Regardless of whether you plan to use your riflescope for hunting, professional shooting, or simple entertainment, you must settle for the right product. And by the right product, we mean a tactical scope that will ensure you get a clear and bright image of the target regardless of the weather condition.
There is a sea of options in the market to choose from. While this is good news because the prices are lower, there is also the entry of many unscrupulous products of low quality. For this, we give you the top best tactical scopes for a clean and quick shot. Nothing will come in the way of you and your target!
How to Choose the Best Tactical Scopes
If you have no clue where to start when choosing your scope, don’t worry. There is no need to panic. Here are some of the factors to consider when making your tactical scope purchase.
The construction of your rifle scope goes a long way in determining its performance. Well-constructed rifle scopes have a better and higher performance; Simple! Here are what to look out for in terms of the construction. The best military scopes need to be even tougher and more durable considering their working environments.
Did you know that the body of a rifle scope affects its precision? For this, the scope should come in a sturdy construction that is shockproof and waterproof to work even in the harshest conditions. Most quality scopes have a single body piece, which makes them more durable. Aluminum is the best material for constructing tactical scopes.
The objective lens determines how clear your target will be at both high and low magnifications. A high level of clarity is not only important for accurate shots but also assists in reading the speed of the wind. Bigger objective lenses are better but come with a hefty price to pay.
One, they make the scope to be heavy. Second, they are associated with scope ring problems. Lastly, they can easily give away your position due to the reflection of light and eventually ruin your hunt.
So, how do you find a good objective lens? For starters, go with lenses with diameters of between 40 and 50 mm for good precision. Secondly, choose a rifle scope with coatings over its lens. The purpose of the coating is to enhance the sight and view.
We have four different coatings- coated, fully coated, multicoated, and fully multicoated. All the options are good aside from the coated one, which is of relatively low quality.
The reticle is the crosshair that is visible through the scope. Its purpose is to estimate the distance and make shooting easier. We have three main types of reticles:
- Duplex reticle. It is the default reticle and ideal for amateurs. It is fast and simple to use.
- Mil-Dot reticle. It is used mostly in military scopes by soldiers and law enforcement officers. It estimates the distance to the target.
- BDC reticle. It is ideal for long-range shooting. It estimates the bullet drop and holdover, among others.
There is no better option among the three types. It all depends on your nature of use.
The shooting range to settle for is all dependent on what you plan to use your tactical scope for. In terms of shooting range, we have three categories;
Anything less than 100 yards is short range. Short-range distances are ideal for hunting smaller game, home defense, plinking, and some tactical uses. The best hunting scope should come with a magnification of below 4X, and its objective lens should be below 28mm. Rifles that qualify for short ranges include AR-15 Rifles, Rimfire Rifles, and Pistol Caliber Carbines.
The medium-range is a distance between 100 to 200 yards. The range is ideal for killing large games or target shooting in the mountains or forests. Either way, you will require a magnification of between 5 and 8X with and an objective lens of between 30 and 44mm. Common rifles used in this range are AR-15 and Rimfire Rifles.
Any distance above 200 yards is considered to be long-range. Snipers or long-range competitions normally use this range. The range requires a magnification of between 9 and 12X and an objective lens of above 50mm. Rifles qualifying for this range include the Bolton Action Rifles.
The eye relief is the distance between your eye and the front lens (ocular lens) when you position the eye properly. Have you ever heard of the recoil effect of a rifle? If not, then you’ve probably seen people with black eyes, among other injuries after using their guns. Well, this is the result of recoil. It should be simple knowledge for you to know that your rifle will fall back after shooting due to the force produced.
Here is where the eye relief comes in. The distance between the eye and the lens prevents you from hurting yourself after making a shot. It, therefore, becomes extremely important for you to consider the eye relief, especially when using large-caliber rifles. Aim for eye reliefs of between three and four inches.
Ease of Use
Lastly is a factor that many people underlook- the ease of use of your scope. There is no reason for settling for complex scopes, especially if you are a beginner. Just ensure that your scope comes with the basic features and that it can provide you with a good shot- there two, and you’re good to go! There is no need for complicating matters.
5 Best Tactical Scopes Reviews and Recommendations
UTG BugBuster Scope
When innovation and craftsmanship combine, the result is a product similar to the UTG BugBuster Scope. Jumping right to its specs, this is one of the company’s most efficient products. The scope is rain, shock, and fog proof for the best reliability when in use- not forgetting that it is sealed completely and filled with 100% nitrogen.
Secondly, using this scope is no brainer. Thanks to its accommodating eye relief and dual red and green illumination, you can use this scope even in the most diverse weather conditions and environments. Nothing is different when it comes to its durability and reliability. The scope incorporates the Smart Spherical Structure design, which does a perfect job in guaranteeing you a responsive and precise elevation.
