Optics are vital in our pursuit for ultimate performance after all a rifle
is only as good as its sights. Selecting optics is never an easy task
especially with all of the choices available to us today. I have learned
over the years that it is important to match the rifle and optics with the
intended application. Regrettably budgets do tend to drive our decisions
but it is important to remember that you shouldn't skimp in this area and
depending on your needs; you can easily spend as much or more then your
rifle when you scope it.
A decent book to read on optics is "Optics for the Hunter" by John Barsness.
It is a good starting point in understanding optics. It is a bit dated now
- 1999ish, but it is informative.
I highly recommend reading some of the manufacturer's web pages on what
their product offers and what to look for. You would be surprised to see
how some brands of scopes violate some of the basic principles of quality
design while the importer/retailer makes claims of quality as good or better
then products costing 2 to 3x as much. Please don't kid yourself; we all
know nothing is free. Arming yourself with some basic principles will aid
you selecting the best scope for your application and at the same time, will
likely save you money.
When comparing scopes it is best to put them all on a stable platform to
allow for quick and stable viewing. The photos below shows a typical
support that allows one to compare optical performance of 3 different scopes
at once. Point of impact shift can be tested with a mount which allows you
to mount two scopes on one rifle (more on this later).