What do scope numbers mean for magnification scope

Scope number on a rifle scope or spotting scope can be perplexing, especially for beginners. The numbers hold a particular value describing their specifications. However, they are not too confusing that no one would understand.

Fortunately, you won’t need a deep understanding of mathematics to know the scope of numbers. To get you comfortable with them, we have come up with this article to show ‘what scope number means’ and briefly describe their purposes.

Scope Magnification Distance Chart

Scope magnification distance chart

The scope magnification distance chart tells how distant your scope can magnify. The distance chart numbers are pretty straightforward; the higher the number, the greater the distance.

It is recommended to choose the exact magnification as your eyes can catch according to your shooting range.

Scope Magnification Chart

Scope magnification chart

There is a rule of thumb for scope magnification that the lowest point of magnification that provides a clear view is the best magnification level. The chart defines a scope’s magnification numbers with its objective lens diameter.

Usually, the lower you choose your scope’s magnification, the quicker you can lock on in your target. Scope magnification either comes in range, or fixed, such as 1x, 2x, 4x, and so on.

Scope magnification for 100 yards

Scope magnification for 100 yards

If your target is 100 yards away, then using a 1x scope magnification for viewing will be the same as no magnification. Moreover, the magnification level depends on the type of glass your scope has.

Usually, a magnification of 9x is proven pretty good for 100 yards away, making a bullet of 0.22 calibers clearly visible at this distance.

Scope magnification for 500 yards

Scope magnification for 500 yards

Again, choosing an exact scope magnification for a certain distance, especially as long as 500 yards, is not straightforward. You need to follow up on many factors, such as the size of the object, lens glass, external environment, etc.

More magnification does not mean greater accuracy, but you can choose between 7x-10x depending on the object’s size. For a bullet dot on a paper 500 yards away, 10x magnification works well.

6x scope range

6x rifle scope

Is 6x scope range over-scoped? If you want to view as long as 300 yards, then having a scope with a 6x range is essential. This much range will contract the view and make your target within 50 yards.

For scopes being made with flatter shooting calibers, a scope range of 6x is important for big hunting games.

4x rifle scope

4x rifle scope

For mid-range shooting purposes, a 4x rifle scope will be a big hit! With this, you can shoot as long as 600 yards depending on your eye’s naked viewing power. It will magnify an object at 600 yards to 150 yards.

One can ace basic hunting and shooting, or small games with a 4x rifle scope. This amount of range is a safe play!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does 6 24×50 mean on a scope?

A rifle scope that terms 6 24×50 means the scope has an adjustable magnification range within 6 to 24 times. Whereas, ’50’ stands for the objective lens diameter that is stated with millimeters.

Being large in size, the objective lens will make the target brighter and more comfortable for visibility by letting in more light. All these make a scope perfect for long-range shooting.

What does 4 16×50 mean on a scope?

Similarly, a scope reading 4 16×50 means that the magnification adjusts from 4 to 16 times, perfect for mid to long-distance shooting.

Moreover, the larger objective lens that is 50mm will help with accuracy and precision for longer-range shooting even with low magnification.

What does three 9×50 mean on a scope?

Again, this states the scope has a minimum magnification of 3x and a maximum magnification of 9x with a 50mm objective lens diameter.

This type of range is preferred mostly by recreational hunters for shooting within 100-300 yards. However, one can try for longer range shooting, too, as its objective lens is big enough to provide more visibility.

What does 4×32 mean on a scope?

Since this doesn’t have any ‘range’ for magnification, so it is a fixed magnification scope. It means the scope can magnify 4x, not less or more, within an objective lens diameter of 32 mm. This much is enough for shooting targets within 300 yards.

What does 2-7×32 scope mean?

Beginner shooters start mostly with 2 7×32 scopes, which helps them start from the basic within a short to mid-range shooting. As you can already guess, the magnification range for such scopes is within 2-7.

Whereas the 32mm scope delivers a good amount of lighting for short-mid range targets.

What range is a 3 9×40 scope Good For?

With both open and closed sights, a scope with a range of 3-9×40 is perfect for a distance within 100-300 yards. If the shooter has any unpredictable limitations, then the range can vary. 40 mm lens diameter is good enough for a clear and accurate view for as long as 300 yards.

What range is a 4×32 scope Good For?

For deer hunting within 0-300 yards, a 4×32 range scope is preferred. The distance can be extended up to 400 yards with this range scopes if the targeted object is bigger in size.

What scope do I need for 300 yards?

For 300 yards, you need a scope of 4×32 scope. If your eyesight is excellent and the object is more significant, then you can use a scope even lower magnification than that. But having a minimum of 3x magnification is required for viewing clearly at this much distance.

What power scope do I need for 500 yards?

Viewing an object 500 yards away, you must also concentrate on the objective lens diameter as well apart from the magnification. It would be best if you had a scope range of 6-24 magnification and a 50mm objective lens diameter for accurate viewing.

How do you read a scope?

To read a scope, you first need to have an idea of the scope numbers and their meaning. For a basic understanding of a scope’s functionality, you should know its magnification power, objective lens diameter, eye-relief, windage, elevation, and parallax adjustment. However, eye-relief, windage, elevation, and parallax reading comes very straightforward.

But objective lens and magnification reading can be challenging for beginners, which we have broken into parts above to make you understand.

What distance is a 4 power scope good for?

Depending on your eyesight limitations, a scope with 4x magnification is good for a distance of 600 yards maximum. An object at this distance will be magnified into 150 yards with a 4x scope, and so on.


We hope all the beginners with scopes hope all your queries regarding scope numbers were answered, as we have picked the most common confusions from new users.

It is crucial for every type of shooter to get acknowledged with the numbers beforehand, whether they are occupational shooters or recreational. Because the primary job of a scope is to serve you with these ‘numbers’.

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My first deer at the age of 45 I joined the deer hunting fraternity a little late, but the desire to hunt has always been there. I love hunting, so I often have to deal with hunting equipment.