Magnification is the ratio between the size of the image and the size of the object. Using magnification allows you to see things farther away than you would do normally.
How does magnification works?
An object placed 100 yards away with 1X mag would look the same as looking at an object with naked eyes, i.e., no zoom-in. Looking at the same object at 100 yards with 2X magnification, the object will appear to be 50 yards away. The object will look two times closer. Similarly, the 3x magnification will make the same object appear 33.33 yards away.
Disadvantages of magnification on a riflescope
That being said, excessive magnification cripples you in a variety of ways too. It decreases the area of vision, so you’re not going to find the goal as quickly. In a game, you might not see a big deer in the darknesses on the side of the most visible beast.
Makes the image dim
High magnification decreases the output pupil’s diameter, hence the image you are targetting will not be as crisp in low light.
These movements are tough to manage, and instead of adding incremental force to set off, you’re wearing out battling the jitterbug picture in your field of vision. As the optics and muscles get tired, a precise shot becomes difficult.
It can cause a mirage
Magnification also forms a mirage, a positive thing on the days when the weather is cold or less hot and the goal is within a fair range. But on humid days and nights, when you’re aiming for a long shot, the target can seem like a dark, shapeless object trapped underneath the exterior of an angry river. These were the downside of excessive magnifications.
What Magnification do you need for a 300 yards scope?
As a general rule of thumb, the smallest magnification extends a clearer target. A minimum of 4x magnification should be sufficient for a distance of 300 yards.
Over 100 yards is already known to be long-range shooting and for this, you need to be able to zoom in because it means longer ranges. Typically, zooming in means you will be getting a blurred, darker image or a lower-quality picture.
Get a minimum of 4x for a 300-yard shot
Of course, a minimum of 4x all the way to 16x will work; you’ll need to increase your magnification if your target is smaller. Remember that a large magnification often absorbs a lot of light, and a larger magnification extends the amount of light obtained from the lens to a larger picture.
The experts (hunters and rifle enthusiasts) believe that there is no need for magnification of more than 10X for a distance less than 500 yards. The magnification will be dynamic depending on the aim as a prairie dog compared to a deer would have a different magnification change. Even, for a distance of 300 yards combined with a good eye and a good light, you rarely need magnification as one of your primary resources.
What makes a great scope for 300 yards?
Shooting at 300 yards is certainly more difficult than 100 yards, but choosing the right range will probably add an advantage to your play and results. Some may consider using one to be unnecessary, particularly with distance, but it is still highly recommended to use one because of its additional benefits.
Most users of scope will have to accept that the scopes would allow you to provide a longer range and provide a reasonable visual without having to be physically present next to your target.
The purpose of a great scope is to enhance the precision and accuracy of a shooter while maintaining its functionality when it comes to shooting the target in the long-range. A scope with a minimum magnification of 4x for a distance of 300 yards should be sufficient to increase the level of your shooting efficiency.
Which one should you use, SFP or FFP for a 300-yard shot?
Around 85% of the scopes currently in the market are second focal plane scopes. These have been used since forever. And first focal plane now slowly starting to get the eyeballs rolling towards them. You might ask yourself, which one should I buy for my 300-yard shot.
First focal plane
FFP rifle scopes’ reticle changes along with the target’s image. This gives you the flexibility to use a range of graduated markings. Moreover, you can do this at multiple magnification levels.
The above feature is useful for figuring out the range in mil-dot scopes. But it comes with a con attached to it. The reticle can get a bit too slim or thick at the highest magnification levels. This also makes the probability of the scope being costly, but if you are serious about long-range hunting, get a FFP reticle.
This is useful for estimating the range using Mils. The cons of this feature are that the reticle can be too thick or too thin at extreme magnification ranges, and the cost of the scope is likely to be higher.
If you’re serious about long-distance target shooting (more than 200 yards) take a look at the FFP scopes. But if you don’t have the budget for it, an SFP scope should work just fine for you.
Second focal plane:
SFP riflescopes only change the target picture, while the reticle remains the matching size. It’s helpful to have a reticle of a fixed and right size for aiming, but the problem arises if you switch to use graduated markings on the reticle. This becomes much more complicated if the power settings are incorrect.
For eg, if your reticle has MOA or Mil marks, more often than not these will only equal their actual size at 100% strength. On the other hand, when you lower the power level, the mark size stays constant, and the picture gets shorter.
Of course, it’s a different ball game altogether if you wish to do the math yourself. This is very useful for hunting – SFP is much more stable a.k.a lesser number of mobile parts. The greatest advantage of SFP being, the reticle provides better clarity and visibility in low lights, which is superior to FFP.
Best scopes for a 300-yard shot
1. UTG 4-16×44 30mm AO Riflescope
The UTG AO Riflescope has a 30 mm tube with the best in class emerald lens coating for maximum light transmission and clarity. The minimum magnification for this scope is 4x and the maximum magnification is 16x.
It has an eye-relief of 3.2 inches. The field of view at 100 yards is 24.4 feet – 6.8 feet. It has a mil-dot range estimating reticle with built-in integral sunshade for best aiming and shooting results, complete with UTG Max Strength Twist Lock Picatinny/Weaver Rings and High-Quality Flip-Open Lens Caps.
This is a high-quality 300 yard AR range based on proprietary technology and integrated systems, so optimum output will always be anticipated. The USP of UTG scopes is its price, performance, quality, and durability. The only downside of the scope is its bulky nature.
2. Nikon INLINE XR BDC 300 Riflescope, Xtra Green BDC 300
The Nikon Inline BDC 300 is a muzzleloader riflescope. It has a magnification of 3-9×40. The INLINE XR with the BDC 300 reticle is ideally suited for virtually any inline form. With enough power for the longest-range shots and a wide field of view to keep you close-in or moving to the game. The Field of View at 100 yards is 6.3 – 25.2 ft.
Features Nikon’s proprietary BDC 300 Reticle with a special, open circle design that makes long-range shots easier. It has a constant 5-inch eye relief that keeps your brow secure – even against the heaviest backlash. Made with Nikon’s fully multi-coated optics for optimum visibility and light transmission.
3. Burris 4.5 x-14 x -42mm Fullfield II Ballistic Plex Riflescope
Burris fulfilled is a premium traditional hunting riflescope at a reasonable price; high-grade optical glass offers outstanding brightness and clarity with long-lasting durability.
The minimum magnification for this riflescope is 4 and the maximum magnification is 14x. It weighs 1.1 pounds and is made up of steel. It has the classic Burris plex reticle.
Quality, precision-ground lenses are larger than comparable lenses for enhanced light transmission; index-matched, Hi-Lume multi-coating helps for low-light efficiency and glare removal, improving your success rate.
The Field of View at 100 yards is 23 feet at the minimum magnification and 9 feet at maximum magnification. It is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
The optimum power required to take 300 yards shot is 4x magnification. Having additional magnification through a scope will give an edge, given that you know how to use it for your advantage.
This article discussed the concepts and the technicalities of the magnification of a sope and that will work best for a 300 yards distance shooting. Additionally, a few scopes which best fit the categories were discussed. Hopefully, this article will help you to make an informed choice.