Best Rifle Scopes Reviewed & Rated For Quality
When it comes to choosing the best rifle scope, there are a multitude of options for you to dig through, and attempt to figure out if it is the right one for you. Within this very comprehensive guide, you will learn about all the different variables that go into a rifle scope, and why each one is important for you. Once you figure out what your needs are, you can fully dial into the few different models which meet your needs. We will also show you ten different rifle scopes available on the market today, what their benefits are, and their cost, so you can compare them and see how much your new rifle might end up costing.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Great BDC reticle
10 Best Rifle Scopes
1. Vortex Optics Diamondback
Great BDC reticle
Hazy in low light
This Vortex scope is made out of high-grade aluminum material and has a magnification that ranges between 4x and 12x, along with a scope which is 40mm.
The reticle has a custom design which helps you with corrections for both wind and elevation, by holding your adjustments fully. Being able to make such easy corrections has several benefits.
The scope has argon gas within it, which prevents the lens and scope from fogging no matter what the weather conditions or environment are where you are hunting. With such a wonderful, added benefit, you can't pass this up.
Cost and Value
At an affordable price, this is one of the better scopes available on the market, today. The no fog feature is an excellent option to have in the elements, which will ensure accuracy, every time.
2. Aim Sports 4 X 32 Rangefinder
Magnification is 4x
The objective is 32 mm
Aiming may not be as precise
This Aim Sports scope has a magnification of up to 4x, and the tube diameter is 1”. The objective of the scope is 32mm, and the length is 7.75”. With several other added benefits below, this is a great option for a scope. You will not be disappointed.
The range of this scope is up to 100 yards, with an eye relief of 3”. The objective is 1.25”, and the exit pupil is .31”.
Easy To Attach
This scope is very easy to attach to any rifle, and gives you the ability to target any acquisition rapidly. With the ease of use, this has become an all-time favorite for several consumers.
Cost and Value
Easy to use, this has become an all-time favorite. Sturdy and solid, this scope is known to hold up and withstand the elements and use. Being affordable is just another great benefit of this product!
3. Bushnell Banner
Eye relief too short
This scope comes with 3.3” of eye relief while offering you HD clarity optics. This scope is 12” long and is made out of the best materials within the market, guaranteeing you have a scope which is both durable and long-lasting.
You can make adjustments for both wind and elevation by using a ¼” adjustments, along with the magnification, which can go anywhere between 3x and 9x. Being easy to use, this scope has become a favorite.
This product comes with a 40mm lens, along with construction which prevents water from penetrating into the lens, allowing you to continue to have a clear shot with each use.
Cost and Value
Solid and water-resistant, this scope was made to withstand extreme weather conditions. Being that it can stand these conditions, you can be sure that you will maintain accuracy and be satisfied with your purchase.
4. Beileshi 6-24x50mm
Clear View of Trophy
Difficult adjusting it to zero
This is a popular scope that is zeroed in on maintaining accuracy and a perfect shot, every time. Many consumers have turned to this scope due to the LED crosshairs and also because of the clarity, even in low light. Affordable is just another benefit that this scope has.
This scope comes with an eye relief which is adjustable between 3”- 4”, and you can rotate the scope to where you can create a crosshair that is more vertical or horizontal. The magnification ranges between 6x and 24x and is easy to adjust using the included power ring. The objective diameter is 50mm, with an eye rifle within a range of 75mm and 81mm, along with an exit pupil of 8mm down to 2mm.
The tube diameter is 1”, and the length of the scope is 15.75”. This scope comes with LED crosshairs, which can be illuminated between red and green, which will help when you are hunting late at night or early in the morning, or any environment which is low light. You will receive not only your scope but a lens cover, two ring mounts, and a cleaning cloth. Certainly, specs that put it as the best rifle scope in 2018.
Cost and Value
If you are looking for a durable, well-built scope, you have come to the right place. This scope offers so many different features that you will be well satisfied with the options available to make your hunting experience successful.
