What the numbers on a scope mean

It is logical that the first time you decide to buy a optic sight or scope, you ask yourself what 3-9 × 40 means in a optic sight , or in any optics in general. What are these measurements? It seems like a Chinese thing, right?

Don’t worry, in this article we are going to explain in the simplest way, what those numbers mean and why they should interest you if you are thinking of choosing your next sight. We are going to use a 4 × 32 and a 3-9 × 40 scope as an example , but what you will learn here can be applied to any other scope such as a 4 × 20 or 2-7 × 32, etc.

rifle-scopes

Meaning of the numbers in a optic sight

First things first, let’s separate the numbers to better understand each part of them. Let’s take the following 2 sights / scopes as an example:

  • Look 1: 4 × 32
  • Look 2: 3-9 × 40

Magnification or Zoom

You will observe that always in the numbers of the sights there is an “x” that divides them.

That said, the part to the left of the “x” in our example:

  • Look 1: 4
  • Look 2: 3-9

It refers to the scope’s magnification or zoom ability and would read as follows:

“ Sight 1 has a magnification or zoom power of 4 times. “This means that, if you were to observe a target with your normal visual ability, and then use that scope to observe the same point from the same position, the target would have been magnified 4 times (its image would look larger).

When is a optic sight fixed and when is it adjustable?

Now you ask yourself, what happens in the case of sight 2? Very easy.

When on the left side of the “x” there are 2 numbers separated by a middle dash (-), this means that the zoom of our sight is adjustable. And it is given as follows:

” The zoom of the scope 2 is adjustable from 3 to 9. ” The minimum magnification power being the number to the left of the middle dash (in our example 3) and the maximum zooming power the number to the right of the middle dash ( in our example 9).

It is worth mentioning that there will be intermediate points between 3 and 9 that we can select (4, 5, 6, 7, 8) to regulate and better focus on the objective depending on the distance at which we are.

In our example then:

  • Sight 1: 4 × 32 (4x fixed sight)
  • Sight 2: 3-9 × 40 (Sight adjustable from 3 to 9 times)

Objective lens diameter

Now that we understand what the numbers to the left of the “x” mean, we only have to know what the number to the right of it means. Simple.

The numbers to the right of the “x” refer to the diameter in millimeters of the objective or front lens of our optic sight. In our example:

  • Look 1:32 (32mm diameter front lens).
  • Look 2: 40 (front lens 40 millimeters in diameter).

In other words, it is the size of our front lens. Now, you ask yourself, and how does this influence?

Why is the size of the objective lens of our sight important?

As a general rule, the larger the size of our front lens, the greater the field or spectrum of vision and the greater the light that enters the scope and , therefore, it will allow you to see more and better. This is especially important when the light is poor (sunrise and sunset).

This has its pros and cons. The biggest advantage is undoubtedly the greater amount of light, but a disadvantage is the increased weight in the scope, which increases the weight of the rifle in general and therefore makes freehand shots more difficult.

How to read the numbers on a optic sight or scope

Finally, let’s see how our 2 examples would fully read:

  • Sight 1: 4 × 32 (Fixed sight 4x by 32 millimeters in diameter on your front lens).
  • Sight 2: 3-9 × 40 (Sight adjustable from 3 to 9 magnification by 40 millimeters in diameter on its front lens).

It should be noted that this reading criterion is applicable to any type of fixed or variable zoom optics, whether they are optic sights, binoculars or telescopes.

Scope of optic sights

Sometimes we are asked: How far does a 4 × 32 scope have? Technically there is no such thing as scope in sights or binoculars because they are magnifying elements. What they basically do is make an object look closer than it actually is. What you should do is guide yourself from the magnification or zoom to decide.

Will a 4 × 20 scope allow me to see a deer at 200 meters? The answer is yes, but the big question is how big or how close do you want to see that deer? The same philosophy applies to a 4 × 32 or a 3-9 × 40 and whatever other magnification you have.

