The Best Caliber For Deer: Our Top Picks For You

Most people itch to bag a trophy deer; they are the most popular animal to hunt in North America. So, what is the best caliber for deer hunting?

This question has been debated for years, and many hunters have particular cartridges they pledge great loyalty toward. We wanted an answer to the question, what is the best caliber for deer? We reviewed some of the cartridges that consistently come up in the conversation, knowing most of them will get the job done every time. Which one is the best of the best?

Comparison Table

Product

Image

Price

.270 Winchester

product photo of 270 Winchester

Image Source: Winchester.com

.223 Remington

product photo of High Performance Rifle

Image Source: Remington.com

.30-30 Winchester

product photo of 30 30 Winchester

Image Source: Winchester.com

.308 Winchester

product photo of 308 Winchester

Image Source: Winchester.com

.338 Federal

product photo of Trophy Copper 338 Federal

Image Source: Federalpremium.com

6.5 Creedmoor

product photo of Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor 142 Gr Matchking Ammunition

Image Source: Creedmoorsports.com

.257 Weatherby Magnum

Product photo of .257 Weatherby Magnum

Image Source: Weatherby.com

7mm Mauser

product photo of Hornady Superformance

Image Source: Hornady.com

.257 Roberts + P

product photo of Hornady .257 Roberts + P

Image Source: Hornady.com

7 mm Remington Magnum

product photo of Nosler Trophy Grade Ammunition 7mm Remington Magnum

Image Source: Nosler.com

Product FAQ

1. What Does Caliber Mean?

2. What Is a Cartridge?

3. What Is Recoil?

How We Reviewed

a man reloading a hunting rifle

Image Source: Unsplash.com

We reviewed ten of the best caliber for deer hunting cartridges based on an overview of the product along with pros and cons and cost.

We tried to look at a wide range of cartridges because we know there are a wide range of deer hunters with their own gun-related needs and preferences. For instance, some cartridges feature the best caliber for deer hunting with short-action rifles. Others are only available for long-action rifles.

Other hunters have preferences for range. Certain cartridges are feature the best caliber for deer hunting at inside 150 yards, while others offer long-range power and accuracy.

Still others are ideal for deer as well as smaller game, while their counterparts can kill a deer, a bear or even an elephant. So, whatever your needs and preferences, we know there is a perfect caliber and cartridge for you.

Overall Price Range

There are many factors that affect the price range of the best caliber for deer hunting. The quantity of cartridges you purchase affects the price per round. Like many things, the larger quantity you buy, the less you may spend on the price per individual item.

Some cartridges are more common and cheaper than others regardless of quantity. The price of cartridges can also be affected by buying options, such as whether or not you buy brass bullets.

We tried our best to compare apples to apples. We broke down the price per item with similar ratios based on the quantities available for purchase. We also consistently tried to use price based on the simplest options.

In general, the price range among the best caliber for deer hunting range from about 20 cents per cartridge to about $2-and-a-half per cartridge. If you purchase high-end brass cartridges with other perks, you can spend much more.

What We Reviewed

  • .270 Winchester
  • .223 Remington
  • .30-30 Winchester
  • .308 Winchester
  • .338 Federal
  • 6.5 Creedmoor
  • .257 Weatherby Magnum
  • 7 mm Mauser
  • .257 Roberts + P
  • 7 mm Remington Magnum

.270 Winchester

product photo of 270 Winchester

Image Source: Winchester.com

The .270 Winchester is among the best caliber for deer hunting. This cartridge necks a .30-06 Springfield cartridge down in order to shoot .277-inch instead of .308-inch diameter bullets. The smaller bullets fire at greater velocity with a better trajectory.

The .30-06 still has more downrange carry, but the .270 is plenty powerful for deer. They also cause less recoil.

Pros

  • Good velocity
  • Flat trajectory

Cons

  • Less downrange carry than some wider competitors

.223 Remington

product photo of High Performance Rifle

Image Source: Remington.com

The .223 Remington rifle cartridge has been around since 1957 and has spent time as the standard US Military rifle cartridge. It remains the most commonly fired centerfire cartridge today.

The .223 Remington is deadly to midsize game with its 40/50-gran bullets, but it is not legal in every state for deer hunting. It can certainly take out a deer, but it should be fired inside 150 yards when deer hunting.

Pros

  • One of the world's most popular bullets

Cons

  • Not legal in every state for deer
  • Need closer range for large game

.30-30 Winchester

product photo of 30 30 Winchester

Image Source: Winchester.com

The .30-30 Winchester was one of the original smokeless powder cartridges in the US. Even though it is weaker than many modern cartridges, it has a century of deer hunting to back up its ability.

It is considered one of the best deer cartridges from close range; usually under 150 yards. In addition, it is handy with its quick pointing lever action.

Pros

  • Long history of successful deer hunting

Cons

  • Weaker than some competitors
  • Most reliable from short range

.308 Winchester

product photo of 308 Winchester

Image Source: Winchester.com

The .308 Winchester is another of the best caliber for deer and other big game. It combines accuracy and versatility to make it a very popular choice among deer hunters.

The .308 is an efficient cartridge that can be chambered in countless rifles. Its accuracy is second to none among the best caliber for deer. It meets military standards for handloading brass, and it is easily accessible and very affordable.

Lighter bullets around 125 grain are sufficient for deer at close range, though 150-grain rounds can be used for extra might. The .308 Winchester can be effective at long ranges, especially with 170-grain or higher cartridges.

Pros

  • Easily accessible and affordable
  • Can be chambered in most rifles
  • Long or short-range accuracy
  • Very accurate

Cons

  • Shooters who prefer a flat shot find a flatter trajectory in some competitors

.338 Federal

product photo of Trophy Copper 338 Federal

Image Source: Federalpremium.com

Since 2006, this joint effort between Federal and Sako has provided one of the best caliber for deer. The .338 Federal is a lightweight cartridge especially effective in short-action rifles.

A .308 Winchester was essentially necked up to accommodate .338-inch bullets. It is not ideal for the heaviest bullets within the caliber, but those anywhere around 200 grains are perfect.

The .338 Federal is one of the best caliber for deer, but it can also tackle bear and other big game.

Pros

  • Great in short-action rifles
  • Can stop a bear

Cons

  • Not ideal for the heaviest bullets within the caliber

6.5 Creedmoor

product photo of Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor 142 Gr Matchking Ammunition

Image Source: Creedmoorsports.com

The 6.5 Creedmoor has become popular as one of the best caliber for deer since its release in 2007. It is noteworthy for its chambering that generate great ballistics for unequaled downrange capability.

It is best suited for short action rifles and produces limited recoil. The recoil is great for beginners, and the downrange performance makes it a favorite of veterans.

Pros

  • Among the best downrange capability
  • Limited recoil

Cons

  • Though it can handle more, it is most efficient with 130/140-gran rounds.

.257 Weatherby Magnum

Product photo of .257 Weatherby Magnum

Image Source: Weatherby.com

The .257 Weatherby has a popular place among the best caliber for deer because of its light recoil and chambering in a variety of rifles.

It is at its best for light and midweight game and can be effective from a respectable range. For larger game, the .257 is not ideal, but it can get the job done. Some hunters prefer a heavier cartridge.

Pros

  • Light recoil
  • Can be chambered in a variety of rifles

Cons

  • A bit light for larger game

7mm Mauser

product photo of Hornady Superformance

Image Source: Hornady.com

The 7mm Mauser is among the best caliber for almost any size deer, not to mention bear and lions. It can tackle almost any game in the right conditions.

Also known as the 7x57, the Mauser is a cartridge that has existed for over 100 years. It began as a military cartridge. Despite its incredible wallop, it has a reasonable recoil and great long-range capability.

Pros

  • Can stop any deer and even larger game
  • Reasonable recoil relative to power
  • Long-range capability

Cons

  • Requires a long-action rifle

.257 Roberts + P

product photo of Hornady .257 Roberts + P

Image Source: Hornady.com

The .257 Roberts finds its spot on the list of best caliber for deer for maintaining mild recoil even with the heaviest loads. It is more than able to stop deer with 115/120-grain bullets and also makes an excellent small-game weapon with lesser-grain varmint bullets.

The .257 Roberts has been lost in recent years among the best caliber for deer discussion, but they remain some of the best dual-purpose rounds available for light and midsize game, including deer.

Pros

  • Mild recoil even with the heaviest loads
  • Great options for light game as well as deer

Cons

  • Less popular with hunters than some .243s

7 mm Remington Magnum

product photo of Nosler Trophy Grade Ammunition 7mm Remington Magnum

Image Source: Nosler.com

In the search for the best caliber for deer, the 7 mm Remington Magnum is among the best long-range deer hunting options. The bullet fires at a high muzzle velocity with a flat trajectory. It is arguably more than a lot of deer hunters need, operating well beyond 250 yards.

It has less recoil than the 7 mm Weatherby Magnum, and that adds to its popularity.

Pros

  • One of the best long-range options
  • Less recoil than similar competitors
  • Considerable power

Cons

  • More power and range than many weekend hunters need

The Verdict on the Best Caliber for Deer Hunting

red deer antlers hanged on the wall

Image Source: Pixabay.com

We know that among all the cartridges and various calibers we have considered, there are a number of variables that are personal to each hunter. Our favorite does not have to be your favorite, just like your needs and preferences as a deer hunter are different than those of the person across the street.

