Best Hunting Scope
My search for the best Hunting Scope started with me wanting to find good information about the top hunting scopes to help me make an informed buying decision. I was looking for a new scope to put on my deer hunting rifle.
I started out by reading every Crap review the internet has to offer. Most of them were written in really bad English or spit out in bulk by some article spinner. I refuse to waste your time like that.
Jump Straight to Your Topic
Number 1: Hands Down, The Best All Around Hunting Scope:
Most hunters like You and I will not need to be targeting anything over 500 to 600 yards away. The Nikon Monarch 3 BDC 4-16×50 . When I last checked, was still available for less than $500.00.
This scope brings some really good things to the table.
The thing that makes a Big difference to me is the Warranty. The Monarch 3 has a lifetime warranty on parts and workmanship.
There are a million different scopes out there, But this one Does exactly what I want it to do when I want it to.
The Monarch 3 has 5 different reticles available and delivers crystal clear images because it is designed to deliver 95% of light transmission.
The quick focus eyepiece allows for an extremely quick focus of the reticle.
When you are in the field and on the move, this quick focus eyepiece pays for itself several times over. The Monarch 3 is shockproof, waterproof and Fog proof! The ability to make adjustments on the fly is essential.
- very well built
- good in tight quarters
- well priced
- To be Honest, I really don’t have anything bad to say about this scope
- the 50mm objective lens may require taller mounting hardware
- reticle is Non-Illuminated
Bottom Line: The Nikon Monarch3 will be a very good addition to whatever Rifle you Mount it on
Number 2: The Best Tactical Scope for Under $500.00
Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 PA Second Focal Plane Riflescopes is Number 2 on our list of Best Scopes.
This is a very Rugged and Tough little Hunting Scope. This Vortex scope has a 30 mm tube and is also a little heavier. It falls into the long range / Varmint class.
- High Quality
- Great Performance
- Won’t Break The Bank
- Excellent Resolution and Color Fidelity
- Durable, Built Solid
- A little short on the eye relief @ 3.1 inches
- A little bit heavier than some of the others, @1.3 lbs.
- Larger Objective Lens may require taller mounting hardware
Bottom Line: This scope is Great for hunting Fox, Coyotes, and other varmints that can move pretty quick. It’s a solid, well built optic, and will not burn a hole in your wallet. I have done alot of research at this point, and most of the people who buy these Vortex Scopes are Extremely Happy with them. I truly believe that You will be too.
Number 3 on Our List: The Best Scout Scope
Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm. The people at Burris invented and perfected Scout Scopes. Primarily used on smaller caliber rifles. By that, I mean a rifle like an M1 or a Ruger Scout or possibly an AR15.
This scope is Not designed to reach out and touch someone at 1000 yards. But, You can definitely reach out 400 yards with no issues at all. The only thing you need to do is get this scope mounted and zeroed in and get some practice with it.
The multi-coated lenses provide excellently clear images at every magnification so you can see exactly what you’re aiming at.
Burris designers and engineers subject their rifle sight systems to extreme recoil tests on a machine that is used to measure and duplicate the recoil pulse acceleration and duration.
One of the people who has reviewed this Burris Scout Scope, Had this to say. ” At 2X the scope has a decently generous eyebox that is easy to find for snapshots, and really it seems easy to align for a crisp picture all the way up to 5X or 6X. Only at 7X is it a little finicky.
At 7X, the eye relief is still perfect, but you have to be aligned exactly behind the reticle to see clearly because the eyebox is fairly narrow/unforgiving at that point. Any little offset in head placement off of the central viewing axis (up/down or side to side) will cause a haze/blur effect over part of the picture, and offset a little further, you’ll quickly see the tunnel of the scope intruding into the picture or blacking it out entirely.
This is really not a problem, as the Burris seems to tolerate variable head placement as well as or better than any of the other options I compared it to, and it is well within reasonable allowances for any appropriate head placement. (If you’re really struggling to get your eye aligned with this scope, there’s either a problem with your technique, or you didn’t mount the scope with the correct relief.) In terms of eye relief, I can move my head pretty far up or down the stock–at any magnification level–and see fine.”
- excellent quality Glass
- very easy to mount and use
- great, Long eye relief
- worth every penny
- doesn’t include lens caps
Bottom Line: This Burris Scout Scope is a very impressive scope.
Number 4 Best Budget Scope Vortex Optics Diamondback 2-7×35 Rimfire
Vortex makes some really nice scopes for the money and this one is no exception. This RimFire scope has exceptionally clear glass and is very easy to align. Comes with a lifetime warranty that is completely transferable.
Gas Purged and O-ring sealed for fog proof and waterproof performance in all conditions
The more research I do, The more I am really beginning to believe that Vortex builds some of the finest optics available.
My pick for the Best Budget Scope is ideal for use with a 22. Rimfire, as well as Shotguns and Muzzle Loaders.
I find that it’s very easy to align and site in, and it’s also built like a little tank. This is a very well made scope. On par with scopes that cost twice the amount of money. Highly recommend for your 22lr.
- Exceptionally well built,
- Makes a great gift.
- easily affordable
- Good for Youths just getting started
- Some people say that the eye relief is a bit short
Conclusion: The Diamondback riflescope incorporates adjustable elevation and windage dials with audible clicks. 2-7×35 Diamondback Rimfire has a 50-yard parallax setting which makes it ideal for use at close range on 22 rimfire, shotguns and muzzleloaders. V-Plex reticle is the single best all-purpose hunting reticle intended for a wide variety of hunting applications. Look for all this and more in this riflescope.
