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

zeroing a 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.

first focal plane

What you need to know about focal planes

Many rifle shooters don’t really understand the difference between focal planes and it’s an aspect of rifle scopes that is often confusing to many. Basically, the difference between a first and second focal plane scope is where the reticule is positioned within the rifle scope. This affects the image seen…

Hawke laser rangefinders for shooting

Here’s what you need to know about laser rangefinders for shooting

People who hunt with air rifles often seem to talk about carrying laser rangefinders for shooting . Are they really an essential item of kit? Are laser rangefinders for shooting air rifles necessary? Matt Manning replies:  Laser rangefinders are not essential kitbag items for air rifle hunting, but they play…

airgun laws

Air rifle questions we’re often asked

  Q: Do I need a licence for an air rifle?  If you live in England or Wales and have an air rifle with a muzzle energy level of 12 ft lb or less or an air pistol with a muzzle energy of 6 ft lb or less you don’t…

Summer squirrel shooting with air rifle

Airguns and summer squirrel shooting

Squirrel shooting with an air rifle can be very tricky over the summer months. The trees are covered with dense foliage which makes your quarry almost invisible in the treetops. Lure of the pheasant feeder The colder months are an easier time for squirrel shooting with an air rifle. Hungry…

rifle velocity

Does cold weather affect rifle velocity?

If I use a variable magnification scope zeroed on the highest setting and in good light, would the point of impact change when the scope is turned down for a poor light situation? This is assuming both targets are at the same distance.

deer seen with night vision

Why thermal-imaging binoculars will change stalking forever

From time to time in the stalking world there comes along some advance or technical development that is a game changer. Usually it is roundly disapproved of until it becomes clear that it brings real advantage to the stalker, at which point everybody starts using it. When rifle scopes started…

night vision versus the lamp

Night vision versus the lamp

With nightvision shooting equipment becoming ever more popular, Ian Valentine asks the experts to weigh the latest green-tinted scopes against more traditional plug-in lamps

air rifle scopes

How much are scopes for air rifles if I get one fitted?

Air rifles: I have an old Original Mod 35 air rifle and I would like to fit a scope to it. It already has a rail fitted, and I am wondering what is the best type of scope to fit, and how much can I expect to pay?

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…

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…

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…