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How Rifle Scopes Work

ADVENTURE.HOW STUFF WORKS.COM From the Archives – Some people confuse rifle scopes with gun sights. A good rule of thumb is that a rifle scope provides some level of magnification, whereas a gun sight doesn’t. Both devices help shooters take aim at a target. Some sights are very simple, while others use lenses similar to a scope’s lenses. Here’s a brief rundown on common sight types. Let’s say you’re looking at a 5-12×42 scope. What do these numbers mean? The first two numbers tell you the magnification settings for that particular scope. In this example, the scope has a range of 5x to 12x magnification, meaning the image you see through the ocular lens will be at least five times larger than it would appear to your naked eye.  [full article]

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