First Focal Plane vs Second Focal Plane: The Ultimate Buying Guide

There are few decisions more important for a hunter than choosing the correct focal plane scope. In fact, one of the questions we are most often asked by our readers is whether they should buy a first focal plane scope or one in the second position. Ultimately, the answer to this question depends on the purposes you intend to use your rifle for.

Do you want to find out which scope focal position you should buy? In this guide, our expert shooters go in-depth to spell out the differences between the two scope varieties and which is best for your individual needs.

Be warned, however, that the answer is not a simple one. Overall, the answer to the great debate between first focal plane vs second focal plane will depend on an honest self-assessment of your needs and personal preferences.

Comparison Table - FFP And SFP Reticles Scopes

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How They Work

Quite frankly, it is impossible to understand how scope focal planes work without first understanding how modern telescopic sights work.

Telescopic Sight

Telescopic sights, otherwise known as scopes, work by zooming in a target through an eyepiece via a built-in refracting telescope. Through the eyepiece, the shooter will notice a reticle that determines where the shot will be placed. The use of optical lenses and scopes make long distance shooting easier by increasing accuracy and minimizing the effects of recoil.

Scopes magnify far-away objects via the focal length of the eyepiece that is inside the device. The focal length of the lens acts as a telescope would, thus the targeted objects in the scope sightline will appear to be larger than it is to the naked eye.

Similarly, the objective lens diameter determines the amount of light that is gathered to create the image in the eyepiece. The longer the lens is in diameter, the brighter the image will appear. Likewise, the field of view (FOV) of a scope is a linear value that ascribes the precise number of degrees that the image will be viewed in (i.e., 180 degrees).

Focal Plane

Scopes that feature refracting telescope technology to present an image to the viewer have two primary planes of focus which the shooter’s crosshairs can aim with. These two planes are the first focal plane (FFP) and the second focal plane (SFP).

Some firearms, specifically those with fixed power scope sights, have no noticeable difference between these two focal planes. However, variable scope sights with the FFP expand and contract with the image as the magnification is adjusted. By contrast, SFP scopes on a variable system will feature a reticle that remains the same size regardless of magnification.

By default, most modern variable-power scopes are SFP unless stated otherwise. For many shooters, SFP reticles provide a more comfortable and natural shot than alternative systems.

Advantages and Disadvantages

To fully understand the difference between SFP and FFP, readers need to be aware of their respective advantages. In the first focal plane vs second focal plane discussion, it must be emphasized that there is no clear-cut superior system. Rather, both scope systems have their distinct advantages. Here is a quick breakdown of the most obvious benefits of FFP and SFP.

First Focal Plane

Although it is difficult to communicate without a visual representation, it helps to understand the difference between FFP and SFP if the reader imagines an object in their sightline. When peering through a scope toward, say, a deer, the crosshair (or reticle) will be placed over top of the object and appear very small.  

When you increase the magnification of your scope, the reticle will become larger and take up more of the sightline in the eyepiece. In other words, the crosshair will appear larger, although it will remain consistent with the size of the deer since the deer will also increase in size when zoomed in further.

For those with poor eyesight, FFP may be a safer option. This is because the shooter will be able to notice the reticle with greater ease than the SFP, which remains small relative to the target no matter the level of magnification.

Further, FFP scopes are generally considered superior for holdovers and hold-unders when targeting multiple objects. When using an FFP reticle, wind correction is also easier and faster according to many experienced long-distance shooters.

Second Focal Plane

The second focal plane (SFP) is an entirely different animal compared to the FFP. The main and obvious advantage of the SFP position is that the reticle will appear at a constant size to the shooter regardless of the level of magnification. This makes aiming a reliable and consistent experience that won’t “throw off” novice or beginner shooters.

When learning how to shoot, many prefer to use an SFP reticle. This is because it is easier to learn with than an FFP because there are no surprises during the aiming experience. Rather, the aiming process becomes predictable and consistent from start to finish. For those who shoot long range, this reticle position is usually not an ideal choice.

The benefit of an SFP over an FFP reticle is that the crosshair of an FFP will tend to remain small and thin then at low levels of magnification before suddenly becoming long and thick when at higher zoom settings. For many, this sudden change can be jarring and unsettling. Far too often we find that this change can ruin a novice’s shot before they even squeeze the trigger.

scope for hunting

via Giphy


For hunting, SFP is generally considered to be inferior to FFP. However, this should not discourage hunters from investing in an SFP reticle if they feel they might prefer this style. Again, it largely comes down to a matter of personal preference when deciding on a first focal plane vs second focal plane.

The rationale behind why hunters prefer FFP is that it can be complicated and time-consuming to mentally calculate the size of one’s reticle relative to the target change during magnification adjustments. However, hunters who only shoot at long range with the same level of magnification will not have to worry about these issues.

Best SFP Reticles Scopes

To help you find the best SFP reticle scopes, our experts put together this list of the best on the market today.

Primary Arms 1-6x24mm SFP Scope

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The Primary Arms 1-6x24mm SFP Scope is the all-around best option for novice shooters who want to learn how to transition to long or medium-range shooting. We recommend this device for its durable build, fantastic focal range, and patented CR2032 illumination.

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50 SFP Scope

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The Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50 SFP Scope is a great scope for those who want a higher-end model than the Primary Arms 1-6x24mm. This scope provides excellent value for novice and veteran shooters alike who want to benefit from Vortex’s premium VMR-1 reticle and ultra-durable multi-coated lenses.

With the option of 24x magnification, this scope is the perfect choice for long distance shooters who want to stick with an SFP reticle option. Overall, our experience with this scope has been extremely positive and we would recommend it for any shooter who wants to master SFP-equipped shooting.

Best FFP Reticles Scopes

Finding a quality FFP reticle scope can be a real challenge these days. That is why our expert team hand-tested the finest on the market to put together this quick list of the best FFP reticle scopes in the industry.

Primary Arms Platinum Series 1-8x24 FFP

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For a budget-friendly FFP solution, we recommend checking out the Primary Arms Platinum Series 1-8x24 FFP reticle scope. Not only does this scope offer lots of versatility with a 1-8x magnification, but it is also among the most rugged and durable on the market. Made of premium aluminum alloy, this scope can take a serious beating before it starts to give way.

Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC 2.5-10x50 Scope

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The Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC 2.5-10x50 Scope is arguably the best FFP scope in its price range. This scope packs all the premium high-quality materials you would expect from a Nikon product, with an excellent warranty and return policy to back it. Overall, there is hardly any risk in trying out the Nikon PROSTAFF 5 if you want an industry-leading FFP reticle scope.

Monstrum Tactical 1-6x24 FFP Scope

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With a 1-6x magnification, the Monstrum Tactical 1-6x24 FFP Scope does not provide the greatest range. However, it features an excellent eye relief barrel and an easy-to-read reticle that is great for entry-level shooters. Plus, its aircraft-grade construction makes it a long-lasting device that will serve you well for many seasons.


In conclusion, it must be reiterated that the first focal plane vs second focal plane discussion is one that hinges on the shooter’s individual needs. For novice hunters and those unfamiliar with the intricate techniques inherent to long-distance shooting, SFP reticles are generally undesirable. However, FFP can offer faster readying and greater accuracy for veteran shooters.

Zeiss Scopes Brand Review: What Makes The Brand Unique

Zeiss and its 170 years of experience produce excellent optics. Read our review of Zeiss scopes to learn why they are leaders in this market.

Zeiss scopes are among the best products available. With 170 years of practice behind them, Zeiss employs strict quality control standards to ensure their models remain top choices for hunters, and their glass is exceptional. Hunters around the world trust Zeiss to provide them with great scopes they can rely on in any weather or hunting situation.

Beyond that, and for most avid hunters, Zeiss hunting optics don’t need an introduction. Gun and hunting enthusiasts recognize the name immediately, and the authority Zeiss exercises over the industry. Few optics makers share their attention to detail and quality, and hunting and optics experts swear by their glass.

Comparison Table




Zeiss Terra 3-9x42 RZ6 Riflescope

product photo of Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest

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Zeiss Optical Victory HT 3-12x56 Illuminated Reticle 60 Rifle Scope

product photo of Zeiss Carl Optical Victory HT 3-12x56 20 Plex Reticle Rifle Scope

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Zeiss Terra 4-12x42 Plex

product photo of Carl Zeiss Terra 4-12x42 Plex Riflescope

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Zeiss Optical Conquest HD5 5-25x50 Rapid-Z 800 Ballistic Reticle Rifle Scope

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What Makes Zeiss Scopes Uniqueer Scopes

a rifle with scope on top of a rifle bag

Zeiss knows glass. It is that simple. Zeiss glass is everywhere you look from planes, automobiles, camera lenses, and some mobile phones. Their optics have literally been to the moon and back. In the optics industry, Zeiss glass and optics are the benchmarks. Their hunting scopes are no exception to the high standards they’ve set for their products.

The glass isn’t the only thing Zeiss offers in their optics, depending on the product, there are over 180 different types of glass used in Zeiss products along with precise mechanics. The mechanical parts keep your scope accurate through travel and the occasional bump while climbing in and out of your stand or taking your rifle out of your truck. If you’ve used a bargain scope before, you know it loses accuracy after you leave the shooting range.

Cheaper materials and mechanical parts are responsible for “loose” scopes. With Zeiss scopes, you'll get the same accuracy on the field and the firing range. Unless you drop your gun and it lands on the scope, the scope's precise mechanics won't vibrate loose, change your settings, or otherwise degrade during regular use.  

Showcasing Zeiss Scopes: A Few Favorites

If you've done any research yourself, you will recognize these scopes or at least one of them. We didn't choose our favorites based on price or personal experience. Instead, we looked at performance, sales, and customer comments or reviews.

The list of overall favorite Zeiss scopes is short but packed with high-quality scopes you can rely on to remain accurate, gather plenty of light, and perform above expectations.

​Zeiss Terra 3-9x42 RZ6 Riflescope

product photo of Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest

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We consider this scope an all-around scope. It performs well in low light conditions such as dusk and dawn hunts when heavy light collection is crucial. Visibility in low light is essential for safety and making sure you get a clean shot. For the money, at $ on Amazon, this scope is one of the most affordable Zeiss scopes.

Notable features:

  • Aluminum turret caps
  • MC anti-reflective coatings
  • Rz6 reticle
  • Rugged, anodized, and waterproof tube

Zeiss Optical
Victory HT 3-12x56
Illuminated Reticle 
60 Rifle Scope

product photo of Zeiss Carl Optical Victory HT 3-12x56 20 Plex Reticle Rifle Scope

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This scope is perfect for mid-range shooting. Whether hunting, competition shooting, or recreational target practice, the Victory HT is the brightest scope in the Zeiss Victory series. It comes with a pretty large price tag, $$$ on Amazon, but it’s worth every cent. It’s one of the brightest scopes on the market thanks to the Schott HT glass and boasts 95% light transmission.  

Notable features:

  • 56mm diameter lens
  • Knurled turrets
  • Schott HT high light transmission glass
  • Fast focus eyepiece

Zeiss Terra 4-12x42 Plex

product photo of Carl Zeiss Terra 4-12x42 Plex Riflescope

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This scope is one of the more affordable in the Zeiss Terra series. You can order it from Amazon for $. If we were picking a favorite scope for low-light shooting at mid to long ranges, this scope is a strong contender. Its sturdy and compact design make it ideal for stalking. At the same time, it's an excellent choice for recreational shooting.

The reticle and crosshairs are suited for shooting large or small targets. They lack illumination, but the light collection on this scope is outstanding. The RZ8 reticle is suited for long shots using a large caliber gun such as the 300 Winchester Magnum, or smaller calibers for coyote or pest hunting. Bring all these features together, and this is a nearly perfect all-purpose scope.

