A riflescope is an essential part of every hunters gear. These optical sighting devices are equipped with a pattern of fine lines or markings (reticle) to give accurate aiming points.
As such, riflescopes are designed with the sole purpose of improving your shooting accuracy, range, and not to mention your personal gratification.
However, choosing the right rifle scope is not an easy task especially if you do not know where to look and what to look for. This article reviews the 10 best rifle scopes and also includes a comprehensive buyer’s guide. Read on.
Our Top 10 Picks
1. Burris 3-9 x 40mm Fullfield II Plex Rifle Scope
The Burris Fullfield II riflescope is made by Burris Optics, which is an American company that specializes in making binoculars, reticles, mounting systems and riflescopes.
To begin with, the Burris Fullfield II riflescope comes with a matte black finish that is quite enticing to the eye. It’s also rugged on the outside to ensure that it does not slip even under rainy conditions.
Additionally, the tube is constructed to be water resistant and is filled with nitrogen to prevent internal fogging when being used in the rain or in the cold. What’s more, the tube is designed to resist shocks and vibrations caused by heavy recoiling calibers.
For enhanced focus and easy adjustments in the field, the Burris Fullfield II riflescope comes with an easy to adjust eyepiece. The lens is also multi-coated to prevent glare and shade from too much light.
This rifle scope also provides you with a full field II power. This ensures that you are able to spot and focus on your prey comfortably. Unlike other rifle scopes on the market, it is designed as a one tube piece, which makes it highly reliable and convenient.
- 1-piece tube construction
- High quality material construction
- Lifetime warranty cover
- Shock resistant
- Takes time to master the focus adjustment technique
2. Burris 200269 Scout Riflescope
The Burris 200269 is another rifle scope from Burris that offers exceptional performance and functionality. It falls under the category of rifle scopes with fixed magnification.
Made from air-craft grade aluminum, the Burris 200269 features a slim, lightweight, and compact design. The scope is made to be shock-proof, which means it does not lose its settings even when you fire hundreds of high caliber rounds.
The scope has an eye relief range of between 8.5 inches to 14 inches, which ensures that you do not strain your eyes when aiming at your target. What’s more, the rifle scope has the capability to magnify the target for up to 3X, without zooming.
It also has a Heavy Plex Reticle that provides long range accuracy and a forward mounting design that lets you mount it in front of the ejection port.
When it comes to optics, the scope comes with a high-grade optical glass for better clarity and brightness and precision ground lenses for better light transmission. The Hi-Lume multi-coat on the lenses also helps prevent glare and improve performance in low-light settings.
- Compact and lightweight
- Reticle provides long-range accuracy
- Perfect magnification setting
- Multicoated lenses
- Waterproof rifle scope
- Does not offer the best field of view
3. TRUGLO 4x32mm
The Truglo 4x32mm is another American made rifle scope that comes with remarkable features and exhibits exceptional performance.
Made with aircraft quality aluminum, the rifle scope features a 32mm objective lens with 4-inches of eye relief. In addition to this, its 8 inches long and has a 1-inch tube diameter.
To ensure that you get a clear picture of your target, this rifle scope comes with a lens that’s able to offer 4X magnification. It also has a special range-finding and trajectory compensating reticle.
When it comes to optics quality, the rifle scope has fully coated optics that offer excellent clarity, brightness, and contrast through the full color spectrum.
More still, the Truglo 4x32mm has a field of view that’s 24 feet wide at 100 yards, which is quite decent for hunters who want to fast track their targets.
- Wide field of view
- Trajectory compensating and range-finding reticle
- Durable aluminum construction
- Scratch resistant
- Non-reflective camouflage finish
- No illumination
4. Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm Duplex
The Leupold FX-II is a riflescope that’s built on an old concept but with latest innovations. Build by Leupold, a well-known and trusted American brand in the field of optics, the Leupold FX-II rifle scope is an ideal choice for scouts rifles and lever action rifles.
Made from high-grade aluminum, the rifle scope has enduring high power magnification of up to 5X and a field of vision of 22 feet at 100 yards which is more than what most rifle scopes offer.
The lenses are also made to offer the best performance in low light settings and are multi-coated to reduce glare in normal light settings.
