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Best Rifle Scope Reviews with Buying Guide

If you own a rifle, you will want to find the best rifle scope for your money. A rifle scope guarantees the best accuracy without being affected by extreme weather conditions, hence giving you an edge over most other hunters. A scope serves as the eye of your gun, and you can’t afford to compromise on its strengths. However, a problem arises when purchasing a rifle scope because the search can be quite tedious, and you likely probably don’t know what exactly you’re looking for. To help you, check out the best hunting rifle scope reviews and buying guide below.

The Top Rifle Scope Reviews with Detail Features

Most people spend lots of time when searching for a rifle scope and don’t get good results. Luckily, we’re here to help. Below we’ve compiled the best rifle scope reviews to serve as your ultimate guide in your pursuit of the perfect scope. Click on the red title to read detailed review with features, pros, cons and frequently asked questions.

Best Rifle Scope Comparison Table

Picture Name Magnification/Objective Lens Size Field of View Price
Our review Nikon ProStaff 4-12x40 Black Matte 4-12x40 7.3-23.6 ft@100yds $$
Our review Mueller Target,8-32x44mm (Black) 8-32×44 9.3–2.5 ft@100yds $$
Our review Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 3-9×40 11.3-33.8 ft@100yds $$
Our review Simmons 8-Point Truplex Reticle 3-9X40 10.5-31.4 ft@100yds $
Our review Leupold VX-I 3-9X40 14.6-34.6 ft@100yds $$
Our review Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC, Black 3.5-14×40 7.2-28.6 ft@100yds $$$
Our review Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight 1 x 25 Unlimited $
Our review Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16×42 6.1-23.8 ft@100yds $$$
Our review Leupold Mark 4 LR/T 8.5-25x50 (30mm) 4.4-11.20 ft@100yds $$$$
Our review The Nightforce Optics 5.5-22×56 5.5x:17.5ft 22x:4.7ft $$$$$

Nikon ProStaff 4-12×40 Black Matte Riflescope (BDC)

This is one of the most highly-rated scopes on the market today. Having a 40mm-diameter objective lens, it has magnification levels from 4x to 12x. This properly covers almost all shooting ranges. However, short ranges might be a bit challenging. This is possibly the best long-range riflescope you can get.

This Nikon ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope maximizes light transmission, allowing for up to 98% light transmission. It is thus a perfect tool to use in low-contrast and low-light conditions. The scope is a lot sharper and brighter than most other models, giving a clear, crisp image, especially when set to maximum magnification.

Nikon ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope (BDC)

There is also an optional sunshade accessory included. This is undeniably one of the best rifle scopes you can get today. Most users have given positive reviews, deeming it entirely satisfactory and offering great value for its price.

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 Features at a Glance 

  • Compact riflescope with 4 to 12x magnification.
  • Fully multicoated optical system transmits up to 98 percent of available light.
  • Zero-reset turret with spring-loaded adjustment knob.
  • 3.7 inches of eye relief.
  • Nitrogen-filled, O-ring-sealed housing for waterproof protection.
  • BDC reticle; quick-focus eyepiece; measures 14.1 inches.

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Mueller Target Rifle Scope, 8-32x44mm (Black)

This serves as a good, lower-cost alternative to other high-performance optics riflescopes. It is perfect for those target shooters who cannot afford high-quality target scopes. Its fully multi-coated lenses give you great clarity, comparable to those offered by higher-priced optics. The extra fine crosshair and target dot reticle suitably allow for a higher level of precision.

Mueller Target Rifle Scope, Black, 8-32 x 44mm

With finger adjustable target turrets, the Mueller Target Rifle Scope also comes with a 3-inch sunshade. It provides for windage and elevation adjustments, hence ensuring that your focus and aiming are adaptable to the weather. Mueller Optics offers you a innovative premium riflescope that boasts unparalleled accuracy and craftsmanship at a fraction of the price. This is exactly what you need if you’re looking for outstanding light capabilities, clarity and more.

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 Features at a Glance 

  • Eye relief of 4
  • Tube size of 30mm.
  • Magnification of 8-32x.
  • 44mm objective.

