Most firearm enthusiasts nowadays incorporate the use of optic sighting devices, which can be in the form of sights or scopes. However, scopes are by far the most commonly used optics because they are easier to use, eliminating the task of aligning rear and front sights with the target, as well as being highly adjustable.
In hunting, this simplicity of use makes rifles with scopes easier to use and even easier to train with. However, this does not mean that all scopes have the same level of performance. When selecting this addition to your hunting rifle, there are a couple of things that you need to put into consideration. These include:
This specifically refers to how far the turret can be adjusted for internal range. There are two main systems that are used and each has its own pros and cons. These are:
MOA stands for Minute of Angle and 1 MOA translates to 1 inch at a 100-yard range. This means that at 1000 yards if you miss your target by 10 inches, you just have to adjust the turret with one click.
- MRAD or MIL
Highly advanced scopes use this internal adjustment system because it is slightly more sophisticated and quite good for long range hunting. Basically, 1 MRAD translates to 3.6 inches at 100 yards and therefore, you can adjust the turret with one click if you miss your target by that distance at 100 yards.
It is recommended to stick to MOA adjustment because it is easier to use but if you know what you are doing, advance on to MRAD.
Setting up the shot by adjusting the magnification or even taking a deep breath so as to focus might throw the target off the reticle focal plane.
Smaller scopes usually have fixed crosshairs, making them parallax free but if you buying a big scope, which is in most ways better than a small one, ensure that it has a parallax knob so that you can dial in the distance adjustment to fix the crosshairs. This will help you maintain high accuracy.
This is the main feature of a rifle scope and the longer the hunting range, the higher the magnification power that you need.
As a general rule of thumb, you should have 1X magnification for every 100 feet, which means 3X minimum for 300 feet (100 yards). Most people hunt at a range of about 300 yards (900 feet) and this explains why the most popular scopes have 4-9X magnification.
Crosshairs can be marked in a wide variety of ways but if you don’t know how other types work, stick to the common duplex reticle.
Other useful additions to have in the reticle include mil-dots, which help you determine the size and distance of the target, and a bullet drop compensator, which is basically a series of lines that help you determine how the bullet drops at various lengths to the target.
Long range scopes usually feature very fine crosshairs and as a good hunt might be best at sunset, it is important that the hunting scope features some illumination function, which will enable you to see the reticle better for improved accuracy.
Whether you will choose the scopes for the Marlin 336 or any other hunting rifles you need to choose after considering these factors. Keep in mind that the investment you put into the scope should add value to the hunting process by making it easier and therefore, it is very important to consider the points above.