A beginners guide to buying a rifle scope, everything you need to know.
Modern day technology has far surpassed the need for gun enthusiasts to rely solely on metallic sights, with rifle brands such as Bushnell, Simmons, UTG, Nikon & Vortex manufacturing rifle scopes that offer simplicity over complexity, it is no wonder that you are here right now, looking for the best rifle scope to buy.
A rifle scope guarantees unprecedented accuracy, offering you significant support in any situation or weather condition. However, as gun enthusiasts ourselves, we completely understand the hardship that is trying to find the best rifle scope for the money, to match your requirements and specifications and purpose. With that being said, welcome to RifleScopesPros a place where you can find the best rifle scope recommendations based on Rifle experts with over 30 years experience.
Allow us to help make your search a little easier, with our in-depth buyers guide to choosing the best rifle scope for your needs.
Remember, a rifle scope is just as important, if not more important than the rifle it’s self.
Why? Well it’s simple really. With a rifle you simply pull the trigger, but to hit your target you need to be able to see the target and a rifle scope will not only allow you to see the target clearly but it will also allow for perfect shot placement
How to choose a Rifle Scope?
What’s the best rifle scope brand?
The best scope brand is the one that suits your needs. Scopes are like rifles, each has their own place and use. The best brand is largely subjective to your rifle and your needs. Another consideration is your budget. For example Trijicon makes an absolutely wonderful optics, however not everyone can spend twelve to fifteen hundred dollars on a piece of glass. Brand is always subjective, but most brands have a reputation attached to them, some for plinking, some for hunting and some for combat.
What is your rifle scope budget?
I briefly touched on budget a bit earlier. Scopes have a very wide range of budgets. A cheap scope like a UTG model can be had for 30 dollars U.S., and can go up dramatically from there. The Night force ATACR costs over two thousand dollars. Luckily you can set your budget and typically find a good piece of glass four under 200 hundred dollars. Cheaper optics may not be suited for combat or even hunting, but they can be perfect for plinking and having a bit of fun. A decent variable optic for hunting like the Nikon ProStaff can be had for around 150 dollars, and a more combat oriented optic like the Vortex Strikefire is usually around 200 dollars.
How to choose the correct rifle scope?
Outside of setting a budget, choosing a correct scope will be based on the scope’s intended mission, weapon, and range. For example an AR 15 designed a s ado it all gun could benefit greatly from a four power Trijicon ACOG, where a bolt gun designed for hunting is better suited with variable optic like a 3-9 power. Know your mission, know your range, and know your weapon.
– Link to our how to choose the right rifle scope page
What type of rifle scope are you looking for?
Long Range Scopes
A long range optic will be one designed to have a high level of magnification, and will be designed around precision. A long range optic should have a magnification of at least a 12x, this is absolutely the minimum. A long range scope should be able to engage targets out to thousand yards, and depending on the rifle, even further. Scopes like the Night force BEAST are long range optics.
Night Vision Scopes
Night vision is quickly becoming a rising star among optics enthusiasts. Due to our current conflicts overseas we have seen some truly remarkable advances in Night vision technology, as well as declining prices. Night vision has become a favourite of hog hunters looking to curb the overpopulation of an invasive species.
Light rifles are becoming all the rage in the AR market these days. People are looking to shave as much weight as possible, while retaining performance. Compact optics like the Bushnell 1-4x PCL are examples are variable optics shrunk to save weight and trim unnecessary bulk, while still providing magnification and crystal clear picture.
Tactical optics can be somewhat hard to define. They are not limited to a certain power, size, or weight. They are limited to the operations in which they can be used. For example the Eotech 512 and the Millett TRS are drastically different in design, but are both tactical scopes. Tactical scopes are those durable enough to participate in military style operations. The term tactical generally refers to optic purpose built for combat operations and may feature range finding devices, illuminated reticles, and reticles designed for human targets.
Red Dot Scopes
Red dot optics are extremely popular with shooting competitors and police and military members. A red dot optic is incredibly simple device that utilizes a simple circular red dot reticle. A red dot reticle makes target engagement very simple and very fast. Red dots can rnage in price from simple Tru Glow red dots at around 30 dollars and up to 500 for a military issued Aimpoint.
Hunting scopes are usually designed to be lightweight and easy to use in the field. Hunting optics should be water and fog proof since they are meant to be in the field hunting. A hunting scope should also be variable, capable of adapting to field conditions and being versatile and precise. The Nikon ProStaff is an excellent example of a successful hunting optic.
Our top 10 Rifle Scope recommendations
So what are our top ten scopes? This list is a rundown of the scopes we have found to be the best and the brightest in their class. This is a general overview of scopes and is not isolated to one category of scope. We’ve found these scopes to be supreme in categories when we consider durability, price, precision, clarity, and overall ease of use.
- Trijicon ACOG
- Eotech XPS2
- Millet TSR
- Nikon P223/P300 (Different BDCs, same scopes)
- Nightforce ATACR
- Leupold VX R Patrol
- Aimpoint Comp M4
- Bushnell Elite Tactical
- Vortex Strikefire 2
- POSP 4×24
Who should use a Rifle Scope?
A hunter can benefit greatly from the use of a rifle scope. Scopes allow the shooter to take precise shots, aiding in guaranteeing a clean and humane kill. The shooter in the field can benefit from a scope for its ability to scout at different ranges, which is priceless for finding and hunting game.
A proper optic on the weapon of a sport shooter will allow the shooter to rapidly and accurately engage a target. Sport shooter’s involved in timed competitions cannot waste a fraction of a second, and can benefit greatly from a close range optic. An optic allows the shooter to minimize the time required to gain a proper sight picture, and allows for much faster shooting.
Our 3 best Rifle scope recommendations
#1 Trijicon ACOG
The Trijicon ACOG is the choice of the United States Marines as their rifle combat optic. The ACOG is a fixed power optic with a wide variety of reticle options. The ACOG is tough as nails and has served the Marines faithfully in two wars.
#2 EoTech XPS2
The XPS2 is the compact model of the famed EoTech holographic optics. The XPS2 is much lighter weight and shorter to allow more room for magnifiers and save rail space. One of the greatest close range optics out there.
#3 Millet TSR
Millet builds their optics from some of the best materials around. The Millet TSR is a long range precision optic designed to provide engagement out to medium and long ranges. The TSR is built from the gorund up to be a premium optic.
Rifle Scopes on a budget
Top Picks for under $200
- Bushnell TRS 25
- Simmons ProStaff
- Sightmark Ultra Shot
– Link to under $200 page
Top Picks for under $300
- Leupold VX-HOG
- Millet Buck Gold
- Vortex Crossfire
– Link to under $300 page
Top Picks for under $500
- EoTech XPS2
- Aim Point Pro
- Leupold AR Mark
– Link to under $500 page