Best Rifle Scope Reviews In 2017- Buying Guides

In love with guns and fire? So am I. For a serious hunter, it is extremely important to carry proper gears. I understand that you have a jaw-dropping collection of rifles and years of experience. But to ensure you hit your target with utmost accuracy, you will need a good rifle scope too. The best rifle scope , whether low-mag or ultra-high zoom, are versatile. They can be mounted on various types of rifles and should be tuned to specific bullet types and calibers.

What does it tell you? If you can be a little generous with your budget while buying a rifle scope or rimfire scope, it will save you the money and hassle of buying additional gears for your other guns. I have been going to hunting since I was 15 and I will be trying to use my knowledge and experience to help you find the best rifle scope for the money.

After comparing and contrasting the features, overall performance and price of all the 8 products, Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope has emerged as a clear winner. Though the price is a bit on the higher side of the spectrum, the quick focus eye-piece, first-rate optics, and compatibility with heavy caliber rifles make up for it. You can target your quarry within the range of 800 yards with unbelievable accuracy. Most of all, the fog-proof, shock-proof optics works fine irrespective of the shooting situation.

Check Our Others Review  On:

Best Long Range Rifle Scopes

Best Rifle Scope Under $500

Experts Pick : Top 6 Best Rifle Scope In 2017

Picture

Best Rifle Scopes

Editor Ratings

Price

Best rifle scope

Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope

Best rifle scope

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24x50mm AO Riflescope

Best rifle scope

Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope

Best rifle scope

UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope

Best rifle scope

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 BDC

Best rifle scope

BARSKA 6.5-20x50 AO Varmint Target Dot Riflescope

1. Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope w/ BDC 800 Reticle,Black

Editor Rating:

Best rifle scope

Nikon M-308 is more than just an attractive eye-piece from a reputable manufacturer.

Its mid-long range .308 optics allows a crisp and clear image of the target. If you own a .308 Winchester rifle like I do, this could be the best rifle scope under 500 dollar like you.

Here’s a detailed analysis of everything that is good, bad and in between about this product.

Specifications

  • High shooting range
  • Comes with custom calibrated Rapid Action zero-reset turrets with .308 elevation dials.
  • Fog-roof, shock-proof optics that help you shoot with deadly accuracy in any shooting situation.
  • The BDC 800 reticle includes dots, hash marks, and circles in order to provide multiple holdover marks.
  • The adjustments are pretty easy.

In-depth Review

  • The BDC 800 reticle is specially tuned to the trajectory of the .308 Winchester/ NATO rounds. It also comes with built-in ¼ MOA adjustments. Each holdover mark in the scope marks a specific distance which makes shooting games within 800 yards very convenient.
  • The BDC is made up of dots, circles and hash marks to create several holdover points. All you need to do place the holdover mark that best corresponds to the distance of your target and shoot.
  • This model has a built-in 20 MOA slope for those who prefer to shoot at extreme distances. The ¼ MOA zero-reset turret on it is one of the key features of this rifle scope. The traditional style turret can be finger adjusted using the turret knob or by rotating the dial back to zero or to the 100-yard mark. If you’re a tactical shooter, you’ll find the side focus parallax adjustment knobs pretty useful.
  • The M-308 is equipped with fully multicoated optics which is capable of 95% light transmission. Though the 25 mm tube isn’t huge, the image quality is pretty sharp and vivid. The shockproof, fog-proof, water-proof glass can survive the vagaries of weather. You can use this lens to shoot under any weather condition until dusk.
  • Another feature I appreciate a lot is its spot on Ballistics Match Technology program that allows you to calibrate the sub tension value of various bullet weights and velocities combination

Pros

  • Easily adjustable zero-rest turrets.
  • Shooting range of up to 800 yards.
  • Shooting with the several holdover marks is a cakewalk for seasoned hunters.
  • Use of Ballistics Match Technology.

Cons

  • Only suitable for long range tactical rifles.

