Best Rifle Scopes

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 Best Riffle ScopesProduct DimensionsWeightPrices 
Best Rifle Scope Under $100: UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope 8.1" L x 2" W x 2" H1.8 lb[amazon fields="B005UGIMNQ" value="price"]View on Amazon
Best Rifle Scope Under $300: Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC3.3" L x 4.7" W x 15.8" H1.1 lb[amazon fields="B00BAHWQ7M" value="price"]View on Amazon
Best Mid-Range Rifle Scope: Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm14" L x 3.2" W x 3" H11.2[amazon fields="B006PH5TMG" value="price"]View on Amazon
Best Rifle Scope Under $500: Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC4.7" L x 5.4" W x 20.1" H1.2 lb[amazon fields="B00BAHMGGI" value="price"]View on Amazon
Best High-End Rifle Scope: Nightforce Optics 5.5-22×56 NXSNA3.3 lb[amazon fields="B00784RRNY" value="price"]View on Amazon
Best Long-Range Rifle Scope: Leupold Mark 4 LR/TNA33 lb[amazon fields="B000U3UQIS" value="price"]View on Amazon
Best Sniper Rifle Scope: Nightforce Optics 5-25×56 ATACR SeriesNA3.6 lb[amazon fields="B00UW371K2" value="price"]View on Amazon
Best Deer Hunting Rifle Scope: Leupold VX-3i 2.5-8x36mm 14" L x 3.2" W x 3" H1.2 lb[amazon fields="B018YKYGSE" value="price"]View on Amazon
Best Night Vision Rifle Scope: ATN Gen 2+ Night Arrow 11" L x 4.1" W x 3.7" H3.1 lb[amazon fields="B0037Z2KTE" value="price"]View on Amazon
Best Air Rifle Scope: BSA Adjustable ObjectiveNA1.2 lb[amazon fields="B003PAJKYE" value="price"]View on Amazon
Best AR-15 Rifle Scope: Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600NANA[amazon fields="B006YVT0R8" value="price"]View on Amazon
Best .22 Rifle Scope: Leupold FX-II Scout14" L x 3.2" W x 2.8" H7.5 ounces[amazon fields="B000MM47IW" value="price"]View on Amazon
Best Rifle Scope for .308: Vortex Viper PST 1-4×2413.9" L x 3.5" W x 3.3" H1.7 lb[amazon fields="B013XRCHKC" value="price"]View on Amazon

Rifle scopes make life easier for hunters, and even for those who enjoy shooting for sport. Scopes boosts accuracy, making it possible to zoom in on targets and precisely land shots. Confidence will also be boosted, since scopes help improve shooting record overall. A feeling of control over a scenario is instilled in the shooter, since targets are easier to aim with the zoom-in feature.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Rifle Scope

Magnification determines how much larger an object will appear on the scope. It should not be too high for close-range targets because the field of view will be narrow, making it hard to shoot accurately.

The field of view (FOV) is the area that can be seen through the scope at a 100-m range. It is desirable to have a wider FOV to achieve a better result of acquiring a target. The FOV changes with magnification, with the FOV decreasing with increasing magnification.

The objective lens diameter controls the amount of light entering the scope, and how efficiently that light will be transferred to the ocular. A larger diameter would mean a greater amount of light that will enter the scope. This is good for low-light conditions.

Parallax adjustment becomes important when focusing on distant targets at high magnification. It is usually found on the scope’s objective, but some models have a side focus that is much easier to use. Turret adjustment, on the other hand, is useful in shooting contests. The crosshairs can be adjusted using the large turret. The turrets are not meant for hunting scenarios, since they could get snagged in the bushes.

The rifle’s lenses, should offer protection against fog and water. Coating is essential in reducing glare, enhancing light transmission, and sharpening the contrast.

Lastly, it would be ideal for a rifle scope to have a good light transmission, since this will greatly help in hunting during both low-light and well-illuminated conditions. Targets will be easier to sight, and focus will be enhanced.

Here now are the best rifle scopes that excel in their respective categories.

 

Best Rifle Scope Under $100 – UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope

Most rifle scopes under $100 are not advisable to buy, but the UTG 3-9×32 BugBuster Scope is the best in this price range, and with good reasons too. This scope offers a lot of features aside from its affordability, like a lockable and resettable turret, a Mil-Dot reticle, 3 – 9x magnification, sun shade for the scope, flip cap covers, and quick release rings.

 

The UTG 3-9×32 BugBuster Scope may not be able to compete with the others in terms of quality and clarity, it is nevertheless good at getting the job done.

