Rifle Scopes  Things to consider when selecting your next Optic, simple list!


PX Member
Jan 12, 2004
After consulting students for years on what optics to get, figured I would pass on a simple list of what I consider when selecting an optic

Use is first- what are you going to use the optic for tactical, competition, or just hobby

Magnification range- more is not better and actually magnifies your movement, and the elements such as mirage, typically recommend for shooting to 1000 yards to select a maximum of 16x magnification. ELR is different but you can purchase a really crappy high range optic that won't do you much good past 1000 yards.

Reticle thickness- This is important as you want the reticle to be thin enough that it won't obscure your target and thick enough to see, there is a balance of target size to reticle size.

Parallax adjustment- most lower brand optics the parallax knob only runs to about 500 yards or less, then goes to infinity, which mean that past 600 or 700 yards you will struggle to line up your reticle and have more eye fatigue. Pay attention or how far the dial will go, it makes a difference in consistency at distance.

MILs or MOA of internal travel, this important for reaching your desired distance, you need about 40 MOA or 10 MILs to reach 1000 yards, if your optic states that it has 60 MOA of total travel you may or may not reach your distance. Having a 20 MOA base or rail helps with this.

Features such as FFP or illuminated reticle, purchase what you will actually need, having an illuminated reticle sounds good but I have had them on all of my optics and only ever used them 3 times in 15 years, but I don't hunt much or shoot in low light where I would really need it.

Warranty and Customer service- The most important factor in purchasing an optic, just like everything else it can break, getting it fixed quickly is key to your happiness with your purchase.

When you pay for an optic, you are paying for consistency! Spend as much as you can afford. I know there are several companies to choose from, the list below is just my top picks for each category. So don't go all on a rant if I didn't pick a company you like!

Budget recommendation- SWFA super sniper optics, various models, various features, great company

Mid range recommendation- NF SHV 4-14 MIL-R, My go to optic for new shooters, has every feature at a great price!

High end recommendation- Schmidt & Bender- I own 3 and can't say enough about how awesome they are for features, warranty, and customer service. Also love Kahles, and NF on their high end stuff too.
  • Like
Reactions: BrienM and AR Jon


PX Member
Apr 25, 2014
Boise, Idaho
You lost me as soon as you said warranty and customer service are the most important factors. That should be well down the line as a consideration. You prettu much use everything on a scope every time you take it out. How often do you need CS?

I don't dial the warranty for elevation. I don't need it to consistently hold customer service no matter how many times I dial my warrant up and back again. I don't need a decent sight picture and good resolution on my warranty while adjusting my customer service.

And if any of those features malfunction. Warranty and customer service is not there to fix my busted ass scope in the middle of my PRS match or elk hunt.
  • Like
Reactions: CrabsandFootball