Final Verdict

The Nikon M-308 is an undoubtedly one of the best long range rifle scope of its time. It packs all the essential features to hunt down games without spending too much time with the settings. The hassle-free yardage adjustments, crystal-clear optics with fine cross-hairs right in the middle of the reticle are exactly what long-distance shooting enthusiasts like me look for in a rifle scope.

2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24x50mm AO Riflescope 

Editor Rating:

Best rifle scope

The Vortex Optics Crossfire comes with fully multicoated optics decked upon a large objective lens. It is also armed with a Deadhold BDC duplex reticle.

Thanks to these features, it is a brilliant rifle scope for shooting under low-light conditions, such as dusk and dawn.

On top of that, the stylish matte-black finish scratch with corrosion-resistance finish helps it stand the test of time.

Specifications

  • Comes with a 50 mm objective lens that provides a very clear image quality and great magnification.
  • You’ll find a parallax correction knob, and Eye Relief and an Exist Pupil Diameter on the lens.
  • Provides a shooting range of around 1000 yards.
  • The ¼ MOA per click shot correction feature for an improved performance.

In-depth Review

  • The multicoated optics of Vortex is great for shooting outdoors in light situations. The body has an anti-corrosion finish and is nitrogen-filled for protection against water and fog.
  • The Dead-hold BDC reticle along with elevation adjustments, ¼ MOA per click shot correction and 15 MOA travel ensures a pitch-perfect impact point.
  • Furthermore, the fast-focus eye-piece with a 4” eye-relief is a useful addition for people like me who am not very adept with manual focusing. It lets you re-focus on the quarry quickly while zooming in or out.
  • The SFP or Second Focal Plane keeps the reticle subtension calibrated to 18x. This, in turn, lets you view your target bright and clear at the magnification of 18x. I cranked it up to 24x and the target image quality remained the same.
  • The rifle scope is made from aircraft-grade aluminum which makes it robust and long-lasting. There are o-ring seals on the body to block the dust and debris from reaching the lens. Its 30 mm tube helps maintain the correct alignment for maximum accuracy.

Pros

  • Dead-Hold BDC mounted on an SPF
  • Sturdy built.
  • Quick re-focusing while magnification of the subject.
  • Perfect for low-light shooting.

Cons

  • At max magnification, the image might seem a little blurry.

Final Verdict

All in all, Vortex is the best rifle scope under 300 dollar for long-range shooters who love passing their time with their hunting gear at dense forests. The optics provide maximum light transmission and the reticle subtension calibrated to 18x lets you locate and fire at the games with incredible precision in poor light. I loved how the BDC reticle offers ranging charts for multiple calibers. Overall, a good bang for the buck.

3. Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope

Editor Rating:

Best rifle scope

Leupold is an iconic American brand, known for manufacturing some of the best shooting equipment of all time. The VX-2 3-9x40mm is one of their most popular rifle scopes.

I know many tactical shooters who swear by its quality. Let us have a deeper look at this product for a better understanding:

Specifications

  • It offers 5 distinct reticle options i.e duplex, wide duplex, LR duplex, German #4 and Leupold Dot.
  • Fixing your eyes on the target has been made considerably easy through the large eye box.
  • The Indexed Match Lens facilitates 94% light transmission.

In-depth Review

  • The 40mm lens offers a large field of view. Even at the highest magnification setting, the picture is not distorted. And on the other hand, the lowest zooming will let you acquire your targets at closer ranges without much toiling. I personally feel that the rifle scope works best at 200 yards.
  • Under $300, it is surprising to find a capable rifle scope that offers 5 reticle variants. From the old-school duplex for the old-school hunters to the German #4 for small game hunting, the versatility it dispenses you with is commendable.
  • That’s not all, the fast-focus eyepiece with an eye relief of about 4” lets you aim your target quickly. Even at the highest zooming power, the optical clarity remains unhindered.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Wide field of view.
  • Good for low-lighting hunting.
  • 5 reticle options.
  • Fuss-free ¼ MOA adjustments.

Cons

  • Tactical shooters won’t be satisfied with the shooting range.

Final Verdict

Despite some limitations, the Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm deserves the third spot in my list of the best rifle scopes. People who were glasses would find the eye-relief and 40 mm tube better than most scopes at this price range.

