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Rifle Scopes

These are all the posts related to rifle scopes, one of the most critical components of any precision rifle.

Tactical Scopes: Advanced Features

So far in this series, I’ve touched on optical performance, ergonomics, and reticle options. This post looks at advanced features like illumination, focal plane, locking turrets, zero stop, and other features like anodizing, and whether it uses a one-piece tube. First Focal Plan (FFP) or Second Focal Plane (SFP) Basically, on FFP scopes the mil/MOA marks are valid at all magnifications, which means the shooter can use the magnification level most appropriate for the situation and still have effective holdover and windage reference marks. While the proportions of the reticle will appear to change when adjusting the magnification, in reality ...

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Tactical Scopes: Reticles

So far in this series, I’ve touched on optical performance and ergonomics, and now this post will focus on reticle options available in each scope. It can be hard to find all of the reticle options for each scope, especially for easy side-by-side comparison. So I’ve compiled the full list of tactical reticles available on each model (at least as of August 2014), and listed them here. Some companies don’t make it easy to even see what options are available, or they don’t publish good diagrams of the reticles. I actually had to make some of these, or at least touch them ...

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Tactical Scopes: Ergonomics Summary

This post provides the overall scores for each scope related to ergonomics and explains what those are based on. Ergonomics Part 1 itemized a ton of measurable aspects of a scopes ergonomics. Then Part 2 & Part 3 took a deep dive into each scope, and highlighted the unique features in terms of ergonomics and overall usability for each. I also included a photo gallery of each scope from just about every angle, and demo the scope from the shooter’s perspective. Summary of Ergonomics & Overall Experience Behind The Scope A great scope isn’t just good glass, or even repeatable mechanics … the experience of actually using the scope ...

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Tactical Scopes: Ergonomics Part 3

This is the 5th post in a series covering the results from an epic scope field test focused on long-range, tactical rifle scopes in the $1,500+ price range. This represents an unprecedented, data-driven approach to evaluating the best tactical rifle scopes money can buy. Hundreds of hours have gone into this research, and both the scope line-up and the tests I conducted are built on advice and feedback from some of the most respected experts in the industry. My goal with this project was to equip fellow long-range shooters with as much hard data as I could reasonably gather, so they could see what they’re ...

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Tactical Scopes: Ergonomics Part 2

This is the 4th post in a series covering the results from an epic scope field test focused on long-range, tactical rifle scopes in the $1,500+ price range. This represents an unprecedented, data-driven approach to evaluating the best tactical rifle scopes money can buy. Hundreds of hours have gone into this research, and both the scope line-up and the tests I conducted are built on advice and feedback from some of the most respected experts in the industry. My goal with this project was to equip fellow long-range shooters with as much hard data as I could reasonably gather, so they could see what they’re ...

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Tactical Scopes: Ergonomics Part 1

This is the 3rd post in a series covering the results from an epic scope field test focused on long-range, tactical rifle scopes in the $1,500+ price range. This represents an unprecedented, data-driven approach to evaluating the best tactical rifle scopes money can buy. Hundreds of hours have gone into this research, and both the scope line-up and the tests I conducted are built on advice and feedback from some of the most respected experts in the industry. My goal with this project was to equip fellow long-range shooters with as much hard data as I could reasonably gather, so they could see what they’re ...

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Tactical Scopes: Optical Performance Part 2

In the previous post, I reviewed the overall optical performance scores, and the details of the optical clarity tests. Those tests were the Snellen eye chart test, and the high contrast and low contrast US Air Force line charts. It was a lot of information! So I broke out the details for the other optical performance tests into Part 2. In this post, I’ll review the results I found for: Measured Field of View Measured Max Magnification Zoom Ratio If you’re interested in optical clarity (i.e. image quality), or would like to see the overall optical score, check out Part ...

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Tactical Scopes: Optical Performance Part 1

Overall Summary of Optical Performance & Score I wanted to give a quick summary of the results related to optical performance for those who prefer to just read the “executive summary.” For my more detailed readers, don’t worry … I go through exhaustive detail of each test as well. There are a few major aspects to optical performance for a long-range rifle scope, and I’ve tried to weight the major elements appropriately for the overall score. The majority of the score is obviously optical clarity, which refers to the image quality you see through the scope. But just because a ...

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Tactical Scopes: Field Test Overview & Rifle Scope Line-Up

This is the first post in a series that will cover the results from an epic scope field test focused on long-range, tactical rifle scopes in the $1,500+ price range. This represents an unprecedented, data-driven approach to evaluating the best tactical rifle scopes money can buy. Hundreds of hours have gone into this research, and both the scope line-up and the tests I conducted are built on advice and feedback from some of the most respected experts in the industry. Keep in mind this is a field test, not a laboratory test … and I’m not claiming it’s flawless. I did ...

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How To Measure the Apparent Magnification of a Scope

How would you go about testing if a scope really did provide 25x magnification, or finding the exact point where 18x was on a variable powered scope? That turns out to be a much harder problem to solve that it might seem. In an Outdoor Life article, they said “It turns out to be tricky to measure apparent magnification of an optic, for reasons too mathematical and abstract to mention here.” I concur. In fact, I spent more time talking with optics engineers and industry experts about this question than any other topic. The vision engineers at Edmund Optics offered ...

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