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There are many possible reasons why you would want a compact scope. You may be a light packer who doesn’t like bringing a lot of stuff when hunting.
You may be a sport shooter or hunter who wants to be more accurate with your shots. Or you may simply want to replace the default scope in your rifle. The best compact scope can help you achieve all these goals.
There are now a lot of scopes that are less than 9 inches in length. These compact scopes are also very lightweight. The size, however, doesn’t mean you’re giving up a lot of power.
Most compact scopes are powerful despite their frame. And the best compact scopes are those that are easy to use, from adjusting the knobs to mounting it on your weapon.
Recommended Best Compact Scope
1. Aim Sports 4X32 Compact Rangefinder Scope
This scope is highly rated by customers, which only proves how good this one is.
It is a compact 4×32 rangefinder that can improve your accuracy by leaps and bounds. It is less than 8 inches long and weighs just half a pound.
This aim sports scope is made of superior quality anodized aluminum, which is known for its durability. Some reviewers found it too heavy for its size, but I have a different take on the construction. The extra weight gives it a very solid feel.
Ease of use
I encountered no difficulty at all in mounting the scope in my .22. Browsing through the reviews, I can deduce that mounting this scope is the least of the concerns of its owners.
However, it found its adjustment knobs quite tight. Sure, it can make the scope more accurate over time but this also means adjusting the windage or elevation can be difficult at times. They even have to use a glove to be able to turn the knobs.
I can’t say anything bad about its optic quality, though. The sight picture is clear and bright. Setting it to zero is also quick and easy. It is able to hold zero pretty well. With its 4x magnification, it can be very useful when shooting from 50 to 100 yards.
2. Aim Optics 3-9X40 Compact Scope
This is similar to the preceding scope although it has up to 9x magnification. Thus it is more suited for medium to long-distance shooting.
Just like its cousin, it does have a good number of features that belie its affordable price.
This scope is just 7.7 inches long. It weighs 11.4 ounces. With its compact design, carrying it should not be a problem at all. It is made of solid, aircraft-grade aluminum that gives it a lightweight yet durable frame.
Despite being very lightweight, this one is built to withstand various conditions. Its lens is nitrogen charged and with weather-resistant seals, it is fog and waterproof.
My main beef with this scope is its short eye relief. With an eye relief of 2.3 to 2.8 inches, this scope isn’t the most comfortable to use for all shooters. You’d have to adjust your shooting position and posture in the process.
However, there’s no denying that this scope has clear glass. The images it projects are very good for its price. Focusing it proved to be very easy for me. It also stays zero quite well.
Aside from the short eye relief, I have other issues with this scope. One, you can’t adjust or fine-tune when the scope is at 9x magnification.
Durability is also questionable with most reviewers saying the scope is easy to dislodge from its mount. These are two of the red flags you should be wary of.
3. UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope
This scope can also make you more accurate when shooting medium and long-range targets.
This is slightly longer than the two other scopes mentioned earlier, with a length of 9 inches.
It weighs 13.9 ounces, though. Many reviewers have very good things to say about the optic quality of this scope.
The 3-9x magnification range is simply perfect for a .22. I’ve read reviews though suggesting that this scope struggles past the 7x magnification.
It looks really good on my M&P 15/22. For a cheap scope, its optics are noticeably sharp. I remember using this scope the first time, and I was able to hit my target from 25 yards.
There are also reviewers who are happy that its lighted reticle works well against dark targets. Others say that the elevation and windage knobs click and turn very well.
This scope gets good marks for its build quality as well. It may be compact but it has a solid feel to it. Moreover, it is also beautiful when you put this on a rifle. It simply makes your weapon look more intimidating.
Of course, we don’t buy a scope to make our weapons attractive. We buy and install a scope to improve our accuracy. Basing on the limited time that I used this scope, this one did a pretty good job of improving my accuracy.
Many are happy that the lens is clear, and that the scope is capable of displaying vivid images even during sunny days.
4. SNIPER ® Compact Scope Red/Green Dot
It’s nice, black matte finish, it is easy to think that the Sniper compact scope is very expensive. But you will be surprised to see its low price tag.
This is a compact scope that is around 7 inches long and weighs just 13 ounces.
A lot of reviewers have plenty of good things to say about this scope.
Like most of the scopes in this list, the Sniper compact scope looks fabulous for its price range. It is well built and feels solid in hand.
Ease of Use
There aren’t a lot of complaints from online reviewers as far as ease of use of this scope is concerned. Many of the reviewers on the website say that this scope is very easy to mount. Some say they were able to zero in on their targets with relative ease.
A handful of reviewers though mentioned that the dot intensity knob can be a challenge to rotate. They say they have to use pliers at times to turn it. There are also some hunters who said that they can’t see the red dot in low lighting conditions.
It may have its share of drawbacks but this Sniper Compact scope is still a very solid choice if you have a limited budget for a compact sight.
5. NcStar 4X30 Compact Scope
Rounding out our list of the best compact scopes in the market is this model from NcStar.
It offers 4x magnification which makes it a good choice for short to medium-range shooting.
It’s slightly longer than the other scopes in this list but makes up for it with its superior features.
To be more specific about it, the length of the scope is 8.67 inches. The width is around 2 inches. Simply put, you should be able to put this in any rifle or crossbow case.
Mounting it on a rifle or crossbow would also be easy, aside from not adding a significant load as it only weighs 9.2 ounces.
While the manufacturer isn’t really known for producing durable scopes and optic accessories, this one appears to be an exemption. It is pretty rugged.
This scope has blue-coated optics for light transmission. It works perfectly during sunny days, although it isn’t that good when you use it in low light conditions.
This can be attributed to its reticle that isn’t illuminated. Suffice to say, this is one scope you won’t likely use when you are hunting after dusk.
That shouldn’t discourage you from getting this scope, though. The other noteworthy attributes of this scope should be enough to overcome that major drawback.
These are all compact scopes that should be in your shortlist if you’re looking to replace your existing scope, or you want to add one to your collection.
These scopes are all less than 9 inches long. These scopes should be able to fit into your rifle or crossbow case, or your bag.
Aside from their size, these scopes will surprise you with their optic quality. These scopes have very clear glasses and you will be able to see your target pretty well even during low lighting conditions, with the exception of the NcStar scope.
Moreover, all these scopes are well built that you won’t hesitate to bring them to your next hunting trip.
I am really having a hard time trying to figure out the best model on this list. What I am sure of is that all these models are highly recommended by those who have used them before.