5. Feyachi Tactical 8-32x50
Adjustable Brightness Reticle
8 -32 X adjustable Magnification
50mm Objective Lens
Blurry at Maximum Magnification
The Feyachi is a new addition to our list and it's a unique and well-rendered product any way that you look at it. The adjustable-range lets you move between 8 to 32 times magnification. The adjustable magnification allows easy transition between medium and long-range targeting. For the purist, the Feyachi also has an etched glass reticle. It also comes with a mil-dot reticle in red and green for great low light shooting. It also comes with a lens cover, sunshade, and a cleaning cloth. It's a great addition to our list and for the medium, to the long-range shooter, it's a solid addition to our list.
This is a really useful addition to the Feyachi, it allows you to adjust the brightness of the mil-dot reticle in either red or green. The value here is to easily allow the shooter to adjust to changing amounts of available ambient light easily, which just increases the precision of the Feyachi's targeting.
There's a lot going on here and it's all meant to provide a high degree of precision and to give any hunter a pretty large range of magnification to work with. The low end of 8 X magnification means this scope is best used for medium or long-range targeting but the 50 mm objective lens makes up for the high magnification by letting in enough light to keep the image from getting too dark at high magnification.
Cost and Value
The Feyachi comes in the mid-range when it comes to price. But like we said earlier there's a lot going on here and a lot to recommend this product. The adjustable magnification and the large objective lens, as well as the adjustable mil-dot reticle, make this a good choice.
6. Pinty 2.5-10x40 AOEG
Constructed out of quality materials
Features red and green illuminated reticle with 5 clarity levels
Can be adjusted to your object of choice
Easy to use and get the hang of
The cap on the laser does not seem to stay on as tight as you would need it to be
The laser was not as sharp as advertised
An all well-rounded scope that gets the job done with exceptional magnification that reaches 2.5-10X with 40mm objective. The purpose of having a rifle scope is being able to have crystal clear vision even from a distance, that is exactly what this scope can provide. Featuring a solid alloy aluminum construction this scope brings forth durability and secure attachment right when and where you need it. Furthermore, you have the capability of having a sleek scope that is not only aesthetically pleasing but gets the job done right when and where you need it.
Red and Green reticle
This scope not only comes with a red or green option it comes with both. Having this option makes seeing things in different lighting a breeze. Additionally, the red and green reticle offers 5 different brightness levels for all the different environments and light settings you might encounter. There comes a time when you might want to hunt in the dark or even before the sun breaks that is when having a crystal-clear scope will ensure you can get the best shot possible without having to move closer to your objective.
Due to having an incorporated Kellner eyepiece this scope allows you to adjust your vision along the way. Having this feature allows you to eliminate most image abrasions along the way. If your image is looking distorted or out of focus, this can become extremely useful as you can adjust any way you decide to do so until the image becomes clear once again.
Cost and Value
As for the cost and value of this product, you are getting a bargain due to all the features that are offered. Additionally, the scope is a great size which is perfect for those that don’t want something too big getting in the way of their rifle. You are getting the best of the very best without having to spend a boatload of money.
7. Twod Rifle Scope Tactical
Magnification from 6-24x
Green Red adjustable Brightness Reticle
This is a solid useful all-around scope that has a great mid-level magnification that runs between 6-24x times. It also comes with a solid mil-dot adjustable red or green reticle that will make this a great choice for an all-around solid hunting scope with 5 different levels of illumination. It also comes with a great anti-scratch lens system. A great addition to our list.
With this purchase, you will receive the scope, a lens cover, two different scope mounts for the 20mm and 11mm lens, along with the Allen key to allow for each changing, and a cleaning cloth.
Adjustable red/green reticle
The choice of a red or green reticle with adjustable brightness helps make these a quality product and the adjustable brightness will help in low light situations when you need just a bit of help to line up the target.
Cost and Value
With everything that comes with this scope, you are sure getting the best bang for your buck. All the added features are just a great reason to buy this affordable scope, today!
8. CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope 6-24x50
Another CVLife scope and there are a few of them for a reason, these are just great all-around scopes and worth every penny. The Magnification range on this one is 6-24X and it comes with red or green illuminated reticle which helps out sighting in low light or really any range. We try to shake up the products here but CVLife Scopes are hard to beat.
Made of aluminum, the lenses are coated with to ensure they are fog proof, shockproof and waterproof. The exit pupil for this scope ranges between .2” and .67”, with an objective diameter which is 1.57”. With this purchase, you will receive the scope and two different mounts.
Easy to Mount
Easy to use, this product is also incredibly easy to mount. All you have to do is apply it to the rifle to and tighten it down and you should be good to go!
Cost and Value
With so many different benefits, this is a one of a kind product. With the ability to use this scope for any hunting seasons, you have a great shot at success out on the field while hunting.
9. Monstrum Tactical G2
First focal plane rangefinder
Comes with adjustable lens
Offers multiple technical advantages
The scope doesn’t reach the length it advertises
This one-piece scope is constructed to be the only scope you will ever need. Featuring advanced technological elements such as heavy-duty scope rings, spring-loaded flip-up lens cover and detachable sunshade among many others. Intended to get the job done effectively without missing a beat this scope allows you to bring the focus right when and where you need it for the ultimate result.
One of the very first things you will notice and want from the scope is adjustability. Having an adjustable lens allows you to have more control with your visuals. This scope offers an adjustable lens that is operated thanks to a side focus dial. Having this allows you to eliminate any parallax while ensuring you have the best and clear image possible. Keep in mind, you want your scope to offer the crispiest image possible.
First focal plane rangefinder
This scope is the first focal plane rangefinder on the market. It can easily and quickly read ranging information even when it is constantly changing. Having this feature allows you to always have a clear vision of where your target is. It also reduces the blurring effect that happens when you magnify your image to its maximum capacity.
Cost and Value
Due to having advanced features, excellent visuals and technology intertwined into this scope it is on the higher end when it comes to the price point. However, it is worth every penny when you consider how much you are getting and how easy it will be to keep an eye on your objective.
10. Nikon Buckmasters II
Bright anti-reflective system
Difficulty in maintaining zero after a few shots
Nikon, known more for their cameras than for their rifle scopes, has made an entry into this marketplace with this Buckmasters II rifle scope. This scope is made so you can account for many different types of variables, including Fog and Shock, and is made out of water-proof material.
This scope comes with anti-reflective lenses, where it can reduce the reflection from light by up to 92%. This allows you to feel confident with your hunting prowess, no matter if it is at dusk or dawn.
This scope comes with O-ring sealing, which is filled with nitrogen, to make sure that no moisture ever enters into the lens area. That being said, you can be sure that no moisture will affect your hunting time!
Cost and Value
The benefits of this product are amazing. With this scope, you are bound to have a successful hunting experience, every single time. Being that it is affordable and easy to use, this scope comes in as one of the all-time favorites of consumers.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Riflescopes used to be made completely out of steel, which would rust and corrode over time. Lately, most manufacturers have shifted over to aircraft-grade aluminum, which means your rifle will be more durable long-term and will be much lighter. However, aluminum is typically very shiny, so you need to ensure that if your rifle is shiny or if the scope is shiny, that you rough up the surface, as you do not want a gleaming light giving spooking any potential prey.
One of the biggest components you should consider when picking a lens is what kind of weather do you typically hunt in? The more you hunt in the rain, the more you will need a lens which has a coating on it which helps disperse the rain in a way where it doesn’t distract your shot. If you hunt in an area where this is a lot of fog in the morning, then you need a lens that can look through the fog, and still find your target.
Within each rifle scope, there are, on average, up to eight different lenses. However, what makes up the lens is just as important, if not more so, than the number of lenses you have. The quality of the glass within the lens, the shape of the lens, and even the quality of the coating which was put on the glass are all vital on how good a lens is.
