Types of Rifle Scopes – Open Sight, Aperture, Red Dot, Laser

Last updated on December 24th, 2022 at 12:31 pm

The rifles contain many customizable parts, and shooters have an option to swap these parts according to their choice to create a unique gun. But sometimes, these upgrades may severely affect your aim while shooting. Scopes on your rifle will give you the extra potential for your shooting practice.

A scope is a rifle device that can magnify your aim through the glass lens. These magnifying glasses not only help you to set your target but also help you to determine where your bullet will exactly go. However, the aim and performance critically depend on the types of rifle scopes.

These cool scopes come in different sizes. It depends on their magnification power while providing a range of 0 to 40X and above. However, you cannot fix any scope to any gun or head because a 40X may not be suitable while hunting. It is essential to choose an appropriate scope according to your shooting plan.

What are the Different Types of Scopes According to Structure?

According to the structure, here is the list of different types of rifle scopes. You can find scopes information along with their application in the following lines.

Types of Rifle Scopes

1) Open Sights

Open sights are also called iron sights, and these are the physical alignment markers made of metallic material. These are the standard type of gun scope view and come in various variations. They are suitable for almost all firearms, such as airguns, compound bows, or crossbows. There are various air rifle scopes to increase the sighting of the aiming point of ranged weapons.

The old sight devices rely only on the naked eye of the viewer. This view is undoubtedly different from optical sights such as telescopes, holographic, reflective, and lasers. To aim, the target shooter needs two sights on the rifle. The rear sight has V or U-like shape, while the front sight is a simple projection.

2) Aperture Sights

Aperture sights are a combination of bead or front post-round hole set near to the eye on the rifle’s receiver. At the same time, bringing the target to the center of the rear aperture and inline the front sight into the center of the vision hole. The marksman can line up the target from this front sight post through this hole. This hole is tiny, so the light can bend properly and sharpen the image for a clear view.

Aperture Sights

Due to the effects, there are various standard types for different rifles, just like M-16 and its global civilian companion, the AR-15, which support this scope. You can find different types of air rifle scopes for aperture sights.

3) Red Dot Sights

A red dot sight is a non-magnifying reflector sight for firearms. The other devices need glass for aiming, but this red dot sight will provide you with an illuminated red dot on your target. It is an advanced and easy-to-use gun used in civilian target shooting, hunting, police, and military applications.

Besides this, this application is helpful for firearms and use in telescopes and cameras. The shooter can aim at the target by the illuminated red dot, and this dot will not project out the end of the sight. These are assault rifle scopes for improved accuracy and precision.

4) Laser Sights

A laser sight is a device attached to the firearm to attain the target. Laser sight project a beam of light at the target, while on the other hand, the iron sight and optical sight need to view the target through them to setting aim. The beam of light in a laser sight shooter can achieve the objective with a clear visual reference point.

It is also possible that the device contains one or both of the lasers in it, with some models also incorporating a rangefinder, flashlight, or IR illuminator. There are different ways to attach the laser sight to the device, such as the trigger guard, guide or rod plates, existing sighting mechanism, and the rail system.

10 Types of Rifle Scope According to Application

According to the application, there are ten different types of types of scopes and sights. Let’s find out how these types of rifle scopes are different from each other.

1) Fixed Scope

In riflescopes, the fixed scope is a basic one. In many scopes, you have the option to set the magnification according to need, but this is not possible in fixed scopes. Because the magnification level is permanent in fixed scopes, and they are not adjustable. There is no option to zoom in or zoom out for a clear view of the target. However, they are not expensive, and the price is very considerable according to their qualities.

2) Variable Scope

Unlike the fixed scopes, the variable scopes are adjustable. You can adjust its magnification level according to your aim. There are several series names in these scopes, and they will reach the intense level of 5-20X56. The number 56 is only for the representation of the objective lens, and it means it ranges 56 millimeters. The numbers 5-20 show the magnification level. According to the example, the scop can magnify from 5X to 20X.

3) Night Vision Scope

Night Vision Scope

As the name shows, night vision scope is helpful in the dark. Night vision scopes contain a built-in infrared illuminator to help you see in dark conditions. This scope is perfect if you are a night hunter or want to shoot in low-light conditions. Several types of night vision rifle scopes are graded according to their usage.

4) Tactical Scope

Nowadays, various types of rifle scopes are labeled “tactical.” These tactical scopes are for specific types of shooters as they serve special-purpose tasks. These scopes come in handy for the infantry troops to attain standard range and become an excellent addition to the military.

Tactical scops have low magnification levels since they don’t serve best for long-range shooting. The magnification level is as low as 4X with simple reticles. This range makes it capable of achieving its target at a close to medium range.

5) Long Range Scope

Long-range scopes are the advanced classification of scopes as they are helpful for snipers, including competition scopes. The scopes with a magnification level of 10X are considered long-range scopes. Although these scopes have adjustable magnification levels, some have fixed magnification power.

6) Hunting Scope

Hunting scopes are considered less complicated than the other tactical types of rifle scopes. They are very robust and weather-resistant because they spend lots of time in the elements. The magnification level of hunting scopes is 20X, as hunting is not perfect when done from long distances.

