There is an excess of firearm accessories in the market from well-known items like rifle rests to pistol grips and lasers.
In this list, I focus only on the must-have rifle scope accessories every serious shooter should own.
I consider cost, the weight it adds to the rifle, and its overall effectiveness in enhancing a riflescope’s ability to do the job.
I list my favorite go-to accessories from caps and sunshades to mounts while also including some popular accessories that shooters say they can’t go without!
The Best Rifle Scope Accessories in 2023
1. Scope Caps
Without a clear sight picture, your scope is essentially useless. Protecting the scope from dust, which can damage coatings and glass, is a great motivation to have caps when it’s not in use. It’ll also protect the lenses from scratches, dirt, rain, and all sorts of debris when you’re out in the field.
There are different types of caps from bikini style to flip-up caps, and we can all agree that they add nothing in terms of weight to the overall weight of a setup. If anything, they weigh a few ounces.
Most riflescopes don’t come with them in the box. Finding the right size can be tricky so check the specs in the manual.
I personally prefer flip-up caps. Any feature that makes it harder for me to lose them in the field is a feature I value. Flip-up caps stay on the scope – you don’t have to remove them. Simply flip the covers up and they’re out of the way providing a clear sight picture.
|Butler Creek Caps||Flip-up||Under $30|
|Vortex Defender Caps||Flip-up||Under $50|
|Monstrum FDE Caps||Flip-up||Under $12|
|Monstrum Black Caps||Flip-up||Under $12|
|Leupold Alumina Flip Lens Kit||Flip-up||Under $150|
2. Scope Cover
Scope covers are mostly known as scope coats in the industry, but Sentry is the original manufacturer of the trademarked “Scopecoats” and term. In general, it's a one-piece cover made of neoprene, and they stay on the scope during inclement weather, when the scope is not in use, and during storage.
Scope caps protect the lenses, and the scope covers are especially useful if you don’t have caps. However, covers protect the entire riflescope – not just the glass. They come in different sizes, so you should have a good idea of the riflescope’s length when purchasing.
Like scope lens covers, these scope coats weigh mere ounces and don’t add a lot to the overall weight. They’re relatively cheap starting from about $10 but can be as expensive as $40-$50.
Maven includes one with a riflescope in the box, but most of the time, consider it separate purchase.
|Maven Cover||Neoprene||Free! (With purchase of scope!) or Under $15|
|Kemimoto Cover||Neoprene||Under $20|
|Burris Waterproof Cover||Neoprene||Under $40|
|Alpine Innovations ScopeSlicker NX Cover||Neoprene||Under $30|
|Vortex Sure Fit Cover||Neoprene||Under $50|
|Leupold Cover||Nylon-laminated neoprene||Under $40|
3. Scope Mounts
Mounting systems are a must-have whether rings, a cantilever mount, or a quick detach mount is used. The mounting system is the connection between the scope and the rifle. As such, accuracy and reliability will depend on the mounting system.
Don’t be afraid to upgrade here as there will be no consistency and confidence in your setup if the mounting system is the weak link. They are not one-size-fits-all. The ring size will depend on the tube diameter and the height will depend on the size of the objective bell and how high it needs to be to clear the rifle. Some rings may need lapping and you can read about how to lap scope rings here.
There is quite a bit of weight added from a few ounces to a pound or so. It is likely to depend on the type of mount as cantilever mounts weigh more than rings.
|Vortex Sport Cantilever Mount||Cantilever||30 mm||Under $120|
|Primary Arms Deluxe AR-15 Mount||Cantilever||30 mm||Under $60|
|Monstrum Precision||Rings||1 inch||Under $20|
|Vortex Pro Series||Rings||1”, 30 mm, 34 mm||Under $80|
|Leupold Rifleman||Rings||1 inch||Under $30|
4. Riflescope Cleaning Kit
Keeping your scope clean extends riflescope longevity and effectiveness. Please do not use the end of your flannel shirt or Carhartt jacket to wipe wet or dirty lenses. Most fabrics will do harm to the glass and not all microfiber is made equal.
Scope cleaning kits can include special glass cleaning solutions, wipes, and tools like a lens pen. These are the best cleaning options for riflescopes but can also be used on binoculars, red dot sights, laser rangefinders, and more. One quality kit will do it.
