Home Curiosity Why you need to have a low light rifle scope

Why you need to have a low light rifle scope


Shooting doesn’t require it to occur in perfect lighting conditions, especially for big game hunters. To make a great shot on a potential target while the sun is about to set, or begin to rise, usually needs a special scope. After all, there is no way you can hit a target when you can’t see clearly. 

The best low light scope can provide clear and bright images, even when the sun starts to fade. But knowing the right scope to choose can be challenging because when shopping, the bright fluorescent lights in a showroom may affect your perception. This post explains why you need to have a low light rifle scope.

A low light scope

Because many game animals are usually nocturnal, most hunting also happens during the darkness in the early dawn hours or early twilight. As you are aware, these are also the times when there is little usable light. As a result, you can only rely on the light of the stars or the moon. 

These kinds of conditions need the use of a good low light scope to help with the hunting. A low light scope refers to the one that tends to make the best out of the available light in the hunting environment. These scopes are usually different from the night vision ones as these don’t feature phosphor screens or even heat sensors to allow them see in the dark.

Instead, these scopes simply make use of the available amount of light. But a low light scope is quite different because it has components that are very different from regular scopes. These components can maximize the use of available light. The good thing is that you can find these scopes for rifles that you use for hunting during the late afternoon or early dawn. 

The most important component of these low light scopes is perhaps the illuminated reticle. Here is the good thing about these scopes, it doesn’t matter if you get a clear image of the target game animal. So if it happens to be too dark, then you can still see the reticle to make a good shot.

Another important feature of a low light scope is its large objective lens. This objective lens allows light to get through the scope. Therefore, the more the light gets into the low light scope, the image at the focal lens gets clearer. There is also the lens coating that also plays a huge role in the transmission capabilities of a low light scope. 

Even better, these low light scopes don’t require much from magnification. Therefore, it’s a good idea to find a scope that has a 9x to 12x magnification. This is unless you are a trained sniper, there are good chances that the high magnification power may not be of much use in the dark.

The right magnification

As mentioned above, a low light scope doesn’t require a high magnification power. This is because you may not get closely enough light to see beyond 50 yards or more. 

While hunting game animals, you may go out in the forest or anywhere in the early dawn hours, which can be at least 3 a.m. to 4a.m. or so, just before the dawn sun comes on the horizon or during the hours before the nighttime entirely falls, which is around 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Remember that a low light scope can just get you some light during these dark hours to help you see up to 50 yards or more. If you are fortunate and there are favorable conditions, then you may see up to 75 yards. This means that you don’t have to get that much magnification.

Hence, if you decide to use a high-powered scope, it means you can’t see the details of the target at all, though you may only see the outline of the target. With a low light scope, you just need to have one with 9x to 12x magnification. This is more than enough to see the potential targets while hunting in the dark.

That said, it’s also important to note that a good low light scope needs to have a great objective lens. The function of the objective lens is to allow light into the scope. This feature works in the same way that your home’s window lets in light. Ideally, a room that has a larger window will be brighter than the one with smaller windows. 

The same concept applies when it comes to a scope. It means a scope with a larger objective lens can allow more light to get in. Therefore, the images will be brighter due to this larger objective lens. 

But the objective lens doesn’t usually do all these activities alone. The scope has also some other features that come into play to assist the objective lens function properly. For example, a scope that has an objective lens of 44 mm can be brighter than the scope with a 55 mm objective lens. This is especially true if the smaller scope is made up of multiple anti-reflective coatings and premium glass.

When it comes to anti-reflective coatings, they can significantly improve the brightness of the target. You just need to find the scope with the right coatings to get a good hunting experience. Also, the right coating can sometimes double the brightness of the scope. Unlike these large objective lenses, the coatings of the lens doesn’t add any weight to your scope.

A huge objective lens can also be a hindrance while you are in the field hunting. Keep in mind that a rifle scope that has a large objective lens tends to be heavy and bulky, which can be quite challenging when you are hunting in remote locations or thick woods. Hunting can be a great company outdoor activity because it is fun and it is something out of the ordinary. Technology has definitely changed hunting these days. 

The key to have a successful shooting to select a scope that has an objective lens large enough to give a bright sight image. However, such objective lenses should not be too large to prevent your ease of movement in the woods.