How They Work

Important Considerations

A good match between rifle, ammunition and scope can help make the best of every shot you take.  Telescopic lenses have changed the face of hunting and shooting over the years, making it possible to shoot safer, more accurately and effectively.  There are many things to consider when choosing a scope including mechanics, magnification and image quality.  By choosing the scope that best fits your individual needs, keeping in mind when and where you do most of your shooting, you'll get hours and years worth of enjoyment from your purchase.

Mechanics of a Scope

What goes on inside of the scope has a direct effect upon what happens when you look through the lens.  The mechanics include facilities for precision adjustments especially for windage and elevation, which affect accuracy.  The style of elevation and windage adjustments varies with specific models and the elevation and windage of the scope is based upon the pattern of shooting being done.  The elevation is adjusted to provide the most accurate shot possible, from a distance of anywhere from 50 to 500 yards, depending upon the scope and rifle.  The windage should remain centered.  A "repeatable" scope insures that after setting the windage and elevation dials for point of impact at one setting, regardless where you shoot next, when you return to the original place of firing the point of impact will be the same.  Also, a quality scope will allow for movement of the point of impact without the need for the sight to settle-in instead of having to reset the elevation.  Unfortunately, many scopes do not have this ability without shooting a few times first in order to settle in the internal adjustments.  That's why you'll see some people tapping their scope with a cartridge case or coin to help the process along.

Turrets and MOA

The turrets are placed in the center of the scope tube in the turret housing and can be turned with a coin or sometimes they are finger adjustable.  Turrets for target shooting are tall and the clicks are seen and felt with little problem.  Hunting scopes don't have the same tall turrets as target scopes since there is a danger of them getting caught on brush or snagged in gear.  Hence, turrets on a hunting scope are a lower profile.

Turret adjustments are made in the MOA, or Minutes of Angle.  The rule of thumb on this measurement is called one inch at 100 yards.  Scope adjustment are most frequently made in 1/4 inch increments at 100 yards meaning that with each click of either the windage or elevation turret the point of impact is moved 1/4 inch at 100 yards.  For further clarification, this would mean that the same 1/4 inch click would move the point of impact 1/2 inch at 200 yards.  Depending upon the type of turret and adjustments, the clicks may vary, so it is very important to check the distances.