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Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 Black Matte Riflescope (BDC)

This is a perfect purchase if you feel that 12x maximum magnification is too much and you prefer a smaller Nikon scope that can also meet basic needs. This scope has a smaller maximum magnification and objective lens, which helps in normalizing the ratio to guarantee the best resolution.

Although the size of its objective lens is decreased, it still achieves a 98% light transmission via its multi-coated lens. This guarantees bright images, regardless of any lighting conditions. And it’s theoretically the highest light transmission possible, meaning that it will be difficult to find any other scope that exceeds this image brightness.

Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope (BDC)

With the Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope you’ll be able to hunt during early sunrise and even sundown. You can also set it up in dimmer hiding places. This makes the scope quite efficient, with many users providing good reviews. Everything is perfectly balanced with this scope, despite its lack of magnification. However, this is made up for by the high light transmission, which is a more preferred feature. It comes at a great price for its capabilities and brand, making it an excellent deal.

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 Features at a Glance 

  • Compact riflescope with 3 to 9x magnification and 40mm objective lens.
  • Fully multicoated optical system transmits up to 98 percent of available light.
  • Zero-reset turret with spring-loaded adjustment knob; 3.6 inches of eye relief.
  • Nitrogen-filled, O-ring-sealed housing for waterproof and fogproof performance.
  • BDC reticle; quick-focus eyepiece; measures 12.4 inches.

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Simmons 8-Point Truplex Reticle Riflescope

This is another exclusive riflescope that delivers an ultimately impressive performance. Featuring a QTA eyepiece and a Simmons patented true-Zero adjustment system, the scope is a good buy at a reasonable price. Its Sure-Grip rubber surfaces make it one of the easiest scopes to adjust under any shooting conditions.

Simmons 8-Point Truplex Reticle Riflescope, 3-9x40mm (Matte)

The fully coated optics and high-quality optical glass deliver bright, sharp and compressed images. It also maintains a clear sight picture even in extreme weather conditions using its Hydro-Shield coating. The Simmons 8-Point Truplex Reticle Riflescope enables you to shoot and hit your mark with accuracy. It is worth considering, especially since it delivers outstanding precision despite being a primary scope.

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 Features at a Glance 

  • 1-4-MOA SureGrip audible click windage and elevation adjustments.
  • 8 point riflescope with fully-coated optics.
  • Magnification & objective: 3-9x 40mm.
  • Waterproof, fogproof, recoil proof.
  • Truplex reticle.

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Leupold VX-I Rifle Scope, 3-9x40mm Waterproof

This is a solidly built Golden-Ring scope that’s remarkably durable and comes at a relatively modest price. It has two color options: Black and Matte Black. It offers a good definition at almost all power settings, with its lens flare being well-controlled. It is well-built and appealingly finished and is one of the best scopes in its class. The scope features Leupold’s proprietary nitrogen sealing process that ascertains fogproof and waterproof performance.

Leupold VX-I Rifle Scope

The Leupold VX-I Waterproof Rifle Scope has a standard multicoat lens system that delivers exceptional brightness, contrast and clarity. Included is a classic lockable eyepiece that allows for strong focus. Its LR-Duplex reticle avails proper hold-over points for the rifle’s ballistics profile. This enables you to make consistently accurate and effective long-range shots. It offers you top notch quality, accuracy, a lifetime guarantee and affordability.

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 Features at a Glance 

  • Rated very highly within its class.
  • Quality accuracy and affordability.
  • A lifetime guarantee.
  • Standard multicoat lens system.
  • Exceptional brightness clarity and contrast.
  • Micro-friction windage and elevation adjustment dials.

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Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope, Black

The Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope is an exclusive scope from one of the biggest names in the optical world Nikon Vision Co., Ltd. The PROSTAFF 5 comes with fully multi-coated optics which allows it to transmit light in a very efficient way, thereby allowing the scope to deliver images that are exceptionally bright and clear. Even in situations where the atmosphere isn’t bright such as during dusk, this feature enables the scope to provide images that are vivid and crisp. Away from the multi-coated optics, the PROSTAFF 5 also come with the Nikon trademarked BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation) reticle which features transparent ballistic circles. This Nikon BDC reticle helps you surmount the problem associated with accurately hitting targets at long distances.

