10 Of The Very Best Rifles Scopes – As Judged By An Ex Police Officer

by Ben Jackson
best rifle scopes review

Deciding on the next scope you should buy for your rifle can be a difficult choice to make. There are so many different varieties and just about as many price brackets. Buying anything online can be tricky, and maybe a little nerve-wracking verse going to a store and seeing products with your own eyes and touching the product with your hands.

Research, in general, is the best route before buying online if this is how you plan to select your next rifle scope.

The Top 6 Rifle Scopes You Should Consider

Bestseller No. 1
VT5.9-39X56FFP MOA Reticle First Focal Plane Riflescope, 35mm Tube Long Range Rifle Scope
  • High performance rifle scope with 5.9-39x magnification for mid to long distance shooting, with a 56mm objective diameter.
  • Glass etched reticle illumination in blue, red and green with multiple brightness intensities.
  • High performance rifle scope with 5.9-39x magnification for mid to long distance shooting. Reset turrets are finger adjustable with 1/8 MOA clicks.
  • Anodized 6061 aircraft grade aluminum alloy construction with a 35mm sealed, nitrogen charged tube for resistance to water and fog.
  • Superior Multi-Coated lenses for reduction of glare and reflection, while maximizing light transmission for ultimate image brightness and clarity from edge to edge.
Bestseller No. 2
Night Owl Optics NightShot Rifle Scope, Digital Night Vision Riflescope with IR illuminator, High Resolution, Weatherproof, Night Vision Rifle Scopes for Hunting
  • QUALITY BUILT AFFORDABLE NIGHT VISION: Made for the hunter and shooting enthusiast who wants to see in the dark at distances further than any night vision scope priced anywhere near the NightShot.
  • NEVER TOO DARK TO SEE: Built-in infrared illuminator illuminates the darkest nights. The optional IR850-NS High-Power Illuminator (not included) can mount directly to the NightShot for extreme...
  • ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, ANYTHING: The NightShot riflescope is a weatherproof scope designed to mount to most rail systems including Weaver, Picatinny and options for Dovetail mounting. Can be used on...
  • IMPRESSIVE TOOLS AND FEATURES: 3X magnification lens, focusing distance - 3M to infinity (10ft to infinity), built-in infrared, 3 different white or black reticle types to best suit the current...
  • THE RIGHT RIFLE SCOPE FOR YOUR PURPOSE AND BUDGET: NightShot night scopes for rifles have all you look for: lightweight, polymer construction, weatherproof, easy-to-operate, budget friendly and can be...
Bestseller No. 3
Primary Arms SLX 1-6x24mm SFP Rifle Scope Gen IV ACSS Nova Fiber Wire Reticle - Red Dot Bright and Deluxe 30mm Scope Mount Bundle
  • OPTIC: Fully Upgraded Optical System with Integrated Magnification Throw Lever
  • ACSS NOVA Fiber Wire Reticle
  • Magnification: 1x – 6x (Min – Max) , Focal Plane: SFP
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 24mm , Exit Pupil: 10.6mm – 3.8mm , Eye Relief: 4 in.
  • Total Windage/Elevation Adjustment: 120 MOA, Click Value: 0.1 MIL
Bestseller No. 4
Burris Fullfield IV 4-16x50mm Hunting Rifle Scope, 6.5 Creedmoor Reticle
  • popular and premium traditional hunting riflescope at an affordable price; high-grade optical glass provides excellent brightness and clarity with lasting durability
  • improved 4x zoom system with premium, multi-coated lenses for edge-to-edge clarity and low light performance; durable, integrated-eyepiece design has no-slip grip for easy adjustment in the field
  • sleek new design with finger adjustable turret knobs; wide selection of reticles for both hunting and long-distance target shooting
  • side parallax adjustment and focus as close as 10 yards allows for fine tuning for crisp views perfect for all platforms including rimfire and air guns; positive steel-on-steel adjustments assure...
  • nitrogen-filled 1-inch scope tube prevents fogging, even in cold and rain, and is waterproof; guaranteed by the burris forever warranty
Bestseller No. 5
Monstrum G3 10-40x56 First Focal Plane FFP Rifle Scope | Flat Dark Earth
  • High performance long range rifle scope with 10-40x magnification for mid to long distance shooting out to 500+ yards
  • Functionally designed first focal plane MOA reticle, with easy-to-read ranging information that remains constant regardless of magnification, for faster range estimation and holdover correction
