You can also interchange the high-quality eye-piece for a more professional hunting experience while easily and quickly identifying and locking on your targets.

 

It has a 50Hz refresh rate, night vision capability, and a battery life of 4 hours. The external battery is rechargeable using a USB adapter that it comes with. You can either use a power bank or a wall socket. Moreover, the battery plus the body ware weather and water-proof, meaning you can go out hunting even when it’s raining.

Pros

  • Water-proof body and battery.
  • High-resolution display.
  • Very versatile.
  • Very affordable.
  • Perfect compact and lightweight design.

Cons

  • The lenses are fixed.

2. ATN ThOR 4, 384×288, Thermal Rifle Scope

ATN ThOR 4, 384x288, Thermal Rifle Scope w/Ultra Sensitive Next Gen Sensor

The ATN Thor 4 is incredibly affordable and comes with amazing features. To begin with, it features an ultra-sensitive next-generation sensor with higher sensitivity and improved resolution to make sure that you capture images with clarity even if they are very far away in complete darkness.

 

It also features a ballistic calculator that functions to make all the target calculations for you. All you need to do is feed all the data to the ballistic calculator on the clip-on scope and let it focus on long-range targets for you. The feature takes into account the humidity, angle, weapon profiles, and temperature to make sure that you perform accurate shots always. The HD 1280×720 resolution is why you will enjoy hunting with crystal clear images.

 

ATN Thor 4 also comes with video recording and dual-stream features to give you the chance to record your hunting adventures and stream the video to your smartphone. Furthermore, the 64GB SD card will give you enough storage space to store your recorded images and videos if you want to use them later either for fun or critiquing. You will also enjoy up to 18 hours of battery life with a 60Hz refresh rate. This is by all means impressive.

 

One of the most outstanding features is the Obsidian App that you can easily set and access. You can use this app to adjust your thermal riflescope’s settings straight from your smartphone. The support is based on both Android and iOS products, making it very versatile.

Pros

  • Sleek and attractive design.
  • High accuracy.
  • Long battery life.
  • Supports dual-stream video recording.
  • Image stabilization capability.

Cons

  • Some digital features are absent.

3. Trijicon Teo Snipe-IR Thermal CL Teo IRCO-35 Snipe-IR Thermal CL Scope

 Trijicon Teo Snipe-IR Thermal CL Teo IRCO-35 Snipe-IR Thermal CL

If you are looking for a clip-on thermal scope on the premium range, this is the best option to go for. The Trijicon SNIPE-IR is a night hunter’s dream. The first thing you are bound to notice is the matte exterior construction, sleek on all levels. Even if you are a novice in night hunting, this thermal night vision scope will make you feel like a pro in the field. You just need to clip it on in front of the rifle’s daylight scope. You can use it for day and night hunting excursions.

 

It has a high display resolution of 640×480 and a similar thermal resolution. This means that you are likely to experience little to no image distortion. Therefore, regardless of the much, you zoom in on a target, you will still get a clear shot. The military-grade best thermal clip-scope delivers top-tier image quality. You only have to see it to believe it.

 

You can choose it to use it as a standalone thermal scope without clipping it in front of a daylight scope. This means that even if you choose to use it as a standalone monocular scope, it will still deliver. At 60Hz refresh rate, the battery life is 3.5 hours and 2.5hours at 30Hz.

 

It also comes with the No SHORT ZERO technology, which makes it very simple to and one of the most user-friendly clip-on thermal scopes out there. Even beginners can easily get a hang of it. You will love its versatility. If you are planning a 24-hour hunting expedition, this is the tool to bring with you.

Pros

  • It is weather resistant.
  • Highly versatile.
  • Impressive image quality and resolution.
  • Comes with military-grade components.
  • It can function as a thermal monocular.

Cons

  • It is a premium range product hence expensive.

4. Armasight by FLIR Apollo 336 50mm Thermal Imaging Clip-On System

Armasight by FLIR Apollo 336 50mm Thermal Imaging Clip-On System with FLIR Tau 2 336x256 17 Micron 60Hz Core

This is one of the most affordable and best night vision clip-on thermal scopes in the market right now, coming in 30Hz and 60Hz versions. If you are looking for a thermal scope on a budget price range, you will appreciate its reasonable price tag. Despite being affordable, it is still a performance device.

 

The FLIR Apollo 336 comes with some state-of-the-art features that contribute to making this device very suitable for a wide range of users, especially law enforcement and hunting enthusiasts. It is also one of the smallest and lightest best thermal scopes out there. Therefore, it is very easy to carry it out around feeling bothered by it.

 

One of the features that make this scope invaluable is its compatibility with a daylight scope. You don’t need to zero when you mount it on your daylight scope. The installation process will only take seconds because it comes with a quick-release feature. Furthermore, it has a very simple yet intuitive control, which makes the device relatively easy to use. If you are a beginner, you will appreciate this so much.

 

Even in extreme darkness, you will still be able to detect your target, even with the presence of atmospheric obscurants like mist, dust or fog. There will be no need of adjusting the daytime settings when the dark comes. The thermal resolution of 336×256 and display resolution of 800×600, which is why you will receive crystal clear thermal scope images. This is all thanks to the thermal imaging scope technology. The video recorder is also very handy if you want to record videos for viewing later. It has a 4-hour battery life.

Pros

  • it is user friendly.
  • Very affordable.
  • Small and lightweight.
  • Compatible with daylight scopes.
  • Produces crystal clear images.

Cons

  • You can’t change the lenses.

5. Pulsar Helion XP Thermal Monocular

Pulsar Helion XP Thermal Monocular

This is also another very impressive clip-on thermal scope. A lot of users have expressed their satisfaction with this device. It as a high resolution of 640×480 that produces high-quality images. It also features a built-in video recorder and an 8GB onboard storage capacity. You can go out on your hunting excursions and capture your amazing kill shots.

