Fixed vs Variable Riflescopes: Which One Is Best For Me?

So you’ve decided to enhance your shooting experience and take it to the next level, whether that’s for target or range shooting, open country hunting, or competitive shooting. A regular old rifle with no embellishments just won’t do anymore, and the first thing on your shopping list will be a new riflescope to get that precision and accuracy just the way you want it in those high pressure, high adrenaline situations.

Choosing a new riflescope can be intimidating; there are so many new terms to wrap your head around, so let’s start from the basics. One of the first things you will hear when you ask your weapons dealer is if you’re looking at a fixed riflescope or variable riflescope. Now, he would usually point you towards the higher-end, fancier and flashier variable riflescopes, and common instinct in this age of technological advancement would be to go for the shiny new toy. But is flashy tech the only draw to variable riflescopes? What areas do fixed riflescopes still shine in that make them a worthwhile purchase?

We help you get the low down on fixed vs variable riflescopes in this quick and comprehensive guide so you can make your enhanced shooting experience with ZeroTech riflescopes a good one.

Fixed Riflescopes: The Old Reliable

The key component of a riflescope that determines if it is fixed or variable is the ability to change its magnification. This applies to all types of optics that use an objective lens, including binoculars, however variable magnification is very rare on binoculars and fixed lenses are still the reliable choice. Those characteristics can still be applied to riflescopes, hence why the earliest riflescope models all used fixed magnification and they soon exploded in popularity among hunters.

Today, with the leaps and bounds made in riflescope technology and design, the biggest draw of fixed riflescopes is that they still give you all of the basic functionality you need without breaking your budget. Within the same price range, you can find fixed riflescopes with better quality optics and sturdier construction than super-cheap variable riflescopes.

If you’re an amateur hunter or a shooter who’s still got their training wheels on, a fixed riflescope makes the ideal starting point since all the configuration is done for you and you don’t have to make extra adjustments. The fixed magnification and single lens means you get an unyielding field of view that gives you a brighter, sharper image of your target. This makes it a great choice for range and competitive shooting.

The Rise of Variable Riflescopes

While fixed riflescopes still rely on the technology that served its purpose right from the beginning, it’s not surprising those qualities are making them outdated now. Variable riflescopes have taken over the market with their capability to cater to long-distance shooters and outdoor hunters, since they allow you to adjust magnification using multiple lenses within the scope. This gives you more control over acquiring your target, especially if it is moving or at very long distances. Though fixed riflescopes’ biggest advantage is their larger exit pupil diameter, with modern adjustments you can use a variable scope in the same way.

Of course, an upgrade in technology doesn’t always mean an instant advantage. The multiple lenses can make the image produced by variable riflescopes less sharp especially at lower magnifications. They’re not ideal for close range target shooting, where the extra time taken for adjustment could prove detrimental. You also need to be mindful of your budget and it might be worth looking into a high-end fixed riflescope that gives you a long-lasting edge over cheaper variable riflescopes.

But if you’re a passionate hunter with experience under your belt, and you want to take your shooting game to new, uncharted territory like the harsh backcountry, it’s worth investing in a great variable riflescope with high quality optics and ease of adjustment, such as the ZeroTech riflescopes range. With highly precise reticles, greater light transmission and ideal magnification ranges for all distances, our riflescopes have been designed by hunters for hunters. We strive to keep up with the ever growing challenges and demands of the hunting world, and our variable riflescopes reflect the needs of the modern shooter.

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