How to Choose a Spotting Scope for [TARGET SHOOTING]

How to Choose a Spotting Scope for Target Shooting?

Years ago checking how well you were doing at target shooting or sighting in your weapon was a painstaking process. After you clicked off a few shots you would then have to run up to the target to check and see how your aim was. Needless to say this was a various tedious and time consuming process. Thankfully it is a much simpler process these days thanks to high magnification spotting scopes.

Spotting ScopesSpotting scopes look a lot like a telescope but can be slightly curved too. They are great to have because they are more powerful than the scope on your rifle when it comes to identifying shooting accuracy. That is why almost every military sniper is accompanied by an assistant with one of these great long distance sight magnification tools.

You don’t just want to run out and buy the first spotting scope you see online or on a store shelf either. You need to purchase one that is tailored to suit your particular shooting needs. We will try to help you with that in this article. Among the things this article will go over is how to choose a spotting scope for target shooting that adequately meets your spotting needs.

9 Criteria to Consider for Buying a Spotting Scope for Target Shooting!

Here are the key characteristics of spotting scopes you should concentrate on when looking to buy a new one:

#1 COST

As when you are buying most products, cost is an important consideration when shopping for spotting scopes too. That is because these handy magnification devices can be found in a very wide variety of price ranges.

You really have to match them to your needs or else you may end up spending way more money on a spotting scope for magnification power and other options that you really don’t need. Of course you should make a budget range that you are willing to and can afford to spend on your new spotting scope too.

– – More Readings: looking for Spotting Scopes for long distance viewing ? Check out this article!

#2 CONFIGURATION

Spotting Scope
Spotting Scope – Slightly Angled

There are basically two shapes that spotting scopes come in. Spotting scope models can be either totally straight (some with two tiers) or slightly angled toward the viewing end. The ones that are slightly angled are usually easier to use for such things as bird watching or if you need to use your spotting scope for a long period of time. Straight spotting scopes are perfect for checking your shooting accuracy from a long distance.

#3 LENS COATINGS/FROG PROOF

Lens coating are very important when it comes to spotting scope. These coatings help to cut down on glare as you are looking through and also enhance image quality by eliminating light loss. The more coatings the lenses on a spotting scope has the better.

You also want your spotting scope to be a model that is sealed up well. That will prevent moisture from getting in them. Combined with a good lens coating this will help keep the spotting scope from fogging up when you use it in warm, cold or wet weather.

#4 FIELD OF VIEW

Spotting Scope Field Of View

You might be wondering how wide of a distance you can see when you look through your spotting scope. That is called the ‘field of view’. If you are just using your scope mainly to access your target shooting then you don’t need such a large field of view.

On the other hand, if you are going to use your spotting scope to search for game or look at other moving objects, a scope with a wider field of view is much preferred for this task.

Know the Important Numbers. You are probably wondering what those important numbers on the side of a spotting scope are. Somewhere stamped on a spotting scope or on its information will be a series of three very important numbers. They will look something like this: 30-60×70. These numbers represent the following very important information you need to know before you buy any spotting scope model:

#5 MAGNIFICATION

Spotting Scope MagnificationThe first two numbers (30-60 in the example above) represent the zoom capability of a spotting scope relative to how far you can see with the naked eye. The ‘30-60’ in the example above means you can zoom that scope from 30 – 60 times the distance you would be able to see with your naked eye.

#6 OBJECTIVE LENS DIAMETER

Spotting Scope Objective lens diameter

The last number in the series (70 in the example above) is the size in millimeters of the objective lens a particular spotting scope has. The bigger the objective lens the better the image quality you will get with that spotting scope.

#7 WEIGHT

You also must decide how portable you want your spotting scope to be and the biggest factor in this is the weight of a spotting scope.

The weight of spotting scope is usually directly related to the power of its magnification and the size of its objective lens. The more power a scope has and the bigger its objective lens the more it will weigh.