For example: Suppose that with your eyes you see an element in the distance and you put a ruler next to your eye to measure its height, and it is 2 centimeters. If now, from the same position, you see the same element with an X2 magnification or zoom scope, you are going to see that same element larger, how much larger? 2 times larger (4 centimeters).

In this way, when choosing a sight you must ask yourself: What do you want to see? and how much bigger do you need to see it?

What is the range of a 4 × 20 scope?

A 4 × 20 viewfinder is recommended for distances between 50 and 100 meters.

What is the range of a 4 × 32 scope?

A 4 × 20 viewfinder is recommended for distances between 50 and 100 meters.

What is the range of a 3-9 × 40 scope?

A 3-9 × 40 viewfinder is recommended for distances between 150 and 250 meters.

What viewer do you recommend me to buy

Start with something cheap but that allows you to climb. 3-9 × 40 scopes , as we saw, can serve a myriad of purposes, both for precision shooting and hunting. Start with that and then think of something higher magnification. I leave you my recommendations below.

Top 10 Riflescopes for 22 Gauge

We have been faced with this question many times, what is the best scopes for deer hunting?

It really is a very common question. When you are starting out in the world of hunting or sport shooting, generally one of the most common options when buying our first firearm is the eternal 22 caliber . Whether it’s a Marlin, Remington, or Winchester rifle, the brand doesn’t matter. We all have a special fondness for this caliber.

Many people make the mistake of wanting to buy a hunting rifle or .22 caliber carbine with a scope sight already equipped and this may be a good option but the reality is that it should be a separate choice . First we must choose the 22 rifle that we like the most or that best suits our needs and then attach a good sight to it that accompanies that need.

best-scope-for-22-rifle

Sometimes buyers are simply unaware of the sights and by buying the rifle together with the sight they believe that they kill two birds with one stone and avoid making 2 purchases. The best thing is to know your weapon and optical element and to decide carefully each one of them. That is why in this article, we will seek to guide you a little more about what to look for when correctly equipping your 22 rifle and not fail.

This article applies to 22 caliber rifles . It should also be noted that we will refer specifically to the long 22 caliber, but it will also serve as a reference point for the short 22 caliber and 22 magnum.

Top 10 Best scope sights for a 22 caliber rifle or carbine

To make your task easier, partner, we decided to put all the possible and most convenient scope sight options , taking into account all the factors mentioned above. These sights are suitable for any type of mechanism, be it a bolt-action rifle, semi-automatic, Winchester-type rifle, etc. It must be clarified that we are not carried away by the reputation of the brand but by the quality of the sight.

Hawke Sidewinder 4-16×50 SF

Hawke is a brand that has always defended itself well. Quality and reliable sights.

Variable zoom of in 4 and 16, you have plenty for a .22 caliber rifle and with the diameter of 50 mm it will be enough for you to see the smallest of the targets very brightly.

Hawke has a lifetime guarantee in any country. This gives us an idea of ​​the brand’s confidence in the durability of the product.

Durable, robust and reliable, they would be 3 good attributes of this sight, only against its weight. Although they are not excessively heavy, they are above some other interesting alternatives.

Conclusion: A look for a lifetime. Leftover increases and excellent luminosity.

Konus PRO 3-9×40

Konus KON7276 KONUSPRO 3-9X40 550BAL IR MBLK, Unisex, Black, 3-9x40mm

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This sight, as you may have noticed, is designed for the .223 caliber, but in case you didn’t know, the .223 and .22 caliber have the same ammunition width, so their uses are usually similar.

The .223 caliber is intended for longer distances than the .22 and this is why I like this option. I always like to go overboard with my scope to ensure accuracy and this scope puts your rifle one notch higher.

Prepared and designed for hunting small and medium animals. With a variable magnification of 3 to 9 and a reticle width of 40mm, it covers almost any hunting scenario.

