Ultimate Buyer's Guide to Rifle Scopes; Selection, Set up, Use

Top 5 most popular best sellers on Amazon

 
Selection
Set-Up
Use

The scopes in this section are the top 5 biggest sellers on Amazon.  This means that of all the scopes offered on Amazon more people decided to purchase these.  All had a consumer rating of 4.5 or better on Amazon's 1-5 rating scale with 5 being the best.  They also had the highest number of ratings by consumers who actually purchased them.  You can purchase any of these scopes with high degree of confidence they will meet your needs.

#1 Best Seller - ATN night vision
  • Ultra HD Sensor - Ultra HD 4K Sensor with our Obsidian 4 Dual Core Processor brings you cutting edge technology with higher resolution, faster optics, and millions of vivid colors

  • Ballistic Calculator - Hunt responsibly by making sure your shot hits the target Each and Every time. Range, Wind, Multiple-Weapon Profile, Angle to target, Temperature, Humidity, Plus more. Helps you determine exact ballistics for expert long-range shots

  • Dual Stream Video Recording - You asked and we listened X-Sight 4K PRO not only Streams Video to your mobile device at HD resolution and can simultaneously Record to the SD card inside

  • Night Vision Mode - The X-Sight 4K PRO offers an Enhanced HD Night Vision Mode. Don't let the darkness slow you down

  • Ultra Low Power Profile - No more worries about your batteries dying in the field. At 18+ hours of Continuous operation the X-Sight 4K will last as long as you do.Operating Temperature:-20°F to +120°F / -28°C to 48°C

  • RAV (Recoil Activated Video) - takes care of all your worries. Just relax and focus on your game and let the Obsidian Core do the heavy lifting. This scope will automatically start to record a video before and after you take a shot

#2 Best Seller - Vortex Viper HS-T
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  • Magnifiction 4-16x44, others available

  • Reticle - VMR-1 MOA

  • Very good resolution and color fidelity

  • Turrets - adjustable

  • Zero return stop

  • Side parallax adjustment

  • One piece sealed tube, argon purged, or ring sealed

  • water proof 

  • fogproof

#3 Best Seller - Athlon Argos BTR 6-24 x 50
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  • First focal plane reticle stays valid at all power settings allowing you to fully utilize the specially designed reticle that shrinks or grows along with your target as you zoom in or out.

  • Advanced Fully Multi-Coated lenses gives you better light transmission to bring optimum brightness and true color across the entire light spectrum.

  • Reticle etched on the glass that provides excellent backing support for complex reticle design and offers great durability and much higher shock resistance to recoil

  • The 6061T6 aircraft grade aluminum tube that has exceptional strength and superior mechanical integrity will protect these world class optics no matter what punishment you throw at it

  • Argon purging gives you better waterproofing and thermal stability

#4 Best Seller - UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster 
  • BEWARE OF COUNTERFEIT PRODUCTS SHIPPED DIRECTLY FROM CHINA

  • 1 Inch Tube with Emerald Coating for Maximum Light Transmission, Premium Zero Lockable & Resettable Turrets with 1/4 MOA Per Click Adjustment

  • Range Estimating Mil-dot Reticle for Optimal Aiming and Shooting Performance, Adjustable Objective from 3 Yards to Infinity

  • Red/Green Dual Illumination for Versatile Applications, Large Field of View and Most Accommodating Eye Relief for Optimum Critical CQB Mission

  • Complete with 2" Sunshade, High Quality Flip-open Lens Caps and Quick-detachable Rings

  • Built on True Strength Platform, Completely Sealed and Nitrogen Filled, Shockproof, Fog proof and Rainproof

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#5 Best Seller - Vortex Crossfire II 6-24x50 
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  • The 6-24x50 Adjustable Objective Crossfire II riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The Dead-Hold BDC reticle is good for hunting/shooting at varying ranges where estimating holdover is a concern.

  • The adjustable objective provides image focus and parallax removal to the shooter while anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses provide bright and clear views.

