Your Guide to Buying Used Rifle Sights and Scopes

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Your Guide to Buying Used Rifle Sights and Scopes

eBay is a great place to buy used rifle sights and scopes for hunting. Whether the buyer is looking for an open sight, aperture, laser or a red dot scope, eBay stocks a vast range of used rifle sights and scopes to suit everyone. Rifles have been used for many years to hunt game and the continued popularity with the sport has only increased the range of sights and scopes that are available on the market.

The purpose of this guide is to inform the reader and potential buyer about rifle sights and scopes and how to purchase used versions from renowned ecommerce website eBay.

Rifle Sights and Scopes

Although rifle sights and scopes are both for aiming purposes, they are two completely different things. Generally, the easiest way to differentiate the two is that rifle scopes offer some level of magnification whereas rifle sights do not.

Rifle Sights

A rifle sight is usually made from metal and comes in two forms, either: a V shaped notch at the rear and a post at the front or a peep sight (a small hole in a metal disc) at the rear and a post at the front of the rifle.

Rifle Scopes

Rifle scopes however are a lot more specialised and precise than a rifle’s sights. A scope is short for telescope and is mounted on to the top of the rifle. Scopes have a set of cross hairs that can be adjusted up and down and left and right.

Rifle scopes are magnified so they make the target appear closer than using traditional rifle sights.

Types of Rifle Scopes

There are many different types of rifle scopes to suit the needs and requirements of the owner and the activity that they will be using the rifle for. A deer hunter for example will need a certain scope whilst an air rifle shooter will of course need a different scope to match their needs and that of the activity.

Open Sights

These scopes are the most common for rifles and require shooters to line up two sights on a rifle to aim a shot. The rear sight is usually ‘U’ or ‘V’ shaped and the front sight is a standard vertical projection or post.

Aperture Sights

Similar to open sights, aperture sights use a ring for the rear sight (and a post at the front). The shooter must align the front sight within the ring when aiming at the target.

Red Dot Sights

These specialised sights project a red dot (or a similar illuminated targeting reticle) on top of the image of the target (the red dot is not projected outside the sight so it does not appear on the target being aimed at).

Laser Sights

As the name suggests, these sights project a safe and non-harmful laser beam towards the target. Unlike red dot sights, laser sights actually do present a visible spec on the target.

Sight and Scope Terminology

There can often be many different terms and abbreviations to describe rifle sights and scopes. Here is an outline of the most common terms associated with rifle sights and scopes:

Numbers Before the Scope Model

There are usually numbers before the name of the scope’s model and appear in the title, for example ‘6-24x42 rifle scope’. In rifle terminology, the first two numbers indicate the scopes magnification settings.

In this example, the scope has a magnification range of 6x (‘x’ = times) to 24x, meaning that the image displayed through the ocular lens (the small lens the shooter views through) will be at least 6 times larger than it would appear to the naked eye without the scope.

The number 42 in the scope title refers to the size (in millimetres) of the objective lens (the largest lens located on the end of the scope near the barrel of the rifle).

In this example, the scopes objective lens size is 42mm.


This refers to the system of dots, lines or crosshairs in the scope that appear superimposed on the target.

Adjustable Objective

An adjustable objective is a dial around the objective end of the scope (barrel end) or a knob on the side of the turret that allows the user to alter the scopes parallax (the apparent position of the reticle on the target image at different ranges) to a certain distance.

Objective Lens

The lens that is located nearest the barrel of the rifle (closest to the object being viewed).

Ocular Lens

The ocular lens is the lens that you look through to view and aim at the target. It is located above the stock of the rifle.


A turret is one of two knobs poking out of the side of the scopes tube. Each turret has increments marked next to it to be used when adjusting the elevation and windage factors.

Which Scope Do I Need?

There is a vast range of sights and scopes available to suit the many activities and hunting styles that rifles are used for.

Generally, the type of scope needed depends on the kind of target that will be shot at. If the shooter is hunting big game at a short distance (100 yards or less), a high-powered rifle scope won’t be needed. In this example, a scope with magnification properties up to 6x will be more than sufficient.

If the distance is greater (200 yards or more) then it’s advisable to choose a powerful scope with at least a 12x magnification range.

Another factor that will greatly impact upon your scope choice is the terrain as it will establish your distance from the target. If you plan on hunting in a dense forest or woodland, then it is unlikely that a powerful scope with advanced magnification settings will be needed as you won’t be able to see very far like when in open ground.

The decision on what specific scope is required, is critical to both the success and enjoyment of using the sights and scopes. Therefore the information above will hopefully ensure that you make the right decision on the purchase.

How to Purchase Used Rifle Sights and Scopes on eBay

eBay is a fantastic place to buy used rifle sights and scopes. From basic sights and scopes for novices to high-power specialised models for experienced rifle hunters, eBay sells a vast range of used sights and scopes to suit all.

Finding the sought-after item on eBay has never been easier thanks to its search functions. Shoppers simply have to enter the name, type or manufacturer of the rifle sight or scope into the toolbar to be greeted with pages of relevant search results.

Once the shopper has browsed through the pages of search results and found their desired one, they simply need to click onto it to be taken to that item’s individual listings page.

Each product for sale on eBay has its own listings page. This page has a wealth of information provided about the product including (but not limited to): a detailed specification, a product analysis and comments about the items condition as well as photographs of the item.

As such an authoritative name in ecommerce, eBay also provides information about each products seller. This usually includes the sellers: eBay rating and feedback, selling history and their location. By including the location of the seller on the product listings page, the buyer can debate whether it’s best to visit the seller and pick the item up or to pay the postage and have the item delivered to their door.

Although each listings page provides a comprehensive overview of the product, the buyer may still have a question about it or may require more information about the product. The good news is that eBay offers all of its customers the option to contact the seller in this situation.

Once the shopper has found their desired used rifle sight or scope, they can begin purchasing. On eBay, this can be done in two ways: buyers can purchase their item immediately (‘Buy It Now’) or they can bid for the item in an auction format (‘Bid Now’) attempting to get the best price available for that item.

All transactions made on eBay are safe and secure thanks to third party payment authority PayPal.


There are many considerations and factors to take into account when buying used rifle sights and scopes. However with the important information and crucial considerations outlined in this guide, coupled with the detailed product descriptions and easy to use format that eBay’s website offers; buying used rifle sights and scopes is easy.

A decent used sight or scope will not only improve the accuracy of your rifle; it will improve your hunting skills. Therefore selecting the right sight and scope is fundamental in the buying decision.

This guide has provided the important information, advice, tips and hints about how to purchase used rifle sights and scopes and what to look for when buying these products on renowned auction website eBay.

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