Conclusion: In my opinion it enhances the performance of a .22 caliber rifle while being quite economical.

BSA Sweet 22 3-9×40

BSA Sweet 22 scope. 3-9x40 scope sight with zoom. Parallax System (Automatic Distance Compensation). Special for sport shooting

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It is a tool created to serve the shooter very reliably.

BSA is known for its high quality, affordable sights, and BSA Sweet is no exception.

It is specially designed for 22 caliber rifles . With interchangeable turrets (all calibrated for rifle 22).

It has a fog and water proof construction, therefore it stands up to most weather conditions.

Its 40mm lens allows a large field of vision and a lot of light input.

Conclusion: Very durable, affordable price, interchangeable parts, resistant to most weather conditions, large field of view, and plenty of brightness.

Aimpoint Micro H-2 2MOA

Aimpoint Micro H-2 2MOA Dot 200185 by

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You are probably wondering what this does here. Let me tell you that this is my favorite option (not to say that it is the best) and let me tell you why before you move on to the next one.

There are some shooters who, for the .22 caliber, prioritize facing speed and accuracy at close range.

In my case, for example, I don’t shoot with a .22 rifle at more than 50 meters. Not because I can’t do it but because I choose not to.

At these distances and with this type of sight, I have fun shooting rabbits and hares on the run and any other small animal at short distances.

This type of red dot sight allows you to aim with both eyes open, so the aiming speed is extreme, and its weight is negligible.

Conclusion: If you like fast shots at short distances, this should be your choice.

Aimpoint 9000SC 2MOA

Aimpoint 9000Sc 2Moa Punto de Mira, Unisex Adulto, Negro, Talla Única

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I’ll be brief on this one. Same logic as above, only this is ideal for short action rifles or semiautomatic rifles.

Also, this version is completely waterproof, shock resistant and is still super light and handy.

Conclusion: Ideal for short distances and semi-automatic carbines.

Nikko Stirling Diamond 3-12×42

\Nikko Stirling Visor Diamond 3-12x42

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Nikko Stirling usually has some pretty fancy options and this one is no exception.

It has great light management and is shock resistant.

The zoom that this sight has is one of the most successful for a 22 rifle (Variable from 3 to 12 magnification) .

I know what you are thinking, it may seem little compared to other options, but in my opinion it is the ideal zoom given the range of the caliber we are using.

It maintains a very good price-performance ratio, so it can be compared with the rest of the recommended ones.

This sight is made of one piece aluminum so it can resist water, shock and fog. It also ensures a very good performance.

Conclusion: Light, elegant and resistant. Variable zoom suitable for the .22. Excellent choice.

BSA 22 Special 3-9×32

BSA viewer. 3-9x32 scope sight with zoom. Special for sport shooting

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Another BSA is a little lighter than the previous one, but no less interesting for that.

This sight is not as hard or bright as the others, but what stands out is its accessibility, which makes it a perfect option for shooters who are just starting to shoot and do not want to spend too much.

It has great control due to the fact that it has knobs for adjusting the elevation and the wind, which are very easy to turn.

It also has another knob that serves to adjust the focus of the sight to ensure a clear view of the target regardless of distance.

Conclusion: Very accessible sight, great control of the regulation of the altitude and of the wind, clear view of the objective at all types of zoom, especially for medium distances and a large field of vision.

Barska Euro 30 3–9×42

BARSKA Euro 30 3-9x42 - Binocular

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Arriving at the end of this top we find Barska. And we go straight to the bone.

It is a tough sight but ideal to start with. You will spend very little, you can make shots of up to 100 meters without problems.

Magnification from 3 to 9 times and diameter of 42 mm. Very good combination for a .22 caliber rifle

Conclusion:  Little spending, a lot of fun, it fulfills its mission.

Barska Airgun 2–7×32

Barska Airgun 2-7x32 - Airsoft Riflescope, Color Black

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Here I bring you the pocket version of the previous one.