  • Equipped with a parallax adjustment dial that allows for sharper focus of the target image, elimination of parallax, and range estimation
  • Inline dial controlled reticle illumination with multiple brightness intensities
  • Package also includes set of high profile picatinny scope rings, a detachable sunshade, a set of spring loaded flip-up lens covers, and one CR2032 3V battery
Bestseller No. 6
DISCOVERYOPT HD GEN-II 5-30x56 FFP First Focal Plane FFP Rifle Scope with Red Illuminated Reticle and Long Range, Zero Stop Hunting Scope
  • Rifle scopes upgraded optical systems and provide you with high brightness and ultimate clarity. 5-30 magnification with 56mm objective diameter and 34 mm tube size features 0.1MRAD click value...
  • Zero stop function will help zero. When you adjust Elevation& Windage to Zero, the button will stop at the Zero location prompting the user that the rifle scope is in the zero position.
  • Glass-etched First Focal Plane Red Illuminated Reticle could six-gear adjustment for easy targeting in all light conditions. The hunting scope comes with fully multi-coated optics to Anti-Reflective...
  • Parallax adjustment that allows for sharper focus of the target image, elimination of parallax, and range estimation. CO2 dry nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed. It is waterproof, fog-proof, and...
  • Package include: 1*rifle scope, 2*precision scope rings, 1*extinction tube, 1*silicone cover, 1*chamoIs cloth, 1*manual.
Bestseller No. 7
ATN Thor LT Thermal Rifle Scope w/10+hrs Battery & Ultra-Low Power Consumption
  • Advanced heat detection sensors allow you to see in total darkness, through dense fog, smoke and heavy vegetation
  • Lighter than an average scope, thus, it will make you feel more agile and your rifle balanced
  • Maximum performance with minimum power consumption
  • Package Dimensions: 14.8" L x 4.21" W x 3.07" H
Bestseller No. 8
Arken Optics EP5 5-25X56 Rifle Scope FFP VPR MIL Reticle with Zero Stop 34mm Tube
  • Arken Products are designed to combine quality, performance and precision with tremendous value. The EP5 5-25X56mm riflescope is incredibly versatile ideal for hunting and shooting training,
  • The EP is a FFP (First Focal Plane) optic that features Japanese ED glass to enhance clarity and minimize dispersion. Fully multi-coated lenses provide superior light transmission.
  • The Arken EP is outfitted with our AZS (Arken Zero Stop) and incorporates adjustable elevation and windage turrets with tactile and audible clicks. These turrets are 10 MIL/25 MOA per revolution.
  • Christmas-tree style reticle ensures subtensions are accurate throughout the mag range making it easy to measure and range targets.The fast focus eyepiece allows for easy reticle focusing
  • A single piece tube constructed from aircraft grade aluminum ensures strength and shockproof performance. O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, delivers waterproof and fogproof performance.
Bestseller No. 9
Burris Eliminator 4-16x50mm Laser Rangefinding Rifle Scope with Ballistic Calculator, Eliminator III
  • PRECISION SCOPE - Rely on the Eliminator to determine the distance of your target, factor your trajectory and illuminate the perfect holdover
  • MAKE HUNTING MORE EFFICIENT - Eliminate the extra variables and guesswork, and make your next hunt efficient and productive
  • LONG-DISTANCE RANGEFINDER - This laser rangefinder features 1, 200+ yards ranging capability, increasing the distance at which you can take an ethical shot
  • LASERSCOPE TO INCREASE ACCURACY - With precision, this laser scope will significantly extend the range and accuracy of your favorite gun
  • STATE-OF-THE-ART OPTICS - Count on the built-in inclinometer to prove accuracy in a variety of conditions, including shooting up or down steep hills
Bestseller No. 10
ATN X-Sight LTV 3-9x Day Night Hunting Rifle Scope , Black
  • QHD+ Sensor ensures a crystal clear image quality at any time and distance; combined with an HD screen and comfortable 3" eye relief.
  • Night Vision mode delivers enhanced and rapid target acquisition in complete darkness.
  • Video Records footage of your hunting pursuits in razor-sharp 720P quality for your future viewing pleasure.
  • One Shot Zero- allows for a fast and easier sight-in of your scope. Plus multiple reticles to choose from.
  • Classic ergonomic design, user-friendly interface and a wide field of view. Easily mountable on virtually any platform with 30 mm standard mount rings.

