To the beginner, rifle reticles can be a bit overwhelming.
There is a lot of terminology used that can be quite confusing, and the different types of reticles and scopes can be confusing as well.
Wondering how to make sense of rifle scope reticles? In this article, we will go over some of the basics to give you an understanding about scopes in general.
For starters, a reticle is the aiming point of a scope. In simpler terms, it’s the “crosshairs” if you will. It is the internal part of the scope that you use to aim where you want to shoot.
The crosshair reticle is exactly what it sounds like. It has thin lines that meet in the center. That center is what you use as your aiming point.
However, there are crosshair style reticles that have thicker lines. Some of these are called duplex reticles and German numbered reticles.
A BDC reticle is generally a modified crosshair or duplex style reticle. BDC stands for bullet drop compensating.
Basically, it is a reticle that has some type of markings below the center of the crosshairs that you can use to anticipate bullet drop over an extended range.
A BDC reticle is generally a crosshair or duplex style reticle that has some dots or markings below the center.
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Another modified crosshair or duplex style reticle is the mildot reticle.
A mildot reticle is a reticle that uses tiny milradian dots on both axes of the crosshairs as a measurement.
A mildot reticle allows you to find the approximate distance your target is at. The math behind it can be pretty confusing, but that’s what it boils down to.
A dot reticle is something you might find in a tactical style “red dot sight.” It uses one dot in the scope as the aiming point.
Generally speaking, they are illuminated.
Illuminated reticle refers to a reticle that has some type of light.
Whether it’s a battery-operated dot or a fiber optic scope, it is some type of illumination that will allow you to see better at night.
However, certain colors also help to see during the day.
Keep in mind that many of these reticles can overlap one another. For example, there could be an illuminated duplex BDC reticle, which would combine a few of these basic categories.
That may have been a lot to take in. I’m sure you’re wondering in which shooting situations each reticle type would be best.
For any kind of precision shooting, you really want a thin crosshair style reticle.
The thin crosshair is paramount because the smaller the reticle is, the less amount of target surface area that is covered by the reticle.
When you are attempting any type of shooting that requires extreme accuracy, you want to be able to see as much of the target as possible.
What type of Reticle For hunting:
Duplex style reticles are very popular.
The reason behind this is that the wider legs of the crosshair allow the hunter to easily acquire a target and get his reticle centered on target faster.
For Long Range Hunting
BDC reticles are popular for long range hunting. However, dependent on the type of hunting, a thin crosshair may also be good for long range hunting. For any type of long range shooting, BDC reticles are a decent option.
For Snipner Shooting or Tatical Use
For any kind of sniper shooting or tactical use, mildot reticles are popular. However, for the common person, the math and adjustments that go into a mildot reticle can be a little confusing, and are probably a little overkill.
Obviously any kind of shooting or hunting at night would make an illuminated reticle very important. However, it is worth mentioning that a low quality illuminated reticle will be way too bright, making it difficult to acquire your target.
As you can see, there are quite a few different kinds of reticles, each of which comes with their own pros and cons.
There are quite a few factors to consider, but hopefully this basic overview has cleared up some of the confusion with the different types of reticles.
Essentially, when you need extremely accurate shots, a thin crosshair is in your best interest.
For hunting, a wider duplex reticle will make it easier and faster to acquire your targets.
At long distances, a BDC or mildot reticle can help to adjust your shots.
When shooting at night, an illuminated reticle would be extremely helpful.
Other than that, there are many different combinations of reticles available, so you should be able to fill more than one need with a single scope. Dot sights are becoming more and more popular, for all different kinds of shooting.
Keeping these basics in mind will help to clear up some of the confusion.
What exactly is an ACOG? Should I buy one?
If these thoughts have ever gone through your head, look no further!
This article will go over some basics about one of the best AR-15 optics available, the ACOG.
The Trijicon ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight) is a red dot style sight.
Red dot sights have been written about multiple times on this website, so we will not discuss the basics about red dot sights. An ACOG is an example of an internal reflex sight. This kind of sight has multiple lenses, and has a tube shape.