Obviously you do not a super heavy spotting scope if you are going to be on the move often and carrying a lot of other gear out in the field with you. So you may have to sacrifice some magnification power and image quality to accomplish this.

#8 DURABILITY/WEATHER PROOFING

Spotting scopes are by no means a disposable item so that means you would like them to last as long as possible. Make sure any spotting scope you buy is made out of sturdy lightweight metals like aluminum alloys or its body is made out of tough polymer plastic. It is also highly recommended that any spotting scope you buy be waterproof.

Spotting Scope Waterproof

#9 WARRANTY

Even the most durable spotting scopes may not end up being problem free. There are times when your spotting scope may fail through no fault of your own.

Things such as material defects and poor workmanship can and do occur on products all the time. That is when a nice warranty on a spotting scope comes in very handy.

There are two important aspects of a good product warranty. The first is the time period it covers and the longer the warranty the better. Equally important is what parts on a product that warranty covers.

You need to know if it covers just some of the parts on the scope or all of it. The more comprehensive your spotting scope warranty is the better.

Spotting Scopes Fulfill Some Essential Needs for Hunters and Target Shooters

If you shoot for target practice a lot or are a serious hunter, then you should consider purchasing a spotting scope if you don’t already own one.

You can even use them in the field to spot game before you shoot. They are easier to use and have a more powerful magnification than your rifle scope in most cases.

We hope after reading this article you better know how to choose a spotting scope for target shooting or for use when hunting.

They really can make things much more convenient for anyone who likes to shoot a gun or hunt. Spotting scopes can also be used for bird watching and sky watching too.

They definitely are fun and helpful sight magnification tools that can be used for a variety of different uses.

— More Readings: Best budget binoculars for hunting

How to Range-Sight an Air Rifle Scope?

How to Range-Sight an Air Rifle Scope: Step-by-step Guide

Modern air rifles are a very popular type of firearm among shooters these days with several different types of power plants to choose from and drastically improved performance that provides far greater muzzle velocity than older models.

Consequently, modern air rifles now range from small bore .17, .22, and .25 caliber rifles to large bore .35, .45 and, .50 caliber rifles that are capable of bringing down even large game species.

However, while pre-charged pneumatic air rifles and pump air rifles generate very little vibration, other types of power plants such as spring pistons and gas pistons do generate quite a bit of internal vibration and thus, air rifle specific scopes necessarily feature a more robust internal construction than standard rifle scopes.

But, even though their internal construction differs slightly from standard rifle scopes, air rifle scopes are still sighted in using the same procedure as that used to sight in a standard rifle scope.

10 Steps to Sight In Your Scope On Air Rifle

Step #1: Clear Shooting lane

First you will need a range with a clear shooting lane that extends approximately 25 to 75 yards depending on the distance at which you will be shooting most often.

Step #2: Set up a stable shooting platform

Next, you will need to set up a stable shooting platform such as a table with an accompanying chair where you can sit and rest your rifle while shooting as well some type of elevated rifle rest to help hold your rifle steady.

Step #3: Set up a paper target

Next, you will need to set up a paper target at your desired distance. Also, targets can range from something as simple as a cardboard box with a piece of printer paper tapped or pinned to one side to an elevated wooden frame to which a printed target is pinned.

However, if you opt to use a simple piece of blank paper, you will need to create a small dot in the center to provide you with a specific point to aim at.

Step #4: Set your target 

Then, once you have created your stable shooting platform and set your target at your desired distance, the next step is to begin shooting and adjusting your scope.

Step #5: Load your rifle

So, start by first charging the rifle’s air chamber and then load your rifle with your chosen pellet and then, seat yourself in your chair and rest your air rifle on your benchrest.

Step #6: Take the first shot

Then, take aim at your target by locating it through your scope and then, place the center of the reticle in the center of your aiming point and, while holding the rifle as steady as possible, take the first shot.

