Scope Review: EOTech 518

eotech

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


EOTech 518

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.

Quality

Price

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.

Pros:

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.

Cons:

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.

Specs

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

Performance

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.

Pricing

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.

Reticle

Reticle

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.

Power

Power

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.

Durability

Durability

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.

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.

Top 5 Best Night Vision Scope

night vision scope

If you’re someone who hunts or shoots at night, having the best night vision scope you can afford is a key element to being an excellent shot. Here are our top picks for every skill level and budget.

Night vision technology has evolved significantly over the last 30 years. Originally, the technology that was available to civilians was not much more than a gimmick that turned your surroundings green but did little to enhance your ability to see a target in the dark.

Today, anyone can purchase professional grade equipment that gives you a clear view in less than optimal conditions, including foggy days, or complete darkness.

Although there are hundreds of options to choose from, it’s difficult to narrow down the plethora of brands and models to the best of the bunch. Since buying the best night vision scope can be expensive, it’s important to invest in the right one for your needs and your budget.

Here, we’ve listed our top picks for marksmen (and women) and broken them down by price and capabilities. We’ve deciphered the specs for you, and made recommendations that will let you hunt at night with ease. We’ve also included a helpful buyers guide following our list to give you some tips for selecting which of the best night vision scopes we’ve listed is the right fit for you.


Best Night Vision Scope : Comparison Table


Product

Image

Details

Our Rating

Price

ATN Night Arrow Gen 2+ 4-2 

ATN Night Arrow Gen 2+ 4-2

​​Built-in automatic brightness control feature

Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Rifle Scope

Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Rifle Scope

​This is a popular choice for medium-range shooting

Firefield FF26014T Tactical Night Vision Rifle Scope with Internal Focusing, 2.5 x 50

Firefield FF26014T Tactical Night Vision Rifle Scope with Internal Focusing, 2.5 x 50

​This model features a built-in Pulse Infrared Illuminator that uses a push-button activation

Armasight Vampire 

Armasight Vampire

​The most notable feature of this model is their proprietary CORE technology

ATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Riflescope

ATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Riflescope

​This scope is wi-fi compatible and enables you to watch any video recordings if you have an internet connection.


Top 5 Best Night Vision Scope 


ATN Night Arrow Gen 2+ 4-2

If you’re looking for a mid-range option that is affordable, the Night Arrow 4-2 is an excellent choice. It falls between a Gen 2 and Gen 3, and is made from non-reflective surface metal which allows you to blend in and eliminates glare.

Here is a breakdown of the important specs:

The 2X lens can reach around 200 yards with exceptional clarity. It includes a powerful 4x magnification lens that doubles that distance, giving you more than enough reach for most night hunting and property patrolling objectives.

Your view is through a wide objective lens, which not only gives you a wide field of vision but also increases your background contrast levels in low light and full dark situations.

The built-in automatic brightness control feature is regulated by the imaging unit which eliminates the need to make adjustments if you’re on surfaces like sand or snow. Typically, these would lead to oversaturated projections that require manual changes.

Pros:
  • The lens cap is a well-designed feature that will ensure that your imaging tube doesn’t wear out quickly and need to be replaced.
  • It fits perfectly but has a tiny pinhole at its center which will allow you to sight when the cap is in place if required.
Cons:
  • Users rave about the efficacy and clarity of this scope, but also mention just a few potential drawbacks. If you are sighting a close target at less than 25 yards, it might be difficult to focus as there isn’t a low power setting or parallax adjustment option.

The reticle control system on this model sets it apart from others in the category. It uses a two-tone color display to give you better visibility. You’ll see the grid markings in green, and the center target point is displayed as a red dot. The system itself uses push-button operation rather than a series of complicated manual adjustments like many competitors.

Your windage and elevation adjustments knobs both operate on a traditional 1/6 MOA turn system. They are easy to control and produce distinctive clicks on each setting. This allows for precise adjustments and accurate shooting.

Quality
Price
Our Rating
$$$

Another convenient factor in the ATN is the location of the battery compartment. It’s at the base of the scope in a separate compartment which makes it simple to change out the battery without needing to remove your scope from your rifle rail.

This scope comes with a 2-year limited warranty from the manufacturer, and they have a 30-day return policy if you’re unhappy with the product.

Additionally, the scope is a bit weighty. At 3.1 pounds, it’s significantly heavier than some of the other models we review here. Finally, if you need a scope with intense magnification, this won’t be the best option for you. While 200+ yards is adequate for most marksmen, if your niche is long-distance targets, you’ll want to continue your search.


Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Rifle Scope

This model from Sightmark is a versatile fan favourite that doesn’t break the bank. It’s a lightweight model that offers excellent performance and durability and boasts a long battery life too.

Here are the important details:

This is a popular choice for medium-range shooting, as that is the distance at which it is most effective. You can use it for daytime shooting as well, which makes it a versatile investment.

The model includes six different digital reticle options in either green, white, or red which allows you to operate within many different ranges.

Not only is this model versatile when it comes to conditions and distance, but it’s also useful for a variety of weapons. It includes two crossbow reticles and two rifle reticles which allow you to hunt small or mid-sized game with your weapon of choice.

Pros:
  • One notable feature of the Sightmark Photon is their digital interface. It gives you real-time information on the elevation height, wind speed, and direction and recommendations on the adjustments you’ll need to get an accurate shot at your target.
Cons:

A customer noted that the crossbow reticles can be improved. He finds that putting two different crossbow speeds on each reticle is distracting. 

The scope is also equated with mil-dot opticals which give you a leg up on estimating holdover and rangefinding. It also has German-style reticles and is configurable to both your hunting situation and personal preference.

Quality
Price
Our Rating
$$

Regarding magnification, the scope accommodates a 4.6x and a 42 mm lens. This means you’ll have a clear sight and sharp details at a range of up to 120 yards.

Another way that this model is a stand out is regarding its battery life. It operates on two AA’s and lasts around 33% longer than most other scopes in the same class.

It weighs in at under 2 pounds, which makes it an excellent choice if you’re looking for a lightweight option that’s easy to handle over long time periods.


Firefield FF26014T Tactical Night Vision Rifle Scope with Internal Focusing, 2.5 x 50

Another popular model on our list is the Firefield FF26014T. This budget-friendly option has many of the bells and whistles you expect on higher-end options and boasts exceptional toughness and durability.

Here are the details:

Made from titanium alloy, it boasts a lightweight, sleek construction that’s easy to use and difficult to destroy.

It includes a 2.5x50 magnification which means the optics give you perfect clarity at a range of one meter up to 150 meters or more.

The Fairfield is designed to be shockproof, and it won’t get jolted out of place when mounted on bolt action rifles.

Pros:
  • If you are shooting in damp or wet environments, you won’t need to worry about your scope. This option meets the IPX5 rating for water resistance.
Cons:
  • This scope is specific for night time use only with maximum effective distance is 200 yards.

The Gen 1 image and resolution are high quality, and the 50mm lens enhances the light gathering capabilities to give you a clear shot in extremely low light situations.

It features an easy to use flip-up lens cover, so you’ll never need to worry about misplacing the accessory.

This model features a built-in Pulse Infrared Illuminator that uses a push-button activation. It instantly brightens images and lengthens your range in a variety of less than optimum light situations.

Quality
Price
Our Rating
$$

Armasight Vampire

Another mid-priced night vision scope, the Armasight Vampire packs a whole lot of features into this Gen 1+ model.

Here’s what you need to know about this option:

The most notable feature of this model is their proprietary CORE technology. An acronym for Ceramic Optical Ruggedized Engine, this image tube produces a resolution that doubles a traditional Gen 1 device.

Pros:
  • The Armasight Vampire has won “best in class” awards for their image quality, and many users report that it rivals what you see in the significantly more expensive Gen 2 image tubes regardless of light conditions.
Cons:

A customer review stated that it is bigger and heavier than other brands of night vision scopes that he used. 

Quality
Price
Our Rating
$$

Crafted from solid aluminum and protected with a rubber coating, this model is resistant to the elements including sand, dust, and water.

Also, it mounts to a standard 7/8-inch Weaver or Picatinny rail. The lenses are all glass and feature a fine reticle with manual adjustment capabilities.


ATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Riflescope

If you’re a technology junky, the ATN X-Sight II might prove to be irresistible. It incorporates many modern technological features that some marksmen love.

Here’s a rundown of the capabilities:

This scope is wi-fi compatible and enables you to watch any video recordings if you have an internet connection. You could use your phone as a remote hotspot at any time to access the feature.

It’s also equipped with a GPS, which keeps you safe even when hunting in backwoods locations where you might be unfamiliar with the terrain.

Pros:
  • Despite having several features that set it apart from other scopes on the market, it’s worth noting that users report that the clarity in extremely low or no light situations isn’t as good as some of the competition.
Cons:
  • This option is an excellent fit if you’re someone who loves technological bells and whistles, but may not meet the high standards of a seasoned marksman regarding the visual capabilities.

You can use the scope to record, take photos, and stream media in 1080p HD. This is a unique capability that allows you to capture incredible memories on every trip, and replay them on your phone or tablet.

This model works in both daylight and night and provides full-color optics in both. The ballistic calculator assists with targeting by shifting your point of impact in real time, giving you accuracy in difficult shooting situations.

Quality
Price
Our Rating
$$

An inherent Smart Range Finder uses a two-click process to identify your target range and automatically adjust to your point of impact. The 5-20 magnification allows you to see clearly at long distances and tune your adjustments to line up your shot accurately.


How We Chose Our Ratings


Picking the best night vision scope for your needs can be confusing. Especially if you’re a beginner, the tendency is to want the highest levels available in every component. However, experts agree that more isn’t always better.

We chose our ratings based on several important factors. First, we scoured the internet to analyze the top-rated products from the best manufacturers in the business.

We investigated the specs to pick the most well-rounded models that offer the perfect amount of magnification to let you get a clear view both close and far targets. Our picks have lots of versatility and adjustments to adapt to a variety of shooting conditions.

If price is a primary consideration, you might want to check out our review of the best night vision scopes under $1000.

Next, we dug into the details to get a good feel for the quality of the scope as it relates to the price. We recognize that everyone is shopping with a budget in mind, so we’ve made recommendations that can fit every price point.

Finally, we picked options that have only excellent user reviews. These scopes are accurate, effective, and work well in a variety of shooting situations. Companies with exceptional customer service records make all of the models and stand by the quality and durability of their products.


Buyer’s Guide


If you’re still struggling to narrow down which is the best night vision scope for your individual needs, these criteria might help you decide.

Scope Clarity

If you need superior clarity in low light situations to sight and hit your target, you’ll want to look for an option that has high lines per millimeter. This is how the resolution is measured, and it’s abbreviated as LP/MM. The greater the number, the more clarity the scope will deliver.

How Much Range?

Night scopes work by gathering ambient light to illuminate your target in low or no light situations. Check your scope specifications to find out how much light is required to operate. Most are labeled with categories like “overcast,” “starlight,” “quarter moon,” or “full moon” which will help you determine how much light is required to see with clarity at range.

Design Implications

In general, larger and heavier scopes provide better magnification and higher quality optics. That said, they aren’t ideal for every hunting situation. You’ll want to weigh the benefits of an ergonomic, lightweight design versus a bulkier option based on the type of hunting you do most often.

Environmental Considerationsne

Will you be using your scope in damp, wet, or sandy conditions? Will it be at risk of exposure to insects? Remember, your scope contains electronic parts that aren’t always resistant to the environment or the elements, and replacing the components can be expensive.

Consider the type of situations in which you’ll be using the scope, and choose one that’s rugged enough for the task.

Brand Review: swfa scopes

swfa scopes

A rifle scope is a big investment, and choosing the right one that fits both your needs and your budget can be tricky.

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.

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 are extremely highly rated. In fact, they 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
SWFA_SS_10x42_Tactical_30_MM_Rifle_Scope

Retailing around $300, this scope costs a fraction of many of the competitors who offer similar products without skimping on quality.

A rear-focus option, it can magnify to 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.

Pros

  • Side focus
  • Lightgweight
  • Matte

Cons

  • Throw the corrections out of whack

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

SWFA_SS_1_4x24_Tactical_30_MM_Rifle_Scope

If you’re consistently sighting at 100 yards or more, the SWFA SS 1 4x24 Tactical 30MM Rifle Scope is a model that gives you the essential features without breaking the bank.

 Retailing at around $400, the optic system gives you excellent clarity in static shooting situations.

 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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Heavy

Best For Experience Long-Range Shooters
SWFA_SS_HD_5-20X50_Tactical_30MM_Rifle_Scope

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

Retailing at around $1,500, this pricey model has all the bells and whistles you’ll need. This is for you to get an accurate sight and shot every time.

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.

Pros

  • Side focus
  • With ergonomic features
  • High quality glass

Cons

  • None

Pricing

pricing of an swfa scopes

As discussed during our brief product overviews, the pricing of an SWFA scope can vary widely depending on the model you choose.

On the manufacturer website, they range from $300 for their entry-level options all the way to $1500 for the top of the line products.

SWFA  strongly believes that high-quality scopes should be available at affordable pricing. They built their business on that model.

The cost of their entry-level scopes reflects what they charged 30 years ago. This was when they started with closeout sales.

This is one company where you can rest assured that lower prices don’t mean lower quality.

The difference between the lowest and highest priced items rests in their capabilities. And, not in the materials, durability, or efficacy of the product.

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.

At starting prices of around $300 for their rear-focus scopes and $400 for their side-focus models, SWFA’s options come in at around half the amount that you would pay for comparable quality with the competition.

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. The ones who want to invest in a high-quality scope without spending more than $300-$400.

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.

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

Yet, once you get into the $1000+ price point range for scopes, the competition gets more intense.

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.

Brand Review: Burris Scopes

Review: Burris Scopes

Burris Scopes may not be in the public eye as much as other firearms optics companies like Trijicon or Aimpoint, but it has a storied past and a good reputation for producing quality products.

They manufacture rifle scopes, spotting scopes, sights (red dot style), mounts, accessories and more. Today, we will be taking a look at what put Burris on the map: It's mid-range to high-end scopes.

We'll go over what makes the Burris company and their products unique, as well as exploring some of their most popular products. We'll see just how well Burris stacks up against the many players in the firearm optics market.

The Burris Company

Burris

The Burris Company was founded in 1971 boy Don Burris, for which the company is named. Don Burris worked for 12 years at the Redfield hunting scope company. There, Burris designed and developed scopes that would set the standard for hunting scopes everywhere.

Some of the ideas he pioneered include the first constantly centered, non-magnifying reticle in variable power scopes, the first 4-12x and 6-18x riflescopes and The Redfield Accu-Range trajectory compensating dual reticle scope.

Burris decided to go into business for himself and make even better scopes and continued to innovate until his passing in 1987. His company innovated the first multi-coated lenses in hunting scopes (more on that technology later) and the industry's first variable power handgun scope.

Burris Today

Today, Burris is part of the Beretta family of scopes. While it is owned by an Italian company, The Burris Company is still headquartered in Greely, Colorado. Recently, Burris has outsourced some of its manufacturing to the Philippines. With the changing economy, the cost of producing Burris scopes wen up, but prices did not.

Customers were not willing to pay for “Made in America” anymore, and instead of sacrificing quality or volume, they opened up a second plant abroad.

The headquarters, testing and packaging facilities still reside in Colorado. Additionally, some of the scopes in Burris's catalog are also still made there. Before anyone starts complaining about outsourcing, know that many big companies like Bushnell and Weaver produce their optics outside the U.S. as well. It's the world we live in.

What Makes Burris Scopes Unique?

Burris Company

Burris is an old-style American manufacturing company. They may have been acquired by an Italian company and outsourced some labor to the Philippines, but they did so to maintain control and the level of quality that they believed was necessary.

Instead of ratcheting up their prices or cutting back on features and quality, they bit the bullet and made some sacrifices.The result is a line of scopes and optics that are both quality and affordable.

They may not be the flashiest or most "decked out" scopes around, but they also aren't the most expensive. Their products are fine mid-range to high-end products that have several features and standards that set them apart from their competitors.

Multi Coated Glass

In the scope world, the quality of the glass is paramount. You have to see what you want to hit and if you can’t, then the scope isn’t doing its job. The better the glass and the better is treated with proprietary methods and chemicals, the more light can be let into the scope for a sharper, clearer and brighter image.