Moreover, they are not adjustable as most of the hunters want simple things so they will not create any distraction at the moment. However, the only purpose of hunting scope is to give a bright and clear image in any weather and condition without any distraction.

7) Competition Scope

These types of rifle scopes are best for competitions, and they are not durable. Although oversized and fragile, they also bring a high magnification level. At the same time, it will not be an excellent decision to use them in hunting or tactical conditions. They are also not suitable transistors of light.

You will shoot from a long distance to the minuscule targets during the competition, where a high-powered competition scope can help. With 40X power, they are working very well in this regard. If you want to use them in your gun, be ready for an extra-large size and weight.

8) Sniper Scope

You might be wrong if you think snipers use large scopes with magnification power tones. Sniper scopes are focused telescopes with components that lay a targeting reticule over-amplified image.

Sniper Scope

Instead of high-power scopes, snipers tend to use moderate scopes with reticles. In the military, 10X scopes are used for snipers much lower in power than you think. The mil-dot reticle is one of the standard scopes because it will provide the sniper with lots of information about the target. Sniper scopes also have fine adjustments and can provide them a tiny detail with accuracy.

In sniper, shooting accuracy is the most important thing, and these scopes are best suited for only experienced shooters who can use them with advanced tools and adjustments. There are different kinds of scopes available when for snipping, but they vary according to the range and ability.

9) Scout Scope

You can say that scout scopes are similar to tactical scopes. Their main application is for hunters and the military who find themselves in dense woods. If you want to go deer hunting, scout scopes will be a good decision.

With a low magnification level of 2X, 8X and 7X are the most popular. They come with a limited adjustability option and give you simple features. This reason makes them preferable for hunters.

10) Red Dot Scope

You will look at only a red dot on your target while shooting. That’s why they have slight or no magnification usually. A red dot will not aim at your target, just like the laser scope. You can only see a red dot visible inside your scope. You can see a single red dot at the center of the optic.

Red Dot scope is primarily helpful in low-range targets and favorites in tactical competitions. You can make an accurate shot with the red dot on your target without any adjustment. However, they are unsuitable for long-range shooting due to little or no magnification power, but they are best for close-range shooting.

What Scopes Does the Military Use?

What Scopes Does the Military Use

There are different types of optics, and the military uses them in various ways. The usage of best rifle scopes differs from unit to unit, and at the same time, conventional forces use other types of scopes. In this section, we will try to tell you about types of rifle scopes and military optics, but it is not sure that all of them are available for civilians in the market.

1) M68 Close Combat Optic (CCO)

M68 CO is one of the most common tactical rifle scopes used in the military. The Army makes contracts for hundreds of optics, and manufacturers provide them for use. These sights are familiar in various military branches.

However, for civilians, it’s also accessible as Aimpoint CompM4, and it is sturdy with consistent sight and joint in use. It is very to use them, and you will enjoy shooting with this type of optic. But M68 is not the only option commonly used in the military. There are many more types preferred for shooting.

2) EOTech 553

The other optic is EOTech 553, and they are a specific type of red dot scope. However, this is a holograph type, which means the laser illuminates it. It will make the reticle tine and increase the accuracy of the shooter.

For civilians,s they are provided at a similar price to the Aimpoint ComM4. Ecotech 553 also gives you a brilliant sight, but the battery timing is not good. Moreover, it is also vital to mention that ECOTech is also involved in a lawsuit by the military, so it is essential to check. Otherwise, you can consider the other options on the list.

EOTech Model 553 is an example of these sights. EOTech sight is a particular kind of red dot sight and considers holographic sight. It means that they are a hologram that gets illuminated by a laser. It has smaller erectile, which increases your accuracy.

3) Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG)

ACOG is made for special units and used in specific operations. They are also common in conventional units through Army and Marine Corps. They are excellent in working and also my personal choice in optics.

They are also available in the civilian market as Trijicon ACOG sights. Military use mostly 4×32 version and ACOG/RMR combo due to its incredible sight. They are military-style scopes with excellent accuracy.

There are limited magnification levels available, so consider them before choosing. Trijicon ACOG is durable, and it is a good thing about them. They are fiber optics for the red dots and work without a battery. They are well known for good accuracy, and it is easy to use them, but at the same time, they are expensive.  

4) Leupold Mark 4

Most advanced shooters use their optics in the military, and there is a low chance of overlapping from one shooter to the other.However, Leupold Mark 4 is a standard optic in snipers and is available in the civilian market.

There is a wide range of magnification power of this type. The Mark 4 is crystal clear, and they are also the best inaccuracy. But at the same time, the price of this quality optic is so high due to the qualities.

5) Schmidt & Bender PMII

Schmidt and Bender PMII are also ubiquitous among snipers in the military. The magnification variety of these optics is also very huge, just like Leupold. Undoubtedly high in quality and even more expensive than the Leupold.

However, these weapons scopes are for experienced shooters, and the quality of these optics will allow you to pay for them.

What is the Clearest Rifle Scope?

If you want to find out the most explicit rifle scope, then the Leupold VX-5HD is the top option that suits your purpose best. It contains a high-end lens, and there is no compromise on quality. This high-definition glass is clear and sharpens your view. It has a Leupold Twilight Max HD Light management system, a distinctive feature of this scope. It brings clarity and aims to the next level by providing the sight for ultimate vision.