Fixed vs Variable Scopes
So do you go for a Fixed or Variable scope?
When choosing the best rifle scope, the decision is made easier when you look at scopes in terms of price verses functionality. Do you want or need the power and flexibility of the variable scope, or does the lower price and better reliability fit the bill.
One thing that almost never gets taken into consideration is that variable scopes will allow a change in the point of impact, (where the bullet hits the target), depending upon where the magnification setting is. This is not something you want but is almost always found on lower priced scopes.
Something else to take into consideration when choosing the best rifle scope is the fact that the eye relief point changes on variable scopes meaning that the cheek position on the buttstock will also have to change. This can be very annoying and time consuming.
Once again, this problem is almost always present in lower priced scopes, but it also works its way further up the price ladder of scopes than does the point-of-impact problem. In comparison, this is a less important problem than a shifting point of impact.
A fixed-power scope solves both of these problems by maintaining a constant setting, and therefore constant eye relief. Because the power doesn’t change, point of impact won’t, either (as long as the scope doesn’t fail) – but you’re stuck with one magnification for all of your shooting.
In my opinion cheaper variable scopes are essentially a waste of your money. They are inconsistent and have been known to fail altogether. My advice would be to buy one scope and get the best you can afford at the time.
You Get What You Pay For.
As with most things in life but especially with the best rifle scopes, you do get what you pay for. If you decide to go for a manufacturers bundle, ‘rifle, scope, sling etc’, then you can pretty much guarantee that the scope will be useless. As a rule of thumb you need to allow a budget of £150 – £250 for a decent scope, (you can spend a lot more if you have the budget), but spending thousands isn’t necessary to get a good scope.
A very good scope that doesn’t cost the earth is the Sightron S1 3x-9x. These scopes only cost around £100 plus shipping, so they’re a real bargain.
Without a doubt I want a quality scope on my gun and if this means paying a premium then so be it. I would far rather shoot in the knowledge that my scope is going to be an asset and not a burden.
Read Part 3 here