Having said that, we decided to give our official nod to the .257 Roberts + P. This Roberts has a storied history of success, and, quite frankly, we cannot figure out why options like the .243s have surpassed it in popularity.

In 1943, this cartridge was born as a 7x57 mm cartridge that was necked down to 25 caliber. The shoulder was moved forward, and the shoulder angle was changed to 20 degrees. It was originally going to be called the 25 Roberts, but it was ultimately coined as the 257 Roberts. This is an excellent dual-purpose cartridge for varmints--a 75-grain bullet can travel 3,400 feet per second--as well as for deer. Even the 100-grain bullets can travel at 3,000 feet per second.

It can consistently stop a deer from 275 yards. Our top choice, the 257 Roberts has a standout combination of accuracy, power, and efficiency.

Economy Choice

For hunters with a slightly tighter budget, we also want to mention the .257 Weatherby Magnum. This cheaper cartridge can drive heavy .25 caliber bullets while maintaining efficient velocity.

Despite the modest price point, the cartridges are made with high-quality brass that helps with accuracy and very few of the cartridges malfunction.

Featured Image Source: Unsplash.com

What Is A PCP Air Rifle? Here’s What You Need To Know

There are always going to be better introductory firearms for those looking to improve their marksmanship. What is a PCP Air Rifle? Well, it's the answer for those gun enthusiasts that may be new to practicing as well as those that prefer a piece that's a little bit easier to operate. The supreme user-friendliness of this gun make it an attractive option for many different expertise levels.

Even though their widespread usage has only occurred recently, historically the technology for these rifles dates back to the mid-1500s. The Austrians had their design standards down to a science. Their armies would frequently utilize this technology, and it was surprisingly advanced for the time. These rifles were some of the only 'repeater' firearms and could crank out 24 shots per minute. And since they had caliber specs at .24, this gave them a huge advantage over Napoleon's French armies.

What Is ​A PCP Air Rifle?


man holding a gun

image source: Unsplash

PCP in this instance stands for "pre-charged pneumatic." This means that the firing system involves a sequential dance involving air pressure and a controlled release of that pressure. In most cases the air is compressed at 3000 psi (or pounds per square inch). An air reservoir is what provides the air that propels the projectile. This can be filled either using hand pumps, small scuba tanks, or carbon fiber tanks.

Once the pressure is right, the firearm is ready for discharge. You pull the trigger, and then compressed air enters the barrel from the firing valve. This compressed air, having no other means of escape, shoves the projectile down the shaft of the barrel and out toward the target.

The release of this compressed air, having directed the projectile at its given target, slightly depletes the pressure in the reservoir, forcing the user to either re-pump or realize how much pressure they have left in a given tank.

Modern Resurgence


What is a PCP air rifle in the context of the modern firearm landscape? This variant was largely discontinued after World War I. This was because the technology driving what we think of as typical firearms was more powerful. The PCP revival occurred around 1980, when their use became more attractive to hunters and newer gun enthusiasts.

Benefits ​Of Using A PCP Air Rifle


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There are a lot of reasons this rifle can be a good option if you're not concerned with handling a high powered firearm. It's great for a casual user to pick up at a range, and its output can be manipulated simply and effectively. What is a PCP Air Rifle and how can you take advantage of its benefits?

Small Recoil

With this particular model, you can get away with not having a very forcefully recoil at all. This is because of how the air pressure functions and how that energy is directed within the workings of the firearm. So if you are constantly annoyed by the recoil of more traditional firearms, this can be a great option for you to work on your aim/accuracy.

It's also an exceptionally quiet kind of rifle, which makes it ideal for beginners or if you're in an area that has any kind of noise restrictions. Though it may be ideally tailored toward newer users, more experienced marksmen can get their own advantages through mastering the use of this gun, as well.

High Accuracy

When it comes to answering the question "what is a PCP Air Rifle," another answer could be that it's the most accurate air rifle there is. This is a lofty statement, but it's also true.

With a more traditional spring piston gun, there will always be a learning curve when it comes to aim. But with a PCP, there's no such learning curve and even the occasional dabbler in riflery can pick up this piece and fire it with high degree of accuracy.

Adjustable Performance: The Air Regulator

Most PCP rifles come with just a standard preset that cannot be adjusted. But if you're lucky enough to encounter one with an air regulator, you'll have much more control over the rifle's precision and handling. Most of the time when you fire, the projectile starts with a low velocity, increases, and then decreases again at the tail end of its range. But with this handy little addition, you'll have help managing the pressure in the firing valve.

Some Disadvantages ​Of ​The PCP Air Rifle


woman with a gun

image source: Unsplash

The benefits we just mentioned do have their downsides. There are simply some tasks that the PCP will not be able to accomplish. This mostly relates to the limitations of the kinds of caliber you can use and the power threshold; which will just never compare to a more traditional gun. So while knowing how to answer the question "what is a PCP air Rifle and what are its benefits?" can be a good thing, it's also good to consider where this piece falls short.

High Cost ​And Upkeep

Starting out with one of these firearms can cost a pretty penny. It's a good idea to have your vision for its use firmly mapped out before you buy. Remember that you're purchasing many different components, including pumps, tanks, and other hardware meant to keep the gun functioning optimally.

When you factor everything in (including filling equipment), the cost can be anywhere between several hundred dollars to over a thousand. However, once you've made your initial purchase, you won't have to procure additional filling equipment with the next PCP model you buy. So the cost does progressively go down.

Cumbersome Built-In Supports

There's also no way around the fact that it does take more disparate hardware to operate this firearm effectively. Yes, this can be mitigated somewhat if you have a 'hand-pump' model, but this also takes time in between shots or series of shots to get the pressure back to where you need it to be. Also, air filling stations are not always the easiest places to come by. So it's good to know where the nearest ones are to eliminate being caught without air when you need it.

Also if you travel a lot, taking PCP rifles with you is much more difficult than a conventional gun because of the components involved. With a more traditional gun, airport authorities can inspect your luggage and determine that a firearm in your checked bag is not loaded and move on.

But with a PCP rifle, there is no way of easily checking for this. There's also no way to look inside the air reservoir, which could lead to a quick confiscation of something that was already so expensive to acquire in the first place. In fact, airport personnel themselves may be less familiar with what they're looking at, so that the question 'what is a PCP air rifle' could lead to the answer: 'not yours anymore.'

Other Operational Considerations


gun and gun bags

image source: Unsplash

It's always good to practice with an expert. This, in addition to answering all of your questions about what is a PCP air rifle, will also help you learn more quickly than you could on your own. Just for some background, here are a few more operational aspects to consider when using a PCP for the first time:

Scanning ​The Tank

Just like gas in a car, you'll have different levels of power and performance based on how full your air pressure tank is. Paintball enthusiasts may be slightly more familiar with this concept, but in the case of a PCP air rifle there's also a gauge built in. This gauge will tell you where you're at in terms of air pressure. Most gauges operate on a three color system similar to a traffic light. These green, yellow, and red hues signal similar things, as well.

Green means that it's still ok to keep operating the firearm at will, and there will be no sacrifice in performance. Yellow means that you're starting to run low and that your level of pressure may or may not be adequate to hit the targets you desire. Finally, red means that there is not enough pressure at all and that it's time to either switch out the tank or resume the pumping action required until the tank goes back to full capacity.

Considering Your Target

There are also humane considerations at play when using this rifle. This is especially the case when it comes to hunting game. Yes it is possible to make kills with air rifle pellets. However, it requires that much more accuracy, if this is your goal.

Unless you are an expert marksman, in most cases it is more likely that the animal you're targeting is a pest that needs to be killed quickly and painlessly. This just means that you must take extra care and know your limitations. It is our belief that this firearm is a much better fit for this goal than other firearms; though that decision is ultimately up to you.

​​​​​​Conclusion

We hope this introduction has helped you answer the question: 'what is a PCP air rifle,' and how you'd go about using one once you pick one up. As always, make sure you're practicing proper gun safety in any and all circumstances. So be safe; and happy shooting!

How to Sight in a Rifle Scope: The Ultimate Guide

If you are aspiring to be an avid rifle hunter or owner, you cannot avoid learning how to sight in a rifle scope. While some people find it easy to grasp the basic knowledge about sighting in a rifle, others find it challenging. Consistency can help you master everything related to the intricate process of sighting in a rifle.

Rifles are used in many areas with hunting as the primary use. Failing to sight your rifle scope increases your chances of missing a target. Once you have mastered how to sight in a rifle scope, everything else becomes easy. Whether you have a handgun, rifle, or shotgun, this simple guide on how to sight in a rifle scope will come in handy.

Steps to Take before Shooting

Every successful sharpshooter attained such a title by learning the basics and having the right shooting tools and equipment. If you are hoping to be accurate when shooting with a long range, you must have a rifle scope. Second, learn how to sight in a rifle scope as this influences the accuracy of your shots significantly. Even though it requires a lot of technical knowledge, there are necessary steps that anybody can follow to learn how to use a rifle scope appropriately and successfully.

