Hunting Gear

9 Best Rifle Scopes Reviews and Buying Guide of 2021

Hunters know that being skilled with a rifle is not the only important aspect of hunting. Hunting optics improve the odds of success in finding game throughout the terrain, and hunters want every advantage they can get.

Hunters can vastly improve their long-distance shooting accuracy by purchasing hunting optics including scopes, binoculars, and other optical equipment. Hunting optics can be purchased at sporting goods stores, online, and auction web sites such as Amazon and eBay.

When firearms first came into being, shooters would have done anything for a way to more accurately hit their targets from farther distances. Nowadays, we can do just that.

A high-quality rifle scope will be able to improve your distance, range, and accuracy while also improving the success of your hunting trip overall. 

Type of Rifle Scope

Some people might confuse between gun sight with rifle scope, and the difference of two things is the rifle scope has magnification level while the gun sight is not. There are serveal types of rifle scope that is sorted by the type of aiming sights listed below:

  • Open sights: shooters are required to line up the two sights in order to targeting a object. The rear sight often has the shape of V or U, and the front sight is a vertical projection.
  • Aperture sights: almost the same as open sights, but it use a ring instead of rear sight like open sights. You also have to line up the front sight and the ring while aiming at your targets.
  • Red dot sights: a red dot or a other color of illuminated reticle at the top of the picture.
  • Laser sights: is a laser beams will target on the objects.

Which one is right for you? Continue reading and we’ll walk you through the best rifle scopes of 2020. 

Top-Rated Rifle Scope On The Market

Since you might become overwhelmed by thousands of Scopes models and brands, and not all products offer same term in their quality, features, and using ability. If you intend to choose a scope randomly, you might pick the product which might not meet your needs. The list below will somehow ends up this wasting money thing. You would better consider one of the scopes in the list rather than take the risk of losing money and get disappointment.

1. Vortex Optics Diamondback

The Vortex Optics Diamondback is the perfect scope for hunting big game. Use it with a slug shotgun, muzzleloader, and long-range applications. This scope comes with a 40mm objective lens and will give you a 4 to 12x magnification.

The fully multi-coated on these lenses offers crystal clear and bright images no matter what lighting conditions you’re under. This scope also sports metal-on-metal precision turrets. These turrels provide allow you to zero-reset after you sight-in.

The precision glide erector system of the Vortex Optics Diamondback will make sure that you get accurate repeatability and tracking. It will do all this while the fast focus viewfinder will give you easy and quick reticle focusing. 

2. Nikon Buckmasters II

The Nikon Buckmasters II is the preferred rifle scope among deer hunters. You’re going to get a 40mm objective lens and a 9x magnification with this scope. This also has a fully multi-coated lens and the scope come with a patented BDC (1) reticle.

You’ll also get consistent eye relief which is always helpful. The Nikon Buckmasters II is also fog proof, shockproof, and waterproof. It’s also going to give you a truly bright sight picture.

And the BDC reticle provides see-through ballistic circles that offer a helpful advantage for people who are shooting long ranges. And, when you’re shooting at shorter ranges, it still allows for a normal sight picture. 

3. Nikon P-223

The Nikon P-223 is meant to keep your brow safe. It does this even if you’re using lightweight rifles, heavy recoiling cartridges, and intense shooting angles.

Like the previous objective lenses, this one is 40mm. The magnification on this scope ranges from 3 to 9x. This scope is also fog proof and waterproof. 

You’ll get a BDC 600 reticle that provides shooters with hash marks from 50 to 550 yards and unique, open-circle aiming points. This scope also sports positive-click reticle adjustments. This will allow you to more quickly zero in and keep your setting even if you experience repeated recoil.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Waterproof, fog proof and shockproof.
  • Lightweight at 1.1 pounds only.
  • Can be used within 600 to 700 yards due to optimal resolution coverage.

Cons

  • Works better on a modern riffle.
  • Lacks any kind of parallax adjustment.

4. UTG BugBuster

The UTG BugBuster is going to meet any shooting needs that you have. The objective lens comes in at 32mm. And the magnification ranges from 3 to 9x.

The scope’s one-inch tub is emerald coated. This is going to give you the optimal transmission of light. And the turrets are resettable and lockable and provide 1/4 MOA per click adjustment. 

The UTG BugBuster also sports a mil-dot reticle. This reticle accurately estimates range so you’ll get accurate aiming as well as shooting execution. The scope also has green/red dual illumination. 

Plus, there’s accommodating eye relief as well as a large field of view. 

