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10 10
Bass Pro Shops Outdoors Online: Optics

Rifle Scope Terminology


A riflescope indicates a bullet's point of impact and makes distant targets and surrounding objects appear closer. A riflescope is recommended for safer, more accurate shooting in the field and on the range.

Coated Optics
Coatings on lens surfaces reduce light loss and glare due to reflection for a brighter, higher-contrast image with reduced eyestrain. Bushnell® riflescopes are coated with a microscopic film of magnesium fluoride. More coatings lead to better light transmission.


Coated - A single layer on at least one lens.

Fully-Coated - A single layer on all air-to-glass surfaces.

Multi-Coated - Multiple layers on at least one lens and all surfaces are coated at least once.

Fully Multi-Coated - Multiple layers on all air-to-glass surfaces.

Exit Pupil
The size of the column of light that leaves the eyepiece of a scope. The larger the exit pupil, the brighter the image. To determine the size, divide the objective lens diameter by the power (a 4x40 model has an exit pupil of 10mm).

Eye Relief
The distance a scope can be held away from the eye and still present the full field of view. Bushnell riflescopes provide an extra margin of comfort and recoil safety with extended eye relief and soft neoprene eyepiece guards.

Field of View (F.O.V.)
The side-to-side measurement of the circular viewing field or subject area. It is defined by the width in feet or meters of the area visible at 100 yards or meters. A wide field of view makes it easier to spot game and track moving targets. Generally, the higher the magnification, the narrower the field of view.

Magnification (Power)
Riflescopes are often referred to by two numbers separated by an "x". For example: 4x40. The first number is the power or magnification of the scope. With a "4x", the object being viewed appears to be four times closer than when seen with the unaided eye.

Objective Lens Size
The second number in the formula (4x40) is the diameter of the objective or front lens. The larger the objective lens, the more light that enters the scope, and the brighter the image.

Ocular Lens
The lens closest to your eye.

A condition that occurs when the image of the target is not focused precisely on the reticle plane. Parallax is visible as an apparent movement between the reticle and the target when the shooter moves his head or, in extreme cases, as an out-of-focus image. Bushnell center-fire riflescopes under 11x are factory-set parallax-free at 100 yards; rim-fire and shotgun scopes at 50 yards. Scopes of 11x or more have a special range focus to adjust for parallax.

Precision Adjustments
The windage and elevation adjustments affect accuracy. Windage is the horizontal (left-to-right) adjustment, usually the side turret of the scope. Elevation is the vertical (up-and-down) adjustment, usually the top turret of the scope. Bushnell scopes feature 1/4 M.O.A. (1/4" at 100 yards) or finer windage and elevation adjustments with audible clicks for greater precision.

Now the hunter won't miss the shot of his life by accidentally breathing on his eyepiece while aiming. RAINGUARD is Bushnell's exclusive, patent pending, hydrophobic (water-repellent) coating that causes condensation from rain, fog or snow to form in much smaller droplets than on standard coatings. Smaller droplets scatter less light resulting in increased light trans-mission and a much clearer sight picture. Also, water sheets off of RAINGUARD much more readily than off a standard coating.

Resolution, or definition, is the ability of a scope to distinguish fine detail and retain clarity.

Rugged Body Construction
Bushnell riflescopes use high-durability aluminum alloy formed into a one-piece tube. They are also anodize finished and are sealed to protect the inside from the elements. Each riflescope is rustproof, virtually scratch-proof and a beautiful complement to the most expensive rifles.

Sealed, Waterproof and Fogproof
Bushnell riflescopes remain crystal-clear in all types of weather. All 1" and 30 mm diameter riflescopes are not only nitrogen-purged to remove any vestige of internal moisture, but they are also O-ring sealed to prevent the entry of dust or moisture.

How To Choose

A quality riflescope is the key to a successful day at the range or in the field. Riflescopes bring distant targets and surrounding objects up close and personal allowing safer, more accurate shooting. They gather and utilize available light making it possible to shoot in lower light conditions and allowing the hunter to hunt from dawn to dusk.

Pairing just the right riflescope with your gun and ammunition will help you get the most out of each and every shot. Selecting the correct scope to fit your needs involves a number of considerations from mechanics and construction, to image quality and magnification. Keep in mind when and where you shoot most often and choose a riflescope with features that best fit the requirements of your particular sport.

The inner workings of a scope have a direct affect on shooting accuracy. As adjustments are made during sight-in, the cam tube, which holds the reticle and lenses in place, moves inside the scope. To stay on target and produce a quality image, this tube must be strong enough to absorb the impact of heavy recoil during shooting and remain in place. When selecting your riflescope look for precision (positive) adjustments, point-of-impact consistency, reticle strength and waterproof, fogproof and shockproof durability. You'll also want to consider weight, bulk and ergonomics, which are especially important during long days in the field.

Image Quality
For optimum image quality, it is important that the optical system of a riflescope deliver as much light as possible to the eye of the shooter. The lighter or brighter the image, the sharper the resolution, and the clearer the shot. The quality of the glass, lens design and optical coatings all contribute to a riflescope's ability to manage light effectively. When selecting your scope, consider magnification, objective lens size, exit pupil, resolution, field of view and eye relief.

Choose a riflescope with the magnification or power that is appropriate for your particular application.

Low power - (example: 1.5-6x32, 2-7x32) These riflescopes are ideal at close range and for shooting moving targets. They provide the most effective light management and produce a brighter sight picture and wider field of view-even in low-light conditions and thick brush.

Medium power - (example: 3-9x40, 2.5-10x50) Select these riflescopes for hunting big game at medium range.

High power - (example: 6-18x40, 6-24x40) These riflescopes are best for target shooting, when the target is motionless and for varmints and other small game.


A reticle is the crosshair or pattern placed in the eyepiece of the scope which establishes the gun's position on the target.


Custom reticles are available for adjustable objective Elite® riflescopes only on a custom basis. Reticles available by scope model are listed below.

32-4124A 4-12x40 1/2 Dot
42-3640A 36x40 1/8 Dot
42-4165M 4-16x50 1/4, 1/2 Dot
42-6244M 6-24x40 1/4, 1/2 Dot, Mil Dot
42-8324M 8-32x40 1/4, 1/2 Dot, Mil Dot

To order your custom reticle, mail your scope along with a check for $55.00 to:

Bushnell® Elite Riflescopes
Attn: Custom Reticles
8500 Marshall Drive
Lenexa, KS 66214

Your scope will be returned in approximately 6 weeks.

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