CVLIFE 3-9x40 / 3-9x40 AO Optics R4 Reticle Crosshair Scope with 20mm Free Mounts
  • Specification: 3-9x40
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Objective Diameter: 1.57" (40mm)
  • Exit pupil: 0.2"-0.67"
  • Length: 12.20"
Simmons Truplex Riflescope (3-9X32, Matte)
  • Truezero fingertip windage and elevation adjustment system
  • Qta (quick target acquisition) eyepiece for fast, easy target acquisition
  • Fully coated, high-quality optics for bright, high-contrast target image
  • 8-Point

Install Your Scope Properly

Image by pixabay

Checking whether the scope is appropriately installed should be your first step before shooting. A majority of the rifles come with a mounting system. Not all scope bases can fit in any scope ring. Check whether the scope rings and mount are a perfect fit for your rifle.

Adjust the Eye Distance

Your success at shooting starts with sighting a clear image of your target. Situating your eyepiece well allows you a sharp and clear image. The distance left between your eye and the scope plays a significant role when sighting a rifle scope. You will need to tune the scope carefully to create the ideal amount of relief to your eye.

The ideal eye distance should be far enough to avoid any injuries on the eyes because of the recoil effect.

Level Up

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A sturdy shooting position is necessary when sighting in a rifle scope. You should use a bipod or a shooting bench that has a mount to achieve the right shooting level. While any of these methods can work well, the use of a rifle mount is much preferred since it lowers the recoil significantly. It holds the rifle securely on the target.

Different rifle mounts are available in the market. Choosing a mount that is not compatible with your rifle scope can be disastrous. Thus, you need to be careful to select a mount that works for your rifle scope.

Align the Reticle

Image by pixabay

Aligning the reticle is a critical aspect necessary when sighting in a rifle scope. However, not many shooters put this into consideration. Having a canted reticle (a case of imperfect alignment of the scope's crosshairs and the elevation direction or the windage adjustment) is costly for any shooter. It results in missed shots, especially if you are firing 250 yards away from the target.

There are different ways you can align your reticle. The simplest method is to keep the scope pointed at a solid background and try to focus on an object at a distance using your eyes before you can refocus with the scope. This practice should help you determine whether the reticle is blurry or in focus. If blurry, use the diopter to adjust the scope until you achieve a focused and clear reticle.

Bore Sight Your Rifle Scope

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It is advisable to bore sight a new scope after you have mounted it on a rifle before making any shots. Ensure that your gun is not loaded and that nothing obstructs the barrel. Unbolt and fit the rifle securely at a downrange pointing direction. While looking through the bore, move the rifle carefully such that the target is centered.

You can opt for a laser boresight, which is fitted on the rifle's chamber and achieves the same results–to center the reticle in the rifle's direction.

Set Your Minute of Angle (MOA)

The Minute of Angle is an important aspect to master when learning how to sight in a rifle scope. Every shooter should consider the MOA before firing a rifle. The number of clicks you turn the windage knob or the elevation determines the impact move on the bullet. For example, four clicks on the knob result in a one-inch bullet impact move.

Make three-shot groups; these help in determining whether your rifle scope is aligned correctly and whether the shots are on target. The level at which you sight in a rifle scope depends on the application. It is advisable to consider sighting at above 100 yards. It all depends on your preferences. Despite this, you should master your MOA because it helps you make the required adjustments depending on the distance and the target.

How to Sight in a Rifle Scope - Fine Tune It

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It can be challenging to achieve the right focus at once. You should keep tweaking; vary the distances and refocus up to when you achieve consistent hits near the bullseye. Once you master how to focus and make on-target shots, do not relax; practice with far-away targets. However, it is necessary to remember that other factors can affect your shots. For example, the target's distance, rifle scope, and environmental factors, like the direction of the wind, determine your shot's accuracy.

Things To Do When Shooting

Pulling the trigger of any rifle discharges a firearm. While it sounds simple, it is problematic for most shooters, including experienced ones. It is important to be careful when shooting. Here are a few things to do when shooting to make sure you make safe and successful shots.

  1. Position your arm well: It is advisable to extend your arms fully when shooting. However, this does not mean that you lock them. Relax your shoulders.
  2. Align your foot and legs: there are several approaches to position your foot and leg when shooting. You can choose the side-to-side or front-to-back positions. In case you consider the front-to-back option, ensure that you rearward the strong-hand side leg in a range of about 12–18 inches. The exact distance depends on one's strength weight and balance.
  3. If you opt for the side-to-side position, you maintain stability and a high comfort level by leaving a hip-width distance between one foot and the other. You can lock your knees or bend them a little for maximum stability.
  4. Body positioning: Ensure that your torso leans forward slightly. It is not advisable to bend backward, especially at the shoulder, hip, or waist area. Keep the shoulders at a forward position relative with the hips.
  5. Maintain a firm grip: The security of your body is paramount when shooting, and this starts with how you hold the gun. Hold your gun firmly with a proper grip.

Key Tips and Information to Remember

Every rifle hunter or owner must understand how to sight in a rifle scope. Here are a few things to remember which will be useful when sighting in a rifle scope.

  1. Often check the scope mounts for tightness. You should keep them not too tight, as this might break or even strip the screws.
  2. Always ensure that the scope is leveled. A poor or unleveled scope shoots off the paper.
  3. Do not disregard the paper. Shooting off the target is frustrating.
  4. Sight with the same ammunition. Usually, ammunitions differ in terms of their batches. For accuracy of shots, it is advisable to sight in with the same ammo as anything different can lead to inaccurate shots.
  5. A shooter accomplishes several things for a gun to fire. Your role is to pull the trigger. If you do it correctly, you will not experience any movement, and you can be assured of accurate shots. Jerking or flinching when shooting causes an off-target shot.
  6. Always ensure that you hold the gun firmly.

Conclusion

XOPin Rifle Scope Hunting Combo C4-16x50EG Dual Illuminated with Green Laser Sight 4 Holographic Reticle Red/Green Dot for Weaver/Rail Mount (Updated 4-16x50EG Green Laser)
  • New Updated: 5 mode LED Flashlight (H/ M/ L/ Strobes/ SOS) make your hunting much more easier in dark.Batter quality makes it Much More Stable on your rifle hunting Gun.Update Lens Cover gets hard to be broken.
  • New Updated:Add Front Focus Adjustment.Make it more eaiser to operate.The scope is Red and green Multi-X reticles with 5 levels;Exit Pupil:3.3mm-10mm;Field of View:10' ~ 27' @ 100yards;Eye Relief:3" ~ 3.4";Windage & Elevation Click Value:1/4' @ 100 yards;With 50mm Beautiful Flower Object Lens makes your scope become unique in Amazon.High grade fully coated optical lens, High quality matte black finish,Dry nitrogen filled with makes 100% waterproof,shock proof,fog proof.
  • Fast Focus Eyepiece with 1/4" Fingertip Resettable Windage & Elevation Adjustments.Green laser Reaching Distance about 200m-500m,Detachable Green laser sight with independent switch,Best Choice for Shooting-With Long Eye Relief:66.8-99.06mm,Field of View:13.41-40.38 @100yards,Exit Pupil:3.3mm-10mm.Wide Magnification 4X-16X provide you a big view at 200-1000YARDS.5 Levels Red and Green Illuminated adjustment brings a better view in dark environment.
  • Rifle scope advantage:High grade fully coated optical lens, Dry nitrogen filled with waterproof,shock proof,fog proof. Magnification:4x-16x suit for any W/ 22mm Rail Mount ,Made of Aluminium with High grade fully coated optical lens,1200G shockproof and 100% waterproof & fogproof test would keeps the scope more solid makes you can shoot more,1/4" Fingertip Resettable Windage & Elevation adjustments provide a wide range adjustment.
  • This Scope cannot be an assault weapon part or accessory.Integrated rails offers ample space for accessories,12 months guarantee will be provided to all our scopes.Best Customer Service for Everyone

Every sharpshooter should learn the basics of installing and how to sight in a rifle scope. Make sure you practice regularly to gain the confidence needed in developing the right target shooting skills. Every successful shooter started by learning how to sight in a rifle scope. It takes a lot of confidence and practice to make successful long shots, as this ensures that you know what goes into aligning a rifle scope and what to do before and when shooting. It is important you master the tips highlighted above.

How successful you are at making shots depends on your accuracy in sighting in the rifle focus. Therefore, learn what mounts align with your rifle scope and establish and stick to the same batches you used when sighting. In addition, make sure you sample different rifle scopes to buy the one that matches your rifle and shooting needs.

Best 4x Scope: List Of Top 10 Picks And Buying Guide

Every long gun enthusiast needs a reliable 4x scope if they want to land the perfect shot. When it comes to shooting, there is nothing more important than accuracy. That is why our rifle experts put together this definitive list of the best 4x scope products on the market today.

Want to discover the best 4x scope for your rifle? In this article, our firearm professionals review the top optical sighting devices for rifles to get the best shot every time. Read on to discover which scopes are a bust, and which will ensure your aiming true when you pull the trigger.

Comparison Table - 4x Scopes

What is a 4x Scope?

Before listing our favorite 4x scope products on the market, it is important first to flesh out exactly what these products are. The 4x scope is a kind of telescopic lens, or scope, that magnifies objects in your gun’s crosshairs by four times. Having increased magnification makes targeting easier for the shooter, which results in greater accuracy.

Scopes are classified according to their optical magnification (i.e., 4x) and their objective lens diameter (i.e., 30 mm, 50 mm, etc.). The latter refers to the diameter of the lens within the scope; broadly, larger objective lenses result in more light entering the scope and thus a brighter image in the eyepiece. Shooters should select their lens diameter according to their individual purposes.