A good scope lets in over 95% of light while a great scope lets in around 99%. It is generally accepted that efficiency cap for light transmission is 99.5% per lens element. How can a scope achieve this? By coating its lenses with chemicals that prevent reflection and other light scattering or absorbing phenomena.

The most common substance for this coating is magnesium fluoride, but many companies have their own proprietary mix of chemicals that achieve a similar result. Lenses may be coated, or multi-coated, meaning they have more than one coating of treatment or multiple coatings of different treatments. Fully multi-coated means that every lens element is coated with multiple layers of chemical treatment to ensure maximum light transmission.

Every single Burris scope is fully multi-coated. They do not manufacture scopes with lesser or ineffectual coatings to cut costs. They claim their "HiLume" fully multi-coated index matched system is second to none and offers high light transmission through their optics in all weather conditions.

High-Quality Components

Burris employs a series of high-quality components to give their scopes the edge. It raises the price some, but they are banking on their customers preferring quality and security over saving a few bucks. These components are varied in their importance, but together they make a big difference.

  • One-Piece Main Tubes: It should go without saying, but some cheap manufacturers do cut this corner, so it bears mentioning. Burris scope housings (the tubes) are made out of single pieces of metal as opposed to two smaller pieces fused together via welding. This fusing process makes manufacturing easier, but the point where the two pieces meet is a structural weakness.
  • Quality Seals: Instead of using standard O-rings for their seals, Burris uses quad rings. These rubber seals are shaped so that there are multiple sealing surfaces instead of just one as in the old style O-ring.
  • Steel on Steel Click Adjustments: The components used for adjusting the scope's alignment and elevation are all steel on steel. This system makes their adjustment more precise, as there is no wiggle room which could happen with softer materials. Adjusting to a previous setting will put you back where you were, with virtually no margin of error. Furthermore, audible clicks help you keep track of your adjustments.
  • Dual Springs: Their adjustment springs are sturdy and robust dual springs instead of single springs. This little addition means that the springs keeping the scope aligned will stay put longer and not decay in strength over time.

Proper Purging and Gassing of Internal Scope Spaces

Internal Scope Spaces

In modern scopes, the spaces between lenses are purged of atmospheric air and filled instead with an inert or otherwise non-reactive gas. This process ensures that no unwanted chemical reactions are taking place inside the scope like oxidation or condensation.

High-end scopes use argon, a noble gas that won’t react with anything. Burris uses nitrogen which is not a noble gas and therefore technically reactive. However, the conditions required to get nitrogen to react inside a scope are virtually impossible to create unless you are trying hard to make it happen.

Many gun owners and optics enthusiasts argue over the advantages of argon over nitrogen; some claim that argon is better due to its total inertness, and others claiming that nitrogen is functionally the same and that argon is an overpriced marketing tool.

Burris has chosen to use nitrogen to keep costs down because they, and others, have not found compelling evidence that puts argon clearly ahead of nitrogen. Their purging and filling technique standards are set high.

Lifetime Warranty

Each and every Burris scope comes with a lifetime warranty. If it fails or does not live up to its word due to manufacturing error or lack of quality, then the Burris Company will replace it. Also, the warranty covers any damage to the scope that hinders its performance even if it was accidental.

The warranty does not, of course, cover deliberate or cosmetics damage nor does it cover loss or theft, but the warranty does transfer to any new owner of the scope. So, even if you buy a Burris secondhand, you can enjoy the perks of the warranty.

If they can't fix it, they will replace it no questions asked. It doesn't matter how old it is or how it was damaged. This is one of the better warranties out there, and it really helps Burris stand out.

Popular Products

Here are some of Burris's more popular products. They have many more in their substantial catalog but here is just a taste.

  • The Fullfield II: The workhorse of the Burris family of scopes. This is their most affordable and best-selling scope. The quality you get for the price has made it a favorite for years.
  • The Veracity: One of Burris's higher-end models, the Veracity competes well with other more expensive scopes, especially in low light.
  • Scout: Their scout scopes are popular with customers due to their ease of use and stability. Scout scopes are unique in that they are mounted forward on the weapon as opposed to the rear where it can be closer to the eye. Despite this, Burris scout scopes give a wide and clear view and help acquire targets quickly.
  • Handgun Scopes: As they have a storied history with handgun scopes, it is no surprise that Burris makes several great scopes. Their handgun scopes are rugged and powerful while still maintaining a manageable weight.

Public Perception

+ Pros: 

Users of Burris scopes are a generally satisfied bunch. Consumer reviews and reports tell of excellent quality optics with clear picture and fast target acquisition. Burris products don’t do much else than what they are intended to do, but they do it well.

Another of Burris's common compliments is how easy their scopes are to use. Not only do customers enjoy how easy it is to mount their scopes onto their firearms securely, but they also find that adjusting their scopes is a snap (pardon the pun). The scopes swiftly and reliably adjust for elevation and back with little error or excess work.

- Cons: 

Users also admit that most Burris scopes aren’t perfect. Some blurry images after prolong firing that eventually dies down, occasionally temperamental adjustment knobs and things like that.

However, to get a scope that is even marginally better than a Burris, you would have to pay much more. Many users don’t see the point and believe they are getting the best bang for their buck.

How Burris Compares to the Competition

Burris Compares

Burris stacks up well with many other manufacturers in the industry. They manage to beat out many brands on quality and performance while still maintaining affordable prices. There are plenty of affordable brands out there, but not all of them can hang with Burris scopes in terms of functionality. One option for affordable riflescope brand is by Nikon. 

Alternatively, their higher end competition charges much more than them. However, these premium brands do outperform Burris scopes in some areas. Resolution and repetition resistance is better amongst other more expensive out there. Burris may not be the best of the best, but you'd be hard-pressed to get better for the price they are asking.

Furthermore, the difference is not huge, but by and large Burris scopes tend to be more compact than their competitors. Not with every product of course but in general. If you are looking for a scope that doesn’t weigh as much as others or has a smaller profile, Burris is worth a look. 

What We Think

Burris's
Quality
Price
Our Rating
$ $

We were impressed with the performance of Burris scopes. The picture quality was good, and the reticles perform well, especially in low light. However, we do agree with many users in that it isn’t perfect. This isn’t to say that it’s bad, it just isn’t at the level of other higher end scopes. But, as previously mentioned, its price point isn’t as high either.

We found good economy with Burris scopes. The scopes that we found to perform better often cost much more, twice as much in some cases! Throw in their no questions asked lifetime warranty and you have an all-around smart purchase.

Its mid-range price and great performance mean that you could go both ways if they aren't for you. If you want cheaper, there are trusted brands at lower prices like Nikon and Bushnell, and even cheaper knock-offs that we can't really recommend. You could also go the other way and spring for the premium brands like Nightforce or Swarovski which will likely improve your experience but also weigh much heavier on your finances.

Become A Better Marksman With One Of The Best .308 Scopes Available Today

As someone who uses a .308 for hunting, you’ve probably had a lot of success over the years and brought home some impressive trophies. While the .308 is known for its accuracy, you can improve your skills by having the best .308 scopes.

Whether you’re looking for a scope for the first time or you’re on the hunt for an upgrade, your results might be a little overwhelming and make it difficult to decide. To help you get started and on the right path, we’ve done all the research and compiled a list of some of the best .308 scopes available on the market right now.

How We Choose Our Ratings

.308 scopes

With hundreds of rifle scopes available, you’re probably curious as to how we narrow down our choices and select our top five. We take our ratings seriously, and we strive to provide consumers with the most honest and accurate information available about the products that we research and review.

You probably don’t have the opportunity, time, or money to test out every scope that’s suited for a .308. You would rather spend time using the scope out in the field or forest rather than spending countless hours researching the best scope to buy.We do all the work for you, so all you need to do is read this reliable, unbiased, and thorough review.

The Internet reading reviews and testimonials from other people who have purchased or tested out the same scopes that we review and rate.While our list is full of the best .308 scopes available, we take the time to read reviews that give a less than five-star rating as it’s valuable information as we research and review.