5. Leupold VX-2

The Leupold VX-2 is a rifle scope that has an objective lens size of 40mm. It’s also capable of magnification of 9x. The scope is also completely fog proof and waterproof so it can be used in all sorts of conditions. 

The 1/4 MOA precision finger click adjustments on this scope for elevation and windage will provide you with reliability and repeatability for the rest of your shooting career.

This rifle scope also comes with DiamondCoat lens coatings. These coatings are on the exterior of the lens surfaces and they’re extremely helpful against abrasion. Plus, there’s also a handy zoom erector system on the Leupold VX-2.

6. Nikon ProStaff Riflescope (BDC)

Whether target shooting has become a new pastime for you or you have suddenly developed an eternal love for extreme sports, in either case, if you are a rifle owner, then the Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 50 going to be your favorite buddy for a long time. Its magnification and BDS reticle let you shoot in all conditions varying from long range to short with impeccable precision and accuracy.

The Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 50 is perfect for long range shots because it provides optimal coverage and wide magnification with a 50mm lens. The range for magnification varies between heavy timber and open prairies thus allowing you to enjoy long range shots as per your convenience. 

This budget friendly rifle scope comes with fully functioning multi coated 50mm lenses that guarantee a brighter high resolution optical field with 98% enhanced light transmission throughout the day as well as in the night. 

Nikon has instilled the zero reset system that allows for easy adjustment. The ¼ MOA click adjustments etc. you make adjustments with the spring loaded adjustment knob according to your desired preferences even with strong recoil.

This product comes fully equipped with a patented BDC reticle that improves the precision and accuracy during game hunting. The parallax setting further helps enhance this trait of the BDC reticle allowing you to take aim from as far as 150 yards.

This scope also works with Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology so you’ll get incredible accuracy every time. 

Pros

  • Full Lifetime Warranty
  • Sun shade adaptable
  • User friendly and easy to use.
  • Convenient for long range shooting.

Cons

  • A little heavier than its counterparts at 13.8 pounds.
  • The parallax setting set at 50 yards which may make the image blurry when shooting at a short distance.

7. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T

The Vortex Optics Viper HS-T rife scope is built to give you holds that are accurate, even at far distances. The objective lens is a whopping 50mm and the magnification ranges from 6 all the way to 24x. 

With this scope, you’ll get fully multi-coated, high-quality, extra-low dispersion lenses. That’s going to provide you with beautiful color and resolution. 

You’ll also appreciate the target-style turrets on this scope. They are built in such a way that you’ll get repeatable and accurate finger-adjustable clicks every time. And the fast-focus eyepiece is going to provide reticle adjustments in just a matter of seconds. 

The one-piece construction of this scope makes it great for target shooting, hunting, and other tactical applications. Plus, it’s fog proof and waterproof. 

It would be great on one of the many firearms from RKB Armory.

8. LUCID HD7 Gen III (HD7)

A quality ensured optic like the LUCID HD7 is well received by recreational hobby shooters as well as law enforcement agencies. Its array of remarkable features makes this rifle scope an irresistible product in the market and especially amongst its many competitors.

With 4 different options for reticles and 2 operational modes, the LUCID HD7 is a great addition to a standard firearm.

The LUCID HD7 comes with ½ MOA windageelevation adjustments on all external turrets so the user can easily set the rifle scope according to their preferences. The turrets perform adequately and precisely with a audible click thus zeroing in according to the rifle attached.

Compared to the many other rifle scopes in the market, the LUCID HD7 gives the user the option of 4 different reticles. These reticles function upon 2 operational modes, the manual and auto brightness mode.

The latter increases and decreases the brightness according to the environment through an automatic light sensor. Hence, zeroing in clearly on the target is not an issue.

Pros

  • Automatic brightness and adjustment features.
  • Parallax free.
  • Lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • Windage and elevation adjustment require a screwdriver or coin.
  • Bulky design.
  • Reticle projector originally placed on the left but tends to disappear if eye is moved any closer.

9. Vortex Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm Riflescopes

If you are looking for a rifle scope which is best known for muzzleloader, long range, target, big game, and slug, then the Diamondback 4-12x40mm will definitely catch your eye in the market.

This tough hardwearing riffle scope is fully functional in the toughest and roughest conditions with its many features which help you take a perfect clear shot.

The Diamondback 4-12x40mm by Vortex embodies high quality, precision and durability. Its added features of effective resistance to fog and water with clear optical vision in varying weathers only further enhance this rifle scope’s standing in the market.

Therefore, if these are the features you are looking for in addition to the great price of $180, then the Diamondback 4-12 x 40 mm is the perfect option for you.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • User friendly.
  • Water and fog proof.
  • VIP lifetime warranty.
  • Applicable to most AR riffles.

