Best Rifle Scope Reviews 2017 | A Complete Guide to Riflescopes

Rifle scopes are used for assisting riflemen to see farther and take shots more precisely. For people involved in long-range shooting and hunting, the rifle scope is an unavoidable piece of equipment.The importance of purchasing the best rifle scope is often not considered by novice hunters while they are buying the equipment. While they spend time researching the best rifle and spend thousands of dollars purchasing a good rifle, the rifle scope should also be paid attention to for several reasons.

Best Rifle Scope

It is true that most of the time, the quality of the rifle scope matters more than the quality of the rifle itself. A hunter or shooter can hit a target even with a mediocre gun if he or she uses the best rifle scope. Similarly, a hunter or a shooter using a poor scope with even the most accurate rifle will have trouble hitting the target.

So If you are thinking about to buy a rifle scope then we are here to give you the complete idea about rifle scope and the the best guide and reviews which will help you to choose the best one among all of the scopes which are available in the market.

Different Types of Rifle Scopes

Rifle scopes are different than gun sights as they are more sophisticated and are able to zoom in for more precision. Some people may find rifle scopes and gun sights confusing and similar, but the rule of thumb is to remember that rifle scopes always provide a certain level of magnification while the gun sight doesn’t. However, both devices are designed to help the shooter take a good aim at the target. While some scopes are very simple, others may use lenses and other sophisticated technology for precision and accuracy.

For example, open and aperture scopes only use lenses and rings to help the hunter take a better aim. On the other hand, there are more sophisticated rifles scopes available such as the red dot ones or the laser ones. These scopes project a red dot on top of the target’s image or a laser beam on the target for better aim.

The type of rifle scopes also depend on the magnification degree as a more sophisticated rifle scope will have a better magnification range.

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Rifle Scope

The effectiveness of rifle scopes is illustrated by the fact that very few rifles are factory equipped with iron sights. Whether you use your rifle for military purpose or recreational hunting, a rifle scope can significantly enhance your shooting performance and should always be a welcome addition. Since these scopes allow us to see the targets clearly and aim precisely, they are widely used, and a large number of scopes are available on the market. To not feel overwhelmed by all of the different features associated with these scopes, it is important to consider several important things before going out to buy the best rifle scope.

Optical Power

The most important feature of every scope is its optical magnification power. The scope’s magnification establishes the limits of its usefulness. A larger magnification number is not always good news as a hunter in a thick forest will struggle to make the shot with a 32x rifle scope. Similarly, for a 1000yd bench rest shooter, using a 4x scope will be equally useless. Basically, optimal magnification is subjective to the given task, and it is important to remember that lower magnifications allow for more intuitive and faster shooting as well as it makes target tracking easier.

Similarly, scopes with larger magnification power will deliver greater target resolution, but these scopes are larger and heavier and can be difficult to use.

Objective Lens Size

After you have decided how much magnification you need, you will have to decide on the required size of the objective lens. Basically, the objective lens transmits ambient light to focus it onto the target’s image. Larger objective lens obviously means more transmitted light, and that translates to clearer and brighter images. Larger objective lenses are normally paired with higher magnification ranges and doing so makes perfect sense as it is only at the magnification of 12x and above that you can clearly see the difference between a 40mm and 50mm objective.

For brightness and clarity, large objective lenses are obviously a better choice, but they also have certain drawbacks. For example, larger objective lenses need to be mounted higher, which can lead to issues such as maintaining proper cheek weld and negatively impacting the shooting ability. This can be easily compensated, however, by purchasing a cheek riser. Nevertheless, you can’t compensate for the size and weight of the scope if you use a larger objective as it is going to be bulky and heavy.

Types of Reticles

There are different reticle patterns available, ranging from a simple center dot to a complex grid pattern. These are the three most commonly used types of reticles that are worth discussing at this level.