BugBuster Scope

Pros:

  • finding Mil-Dot range is easy
  • good eye relief
  • lockable turret

Cons:

  • eye relief is limited
  • scope is suitable for beginners
  • battery door gets unscrewed

Best Rifle Scope Under $300 – Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC

The Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC rifle scope offers various features that are not normally found in other rifle scopes in its price range. It also carries the name of one of most reputable companies in the business.

 

Adjustments are a breeze with its Spring-Loaded Instant Zero Reset Turrets. It is meant to be compatible with Nikon’s SpotOn Ballistic Match Technology. Nikon’s BDC reticle features see-through ballistic circles, making the PROSTAFF 5 BDC excel at long-range shooting. Bringing the reticle into focus quickly is made possible by the scope’s quick-focus eyepiece. The PROSTAFF 5 BDC has a 3.5 – 14x magnification, and 40 mm objective lens.

Pros:

  • optics are amazingly clear
  • holds up to heavy firing
  • scope has wide range

Cons:

  • parallax knob is plastic
  • lens covers are efficient
  • automatic centering is sometimes off

Best Mid-Range Rifle Scope – Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm

The Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm has almost everything essential that is desired in a rifle scope. It has tactile power indicators, finger-adjustable windage dials and click elevation, and settings for low-light scenarios.

The Leupold scope is also waterproof and there are four lens coatings, allowing superb light transmission.

Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm

Optimal contrast, clarity, and brightness are all  provided by the scope, making every shot the best one in spite of different field conditions.

Performance and price are well-balanced, that the Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm is one of the highest rated rifle scopes today.

Pros:

  • 4 lens coatings
  • quarter MOA click elevation
  • accurate even after repeated shots

Cons:

  • no eye protection rubber ring
  • not for dedicated long-range shooters
  • no sun shade

 Best Rifle Scope Under $500 – Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC

Nikon once again impresses with its MONARCH 3 BDC rifle scope which comes with first-rate features. It has a 4-16x magnifications, and 50 mm objective lens. The scope uses Ultra Clear Coat Optical System that makes it possible to attain 95% light transmission.

 

The reticle can be quickly brought to focus with the scope’s quick focus eyepiece.

Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC

But perhaps the MONARCH 3 BDC’s most notable feature is it MONARCH 3 Eye Box Technology that offers 4x zoom range.

A 4-inch eye relief is also possible with this model.

Pros:

  • high-quality design
  • amazing clarity
  • value for money

Cons:

  • lines are big at long range
  • no quick adjustment turrets
  • cross hairs a bit large

Best High-End Rifle Scope – Nightforce Optics 5.5-22×56 NXS

If money were no object, then it would be best spent on the Nightforce NXS rifle scope. This large scope has a 30mm main tube and 56mm objective lens. The elevation adjustment and windage knobs are made convenient by their large size, and a parallax correction knob is strategically mounted at the side.

 

 

The Nightforce NXS scopes are highly durable and are able to endure all conditions. This sets the Nightforce NXS apart from other brands, since normally, scopes with precision optics are delicate.

Nightforce Optics 5.5-22×56 NXS

This is not so for Nightforce NXS. Their scope’s lenses are aligned and matched by hand to deliver optimal performance.

Their method of optical indexing for their scopes results to the highest possible resolution and performance.

Pros:

  • highly durable and long-lasting
  • a lot of reticle options
  • very precise

Cons:

  • pricey
  • heavy
  • no method to zero the windage knobs

Best Long-Range Rifle Scope – Leupold Mark 4 LR/T

The Leupold Mark 4 rifle scope has technical reticles, tactical knobs, and magnification power up to 15-20x—basically everything that is needed to make a highly accurate long-range rifle scope. This scope has a 30mm main tube that allows numerous adjustments in windage and elevation. The field of vision is quite wide, reaching 7.6 feet at 100 yards. The Mil-Dot reticle is illuminated, and it also has a technical twilight lens system.

Pros:

  • excellent adjustability
  • well-built
  • superb clarity

 

Cons:

  • MILS harder to use than MOA
  • no BDC
  • pricey

Best Sniper Rifle Scope – Nightforce Optics 5-25×56 ATACR Series

Nightforce is known for making quality tactical scopes, and this ATACR features a 2x power magnification range, with 34mm tube and and 6mm objective bell.

 

The Nightforce Optics 5-25×56 ATACR scope also comes with optics that is multi-coated, making it diamond tough and highly resistant to scratches.

