The old adage was that you should spend as much on your scope as you do your rifle. I don’t know if I always agree with that (depending on the price of the rifle), but don’t buy a cheap scope and hope for the best. Quality glass can make a difference.
So can reticle design, because if you really want to paste the same spot repeatedly, you have to hold right on the same point. Fine cross-hairs will certainly help.
However, if you really want the secret to scope shopping for accuracy, it’s pretty simple: Bigger is better.
If you want tight groups like those benchrest shooters get, take a look at their optics. These guys aren’t shooting 2-7×40 mm scopes. Those optics are fine for hunting, but if you want to find out just how tight of a group your gun will print, you need a big honkin’ scope.
A 2.5-16×42 mm will give you a really good idea and still be great for hunting. A 4.5-30×50 mm is probably what those accuracy-guarantee guys are throwing on their guns.
But then, this leads to the question of overkill and how much accuracy you really need for whitetail hunting.Most whitetails are shot at relatively close range, and their vital zone is much larger than a 1-inch bull.