Air rifle scopes are popular among both novice shooters and seasoned marksmen because they offer far more magnification than binoculars or a rifle scope without the worry of a tripod or stand.
A good air rifle scope can increase accuracy dramatically by helping you to align the sights with your barrel. This is especially helpful when it comes to intermediate targets such as paper plates, where even the best optics may not provide enough clarity to hit the target every time.
When looking for an air rifle scope, there are certain factors to keep in mind. These include features like adjustable focus and zoom capabilities, integrated digital cameras, and extra-long eye pieces, lens, weight, and so much more. Keep reading to learn everything necessary to make your next scope purchase perfect for your air rifle.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Air Rifle Scope
When shopping for an air rifle scope, there are several factors worth considering. The following section looks at these in detail.
Before deciding on which scope is right for you, think about how and where you intend to use it. If your plans include hunting in rough terrain or taking shots from elevated positions, then a rugged outdoor scope with a powerful laser sight might be more suitable.
Also consider whether you want a single-shot or multi-shot gun scope. A single-shot scope allows for quick targeting but may not give you enough time to fully aim and shoot the target. On the other hand, a multi-shot scope can take longer to set up but will provide better accuracy over distance.
Scope Coating Type
The coating of an optical lens has a big impact on performance. There are three main types: coated, uncoated, and hybrid.
- Coatings prevent glare and help transmit light so that the image formed by the scope is as clear as possible. They also slow down water droplets so they don’t immediately turn into raindrops when exposed to high humidity levels.
- Uncoated scopes have no special coatings; instead they rely on natural reflection to work well. However, this makes them prone to fogging up in damp conditions and easily damaged by dirty hands or accidentally dropping them on hard surfaces. This type of scope tends to perform best in dry environments.
- Hybrid scopes combine elements of both coated and uncoated optics. They tend to offer a good mix of performance characteristics, though they aren’t necessarily superior to either one of the two options mentioned above.
A larger diameter optic means a sharper picture, but it comes at a cost: Weight increases dramatically with bigger glass lenses, making them harder to handle. Also, a large scope requires a lot of space, which could make it impractical for some applications.
However, there are plenty of advantages to having a large scope too. It gives you a wider field of view, enabling you to see potential targets before they become visible to the naked eye. Large optics also tend to have stronger materials than smaller ones, allowing them to withstand drops and impacts without shattering. Finally, a large scope provides a brighter image even in low-light situations.
An air rifle scope’s power source determines how long you can enjoy using it. Battery life varies depending on the model, but most last between 30 minutes and 2 hours.
Some models feature built-in rechargeable batteries, while others use disposable AA cells. Disposables are easy to replace, but they dont allow for precise control over battery usage. Rechargeables let you keep tabs on how much charge remains, but replacing them completely drains the device. Hybrid models feature both rechargeable and disposable cells.
Riflescope prices vary widely, with some costing less than $100 and others reaching nearly $1,000. Naturally, the higher end is going to require a greater level of quality and craftsmanship, but thats not always necessary. Cheap rifle scopes often consist of plastic parts held together with adhesives rather than metal rivets and screws. These scopes may not stand up to rough handling, especially if they’re used in harsh weather conditions.
Mid Range rifle scopes typically run from $200 to $300 dollars, putting them squarely in competition with midrange binoculars. At the top end, we found a few products priced around $500, but these were made from premium materials and performed very well indeed.
If you plan on carrying your firearm anywhere, weight should be an issue. Even if you’re only walking back and forth to the firing line, hauling around a heavy rifle scope will wear you out. So, while lightweight binoculars can’t capture as many details as a full-size scope, they do weigh less and feel lighter.
For those who prefer a semi-automatic weapon, a lighter weight scope makes it easier to manage recoil. And, since it won’t add any extra ounces, it’ll fit inside a standard shoulder holster.
Size/Field of View
How far ahead your scope can see depends largely on the size of the eyepiece openings and the diagonals (the lines connecting the corners). Smaller openings tend to show more distant vision because the edges of the opening block out part of the scene. Larger openings show closer vision because more of the scene fits through the hole.
This principle holds true for telescopes as well as cameras. Bigger is better when it comes to seeing farther away, but when it comes to getting close to something, a small aperture works just fine. In fact, many photographers use a small aperture when working indoors to maximize lighting and minimize background noise.
Riflescopes are adjustable to some degree, usually via knobs located on the side of the unit. Some adjustments can be made simply by turning the knob, whereas others need a wrench to loosen or tighten the connection.
Most scopes come with instructions detailing how to adjust the product, but if yours doesn’t, here are the basics:
- To zoom in or out, twist the focus knob until the desired magnification is reached.
- To tilt the view upward or downward, rotate the turret until the angle is correct.
- To move left or right, turn the collar until the alignment is perfect.
As mentioned earlier, a good quality rifle scope must be able to endure being dropped on occasion or exposed to moisture. To ensure durability, manufacturers build tough scopes with waterproof seals and o-rings and employ stainless steel construction a lot of which is covered with rubber to protect against harmful substances.
In addition to resisting moisture, saltwater, sand, dirt, and other nasty contaminants, a durable scope must be able to absorb these elements without cracking. Most scopes use aluminum oxide coating which is known to resist corrosion) along with silicone seals to protect internal components.
Ease of Adjustment
One of the biggest perks of owning a rifle scope is the ability to quickly adjust it to suit your needs. Whether you need to shift your point of aim slightly left or right, increase or decrease the magnification, or just tweak the focus, adjusting a rifle scope is usually pretty straightforward.
Many scopes feature adjustment handles on the front of the unit, allowing you to make quick changes without needing to fumble for a knob. Other designs have knobs near the trigger guard, which again reduces fumbling during rapid fire.