 

It supports Wi-Fi connectivity, which allows you to connect it to its mobile app in your smartphone. Through the app you have the chance of transferring data, perform system upgrades and stream videos. It also features an 8-color palette, consisting of black-hot and white-hot that highlight the coldest and hottest areas using different colors. It can detect an adult-size heat signature up to 2000 yards away.

 

It high refresh rate of 50Hz is important for enabling you have the smoothest of views even when the target moves rapidly. It also comes with a rangefinder, accelerometer and an 8x variable magnification. The stadiametric rangefinder makes it easy and fast to determine the distances, basing its metrics on the estimated heights of the objects.

 

This thermal image scope was designed with all types of users in mind because of its user-friendly nature. It is designed for easy and quick operation because anyone can easily figure out how to use. This is especially made easy because it comes with an icon-driven menu display and status bar that are relatively easy to read and understand.

Pros

  • It comes with 8GB internal storage.
  • The battery is highly rechargeable.
  • It is dust, fog, and waterproof.
  • It features video capture capability and Essential UI.
  • Extreme weather resistant.

Cons

  • It is a bit pricier.
  • Some users have expressed concern as to why the mobile app occasional stops.

Final Say

 

The market is full of different types of best clip-on thermal scopes all coming with a different range. You also have to understand that these scopes are quite an investment. Therefore, you have to make sure that you carefully consider all the available products first before settling on one. However, if you are looking for the best clip-on thermal scope, any of these mentioned thermal scopes will do the trick.

5 Best Thermal Scopes For Coyote Hunting

thermal-scope-coyote-hunting

The world is rapidly evolving, all thanks to the Golden Age of technology. Almost all spheres of life have been impacted in one way or another by technology. The same applies to the shooting and hunting industry. Major leaps in technological advancements have really changed the industry, with shooters now having access to thermal imaging and night vision optics specialised for use on rifles.

 

Coyote hunting is a night-time activity, which means that you need the best thermal scope for coyote hunting. Coyotes are fast and agile predators. If you want to shoot them down, you must have good optics that provide you with a clear line of sight in the dark to overcome these scavenger’s natural camouflage. That is where the best thermal imaging scopes come in.

 

What is a Thermal Imaging Scope?

 

This is a sighting device that combines an aiming reticle with a compact thermographic camera to give a modern shooter a clear line of sight of the target in the dark. It can be mounted a variety of arms, either heavy or lightweight, whichever your preference.

 

We understand that finding the best thermal scope for hunting may not be exactly easy, especially if you are unfamiliar with the thermal imaging or night vision technology. There are plentiful options to choose from in the market right now, which only makes it more challenging. That is why we have put together this guide to help you find one that suits your coyote hunting needs.

The best thermal scopes covered in this round-up are:

  1. ATN ThOR HD 384 Smart Thermal Scope
  2. Pulsar Core RXQ30V 1.6-6.4×22 Thermal Riflescope
  3. Armasight by FLIR Predator 336 2-8x25mm Thermal Rifle Scope
  4. ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Thermal Rifle Scope
  5. Pulsar Trail XQ Thermal Riflescope

Best Thermal Scopes Review

 

1. ATN ThOR HD 384 Smart Thermal Scope

ATN-ThOR-HD-384-Smart-Thermal-Riflescope-High-Res-Video.

The ATN Thor 384 is quite a step up from the FLIR model. The scope’s construction is built around the Obsidian IV Dual thermal core by ATN. It provides an amazing 384×288 resolution, which is High Definition by its standard. You will have an easy time spotting coyotes when you out hunting in the night because of its excellent contrast and image clarity.

 

The scope’s optical zoom is set at 1.25x but the digital zoom on the thermal scope has the capability of going up to 5x. However, when compared to other thermal sights, this magnification isn’t as impressive. Nonetheless, it will offer you with a much more compact sight than many other thermal scopes.

 

A closer look at this thermal scope and you immediately notice the close resemblance to a standard optical scope except that it looks and feels bulkier. Despite the bulkiness, it is incredibly streamlined and will fit just fine on your rifle.

 

The thermal scope also features a ballistic calculator and a built-in rangefinder, despite having a slimmer profile. These features are particularly helpful in nailing shots in longer distances away. The battery life on this thing is also just as impressive since it can give you up to 18 hours of use in the field. Always ensure that your battery is fresh to enjoy the best hunting experience. You will also be glad to note that it can also record HD videos and can steam your recorded videos to any of your smart devices.

Pros

  • Offers up to 18 hours of battery life.
  • Provides amazing thermal sensor resolution.
  • Comes with a ballistic calculator and rangefinder.
  • It can record and video stream simultaneously.

Cons

  • Occasional software issues according to some user reviews.

2. Pulsar Core RXQ30V 1.6-6.4×22 Thermal Riflescope

Pulsar-Core-RXQ30V-1.6-6.4x22-Thermal-Riflescopes

if you are looking for something a bit handier but will offer you value for your money, the Pulsar Core RXQ30V is the thermal scope you should go for. Despite its low price, it offers superior performance compared to many other thermal scopes in its price range.

 

It provides a magnification of 1.6x that is optical in nature to make sure that you only get nothing but crystal clear thermal scope images when using the base magnification power. Furthermore, you also get a digital magnification of up to 6.4x. Additionally, the 384×288 resolution is just enough to make sure that its digital zoom causes little to no degradation in the quality of the images you see. This means that even when you are using the highest magnification, you can easily spot a coyote and make an accurate shot.

 

A noteworthy feature is the green sapphire display, which functions to maximise the thermal scope image contrast and at the same time reduce eye fatigue. With the thermal core’s ability to detect any heat signatures up to 900 metres away, you can make the most of its magnification.

 

It is powered by 2 CR123A batteries that offer a pretty decent battery life. However, if you use the device a lot more frequently, you may have to replace the batteries every now and then. The quick detach mount is also an incredible feature that allows you to use it on different rifles.

Pros

  • You can mount it on multiple rifles.
  • The green sapphire display is great for reducing eye fatigue.
  • Features optical base magnification.
  • Can detect thermal signatures up to 900 metres away.
  • Features a high profile AMOLED display.

