One of the most popular accessories to get for a rifle is a scope. But are they worth it? Read on to find out!
What is a rifle scope?
A rifle scope
is an optical magnification device that is mounted on a rifle to help you shoot more accurately. Most rifle scopes have adjustable magnification levels, with which you can zoom in and out on your target, as well as a set of crosshairs (aka an adjustable reticle) to help you shoot more precisely.
Rifle scopes are attached to a rifle’s “scope mount,” which is usually located on top of the rifle receiver and serves as a secure and stable platform for holding the scope.
So is a rifle scope something you need? Well, not necessarily. But if you want to improve your shooting accuracy, increase your range, and make the most out of your rifle, it’s a good investment.
Here are the top three benefits of owning a rifle scope:
1. Better range
When you’re hunting, you don’t want to be too close to your target (i.e. wild animals). If you get too close, you’ll be at a higher risk of getting hurt, especially if the target starts charging at you.
At the same time, you don’t want to be too far away from your target either. If you’re too far away, your shot is more likely to miss and you might scare off the target and lose your chance to hit it altogether.
Enter rifle scopes. They allow you to shoot from a greater distance while maintaining accuracy. How? They magnify your target so that it is easier to see and aim at. This gives you more time to aim and get comfortable with your shot before pulling the trigger.
Most rifle scopes also tell you how far away your target is. That way, you can adjust your aim for bullet drop (aka bullet trajectory
), which refers to the downward curve or arc of a fired bullet’s path as it travels through the air due to gravity. Without a rifle scope, determining your distance from the target and adjusting for bullet drop is much more difficult.
2. Improved accuracy
A rifle scope helps improve your aim by giving you a clearer view of your target and lets you get a clean shot off faster. That also means fewer wasted shots and bullets and more time saved.
Your accuracy will improve when practicing shooting and when participating in shooting competitions so that you can come home with better scores.
The same goes for hunting. In fact, a rifle scope can make it easier to target the right spot on the animal’s body. This helps prevent unnecessary damage to the animal’s body so you can use more of it for meat and other purposes.
Another way rifle scopes improve accuracy is by giving you a clearer view in bad weather or lighting conditions. For example, most rifle scopes are designed so that the body helps protect the lens from dirt, dust, and water.
Some rifle scopes also come with lights attached to them to help you see in the dark, or better yet, night vision capabilities that read heat signatures so you can more easily find your target in low visibility settings.
With a rifle scope, your aim will improve over time. This can also help boost your shooting confidence, which leads us to our next point …
3. Boosted confidence
Good aim is a skill that is as much psychological as it is physical. To aim well, you need to believe in yourself and be confident that you can hit your target. Too much doubt can actually make your aim worse. So aiming is a bit of a mind game.
With a rifle scope, you can make immediate improvements to your aim that will boost your confidence. Then over time, your aim will continue to improve, which will fuel your confidence in yourself as a sharpshooter even further. A little bit of positive reinforcement from a rifle scope can go a long way.
The bottom line
At the end of the day, the few hundred dollars you invest in a rifle scope could make all the difference in your shooting performance and how much you enjoy the sport as a whole. Not using a scope and comparing yourself to other rifle shooters who do will only make you feel worse.
There’s a reason the global rifle scope market was valued at 750.9 million in 2020
and is expected to reach $1.19 trillion by 2028, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.54% between 2021 and 2028. Rifle scopes are here to stay. Get yourself one today and start enjoying the sport to the fullest! You won’t regret it.