Best Tactical Scopes Reviewed & Rated For Quality

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25
Test Winner: Bushnell Trophy TRS-25
Amazon Link
The world has gotten a much more attractive place for the long-range hunteras long-range sniper rifles have grown into the market. And if you’re now able to generally shoot your rifle well into the mile's range than you’re going to need help sighting your target. And that’s where a really good rifle scope comes in. But the market is flooded and there’s a lot of information to sift through before you decide to make your first purchase. But don’t worry we’re here to help. We’re going to spend this list walking you through our list of some of our favorite rifle scopes and we’re going to talk about mounting, ease of focus, reticles, weatherproofing focal planes, all the things that you didn’t think you needed to know about rifle optics. So let’s get started with our ten favorite tactical scopes.

Standout Picks

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25
With a Bushnell TRS-25 in your arsenal, there is nothing you can’t hit. While the CVLIFE scope in the second position had a laser as an afterthought, the TRS-25 is close to perfection.
Amazon Link
$65.77
CVLIFE Optics 2.5-10x40e
CVLIFE brings out their best in the second position. As a package deal, this is one of the better kits in the industry.
Amazon Link
$54.99
Leupold Mark 5HD, Best Tactical Scopes
The Leupold Mark 5HD is a really high quality, precise piece of equipment. It has some really cool features like an audible click adjustment, an easy to use height adjustment tool and reticles that will zoom when you do, making sighting and aiming that much easier. But it also has an ambient light collection system that will let you stay out in the field just a bit longer and it’s built tough. A fine piece of equipment.
Amazon Link
$2,413.28
Aipa AR15
Bulkiness is usually something that people shy away from when looking for tactical scopes. Yet when enough one of a kind features is present, it is a con that can be easily forgiven.
Amazon Link
$56.99
CVLIFE Optics 6-24x50
If you’ve seen any of the marketing for this CVLIFE scope then you’re familiar with how big a deal it is. The company narrowly beat out Nikon on this list and has proven to be some serious competition.
Amazon Link
$48.99
Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint, Best Tactical Scopes
The Trijicon brings a lot to the table with this scope with its high-quality lenses and its battery-free illumination system. It has a lightweight aluminum build but is plenty tough and the outer casing and lenses that are weatherproof and condensation proof. It mounts easily and will keep you out in the field well past dusk hunting whatever’s for dinner.
Amazon Link
$1,025.95
Meopta Optics, Best Tactical Scopes
This simple scope is going to be a low-cost option if you want to get out and shooting without spending too much on a riflescope. It has some great features like scratch-resistant lenses and a second focal plane that will make sure you can get a solid beat on your prey. It has solid magnification but while it does lack some of the features of the more expensive entries here it’s a sold product that we wanted to include on our list.
Amazon Link
AR15 4-12x50EG
AOTOP takes its products seriously, and with all of the upgraded features of this scope, it seems to have paid off. For a small price, users can get one of the better scopes in the industry without leaving a dent in their wallets.
Amazon Link
$84.99
Vortex 4-12×40
The Diamondback is built tough for customers that tend to ding up their equipment. You can count on this model to still be around even years after the original purchase.
Amazon Link
$199.00
Monstrum 3-9×32
When a customer shows off their Monstrum Tactical equipment, it is always with pride. Available in both black and flat dark earth, there is a lot to appreciate about the way this tactical scope was made.
Amazon Link
$76.95

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Effectiveness

One positive is that you don't have to be a scope expert to purchase, own and use one. It doesn’t take too much to get the feel of how a scope and hunting optics operate. However, tactical scopes can be fairly complex, so there are a few things that you should know going into your purchase. An understanding of how the systems work can only benefit you and your performance. Here are a handful of critical things to consider before purchasing a tactical scope:

Tube Diameter
The tube diameter on your scope affects the weight. Over the past few years, a larger tube has become more popular because it has larger inner components that better manage light. However, larger size equals heavier weight. If you are hunting in an area that requires more movement or hiking, look into 1-inch scope models.