The last one on our list is Our Pick for the Best Value Scope
Number 5: OUR Pick for the BEST VALUE
The Vortex Viper PST Gen II is Perfect for paper shooting or Hunting.
This optic is a first focal plane, which means you can use the reticle to range targets at any magnification. Do you really need this? The answer is probably no.
Most of you could probably select the second focal plane and be happy without any loss of functionality. Let us be honest, most people use range finders nowadays.
If you are just looking for a hunting scope to engage white tail at short range (short range meaning 0-300 yards), this scope is not for you.
You would most likely be paying for features that you won’t use.
- First Focal Plane
- Illuminated Reticle
- built like a tank
- O-ring sealed and argon purged
- Hard Zero Stop
- A little bit pricey
- Illuminated Reticle Not bright enough for daytime shooting
- Mounting Rings Not included
An excellent Value for the money. Paired with the Vortex guarantee, you cannot go wrong. many of the other top optic companies in the market have great optics but simply don’t give you what vortex does.
First focal plane, clarity, parallax adjustment, tactical reticle, illumination, zero stop, 30mm tube, and a sunshade. It’s hard to find a package like this for less than $2000.00 in the marketplace today.
My team has spent weeks going over different Brands, different models with various specs, features, and reticles. I can now help walk you thru each and every step of the process to help you find the Best Hunting Scope to fit your exact needs.
By the time we get done here, You will know exactly what to look for and exactly what to avoid.
How to know you are getting the Best Hunting Scope:
Are most probably the single most important parts of your Hunting Scope. They are responsible for filtering the light and focusing it to the place where it does the most good and is the most effective. (your eye)!
The Glass is what renders the image that you see when you look through the scope. You want it to be crystal clear and you want to be able to focus the reticle crosshairs so they are not the least bit blurred.
The Glass in your hunting scope should be coated with some kind of light absorbing material. A material that helps maximize the available light spectrums and also minimizes the reflection of light off of the main objective lens as well as the inside of the main tube.
All of the big name manufacturers will have this information about the glass they use in their rifle scopes readily available on their websites. The glass they use and the way it is coated and multi-coated is usually one of the main selling points that they use.
Lower end scopes, By that I mean the hunting scopes that are not as well built, and kind of Lack the quality and performance that I know you are looking for when you start shopping.
It is sort of common that some of these lower end scopes will have a single coating on the exterior or objective lens, and uncoated lenses on the inside, or internal lenses.
This can seriously compromise the effectiveness and quality of the scope because of the interior surfaces reflecting the light that the objective lens gathers.
These days, you will want Fully Multi-Coated lenses. This means, light absorbing, fog proof and scratch resistant coatings.
The Objective Lens:
This is the larger lens at the front of the scope. Objective lenses will typically run between 20 and 50 millimeters in diameter for a Hunting Scope. Although, in some cases, much larger for longer range shooting.
Larger objective lenses have their own sets of pros and cons. They will offer you clearer and brighter images in a low light setting.
However, they are also slightly heavier and will sometimes require taller or more expensive mounting rings or hardware.
Usually, scopes are housed in a 1 inch, or a (30 millimeter) tube. The main tube is what provides all the strength and integrity of any and all hunting scopes.
Actually, 1 inch = 25.4 mm. But for me, that’s close enough to 30mm. 🙂
Most hunters will be completely satisfied with the standard 30 mil. tube. the only real reason to go any larger would be if you are shooting extremely long distances. You really need to be able to justify the extra cost involved if you were to move up to a larger diameter main tube.
The larger main tubes would be primarily for seriously elite shooters that are involved in long-range shooting competitions.
Todays Gas Filled Tubes:
In the past, hunting scopes were just filled with good old-fashioned air. However, today’s scopes are sealed with o-rings and then filled with inert gasses such as nitrogen or argon.
Manufactures will suck all the air out of the tube, as well as all the dust, moisture, and other impurities.
The dust and the moisture are what is responsible for specs on the glass as well as fogging of the glass.
The nitrogen and or the argon will provide a dust free environment that provides visual clarity. A sharper, more crisp image.
Reticles and Reticle Types:
There are a Bunch of reticles available today! So many different options in fact that I can’t even begin to discuss all of the available options.
The Reticle is the little piece of glass you look thru that has the crosshairs on it. Some are thick and some are much thinner and will have little dots or hash marks on it.
The longer the distance you are shooting, the smaller the reticle, or crosshairs you are going to want. At longer distances, the smaller crosshairs won’t cover up too much of your target.
What is a Mildot Reticle
Glad you asked. A mil-dot reticle has a set of crosshairs that have little 0.25 mil diameter dots along a verticle and a horizontal axis(crosshairs). A mil refers to a standard military variation of a unit of angle known as a “milliradian”.
1 mil is equal to approx. 36 inches at 1000 yards. A mil-dot reticle is used by experienced marksman to determine the distance to the target. There is a complete formula and more information on mil-dot reticles here.
As I said earlier, there is so much available information on reticle types and variations. It’s just not feasible for me to try and explain it all here.
What is a BDC reticle
A BDC reticle refers to “Bullet Drop Compensation” The effect that gravity has on a bullet at different distances. Check the link above this paragraph.
The Focal Plane
There are two Focal planes. The first focal plane and the second focal plane. A reticle near the front of the scope is in the first focal plane. These reticles will grow larger or smaller as you zoom in or out with a variable power scope.
The Bottom Line
Most hunters don’t need to shoot at targets that are a mile and a half away. Typically they are shooting between 50 and 300 yards.
Hunters need less power than target shooters. Live targets move and a wide field of view is important if you want to see them through a scope. Low-powered scopes have the widest field of view. A 4-12 power scope is just about ideal.