The ACOG has a fixed magnification, meaning that it is not adjustable at all.
However, from the manufacturer, there are multiple magnification levels available. This allows you to select exactly how much magnification you need, from 1.5 to 6 magnification power.
Without variable magnification, there is less moving parts, so the scope is more durable.
The scope is compact, and uses a red dot aiming reticle.
However, this red dot is different than almost every other optic available on the market. The red dot on the ACOG isn’t battery powered, but have tritium in a fiber optic cable that illuminate the reticle based on how much light is available.
This completely eliminates the need for a battery, which is one less thing to worry about.
The reticle also has a bullet drop compensated reticle, which further increases its accuracy.
Another excellent feature of this scope is how rugged it is. It is made from high strength aircraft aluminum, making it extremely strong.
The manufacturer claims that it’s virtually indestructible. It is also waterproof to 100 meters. To prove its strength and durability, it is widely used in the United States military.
Here is video 500 meter- Ar15 with ACOG Scope:
The beauty of the ACOG is how simple it is to use.
Without batteries, there is no turning the scope on or anything. Assuming the optic is zeroed, simply open the lenses, aim down the sight with both eyes open, and fire your weapon.
It really could not be easier to use. Looking down the sight with both eyes open makes it extremely easy to use.
The biggest pros of this optic are:
The cons of this optic are:
An ACOG would work for just about every single person.
Whether you are a casual shooter, a competitive shooter, or a hunter, an ACOG will work for you.
The reliability and accuracy make this one of the best optics available. The different levels of fixed magnification allow you to select exactly how much magnification you need for the type of shooting you do.
The ACOG is also great for a new shooter, as they are very easy to shoot with, thanks to being able to shoot with both eyes open. It is also an extremely easy sight to zero and adjust.
There is only one specific group of people that I would not recommend and ACOG to. If you do a lot of traveling hunting or do other similar activities that require you to take shots at vastly different distances, an ACOG is NOT your best bet due to the fixed magnification. If you are regularly shooting at both 20 meters and 400 meters, you are probably going to want a variable magnification optic.
While not everyone feels as strongly as I do, I think that the Trijicon ACOG is one of the absolute best optics available.
I have shot with multiple different optics, and the ACOG is by far my favorite that I’ve used. I love the strength and durability, battery-free operation, and the accuracy.
As far as reflex style red dot sights and weapons optics in general go, there isn’t much I prefer over an ACOG.
I highly recommend you look into them, and seriously consider them when you are shopping for your next optic.
So, you just came home with your brand new rifle scope and got it installed on your rifle. Now you’re wondering, how do I go about getting this scope zeroed? Zeroing a rifle scope is a relatively easy task, but many people are unsure exactly how to do this. In this article, we will go over some basics and talk about how to actually zero your rifle to your weapon.
Zeroing a rifle scope refers to aligning the point of impact with the aiming point. It’s a process of adjusting your scope to ensure that the projectile will actually impact where your aim point is. A rifle scope is zeroed when the bullet actually hits where you put your crosshair or aiming reticle.
Before you can start zeroing your rifle scope, make sure you understand how to go about adjusting your scope. You may have to look in the owner’s manual for your rifle scope to figure it out. To adjust a rifle scope, it is pretty common to spin a knob or turn an Allen key.
To start, you need to select the distance at which you are going to zero your rifle scope. This should be based on the distance that you are planning to shoot your rifle. If you are zeroing a rifle that will be used for long distance shots, you are probably going to want to zero it at a greater distance. I would recommend starting the zeroing process of a brand new rifle scope at a much closer distance, such as 25 meters. If you need to shoot at longer distance, once you’ve got a 25 meter zero, you can confirm your zero at 100 meters or longer.
There are paper targets available that are meant specifically for zeroing. These targets have a grid system, which will tell you how much you need to adjust your scope by based on the distance you are shooting with. However, any paper target will work. A paper target without grids will just take longer and require a little bit more guesswork.
Once you’ve got the target set up at your prescribed distance, use the following steps to accurately zero the scope.
