You are a person on the go busy working long hours during the week. When the weekend finally comes, you want to be able to enjoy your valuable time off and make the most of it. To maximize the enjoyment on next your hunting trip, you need the right equipment.
One of the most important pieces of equipment needed for success in target shooting or deer hunting is a good scope. Having an accurate and dependable scope to use for deer hunting or target shooting will allow you to enjoy your time without any stress associated with continually missing your target because you are struggling to aim correctly.
Finding the best rifle scope can be difficult, so we’ve put together this resource – a one-stop-shop, all-inclusive rifle scope reviews guide to help you find the best scope to fit your needs. So all the information you need to pick the best gun scope is here. The interactive table of reviews provides a summary of the best features that will help you decide which is the best scope for you.
Comparison Guide and Key
Included in the matrix are 8 columns:
- Picture of Scope
- Scope Name
- Objective diameter
- Price – approximate prices on Amazon.com. The prices can change from time to time based on seller, special sales, availability, etc. But in general terms, the pricing range is: $ = under $100, $$ = $100 to $150, $$$ = $150 to $200, $$$$ = $200+
- Rating – combined user rating on Amazon.com. A rating that is provided by someone who has used the product can be extremely informative and helpful in making a buying decision.
In addition, our one of a kind comparison guide will have a link to purchase your riflescope from one of the largest on-line retailers on the internet. Save time and gas money by purchasing the best scope on-line from a trusted retailer. After the purchase, your riflescope will be delivered to your front door in just a few days after your order has been placed. This is the best purchase method to save time, money and sales taxes.
The rifle scope reviews incorporated into this table are a selection of the highest rated riflescopes available. Since there are so many brands and models that exist, we are not able to include all of them. However, this table contains our choices for the best long range riflescopes selected from various price ranges and from a wide assortment of excellent companies.
Most of the rifle scope reviews included in this one of kind riflescopes comparison chart are gun scopes that experienced professionals recommend to use for the most accurate shots.
Top 5 Rifle Scope Reviews
Honestly, all of the riflescopes included in the table above are excellent choices; but there are some of the scopes that we want to distinguish as our team favorites. In the rifle scope reviews below, you will read about our top 5 best rifle scopes.
The rifle scope reviews below are linked to a more comprehensive review. So settle into a comfortable chair and let’s begin learning more about each of these great scopes.
1. Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 Black Matte Riflescope (w/BDC)
The Nikon Prostaff 3-9 x40 Riflescope w/BDC is one of the best selling rifle scopes available on the market. This excellent scope provides a hunter with an exceptional experience. This Nikon riflescope is priced in an affordable range that will fit the budget for most any hunter.
The Nikon Prostaff 3-9 x40 Black Matte scope features a BDC reticle. A BDC reticle is a specially designed crosshairs that offers bullet-drop compensation. BDC reticles are designed to improve your chances of hitting your target at long distances. The BDC reticle will help your aim while compensating for the arc that the bullet travels along toward your target.
BDC reticles take the guesswork out trying to determine how high over the target you need to aim in order to hit your target. This is a truly amazing technology that will help a hunter or target shooter hit their target with greater frequency.
2. Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600
Nikon is a well-known world leader in the sport optics industry. Nikon is recognized all over the world as a leading company in designing and manufacturing some of the highest rated rifle scopes available. Nikon makes these top rifle scopes available at affordable prices.
Some of the best rifle scope brands are Nikon scopes. This Nikon P-223 3-9×40 BDC 600 riflescope is specially designed for the trajectory of the .223 Remington cartridges. The P-223 3-9 x40 scope includes the Nikon’s patented BDC 600 reticle. The BDC 600 reticle comes with special open circle aiming points and hash marks from 100 to 600 yards. The reticle is extremely easy to use reticle and is easy to zero in even in windy conditions. After zeroing in, the BDC 600 reticle provides excellent accuracy in hitting your target.
The multi-coated optical system is equipped with a 40 mm objective lens that provides up to 98% light transmission and maximum brightness from dawn to dusk. This high end light transmission feature will provide more than enough light for the critical times just before sunrise when deer and other game animals are most active. This glass is very clear which supports excellent accuracy.