Nightforce Optics 5-25×56 ATACR Series

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The knobs have textured surfaces that allow fast adjustment, and the turrets feature an adjustable zero stop.

Parallax adjustment is well-marked, and can adjust at .25moa.

Pros:

  • quality build
  • superb glass clarity
  • does well in low light

Cons:

  • pricey
  • heavy
  • lack of FFP

Best Deer Hunting Rifle Scope – Leupold VX-3i 2.5-8x36mm

The Leupold VX3i features a redesigned lens coating process that enables the light spectrum to be filtered out, making it easy to spot deer even during low light conditions at post dusk and pre-dawn.

 

The adjustment fin for dialing in and out of the magnification has also increased in size, making it simpler to change from 2.8 – 8x power.

The Leupold VX3i still uses a solid aluminum tube, and provides a second focal plane reticle. The Leupold custom shop still offers the Custom Dial System that allows loads to be dialed in for accuracy. All in all, the Leupold VX3i is not only perfect for deer hunting, it is also ideal for elk or hog hunting.

Pros:

  • lightweight
  • offers Custom Dial System
  • excellent clarity

Cons:

  • pricey
  • windage dial not CDS
  • tubes are 1”

Best Night Vision Rifle Scope – ATN Gen 2+ Night Arrow

Night vision rifle scopes are needed to hunt animals that are active in the dark, or in low-light conditions. The ATN Gen 2+ excels at providing clear night vision with its automatic brightness control, two-tone reticle design, and diopter correction.

 

The ATN Gen 2+ scope also comes with fog and waterproofing, together with protection from overexposure.

ATN Gen 2+ Night Arrow

Image Source

There is an included fixed 4x lens set, providing a greater reach compared with other night vision scopes.

Pros:

  • great quality
  • superb image
  • IR light is adjustable

Cons:

  • IR illumination could be better
  • heavy
  • large objective lens is over the bold

Best Air Rifle Scope – BSA Adjustable Objective

 An air rifle is accurate and cost-effective, but it also has double recoil. The BSA Adjustable Objective provides a super shock-resistant scope, coupled with rubber seals and reinforced adjustment turrets.

 

Given that this BSA Adjustable Objectives scope is affordable, it is amazing that it is also well-equipped. It features fully multi-coated lenses and adjustable parallax. The reticle is simple and clear, with markings that are easy to use. The power range of the scope is 3-9x, quite good for using with an air rifle. Durability is superb, and the ATN Gen 2+ Night Arrow is even covered with a lifetime warranty.

Pros:

  • value for money
  • target turrets
  • easy to use

Cons:

  • heavy
  • windage would not adjust
  • crosshair can twist

Best AR-15 Rifle Scope – Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600

The Nikon P223 is perfect for hunting atop an AR-15, thanks its slim design. This scope doesn’t need its turrets to be spinned, making it easy to train out to about 600 yards.

 

It is also rugged and durable, making it ideal to bring to the wild. The magnification range from 3-9x provides a clear and bright image.

Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600

Nikon also offers a scope mount that allows the P223 to be mounted on a standard picatinny rail that is perfect for an AR-15.

Pros:

  • full features
  • affordable price
  • crystal clear image

Cons:

  • has problems holding to zero
  • elevation and windage controls could be better
  • fuzzy at upper magnification

Best .22 Rifle Scope – Leupold FX-II Scout

The Leupold FX-II Scout rifle scope does an excellent job in close-range shooting, varmint control, and for target practice.

 

The low power range is fixed, making it ideal for a .22 because of the clear field of vision and ability to shoot up to 300 yards. It has a scout design that lets targets be easily acquired.

Its size is also meant for fitting the .22 as it sits quite perfectly on the barrel. The Leupold FX-II Scout is highly durable and built to last.

Pros:

  • excellent optics
  • clear light transmission
  • instant target acquisition

Cons:

  • no focusing ring
  • mounting restriction
  • very fine crosshair

Best Rifle Scope for .308 – Vortex Viper PST 1-4×24

The Vortex Viper PST features a power range that is ideal for the .308.

Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24 Riflescope

 

It is meant for hunting in close quarters, and is appropriately fitted with wide objective lens.

Vortex Viper PST 1-4×24

The wide field of vision makes it easier to acquire targets up close. The Vortex Viper PST’s reticle features an adjustable illumination, and tactical hash marks in a clear duplex design.

Pros:

  • lifetime warranty
  • bright illumination
  • superb optical quality

Cons:

  • large reticles
  • broken circle at 1x
  • fixed parallax at 100 yards

 

 

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