Continue to fire three round iterations and adjust your scope until your scope is zeroed. You will know that the scope is zeroed once you are accurately hitting what you are aiming at. Keep in mind, this may require multiple targets and quite a bit of time to perfect.
If your shot isn’t on paper at 25 meters, you have a couple options. You can either get a larger target or move the target in to a closer distance. This will allow you to start the process of getting your scope zeroed.
From there, you can confirm your zero at a greater distance. Minor mistakes will be more magnified over a greater distance, so it may require more adjustments when you shoot at a greater distance.
While most scopes are pretty durable, repeated rounds through the rifle will eventually move the scope slightly. It’s a good idea to reconfirm your zero every once in awhile before you go shoot or hunt.
As you can see, zeroing a rifle scope is a relatively easy process, but people who are new to firearms may be a little confused by exactly how to do it.
Zeroing your scope simply means ensuring that your bullet will hit exactly where your crosshairs or reticle are. It is easy to do, but it does take some time. It may also require getting into the owner’s manual of your scope to figure out exactly how to adjust it.
Using a shotgun to shoot a slug is very common, and they are often used in the same situation as a rifle would be used.
However, when it comes to adding optics, the two are slightly different?
Wondering whether or not you should use a rifle scope on your shotgun? Look no further.
When considering whether you should use a rifle scope on your shotgun, there are a few key factors to consider: recoil, eye relief, and effective range.
Shooting a shotgun, even when using a slug, creates a good bit more recoil than using a standard hunting rifle.
While many do not consider it, recoil affects your scope.
Constantly being rattled around by the recoil of the weapon can affect the accuracy of the scope.
Shotgun scopes are generally sturdier, and are built to withstand the recoil from a shotgun.
Rifle scopes are generally not built to withstand the same amount of recoil, so that leads to problems.
These problems could range from inaccuracy over time to potentially even ruining the scope.
When making your decision, be sure to keep the recoil of the weapon in mind.
So what's the Eye Relief?
Eye relief refers to how close your eye has to be to the scope to effectively see down it.
The eye relief of a shotgun scope is generally longer than the eye relief of a rifle scope.
The primary reason for this is that the shotgun scope has to take into effect the amount of recoil that the weapon produces.
Using a rifle scope means that you will have a shorter eye relief.
When you do this, you run the risk of potentially having your weapon’s recoil cause the scope to hit you in the eye.
While it sounds unlikely, it is entirely possible given the worst circumstances.
When I say effective range, I mean the range at which a particular firearm can fire accurately.
For a shotgun shooting slugs, a general rule of thumb is that the effective range is approximately 75 yards.
While it varies greatly based on the exact weapon and ammunition, rifle ranges can extend well past that.
For that reason, the two types of scopes must be designed differently. A shotgun scope is perfected to work within 100 yards, while rifle scopes can be accurately used out to 300+ yards.
As a result, the required magnifications changes drastically. Rifle scopes are generally more magnified, as they are designed to be used at a greater distance.
Following from the maximum effective range, the scopes will have different reticles, in order to be more accurately and effectively used at their designed range.
While it is not impossible to use a rifle scope on a shotgun, I would NOT recommend it. Best shotgun scope will work well on your shotgun
It can be done, but I would urge you to do a lot of research. Due to the differences in effective range, eye relief, and recoil of the designed weapon, the different scopes will have vast differences.
I would recommend getting a specific shotgun scope, but the choice is ultimately up to you. I would hate to hear about an expensive rifle scope getting ruined by using it on a shotgun, as I have heard of before.
There are so many scopes for an AR-15 available these days that it can be tough to determine which one is the best.
As many have learned, the vast majority are completely overrated.
What we’ve got here today is a list of the five best scopes for an AR-15, and why each one made the list.
One stands tall above the rest, but each of these is worth a listen. Here we go!
1. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6 x 24 AR-BDC Reticle (Editor's Choice)
This is my review about 5 best ar 15 scope on the market, it will help you find the best for hunting. Check out it:
This is a firm AR-15 scope for general use.