Although scopes once had an objective lens of 20 mm or smaller, it is now common to find much larger lenses on store shelves. Technological upgrades in lens technology have improved the state of scope magnification over the years, which is one of the reasons why target shooting is far more competitive than it once was in the early days of the sport.

How We Choose Our Ratings

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At RifleScopeCenter, we understand that your trust is earned and not given. We do not take your trust for granted. Rather, with every product we review we pledge to always provide the most accurate and bias-free feedback possible. We believe that this is integral for earning your trust and winning your loyalty as a reader.

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List of Best 4x Scopes

Without further ado, let’s get into the main purpose of today’s article. Below, we have ranked and reviewed our favorite 4x scopes. Each of the scopes enumerated below has been hand-tested by our experts and are among a list of several dozen products that we tested out over the past few weeks.

CVLIFE 4x32 Rifle Scope

CVLIFE 4x32 Compact Rifle Scope Crosshair Optics Hunting Gun Scope with 20mm Free Mounts
  • Magnification:4x;Objective Diameter: 1.26" (32mm); Eye Relief: 3.3" (83.82mm) Length: 7.48"(190mm);
  • With the fully coated optical glass, the rifle scope would give you a bright and high-contrast image.
  • Made of high-strength aluminum alloy and with its one-piece tube construction, the scope is definitely for greater strength and durability.
  • Inert gas purged, fog,shock, water proof, this scope can be used under any weather condition.
  • The length of the whole scope is 7.48" (190mm), which makes this compact scope suitable for quick moving and aiming.

The CVLIFE 4x32 Rifle Scope is among the best in the business on several counts. First, this scope is made of fine optical glass that you can tell is highly durable from the moment you peer through the eyepiece. The field of view is wide and crystal clear for a dead-on shot every time. Ultimately, our first impression of this scope was extremely positive.

Further, we love that this scope is made of aluminum alloy in one-piece tube construction. Too often we find that scopes are made from multiple connected pieces, which tend to come undone when you need them the most. However, this scope comes up big in the right moments thanks to its highly durable build, excellent material quality, and, of course, its unbeatable price.

TASCO Pronghorn 4x32 Reticle Scope

Tasco Pronghorn 3-9x 40mm 30/30 Reticle Riflescope
  • Quality optics with stunning HD clarity
  • 100% quality materials used and tested extensively
  • Beautiful design and durability built to last
  • 30/30 reticle
  • Magenta multi-layered fully coated optics increases light transmission for bright, clear images

The TASCO Pronghorn 4x32 Reticle Scope is one of our favorite budget-friendly rifle scopes. One thing that stood out immediately after taking this product out of the box was its magnificent aesthetics and build design. Compared to most other aluminum scopes, the TASCO Pronghorn is a marvel. However, looks unfortunately do not mean much in the world of shooting.

With a matte finish and a great one-year warranty with no questions asked, the TASCO Pronghorn makes for an excellent scope no matter what kind of shooting experience you have under your belt. However, we feel like the price point is a bit too high for what is an entry-level device and the eyepiece clarity could do with some improvements.

Ade Advanced Optics 4x32 Fixed Scope

Ade Advanced Optics 4x32 Fixed Power Green/blue/red Illuminated Reticle Compact Rifle Scope with Fiber Optic Tactical Sight and Weaver Slots
  • Magnification 4X Fixed , Objective Diameter - 32mm
  • Illuminated Red-Green-Blue Rapid Range Glass Etched Reticle
  • 100% Shock and Recoil Resistant, Nitrogen Filled, Shockproof, Fogproof, and Water Resistant
  • 6061 T6 Aircraft Grade Body
  • Six-inch total length, 30-millimeter tube diameter, 32-millimeter objective lens, and 3.5-inch eye relief

The Ade Advanced Optics 4x32 Fixed Scope is a beautiful tactical sight scope with an assortment of weaver slots for your convenience. This scope features a 3.5-inch relief for your eye and measures six inches in length, making it extremely compact and lightweight. Plus, this thing is built to last as it is made of 6061 T6 aircraft-grade metals.

Unlike most of its competitors, the Ade Advanced Optics scope has a brightly illuminated red-green-blue rapid range glass reticle for easy aiming and a great sightline. Additionally, this scope is 100% shockproof and resistant to water which makes it a fantastic choice for backcountry missions and tactical operations.

CVLIFE 4x32 Tactical Optic Scope

CVLIFE 4x32 Tactical Rifle Scope Red & Green &Blue Illuminated Reticle Scope with Fiber Optic Sight
  • Magnification power: 4x ,Objective lens: 32mm, Field of view(feet/100 yards): 36.6, Length(inches): 5.5
  • High performance optical scope with fiber optic sight for quick and accurate acquisition
  • Crisp image for accurate shooting. With the green multi-layer coated lenses, the tactical compact scope can shoot target fast and precisely with high light transmission and resolution
  • Glass etched reticle with tri-illuminations (green/red/ blue), 3 levels of brightness setting for each color allow shooters to find the perfect brightness needed for lighting and weather different conditions
  • Shock proof, recoil, fog resistance (nitrogen filled); high quality aluminum alloy in durable black matte finish

The CVLIFE 4x32 Tactical Optic Scope is set apart from its non-tactical counterpart for several key reasons. For one, this scope has a far lighter fiber optic build, which makes it fantastic for long hunting trips and backcountry excursions. Its lightweight build also happens to look a lot better and appear more compact than its non-tactical variant.

Ultimately, we were thrilled when we upgraded to the CVLIFE 4x32 tactical edition. This product is suitable for all-weather conditions and is resistant to water and fog which makes it a great choice if your vision might be impaired by natural elements. Once you hold this scope in your hands, you will realize why it is considered one of the best in its class.

Simmons 22 TruPlexReticle 4x32 Scope

Simmons .22 Mag TruPlexReticle Riflescope with Rings (Black Matte, 4x32-mm)
  • Waterproof, fog proof, shockproof and recoil proof
  • One-piece tube construction for lighter handling, greater strength and durability
  • Fully-coated, high-quality optical glass, for bright, sharp images and high contrast
  • Quick target acquisition eyepiece with plenty of eye relief to make acquiring targets a snap
  • Rimfire mounting rings included

Ranking among the finest fixed scopes on the market today, the Simmons 22 Mag TruPlexReticle Scope is a sleek and sharp-looking black matte optical scope appropriate for everyone from novice to veteran hunters. Made with the highest-quality glass, this scope features vivid contrast down the sightline for easy aiming and pinpoint accuracy.

In our experience, we were delighted by the Simmons 22 TruPlexReticle. This is because the scope is super lightweight, made of best-in-class materials, and has convenient rimfire rings that mount directly on top of the scope. For greater strength and a better shot every time, we recommend trusting the experts at Simmons with their latest TruPlexReticle series scope.

Bushnell Optics Drop Zone 223 Reticle Scope

Bushnell AR Optics, Drop Zone Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets, Matte Black, 1-4x/24mm
  • 30 millimeter tube dia
  • Drop zone reticle. Field of View (feet at 100 yard) 90feet at 1X to 23ft at 4X
  • Fully multicoated optics
  • Fast focus Eyepiece
  • Outstanding close quarters accuracy, with a Drop Zone 223 BDC reticle for mid range precision

The Bushnell Optics Drop Zone 223 Reticle Scope is a fantastic all-purpose scope with some of the best technical specifications to back it. Featuring Bushnell’s signature Drop Zone-223 ballistic reticle, this scope is calibrated for 55-62 grain and aiming points up to 500 yards away. Plus, the target turrets are adjusted for pinpoint precision up to half a mile in distance.

At 30mm tube diameter, the Bushnell Optics Drop Zone 223 is one of the best in its class. With a fast-focus eyepiece, we found that we were able to quickly lock onto our targets within one or two seconds and fire with perfect accuracy. With little rattle or recoil, this scope aims true with every shot and removes the need for shock absorbers or any added peripherals.

Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40 BDC Reticle

Nikon has proven that it is not only a camera lens company with the Buckmasters II 4-12x40 BDC Reticle Scope. This scope is made with the quality you would expect from a brand name like Nikon, featuring some of the best glass you will find in a rifle scope. The reticle in this product is extremely bright and allows for a perfect high-res image even when hunting at night.

Built with Nikon’s patented BDC reticle technology, the Nikon Buckmasters II is one of the best products on the market for advanced hunters and those looking to gain an edge in competition. Whether you are hunting at dusk or dawn, the Buckmasters II is a fine choice of scope at 4x magnification. To boot, it has all the same anti-shock and waterproof features as its rival scopes.