This rifle scope comes equipped with a zero-reset turret feature and tactical-style turrets that help to make field adjustments much more simple. All you have to do is sight-in as usual, then lift the spring-loaded adjustment knob, rotate to your “zero”, and reengage. The 1/4-MOA hand-turn tactical-style turrets offer positive click adjustments to get you zeroed in quicker and maintain your setting—even with repeated recoil. The turrets provide great feedback while you click through the settings.
Nikon’s P-223 series riflescopes are designed for better long range accuracy for AR platform rifles and .223 cartridges. The Nikon P-223 3-9×40 BDC 600 scope is an outstanding value and is considered the best AR 15 scope for the money.
3. Vortex StrikeFire Red Dot Scope
Vortex Optics is an American-owned, Wisconsin-based company that designs, engineers and distributes a complete line of premium binoculars, riflescopes, spotting scopes, tripods and related accessories. With more than 20 years of experience in the optics industry, Vortex Optics is rapidly becoming a leader in the optics market while ranking as one of top 10 rifle scope brands.
The Vortex StrikeFire Red Dot scope is designed to let you shoot quickly even with both eyes open. This riflescope is an ideal sighting solution for situations that demand split-second target acquisition, maximum field of view, and both-eyes-open shooting. The Vortex StrikeFire riflescope offers an unlimited field of view and eye relief to supporting hitting your target as quickly as possible. In situations when rapid fire shooting is needed, the Vortex StrikeFire provides excellent performance.
The Vortex StrikeFire scope is a versatile and reliable choice for shooters and hunters who want a quality red dot sight, but don’t want to break the bank. Key features of this scope include;
• Red/green dot version and bright red dot only version
• Fully-multicoated optics
• 30mm aluminum alloy chassis
• Extra-high recoil rating.
• Waterproof, fog proof, (nitrogen-purged) shockproof construction guarantees durability.
• Mounting ring
• Flip-up lens caps keep lenses protected and clean when not in use
Vortex has designed this riflescope to be compatible with most AR-15 rifles. You can choose the lower S co-witness cantilever mount for AR-15 platform rifles or the 21 mm ring mount for firearms that require lower optic mounting. In addition, this gun scope is compatible with most night vision optics.
This gun scope will exceed your expectations. After taking the gun scope right out of box and mounting on your gun, the scope will only need a few minor adjustments to be sighted in for most AR 15 rifles. This scope is a plug and play type set-up right out of the box. Not only is the Vortex StrikeFire one of the best AR 15 scope for the money, it is also a high performance scope that will consistently hold zero. This Vortex StrikeFire gun scope comes with a mount and magnifier. It is a great beginner scope for anyone who is new to shooting or is a weekend casual shooter.
4. Nikon P-223 BDC 600 Riflescope with Rapid Action Turret, Black, 4-12×40
For almost 100 years, Nikon has been an industry leader in making some of the highest rated rifle scopes. Nikon has been a longtime leader in offering lens multi-coatings that maximize light transmission.
There line of premium quality optical products support many types of outdoor activities. Through the benefit of years of experience and advancements in computer technology, Nikon has been able to manufacture superior riflescopes that achieve a good balance of light transmission, high resolution and crystal clear images.
This Nikon riflescope may be one of the most popular gun scopes that Nikon makes. This riflescope also includes greater magnification which makes rifles more effective at longer ranges.
The Nikon P-223 scope with a BDC 600 reticle offers a choice between two separate methods of the popular bullet drop compensation technology. One choice that this scope provides for compensating for bullet drop at long distances is by using the BDC 600 reticle with open circle aiming points and hash marks from 100 to 600 yards.
A second method for compensating for bullet drop is by using Nikon’s Rapid Action Turret system that allows shooters to dial in their ranges and hold the BDC reticle’s horizontal crosshair straight on the target. Nikon’s Rapid Action Turret system makes it extremely ease to dial in on a target for long range shots.
• Fully multicoated optics with up to 98% light transmission
• Open-circle aiming points and hash marks from 100-600 yards
• Tactical-style turrets and zero-reset simplify field adjustments
• 100% waterproof, fogproof performance
The Nikon P-223 is considered a best ar 15 scope for the money because the scope has a fast-sighting carbine reticle option that was developed specifically for fast-handling shorter barrel AR-15s. Because of the features built into the P-223, this scope is clearly one of the best scopes to buy.