While all the attention seems to be on the latest and greatest technology, there are still plenty of traditionalists out there who believe in old-school sights like the telescoping sight and the peep sight.
Telescoping sights consist of multiple tubes that extend vertically to increase the height of the sightline. Peep sights consist of a little notch cut out of the center of the lens that creates a blind spot directly behind the shooter. By placing a finger in the notch, the shooter can see beyond the scope and identify any stray dust particles floating in the air.
Both of these sights worked quite well for their intended purpose, but neither was particularly accurate or reliable. That said, they did have their fans, so they’re certainly not bad ideas.
Being able to resist water is essential for a great riflescope. Any amount of moisture entering the tube will almost instantly cause damage. While some plastics are more resistant to water than others, cheap scopes tend to degrade faster than higher-end models.
Even if a scope claims to be completely waterproof, if it isn’t sealed properly, it won’t stop water from seeping in. Look for a model with a seal that prevents water from entering the scope.
Types of Air Rifle Scopes
Air rifles come in a variety of sizes, calibers, and shooting styles. Each has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before making your final purchase.
Basic air rifle scopes typically have lower prices because they don’t need to incorporate the features that make more advanced models better. They also tend to be lighter and smaller than their more expensive counterparts. These are great options for beginners looking to get into the sport or hobby of shooting without breaking the bank on something they might not enjoy. If you want to learn about the different types of air rifles and how they work, this is where you should start.
The term “digital scope” refers to a type of scope that, rather than using glass, creates an electronic representation of the shooting environment. In the dark, when paired with an infra – red light, they are unrivaled; during the day, their already-adequate performance is only enhanced. In addition, they often come loaded with features and functionalities, such as the ability to change the reticle’s color and design, record video, snap pictures, and stream material to another device through Bluetooth and wifi. Some even come equipped with a laser rangefinder or have the option to add one as an add-on.
When compared to other types of night vision scopes, thermal scopes might cost several thousand dollars. Despite their compatibility with air rifles, bore, center fire, and rimfire firearms are where their true strengths lie. Thermographic scopes, as may be guessed, can pick up on heat signatures and emphasize those in black and white, or any of the additional colors often accessible. Sharper pictures may be obtained from the more expensive devices since their sensors are of a better quality. As is the case with other forms of shooting at night, many shooters have trouble estimating distances. Laser range finders are built into the most advanced thermal scopes.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
When choosing our recommendations for this article, we relied on personal experience with the products and also looked at other sources to identify best reviews. We read a lot of online feedback from people who have purchased these scopes or are otherwise familiar with the optics industry. We looked for people who had used them in various settings (hunting, 3D shooting, long-range day hikes) and found that the majority of users were very pleased with their purchase.
We then narrowed our focus to those who had actually written a review. We excluded any scope that was only being sold as a set because there’s no way to evaluate each piece individually. Finally, we eliminated any scope that required an expensive mount or specialized equipment (such as a spotting scope).
In order to choose our top picks for the best air rifle scope, we first considered all of the available options based on price point and quality. We then narrowed it down to those that met all of our requirements. After narrowing it down to a few possible choices, we consulted some experts in the field to get their opinion. We also took into account reviews from independent websites and product videos from online retailers.
Frequently Asked Questions On Air-rifle Scopes
What magnification is needed for 1000 yards?
Magnification is perhaps the most important thing a scope does. At 1000 yards, you will need at least an 8x or higher to have a good chance of hitting your target.
How much do air rifle scope lenses cost?
Most budget-friendly options are going to be very basic and offer less than 10x magnification (or “power”) as standard. Premium optics can easily reach 12x or 15x power, while high-end optics can go up from there.
What’s the difference between an air rifle scope and a riflescope?
There are primarily two distinctions between air rifle scopes and rifle scopes. Scopes for spring-piston weapons must have a spring-piston designation because the recoil they generate can damage or even ruin a scope intended for a magnum centerfire. Except for extremely large bores, PCP rifles have relatively little recoil and produce a recoil impulse similar to that of a firearm, therefore this is not an issue.
The second distinction is that an airgun scope requires either a fixed parallax correction closer to the gun than is typical, or an adjustable parallax correction. Since a standard rifle sight might only offer parallax adjustment down to 50 yards, airguns are more suited to being utilized between 5 to 100 yards.
Do I need a magnifier/telescopic lens for my spotting scope?
This depends entirely on what you intend to use it for. If you plan to engage targets at a variety of different distances then definitely get a magnifier/telescopic lens attached to your scope. This allows you to make precise adjustments to the size of the image produced by the scope depending on how far away the target is.
What magnification is needed for 300 yard target identification?
Depending on the task at hand, you may need something between 5X and 10X magnification. Higher end of the scale is typically reserved for more challenging tasks like face recognition software or checking out cars at the car wash.
What magnification is needed for 100 yard target identification?
At this range, you’ll probably be fine with a 4X or 5X magnification level.
What magnification is needed for 50 yard target identification?
You could probably get away with downing a few mags of ammo and still hit your target at 25 yards with a scope set to about 3X magnification. That said, we’d rather not rely solely on our eyesight at such close ranges.
What magnification is needed for 30 yard target identification?
30 yards is where things start getting really interesting. Depending on the task at hand, you might need a 20X or greater magnification level to reliably identify individual features of interest. For example, if you were trying to determine the make and model of an armored vehicle, you would firstly want to know its height above ground, width, and length. From there, you could narrow down your search based on other characteristics, such as wheels or windows.
What magnification is needed for 10 yard target identification?
10 yards is roughly equal to the length of a human eye at full extension. Most people won’t have problems identifying their target at this range, but some older folks or those who wear glasses may experience issues. Make sure to check this before purchasing a firearm.