New to the world of rifle scopes and confused by the numbers on the package and what they mean?  Read on and we’ll get down to the basics.

First off you usually spot the brand name followed by a series name.  The brand name doesn’t change but the series name means that scope is grouped with other scopes with similar features and options from all having the same tube size, special target turrets or just better glass.

The brand and series name is quickly followed up by a list of numbers, dashes and letters such as 3-12×44 or 10×50 or 4-16x50IR for just a few examples. That first number represents the lowest magnification (zoom power) the rifle scope can adjust to.  If it’s followed by a dash mark, then that next number after the dash is the highest magnification that scope will zoom to.  These are called variable magnification and have a ring for the user to quickly turn to adjust the magnification from the lowest setting to the highest setting as well as anywhere in between.   If there’s no dash mark, it just simply means the scope doesn’t have the ability to adjust the zoom level, it’s just fixed at that one magnification.

After the magnification numbers is the letter “x” which pretty much just means the word “by” and the number after that is just the size of the objective lens in millimeter. That’s the big lens at the far end of the scope letting the picture in. If you see letters after that, they could mean anything.  IR is used as an abbreviation for Illuminated Reticle, MD for Mil-Dot, AO for Adjustable Objective, SF for Side Focus and the list goes on for what ever the brand wants to add to the end.

For an example, we have an Optisan Viper 6-24×56.  Optisan is the brand name, Viper is the Series name so all of the Viper series scopes will have the same features and options. 6 is the lowest magnification setting, 24 is the highest magnification setting and 56 means the objective lens at the end of the scope is 56mm in diamter.

Here’s one for you to try, Sightron SIII 10-50x60FTIRMOA.  See if you can figure it out or click HERE for some assistance.