Many people ask us about our five-star rating system and how it works. When we give a product a five-star rating, it means that it exceeds our expectations and receives overwhelmingly positive feedback from other users and reviewers. Keep in mind that we do our own research and just because one consumer may give a scope five stars doesn’t mean that we do.

Our primary goal with our rating system is to give you the confidence in selecting a scope that is the right fit for you and will get a lot of use for years to come.


We Compare the Top 5 Best 308 Scopes

Product

Image

Details

Our Rating

Price

Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x42 Matte Mil-Dot Reticle

Best 308 Scope Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x42 Matte Mil-Dot Reticle

Has a three-inch sunshade and a rainguard

Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope w/ BDC 800 Reticle

Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope w

Features a quick autofocus eyepiece and is accurate at long-range from 200 to 800 yards.

Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16x42 Second Focal Plane Riflescope

Best 308 Scope Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16x42 Second Focal Plane Riflescope

Made from aircraft-grade aluminum, it can withstand wear and tear and can handle the recoil of a .308.

Leupold 115390 Mark AR MOD 1 Riflescope with Mil-Dot Reticle 3-9×40-Millimeter

Best 308 Scope Leupold 115390 Mark AR MOD 1 Riflescope with Mil-Dot Reticle 3-9×40-Millimeter

the argon and krypton gas blend keep the scope water and fog proof

FSI Sniper 6-24x50mm Scope w/front AO adjustment

Best 308 Scope FSI Sniper Scope

ideal choice for someone looking for a larger scope and with a lower price tag


Review of the Top 5 Best 308 Scopes

Best .308 Scopes

Now that we’ve explained our five-star rating system and how we decide which scopes are the best, it’s time to take a look at our top picks; our favorite pick is at the top of the list. Even if the scope you are interested in (on our list) is not at the top, it doesn’t mean it’s not an excellent choice. Remember, this is a list of the best scopes; you won’t find low-rated scopes in our review.

Rainguard Riflescope

Bushnell has over six decades of experience manufacturing and distributing high-performance sports optics. You are likely to have used a pair of Bushnell binoculars when walking around outdoors or at an indoor concert. The company strives to create products that can help enhance one’s experience in the Great Outdoors and at other events.

The Bushnell scope is completely waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. With a three-inch sunshade and a rainguard, the lens stays clearer and dry, which can help you stay focused on your target during inclement weather. This sturdy scope can handle the recoil of a .308 and has been tested with 10,000 rounds of 375 H&H Magnum.

Check out some of the specifications of the Bushnell scope:

  • Magnification Power: 2.5x up to 16x
  • Field of View for 2.5x: 41 feet at 100 yards
  • Field of View for 16x: 6.55 feet at 100 yards
  • Minute of Angle (MOA): ¼ in
  • Mounting Length: 5 inches
  • Weight: 17.3 ounces
  • Length: 13.5 inches

The mil-dot reticle helps to improve accuracy at vast distances, which makes this an excellent scope for anyone who is trying to strengthen their marksman skills. The clarity and ease of sighting make this a “must have” scope for all types of weather and low-light.

At $700+ tag price, this Bushnell model is on the expensive side. You might want to look at Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle if budget is a priority.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$ $ $

PROS:

  • mil-dot reticle helps to improve accuracy at vast distances
  • RainGuard HD anti-fog technology; Elite Bullet-Proof Warranty
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Push/pull turrets with resettable zero

CONS:

  • Resolution drops a little bit as you move from the center to the edges, but not very severely.
  • Mounting length is a bit shorter than that of Elite 4200 scopes
Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope

We all know Nikon for its long history as a high-quality camera manufacturer and their riflescope is created with the same care and quality that we would expect from a century-old company.

Like the Bushnell scope, the Nikon is waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. An ideal fit for a .308, the Nikon’s BDC 800 Reticle was designed for the trajectory of a .308. The scope has a quick autofocus eyepiece and is accurate at long-range from 200 to 800 yards.

Check out some of the specifications of the Nikon scope:

  • Magnification Power: 4x up to 16x
  • Field of View: 6.3 - 25.2 feet at 100 yards
  • MOA: ¼ in
  • Weight: 19 ounces
  • Length: 13.5 inches

Another great option for hunters who are trying to hit their target from a long distance or in rainy or humid conditions. This scope is durable and is sure to withstand years of regular use while remaining accurate.

Not the Nikon riflescope model you were looking for? You might want to check out our review of the Nikon Buckmaster 6 18×40, Nikon Buckmaster 4.5 14×40, and Nikon Buckmaster 4 12×50.

PROS:

  • Features a quick autofocus eyepiece
  • Fog proof, waterproof, shockproof
  • Large magnification range with oversized lens great for heavy caliber rifles

CONS:

  • Best suited for use on long range tactical rifles

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$ $ $

Second Focal Plane Riflescope

Vortex Optics is a Wisconsin-based company that specializes in optics for everything related to the Great Outdoors as well as for law enforcement.

The Vortex Diamondback scope is waterproof, fog proof, shockproof, and has extra-low dispersion glass which helps to increase the resolution and give you sharp images. The multi-coated scope also keeps glare to a minimal; it also comes with a sunshade. Made from aircraft-grade aluminum, it can withstand wear and tear and can handle the recoil of a .308.

While this scope is shorter than others that are similar, it has a long range of view and is fast focusing.

Check out some of the specifications of the Vortex Optics scope:

  • Magnification Power: 4x up to 16x
  • Field of View: 23.8 to 6.1 feet at 100 yards
  • MOA: ¼ in
  • Weight: 18 ounces
  • Length: 12.5 inches

This scope may be an ideal choice for anyone who is looking for a shorter scope but with all the advantages of a more extended rifle scope.

Hunting all year round? Then Vortex Diamondback 4 12×40 AO can be the right Vortex model for you. 

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$ $ $

PROS:

  • Has extra-low dispersion glass which helps to increase the resolution and give you sharp images
  • Finger adjustable capped reset turrets can be reset to zero after sighting in.
  • The fast focus eyepiece allows for quick and easy reticle focusing.

CONS:

  • Turret tracking issues and the finish may be easily scuffed 
Mark AR MOD 1 Riflescope

Leupold is an Oregon-based company with over 100 years of experience specializing in rifle and tactical scopes. Longtime customers come to expect high-quality and long-lasting products.

This Leupold scope is one of the best 308 scopes because the argon and krypton gas blend keep the scope water and fog proof, allowing for a crisp and clear sight regardless of the weather.

Check out some of the specifications of the Leupold scope:

  • Magnification Power: 3x up to 9x
  • Field of View: 14.10 to 33.50 feet at 100 yards
  • MOA: 56 for windage adjustment, 52 for elevation
  • Mounting Length: 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 12.4 ounces
  • Length: 13.5 inches

Like similar scopes with a mil-dot reticle, .308 owners with the Leupold scope can make more accurate and fewer shots when hunting. Great for beginners but advanced enough for seasoned .308 users. The magnification may not be enough for some scope users.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$ $ $

PROS:

  • Great for beginners but advanced enough for seasoned .308 users.
  • 2nd Generation Argon/Krypton Waterproofing
  • 8.60X maximum magnification

CONS:

  • The magnification may not be enough for some scope users.
FSI Sniper Scope

FSI is known for making affordable long-range scopes and this sniper scope, which is suitable for a .308, is an excellent example.

While this scope is larger than similar scopes, the aluminum construction keeps it lightweight and durable. Water, fog, and shock resistant, the FSI scope performs well under a variety of weather conditions; a sunshade is also available to help keep glare to a minimal.

Check out some of the specifications of the FSI scope:

  • Magnification Power: 6x up to 24x
  • Field of View: 4 to 15 feet at 100 yards
  • MOA: ¼ inch
  • Weight: 26 ounces
  • Length: 16 inches

Like other scopes that have a mil-dot reticle, the sniper scope also has this feature but the multi-colored mil-dot reticle (red/blue/green), which may help the scope user with clarity and accuracy.

While this scope has many similar features to others that we have reviewed, it may be an ideal choice for someone looking for a larger scope and with a lower price tag.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$ $

PROS:

  • Ideal choice for someone looking for a larger scope and with a lower price tag
  • Ball and Bearing Windage/Elevation adjustment for precision and superior shock resistant

CONS:

  • May have unusual directional markings on the turrets.
  • Stock rings are not big enough to be used with most rifles.

