If you are a beginner and would want to be successful in hunting, a hunting scope is one essential tool you will need. This article is geared towards helping you find the best hunting scopes in the market as well as understand what to look for in one. It will also be helpful to you whose spotting scope failed and you need to replace it. But first, here are factors to look for in a hunting scope.
- Features to consider in Good Hunting Scope
- The Best Hunting Scope 2020
- 1. CREATIVE XP HD Spotting Scope with Tripod 20-60x80mm BAK 4 Prism Spotting Scope
- 2. Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scopes
- 3. Gowsky Newest 20-60X80 Dual Focusing Spotting Scope
- 4. Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescope
- 5. Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×36 Riflescope
- 6. Celestron 52322 Landscout 12-36X60 Spotting Scope
- 7. Vortex Optics Viper HD spotting scopes
- 8. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope
- 9. Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, Riflescope 6-24×50
- 10. Leupold VX-3i 3.5x10x40mm Rifle Scope
- Guide to Buying the Best Hunting Scope
- Frequently asked Questions about Hunting Scopes
- Wrapping up
Features to consider in Good Hunting Scope
There are four main features you need to look out for when buying a suitable hunting scope. These are:
The correct scope needed
There are two types of scopes namely fixed scope and variable scope. The fixed scope is the commonly used scope that is much cheaper than variable scope, aims faster and also has a high quality of the image. Its only drawback is that it only has one magnification scope. On the other hand, the variable scope has several magnification scopes with different variations. It depends on you on which scope you need for your hunting.
Magnification refers to how close a target appears compared to your naked eye. When hunting, you will need to zoom in your target for fast, better, and easy shots. If you are not good at taking long-range shorts, you need a powerful magnification scope.
The recommended magnification for a hunting scope when shooting dangerous game is between 50 to 150 yards. In this case, there is no need for a powerful magnification scope.
What good would hunting be if you went home with sore eyes? As much as hunting is fun and adventurous, find a hunting scope that has adequate eye relief. Find a scope that has 3’’ eye relief or more to avoid hurting your eyebrows especially when using a high caber rifle.
Image quality should be the first priority when choosing a good hunting scope. If then image quality is poor, the chances of having a perfect aim are minimal. Therefore, it is vital you watch out for magnification and the quality of the lens. When light and magnification are coupled together, the image produces is of superior quality. A clear image means a better aim which in turn translates to a successful hunting day.
With that out of the way, here are the 10 best hunting scopes we handpicked and tested.
The Best Hunting Scope 2020
The Creative XP HD hunting scope has a 20-60X zoom. With this powerful magnification, even the tiniest details are displayed in a clearer zoom.
The hunting scope has an 80mm objective lens that zooms both easily and fast and has a clear focus. With this lens, you can track a herd of elephants from a distance, keep track of bullet holes, or watch the stars. In addition, the BAK4 prisms help in brightening the field view.
Besides, this spotting scope has two fine focus knobs whose purpose is to provide a smooth and accurate focus on an object. The knobs are easy to use and you do not need pointers. Also, there is a zoom ring that is sturdy and easy to zoom in.
The Creative XP HD hunting scope is designed to last. With a lifetime warranty, all the parts are built to endure wear and tear. The non-slip rubber cover is made to last for years as well as the Glass Hawk Scope.
The Glass Hawk scope has a sealed O ring to prevent damage from any form of moisture or shock damage. Also, the scope is Nitrogen purged.
Furthermore, you need not worry about chromatic aberrations since the HD optic glass is multicoated fully. The multi-coating ensures there are no reflections, especially when for long-range targets. It also ensures the lenses remain scratch resistant. This means that despite high magnifications, your image will remain crystal clear.
The scope has a large eye relief. It is adjustable and comfortable too. The 17-12mm eye relief offers a spectacular vie even on rugged terrain.
The Creative XP HD hunting scope is comfortable for people with or without glasses, is easy to use and has a clear image even when the target is under high magnification. Besides, it has a lifetime warranty and is built to last for years. Other consumers have given positive feedback about the scope and it’s about time you bought one too.
Images displayed from the Vortex Optics Razor are exceptional since they depict color, are sharp and have clarity thanks to the 27-60X zoom. This hunting scope has a triple apochromatic lens that helps produce a clear image even in lowly lit environments. Also, these lenses have quality image resolution and abrasion-free optic.
There are anti-reflective coatings on the XR plus lenses which help produce sharp images in low-light. These coatings are helpful in tracking game, especially at night. Furthermore, the XR coatings are multicoated to ensure spotters get maximum light.
Besides, the Vortex spotting scope is equipped with the latest optical elements that remove aberrations to produce a sharp, distortion-free image with clarity, accuracy, and color. Moreover, the image has an impeccable resemblance to the object on the ground despite the magnification.