5. Lucid HD7 Red Dot Sight, Gen III
Lucid is a relative newcomer to the riflescope market. The company was launched in 2009 and since then they have developed some of best rifle scopes for the money. The Lucid HD7 Red Dot Sight is one of these top rifle scopes that comes with a new red dot sight with capped turrets and offers a new reticle set with more capabilities.
The HD7 Red Dot Generation II sight from LUCID has been used by many law enforcement and military professionals and proven to be an excellent sight for all applications. However, based on user feedback, LUCID improved on this time tested model by including suggestions from those who know best.
The Generation III HD7 was improved by adding capped turrets, a new reticle set that has even more capabilities for the shooter. The Generation III red dot sight has a cast aluminum frame and durable rubber armor which makes it a durable sight for your AR 15 rifles. The Lucid HD7 Generation III scope is shock resistant, waterproof and fog proof which allows the scope to be maintain functionality in most hunting situations.
The red dot sight comes with the option of four different reticles: 2 MOA Dot, 2 MOA Dot with Outer Circle, Circle with Crosshairs, Crosshairs.
The LUCID HD7 Generation III is powered by a AAA battery with an estimated time of 1000 hours of battery life. The battery cap has an o-ring seal to protect it from the weather. The sight will power down automatically after two hours of operation.
This Red Dot Sight features two modes of operation: a manual mode and an auto-brightness mode where a light sensor will keep the reticle at the right brightness regardless of the environment you are shooting from.
The HD7 sight is designed to mount on either Weaver or Picatinny rails and is secured by two 13mm 6-point slotted nuts. The mounting base height of the HD7 provides for a lower 1/3rd co-witness when used in conjunction with a BUIS. The mount is an integral part of the optic frame assembly and does not allow for the adapting of quick release type mounts manufactured by other optic companies.
The Lucid HD7 Gen III Tactical Red Dot Sight is engineered to be strong and reliable. It also includes most all of the needed features at a budget friendly price.
What is The Best Rifle Scope Used For?
Whether you are hunting for that trophy buck or tracking down a turkey, you want to make the one shot you get count! When you only have one shot, there is no margin for error. Because of this it is essential to come prepared with the right equipment.
One of the most vital pieces of hunting gear that you can own is a good scope for your gun. It has been said many times that a superior scope on a mediocre rifle is by far better than a mediocre scope on an expensive rifle.
Gun scopes are used today by hunters who are trying to kill game animals and by people who enjoy target shooting. The benefit of using a riflescope is that it makes it easier to see your target and thus easier to hit your target. When looking through a riflescope, the target will look much larger because of the magnification provided by the riflescope.
When looking through a riflescope, the scope will magnify the intended target. So your ability to see the target in greatly enhanced. Therefore, your aim will better especially for a target that is located far away.
Using a gun scope just makes it so much simpler for you to learn how to shoot and easier to hit your target. When shooting with a scope mounted on your gun, all you have to do is line up the scope on your target before you pull the trigger.
Using a scope on your long range rifle or favorite target shooting gun gives you a much better chance for success in hitting your target whether it is that trophy buck or a clay pigeon. Without the benefit of a gun scope, you would have to follow the traditional method of attempting to line up the front and rear iron sights located on top of the gun simultaneously while lining up your target which may be located 100 yards away from you and moving.
When using a riflescope to shoot a target, all you have to do is look through the scope and line up the crosshairs with your target and shoot. Riflescopes provide a real helping hand when learning to shoot a target. A gun scope is much easier to use than the old iron sights and since scopes also magnify your target the target is easier to see for aiming at.
How to Choose the Best Rifle Scope
In the world that we exist in today, we live extremely busy and hectic lives. Most of us have to work long hours most every day just to make enough money to pay the bills and have a little left over at the end of week to enjoy a hobby or two.
Sometimes, when we are not busy with our normal work activities, we can be involved in attending our kids’ or grandkids’ extracurricular activities. Or maybe a significant part of the weekend is spent taking care of the honey-do-list. Because we are so busy being pulled in more than one different direction, the time left for us often gets squeezed.
So when we get an opportunity to take a break and participate in an activity or hobby for ourselves, we certainly want to make the most of it. When you have limited time to participate in an enjoyable hobby like hunting or target shooting, you definitely need the right equipment to maximize your enjoyment.
Having an accurate and dependable scope to use for deer hunting or target shooting will allow you to enjoy your time without any stress associated with a rifle not working properly or continually missing your target because you are struggling to aim correctly.
