How Does Sniper Scope Work

How Does Sniper Scope Work?

Is this your first time to read about sniper scope? We make sure we will provide the information you need to understand how does sniper scope works. Some terms might be new to you, but you will eventually understand them as you continue to read this post.

A sniper scope is a miniature telescope mounted on top of your sniper rifle. Thus, just like a telescope, it can capture and magnifies your target. It also helps you in estimating where you need to aim to acquire the target.

The primary function of a sniper scope is to help the shooter align your firearm barrel with the target. But how sniper scope work is a bit complicated. To understand more how the scope works, we have included both the internal and external components of a scope.

Parts of a Sniper Scope and Vital Terms You Need to Know

Objective Lens

The lenses are the most essential part of a sniper scope. The bigger lens is the objective lens located on the farthest end of the scope from the rifle stock. Its primary function is to transmit light back to the ocular lens, the lens closest to your eye.

Objective Bell

The objective bell protects the objective lens while the eyepiece contains the ocular lens. The sniper scope lenses are fog-proof and waterproof.


The sniper scope has a reticle referred to as a crosshair. Its primary purpose is to show the shooter the exact position where the shot will go once he pulls the trigger.

Power Ring

Some firearm optics have multiple settings that enable the users to view the target at different magnifications. For instance, a scope can let you see the targets 3x to 9x bigger than what you see with your bare eyes.

It means that your scope setting is at 3x magnification, thus making the object you are viewing three times bigger than if you view it without the scope. If you turn on the power ring, it changes the scope’s magnification setting.

Parallax Error

The majority of the scope manufacturers set their sniper scopes and focused them at 100 yards. This means that if you aim at an object 100 yards away, you can view the target clearly. However, changing magnification settings can cause parallax errors. The error occurs when the aim of the scope changes if the position of the user’s eye changes.

The rifle can remain still, but changing your position will look like your target is off.  At high magnifications, parallax error is a serious problem. The good thing is that most manufacturers designed sniper scopes with adjustable objective lenses to correct parallax errors easily.


Sniper scopes have controls to adjust the scope, so it aligns with the rifle. Windage adjustment and the elevation controls are the to controls that could affect the scope’s sight. The windage adjustment changes the horizontal settings, while the elevation modifies the vertical settings.


The tube is the main body of the sniper scope. It is available in 1-inch tubes and 30 mm tubes. Knowing the diameter of the scope’s tube is a must, so you will use the right mounting rings once you install them to your rifle.

How Does Sniper Scope Work

How Sniper Scopes Work?

The process astronomers applied in using the telescope is similar to how the sniper scope works. You peek at an eyepiece with a long tube and it magnifies the object so you can view it clearly. The only difference is that the sniper scope is mounted in your gun so you can aim at your target accurately.

The objective lens at the end of the sniper scope collects the light. It’s the wider lens located at the end of the scope where you will position your eye. The light will pass through the sniper scope tube and hits a focus at the scope’s center, where the light bends to a single bright point.

The bent light lets you focus on the eyepiece found at the other end of the scope. This will enlarge the image you see from a certain distance and magnified it depending on the objective lens magnification.

If the sniper scope has multiple magnification types or various reticles, it becomes more complicated. But this is the typical process that all sniper scopes apply.

Using a Sniper Scope

Since you have an idea of how the scope works, learning how to use it is easy. It will take a lot of experience and knowledge to become skilled at using a sniper scope. Briefly, we will tell you how to use a sniper scope.

First, you need to mount the scope on your gun using predrilled attachments or drill the scope by yourself. Many scopes are designed to work with specific types of mounting rails, such as Picatinny or Weaver.

Aligning the reticle is your next step and then adjust the eye relief. Before tightening the mounting rings, make sure the reticle or cross is appropriately aligned, and the reticle is right-side up. Also, adjust the scope, so you will have enough room between the eyepiece and your eye when considering recoil.

Adjust the windage and elevation dials depending on how low or high you need to aim at the target accurately and based on the wind. Through these knobs, you can move the reticle up and down or left and right and allow you to work with the above variables.

Set the magnification and adjust the lens if it is a variable model. Practice shots several times with your new sniper scope from the range you will use most of the time. You can adjust the scope repeatedly until you get the shots consistently.

You might not get the best shots with the first few adjustments, but it will be easier for you to acquire targets once you get them. You must have the right scope and make sure it is compatible with your rifle. If not, you might have a hard time get the target accurately.

Final Thoughts

It is much easier to understand how does sniper scope works if you know the different parts of the scope. If you are a new gun owner, we suggest that you read this post first to understand better how the scope works and how to use it. You can also ask the help of the experts in adjusting the windage and elevation of the scope. It may take some time to master the use of sniper scope. If you have questions about sniper scope and its uses, you can comment below.

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