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Unlike many other scopes in its price range, this scope comes with a Quick Focus Eyepiece which allows you to instantly bring the reticle into focus.

Other very useful features that the PROSTAFF 5 comes with include a 4 inch generous eye relief which protects your brow against injury from rifle recoil and the Spring-Loaded Instant Zero-Reset Turrets that allow for extremely easy field adjustments.

In addition to all the useful features mentioned above, the PROSTAFF 5 is also compatible with Nikon’s Spot on Ballistic Match Technology. Also, it can function in all manners of weather conditions thanks to its waterproof/shockproof/fogproof nature.

What don’t we like about the Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope? Just a few minor things such as the scope’s lens covers not doing a great job in covering the lens. Also, the scope would have been better had it come with a mounting kit.

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 Features at a Glance 

  • Nikon patented BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation) reticle.
  • User-friendly interface.
  • Produces images that are crisp and crystal clear.
  • A generous eye relief of 4 inches.
  • 4x zoom ratio.
  • Durable and lightweight.
  • Appealing price.
  • Fogproof, waterproof and shockproof construction.
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty.
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Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1 x 25mm

The Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope from Bushnell is equipped with lots of technological features that would make it very useful to a hunter out on the field. The Trophy TRS-25 incorporates an inbuilt Picatinny/Weaver rail system that allows it to be easily and securely mounted on different kinds of weapons. The MOA Red dot reticle that this cope comes with has an illuminated red dot which gives you a very good aiming point and is very easy to see regardless of how bright or dark the atmosphere is. This allows for an easy and swift target acquisition while in the field.

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The scope’s O-ring sealed feature makes it waterproof, thereby giving it the unique ability to withstand total immersion in water. This means if you accidentally drop the scope in water, you don’t need to worry about it getting damaged. Isn’t this awesome?! In addition to being O-ring sealed, the scope is also nitrogen purged, and is therefore fogproof.  To further enhance the durability and ruggedness of the scope, the manufacturers constructed the scope with a shockproof body, which gives it the ability to withstand all manners of impact.

The Trophy TRS-25 also comes with an unlimited eye relief which not only prevents scope bites that come from rifle recoils but also saves you from having to squint your eye when using the scope to view a target. Simply put, you can use the scope with both eyes open.

Other appealing features for shooters that this scope comes with include: a 1×25 power, multi-coated optics that allows you to enjoy clear, crisp views, APG camouflage body that keeps you hidden from game, and the patented Amber-Bright™ Optics that gives you the unique opportunity to quickly and easily tell the difference between objects that have the same color.  What don’t we like about the Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope? Only one major thing, which is the scope being pretty small to be used very well with rifles.

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 Features at a Glance 

    • Lens cover to protect the lens.
    • A CR2032 battery included in package.
    • Lightweight and durable.
    • Inbuilt Picatinny/Weaver rail.
    • Multi-coated optics for high light transmission.
    • Camouflage body.
    • 1×25 power.
    • Amber-Bright™ Optics.
    • 3 MOA Red dot reticle.
    • Supported with a warranty.
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Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16×42 Riflescope – Dead-Hold BDC Reticle

Unfortunately Product Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16×42 Riflescope – Dead-Hold BDC Reticle is not currently available, but you might be interested to check Vortex Optics Viper HS Second Focal Plane Riflescopes that has similar features.

Are you in the market looking for a scope that has excellent features for hunting as well as tactical purposes? If you answered yes to this question, then be introduced to the Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16×42 Riflescope – Dead-Hold BDC Reticle.

With a 4 – 16x magnification power, the Diamondback HP allows you to enjoy a detailed view of your target from substantially long distances (300+ yards).

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Unlike other scopes on the market, the Diamondback HP isn’t susceptible to damage thanks to the fact that its manufacturers engineered the body with aircraft-grade aluminum, which in addition to making the scope shock-resistant also makes it corrosion-resistant. To further enhance the scope’s durability, the scope is O-ring sealed and purged with argon gas. The O-ring seals prevent moisture and debris from making their way into the interior of the scope, whereas the argon gas prevents the scope from fogging within.

