Best Sniper Scopes For You Rifle: Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide

best sniper scopes

 You will want the best sniper scopes for your rifle if you enjoy hunting, competitive shooting, or are a marksman who appreciates finely crafted tactical gear.

Depending on your uses for a sniper rifle, you will want to choose your sniper scope accordingly. You don’t have to break the bank for a scope outfitted with top-of-the-line features if a scope with simpler features will suffice. Unless you are equipping yourself for a military operation, it isn’t necessary to snag a scope for your rifle that is better suited for a covert mission, if you are hunting elk, bears, or varmint.

If you are into deer hunting, you may find it unnecessary to have a scope with a high level of zoom or night vision, if you like early morning excursions. However, you will want a scope that can withstand the elements of rain and fog without losing performance.

Competitive marksmen who enjoy shooting at a range of targets may want a zoom that isn’t fixed, depending on their personal preferences.

After considering how much money you want to spend, the features you have to have, and the environments you will typically be using your firearm, all brands of scopes are not equal.

How We Choose Our Ratings

To compile this list of best sniper scopes, we considered the reputation of different brands, customer testimonials, price point, and features offered. Additionally, we considered covering rifle scopes that would be suitable for night vision, hunting in low light, and durability against the elements.

Ultimately, based on the performance of the scopes, the amount of reach offered, scope construction, look and feel, the following sniper scopes were deemed worthy. You’ll find a range of scopes that are applicable for tactical use, hunting, close range, and ultra-long range targeting.

Top 7 Best Sniper Scopes

Check out this list of sniper scopes before you go on your next hunting trip, or want to improve on your target practice.

Schmidt & Bender 5-25×56 PM II

If you appreciate using your firearm for extensive long-range use and want to have some tactical gear similar to elite military forces, you will want to consider selecting this scope by Schmidt & Bender. This scope is a mainstay of the US Marine Corps special forces, the US Air Force, and other branches of the military.

The turret design is a highly sought after feature on this scope, as it comes with a changing color indicator when you adjust its two rotational settings.

Shooters who want the ultimate in precision as a marksman for ultra-long distances will find value in this scope. It measures 16.38 inches in length and weighs 38.57 ounces.

The elevation is double turn, you get parallax compensation,  and the larger magnification and illuminated reticle adjustment allow for successful takedowns at a distance of 2,000 meters.

PROS

  • Optimal clarity and resolution 
  • Zero Stop feature 
  • Provides ultimate precision at very long distances

CONS

  • Price range is on the steeper side

NightForce NXS5.5-22x56mm C434

NightForce NXS 5.5-22x56mm Scope, ZeroStop .250 MOA Illuminated Moar Reticle (C434)
  • BROAD MAGNIFICATION - 5.5-22 Nightforce NXS models provide a broad magnification range,...
  • IDEAL FOR LARGE CALIBERS - The Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x56 attributes is superbly suited to...
  • SLIM PROFILE - The slim profile of the NXS 5.5-22 x 56 hunting scope makes it easily...
  • SUPERB RESOLUTION - Its superb resolution at high magnification opens an entirely new...
  • TITANIUM BETA ERECTOR SPRING - Proprietary titanium beta erector spring that delivers...

You can trust and depend on this riflescope, as it is constructed from 6061-T6 Aircraft Grade Aluminum. Outfitted with a 56mm objective lens to let in more light, you get the clarity and resolution you need across its range of magnification from 5.5x to 22x. This tactical scope can handle close and long-range shots and doesn’t sacrifice on power or accurate precision behind your shot.

Marksmen can take advantage of 3.9 inches of eye relief, as this scope is often paired with magnum rifles that have a strong recoil. The range for elevation adjustment is 100 MOA,  wind adjustment is 60 MOA, and the field of view is 17.5 feet to 4.7 feet for every 100 yards.

You’ll appreciate the gaps when making adjustments between clicks, and the numbers are large and marked clearly. The clicks are subdued and have a nice feel to them, even when wearing gloves.

Adjusting the brightness level of the illuminated reticle does take some time to adjust, as you have to remove the top of the focus knob and battery first, and turn the control screw using a small flat screwdriver.

This scope is relatively long, measuring at 15.2 inches and weighs 32 ounces. The finish gives this scope a rugged feel, and the design provides this scope with a high-end look that makes you look good.