Since hunting involves being out in the sun, this hunting scope has an extendable sunshade that blocks out unwanted rays and reduces glare. This shade also protects the objective lens from damage that may result from oily fingerprints or precipitation.
Apart from the extendable sunshade, the scope is made of die-cast magnesium which is Nitrogen purged. Its O-ring is completely sealed therefore ensuring the scope is waterproof. In addition, thanks to the ArmorTek lens, the scope is durable and is not prone to wear and tear.
The eye relief on Vortex Optical is 0.67-0.66 which is smaller compared to other hunting scopes.
Whether you need the scope in well-lit or lowly lit areas, this Razor HD spotting scope is the equipment to carry along. Images produced are clear, precise, sharp, clear, and accurate.
Gowsky exceeds expectations since it has a 20x-60x powerful magnification that brings out clear and sharp images. Whether you are using low or high power, the hunting scope has an expansive field of view. The powerful magnification has a better and accurate focusing system for exceedingly better performance. Because of its impeccable picture quality, this spotting scope is perfect for astronomical observation, bird watching, camping, hiking, target shooting, outdoor sporting, and archery.
Moreover, this dual focusing spotting scope has big objective lenses that are fully multi-coated and provide a wide field of view of up to 1000 yards away. On top of this, the BAK4 Porro prisms together with 6 group lens also produce bright and clear pictures in lowly lit areas.
Furthermore, this Gowsky hunting scope has Fully Multi-coated technology where all the lenses, as well as prisms, can take any amount of light then increase an image’s clarity and brightness by improving light transmittance to 95%. When compared to other spotting scopes, images from this dual focusing scope have more clarity, appear more real, and are brighter.
This under $300 hunting scope is fog-proof and waterproof since it is Nitrogen filled. Besides, it is built to withstand even the toughest weather conditions. The framework is also durable while the rubber provides lasting protection and shockproof grip.
For comfort, this inexpensive hunting scope has an adjustable eyecup that provides a wide field of view for people who wear glasses. The eyecup moves up and eye for added comfort.
Gowsky spotting scope has a retractable sunshade that provides a barrier against stray light. This sunshade also protects the lenses and reduces glare.
With its affordable price tag, the Gowsky Newest 20-60×80 spotting scope has the latest and advanced technology that delivers quality and crisp images. Images from 1000yards away are zoomed in to allow a wide field of view and they appear real and clear. Since this hunting scope is versatile and can be used for different purposes, do not hold back from buying it.
The Diamondback hunting scope has quality images to take a perfect shot even in a long-range. This is made possible by the Dead-hold BDC reticle which creates customized dots to eliminate any guesswork as well as windage corrections. Besides, there are SFP reticles behind the magnifying and image erecting lenses but close to the eyepiece. These SFP reticles have the same appearance despite zooming on target.
Also, the images have clear resolution and color thanks to XD low dispersion glass. On the other hand, the fully multi-coated XR lenses help to maximize light in every minute of shooting. This guarantees image quality and color when hunting big game or shooting.
This riflescope has high magnification even at 4x zoom. This makes it ideal to use with a shotgun, muzzleloader, or for varmint hunting.
The lenses on this Vortex Optics are designed to work in the light or darkness. The fully multi-coated lenses have bright, clear, and crisp images. You can adjust the eyepiece for easy, quick, better, and accurate focusing.
What’s more, the riflescope turrets have metal to metal precision that creates a zero-reset after any sight-in. the glide erector system then allows repeatability and accurate tracking.
Made to last, this second focal plane hunting scope is O-ring sealed and Argon purged. Come rain or fog, the scope will withstand any beating and impact. It also has an anodized finish that makes it shockproof. This spotting scope camouflages with its surroundings to ensure your position is not given away.
Take the Vortex Optics Diamondback with you the next time you go hunting. Since there is no room for guesswork and windage correction due to its effective Dead-Hold BDC reticles, you are assured to go home with a kill. It is budget-friendly too and will withstand fog, rain, and impact.
With Front Focal Plane, the reticle on the Leupold Mark Riflescope magnifies the target for better and accurate estimations. This means you can easily zoom in objects from 800 yards away and tell the actual distance zoomed.
Image delivered al low-light settings are clear and superior. With the Twilight Max HD Light Management System, there is a reduction of glare while the lens produces high-clarity images. Besides, it has 30 additional minutes of shooting time.
This riflescope is ultra-lightweight but heavy duty. It can work alongside a powerful rifle. Instead of crushing from recoil, it disperses the energy for unchallenged durability.
The lenses used have the recommended military standard and are scratch-resistant. They are durable too and can work under 33 ft. depth as well as in foggy climate.
In addition, the scope has M5C3 turrets with 1/10mil per click. In just three revolutions, you get 30mils of adjustments.
Besides, there are visual and tangible revolution indicators purposely to help you navigate your way.
