Air Rifle Scopes

Choosing the best air rifle scope for your gun can be a challenge, especially with the new features and the incredible number of scopes to choose from - it's not a task for the faint of heart. Before we get off into talking about what's best for which air rifle, let's talk a bit about what a scope or gun sight is and how it works.

How Does a Gun Scope Work?

A scope is like a magnifying glass. It just magnifies an image that you've targeted and puts you on the same visual plane as that image, using a series of lenses to blend the light in order to magnify it. What makes an air rifle scope special is that it is engineered to withstand the vibration and double recoil that is common to air rifles. Scopes help you to arrive at pinpoint accuracy - something we all want when we're shooting. A word of warning before we head into the types of air rifle scopes available: Do not ever put a firearm scope on an air rifle. Period.

Choosing the Right Scope for You

Okay, now that we've clarified what a scope will do for you, let's look at the different scopes available. First is the fixed air rifle scope, which is set on one magnification and cannot be adjusted. The way you can identify it is by the numbers - they are denoted with something similar to 4X32 or 4X15. The 4X simply means that whatever you see in the viewfinder is magnified to four times the size you see with your naked eye. The advantage to having a fixed scope is that you don't have to adjust the sight once you've found your mark. The disadvantage is that you aren't able to magnify the image any more than what you have in the sight.

Variable Air Rifle Scopes

A variable air rifle scope can generally magnify an image between 3 to 15 times. The denotation will read something like 3-9x32. That means you can magnify the image 3 to 9 times and the 32 means the lens is a 32 millimeter objective (opening). Objective size is important because the bigger lens has stronger magnification and the larger the objective, the more light that enters the scope allowing for a brighter, clearer, sight picture. Since there are many intricate parts on the scope, it may require more frequent adjustments.

Mount It And Go

Once you've chosen the scope that will suit you best, you have to mount it onto the gun. A one or two piece scope mount that fits around the scope and onto a rail on top of the airgun is the way to affix a scope to your gun. A one piece mount is sturdier and can withstand the intense recoil of magnum air rifles. A two piece mount will work fine for a CO2 or lower powered spring rifle.

Choose your scope and be sure you buy the appropriate mounting hardware for it. The rest is sheer pleasure.