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…

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…

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…

Do we rely on scopes too much?

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…

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…