That’s not all; the turrets of this machine are precise, crisp, and consistent for elevation adjustments. Also, t is parallax free between three yards and infinity. Lastly, upon purchasing this scope, you are awarded a 2-inch sunshade, and a pair of heavy-duty rings as accessories.
- Comes with two batteries
- Good quality and adjustable rings
- Very clear optics
- Magnification settings are user-friendly
- Comes with lots of counterfeits in the market
- Limited eye relief due to its compact size
If you’re getting started with tactical scopes, then you should take time to check out the Athlon Optics. The product is courtesy of the Argon BTR family of scopes and includes with it specs only found in high-end tactical scopes. The manufacturers designed this product not only to perform incredibly optically but also included features that would make it easy to adjust for any target.
For starters, the focal plane of this riflescope remains solid in all settings. The purpose of this is to allow you to utilize its special reticle that grows and shrinks together with the target as you zoom in and out, respectively. Secondly, as you all know, reflection is normally a menace in scopes. To solve this issue, the designers equipped this scope with multicoated optics. This multicoated lens aims to reduce reflected light and increase the transmission of light, giving you a clearer image than the single coated lenses.
Athlon Optics incorporated aircraft-grade aluminum in the construction of its tube with the sole mission to give it exceptional mechanical integrity and superior strength to endure all the punishment that you’ll throw at it. Lastly, this tactical scope scoops with it thermal stability, shockproof and waterproof properties to work even in the harshest of weather conditions.
- Multicoated lens for a clearer and brighter image
- Constructed using high-quality aluminum
- Waterproof and shockproof
- Its side focus knob is weak
Leupold VX-Freedom Riflescope
Leupold came into existence in 1907, and enjoy over 100 years in the tactical industry. Each of their products is impressive, with either little or no complaints at all. Such is their scope, Leupold VX-Freedom Riflescope. We’re sure that every shooter and hunter is well aware of this scope. It is known for its legendary dependability and performance. If you’re looking for a scope to get your job done perfectly, this is the choice to turn to.
Leupold is aware that good imagery forms the foundation of every scope. With this, they equip theirs with adequate clarity and brightness by balancing glare reduction, image contrast and resolution, and light transmission. You will acquire a crisp image, no matter how snowy or foggy your environment is. Also, this machine is designed and assembled in the USA, and we don’t have to go into details to let you know of the impeccable quality that it holds.
The zoom ratio of this scope is 3:1, which is ideal for any situation. Moreover, the scope will survive in temperatures of between -40 and 160 Degrees Fahrenheit. Other of its notable features include its scratch resistance lenses, shockproof, fog-proof, and waterproof properties and high-quality Aluminum construction.
- Ideal for all weather conditions
- High zoom ratio
- Shockproof, fog proof and waterproof
- Precise and accurate
- Poor quality reticle
- Difficult to adjust its turret
Simmons 8-Point Rifle Scope
As easy as this product is on the eye, so it is on the wallet. Talk of a master class, high-quality riflescope that comes at an affordable price, and the Simmons 8-Point Riflescope pops up to mind. It is unarguably the best tactical scope for the money. The product disputes the notion that you can’t acquire a high performing quality rifle scope at a great price.
So, what are you settling for with this scope? A 3.75-inch eye relief 4X magnification, 50mm objective lens, and 60-inch adjustment range of up to 100 yards. Also, some of its other robust features include coated optics for high contrast and bright images, recoil proof, water and fog proof, and zero windage, which ensures the system remains locked at the zero position even through harsh conditions.
There are no complex features with this scope, and using it will not be a hassle even for the amateurs. Lastly, its matte black finish gives it a cool and flashy look.
- Affordable price
- Zero windage even in harsh conditions
- Provides clear images through the lens
- Not very durable. Starts to flop after a few rounds
NC Star Gen-2 Scope
The NC Star Gen-2 Scope is an improvement of its predecessor gen-1, with improved features and specs. The manufacturers took note of the flaws from the previous versions, made corrections to them, and came up with this new impressive scope. For starters, its basic features include a 42mm objective lens, magnification range of between 3X to 9X, and a lens coating made of platinum.
The new Gen-2 version also comes with a green and blue colored illuminated reticle with numerous brightness settings for the colors. Finally, the manufacturers improved on the height of the scope to create more room for maintaining a low profile.
Amidst all this, there is poor lighting on the reticle. For this, we wouldn’t recommend this scope for serious business other than small-game hunting and entertainment.
- Affordable price
- Sturdy construction
- Simple and fun to use
- Difficult to spin and adjust the turrets
- Poor lighting on the reticle
We are sure we stayed true to our course and provided you with an in-depth review of all the basics you need to know about riflescopes. Moreover, our list contains some of the best products in the market. With that said, the UTG BugBuster Scope takes the award for the best tactical rifle scope overall. Its quality is impressive, and only a few products can match its performance.
The other tactical scopes are also great and are top-notch in terms of their performance. The next time you are out hunting or shooting, keep in mind our buying guide. Aim perfectly and take a clean shot!