First of all, you need to understand what makes up a high-quality low-light rifle scope before thinking of hunting with low light scopes. A lot of guys when visiting my gun shop, they always ask me some questions like what is the best scope for hunting bucks? Whenever I get asked such a question, I always have a simple answer to it. I say to them, there are so many good 22lr scopes here that will get them the best picture when hunting. This is a good question. But a veteran buck hunter a veteran hunter will ask me whenever he comes to buy riflescope. Hey Bob, what do you think about hunting with low light scopes? Whenever I get asked such a question, then I know an experienced hunter has just visited my gun shop. So I will start answering him by; if he has any manufacturer in mind.
Nowadays, there are many low light riflescopes in the optic market manufactured by some of the great optic giants such as Vortex, Leupold, Nightforce, Bushnell, UTG and Leapers and many others. So, talking about the qualities that make a good low light scope, I will start by emphasizing on the following:
- The lens diameter: people always think if they need it. Forty millimeter scope or fifty-millimeter scope. What for? And this is a question people ask the most When you think about scopes, you have to think about the quality of the glass in that scope and what its best light transmission will be. With the Nikon line of scopes, for example, the Nikon ProStaff, you are going to get about ninety percent of light transmission and not every riflescope has such capability built in it. With the Bushnell, you might be getting ninety-two percent of light transmission, and with the Leupold, you will be getting ninety-five percent of light transmission in low light conditions. Although, these are not proven anywhere. You can research more yourself. There is no doubt that at low light conditions, a fifty-millimeter scope will give you more light than the forty millimeter one. But at the same time, a forty millimeter scope on a lower magnification is going to do you a bigger job too. So when you think about scopes, then you better think about what jobs they are going to do for you. With this, you will be able to select the best suitable for your hunt. Remember, this is about light transmissions and quality of glass, and in this kind of scopes, you cannot make the wrong choice. In Europe, a lot of hunters hunt at the dusk or dawn. Even at moonlight, and these are weather situations where the light condition is challenging. So, the type of rifle scopes they use have to offer exceptional light transmission rate and has to be high quality.
- Magnification: They usually have magnifications that range from two or two points five to ten or twelve. And these are the most common magnification ranges for such low light scopes. Fixed power riflescopes are also commonly used in low light conditions. The reason is that fixed power riflescopes have a good number of glasses inside of their optical system, and this means that light goes through them without significant The higher the number of glasses, the greater the loss of the light. In this case, the general zoom power of the fixed rifle scope is four; unlike the variable power that ranges from two or two points five and higher. With the fixed power riflescope, you are able to get light transmission of about ninety-two percent during hunting in low light conditions. Some variable riflescopes, you can get the light transmission of about ninety to ninety-five percent.
- Knobs: unlike every other riflescope in the market, the special riflescope meant for low light conditions always have their turrets being covered, and they are typically low in height. Although, this is not really a very important feature when it comes to low light capability. And also the clicks do not make any difference – whether it is one click per ten yards or one click per ninety meters. This also is very important to know when purchasing a low light rifle scope for hunting.
- Reticle illumination: for almost all riflescopes designed to be used in the low light conditions, reticle use is of great importance. But it has to be very fine tunable because it offers a very dim intensity level, so it does not shine too much, and this is one of the common problems with cheap low light riflescopes. If hunting with low light scopes and they do not feature illumination system on the reticle, then they have to have a reticle which is the really thick type reticle known as the reticle style one so that you can see it when hunting in low light condition. If the reticle is illuminated, it can be thin, and that is not a problem as long as you can see the illuminated dot.
- The tube diameter: tube diameter in most of the low light scopes is mostly thirty diameter in size. It was said that scopes with thirty-millimeter tubes are brighter than the ones with one inch, but I honestly doubt that to be true. Thus, tube diameter does not have any effect on the rate of light transmission.
- Rails and ring mounting: most European riflescopes including the ones for low light hunting are built with a rail. This type of a rail is not like the Picatinny or Wear’s. It is a special turn part under the riflescope that enables it to be mounted on the rifle, and it is highly different from the US commonly ring mount grip riflescopes types.
When talking about low light scopes and what features are essential, you need to consider fifty or more millimeter of objective lens. A magnification which ranges between three to twelve or two points five to ten with four times zoom. Very high-quality glasses and coatings. And finally, an illuminated reticle. These are the most common features you will need if ever you decide in hunting with low light scopes.