Step #7: Get up and walk to the target

Then, after taking the first shot, you will need to pause to see where your pellet struck the target. Thus, you can do this by either using a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope to view the target from your shooting platform or, you can get up and walk to the target.

Then, once you know where your pellet struck the target, you will need to return to your shooting platform and make appropriate adjustments to the position of your scope’s reticle.

Step #8: Adjust the position of the reticle

Thus, in order to do so, first unscrew the caps from both of your scope’s turrets. Then, use a coin such as a penny or a dime to rotate the internal mechanism of each turret in order to adjust the position of the reticle to the correct point of aim.

In addition, you should be aware that the top turret adjusts the point of impact up or down and, the turret on the side adjusts the point of impact left or right.

Plus, you should also be aware that most air rifle scopes feature one quarter inch Minute of Angle (MOA) adjustments which means that turning the turret mechanism one increment will adjust the point of impact up or down or, left or right by one quarter of an inch.

Consequently, if the pellet strikes your target 2 inches to the right and 3 inches high, then you will need to adjust the top turret to move the reticle down twelve “clicks” and left eight “clicks” (you will feel a slight click as the turret is adjusted to each new increment).

Step #9: Fire again

Then, once you have made the initial adjustment to the position of your reticle, then you will then need to again charge and load your air rifle, rest the rifle on your benchrest, take aim at your aiming point, and fire again.

Then, you will once again need to note the pellet’s point of impact and then make any necessary adjustments by again adjusting the internal mechanisms on the scope’s turrets.

Step #10: Replace both turret caps

Last, once you have adjusted the scope’s reticle to match your desired point of impact at your desired shooting range, then you will need to replace both turret caps by screwing them both back onto the turrets in order to protect internal mechanisms from moisture and dirt.

But, once you have your air rifle scope properly adjusted so that your pellet strikes your desired point of impact at your chosen range, you should not have to make any further adjustments unless you switch to a significantly lighter or heavier pellet or, you desire to change the range at which your scope is sighted in at. In which case, you will then need to repeat the steps listed above.

Final Thoughts

So, as you can see, although the process of sighting in an air rifle scope is neither complicated nor difficult, it does require both a clear range with a safe backstop, a target with a clearly defined aiming point and, a stable shooting platform.

In addition, it also requires proper benchrest shooting techniques such as controlling your breathing so that you first inhale and then exhale half a breath before pulling the trigger.

Plus, it is also very important that you learn to gently squeeze the trigger rather than pulling it abruptly because doing so can adversely affect your aim and thus, cause you to not shoot accurately.

Therefore, it is a wise idea to practice these techniques anytime you are shooting at a target because doing so will insure that you are getting the best possible accuracy that your air rifle and chosen pellet combination are capable of providing you.

3 Fundamentals to Improve Your Accuracy with your Rifle and Handgun

How to Improve Your Accuracy with your Rifle and Handgun ?

Shooting is a lot of fun. Shooting accurately is even more fun. There are a couple easy principles that can be applied to both rifles and handguns that will vastly improve your shooting abilities. These fundamentals are easy to apply, and you’ll notice a difference pretty quickly.

As with any skill, becoming a better shot takes practice. You can study these fundamentals all day, but until you spend hours practicing at the range, it won’t matter.

Read these easy steps, practice, and watch your shot groups improve:

# The Basics

Before getting into the principles of shooting, we will assume that your weapon is accurately zeroed. If your zero is no good, it doesn’t matter how good your techniques are.

However, there are some ballistic fundamentals that go into zeroing your weapon as well. Keep in mind that the optical plane (looking through/down your sights) is slightly higher than the trajectory of the bullet, since the barrel is below the optics.

weapon zeroing
An 18th Security Forces Combat Arms instructor indicates on-target shots on a zeroing target after making sight corrections at the CA firing. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Maeson L. Elleman)

These two planes are nearly identical, but they are only truly the exact same at two different points along the bullet’s trajectory. We won’t bore you with the physics, but it’s worthwhile to research the ballistics of your specific cartridge, that way you can zero the weapon at the appropriate distance. If you zero the weapon at an ideal distance, your point of aim and point of impact will be as close as possible throughout the entire effective range of the bullet.