First Focal Plane Options
An FFP scope, or first focal plane scope, arranges the reticle and the target lenses of the optical system so that they are affected equally when the magnification changes. Deciding whether this type of scope is right for you depends on a handful of factors.

But when it comes to purchasing an FFP scope, your budget might be the driving decision. They can be considerably higher priced than other models. Also, if you are looking for more flexibility or looking for a scope that can be moved from one rifle to another, a second focal plane scope may suit you better than an FFP.

Compatibility

Picatinny and Weaver mounts are going to be the two supported options once you get a new scope. Before deciding on a scope for your hunting gun, make sure that it supports your current mount.

While the profile of both systems is almost identical, the difference between the placements of the recoil grooves leads the customer to prefer one over the other. Then there are also customers that purchase their gun without any knowledge of the mounts, only to find out later that the scope they bought is incompatible.

Because of the similarities between the two, a lot of scope manufacturers support both out of the box. Consider this a benefit in case you want to switch sometime in the future and don’t want to buy new equipment all over again.

Durability

Durability is always going to be questionable since their most important parts are also the easiest to break. Once the glass on one breaks, then a lot of things break down right after it. This includes fog protection, clarity, and even the reticle accuracy if there is a crack across it.

So once the glass goes, the scope needs to have its warranty called in or you need to buy a new one. It wouldn’t have been fair to order the list based on durability since that is more of a user care issue. Taking proper care of your scope will guarantee the glass to be in top condition years after you purchase it.

The only time durability was a big factor on the list is when comparing the hardiness of the materials enclosing the lens. Sometimes having a little extra protection on the outside keeps the knobs/dials on the scope from getting too much wear on it from repeated use. So only in specific circumstances in the top ten was durability a major factor in determining the position of a scope.

Size

We wanted to offer choices on the list that had good eye relief and weren’t too bulky, so the lighter options are closer to the top than the bottom. A heavy scope can throw off your aim by a lot, and when you factor in recoil it can lead to faster fatigue while using. Wrist fatigue is a real thing, so a bipod can be helpful in that situation.

Bulky scopes are a different situation altogether, and they throw off the balance of a gun when you’re trying to focus. Unfortunately, a bipod can’t help curb the disadvantages of using a bulky scope. Users that ‘use too much scope’ will also notice that the larger lens is not as friendly for fast shooting as a smaller model.

Even if it offers high magnification, you’re sacrificing a lot more to take advantage of that extra real estate than it is worth. With some bulky scopes, the tradeoff can be worth it if you need a killer feature not available on another model. But more than likely you can find the same features on easier to manage scopes that aren’t half the size of your gun.

Features

When grouping the picks based on features, BDC dials took greater priority over BDC reticles. This is due to the many options available for the dials that can’t be imitated with a reticle. The list was organized so that if a scope with similar features but different BDC technologies was offered, the BDC dial version would get top billing. That doesn’t mean that BDC reticles are pushed far down the list, as you’ll notice they have a prominent position in the top ten.

This just goes to show that although BDC dials offer more customization, the reticles are still the standard and their scopes continue to offer a larger set of features than their dial counterparts. There are also a lot more choices to go through when comparing BDC reticle models, which is an added benefit even if they lack customizations. Still, there is even a higher upside to owning both and enjoying the benefits that they offer professionals, hunters, and hobbyists.

10 BEST TACTICAL SCOPES REVIEWED & RATED FOR QUALITY

1. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$65.77
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25
Amazon Link

With a Bushnell TRS-25 in your arsenal, there is nothing you can’t hit. While the CVLIFE scope in the second position had a laser as an afterthought, the TRS-25 is close to perfection.

Unlimited Eye Relief
This makes all the difference in the world and allows users to sight with both eyes open. In any environment, target acquisition will be quicker without sapping your awareness.

Features and Specifications
This model features amber-bright optics which allow you to see in some of the toughest conditions. Its body is made to be waterproof, shockproof and fog proof, making this the ultimate accessory for any adventurer!

Cost and Value
For the top item on the list to be low priced is a good thing, and should convince buyers trying to make a decision. Bushnell is always a safe bet on value and has great customer service.