I had told you that the previous one was hard. This is the same brand, but we went down to Magnification 2 to 7 and diameter of 32 millimeters. Which results in a lightweight and very economical sight.

Very durable and adaptable. It can also be used in air rifles without problems.

Conclusion:  Flexible, light and very economical.

UTG 3-9×32 BugBuster

UTG SCP-M392AOIEWQ Shooting Range, Unisex Adult, Black, One Size

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The last of this top is from UTG, a robust and reliable brand. I chose this one in particular because it is extremely short. I liked that feature.

For starters, it’s a 3 and 9 variable zoom sight, more than enough for the shooting range of the .22 caliber.

It is made of a light material (430 g of weight) but at the same time resistant which makes it resistant to all hostility of nature , allowing it to be used in almost any type of scenario.

It also protects the eye from any type of recoil the rifle may have and its 32mm lens allows for a large field of view.

Conclusion: It is a reliable, solid sight and for a .22 it is enough and even left over.

Factors to consider when choosing a scope sight for a rifle or carbine 22

The question “What scope sight do you recommend for a 22 caliber rifle or carbine?” Is the most common in the hunting and sport shooting environment.

What you have to understand is that this question does not have a single answer, but depends on a series of factors that will determine it. These factors are the ones that we will analyze below:

What will I use my rifle or carbine 22 for?

First of all, it is important that you determine what you will use your rifle for when choosing your scope sight:

  • “I want it for hunting.”
  • “I want it for sport shooting.”
  • “I want it for personal defense.”

We are analyzing the possible answers one by one:

Riflescope for hunting with 22

You want it to hunt, now: Big Game or Small Game?

By Big Game we understand the hunting of medium-sized animals, such as deer, and even the largest ones, such as buffaloes. Let me tell you mate, that caliber 22 is not the most suitable for this type of hunting because its power is limited to feathered animals, hares and all kinds of vermin that correspond to Small Game.

However, if I can tell you that for hunting in general, a shock resistant sight is recommended, to almost all weather conditions and with a considerable zoom.

Riflescope for self defense with 22

If your answer was for personal defense, the 22 rifle is not the most appropriate because it requires stopping power, which the 22 rifle does not have because its bullet is very small. But if you insist on using it for personal defense, we advise you to choose a sight with little zoom and with a lot of mobility (that is light).

scope sight for sport shooting with 22

If your answer was for sport shooting it will also depend on how far away your target is, but in general you need a scope with an adjustable objective lens and a large lens for a sharp, high definition image.

What type of caliber is my 22 rifle or carbine?

Created more than 100 years ago, the 22 bullet technology has remained largely unchanged over the years and remains popular even after the creation of centerfire ammunition.

The 22 rifle is very accessible and has an accurate shot, making it a favorite of many hunters and sport shooters. It also has an almost minimal recoil, which makes it an instrument for youngsters and children who are new to hunting or practical shooting.

With this rifle you can learn to shoot and it is also used for pest control and target shooting.

Many people believe that the accessibility of the 22 rifle allows it to be fitted with any scope, which leads them to buy any, regardless of its quality and therefore limiting the experience with this rifle. In order not to make that mistake, you also have to know the disadvantages of this weapon:

The need for a light bullet decreases accuracy at long distances. Even in good conditions, the bullet will begin to decrease in height at a distance of about 100 yards. Due to this it can be deduced that a sight with too much magnification is not needed, it can also cause fatigue in the eyes, which makes the sight not look sharp.

Another factor to determine is the type of caliber of your rifle , since the effective power range of a short 22 rifle will not be the same as that of a long 22 rifle , nor that of a 22 magnum rifle , (we say power effective because the bullet can reach greater distances, but the impact will only have a true effect up to a certain number of meters, which will determine its true power); And of course the range distance of your rifle will be an important aspect to take into account when choosing a scope sight.