Welcome to Optics Trade debates. In each episode, we talk about a different topic and try to answer the most common questions we receive about it. Today, we are going to talk about fixed and adjustable parallax.
The main difference between the two is that the fixed parallax has the parallax set to a specific distance, while it can be set on different distances with the adjustable parallax. Riflescopes that feature a fixed parallax, which is set on a specific distance, have a parallax error on all other distances.
When shooting on a distance on which the parallax is set, the accuracy is higher.
The parallax is usually set at 100 m on riflescopes that have a fixed parallax. Scopes that have an adjustable parallax usually have a side turret that regulates it. The parallax is set correctly when the image is completely sharp.
A target that is out of parallax it’s less sharp and if the user moves his eye outside the optimal optical axes of the riflescope, the reticle will move and the accuracy will decrease. This is called the parallax error.
The parallax error is not important for hunting, because accuracy isn’t that crucial. That’s why fixed parallax is good enough for hunting. The parallax error is bigger when shooting at really short distances than on distant targets. When shooting at close range, it’s better to have the scope on a lower magnification, so that the parallax error is smaller.
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