Best 308 Scope: Buyer’s Guide

While we believe that we’ve provided you with some great choices and enough information to help you make a confident decision, it’s important to know what to look for when shopping for a scope.

The more information you have, the more likely you are to make a sound decision and be happy with your purchase. Let’s take a look at some factors to consider before you buy one of the best .308 scopes.

Durable

A .308 rifle has some “kick” that’s why we chose scopes that were tested to handle the recoil of the powerful rifle. Not only should a scope be able to handle the recoil of every shot you take but it should be constructed of a durable material, like steel or aluminum.

While many hunters handle their .308s with care, a rifle and its scope need to be able to handle a little wear and tear and withstand the elements. A high-quality and durable scope should be able to stay in good condition for many years; storing in a case and keeping it clean (when not in use) can help extend the life of your scope.

Versatile Magnification

As you read through our reviews, you probably noticed that each scope had versatile magnification range (some more than others).

If you’re going to invest in a high-quality scope for your .308, you want to be able to shoot from a long distance as that’s one of the advantages of owning a scope. If you like to do a lot of long-range shooting, consider a scope that magnifies more than 9 x. The magnification you choose all depends on how far you plan to hunt and the terrain (open field vs. forest).

Accuracy and Clarity

Anyone that has owned a poor-quality scope knows how bad they can get on rainy, humid, or sunny days. Not being able to see clearly out of a scope can be a waste of money, a waste of some potentially good shots, and even potentially dangerous.

While many scopes are water, fog, and shockproof, make sure that one has all these features before buying. A removable sun or rain shade can be a nice addition to have on your scope as well.

If you’re a novice shooter with your .308 or want to sharpen up your skills, a scope with mil-dot reticle can help you improve your accuracy. Keep in mind that the best way to get to know your new scope is to test it out and read the owner’s manual that comes with the scope.

Even if you’ve been shooting your .308 for years, adding a new scope to your rifle can change everything about the way you shoot so be patient and take the time to enjoy learning how to use your new scope.

Improve Your Close-Range Accuracy With The EOTech 512.a65 Sight

Trying to shoot your weapon without a sight can be challenging, and you’re likely to waste a few good shots trying to get your target.There are different types of sights available on the market, but you may not know what kind the best fit for you and your shooting style is. In our review, we will focus on the EOTech 512.a65 sight, discuss some its unique features, the cost, and what other users have to say about using one.

What Is EOTech 512.a65 and How Does It Work?

EOTech 512.a65

The EOTech 512.a65 is a holographic sight created and manufactured by EOTech. EOTech is a Michigan-based company that specializes in holographic sighting systems, thermal imaging equipment, and tactical lasers. EOTech built the first Holographic Weapon Sight (HWS), in 1996, and made it available to purchase commercially.

Before we get into the details of specifications, we will discuss the differences between a sight and a scope. If you are a long-time firearm owner, you probably know a lot about scopes, sights and prefer one over the other.

New gun owners may not know the difference or may not know which one is best for them. It’s worth taking time to explaining the differences between the two, so that you can make a confident decision about what you need for your weapon.

A Brief Look At Scopes

When many of us think of a scope, we might envision a large and long telescope looking piece of equipment that is mounted to a larger gun like a rifle. A scope provides magnification and is most useful for long range shooting; most scopes have magnification options, which makes it versatile.

A scope has a large lens, which is the objective lens and is located on the opposite end of the eyepiece. When light transmits through the objective lens and back to the ocular lens (or the lens in the eyepiece); this is when magnification occurs.

How Do Holographic Sights Differ?

Sights are often a popular choice among novice gun owners because it’s smaller and easier to use. Some sights, like the red dot sight, will display a red dot sight if you don’t have the target lined up with your line of sight. Sights displays are often easier to read and use than crosshairs or other features of a scope.

Many sight experts believe that a holographic is similar to a red dot sight but works a little better. Holographic sights are smaller than other sights, and there’s room for error when lining up your line of sight with your target.

Holographic sights like the EOTech 512.a65 are lightweight, small, and designed for mid to close range shooting. Rather than an objective and ocular lens, holographic sights consist of a hologram between glass. The glass (or your view) is not altered or affected by any light coming through the viewer window.

What Makes EOTech 512 Unique?

EOTech 512 Unique

With dozens of holographic sights available, you might be wondering how EOTech 512 is unique. One of the main things to consider, when looking at the 512 sight is that it is made by the company who created holographic sights.

While many holographic sights have similar features and may even be a fraction of the price, there are advantages to sticking with a sight that was explicitly designed by its company.

A Detailed Look At EOTech 512

Now that we’ve discussed some of the main differences between scopes and sights, let’s take a closer look at the EOTech 512. According to the manufacturer, the 512.a65 is the company’s most popular holographic sight.

When the shooter looks through the heads-up display window, see a red hologram of a reticle pattern on the target plane. This image is easier to see than crosshairs and red dots, and it may help novice shooters improve their accuracy; overall, it’s a suitable sight for anyone who wants to improve their shooting performance and have more control.

While this sight is not compatible with night vision, it’s an ideal sight for speed and versatility in close to mid range shooting environments. The EOTech holographic sight is made of durable aluminum. The sight comes with two-AA batteries, a Knurled Weaver bolt for mounting, 7/64 Allen key, a quick reference card, product registration and warranty card, sight assembly, and a user’s manual.

The Parts of the EOTech 512.a65

 Parts of the EOTech 512.a65

While the design of the sight is relatively simple, it’s a good idea to get to know the parts before deciding if this is the best holographic sight for you.

The holographic window contains the embedded holographic reticle pattern and will display a hologram of the reticle when it’s illuminated by a laser light.

The protective hood is located over the display window (sight housing). Not only does the protective hood increase the durability of the sight housing but keeps it better protected from damage and extended use.

A battery cap latch keeps the battery compartment free of water, dirt, and other debris while the battery cap contains the power source for the holographic sight.

With the universal mount, you can easily mount your sight to a 1” Weaver or a MIL-STD-1913 rail. For other mounting details or instructions, contact the company directly.

The windage adjustment dial is designed to adjust the point of aim at 100 yards with a half-inch per click either left to right. Similarly, the elevation adjustment changes the point of aim at 100 yards with a half-inch up or down.

While there are no night vision capabilities, users can adjust the brightness (with 20 settings) to make the sight easier to use in low or high-light environments.

Specifications

  • The Field of View: Up to 30 yards
  • 1 x magnification
  • Anti-reflection coating
  • Fog-resistant
  • Water submersible up to 10 feet
  • Length: 5.5 inches
  • Width: 2 inches
  • Height: 2.5”
  • Weight: 11.5 ounces
  • Color: Black or Camo
  • Window Dimensions: 1.20 x 0.85 inches
  • Front Glass: 1/8 inch thick
  • Rear Glass: 3/16 inch thick

Maintenance Tips For The EOTech 512.a65

Maintenance EOTech 512.a65

The holographic sight is relatively maintenance-free but here are a few tips to consider when caring for the sight and to help extend its life and optimal performance.

Since the sight windows are coated with an anti-reflective material, you should use care when cleaning the surface. Before cleaning the glass, blow away any excess dirt or debris.

Never clean the glass without moistening a soft cloth first. Always use a lens cleaning fluid (or a cleaner that’s suitable for cleaning camera lenses).

Use soap and water or a water-based cleaner to clean the outer surface of the sight. Never use alcohol, acetone, or a gun cleaner on the holographic sight. Parts of the sight are permanently lubricated and should never need lubricating. If you encounter issues, contact the manufacturer first.

Disassembling any part of the sight can void the warranty and compromise the performance of the sight, particularly the nitrogen-filled optical cavity (to avoid fog and excess moisture).

While sights are designed to be durable, you may want to store your sight in a padded case to keep it protected when not in use.

Pricing

If you are shopping around online and making some price comparisons on the EOTech 512.a65, you may notice that it cost more than other holographic sights; you may see that the price varies on the actual product.

When you go the manufacturer’s website, they are selling the EOTech 512 for $479 (MSRP). If you look at Amazon, the prices vary between $384 and $429. While the prices on Amazon for EOtech 512.a65 are significant savings and it’s difficult to detect any differences in the products (if any exist), you should make sure that the sight is not pre-owned and that a warranty is available.

