For a rifle, the scope is the third most important part after the barrel and trigger. Knowing your rifle scope will not only help you better your shooting game but also help you save money whenever you wish to upgrade it. That is why one should learn about the parts of a rifle scope before they commit themselves to one.
The parts may vary depending on the type of scope you use. But the major components of a rifle scope are always the same. They are the Objective Lens & Bell, Scope Tube & Ring, Reticle, Turret, Magnification lens, Ocular Lens, Reticle Focus Ring, Exit Pupil, and Eyepiece.
There are many intricate parts of a rifle scope compared to other scopes like shotgun scopes. We might not be able to inform you about all the bells and whistles, but we have managed to list at least all the major parts of a rifle scope.
Is The Scope Important?
The defining feature of a rifle is its ability to shoot targets that are hundreds of meters away. Even if you cannot see the target with naked eyes, you will be able to shoot it down as long as you have enough firepower. And it is the rifle that has such potent firepower.
So how do you aim at those far distanced targets? Simple, use a scope. For perfect aiming and long-distance shooting, there are no replacements for scopes!
Now there are many types of scopes in the market. These scopes are classified based on the firearms that they are used with. And the most popular one is obviously the rifle scopes.
You might still be confused about why, particularly the rifle scopes, are the most famous ones. Well, the reason lies within the characteristics of the rifle itself.
What separates rifles from other firearms is their high firepower and massive accuracy over long distances. A perfect human vision might be able to see a span of three miles, but their shot accuracy will drastically fall if a target is at half the distance.
But if one uses a rifle scope, the story changes drastically. A rifle scope not only helps you to distinguish targets at a great distance and aims with utmost precision.
Know The Parts of a Rifle Scope
Rifle scopes are one of the most critical pieces of equipment of a rifle. But many firearms owners are ignorant about its importance. And that is why they are also negligent to the parts and features of those scope parts.
To improve your shooting game, you will not only have to rely on your rifle but also on your rifle scope. Here is a brief overview of the major parts of a traditional rifle scope.
The very frontal part of a scope is the Objective Lens. This is the part that gathers the light rays from the target object. And once these light rays get through the lens, the user can see the object. Not only will the target be vividly visible, but it will also give the user a more expansive view area.
Another part of the scope, the exit pupil, is related to the objective lens. The larger the objective lens, the better the exit pupil. And better the pupil, the more comprehensive view area.
When light enters the objective lens, it needs to be guided towards the exit pupil. A simple pathway will cause the rays to be distorted, which will hamper the aiming process. That is why the Object Bell is used as the light guide.
Unlike regular light guides, this part helps focus the light rays to a perfect point. It is the enlarged part at the front of the scope. It holds the object lens and safeguards it from sun, rain, and mist.
As the name suggests, this is the main body of the scope that holds all the parts together. It is more like the backbone of a rifle scope. This is the part that’s responsible for connecting to the scope mount. But many neglect its importance.
Users think that the scope mount can be mounted on any part, but they couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, many don’t even know that there are two different types of tubes. One is the 1 inch one, and the other is a 30mm one.
If you are into focusing, then it is best to get a scope with a 30mm scope tube. But if you prefer comfort and compact nature, then the 1-inch tube would be perfect.
The 1-inch scope tube can be mounted on any Picatinny rail. But for a 30mm one, the task is tricky as you will need a separate scope mount.
For rifle scopes, the primary purpose is not zooming in on the target but aiming perfectly.
If one simply observes the target using the scope, that person will not be able to aim correctly because they will not be able to estimate the distance or the altitude they need to shoot.
In such a case, the part that assists in aiming is the reticle. Most people know this part as Crosshairs. It is the linear guideline that you will see when you see through the exit pupil.
There are many kinds of reticles as follows:
- Original Reticle
- Dot Reticle
- German # Reticle
- Duplex Reticle
- Bullet Drop Compensator Reticle
- Mil-Dot Reticle
- Non-Illuminated Reticle
- Illuminated Reticle
- Christmas Tree Reticle
- Holographic Sight Reticle
Now that reticles are set to help you aim correctly, they will lose their purpose if their position is fixed. That is why most reticles are adjustable. This is done with the help of Turrets.