  • Duplex Reticle: It is the most common type and can be characterized by a thin crosshair at the center that gets thicker in the outer areas of the scope. If you are imagining looking through a rifle scope, you are probably thinking of a duplex reticle. The biggest advantage of this reticle is that it will naturally focus the eye towards the scope’s center. Another advantage is that thick outer bars of the reticle help in low light conditions. This type of reticle is commonly used in scopes designed for target shooting and hunting.
  • Mil Dot Reticle: Although it is based on the duplex reticle, the mil dot reticle has some subtle enhancements to the design. The spacing and size of the dots along the lines of reticle correspond to angles measured specifically in mil-radians. Its biggest advantage is its ability to determine the range of a target if the size is known. It can also be used to make fast and intuitive adjustments depending on the wind and elevation. It is standard for law enforcement and military snipers and is recommended for rifles that are being used beyond 300yds.
  • BDC Reticle: BDC, short for Bullet Drop Compensator, is one of the most popular reticles available. It can be used for accurate and precise shooting over several different ranges without any adjustments required in the elevation setting of the scope. This design achieves this feat by incorporating several aiming points corresponding to specific target distances into the pattern of the reticle. They have more utility than the simpler duplex reticle but may not be available for every cartridge.

Scope Adjustment

The main question here is whether you should choose MOA or MRAD as those two are the commonly used measurement systems for scope adjustment.

MOA, short for Minute of Angle, technically means 1/60th part of a single angular degree. However, it is commonly associated with inches as 1 MOA corresponds to 1 inch at a 100yd distance. One advantage of MOA adjustment is that it gives more precise zeroing than MRAP scopes as MOA increments are smaller. It is also possible to make fine adjustments even at long range.

Best Rifle Scope Guide

MRAD, short for mil radian, is thousandth part of a radian and it is approximately about 3.6 inches at 100yd. The measurement may seem awkward, but it leads to simpler adjustments. This is due to the fact that a reticle in mil radian rifle scopes is used as a ruler. Although it is favored by most long-range shooters, MRAD adjustment is only available on mil reticle scopes.

Focal Plane

Modern rifle scopes also offer the choice of at least two different positions for the reticle i.e. first focal plane and second focal plane or FFP and SFP. Most scopes use SFP reticle, which means that as the magnification level changes, the reticle stays the same in relation to the overall size of the image. In short, it helps present a consistent and clear sight picture at different magnification levels. FFP scopes are better suited for long range shooting.

Parallax

Parallax in rifle scopes occurs when the head is moved slightly, and the reticle seems to change its position slightly in relation to the position of the target. When the scope is unable to focus on the target, it can lead to parallax. While most low magnification rifle scopes are parallax free only at a specific distance, the higher magnification scopes (12x and more) feature a parallax correction knob, also known as side focus.

 Best Rifle Scope Comparison Table 

There are several features that determine the usefulness and quality of a rifle scope, and analyzing these features and specs gives us the best rifle scope. The top five picks in rifle scopes will help pick out the best rifle scope based on the hunter’s requirements.

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight RifleScope
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot review

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In dim conditions, nothing works better than a red dot scope to get accuracy and fast target acquisition. And when it comes to red dots, Bushnell is the leader. With its TRS-25 red dot scope, the hunters will be able to use state of the art Amber-Bright optics to distinguish quickly and aim better.

The scope’s multicoated optics is designed to perform well in low-light conditions so that the hunter can easily spot the target. Its full-proof water, fog and shock protection construction and the dry-nitrogen-filled housing make it one of the best riflescopes on the market. The scope relies on the CR2032 battery for its flawless performance.

Features at a Glance

  • 25mm trophy red dot for precision.
  • Easy target acquisition with the red dot.
  • 3 MOA; dot-reticle.
  • The front lens is tinted amber.
  • High contrast lens coating helps in low light conditions.
  • Tilted front lens of the scope reflects the LED light to create the red dot.
  • The LED light source for the red dot is secured inside the scope with an adhesive.
  • The parallax free design means there is no need for centering.
  • Low power consumption and reduced size.
  • Unlimited eye relief.

