How to choose an optical sight

Modern optical provide the opportunity to hunt a distance of one kilometer or more, give a clear and contrast image in any conditions and allow you to shoot with numerous amendments, repeatedly increasing its accuracy. Of course, the above benefits become available. to the hunter only when they approach the choice of the optical sight with with all responsibility and prefer the most suitable to specific type of weapon and operating conditions for sights.

choose a scope for a gun

Top manufacturers

Despite the fact that high-quality optical devices are currently time produces a great many manufacturers, production not all of them have mastered hunting sights. Given the high manufacturability and complexity in production, preference should be give exclusively to trusted brands working on this market for a long time:

  1. Aimpoint

  2. Burris

  3. Leica

  4. Zeiss

  5. Vortex

  6. Steiner

Before you opt for a particular model, you should get acquainted with its characteristics, as well as with functional opportunities, having read reviews and impressions of experienced hunters who have tried a specific device in real hunting.

Types of sights and the principle of their action

Modern hunting sights are in many ways similar to others optical instruments designed to monitor terrain – monocles, telescopes, binoculars. Difference them lies only in a focused orientation on execution accurate shots and maximize the increase of this very accuracy. For for this purpose hunting sights are equipped with numerous assistive devices providing quality image even in difficult conditions, as well as allowing you to perform adjustment for distance, wind and altitude if necessary.

Modern optical sights are usually divided into several main categories differing in functional capabilities and operating conditions.

Constant Zoom Optical Sights

Optical sights with a constant approach

Classic models equipped with fixed lenses optical parameters. Provide a decent opportunity approximations in all operating conditions and give a clear and Contrast picture regardless of operating conditions. They are distinguished by a decent image angle and increased contrast, however, both of these parameters decrease in proportion to the increase magnification of the sight. Equipped with a set of sights of various multiples, the hunter gets the opportunity to hunt in any conditions.


  • Compact size;

  • A wide variety of models differing in multiplicity approximations up to 40-50x;

  • Wide angle image;

  • High contrast and clarity of the picture;

  • Unpretentiousness in operation;


  • Qualitative models of the road;

  • Universal models do not exist, and therefore in the arsenal you have to keep several models of different multiplicity;

  • The viewing angle, brightness and contrast of the picture are directly dependent from the magnification of the sight;

Panoramic sights

Panoramic sights

Devices of this class differ from the above models the ability to change the zoom ratio, which makes them like minimum more versatile and allows you to hunt in various conditions without resorting to replacing the sight. Multiplicity adjustment carried out online and provides the opportunity approaching or moving away from the target without losing sight of it. The most advanced models have a measuring scale that allows measure the distance to the target and make the necessary adjustments when aiming.


  • High functionality;

  • The presence of a distance scale to determine the exact distance to the target and make adjustments to the shot;

  • Convenient and ergonomic adjustment;

  • The ability to change the multiplicity without taking your eyes off the target;


  • High price;

  • Technological complexity and the requirement of appropriate service;

Collimator sights

Collimator sights

Combined optical instruments, in the role of a designator in which is a special bright point located as if in infinity. Regardless of how the target is monitored, the point will be located at the center of the sight and display the location of the bullet when firing. For in order to ensure maximum accuracy when firing, for point rendering, a special super-bright LED is applied, powered by built-in battery.


  • Compact size;

  • Easy adjustment and adjustment of various corrections;

  • Convenience of operation in any conditions;

  • Maximum accuracy


  • High price;

  • Not suitable for all types of weapons and operating conditions;

  • They require careful and careful handling;

  • Minimum brightness due to dot highlighting LED

Night vision sights

Night vision sights

Special optical devices designed for operation in complete darkness. Enjoy huge popular among ambush hunters, waiting for a shot among which can last far more than one night. Principle of action and the design of such sights very often resembles ordinary optical devices, but their main element is special filter, activating which, the hunter receives a clear image even in complete darkness.


  • The ability to hunt in complete darkness;

  • A clear and clear picture at night;


  • Afraid of a bright light source, suitable for operation exclusively at night;

  • High price;

  • Sophisticated design, whimsical to maintain and care;

Selection options. What to look for when choosing an optical aim?

scope selection criteria

The whole variety of optical sights on sale, combines a common list of technical characteristics that should be taken into account when choosing a particular sight.

Weight and dimensions of the sight

This parameter plays a very important role, first of all, for those hunters who practice running hunting and many move with a gun. The fact is that the most functional sights can easily exceed a kilogram mark, delivering maximum discomfort and turning hunting from pleasure into torment. However, if the hunt comes from an ambush, the weight of the sight fades into the background. The situation is similar and with regards to overall dimensions of the sight: the longer its length – the higher discomfort when running hunting.

Sight aperture

Or the diameter of the lens. The larger this parameter – the more high-quality, contrasting and detailed picture will turn out on output. The flip side of the coin can be weight gain and overall dimensions of the device, which should also be kept in mind.

Presence of a reticle

This structural element greatly simplifies operation. sight regardless of its type. In most models either a traditional crosshair is used (as a rule, about sights with low magnification) or is displayed as several scales on the grid (called Mid Dot). Last type reticle is typical for sights with high magnification, with its help you can easily calculate the distance to the target and determine the correction distance and wind.

The magnification of the sight

Shows how many times the scope is able to increase the original image relative to the current location of the hunter. The magnitude-dependent variables are the viewing angle and the total image brightness – the larger the approximation – the smaller the angle and the lower the contrast. For this reason, sights with multiplicity about 20x-30x will not allow to shoot offhand and require application special emphasis for aiming, and each sharp movement turns into the loss of the object of observation from the visibility zone.

Parallax and detuning from it

Indicates the visual deviation of the aiming point in correlation with the sight itself. The higher the value, the more the picture is blurry, and therefore the detuning from parallax simply called sharpness. Adjustment mechanism of this option allows you to adjust the clarity and contrast of the image outside depending on the distance to the target. Moreover, many modern models, guided by the value of detuning from parallax and performing tricky counting algorithms that can measure the exact distance to goals and display it directly in the sight.

When choosing this or that type of sight it is necessary guided by their own needs, as well as type the weapons used and the conditions in which the hunt will take place. Consider both the above characteristics and the main ones. functionality. For example, collimator sights, powered by batteries, can come quickly enough to unsuitability due to low temperatures and dead power sources Consequently. And the same night vision scope may turn out to be useless if the hunt takes place near a strong source lighting.

In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose decoys for hunting and secrets of choosing a pneumatic sight.

Sight selection video

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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