How Does a scope work-All there is to know about the working of a riflescope

The simplest understanding behind the working of a rifle scope is the capability of magnifying a distant object such that the viewer ends up seeing the image much closer.

Well, the working of the scope is quite simple- allowing the shooter to have the barrel of the firearm with the target, something that is rather impossible to achieve without using a riflescope. Now, simple as this may see, there’s a lot more complexity behind the optics in operation within it.

Knowing how the internal components work alone is not enough, you’ll also want to know how the external s influence the working of the more complex optics inside the rifle.

So, that being said, let’s go ahead and have a look at how the externals work first then have a look at the internal functions, shall we?

The external functions of a scope.

The scope’s body

I’m pretty sure that you do know what the scope body does- holding the lenses in position when you have the scope mounted on your rifle.

In addition to holding everything together, the exterior of the scope also has got all the essential controls you need in order to achieve bright and clear pictures- think of it’s working mechanism similar to that of a camera or a telescope.

Though it’s got to be durable, you’ll also want to have one that’s lightweight in nature such as aluminum which also happens to be corrosion resistant and shockproof at the same time.

The objective bell

On the front side of the scope, the one closest to the barrel is also the widest part of the scope and the reason for this is so that it can be able to accommodate the objective lens.

The ocular bell

Situated at the rear end of the scope is the ocular bell which is wider than the middle portion and accommodates the ocular lens. The ocular lens is what you look through when taking your aim

The main tube

Being the middle section of the riflescope, the main tube is the most important section of the tube’s body since it connects the objective bell and the ocular bell together.

Most of the common tube measurements you’ll get are 1 inch or even larger than this such as 30mm tubes. By knowing these measurements, you should then know the ring sizes to order before you can mount the scope on your rifle.

The adjustment knobs

Adjustment knobs are situated in the main body tube and depending on the application, you may have either the capped or exposed. For hunting, you’ll want them capped and for long-range/tactical shooting (target turrets), they’re exposed for easy access.

What are the click adjustments?

These are felt with each turn of the dial and with each one, you get to achieve a quarter minute of angle adjustment (1/4 MOA). The MOA adjustment ratio holds at different distances i.e., a single MOA at a 100-yard distance is equivalent to one inch, at 200 yards equivalent to 2 inches and so forth.

Additional primary adjustments

Other than the click adjustment, there are 3 other major adjustments you should know about and these include the power ring, the ocular focus ring and finally the parallax adjustment ring

  • The power ring: located at the front of the ocular bell, the power ring is the external control for the objective lens of the scope.
  • Ocular focus ring: situated at the rear of the ocular bell, it allows you to have a better focus of the reticle
  • Parallax adjustment: this basically enables you to have the target and the reticle lie on a common focal plane.

Scope internals

As far as getting the job done, the performance of a rifle scope is just as good as the optics inside it. Right at the front is an objective lens that takes in the light. The level of contrast, brightness and clarity are normally dependent on a number of factors such as the coating and the diameter.

With a coated lens, there is also less reflection hence more light is able to reach the eye. Besides the coating, it is also recommended that you go for the purged and sealed lenses as these prevent moisture entry hence making it easy to use the scope in humid and wet conditions.

For you to see the image, there is the ocular lens at the rear of the scope that makes the picture visible.

The image focusing within the scope

There is more to the internals other than just the two lenses mentioned above. Here goes

  • Focus lens:

This is right behind the objective lens and it aids in focusing objects in the scope

  • Erector tube:

Situated between the objective lens and the focus lens is the erector tube that contains the reticle assembly (crosshairs) and the magnification lenses.With an increase in magnification, the magnification lens moves towards the objective lens and when lowered, it moves towards the ocular lens

  • The reticle:

Mounted either at the front or the rear of the magnification lens, the reticles give you a lock on to the target.

When mounted at the front (first focal plane), the reticles will increase in size with an increase or decrease in the magnification such that the object in the scope and the target have a relative size.

If at the rear (second focal plane), the reticle size does not change when the magnification is changed. This kind of scope is recommended for use by hunting since you get to see the target much better for more accurate shots.

For tactical/long-range shooting, either of the scopes can be used but if you want an easier time for the range estimation and long-distance shooting, I’d recommend that you stick to the front focal plane.

Final verdict

I’m quite positive that the working of scope is much clearer now.With knowledge of what every component does, you not only know how to use one better but also know the kind of rifle scope you ought to go for regarding the application in which you are going to use it.

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