Being one of the top rifle scopes, the Bushnell TRS-25 offers tons of features that make it a product worth buying. It can be used with both eyes open and can provide faster target acquisition and increase the hunter’s awareness of the environment. The parallax free design ensures that the red dot follows the eye movement of the hunter while remaining fixed on its target. All these features and more are available at an affordable price. Furthermore, the high-quality of this rifle scope means it will serve you well reliably and you will not need another rifle scope anytime soon.

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UTG 3-9X32 Bug Buster Scope
utg bug buster 3-9x32 review

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When it comes to finding a rifle scope that can survive all environments and different weather conditions, there is no need to look any further than the UTG Bug Buster Riflescope. The UTG 3-9 Bug Buster scope is fully filled with nitrogen and completely sealed.

It offers dual illumination (red and green) as well as accommodating eye relief, which makes it one of the best scopes for shooters and hunters who find themselves in diverse environments. It also includes valuable accessories such as a 2-inch sunshade, quick detachable rings, quality flip open caps for the lens and more.

Features at a Glance

  • The scope is fully filled with pure nitrogen and completely sealed.
  • It is shockproof as well as weatherproof including protection from fog and rain.
  • One-inch tube with an emerald coating that gives maximum light transmission.
  • Premium lockable and resettable turrets.
  • ¼ MOA per click adjustment available.
  • Range estimating and mil-dot reticle for optimum aim and shooting performance and accuracy.
  • The adjustable objective from 3yd to infinity.
  • Dual red and green illumination for varying applications.
  • Large field of view as well as the most accommodating eye relief.
  • Built on the True Strength platform.
  • Heavy duty rings (medium profile, saddle height 15mm) are included with the scope.
  • The rings are secured with fully adjustable and quick detach lever locks.
  • Accessories such as removable rings, sunshade, and the flip open lens caps are also included.

For varied applications and diverse environments, this is one of the top rated rifle scopes that has all the features that a hunter needs to improve their aim and accuracy and hit targets with maximum precision. It is durable and reliable and offers multiple features that make it very effective in extreme weather conditions as well.

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Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x40 Black Matte Riflescope
nikon prostaff 3-9x40 bdc review

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For a superior hunting experience at an affordable price, the ProStaff 3-9 x 40 rifle scope by Nikon is one of the best scopes available. Featuring Nikon’s latest multicoated optical system and the innovative adjustment technologies, the ProStaff 3-9 is fully tried and tested and ready for the field. With features such as the zero-reset turret, patented BDC reticle, 3.6-inch of eye relief and much more, the scope offers the best hunting experience.

Features at a Glance

  • The rifle scope is compact and offers 3x to 9x magnification with a 40mm objective lens.
  • Fully multicoated optical system by Nikon transmits up to 98 percent of the available light for maximum brightness throughout the day and night.
  • Zero-reset turret with a spring-loaded adjustment knob simplifies the field adjustments.
  • Nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed housing of the scope ensures a fog proof and waterproof performance.
  • BDC reticle allows the hunters to hold dead on, even at exceedingly high ranges.
  • BDC’s see-through and unique ballistic circles offer an advantage during long-range shooting.
  • The ballistic circles also offer normal picture during short-range shots as the crosshair itself works as an aiming point.
  • Quick-focus eyepiece that measures 12.4inches.
  • Wide field of view is available for when working in a thick forest.
  • 6-inch of constant eye relief to boost the confidence level of the shooter.

This riflescope ensures that there is no more kickback from the lightweight rifles, heavy recoiling cartridges, severe shooting angles or just plain excitement. A wide field of view makes life easier when hunting in thick bushes or timber. With features that are designed to work in bright, dusty or rainy conditions, the rifle scope offers enough power for taking the longest shots and it comes with a lifetime warranty.

