Getting a clean shot at a target is one of the most exciting moments at a shooting range or while hunting in the woods.
Many brands make scopes, which come in different sizes, magnifications, and effective ranges. Some scopes even include extra features like anti-fog and anti-freezing, which improves precision when firing.
As a result, the price of scopes varies, and choosing one can be tricky. Hence, the question: ‘how much does a good rifle scope cost?’
Rifle scopes are vital in a world where marksmanship gives status among gun lovers. A rifle scope improves your abilities even if you’re great at shooting close shots with precision.
Equipping a good scope helps you make the most of your rifle’s prowess.
Brief History of Rifle Scopes
Morgan James, an American Gunsmith, living in Utica, New York, invented the first telescopic rifle scope. This breakthrough in the gun world came around 1835.
Since then, scopes have played an essential role in marksmanship, hunting, and the military. Present-day rifle scopes are more advanced and have powerful magnifying abilities.
In addition, these scopes come from different manufacturers and have varied price ranges.
Here’s how to get a good rifle scope that meets your needs.
Things to Consider When Shopping for Rifle Scopes
Before deciding which scope you’re buying, you’ve got to consider some things.
How Do You Use Your Rifle?
Some people give a general rule for buying rifle scopes. One of them suggests getting a scope that costs about half the price of the gun. Others say you should put more money on the scope than on the gun.
Is this advice practical when shopping for scopes?
First, you’re buying a scope for your rifle. As a result, what you use your rifle for determines what scope you’ll be using.
If you’re using your scope for close-range shooting, scopes with less power and lower magnifications get the job done.
You do not need an overpowered scope if you’re shooting targets a few poles away. Many can hit a decent shot at close range with the rifle’s iron sights. So, a lower magnification scope helps you hit more shots with precision.
On the other hand, if you’re doing long-range shots with your gun, you need a scope with a higher magnifying power. The best sniper optics are designed specifically for long-range precision shooting.
Making the most of your firearm’s shooting range requires an equally powerful scope.
Do You Need Any Special Features?
Shooting targets precisely involves a lot, and some scopes have unique features that help you get accurate shots. Before selecting a scope, review all the special features you’ll need.
For example, some scopes have a feature called the adjustable objective or AO.
Earlier, you saw there are mainly two types of scopes – long range and short range – based on their magnifying power.
For long-range shooting, see my best scope for .338 Lapua guide.
The adjustable objective reduces the focal length of the scope (that is, the distance between the glass and the target), so you can use a scope at shorter distances.
For example, if the objective distance of scope is 50 yards, you can reduce that to 25 or 30 yards with the adjustable objective.
As a result, you’ll hit more precise shots at close range.
What Are the Weather Conditions in Your Area?
The weather in your area also influences the scope you’ll use. Scopes used in icy areas can collect moisture which clouds the lenses and reduces the scope’s effective vision.
Similarly, using a scope in a dusty region subjects the glass to scratches from sand grains.
Some scopes contain an unreactive gas like argon or nitrogen, which prevents frost from forming on the inner surface of the glass. These scopes fare better in cold weather than ones without antifreeze abilities.
Also, scopes with multiple coatings prevent the glass from retaining scratches which may make focusing on targets more challenging. This coating also ensures that the scopes last longer.
What Magnifying Power Do You Need?
Some people suggest that one gets as much magnifying power as possible. This advice might make sense for an inexperienced person since one might want to get the most out of the scope.
This argument is not valid for many reasons. Remember, how you use your rifle determines the importance of the scope. If you do more close-range shooting, getting a high-powered scope wastes money. Also, it negatively affects your ability to make close-range shots.
On the other hand, getting a low magnification scope when you do longer-range shots doesn’t work since the distance is more than the power of the lenses. As a result, you’ll miss most of your targets at long range.
In addition, keep in mind that a $250 short-range scope will outperform a $250 long-range scope since the latter requires more materials for its features.
In this case, the better option is the $250 short-range scope since you’ll be more likely to get a better build and quality at that price. If you are looking for the best scope for .450 Bushmaster, you can read my guide on it.
Check Your Budget
Your budget determines how much you can spend on a scope. Experienced rangers can quickly work out how much they need to spend on a scope since they know what they need in a scope.
You may spend more or less than your budget on a scope. Also, you need to justify the price with the features and benefits you hope to enjoy from the scope.
Things like glass quality and accuracy should be the top priority in your scale of preference. Getting sufficient eye relief is also essential, so you won’t get a bruised eye when the gun recoils. A low-light or infrared scope will have a different price than a regular scope since it is designed to work in dark conditions.
If you’ve previous shooting experience, choose the magnifying power that gives you the most precise shots at your normal range. Always remember that accuracy is an essential factor you should get from every scope.
To answer the original question: ‘how much does a good scope cost?’, you should get a decent scope for $250 and above.
Some scopes cost as much as $4000 and have features that justify the price.
The general rule for buying scopes is to check your needs and the features you want in a scope. Next, you should ensure the price balances these features. Ensure that the scope does not sacrifice quality for the price.
Finally, always go for the magnification power that gives you the most accuracy and precision when shooting. Getting an overpowered scope when you do more short-range shooting with your rifle is a waste of money.