Cons

  • There is no extra battery.

3. Armasight by FLIR Predator 336 2-8x25mm Thermal Rifle Scope

Armasight-FLIR-Predator-336-2-8x25mm-Thermal-Imaging-Rifle-Scope

This scope comes with the latest thermal imaging technology and it is the ultimate coyote hunting scope. It comes with one of the best thermal cameras in the market right now. You’d expect that such a superior scope would be very expensive, but that is not the case. It is very affordable.

 

It features an optical base magnification and you won’t experience any form of pixelation even with 2x magnification. The digital zoom can go up to 8x with a 336256 pixel array resolution and a 640×480 display resolution. This means that the resolution is high enough and digital zooming only causes very little distortion or pixelation. You will get accurate shots of your target regardless of the magnification you are using.

 

The device also gives you the chance to choose between the 3 variable colour modes so that you can easily customise your scope’s display. It gives you the chance to easily and quickly spot your target coyotes. The colour modes are White Hot, Rainbow, and Black Hot. Apart from the colour modes, there are also 6 reticle patterns. They are No reticle, Crosshair, Line dot, Cross, Dot 4 MOA and Cross centre dot.

 

If you want to film your hunting expeditions, the on-board video recording feature will do that for you. The recorded video could also be quite helpful when you want to critique your last hunting outing. Although lemons are very rare, there have been some customers that have raised issues with quality control.

Pros

  • Features on-board video recording.
  • Comes with 3 variable colour modes.
  • High-resolution display and pixel array.
  • Comes with 6 reticles.
  • Great 2x optical magnification.

Cons

  • Some customers have reported occasional quality control issues.

4. ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope

ATN-Ballistic-Calculator-Rangefinder-Barometer

This is one of the best hunting riflescopes in the market right now, coming with lots of incredible features. All of these features are designed to give you the smoothest hunting experience. The scope is much more than a sleek design and a durable case. It features a Smart HD Optics Technology that gives you the chance to use the device regardless of the time of day.

 

It also comes with the Recoil Activated Video (RAV) feature. This is a very interesting feature that allows you to record a video of your hunting outings so that you don’t miss anything. You can share your video recordings with family and friends or even use them to perfect your marksmanship.

 

The ballistic calculator feature helps in escaping all the complex reticles and charts. All you need to do is feed it with the environmental data and watch it make all the calculations for you. You will get the chance to precisely hit your target, even if it’s your first try. When you combine the calculator with the built-in rangefinder, you will have the easiest time marking your targets. You will no longer have to carry extra equipment like handheld rangefinders.

 

The scope’s battery pack offers an incredible 22 hours of continuous use without having to charge it. There is also an ATN IR 850 Pro Illuminator that functions to provide a means of illuminating your field of view up to 3x better than stock ones.
Pros

  • Amazing 22 hours of continuous use.
  • The IR Illuminator is up to 3x better.
  • You can use it during the day and at night.
  • Comes with ballistics calculator and built-in rangefinder.
  • Comes with remote control.

Cons

  • No extra battery.

5. Pulsar Trail XQ Thermal Riflescope

Pulsar-Trail-XQ-Thermal-Riflescope

The riflescope comes with a patented maximum 10.8x magnification with excellent detection power over a range of 2000 yards. It also features a 640×480 AMOLED display. All of these impressive features contribute to the scope’s base magnification capabilities.

 

The riflescope is highly engineered and full of unique and very effective features that you won’t get on any other device. It delivers excellent thermal imaging while providing hunters with the perfect placement for targets in longer distances.

 

It can detect heat signatures from as far as 1970 yards away. The versatility of the riflescope will help you hit those coyotes without them hearing or seeing you come. The outstanding features are the black-hot and white-hot options with 13 digital reticle options. These features combined with the amazing 50Hz refresh rate are the reasons why this riflescope remains invincible and very popular.

 

When you buy this scope, you will be sure of getting fluid imaging because of all these amazing features Furthermore, it comes with a patented IPX7 waterproof technology. It is also dust and fog proof. Enjoy impressive performance for many hours.

Pros

  • It has a 50Hz refresh rate.
  • Extended battery life.
  • IPX7 waterproof technology.
  • Frost-resistant AMOLED display.
  • Comes with wireless remote control and Wi-Fi.

Cons

  • It is very pricey.

What’s better night vision or thermal?

 

Although thermal imaging scopes are better for detection, especially when hunting coyotes at night, they are pricier than night vision scopes. The thermal imaging technology is relatively new and very expensive to manufacture. Furthermore, they use infrared sensors to detect any differences in the temperatures of objects that fall within their line of sight.

 

Night vision scopes are more available and popular because they are not only affordable but have been around since World War II. They essentially function by amplifying any visible light nearby thus less effective than a thermal image scope. Nonetheless, if you can afford it, it is always advisable to go for thermal scopes than night vision scopes.

 

Final Verdict

 

Whether you are going hog or coyote hunting, the best time to do it is during the night. Since by nature the human eyes are not equipped for seeing in the dark, employing extra help from thermal optics of night vision is always the best way to go. You will get a fantastic feeling of technological superiority. Although night vision is great, with thermal you own the night. Nothing will approach you and fail to see it. We recommend the Armasignt by FLIR as the best thermal scope for coyote hunting due to its all-round features.

5 Best Long Range Scopes 2020

Primary Arms PLx 6-30x56mm FFP Rifle Scope - Illuminated MIL-Dot

Whether you are a sport shooter or a hunter, there is a thrill that comes with long-range shooting. Taking shots from hundreds to thousands of yards away is not only challenging but fun too. At some point in time, you will need to go for something more just standard when it comes to scopes. This is where the best long-range scopes come in.

 

What are Long Range Scopes?

 

A long-range scope is a telescopic device that is used on rifles to get a clear shot of a target of hundreds or even thousands of yards away. The specific range of a rifle varies from one scope to another or rifle to another and even hunter to hunter. Therefore, just how long a range is will primarily depend on the rifle barrel length and the chosen caliber.