In most rifle scopes, the turrets are the part that is found protruded outside the main scope tube. They change the vertical and horizontal alignment of the reticle in use. The protruded knob-like structures can be easily rotated to adjust the reticle as per the requirement.
There are usually two types of turrets that are used. They are as follows.
- Windage Turret – This is a knob-like structure that extends horizontally. When rotated, the reticle’s horizontal alignment can easily be changed.
- Elevation Turret – The vertically protruded knob on the scope is known as the elevation turret. As the name suggests, it changes the reticle elevation by changing the vertical alignment.
The further the target, the smaller the image it portrays in the viewers’ eyes. For someone trying to hit such a tiny target, the task is nearly impossible.
But if that image is magnified, one can easily hit the target as long as the firearm they are using has enough firepower. Many don’t know about it, and they disregard the importance of scope.
And this is why most modern scopes have a Magnifying lens set near the exit pupil. This magnification lens takes the light rays refracted from the objective lens using the objective bell and portrays an optimized sized image on the exit pupil.
Generally, a rifle scope facilitates a magnification of about 3 to 7 times the normal vision. And this means one can easily focus and aim at a bean sitting on a bench that is miles away.
Commonly known as the Magnification or Power Ring, this is the part that helps zoom in and out. And what is the primary purpose of a scope? Obviously, zooming in at the target to aim correctly.
The magnifying lens in scope is the part that helps one to zoom in. But the target is not always at a fixed distance. That is why the magnification lens needs to be adjusted to let the light fall at a certain angle to help focus.
And this clarity can only be achieved with the help of a power ring or scope ring. When the power ring is turned, the magnification lens moves forward or backward. This slight movement causes the light rays to focus at different points, causing the clarity to change.
Not everyone has a perfect vision. That’s why one might often find that the image formed through a scope is blurry. This happens mostly in cases when one tries to use a scope from a different person’s firearm.
Such an occurrence happens due to the Ocular Lens. This lens helps the viewer or shooter focus the image perfectly for their eyesight. And since different people have different visions, the image projected by them might be blurry.
Though this part is situated inside the scope, it is crucial to learn about it. If the ocular lens is scratched or damaged, the shooter will not get an accurate image of the target. And when that occurs, the aiming process will undoubtedly be hampered.
Reticle Focus Ring
Since the ocular lens is fixed inside the scope tube, it needs to be readjusted when the user changes. To help in such a case, the Reticle Focus Ring is used. It is the thin and rigid band near the exit pupil.
When this ring is rotated, it adjusts the position of the ocular lens. And when the position changes, the light rays or image is focused on a different plane. This causes the shooter to have a clear vision of the target object.
So if you find that the scope image is blurry, try adjusting the ocular lens with the ring. This will help readjust the focus and give you a sharp image.
The rearmost part of a rifle scope is the Eyepiece. It is the part that holds the ocular lens, magnification lens, scope ring, and reticle focus ring. As the name suggests, this is the part that you will have to rest your eyes at to see the target object.
Some scopes also house the erector lenses in this part to help correct the final image. One can clearly see an object at a distance due to the science that happens within this segment of the scope.
When you hold the scope at arm’s length, you will notice a circle of light on the ocular lens. This circle of light is the Exit Pupil. The more the zooming power of scope, the smaller its exit pupil will be.
Functions of an exit pupil include aiding in focus and determining the size of the target object. It is like an eye relief to help soothe the vision.
Firearms can help us and also hurt us. But as long as the one using a gun is conscious about it, the rate of helping will surely increase. And the most used firearm is the rifle.
The more you learn about a rifle, the better you will be able to use it. That is why it is essential to know about the parts of a rifle scope, as the scope is crucial for a rifle. Know your scope to perfectly aim your rifle at your target, not some bystander. Practice gun safety to the utmost!