Amazon Link
$65.77

2. CVLIFE Optics 2.5-10x40e

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$54.99
CVLIFE Optics 2.5-10x40e
Amazon Link

CVLIFE brings out their best in the second position. As a package deal, this is one of the better kits in the industry.

Free Mounts
Considering how low priced this tactical scope is, for CVLIFE to include two free mounts is amazing. An 11mm and 20mm rail mount are included with purchase, and all without making the entire package expensive.

Features and Specifications
The lenses offer a powerful 5-10x magnification so you can zoom in on animals further away. For a more accurate shot, this model features 100 yards of laser distance.

Cost and Value
The price is amazing, and it would have vaulted this scope into the top spot if the laser was more useful. But with the inclusion of two free mounts, this low power scope is incredibly valuable.

Amazon Link
$54.99

3. Leupold Mark 5HD

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$2,413.28
Leupold Mark 5HD, Best Tactical Scopes
Leupold Mark 5HD, Best Tactical Scopes
Amazon Link

The Leupold Mark 5HD is a really high quality, precise piece of equipment. It has some really cool features like an audible click adjustment, an easy to use height adjustment tool and reticles that will zoom when you do, making sighting and aiming that much easier. But it also has an ambient light collection system that will let you stay out in the field just a bit longer and it’s built tough. A fine piece of equipment.

High-Quality Optics
This scope is built to withstand scratching and we’re talking this glass is built to military specs so you know it’s going to stand up to a beating. We also like that the whole casing is built to be weatherproof so it should be able to take just about anything you throw at it.

Reticle System
You’re going to love all the ways you can manipulate the reticle system on this scope. It has all kinds of settings and the best thing about it is that the reticle zooms with the scope so it makes it really easy to get a solid bead on whatever you’re aiming at.

Cost and Value
This is a pricey piece of equipment but then again this is a precision tool and in this case, you do get what you pay for. Everything about this scope speaks to the quality Leupold puts into its products. From the reticles to the scratch-proof lenses, we think this is a scope well worth the money.

Amazon Link
$2,413.28

4. Aipa AR15

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$56.99
Aipa AR15
Amazon Link

Bulkiness is usually something that people shy away from when looking for tactical scopes. Yet when enough one of a kind features is present, it is a con that can be easily forgiven.

Fantastic Wide Range Shooting
This is where the bulkiness comes in- magnification is at 4-12x50EG, so there is nothing you’ll miss. This is the most suitable scope on the list for wide range shooting.

Features and Specifications
With a 33mm reflex lens aperture, you get a wide range of view that you just don't get with most models. The 1/4MOA audible click windage and elevation adjustments make it easy for even beginners to adjust the focus.

Cost and Value
Lingering around the mid-high price point, the electronic adjustments make this scope worth it. The value will depend heavily on if you have a weapon that can comfortably fit it.

Amazon Link
$56.99

5. CVLIFE Optics 6-24x50

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$48.99
CVLIFE Optics 6-24x50
Amazon Link

If you’ve seen any of the marketing for this CVLIFE scope then you’re familiar with how big a deal it is. The company narrowly beat out Nikon on this list and has proven to be some serious competition.

It’s All In The Design
Using a spherical structure design to make both the inner and outer tubes more reliable. You’ll find this most apparent when doing adjustments to the scope.

Features and Specifications
The parallax-free view from 15 yards to infinity means you can see more, including objects closer to you. It also features red and green reticle illumination to help you make the shot in less than ideal situations.

Cost and Value
This is another one of the low price models available, so it wins on that account. Anyone considering this purchase will get well worth their value with some patience.

Amazon Link
$48.99

6. Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$1,025.95
Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint, Best Tactical Scopes
Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint, Best Tactical Scopes
Amazon Link

The Trijicon brings a lot to the table with this scope with its high-quality lenses and its battery-free illumination system. It has a lightweight aluminum build but is plenty tough and the outer casing and lenses that are weatherproof and condensation proof. It mounts easily and will keep you out in the field well past dusk hunting whatever’s for dinner.

Quality Lenses
Not only are the lenses scratchproof, but they also have a high-quality coating that makes them scratch resistant, glare resistant and capable of gathering all available light and so you can stay hunting even as the daylight fades.