Notable Features:

  • 44 MOA windage and elevation adjustment
  • MC AR coated optics for maximum light transfer
  • RZ8 reticle
  • Parallax free from 100 yards

Zeiss Optical Conquest HD5 5-25x50 Rapid-Z 800 Ballistic Reticle Rifle Scope

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This is one of the sharpest scopes in the Zeiss lineup. It features the Rapid-Z 800 reticle for accuracy at long ranges using large caliber ammo. It's designed with long-range shooters in mind with its 5x variable magnification, lockable turrets, and ballistic Rapid-Z 800 reticle. You'll get good use out of this scope on the range or a hunt. You can order it from Amazon for $$.

Notable features:

  • Rapid-Z 800 ballistic reticle
  • Second focal plane
  • 50 MOA windage adjustment
  • 70 MOA elevation adjustment
  • Fast focus eyepiece

Any of these scopes is an excellent choice for hunting or recreational shooting. They're all suited for mid to long range shooting, even the scopes designed for long range work well at mid ranges if necessary. You’ll need to decide how far your average shots are and choose accordingly. Unlike economy scopes, you won’t lose accuracy with repeated shots from large caliber guns. They can take the recoil.

Let’s Talk Price

a soldier hiding and holding up a firearm with scope

Zeiss scopes are not cheap, but they're worth every dime. They have some of the highest light transfer among their competitors, and they're tough. You can find a Zeiss scope suited for any situation from recreational shooting to long range hunting. The scopes we highlighted above are favorites, but only represent a fraction of what is available.

You can’t talk about the price of Zeiss scopes without thinking about their competition. Leupold scopes are the first thing we think of when we think about competitors that have similar scopes, quality assurance, and durability. There isn't a huge price difference if we compare similar Zeiss and Leupold scopes.

Leupold’s Competition Series 45x45mm rings in at an MSRP of $$, and their VX-6 7-42x56mm has an MSRP of $$$. These aren't identical to the scopes we covered above, but they are similar in use, magnification, and quality. They're close enough that we can say Leupold is slightly less expensive than Zeiss, but we think Zeiss is better based on glass quality.

When you find yourself in the market for a new scope, it comes down to a choice of how much you want to invest compared to which scopes perform the best in specific situations. For instance, if you are a recreational shooter, low light shooting probably isn’t on the list of things to consider. However, if you are a hunter, you must deal with poor light conditions quite often.

We all want to save every dollar we can and buying a high-end scope is a substantial investment. That said, the price of the scope is less important than the quality and performance. If you have decided to buy a scope along the same quality lines as Zeiss, you have accepted the hefty price tag that comes attached to the scope. In the hunting optics world, you can’t find a quality economy scope.

Customers Love Zeiss Scopes

a hunter standing and aiming his gun by looking through the scope attached to his firearm

If you’re an avid hunter or shooter, you recognize the top of the line scope brands like Zeiss, Leupold, Burris, and Bushnell, to name a few. We all have our favorite brand and getting us to buy something else is no easy feat. However, if you don't have experience with Zeiss optics, we urge you to take a more in-depth look at their products.

Hunters and shooters that own Zeiss scopes swear by them. In a few minutes of searching popular hunting, shooting, and gun enthusiasts websites, we found hundreds of glowing reviews for Zeiss scopes. So, don't take our word for it; have a look for yourself. We think you'll see the gun community supports our stance on Zeiss scopes.

A large chunk of Zeiss customers praises their scopes mechanics and turrets. The scopes hold their settings during travel, rough hunting trips, and even a few bumps. Once you have your scope set, the only adjustments you’ll need are windage and elevation changes in the field.

Nothing ruins a hunting trip faster than seeing dirt fly up six feet to the left of your target because your scope didn’t handle the trip well or took a little bump on the way up the stand.

Some customers reported less than .5 centimeters change in groupings over a two-year period. We found several comments claiming similar results. Those comments alone are a testament to the quality of Zeiss scopes and their mechanics.

Customers commenting on how well the scopes hold their settings admitted that the only times they had to adjust their scope, aside from windage or elevation, was when their gun fell or was otherwise shocked pretty hard.

a person wearing a camouflage cover in his head and holding up a gun with scope

Customers had plenty to say about the scope's other great features as well. Brightness was a key talking point across all the comments or reviews we read. We can't review or test every scope Zeiss offers.

So, we look to customers to tell us about their experience with other models in the field. Brightness in low light situations and, as we mentioned above, the scope's internal mechanics are the reasons most customers say they continue to buy scopes made by Zeiss.

Many of the comments compared Zeiss scopes to other scopes the customers used in low light conditions. Competitions shooters don't deal with low light very often, but hunters find themselves trying to aim in low light all the time. Compared to economy scopes, Zeiss was a favorite among hunters, and their most significant reason for loving the scopes is their performance in low light.

The high-quality glass and coatings send Zeiss scopes soaring above the competition for light collection. Many customers claimed the light collection properties of these scopes is beyond compare. Nothing is indeed beyond compare, but these scopes do a fantastic job of collecting light and helping you find a target at dusk or dawn when light levels are low.

Other than the price, we didn't find many negative reviews or comments. Overall, customers are happy with their scopes. The few negative remarks we saw all came down to the price. Like we mentioned above, Zeiss scopes are not economy scopes. If you don't hunt or shoot often, the cost is too high to justify. Otherwise, you get what you pay for, and Zeiss scopes are worth the money.

Our Take on
Zeiss Scopes

close-up photo showing what you can see through a rifle scope

We firmly believe you will fall in love with these scopes if you try one. If you currently use another brand’s scope and have problems with the mechanics or light collection properties, give these scopes a chance. You won’t regret it, especially if you are used to economy scopes. Upgrading to a Zeiss scope from an economy scope is a tough decision, for the money, but we’re confident it’s the best choice.

The real choice is in your hands. Unboxing a $$$ scope is a great feeling but knowing that money netted you a top of the line scope is another feeling altogether. You have to decide if the money is worth it when compared to your needs.

If you don’t hunt very often and you aren’t a recreational shooter, these scopes are not the best choice for your money. A mid-tier scope is all you need for a few hunting trips a year or some occasional target practice with friends.


Zeiss is a leader in the optics world. They have exceptional light collection abilities and cutting-edge reticles. Their scopes are designed to perform in the best and worst weather conditions, and they exceed every expectation. The internal mechanics and turrets outperform the competition, and they hold their settings through travel, storage, and rugged use.

Zeiss scopes earned their spot among the leaders in optics and glass manufacturers. They've practiced for 170 years, and they led the race to 95 percent light transference. Don't take our word for it.

Try any of their scopes that fit your needs, and you'll see why we say they are in a class above most scopes. At the very least, talk to your friends that shoot or hunt and get their opinions on these scopes. We're betting they will tell you the same thing.

4 Best Vortex Strike Eagle Scopes & Buyer’s Guide

Whether you’re an experienced marksman or a recreational shooter searching for the perfect rifle scope, you’ll want to read this Vortex Strike Eagle review.  We take an in-depth look at the scope specs and performance and give you buying tips on the model that’s right for you.

Vortex Strike Eagle - Comparison Table

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Scope Review: Vortex Strike Eagle Review

close-up photo of a scope attached to a rifle which a man is holding

Vortex Optics are making a name for themselves in the gun world, and their newest line of rifle scopes are getting rave reviews from users.  Both experienced marksmen and novice shooters alike are impressed by the quality and accuracy of their scopes, and in this Vortex Strike Eagle review, we take an in-depth look at the pros and cons.

We’ll give you a rundown of the specs, how the scopes work, and a detailed technical overview so that you know what you’re getting and what you’ll pay for it.  We’ve also included information about Vortex Optics, what users have to say about the Strike Eagle, and some thoughts on other scopes that might fit the bill too.

Finally, we wrap up with our unbiased opinion on whether the Vortex Strike Eagle is worth the money, and how you can save a little extra if you’re ready to buy.

In this Vortex Strike Eagle review, we’ll include information on each of the four options in the Strike Eagle Line.  They include the 4-24x50, 3-18x44, 1-8x24 and 1-6x24. 

Every one of these Vortex scopes is built to improve your accuracy on a variety of shots, including short and long range, as well as technical or tactical shooting.  They are best used on semi-automatic rifles like the AR15, Ruger Mini series, or the ARAK 21 that feature modern technology and are built for sporting or leisure.

Each of the Vortex Strike Eagle models includes a variable zoom that gives it versatility in a range of shooting situations, and users report that they work particularly well in competition or tactical shooting.  They also perform well in hunting situations, specifically when targeting small varmint or fast-moving predators. 

Here is a breakdown of the specifications on each of the models.


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The Vortex Strike Eagle models are named by their magnification and objective lens size, and the 4-24x50 is the high-end model.  The most expensive of the bunch, it features magnification settings between 2 and 24 times and has the largest objective lens in the Strike Eagle models that measures 50mm in diameter. 

This model has an eye relief at 3.5 inches, and a wide field of view at 26.2-4.3 feet/100 yards.  The reticle is an EBR4, a favorite of long-distance shooters for it’s ranging abilities.  This feature makes it easy to determine an accurate range, make windage corrections, and get a lead on moving targets. 

The largest and heaviest option, the tube is 30 mm, it’s 14.9 inches long, and it weighs in at 25.6 ounces.  

From an adjustment standpoint, the 4-24x50 incorporates a tactical turret that’s easy to use, and has a .25 MOA graduation and travels 12 MOA per rotation.  This scope is limited to a max elevation and windage adjustment of 80 MOA, and the parallax setting is set at 20 yards to infinity.


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For $ less, the 3-18x44 riflescope offers many of the same features as the higher end model, and many users find it to be comparable and equally as effective.

As its name suggests, it has a 3-18 x magnification and a 44mm objective lens diameter.  The eye relief has a range between 3.5 and 4.1 inches, and the field of view is 34.5-5.7 feet/100 yards.  It has the same EBR4 reticle as its more expensive counterpart.

If the weight of your rifle scope is an important factor, you’ll note that the 3-18x44 is both lighter and a bit smaller than the 4-24x50.  It has a 30mm tube and measures 13.5 inches long. It weighs 23.9 ounces.

This model also uses a tactical style turret with a .25 MOA graduation that travels 12 MOA per rotation.  Despite the same parallax setting of 20 yards to infinity, a notable difference is that the 3-18x44 has a max windage and elevation adjustment of 120 MOA.


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Specifically designed for the AR-15, the Strike Eagle 1-8x24 is an adaptable option that’s perfectly suited to a variety of shooting needs and styles.  With a true 1x magnification included on the low end of the spectrum, you can use this scope for anything from home defense to recreational shooting with accuracy.  The 8x zoom range makes it easy to sight your target, and the 24mm objective lens is a versatile fan favorite. 

This model as a 3.5-inch eye relief and a 116.6-14.4 feet/100 yards field of view.  It has an AR-BDC2 glass-etched reticle that works notably well with 5.56 ammo.

The main difference between this and the 1-6x24, and the more expensive scopes listed above other than their magnification capacities and price is the turret style.  This model features a capped turret with 1/2 adjustment graduation.  

Every rotation has 44 MOA of travel, and you have a max elevation and wind age adjustment of 100 MOA.  The parallax setting on this model is an even 100 yards.

Despite its durable, high-quality construction, this scope is compact and lightweight.  The 30 mm tube is only 10 inches long, and it weighs just 16.5 ounces, making it the lightest weight option in the Strike Eagle line up.


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Although the Strike Eagle 1-6x24 is the least expensive scope in this class, it’s far from your basic entry-level model.  Perfect for AR shooters who need accuracy at a point-blank range, or those who want to extend their capabilities and see a crisp, clear visual on their target in a low-light situation.

Here you have a 1-6x magnification range and an objective lens that measure 24 mm.  Like the other scopes in this line, the eye relief is 3.5 inches, and the field of view comes in at 116.5-19.2 feet/100 yards.  The 1-6x24 has an AR-BDC reticle which is considered an entry-level option with it’s easy to sight centered red halo for simple target acquisition. 

This model also has a capped turret with a 1/2 MOA adjustment graduation that ravels 44 MOA per rotation.  You can adjust to a maximum of 140 MOA on both elevation and windage with this Vortex scope. Like it’s higher-end counterpart, the parallax setting is 100 yards.

