Choosing a Rifle Scope for Hunting in a Confusing Market

When it comes time for choosing a rifle scope for hunting, the process can be as complicated as online dating.

In this article, I will try my best to give an overview of the kind of consideration that you should have when you are selecting your scope.

There are 5 most important things to keep in mind when looking for a high-quality piece of glass. Let’s have a look at these 5 important factors one by one.


One of the first things that you should consider is magnification. There are two types of Magnification scopes, Fixed Magnification scopes, and Variable Power scopes.

This is mostly personal preference but I have got a simple rule of thumb that I have used when it comes time to select the magnification for a rifle scope.

I like to have at least 1x magnification for every hundred feet that I am gonna shoot. So that means at 100 yards or 300 feet, you would have at least 3x magnification.

At 3x magnification, the target at a distance of 100 yards looks like at 35 yards. The end result is that you would never look at a target that appears more than about 35 yards away.

So, let’s imagine that your shots are gonna be mostly from zero to 300 yards, which is 900 feet, and you would need 9x magnification.


Another Feature of the hunting rifle scopes that becomes really popular is a ballistic reticle.

The ballistic reticle is a reticle that has an additional aiming point that compensates for the trajectory of your bullet.

Now, Ballistic reticles typically come in two formats, one is minute of angle format or MOA format and the other one is MIL format.

If you get a MIL reticle then you want MIL adjustment on your scope and if you get MOA reticle then you can best serve with the MOA adjustments on your scope.

That’s why the adjustment you make with your windage and elevation turns to coincide with the subtensions in your reticle.

Parallax Adjustment

Now, another feature that should be considered while choosing a rifle scope for hunting is parallax adjustment.

It is popular among a lot of bigger and higher magnification scopes. Now, parallax adjustment allows you to dial up the parallax at a specific range. You can go all the way to infinity.

You might think that do you need a parallax adjustment on your scope?

If your rifle scope is 3-9x, probably not, if you got a 4-12x or 4-16x then parallax adjustment is a good idea.

First/Second Focal Plane Reticle

Most people don’t understand the difference between the first focal plane reticle and the second focal plane reticle.

We have a comprehensive article on the first focal plane reticle vs the second focal plane reticle.

This article will help you in picking the best reticle scope according to your needs and requirements.  

Fast Focus Eyepiece

The last thing that you must keep in your mind while choosing a rifle scope for hunting is the fast-focus eyepiece.

One of the benefits of the fast-focus eyepiece is that it is really user-friendly and allows you to acquire the target quickly by focusing the reticle on your eyesight.

Battery Life

If you are looking for an illuminated reticle rifle scope then another thing that you must keep in your mind is its battery life. Battery life is an important factor that can take your hunting to the next level. Frequent battery changes in the field will affect your hunting.


Obviously, when you choose a rifle scope for hunting, there are many things to consider such as the size of the scope, the size of the objective lens, and waterproofness.

But the things that we talked about are the most important to consider while choosing a rifle scope for hunting. When you are looking at rifle scopes, look at those things first.