It’s great at on-the-fly movements when hunting in a fast-paced environment. The zoom knob never sticks or over-rotates and the labels are right in line with the actual zoom you’re seeing.
One thing to note is that unless it’s really bright outside, the illumination will need to run at a high setting.
The scope does what it advertises, and seems built to last.
However, it’s not all roses and fairy tales.
One main concern is that it seems they rushed certain elements of the design. Both the reticle and the eyebox are not up to par with the top of the industry.
When shooting a target further than 100 yards away, and any time the magnification is cranked up high, they both just seemed too tight and generally uncomfortable
Bushnell Optics take ballistic calibration to the next level with the BTR-1 BDC Reticle.
It comfortably ups any hunter’s game with their AR-15, solving the problem of long-distance sight without hindering any other parts of the process.
The performance for long range shots is what this scope does best, and here’s why:
This scope is the best available for holding zero, meaning hunters won’t need to recalibrate in the middle of a day in the field. Once you’ve adequately installed the scope and zeroed in, you’ll find it is the optimum representation of accuracy.
Among the best scopes for an AR-15 is the Nikon P-223.
The power here lies in the unit’s diversity. It’s built for heavy recoil, but also functions well with easier to handle guns.
If you are looking for an all-around winner to handle most any situation with your AR-15 this is the one.
Another big plus is that it used 1 inch rings. As opposed to 30mm rings, this gives the shooter increased height which can benefit their visibility.
One issue some shooters notice with heavy use is that the screws may become loose.
This issue shouldn’t arise until well after 1500 rounds, but if it does, there are easy solutions.
Simply tighten the screws before they fall off, preventing loss. Additionally, try to get in the habit of double checking all screws and joints on your AR-15 before each time you head into the field.
This will ensure the Nikon P-223 works properly and won’t cause any issues mid-hunt.
Overall, this is the best mid-range AR-15 scope. Here it is being tested.
This is the scope to stock up on for shooters needing eyesight enhancement on multiple AR-15s.
Deer hunters especially seem to have taken to this scope to target moving animals. Keeping them in range across altering distances is a breeze, as is accounting for their body movements.
A big bonus when trying to strike a specific spot and not having any margin for error.
But be careful on those high-recoil weapons – if this scope is loose or not properly affixed, it can jolt back and strike you. In some rare cases, this may cause injury.
The problem is easily avoided by double checking to make sure everything is secured as tight as can be. Other than that, this is a solid option.
Hunters will easily get used to how it feels on their gun. It’s very easy to find consistency on different AR-15s when you’re zeroed and know the ins and outs of your scope aren’t going to be changing.
What you’re getting here are the best optics on the marked.
The Horseshoe/Dot 5.56 model is the epitome of optimized visibility. The illumination is not dependent on crappy batteries, which is one of the best features of this AR-15 scope.
While some aren’t fans of the short eye relief, experienced shooters will note that because the visibility is so great as is, their line of sight is already better than it is without this scope.When compared with other models of this Trijicon ACOG, the H/D 5.56 stands tall because of how adaptable it is and the easy mounting.
For rapid shooting and tough range practice, this scope is the best available for your ar15. You’ll find bullet drop is stress-free.
The promise is ranges out to nearly 2,000 feet, which has been tested and proven. A solid option
Two of the best scopes for an AR-15 stand out from this list. The Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6 x 24 AR-BDC Reticle is the industry leader in its class, and if you’ve got the depth it is highly encouraged to go this route.
The Nikon Prostaff is the second-best scope for an AR-15. It is consistent and holds up better than the others on this list. The Nikon scope works well for novice and uninformed hunters, but doesn’t stack up against these two. The others on the list perform well – but what they fail to do is think outside the box.
Therefore, it really can only be the Vortex Spitfire the holds the title as the AR-15 scope. This one comes highly recommended and will satisfy even the most skeptical of hunters.
If you have enjoyed this article, or have a scope that was overlooked, go ahead and leave a comment below.