  • With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box, you'll be able to quickly get a sight picture and acquire your target. The fast focus eyepiece allows quick and easy reticle focusing.

  • Capped reset turrets are finger adjustable with MOA clicks that can be reset to zero after sighting in.

  • A single piece tube constructed from aircraft grade aluminum ensures strength and shockproof performance. O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, the Crossfire II delivers waterproof and fog proof performance.

Top 5 - Top of the Line

 

The scopes in this category are the top of the line optics offered anywhere.  They are designed and built for those demanding the ultimate performance from their optics.  For short range precision or long range competition these scopes are the ultimate choices.  All have superior glass delivering crystal clear imaging and light gathering ability.  Of course these features don't come without a price.  This group is the most expensive out of all scopes featured in this guide.

#1 Top of the Line - Swarovski Z8i 2.3-18x56 
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Only a high-luminosity rifle scope like the Z8i 2.3-18x56 P with 4A-I Reticle can deliver the crucial details even in poor light conditions and at twilight. This rifle scope therefore has excellent optics that delivers razor-sharp images even in challenging situations.

 

The high magnification and detail accuracy also deliver impressive precision over long distances. The illuminated Z8i 2.3-18x56 P L stands out for its high light transmission, especially when hide hunting at twilight.

 

The magnification of up to 18x provides the details required for precise long-range shooting. Features: Perfect for poor light conditions at twilight & nbsp; Delivers razor-sharp image

Price at time of writing $3,339

#2 Top of the Line - Tangent Theta 5-25x56

Price at time of writing $4,733

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The turrets on this scope are phenomenal and the standard which other scopes should be judged by. Perfectly tactile clicks, and tracking that is as perfect as it gets. You can crank on these turrets literally all day before setting them back to zero and your rifle will still be perfectly zeroed.

 

The re-zeroing of this scope is also as easy as it gets: no tools required, just loosen the center of the cap, lift the turret, set it to zero, then tighten back down the center cap. The zero stop on these turrets in .6 MRAD below your zero, which I actually like a lot because it means you can zero at 200 yards and then dial back to 100 if you do a lot of long range shooting and want to twist your knobs just a bit less compared to if you had a 100 yard zero.

The optical clarity is as good as it gets. No tunneling, no chromatic aberration, just a crisp and clear image. The 56mm aperture means that even indoors where there is generally low light (I've shot this at a 100 yard indoor range that usually gives scopes with magnification above 10 trouble due to low light) you can still see just fine.


 

#3 Top of the Line -PRG Defense Wolverine Pro 6 3NW Gen 3

Key Features

  • Easy to operate

  • Automatic brightness control

  • Adjustable projected reticle

  • Powered by 2 AA batteries

  • 60 hour continuous operation

  • Made in USA

Specifications

  • Image Intensifier Tube: Gen 3+ "White Phosphor"

  • Magnification: 6x

  • Objective lens: 178 mm

  • FOV: 5.7°

  • Focus range: 50m to infinity

  • Diopter adjustment: -5 to +2 dpt

  • Eye relief: 30 mm

  • Reticle color: Red

  • Infrared Illuminator: Detachable, long-range

  • Battery Type: 2 AA Batteries

  • Battery Life (Operating): Up to 60 hours at 20°C

  • Overall Dimensions: 317 x 107 x 107 mm (12.5" x 4.2" x 4.2")

  • Weight: 2.49 kg (5.8 lbs)

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Price at time of writing $4,630

#4 Top of the Line -Nightforce The BEAST 5-25x56mm F1
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  • 56MM OBJECTIVE LENS for maximum light transmission and a large field of view

  • FIRST FOCAL PLANE RETICLE grows and shrinks with magnification changes

  • TACTICAL MIL TURRETS for quick and easy windage and elevation adjustments

  • WATERPROOF AND FOGPROOF

  • ILLUMINATED MIL-C RETICLE for easy target acquisition in low-light conditions

Price at time of writing $4,100

#5 Top of the Line - Schmidt Bender 5-25x56 PM II
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  • 5-25x zoom magnification; 56mm objective lens; index-matched anti-reflection fully multicoated optics; 15.9-4.5 wide field of view at 100 yd