Now that we’ve gotten past the basics of ballistics, we will talk briefly about the three primary aspects of shooting technique. These three fundamentals are the position that you’re shooting from, your breathing while shooting, and your trigger squeeze.

1. Shooting Position

Shooting position refers to the actual, physical position that your body is in while firing the weapon. This should be a comfortable position that will allow you to control the recoil of the weapon, while also maintaining and clear and consistent sight picture.

Keeping your head in the same position while firing will prevent you from having to reset your vision. This will allow you to focus on your target better, which will improve your accuracy significantly.

When shooting a rifle, the buttstock should be placed firmly against your body. It should be in the indentation between your shoulder and your chest, as this is a pretty stable position that is easy to repeat. Your head should be firmly pressed against the stock of the weapon, and your non firing hand should be slightly pulling the weapon into your body.

 

Rifle Shooting Position

With a handgun, there obviously isn’t as much real estate to work with, so your grip becomes extremely important. There are a couple different methods that are commonly taught. My recommendation is to choose one that works best for you, and do the exact same thing every single time you shoot.

For me, I like to have both of my thumbs pointed downrange on the side of the barrel. Another recommendation with a handgun is to nearly lock your firing elbow, and pull back a little with your forward hand. This has the same effect as pulling a rifle against your shoulder; it helps to reduce recoil and return the weapon to the same firing position each shot.

Handgun Shooting Position

When firing a handgun, you should be in a slightly crouched position. This will make sure that the weapon is more or less at eye level, which serves the same purpose as holding your head tightly against the buttstock of a rifle.

While there are obviously quite a few aspects of shooting position that come into play, the primary goal is that you should be firing from the exact same position each time. This will make it much easier to aim, adjust to recoil, and continue shooting. If you are constantly resetting your body between shots, it will negatively affect your accuracy.

2. Breathing

Breathing is much easier to teach and understand than accurate shooting position. Put your arm out in front of your face and breathe in and out a few times. Notice how your arm slightly moves up and down?

That’s exactly what happens while you are holding your weapon and trying to shoot. If you fire the weapon while you are breathing in or out, the rifle will be moving slightly, which will cause you to miss your target.

To fix this, you should shoot between breaths. “Breathe in. Breathe out. Fire”. Your point of aim will be momentarily steady in between breaths. However, don’t hold your breath, because this could cause other accuracy issues. If need be, just take another breath and reacquire the target through your sights afterwards.

3. Trigger Squeeze

The final basic shooting fundamental is your trigger squeeze. If you jerk the trigger, it will cause you to slightly twitch the rifle or handgun, which will then cause you to have an inaccurate shot. When you are pulling the trigger, you should have a controlled pull, followed by a pause, and then a deliberate release.

Most triggers have a positive block in them. Usually, there’s a certain amount of “slack” in the trigger, followed by this positive block. Right after this positive block, the trigger can be slightly pulled, which will fire the weapon. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, try pulling the trigger on your unloaded weapon. You may notice this positive block.

You should control the trigger back to this positive block, and make all efforts to avoid a jerky final pull. After the weapon is fired, keep the trigger fully depressed, which will prevent a jerky release. From there, slowly release the trigger back to this positive block, and be prepared to fire the weapon again.

Handgun Trigger Pull Shooting Technique

To Sum it Up, 

These three fundamentals will help to improve your accuracy over time. It will take a lot of practice, but over time, you will notice that it becomes easier and easier to repeat the same steps. The primary goal of your shooting fundamentals should be that you are firing from the exact same position, in the exact same way, over and over again.