One of the most important pieces of equipment needed for success in target shooting or deer hunting is a good scope. A good riflescope can greatly increase your chances of hitting your target every time. So how do you choose the scope that is right for you?
The answer to that question will really depend on the kind of shooting that you will be doing and the kind of gun that you will be shooting with. Here at RifleScopeReviewsGuide.com, we provide you with a one of a kind comparison chart that will give you detailed rifle scope reviews of the most popular scopes.
Best Rifle Scopes
Buying an excellent riflescope that you can afford is a much better idea than buying the best rifle that you can afford. Because you could buy an expensive rifle that is easy to shoot but without a great scope on it you will not be able to hit your target very well if it is located 500 yards away.
The smart consumer will look to buy a good quality rifle (not the most expensive one) and then look to buy the best long range scope that he can afford to place on the rifle. Since scopes generally cost less than a rifle, you save money and you will be much more satisfied with your combination purchase. A riflescope will serve you well when you are trying to aim at your target that is located 300-500 yards away.
The best gun scopes will make seeing and hitting your target much easier. The level of magnification provided by a gun scope is incredible. Having a good scope on your rifle is like seeing your target through high powered binoculars.
A hunter will have a much better chance of success in hitting his target using a high quality scope mounted on a average rifle. A hunter using a cheap riflescope will not be pleased with the results that gets shooting it with an expensive rifle because he will not be able to aim as well.
What to Look for When Shopping for the Best Rifle Scopes
Long range riflescopes come in many different assortments. The kind of scope that you should select to buy really depends on the type of shooting that you will be doing. The riflescope that is needed for shooting clay targets is different from the scope that is needed to hunt and shoot that trophy deer.
In addition to selecting a riflescope to improve your shooting accuracy, you will need to make the right selection on a rifle because no two rifles shoot exactly the same. Even the same brand rifles made by the same manufacturer will shoot differently due to its own unique characteristics.
So you can’t expect to get the same results using the same scope on different rifles. The adjustments on the riflescope will have to be adjusted when moving the scope from one rifle to the next rifle.
How to Find the Best Scope That Fits Your Needs
In the interactive comparison guide that provides reviews of riflescopes above, you will find some of the most popular and highly rated scopes on the market today. However, before diving into the deep end of this comparison guide, let us explain what is included in the guide.
So, in the chart above you will find the Ultimate Riflescope Comparison Guide that will provide a summary of reviews in one convenient spot. This guide will help you pick the best rated scope for your needs.
We all have our own preferences as to what we think will make a good scope for shooting at a target. But to do your best at hitting your target each and every time, you want to buy the absolute best gun scope possible. With this in mind, we are here to help navigate you through the buying process.
How to Choose the Best Rifle Scopes
The conventional wisdom used to be that you should buy a riflescope that was about half the cost of your rifle. Using this thought process, you should end up with a good quality scope. Well that recommendation is really not valid today because really you should buy the best scope that you can afford.
If you are interested in buying a riflescope, some of the terminology can be a bit confusing. The following article will cover many of the basic terms that you will come across when dealing with riflescopes.
1. The Numbers
A riflescope’s numbers are arranged in a pattern that is predictable. They are similar to numbers that you will find on other optics such as telescopes and binoculars. The first number will be the power of the magnification, the second number will be the size of the objective lens, listed in millimeters. The letter ‘x’ will divide both numbers.
A riflescope’s magnification will let you know how powerful it is. More power is indicated by a larger number. A magnification of 2x means that the object being looked at will be doubled in size, 4x means it will be quadrupled, etc. There are many scopes that are able to be adjusted to different powers based on the need of the person using it. This type of variable power scope is indicated by two numbers before the x, indicating the lowest and highest possible powers. For example, a scope could be 3-9×40. This means it is able to be adjusted from 3x to 9x.
b. Objective Lens Diameter
This number indicates the size of the objective lens. Larger objective lenses provide more light for a person to see their target.
2. Light Transmission
Light transmission is the amount of usable light that passes through a riflescope or other type of optic device. It is a number that is represented by a percentage. This percentage is based on the total amount of original light that entered the scope. High end scopes have a light transmission of 94 percent or better. This means that 94 percent of the original light is preserved and able to be used. Three other factors can determine light transmission: Effective use of the lenses in the scope, the use of anti-reflective lens coating and the glass used in the lenses.
