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What To Look For In Shooting Optics

What To Look For In Shooting Optics

January 11, 2019

If you missed our other blog on Why Buy A Shooting Optic For Your Rifle, we discussed the reasons why an optic is great, if it fits your needs as a shooter. It’s important you know why you want new glass before you go spend anywhere between $100 and $4,000 on a new optic.

In this article, Rail Scales will be sharing some specifics that you need to look for in your optic, exploring terminology and essentials.

Choose Your Parts

If you take a long hard look at a scope, you can almost count as many parts as there are on a rifle. Optics can be complex, and they may overwhelm you, being unfamiliar with them, but as you read this article and others on the Rail Scales site, you will surely gain more knowledge. Finally, knowing the parts of your optic is just as important as knowing how to use it.

The Objective Lens

This is the front lens of the scope. The Objective Lens is measured in millimeters. The power of the lens is indicated by its size in the the following common format: “3-9x40.” The “3-9” indicates how much larger the sighted target will look compared to the naked eye. The “40” is the diameter size of the lens in millimeters.

If you’re sighting in low-light conditions, you will want a larger objective lens to capture more light. Some optics have an adjustable Objective Lens so that you can adjust the magnification so that you can fine tune the reticle to fit your needs.


The difference between what you’re looking at and your reticle is considered the parallax. Essentially, this means that your scope can create an optical illusion and distort what you’re actually seeing. This can be directly influence how you line up your shot.

An easy way to test if your scope has parallax is to set up your rifle sighted on a target. Then, no matter from which angle you look through your scope, the target should remain in place. If it moves around at all, your scope is showing parallax.

Lens Coating

Glass is a sensitive material, and like any other glass your scope can suffer from light loss and glare. Some scope designers have applied a coating on the glass to combat these two issues. In most cases, the higher-quality the scope, the higher-quality the glass. This typically results in needing few layers or no coating at all on the glass. For reference, there are four general terms to describe lens coating:

Multicoated: Multiple layers of coating are on one or more lens surfaces.
Fully Coated: All air-exposed glass has one layer of coating.
Coated: One layer is applied to one or more lens surfaces.


A majority of scopes are tubular in design. They typically have two knobs that protrude from them. These knobs are called turrets. These turrets are used to adjust the reticle of the scope for the shooter to improve accuracy. In most cases, scopes have two turrets, one for elevation and one for windage.

Rail Scales: The Best AR Sight For Sale Online

You’ve been shopping for a scope for a while now. It’s time you made a decision and purchase the best AR sight for your rifle. You may still feel somewhat overwhelmed, but with the information in this article will help you define your sight choices.

At Rail Scales, we offer two types of sights for sale online. It’s important you get exactly what you need and not waste time or money on a scope that does not work for you. Go ahead and shop optics online now!