Wire reticle vs Glass Etched reticle vs Fiber reticle, what’s the difference?

Mar 02, 2023

When using rifle scopes, shooters would notice a pattern of fine lines or markings on the lens, which is namely the reticle. There are mainly three types of reticles when it comes to rifle scopes: Wire reticle, etched reticle and fiber reticle. What are the differences among the three reticles and what scenarios are they mainly used in? Read more to find the answers!

Wire reticle vs Etched reticle vs Fiber reticle, how to choose

What is wire reticle?


The wire reticle usually presents itself in a crosshair and is stretched and fixed in the sleeve to form the aiming point. It is the most common type of reticle in scopes due to the low manufacturing cost. The advantage of wire crosshairs is that they are durable, and provide no obstruction to light passing through the scope. However, the shock resistance of wire reticles is weaker than etched reticles, the wire crosshairs may get damaged from drop force, recoil or incorrect mounting. The metal wire material also makes it unable to form complex reticle patterns.

OPSL04 VICTOPTICS 3-9X40 green reticle

What is etched reticle?


The etched reticle is that the aiming line is directly engraved on the center lens, hence, the shock resistance and durability is better compared with wire reticles. The etched reticle can realize complex reticle patterns, such as Christmas tree style reticles, reticle lines can be made thinner than wire reticles, depends on different manufacturers, which also means that it can be more accurate than wire reticle. However, the etched reticle usually has a higher manufacture cost as it involves a series of process like coating, etc. Besides, it is easy to accumulate dust and fog during assembly, affecting the light transmission rate.

Victoptics S6 brown rifle scope OPSL23 image

What is fiber reticle?


The fiber reticle uses a very thin fiber optic light pipe pasted behind the wire for illumination purposes. With the fiber reticle, it can ensure the illuminated dot can be seen and used under the strongest sunlight. Meanwhile, when shooting at low magnification like 1x, you can use two eyes open and acquire your targets rapidly with the bright center dot (similar as the red dot sight shooting). It also inherits the advantages and disadvantages of wire reticles. However, the manufacturing cost of the fiber reticle is higher, and like wire reticles, it cannot achieve complex reticle patterns and the shock resistance capability is weaker.

Fiber wire

Fiber optics is a technology that efficiently transmits light through thin strands of flexible glass or plastic fibers. Light is not easily dispersed in a fiber optic cable. When used in the reticle, the light is perfectly focused at the center point.

Pros Cons
Wire reticle 1. Low manufacturing cost

2. Provide no obstruction to light passing through the scope

1. The shock resistance is weaker

2. The wire crosshairs are easy to get damaged

3. Unable to form complex reticle patterns

Etched reticle 1. Advanced technique etching

2. Better shock resistance and durability

3. Can realize complex reticle patterns

4. Reticle lines can be made thinner than wire reticles

1. High manufacture cost

2. Easy to accumulate dust and fog during assembly

Fiber reticle 1. Very bright, can be used under the strongest sunlight

2. Can rapidly acquire  targets at 1x.

3. Very little obstruction to the light transmission rate of the scope

1. High manufacturing cost

2. Cannot achieve complex reticle patterns

Scope Reticle OEM/ODM

Though there are plenty of patent scope reticles on the market, many shooters wish to design reticles themselves. If you own a business about rifle scopes, having unique scope reticles will be a great help to make more profit. Therefore, welcome to cooperate with VictOptics, here you can enjoy scope reticle OEM/ODM service at a very affordable price!