Are you bothered about the Diamondback HP giving you scope bites like some scopes do? Well, worry no more. This scope has a generous eye relief that measures 4 inches long, which provides you with sufficient room to prevent those painful scope bites caused by rifle recoils.

Another appealing feature this scope comes with is the DEAD-HOLD BDC reticle that allows for accurate aiming different ranges. Other features of the scope worth talking about include its multi-coated lens that allows maximum light penetration for a clear, crisp viewing experience, a 4x zoom range, a hard anodized finish and a fast focus eyepiece for easy and fast focusing of the reticle.

In addition to all the above-mentioned benefits you get by owning the Diamondback HP, you should know that the manufacturers also support this scope with an unlimited lifetime warranty! But is there anything we don’t like about this scope? Yes. And it is the fact that some users tend to struggle to maintain proper eye relief with the scope. That’s the only major issue we have with this excellent scope.

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 Features at a Glance 

  • A 4 – 16x magnification.
  • Durable and rugged construction.
  • Waterproof and fogproof.
  • DEAD-HOLD BDC reticle.
  • Multi-coated lens.
  • 4-inch eye relief.
  • A hard anodized finish body.
  • Shock-resistant.
  • A 4-inch sunshade is included in the scope’s package.
  • Fast focus eyepiece.
  • Backed up by an unlimited lifetime warranty.

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Leupold Mark 4 LR/T 8.5-25x50mm (30mm) M1 Mil Dot Riflescope

The Leupold Mark 4 LR/T 8.5-25x50mm (30mm) M1 Mil Dot Riflescope is a top tier scope from one of the biggest names in the optics business Leupold & Stevens Incorporated. The Leupold Mark 4LR/T is a solidly built riflescope that offers a number of highly technologically advanced features that many scopes in its price range can only dream of. One such feature is its Mil-dot Reticle that is not only versatile but also makes range estimations and calculations very easy.

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Another outstanding feature that sets the Leupold Mark 4LR/T apart from similar scopes is the patented Xtended Twilight Lens System™ it proudly incorporates. This feature, as the name implies, allows the scope to be used to see very clearly under twilight conditions or when the atmosphere isn’t bright. As a result of this feature, the scope can be used anytime – whether day or night.

The 8.5-25x magnification of the scope enables detailed viewing of your target over very long distances, up to about 1500 yards. The Multicoat 4 lens coat that the scope’s lens is treated with maximizes light transmission and prevents annoying reflections.  To further enhance your viewing experience, the scope’s lens comes with yet another excellent coating, the DiamondCoat 2™, which improves contrast and clarity by allowing more light into the scope.

The scope’s blackened lens edges play an instrumental role in reducing annoying glare that distorts image quality while the generous eye relief of 3.7 to 5.3 inches ensures that you are protected from scope bites. Other notable features of the scope include its lightweight nature, it’s shockproof construction and the 2nd Generation Argon/Krypton filling that protects it from water damage.

All in all, the Leupold Mark 4LR/T is a very effective riflescope that can significantly enhance your shooting experience. We just wish the scope’s reticle was illuminated!

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 Features at a Glance 

  • Very durable and rugged.
  • Fogproof, waterproof and shockproof construction.
  • Mil-dot reticle.
  • Blackened lens edges to reduce glare.
  • Very spacious eyebox.
  • 2nd Generation Argon/Krypton filling.
  • A generous eye relief (3.7 to 5.3 inches).
  • DiamondCoat 2™ and Multicoat 4 coatings.
  • Patented Xtended Twilight Lens System™.
  • Magnification of 8.5-25x.
  • Scope’s tube has a diameter that measures 30mm.
  • Full lifetime guarantee.

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NightForce NXS5.5-22x56mm Riflescope – .250 MOA, ZeroStop, MOAR Reticle

The Nightforce Optics 5.5-22×56 NXS Riflescope is widely considered to be one of the best long range riflescopes money can buy. It is therefore no surprise that a lot of shooters tend to give positive reviews about this scope. But what really makes this scope so special? A lot of things do.