UTG 4-16x44 Scope

UTG 4-16X44 30mm Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, w/ Rings
  • 30mm Tube with Best in Class Emerald Lens Coatings to Achieve Maximum Light Transmission for Best Clarity, Built on True Strength Platform, Completely Sealed and Nitrogen Filled, Shockproof, Fogproof and Rainproof
  • 4X to 16X Power with Quick Power Selector Ring Perfect for Target Acquisition and Zooming In, 1-Click Technology for Quick Access to Your Favorite Color and Brightness in Reticle
  • Field of View @ 100 yards: 24.4 feet - 6.8 feet. Innovative EZ-TAP Illumination Enhancing (IE) System with Red/Green in Dual-Color Mode and 36 Colors in Multi-Color Mode to Accommodate All Weather/Light Conditions
  • Premium Zero Lockable and Zero Resettable Target Turrets with Most Consistent and Precise 1/4 MOA per Click Adjustment, Side Wheel Adjustable Turret (SWAT) for Parallax Adjustment - From 10 Yards to Infinity
  • Mil-dot Range Estimating Reticle with Built-in Integral Sunshade for Most Optimal Aiming and Shooting Performance, Complete with UTG Max Strength Twist Lock Picatinny/Weaver Rings and High Quality Flip-open Lens Caps

The UTG 4-16x44 Scope is easily one of the better 30mm reticle scopes on the market for entry-level and novice shooters. This scope features a magnificent emerald lens and allows for maximum light transmission for a clear, dead-on shot every time you pull the trigger. Plus, the scope is rainproof and shock-proof for a reliable shot regardless of the weather at hand.

Overall, we were happy with our purchase of the UTG 4-16x44 Scope. As one of the best non-fixed optical lenses for rifles, it is a great product for learning how to aim with pinpoint accuracy at varying target distances. Plus, patented 1-Click technology and quick selector rings make readying the gun a breeze compared to similarly priced products on the market.

UUQ Prism 4x32 Reticle Scope

UUQ Prism 4x32 Red/Green/Blue Triple Illuminated Rapid Range Reticle Rifle Scope W/ Top Fiber Optic Sight and Weaver Slots (12 Month Warranty)
  • High performance optical scope with fiber optic sight, Manufactured Multi-coated optics, Illuminated Red-Green-Blue Rapid Range Glass Etched Reticle.
  • Magnification 4X Fixed , Objective Diameter - 32mm, Crystal Clear Fully Coated Prism Lens for Excellent Light Transmission and the Best Clarity.
  • Combat Ready Rapid Target Acquisition Glass Reticle with Range Finding & Ballistic, Precise 1/4 MOA Click Value for Windage and Elevation Adjustment.
  • Fit all 20 mm weaver and 3/8 inch dovetail rails , Durable all Metal Housing, with Dual - Layer Coated Lens.
  • Built on Proven Robust Platform. Completely Sealed and Nitrogen Filled, Shockproof, Fogproof and Rainproof.

The UUQ Prism 4x32 Reticle Scope is a formidable scope with one of the best warranties in the industry. Backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee Warranty over 12 months, the UUQ Prism is a great option for those who want a risk-free investment in a quality scope. Made of premium carbon fiber, this scope is also lightweight and easy to adjust and install.

Despite its great value, we were a little disappointed in the bulkiness of this scope. After installing on our gun, we found that it made our gun look wider and bit more unwieldy. In other words, we found that this scope is a bit ugly compared to similarly priced scopes on the market. Nonetheless, the UUQ Prism is a great option for budget-minded shooters.

UUQ 2.5-10x40 Rifle Scope

UUQ 2.5-10x40 Tactical Rifle Scope Dual Illuminated Mil-dot W/ Red Laser, Rail Mount and 4 Reticle Red/Green Dot Open Reflex Sight (12 Month Warranty)
  • UUQ 2.5-10 Magnification Rifle Scope with Red/Green illuminated Mil-dot Reticle and 40mm object lens.
  • Tubeless design with 33mm reflex lens aperture provides a wide field of view, suitable for normal and rapid-firing shooting of moving targets.
  • Tactical 4 Reticle Red/Green Dot Open Reflex Sight with Weaver-Picatinny Rail Mount for 20 mm Rails.
  • Integrated red laser sight, fully adjustable and independently controlled.
  • Multi-protection: Shockproof, Waterproof and Fogproof.

The UUQ 2.5-10x40 Rifle Scope is a reticle scope for intermediate to advanced shooters and hunters. This product features red and green illuminated mil-dot reticle crosshairs and a whopping 40mm objective lens for great accuracy for every shot. Plus, 20mm rail mounts back it easy to attach to any firearm you might own.

Our overall impression of this scope was overwhelmingly positive from the moment we first held it in our hands. This is a high-quality, durable, lightweight rifle scope that is meant for serious hunters and shooters. A tubeless design, this product will not attach even after years of wear and tends to outlast most other products in its price range.

Buyer's Guide

black and white photo of a man preparing to use a rifle with 4x scope during a target practice shooting

Image Source: Unsplash

A lot goes into buying the perfect 4x scope. There is a wealth of information that goes into sourcing the right brand and model and, honestly, it can become a little overwhelming—even for veteran shooters. To help you make an informed purchase without overloading you with information, we put together this quick point-form list of the top takeaways from today’s article.

1

Point 1 

Look for the brand names you can trust, like Nikon, Vortex, Simmons, and CVLIFE

2

Point 2 

Rainproof and fog-proof models are a must for backcountry shooters

3

Point 3

Fiber optic scopes are superior to aluminum builds on almost all counts

4

Point 4

Most rifle scopes have an objective lens diameter between 30 and 42mm

5

Point 5

Seek out models with a 12-month warranty if possible

Brand Review: Vector Optics

For over a decade, Vector Optics built an optics business aimed at producing low cost but high-quality optics. Our first thought about cheap but good is skepticism. It's a natural reaction but misplaced in this instance. The manufacturer makes their products with aluminum alloy. They use a good quality glass as well. The mechanics, where applicable, are stable and don't loosen or lose it's zero through regular use.

We’ve looked at scopes and other optics in the past that cost more but performed poorly. The most common problem is low-quality glass. The scope gathers light poorly, and everything viewed through the scope is foggy.

The mechanics in cheaper scopes rarely stay tight or secure very long, even riding a few miles in the truck can jar them loose. Cheap scopes come with other issues, but lousy glass and loose mechanics are the most common.

Comparison Table

Product

Preview

Price

Omega Tactical 8 Reticle Red/Green Dot Sight with QD Mount EO Tech

TAC Vector Optics Omega 1x Tactical Reflex 8 Reticle Red Dot Sight Scope US Design in High End Quality fit for AR15 AK74 Color Black

SCOM-09 Grizzly 3-12x56 E Shooting Rifle Scope

TAC Vector Optics Grizzly 3-12x56 E Shooting Riflescope with Mount & Illuminated Mildot Reticle Color Black

SCRD-24RL Tomcat 1x22x33 Multi Reticles Red & Green Dot Sight with w/ Red Laser

TAC Vector Optics Tomcat 1x22x33 Red/Green Multi-Reticle Reflex Sight

SCRD-27GL Rayman 1x30 Red Dot Sight with Green Laser

product photo of Rayman 1x30 Red Dot Sight with Green Laser

RDSL01 VictOptics 1x18 Red Dot Reflex Sight

VictOptics 1x18 Red Dot Reflex Sight Hunting Scope

What Makes Vector Optics
Standout?

The first thing that jumps out when you look over their website is the warranty. Affordable scope varieties tend to come with very limited warranties. The Vector Optics warranty supports their products for five years. If it fails due to a defect, you get a new one. The warranty is excellent, but the 30-day money back guarantee adds another layer of confidence.

Most of you probably own or owned an economy scope at some point in time. The glass is crystal clear the first month you own it, but they get foggy or milky over time. They rarely hold zero very well, or they fit loosely on the rail.

Vector Optics come with good, clear glass, and they keep their zero well. Those two things are expected from expensive scopes, but we usually accept that an economy scope won't perform as well. That's just not true with Vector Optics; they are made well and made from quality materials.

It’s not exactly a quality that we consider a stand-out feature, but their selection of optics is vast. They have nearly every type of scope and magnification combo. While we mostly focused on scopes or similar optics in this review, there are several products beyond optics available from them, including:

  • Laser Sights
  • Pistol Sights
  • Scope Accessories
  • AR and AK Accessories
  • Grips and Bi-pods
  • Slings
  • Cleaning Accessories


Our Favorite Vector Optics
Products

Like we mentioned above, with so many optics to choose from, picking favorites proved difficult. We looked for optics that are popular but useful. Red and green dot sights plus reflex sights are among our favorite scopes overall.

They have a wide range of uses from home defense to competition shooting. In the end, we chose optics that are popular and got good reviews from customers. We didn't list these scopes in order.

Red and green dot sights improve target acquisition and help with overall grouping. This one built well with good glass and sharp reticles. It comes with eight options for reticles. That is about six more options than most of the red or green dot sights on the market. If you use a dot scope with any reticle other than a classic dot, they are fun, and some improve accuracy.

It uses a CR2032 battery or the rechargeable version of that battery. USB charging is available, but that doesn't seem like an option many of us care about in the end. You either remove the optic from your gun and charge it, or leave the weapon lying around while it recharges. Both methods of USB charging have drawbacks. Keeping extra CR2032 batteries on hand is the best option in this case.

This optic easily made our favorites list based on the information above and the price. Vector Optics offers it on their website or eBay for less than $. That's far less than any similar scope on the market, and you get eight reticles to boot. If you shoot in competitions that allow them, this sight will improve your accuracy and times.

This scope’s name is cool, but that’s the least of the reasons we added it to our favorites list. It sports eleven levels of illumination, and the coated glass is bright. The light transfer with this scope is on the level of scopes that costs four times as much. The glass and light transfer are the main reasons this scope made our favorites list.