Put a comparison with one or more of the scopes on this list so that readers have a frame of reference to where you’re coming from. Also, please share on social media. Sharing is caring, and in the hunting world, the more informed we all are, the better we’ll be going forward.
What is the best shotgun scope available on the entry-level market right now?
There are a number of them, and most of them essentially get the job done the same way.
It is important to identify whether the shotgun scope you are looking to buy is going to solve your personal problems, such as increasing the line of vision, improving accuracy, or making the transition from the range into the hunting field.
The best shotgun scope for you depends on three factors:
Let’s take a look at the best shotgun scope in those three categories: Shotgun Scope for the gear nerd needing top measurements/ for the experienced hunter/ and Shogun Scope for solving the problems of the everyday hunter
Nikon ProStaff Shotgun Hunter 2-7 x 32 Black Matte Riflescope(BDC 200) (Editor's Choice)
This is my review about 3 shotgun scope on the market, it will help you find the best for hunting. Check out it:
This rifle scope boasts a higher magnification rate (up to 7x) than the other scopes here, along with and decent eye relief (3.8 inches).
If you frequently have problems zeroing in on your targets, this is the best rifle scope for you because the combination of the eye relief and mag rate bring targets into focus from as far as 300 yards.
Pretty impressive slug accuracy, and honing in on the center of the target was a breeze
Additionally, this is a great rifle scope for shooters traditionally accustomed to range shooting but looking to step up their field game. Moving targets are brought into focus and remain there.
I really found that this scope helped me learn how to move my gun across the field of view without a quiver or shake. It really makes it easy to have confidence in your shots. I recommend pairing the Nikon ProStaff with a Mossberg or Remington.
For situational shooting, this scope will help with:
Hi low mounts. No problems with clearance or mounting, you’d think this scope was developed by the gun manufacturer
200 yard or higher moving targets. If you use the gun for long-range shots, this scope will be the best of the entry-level class for yo
Those needing a sniper version of a good, reasonable scope or the shotgun version. The Nikon ProStaff is seamlessly consistent across both platforms, perfect for those trying out a new way of shooting
The best shotgun scope for those already bringing a level of confidence to the table is this one.
The Bushnell Trophy falls behind the Nikon ProStaff in magnification up to 4x and eye relief (3.5 inches), but not far enough that a confident shooter won’t be able to hit their target. If you are looking for a scope that focuses extremely fast as the top priority, this is the best scope for you
Bushnell really focused on the windage issue with this scope.
Mounting and elevation are secure and consistent across different guns, as you’ll find that hi low mounts typical among entry-level scopes will do the job. Get 1 inch rings and a mounting rail.
If you hunt in foggy or otherwise non-optimal conditions, or at altitude or across widely varying different seasons, this scope will give you a consistent line of sight. It’s versatile. You’ll never find yourself searching for a wipe or needing to remount in a situation where the scope should have performed
During the golden hour (either morning or evening), the light transmission is fantastic. You’ll have the best vision of the season
It isn’t as versatile as the Nikon ProStaff. Experienced shooters will have to use their skills to make up for the reduced magnification
While the magnification (4x) is not a speck above standard, Simmons outdoes itself with the 4 inches of eye relief. Coupled with that is the Quick Target Acquisition, making this scope a great option for beginners and regular shooters.
The imagery is good for hunters of moving targets, especially deer, turkey, and others than tend to bounce as they trot. So this scope is perfect for deerhunting.
For newer shooters, the windage issue isn’t really a problem with the Simmons. It is the best shotgun scope for them because the elevation adjustment system isn’t going to budge, no matter the weather condition or season.
I like how easily it mounts onto my 870 remington shotgun. The one issue I have heard about with this scope is hard recoil. I recommend shooters to really fasten the scope securely and double check that everything is lined up right.
Most younger shooters that aren’t able to suck up the recoil as naturally may see problems if shooting many 3030s or similar rounds. But for less recoil, this scope will serve just fine
Perfect for short range hunting. You won’t find a better scope at 75 or fewer yards
Improves accuracy greatly, another reason why it’s best for beginners. This is the one scope on this list that really accentuates the ‘entry-level’ moniker
The best shotgun scopes on the market are all sufficient at basic daily hunting and range shooting.