To ease the pressures of potentially making a bad decision, take a few minutes and learn a little about some of the rifle scopes on the market today by checking our best rifle scopes review.

The Rile Scope Buyers Guide: What You Need to Know

So what are the key advantages of using a rifle scope?

Magnification capabilities

One of the best advantage of using a rifle scope over traditional hunting tools is the ability to easily identify a target from a long distance and perfectly make a superb shot. Most olden hunting tools do not have a zooming capability and this makes them difficult to use when aiming at targets at a far distance.

Some animals are difficult to hunt while in a cross range and most of them can be able to smell your scent before you make an aim; the best way to hunt these kinds of animals is to use a professional scope with magnification capabilities that help you to shoot from a long-range distance.


Unlike common hunting tools, every rifle scope is designed with aiming features and customizable settings that helps a shooter to perfectly shoot on a target without a miss. Most rifles come with magnification and zooming features that enable a shooter to get the best aiming experience ever. It’s very easy to make shots on target with a professional rifle than with a common traditional hunting tool.

Fun and Enjoyable

The best rifle scopes are very fun to use once the shooter learns how to perfectly handle them. Today’s rifle scopes are very easy to mount and most of them are designed with click adjustments that enables you to free your body and not strain too much while aiming at a target.

A professional rifle scope comes with safety features that allow you to easily carry it without the worry or fearing it might go off sometimes.

Ability to Make Long-Range Shots

Unlike common hunting tools and old manufactured rifle scope that can only make shots within a particular short range distance, modern Rifle scopes can be used to perfectly make good shots on long-range targets.

Some rifles are designed with customizable features and settings that helps a user to easily make shots on air, water or land.

What is a Rifle Scope and It’s History?

In 1608, German-Dutch inventor and the earliest recorded patent holder of the telescope Hans Lippershey, and Dutch spectacle maker Zacharias Janssen, creator of the microscope, are to thank for the first refracting telescopes, which lead the way in the first studies conducted on optical shooting aids.

The idea of optical aiming aids was nothing new to the marksman. Since the advent of rifling, shooters have adopted different sights and aiming aids, but they were often primitive in design and were ineffective. Patient records of the era are scarce, but it’s known the first patient for a telescopic rifle scope was filed around 1835-1840 when New York inventor Morgan James and engineer John R.

Chapman collaborated to release the Chapman James Sight. In 1855, designer William Malcolm expanded on the Chapman James Sight by incorporating achromatic lenses and elevation and windage adjustment knobs. Two decades will pass before the telescopic sight gained its notoriety in the American Civil War.

Rifle sights were used by both the Confederacy and the Union armies, proving the design in some of the harshest battlefield conditions of its time. Over the years, warfare, sportsman, and hunters have all contributed to the growth of long-range marksmanship, which in turn led to a small industrial revolution of sorts.

To put it into perspective, some of the longest shots in history were only 600-800 yards until advancements in optics and rifling have enabled marksman to take almost impossible shots up to a mile and a half. The longest shot in history was set in 2017 by a Canadian Joint Task Force Two Special Forces operator in Iraq.

As you can see, from the 17th century to now, the concept of long-distance marksmanship has evolved, Can you still see how modern rifle scope based off these original 19th-century designs? It’s clear that modern optics are much more advanced than their predecessors.

Advancements such as higher resolution lenses, variable and fixed zoom apertures, more advanced building materials and production methods, and over a dozen different aiming reticles you can choose.

Rifle Scope Nomenclature

Before we discuss the best scopes on the market, let’s review rifle scope basics and terminology, that way you are fully armed with all the information you need to make your choice.

First up, magnification. Magnification is dictated by the first number in a series of numbers that look a lot like this “4×32”. The second number is the Objective lens size.

Magnification represents how many times the target will be magnified while looking through the scope. The objective lens is the size of the lens that is on the far end of the scope where all the light enters the optic. This is what’s called a fixed variable scope.

You may also see a number that looks like this “3-9×40.” This is the same concept; you’ll notice a second number added to the magnification variable.

The 3-9 represents the range of magnification power of an adjustable variable scope. With an adjustable variable scope, you can adjust the magnification based on the targets relative distance to the shooter by twisting the power ring knob on the rear end of the scope.

One of the biggest misrepresentations I’ve seen in my experience is a person mistaking the 3-9x by putting 3x9x40, which is fine, marksman will know what you mean, but the misrepresentation could send potential buyers the wrong way, forewarned is forearmed.