 

With this in mind, then you understand that different rifles are suited for taking on different maximum ranges. In essence, there is no operational range that you can certainly define as ‘long’. Therefore, the ballistics of your rifle will help you understand your specific ling-range needs when out looking for a long-range scope.

 

The market is flooded with many different long-range scopes, coming with different configurations. Making a choice of one out of these many scopes can be very challenging. That is why this post has rounded up 5 of the best long-range scopes to make it easy for you to find out that suits you best.

 

Best Long-Range Scopes Review

 

1. Schmidt Bender PMII 5-25×56 L/P DT P4Fine FFP MRAD CCW

Schmidt Bender PMII 5-25x56 L/P DT P4Fine FFP MRAD CCW

Although Schmidt Bender is not a common name you will hear when the names of the most common scopes manufacturers are thrown around, this scope by the manufacturer is certainly worth a mention.

 

The scope features a wide magnification range between 5x and 25x coming with a 56mm objective lens. This feature is very instrumental in enabling the scope to collect enough light when getting ready to get those long-range shots. With its reticle placed on the first focal plane of the scope, you are sure of getting an amazing field of view lying between 5.3 and 1.5. This primarily depends on the zoom level.

 

Another cool attribute about the scope is that you get an incredible eye relief of approximately 3.5 inches even when you zoom it to its maximum level. Since most of its body is made of aluminum construction and the body covered in matte black, you are sure of keeping your position without exposing yourself to your target. Furthermore, you can easily illuminate the reticle between 11 different settings. Moreover, there is a 100% light transmission, and all the lenses in the scope benefit from it.

 

One of the most incredible features on the scope is the innovative turret design that gives you amazing elevation adjustment and windage. It also includes a parallax turret in separate that is important in giving you the chance to compensate from ranges 10 meters to infinity. Another excellent feature in this regard is the unique double turn elevation knob that us color-based. It functions to give you a quick idea to where the target’s elevation is set, giving you the opportunity to instantly compensate in case your target starts moving up and down. This is the best feature to use when hunting in hilly areas.

Pros

  • Offers excellent eye relief overall.
  • You get an adequate light transmission from the lenses.
  • The elevation turret is uniquely designed.
  • Comes with superb body construction.
  • 11 different reticle settings.

Cons

  • It is quite expensive comparatively.

2. Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm Side Focus Riflescope

Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm Side Focus Riflescope

Leupold is a pretty common name in the scopes industry. It is known for manufacturing some incredible rifle scopes, this scope is no different. To start with, it is fog proof optic and at the same time 100% waterproof. Additionally, it comes with extra shock damage protection. There is a first focal plane reticle on the scope that is responsible for magnifying alongside images. This gives you the chance to have a better estimate of the range while tracking your target when they are far away from your position.

 

This is one of those super light scopes that can easily pair with many different types of rifles. Furthermore, it is better suited than many other scopes to disperse the recoil energy. Therefore, if you have a high-powered rifle that can shoot up to 1000 yards, this is the perfect scope to go for.

 

The most outstanding feature about this scope with the proprietary Twilight Max Light Management System. This system incorporates full-spectrum coatings and premium lens clarity to give you 20 extra minutes of enough lighting for shooting. Therefore, if you are out hunting at dawn or dusk, this feature will come pretty handy.

Pros

  • The Leupold quality scope.
  • The reticle is just spectacular.
  • It is not only lightweight but also very durable.
  • Offers great eye relief between 3.7 inches and 5.3 inches.

Cons

  • You may experience some parallax.

3. Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm Riflescope

Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm Riflescope

As mentioned earlier, Leupold always builds the best of scopes in the market, and this model too doesn’t disappoint on any level. It has magnification capabilities ranging from 5 to 25x, coming with a 56mm objective lens. This is the reason why the scope provides you with amazing light transmission at any of your chosen zoom levels.

 

Just like many other Leupold scopes, the reticle is situated on the first focal plane. Furthermore, the lenses in the scope don’t easily scratch because they are boosted by military-standard scratch resistance. For instance, if you want to go for some desert sport shooting, the scope will perform impressively because it functions even in sandstorms.

 

Additionally, it features an aircraft-grade aluminum construction body that makes it very durable, weatherproof, and all round. Despite this, it remains lightweight in nature and still holds the ability to disperse the recoil energy. Therefore, if you prefer high-powered rifles, this scope will work well for you. It also comes with a very steady turret. With only 3 three revolutions, the turrets can offer you up to 30 Mils of adjustment.

 

This model also features the proprietary Twilight Max Light Management System. If you are going hunting in places with limited light, you will find this scope amazing. Without the presence of this proprietary system, you wouldn’t otherwise get clear sight of your target in long ranges in poorly lit environments. 20 minutes of extra shooting light is pretty amazing.

Pros

  • Very steady turrets.
  • Impressively withstands recoil.
  • Features proprietary light management system.
  • Well-coated lenses.
  • The construction is made with superior quality materials.

Cons

  • It is rare for eye relief to reach 4 inches.

4. Primary Arms PLx 6-30x56mm FFP Rifle Scope – Illuminated MIL-Dot

Primary Arms PLx 6-30x56mm FFP Rifle Scope - Illuminated MIL-Dot

This Primary Arms scope comes with an adaptive long-range optic, featuring variable magnification settings from 6x to 30x. Furthermore, there is a 56mm objective lens that includes a first focal plane reticle. The feature is an updated and optimized variant of the classic dot version. For extra durability, the lenses are coated. This also gives it a better light transmission.

 

The whole scope construction is made of high-quality materials and top-tier Japanese glass, making it very durable. However, you have to note that this scope is a little bit heavier than average because it weighs over 38 ounces. Nonetheless, it will offer stellar performance in any weather. It also comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer that covers any defects on the scope. Therefore, even if it is pricey, it is a great value for money.