The main difference outside of price and magnification between this model and the 1-8x24 is its size.  This option has a 30mm tube that is 10.5 inches long and heavier than the higher end model at 17.6 ounces. 

Buyer's Guide

Although each of the Strike Eagle models features a plethora of helpful features, their construction and technology are all relatively standard when you compare them to other rifle scopes.  However, there are two areas where Vortex products stand out in general that are worth mentioning when comparing to their competition.

VIP Warranty

a rifle with attached rifle scope set up in an outdoor shooting range

One of the reasons why Vortex products are so popular is because they are designed to be durable and reliable.  Users rarely report issues with their scopes, but when one arises, Vortex takes care of their customers. Their VIP Warranty program, which stands for Very Important Promise, guarantees that they will repair or replace their scope for free if it is defective or is damaged in any way.  

Unlike other manufacturers who offer limited warranties and won’t cover their products due to certain types of damage, Vortex doesn’t limit their coverage.  Their unlimited lifetime warranty doesn’t require a receipt, just that you contact the company and file a claim. 

The only caveats are if your scope gets lost or stolen, or if you deliberately damage it (and they can prove it). 

Value for the Money

In nearly every Vortex Strike Eagle review you read, you’ll notice that they always receive high-value ratings.  This is because each of these scopes features advanced technology that gives you military-grade optics at a fraction of the cost of their competitors.

If you compare these models to those with similar capabilities produced by other manufacturers, you’ll notice that the price point is anywhere from three to five times more than you’ll pay with a Vortex scope.  We’ve included a few comparisons below for reference. 

About Vortex Optics

One of the reasons shooters appreciate Vortex Optics as a company is because they are a local, American owned business who is passionate about their customers and their community.  They were founded in 1986 by a family that included veterans in south-central Wisconsin, and they have worked hard to deliver personalized service to their customers ever since.

Today they employ over 200 team members in the U.S. and distribute their products to gun enthusiasts worldwide.  


The Vortex Strike Eagle scopes vary in price based on the model.  The 4-24x50 option retails for $$, and the 3-18x44 $$.

If you don’t need that much magnification, you can save some money.  The Strike Eagle 1-8x24 is priced at $$, and the 1-6x24 is an entry-level option at $.

You can also purchase accessories, like an optic cover, mounting kit, or cleaning kit for the scope.  They range in price from $ for the cap to $ for the mounting kit. 

There are no shortage of rifle scopes to choose from, and while the lineup of Vortex Strike Eagle products is impressive, there is lots of competition out there that have similar functionality.

For example, the Primary Arms 1-8x 24mm scope is nearly identical to the Strike Eagle 1-8x24 for a slightly lower price of around $.  It has a different reticle, the ACSS 5.56/.308, and weighs a bit less at 16.0 ounces, which makes it worth a look. However, it isn’t backed by the Vortex VIP Warranty, which could be a decision making factor if you’re hard on your equipment.

The Trijicon RS-27 is another 1-8x comparable model that includes First Focal Plane reticle technology.  This means that the reticle gets larger as you zoom in close, unlike the Second Focal Plane reticle that you see in the Vortex scopes where it stays a constant size regardless of how much you zoom.  Users report that FFP reticles tend to be more accurate and easier to use.

That said, the Trijicon costs upwards of $$$, which is a hefty investment for a potentially small advantage.  If the added accuracy at 8x magnification is important to you, it may make sense to look at another model outside of the Vortex Strike Eagle. 

What We Think

close-up photo of a scope attached to a rifle

There are merits to each of the scopes in the Vortex Strike Eagle line.  Overall, the brand delivers optics that have versatile uses and combine modern technology and features into a user-friendly device.  

Not only do these scopes look the part, but they deliver with superior performance for both short and long-range targets.  The biggest selling point of these models is the price. They offer the same capabilities as many competitors for a fraction of the cost and also boast the Vortex VIP Warranty which could save you hundreds in the long run.

Which scope is best for you will depend on several factors.  What you plan to use it for, how you most often shoot your rifle, and your budget will help you narrow down your options.  Regardless of which you choose, our Vortex Strike Eagle review is that they are overall a budget-friendly choice that delivers excellent performance in a range of conditions.

Coupons and Deals

Although they don’t come around often, you can sometimes find manufacturer rebates on some of the Vortex Strike Eagle products online.  When you do, they usually offer you up to 20% off your purchase. Keep an eye out for these offers, and don’t be afraid to ask at your local gun shop if there are any unadvertised specials that you can use.

Scope Review: EOTech 518


In the realm of holographic weapon sights, EOTech is king, and one of their crown jewels is the EOTech 518. It's one of the best products from the top producer in its industry. But is it worth the price? That brand name power and fancy features don't come cheap. Do you really need all that stuff? Should you buy a sight that is more expensive than some guns on the market?

Let's find out by going over the specs and how the EOTech 518 performs. But first, let's get an idea of why the EOTech name garners such respect and high prices. We also look at how these types of holographic sights function, as well as which parts are essential and which features are fluff.

The EOTech 518: What Makes it Unique

On to the main course. Released in 2015, the EOTech 518 has been one of the company's best sellers, and for a good reason. It is the natural evolution of the EOTech 512 with several small tweaks and additions. Except for some small preferential differences, users regard all of these changes as positive.

It performs better than its predecessors and has several new additions that make it a more complete and robust tool. Let’s go in depth and examine it from all of the angles.

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Our Rating

$ $

The Basics

The EOTech 518 is made in the USA. An important distinction for some, as several other high-profile optics manufacturers have outsourced labor to bring costs down such as Burris or Bushnell. As you’ll see later, though, that “Made in the U.S.A.” sticker comes at a cost.


The housing of the sight is made of high-grade aluminum and, of course, comes in tacticool black. All EOTech holosights, like the Eotech XPS2 and Eotech 512.165 that we recently reviewed the 518 can take a beating and a splashing and still keep working away. There is little difference between their civilian and mil-spec models, so their customers are getting combat grade optics. You can submerge this baby in up to 10ft of water with no problems!

The EOTech 518 is powered by two AA alkaline or lithium batteries. Any common kind will do, disposable or rechargeable. Most holosights require at least this much battery power due to the energy demands of the laser apparatuses within the sight. A rechargeable would not retain a charge long enough to be useful and would be inconvenient if it gave out in the field.


At this point, there is no way around the two AA battery limitation. It's the best option, though as others require the rarer batteries like the 123-lithium battery.


The exact specifications of the EOTech 518 are as follows:

  • Length: 5.6 inches
  • Weight: 13.8 ounces
  • Magnification: 1
  • Reticle Color: Red
  • Reticle Size: 68 MOA Circle With 1 MOA Dot
  • Finish: Matte


The EOTech 518 performs every bit as well as its predecessor and surpasses it in some areas. It is reliable, and the reticle is crisp and clear when adjusted properly. The aperture is also very clear and is highly resistant to damage, smudges and condensation. It's especially proficient at aiding fast target acquisition with two-eye-open shooting, as it holds its reticle on target firmly even when using full auto fire.

Ease of Use

One of the primary differences between the 518 and the 512 is that the newer model features a quick disconnect system for mounting and demounting the device. Other, older models employ standard rail attachment systems which take longer to remove or connect and sometimes requires tools.

The EOTech 518 detaches in seconds with a few presses and clicks for easy and quick removal or activation. Despite being a quicker system, the quick disconnect feature does not seem to make the sight any less firmly attached to a weapon. The performance is comparable to that of the old style of attachment, just faster.

Magnification Compatibility and Adjustment Buttons

While the image shown by the 518 is not magnified in any way, it is compatible with a magnifier. These devices, sold separately, attached to the rear of the holosight and usually can be flipped to the side when not in use.

In this way, the operator can swap between 1X magnification to a higher magnification in an instant to compensate for evolving engagements and conditions. EOTech also sells their own magnifiers if you want one with the same brand name clout and quality.

To make the sight even more compatible, EOTech designed their 518 with the adjustment buttons on the side. This way, if the operator wishes to adjust the brightness of the sight, they need not flip the magnifier out of the way first. Also, line of sight need not be broken to adjust the sight, as you can now adjust it while still viewing through the holosight instead of looking at our hand.

This improvement might have some drawbacks, however. Before, with the rear mounted buttons, the adjustment procedure was ambidextrous. Now, left-handed shooters are at something of a disadvantage as they will have to either reach over the top of the sight to adjust it or remove their left hand from the trigger to do it.

Neither situation is ideal, but EOTech found that the pros outweigh the cons, even for the small population of lefties out there.

Laser Battery Cap

The 518 is also compatible with the Laser Battery Cap (LBC). This little doodad replaces the existing battery cap on the holosight and implements a laser targeting device seamlessly installed so the two devices can work in tandem.

The LBC can emit a standard red visible laser or a civilian IR laser for use in low light conditions. Unfortunately, the LBC is sold separately by EOTech and does not come standard. It also isn't cheap, costing nearly as much as the holosight itself. Still, it looks almost irresistibly cool and sleek.

Night Vision Compatibility

The EOTech 518 is not compatible with night vision systems. However, its sister model, the EOTech 558 is. The 558 is virtually identical to the 518, with the exceptions of its night vision compatibility and of course its price. The 558 also comes with several extra settings that are required to fine tune to sight to pair better with a night vision device.


The MSRP of an EOTech is $529, while the MSRP of the 558 is $629. As the products are now a few years old, they can be found for less online, but not much less. These are still premium, top of the line sights and likely won’t fall too far in price any time soon.

If you like the sight, but want to save some money, you could spring for the older 512 model. You'll save a few bucks, but not many. EOTech charges a lot for their quality and reliability, and their many customers believe it is worth it.

If you want to get a holosight on the cheap, you'll have to browse other brands or find a suitable knock-off. Some of these holosight clones perform admirably, but if it's the best you want, then EOTech is your company.

EOTech: The First and (Arguably) Best

Best Eotech

EOTech was founded in Ann Arbor Michigan in 1995. They set out to produce and commercialize their breakthrough in the weapon sight field: the holographic sight (more on that later). In the years since they have maintained much of their dominance in the industry and is second only to perhaps Aimpoint in name recognition and reputation.

EOTech has built up their fortunes not only with civilian sales but with lucrative military contracts as well. Since 1996, EOTech has been providing holographic sights for the U.S. military for use with small arms as well as some heavier weaponry such as grenade launchers. Several foreign militaries also make use of their products.

Time to address the elephant in the room. EOTech has been mired in controversy a few times in its history. Most recently, EOTech's parent company L-3 paid a large sum of money after being accused of fraud by the U.S. military.

The company failed to warn the military about possible shortfalls and defects of their holographic sights. In extremely hot or cold temperatures, there was a significant shift in zero causing poor accuracy even after returning to ambient temperatures.

Their main competitor, Aimpoint has pulled ahead of EOTech somewhat, but that shouldn’t dissuade you. Any civilian operator is not likely to experience these defects, which have already been addressed and mitigated. Regardless, EOTech has been offering refunds to any users who experienced those defects.

The Holosight

eotech 518 Holosight

The holographic sight also called a "holosight", is an alternative to the reflector or "red-dot" sight first invented by Aimpoint. It has several advantages over its predecessor, but also some drawbacks. Let's go over these functions to see how the EOTech 518 performs.



Holographic sights are considered to be more precise and accurate as their reticles are crisper and more customizable. Since the reticle is produced in three dimensions into a holographic film and not reflected, its shape, color, position and size can be adjusted on the fly. Many users rate the holosights as better for rapid target acquisition, but that is far from a universal truth.



Holosight technology is a bit more complex, as it employs lasers to create its reticle image. As such they require batteries, usually common AAs, to power their more resource hungry technology. The result is shorter battery life and more frequent swaps if it's being used heavily. Aimpoints use an LED for their simpler reticles, and as such, they can measure their battery life in the 10s of thousands of hours.