You don’t need to keep the entire kit in your gear pack on your back, but at least keep the pen or microfiber cloth to help keep the sight picture clear and the glass happy while in the field.
|Leupold Lens Pen||Lens pen||Under $20|
|Vortex Lens Pen||Lens pen||Under $15|
|Otis Technologies Kit||Cleaning kit||Under $25|
|Vortex Fog Free Lens Field Kit||Cleaning kit||Under $20|
|MagicFiber Cleaning Cloths||Microfiber cloths||Under $10|
5. Riflescope Turret Caps
Since exposed turrets are a trend, many don’t give much thought to turret caps anymore. But those of us in the field give them more than a deserving thought or two. Obviously, turret caps protect the turrets from damage. If there’s a place where water can get in, this would definitely be an entry point.
Since many hunting scopes do not have locking or zero stop turrets, the caps also serve to prevent any unintentional adjustments thus preserving zero retention. I think, out of all the riflescope accessories you can have, turret caps would be right alongside a throw lever in that they can weigh essentially nothing.
The hard part is that these are parts that you would find replacements for from the manufacturer. But every once in a while, you can find a cap that will fit online.
I’ll admit to losing a cap here and there while at the range and sighting in. I blame the wind. What’s your excuse?
|Trijicon ACOG Adjuster Caps||Adjustment caps||Under $20|
|Aimpoint T2/H2 Cap||RDS cap with O-ring||Under $20|
6. Scope Sunshade
Sunshades do just that – provide shade from the sun. It’s an attachment that threads into the objective bell of the riflescope to help reduce reflections and glare in especially bright conditions.
Some manufacturers include one in the box. I’ve gotten one with the Vortex Strike Eagle LPVO and Sig Sauer Sierra6, and I always think it's a nice addition. The point of having one though is to use it.
It does add quite the length to a scope and can add about 0.5 lb or more, but they’re generally lightweight and worth the weight and cost.
|Product||Type||Objective Size||Price Range|
|Down Under Outdoors Rubber Protector||Silicone sunshade||Varies||Under $15|
|Vortex Sunshade||Screw-in assembly||40 mm||Under $20|
|Athlon Sunshade||Screw-in assembly||50 mm||Under $40|
|Nightforce Sunshade||Screw-in assembly||56 mm||Under $40|
7. Scope Throw Lever
Throw levers, power levers – they’re the same thing. It’s an attachment that allows for rapid and easy transition between the magnification settings. These are most commonly seen on LPVO scopes when fast adjustments between max 4x, 5x, 6x, 8x, or 10x to 1x is a necessity.
Many LPV scopes come with a throw lever these days, but it’s not the rule. Sometimes, even when a lever is included, you may want to consider an upgrade. These can range from various heights to foldable designs.
|Vortex Switchview||Band throw lever||Under $80|
|WestHunter Switchview||Band throw lever||Under $20|
|Primary Arms Slide Mount Flip Lever||Interchangeable flip lever||Under $60|
|MK Machining for Vortex||Band throw lever||Under $20|
|Monstrum Throw Lever||Band throw lever||Under $20|
|Nightforce Clamp-On||Band throw lever||Under $90|
8. Bluetooth Laser Rangefinder
The convenience of a Bluetooth connected laser rangefinder and riflescope cannot be understated. Range a distance and the right holdover aiming point is illuminated on the display of the riflescope, or range a distance, and it’s displayed on the riflescope allowing for you to holdover appropriately.
This technology is yet to be a commonplace feature among manufacturers, but I’ve used it and have found it incredibly convenient, especially compared to a rifle scope ruler! While there are combo kits every now and then, the best way to put together a scope and rangefinder kit for you is to cherry pick which compatible models will work best for your needs.
When should you use this fancy tech? In the hunt or for long range work. I could see it having a place in some rural home defense where private property spans acres.
|Sig Sauer KILO3K BDX||6x22 rangefinder||Under $300|
|ATN Auxiliary Ballistic Laser 1500||1500-yard riflescope attachment||Under $400|
|ATN Laser Ballistics 1000||1000-yard 6x rangefinder||Under $300|
|Sig Sauer KILO10K-ABS HD||10x42 binoculars||Under $2200|
9. Riflescope Ballistic Turret
A ballistic turret is a custom feature for a specific rifle and cartridge load. You send in your ballistics to the manufacturer, and they’ll make a custom elevation turret specifically for your setup. The benefits are that you can keep a simple and clean reticle and you won’t need to hold over.
This could be especially useful for hunters and long-range shooters. The downside is that it’s an extra cost. Weight? Nothing. Since you’ll be dialing a lot, it’s ideally an over-sized, exposed turret – no caps.