The large eye box ensures that you get the full appearance of the game even at the highest magnification for optimal shooting accuracy. Although it’s lightweight, the construction is fairly rugged. If taken care of properly, it would remain intact for ages.

4. UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings

Editor Rating:

Best rifle scope

Talking of the best 22 rifle scope, the first name that pops up in my head is BugBuster. I have used this one on many of my hunting trips and not once have I been disappointed.

What truly sets it apart from its contemporaries is its unique design and the best zooming for any .22 rifle scope I am aware of.

Specifications

  • Parallax view from 3 yards to the infinity which comes extremely handy during tactical shooting.
  • The True Strength platform allows precise elevation adjustments.
  • The mil-dot reticle facilitates accurate aiming.
  • The red and green reticle illuminations are useful for shooting under various environments.

In-depth Review

  • The out-of-the-box design of UTG includes a True Strength Platform which is basically a small spherical structure. It determines the interaction between the inner and the outer tubes. Thus, it ensures that tweaking the elevation is a cakewalk for the users.
  • Another prominent feature is the QD or Quick Detach rings. It makes mounting the scope on the gun delightfully easy. If you are up to the outdoor shooting, you will find the dual illumination pretty useful.
  • Not only is the optics shock, water, and fog-proof but these red and green illumination reticles make this one a reliable option for shooting in rough terrains.
  • UTG’s Range Estimating Concept is perhaps its biggest selling-point. The mil-dot circle actually provides 11 holdover points (including two inner tips of the opposite duplex cross-hairs) for precise aiming, enhanced windage and elevation. However, these aiming points are specific to any caliber. Therefore, the users will have to remember the holdover points of each load which could be a strenuous task.
  • The fingertip adjustable turrets work just as they should. I could smoothly rotate it and reset it back to zero. If the illumination of the reticle hurts your eyes, you can simply turn it off and use only the black reticle. That way, only the central section remains highlighted.

Pros

  • Easy mounting.
  • Mil-dots and QD rings.
  • Dual illumination.

Cons

  • Zooming up to 9x could result in a slight blurriness of the image.

Final Verdict

UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster is a great .22 rifle scope for the budget. Granted that the shooter has to know his/her skill to get the best out of it, but we all saw that coming, didn’t we? The wide field of view, multiple holdover points, and illumination make it a befitting choice for any weather condition.

5. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 BDC

Editor Rating:

Best rifle scope

Nikon Buckmasters II could easily pass off as the best rifle scope for those who can’t afford a super-expensive rifle scope yet don’t want to compromise with the quality.

The biggest highlight of this product has to be the fact that the Scope’s drop compensating BDC can be controlled using an app called Nikon Spot On.

Specifications

  • The large Exist Pupils make low light shooting a breeze.
  • Using the BDC, you can adjust the scope to fire at 300 yards.
  • O-ring sealed and nitrogen filled exterior to ensure optimal protection against, fog, dust, and other weather elements.
  • Easy windage and elevation adjustments.

In-depth Review

  • If you want to mount the BDC on heavy caliber rifles, the ¼ MOA click adjustments will account for a great stability. The zero-reset turrets worked as good as they do in high-end products.
  • You will have to adjust the dial of the BDC depending on the distance of your target. I took a couple of shots at 100 yards keeping it my zero distance. I was quite pleased with the outcome.
  • I used the Spot On app to extend my shooting range to 300 yards. This super-cool app helps you quickly determine the correct aiming point based on the target range, shooting atmosphere and the type of ammo in use. If you love target shooting, you will be amazed at how accurate the app is.
  • The image quality provided by the optics is flawless. The color rendition is incredible and the additional sunshade it comes with offers a flare-free sighting during the daytime.

Pros

  • The Spot on App to Control the drop compensation.
  • Ideal for shooting under both scorching sunlight and low light condition.
  • The ¼ MOA click adjustment and 1.6-ounce weight allow a great stability when used with heavy recoil rifles.

Cons

  • The shooting range is medium and not compatible with every type of gun.

