Scout scope vs regular scope

Scout scope vs regular scope

What is the difference between a scout scope and a regular scope? This might appear like a mundane question but few people understand the difference. It is important to note that these two types of scopes share several similarities. If you’re trying to decide between these two types of scopes, then understanding the purpose of the scope is crucial.

Most people are much aware of regular scopes because they are widely available on the market. There are fewer scout scopes on the market compared to regular scopes. You can read more about scout scope reviews here. The best scout scope can serve you well in situations where you don’t need a higher magnification. In cases where you need higher magnification, then choosing a regular scope makes sense.

But first, let’s have a look at the major differences between a regular scope and a scout scope. Which is the best scope for you?

Eye relief

The eye relief is the major area where these two scopes differ.  Scout scopes usually have an extended eye relief of low magnification for easy and quick target acquisition.  A regular scope has an eye relief of about 70mm to 90mm. This small amount of eye relief is usually not suitable for pistols with considerable recoil. This is why you will find most regular scopes used on rifles where the space between the firearm and the shooter is not a major issue.

For handgun users, there needs to be more space between them and the firearm. This is because most handguns have a considerable amount of recoil. Scout scopes usually have extended eye relief in the range of 300mm to 500mm. Eye relief is a big concern when shooting with a rifle or a handgun. Make sure you understand

Light gathering capability

Regular scopes have a much better light-gathering capability than scouting scopes. Light gathering capability is essential especially when hunting at dawn or dusk where there is minimal light. In the early morning or late in the evening, you need to see your target clearly because of the reduced light. However, when you hunt during the day where there is plenty of light, you can go with a scout scope. Scout scopes also can help you see targets clearly but do not have enough light-gathering capability.

Target acquisition

Faster target acquisition is a major concern for hunters that need to get their target faster. When looking for faster target acquisition, a scout scope is considered the best choice. Scout scopes are usually mounted on the rifle barrel just in front of the action. Since scout scopes work best in short ranges, the shooter can clearly see the target without looking through the scope. They can then use the scope to target and ensure precision shooting.

You’re sure of faster target acquisition at short ranges when using a scout scope. This is important, especially when hunting moving game. You need to aim and shoot the game in a short period before they can change their position. In such instances, you need a quality scout scope as opposed to a regular scope.

Size and weight

Size and weight are also important factors when deciding between a regular scope and a scout scope. Scout scopes tend to be a little heavier and bigger than regular scopes. If weight and size are a big issue for you, then consider a regular scope. However, the weight and size difference is not major to create a big difference in usage.

You need to consider the scope weight when carrying your rifle for long distances. The last thing you want is an extra ounce on your rifle weighing you down. Most regular scopes are lightweight and compact-sized for easy carrying and use. They also provide a large exit pupil with a bright image than most scout scopes. However, you have to hunt from a stationary position at short ranges; a scout scope is a great option.

Eye box

When we consider the eye box, scout scopes tend to be more forgiving as opposed to regular scopes. The shooter is usually less restricted in their movement in front of the glass. The eye box when using scout scopes is not very sensitive to eye movement. This makes scout scopes more comfortable for use tactical use or hunting at short ranges.

However, the same cannot be said of regular scopes which are extremely sensitive to the eye movement in front of the eye box. You can only make minimal movement in front of the glass to ensure you still have a clear focus on the target. This makes regular scopes difficult to use when hunting moving game. They tend to take time focusing and zeroing on your target.


There is minimal recoil when using scout scopes due to the extended eye relief. In general scout scopes are recoil-proof as opposed to regular scopes. Users can experience recoil when using regular scopes as opposed to scout scopes. However, the recoil force also depends on the specific rifle and muzzle power.

Durability and weatherproofing features

Luckily, both scopes tend to strongly build and durable. You can conveniently choose any of these scopes and enjoy extended outdoor use without damage. Most of the scopes feature excellent waterproofing levels to withstand bad weather outdoors. They also feature sturdy encasing materials to prevent damages upon falls.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, both the scout scopes and regular scopes are excellent optical devices. Scout scopes tend to work best in places where the shooter needs minimal magnification and faster target acquisition. Regular scopes on the other hand tend to work best when you need precise target acquisition at long ranges. They can magnify images at long ranges but tend to have a small eye relief. Regular scopes are readily available on the market than scout scopes.

The ideal scope to choose comes down to specific use. Handgun users and users shooting at short ranges can do better with scout scopes. Long-range shooters that require a lot of magnification require regular scopes.