 

The noteworthy feature is the illuminated reticle that is compatible with night vision even though it is bright red in color. The support for night vision accessories makes the scope a great option when going for tactical operations or night time hunts. It still works well even during the day. For added value, it comes with matching flip caps and sunshade.

Pros

  • It comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • All-round illuminated reticle.
  • Great clarity lenses.
  • Made with heavy-duty materials.
  • Comes with some minor accessories.

Cons

  • It is heavier than average.

5. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II First Focal Plane Riflescopes

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II First Focal Plane Riflescopes

If you want to spend less but get more, you should be thinking Vortex optics Viper PST FFP. The manufacturer is renowned to building top-tier scopes at just a fraction of the cost. The scope features a multi-coated and very clear low dispersion glass, delivering a bright and crisp field of view. It is very hard to even realize that you are getting your view through a lens. It provides impressive optical quality, nothing you can compare to any other similar models in the market.

 

The lenses are multi-coated to increase their durability while protecting them from dirt or scratches. Furthermore, it is argon purged to ensure that the lenses remain clear of condensation and fog. This is also made possible by the O-ring seal. Although many other scopes come with this all-weather feature, none of them are as affordable as this model.

 

The turrets are great and are probably the most outstanding features on this scope. These turrets are designed for long-distance hunting expeditions. Moreover, they are laser etched. That is why they are great for people who may need to adjust for bullet drop or wind compensation. You also have the chance to adjust parallax with the capability of setting the turrets to a zero-stop. Since these turrets also feature fiber-optic rotation indicator, you have the ability to easily keep track of the position of the turret.

Pros

  • Provides up to 3.4 inches of eye relief.
  • The lenses are incredible.
  • You can compensate for parallax.
  • The turrets are very easy to use.
  • It can work in any kind of weather.

Cons

  • The eye window is a bit smaller.

What to Consider Before Buying

 

There are many important factors you should consider before buying a long-range scope. Some of the are:

 

  • Objective Lens: the size of the scope’s lens affects just how much light is allowed inside the tube. A wider lens allows more light thus a better sight picture. The opposite is also true. Furthermore, the wider the objective lens, the wider your field of view will be.
  • Reticle Type: You can choose either from a range of focal planes. However, the most common ones are the first and second focal planes. Sizes seem to change every time you change the magnification levels. For instance, when using scopes with first focal plane, you won’t have to do mental math since they represent a similar distance. The second focal plane, things don’t change even when you change magnification powers. They are often fixed on one setting, mostly the highest power.
  • Magnification: It will show you just how far the gun can reach, depending on the rifle and calibre of bullets used. In most cases, rifles have a magnification of about 10x or higher. Therefore, when looking for a scope, the magnification settings should start around there.
  • Fixed/Variable Magnification: There are some scopes that come with one setting and there are those that come with different zoom levels. The difference in these scopes will mostly be seen on the price levels. However, the best option would always be to go for the scopes with variable settings.
  • Eye Relief: This is a very important factor to consider, especially for rifles having lots of recoil. The best scopes have a relief of around 3.5 inches at least. Always look for scopes that give you some relief.

Conclusion

 

Different scopes cater for different needs. There is no one scope that is perfect for everyone. Therefore, when out looking for the best long-range scope, go for a model that meets your specifications and why you want it. Furthermore, the aspect of budget should always be kept in mind. Always go for a model that offers you great value for money. The best long-range scope is the Vortex Optics Viper:

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II First Focal Plane Riflescopes

The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Rifle scopes

It took over a hundred years to get from the first practical optical rifle scope (1844) to the first rifles without iron sights (1958). Now, iron sights are the exception – scopes rule.

 

Why use a scope?

 

A rifle scope is intended to facilitate long-range shooting by making it easier to see the target (and whatever is behind it), even when there is very little light.

Using a scope, shooters can take accurate shots in conditions whether they would have been working, literally, blind, in the days before scopes. This in turn enables them to benefit from other advances in long-range shooting technology, such as modern rifles which can shoot both farther and faster than their historic counterparts.

 

Why your rifle scope matters more than your rifle

 

Many experienced shooters will tell you that they will happily spend more on their scope than they will on their rifle and this is a perfectly serious comment. The whole point of using a rifle is to hit the target for which you are aiming. Missing that target is frustrating. Hitting a target you did not intend to hit can be, literally, deadly.

 

Your scope, if you choose it wisely, is what will allow you to see what you are doing so you can use your rifle both enjoyably and safely. This means that you should buy the absolute best scope you can possibly afford, even if it means reducing the budget for your rifle itself.

 

With that in mind, here is a guide to rifle scopes to tell you everything you need to know to choose the best scope for your shooting level and intended use.

 

An overview of a rifle scope

 

From the outside, a rifle scope is essentially a metal tube with some knobs around the middle and a lens at each end.

 

Modern tubes are usually made from aircraft-grade aluminum, which is why they are so much lighter than older tubes, which were made of steel. They are also available in a variety of finishes, most of which are essentially variations on matte and gloss. If you’re hunting, a dark, matte finish is your only option as anything shiny will warn animals for miles around.

 

The knobs in the middle of the tube are to make various adjustments to allow the scope to function more accurately. If you are using a rifle scope with an adjustable level of magnification, there will also be a magnification ring somewhere within easy reach.

 

The lens which goes up by your eye is known as the ocular lens and its opposite number is known as the objective lens. They are housed in “bells” and the bell for the ocular lens should have a locking ring on it (if it’s good quality). There are more lenses inside the scope, usually around six.

 

Last but definitely not least, there is the reticle, commonly known as the cross-hairs. This is actually located inside the rifle scope, but, obviously, it is (or should be) clearly visible through the ocular lens.

 

Rifle scopes explained

 

Here is a closer look at each of the key parts of a rifle scope and what they mean for its functionality.

 

The tube

 

In the U.S. most tubes are 1″ in diameter, however, some scopes now use the European standard of 30mm (1.18″). This slight increase in diameter makes for a larger cross-sectional area. The benefits of this are more strength and rigidity plus the physical space to support a wider range of adjustments. The drawback, however, is that it increases the weight and bulk of the rifle scope.