As military grade hardware, these sights have to be able to take a beating. Holosights claim the be able to handle shocks, drops, all kinds of weather and even being submerged. A good holosight must live up to its reputation as a rugged military and law enforcement necessity.

Two Eye Open Shooting

Two Eye Open Shooting

One of the main advantages of holosights over traditional iron sights is the ability to shoot with both eyes open. Since the holosights viewing window is so large, you can use both eyes to view your target. Additionally, there is no parallax; you do not need to align anything together due to distance like front and rear sights.

Not only does this allow for easier and quicker target acquisition, but it also increases peripheral vision and situational awareness. This advantage makes holosights especially useful in close quarters.

Cross dominant eye shooters (operators whose dominant hand and eye are on different sides of their bodies) also find benefit with the holosight, as they need not choose which eye to use and can simply keep both eyes open.

The EOtech 518: What We Think

The 518 is great. There's really not much to it. It is one of the best sights out there and leaves its competition in the dust. We like getting the best gear for our weapons (within reason) because shooting is like football; it's a game of inches and every edge counts. To get the best optics edge, EOTech is the way to go, and their 518 is a great all-around option with its ease of use and compatibility with both easy to find AA batteries and magnifiers.

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The main drawback of the 518 is its price. Having the best gear is great if you can pay for it, and EOTech asks a lot. Is it worth the price? Well, you'll have to ask yourself how much cash you have to drop and if you really need mil spec optics. Not everyone does need the quality that EOtech offers and not everyone can afford it.

You can get a fine optics experience from much cheaper holographic or even reflector and ACOG sights. Hardcore (and well-funded) gun nuts will love the 518, while more casual shooters probably won't get their money's worth and can settle for less.

Best Rangefinder Scope: Good For Hunting And Target Shooting

Best Rangefinder Scope

META: Buyer’s guide and reviews of the best rangefinder scopes on Amazon. Get our 100 percent honest opinion of the top rangefinder scopes.

If you’re new to the world of hunting and target shooting, or you’ve never invested in a scope before, the process of shopping for a rangefinder scope can be bewildering and frustrating. Unless you’re a long-time enthusiast or you’ve done your homework, all of the numbers and acronyms are difficult to decipher.

To make the process a little easier on you, we put together a guide to the best rangefinder scopes on Amazon.

How We Chose Our Ratings

After looking at all of the rangefinder scopes available on Amazon, we decided to review them all against each other, even though there are two distinct classes of scopes available at widely disparate prices. It’s more difficult to compare a $40 scope to a $400 scope than to only consider models in the same price range, but we wanted to provide the complete picture.

Every rangefinder scope on our list has at least four stars on Amazon. We went through all of the customer reviews to discover which scopes were the most loved, regardless of price. We looked at the magnification levels, rangefinder options, ease of installation, and special features to determine how each rangefinder scope compared to the others.

Ultimately, we ended up with a list of the 8 best rangefinder scopes.

The Top 8 Best Rangefinder Scopes

Monstrum Tactical Rifle Scope with Illuminated Rangefinder

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Monstrum Tactical’s rangefinder scope is 2-7×32, which means it can magnify from 2 to 7 times and has a 32mm-diameter forward lens. It has the least-powerful magnification of any of the scopes on our list, which docked some points off our rating.

The adjustable, illuminated rangefinder reticle comes with five brightness levels in both red and green so that you can switch between the two for better visibility at night. The adjustable objective lens (or AO) gives you a sharper focus and better range estimation while eliminating parallax.

The Monstrum Tactical scope’s body is made from aircraft grade aluminum, and the sealed, nitrogen-charged tube makes it waterproof and fog-proof.

The windage and elevation adjustment dials have ¼ MOA/click stops with locking turrets. The reversible one-inch scope rings will mount the rangefinder scope to any flat-top Picatinny rail. The scope comes with a battery and a set of lens covers.

The Monstrum Tactical rangefinder scope doesn’t have a ton of customers reviews, but they’re all positive. If the scope were less expensive ($79.95 is nothing to sneeze at) or had better features, it would rank higher on our list, but as-is we thought it deserved 4.3 out of 5 stars.

Aipa AR15 Tactical Rifle Scope

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The Aipa rifle scope is 4-12×50, magnifying 4 to 12 times with a 50mm forward lens diameter. It comes with a green laser and a holographic reflex sight.

The Aipa scope has a red dot reflex sight, providing high-resolution images and a wide field of view. Five brightness settings allow you to control the illumination of your reticle.

The fast-focus eyepiece allows you to quickly sight your target in tactical situations. The ¼-inch fingertip-resettable windage and elevation adjustments allow you to calibrate on the flight.

The rangefinder scope is matte black and waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. It’s advertised as being an AR15 scope, but it will fit any rifle with Weaver or Picatinny rails.

The Aipa rangefinder scope is, according to many customers, worth every penny of its $85.99 price. Some folks had issues with the holographic sight losing its calibration after sitting for too long, and others expressed frustration with the mounting process, which the user manual doesn’t fully explain. Overall, we think this scope earned 4.4 out of 5 stars.

XOPin AR15 Tactical Rifle Scope

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The XOPin rifle scope is 4-16x50EG, with 4 to 16 times magnification and a 50mm, etched-glass (or EG) forward lens. Its integrated rails allow it to install on any Weaver or Picatinny rail mount.

The fully coated optical lens is protected by dry nitrogen gas, making it waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof. A detachable green laser sight can reach 200-500 meters. A tubeless holographic sight provides a wide field of view.

Red and green multi-x reticles have five brightness levels. The windage and elevation are adjusted with a fingertip resettable ¼-inch clicking dial. The fast-focus eyepiece allows you to sight your target quickly.

The XOPin seller on Amazon offers a 12-month guarantee and will replace or refund your scope if you have any problems with it.

Though we initially thought the price of $103.99 was a little high for this model, most customers fully believe they got their money’s worth. Many glowing reviews talk about how easy it is to use and how well it works, so it looks like we were wrong about this one. We rated the XOPin tactical rifle scope 4.5 out of 5 stars.

BTC Tactical Rifle Scope with Illuminated Rangefinder

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The BTC tactical rifle scope is 2.5-10×40, so it magnifies 2.5 to 10 times and has a 40mm objective diameter. It’s constructed of high-quality aluminum with an anodized finish that is shockproof, waterproof, and fog-proof.

The integrated quick-release mounting system works with Weaver and Picatinny rails. The field of view at 100 yards is 12.4 to 37.5 feet, depending on the magnification level.

The rangefinder reticle illumination has five different intensity levels, and the reticle displays in black, red, or green. The BTC has standard X-Y windage, and elevation click adjustment.

The rifle scope comes with lens covers, batteries, and Allen wrenches.

According to customers, the BTC rifle scope is easy to mount and has a short learning curve. Some users expressed dissatisfaction with how quickly it loses its sight after you use it. You have to recalibrate it every time you take it out. At $40.99 though, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth, which is why we gave the BTC tactical rifle scope 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Pinty Red Green Rangefinder Rifle Scope

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The Pinty rifle scope is 3-9×50, so it magnifies 3 to 9 times and has a 50mm-diameter forward lens. Integrated flip covers protect your lenses and offer ultimate maneuverability.

Pinty makes this matte black scope of aerospace-grade aluminum alloy, so it’s both durable and lightweight. The 20mm rail mounts will fit any standard, Picatinny, or Weaver rails. The O-ring sealing and nitrogen filling of the scope keep it 100 percent waterproof and fog-proof.

The rangefinder reticle is illuminated in your choice of red or green and provides quick aiming points depending on your shot distance. The brightness controls are adjustable to five different levels.

This Pinty rangefinder scope is only $27.99 and is considered a “budget” model. For the price, customers were impressed by how accurate it is. It lacks a lot of the features seen in more advanced models, but for a beginner looking for their first scope, this Pinty model would work admirably. We rated it 4.7 out of 5 stars.

American Technologies Network X-Sight II Rifle Scope

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The X-Sight II rifle scope can magnify from 3 to 14 times, with a smooth zoom feature to fine-tune your adjustments. It has high definition day and night vision in full color.

The built-in ballistics calculator automatically adjusts so you can quickly calculate your ballistics. The smart rangefinder can identify the range to your target with two clicks; then it automatically adjusts your point of impact.

The X-Sight II features 1080p HD video recording, with Recoil Activated Video (RAV) and wifi streaming. The RAV automatically records pre-shot, actual shot, and after-shot scenes, so you can capture the full experience and save it to an SD card.

The X-Sight II also comes with an app for iOS and Android, which allows you to stream video, create photo galleries, and save calibration settings.

If our review were based on features alone, the X-Sight II would be the clear winner. However, its price of $485 makes it inaccessible for casual hobbyists, and it has a host of annoying issues that are inexcusable in a piece of gear this expensive. The ATN X-Sight II rifle scope is popular with more serious enthusiasts though, and it does have an exciting range of features, so we gave it 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Pinty AR15 Rifle Scope with Rangefinder

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This Pinty AR15 rifle scope is 3-9x32EG, so it can magnify from 3 to 9 times and has a 32mm etched glass forward lens. It comes with a green laser sight and a red/green dot sight with four reticle patterns.

Both the scope and the rangefinder have five levels of brightness control. The HD119 red/green dot reflex sight offers a clear, high-resolution image with a wide field of view.

This Pinty rifle scope comes with a Picatinny mount that will fit 22 and 11mm Picatinny or Weaver rails. The optics are multi-coated, with an O-ring seal and nitrogen filling to make them waterproof and fog-proof.

Windage and elevation are adjustable with ¼ MOA click stops at 100 yards. The scope comes with the four-reticle red/green reflex sight, a green dot laser sight, a 1-inch compact high riser, three hex wrenches, a lens cover, a cleaning cloth, and batteries for the scope, sight, and laser.

Pinty’s excellent customer service makes up for the minor issues customers had with this rifle scope. They immediately remedied any issues mentioned in a customer’s review through replacements, refunds, or extra parts. Overall, the scope performs well for its low price of $95.99, which is why we gave the Pinty 3-9x32EG rifle scope with rangefinder 4.9 out of 5 stars.

UUQ Tactical Rifle Scope with Illuminated Rangefinder

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The UUQ tactical rifle scope is 4-16×50, which means it can zoom in from 4 times magnification all the way up to 16 times, and the forward lens has a 50mm diameter. It’s a tubeless scope with a 33mm reflex lens aperture, giving you a wide field of view. The adjustable magnification and distance mean you’ll be deadly accurate up to 100 yards.

The UUQ rangefinder’s reticle is dual illuminated with five brightness levels, four different sizes of dots, and a detachable green laser sight reaching over 300 meters.

The UUQ scope’s built-in 22mm rail makes it easily mountable to any gun with 11mm or 22mm Picatinny or Weaver rails. You can adjust for windage and elevation with ¼ MOA click stops and fingertip turrets.

With a matte black finish, the UUQ scope will easily match any rifle you install it on. It’s 100 percent waterproof and shockproof so that it will hold up in rough weather and dangerous situations. UUQ offers a 30-day money back guarantee as well as a 12-month warranty.

Reviewers praise UUQ for their excellent customer service. At a price of only $89.99, even a beginner can afford one of these scopes, but it outperforms many of the more expensive models.  That’s why we rated the UUQ tactical rifle scope with illuminated rangefinder 5 out of 5 stars, making it our pick for the best rangefinder scope.

Buyer’s Guide

Because of the way we selected the rangefinder scopes on our list, we’d feel comfortable recommending any one of them. The key for you, as a reader, is to figure out which one is right for you.

If this is going to be your first scope, you should stick with one of the less expensive models. Until you’re more experienced using scopes and rangefinders, you’re likely to get overwhelmed by all of the features available in the high-end models. You also don’t know your strengths, weaknesses, and preferences with rifle scopes yet, so you shouldn’t invest in anything expensive until you know exactly what you want.