When it comes to lenses, there is a significant difference between your low grade and higher grade lens. If you compared these two, you can easily tell which one is the more expensive, and which one is cheaper. As stated before, it is perfectly acceptable to spend more on a scope than you do the actual rifle. It may not seem right, but the type of scope you have is much more important than the kind of rifle you have. If you are going to have limited time for research, then you should spend that time on the lens of a scope, compared to any other feature with a scope or a rifle.
With each scope, you have the option of adjusting your shot based both on elevation and wind. However, how you are able to adjust for those factors can be a key trigger on which scope you should purchase. Most adjustments are made by either a knob or a wheel, and there are preferences for both. You need to know what kind of mechanism you want to use when you are making those adjustments, and which one you are most comfortable with. You also need to know if the adjustments can be easily made with gloves on, especially if you hunt in colder weather.
How far you can make adjustments for is also a key factor. If you can make adjustments, but they only go out for 100 yards, and you need a shot which can go 300 to 400 yards, then it’s not the right scope for you. You need to ensure that when you make the ¼” adjustments, they will take hold of shots that are longer if that is what you need. If you only need shots that are 100 yards or less, then you should be able to use the adjustment system you are comfortable with.
Lastly, you need to also concern yourself with Magnification. Although a scope says it will go up to 25x, is that really beneficial for you? It truly depends on what kind of game you are hunting. If you are looking for birds, then a 25x might be what you need. If you are shooting deer, a 25x scope would let you see their pulse, which might be just a little too close. Most scopes have magnification between 3x and 10x, but even those will vary a little bit, due to how far out the scope will go. If you have a scope which only goes out 200 yards, and you magnify 10x, it will look different than a scope that has a 400-yard range, and you magnify it by 10x.
You should know what your typical shot will be, and always get a scope which can go a little further than that. If you only need a 4x magnification, you might want to consider going up to a 6x magnification – going up one step is the recommendation.
Each scope comes with two different bells, which house the lens within each scope. The bells for the scope will vary in size, depending upon both the power of your rifle and how much light is let into your scope. The ball is typically between 30mm and 60mm. The size of the bell is important to determine as you are buying a scope, as you do not want a bell that is too big for you to handle, but also not one that is too small which causes you to squint too much. Your shooting eye should determine the size you need.
Another feature among some reticles is that they will show you where you need to hold your shot by using various dots or circles. Not only will it show you the distance you are wanting, but it will also add another 100 yards onto your shot automatically, so you can see where you need to aim in order to hit something at that distance. By having this capability, it allows you to make quick adjustments on the fly for any length of shot (typically up to 600 yards). In order to know the distance you are shooting at, it is highly recommended that you have a laser rangefinder available, to accurately gauge your distance. Once you have the distance dialed in, you can make the necessary adjustments, and you should have a true shot.
Another major feature you need is one where the lens does not fog, no matter the weather. There is no doubt there will be times where you will be out hunting in rain or high humidity, and when this happens, you need a lens which will stay clear. Most lenses have an option where they can be charged with either nitrogen or argon gas, which will help the lens stay clean and clear. However, if you get a scope which doesn’t have this option, you can always hope a cleaning cloth will take care of this issue. What can also affect this issue is how tight the rings are around the lens – if you notice any kind of give with the rings around the lens, then you might need to look at a different scope.
As you will see within the marketplace, there is a large variety of scopes available to you. You can find some which are $50, and you will see some which are $1,500, with a very wide assortment in between. Knowing that you might spend just as much, if not more, on a scope compared to a rifle, it is not too hard to fathom that you might get a little crazy and spend a little bit more than you should.
The recommendation is this – figure out how much you want to spend on a scope, and then add $50. By looking at scopes that are just above your range, you might find one with a few more bells and whistles on it, which will make your life easier while out hunting. Plus, there are times where you can find those scopes on sale, so you can still get a great scope within your price range.
