Hunting vs. Tactical Scope, Diff?

mcameron

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For hunting scopes, I prefer a simple reticle and covered turrets.... generally lower magnification and lighter weight.

Really it’s all personal preference.

“Tactical” scopes will generally have exposed turrets and a MIL reticle

You’ll see scopes advertised as “ hunting” or “ tactical”.... but there is no formal designation
 

Hobbes442

Sergeant of the Hide
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If you have turrets for hunting - have locking ones
 

Crews

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I personally don't see why there has to be a difference in the actual scope features. It's not like the additional features of a "tactical" scope are a default hindrance in a hunting situation. It all pretty much boils down weight really, a lot of guys sacrifice features they won't use to have a lighter optic.

The only exceptions are thin FFP reticles that aren't visible at low power/low light, and capped turrets. As long as your tactical scope has an illuminated reticle and locking turrets, there's no reason it can't be just as effective on your hunting trip. As a matter of fact, it can be an advantage.
 
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ingraham

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These days I feel pretty handicapped with a "regular" hunting scope on any rifle. Even a small hunting rifle, as long as it's accurate, can be such a more effective tool with a scope that has good knobs and reliable tracking or usable reticle vs. a duplex "point and shoot" scope without usable knobs. The best quality and most reliable scopes with those features tend to be "tactical" scopes, thought there are some hybrid-types available they tend to be limited in one way or another.
 
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Skookum

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I miss the days of capped dialable turrets personally. I have never felt good about having turrets exposed to whatever they may brush against.
 

Hairball

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Overall features of the optic and general glass quality. While you can use a tactical optic for hunting, using a hunting optic for tactical shooting might not work so well. For those that are into/capable of long-range hunting, a tactical optic may work better. For my hunting optics, I’m not looking through them for extended timeframes and the shots I take with a hunting rifle are relatively short. Hunting optics pale in comparison to the cost of many tactical optics so many folks may not see the value in putting a 2k+ optic on a rifle that does not need one for the intended use of the rifle.
 

Sniper260

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Its all personal preference and as to what your doing and how. I shot a deer with my f class march high master last year.. its just some work better than others.
 

ingraham

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I pretty much agree with what's been said already....but I carry my tactical rifle all over the hills of eastern MT each season. It's a heavy rifle, right at 15 lbs. But this is the same rifle that I use for competitions, varmints, and big game. I know this rifle very well and can pretty much put the bullet where I want to. I also have a couple light weight "hunting rifles" which rarely get used. As far as accuracy goes, both can be made to be accurate. But a tactical rifle with a heavier barrel, can generally shoot more rounds before barrel heat starts to affect things. For hunting, this doesn't really come into consideration as you probably wont be taking that many shots. Additionally, at least to me, a tactical rifle will have more robust components meant to take being knocked around a little bit and not affecting anything. Components like composite stock of some sort (McMillan, Manners, HS Precision), picatinney scope rails and rings, upgraded bottom metal, etc. Not to say a hunting rifle can't or don't have those, but the tactical ones generally do.
 

nchunt101

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Nov 28, 2018
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It depends where you are hunting. Here in NC the vast majority of my shots are sub 300 yds. Great Low light performance,glass quality,simplicity and durability are what i look for in my hunting scopes. I like a heavy duplex and 3-9/3-10 magnification and low capped turrents.The Meopta Meopro 3-10x44 duplex scopes are the best buy for a KISS hunting scope currently on the market.
 

PlinkIt

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Given my current understanding of the word "tactical" .... I thought a "tactical" scope was a hunting scope....

Now Target scope vs hunting scope is a different story to me

You need to give examples of what you really want to do not just give them "categories"

We can all group categories in different ways
For me they go as follows
Target scope = high magnification (30x-80x) and easily adjusted external turrets
Tactical scopes = low to medium magnification anything from a 1-4 for run and gun or stationary close shots with reticle use and no adjustments up to a 3-15 or 4-20 for medium distance moving targets & multiple targets with possible locking adjustments
Hunting scope = same as tactical...

I think the days of a 3-9 sfp duplex scope for hunting are long gone for me... a 2-10 FFP with some stiff or locking turrets is where my brain is
 

shoobe01

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Practically in the US, a lot of it is marketing. Hunting stuff is "classically" styled so tends to be slicker (no big protrusions), shiny, etc. Simple graticules as well. Vs tactical which is matte, has Moar Features.

Slowly eroding and getting confused these days of course, so no solid answer. "Tactical" sometimes means "heavier duty" though that may be the opposite of what we want on a gun that's carried all day.

Especially confusing to me as there are many sorts of hunting. A lot of euro (esp German) hunting optics are set up for stalks, so smaller, lighter, and configured for snapshooting is more likely. They even have a few RDSs in "hunting" guise for this. But in the US we do a lot more stand/hide hunting, so weight and anti-snaggyness is not as functionally important. I've even seen tactical-vs-hunting rings/mounts with the same reasoning... though again not so much anymore.

Much stand/hide hunting is done over an expected target area, so you can set up for an expected range, and don't need to estimate, hold, or dial on the fly. Some folks (of the few hunters who take their shit seriously) will even zero for the expected range. Have run into folks with e.g 87 yd zero as the stand is 87 yds slant distance to the edge of the pond.