Who makes custom ballistic turrets? There are plenty of companies from Ballistix to Kenton Industries to name a couple. They make custom dials for sports optics manufacturers like Burris, Bushnell, Kahles, Leica, Vortex, Sig Sauer, NightForce, and more. But some sports optics manufacturers have their own custom turret program.
|Manufacturer||Custom Turret Program||Compatible Riflescopes||Price Range|
|Leupold||CDS Ballistic Dials||CDS riflescopes||CDS compatible scope comes with one free custom dial or starting at $80|
|Maven||Maven Custom Turret||RS.1, RS.3, RS3.2, RS.4, RS.5||Starting at $100|
|Burris||Custom Knobs||AR & MSR scopes, Droptine, Fullfield E1, Signature HD, Veractiy, XTR II & III, and more!||Starting at $50|
|Swarovski||BTF Ballistic Turret Flex||Z8i||Under $400|
10. Scope Ring Mount for Red Dot Sight
The purpose of a red dot ring mount for a riflescope is to have a secondary sighting system after a scope. Since you do not co-witness with iron sights when using a scope, some will opt for offset irons or an offset RDS. In this case, a ring mount allows for a mounted RDS to the scope.
There are mounts for a micro red dot sight that are usually used on pistols that are compatible for a specific type of footprint. There are also those with an integrated rail for micro enclosed red dot sights like those used on an AR-15.
|Product||Type||Compatible RDS||Price Range|
|Monstrum 45-degree Offset Micro Mount||RMR & Docter/Noblex footprints||Trijicon RMR, Vortex Venom, etc.||Under $25|
|Monstrum Piggyback Picatinny Ring Mount||Ring rail mount||Any RDS that fits a Pic rail w/low profile mount||Under $15|
|Beileshi 1” Rail Scope Ring Adaptor||Ring rail mount||Any RDS w/low profile mount||Under $10|
|Burris PEPR Scope Mount||Cantilever mount w/Pic ring tops||Any RDS w/low profile mount||Under $100|
11. Scope Mounting Kit
A fully equipped riflescope mounting kit should have all the tools necessary to correctly align, level, and mount a scope to the rifle. This can include bubble levels, anti-cant devices, lapping bars, torque wrench set, boresighter, and more.
These kits can be pricey running up to about $200. The good news is that once you have one, it’s likely to last you a long time as it works for mounting most scopes. Unless you anticipate troubleshooting in the field, the kit stays home after you’ve properly mounted, leveled the scope on the rifle, and boresighted your scope.
|Wheeler Combo Kit||Storage case with kit||Under $180|
|Real Avid Leveling Kit||Scope alignment leveling kit||Under $80|
|Wheeler Scope Mounting Kit||Scope mounting kit||Under $100|
|Weaver Deluxe Scope Mounting Kit||Scope mounting kit||Under $140|
|Monstrum Alignment & Lapping Tool Kit||Alignment & lapping kit||Under $50|
On average, the standard accessories included with a scope is very limited and may only consist of a battery (if applicable), standard turret caps (if applicable), lens cloth, and the expected paperwork/documentation. Scope caps, covers, and mounts are not standard free accessories.
Some manufacturers may include them as an accessory or in a bundle purchase, but they’re usually purchased by the buyer at a separate cost.
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers
Not all riflescope accessories are a necessity as the need for various accessories may depend on the application and rifle plus scope setup. Some accessories are essential regardless of the application such as mounts, mounting tools, scope caps, and cleaning gear.
As an example, most LPVO scope owners almost always prefer to have a throw lever while the hunter may opt for a sunshade. For the home defense rifle or plinker, neither accessories may be considered.
Scope caps do not have a one-size-fits-all size. However, caps used on one scope may work another if the scope has the same dimensions. In general, you must know the size of the ocular and objective bells of a scope in order to find the right size scope caps.
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers
Overall, warranty coverage on included accessories varies by manufacturer. Some may offer limited coverage or no coverage at all. An option is to upgrade the accessories and acquire warranty protection there.
Must-Have Scope Accessories for Every Shooter!
Though not all scope accessories will be necessary for every shooter, many of the mentioned items are essential regardless of the application. Scope caps or covers, and scope cleaning equipment are must-have accessories to preserve effectiveness and ensure longevity.
This list is not all-inclusive as there is always new and better gear that is constantly entering the market. But with what I consider the fundamentals, you should have a better idea of how to protect your scope and maximize its potential during use.