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.


ZEISS V8 range

Looking at the versatile ZEISS Victory V8 range

The Zeiss V8 range sports four models that utilise, as the name suggests, a power range of eight magnification, that is to say, 1.1-8x30mm, 1.8-14x50mm, 2.8-20x56mm or on test is their 4.8-35x60mm V8 model. A premium scope designed to be as capable in woodland at close range as it is reaching…

shooting rats with thermal imaging scopes

Outwitting rats with thermal imaging scopes

Brown rats are prolific and resilient opportunists. This is in no small way due to their intelligence. Rat brains are remarkably similar to humans’ in both structure and function. They learn through observation, response to stimulus and have a high-functioning memory. This means that while a few sessions of lamping,…

Optics Product of the year – over £1,000 – Nightforce NX8 Rifle Scope 

Optics product of the year – over £1,000 – Nightforce NX8 Rifle Scope  The NX8 scope family evolved from the NXS series and has proven to be a market-leading product in many ways. The variety of this series will cater for all stalking enthusiasts whether you are spotting muntjac in…

Hawke Sidewinder Scope

Optics Product of the year – under £1,000 – Hawke Sidewinder Rifle scope

Optics product of the year – under £1,000 – Hawke Sidewinder Rifle scope Created with almost every conceivable option, the Sidewinder is seen as a multi-discipline optic with a wide range of uses. Be it winning target competitions on the world stage, or wandering through the woods on a stalk,…

Night vision product of the year – Pard NV008P Night Vision Rifle scope

Night vision product of the year – Pard NV008P Night Vision Rifle scope The Pard NV008P Night Vision Unit sets a new benchmark amongst dedicated night vision scopes, with 1080P colour for daytime use and 1080P night time viewing, mp4 video recording and fast change battery power and compact powerful…

Pulsar Krypton XG50 thermal-imaging unit

The Pulsar Krypton XG50 thermal-imaging unit

The Krypton XG50 looks almost identical to the popular front-mounted F155 and the later F455 night-vision models, and the button layout and functions are practically the same. The Krypton, however, is purely a thermal unit, working solely on the heat source given off by your quarry. It comes supplied with…

night-vision equipment

The latest night vision equipment reviewed

We asked two of our contributors to take the latest night vision equipment out into the field. Here’s what they thought. The Pulsar Digex N450 digital night vision riflescope – Mark Ripley The Digex scope is the latest night vision equipment riflescope from Pulsar. The main body looks almost identical…

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.

using thermal imagers ethically 

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…