Scopes are an essential shooting accessory for any stalker or target shooter who wants to achieve a more accurate shot.

Scopes work by magnifying an image and they put your eye on the same optic plane as the image you are viewing. A scope helps a rifle or target shooter to focus on the target, align the centre reference point where you want your bullet and pull the trigger!

Here we round up the best on the market for a variety of budgets, writing reviews and helpful articles including how best to lubricate a scope and using scopes for deer stalking.

The technology is changing all the time, with different capabilities being offered for different types of shooting, locations and quarry. We keep you informed about what you need to know with expert comment from our team of reviewers who have solid experience. All shoot regularly and so know the issues and problems that are likely to arise and how scopes can help to solve them.

Scopes

Swarovski Z8i 2.3-18x56 P

How can you stop a scope fogging up?

Q: When I travel to my stalking grounds in a warm car my scope’s lenses fog up in the cold weather. What, if anything, can 
I do to stop this? It’s a real nuisance and very irritating when I want to get out in the field Bruce Potts offers some…

Swarovski Z8i 2.3-18x56 P

Swarovski Z8i 2.3-18×56 P hunting scope

In a break from tradition, I thought I’d start with the conclusion. The Swaro Z8i is without doubt the best lightweight hunting scope I’ve ever had the pleasure to use. The overall design is flawless, the 8x mag range is ideal, the glass is alpha all the way with a…

Hawke Sidewinder FFP

Hawke Sidewinder FFP

It wasn’t very long ago that first focal plane (FFP) scopes were regarded as something of a niche product. There 
has been a shift over the years as more shooters cotton on to the advantages these optics offer. Hawke is never slow when it comes 
to offering customers exactly what…

The Leica CRF 2000B

Laser range finders

Q: Could you recommend 
a laser range finder to help me accurately judge distances? 
I shoot over large fields and hills, so knowing the correct range would be useful. A: Laser range finders are very handy for showing the range to your target, allowing you to adjust your aim or…

Night vision scope

Which is the best night vision scope for the money?

Pulsar’s N550 digital night-vision rifle scope was a game-
changer in the world of late-night pest control and subsequent updates have continually evolved. The closely associated Yukon brand has run in parallel, offering similar technology with fewer “toys” included. Which is the best night vision scope of the two? I was…

checking a scope

How to check your scope

As the bullet is the last thing to have contact with the barrel as it leaves and is the first thing that hits your quarry, the uniformity of the projectile is paramount in achieving good, consistent accuracy.

Hawke Vantage scope

Hawke Vantage Scope 3-12×44 SF

Not everyone can afford top-end optics, and even those who can may still struggle to justify shelling out big money for a scope that’s seldom used or that’s going to be subjected to some serious abuse in the field. Hawke Vantage Scope won’t break the bank The Vantage range of…

Learn how to zero your own rifle

How to zero your own rifle!

How to zero your own rifle: Set up your rifle on a proper bench rest, making sure it is stable and secure so it will not move.

Pulsar Phantom NV sight 4x60mm

What’s a good night-vision sight for under £1750?

Q: I wish to buy a night-vision sight for my .22 Anschutz rimfire that I can also use on my .22-250 Sako for foxes up to 150 yards. Can you recommend one 
for under £1,750? A: As the daylight hours dwindle, 
night vision and thermal imagers will tend to replace standard optical…

stalking with a scope

Do we rely on scopes too much?

I once went out on the hill with an old stalker who bemoaned the use of bipods. This struck me as odd, because I would have thought using bipods meant fewer missed shots and, more importantly, fewer wounded beasts. But according to him, in using a bipod, 
his guests tended…

How to avoid getting a bruised face when shooting

Q: I am emailing out of frustration and wondered if there was any advice you could give me. I have been a competitor in trap shooting, on and off throughout my life, but now find it most uncomfortable to shoot any more than 50 targets due to a very sore…

checking a scope

A £60 scope – is it any good?

I have always been an advocate of buying the best scope you can afford, as its reliability and performance will repay you in the long run. This still holds true but the cheap scopes of 10 years ago have improved to the point that they are often all you need.…

second focal plane

How to clean and maintain your rifle scope

Q: With all this rain of late, 
do you have any tips for cleaning my rifle scope and keeping it safe? Bruce Potts, our resident expert gives his advice A: People tend to put a scope on 
a rifle, then forget about it and never consider cleaning it until something…

Zeiss Conquest V6 scope

The new ZEISS Conquest V6 scope on test

Low light conditions sort out the men from the boys when it comes to optics. Budget scopes – while offering reasonable image quality in good light conditions – often become useless when the light starts to fade. The mid-range new ZEISS Conquest V6 2 – 12 x 50 scope boasts…

Scopes

We review the best scopes for under £350 – which was the winner?

The 3-12x56mm scope, with its good range of magnification settings and 56mm objective lens size allowing plenty of light to enter the scope for low-light situations, 
is ideal for a wide range of hunting and target situations, whether that be vermin control, foxing or deer management. Three of the four…

scope mounts

Should a scope be sitting tight in the scope mount?

A reader asked this question about tight scope mounts: I have fitted a new scope to my .243 stalking rifle and it is very tight in the scope mount. Is this right? I don’t want to over-tighten and damage the scope’s body. Shooting Times’ rifle reviewer and stalker, Bruce Potts had…

best rifle scopes

Five of the best rifle scopes

Bruce Potts rounds up the five best rifle scopes on the market at the moment ranging from a budget friendly £549.99 to a more high end price at £2,740. Kahles Helia 5 2.4-12x56mm Kahles, established in 1898, is the oldest scope manufacturer in the world. Its new range carries the…