Where they differ comes down to the slight intricacies of the manufacturer and how the scopes handle themselves once mounted.
You experienced shooters should go with the Bushnell Trophy Shotgun Scope, while I strongly recommend the Simmons scope for anyone who hasn’t used a scope before or is new to shooting. It is the most basic of the three
Overall, the best shotgun scope in this entry-level class is the Nikon ProStaff Shotgun Hunter. It’s versatility, high level of magnification, and ease of use make it a no contest for those not willing to break the bank on their shotgun scope.
Mount it securely and do a test run at the range before bringing it into field, and you will find a pleasant, replicable experience each time you hunt – no matter the location or time. If you have enjoyed this article, please share on social media so that we can get more hunters to put thought into their scope selection.
If you are using a shotgun, Please consider buy the best gun safe for the money to storage it.
Feel free to leave a comment – I’d love to get a conversation going
So you’re thinking about buying a rifle scope. You’ve decided that you need increased visibility when out in the field, making your gun that much more effective.
This is your guide all about rifle scopes, how to use them, how to measure them, and how to read the measurements.
I’ve been using rifle scopes for years, and have tried many low and high power scopes. These days, I prefer the lower power scopes whenever they are applicable. Let’s take a look at what rifle scopes can do for you.
Rifle scopes have completely changed the game for shooters. Low power scopes seem to be rising in popularity these days as hunters realize that having more power than they need in terms of eyesight isn’t always a good thing.
Sometimes, it’s best to just go with instincts instead of overdoing it with extras. I hope you have found this post helpful – if so, please share on social media and feel free to comment below. Ideas and experiences are the stepping stones of progression. The more people we get talking, the better our hunting skills will be!
The scopes on today’s rifles adjust to point-of-impact specifications.
A huge plus for hunters and shooters, accuracy in long distance shooting is greatly improved. The scope has knobs on the top and bottom, both of which have significant impact on the zeroing in your shot.
Old timers like me learned to adjust a scope back on Civil War-era weapons. Nowadays, it is much easier, but still takes practice and precision.
When learning how to adjust a scope, just follow these steps and mix in a bit of personal feeling based on your weapon.
Make sure you have the necessary tools to adjust your scope.
Ensure the scope is properly fixed to the barrel, and that you have a trusted rest in place.
Equally important is identifying the ammo you’ll use. The ammo that you adjust the scope with should be the SAME ammo you’re using in the field.
Here are the first steps:
Fire Some Test Shots
This is how you’ll test your bore sighting skills. How close was the shot? Don’t worry if it was not even close, especially if this is your first time adjusting the scope on this gun. Make small movements to the scope to get that zero dialed in. Remember that a zero at 25 yards typically goes high at 100 yards, so if 100 yards is the target distance, adjust the scope to be about one inch lower than the zero at 25 yards.
Use Modern Guns And Scopes
This sounds like a picky thing to say, but as I said above, I grew up adjusting really old scopes and rifles. Today’s technology is so much better than what I grew up on, there isn’t any reason to not use the latest stuff available. Unless, of course, you’re a historian or antique gun fanatic! The scopes on modern guns have two adjustable knobs that make the process both easy and fun.
Variable scopes allow for less adjustment than fixed-power scopes, as a result of an extra cam tube. Referring to the erector tube, don’t force down on the variable scope at all while adjusting for risk of restricting it’s functions. If you have an Ar10, so you can find the best scope for ar 10 to have the good shoot
From there, it’s all step and repeat. With each new scope, I recommend repeating this process to make sure that the scope is a) mounted correctly, and b) zeroed correctly.
Just like guns, scopes are all different. Gradually move your testing target further away as you get more comfortable with the scope.
Because this is so important, I ask that all readers who enjoyed this article take a moment to share it on social media or with family and friends that are avid shooters. Shooter should buy the best handgun safe for the money to keep family safe from your gun.
I’m all ears for tips that you’ve found for specific scopes, so feel free to leave a comment.