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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.

Scope Field Test Complete!

Update: The field test is now complete, and all the results are published. Click here to view the overall results and ratings for each scope! I wrapped up the testing portion of the scope field test last night!!! Although I significantly underestimated how much time this would require, I committed to do it … and now the hard part is over. I did get some great data that may offer new insight, and help fellow shooters see what they’re paying for. I’ve already started crunching the data, and plan to start publishing results within the next 2 weeks. Instead of analyzing all of the ...

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High-End Rifle Scope Field Test Update

Update: The field test is now complete, and all the results are published. Click here to view the overall results and ratings for each scope! Several have asked how the scope field test was going, so I wanted to give a quick update. Here is the original schedule I was targeting back in January when I was planning this, along with an update on where I’m currently at: April through May – Collect data. This is where I’m at right now. Although a few manufacturers didn’t get me scopes until mid-April, and its taken me twice the man-hours I originally estimated … I’m still hopeful to be ...

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2014 High-End Rifle Scope Field Test Underway

Update: The field test is now complete, and all the results are published. Click here to view the overall results and ratings for each scope! The 2014 High-End Rifle Scope Field Test is officially underway, and I’ve already collected pages of data. Here is a photo from Day 1 of testing at the range. The quality of glass on that bench is striking. This could be the finest collection of rifle scopes ever assembled. The 18 scopes in the pic total up to about $60,000 worth of optics! Thanks so much to everyone for the feedback on the tests! I got a ton of great tips that will make these field tests ...

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Public Review of Scope Field Tests

Update: The field test is now complete, and all the results are published. Click here to view the overall results and ratings for each scope! Around April 14th, I’ll begin a massive field test focused on high-end tactical rifle scopes. A lot of companies have entered this space in the past 2-3 years, and I’ve assembled 18 of the most popular models in the $1500 and up price range. Here is the line-up: Bushnell Elite Tactical 3.5-21×50 Bushnell Elite Tactical 4.5-30×50 Hensoldt ZF 3.5-26×56 Kahles K 6-24×56 Leupold Mark 6 3-18×44 Leupold Mark 8 3.5-25×56 March 3-24×52 FFP Nightforce NXS 5.5-22×50 ...

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CAST YOUR VOTE: What is the best tactical scope?

Update: The field test is now complete, and all the results are published. Click here to view the overall results and ratings for each scope! In a few weeks, I’m starting a large field test for popular tactical scopes in the $1,500+ price range (plan to test $500-1,500 scopes later this year). Like my rangefinder field test, I plan to have a very objective, data-driven approach using a series of empirical tests that focus on: Optical Quality (resolution/clarity, contrast, brightness, etc) Mechanical Precision & Repeatability (tracking, return to zero, internal adjustments, etc) But before I start testing, I thought it’d be fun to ...

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Best Rifle Scope – What The Pros Use 2013

This post is about what scopes and reticles the best precision rifle shooters are using. It is based on what the top 50 long-range shooters nationwide brought with them to the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) Finale a couple weeks ago. Target engagements for a PRS match can range from 25 to 1,200+ yards, but there is definitely a focus on the “precision” rifle part regardless of the range. For more info on who these guys are, and why you should care what they think scroll to the bottom of this article. Update: These are results from the 2013 PRS Season. The data ...

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Best Rifle Scope: What The Pros Use 2012

Meet The Pros The Precision Rifle Series (PRS) is a championship style point series race based on the best precision rifle matches nationwide. PRS matches are recognized as the major league of sniper-style rifle matches. At the end of each year, the scores from 15 different matches are evaluated and the top 50 shooters nationwide are invited to compete head to head in the PRS Finale Match. The info below is based on the equipment those pros brought with them to the most recent finale. This is a great set of data, because 50 shooters is a significant sample size, ...

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MIL vs MOA: An Objective Comparison

MIL vs MOA Comparison Article

There are a lot of articles and forum threads out there comparing MIL and MOA, but most either aren’t objective or they’re overly complex. I’ll try to avoid both of those pitfalls in this article. Executive Summary A few months ago I asked Bryan Litz whether he personally used MIL or MOA. Bryan is an expert among experts in the shooting community, and after reading his books I’ve gained a respect for his scientific approach to decisions like this. His response was so concise and objective, I thought it could serve as the executive summary for this whole comparison: “You ...

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Rifle Screw Torque Settings Guidelines

I’ve had to reference back to these torque specifications a couple times, and thought it’d be helpful to post. It is a list of the recommended screw torque settings for most rifle parts, like action screw torque. These come from a lot of different sources (including manufacturers on the phone), but one great one is Brownell’s “Torque Specifications for Gunsmiths” Article.  As that article explains, these specs are subject to change as companies change their manufacturing processes, materials, and design.  However, many people believe consistent torque is at least as important as the actual number of inch/pounds (especially when talking about action screws).  Here is an excerpt from that article that ...

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Long-Range & Short-Range Hunting Scope Combo Setup

Note: This post is about scope setups that can provide both long & short range capabilities. I also wrote a buyer’s guide for long-range scopes, which includes what features to look for and specific recommendations by price point.  You can find that here: Best Long-Range Scopes: Buyers Guide & Features To Look For. Lots of people have asked me about what the best scope setup is for a long-range rifle that they plan to take hunting.  The problem with most long-range scopes is that it can be almost impossible to engage targets that pop-up at close ranges unexpectedly.  Nothing is ...

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