Learn More About Hunting Scopes
Set up the perfect shot when you choose a scope from Field & Stream. Choose from a huge selection of rifle scopes, handgun scopes, shotgun scopes and more. Shop the brands you trust, like Swarovski®, Nikon®, Browning®, Vortex®, ZEISS®, Bushnell®, Leupold® and more.
Plus, make sure to check out our full selection of optics, where you’ll find everything from binoculars to rangefinders.
There are many factors to consider before buying a new scope. Make sure to read through the scope’s specifications before making a decision. You’ll find essential information, including:
- Power and Objective: These are the numbers listed in the product title (EX: 4x32). The first number (4x in our example) refers to the number of times the object is magnified through the scope. The power on many scopes is adjustable (EX: 3-9x40), allowing you to select the amount of power you need based on the situation. The second number tells you the objective, or the diameter of the lens in millimeters (32 millimeters in our example). The larger the diameter, the larger the scope.
- Reticle: Often called the “crosshairs,” the reticle refers to the aiming point of the scope. Many modern scopes feature a “duplex” or “multiplex” reticle with thicker crosshairs, helping you see you target with greater clarity.
- Eye Relief: The maximum distance a shooter can hold the scope from the eye and still comfortably see the target. Typically, the longer the eye relief, the better.
- Field of View (FOV) at 100 Yards: FOV tells you how far you can see from right to left—measured in feet—at 100 yards.
- Lens Coatings: Lens coatings help eliminate glare and loss of light, greatly enhancing your vision in the field. As with most things related to optics, quality is key. Look for high-quality coatings if you want the most out of your scope.
Of course, the most important question is: What will you use the scope for? For traditional deer hunting in close cover, a power 4x or even lower is adequate. When setting up long range shots, like in varmint hunting, you’ll likely want 16x or 20x.
Keep the weight of the scope in mind. If you’ll be carrying the scope across long distances, make sure it isn’t too heavy or bulky. You don’t want the scope weighing you down.