Final Verdict

I won’t recommend this for long-range target shooting but if you’re looking for a medium range scope, this won’t disappoint you. It could be optimally used for hunting small games in hill areas according to my experience. The shock-proof and fog-proof optics provide an exceptionally clear picture quality for a mid-budget scope like this.

6. BARSKA 6.5-20x50 AO Varmint Target Dot Riflescope

Editor Rating:

Best rifle scope

BARSKA is a leading manufacturer of gun accessories. It is always wise to stick to a reputed brand like this while investing your money something as serious as a rifle scope.

At the maximum magnification, the picture quality remains intact which is quite a surprise given its price. Let us take a deeper look:

Specifications

  • The focus ring around large 50 mm objective is pretty smooth to operate. The range labeling is pretty accurate.
  • For long-range target shooting, it has AO (Adjustable Optics), aiding parallax correction.
  • Ideal for varmint shooting along with long-distance and precision shooting.
  • 1/8 MOA click adjustments with covered finger elevation turrets and windage adjustments.

In-depth Review

  • The parallax adjustment in this rifle scope is undoubtedly the best I have ever seen. The range labeling on the objective bell makes it clear that the parallax can be tweaked to 20 yards. Thanks to the magnification setting of up to 16x, it could be a go-to rifle scope for long-distance shooting lovers.
  • The fine cross-hair with a center dot makes small-games appear in its original size which is definitely a perk for the hunters. It has basic finger-adjustable knobs. I would have, however, appreciated a separate turret for the windage.
  • The turret is mounted atop a clearly numbered pedestal. That way, you can monitor the revolutions past 0. The turret makes a click sound whenever dialed to a particular number.

Pros

  • 16x zoom.
  • Water-tight, shock and fog-proof 50 mm objective.
  • 1/8 MOA adjustments.
  • Best suitable for varmint killing at long distances.

Cons

  • The view is glared and blurred at the highest zoom setting.

Final Verdict

It might be hard to get pass the zooming issue but other than this, the 6.5-20x50 AO is a good product for its price. The no-frills 30/30 reticle is easy to operate which newbies would find easy to deal with.

I would advise you not to use it with high caliber rifles like a .308 win as might make you lose the 0. The color rendition and crispness of the picture are quite amazing, nevertheless. Overall, a decent purchase.

How to Choose the Best Rifle Scope?

The zooming/optical power is the first thing to pay attention to while buying a rifle scope. Whether you need a 4x zoom or a 64x zooming optics would totally depend on the shooting environment and range you prefer. For long-distance target shooting, the higher the zooming, the better.

Most common types of reticle patterns are duplex, BDC, and mil-dot. Each has its share of unique advantages. BDCs scope are more popular among pro hunters because it allows them to aim accurately over various distances without tweaking the elevation settings.

Objective lens size is another important factor. You should take into account the kind of rifle you’re going to use for shooting to calibrate a perfect objective size. The wider the objective, the better the light transmission. This means 40 mm or 50mm objectives provide a brighter and clearer image, even in the absence of enough natural light. If you face issues with the cheek weld since the bigger lens has to be mounted higher, you can easily solve this issue by using a cheek raiser.

Always go for MOA or Minute of Angle adjustments while buying a rifle scope. Due to the small adjustment increments (typically ¼ or 1/8), you get very precise adjustments for long-range shootings. On the other hand, MRAD scopes might be preferred by a large group of seasoned long-distance shooters but many also do find the exposed adjustments knobs a burden.

Conclusion

No matter which rifle scope you choose, the bottom line is that you’re comfortable using it and helps you acquire your target with optimal precision.

The market is inundated with options. It’s quite understandable if you find it intimidating to choose one product from so many options. I did my bit my handpicking the products I found promising. Hope this goes on to help you make an informed decision.

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Douglas Brooks
 

An avid blogger Douglas Brooks is extremely fond of living his life on the edge. A major believer in the adventure associated with hunting he likes to put all his experiences on paper. Quite passionate about the outdoors and the wild he loves to inform people about the problems he had to face and suggest ways to overcome them.

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