The less expensive rangefinder scopes are also great for experienced shooters, though. You shouldn’t feel like you have to invest a significant amount of money in a fancy scope just because you’ve been hunting for a long time—choose whichever one you think will fit your needs.

Weaver Scopes: Which Suits Your Rifle Best?

​When searching for the right scope for your firearm, whether it be a rifle, pistol, or another weapon, it can be a difficult challenge considering there are literally hundreds of options available online and in stores.

Some enthusiasts have found a more straightforward route by discovering a particular brand that suits their needs and sticking with them through thick and thin.

One such company, Weaver, has long been associated with the top of the line and industry best scopes. Though it has seen its share of ups and downs, many hunting and shooting enthusiasts continue to swear by their rifle and handgun scopes, as well as the various optical accessories they produce.

Let’s take a closer look at where Weaver Optics is at today and find out if their scopes are the right fit to sit atop your firearm.

Comparison Table

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a man reloading his rifle with  scope

First, a quick history. While almost 90 years of history is difficult to condense into a couple of paragraphs, it should be noted that many are already well aware of the Weaver name, even if you don’t own one of their scopes.

The Weaver rail mount was an invention from company founder William Ralph Weaver as a means to attach telescopic sights to pistols, rifles, and shotguns.

The company was at the forefront of scope technology throughout the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s and introduced many innovations which were precursors to the tech we use today. Some of these advancements include the 1-inch tube, a reticle that remained centered, and the introduction of anodized aluminum tubes.

Lean years in the late 1970s and early 1980s led to the company shutting its doors in 1984. After a few years of uncertainty, the company was re-launched in 1988. Weaver Optics is now part of Vista Outdoor, a multinational shooting and outdoor sports group with over 35 companies under its umbrella.

Weaver, for their part, continues to produce high-quality scopes and sights. The fact that many of their vintage products remain popular on the resale market as both collectibles and for live use is a testament to their quality, durability, and historical significance.


Weaver, for much of its existence, focused explicitly on rifles and creating and supplying scopes, mounts, and rails for its customers, which for many years included the United States Military. As would be expected from such commitment, much of the Weaver’s modern product line gears itself towards outfitting rifles.

But in addition to their rifle lines, Weaver does offer a few added product lines to satisfy other optical needs for outdoor enthusiasts. These products include multiple models of tactical riflescopes, three handgun scope models, dot sights, binoculars, and a laser rangefinder.

As great as those other offerings may be, we are here to give due to the company’s bread and butter, riflescopes.

Riflescope Lines

close-up photo of a riflescope attached to a gun

When you’ve been in the business as long as Weaver Optics, you tend to learn a thing or two about who your customers are and what they want and need. Based on their varied line of rifle scopes, Weaver has figured out that no two customers are alike. In fact, the options they carry are nothing short of impressive.

Their primary catalog of scopes reaches across 12 different riflescope product lines that include a total of 73 different models. Yes, 73 individual riflescope models. It actually goes even deeper than that as some of the models have offshoots that open up even more options.

On its surface, that certainly seems a bit much, but it's actually quite the opposite. The Weaver model variations help you dial into the specifics of what you and your rifle may require, offering variable options that range from power and objective to the type of reticle to any special features.

It’s ultimately a scope fitting system for you and your shooting style. We appreciate the way everything is detailed and laid out, and it indeed makes your fitting process a snap. Even if they don’t have the exact specs to what you’re looking for, there’s a good chance Weaver has a variation close enough to match you with the perfect scope.

Here’s a quick breakdown of all 12 lines.

​Super Slam

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The Super Slam scopes are without question, Weaver’s top of the line. The three baseline models expand to eight sub offerings, which provide a lot of choice at the higher price point. With the Super Slam, you have the option of choosing between five different reticles and variables on the field of view, eye relief, and weight of the scope.

​Grand Slam

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The Grand Slam series hovers a step below the Super Slam, but that does not mean it's any less impressive. In fact, the Grand Slam is considered Weaver’s flagship line as it bridges the gap between the top tier Super and the mid and lower tier options.

This scope is an elegant build with similar variables as its pricier cousin. Up to five different reticles spread over 12 different models, multi-coated lenses, argon purged tubes, and side focus parallax adjustments round out the feature list.

Grand Slam 
 with MultiStop Turret

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The name says it all. This variant of the Grand Slam offers two models that allow you to custom build a ballistic turret and then configure it for individual loads and firearms. It’s actually a great, hands-on feature that allows any owner to get a bit more involved in the scoping process.

Beyond that, you can expect the same features from the base Grand Slam line.

Classic V-Series

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Moving into the Classic lines of Weaver scopes, we get to the mid and lower tier pricing options, but without sacrificing any of the quality we’ve already seen. The V-Series includes seven models that give you a choice of five different reticles.

The scopes are also lighter with an additional inch to inch and a half added to the length of the Super and Grand Slam scopes. Standard features include 1-inch, nitrogen purged tubes, and multi-coated lenses.  

​Classic K-Series

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The K-Series scopes are the heavy-duty workhorses of the Weaver line. The construction features a single piece tube crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum. Overall, the three models that make the K-Series are a no-frills affair.

Simple, straightforward, and ready to take whatever abuse you can dish out these scopes will service the extreme shooting enthusiast exceptionally well.

​Classic Rimfire

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The three model Rimfire line continues the robust tube construction from the K-Series with a design that is made especially for rimfire and airguns. All models feature a 50-yard parallax and offer a single reticle option.

​Classic ​T Series

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After a few simple, but highly durable offerings, Weaver’s Classic T Series gets us back into feature-rich models with some highly adjustable riflescopes. The five models each measure 15 inches in length with a 17 oz weight.

Features include Weaver's Micro-Trac system that aids with windage and elevation adjustments, parallax-free targeting through an adjustable objective, and two reticle choices. To round out the impressive list of options, the T Series scopes also include screw-in metal caps for the lenses and a sunshade.

​Classic T Series XR

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The T Series XR ups the ante quite a bit by taking the baseline build of the regular T Series and tosses in side-focus adjustments for the parallax and three reticle options across seven different models.

Obviously, this version of the T Series will run you a bit more, but if you're a serious hunter or competition level shooter any of the XR scopes are well worth the investment.


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For the budget conscious among us, Weaver covers this segment with the 40/44 line of scopes. Seven model variants each offering single piece constructed, 1-inch tubes that include fully multi-coated lenses.

You also have three reticle options, including two models that carry a Ballistic X reticle. There are also four variations on the magnification with the three top models including an adjustable objective.


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Finally, we come to the KASPA line, which is Weaver’s hunting specific series of scopes. There are three variants here including the KASPA Hunting, KASPA Hunting Rimfire, and the KASPA Tactical.

For the Hunting Series, 17 different models offer up endless variations with seven different magnifications, two side focus scopes, and two illuminated reticle options.

We contend that the KASPA Hunting Series is the most versatile of Weaver’s line up of rifle scopes, though the KASPA Tactical does give it some competition with four magnifications across seven model choices. The tactical also outdoes the hunting line with five illuminated reticle choices.

Construction and Performance

close-up photo focused on rifle scope attached to a gun used for target shooting

Quite the line-up isn't it? Often you’ll find some manufacturers that have a broad selection of products can be hit or miss on the quality of some of their lines. When testing samples of the Weaver lines we noted a fantastic attention to detail throughout each scope segment, which really impressed us.

As we noted above in some of the descriptions, there is a consistency to the construction of the scopes, the vast majority is a 1-inch, single tube, aluminum variant, although a few offer the 30mm size tube. All lenses were extremely clean and bright, and when sighting with them, we had a clearly defined visual aiming range.

The variation of the reticles throughout the entire line-up was also a great option to help a hunter dial into their preferred crosshair.

Finally, the turrets and other adjustment features of each scope really felt responsive and performed as advertised. You can toggle windage and elevation without issue with Weaver’s Micro-Trac adjustment system, and each dial and adjustable objective turned firmly without feeling tight.

Additional Scopes and Products

While our focus was squarely on the numerous Weaver riflescopes, they do feature a lot more than just rifle optics. Three models of handgun scopes help to satisfy pistol owners while a six model deep tactical line provides options for purposes that go beyond simple hunting.

Each of these gets the same detailed treatment as the riflescopes and will no doubt serve an end user well should more serious situations arise.

To round out the optical offerings, Weaver also makes high-quality dot sights, binoculars, and a laser rangefinder. The two variations of the dot sights include the Micro Dot that can affix to almost any firearm including AR style weapons, handguns, or shotguns. The Micro is also an excellent consideration for younger participants.

The Rapid Fire Dot is a bit more grown up with illumination that features six settings, two of which are compatible with night vision. The sight also includes an easy to remove and install tactical mount, threaded anti-reflection and unlimited field of view and eye relief.

The binoculars, in particular, are perfect complements to both your hunting gear and the birdwatcher in your family. We must not forget the laser rangefinder can also provide a considerable assist while out hunting. It certainly doesn’t hurt it that you can distance up to 1000 yards when using it.

Finally, we need to mention the accessory side of Weaver’s business, as a lot of their innovation came not just from targeting scopes but also from the mounting of those sights.

Both their selection of rings and mounting systems are highly touted throughout the industry and are most often the preferred choice for the vast majority of hunters and shooting enthusiasts.

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Final Verdict

It’s not at all difficult to see what the appeal is with having a Weaver scope sitting atop your rifle. Quality materials, solid construction, and attention to detail all add up to a brand that wants to provide their customers the best gear possible and ensure they continue coming back when in need of an upgrade.

With a 90-year track record, the Weaver brand also provides a level of confidence and staying power that newer firms may lack. As with most major companies, there were difficult times to weather for Weaver, but their past and continued level of innovation and the many standards they set for the industry along the way should not be ignored.

From the high-end Super Slam on down to the pocketbook-friendly KASPA Hunting Series, there is a through line of quality that makes Weaver Optics an easy recommendation for anyone looking for an excellent scope and an even better company backing it.

Best Long Range Scopes: Top 5 Picks And Buyer’s Guide

Long-range scopes represent the best in optics quality and magnification. If you're looking to purchase a new scope, consider one of these five options.

As a hunter, you may want to consider improving your shot by adding a long-range scope to your rifle. Adding a scope of this nature could allow you to increase your shot range to more than 400 yards, which could revolutionize the way you hunt. Long range scopes represent the best in optics quality and an increase in magnification. If you’re looking for the best long-range scopes, consider yourself in luck.

Comparison Table




CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope

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Primary Arms Illuminated
Dot Scope

product photo of Primary Arms 4-16 X 44 Rifle Scope with Illuminated Mil-Dot Crosshair

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Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Scope

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Vortex Optics Crossfire Riflescope

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Ade Advanced Options Long-Range Rifle Scope

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How We Chose Our Ratings

close-up photo of a soldier looking through a long-range scope attached to a rifle

At RifleScopeCenter, we understand how important it is to you that you have the best equipment while hunting. As we all know, every second and every millimeter matters when taking your shot. One misstep could be the difference between the kill of a lifetime and allowing your game to escape unscathed. We kept this in mind when compiling our ratings of the best scopes for long ranges.

We began by having each one of our team members test dozens of scopes. They measured things such as:

  • Optics quality
  • Magnification increase
  • Durability
  • Shot quality

After each team member finished testing the scopes independently, we had them rate the products. Using these grades, we compiled a general list of what we thought were the best scopes on the market today. For the most part, the ratings were consistent from team member to team member. The “cream rose to the top,” per say.

But, we did not stop there. We then browsed hundreds of online reviews to get a better feel for what other customers had to say about the scopes. We understood that our team pales in comparisons to the thousands of marksmen who use these scopes on a daily basis. We wanted to get a better idea of the consensus of the scopes so that we could provide you the best ratings.

While the reviews from our team generally matched online reviews, we did take one scope off the list because of poor customer reviews. Although it performed well when our team tested the product, other customers remarked that within a few months of use, the protective coating began to wear off the lens, which made it difficult to keep clean.

