They say hunters can hit any target with a mediocre rifle that has a great scope, while a hunter with a great hunter but a mediocre scope will have trouble catching game. This may be true because using a scope makes everything easier when it comes to hitting a target, especially at a long distance.
If you’re new to rifle scopes, it’s okay to be intimidated by the varieties, parts, and more. Continue reading as we unravel the mystery behind the rifle scope! You’ll learn the external parts of the rifle scope, how a scope works, and other concepts you need to know
External Rifle Scope Parts
First is the scope body. It holds the lenses in place through the metal tube. It contains all the other parts or controls that make adjustments to the lenses for a clear picture.
To accommodate the objective lens, the front of the scope tube is widened, with a flare known as the objective bell. The ocular bell is the wider portion from the rear of the scope to house the ocular lens.
Meanwhile, the middle portion between the objective and ocular bells is the main body tube. Here, rings are attached to hold it to the firearm. Usually, they are 1 inch in diameter, but some are larger. This also contains two or three knobs for adjustments, whether you are hunting or just shooting.
On the right side of the scope is a knob for adjusting the windage, which refers to how far right or left the projectile will strike. The windage and elevation knobs are for the reticle. They help shooters match the aiming point of the firearm with crosshairs.
There are other adjustments on your scope, such as the power ring. It is usually placed in front of the ocular bell and acts as the external control for the magnification lens inside the scope. Sometimes, there is an ocular focusing too. Lastly, the external adjustment is the parallax adjustment for shooters to get the target and the reticle on the same focal plane.
How Rifle Scopes Work
To correctly use a rifle scope, you should be familiar with the point of aim (POA) and the point of impact (POI). Some accurate shooters can hit a target without knowing the mechanics, but others get good by learning the skill, starting with these concepts.
A bullet flies off the barrel upward and begins to descend, causing an arch. With a rifle scope, you don’t have to do a lot of guessing anymore. Just aim at the target and pull the trigger when the time is right. The point is that aim where the crosshair of the scope is aimed. And the point of impact is where the bullet hits.
You need to arrange the POA and POI through a process called “zeroing”. Hunters usually spend time zeroing their rifle scopes in a shooting range. You must stand within 100-200 yards of the target. Remember that when you zero in for 100 yards, it won’t be as accurate as when you shoot a target that is 200 yards away. Wind, the moisture of the air, and other factors should be considered.
However, this does not mean you should be near the targets since you can calibrate the elevation adjustment knob.
Other Concepts to Know
These two concepts will help you improve your accuracy.
This is a virtual aperture. In optics, the aperture is the opening of the lens where light passes through. The larger the exit pupil, the more light can enter your eye. But the problem with finding a large scope with the largest objective lens is that the human eye is not big enough for it. An exit pupil much larger than 7 mm would be more light than the human eye can handle.
Knowing the scope’s exit pupil is essential in low light situations like dusk or dawn hunting. Go for a scope that has at least 5 mm of exit pupil diameter with various magnification settings.
Eye relief means the distance from the ocular lens to your eye taking in the full field of view (FOV) exit pupil. It’s the image produced by your scope and it becomes fuzzy if the eye relief is too close.
To match a scope to your rifle, recoil is important. High powered rifles with a too much recoil and short eye relief could lead to issues with the scope hitting your eye or scope bite.