Apart from that, the DiamondCoat protective lens coating ensures that the lens are resistant to scratching. This is quite vital especially on a scout rifle that has to undergo extreme abuse in the field.
For quick target acquisition and to prevent you from straining, this rifle scope has an eye relief of 9.3 inches, which ensures that you get a large field of view. More still, it has a duplex reticle with fine cross-hairs.
- Durable and compact design
- 1/4-MOA field click adjustment
- Fits to various legend rings
- Fog-proof and waterproof integrity complete
- Lifetime warranty
- Slightly expensive
5. Redfield Revolution 4-12x40mm Riflescope
The Redfield Revolution 4-12x40mm is one of the many rifle scopes in the Redfield Revolution line of scopes that is highly coveted by hunters.
Featuring a matte black finish that blends well with any rifle, the scope offers a field of view of 19.9 to 9.4 feet at 100 yards and has a magnification range of between 4X to 12X, which is quite incredible.
In addition, it has an Accu-Range reticle with a small circle at the center for bullet compensation. For optical finesse, the lens is multi-coated to ensure that you get high-quality images with minimum color aberration and distortion.
The scope is also filled with nitrogen to ensure that the scope stays waterproof and free from fogging. It also shock proof, which means it does not re-adjust its settings even with high recoil.
- Compact, lightweight construction
- Accu-Trac finger adjustable
- Multi-coated illuminator lens
- 1-piece tube design
- High magnification
- The adjusting knobs don’t click
6. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane
If you are an avid hunter, then you’ll love the Vortex Cross II riflescope from Vortex Optics. This riflescope has numerous positive reviews on Amazon and it’s surely worth a shot.
Featuring a durable black finish, this rifle scope is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and features non-slip rugged construction.
It has O-Ring seals that help prevent moisture and dust, and is filled with nitrogen, which prevents internal fogging.
The 3.7-4.7 inches eye relief ensures that you don’t strain your eyes when aiming. Additionally, the eyepiece has a faster focus capacity for easy spotting and shooting.
Its lenses are also fully multi-coated to improve light and color transmission and resettable MOA turrets, which ensure good precision and consistency when aiming.
- Nitrogen purged aluminum material
- High-level performance
- Long eye relief
- Suitable for distance shooting
- Resettable MOA turrets
- Does not have a 1/2 MOA adjustment as indicated
7. Nikon P-223 BDC 600 Riflescope
Nikon is a well-known brand when it comes to the manufacture of high-quality optical equipment and the Nikon P-223 is no exception.
Made with Nikon’s fully multicoated optics for maximum light transmission and brightness, the Nikon P-223 comes with a BDC 600 reticle with harsh marks from 100-600 yards for precise target placement.
There’s also a spring loaded instant zero-reset turret, which allows you to make fast adjustments hence making this rifle scope compatible with nearly all rifles.
The 4-12X magnification is also quite effective for long range shooting. What’s more, the scope is incredibly lightweight hence it doesn’t interfere with your rifle.
- Multi-coated optics
- BDC 600 reticle
- Compact and lightweight
- Compatible with many rifle types
- Better magnification and zero-reset turrets
- Uncomfortable eye-relief
8. Sig Sauer Whiskey3 3-9x50mm SFP Riflescope
Sig Sauer is an American brand that’s best known for their prowess in the manufacture of firearms and firearm accessories such as the Whiskey3 3-9×50 rifle scope.
To begin with, the riflescope is made from high-grade aluminum alloy to ensure that it’s lightweight and has a 1-inch main tube diameter.
In addition to this, the Sig Sauer Whiskey3 3-9×50 riflescope is fitted with high-quality, fully multi-coated elements and a wide 50mm objective aperture that ensures that you get the best images even when the lighting conditions are poor.
Its optics feature Low-Dispersion (LD) lenses that provide you with maximum image resolution and color quality. The SpectraCoat full multi-coatings on the lenses also ensure that the scope is able deliver crisp and bright images.
To protect the lenses from scratches and abrasions that might occur while in the field, the lenses are also coated with LensArmor coatings. Another important feature with this scope is the QuadPlex reticle, which is located at the 2nd focal plane and features a fine cross-hair and four-medium posts.
