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Benchrest Scopes


  • Benchrest is a shooting sport where the competitor, seated, shoots from a rest with the rifle positioned on a bench or a table.
  • It takes place at a shooting range, where rifles are placed in the front and rear rest, hence the name 'bench - rest'.
  • In this sport, one has to be extremely accurate and precise since the targets are very small.
  • There are two main types: Full-bore and benchrest 50 (BR50).


In full-bore, competitors use heavy rifles and riflescopes, whereas in BR50 a weight limit is specified. In BR50, small-caliber rifles (.22 LR) are paired with lightweight riflescopes, commonly with a tube that measures 1 inch (25.4 mm) in diameter.

Light riflescopes

  • Weaver T36 had been the most popular bench - rest riflescope before the introduction of Sightron SII 36x42 BRD.
  • The latter has gradually stolen the spotlight of the legendary Weaver riflescope which has been in production for more than 25 years.
  • These light riflescopes are equipped with a tube that measures 1 inch (25.4 mm) in diameter.
  • The parallax adjustment is located on the objective (AOadjustable objective).
A Benchrest riflescope Competition - us

AO (adjustable objective) parallax adjustment

Since benchrest competitors shoot at a known distance, the parallax is only set once, at the very beginning of the competition. The difficulty to reach the adjustment ring while in the shooting position is thus an unimportant factor. Having the parallax setting on the objective is handy because it allows the user to set the parallax more precisely (the larger the knob, the more precise the adjustments). Furthermore, manufacturing an adjustable objective is less complex than manufacturing a riflescope with a side focus, which is why AO riflescopes are usually cheaper. It also requires fewer parts, resulting in a lower mass.

Benchrest Riflescope Adjustable Objective - Burris riflescope

Fixed power

When it comes to fixed power riflescopes, Sightron and Weaver are the most popular choices. Other well-known manufacturers of such riflescopes are Leupold, March, and IOR. These riflescopes often feature a 1-inch (25.4mm) tube but a 30mm tube is also used by some manufacturers. Fixed power riflescopes are advantageous over variable magnification riflescopes in certain aspects; they are lighter and optically better for the price.

Fully-featured F-class riflescopes

In benchrest disciplines where mass is not to be considered, shooters opt for a heavier riflescope, usually with a tube diameter of 34 mm and a high maximum magnification. A 10–50x magnification range is a common choice, as well as a thin reticle, and 1/8 MOA clicks for maximum precision. Sightron has the most of the market's share in this category, but certain Kahles, Nikko Stirling, and Hawke riflescopes are also popular.

Vortex riflescope SCR-1 reticle - rifle

Vortex SCR-1 reticle

The most popular riflescopes



A short presentation is available here.

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