  • P4FL illuminated modified low-profile duplex ranging reticle

  • Equipped with MTC (More Tactile Clicks) function, which makes it easier for the shooter to count the necessary clicks when adjusting the reticle

  • 34mm one-piece aluminum main-tube; corrosion and scratch-resistant matte black anodized finish

  • Nitrogen-filled, fog and waterproof

Price at time of writing $3.395

 

Top 5 - Best Scopes Under $200

The under $200 category is definitely the low cost end of the rifle scope universe.  This doesn't mean you can't get a quality optic for this price but they are designed for a specific category of use.  Mostly for rimfire rifles or light recoil guns.  In order to keep the price down, manufacturers use less expensive components and simpler designs.  This doesn't mean that one of these scopes can't be used on a center fire rifle, but for this application, moving to the next category may deliver better results for you.  

Don't expect superior quality glass in this category.  At least not the quality you would get on a $2000 scope.  But for rimfires, these scopes are better than you would expect.  They are very clear out to 200 yards and beyond.

#1 under $500 - Vortex Optics Crossfire II 
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Price at time of writing $199.99

  • The 4-12x40 Adjustable Objective Crossfire II riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The Dead-Hold BDC reticle is good for hunting/shooting at varying ranges where estimating holdover is a concern

  • The adjustable objective provides image focus and parallax removal to the shooter while anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses provide bright and clear views

  • With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box, you'll be able to quickly get a sight picture and acquire your target. The fast focus eyepiece allows quick and easy reticle focusing

  • Capped reset turrets are finger adjustable with MOA clicks that can be reset to zero after sighting in

  • A single piece tube constructed from aircraft grade aluminum ensures strength and shockproof performance. O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, the Crossfire II delivers waterproof and fogproof performance

#2 Under $200 -Monstrum G2 6-24x50 FFP
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  • High precision tactical rifle scope with 6-24x magnification, a 50mm objective lens, and an eye relief of 4-4.5 inches

  • Functionally designed first focal plane rangefinder reticle, with easy-to-read ranging information that remains constant regardless of magnification, for faster range estimation and holdover correction

  • Equipped with an adjustable objective lens - or AO - that allows for sharper focus of the target image, elimination of parallax, and range estimation

  • Touch-button controlled reticle illumination in both red and green with multiple brightness intensities, for better reticle visibility at night or in low light in environments

  • Package also includes set of high profile picatinny scope rings, a detachable honeycomb filter sunshade, a set of spring loaded flip-up lens covers, a felt drawstring carrying bag, a lint free cleaning cloth, and one CR2032 3V battery

#3 under $200 - Tract 22 FIRE 4-12X40 Rimfire Scope w/T-Plex Reticle 
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  • This 4-12 scope matches the performance and innovation of the modern rimfire cartridge. Whether your at the range or small-game hunting the Fully Multi-Coated Optical System provides superior light transmission and edge to edge sharpness

  • The T-Plex reticle takes the standard Plex reticle to another level by eliminating the thick top vertical post, creating a cleaner field of view while still allowing your eye to quickly find the center crosshair for fast target acquisition.

  • Specifically designed Hand-Turn windage and elevation adjustments with precise, repeatable and audible 1/4" clicks at 50 yards are easily reset to zero without any tools, making sighting in or field adjustments quick and easy. 75 Yard Parallax setting makes it ideal for the Rimfire shooter to use effectively at high magnification

  • O-ring sealed and purged with Argon gas, making it completely waterproof and fogproof.

  • Lifetime Warranty - The TRACT Trust Assurance guarantees the functionality of the product for the duration of its lifetime regardless of whether you’re the original owner. No time limit applies and no paperwork is needed.