Cons

  • Resetting of turrets may require a coin or screw.
  • May take some time to regulate the eye relief system.

The Importance of Knowing About the Best Rifle Scopes of 2020

There’s nothing quite like looking through a crystal clear and comfortable scope. But with so many options out there, it’s important that you know about the best rifle scopes available before picking one. So take your time and make sure that you find the one that fits your shooting style best. 

Are you looking for more helpful shooting articles? Check out the rest of our blog today! 

Select the Right Hunting Optics Features

All hunting optics share several features and measurements. Before making a purchase, the hunter should become familiar with what all the terminology and numbers mean.

Understand Hunting Optics Basics

Hunters have a variety of hunting optics choices, from those that mount on a rifle to those that a hunter holds in their hand, or those that secure on a tripod. Some of the brands one may come across while shopping include, Leupold, Zeiss, Swarovski, Bushnell, ATN, and Nikon.

Before purchasing hunting optics, hunters should consider magnification, lens diameter, and optic quality.
 

FeaturePurpose
MagnificationThe right magnification is essential for the job.Most optics list two numbers separated by an “x.” The first number represents the magnification.
Lens DiameterThe second number after the x represents the diameter of the outer lens in millimeters.The larger the outer lens, the more area is seen, which makes scanning for game simpler.Lens diameter also affects the brightness of the image by letting more or less light into the optic device.
Optic QualityThe optic quality refers to the clarity and brightness of the optic.Hunters should search for optics with the clearest and brightest images possible.


After the hunter evaluates the hunting needs, hee should choose an optic that will best fit his hunting experience.

Type of Hunting

What is hunted and how one hunts will determine in part the specific hunting optic needs. Use the chart below to determine which optic is suitable for hunting needs.
 

Hunting TypeOptic
Long DistanceConsider a scope or binoculars with plenty of magnification and sizable objective lens diameter.
Close to Medium RangeLaser scopes are beneficial for close to medium range shooting.
Close CoverSelect a scope with a wide field-of-view if the hunter needs to quickly zero in on a target in close cover.
Eye ReliefPick a scope with a good amount of eye relief for targets that move quickly. Eye relief is also an important consideration for people who wear eyeglasses or sunglasses.


Each hunter should first assess which type of hunting he/she plans to do most often. After deciding on the type of hunting, one should use the chart above in considering the options for hunting optics. Hunters should consider which magnification is best for their situation. If the hunter plans to hunt at various ranges, consider an optic with various features.

Magnification

Magnification indicates how much closer a viewed object will appear compared to the naked eye. This can be a fixed number (7x) or a variable one (such as 3.510x, which is what a Leupold VX 3 rifle scope will offer). Most rifle scopes will feature variable power.

Objective Lens Diameter

Also referred to as aperture, objective lens diameter is measured in millimeters. The larger the number, the larger the size of the lens. Most hunting scopes have objective lenses that range from 40mm to 50mm. Magnification and objective lens size are the most prominent features of a hunting optic, and thus are usually included in the products name. For example, a Zeiss Conquest 3-9 x 50 rifle scope magnifies an object three to nine times closer, and has an objective lens diameter of 50mm.

Field-of-View

Measured in feet, field-of-view is the size of an area that can be viewed at 1,000 yards. A larger number means a wider area can be viewed, while a smaller number means the viewable area will be narrower.

Exit Pupil

The exit pupil, or the size of the beam of light that leaves the optic, can be calculated by dividing the diameter of the objective lens by the magnification. A larger exit pupil yields a brighter image.

Eye Relief

Eye relief, how far the scope can be held from the eye while still seeing the whole viewing field, is listed as a range. Hunters are usually satisfied with eye relief of 3 to 4 inches.

Lighting Conditions

When lighting conditions are not ideal, hunting optics can make the difference between a clear shot and a missed opportunity. Hunters should consider the time of day in which they will be hunting to decide which optic suits their hunting needs.
 

LightConsideration
Low-lightA rifle scope accentuates the available light, so one can see better in low-light conditions, such as early morning and late day.
Minimal-lightMinimal light situations will be improved if there is an optic with a bigger objective lens and larger exit pupil.
DarkFor hunting in the dark, night-vision is a must. Be aware that night-vision is classified by generation, ranging from 1st generation (lowest image quality) to 4th generation (best image quality).

Weather Conditions

Of course, weather is an uncontrollable factor. However, purchasing scopes or binoculars that are waterproof, fog-proof, and feature a high level of lens coating will be beneficial when there is inconvenient weather.

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