The next part of the scope we will discuss is the exit pupil. The exit pupil and the ocular lens is the lens and opening closest to the marksman’s eye where the light that enters the forward objective lens exits and the image of the target is projected into the shooters eye.

The exit pupil is important because when shooting at long distances, there is a split second delay when you see the image of the target. It’s measured in milliseconds, but that could be all the time it takes to throw or land a round on target. In modern scopes, the lenses are generally shock, water, and fog proof.

As mentioned above, the objective lens is the lens at the end of the scope furthest from the shooter. The casing where the objective lens is seated is called the objective bell.

Now that we know a rifle scope is essentially a refracting telescope, we are aware that light passing through the scope is magnified into an image at the focal point of the scope, these focal points are marked by a crosshair, also known as the reticle.

Crosshairs are the sights so to speak, the intersecting points of the crosshair are where the point of impact will be on target if judicial accuracy is practiced.

There are also two more adjustment knobs that the marksman can adjust to influence accuracy, windage, and elevation. The windage adjustment alters the X-axis or the horizontal setting; the elevation adjusts the Y-axis or the vertical setting.

If your windage, elevation, or magnification setting is off compared to the relative distance you are from the target, you will experience what’s called parallax. Parallax is when the point of aim changes when the position of the shooters eye changes. Parallax is extremely common in variable zoom scopes, but with a few simple adjustments, it’s a quick and easy fix.

Reticles, or more commonly known as the crosshairs, come in a variety of styles and designs but understand, they range in complexity.  The most popular and probably the easiest reticle to use in my opinion is the standard crosshair, just a cross or T with intersecting points in the center of the optics X and Y axis.

The crosshair is the best used when engaging targets at 100 yards, anything more would require adjustments or the use of a more advanced reticle. The Mil-Dot is the most common reticle used in tactical rifle scopes, each dot in the Mil-Dot reticle acts as a unit of measurement to gauge what distance a target is at without a rangefinder.

The Mil-Dot also can be used for accounting for windage. I think this reticle has gained so much trust in professional circles because the marksman can make fast trajectory adjustments and calculations without the target exiting your point of view.

There are countless other reticle patterns, and each serves a unique purpose, many manufacturers have started introducing their own, unique reticles into the market, but the Mil-Dot is by far the preferred aperture for professional marksman due to its simplicity and precision across the board.

One final factor to consider is the size of the scopes main body, the tube. The scopes tube size comes in two sizes, 33 millimeters, and one inch, this is important because you will need to know what size mounting rings the tube will need to be affixed to the rifle.

Useful Tips on Choosing the Best Scopes For You

Nowadays in the world that we live, most of us find themselves extremely busy with long working hours and hectic activities that do not allow one to create time for a hobby or leisure activity. When you are not busy with your normal activities and want to spend some time to shop for the best rifle scope; use this tips as a guideline for selecting a good rifle.

  • Range rifle- Depending on what you wan to do with your rifle, determine whether you require a short range rifle or a long-range scope.
  • Shooting accuracy- If you are still learning how to use a rifle scope, choose the right scope because all rifle scopes shoot differently due to their characteristics.
  • Adjustment features- Check on the adjustment capability of different scopes and compare them to determine the best rifle scope that will offer you some good customization features.
  • Magnification- Check and compare different scopes magnification power.
  • Objective lens diameter- larger objective lenses provides a shooter with more light to see a target.
  • Eye relief- This represents the distance between your eye and the lens of the scope. a good scope should provide you with an eye relief of about 3.5 inches or more.


Keep in mind; there are about a million different scopes on the market today, each scope serving a specific purpose bending on the weapon, the round, where you’ll be shooting, etc.

I know it seems like a lot to digest, but trust me, once you start to get an idea of what kind of scope you need, it’s all smooth sailing from there. If I had to choose just one scope on the list, I’d have to choose the Leupold FX-3. I choose the FX-3 because the 12 times fixed magnification will always be sighted and zeroed to the distance you plan on shooting at without having to make any parallax adjustments.

The 40mm objective lens allows for greater ambient light to pass through the scope, giving you a much higher resolution without any of the fuzziness. The only downside to a large objective lens is the lack of visibility in humid and low light conditions.

You could always add a night vision scope to your optic system, but that usually costs thousands of dollars and some minor gunsmithing to attach the mount to your gun, unless it has a Picatinny rail system that is. I hope our best rifle scopes review was useful to you. As always, stay safe, shoot true, and have fun! Happy shooting!

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