 

Most tubes will have either three or four knobs for different sorts of adjustments. Ideally, you want these knobs to be easy to work, even with gloves on (or cold hands) and to give good feedback (a nice click or “thunk”) when you change the step. In the old days, the adjustment knobs would typically have caps on them, but these days that’s less common.

 

The three knobs you are almost guaranteed to find are windage, elevation, and focus and the fourth is parallax. Parallax adjustment is really only for long-range scopes, but the average modern rifle scope will probably have it.

 

Windage and Elevation

 

Windage is horizontal adjustment and elevation is vertical adjustment. Both forms of adjustment are measured in either minutes of angle or milliradians. Technically, both of these measurements relate to variances on a target at 100 yards. For practical purposes, all you really need to know is that one minute of angle (MOA) equals 1.047″ and one milliradian (MIL) equals 3.599″.

 

So, for example, if a rifle scope is advertised as having adjustment of 1/4 MOA then it means that each stage of the adjustment knob will move the bullet’s point of impact (PoI) by 1/4″. If it’s advertised as having 0.1 MIL then each click will move the PoI by 1/3″ (both at 100 yards).

 

For completeness, it has to be acknowledged that windage and elevation adjustments are a notorious weak spot even on premium scopes. Most experienced shooters will tend to take the stated adjustments with at least a pinch of salt.

 

That said, it’s also fair to say that these adjustments rely on moving parts that are quite fragile and hence benefit from gentle treatment. There isn’t likely to be a whole lot you can do about recoil, but try to avoid dropping your scope and if you travel with it, then treat it to some decent protection, especially if you are traveling by air and putting it in your cargo luggage. Remember, baggage handlers are not renowned for treating items gently no matter how many warnings you put on them.

 

Focus

 

Focus basically allows a shooter to customize the reticle to their particular eye. All you do is point the scope at something big and blank like a wall (or the sky, or grass) and turn the ocular-lens bell until the reticle is in sharp focus. Then lock it into place.

 

Parallax

 

For practical purposes, parallax means distance. Some scopes will be set at the factory but most will be adjusted manually to allow for more flexibility in use. Your options for parallax adjustment are either a knob on the turret or a calibrated objective lens bell. These days, it’s usually the former. In either case, you’ll need to remember to do it otherwise your scope will mislead you as to the location of your target and you’ll aim at the wrong place. This is known as parallax error.

 

The magnification ring and eye relief

 

The magnification ring does exactly what its name suggests, it adjusts the level of magnification (or power) on your scope. As it does so, the length of the scope will change and this will influence the level of eye relief.

 

Eye relief is the distance between the shooter’s eye and the ocular bell. It’s called eye relief because it’s what relieves your eyes of the pain of being hit by an aluminum tube as your rifle kicks. It, therefore, relieves you of the inconvenience and expense of making regular trips to the hospital for stitches.

 

When it comes to eye relief, the generally-accepted rule is that more is better. This does, however, have to be balanced by practicality. With that in mind 3″ is really the absolute minimum you should accept for a standard rifle. Many scopes now have 3.5″ some even have 4″.

 

For clarity, you need to look at the level of eye relief available when the scope is at its maximum extension.

 

The lenses

 

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of the lenses in a rifle scope. It’s also impossible to overstate the importance of understanding that numbers, while important, only tell part of the story. The quality of the lenses is what really matters.

 

First of all, you want a high-quality glass. Ideally, you want ED glass, which is extra-low-dispersion glass, which offers the sharpest images and truest colors. This is sometimes marketed as HD glass, presumably to capitalize on the recognition of HD TVs, but it’s actually completely different. The glass needs to be ground to shape effectively and appropriately coated.

 

Lens coatings

 

Coatings improve light transmission by reducing glare and reflection. They can also protect against water and scratches.

 

As a minimum there should be a single layer of coating on one surface and it’s preferable if there’s at least a single layer on all surfaces. Better-quality scopes will typically have multiple layers on at least one surface and the very best will have multiple layers on all surfaces.

 

For completeness, if you anticipate doing a lot of shooting in damp conditions (which can include humidity, mist, and fog as well as rain), then look out for hydrophilic and hydrophobic coatings which disperse water quickly. The best of these will allow you to shoot accurately in even pouring rain.

 

Objective lens diameter

 

When reading the description of a scope, the number quoted after the power is the objective lens diameter. This is always quoted in millimeters. So “3.5-10×50” means the objective lens diameter is 50mm and “4×32” means it is 32mm.

 

As the size of an objective lens goes up, so does its field of view and so does its ability to let in light and hence its performance in low-light conditions. The price of this, however, is extra bulk, weight, and cost.

 

For hunting scopes, the most popular size is probably still the old favorite of 40, but you can certainly buy them in sizes of between 32 and 50. Realistically, unless you are doing something very niche, 50 is about as high as you want to go. After that, the performance gains are not likely to be high enough to justify the extra weight (and cost).

 

Exit pupil

 

The exit pupil is actually a part of the objective lens, but it’s important enough to be worth a mention on its own.

 

Technically, the exit pupil is the diameter of the beam of light emitted by the scope. It is calculated by dividing the diameter of the objective lens by the power. In the example above, the “3.5-10×50” scope will have an exit pupil of between (50/3.5) 15mm and (50/10) 5mm depending on what power is being used. The “4×32” scope will have an exit pupil of exactly 8mm.

 

As a point of comparison, the pupil in the human eye generally has a range of 2mm to 8mm. The higher end of this range, however, will only apply once your eyes have become accustomed to lower-light conditions.

 

It is hugely important to understand that there is an inverse relationship between the power and the size of the exit pupil. In other words, as the power increases so the size of the exit pupil decreases. In even blunter words, the more you magnify, the less light your scope will be able to capture.