- Easy to adjust knob design
- LensArmor coating for optics protection
- Fully multi-coated lenses
- Low-dispersion lenses
- Slip-free operations
- The MOA adjustment is not as reliable
9. Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40
The Nikon ProStaff 3-9X 40 is another riflescope designed by Nikon. The riflescope has 3-9X magnification and a 40mm objective lens making it a perfect choice for long distance target shooting.
Featuring a compact design, the Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40 is made from high-grade aluminum, which means it’s very light and hence ideal for hunting rifles.
The riflescope has zero-reset turrets that make adjustments easy for shooters. With this construction style, it guarantees that your focus will be exceptionally on another level.
This scope can also deliver up to 98% light transmission for sharp and clear image projection even under limited lighting conditions thanks to the fully coated multicoated optical system.
To spice things up, the riflescope is designed to be 100% waterproof and is nitrogen-filled to ensure that the lenses are not compromised by fog when conditions are humid.
- Easy to adjust
- Zero-reset turrets
- Waterproof rifle scope
- High light transmission
- High magnification for clarity and focus
- It has no mount ring
10. Vortex Optics Strikefire II SF-RG-501
The Vortex Optics Strikefire II SF-RG-501 is another reliable and versatile riflescope from Vortex Optics.
Unlike the other riflescopes on this list, the Strikefire II SF-RG-501 battery operated. It’s also made from aluminum alloy and comes with sleek rear facing controls for power control and easy adjustments.
When powered on, this riflescope automatically returns to the last dot intensity used. This means that you don’t need to keep changing the settings when you want to use it again.
It also has a 30mm diameter objective lens to allow for a wider field of view and fully-coated lenses that provide clear and bright un-obscured point of view.
Target acquisition with this rifle is also rapid with this riflescope thanks to the red dot reticle that comes with 10 brightness levels.
It also designed to withstand both recoil and impact and has O-ring seals and nitrogen purging to ensure that it’s both waterproof and fog proof.
- Durable aluminum alloy construction
- Easy control and adjustments
- Wider field of view
- Comes with 10 brightness levels
- Shock-proof and water-proof
- A bit bigger
How to pick the best rifle scope
Here are some factors to consider when buying a rifle scope.
Light transfer affects your ability to see and shoot targets, especially in low light conditions. If the scope does not transfer light well, it will not serve you as perfectly as you need it to in these conditions. So go for a scope that has a bigger objective lens so it will let in more light.
Field of view and eye relief
If you place your eye too far or too close to the scope, you will only see a partial image. This is the effect of eye relief. It is defined as the distance between where your eye needs to be from the scope for you to see a full image.
The field of view, on the other hand, is measured as the areas that you will see when you are looking through the scope. The more powerful scopes will give you a narrower field of view but will compensate for much better image clarity and a greater distance.
The reticle will come in different designs and sizes that you will choose depending on your preference and comfort level. You generally want to go for the ones that are not too thick that they get in the way of the target. However, you also need to stay away from the ones that are invisible in the light. If you want longer shots, choose tactical reticles. A dual reticle rifle will be perfect for beginners.
Stick To Reputable Brands
When buying a rifle scope, you need to make sure that you choose a reputable brand to buy from. The best brands are well known for their ability to use the latest innovations and use best materials including high-quality optics in their designs. Reputable brands also offer warranty to ensure that you have peace of mind.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best level of magnification?
There is no one best magnification level. How much you need will depend on what your target shooting typically requires. A medium shooter will generally need to use a medium-range scope.
What determines light transmission in a rifle scope?
The three factors that determine light transmission in a rifle scope include the type of glass used in the lenses, the lens coating, and the effective usage of the lenses.
Variable or fixed zoom, which is best?
You need to consider the fixed zoom scope that will allow you to see longer distances. The variable scopes will have more versatility, however, and are more perfect for newbies to start with.
What is parallax?
Parallax is the shift of the reticle to your eye. It often occurs as a result of miss-alignment.
What is the meaning of MOA?
MOA stands for a minute of an angle it is usually an inch at 100 yards. You will only ever need this number when you are making adjustments.
The quality of your rifle scope depends on what your needs are. As a hunter, keep in mind that you may never find the perfect game during the day and therefore need a scope you can use comfortably at night.
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