Scope Magnification For 100 Yards [Magnification Range Explained]

For new shooters, knowing what magnification to use for specific distances can be a challenge. As you already know, rifle scopes come in all different shapes and sizes. In this post, we will focus on the optimal scope magnification for 100 yards. We’ll teach you the basics of scope magnification & help you determine which is best for your rifle scope.

Best Scope Magnification For 100 Yards

picture of a rifle scope sight picture aimed in on a target

If you are wondering what magnification range you need to shoot from a specific distance, consider this rule of thumb.

Utilize 1x Magnification for every 100 yards.

For shooting distances of 100 yards, a scope magnification of 1x is all you need to shoot accurately! However, anywhere between 1-2x will work just fine for range shooting or hunting at 100 yards. Most of the Best Hog Hunting Scopes use smaller magnification ranges like this as you tend to hunt hogs from shorter ranges.

Basics of Scope Magnification

In order to understand rifle scopes, and pick the Best 350 Legend Rifle Scope, you need to understand the basics of magnification.

A traditional rifle scope uses lenses to magnify the image of the target, making it appear closer and easier to aim at. To expand upon this even further, there are first and second focal plane scopes.

  • First Focal Plane Scopes – The reticle size changes depending on your magnification settings.
  • Second Focal Plane Scopes – The reticle stays the same size regardless of your chosen magnification settings.


The level of magnification is typically represented by a number on the scope, such as “3x” or “9x,” which indicates how many times the image is magnified.

  • 3-9×40 Scope: 3x-9x magnification with 40 mm objective lens.

Higher magnification can make is easier to shoot at distant targets, but it can also make it more difficult to track moving targets or acquire targets quickly. Many of the best budget lvpo scope allow you to toggle between different magnifications!

Scope Magnification For Hunting

Most shooters believe that a rifle scope magnification range of 3-15x is optimal for a hunting scope. Read out post on rifle scopes explained to understand this point even more! Of course, there is no single scope that is best for everyone. Here are a few reasons why.

  • Versatility – 3x-15x allows shooters to adjust their magnification as needed for different hunting scenarios.
  • Tracking Game – A low magnification, such as 3x, is good for close-range shots and tracking moving targets.
  • Spotting Scope – A higher magnification, such as 15x, is useful for long-range shots and spotting games from a distance.
  • Balanced Scope – A 3x-15x magnification range allows for a good balance between the field of view and image clarity. This is why most lower light rifle scopes are in this magnification range.

Scope Magnification For Target Shooting

If you’re looking for a new CMP Service Rifle Scope for target shooting, consider a magnification range of 1-4x.

The truth is, most people do not have access to a 1000+ yard shooting range. So there is no need for a 15x scope magnification!

What About Variable Power Scopes?

When new shooters go to buy their first rifle and scope, they primarily think of fixed power scopes. Zero your scope with the windage and elevation turrets, take aim, and fire.

However, variable scopes are scopes that offer a range of magnification ranges.

  • 3x-9x: This means the scope can be adjusted to a minimum magnification of 3x and maximum magnification of 9x.

A variable scope gives shooters more adjustability for a wide variety of use cases! In our post about where to shoot a hog we learned how powerful a variable power scope can be for diverse hunting conditions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What range is a 3 9x40 scope good for?

Generally speaking, a 3-9x40 scope is good for 50-300 yards. A 3-9x variable scope can be effective from a wide variety of yardages. However, your accuracy on long range shots will depend on your individual experience and skill level. Its the artist not the paint brush!

How far can you see with a 4 12x50 scope?

A 4-12x50 scope can see over 1000 yards. Obviously, with more magnification it becomes harder to accurately hit your target.

How far can you shoot with a 8x scope?

Although you can see up to 800 yards, an 8x scope will shoot accurately from 300-500 yds. 8x fixed power scopes are great for medium to long-range shooting.

How far can a 4 16x50 scope See?

A 4-16x50 scope magnification will be able to effectively see over 1000 yards. However, most shooters will only be accurate from 400-500 yards. Outside that range, it becomes increasingly difficult to shoot accurately with this long-range scope.

How far can you shoot with a 4 12x40 scope?

Most people will only be able to shoot accurately from 200-400 yards with a 4-12x40 rifle scope. This scope has a 40mm objective lens which also gives it a large field of view.

How far can a 6 24x50 scope See?

A 6-24x50 variable scope can see 1000+ yards. As we have already mentioned, it will be very difficult to shoot accurately as you increase magnification. Even with a quality scope, the bullet drop will be dramatic and hard to adjust for.

Final Thoughts

By now you should have a basic understanding of how scope magnification really works. If you shoot from various distances, you can opt to run a variable power scope to shoot effectively from a variety of distances. In fact, most of the modern .338 Win Mag Scopes are variable power! And remember, always consider your final use case before picking a scope. A hunting rifle may need to be tailored to long-range shooting. But someone who only shoots at a 100-yard range may not need the higher magnification!

About the author

Patrick Howard

I have been working as a gunsmith for 20 years. Rain, fog, moisture, high temperature, or even snow are all the things a product must withstand in order to be recommended by me.

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