GLS Shooting Logo
Disclosure
This website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. We are reader-supported. If you buy something through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. This doesn't affect which products are included in our content. It helps us pay to keep this site free to use while providing you with expertly-researched unbiased recommendations.
The Best

Tactical Rifle Scopes

Handpicked
Quality-Checked
TRUGLO TRU-BRITE 30 Series Illuminated Tactical Rifle Scope...
  • Bright, 3-9 x 42mm objective lens with rheostat controlled...
  • DUAL-COLOR ILLUMINATED RETICLE (red & green); Glass-etched...
  • ONE-PIECE AIRCRAFT-GRADE ALUMINUM TUBE; water & shock...
  • INCLUDES REVERSIBLE, OFFSET, MONOLITHIC 30MM SCOPE MOUNT...

Buyer's Guide: Tactical Rifle Scopes

Tips for Buying a Tactical Rifle Scope

What's the main difference between a standard hunting scope and a tactical scope? Not much at all. At least not in terms of how they look or what they do for you. Tactical scopes, red dot ones, and other optical scopes are pretty similar these days.

The standard rifle scopes, whether digital, non-optical, line-x, objective, or cross-x, typically have at least one cross-hatching feature; this way, when you are shooting offhand, you can get a clearer picture of your target. At the range, this is usually fine, but it can be pretty annoying if you are using a scope with cross-hatching at the bottom of the scope during a hunting expedition. You will also find that it makes for less accurate shooting since you constantly have to adjust your eye relief to get a clear shot.

Most hunting scopes on the market today have some brightness control. Whether it is manual or automatic, these come in a variety of different brightness settings. The extra brightness settings allow you to set it to determine how bright or dark you want your target to be. If you are trying to hunt at night and need to make better shots at night, you might want to increase the brightness setting so that you have more dark areas to focus on. This can also help you to get a better shot at night.

The windage adjustments are there for two reasons. First off, if you are hunting at night or in a windy environment, you want to be sure that you have the right amount of windage. Second, it will make for easier target shooting. The closer the scope is to your target, the windier it will be. This will cause the scope to move slightly when you fire. If you have windage adjustments, you can easily wind it up to be more steady in its movement.

It should also be noted that scopes offer very high-quality optics but tend to be very expensive. You have to determine if the scope will give you the quality you need for the money you are spending. Some scopes offer the highest quality in a relatively inexpensive package. In addition, you have to consider that not every scope provides the same features, so you have to be sure that you can afford it.

One of the most common features that tend to be included with more expensive scopes is a scope with a higher than standard magnification. This is because it offers more power for more significant targets at various distances. However, some of the cheaper tactical scopes do not provide as much power at high magnifications, but they offer a generous eye relief and heavier weight. They are, however, much more expensive.

Some scopes on the market do offer higher power at higher magnifications. The more expensive models will provide you with the actual 1x magnification, sometimes a super-range scope. These scopes tend to have an iron or steel housing and will often have a tube-like housing as well. Usually this tube will be coated with a complex boron compound that can reduce glare and offer a more even viewing field. For the most part, you can buy a MOA for around one hundred dollars. While MOA can be more expensive than some of the other reticules on the market, it offers the best value and ultimately, you get what you pay for.

If you are an avid tactical rifle shooter, you probably already own a scope. Whether it is a non-linear tactical scope, a red dot scope, or a diamond target based on magnification, you must shop around and find the scope that is right for you. By taking your time and reading reviews, you will find the scope that will work best for your needs.