Hope you all can direct me to some more basic knowledge. I get the impression that some things I think are 'scopes' (and therefore magnify the sight image) are actually just optical sights, and don't magnify the image at all. I think the Aimpoint products are in this category, no? And, I gather even if they don't magnify the target image, they still improve accuracy somehow?
And, how does one pick the proper scope? I gather that a 4-9 x 35 (I'm making this up) would give from 4 to 9 times magnifications, and has a 35mm objective (in diameter)? And, the objective is the part of the scope closest to target, and the other is the ... eyepiece? Do you choose a scope partly based upon the practical shooting distance of the firearm?
So, if I have a .22 rimfire, like a 10/22, what scopes should I consider for plinking vs. varmint hunting vs. competition target shooting? Clearly there are price differences between Tasco and Leupold, but I don't really know where to start. Seems like most web sites and books either skip this area, or presume more knowledge than I have gleaned so far.
As you can tell, I have enough of a clue here to get myself pretty turned around. Thanks for your help.