What Testing Sightmark Riflescopes Undergo To Ensure Durability


What Are Riflescopes?

Riflescopes improve the accuracy and precision of a firearm. They work by magnifying the image of your target and showing a reticle that focuses the aim of the rifle. Riflescopes mount on the rear sight aperture of a firearm and work like a telescope. Testing riflescopes to ensure quality functionality is paramount to responsible 2nd Amendment practice.

Shooters do not require any special training to use riflescopes. There are a variety of riflescope models available which can provide up to 50 times magnification of a target. Although higher magnification may not make you a better shooter, it undoubtedly helps.

hunter with the Sightmark Core HX 3-9×40 Venison Hunter Riflescope

A hunter with the Sightmark Core HX 3-9×40 Venison Hunter Riflescope

Why You Make Your Mark With Sightmark

Sightmark riflescopes undergo various evaluations before they are available to the public. It is important to test them in extreme conditions due to their technological features and sensitivities.

Riflescope and red dot sights users encounter all kinds of environments and situations. It is essential for manufacturers to assess their durability and reliability before presenting them to the public.

To ensure these scopes perform in the toughest conditions, manufacturers tryout their products with well calibrated, carefully planned procedures.

Sightmark’s Citadel 1-10×24 HDR and Core HX 3-9×40 VHR are precision riflescopes. They undergo many of the following procedures to confirm their rugged reputation.

Please note – Not ALL riflescopes undergo the same tests. Whether a scope is glass, night vision, thermal, aluminum, plastic, magnesium alloy or some other material will determine the exact tests it requires.

Red dots and reflex sights undergo some of the same tests—and some different ones—as riflescopes.

Riflescope and Optic Tests

Impact/Recoil Shock Tests: We test rifle scopes for rigorous impact cycles at high G-forces. Cyclic impact helps determine the durability of the scope. These are perhaps the most important tests for riflescopes.

After impact, they are inspected for damage and functionality errors. This is especially important when determining which optic to use on your firearm. If your caliber is too high, it may damage the riflescope.

recoil testing machine

A recoil testing machine

Vibration Tests – In addition to impact, vibration analysis is also important for rifle scopes. They are usually tested for continuous vibration for 1 to 1.5 hours. Vibration analyses range from low frequency to high frequency. To test robustness, vibration tests are performed on all sides of a scope.

Drop Testing – Certain optics are dropped from varying heights directly onto concrete. The maximum height that an optic can fall from and still retain functionality is recorded, generally 3 to 6 feet.

Drop-tested optics are generally not sold to the public. They are either repaired, used in showrooms or employed for training purposes.

Less Common Tests

Salt Spray Tests – To confirm resistance to corrosion, optics are also evaluated in a salt spray environment. This is popular because it is inexpensive, quick, well standardized and repeatable.

Typically, the optic is exposed to dense saltwater fog in a sealed tank for a fixed amount of time. After the exposure, we evaluate the riflescope for functionality.

Salt spray/corrosion testing chamber

Salt spray/corrosion testing chamber

Temperature Tests – Extreme temperatures are also imposed on riflescopes for them to function efficiently at various climatic conditions. Scopes are exposed to subpolar temperatures and scorching heat in a specialized tank. They are evaluated afterwards for functionality.

Temperature Shift Tests – Fogging of the glass may hinder accurate placement of the reticle. Therefore, it is essential to analyze the scopes for fogging by temperature shift testing in a controlled environment. This helps in acquiring process controls to make the product fog-proof if it fogs during or after the process.

Sightmark Citadel 1-10×24 HDR

The Sightmark Citadel 1-10×24 HDR

Additional Tests

Water Immersion Tests – Most manufacturers also evaluate these scopes for water immersion for underwater applications. Many factories submerge scopes for a fixed amount of time—and at a fixed depth—and then assess them for functionality.

Combination Tests – Combined tests are also performed as per the requirement of a product. For example, temperature and vibration procedures can be conducted simultaneously to evaluate the reliability of a riflescope.

 collimator machine to calibrate scopes

A collimator machine to calibrate scopes


Riflescopes from Sightmark provide maximum reliability in harsh climatic conditions. Due to their sealed O-ring and purged nitrogen, they adjust for fogging and are water resistant.

The aforementioned tests ensure Sightmark optics are weather-proof, shockproof and fog-proof, making target acquisition practically a foregone conclusion.

Riflescopes and other optics are a positive and necessary accessory for firearms users and provide countless advantages to all manners of hunters and shooters.

Sightmark Scopes Lifetime Warranty

It is necessary for manufacturers to provide durable riflescopes for the safety and satisfaction of users. Sightmark hits that high bar with every product, every time. 

Sightmark scopes are warranted free of defects in materials and workmanship with the Sightmark Limited Lifetime Warranty. This policy speaks to Sightmark’s faith in its diverse product offerings.

Certain products may receive different warranty terms. Be sure to read Sightmark’s Warranty Policy for the exact details.

Special thanks to John Hamlin for providing this blog content!

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1 comment

I am looking to test out products I do a lot of coyote hunting everyone is pushing the r i x l 6 but for the price I think your product with videos to prove your product might change some minds thanks just let me know

William Thomason

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