It offers more than good glass and illumination. The 4-inch eye relief makes shooting at longer ranges a little more forgiving. The scope is perfect for close and long-range shots. It will perform great at 30 yards or 400 yards making it an excellent scope for hunting. So, at less than $ on their website, it’s a lot of scope for the money.

TAC Vector Optics Tomcat 1x22x33 Red/Green Multi-Reticle Reflex Sight
  • Reflex Sight
  • Mounts on any 20 mm Rail
  • Easy Installation
  • Rifle

This sight is a steal at $ on the Vector Optics website. Its lightweight frame won’t add weight to your gun, and it’s surprisingly durable for a sight that weighs almost nothing. It also comes with four different reticles and a red laser mounted on one side. This sight is a great accessory for a home defense gun or recreational shooting.

TAC Vector Optics Tomcat 1x22x33 Red/Green Multi-Reticle Reflex Sight
  • Reflex Sight
  • Mounts on any 20 mm Rail
  • Easy Installation
  • Rifle

This scope is an excellent scope for the price as well. It's less than $ on the website and comes with a green laser. Other than the price, we like this scope for its clarity and lightweight. Another big plus for us is the built-in lens covers open down instead of up. That's not a trivial feature to anyone that's broken a lens cover off on a tree or accidentally snagged it when moving the weapon.

VictOptics 1x18 Red Dot Reflex Sight Hunting Scope
  • 3MOA Dot Size Red Dot Sight
  • Mini Sight, w/ Weaver Mount, On/Off Switch
  • Design for Real Fire Caliber
  • Super-light & Compact, 6 Dot Intensity Levels, Cover

This great optic is a 3 MOA red dot sight. This sight is lightweight. You can barely feel it in your hand. It has the same good glass as the other scopes along with sturdy mechanical parts. It has the option for a mini sight and multiple illumination settings when needed.

The main reason we included this sight in our favorites list is the price. This sight is a high-quality product you can get for less than $. It's a great example of the affordability of these scopes.

Are They Expensive?

The sights we highlighted in this article are affordable by any definition. Even the more expensive sights are money savers compared to similar sights currently on the market. You get an optic made of aluminum with very few plastic parts or bushings.

The screws are well formed and won't strip if you're using the right tools. The glass is excellent with an excellent light transfer, and the reticles are bright enough for any light conditions you encounter.

Compared to scopes with the same features across the market, very few are as good as these scopes. Almost none of the scopes we found that matched the quality and features of these scopes were affordable. In most cases, scopes with the options we listed here are three to five times the cost of a scope from Vector Optics.

Hunting and recreational shooting sports are expensive for professionals and hobbyists. Optics, in some cases, cost more than the guns you're using. Vector Optic's scopes offer excellent quality and features at economy prices. That saves money you can turn around and spend on other accessories or more scopes at economy prices. It's a win either way in our book.

What do Customers Say

Customer comments about these scopes and other optics are favorable for the most part. Customers are happy with the quality of the materials used to make the scopes. They claim the glass is good the scopes they own hold their zero during regular use. Many customer comments we found praised Vector Optics for producing quality scopes and optics at low prices.

We found a few negative comments in our search, but nothing that screamed don't buy these scopes. We saw two comments complaining about some of the larger, long-range scopes that claimed the scopes weighed more than expected. Long range scopes are almost always a little heavier. They have more material in them and heavier glass.

We found a comment claiming the SCRD-05 Stinger 1x28 Red & Green Dot Scope did not hold its zero during regular use. Most of the remarks on this scope were positive, and the turrets didn't seem to be a widespread issue. It is likely the problem is owner related, or they just got a defective scope.

Defects are not uncommon among all optics manufacturers, but the five-year warranty on Vector Optics is ample warranty time to find any flaws.

hunting riffle scope

Image Source: Unsplash

The only other negative comments we found that seemed legitimate was about the lens covers on the SCRD-08 Chimaera 1x30 Green & Red Dot Sight. Two owners of that scope claimed the lens covers broke off a few weeks after they bought the scope.

This scope's lens covers come built-in to the body. Looking at an image of the scope, it seems like breaking them off would take a bit more force than regular use. That said, the scopes in question are probably defective, and the owners should look into the warranty.

Overall the company and its products get good reviews and comments from customers. That goes a long way toward helping you decide to purchase their products. If you look at the negative reviews plus the positive reviews and consider the negative reviews are likely user errors, these products are well made and work as expected.


Are They Better than their Competition?

This question is a hard question to answer. Each optics maker is better or worse on a few things when compared to their competitors. Vector Optics puts a lot of effort into quality while keeping their prices low. At their worst, they are about even with their competition. The glass and mechanical parts of any scope are the essential features.

Most optics makers try to use good glass, and they do a fair job of using mechanical parts that work well. Vector Optics is a little above their competition where glass is concerned and about even on mechanical parts. Vector Optics beats the competition on variety and selection. Their scopes also offer more reticle options than most other scopes and hold their zero better.

Our Opinion

man using a rifle

Image Source: Unsplash

We think you should give Vector Optics a try and see what you think. They offer a few reflex sights at prices below $, and a few lower than $. At those prices, you can buy three or four sights and test them yourself. You can take advantage of their 30-day money back guarantee to return any sights you don't want, or just keep them all. You can't have too many gun accessories.

In short, our opinion is favorable, and we think you should try out one the scopes we mentioned above or visit the Vector Optics website and find the scope that fits your needs and circumstances. You will be surprised by the vast selection and the low prices. Take a trip to your local gun shop or sporting goods store and ask them about Vector Optics.  

Conclusion

We spend a lot of money on gun accessories. If you can get a proper, reliable scope for a low price, then that means more money for ammo. That alone is reason enough to shop economy scopes. They make their scopes to last and perform reliably. We can't stress enough how important good glass is to optics along with light transfer, and they use good glass.

If you’re like more hunters or recreational shooters, a large part of your budget goes toward renting land, paying dues, travel, and several other expensive side effects of your lifestyle. Using economy scopes help take some of the weight off your budget. Compared to some Nikon scopes that cost over $$$, buying an economy scope saves enough money to fund a nice hunting trip.

Top 7 Best Shotgun Scopes

Accessories designed for shotguns are a relatively small market. However, more hunters are starting to see the advantages of equipping their shotgun with a scope, and more brands are now offering scopes designed for these firearms. Here is what you need to know about shotgun scopes.

Comparison Table

How We Chose Our Ratings

We looked for the best optics accessories made for shotguns and assigned ratings according to these different criteria:

  • Optics quality: We looked at the quality of the glass, the sharpness of the image, and at the lens coating to assess optics quality.
  • Brand: We selected scopes from well-known brands that make sturdy scopes with quality optics and comprehensive warranties.
  • Versatility: We think a versatile scope is a better value. We looked at the magnification range and other features to determine which scopes are the best value.
  • Other features: We looked at other features that will impact your experience when using a scope, such as brightness, controls, or the reticle.

Top Seven Best Shotgun Scopes

These are the seven shotgun scopes we recommend.

​Tasco World Class Bantam
Shotgun Scope 1.5-4.5x32mm 
Pro-Shot Reticle Matte

Tasco World Class 1.5-4.5x32mm, Matte PS Reticle Riflescope
  • Quality optics with stunning HD clarity
  • 100% quality materials used and tested extensively
  • Beautiful design and durability built to last
  • Compact scope designed for rifle, shotgun and black powder hunting in thick brush or heavy timber
  • 1.5-4.5x magnification and 32mm objective lens

We recommend this scope because of the affordable price range. This is a $ shotgun scope with a sturdy design and a lifetime warranty.

The scope is an excellent investment since you can use it on any shotgun thanks to the 4” eye relief. You can also use the scope on a rifle. This is a resistant product designed to handle shocks and recoil.

The 1.4 MOA adjustments should give you all the precision you need for a shotgun, and the lens coating delivers excellent image quality for the price range.

The 1.5 to 4.5x magnification is ideal for most hunting scenarios. The Pro-Shot reticle should also be mentioned. The reticle is located in the second focal plane and features a circle and a fine crosshair. The field of view ranges from 58 to 17’ at 100 yards.

The only downside of this scope is that there are no zero stops on the turrets.


Nikon ProStaff Shotgun Hunter 2-7x32 Matte
BDC 200

Nikon Prostaff P3 Shotgun 2-7X32 BDC 200 Riflescope
  • Fully Multicoated Optical System
  • BDC 200 Reticle
  • Hand-turn 1/4 MOA Adjustments and Spring-Loaded Instant Zero-Reset Turrets
  • Rugged One-inch Aircraft Grade Aluminum Main Tube
  • Aluminum Quick Focus Eyepiece and Generous, Consistent Eye Relief

Nikon is one of the best manufacturers for firearms optics. This shotgun scope is no exception.

This is a more expensive shotgun scope, but the additional features make this scope an excellent choice if you are looking for image quality and precision.

The optical system is designed to improve light transmission and brightness, even in low-light settings. The turrets feature ¼ MOA adjustments as well as a zero reset feature.

The reticle is one of the most interesting features of this scope since it is designed to correct the trajectory of your shot. There are different ballistic circles on the reticle to give you different aiming points to choose from. This reticle will make a real difference if you are shooting from a distance.

This scope also features a parallax adjustment control and a quick focus eyepiece. The 2-7x magnification range makes this scope extremely versatile.