PROS

  • Excellent amount of eye relief
  • High-quality optics 
  • Durable and rugged construction 

CONS

  • May have to rotate the eyepiece often for adjustments

Vortex Optics VHS-4310 Viper HS-T 6-24×50  

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50 SFP Riflescope VMR-1 MRAD
  • The Viper HS-T 6-24x50 is one of multiple configurations in the Viper HS-T (Hunting &...
  • Incorporating our premium, fully multi-coated, extra-low dispersion lenses brings...
  • The exposed target-style turrets are constructed for precise and repeatable...
  • A 4x zoom provides magnification versatility while the side focus parallax adjustment...
  • The one-piece tube is o-ring sealed and argon purged to ensure waterproof and fogproof...

This popular multi-purpose scope was built for tactical and hunting use and has a multi-coated dispersion lens that is extra-low for color fidelity and enhanced resolution.  The lenses are coated with Armortek to keep them protected, and the scope is sealed with O-rings and anodized for ultimate durability.

Unlike other tubes which are pieced together, this scope is made from one solid piece. This scope is built waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof, so you can enjoy hunting, shooting targets, or tactical applications despite the weather conditions.

The fast focus eyepiece lets you readily adjust the reticle to your eye, and the VMR-1 MRAD reticle allows for more accurate holds at extended ranges. The objective lens diameter measures at 50mm, and you get a nice amount of eye relief at 4 inches.

This scope measures 30mm in length and weighs 22.6 ounces. The field of view is 17.8 to 5.1 feet for every 100 yards.

PROS

  • Economical scope 
  • Includes second focal plane reticle
  • Precision-Force Spring system 

CONS

  • Changing the magnification power may take some effort

Bushnell Elite Tactical G2

Bushnell Elite Tactical LRTS 4.5-18x44 G3 FDE Scope ET45184GA
  • [ELITE TACTICAL] is Bushnell's flagship optic, crafted to the most exacting standards....
  • RainGuard HD - Patented, permanent water-repellent coating resists moisture from rain,...
  • Argon Purged Fog-Proofing - Argon-filled optics remain stable regardless of ambient...
  • IPX7 Waterproof construction - O-ring sealed optics stay dry inside, when immersed in...

This scope is built with a 50mm objective lens and offers a magnification range of 3.5xs to 21x to help you zoom into your target with accuracy.

The ultra-wideband coating helps enhance your view of a target in low-light environments, such as hunting at dawn or dusk. The Rainguard HD lens provides significant protection from both rain and fog when you are out in the elements. You will also appreciate the 3-inch sunshade to keep the sun from interfering with your view.

This scope is about average, measuring 13.2 inches. Despite the modest price point for this scope, many users are satisfied with the reticle.

You won’t find a zero-stop on this scope, so beginner shooters may want to be careful about going past the desired point for the travel range. However, the knobs for adjusting are large and make things easy to change up.

The side focus parallax adjustment improves accuracy with long-range targets, and there is a .1 Mil Click value. The first focal plane reticle is military marked for holdover and wind correction. Overall, the construction on this scope is solid, and experienced shooters will appreciate the features and handling on this scope.

PROS

  • Enjoy precision shooting 
  • Rainguard HD lens 
  • Comes with 3-inch sunshade

CONS

  • Does not come with a CRS-Zero Stop

Vortex Optics Viper HS 4-16×44

Vortex Optics Viper HS 4-16x44 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA)
  • The Viper HS 4-16x44 is one of multiple configurations in the Viper HS (Hunting &...
  • In the advanced optical system, the XD glass renders an image that is sharp and clear from...
  • Featuring capped quick-reset turrets you will be able to quickly reindex your zero after...
  • Ultra-hard, scratch resistant Armortek coatings protect the exterior lenses of the scope....
  • Whether hunting whitetail in the midwest or elk in the Rockies, the Viper HS is designed...

If you want a scope for tactical application or hunting, this may be the one for you. Constructed using one piece of durable aluminum, you’ll enjoy optimal adjustment of wind up to 50 MOA, and elevation at  50 MOA.

This scope comes outfitted with an objective lens diameter of 44mm, 4x to 16x magnification and a field of view that ranges from 27.4 feet to 7.4 feet per every 100 yards.