The Leupold Mark 5HD Riflescope is unbeatable in terms of durability, excellent build and image clarity. It disperses recoil energy there proving both sturdy and durable. If you have invested in a quality rifle, its time you took an equal match for it.
This Landscout scope has a 12-26X zoom that is convenient for outdoor and indoor activities. This zoom is appropriate for watching up-close viewing or general viewing. You can easily adjust the magnification to suit your viewing for details and clear images.
Besides, the optics are fully coated to ensure there is light transmission when you need bright images. The multi-coated optics helps to improve clarity as well as image sharpness.
Also, for a better focus, the scope has a focus wheel that focuses on targeted objects easily. You do not need to wear gloves to adjust the wheel.
Despite producing clear and sharp images, the Celestron 52322 is lightweight and easy to travel with. Included in the package is a carry case that ensures you safely carry your hunting scope with you.
For convenience, the manufacturer has included a tabletop tripod, an objective cover, soft case, eyepiece cover, cleaning cloth, and a user’s manual. These accessories ensure you get to hunting right after purchasing the scope.
The rubber cup on the eyecup is soft, padded, and comfortable for people with and without glasses.
If you are looking for an affordable yet performing hunting scope, look no further. The Celestron 52322 hunting scope will zoom in the desired target for close and long-range targets.
With a 20-60X zoom, the Vortex viper brings objects as far as 250 yards up close without blur or distortion. This hunting scope has ultra-smooth helical-style focus that zooms in your object for ultra-sharp viewing.
Also, this Vortex spotting scope has incredible glassing as well as improved optical performance. When coupled together, the image clarity and resolution are heightened.
To reduce glare or stray light, the scope has a built-in sunshade for quality images. The sunshade also protects the objective lens against damage from oily fingerprints.
The Viper HD scope is built to last. It is Argon purged while the O-ring is sealed to make it both fog-proof and waterproof. Besides, it has ArmorTek coating that ensures the lenses are protected from scratches, oil, and dirt. There is rubber armor too that ensures durability and longevity of the scope.
Apart from durability, this hunting scope is designed to provide comfort. If you wear glasses or sunglasses, you can observe the extensive field of view when you adjust the eyecups to suit your preference. Moreover, there are multiple viewing angles for the spotting scope to rotate therefore assuring you of comfort.
The glassing and advanced optical elements in this under $1000 spotting scope make it indispensable. Besides, it has eye comfort and is comfortable for users with and without glasses.
The most rewarded hunters are those who hunt in the night when animals feel threatened. The Bushnell banner is specifically designed to suit hunters who love hunting in the night. Even in the low light, this riflescope has Dusk and Dawn Brightness that delivers bright and clear images through the multi-coated lens.
The scope has been tested extensively and has proved effective in the dark. With the 3-9x magnification along with a 40mm objective lens, the scope has great visibility.
This multi-x riflescope is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. It is built with quality materials that ensure it stands the test of time.
Also, it has a multi-x reticle whose fingertip windage is ¼ minute of angle (MOA). You can easily make elevation adjustments.
Bushnell Banner is the hunting scope to take with you hunting in the night. Image clarity is not compromised by the darkness and it has multi-x reticle as well as quality optics.
Regardless of how much you zoom in a target, the reticle grows in with the target. Even at low and high power settings, the focal plane reticle remains valid. Also, the reticle illumination is helpful at producing quality images in lowly-lit surroundings.
The Athlon Optics has a 6-24x zoom that makes it ideal for bird watching, archery, wildlife tracking, and hitting long-range targets. Apart from this, it has a 50mm diameter that offers a wide field of view and comfortable 8.2-2.1mm eye relief.
The lenses are fully multi-coated to allow light transmission for optimum brightness. The better lighting brings out true color on the light spectrum making this riflescope a hunting companion.
With a 6061T6 aircraft aluminum tube, the Argos BTR has exceptional strength and endurance. It will survive under hot and sunny conditions as well as ice and fog. It has superior mechanical hardware that protects the optics from impact and damage.
Besides, the scope is Argon purged. This makes it waterproof as well as fog proof. It also has the thermal ability and is shock resistant.
You can use this hunting scope on rifles with high recoil. Even then, the scope holds up and helps to make shots on target for objects at 700 yards away.
The Athlon Optics hunting rifle sees to it that neither temperature nor extreme light will hinder it from achieving quality images. You are also guaranteed of durability and a scope that is impact resistant. It will not be a waste of money taking this spotting scope.
With a Light Management System technology, this riflescope has premium image quality with an additional twenty minutes of shooting light. The lenses are of premium quality and are coated to reduce glare. Also, in a variation of high and low light, the image produced is clear and vivid. It includes a Duplex reticle for spotting targets.
