This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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When you are prepping for an off-the-grid (OTG) situation, some of the most important items that you will be looking at are your primary and secondary firearms. These are the rifles and shotguns that you will be carrying for personal defense and to hunt food in certain situations. Many people overlook their optics when they are in these situations. However, unless you are very good at using open sights, optics can make or break your survival gear.
The Barska 7×3 x20 scope is an inexpensive scope that can be picked up for between $20-$30 online or in a store. This is great “starter scope” for people looking to outfit themselves on a budget. While it does not have any of the features of some of the higher priced models, it is great for plinking and small game hunting on a lightweight .22 rifle.
The market for this scope is people who are looking for cheap optics for their gun. While it is not a bad scope, it is a very simple scope. It does not have a lot of features, which can make it much nicer for people are new to sighting in a scope. Overall, it is very limited in who would use it, 4 out of 10.
I always like when people post online that the iron sights are the ‘stick shift’ of the gun world as if there is a level of difficulty to using a set of irons. The truth is that they are the training wheels that anyone should learn to use before they move to more advanced optics. That being said, this scope is a pretty good advancement from a set of iron sites. It allows a person to aim their rifle better (assuming it is sighted in).4 out 10.
As a hunting scope, this is a passable scope. For plinking at short range, it is a good scope. Where it really shines is for your bug out gun. This scope is lightweight and adjustable, which means that you can keep it on your small riffle attached to your bag without much weight. I like it for this purpose, 6 out of 10.
When testing a scope for a survival rifle, we sight it in using a large piece of cardboard and no bore sight. We do this because if you are carrying this gun on your pack, it may get jostled around. While the scope seems to keep it accuracy after being bounced around, it is also easy to sight in from nothing. We sighted it in in about 15 shots. The adjustment is a little finicky, but overall it was easy to sight in.
Another factor of the usability is the zoom. With a 3×7 scope, you expect to be able to zoom in pretty well in the short distance. One major drawback of this model is that it gets very fuzzy at 7 magnification. This pretty much limits it to a 3×6 scope. However, it does do well at the lower magnification and, as noted, this is best used on short range plinking guns. 4.5 of 10.
This scope is thin with a small rail lock on it. It almost looks like it should be on a air soft gun or a BB gun. It does not scream cool. It does have the adjustment on it that allows the shooter to zoom in, which is useful in the field, but the blurriness at 7 mag limits the utility here. Unfortunately, this is not a scope that looks cool. 3 out of 10.
Overall, this is not a bad little scope for the price. There is a reason that some optics are $30 and some are $300. If you want this as a cheap scope to put on your bug-out rifle, then this will work till you can afford something better. Both shooters had two in the 1/2 diameter black ring and three in 2-inch ring at 50 yards holding on a rest. Not a great score but not too shabby for a $20 scope on a $130 rifle. With a score of 21.5 out of 50, this is not a scope that I would use for more than plinking and possibly a scope for my backup gun; however, for its price it is great for a prepper on a budget.