You shouldn’t just buy a scope as an impulse buy – there needs to be a fair amount of research done, and then you watch and wait and see what happens. You might still pay full price for your scope, but at least you take your time and make sure it truly is the right scope for you at the right time.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
What makes the lens so important are a couple of features. One is the coating that is used on the lens; you need a lens which will provide you as much of a glare-free look as possible. No matter where you are perched at, if you have a lens which lets in light and causes glare, then your shot will be altered, which will cause you to be frustrated. You don’t have to get a very high-end lens, but you do not want a lens which is not coated with anything.
There are a variety of reticle line options for you to think about as you pick out the scope which is best for you. With the recent technology available to all hunters, manufacturers have started making reticle lines which light up in a LED format, making the lines stand out even more than they used to. With the advent of the LED technology within scopes, it helps light up your look with either green or red lasers, which can also help you figure out the right distance for your shot.
After looking through all the choices you have, it can be daunting. However, all you need to do is make a checklist of what you need, and once you have created your list, you can begin to narrow down all the choices available to you.
How much magnification do you need?
How far do you need your scope to see, so you can shoot at the distance you want?
How long of a scope do you need?
What will the reticles within the scope look like?
Do you need a matte finish?
Many of the options on our guide come with a pouch or casing where you can keep your scope far away from little hands who might damage it. However, if your preferred option does not come with you, you want to consider investing in a sleeve that will keep your scope clean and free of dust or people who might touch it without knowing what they are doing.
Other Factors to Consider
Lastly, you need to also concern yourself with Magnification. Although a scope says it will go up to 25x, is that really beneficial for you? It truly depends on what kind of game you are hunting. If you are looking for birds, then a 25x might be what you need. If you are shooting deer, a 25x scope would let you see their pulse, which might be just a little too close. Most scopes have magnification between 3x and 10x, but even those will vary a little bit, due to how far out the scope will go.
If you have a scope which only goes out 200 yards, and you magnify 10x, it will look different than a scope which has a 400-yard range, and you magnify it by 10x. You should know what your typical shot will be, and always get a scope which can go a little further than that. If you only need a 4x magnification, you might want to consider going up to a 6x magnification – going up one step is the recommendation.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: If I don’t like the way the reticle looks, can I have it changed?
The short answer to this is yes, if you buy a scope, and you like everything but how the reticle looks, it can be changed. However, this should only be done at a professional custom shop, and not even all of those places can do it right or well. If you are going to have someone work on your scope that you paid good money for, you should ensure they are a very reputable and solid company. You should also check out their warranty, and ensure they stand by their work for the long-haul, and not just 30 days.
q: If I have a scope, but want to change the finish, can that happen?
As of right now, there is no service available that can change the finish that is on a scope. Most older models are made out of steel material and have a little bit more of a shiny surface. You can scuff that up, but be careful when you do so because the finish can be repaired. Even if you have a part of the scope which has a ding, or a scratch, there isn’t anything that can be done professionally. You can buy some paint and paint over it, but then your scope will have a different look to it. If you want a different finish on the scope, then you’ll have to purchase a new scope.
q: My scope has 2 different reticle planes – what does this mean?
Within a scope, you might have two different reticle planes, a front focal and rear focal plane.
A front focal plane has very strict features, in order for it to be effective. By having both a front and rear reticle plane, this allows you to have a wide range of magnification options, so you can find the magnification which is best for you. If you only have one reticle plane in your scope, you will more than likely not have a front focus reticle plane
A rear reticle plane allows the reticle you have within your scope to show up heavier and bolder when you have a smaller magnification, but it will become thinner as you increase your magnification. By having a thinner line, it will allow your look to be more precise, which leads to better accuracy over a long-range shot. If you are hunting while there is little light out, then the rear reticle lines will also appear to be bolder, which makes them easier to see and allows you to have a better shot. If you are shooting while there are a lot of tree branches or grass/weeds on the ground, then having a heavier reticle line will allow you to figure out where exactly you are shooting at.
q: Why does my Scope seem to adjust differently on different Rifles?
