What Do The Numbers Mean On A Rifle Scope?

When it comes to the numbers on a rifle scope, a newbie can surely become confused. If you really want to make the best use of your rifle scope, you must have to have a clear knowledge regarding these numbers on your rifle scope.

Perhaps this is the main reason why many shooting enthusiasts are somewhat desperate while asking – “What do the numbers mean on a rifle scope?”

In this article, I am going to make a comprehensive discussion explaining the numbers on a rifle scope. Throughout this discussion, I will try to explain all the numbers associated with a rifle scope. After reading this comprehensive discussion, you will definitely have a clear idea regarding these numbers on your rifle scope.

Let’s give it a start then….

What Do the Numbers on a Scope Mean?

A rifle scope can help you in hitting your target mark more accurately. A newbie may have a basic idea about what a rifle scope is, but there is still lots of information to know about this particular scope.

If you just think installing a scope on your rifle will do the work, then you are completely wrong. To be honest, you have to have proper knowledge regarding the numbers on your rifle scope. When you know these numbers well enough, it becomes easier for you to hit the target.

So, what do the numbers mean on a rifle scope?

Lets’ give a closer look at this particular topic –

Main Numbers

A rifle scope actually comes with a lot of benefits for its users. It not only magnifies your target, but it also helps you to aim at your target precisely. And, to make the best use of your rifle scope, you need to know the numbers on your rifle scope appropriately.

The numbers mentioned on the lens’s sides represent the lens's size along with how much it is capable of magnifying the targeted object.

While looking at your rifle scope, the 1st number that you will see is the power of magnification. For example, if a rifle scope represents numbers like 4 X 32, it means this scope can enlarge the targeted image or object to 4 times its actual size.

It definitely helps you have a clear view of your target that is placed farther across your position.

Likewise, rifle scope with numbers like 6 X 32 represents that it has the ability to magnify the targeted image around six times its actual size.

However, some rifle scopes come with variable magnification feature where you will see numbers like 4-12 X 32 or similar others. Here the number 4-12 means that it can magnify the targeted object between 4 and 12 times with your naked eye.

The number after the symbol ‘X’ represents the diameter of the objective lens or the size of the objective lens. And, the unit used for measuring the size of the objective lens is ‘millimeter’.

So, for a rifle scope with 4 x 32 numbers, the scope features a magnification power of 4 times with a 32-millimeter lens.

Note: Remember that if a rifle scope features magnification power of 4-16 times, then it can be referred to as a 4-power scope, while a 2-6 riflescope is a 3-power scope, and a 3-15 is called a 5-power scope.

Other Important Numbers on the Scope

In the following, I will describe some of the essential numbers on a rifle scope. I would recommend you to give your full attention while studying the following piece of the discussion.

Exit Pupil & Magnification

The exit pupil of a rifle scope is an important number which you should also be aware of. Actually, it is very easy to calculate the exit pupil. Just divide the lens size or diameter of the lens by the magnification power – you get the exit pupil of the lens.

  • Exit Pupil @ magnification of 5 = 60 / 5 = 12 mm.
  • Exit Pupil @ magnification of 6 = 60 / 6 = 10 mm.

Tube Diameter

Another important number you have to consider is the tube diameter. It can help you in selecting the rings while trying to fit your scope on your rifle. Generally, the tube diameter is written on the box, and you won’t find it mentioned anywhere on your scope.

Field of View

Riflescope can come with varied types of Field of View. The FOV mainly depends on the size of the lens of your rifle scope. Remember that bigger lenses will allow you to experience a wider field of view whereas the smaller lenses will offer a smaller field of view.

Depending on your requirements, you have to focus on the FOV while looking for the best rifle scopes.


This basically represents the Minute of Angle. Professional shooters mainly use it while shooting on long distances in order to measure a bullet’s average point of impact.

You can also go through the Rifle Scopes by Sight Type to accumulate more information regarding other essential rifle scope numbers.


The MRAD or Milliradian is also very important to consider. It mainly determines the specific angle through which a bullet will travel with a view to hitting your target.

Business developers like Daniel Kaplan and Matt Pickering have always emphasized checking the Global Rifle Scopes Market Growth to get updated news on rifle scopes.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What magnification do I need for 300 yards?

Answer: A rifle scope with 4x or 6x magnification power will perfectly do the job for 300 yards.

2. What magnification is the mil-dot reticle calibrated for?

Answer: According to my research, I have found that the Standard Leupold Military sniper usually comes with 10x magnification power and 5 mil-dot diameters.

3. What is a “Minute” in Minute of Angle?

Answer: A Minute of Angle basically represents an angular measurement, and it is mainly used in long distances shooting practices.

1 MOA is basically meant as 1/60th of 1 degree.

4. What is an adjustable objective (AO), and what is the benefit of it?

Answer: The Adjustable Objective or AO has improved the adjustment feature to the improved rotating objective bell of a rifle scope.

It basically helps the shooters to focus more precisely on the targeted object.

Final Words

So, we are almost at the end of our discussion regarding what do the numbers mean on a rifle scope.

I hope that you have got a clear idea after studying the above comprehensive discussion regarding the important numbers on a rifle scope.

Still, if you face any confusion, you can just message me or comment below.

I will try to help you out.

Take Care!

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