The scope features a 3.9 inches of eye relief, which saves your brow and eye socket from scope bites (scope eyes) during heavy recoils. The scope’s Nightforce ZeroStop™ allows you to easily and swiftly return to your zero after making adjustments to the elevation settings of the scope.

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The wide magnification range of 5.5x – 22x allows you to make precise shots at very long distances while at the same time allowing you to take effective shots at very close ranges.

Other equally important features of the scope which work hand in hand in making it one of the most effective long range scopes include: 5 different reticles (one of which is illuminated), a 56 mm objective lens that produces crystal clear images, a waterproof/fogproof construction and an excellent internal adjustment range (a 60 MOA maximum windage adjustment and a 100 MOA maximum elevation adjustment) for making accurate long range shots.

All in all, this scope is an excellent device. But sadly, if you live outside the United States, you cannot purchase it since it cannot be shipped internationally.

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 Features at a Glance 

  • Compact and durable with a magnification range of 5.5x-22x.
  • Exit Pupil Diameter of 10.2mm at 5.5x magnification and a 2.5mm Exit Pupil Diameter at 22x magnification.
  • 3.9 inches of eye relief.
  • Waterproof and fogproof.
  • 5 different reticles, one of which is illuminated.
  • 56mm of objective lens diameter.
  • True MOA.
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Useful Accessory for Rifle Scopes

Orion Predator H30 Red or Green 273 yards Long Range Rechargeable Hog Coyote Fox Varmint Night Hunting Light Flashlight ion Predator H30 Red

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Things to Consider Before Buying a Rifle Scope

If you are planning on purchasing a riflescope, there are a number of important things that you should take into consideration before making that final decision to part with your money and go home with that scope. Below are some of the most important things you should consider whenever you find yourself in the market looking for a rifle scope to enhance your hunting adventures.


A rifle scope’s lens is widely regarded as its most relevant part, and this is the reason why it is highly imperative that you take into account the optical quality of the lens before purchasing that rifle scope. But what makes the lens of a scope so important? It is simply because it is what makes you see distant objects clearly through the scope. Things such as the lens coating, the quality of the lens and objective lens size play a very significant role in making a scope provide you with excellent clarity.

Lens Coating

Today, the majority of rifle scopes on the market come with coated lenses. But why is the coating of the lens important? It is important because it allows you to see better by mitigating glare and light loss from reflection. More often than not, the more coating your lens comes with, the more light it transmits and the brighter and clearer the images it produces are. This is the reason why scopes with multicoated lenses tend to greatly outperform scopes with single coated lenses.

Lens Quality

The quality of the lens is obviously another very important aspect of the lens that you would want to take into consideration.  It goes without saying that the higher the optical quality of the lens is the better images it produces. A poor quality lens would often result in poor images and distortions. One of the best lens materials in the industry is germanium. So if you have a rifle scope that has germanium as its lens material, then you have an awesome thing. However, you should know that rifle scopes that have their lenses made of germanium cost significantly more than scopes with lenses made of standard glass.

Objective Lens Size

The larger a scope’s objective lens is, the more it allows you to see. So for example, a scope with a 20 mm objective lens wouldn’t allow you to see as much as one with an objective lens of say 40 mm.

Refresh/Frame Rate

One of the most essential elements of a scope is its refresh rate or frame rate, which makes it possible for the scope to provide images of moving objects. Refresh rates are measured in Hertz. If the refresh rate of a scope is low, then it will not produce smooth and consistent images of objects in motion. This is why it is advisable to always go in for a scope that is equipped with a high refresh rate that is at least 30 hertz or over. Most good rifle scopes on the market come with refresh rates that range between 30 and 60 hertz. Simply put, the more the scope’s refresh rate, the better.

Field of View (FOV)

If you have a choice of choosing between a scope that offers a narrow field of view verses one that offers a wide range of view, it is advisable to go in for the latter. But what is Field of View (FOV)? We hear you ask. It is simply the amount of view you can have through your scope from your right to your left at a distance of 100 yards. The more you increase the magnification, the more FOV goes down, and vice versa. This is the reason why having a scope with a wide Field of View (FOV) is always better.