Our team would not have been able to discover this by only taking a couple of shots. It’s a perfect example of how we were willing to admit our list was not necessarily complete, and that we were concerned with only providing you the best products. We’re confident that the products listed below represent the best scopes for long ranges available on the market today.

We plan to keep this list fluid over time, which is why we encourage you to leave your thoughts in the comment section below. We value our community of readers. If you have experience using any of the scopes on our list, both good or bad, we invite you to let us know your thoughts. Similarly, if you use and trust a scope that is not on our list, we ask you to let us know as well.

If we need to make any adjustments to our list, we are more than willing to do so. Together, with our valued community, we can come up with a comprehensive list of the best scopes for long ranges. Ultimately, we all share a love and passion for sharp-shooting, and we all would like to see one another improve in our sport.

An Overview
Of Long Range Scopes

close-up photo focused on long-range scope lens

If you’re in the market for a new scope that can assist with your long-range shot, consider the five options listed below. We’re confident that when using one of these five options, you’ll find success in taking your next shot. These scopes can help you hit distances that you’ve never before reached, expanding your range as a marksman.

CVLIFE Hunting
Rifle Scope

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The CVLife Hunting Rifle Scope is a great beginner’s scope. It carries a 4.1-star rating on Amazon with more than 1,600 customer reviews. The product also has an “Amazon’s Choice” label because it has 47 percent fewer returns than similar products and is very popular among people searching Amazon for long range scopes.

The scope features a 6-24x magnification and an objective diameter of 50mm. It features a field-of-view of 28 feet at 100 yards and a click value of 1/8” at 100 yards. The scope also features both red and green illumination features. The equipment also carries eye relief of 3.52” and a 1” tube diameter. The scope is 40 centimeters long.

Of those who reviewed the product, more than 65 percent gave the product either a four or five-star review. Reviewers remarked that this was a great value buy, available for less than $. Many mentioned that the product was durable, able to withstand tough recoils. Some remarked that the focus was fidgety, but for those looking for a first scope for long ranges, this could be an affordable option.

​Primary Arms Illuminated
Dot Scope

product photo of Primary Arms 4-16 X 44 Rifle Scope with Illuminated Mil-Dot Crosshair

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This scope from Primary Arms carries a 4.6-star rating on Amazon with nearly 75 customer reviews. Of those who reviewed the product, 81 percent gave it a five-star rating. You can purchase the scope for less than $. Multiple reviewers remarked that this was one of the best scopes they have ever used for that amount of money and that they were delighted with the device.

The scope features side-mounted focus controls and an illuminated mil-dot reticle. It is also nitrogen-purged, making it one of the most durable models we tested. Additionally, the product is resistant to water, which is great for when you are shooting in the rain or are sweating on a hot day. The scope weighs approximately 1.6 pounds.

Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Scope

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This scope from Bushnell features a 4.7-star rating on Amazon with nearly 60 customer reviews. 93 percent of reviewers gave the product either a four or five-star rating. The product costs a little more than $$. The scope features a 50mm objective and a 6-24x magnification. It also comes with a Dao Lr800 reticle and ¼ MOA fingertip windage and elevation adjustments.

One of the things that stood out to us most about this scope was the product design. Manufacturers designed the scope so that it was shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof. Additionally, the lenses of the scope are high-definition and come coated with rain guard technology to help give you a bright look at your shot.

Many reviewers remarked that it was effortless to adjust the scope and that this was one of the best scopes they’ve ever tested when it came to making last-minute adjustments. Additionally, customers appreciated the visuals the scope provided. One reviewer remarked that they brought down their best kill in moderate rain thanks to the scope.

Vortex Optics
Crossfire Riflescope

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Vortex is one of the most trusted names in rifle technology, so it’s no surprise their Crossfire Riflescope found it’s way on to our list. The scope carries a 4.6-star rating on Amazon with more than 165 customer reviews. Of those who reviewed the product, 78 percent gave it a five-star rating. Less than 10 percent of customers gave the product a one or two-star rating.

The scope features an adjustable 6-24x50 objective crossfire. It also comes with Vortex’s patented Dead-Hold BDC reticle, ideal for when you are estimating holdover. Additionally, the adjustable objective provides image focus and parallax removal. The lenses on the scope are coated with an anti-reflective material to offer views that are clear.

The scope’s construction is a single-piece aircraft-grade aluminum that helps make the product shockproof. The company also guarantees that the scope is fog-proof and waterproof. The tube size is 30mm, and the eye relief is 4”. You can purchase the scope for less than $$. Reviewers said that for this price, this is by-far the best scope available on the market.

Ade Advanced
Options Long-Range Rifle Scope

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This scope from Ade Advanced Optics is available for less than $$. It carries a four-star rating on Amazon. Of those who reviewed the product, more than three-quarters gave the device a four or five-star rating. Reviewers remarked that the scope was very sleek and sturdy and that they were impressed with the functionality of the scope.

The Advanced Optics scope features a one-piece, heavy-duty design. It also carries 6-25x magnification and a 56mm objective lens, making it the most prominent option on our list. The scope also has a Mil-DotBar reticle and precision controls offering 140 MOA adjustments. The tube is 35mm in diameter and comes in a matte black finish. The scope comes with an anti-fog design.

Buyer’s Guide

a navy aiming the target using a firearm with riflescope

When it comes to buying a long-range scope, there are a few things you’ll want to consider. If you have never purchased one of these scopes before, you could be overwhelmed by the options available. Fortunately, this buyer’s guide should help you sort through the vast number of products to help you find the best scope for you. Consider a few of the criteria listed below.


One of the first things you should consider is how much you wish to spend on a new scope. Scopes can cost a few hundred dollars. Before you begin searching for the ideal scope, you should have an idea of how much you wish to pay. Knowing your budget can help you narrow down your choices. There’s nothing worse than finding the right scope, only to discover that it far exceeds your price range.

If you have never worked with long-range optics before, we recommend a mid-range scope. Perhaps consider a scope that costs around $ - $. This will give you a better idea of if you like using a scope meant for long ranges. If you end up falling in love with your new scope, you could always upgrade your equipment later. Don’t spend too much until you know that you like the feel of long-range optics.


The lens is arguably the most important physical component to consider. You’ll want to find a lens that works in both high and low magnifications, presenting a crystal-clear image either way. Additionally, you’ll want to look for a lens that allows you to read the wind correctly. Wind becomes even more of a factor when taking a long-range shot, so it’s imperative that you have a proper reading.

Tell-tale signs of wind include flags and trees. However, you could see these with nearly any scope. When taking a long-range shot, the slightest breeze could have you missing your target by hundreds of feet. You’ll need to find a scope that allows you to see details such as the way the wind or dust is blowing.

Body of the Scope

a man lying on the ground and trying out long range shooting with long range scope attached to a gun

You’ll want to ensure that you find a scope made of the finest materials. This helps determine how durable your scope is. Hopefully, you’ll be getting frequent use out of your new scope, so you want to ensure that it withstands the test of time. One of the best materials for scopes is aircraft-grade aluminum. Additionally, your scope should be a single-piece design, made from one piece of aluminum.

Magnification Power

Many beginner marksmen believe that the bigger the objective lens size, the better because a larger objective lens typically allows for more light transmission. While this is true, you eventually reach the point where it’s possible to have an objective lens that is too big without providing any additional light transmission. This typically occurs once you surpass a 50mm objective lens.

The problem with using objective lenses that are too large is that you can significantly alter your shot. That’s because to mount the glass, you need a higher scope mount. The higher the scope mount, the less precision you’ll see when firing your rifle. As a general rule of thumb, the closer the mount height is to the barrel, the more accurate the shot. Look for objective lenses ranging from 42mm to 50mm.  


If you plan to use your scope strictly for long-range shots, then you may want to find the strongest magnification power possible. But if you would like to be able to adjust your scope for both short and long ranges, you may want to look for a bit more versatility in your magnification options. Magnification powers around 16 are an excellent choice for hybrid shots.

Best Rimfire Scopes: Top 7 Picks, Comparison Table And Buyer’s Guide

With the ongoing popularity of rimfire rifles and cartridges, it comes as no surprise that many enthusiasts are not only out looking for small game or a proper set of fun targets but are also on the hunt for the right scope to fit their rimfire rifle.

This is especially true for beginners and novices who appreciate the ease of use and attractive price of a rimfire but may not know much about the right scope to buy.

For those that have a bit more experience, a different challenge can arise as you may know what you want from your scope, but the numerous options make choosing the right one a bit of a task. The good news is several standout scopes will easily fit the needs of both rookie shooter and the more seasoned veteran.

​Comparison Table

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Buyer’s Guide

photo focusing on rifle scope attached to the firearm

Before we get to our list of the best rimfire scopes available, let’s take a moment to better understand the key elements and features of a rimfire scope. This will help you figure out what’s most important to your style of shooting and what concessions you might need to make to secure the right one.

There is no one size fits all option. Numerous factors go into determining the overall usefulness of a scope. No two shooters are exactly alike, and a lot of outside elements like location and general hunting conditions play as equal a role as comfort and personal taste.


First and foremost, you’ll want a scope that’s well built. There’s an endless amount of styles available, but some are stouter than others. Be aware that price isn’t always the best indicator of determining a cheap scope from an option with better craftsmanship.

A few things to watch for include single tube construction, weatherproofing, and durability. The latter two perhaps play the most important role since the outdoors can serve up all manner of unpredictable variables.

You’ll want a scope that is both water and fog proof and filled with either nitrogen or argon gas (note that while we never recommend submerging a scope in water for extended periods, you’ll want one that can withstand heavy rainfalls and the occasional dunking).

With durability, aside from the general feel and build, components always look for manufacturers with strong warranties. It’s not easy to tell which scope is going to stand up to the rigors of life atop your rifle just by holding them side-by-side. Companies that back their optics with lifetime warranties are usually a good buy.


a man aiming to shoot by using a rifle with a rimfire scope

Several considerations are in play when it comes to the lenses of your scope. Coating, objective lens size, and the reticles all work in tandem to help create a visual experience that can make or break the usefulness of your scope.

For coating, the optimal solution is fully multi-coated lenses as those give your glass numerous layers of protection between the air and lens surface.  Fully coated means it’s just a single layer, and multi-coated simply increases the shielding with a few more layers.

The larger your objective lens, the better and more well-lit your sighting will be. A bigger size also provides an advantage in low light situations, but you’ll want to mindful of going too big as it means added weight to your scope (which we cover below).

With reticles, you want to be on the lookout for crosshairs that appeal to the eye but also work for the primary game or targets at which you’ll be aiming. Plenty of options exist, but remember that bigger aiming measures work best for big game and up close targeting. Thinner, more fine lines will better service longer ranges and small targets.

Field of View, Magnification, and Parallax

The main thing to note with Field of View (FOV) with a rimfire is you’ll want something that is as wide as possible. Rimfires work best used for smaller or moving targets, and a minimal FOV only works if you plan on using your rimfire strictly for shooting at stationary targets.

Since most of your shooting is at close range with a rimfire, the magnification is less of a factor. However, you’ll still want to get the most out of what your scope has to offer so one that provides between 3x and 9x magnification should be sufficient.

In regards to parallax or the difference of an object’s position when viewed at different angles, you’ll want a scope that can make adjustments for this optical effect. Scopes will offer either a fixed option or an adjustable parallax that allows you to set the range using an adjustable objective or side focus.


photo of a rimfire rifle with scope

Here we’re grouping two vital ingredients that can determine just how comfortable it is to use your scope: the turrets and weight.

For the turrets, you’ll want to look for sets that are firm while remaining easy to adjust and set. Nobody wants to be in the field and fiddling with an unresponsive and difficult to turn the knob while lining up a shot. Conversely, you don’t want to purchase a scope only to have one of the turrets snap off in your hand.

The weight of your scope plays a more significant role in the usability of your rifle than most realize. As a general rule, the majority of rimfire rifles are lightweight and easy to maneuver. A weighty scope atop the barrel can impact the overall performance. Find a balance between a scope’s weight and feature set and the capabilities of your rifle.

