Magnification: Can You Have Too Much?

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( — December 6, 2022) — Having the best magnification is essential for any shooter. These scopes provide more magnification than other optics, and this increased magnification could be beneficial in certain situations. But when it comes to magnification, is there a point of too much?

In this article, we’ll dive into the concept of magnification and discuss if there is ever too much. We will look at the factors that influence the amount of magnification you need and if there is an optimal level for different shooting situations.

Is There an Optimal Magnification?

A 3-9-power scope is generally considered the best all-around magnification for most shooters. It provides enough power to hit targets at mid-range distances while being light, compact, and relatively inexpensive.

Always set your scope to the lowest magnification, and only increase it when necessary. This will help you maintain accuracy and precision while allowing you to reach out further when needed.

For instance, the best scopes for .223 allow you to set the magnification according to your needs. This is why they are highly recommended for both short and long-range shooting.

What You Should Know About Higher Magnifications

You should know a few things before investing in a scope with a higher magnification than your current optic.

They’re Bulkier

One thing you should consider before buying a higher magnification scope is the size. Higher magnifications require more lenses, which increases the overall size of the scope and makes it bulkier and harder to use. Also, most higher-power scopes are heavier than low-powered optics, adding even more weight to your rifle.

This can be an issue if you’re looking for a scope to use in the field or while hunting. Bulkier optics can be hard to maneuver around and add a lot of extra weight you don’t want to lug around all day.

They Reduce Effective Light Transmission

The other thing to consider is that higher magnifications reduce effective light transmission. This means that, in certain situations, your image may appear darker than it would with a lower power scope. The reduction in light can also make it harder to align the reticles on the target, which could affect accuracy and precision.

Close Range Shots Make Up a Majority of Shots Taken by Most Shooters

The vast majority of shots taken by shooters are at relatively close range. This means that most people don’t need more than 5-10x magnification and can benefit from a lower power scope with better light transmission.

Look – using a 20X scope on a target only 50 yards away will not give you any advantage over a 5X optic. It will only make it harder to see the target, reduce accuracy, and increase the weight of your rifle.

They Need More Windage and Elevation

Higher magnifications require more windage and elevation adjustments to keep the reticles aligned. This means that you’ll have to take more time dialing in your rifle scope, which can be a hassle if you’re hunting or shooting in competitions.

Higher Magnification Is Pricey

Another thing to consider is the price. Higher magnifications typically come with higher prices, making them more expensive than lower-powered scopes. If you’re on a tight budget, investing in a lower-powered scope with better light transmission and less weight may be better.

When to Choose a Higher Magnification

If you’re looking for a scope with more power, it’s best to invest in one with 10x magnification or higher. This will allow you to target and hit targets at longer distances. It’s important to note that these scopes require more skill and precision than lower-powered optics. Therefore, if you’re relatively new to shooting, it may be worth starting with a lower-power scope.

By understanding the factors and features that influence magnification, you can make a more informed decision on whether higher magnification is right for you.