 

This means that you want to be careful about falling in love with modern scopes that offer super-high levels of magnification. They may be excellent for some niche applications but for most people, frankly, they’re a total waste of money which will make your shooting worse instead of better.

 

Experienced hunters will tend to stick with the old-favorite of a 3-9 (x40) power scope, some now go for 2-10. What’s more, most of the time, your scope will be on the lowest power setting because most of your shots will be at close range. The ability to go up to 9 or even 10 will, however, give you a bit of extra flexibility for long-range shots.

 

If you absolutely must have a scope with super-high magnification, then spend the money on one which starts at two or three and then goes up as high as you want. If you use a scope that starts high and goes higher, even if it doesn’t really look that way (say a five or a six), then you will routinely find yourself in situations where you can’t aim properly because you can’t see enough of the target. Think of it as being able to see a leaf in great detail but having no clue about where to find the relevant tree.

 

For completeness, higher magnification scopes can be useful for pest control. Basically, if you need to shoot really small critters, then you might need a bit more power. That said, even here, think about the realities of your situation. In other words, just because you can go out and spend money on a 6-24 scope, it doesn’t mean that you necessarily should if 6-12 will do the job just fine.

 

Remember, the more you magnify, the less light will get in through the exit pupil. This means that, after a certain point, all that magnification will become useless because you literally won’t be able to see!

 

To round out this section, we’ll finish by saying that power of one and two is only likely to be of real-world use if you’re planning on hunting dangerous game, or big game under 200 yards.

 

If this is your plan, you might want to go for a 1-4 scope which will not only allow you to take slightly longer shots but also function reasonably well for standard hunting. As previously mentioned, most of the time you’ll have your scope on the lowest power setting anyway.

 

One last point is that larger exit pupils are more forgiving of your head position. By contrast, the more you start pushing up the power and reducing the size of your exit pupil, the more important it becomes to have your head in exactly the right place.

 

The reticle

 

The purpose of the reticle is to help the shooter aim correctly. It can be placed either in front of or behind the magnification lens. If it’s in front, then it’s described as a first focal plane (FFP) scope and if it’s behind, it’s described as a second focal plane (SFP) scope.

 

With a first focal plane scope, the size of the reticle changes as the size of the sight picture changes. With a second focal plane scope, the reticle stays the same.

Traditionally SFP scopes have been the staple hunting scopes because they are clearly visible regardless of the level of magnification. These days, however, some hunters are starting to prefer FFP scopes because they can make it easier to land accurate shots. 

 

As is often the case in shooting, as in life, there is no “right and wrong” or “one-size-fits-all” solution. The best option is generally to try both and see which one you prefer.

 

You could also look at the new “hybrid reticles”, which put the focal point in the SFP so it stays the same size and everything else in the FFP so it changes size with the image. The only downside to these new hybrid reticles is that, currently, they only work with scopes that have an electronically illuminated aiming point (a red dot to help you aim).

 

The style of reticle you choose is also, largely, a matter of taste (and what works best for your preferred style of shooting). The “classic” reticle is simply two fine lines at right angles to each other, which cross in the exact middle, hence the fact that the reticle is commonly known as the cross-hairs.

 

In actual fact, however, the “classic” reticle has been falling out of favor since 1960 when Leupold came up with the Duplex reticle. This has thick, heavy, lines coming in from the outer edge, which then taper to the classic fine lines. The idea is that this naturally draws the shooter’s eye towards the center of the scope.

 

The Duplex reticle, or a variation thereof, is currently the staple reticle, however, these days scope technology is getting better and better at an impressive pace and bullet drop compensating technology (or more accurately ballistic drop compensating technology) is now starting to catch on.

 

BDC technology essentially means that your reticle will try to help you to compensate for the effect of gravity on your bullet. In principle, this is a great idea. In practice, as it currently stands, the implementation is so complex that it’s probably only of interest to the most dedicated and experienced of shooters. In other words, it’s definitely not (yet), the beginner-friendly option it might appear.

 

To begin with, you need some way of estimating range, which effectively means that you need to be comfortable using a laser range finder. If you’re using a first focal plane scope then you can generally use it at any magnification, but if you’re using a second focal plane scope, then you’ll generally need to set it at a specific magnification.

 

What’s more, there are all kinds of additional factors that could influence the accuracy of BDC technology. These include your choice of ammunition, your barrel, the elevation, the humidity, and the temperature.

 

In short, BDC may well turn out to be one of the most exciting developments since the invention of the scope (or the rifle), but it probably has some way to go before it becomes the new standard.

 

As a final point, it is increasingly common for manufacturers to include “electronically illuminated aiming points” (red dots for targeting) with their reticles. Many shooters find these very handy for sighting, especially at speed. Just remember, however, that these depend on LED lights which are battery-operated. This means that they only work for as long as the battery does.

 

The fact that LEDs use minimal power means that, in theory, a battery should last for ages. In practice, however, much will depend on how well you take care of your battery and the ambient temperature during use.

 

Batteries do not like extremes of temperature. If it’s extremely cold, their capacity will plummet (although they may recover when warmed up). If it’s extremely hot they may explode (although this is very rare). Sometimes, they will just expire for no apparent logical reason.

 

This means firstly, that it’s a really good idea to carry a spare battery with you (and to know how to change the battery) and secondly that it’s a really good idea to make sure that you can use your reticle without the LED as well as with it.

 

Rifle scope jargon explained

 

Here’s a guide to some of the key terms used when describing (and selling) scopes – and what they actually mean in practice.

Power

 

A lot of the time, the description of a scope will start with something like this – “3.5-10×50”. This translates as minimum power – maximum power x objective diameter. You may also see something like this “4×32”. This means that there is only one power setting. These days, most scopes have a range of settings to allow for more flexibility and convenience.

 

Power simply means how much the scope magnifies the field of view as compared to the naked eye. So, in the first example, the scope has a flexible power with a magnification factor from 3.5 to 10. In the second example, it has a fixed power with a magnification factor of 4.

