There is an unfortunate tendency in the prepping community to shy away from rifle scopes.  Since people tend to think in terms of minimalism, scopes may seem like a luxury.  Others feel they don’t need one because they’re proficient enough as it is, while some simply view scopes as a crutch or way of cheating.

However, having a scope can produce innumerable benefits in situations where accuracy can mean the difference between life and death or when ammunition is scarce.  Let’s take a closer look at scopes and how you can benefit from putting one on your weapon.

Scope Basics

There are all kinds of scopes out there, ranging from expensive military-grade, adjustable sights that snipers use to basic fixed-power scopes that cost a few dollars.  However, complex and expensive doesn’t necessarily translate into a better scope for your needs, shooting style or level of experience.  For most of us, a standard scope should be more than enough to help us to fend off immediate threats.

You basically have two choices when it comes to scopes:  Fixed and variable view optics.  Fixed view scopes have a set amount of magnification, generally in the 3-4x range whereas variable view ones allow you to adjust magnification to much-higher levels.  Variable view ones are also considerably more-expensive.  In most survival situations, unless you can shoot at a target more than a thousand yards away, fixed view optics will give you plenty of clarity and allow you to get a good bead on the target.

The important thing is that you get one that allows you to adjust focus.  This will help you to differentiate between targets and their surroundings, particularly when they’ve found a good hiding spot.

Optional Extras

Once you’ve decided on a fixed or variable view scope, the next thing to consider is whether or not you want features such as night vision or laser dots.  Both can give you a tremendous tactical advantage, and in situations where every shot counts, they can also save your life.  The biggest benefit of night vision is that you can see targets in the dark, and this is probably the time when you’re most-likely to encounter a threat.  Another benefit is that you can use the scope to navigate if you need to be on the move after dark as well.

Laser dots also have value because they really do make it easier to aim and hold that position while firing the weapon.  They also make it easier to track a moving target as you try to anticipate where they will be once you fire the shot.  Don’t think for a second that these accessories impair your ability to become a proficient shooter or that you don’t really need them.  This ill-conceived bravado gives people a false sense of security that can ultimately cost them their lives.

Basic Iron Sights

Every rifle should have iron sights on them.  These are different than the simple sights that you seen on most stock weapons, and they do a great job mimicking scopes.  They may lack the ability to zoom, focus, use night vision or train a dot on a target, but they are durable and they will rarely break.  They are also very affordable, and good ones can be installed and adjusted with ease.  Always have an iron sight as a backup for when you can’t take advantage of a scope.

All of us should have some kind of cache of firearms, and you don’t need to be a gun-lover to appreciate their intrinsic value in a survival situation.  However, it’s equally-important to equip them with scopes that can help us to hit targets with more accuracy and fewer bullets.  Take time to learn more about scopes and how you can benefit from using them as well.