You’ll appreciate that this scope comes with a 4-inch sunshade, and uses a Dead-Hold BDC reticle. This choice of reticle is a good fit on slug shotguns, high-powered rifles, and black powder rifles.

The ArmorTek coating protects this scope against scratches, oil, and dirt from being out in the field. The Fast Focus Eyepiece allows you to focus the reticle quickly.

You’ll feel confident taking down targets without being easily spotted, thanks to the anodized matte finish with low glare.

PROS

  • Fast tracking for targets
  • CRS-Zero Stop 
  • Dead-Hold BDC reticle 

CONS

  • Doesn’t offer the sharpest clarity compared to other scopes

BARSKA 3-9×42 IR 2nd Generation

Barska AC11668 3-9x42 2nd Generation Compact Scope with Illuminated Mil-Dot Reticle , Black
  • Precision Aiming: The 3-9x magnification scope features 1/4 MOA click adjustments for...
  • Quality Construction: The scope comes with multi-coated optics, providing impressive...
  • Illuminated Reticle: The scope comes with illuminated mil-dot reticle for easy targeting...
  • Robust Design: The scope is CO2 dry nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed. It is waterproof,...
  • External Locking Knobs: The external locking windage and elevation prevents the knobs from...

This scope from BARSKA is made waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof so it can weather the elements while you are out hunting or doing some target practice.

If you are looking for a compact scope, this one measures 10 inches in length and weighs 20 ounces.

You may appreciate the dual color green and red military reticle, and the eye relief measure nearly 4 inches.

The lenses are multi-coated to reduce glare, protect against the sun’s rays, and improve the clarity of your target. The objective lens diameter is 42mm, and you can adjust the magnification between 3x and 9xs.

The sunshade is built-in and set within the housing to reduce any unwanted glare. This scope also comes with protective caps.

PROS

  • Side parallax adjustment with 1/4 MOA click adjustment
  • Built-in sunshade reduces glare
  • Illuminated dual color military reticle

CONS

  • Lock rings on the elevation and windage adjustments may get loose and require checking often

Firefield 3.542 NVRS  

Firefield NVRS 3x42 Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope, Black
  • High quality image and resolution
  • Lightweight and durable titanium body with water resistant IPX4 Rating
  • Quick detach weaver mount
  • Built-in high powered IR illuminator
  • Ergonomic design and quick power-up

This scope is made for night vision hunting and constructed with a lightweight but durable titanium body. A built-in IR illuminator enhances your view of medium to long-range targets and increases your range capability in complete darkness with 3x magnification.

The quick-detach weaver mounts allow you to change optics and maintain return-to-zero reliably easily. The objective lens diameter is 42mm to allow for maximum light for improved visage. The flip-up cover lens ensures that your scope is better protected from undesirable weather.

Overall, this scope provides you with high resolution and solid visibility of targets so you can hit your mark with precision. You will just need some AA batteries to keep things powered for up to 20 hours with the IR, and up to 50 hours without the IR.

The brightness adjustment is incremental, so you can gradually adjust to your environment, and confidently takedown targets in poor lighting conditions or the darkness of night.

PROS

  • Great value scope for capabilities
  • Ergonomic design with titanium construction 
  • Built-in IR illuminator

CONS

  • Mounting is not the greatest

Buyer’s Guide

Depending on whether you are using your rifle to takedown a buck, or you enjoy competitions as a marksman, you will want to select a sniper scope that suits your tastes and budget. To fully enjoy the capabilities of your rifle and unleash your skills as a marksman, your choice of scope can be a boon even if it doesn’t have fancy bells and whistles.

Every scope is not suitable for hunting in low-light conditions or can withstand hunkering down in the rain or fog. It is essential to consider your personal needs to enjoy successful takedowns or hit your mark as you desire, before eventually making a final decision on the scope that you must purchase for your rifle.

Remember to consider how you will use your scope, and how much you want to invest. Some scopes make it more challenging to adjust the focus, parallax, or adjust for elevation. You may not find it necessary to have an illuminated reticle, or you may be a bit frustrated when you have to make significant adjustments before and after taking your shot frequently.

Choose your sniper scope based on the features you need to hit your target with accurate precision, solid handling, and a proper match for your firearm. Your scope should allow for the right amount of light so that you always enjoy the focus and clarity from the lenses to keep your target in clear view, no matter your surroundings.

Last update on 2021-09-28 at 05:19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API