How We Determined Our Ranking

To ensure our selections were the best of the best, we reviewed hundreds of different scopes and took into account numerous factors to come up the following list.

Not only did we review performance, feel, and usability under a number of different conditions, but we also took into account the opinions of fellow shooting enthusiasts, just like you. This allowed us to effectively gauge how these scopes perform in real-world conditions, whether it’s for hunting, pest control, or simple weekend target practice.

Best Rimfire Scope

beside a  doberman is a woman looking through her rifle scope attached to the rifle she is holding

Now that you know what makes a rimfire scope, it’s time to explore some of the best options. As we’ve mentioned, there’s a lot of personal preference that goes into making a decision on which scope is right for you. So why is that?

Many of the best scopes are incredibly similar in both quality and features. One might have better magnification, but then another carries less weight and sits easier in its mount. It comes down to the features you’re most looking for and the price you want to pay.

It’s why you see many of the same brands at the top of most enthusiasts must-have lists and, ultimately, on top of their rifles. Nikon, Leupold, and Bushnell all do rimfire scopes exceptionally well. There are a few others out there though that do just as well as the bigger brands. With that in mind here are our best rimfire scopes.

​BARSKA Plinker 22 Riflescope

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We start our list off with the BARSKA 22 Riflescope, a great all around scope that covers a lot of bases. Your magnification range runs from 3x to 9x with multicoated optics and incredibly clear sighting. The FOV is also a healthy 36’ – 13’ and you’re parallax free at 50 yards.

The construction of this scope is also top notch as it is both waterproof and covered by a lifetime warranty.

​Bushnell Optics Drop Zone

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The Bushnell entry is a great all-around scope that can serve several skill levels very well. The Drop Zone checks in at a weighty 19.6 ounces, but it earns the size as this is a feature rich scope including a side parallax adjustment turret. It also has a very generous FOV at 50’ – 17′ based on the 2x to 7x magnification.

A bit bulkier than other scopes on this list it does have one of the most solid builds. One thing to note here is that it’s specifically calibrated for 22 LR, 38 to 40 grain.

​Leupold FX-1 Rimfire and VX-Freedom Rimfire Scope Series

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We include three Leupold’s on our list because they are just that good. The variations are such that these options, more so than most others will come down your individual needs. For example, both of the VX-Freedoms weigh in at 11.1 ([amazon link=”B078XGNNPN” title=”2-7×33″]) and 12.2 ([amazon link=”B079G4C2QD” title=”3-9×40″]) ounces, respectively. The [amazon link=”B0009JG78Q” title=”FX-1″] is practically a feather at 7.5 ounces.

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When it comes to magnification and FOV, there are some decisions to make as well. The VX-Freedoms carry 2x to 7x with FOV 43.8’ – 17.8’ and 3x to 9x with FOV 33.7’ – 13.6 in their two models. The FX-1 magnification is 4x with 25.5’ FOV.

Everything amongst these scopes can be counted on to be first class with each being water and fog proof, all three having clear, scratch resistant lenses, and all covered by a lifetime warranty.  

​Nikon ProStaff

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One of the top optics producers, Nikon has plenty of fans, and with the ProStaff, it’s easy to see why. If there is a scope that’s made to fit almost every need, this could be it. Magnification runs 3x to 9x, and your FOV is a solid 34’ – 11’.

The BCD reticle provides a nice touch for those who are fans of it, but it can be of great use to novices just starting out. The objective lens allows for incredibly clear sighting. If you own several types of firearms, this scope is a nice buy as it’s not strictly for rimfires.

​Nikon P Rimfire

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The second Nikon to make our list shows that along with Leupold, these two manufacturers have a clear handle on how to build fantastic scope optics. Magnification runs 2x to 7x with FOV 22’ – 6’ at 50 yards. Parallax is 50 yards.

Along with the ProStaff, the P Rimfire features a solid build and optics to match. Both Nikon’s are water and fog proof with lifetime warranties.

​UTG BugBuster Scope

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We’re big fans of the BugBuster and not just because of the nifty little name. A versatile scope, the BugBuster isn’t solely designed for rimfire’s but will certainly do as much or even a bit more as any on our list and at a similar price point. Magnification is 3x to 9x and FOV at 100 yards is a solid 37.7’ – 14’.

The parallax setting runs from 3 yards to infinity (effectively 250 yards). Other features include RGB illumination, mil-dot reticle, and emerald coated lens. As we said, it’s a versatile, well-built scope that is also backed by a lifetime warranty.

​Weaver Rimfire Riflescope

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We know there’s a particular segment of shooter that likes the classics. Considering that Weaver Optics has maintained a great product line for much of its 90 years, the Weaver Rimfire is a perfect choice for those that like a little history.

The sleek design weighs a super light 9.75, and the single piece aluminum tube is water, fog, and shockproof. Mult-icoated optics, parallax at 50 yards, and a FOV of 40’ – 15’ on 2.5x to 7x magnification round out the main feature set. This Weaver is a good-looking scope that performs even better.


We realize that’s probably a lot of information to unpack in one setting, but in addition to the general buyer’s guide, we took great care in rating the best scopes available. Regardless if you’re looking to take out some irritating rodents, capture small game, or enjoy recreational plinking, any of the above scopes are excellent options.

Ultimately, when looking at this level of scope, there isn’t a wrong choice, but more often than not, there ends up being a right choice for you.

So before you buy, determine what you want out of your scope, be honest about your skill level, and assess your must-have features. It will serve you well and guarantee that your shooting time outdoors is always an enjoyable experience.

An In-Depth Brand Review Of Mueller Scopes: Buyer’s Guide

Mueller is a brand that is well-known for making quality scopes. These products stand out because of their accuracy and affordable prices. Mueller presents its products as an alternative to expensive high-end optics. Do these scopes deliver on this promise?

An Overview Of Mueller Scopes


Mueller offers some of the best riflescopes in the $200 price range. The brand has an interesting selection of features and optics configuration. Here are the different product lines made by Mueller.

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​Side Focus Scopes

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These scopes are named after the side focus parallax adjustment feature. Placing this control on the side of the scope is more convenient if you use your rifle in a situation where you would have to adjust the magnification and parallax constantly.

The exposed target turrets make the controls more accessible. These scopes stand out due to the fine crosshair and the 1/8” target dot that won’t cover your target when you use the scope for long-range shooting.

Mueller offers a fixed 40x56 scope as well as a variable 8-32x44 model with the side focus feature.


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The Eradicator is a variable scope with a magnification power of 8.5 to 25x. This is the best Mueller scope for long-range shooting with its high magnification and illuminated micro-dot.

The reticle is designed with long-range shooting in mind and the micro-dot, and fine crosshair reticle won’t hide the target. The micro-dot covers less than 1” at 200 yards.

​Speed Shot Scope

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The Speed Shot scope has lower magnification with its 1-4x24 specs, but this scope is designed for versatility. It features ½ MOA adjustments and an illumination system with 11 different settings, so you can quickly adjust the scope and take a series of shots.

The illumination features work in daylight, and the scope also comes with fast focus features so you never miss an opportunity.

​AO Tactical Scopes

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These Mueller scopes come with different magnification powers. They are ideal for low-light conditions thanks to their 11 brightness settings and the mil-dot reticle is designed to give you a very accurate idea of how far the target is, even at long range.

There are three different AO Tactical scopes with specs of 4-16x50, 4.5-14x40, and 8.5-25x44.

​Sport Dot

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These Mueller scopes include a 4-16x50, 3-9x40, and a 3-10x44 model. The Sport Dot scopes are designed for big game hunting.

The sturdy design makes these scopes ideal for handling recoil, and the lenses have a special coating to improve contrast and brightness. The micro-dot reticle allows you to get a precise aim.

The fingerprint turrets are also worth mentioning since they allow you to adjust elevation and windage with precision.

​Multi-Shot Scope

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The Multi-Shot scope is a very versatile product. Mueller offers a 2-7x32 model that is compatible with any firearm.

This scope stands out because of its multi-purpose reticle. The reticle includes a crosshair as well as an outer circle. The circler will cover 15” at 40 yards if you select the 2x magnification setting.

The outer circle is an interesting feature because you can use it to aim with a dense pattern or use it as a rangefinder and bullet drop compensator.

​Mueller APV Scopes

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The All-Purpose Variable scopes sold by Mueller are affordable and designed for small caliber rifles. You can choose from a 6-18x44 model, a 4.5-14x40 scope, or a 2-7x32 scope.

These scopes stand out with their wide field of view, the clarity of the optics, and the capped fingertip turrets. The 4.5-14x40 model delivers a field of view that ranges from 27 to 9’ at 100 yards.

​Hybrid Scope

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The Hybrid scope is probably the best value of the Mueller product line. It is a versatile scope with specs of 3-9x40.

It stands out thanks to the brightness and contrast of the lenses. The lightweight design is another plus. The scope comes with a fine crosshair reticle and low-profile turrets.

The Hybrid scope is interesting because it has more eye relief than other Mueller scopes at 4.25.”

What Makes Mueller Scopes Unique?

Mueller is a brand that stands out due to the quality of its optics. It is difficult to find scopes in the same price range that deliver the same quality and features.

All the scopes mentioned above can be found in the $150 to $250 price range. Mueller offers a wide selection of affordable riflescopes, and a lot of these scopes are designed to be versatile.

Most scopes made by Mueller have different optics configurations to choose from, and a few of the scopes are designed for a specific scenario such as long-range hunting or big game hunting.

The quality of the optics is unmatched in this price range. The lenses are treated with several layers of coating that improve visibility, brightness, and colors.

Most of the scopes are one-piece scopes for durability. Reducing the number of moving parts of the scopes also helps with quality and durability.

The reticles are also worth mentioning. These scopes come with extremely accurate reticles with fine crosshair sights to avoid covering too much of the target. This might not be an issue when shooting at close or mid-range, but the fine crosshairs or small dots are an advantage when shooting at long range.

We should also mention the quality of the controls. The turrets and other controls make it easy to adjust different features and make these scopes very accessible, even for beginners. Most people also say that getting used to the reticles didn’t take them very long.

We like the fact that the brand releases new scopes on a regular basis. There is an effort made to improve the optics and features of the products, and each new generation of scopes includes several improvements.

Overall, Mueller scopes are sturdy, reliable, and affordable. The brand has an excellent reputation and offers a lifetime warranty on its products if you purchase them through the official Mueller website.


These scopes are available in the $150 to $250 price range. Here are a few prices to give you an idea of how much these scopes cost:

  • The Mueller 2-7x32 Multi-Shot scope costs around $150.
  • You can get a Mueller 8.5025x44 AO Tactical scope for $170.
  • The Mueller 4-16x50 AO Sport Dot is available for $225.
  • The more expensive Mueller 8.5-25x50 AO Eradicator will cost you $250.

Other retailers offer similar prices for these products.

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​Public Perception

These scopes have received excellent reviews. People think Mueller products are a good value for the money. The scopes are very durable, and a majority of shoppers are happy with their purchase.

Reviews talk about the range of magnification being impressive and about the controls being easy to use. People love the performance at long range and think the glass quality is good for the price.

One of the major advantages of these scopes is that the settings hold very well. The controls are intuitive, and these scopes are very versatile. People are using these scopes with a wide range of firearms in many different settings.

A lot of reviews also mention the illumination and clarity of the image and the fine crosshair reticles. Most people found that the scopes handled recoil well.

A few negative points are mentioned in some reviews. The most common drawback mentioned in reviews is that the optics quality wasn’t as good as expected. Mueller delivers high-quality optics for the $200 price range, but these scopes are no match for high-end optics.

It is important to have realistic expectations for these riflescopes. If possible, test different scopes to get an idea of what to expect from a scope in this price range so you won’t be disappointed.

Some people didn’t like the turrets and magnification rings. They felt they were unable to get precise adjustments with these controls or didn’t like the way the controls felt. It would be best to try out one of these scopes to see how the controls feel to you and make sure they won’t impact your experience.