Truglo 4x32mm
Compact Rimfire
And Shotgun Scope

TRUGLO 4x32mm Compact Rimfire and Shotgun Scope Series
  • Fully-coated lenses provide maximum brightness, clarity, and contrast
  • Rubber eye guard; durable, scratch-resistant, non-reflective matte finish
  • Model 8504BR includes 3/8" rings for rimfire and air rifles
  • Models TG8504BD/CD include weaver-style rings
  • Diamond reticle is specially designed for shotgun hunting and is perfect for turkey and deer

This affordable scope is an excellent choice if you are looking for a fixed shotgun scope. You can choose between two different reticles. We recommend the Diamond reticle for turkey and deer hunting.

The lenses are designed to improve contrast, which can give an advantage for brush hunting.

The design is very sturdy, and the windage and elevation controls are protected by caps. This scope doesn’t have as many features as other products but is an excellent choice if you are looking for a rugged scope with few controls and don’t need magnification adjustments.

Konus 7249 Shotgun Black
Powder Riflescope 1.5-5x32mm

KONUS 7249 Shotgun Black Powder Riflescope 1.5x-5x32mm
  • 1.5-5x32 Aim-Pro Engraved Reticle
  • Field of View at 100m/yds:
  • Length-mm/in:
  • Eye Relief mm/in:
  • Click Value in@100yds: 1/4 MOA mm@100m:7.25mm

We like this shotgun scope because of its Aim-Pro reticle that is etched on glass. This is a feature you would typically find in a tactical scope. The glass-etched reticle also works as a rangefinder.

The light transmission and image quality are excellent for the price since this scope costs under $. We also like the controls of this scope. The low turrets are more convenient and help keep the weight and bulk of the scope down. The ¼ MOA controls are very easy to adjust.

The 1.5 to 5x magnification range is ideal for hunting turkey and small game. The only downside of this scope is the somewhat limited field of view that ranges from 60 to 20’ at 100 yards.

Bushnell Trophy
Shotgun Scope 1.75-4x32mm
Circle-X Shotgun
Slug Reticle

Bushnell Trophy Shotgun Scope with Circle-X Reticle, 1.75-4 x 32mm, Matte Black
  • Fully multi-coated optics and rain guard HD offer 91% light transmission in any weather
  • 100% waterproof, Fog proof and shockproof 1 inch one-piece tube construction with integrated saddle
  • 1.75-4X magnification with circle-x reticle and 3.5 inch eye relief
  • Fast-focus eyepiece and 1/4 MOA fingertip windage and elevation adjustments
  • Backed by Bushnell no Questions Asked Lifetime Warranty

This is one of the best shotgun scopes we found when it comes to optics performance. This scope is more expensive than the other products we selected, but it is an excellent value if you are looking for image quality.

The 91 percent light transmission makes this scope ideal for shooting at dusk and in other low-light settings. The Circle-X reticle will help you get a precise shot.

We also liked the fast focus eyepiece. This feature can make a difference when you need to quickly lock on a target.

This scope is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. The ¼ MOA adjustments give you all the precision you need. We like the low capped turrets but wish this scope had a zero stop feature. The 3.5” eye relief means you won’t be able to use this scope on a firearm with significant recoil.

Simmons ProDiamond Shotgun
Scope 1.5-5x32mm ProDiamond
Reticle Matte

Simmons Prohunter Prodiamond Shotgun Riflescope (1.5-5X32, Matte)
  • Quality optics with stunning HD clarity
  • 100% quality materials used and tested extensively
  • Beautiful design and durability built to last
  • Shotgun riflescope with 5x magnification and 32mm objective lens
  • Multi-coated optics and high-quality optical glass produce sharp, clear images

We like this shotgun scope because of the easy controls. If you are looking for a scope that you can adjust quickly, this is the right product for you.

Other scopes will be more accurate with their ¼ MOA adjustments, but the ½ MOA controls will help you save time. The medium turrets make the controls more accessible without making the scope too heavy.

We like the precision of the Diamond reticle and the rugged design of this scope. This is the perfect scope for turkey hunting or a slug gun if you don’t need ¼ MOA controls.

Mueller Multi-Shot Shotgun Scope 2-7x32mm Illuminated Circle Dot Reticle Matte

Mueller Multi Shot Rifle Scope, Black, 2-7 x 32mm
  • Eye relief of 3.5
  • Tube size of 1 inch
  • Magnification of 2-7 x
  • 32 millimeter objective

This is a more versatile shotgun scope that you can use for turkey as well as big game hunting. The illuminated dot makes a difference when shooting at a longer range.

The magnification power of this scope ranges from 2 to 7x, which makes the scope more versatile. Mueller is known for making high-quality optics. The image quality delivered by this scope stands out.

If you are looking for precision, contrast, and brightness, this is the right scope for you. This scope features ¼ MOA capped turrets with a low profile.

The main downside is the dot reticle. This design is ideal for big game hunting when combined with the illumination feature, but you might prefer a circle reticle.

Buyer’s Guide

Even though shotgun accessories tend to be more affordable than rifle scopes, you should still do some research to find the best scope for your needs. Here is everything you need to know about shotgun scopes.

Look For A Durable Design

The most important thing to look at when choosing a scope for a shotgun or a slug gun is the sturdiness of the design. Shotguns have more recoil than other firearms, and a poorly designed scope won’t last long.

You need to use a one-piece tube scope. You should make sure the scope is properly sealed to keep humidity and dirt out. The lenses should be coated with multiple layers to repel humidity and dirt.

The scope you choose should also be designed to perform well in foggy and overcast settings since this is an accessory you will probably use during hunting trips.

The quality of the mount is also important. Choose a scope that is compatible with standards mounts so you can easily find a sturdy accessory that won’t cause any sighting issues.

Optics Quality

The image quality and sharpness are very important when choosing a shotgun scope. You typically get what you pay for when it comes to firearms optics.

If possible, test different scopes to get a better idea of the kind of quality you can expect in different price ranges. Scopes designed for shotguns tend to be more affordable than riflescopes, but there is a difference in optics quality between a $ scope and a $ accessory.

There is no need to spend several hundreds of dollars to invest in a high-end shotgun scope, but don’t hesitate to spend a little more to get good image quality and color contrast.

Remember that you will probably use the scope to spot an animal against a brown or green background. You might also have to lock on a target that is moving. Image sharpness and color contrast can make a difference.

Illumination and light transmission are other important things to look at if you often hunt in low-light settings. These features aren't as important as they would be on a riflescope since you won’t use high magnification on a shotgun, but they can still improve your experience.

Optics quality is also important because a sharp image means you will get more eye relief. The amount of eye relief you need depends on the firearm you are using, but you should try to find a scope with at least 4” of eye relief just to be safe.

The ideal magnification power depends on what you use your shotgun for. A scope with a magnification range of 1 to 4x is perfect for brush hunting. This low magnification power keeps the price and weight of the scope down and provides you with the optics performance you need for brush hunting.

A scope with a magnification range of 3 to 9x is best for big game hunting. Pay attention to the quality of the reticle if you want to shop for a high magnification shotgun scope since the size, design, and markings of the reticle can have a real impact on your experience and accuracy.

There is no need to spend more to get a scope with high magnification power if you won’t use it. A fixed scope can be a great way to save money if you only need a 4x magnification setting.

Other Features To Look At

rifle scope

Image Source: Unsplash

There are a few other features you should look at when comparing scopes. The importance of these feature varies in function of how you use your firearm.

The weight and size of the scope can be important if your firearm is already heavy or if you need to carry it over long distances. A scope with higher magnification power and more moving parts will typically be heavier and bulkier.

Brightness and illumination settings are going to be important if you often hunt in low-light settings. Any scope with quality optics will provide sufficient light transmission in broad daylight. Brightness and illumination aren’t as important as they would be with a scope that features high magnification power.

We talked about eye relief earlier. This feature is very important if you use a 10 to 16 gauge shotgun. You will need at least 4” eye relief to be safe. If you use a firearm with a smaller gauge, eye relief won’t be a crucial feature.

You should also look for a scope with a matte finish. This will prevent light from being reflected and catching the eye of an animal.

If you aren’t sure which scope is right for you, look for a durable and versatile product. You will get more use out of a scope that you can use in a wide range of settings.

You should have a better idea of which scope is right for you. The seven products we recommended are a good fit for most hunters, but you should take a look at other scopes in case there are specific features that would improve your hunting experience.

A Review Of The Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 Hunting Backpack

There are backpacks and then there are backpacks. There's the backpack your kid takes to school and the day pack your Aunt Ruth takes on a two-hour “hike” to hold all her snacks. There are those little packs that hold bladders for water but nothing else. And then there's the Kuiu Icon Pro 1850.

The Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 is the bag to hold everything you need for trips that last for days and handle everything you and mother nature can throw at it along the way. This bag doesn't come in Precious Pink or Unity Blue. It comes in camouflage, another style of camouflage, and maybe in slate grey if they get that color back in. If you need a pack that can handle days on the trail as well as you can, then the Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 should be on your list.

What Is the Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 Bag?

The Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 is a leader in the industry when it comes to day packs and is part of the Icon Pro and Ultra pack systems. You can add a frame and suspension systems from either line or use it without a frame. There are endless opportunities to add additional gear even between the frame and bag.


The Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 can be used in four different configurations and offers plenty of pockets inside and out. It's pretty safe to say that this bag can hold as much as you're capable of carrying, yet it doesn't significantly add to your weight burden. The bag itself weighs just a feather over 23 ounces, and even when fully kitted out with everything you can add to it it's just under four pounds, four ounces.

Product Specs 

Capacity

Will the pack you're considering hold everything you need? There's a really good chance the Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 can. The bag itself has 1,850 cubic inches of capacity. The amazing part, really, is that the load sling capacity gives you room for another 2,500 cubic meters: perfect if you're packing out some meat after a successful hunt.


You also won't have an issue keeping things separated from each other as you carry them around. There are two pockets on the sides for stuffing things in, four pockets inside, two zippered outer pockets, a large mesh hydration pocket, and two outer mesh pockets that zipper shut.

Durability

It doesn't matter how much a bag can hold if it doesn't hold up itself. This one has been load tested to over 150 pounds, and all the fabric has been DWR coated so you get very good water resistance.


On top of all that, the fabric is 500D Cordura ripstop. Sounds impressive, right? Let's get to what that actually means.


Fabric Strength

Any fabric is only as strong as how well it's woven or spun together, and that weave will depend on how thick the material is that you're weaving together. When it comes to nylon, which the Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 is made from, Cordura is the most trusted brand.


However, strength isn't all there is to it. If it was, everything would be made of the same weave, really. The tighter you weave your nylon, the heavier it gets. The tightest possible weaves are found in ballistic armor, which is so strong it can stop some bullets and knives. But ballistic material is very heavy (just ask any policeman).


Best Pack Material

A hunting pack needs a lot of resistance to punctures and tears, but it also has to be light enough to carry around all day. 500D Cordura offers a great compromise between 1000D, which is stronger but heavier, and lesser weaves that won't hold up to much abuse.

Carry Quality

What's it like to carry this around? The best word we can think of to describe it is “comfortable.” You're getting four removable straps for changing things up either internally or externally, and the hook and loop retainers on the ends of all webbing make it easy to hang things out of the way of your torso or legs.


The compression straps evenly distribute the load, the shoulder straps have velcro so they couldn't be easier to adjust, and the padded waist belt makes it easy to get comfortable with the weight just the way you want it. This bag doesn't ride up or down your torso as you walk, either.

Usefulness

We do love how well this pack is designed. The configuration of the pockets could be the best thing about it. Not only do you have the pockets it comes with, but you can add as many pockets or pouches as you can handle to the hip belt and in any size.


There's a spot ready made to hold your bladder and direct the hose to your face for easy access to water, a great vertical pouch perfect for any long items like a scope, and bottle holders that would also hold a rifle conveniently. It would be safe to say that there really is no shape you can't find a convenient place for on this pack, and it's also safe to say that your legs are liable to give out before the capacity of this bag.

Pricing 

All the bags we looked at are made do some seriously hard work, and prices tend to reflect the quality and reliability that makes that possible. The most expensive of the bags we looked at are 300 to 400 dollars depending on where you get it and how fully kitted out the pack is with accessories and frame.


The cheapest we looked at can be had for around 130 dollars. More expensive bags are made for longer trips with meat packed out at the end and are usually more durable for the long haul.

How It Compares 

We wanted to see how the Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 held up to some competition, so we compared it with three other popular hunting packs out there.


  • ALPS OutdoorZ Commander +
  • Badlands Diablo Dos Approach Hunting Pack
  • Badlands 2200 Hunting Pack and Meat Hauler

Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 Bag

BLACKHAWK! Ultra Light 3-Day Assault Pack - Multi Cam
  • Constructed with lightweight 210/330 denier and 210 denier high tenacity rip Stop Nylon
  • Easy access main compartment with front pocket and map pocket
  • S.Make thisr.I.K.Fitted webbing over entire pack
  • Four exterior compression straps
  • Padded shoulder straps with D-rings

Ease of Use

We really can't get enough of how easy this is to use. For something so substantial, and with so many features, you would think it would be as complicated as launching a missile just to get ready for a week in the woods. About the only complaint we have is that the strap for holding the cam of your bow didn't work right with certain models.

Design Quality

No complaints here. The design sits on your back and hips just the way it should. This thing is so sturdy that after the apocalypse gets you, that crazy neighbor who was expecting it all along will come by to steal your Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 so he can move on in search of survivors.

Warranty

Kuiu is pretty confident in their product. They offer a limited lifetime warranty on your pack for anything that isn't caused by normal wear and tear or misuse. The warranty can't be transferred from the original owner, though.

Pros

  • Can carry a lot of weight
  • Durable and comfortable
  • Easy to adjust as circumstances change

Cons

  • When loaded, height makes it hard to move through low trees
  • Can't hold certain shapes of bows

ALPS OutdoorZ Commander +

ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag, Briar
  • Made of durable nylon rip stop fabric, giving you a long lasting Use in the Harshest weather environments
  • Organize your gear in one of the many pockets: two side accessory hinged pockets, Main, front and spotting scope pocket
  • Keep your essentials close with accommodation for clip-style holster, drop-down rifle pocket and hydration pocket and port
  • Detach your bag and use The frame to haul out meat with a unique, Secure lashing System
  • Total weight: 7 lbs. 5 oz. , bag weight: 2 lbs. 3 oz. , size: 5250³

This is another serious pack for the serious hunter or backpacker. It has almost more compartments than you can count with special places for your spotting scope and rifle. It's lightweight at just about two pounds without the frame.


The bag itself has 5,250 cubic inches of space, which is, frankly, astounding. And while it doesn't transfer weight quite well as the Kuiu Icon Pro 1850, it makes up for this with extraordinarily comfortable padding on the shoulder, waist, and back.


Detach the backpack and use the frame alone and you have the perfect way to carry meat from one place to another. The frame includes webbing loops to help you do this, and the frame is highly adjustable to accommodate people of different heights.

Ease of Use

We really can't get enough of how easy this is to use. For something so substantial, and with so many features, you would think it would be as complicated as launching a missile just to get ready for a week in the woods. About the only complaint we have is that the strap for holding the cam of your bow didn't work right with certain models.

Design Quality

No complaints here. The design sits on your back and hips just the way it should. This thing is so sturdy that after the apocalypse gets you, that crazy neighbor who was expecting it all along will come by to steal your Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 so he can move on in search of survivors.

Warranty

Kuiu is pretty confident in their product. They offer a limited lifetime warranty on your pack for anything that isn't caused by normal wear and tear or misuse. The warranty can't be transferred from the original owner, though.

Pros

  • Great price
  • Organization is good
  • Durable quality
  • Carries meat easily

Cons

  • No suspension makes large loads uncomfortable
  • Too noisy to work well for stealth
  • No water bottle pocket

Badlands Diablo Dos Approach Hunting Pack

Badlands Diablo Dos Camouflage Hunting Pack - Bow and Rifle Compatible, Approach FX
  • ULTRALIGHT STRENGTH - At just 4 lbs 4 oz, the Diablo Dos has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any hunting pack; With lots of cargo room, plus fabric that resists moisture, dirt, and blood, we won't blame you if you never use any other backpack
  • CARRY COMPATIBLE - When you're on the move and you need free hands, the Diablo Dos has you covered; It comes with an integrated rifle boot, which also fits many bows, and 3 back compression straps to give you lots of options for gear attachment; Specifically designed bow boot, sold separately, can be easily attached in place of the stock rifle boot; Compatible with 3-liter hydration systems
  • HYPERVENT SUSPENSION - With back suspension that allows cool air to pass freely between you and your pack and a load-transferring internal frame, the Diablo Dos eliminates shoulder fatigue and overheating so you can hike to hell and back
  • WATERPROOF & RUGGED - KXO-32 fabric that is the strongest, quietest, most waterproof material in the hunting world; Armatid bartacking reinforces all high-stress points, making this pack virtually indestructible
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY - Any damage, Badlands will replace it for free, forever; Weighs 4 lb 4 oz (1.9 kg) and measures 23 x 13 x 12 inches; Main compartment has a volume of 1700 cubic inches (27.9 L); Total volume is 2100 cubic inches (34.4 L); 7 pockets

This internal frame backpack is meant to take all the abuse you can possibly throw at it. In fact, the manufacturers encourage it. The pack is made of a proprietary fabric that is quiet, waterproof, and strong. That combined with the camouflage makes it possible to be very stealthy while wearing this pack.


The hyper vent suspension system is made to allow lots of air to flow between your back and the bag, keeping you cool for the long haul. The straps come with load lifters that make it easy to haul a lot, and the waist belt gives you access to all your immediate necessities.


The pack can accommodate either a bow or a rifle. Inside you'll find 2,100 cubic inches of storage space, a pocket for a 3 L hydration bladder, and seven pockets total. The bag is a bit heavy at just over four pounds, but it's made for hard work in hot weather.

Ease of Use

This bag is really easy to use and, in some ways, we liked it better than any of the others. The size and pocket number limits make it harder to lose your stuff. Though they do limit how much you can organize. How you like it will depend on your preferences.

Design Quality

Wow, is this bag a nice design. You can carry seriously heavy loads comfortably, it's genuinely waterproof (not just resistant), and once you hold it in your hand you wonder if even a tank shell would be capable of destroying it. Our only complaint is that you won't be hauling out a lot of meat with this.

Warranty