7 Factors to Consider When Purchasing Hunting Sights and Scopes

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7 Factors to Consider When Purchasing Hunting Sights and Scopes

Hunting sights and scopes are devices used on hunting rifles to assist with accurately when aiming the gun at a specific target. Hunting sights tend to be composed of two components, which are lined up. Hunting scopes are telescopic sights that use in built reticules to give the shooter a point of aim. Scopes tend to be more suitable for hunting rifles, as they allow for precision aiming from a distance.

Searching for hunting sights and scopes on eBay is a wise idea as the site has a greater variation at better prices than those found on other sites or in specialist stores. The following guide shall examine the important factors all buyers should consider when selecting a sight or scope for their rifle, and how to locate one on eBay.

Types of Sights

Hunting sights are primarily used on hunting rifles, but it is possible to purchase them for other firearms including shotguns and handguns. These devices assist with targeting as well as aiming, and are vital for accurate shooting.

Iron Sights

The simplest sight comprises of two components, which are lined up by eye to give the shooter a precise aiming point at the target. Iron sights use two metal markers at the front and rear of the gun to do this.


Adjustable Sights


These sights are made adjustable so they can be used at different ranges. Adjustable sights on hunting rifles require a small screwdriver or an Allen key to be moved along the rifle barrel. They are compact and lock into position once the shooter has decided on the appropriate distance. However, firing a round can cause the sight to slip out of position, so this type of sight is not recommended for use on rifles.


Open Sights


Open sights are the most common type of gun sight, and are the standard for all types of guns across the world. They consist of a blade at the front of the barrel and an open topped V or square shaped notch at the rear. Correct alignment is achieved by lining the top of the blade with the top of the notch, so it is centred in the notch. If the top of the blade is above the notch the shot will be high, if it is below then the shot will be low. Open sights are inexpensive and easy to use, but they do not offer the same precision found in other sights and scopes.


Aperture Sights


Also known as peep sights, these use a blade on the front of the rifle and a round hole set in the rifles receiver to create a precision aim. A large aperture will show a bigger portion of the target while a smaller one will have a greater depth of field. Aperture sights are very suitable in poor lighting conditions and situations involving heavy cover e.g. a dense forest.

Laser Sights

A laser sight beams a small red dot onto the target. It is normally mounted onto the underside of a rifle's barrel, as they are often too large to be mounted on top. These are excellent for use over long distances as the laser is powerful enough to reach far-off targets.

Red Dot Laser Sight

A red dot laser sight , as the name suggests, uses an illuminated red dot centred within a non-magnifying reflector sight. This type of sight is very popular as it is easy to use and increases accuracy, as well as speeding up target acquisition. Red dot laser sights are very lightweight and extremely durable.

Scope Factors

Telescopic scopes are probably the most popular hunting accessory, and they give the shooter the advantage of being able to precisely aim at a target from over a distance. This allows the shooter to remain unseen, giving them the element of surprise. The three most important factors to take into account when searching for scopes are the scope's ruggedness, optical quality and light transmission.





The ruggedness of a rifle scope refers to how much recoil from a shot the scope can take. Scopes need strength to stop them from becoming dislodged or damaged when a shot is taken. The scope also needs to be able to withstand various weather conditions and temperature changes. The majority of scopes are both waterproof and fog proof.


Optical Quality



The most important part of the scope is the lens, and the optical quality of the lens is determined by the clarity of the lens and how it was created. The best made scopes have excellent clarity and almost no visual distortion, even around the edges of the lens.


Light Transmission


This refers to how clear and bright the image of the target is seen through the scope. Good hunting rifle scopes will have 95% or higher light transmission. Good scopes are coated with a layer of synthetic material that reduces glare. Buyers should search for scopes that are multi-coated as opposed to fully coated. Fully coated means that the scope has only been coated once and this will greatly reduce light transmission. The higher the light transmission, the longer the scope can be used for during a hunting session.

Buyers should also check to see if the scope is variable or fixed. A variable scope allows the focus to be adjusted, whereas a fixed scope will always have the same magnification setting. Variable scopes are more expensive.

Hunting Scope Power

The magnifying power of a scope will depend on the distance of the target.

· Under 100 yards – Between 4x and 7x .

· 100 to 200 yards – Between 7x and 9x.

· Over 200 yards – Between 9x and 12x.

Hunting Sight and Scopes Prices

Sights and scopes vary greatly in price, and the quality of the device is associated with the cost of it. Scopes and sights prices can range from £70 to over £2000. A good scope should cost somewhere between £200 and £1000, so the buyer should spend some time thinking about how often the device will be used. All buyers should research into the various features available with the device to work out what one would suit them best.


The majority of sights are compatible with hunting rifles and can easily be attached, however, the same cannot be said for scopes. Buyers need to consider the size of the scope and the size of the rifle receiver to make sure that the scope will mount correctly. If a scope is loose it can be damaged when firing a shot. Some designs are not compatible with certain rifles, so research the mount capabilities of the scope first.

Eye Relief

This is the amount of distance between the eye and the scope. It is important the shooter is able to see the entire image when aiming. Adjustments can be made while mounting the scope to give the optimum amount of eye relief. The more eye relief the better, as this will allow for quick target acquisition, which is vital if aiming at a moving target. The standard amount is between 3 and 4 inches.

Length and Weight

This may seem obvious, but the length and weight of the sight or scope will affect the length of time the rifle can be used. A heavy scope loaded with additional features will weigh the rifle down and cause strain if used for too long. Buyers looking to keep the scope weight to a minimum should look for a compact model with a fixed magnification.

Buying Sights and Scopes on eBay

Well-made hunting sights and scopes tend to be quite expensive, so searching for them on eBay is a good idea. The site has an extensive database of users all over the world, offering a greater selection of these devices, often at less expensive prices than found elsewhere.

To start a search head to eBay.co.uk and click on the ‘Shop By Categories' tab, followed by the See All Categories link. Scroll down to the ‘Sporting Goods' heading and click on the ‘Hunting' title. This will load up the Hunting listings page, and from here, click on the Sights and Scopes link found in the Categories Table.


· Spend some time researching the different options available before beginning your search.

· Enter as much information into the search as possible, e.g. scope or sight type, size, lens power etc.

· Use the filter table on the left of the page to speed the search up and make it more precise. If looking for a used device, click on the item condition filter.

· Review the seller's history found on each item page. This is a quick way to see what kind of feedback other eBay users have given to a particular seller. If the seller has a lot of negative comments then try searching for a different listing.

· Use eBay's Wish List feature if having difficulty finding a particular device or try searching through eBay's Shops.

  • Contact Customer Support if any difficulty is encountered when using the site or dealing with a seller.


Hunting sights and scopes are valuable optical devices that help the shooter accurately aim and take a shot at a target. Hunters generally choose scopes over sights for use on rifles, as a magnified scope gives them the ability to have a more precise shot when from a distance. There are a number of factors to consider when searching for a scope or sight, and buyers should not rush this process.

Buyers are advised to search for hunting sights and scopes on eBay as the site offers new and used devices at prices that would not be found elsewhere. Using the site is a quick and easy way to obtain scopes and sights.

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