Best Riflescopes for Hunting and Target Shooting

In our previous articles, we’ve covered a number of comparisons to help you choose between shooting gear and identify the one that works the best for you, whether it’s looking at the different objective lens sizes available, or picking between riflescopes and red dots. Now that you have a fair idea of what your preferences as a shooter are, you can decide which of our ZeroTech riflescopes and red dots are best suited to your purpose.

At ZeroTech, we pride ourselves on making weapons that are for hunters, by hunters. We understand that every shooter’s style is different and our range covers something for everyone, so everyone can experience our high-quality, precise and accurate optics supported by robust, resilient engineering to give you an optimal experience no matter what your shooting practice. In this guide, we take you through what we consider the ideal requirements for the best riflescopes for hunting, target shooting, and where you might want to invest in a red dot instead.

Target Shooting

Target shooting is a great sport for everyone, whether it’s introducing amateur hunters to get comfortable with their weapons and sharpen their skills before heading out into the field, or testing a brand new riflescope, or you’re just shooting for fun. The first thing to remember about target shooting is that simplicity is key. Your targets are usually stationary and clearly marked; if your shooting style of choice is limited to just the target range, there’s no need to blow your budget on a highly technical hunting or military-grade riflescope. Field of view is not as important to target shooting as it is to hunting.

What’s most important is the objective lens quality, as a high-quality optic such as those used in all ZeroTech riflescopes helps you get a crisp, clearly defined image without any aberrations, reducing the strain on your eyes since you will be looking at similar targets for hours. Target shooting ranges also tend to be smaller than open field distances, so we do not necessarily need a high level of magnification – 3x to 12x is considered a comfortable range for your eye to pick out only necessary movements on the target such as wind. A simple reticle is also important; since the target is stationary, a classic crosshair reticle is good enough to align with the circular targets and help you make the perfect shot.

Keeping these considerations in mind, our recommendations for target shooting include the Vengeance 3-12x40mm ZEROPLEX, the Thrive 3-9x40mm ZEROPLEXand 3-12x44mm ZEROPLEX riflescopes; for even sharper reticle performance, our Thrive range includes the 3-9x40mm PHR 3 and 3-12x44mm PHR 3 riflescopes.

Short Range Target Shooting (100 Yards)

For shooters that prefer strictly short ranges like 10, 50 or 100 yards, some like to keep things old fashioned and forgo an optic or use an iron sight reticle. But if you’re just starting out and want to maintain accuracy and consistency between shots, or if your eyesight is poor, then a red dot is your best friend. While low-powered riflescopes still perform well at a minimum distance of 100 yards, their limited eye relief and field of view can be restrictive as distances grow shorter. This is also why competitive shooters like to use a red dot-riflescope combination for short ranges.

This is where the Thrive Red Dot is your best choice for short range target shooting. With its wide field of view, 3 MOA dot and 11 adjustable brightness settings, it heightens visibility and makes target acquisition so much quicker and easier, even when keeping both eyes open. The high-quality optics and robust design compatible with both Weaver and Picatinny rail bases give you as much value for money as a riflescope but with the simplicity required for short range target shooting.

Hunting

When it comes to hunting, the options are as endless as the possibilities, but as we’ve covered in our previous article about choosing the best riflescope for 1000 yards, it all depends on the type of hunting you are looking to do. Unlike target shooting, you are a lot more likely to encounter moving targets while hunting, so most hunters generally go for a high-powered, high-quality riflescope over a red dot, though a combination of both optics works just as well.

Quality high-performance red dot sights like the Thrive Red Dot are also a good choice for shooting in very woody or forested environments where ranges are automatically reduced and you need faster target acquisition. However, if you’re shooting in open country or fields, or in harsher backcountry conditions, a tough engineered riflescope with a greater magnification range will be worth investing in, and the ZeroTech riflescopes range have been designed by hunting expertise especially for these intensive situations.

You’ll find yourself doing most backcountry or field hunting at long range, so as not to startle your quarry, so the two essentials your riflescope needs are a high-quality, larger objective lens in the 44-50mm range, and a precise graded reticle. The ZeroTech Trace Advanced 4.5-27x50mm RMG MOA covers all of these bases as the best in class for long range hunting, with the reticle also available in a mildot variant; with 92% light transmission and weathershield glass coating, it makes the ideal weapon even in low light or extreme weather conditions. If you’re making the upgrade from target shooting to field hunting, the Thrive HD ZeroTech riflescopes range takes all the best qualities of the above recommended Thrive scopes to the next level.

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