What Scopes Are Good For What?


    The first iteration of guns are hand held pistols which are highly inaccurate. Combatants and field shooters need to get close to their intended target. Sometimes, the spherical round wildly blasts off in different directions.

    Rifles then appeared and dominated the world of guns. Past gunsmiths have found a way to extend the barrel. It also meant that the range of these guns surpass pistols. However, accuracy and precision is still at stake.

    Implementation of Sights and Scopes

    Scopes Are Good For What

    The first rifles appeared in the industrial era. Formally originating from lever-action pistols which are held with a singular hand. The invention of rifles gave an edge with hunters and combat troops deployed in battlefields. The accuracy of the earliest rifles are quite questionable. It is why the first armies to use gunpowder empowered firearms fight in linear formations.

    The 17th century marks the very first time that man attempted to apply scopes to their rifles. The following decades saw the culmination of different scopes being attached in several variations. The most primitive predecessors of scopes saw limited combat in World War I.

    In 1844, an inventor named Morgan James attached the very first recorded telescopic attachment. The further development of Scopes was witnessed following the first application of the telescopic sight. During the civil war, a standard variant of James’ scope had an improved elevation and windage adjustments. They also featured enhanced lenses for further target sighting.  

    The evolution of scopes covered the entire Western hemisphere. It underwent different manufacturers and variants. By 1855, William Malcolm decided to invent his own version of the telescopic sight. Based in New York, he used an original design integrating achromatic lenses. These types of lenses are prevalent with typical telescopes of the time.

    One of the major challenges encountered when designing and attaching scopes lies with shooter relief. Early versions of the telescopic sight experienced designer difficulties with attachments that affected the eye level of shooters. Most early scopes lack the allowance required to not hit a shooter’s eye when the gunfire recoil ensues.

    Different Type of Scopes and their Application

    The modern iteration of shooting scopes still hail from the original Chapman-James sight. However, eye relief attachments were improved. An excellent example of scope eye relief application is seen with the German ZF41 scope. It was a staple of World War II firearms design and used with most German Karabiner Kurz 98k rifles.

    Today, several optic sights and telescopic sights are invented for various purposes. Each type has a specific function for a particular use. We now discuss the modern types of scopes, and what kind of use they are most applicable.

    Iron Sight

    The cheapest to manufacture, iron sights are typical even with the earliest hand guns. The application of the iron sight has also evolved through the ages. The iron sight is the bare optical tool manufactured naturally with any type of firearm. An iron sight serves as the default aiming mechanism that a shooter can utilize when no scopes are available.

    Aperture Sight

    An aperture sight is quite similar to the basic structure of the iron sight. The only difference is that the aperture sight uses a rear ring instead of an open sight. Aperture sights can be seen with most AR15 rifles and HK automatic rifles.

    Open Sight

    The other type of sight is an open sight which does not feature a ring, but two corner boxes leaving an open slot in between. Aiming using both sights requires the alignment of the frontal sight with the rear sight. Similar to the iron sight, it also functions as the default aiming mechanism for any field firearm.

    Optical Scopes

    Representing scopes with limited ranges. Optical scopes are normally represented by red dot sights and collimator sights. Modern optical scopes make use of rare earth materials that enable the projection of singular aiming dots. Optical scopes eliminate the need for aiming with default iron sights. It incorporates both front and rear sights into a one aiming device. Today’s optical scopes are used for close-quarter shooting or medium range engagements.

    Red Dot Sight

    The red dot sight is a scope attachment available for pistols and rifles. The normal red dot sight projects an illuminated targeting reticle. The reticle may take different colors such as red, blue, green, and orange. The red dot sight features a square shaped lens that increases accuracy up to a maximum of 220 meters. Red dot sights are excellent for close-quarter battles.

    Collimator Sights

    Collimator sights are the extended version of red dot scopes. A standard collimator sights implements an illuminated targeting reticle that lies on top of a target. There are collimator sights which magnify from 2x to 6x. Rifle attached collimator sights are excellent for medium range combat and shooting purposes.

    Telescopic Sights

    The typical telescopic sight is based on the standard telescope. Modern telescopic sights are attached to semi-automatic rifles, assault rifles, hunting rifles, and sniper rifles. Telescopic sights differ from other aiming sights since it gives the shooter an extended range of target acquisition.

    Each scope magnification is classified in terms of optical magnification or its zoom capability. Every telescopic sight available has enhanced magnification making them suited for long distance shooting.


    Every modern firearm sight you can see today has evolved from the traditional telescope. Pioneers of the telescopic sight attempted to enhance the accuracy of any shooter. Modern day sights are used for various purposes, missions, and applications.

    About the Author Kim Brown

    A passionate blogger! Editor at Toptennotch. I love to travel & writing. Regularly writing about different topic for various magazines, newspapers and websites. Happy Reading!!!

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