When you buy a hunting rifle, it will usually be equipped with an iron sights. Of course, if you’re someone who hunts for sport and wants to improve your aiming capabilities, you might be considering switching to more advance sight or optics options.
Historical development of rifle optics was done using the conventional telescope as a working model. Today however, you have numerous options that you can look into in order to improve aim.
Scopes and Sights
When it comes to rifle optics for hunting, the two basic types we’re going to be looking at are red dot optics and magnification scopes. We’re going to touch on the bare basics of these two in order to help you determine which would work for you better.
Red Dot Sights and Scopes
Red dot sights comprise of a laser point or mark that helps by finding its mark on your target while you aim. There are different kinds of red dot sights available. These are:
- Prism style sights
Also known as tube style sight, prism style red dot sights are said to be better in harsh weather conditions due to the protective optic casing. At the same time, these, unlike reflex style red dots tend to reduce field of vision.
- Reflex sights
Reflex sights or red dots are ideal for the hunter who is tracking prey and needs to work with moving targets. Reflex sights allow you to zero in on your target while keeping your field of vision unrestricted. You don’t even need to close one eye when you aim.
- Holographic sights
There is only one known commercial company that manufactures these sights and for the most part, these are hard to come by. Though still not commonly used in hunting, we felt we would mention these as they do come under the umbrella of red dot technology!
Depending on the red dot sights you choose, the same could offer you added maneuverability (as they are lighter than magnification scopes). They can also keep your field of vision unrestricted such as with reflex sights.
Magnification scopes are historically the original and only rifle optics option. Still popular today, magnification scopes are available in a variety of strengths as well as other variable specifics.
Available strengths include:
- Low magnification
- Middle magnification
- High magnification
Simply put, the strength of the magnification optics you select should be done so keeping in mind the range at which you usually hunt.
Apart from this, magnification scopes are available in two types; First focal plane scopes, and second focal plane scopes. The difference between these two is that in the former, the reticle is enlarged along with your target during magnification. In the latter, the reticle remains the same size and only the target is magnified.
Though magnification scopes are a brilliant choice and are also recommended by seasoned hunters, higher powered scopes may be heavy. The extra weight they add to your rifle; however, can be managed if you use a bipod or another form of support.
Magnification scopes may also be tricky to use when tracking a moving target as they do restrict the shooters field of vision.
What is Best?
What’s best really depends on the kind of hunter you are and how you intend to use your rifle and sights. Are you someone who hunts on the move? Do you usually do your prep, find your spot and wait for those one shot kills?
Being clear on what your hunting game is like will help you make the final choice on which type of sights or optics you should use.
The points above will enlighten you with regard to some of the weaknesses and strengths of magnification optics and red dot sights. In any case, once you’re clear on what you need, check out your optics options and equip that rifle!
Gold Mountain Arms is a veteran owned firearms and accessories store based in Washington focused on an improved customer experience offering firearms and gear for sale online to customers across the US.