Category - Scopes

Types of Scopes

These days’ rifle scopes come in various sizes with different features that are designed for different purposes. All this to say, there are a lot of different types of scopes out there in the world today. It seems each one is unique in its own right.  Some scopes are specialty scopes that are used for one specific purpose whereas others have more versatility and can be used for a number of different things. Here’s a run-down of the most commonly used types of scopes for rifles.


Fixed models

These are the most common of all rifle scope types and are generally the cheapest. These scopes have fixed magnification and cannot be adjusted. In other words, you can’t zoom in on a target with these scopes. Fixed scopes are about as basic a scope that you can get and are great for beginners trying to get their feet wet.


Variable scopes

Variable rifle scopes are the complete opposite of fixed models. With variable scopes, you can adjust the magnification to zoom in on a target.  For example, on some of these scopes you will see 5-10 in the name. This refers to the number of magnifications you can get– in this case between 5 and 20 times. Given the additional features of this type of scope, they are more expensive than fixed models. In reality, this additional versatility and functionality is a small price to pay for most hunters.


Long-range models

All scopes that come with a magnification of 10 times or above are known as long-range models. These are obviously designed for very long-distance shooting. Some can be fixed, most long-range models these days are adjustable so you can use different magnification levels pending how far out you’re shooting.


Competition models

For lack of better terminology, competition scopes are “sensitive” (not like in the teenage girl sense). They are not ideal to use when hunting and shouldn’t be exposed to harsh conditions. The magnification on these types of scopes is absolutely stunning. You can get up to 40 times magnification. Competition scopes are powerful and extremely expensive.


Tactical scopes

Tactical scopes have low magnification, typically around 4 times. They are made for the military and law enforcement. These units are not designed for long-distance shooting but for specific operational purposes. The main purpose is to extend the range of troops and soldiers.


Night vision models

These scopes are designed to shoot at night. They come with an implemented infrared illuminator that allows you to see when there is no light. They are bigger, heavier, and more expensive than ordinary scopes due to the amount of technology that is present in them to allow you to see at night.


Scout scopes

Scout scopes have magnification between 2 and 8 times. 7 times is considered the most desirable. They are similar to the tactical type. Most of these scopes are used by law enforcement and hunters and most of them aren’t attached to a weapon (think more like binoculars). Simplicity reigns when it comes to scouting scopes.


Scopes for hunting

Hunting scopes are simple, extremely durable, and resistant to water and rain. They usually come with fewer features and adjustment options. Most hunters’ primary goal is to have a simple scope that can hold up to harsh conditions while staying reliable over time. Most of these scopes come with magnification less than 20 times.


Red dot type

Red dots are different than other types of scopes (and most often referred to as a sight). There’s a lot of variety within red dot scopes themselves whereas some of them come with magnification while others don’t. When you look through it, you’ll see a red dot in the center that essentially acts like a reticle in a normal scope. The idea being wherever this dot is pointed is where the bullet will hit. The laser that you see with red-dot sights isn’t one that gets projected out all the way to the target as you can only see it inside your sight.


Scopes for snipers

A lot of people think that snipers use 50x magnification scopes. In reality, most of them are only using models with up to 10 times magnification. What is important to them though are scopes with mil-dot reticles. Thanks to this, a sniper can get more information about the target distance, the windage, and many other data points that can help them take better shots. It’s important to point out that these scopes are not the same as competition scopes.



These are all of the rifle scope types you can find on the market today. As you can see, there are a number of different types of scopes that can be used for all different kinds of purposes. When choosing a new scope, you need to first figure out what you’re going to be using it for and then do your research on the options available for that particular use. Once you’ve figured this out, then you can go get the best scope for you.