 

In simple terms, you can think of the power as being like the lens on a camera. A zoom lens allows you to adjust the focus from low magnification (wide-angle shots) to high magnification (telescopic shots). This is particularly useful for hunters who want to scan an area for a target and then focus on it.

 

Fixed power lenses, however, may be a good choice for people who don’t really need flexibility and would be happy to look at a lower-cost option, for example, a pre-loved scope.

 

For completeness, as with camera lenses, the numbers on their own do not tell anything like the whole story. You want a good-quality lens from a reputable manufacturer.

 

Field of view

 

Technically the field of view (FOV) is the width of the area you can measure at a specific distance. In the U.S. the FOV is usually quoted in feet at a distance of 100 yards. If, however, you happen to be shopping internationally, be aware that the reference points may be different (for example centimeters and meters), although the basic idea will be the same.

 

There is a direct link between FOV and power. Low power means low magnification and hence a wide FOV, and high power means high magnification and hence a narrow FOV.

 

Light transmission

 

Despite what some adverts may imply, rifle scopes do not gather light. They simply transmit the available light through the various lenses and, at present, there is always some light lost along the way. Currently, most scopes will transmit around 90% of the light. The best (read most expensive) scopes can transmit up to 98% of the light.

 

Cynical as this may sound, it’s probably best not to put too much faith into the manufacturer’s stated figures for light transmission. Each manufacturer will have their own way of measuring it and the approach they use to doing so may not tally with the average person’s real-world experience. The size of the exit pupil is generally a more reliable guide.

 

For completeness, although the ability to make better use of the available light is possibly one of the biggest arguments in favor of using a scope (even when you could, in principle, have made the shot with the naked eye), as is generally the case in life, you want everything in moderation.

 

In other words, if the exit pupil on your rifle scope is significantly bigger than the pupil in your eye, then most of the light will be wasted because your eye literally won’t be able to process it.

 

Choosing a scope for your rifle

 

The key to choosing the right scope for your rifle is to work out the minimum specification of scope you need for your intended use and then buy the best scope you can afford which meets those criteria.

 

Using this strategy means that you’ll avoid paying for features that, at best, you’ll not use (or at least not use enough to justify the bulk, weight, and cost) and instead put as much money as possible towards the lenses.

 

Taking care of your scope

 

If you’ve spent good money on the best scope you can afford, then it makes sense to spend some time (and a little extra money) taking good care of it. Here are some tips.

The number one cause of damage to scopes is rough handling so be gentle. Ideally, when you are not using your rifle, you should take off the scope and put it in a protective case.

 

You should definitely take off your scope when you are cleaning your rifle. If, however, this is too much effort, at least put the flip covers on. This will protect your lenses from the fine mist which generally comes out of the bore when you pull out the cleaning brush. If you forget this, then remember to use a microfiber cloth to clean it off. Also, work gently. Your gun may stand up to rough handling but your scope won’t like it one little bit.

 

After each use (as in before you pack away for the day, not after each shot), hold your scope vertically and blow around the bottom end (with your mouth not any kind of air sprayer). Then flip it and repeat the exercise. This will do a lot to get rid of fine dust you might not notice.

 

Once a week or so, get a proper lens-cleaning brush (as in the sort you can use on a camera) and dust from the center outwards. Then use a microfiber cloth to clean off any smudges. If you’re struggling to get the cloth into the right places, wrap it around a cotton swab.

 

Make sure that your brush and microfiber cloth are clean, dry, and dust-free and resist the temptation to use water or any chemicals, especially solvents. Never, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever use any sort of regular glass cleaner on your scope!

 

With the lenses clean, you can move on to the body. Honestly, for the most part, giving the body a clean is purely for appearances so you could skip most of it if you really wanted. The bit that does matter is the adjustment knobs. You want to avoid getting any dirt in them.

 

To clean the body, use a different brush and just brush down it, paying particular attention to the knobs. When cleaning the knobs, brush away from the center. Basically, you want to brush the dirt away, not push it in. Smudges on the turrets don’t matter, but if you really want to get rid of them, use a different microfiber cloth. Again, make sure the brush and cloth are both clean and dry and resist the temptation to use any water or chemicals unless you are truly desperate.

 

If you have an LED light on your scope, now is a good time to check the battery port for rust. If you find any, you may be able to deal with it by cleaning the port gently with a regular pencil eraser. Go carefully, so you avoid damaging the leads.

Thermal-2

Seeker Mount Kit

INTRODUCING INTELISCOPE PRO+ AND… SEEK THERMAL NIGHT VISION

Inteliscope PRO+

Inteliscope PROThe Inteliscope PRO+ has all the features of the Inteliscope PRO but includes an opening in the top that allows users to make use of the space. Its covered with a cover-plate and accepts modular attachments for future products such as the SEEK Thermal. This device will fit every phone available. PRO+ coupled with the Inteliscope App in iOS or Android operating systems, represent an evolution in firearm accessories! Awesome!

SEEK XR

INTELISCOPE PRO PLUS - $139

SEEK XR is the extended Range version of the SEEK Thermal imaging module.  Sometimes you need to see further, and with Seek XR, you can do this. With its narrow 20° field of view, XR has nearly twice the viewable range as Compact, making it perfect for use outdoors. Simply connect-and-detect at up to 1800 feet away.

SEEK Mount Kit

Seeker Mount Kit

The SEEK Mount Kit serves to firmly attach any SEEK Thermal camera to your Inteliscope PRO+. It includes both Apple and Android cables custom made to fit between the SEEK XR and the Inteliscope housing.

SEEK MOUNT KIT – $59

INTELISCOPE APP

Seeker Mount Kit

The Inteliscope App comes in both Android and Apple versions. We have integrated thermal night vision functionality for use with the SEEK XR. Users can now switch between day vision to night vision with a single click. The Inteliscope Heads-Up features are:

  • Record video
  • Zoom
  • GPS location
  • Reticle Library
  • Custom ammo library
  • Strobe and flashlight
  • Compass direction