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3x Magnification at 100 Yards: Is It Enough Zoom?

L.p. Brezny | Updated February 22, 2024 | Why You Should Trust Us | How We Earn Money
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Hunting is about precision, and a rifle scope can make or break making that perfect shot. 1x magnification for every 100 yards is commonplace, but a 3x magnification allows for incredible clarity.

More Reading: Best Prism Scopes for AR-15 Rifles

Once you’ve finished with this article, the next one to read is our write up on the best prism scope for AR-15 rifles available today.

Why You Need a Rifle Scope

When you’re out hunting, every shot counts even from distances further than 100 yards. 

A rifle scope with 3x magnification can provide you with a much clearer view of your target even in poor weather conditions.

How Far Can You Shoot with a 3x Magnifier?

How far you can shoot with a 3x magnifier greatly depends on the visibility. 

With clear visibility, a rifle scope with 3x magnification can provide you with a clear view of your target up to 300 yards.

But even with poor visibility, 3x magnification will greatly enhance your accuracy in a range of 100 to 300 yards. (Reference 1: Scope Magnification)

The Best Rifle Scopes to Achieve 3x Magnification at 100 Yards

You have three different options for rifle scopes on the market:

  • Tactical
  • Sniper
  • Hunting

Most folks will use hunting scopes, which are sturdy and can endure the harshest environments. So let’s explore the best options.

EON Rifle Scope 3-9×40

Hands holding a Viridian EON riflescope

The EON Rifle Scope has significant tech, magnifying 3x to 9x. You’ll definitely see your target that’s 100 yards or further away. In fact, you’ve got 200 to 300 yards more to play with!

This riflescope is durable, sleek, and one of the most affordable scopes with this level of precision on the market. The matte black finish and coated lens will hold up to the elements while keeping you undercover. 

Sig Sauer MSR + 3x Magnifier Combo

The Sig Sauer scope is dependable with water and fog-proof performance. In addition, the magnification can vary from 1x to 3x, granting flexibility and precision.

Take your shot to the next level using the red dot/holographic component for a more accurate shot. Switch on night vision on the trigger for supreme accuracy.

Leupold VC-Freedom 4-12x40mm

The riflescope weighs less than a pound and utilizes a Creedmoor reticle. The advanced optical system delivers a true light transmission while reducing glare.

The 3:1 zoom ratio also gives you magnification control. It’s made in the USA and offers a waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof design.

Swampfox Arrowhead LPVO

The Swampfox scope is unique, with locking turrets to stay on target. This advanced optical design has a bright sight picture and a wide field of view.

You have two reticles in this affordable scope with magnification from 1x up to 10x for maximum adaptability.

What to Do Once You Have Your Scope

The next step – mount your scope to your gun. If you’re unsure, here’s how:

Spend time at target practice to adapt to your scope settings and practice your shot. Once familiarized, take your new equipment out into the field.

For more reading, take at look at our article on the differences between red dot vs prism optics.


What magnification do I need for 100 yards? 

What magnification you should consider for 100 yards (91.4 meters) greatly depends on the size of the target and the detail resolution needed. 3x magnification is often sufficient for 100 yards, but 4x-12x may provide better results.

Is 3X magnification enough for 100 yards? 

Generally, 3x magnification is sufficient for targets within 100-150 yards (91.4 – 137.2 meters) depending on the resolution needed for precision shooting. 

How many yards is 3X zoom? 

As a general rule, a 3x magnification provides sufficient levels of details up to 150 yards (137.2 meters), but different scopes may increase or decrease the effective range a bit.

Is 3X magnification too much for CQB?

For close-quarter combat (CQB), 3x magnification is not recommended. It drastically reduces situational awareness and limits the field of view. For CQB applications, lower magnifications like 1x or 2x are often more effective.


  1. Leupold, Riflescope Magnification 101. Retrieved from https://www.leupold.com/blog/post/magnification-101

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