How to Buy a Rifle Scope on eBay

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How to Buy a Rifle Scope on eBay

Optical sightings have been used on all types of firearms for many centuries, and as technology has developed, optical sightings have kept pace. A good optical sighting increases the shooter's accuracy and visual scope several times over. The advantage of a good scope over average eyesight is the increase in accuracy and the reduction of waste in ammunition. A good rifle scope will reduce frustration for the shooter if their eyesight is a problem.

Scopes can be used by shooters of all ages, especially those who are older. Scopes come in a variety of sizes and types depending on the sport it is intended for. This guide discuss the variety of scopes available and help with the decision about which will be perfect to buy.

What is a Rifle Scope?

A rifle scope is an optical sighting that is placed on the firearm by mean of slots and clips. They are often made of lightweight materials so as not to affect the shooting style of the shooter. Rifle scopes come in many different sizes, weights, all dependent on what they will be used for.

These are the basic parts of the rifle scope:

* Ocular lens- this is the lens in which the shooter will look through.

* Eyepiece- this is the part surrounding the ocular lens.

* Power ring- depending on the model this one will adjust the magnification of the objective lens.

* Elevation adjustment- this small piece will raise or lower the scope when it is on the rifle.

* Objective lens- the widest part of the scope, where the sight is magnified.

Understanding the Different Terms with Rifle Scopes

There are many different terms used in relation to a rifle scope, and it is important to understand what all of them mean, as different ones will impact on the choice of the rifle scope.




The power of the scope. It can be fixed or variable

Light Transmission

Percentage of light allowed through scope, higher percentage means more light is let in.

Eye Relief

The distance between the back of the scope to the front of the before the largest and clearest image is seen


Length of the tube measured in inches, in sizes or 12" 16" 23"


What the scope weighs in oz.


Diameter of main tube of the scope measured in inches or mm

Field of View

The width of the image view through the scope at a certain distance, i.e 4.5ft at 100ft.

Adjustable Objective

To be able to focus on objects at a great distance


The wire inside the scope that help the shooter with their aim. These come in different styles.

Considering the Different Terms When Selecting a Scope

Magnification-fixed power

For use when taking single, well aimed shots, as is in deer shooting. Magnification is measured by optical magnification and the diameter of the objective lens, i.e. 4x32, which is 4 times magnification with a 32mm lens. In general the bigger the magnification the brighter the image. Variable power is changed by manual means, i.e. adjustable parts on the scope.

Light Transmission

This refers to how long a scope can be used in daylight hours. A larger magnification means a scope can be used for longer.

Eye Relief

How close the eye is to the scope. This can be affected by guns with heavy recoil, and an eye relief that needs the eye too close could cause the scope to come into sharp contact with the shooter's face.


A scope which is too long for the rifle may weigh it down unnecessary and tire out the shooter's arms.


A heavy scope will again tire out a shooter and possibly prevent good aim being taken.


The diameter of the scope have a variety of impacts on the rifle and shooting, it can allow more light in which will impact shooting hours, but this also makes the gun much heavier which will impact the shooting activity too. If weight is not a concern. i.e. with rifles used with a stand, then size of diameter is not a concern.

Field of View

Each field of view will vary with every scope. Some shooters prefer a wide field of view, but other shooters can find a wider view distracting and prefer to keep their field of view more narrowed down.

Adjustable Objective

There are many different types of reticles being produced and the choice depends on the use of the scope and also the shooter's preference. It is advisable to sample a few different scopes to see which one is preferred.

The power of the scope is important to consider when thinking of the activity it will be used for. Variable power scopes tend to cost more, but in the long run are more ideal as they can be adjusted for different shooting activities. For hunting large game and limiting shoot to under 100 yards, no more than 7x will be needed. For shots over 100-200 yards, up to 9x is ideal, and for shots over 200 yards 10x- 12x is needed. The power will also change depending on the terrain of the hunting as well. Lasers sights are for use with target shooting and handguns, and are not suitable for rifles.

Fitting a Scope to a Rifle

Scopes are fitted to a rifle using specific rifle mounts. Most scopes will need two rings to secure to a rifle. Measure the rifle before purchasing any rings to ensure they will not move when the scope is mounted on the rifle. Scope mounting kits can be purchased on eBay. These help to ensure that when the scope is fitted, it is done so correctly and the scope is level.