Warranty

EOTech 512.a65 sights that are purchased after 2017 are protected by a 10-year limited EOTech Prestige Warranty. The warranty covers any defects in the material or workmanship that occur under regular wear within ten years of purchase. The warranty may not include a sight that has been modified, abused, stolen, or has cosmetic damage. For all warranty details, visit the EOTech Warranty page for more information.

What Others Say About EOTech 512

About EOTech 512

Interested to know what other users have to say about the EOTech 512.a65 Holographic sight, we read dozens of product reviews, customer comments, and testimonials on the Internet. The sight has received a lot of positive feedback with an overall rating of at least four out of five stars.

+ Pros:

Many first-time holographic sight users were impressed by the ease of use and clarity; many remark about how much easier it is to use than red dot sights. Novice users felt comfortable and confident using the sight and experienced users liked how it instantly improved their accuracy.

Other users comment on the durability and craftsmanship. Some mentioned that despite the small size of the sight (versus a scope), they didn’t feel nervous about using the sight or felt like they would damage the equipment.

- Cons:

While some users comment that the scope is not ideal for long range shooting, the manufacturer clearly states that the EOtech 512.a65 is  ideal for close to midrange environments.

EOTech 512.a65 sight lacks of night vision capabilities like the Eotech XPS2. Most users were happy with the multiple brightness settings so that they have continued clarity and better control in low-light environments.

If the night vision feature is a deal breaker, then you might want to consider getting a night-vision scope.

Reviewers had minimal complaints about the holographic sight, and those that did were able to have their issues fixed via troubleshooting or by using their warranty and having the sight repaired by EOTech.

One user ended up purchasing a counterfeit sight, which is another reason why you may be best off buying directly from the manufacturer rather than from an online marketplace like Amazon. Few users complained about the price and most thought that the price was fair for the quality and performance of the sight.

How It Compares

As we mentioned earlier, the EOTech holographic sight is the original holographic weapon sight; similar sights from other manufacturers may have some of the same features but might be “copycat” designs.

When comparing a holographic sight to a red dot sight, most users preferred the holographic sight due to its ease of use, accuracy, and a great choice for beginners.

Comparatively, the EOTech 512.a65 comes with a 1x magnification, while the Burris AR 332 features a 3x magnification. 

What We Think Of EoTech 512.a65

EoTech 512.a65

After reading all the reviews and comments online, we agree that EoTech 512.a65 sight deserves a nearly five-star rating. While the price is a little higher than other sights, it’s clear that you are paying for the high-quality craftsmanship and the 10-year warranty to back up the product, makes it worth the price.

Our Rating:

We like the no-nonsense design, how easy it is to make adjustments, and the room for “error” as you learn how to use a sight. While this sight may be a bit of an investment for new sight users, we think that the sight is an ideal choice for beginners and experienced shooters alike.

The owner’s manual gives you all the information that you need to operate the sight properly and the troubleshooting tips can help you figure out any issues before calling the manufacturer. There are several ways to get a hold of customer service and based on other user reviews; customer service is prompt and helpful.

Considering the quality of the EoTech 512.a65, this is easily the only sight that one might need or want on their weapon and when cared for properly, it can perform with accuracy and clarity for decades.

Brand Review of Leupold Scopes: A Century-Old Family Company And Their Versatile Scopes

Have you been shopping around for a new scope or are buying one for the first time? While all scopes are designed to help you see your target clearly, the price, quality, and design varies greatly. Let's start with the Leupold scopes.

With so many scopes on the market, it can be challenging to decide which model and brand to choose. Ideally, a scope should last you decades, if not a lifetime. Also, it depends on how much money you spend it can be quite the investment.

 In our review, we will discuss the Leupold brand, the history of the company, and the Leupold scopes. With all this information, you should be able to determine whether or not the Leupold brand is the right choice.

A History Of The Leupold Brand

Leupold Scopes

These days it can be hard to find a family-owned business that has been around for decades, let alone over a century.

Leupold is a family-owned business and is based out of Beaverton, Oregon.

Here are some of the highlights of how the company got its start and where it is today:

The Telemark

In 1907, Fred Leupold Adam Volpel, friends and brothers-in-law, started a business of making surveying equipment by hand. In 1914, Leupold’s son, Marcus, joins the company. It was that same year that J.C. Stevens becomes a business partner and invents the first water level recorder.

He then continued to invent and improve surveying equipment in 1938. The Telemark, a water level recorder using telephone signals to transmit information, is introduced by the growing company. The following year, Robert Stevens, J.C.’s son, joins the business.

In 1942, after the passing of Volpel, the business name changed to Leupold & Stevens. Two years later, Fred Leupold passes away and his son, Norbert, joins the company.

In 1947, Leupold & Stevens created and sold their first scope, The Plainsman. The scope was designed after Marcus Leupold supposedly missed a trophy buck due to a fogged-up scope.

The company became incorporated two years later. They were well on their way to making and selling scopes when Jack Slack joined the company in 1953. Slack then married Marcus Leupold’s daughter, Georgia, a few years later.

In 1962, Leupold introduced their classic and ever-popular Duplex reticle. With the technology in scopes, accuracy and clarity became even better in low-light conditions.

Norbert took over the company in 1968 and that same year they moved to bigger headquarters. The first lightweight scope was created in 1974 and four years later, the first compact scope. In the early 1980’s, Leupold began making smaller scopes for handguns.

Leupold scopes used by the military

It was in 1983 when Werner Wildauer, became the president and chairman of the company. He has been serving the company for 25 years. In the following years, Leupold scopes are used in military and remain a favorite in the field and forest. A long line of innovators and hunting experts created the brand. 

Many of the scopes sold today are new and improved versions of age-old designs. The quality and craftsmanship remain today, and the company still operates out of Oregon despite its popularity across the globe.


A Look At Leupold Scopes

Leupold scopes

Now that you know more about the family business that has grown into the successful company that it is today let’s take a closer look at the variety of Leupold scopes.

As a brand review of Leupold scopes, we won’t discuss each scope but will take a look at the different types of scopes.

Leupold Riflescopes

The first Leupold scope was created after Marcus Leupold became frustrated with a fogged up scope. Determined to make a better scope, the Leupold scopes were born and have been fogproof ever since The Plainsman went on the market.

Leupold riflescopes are also waterproof, shockproof, and durable enough to handle the recoil of a rifle.

Here are the current Leupold scopes for rifles (click on each one to see the variety of magnification options and other specific features):

Leupold Shotgun & Muzzleloader Scopes

Leupold Scopes

These Leupold scopes are designed to help hunters get hit their target fast, thanks to the clarity and ability to perform well even in low-light environments. Here are current scopes for shotguns and muzzleloaders (click on each one to see the variety of magnification options and other specific features):

Leupold Handgun Scopes

Leupold Scopes

Leupold handgun scopes may be considerably smaller than some of the other scopes, but they are designed to be just as accurate and durable as other Leupold scopes.

Here are current scopes for handguns (click on each one to see the variety of magnification options and other specific features):

Leupold Compact or Lightweight Scopes

Lightweight Scopes

In our brand review of Leupold scopes, you will notice that many of the scopes are more substantial and a little heavier.

The Ultralight scopes weigh about a quarter less than other full-size scopes but have all the same characteristics that Leupold fans love. Why buy a compact or lightweight scope? It’s the ideal option if you want to keep your firearm light.

Here are the current compact or lightweight scopes (click on each one to see the variety of magnification options and other specific features):

Note: Many of the Tactical and Long Range Scopes also fit into the categories we listed above. Click on the category to see the Leupold scope options.

What Makes Leupold Scopes Unique?

Now that you’ve seen all the Leupold scopes that are available it’s safe to say that the company is versatile, which is a prominent characteristic that stems back to the company’s early years. While many companies specialize in scopes, few offer dozens of options and versatility.

Not only is Leupold unique for its diversity and versatility but each scope, regardless of its size, is built to last, and is designed to help marksmen improve their accuracy and see a target more clearly.

Pricing

The cost of a Leupold scope varies depending on the type of scope you purchase. While the VX-Freedom riflescope costs around $260, a Mark 5 HD riflescope costs about $2,600.

