Rifle Scopes — What the Numbers Mean

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Many individuals enjoy shooting as a recreational activity; but, whether you’re going out on a game hunt or just shooting for fun, there are some basics you really must know. One such piece of information is about rifle scopes and what their numbers mean. We suppose you know rifles are used for long-range shooting and shot from above the shoulder. But since they are used for long-range shooting, one may be concerned about the possibility of hitting a target from a distance, especially as they are sometimes away from close sight. This is where a rifle scope comes into play. It is essential for hitting your target. 

A rifle scope is the part of the rifle that is used to focus on the target object. In other words, a rifle scope provides a telescopic view. Precisely as the telescope works, a rifle scope magnifies the image, providing the shooter with a clearer vision for targeting purposes. The scope is covered with substances that allow light to travel so that it’s not lost inside. In this way, the image is highly focused and sharp-edged.  So, if you are interested in understanding what the numbers on your rifle scope mean, this article has you covered.

Components of a Rifle Scope

Further digging into the rifle scope components will help you understand which scope will serve you the best for your target. To start, you should know that rifle scopes come in various sizes and shapes but, thankfully, have similar parts. 

There is an eyepiece and an objective lens. 

For a long-distance target, you need a better focus. The eyepiece does that for you. Manufacturers mostly prefer plastic and glass to make eyepieces. The eyepiece functions to collect the light and then magnifies it for the viewer. At the same time, the objective lens accumulates the light from the target and transmits it into the eyes. Like the eyepiece, it’s made up of either glass or plastic and resides in front of the eyepiece. 

Types of Rifle Scopes

Let’s discuss the types of Rifle Scopes. Expert shooters prefer the two types of rifle scopes, i.e., fixed power scope and variable power scope. 

The fixed power scope has a single lens and magnification to give the observer a more vivid view. When it comes to price, they are more affordable and less expensive but are, in comparison, less precise. 

The variable power scope has two lenses and caters to more than one magnification for a much more diverse range. In terms of price, they are a bit more expensive but more precise. The advantage is that they give off more extensive coverage for magnification purposes.

When choosing a rifle scope, make sure to know the specifications of the rifle scope beforehand. 

Furthermore, you need to consider the scope’s position. It would help if you positioned the scope accurately on the firearm. Additionally, take care about the setting of the magnification level depending on what it’s being used for.

In terms of lenses, plastic lenses are way cheaper and less durable. On the other hand, glass lenses last longer. Another essential component to look for is magnification which allows the image to be three times larger than the one seen without using the scope.

Significance of a Rifle Scope 

The rifle scope is an important piece to know about, whether you are a shooter or someone willing to come into shooting.

It is integral that you understand the size of the tube. It will help you to choose the correct ring when the scope is mounted to the rifle. The shot will also be on point when the observer is trained to see the target correctly. Some people have eye issues that hinder focusing on the lens.

Consider the important aspects mentioned above. Complete comprehension of the numbers would enhance your shooting activity. Since the scope number varies from rifle to rifle, it is up to you to decide what activity you are going for. 

The information will help you to look out for the rifle you want. So, when you finally get your rifle, the knowledge about the numbers will help you be in control. In the end, the rifle scope numbers are an adjunct to your performance in shooting.

Numbers on the Rifle Scope

What do the Numbers Mean?

Both the objective lens’s magnification and its size are indicated by the numbers on a rifle scope. The first two numbers represent the lowest and highest possible magnification settings, while the third number represents the objective lens in nanometers. 

Why is Knowing the Rifle Scope Numbers so Crucial?

So far, we have walked you through the rifle scope and what it does. For a better selection of the rifle, you must know the numbers. Magnification, also known as power, is the multiplication factor in contrast to the eye. Such as, if the magnification is 3-9, the shooter can see the image 3 to 9 times larger. The first is the lowest power number, and the second is the highest. A scope with one magnification, such as 6x32mm, means that the image will appear six times bigger than the naked eye. The greater the power number, the greater the magnification. The good news is there are two types of magnifications. One is fixed, and the other is variable magnification. You should study the numbers to improve your aim and precision.

Using the Fixed Magnification

The fixed magnification or fixed power means that the rifle scope only has a single magnification. It could be 4x, 6x, 8x, and 10x magnification. These types of magnification were commonly used in the past and are quite comfortable since you don’t have to move around. Nowadays, variable magnification is more common. They provide the ease of changing the power setting. You can easily change the magnification. Just rotate the power ring near the eyepiece. Also, they provide a large magnification range, such as 50x or 60x. Examples of variable magnification include 3x to 9x magnification. It is one of the most used by hunters these days.


The rifle scope is an important piece to know about, whether you are a shooter or someone willing to come into shooting. Make sure to consider the important aspects mentioned above. A complete comprehension of the numbers would tell you which to buy and enhance your shooting activity. Since the scope number varies from rifle to rifle, it is up to you to decide what magnification you are going for. 

In the end, the rifle scope numbers are an adjunct to your performance in shooting.

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