Scopes, Sights and Other Optics: What Do I Choose From?

As a firearm owner, the first thing you probably need to do is to zero your rifle and equip it with the right gear. When it comes to equipping your rifle, sighting options are one of the things you will need to look into.

Given that rifle sighting options have been developed and evolved over the years, you have a whole lot to choose from today!

What are my Choices?

Most rifles are pre-equipped with iron sights. Iron sights are great for a number of reasons. They are inexpensive, accurate (if you know how to aim and shoot) and are extremely durable. Further, they hardly add any extra weight to your firearm.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something a little more advanced, you may choose between magnification scopes and red-dot optics. We’re going to elaborate on both to help you figure out which of the two might be best for you.

Red-Dot Optics

Simply put, red-dot optics make use of a laser point which is red (as the name states) or green in color. The laser point is used to mark the target and impact point while aiming. Red dot optics are available in different styles. These include

Reflex sights
The most basic red-dot sighting options are what you call open sights or reflex sights. These are ideal for tactical purposes, mobile shooting and to track and mark moving targets.  Some of the advantages reflex red-dot sights offer is unlimited field of vision, and high accuracy for up to 50 yards. The only problem with these is that some models might be susceptible to weather damage due to exposure. Also, the absence of magnification makes long range use tricky.

Prism sights
These also go by the name of tube or scope style red-dot sights. Like reflex-red dots, these offer increased accuracy and facilitation during aiming. Additionally, these are a little more durable and resilient to harsh weather due to the casing. The presence of a scope; however, does lower one’s field of vision and add a little weight to your firearm.

Holographic sights
These  non magnifying sight  that has an holographic reticle seen through a optical window and is superimposed  on target, The reticle is illuminated by a laser diode built into the window.. Holographic sights are meant to combine the best of reflex and tube-style red-dots. This includes open aiming and magnification capabilities.

Magnification Scopes

Magnification scopes have been used for over a century and models today are popular, efficient and effective as ever. These scopes are available in low, middle and high magnification strengths. It is important to be clear on the range you’re shooting at and buying a scope for as undershooting and overshooting can be both problematic.

Another specific to pay attention to is the focal plane. First focal plane scopes are where the reticle of your scope will also be magnified along with the target. Second focal plane scopes are the sort where though your target image is magnified, your reticle remains the same.

The arguments against magnification scopes include restrictive field of vision (especially as you go higher) and weight (also proportionate to magnification). Magnification scopes can also be quite pricey and may be hard to use by inexperienced shooters when tracking a moving target.

steel shooting targets

Other Equipment

Apart from scopes, using the right shooting targets to get a handle on your firearm is extremely important. You have both short as well as long range AR500 steel targets available that are brilliant for tactical and regular target practice. Targets are even available in different shapes including silhouettes, gongs, circle and square steel targets.

If you’re out searching for scopes, it makes sense to buy a few targets too!

The Upshot

The information above is meant to help you make an informed choice when you go out to equip your firearm with a sight or scope. Just remember, apart from how you equip, what you practice on makes a difference!

We hope you found this blog informative. If you’re looking to purchase high-quality A