When you take on the great outdoors for your backcountry shooting adventure, there’s no doubt you’ll encounter more than one situation where you find your perfect target at long ranges. You’ll need to be prepared with equipment that can serve you at any range in even the harshest conditions, while being easy on your eyes. We at ZeroTech have used our wealth of experience in optics for over 50 years to develop riflescopes that can handle any long distance target with precision and accuracy, keeping in mind these many attributes of quality long range hunting.
In this article, we give you a run-down of the key points to consider when choosing a riflescope for up to 1000 yards, and our picks from our ZeroTech riflescopes range that will enhance your weapon for the ideal long range hunting experience.
1. Comfort On Your Eyes
It’s important to make sure you’re comfortable with using your riflescope first and foremost, whether that be making sure the scope is not in the way of your eyeline or the target. Two of the critical factors to consider are the eye relief and the exit pupil.
The eye relief is the distance between the scope and your eye, from where you mount your rifle to view the full picture. An ideal distance is a minimum of 3.5 inches, which is near enough to fully view the image when zoomed in or out, but far enough so the scope does not hit your eye in case of recoil from the weapon.
The exit pupil, also known as the eye box, is the tiny circle of light through which your eye receives all the optical data of the scope. The bigger the exit pupil, the better, as it will perform much more efficiently at higher magnifications.
For long range hunting, you would essentially require a high magnification, and most experts agree on 18x-25x as the ideal range. The higher the magnification, the more light the scope allows in so you can more clearly see targets at long distances.
Our ZeroTech riflescopes are all designed keeping long range backcountry shooting in mind, and we have a large variety of models to choose from that offer high magnification ranges, including in the TRACE ADVANCED, TRACE, THRIVE and VENGEANCE model catalogues. When testing the capabilities of our scopes, use the parallax knob located on the side of the riflescope to adjust the image for the distance you want, and then choose the level of magnification you prefer.
3. Choosing a Reticle
The reticle is perhaps the most important part of the riflescope, as it allows you to take precise aim at the target using the crosshairs. Within the ZeroTech riflescopes range, our scopes all come outfitted with 92% light transmission glass etched reticles, with ZEROPLEX, Mildot, PHR, and RMG crosshair types available. Your personal preference of reticle is determined by the measurement you find easiest to read when viewing images at a distance.
Another factor to consider is if your reticle is second focal plane (SFP) or first focal plane (FFP) type. With SFP type reticles, the crosshairs stay the same size at all magnifications, but this means the distances between targets will appear different. FFP type reticles change the size of the crosshairs with magnification, hence they are more preferred for long range shooting.
4. Testing Elevation and Windage
Now that you have chosen a reticle, it’s important to ensure the crosshairs maintain their position between shots, and this is done by testing the tracking of the scope. The knobs on the scope allow you to adjust its tracking; the top knob is for elevation, while the right side knob is for windage. The measurements on the knobs for reticle adjustment come in both MOA and mil; it’s important to make sure the units on the knob and the reticle are the same.
To test out the tracking of your riflescope, fire repeated shots while adjusting the elevation and windage by 6 MOA each time between shots, either up/down or left/right, in a ‘four-corner’ test. If the shots align with each other after covering a full distance between four corners, the reticle is perfectly fitted within the scope.
5. Optics Quality
After all is said and done, the riflescope is an extension of your eye; and its most important feature is its ability to enable you, the shooter, to clearly and accurately view your target at any range, and this is only ensured through quality optical infrastructure. Ideally, you would prefer a lens with a high image contrast that helps your target appear much sharper. It also helps to check the resolution of the scope, by using it to read text at long distances (say 50 yards) like one would at an eye test.
We have designed our ZeroTech riflescopes by shooters, for shooters, and our high-quality engineered equipment has undergone rigorous testing to provide you with the best possible long range hunting experience, no matter the distance, no matter the harsh conditions. Contact your nearest arms dealer to take a test run of our wide range today.