#4 under $200 - Monstrum G2 4-16x50 First Focal Plane 
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  • High precision tactical rifle scope with 4-16x magnification, a 50mm objective lens, and an eye relief of 4-4.5 inches

  • Functionally designed first focal plane mil-dot reticle, with easy-to-read ranging information that remains constant regardless of magnification, for faster range estimation and holdover correction

  • Equipped with an adjustable objective lens - or AO - that allows for sharper focus of the target image, elimination of parallax, and range estimation

  • Touch-button controlled reticle illumination in both red and green with multiple brightness intensities, for better reticle visibility at night or in low light in environments

  • Package also includes set of high profile picatinny scope rings, a detachable honeycomb filter sunshade, a set of spring loaded flip-up lens covers, a felt drawstring carrying bag, a lint free cleaning cloth, and one CR2032 3V battery

#5 under $200 - Monstrum G2 1-4x24 FFP with Illuminated BDC Reticle
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  • High precision tactical rifle scope with 1-4x magnification, a 24mm objective lens, and an eye relief of 4-4.5 inches

  • Functionally designed first focal plane rangefinder reticle, with easy-to-read ranging information that remains constant regardless of magnification, for faster range estimation and holdover correction

  • Dial controlled reticle illumination in both red and green with multiple brightness intensities, for better reticle visibility at night or in low light in environments

  • Aircraft grade aluminum construction with a 30mm sealed, nitrogen charged tube for resistance to water and fog

  • Package also includes set of medium profile picatinny scope rings, a detachable honeycomb filter sunshade, a set of spring loaded flip-up lens covers, a felt drawstring carrying bag, a lint free cleaning cloth, and one CR2032 3V battery

Top 5 - Best Scopes Under $500

 

The under $500 and under $1000 categories are where most of us stay with out optics purchases.  There are some outstanding scopes in this category beginning with the Athlon FFP below.  There are a lot of features on these scopes that used to be available only on top of the line optics.   These scopes will accommodate whatever application you need....both rimfires, centerfires, up to the big high-recoiling magnums and stay on zero.  This category has very good quality glass and can definitely take you out to between 500 and 100 yards.

#1 under $500 - Athlon Optics , Argos BTR 8-34 x 56 First Focal Plane
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  • First focal plane reticle stays valid at all power settings allowing you to fully utilize the specially designed reticle that shrinks or grows along with your target as you zoom in or out.

  • Advanced Fully Multi-Coated lenses gives you better light transmission to bring optimum brightness and true color across the entire light spectrum.

  • Reticle etched on the glass that provides excellent backing support for complex reticle design and offers great durability and much higher shock resistance to recoil

  • The 6061T6 aircraft grade aluminum tube that has exceptional strength and superior mechanical integrity will protect these world class optics no matter what punishment you throw at it

  • Argon purging gives you better waterproofing and thermal stability.Water Resistance Level:IPX-7

#2 pick under $500 - Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x50mm
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  • Model #170704 - VX-3i 45-14x50mm with Duplex reticle and Matte finish

  • 100% Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof

  • DiamondCoat 2 - Ion-assist lens coating for higher light transmission and the greatest level of abrasion resistance

  • Precision 1/4 MOA finger click adjustments for windage and elevation offer absolute repeatability and dependability over a lifetime of extreme use

  • Made with 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum and punisher tested to guarantee a lifetime of performance even under harshest recoil

#3 pick under $500 - Nikon X1000 MRAD Reticle 4-16x50
  • Specialized reticles and adjustment Systems in Black x1000 are glass-etched mrad or MOA tactical-style Variants with illuminated option

  • Full multilayer coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces. Field of View : 6.8 -27.2 ft @ 100 yds

  • Each of the Riflescopes in this series features a turret-mounted side focus Parallax adjustment to enable fine-tuning of the sight image without changing shooter's position

  • Consistent Eye relief keeps your brow safe, while the exposed turrets are engraved for maximum readability while offering smooth, repeatable adjustments

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