If you’ve never purchased a scope before, you may be hesitant to buy a scope with a high price tag. Keep in mind that these scopes are built to last and Leupold backs up their scopes with a lifetime warranty.

Warranty Information

Leupold will repair or replace any of its riflescopes, spotting scopes, or binoculars if it doesn’t work as guaranteed. There’s no need to provide proof of ownership or have a warranty card. There’s no expiration date on the warranty, and you don’t even need to be the original owner of the scope; as long as it says Leupold, that’s all they need.

Scopes that are modified, damaged, or misused may be ineligible for a replacement. For more detailed information on the warranty or to register a scope, visit the Leupold website.


What Others Say About Leupold Scopes

While the Leupold company has a long history of making high-quality products, we were curious if the quality of the products still holds up today and what other scope owners had to say about the Leupold brand.

As we browsed online reviews, testimonials, and product comments, the company had overwhelmingly positive feedback, and many product ratings were at least four out of five stars.

Pros:

Many users remark on the durability and the craftsmanship of the variety of scopes. They don’t feel like they need to worry about damaging their scope while they’re hiking around the woods or working on target practice.

Other users praise the high-quality glass and the scope’s water and fog proof features. The quality of the glass and the clarity that remains despite the rain, sun, fog, or clouds, is one of the top-selling features of Leupold scopes.

Some reviewers are lifelong users of the Leupold brand and remain happy with each scope they purchase. They believe that the newer scopes hold up to the same quality of scopes that are decades old.

The majority of users, whether they bought a riflescope or a handgun scope, appreciated the ease of use and how well it performed each time they used the scope. Many say that they have become better marksmen and enjoy using their firearms much more now that they have a high-quality scope.

Cons:

While some users had issues with the warranty and a few thought the price of their scope was too high, a majority of users think that the price of their Leupold scope is “well worth the money;” some even called it a bargain, given the quality of the scope.


How Do Leupold Scopes Differ From Other Competitors?

We’ve already highlighted what makes the Leupold brand unique, but those same features are what makes them stand out from the competition. While there are several high-quality, big name, and high-priced scope manufacturers, Leupold continues to succeed.

While many people might see their dozens of scope options as something negative, many scope users like having magnification options as gun owners use scopes differently. Rarely are scopes universal and Leupold knows that each type of gun deserves a specific scope.

Some people shy away from Leupold, based on the price alone. It’s important to remember that Leupold has a lifetime guarantee and other manufacturers that offer similar style scopes at a lower price don’t stand behind their products for a lifetime.

As we mentioned earlier, each Leupold scope is durable and can withstand daily use and withstand all kinds of environments; other scopes aren’t always designed with that same durability or reliability.

What We Think About The Leupold Brand


While it would take a long time to test out every scope that Leupold makes personally, we are confident in saying that the Leupold brand makes high-quality, durable, and reliable scopes for all types of guns.


A Leupold scope is ideal for a hunter or gun enthusiast who uses their firearm responsibly on a regular basis and cares more about the quality of the product than a cheap price tag. Leupold scopes are a good option for anyone who wants a scope that they can use confidently for decades.


People who have never used a scope before may be hesitant to try out a Leupold scope, especially given the price, but it may enhance and improve their hunting experience so much that they choose to use a Leupold scope for life.


If you’re unsure the Leupold brand is for you, ask your family and friends to see if they have a Leupold scope you could test out. While we’re confident that it will improve your shot and your overall experience, you might need to find out for yourself.

Best ACOG Clone

Best ACOG Clone

Who doesn't love an ACOG? It's sleek, sexy and functional to the point that it has become the gold standard for combat rifle optics in the United States. But being the gold standard comes with a price. Specifically, the price of the best ACOG Clone. 

As the top dog and the brand to beat, Trijicon and their ACOGs can ask for steep prices because many people will pay them. Some people can drop that coin on a certified premium optic system, but what about those of us who can't or would rather not?

As with most popular high-end product, a wave of clones, copycats and “knock-offs” have entered the market to fill the demand for affordable ACOG-like optics systems. These ACOG clones often perform nearly as well as their brand name inspiration, and at a fraction of the cost.

Of course, there are a lot of low quality, low price alternatives out there, but you don’t want subpar systems or add-ons anywhere near your firearms.To help you separate the cheap knock-offs from the quality recreations, we've compiled a list of some of the best ACOG clones on the market right now.

These optics systems will not only give you the look and feel of an actual ACOG but the performance of one as well. And, of course, they do so without breaking the bank.


Comparison of the Top 5 Best ACOG Clone


Product

Image

Details

Our Rating

Price

CL Sports ACOG Style Rifle Scope 1x32

CL Sports ACOG Style Rifle Scope 1x32

The BD Tactical comes in 1X magnification

Terminus Optics TOC1 Green True Fiber BDC Reticle

Terminus Optics TOC1 Green True Fiber BDC Reticle

This ACOG clone is similar to our top pick, but it comes in 4X magnification

Bushnell AR Optics 1X MP

Bushnell AR Optics 1X MP

It is one of best ACOG clones around soundly dominating the mid-range market

BARSKA 1X30 IR M-16 Electro Sight Riflescope

BARSKA 1X30 IR M-16 Electro Sight Riflescope

This BARSKA model is lightweight and compact despite requiring batteries

Monstrum Tactical 3X30 Rifle Scope

Monstrum Tactical 3X30 Rifle Scope

This scope is another good ACOG clone for those that want a little higher magnification


Review of the Top 5 Best ACOG Clone


We’ll start at the top with our best pick, then go down from there. Don’t immediately discount second place or any others on our list; they might be better suited to your needs or meet your preferences better. The race was close, so just because an optics system didn’t come out on top doesn’t mean it isn’t worth considering.

1. CL Sports ACOG Style Rifle Scope 1x32

CL Sports ACOG Style Rifle Scope 1x32

In our opinion, this is one of if not the best ACOG clone out there right now. The CL Sports riflescope comes in 1X magnification which we like for our rifles. If more magnification is what you are looking for, keep reading, we’ll get to some of those.

The CL Sports riflescope is a great ACOG substitute because it is exceptionally sturdy. It takes blows and shock well and holds zero expertly even after being roughed up a bit. On the range or in the field, this scope will do the job well despite harsh conditions.

Pros:

It has treated and coated glass that is fog proof and water resistant. The sight is clear, and the reticle is easy to zero in on. 

This scope is best suited for 5.56/.223 rifles and is compatible with any 20mm RIS weaver standard rail. You get all of this at a rock bottom price. You can often find these for less than $50 online. There’s a lot to love here.

Cons:

It uses fiber optics exclusively for illumination and does not use batteries. This setup means that it will not function in absolute darkness, but even low light indoors produces enough ambient light to produce an image.

Quality
Price
Our Rating
$

2.Terminus Optics TOC1 Green True Fiber BDC Reticle

Terminus Optics TOC1 Green True Fiber BDC Reticle

This ACOG clone is similar to our top pick, but it comes in 4X magnification; it’s great for longer range engagements. It has a similar fiber optic system as the BD Tactical, so no batteries are required.

Pros:

It is quite sturdy, being waterproof, shockproof, fog proof, and weatherproof with a forged aluminum casing. ACOG clone also can take the hits and still hold zero at 600 meters.

The picture isn’t quite as clear as we would have liked, but the reticle is actually more advanced and might be preferable to some.

Cons:

As it has higher magnification, this scope is a little pricier than our top pick, but it is still quite affordable. It's got everything you might need in a longer range ACOG clone and won't strain your wallet.

Quality
Price
Our Rating
$

3. Bushnell AR Optics 1X MP

Bushnell AR Optics 1X MP

You may recognize the Bushnell name and trust it as quality, and rightly so. Their firearm accessories in other categories like the Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle and the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope are great products that perform well.

They have recently moved into the tactical optics game, and these products don't disappoint either. In fact, it was difficult not to name this one our top pick.

Pros: 

The optics are clear and easy to acquire, making this scope great for rapid target acquisition. It uses battery power to illuminate its reticle, which adds weight to the scope and another thing to worry about with batteries. However, this does allow the scope to function in any light conditions with adjustable reticle brightness. The reticle can also be zoom adjusted for longer or closer range targets.