Overall, the reviews are positive, and people feel the scopes are a good value for the money. However, it is important to keep in mind that these scopes don’t deliver the same kind of optics quality as you would get with a scope in the $1,000 price range.

​How Do These Products Compare To Other Scopes?

We compared these scopes to a few other products made by other brands to give you more options to consider.

​Nikon Scopes

Nikon is a well-known optics manufacturer. If you are looking for a reliable and performing scope, the Varmint/Predator, Monarch or the Buckmasters II scopes are worth considering.

The Varmint/Predator scopes are made for hunting and come with a wide range of features. The Buckmasters II scopes are designed for long-range hunting, and the Monarch scopes are a more versatile alternative.

These scopes are interesting because of the high-quality lens coating. If the optics performance of the Mueller scopes doesn’t meet your expectations, a Nikon scope might be a better choice. Note the Nikon offers a wider selection of features and optics configurations compared to Mueller.

The Buckmasters II scopes are similar to Mueller scopes since you get one of these scopes for $150. However, you will have to spend between $300 and $600 for the other scopes mentioned.

Bushnell is another optics brand known for quality and durability. If you are looking for an alternative to Mueller products, the Bushnell Engage scope is worth looking at. You might also be interested in the Trophy and Elite scopes.

The Bushnell Engage comes in nine different optics configurations. The MOA windage and elevation adjustments aren’t as precise as on the scopes made by Mueller, but the quality of the optics makes the Bushnell Engage stand out.

The Bushnell Engage costs around $300, but you can find scopes under $200 in the Trophy line of products.

Leupold is better-known for its line of high-end scopes, but the brand also offers more affordable optics. You can get the VX Freedom 3-9x40 scope in the $250 price range, even though the magnification power doesn’t match what Mueller offers.

Leupold scopes stand out as some of the best optics on the market. You can expect high-quality optics and durability. The brand has an excellent selection of products, but most of these scopes are available in a higher price range.

If you are ready to spend more on a riflescope and want something that is specifically designed for high-end tactical shooting or long-range hunting, Leupold is worth considering.

​What We Think

Mueller is one of the best brands in the $150 to $250 price range. It is difficult to find scopes with better optics in this price range.

We like this brand because there is a good selection of products and most of the scopes are designed to be very versatile, which makes them a good value. You can use any of these scopes for hunting or long-range shooting and get good results.

We also think Mueller offers an interesting selection of magnification ranges. A lot of the scopes are available with different optics configurations so you can find the right product for your needs.

The quality of the optics is mentioned in some negative reviews, but these scopes deliver excellent optics for the price range. The multi-coated lenses improve visibility, colors, and brightness. The precision of the controls and reticles are another advantage of these scopes.

These scopes won’t meet everyone’s expectations. You should try a few different riflescopes to get a better idea of the kind of optics performance you can get in different price range to determine if these products would be a good fit for you.

Mueller is an excellent choice if you are looking for an affordable scope. The brand offers a great selection of scopes with different features and magnification ranges. You can expect excellent optics for the price, accessible controls, and accuracy in a wide range of settings.

Brand Review: What You Need to Know About SWFA Scopes

swfa scopes

A rifle scope is a big investment, and with so many on the market, it’s hard to know which one to choose. If you don’t have SWFA scopes on your radar, it’s time to add it to your shortlist. Here, we examine SWFA scopes and give you a breakdown of some of their most popular options.

We compare them to the competition to help you decide if this is the right brand for you.

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Rifle enthusiasts know that a high-quality rifle scope is one of the most critical accessories for accurate sniping and shooting.

Picking the right one for your needs and your weapon is an important decision.  Regardless if you are a recreational shooter or an accomplished marksman or hunter.

In the market, there are dozens of manufacturers who make a variety of products that could be the right fit.  When comparing what’s out there, SWFA scopes should be on your list.

They have a thirty-five-year history in the business. Several of their models are on the cutting edge of technology and performance.

They build scopes that meet the specifications that the US Navy SEALS use. Also, they offer exceptional durability and accuracy.

Luckily, you don’t need to be enlisted, or a part of elite law enforcement teams like the FBI or SWAT to access SWFA scopes.

Civilians can directly buy them from the manufacturer on their website. Also, through other authorized dealers.

In this informative brand review, we’re going to give you all the details about SWFA scopes.

​We’ll delve into a brief company history. Then, we highlight a few of their most popular models. Let us also discuss what sets them apart from the competition.

We’ve included some general pricing information to get you started. Included also is our professional opinion on how SWFA stacks up in the marketplace.

About SWFA

​SWFA Outdoors has been operating for over 40 years and is based in Midlothian, Texas.  They have a robust website.

​This is where they sell a wide range of shooting accessories and ammo. It includes their own self-branded rifle scopes and binoculars.

SWFA is known industry-wide for their superior customer service, money-back guarantee, and return policies.

Although today, the company name is both prominent and well-respected. Some shooting enthusiasts may remember when this wasn’t the case.

The history of their rifle scopes includes a period with some quality control issues. These were prior to SWFA owning and manufacturing the product.

Here’s the Story

swfa scopes history

It all began in 1993.

It was when the Crane Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center solicited several established manufacturing companies.

​They wanted to build a 10x sniper scope. This scope is included in a specific list of military-spec requirements.

Among those who submitted the specialty scope was Tasco. Then, the Navy purchased their design by the dozens.

Unfortunately, Tasco was not a highly rated company. Moreover, it lacked respect in the industry.

This despite the fact that they crafted their SS scope from the ground up with incredible adjustment travel, durability, and resolution per the specs requested.

​In 1995, Tasco had completely fulfilled the contract obligations. They sold their overrun products to SWFA to sell at extreme discounts at gun shows around the U.S.

This was so successful, that SWFA contracted them to continue making the scopes. And, as long as they were able to offer close-out pricing.

Bankruptcy Issue

In 1996, SWFA began receiving customer complaints about the product quality.

Though it wasn’t publicly known, Tasco was in the process of filing bankruptcy. This resulted in an impact in their daily operations.

By the time Tasco went out of business, SWFA had already negotiated a contract directly with the factory. It dealt with all the quality control issues to get to back to making a superior product.

Following this vital turning point, they reached out to the Department of Defense and got approval to make modifications and improvements to the scopes.

And of course, ensure them that they included all of the modern features needed to have a cutting-edge product.

SWFA Today

swfa today

Today, SWFA offers 30 different SS Scope models. It boasts a variety of features and reticles that appeal to marksmen of every level.

Their products often make the top lists of various notable experts as a “must-have” item for your rifle setup.

What Is An SWFA Rifle Scope and How Does It Work?

The mechanics of how an SWFA scope works are complex.

If you want to break it down to the most basic level, they function similarly to a telescope. In this way, it allows you to see objects that are far away with more clarity.

Assembled with a series of lenses, every SWFA scope magnifies your field of view. It gives you a high-resolution image of your target that allows you to make adjustments to hit it.

They come in a variety of powers. Some scopes are fixed and others are variable depending on the model you choose.  The more magnifying power a scope has, the more expensive it will be.

​The scope has a variety of visual features to make it easier to sight your target.  The reticle is your viewing area. It’s where the expression of having them “in your crosshairs “ originates.

It’s fashioned in a crosshair pattern but other specialized styles might be required. It depends on your shooting style and ammunition.

Finally, rifle scopes are equipped with adjustment knobs. It allows you to manually tweak your horizontal and vertical planes via windage and elevation.

These turrets make it simple to line up your target in the center of your reticle for accurate shooting.

What Makes SWFA Scopes Unique

Their construction is the aspect that makes SWFA scopes stand out from their competition.

​Given that they have roots in a military contract, their models are all designed to be extremely durable. They designed their models to stand up to harsh conditions. And also, to be very accurate in extreme circumstances.

Although today, they offer 30 different models with various capabilities. These models are at a range of competitive price points. Also, there are a few best-sellers that consistently get top reviews from enthusiasts.

​Here are three notable models and some details about each.

Excellent Choice for Entry-Level Shooters

10×42 Tactical 30 MM Rifle Scope (SWFA SS)

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A rear-focus option, it can magnify between 10x and 42x for an excellent range.

The focus is easy to use and allows you to view crystal clear images at ranges from 10 meters to as far as you’re comfortably able to see.

The scope provides a total of 156 minutes of angle (MOA) elevation adjustment, and each revolution has 15 MOA.

It weighs in at just 21 ounces and is compatible with .50 mm ammo.

The matte black finish is the perfect complement to the durability features that include a shockproof, waterproof, and soundproof design.

Like all SWFA products, it’s backed by their unrivaled satisfaction guarantee.


  • Side focus
  • Lightweight
  • Matte


  • Throw the corrections out of whack

Top Pick for Target Shooting and Hunting at Mid-Range Distances

14×24 Tactical 30 MM Rifle Scope (SWFA SS)

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If you’re consistently sighting at 100 yards or more, the SWFA SS 1 4×24 Tactical 30MM Rifle Scope is a model that gives you the essential features without breaking the bank.

Although it’s not designed to be a model for tactical shooters, it has the same waterproof and shockproof features. It then makes it durable and long-lasting.

It features windage adjustments of 5 mils per revolution and accommodates a total of 55 mils.

SWFA recently upgraded their reticle. It is now illuminated. It has built-in aiming features that work with most 5.56 and 7.62 rounds at 100, 200, and 300 yards.

Experts agree that this model is a superior choice. A choice for someone who wants loads of capabilities all in one unit.


  • Optic gives excellent clarity in static shooting situations
  • Waterproof and shockproof features
  • Durable


  • Heavy

Best For Experience Long-Range Shooters

HD 5-20X50 Tactical 30MM Rifle Scope (SWFA SS)

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If you’re a long-range marksman, this top-of-the-line SWFA scope might be the one for you.

​Built with a 30mm main tube and a 50mm objective tube, you can achieve a magnification of anywhere between five and 20 times. Thanks to the high-quality glass.

​The parallax setting begins at 35 yards. It can stretch as far as you’re willing to take it thanks to the crisp view through the HD optics.

​Not only does this model include all of the optics and turrets you expect from an advanced long-range rifle scope, but it contains some ergonomic features as well.

The eye relief and eyepiece are designed to be comfortable even with large-caliber rounds. The patented rads make it easy to fine-tune and acquire your target quickly.

It comes in both an illuminated and non-illuminated model. This gives you even more control over choosing the perfect fit for your individual needs.


  • Side focus
  • With ergonomic features
  • High quality glass


  • None

How It Compares

how swfa scope prices compare to competitors

SWFA isn’t the only company producing high-quality, accurate rifle scopes.  There are dozens of competitors in the marketplace, many of which are sold on their website.

​Most of these models work in the same ways and produce similar results. But, there is one significant difference between SWFA and their competitors- price.

They achieve this by taking out the middleman in their distribution process. This saves on overhead costs that they share with their customers.

What We Think

rating on swfa scopes

SWFA has a wide range of scopes available. Thanks to their diverse offerings. There’s something that will work for most anyone’s needs.

Well-suited for entry-level shooters

In our expert opinion, the brand is especially well-suited for entry-level shooters.

Their base models offer similar features and quality to what you’ll see from mid-range options with other companies.

Low price point

The low price point helps to remove the barrier of entry. These models are an excellent way to acclimate to distance shooting with a scope.

Not only will you access high-definition optics, you can also rest easy that it’s durable and built to last. This is regardless of which model you choose.

Unlike other inexpensive options from competitors, SWFA’s scopes will stand up to the elements. Further, it adapts to a variety of challenging shooting circumstances.

That’s not to say that their mid and top-tier models are without their merits.

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​​In fact, they regularly show up on top five lists of shooting and outdoor publications. Also to reputable bloggers sites.

Many competitors offer similar products and comparable price points at this level. Yet, the decision will fall to the precise specifications you require for your shooting needs, ammo, and style.

If for no other reason than their reputation for delivering excellent customer service, SWFA scopes should be on your list. That is if you’re considering investing in the accessory.