When you purchase a scope for your rifle, you might get it fully tuned in to where it gives you the best shot each and every time. However, if you take that same scope and put it on a different rifle, it may not adjust the same way that it does on your current rifle. You might be thinking that it is your scope, but that may actually not be the case.
Anytime you put a new scope on a rifle, there are a variety of issues which can come up which can cause your shot to not be solid. Each component on a scope and a rifle are made out of many moving parts, which can all then compound with each other, leaving your flustered and bewildered as to why you’re your rifle is not shooting well.
Another issue can be when you have a scope that can go 300 yards, yet you put the scope on a different rifle, and the shot peters out before it reaches its target. You might think that there is something wrong with the elevation adjustment on your scope. However, it is possible that the rifle you are using just needs a different adjustment level than your other rifle.
There is a reason why, when you line up 12 seemingly rifles which are the same – same manufacturer, the same year, same model, that when you put a scope on each of those, the adjustment is not the same. How is this possible, you ask? Even though the rifles are made from the exact same line, there are little nuances within each rifle which will cause the trajectory of any shot to be slightly off compared to another. The same with scopes – although they are all made on the same line as well, there are very slight differences in each, which means you will not have an exact replica of any rifle or scope. Due to this, you will never be able to just save your adjustment on your scope, and apply it to a different rifle.
Because each rifle shoots differently, you will need to spend the necessary time with each rifle and scope before you shoot. Taking a new rifle or scope (or both) to a range ahead of time will help you feel the differences compared to what you are used to, and will ensure you will have a better shot when out in the wild. There is no shame in going to a range and practicing. Just like with any sport, the more you practice, the better your execution will be when it counts.
q: Can I have features added to my scope after I purchase it?
Just like with your reticle looks, you can have features added to your scope, but it is much more difficult to do. The most common feature which is added to a scope is called a bullet drop compensation. With this feature, you can add different features, including ones that deal with your environment, especially for rain and higher winds.
If you are hunting on the ground which has a great variety of landscape changes, you can get a feature added which gives you a laser distance marker, so you know how far away the land elevation change. By knowing how far away a land elevation is, will allow for you to adjust your own shot accordingly, to ensure you have an accurate shot each and every time.
q: Should I wear my glasses when I use my rifle scope?
If you wear glasses on a daily basis, overall, it is actually recommended that you don’t wear your glasses when using a scope. If you do wear glasses when looking through a scope, you are basically adding in another lens, which will alter your shot. The reason for this is that your shot might look true, but because you are adding in another dimension, more than likely your shot is off, and it will show. If you wear glasses, you should practice shooting without them at a range, and ensure you can still get off a clear shot.
q: Should I use one eye or two eyes when I am sighting my shot?
This is all about personal preference. Most people, when they hunt, shut the one eye which is not looking through the scope, as they believe it helps them focus more on the shot they are taking. However, there is some evidence to suggest that using two eyes can be just as effective. It really is a matter of taking some test shots and seeing which method works best for you. Just because a buddy of yours does it one way does not mean you have to follow suit. The idea when you are out hunting is to actually shot an animal, and not just look like everyone else. Whatever you need to do in order to hit your shot while out in the wilderness is what you need to do.
q: My rifle and scope is off, even though I have used the same ones for years – what might be wrong?
If you take your rifle and scope out, the same ones you have been using for a couple of years, and you notice your shot is off, there is no need to panic. You don’t need to rush out and buy a new rifle or a new scope right away. The first thing you actually need to look at is the mounting hardware on your rifle. When the mounting hardware is misaligned, then it throws everything else off. So, even if your rifle looks like it is mounted correctly, it is best to take everything off, and start over again.
After you have then re-mounted your scope onto your rifle, and it still looks off, then it might be time to replace the scope. Although most scopes are very durable, they are not indestructible, and if they are not stored properly, the lens inside the scope can get jarred, and there is no way to get it back to where it was. This is why it is vital that when you store your rifle and scope, you do so in a way where they can be undisturbed.