The brand or manufacturer also matters when shopping for a scope. Today, there are numerous brands of scope out there that you can choose from. But it is always better buying your scope from a renowned manufacturer that has been in the business for a number of years. There are a lot of reasons why it is more advantageous buying from a leading brand than from an unknown brand. For example, reputable brands tend to be more trustworthy and reliable than unknown brands. This therefore means that when you purchase your scope from a well-known brand, you reduce your likelihood of being disappointed. Some of the leading brands in the rifle scope industry include Armasight, ATN and FLIR Systems.

Optical Power

How much magnification you need should be the first thing you’ll want to consider. The magnification level of a scope will establish the limits of its use.


Once you’ve settled on how much magnification you need, you should determine the size of objective lens you prefer to have. The objective lens transmits ambient light and focuses it on an image. A larger objective lens gives out more light, hence producing brighter and clearer images. Higher magnification ranges usually accompany large objective lenses.

Reticle Pattern

There are dozens of different reticle patterns, from simple center dots to even complex grid patterns. The three most common types include duplex, mil dot and BDC reticles. The kind of reticle you should go for will depend on what you intend to use the rifle and scope for.

Focal Plane

Modern scopes give you a choice between two different focal planes, namely the First Focal Plane (FFP) and Second Focal Plane (SFP). Most scopes make use of SFP reticles, where the reticle’s size remains the same about the overall image size when the magnification level is changed. This presents a clear, consistent sight picture at any magnification level. The size of FFP reticles scales up and down with the change in magnification. This allows for accurate measurements, regardless of the magnification level.


You should seek a scope that appropriately fits your budget, and you must determine whether there are any additional costs required. Today’s vast scope market gives you lots of options at numerous price points.


The usability or user-friendliness of the scope should also be taken into consideration before you make that final decision to purchase it. Many people tend to not take this into consideration but it is really an important thing that shouldn’t be taken for granted. The more user-friendly your scope is, the more your hunting experience is enhanced. A scope that is not user friendly will no doubt cause you great inconvenience in the field. And as a hunter, the last thing you want to be experiencing in the field is inconvenience.  So before buying that scope ask yourself the question: is this scope easy to use? If the answer to the question is no, then it is really not a good idea going in for it. During hunting trips, you often find yourself having to deal with numerous challenges, including hiding yourself and your scent from game so as not to scare them away. The last thing you want in that situation is the headache of dealing with a highly complex and user unfriendly scope.

Scope’s Eye Relief

Eye relief is simply the distance your eye can be from the eyepiece lens of your scope in order to get a clear view from the scope. Scopes with short eye reliefs are not the best in the sense that they do not allow you to see clearly enough for a quick acquisition of your target. It is advisable to buy a scope that comes with an eye relief of at least 3 – 4 inches.  Scopes with such generous eye reliefs are also perfect for people who use eyeglasses since it allows them to conveniently use the scopes without removing their eyeglasses.


As you already know, scopes are pretty expensive devices, and you would be taking a huge risk purchasing one that doesn’t come with a warranty. A rifle scope, just like any other electronic device, can come with manufacturing defects which can remain hidden until you start using it. In such a situation, if the scope came backed with a warranty, you can easily return it for the defect to be fixed or for the whole unit to be replaced. But in the absence of a warranty, there is nothing you can do in such a situation. A scope that comes with a reasonable warranty is a clear indication that the manufacturers have strong confidence in the device. Today, most scope manufacturers offer warranties that range from limited to full. Some scopes (especially some of the extremely expensive ones) even come with lifetime warranties. It is always advisable that you take a moment to check if the scope you are about buying comes with a warranty or not. Regardless of how powerful and effective the scope is, if it doesn’t come backed by any form of warranty, then you would be taking a huge risk going in for it.

Final Verdict

It’s crucial to be precise and thorough when looking for the perfect scope. This complete buying guide with rifle scope reviews will help you in making an informed decision while shopping and also shows you how to compare rifle scopes. You should be prepared to compromise a little bit whenever necessary as you try to prioritize on the important things. If in doubt, you may want to consider paying more money for a name and warranty package you can trust. Whatever it is you’re planning to do with your rifle, this guide can help you in getting the most out of the scope you’ll purchase.

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