Passive Light Collection
This ensures that you can keep hunting even as the day fades around you. We see this feature in a lot of tactical scopes but it's worth pointing them out.

Cost and Value
Not bad as cost goes for a high-quality optic like this one. You’re getting a superior aluminum housing, a water-proof, weather-proof product, and battery-free illumination. What that means for you is that you’re going to be able to spend a lot more time doing what you love best.

Amazon Link
$1,025.95

7. Meopta Optics

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Meopta Optics, Best Tactical Scopes
Amazon Link

This simple scope is going to be a low-cost option if you want to get out and shooting without spending too much on a riflescope. It has some great features like scratch-resistant lenses and a second focal plane that will make sure you can get a solid beat on your prey. It has solid magnification but while it does lack some of the features of the more expensive entries here it’s a sold product that we wanted to include on our list.

Etched Glass Reticle
This reticle is etched right into the lens and that’s a feature that’s routinely only seen on really high-end scopes so the fact that we’ve got one on this Meopta speaks volumes about the quality of this product. There is some talk about these kinds of reticles being weak and untrustworthy but don’t buy it, they work just fine.

Meoshield External Lens Coating
This does a few things for you. It keeps your lens from getting scratched and it is going to help draw in all available light to give you a clear view of your target.

Cost and Value
On the low end. We’re good with this because while it doesn’t have some of the high-end features on some of our other products there’s plenty here to satisfy the most discriminating shooter.

Amazon Link

8. AR15 4-12x50EG

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$84.99
AR15 4-12x50EG
Amazon Link

AOTOP takes its products seriously, and with all of the upgraded features of this scope, it seems to have paid off. For a small price, users can get one of the better scopes in the industry without leaving a dent in their wallets.

A Great Warranty
The company firmly stands behind this scope and offers an 18-month warranty. That’s six months more than the leading brands on the market.

Features and Specifications
This scope was designed to be waterproof, shockproof and fog proof, allowing you to take it through the toughest environments. The red/green multi-X 5 level reticles give you clear shots no matter what the lighting may be.

Cost and Value
AOTOP priced this scope in the low-mid price range so it’s the most affordable high-end scope you can get. With the right mount, it will be the best accessory you can purchase for your weapon.

Amazon Link
$84.99

9. Vortex 4-12×40

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$199.00
Vortex 4-12×40
Amazon Link

The Diamondback is built tough for customers that tend to ding up their equipment. You can count on this model to still be around even years after the original purchase.

Built To Resist The Elements
Built from aircraft-grade aluminum, it can not only handle heavy use but is also resistant to recoil from a magnum. The Diamondback is also waterproof and fog proof for superior all-weather performance.

Features and Specifications
The precision-glide erector system, allows you to easily and quickly attach or detach your scope whenever the need arises. It also features a dead-HOLD BDC reticle which gives you precise aiming every time.

Cost and Value
Sitting at the midrange price, buyers will feel comfortable using this as a long-term scope. And with a little ingenuity, the few flaws it has can be fixed by the user.

Amazon Link
$199.00

10. Monstrum 3-9×32

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$76.95
Monstrum 3-9×32
Amazon Link

When a customer shows off their Monstrum Tactical equipment, it is always with pride. Available in both black and flat dark earth, there is a lot to appreciate about the way this tactical scope was made.

Great Brightness Levels
The reticle illumination on this product comes in 5 brightness levels so that you can get adjusted pretty quickly. There is less to worry about when in specific environments and more room for sight comfort when needed.

Features and Specifications
This model provides you with 3-9 times magnifications with an illuminated reticle to ensure that you can see clearly no matter what the light situation may be. It is made from aircraft-grade 6061 aluminum scope body to ensure incredible durability.

Cost and Value
At the low price, the scope is being offered, you can’t really go wrong. But if you’re a beginner, be wary of the customer support that won’t be much help if a technical issue arises.

Amazon Link
$76.95

Sources

  1. Tim, Sniper Rifle, Hunting Blog
  2. David Fortier , Shooting Times, Gun Site