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Nikon ProStaff 4-12x40 Black Matte RifleScope
nikon prostaff 4-12x40 bdc review

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The ProStaff 4-12 is of the same series as Nikon’s 3-9, but it improves on several features to deliver a more powerful rifle scope. While in terms of performance, both rifle scopes by Nikon are powerful, the slight increase in the 4-12’s features gives it a slight edge. Like the ProStaff 3-9, this rifle scope provides a superior hunting experience at a very affordable price.

The rifle scope features the multicoated optical system for maximum illumination as well as the innovative adjustment technology that makes the Nikon ProStaff series one of the best in the market.

A glance at its features will show that the Nikon ProStaff 4-12 rifle scope means business.

Features at a Glance

  • The rifle scope is compact and offers 4x to 12x magnification using a 40mm objective lens.
  • Nikon’s fully multicoated optical system transmits up to 98% of the available light to give maximum brightness throughout.
  • The zero-reset turret also features a spring-loaded adjustment knob that helps simplify the field adjustments.
  • O-ring sealed and nitrogen filled housing of the scope make sure that the riflescope delivers a waterproof and fog proof performance throughout.
  • The BDC reticle allows the shooter to hold the “dead on”, even when shooting at exceedingly high ranges.
  • The BDC’s see-through, unique ballistic circles offer the shooter an advantage during long-range shooting.
  • The ballistic circles also deliver a normal picture during short-range shots.
  • The quick-focus eyepiece measures about 14.1-inch.
  • Wide field of view is available to get an advantage in different environments.
  • 7-inch of constant eye relief.

This rifle scope in the Nikon ProStaff series is designed to brave all conditions as it can work in rainy, bright and dusty conditions easily, and its features come together greatly to deliver the perfect shooting experience with the rifle.

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Leupold VX-I Rifle Scope
leupold vx-1 review

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Combining exceptional workmanship with the latest technology, Leupold provides a clear and crisp rifle scope that delivers perfectly and is one of the best in its class and price range. Although it may be on the pricier end of the rifle scope market and may not fit everyone’s budget, for those who can afford it, the Leupold VX-I riflescope is a great purchase that comes with a lifetime warranty and delivers the best features and performance.

The scope has all the right features and uses the equipment parts of the highest quality. For high quality, accuracy, and long-term performance, the VX-I is a very powerful scope.

Features at a Glance

  • Lifetime guarantee on the scope’s performance.
  • The standard multicoated lens system of the scope delivers an exceptional brightness, contrast and clarity, even in low lighting.
  • The scope features micro-friction windage.
  • Elevation adjustment dials are marked in the increments of ¼ MOA.
  • The scope offers magnification of 3x to 9x with the objective lens of 40mm.
  • Eye relief of up to 3.7-inch is provided by the scope.
  • Elevation adjustment and windage adjustment range is up to 59 MOA.

Being one of the best brands in the riflescope business, Leupold offers the best shooting experience with its VX-I rifle scope that has all the right features of a powerful and useful rifle scope. Whether it is the multicoated lens that offers maximum illumination and brightness or the eye relief of up to 3.7-inch, the rifle scope ensures a consistent and rewarding shooting experience.

Although it may not be as affordable as the rifle scopes of other brands, the lifetime guarantee of the scope means you do not have to worry about the product’s quality or durability as it will last you for a long time to come.

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Final Verdict

The importance of using the best rifle scope has been made clear to you as it can be essential to the success of your next hunting or shooting trip. It improves accuracy and helps you take precision shots to improve your shooting skills and become a professional at the game of hunting.

These best five rifle scopes were selected after thorough a huge research and analysis based on their features, price, quality, and performance. Our main motive is to provide you with a comprehensive list of rifle scopes to choose from, based on your budget and requirements.

So, If you really want to buy the best rifle scope then choose any of them without any doubt. We give you the guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

If you have any questions or you want to add or remove the top 5 listing then contact with us. We will review your listings and add it to our website.

If you are interested in checking various types of rifle scope and have enough time then check this out: Rifle Scope By Brand

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