40mm vs 50mm Scopes – Which Are Better? (ANSWERED)

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Photo by Brooke B / CC BY

When choosing between a 40mm vs 50mm scopes, it’s often a tough call. The decision will depend a lot on you, and what you plan to be using your scope for. Are you looking to get the most amount of light possible for early morning and late evening hunting? Is objective size important to you? What about overall weight? Will you be hiking during your hunting trip? Is a larger and wider field of view on your checklist?

All these considerations we’ll go into in the conclusion in detail. First, though, we’ll show you some representative scopes from each objective lens diameter. So, without further ado . . .

Here are our recommendations for the best 40mm and 50mm scopes on the market:

40mm vs 50m Scopes – the 40mm’s

Leupold VX-Freedom 4-12x40mm Rifle Scope

The Leupold Freedom is a 40mm scope that is 100% water proof, fog proof, and shockproof. It is made out of 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum for durability. It is impact tested and verified and are said to be safe to be used in weather that ranges from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

This particular 40mm scope offers Leupold’s Twilight Light Management System which adds up to 10 extra minutes of shooting time. This makes up a little bit of time. It does this by balancing out light transmission, image contract, resolution, and glare reduction for clarity in lowlight hunting situations. It weighs 13.10 oz.

5 New Leupold VX-Freedom Riflescopes

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 40mm Multi-X Reticle Riflescope

This 40mm scope provides amazing optics with clarity. It is considered to be a low light rifle scope that provides 3 to 9x magnification. It features a 1/4 MOA fingertip windage and elevation adjustment and is 100% water proof and fog proof, along with the others. What sets this one apart is that it is coated in Bushnell’s Dusk & Dawn Brightness multi-coating process (as you may have gathered from the name). This provides the clarity and brightness you need to finish out the hunting day as the sun goes down or to start your day before the sun has even risen.

It is a one-piece tube that is dry-nitrogen filled. The eyepiece is quick to focus for convenience. It provides a wide field of view without compromising with extra weight. It weighs a lightweight 13.01 oz.


40mm vs 50m Scopes – the 50mm’s

Burris Optics Fullfield E1 Scope, 3X-9X-50mm

This 50mm option has a coil-spring assisted steel post that is retractable to lock into place. It is thoroughly sealed to provide the features of being fog proof and water proof. It has cascading elevation and windage dots that provide for long-range shots maxing out at 500 yards with accuracy.

The scope is very bright in lowlight situations and is protected by the Burris Forever plan. The multicolored lenses provide for amazing glare resistance. There is a flip-up lens cap for convenience and the scope is easy to assemble. This scope weighs 1.6lbs.

Burris Fullfield E1 Rifle Scope 3-9x 50mm

Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope with Truplex Reticle

This scope provides 3 9X magnification and 50mm objective lens, optimal for letting tons of light in to buy you more hunting time in low light situations. The optics is fully coated to provide for a brighter, and a higher-contrast image. Making adjustments with this scope is simple.

The 1/2-MOA SureGrip windage is audible-clicking for windage and elevation adjustments. They stay locked tightly to zero. This scope is water proof, fog proof, and recoil proof. It weighs 13.2 oz.

Simmons 8 Point Rifle Scope

40mm vs 50m Scopes – What to Look For

Picking between a 40mm and 50mm will most likely mainly depend on the amount of low light hunting you are planning on doing. When it comes to deer hunting, for example, sunrise and sunset are the best times for whitetails and difficult lighting can make or break your accuracy.

Riflescope brightness depends on a few things on the scope. Having a large objective lens provides the best opportunity to let more light in. It’s a no-brainer that for the best vision through the scope in a low light situation, the bigger the objective lens is, the better off you are.

But while a 50mm allows about 55% more light through than a 40mm, the 40mm delivers a lower cost and better strength. They typically also weigh less, which is very important, especially if you plan on doing a lot of walking, hiking, and hunting.

If you really think about what environment you plan to be doing most of your hunting in, it can help to solidify your choice as well. If your hunt is in bushes and thick brush, less light gets in there; therefore, the 50mm may provide you the extra edge necessary to bump up your vision and accuracy. If you plan to be in wide, open areas, you may fair well with the 40mm.

To make your decision, you will want to take the time to scout out some 40mm scopes and vet and compare them with 50mm scopes. The 40mm scope options also offer less parallax and a much greater field depth, while the 50mm scope options provided that extra light and visibility. To break up your confusion, take some time to sort through some 40mm and 50mm options.

Overall, the 50mm may buy you an extra hour of hunting time per day, but the 40mm will certainly be a lot lighter to lug around with you on your hunting trips. The option is yours! Bottom line, you truly cannot go wrong with either. For some, the difference is huge, and for others, they claim that the difference is not noticeable and the extra weight is a waste.

Taking the time to do your research to ensure a sound decision is paramount. If you have the opportunity, get out and test out both by borrowing from a friend—or buying from an online source that allows no-questions-asked returns. Bottom line: each human eye is trained differently and you may react differently to both the 40mm and the 50mm than someone else will. Whether you opt for either, you will not be making a bad choice with any of the choices above. Any can conceivably win in the Battle of 40mm vs 50mm Scopes. After all, beauty and precision are in the eye of the beholder!

  • Owner of Reloaderaddict.com, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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