No products were found matching your selection.
A monocular scope is a type of magnifying glass that’s designed to be used without a tripod or stand. It has an optical (mechanical) center piece, which houses the lens and eye pieces. The objective lens focuses light onto a reticle, which is a small, red dot that helps you align the sights with your target. When you focus this kind of optic, it creates a sharp image that can be seen at a distance. The closer you are to the object, the larger the magnification power. This kind of optic is great for observing detailed objects or taking notes on a whiteboard in class.
These optics work best when there is sufficient lighting in the room, such as from a nearby lamp or flashlight. Some have additional features, including integrated digital cameras, quick-start capabilities, and extra-long eye pieces. These scopes require batteries that last for several hours and can easily be carried around with you.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Monocular Scopes
When shopping for a new pair of monoculars, there are several factors worth considering. The following section looks at these in detail.
Before deciding on a new set of monoculars, think about how you intend to use them and what features would help make that experience better.
- Long-range shooting: For long-range shooting, such as at a deer hunter’s blind or turkey shoot, a set with a longer range would be ideal. With a higher magnification scope, you could see small details that might otherwise go unnoticed.
- Bird watching: If birding is your passion, then it makes sense to invest in a high-quality set of binoculars that allow you to see tiny birds in their natural habitat. A lower powered scope may not have the resolution needed to identify every species, but one with a larger aperture (bigger glass) would certainly improve your viewing experience.
- Tactical purposes: For tactical missions, such as hiking along a trail or climbing a fence, a lightweight set of monoculars would suit our needs. Weighing less than half a pound, they’re easy to carry and use.
The size of the eyepiece openings inside your goggles determines how large an image you can see through them. This is typically compared using the terms “size V” and “size VIII.” Sizes III, IV, and so on come in between sizes V and VIII.
A set of monoculars with a larger size will give you a wider field of view without putting additional pressure on your eyes. However, this also means you’ll be looking at things farther away from each other which increases the difficulty of focusing clearly. It’s all about balancing the benefits and downsides of having a bigger glass window.
Choose a lighter model if you’d rather avoid having to hold the weight of a hefty rifle while aiming it or moving swiftly during a conflict. Professional shooters frequently wear weighted vests and gloves so they can comfortably handle their firearms while moving around. However, it makes more sense to purchase a high-quality item that won’t break quickly if you intend to use your monoculars frequently. Instead of using steel, many manufacturers now use strong materials like aluminum, which lessens the likelihood that you may break something by rough handling.
Like binoculars, the lenses inside your monoculars need a coating to protect them from moisture, dust, and scratches. Most sets use a scratch resistant coating called CR39, though some brands use a special coating developed for military applications called AR coated. This coating helps prevent glare and reflections, making your images clearer. However, it doesn’t provide full protection against damage; instead, it simply slows down the rate at which they become damaged.
You should always try to get the most out of your equipment, especially when it comes to expensive guns and gear. So don’t settle for second best when it comes to your monoculars. Instead, buy a new pair that meets your standards for performance and durability.
Types Of Monoculars
Monoculars are designed for a range of uses, and the same goes for their cousins, binoculars. Before you pull the trigger on your next pair, make sure the positive reviews you see online are applicable to how you plan on using a set of binoculars.
Monocular scopes have long been known for their ability to provide excellent views from great distances, but they’ve never quite lived up to their potential until recently. Nowadays, high-quality digital cameras can produce surprisingly good images from very far away, which means there’s no need for magnifying lenses or even glass at all. In short, we now live in an age where most people want to take pictures from birds’ nests rather than climb Everest.
As good as modern monocular scopes are, though, many people still prefer traditional optics because of their simplicity and ruggedness. If you’re one of those people, then maybe a low-cost pair of basic monoculars will do what you need them to do without spending hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on something more advanced. These monocular scopes aren’t going to be able to give you the magnification power or clarity of view that much more expensive monoculars can, but they’ll get the job done at a reasonable price point.
Birders are well aware of the benefits of quality monoculars when it comes to birding, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that they also expect top-notch optical qualities when buying a new monocular scope. High-end monocular scopes offer better depth perception by allowing different parts of the lens to focus at different points, resulting in clearer images from greater distances. This allows birders to identify species based not only on size and shape, but also behavior and habitat.
Because birders typically use monocular scopes while viewing from a distance, they don’t require particularly large or heavy monoculars. In fact, some of the best resources for researching monocular scopes recommend checking out options designed specifically for birders. For instance, both the Birdman and the Nikon monocular scopes guides begin with a section dedicated to finding the right kind of monocular scopes for birders.
Monocular scopes intended for hunting may seem like an odd category to place alongside other types of monoculars. After all, most hunters don’t spend time looking through the eyepiece of a rifle scope or peering into a spotting scopes finder window. Instead, they rely on their eyesight to perform several tasks simultaneously, such as scanning the horizon for signs of animal activity, keeping track of multiple game animals, and communicating with others about the location of various animals. Because of this, hunters often choose monocular scopes with a wide field of view and large objective lenses, making them ideal tools for performing these feats.
Additionally, hunters usually purchase a variety of accessories that are specific to the type of shooting they intend to do. For example, if they plan on pursuing waterfowl, they might choose a monocular scope with a clear view underwater and infrared capabilities.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
We started by searching for the best value in each category. Value is determined by price point, optics quality, and features. For this review guide, we looked at all-purpose monocular scopes that work well with handguns as well as long guns. The scopes on this list are good choices for 3D hunters who may be using it for hunting turkeys or white-tailed deer in Alaska’s wildlands during their fall migration. For those living in more urban areas where hunting isn’t an option, these scopes can provide great recreational shooting opportunities, offering a unique perspective of your surrounding area.
The majority of these scopes were selected based on personal ownership, but some also took into account reviews from independent sources and online retailers. In order to choose our top picks, we first looked for the ones most sought after in the market, then narrowed it down to those with high customer satisfaction, and finally eliminated any scope that had mechanical issues or was otherwise inferior to similar offerings from reputable manufacturers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Monocular Scopes
What magnification is needed for hunting?
This depends entirely on what you plan to use it for. If you’re just going around the block, then keep it at 10x or less. But if you want to look downrange and identify targets in a field of game, bump up to 30x or higher.
How much does a spotting scope cost?
Spotting optics can range from $250 to over $800 depending on features and quality of glass used. The best way to find out how much your desired optic will cost is to go to one of the many online retailers that sell them, check out their specs, and then add about $200 to cover shipping and handling fees.
Can I wear my glasses with a spotting scope?
Yes, most people are able to do this without issue. However, some manufacturers advertise “zero-reflection optics” which explicitly mean they don’t care whether or not you wear glasses, contacts, or goggles, as long as they fit properly. Make sure yours doesn’t have any reflective surfaces that might cause glare or reduce visibility. Also, make sure you get a proper eyecup extension so your glasses won’t interfere with the sight picture when looking through the lens. Finally, ensure you get a good pair of glasses before purchasing the optic, since there’s nothing worse than buying a poorly fitted pair of glasses after owning an expensive piece of gear for months/years.