The Leupold VX is lightweight and easy to carry and is a relentless performer even in the toughest hunting environments. This hunting scope is waterproof to up to 33ft depth and under extreme temperature. Even under -40 degrees Fahrenheit and over 160 degrees Fahrenheit, this spotting scope will deliver accurate and sharp images. As a matter of fact, it is rugged and can also withstand impact. Besides, it is perfect for long-range shots since it has a powerful magnification range.
In terms of durability, the VX rifle scope is made of 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum that is of high quality and durable. This body can take any beating and has been tested to perform.
Nothings feels better than knowing you have a tool that can perform at extreme temperatures and rough terrain. Besides, it is impact-proof, waterproof, and fog proof. Since it produces quality images with an under $500 budget, the Leupold VX is worth buying.
Guide to Buying the Best Hunting Scope
When selecting the appropriate hunting scope, here are a few pointers you need to look out for:
Determine the type of hunting
Hunting can be categorized into three: safari hunting, varmint hunting, and hunting big game. When hunting big game, mid-range rifle scopes are the best and popular option. They have a 3 ½ to 10 range and they have accurate shots. The scope ensures the front and rear sights are well lined up before taking a shot.
On the other hand, varmint hunting requires a hunting scope that has 6 ½ to 20 range and should also have a side focus. The side focus is for accuracy even on small targets. This scope also has a high magnification.
If you are going for safari hunting, carry a hunting scope that can zero in on the animals without getting close. A variable scope will come in handy in this scenario.
Field of view
How much surrounding can you see on the right and left when taking an aim? The much you can see is what is referred to as the field of view. When browsing, you need to increase the magnification to see whether the scope has tunneling. Some scope manufacturers cut corners that cannot be spotted instantly unless when the scope is zoomed and it appears like you are in a tunnel. If a scope is tunneled, do not purchase it.
Since you are going hunting, a hunting scope should allow you to make the needed changes when aiming for a target. Ensure that the reference point is always constant for an easy shot and look out for parallax error since it can mess with your accuracy.
Understand your scope reticles
Scope reticles are categorized into three: duplex, mil-dot, and BDC. Duplex scope reticles are the perfect fit for beginners since they are easy to use and fast. They are also known as the default reticles. Mil-dot retiles help in approximating target distance while BDC is best for long-range shooters. It all depends on your hunting experience when choosing the scope reticles since all are effective.
It is also important you find a hunting scope that can correct parallax errors. The reticle should not move when you move your eyes. Instead, it should be on the same focal length as the target. The hunting scope should have a parallax adjustment to correct these errors so you can move your eyes freely.
Parallax adjustment is one way you can adjust parallax or you can opt to factory reset the manufacturer’s settings to correct it. Alternatively, you can use the Alternative Objective which is a ring you twist on the scope to do away with parallax.
When looking for a quality hunting scope for your rifle, aim at buying a quality piece. As expensive as your rifle cost, aim at buying a scope that is half that amount. As much as the rifle is important, the hunting scope will play an equally vital role in ensuring your hunting trip is a success.
Frequently asked Questions about Hunting Scopes
How do I sight a rifle scope?
Answer: there are seven simple ways you can do so. First, ensure your scope is installed properly and fit your rifle. Second, adjust the eyepiece for better clarity of the image and also ensure you have adequate eye relief. Third, find a suitable level for shooting. It could be a bench or a bipod.
Then, align your reticles so that crosshairs are in line with windage adjustments and elevation. This way, you will shoot on target. Once you align the reticles, set your minute of angle (MOA). You can use ¼ or 1/8 MOA. After this, fire the first three shots and note where they landed. Then try out different distances until you feel confident.
Always keep in mind the variables that can sway the bullet from hitting the target like elevation angles and wind.
What makes a good hunting scope?
Answer: A quality hunting scope is one with parallax adjustment for easier clarity, the powerful objective lens for better and sharp images, and has the right magnification. Besides, it should also perform in low lit areas and withstand weather elements and time.
Moreover, look for a scope with eye relief to avoid scope eye when the rifle is recoiling.
What is the best magnification for hunting scope?
Answer: The best magnification range is from 3-9x. This means that at its minimum, the scope magnifies three times larger while at its maximum, it magnifies nine times. However, you can also opt for a higher magnification depending on your preference.
There are a number of good hunting scopes, but it all depends on your specific needs and the type of hunting that you do. The best hunting scope on the list that is very compatible with working under low light is the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Riflescope. Regardless of how dark the sky is, this hunting scope will deliver clear images for you.
On the other hand, if you are cautious about saving money, but in need of a quality scope, then Gowsky Newest 20-60×80 Dual Focusing Spotting Scope is the next choice you have. However, you can also look in at the other products for a better insight into what you need.
Whether you take part in safari hunting, varmint hunting, watching the skies or taking part in hiking adventures, a good hunting scope will always come in handy. However, you must also remember to do everything safely to avoid accidents. Invest in the best choice today!