3. Eye Relief
Eye relief is the distance between your eye and the lens at the rear of the scope. The eye relief distance will provide a complete field of view with no dark ring around the edges. The desired amount of eye relief for most hunters is 3.5″ or more.
This is the point inside the reticle’s position that the target appears at various ranges. It is most easily noticed when a person removes their eye from the dead center of the scope. Being “parallax free” means that the crosshair stays on the same position on the target, even if you move your eye off center in any direction. However, if the movement of your eye causes the target to move within the crosshair, “parallax error” is being experienced. This usually happens in variable magnification scopes that contain a large range in their magnification. As a way of preventing parallax error, some scopes have an adjustable objective. This enables a person to adjust the parallax to a specific range and magnification.
5. Objective Lens
The lens that is on the front of the riflescope is the objective lens. The amount of light that enters the riflescope is affected by the size of this lens. The bigger the objective lens, the more light will enter the scope. During cloudy weather, dusk and dawn, this is especially important. A larger amount of light gives the user better visibility, allowing targets to be seen during dark conditions.
6. Tube Diameter
In optics, the diameter of a lens is often a way to measure the magnifying power of the lens, equal to the amount of times the linear dimensions of an object are increased. While the tube diameter plays a role in magnification, it does not affect the light transmission of a lens.
A lens is a piece of curved glass found in an optics device, designed to increase the magnification of an object to make it appear closer than it actually is. The number of lenses used in a riflescope depends on the type and manufacturer of the scope you are using.
a. Fogproof and waterproof
Many of the better riflescopes available on the market today will be fogproof and waterproof. A fogproof riflescope means that the air inside of the scope has been purged and replaced with argon or nitrogen. Then the scope is sealed to prevent any condensation or fogging on the lens from occurring. Waterproof, as the name suggests, means that the lens has been sealed to prevent water from getting in.
b. Coated lenses
Glare and loss of light are reduced by the addition of microscopic coatings on the surface of a lens. These coated lenses help to minimize the amount of light that gets reflected and does not get transmitted through the lens. This provides an image that is higher in contrast, clearer and brighter. The more coatings that are put on a lens, the wider variety of wavelength light rays will be transmitted.
8. Field of View
Field of view (FOV) refers to the amount of area that is able to be seen through a riflescope from right to left at a distance of 100 yards. FOV decreases as magnification gets increased. For example, a 3x variable riflescope could contain a FOV of slightly over 30 feet at 100 yards. However, at 9x, it would now have an FOV of roughly 14 feet. These figures would not be changed by using a larger objective lens.
9. Turret Adjustments
The turret is one of the two knobs that are found on the outside center of the riflescope tube. These knobs have increments marked on them, usually in 1/4 MOA. In other words, a standard one click change will impact ¼” at 100 yards.
The turret adjustments are used to compensate for windage and elevation, two factors that can affect the distance and direction that a bullet travels. Elevation refers to vertical adjustment, windage refers to horizontal.
10. Minute of Angle
Minute of Angle (MOA) is the unit of measurement used for a circle. It is 1.0472 inches at 100 yards. However, it is generally referred to as one inch at 100 yards, two inches at 200 yards, etc. The elevation and windage turrets on riflescopes generally correlate with MOA. Most scopes are made to adjust MOA at 1/4 MOA for each click.
The reticle can be simply cross hairs, mil dots or cross hairs with a set of smaller lines to compensate for bullet drop.
12. Bullet Drop Compensators
A system that is able to adjust a riflescope to compensate for the drop of a bullet caused by gravity at different ranges so the person does not need to hold-under or hold-over while he or she is aiming.
The riflescope reviews discussed above are just a small cross section of the gun scope reviews provided on this website. Take your time to read the reviews and discover which riflescope will best fit your needs.
Also, the Ultimate Riflescope Comparison Guide provides an extensive list of the gun scopes that can fit your needs. The guide provides an interactive list of features to help you find the right scope. Please visit that page for more information.
Now it’s Time to Make a Choice
Now that you have spent your valuable time learning about each scope’s features and reviewed our top picks, it’s time for you to choose the best riflescope that meets your needs and is within your budget to provide with the right equipment needed for a successful hunting season.
As you know, new models of riflescopes are being manufactured each year. Because of this reason, the comparison guide will be revised as new scopes are brought on the market for sale.