When fitting a scope to a rifle is it vital to ensure that the bolt of the rifle is not in, and that the barrel of the gun is empty. Ensure there is no live ammunition present. When carrying the rifle do not carry it on the shoulder, but with the barrel pointing towards the floor and carried sensible under the arm.

The Advantages and Disadvantages with a Rifle Scope

There are many advantages to a rifle scope. A rifle scope vastly aids in helping the shooter aim, and therefore increases the accuracy and likelihood of a kill in hunting. Scopes are more reliable than human eyes, they do not suffer strain or decline with age. A scope which has been well sealed will not get moisture leaks or have problems with fogging up. Scopes are easy to clean and to store, which prolongs the life of the scope. Reticles for scopes come in different options so the shooter can pick one which is suitable for them. Specialist night vision scopes allow the shooter to hunt in the dark and still maintain accuracy.

The disadvantage to scopes is caused by the use of glass in the lens. Sunlight might reflect and alert any prey to the presence of the shooter. Some scopes, even though light, initially make feel heavy after a long period. Scopes which are adjustable may cause the shooter to miss a potential target due to time used to adjust the scope. Sights cannot cope well in cold weather so consider the type of weather that may be encountered on the day. Water on the lens can also greatly impact aim.

How to Buy a Rifle Scope on eBay

As rifle scopes come with different variables like magnification and length, starting a search with 'rifle scope' will bring up a general range of scopes. It is advised to start with the categories first. Search for 'rifle scopes' within 'Sights and Scopes' under the 'Sporting Goods' category.

There are several sub categories to choose from that may help the search:

* Shock proof

* Fog proof

* Multi-coated lens

* Waterproof

* Illuminated scope

* Laser sight

Any of the options above relate to the properties of the scope, and the search will be defined by those properties alone. To search for specific brands, select from the most popular brands in the 'Brand' sub-category. eBay will also suggest popular sellers that stock ranges of rifle scopes. These sellers are based on their quality of feedback and the quality of items they stock.

If unsure which brand or type of scope wanted, try searching for the situation the scope might be used in, such as 'Deerstalking Rifle Scope'. Or if the diameter and magnification is known, then it is best to use this as the starting point of a search to browse the listings. For example, '4x32 Rifle Scope' will bring up a range of rifles with those specific credentials.

Different features of the lens can be searched as well, such as waterproofing or multi-coated lens. These can be fog proof as well as shock proof which is ideal for the changing weather conditions which can be experienced during shooting activities.

The main listings will be a mix of 'buy it now' options and 'auction only'. Some shooters may prefer to bid on auction items only; this can be achieved by clicking on the appropriate tab at the top of the listing. Buy it now options are often used by market specific retailers for rifle scopes so a buy it now option will bring up a wider range of the same product.

A seller should detail everything about the rifle scope, with a breakdown of the properties then a more detailed description and information about the products history if previously owned. Sellers like these are ideal as everything for a novice shooter can be explained about the rifle scope, and an experienced shooter will know if the scope is the one they are after.

If bidding, select the listing that looks ideal, and look at the bid history of the item as well as the time left. Set a personal budget so as not to exceed this figure. Any item that is bid on the buyer must have means to buy the item, so consider the bid carefully.

Branded rifles will vary in price and quality, and a main factor to consider is the price of the rifle scope. Prices will vary greatly depending on the quality of the scope, the size of the lens and how heavy it is. Scopes which seem good value may have less than accurate sights and the lens may appear foggy when looked through.


Buying a rifle scope online can appear daunting at first as the range of items is vast. The range of prices is broad and a buyer may feel overwhelmed with the choice. But with the application of some knowledge and the use of some of the tips in this guide, such as the brand of rifle scope, a good choice can be made. It can be difficult to find a shop that sells scopes, and eBay is ideal as it allows the buyer to wide a fantastic range of rifle scopes in the comfort of their own home.

eBay offers a great selection of rifle scopes from all over the world, as well as collectibles and antique scopes. By buying the perfect rifle scope through eBay, an enjoyable shooting experience can be had by the shooter.

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