Of course, this Bushnell model is made to last and resists blunt force as well as all forms of weather. It also has nifty extras like the ability to switch between a standard dot reticle and an illuminated T-dot reticle. Furthermore, it has an iron sight molded on top so that you can quickly switch to normal sights should the need arise.

Cons:

The only reason it didn't make it to the top is that as a Bushnell product, it comes with brand name quality as well as a brand name price tag. It is significantly less affordable than others on this list because of its impressive specs. The extra weight and worry from batteries didn't help either. Still, it is one of best ACOG clones around soundly dominating the mid-range market.

Quality
Price
Our Rating
$

4.BARSKA 1X30 IR M-16 Electro Sight Riflescope

BARSKA 1X30 IR M-16 Electro Sight Riflescope

Purists will note that this scope isn't a true ACOG clone, but it performs man of the same functions similarly.

Most people would hardly be able to tell the difference, and would still be satisfied with their purchase.

Pros:

This BARSKA model is lightweight and compact despite requiring batteries. The reticle produced by its battery is crips and easily visible, with seven brightness adjustment settings for firing in all lighting conditions. It’s sturdy and robust, being able to withstand shocks, weather and even punishing recoil.

Cons:

Our main concern is with battery life. You’ll likely be swapping batteries out of this scope more than you would like. Still, If you want a light, clear and affordable scope that runs on batteries for anytime function, this BARSKA is a good choice.

Quality
Price
Our Rating
$

5.Monstrum Tactical 3X30 Rifle Scope

Monstrum Tactical 3X30 Rifle Scope

This scope is another good ACOG clone for those that want a little higher magnification. At 3X magnification, it is well suited to short to medium range firing.

Pros:  

The reticle is battery powered, but the scope itself is light and compact. Also, the reticle can be swapped between green and red color on the fly.

Cons:

Despite the scope itself being rugged, there are some reports of the scope not being as firmly attached to its rail as some would like. The scope still holds zero but can get knocked around easily. However, this scope is quite affordable and is still well suited for the range.

Quality
Price
Our Rating
$

Key Components of an ACOG


Key Components of ACOG

Before we discuss how we came up with our ratings, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the primary components of an ACOG system. In this way, you can see what the clone needs to have or accomplish to achieve the verisimilitude of its progenitor.

Power

One of the main characteristics of an ACOG is how it achieves its reticle, sometimes more commonly referred to as a "red dot." Some models use a powered illumination system with an onboard AA battery which adds a bit of bulk.

Most ACOG models, however, do not use batteries to create the illuminated reticle like the Bushnell AR Optics FFP Illuminated BTR-1 BDC Reticle. Instead, it implements internal phosphor illumination provided by the radioactive decay of tritium.

Don't let that scare you, though. Elements are radioactively decaying all around you at any given moment; only a few elements are radioactive enough to be harmful. Tritium is not one of them and is used in other devices like watches for power source free illumination. Just don't go around cracking open watches and ACOGs to eat the tritium and you will be fine.

For daytime firing, ACOGs also implement a fiber optic system that directs ambient light into the optics to create a reticle. This causes some problems when you are using the ACOG in a shadow or are pointing it at the sun, but advancements in technology have helped mitigate these problems and the result is a battery-free and reliable illumination system for the reticle. 

Another riflescope recommended for daytime firing that you might want to check out is the Eotech XPS2 Holographic Sight.  

Magnification

Some ACOG models come in magnifications up to 6X. However, these magnifications are fixed. Trijicon, the producers of the original ACOG, believes (correctly) that variable magnification components add more moving parts and thus reduces the durability of the optics.

As durability is a primary concern of the combat-centric ACOG system, variable zoom is not considered desirable over increased resistance to damage and wear.


How We Chose Our Ratings


ACOG

We looked at a few basic criteria when choosing entries for our list of the best ACOG clones out there. We have arranged our criteria here in order of our perceived importance.

Durability

Durability narrowly won out as our most important criteria. Great reticles and performance don’t mean much if your optics fall apart after just a few uses. Your ACOG clone is in a precarious place on your firearm, as most optics are. It is prone to getting bumped around because it protrudes so from the body of the firearm.

A lower profile, quality materials, solid construction and robust components all lend to a more durable and usable optics system. While some users may simply find themselves leisurely using their ACOG clone at the firing range, we prefer to err on the side of rough conditions; you never know. Also, simply attaching, reattaching and storing your optics can take a toll, so it's better to get one that will last.

Reticle and Performance

The quality of the reticle and the performance of the optics go hand in hand. If the reticle is poorly illuminated or an inefficient shape, your performance will lack. Additionally, low-quality projection surfaces or exterior illuminators such as fiber optics will also impede your vision and thereby your chance of hitting your target. You should be able to quickly and clearly acquire targets through your ACOG clone.

Power and Illumination

While true ACOG scopes use tritium illumination instead of battery powered LEDs, most ACOG clones do not have this luxury. If you want to keep the cost down, then you will likely have to settle for a battery powered or fiber optics only scope. Batteries add bulk and uncertainty to the reticle illumination, so we generally preferred fiber optics. However, some battery powered ACOG clones are better than others and offer long lifespans and stable illumination.

Price

Price is, of course, a factor, but a huge one. Most ACOG clones are in the same neighborhood, so it is rarely a deciding factor putting one optics system over another. Still, the price is the whole reason we are looking at ACOG clones and not the genuine ones. We are trying to save some bucks while still looking and performing like the pros.

Miscellaneous

Finally, we looked at the little things. Add-ons and extras like rail compatibility, optional top mounted iron sights and more. Anything else that doesn't fall into another category goes here. As long as it wasn't a detriment, it was considered.


Best ACOG Clone: Buyer’s Guide


When looking for the right ACOG clone for you, consider mostly your firing conditions. If you are firing at the range during daylight hours, fiber optic scopes will work for you nicely. If you are using it in the bush, a battery powered scope might provide better illumination, but it is possible that the worst happens, and the battery gives out on you at an inopportune time. This is generally why we preferred fiber optics. However, if stable reticle illumination or customization is important to you, battery powered is the way to go.

5 Best 22 Rifle Scopes

The .22LR rifle offers you a precise short-range shot, but if you’re targeting something hundreds of feet away, you’ll need extra help from a scope. And you don’t need help from the crumby scope that came with your rifle. So what are the best 22 rifle scopes?

Many of the scopes available today promise to fit your gun, but some of them are better suited to the .22LR than others. More importantly, the various specs are best suited for certain uses.

The scope used for hunting a deer hundreds of yards away isn’t the one you’d use shooting a raccoon from the tree.

There are some excellent scopes out there, so we’re reviewing our five favorite 22 rifle scopes. Each scope has something unique to offer a gun owner, whether it’s a warranty or field of vision.

Ready to find your next scope?


How We Choose Our Ratings


We’re committed to painting an honest and accurate picture of all the scopes we review. And the truth is, you can’t get that from the specs alone. You can compare magnification to lens diameter all day, but you’ll never know anything important about the product until you’ve looked through the lens yourself.

Because of our commitment to providing the best reviews we possibly can, we use a complex rating system that accounts for many aspects of the product.

We start by looking at manufacturer descriptions. It’s plain to see distinct differences between products based on those descriptions alone. We look at specs and individual technologies to distinguish the difference between products. But the real question isn’t what magnification range the product offers – we want to know if it does what it says on the tin.

That’s why we combine a review of the specs with customer reviews and testimonials – people who’ve used the scope on the ground. We gather reviews and look for common strands to work out what really works and what simply doesn’t.

Armed with all this information, we give the product a rating out of five stars. Because our process is clear, you can trust that the only products that receive a five-star rating are those truly deserving of one.


We Compare
the 5 Best 22 Rifle Scopes


Product

Image

Details

Our Rating

Price

Leupold 113872 VX-1 Rimfire Scope

Best .22 Rifle Scope Leupold 113872 VX-1 Rimfire Scope

produces a sharp and vivid image regardless of the visibility conditions on the ground

Barska 3-9x32 Plinker-22 Rifle Scope

Best .22 Rifle Scope Barska 3-9x32 Plinker-22 Rifle Scope

fully multi-coated optics creates bright and  clear sighting

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Plex Rimfire

Best .22 Rifle Scope Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Plex Rimfire

features a newly enhanced eyepiece for fast focus and multi-coated lenses