Best Hunting Rifle Scope Reviews: A Scope for Every Budget

Rifle ScopeOne can only dream of having plenty of time, money, and guns to test out every rifle scope until you’ve found the perfect one or two.. or ten!

So, if the local shooting hub has gotten sick of you hanging around or if your mates’ scope inventory is just as sad as yours, then we here at Target Tamers sure have the review for you.

From affordable and low budget to second mortgage-worthy scopes, we will tell you if there’s a Leupold, NightForce, Bushnell, or a Nikon up our sleeves.

Our comprehensive and engaging rifle scope reviews will leave you with the best rifle scopes you can buy.

Best Low Budget Hunting Scopes Under $300

If you think you have to give up world-class brands to spend blue-collar prices on a rifle scope, then you’d be wrong. Let’s face it, there are just some hunters that will never even batter an eyelid at a rifle scope under $300 because of this false reason. Too bad for them, they don’t know what they’re missing out on.

If you don’t have more than a few hundred bucks in your pocket, there’s good news. The rifle scopes in this low budget category cater to a whole range of shooters from highly-reputable brands. You might want to gift a scope to your entry level son or perhaps a lady shooter new to guns and optics.

The neat thing about the variety of low budget scopes out there is that even if you’re a seasoned hunter and you’re just looking for a good deal – the low budget market caters to you too.

In deciding what scopes made the top 3, we looked at quite a few things: quality of lens coatings, level of difficulty to focus and sight in, ability to hold zero, and of course, cost.

Low budget rifle scopes are no-fuss, practical, and easy to use devices that deserve a spot on your “must buy” list.

Leupold-Rifleman-4-12x40
  • Leupold Rifleman 4-12X40
  • 4-12X Magnification
  • 40mm Objective Diameter
  • 4.6/5 Customer Rating
  • Features
    Friction style turrets
    Fully waterproof & fog-proof
    Recoil Proof
best-low-budget-rifle-scope-zeiss-terra-3x-3-9X42
  • Zeiss Terra 3X 3-9X42
  • 3-9X Magnification
  • 42mm Objective Diameter
  • 4.9/5 Customer Rating
  • Features
    MC anti-reflective coatings
    Second Focal Plane reticle
    Crystal Clear Glass
Weaver-40-44-Series-6.5-20X44-AO
  • Weaver 40/44 6.5-20X44 AO
  • 6.5-20X Magnification
  • 44mm Objective Diameter
  • 4.7/5 Customer Rating
  • Features
    Adjustable Objective (Parallax Adjustment)
    Fully Multi-Coated Optics
    Fog, Water & Recoil-proof

#1 Low Budget Scope #1 Low Budget Scope

Zeiss Terra 3X 3-9X42

The Zeiss Terra 3X 3-9X42 takes top place! Surprised to see a Zeiss in the low budget category? This Terra is less than $250!

You read that right. Carl Zeiss optics are long-known for their exceptional quality and crystal clear glass. And, just because this is one of their entry level rifle scopes, you shouldn’t assume that it’s a piece of junk.

It has their proprietary MC anti-reflective fully multi-coated coatings – this should be considered stealing to have this quality of lens coatings in this price range. It also features the popular 3X 3-9X variable power with a slightly larger objective lens than the oft-seen 40mm – now that’s a way to put a twist on an already extremely popular model.

Getting the Zeiss quality for under $300 is too good to be true. This model definitely hits it out of the ball park when compared with not only other cheaper brands high end scopes but some self-proclaimed high-end brands too.

The number one spot was taken long before this review was ever written up. So, if you’re curious to see if Zeiss puts the care and quality into their entry level scopes the same as their high-performing ones, our Zeiss Scope Review is only a click away.

#2 Low Budget Scope #2 Low Budget Scope

Leupold Rifleman 4-12X40

The Leupold Rifleman 4-12X40 filled our number two spot. For you Leupold fans out there, this comes as no surprise.

The first thing about the Rifleman that caught my attention were the friction style turrets. While most may not be familiar with the design, the finer tuning you can get with them is the epitome of precision – no overshooting here.

For a low budget scope you’d probably think that it’s not going to hold a zero or ensure your rifle’s recoil – think again. Leupold puts all of their scopes, not just the high end ones, but the Rifleman too, under punishing shockproof tests.

And, the best thing about this scope is that you can get Leupold quality for less than $250. Don’t believe me? Here’s our Leupold Scope Review with all the evidence you need.

#3 Low Budget Scope #3 Low Budget Scope

Weaver 40/44 Series 6.5-20X44 AO

The Weaver 40/44 Series 6.5-20X44 AO rifle scope won this spot by very, very small margins.

This Weaver has a parallax adjustment, the AO, that pushed it over the winning line. I had to throw in a rifle scope with a high-end feature on it that comes in under $250.

The scope further impresses with fully multi-coated optics, and for a low budget scope with this caliber of coated lens, this is a sign that the manufacturer is going all out. If you’d like to know more about what this AO has to offer you, our Weaver Scope Review is ready and waiting!

Low Budget Honorable Mentions

The Bushnell Trophy XLT Bone Collector Edition 3-9X40 comes with the long range ballistic DOA 600 reticle, a long 5 inches of eye relief, and fully multi-coated lens.

Another scope that deserves mentioning is the Barska Huntmaster Pro 3-12X50 IR that has an illuminated reticle for under $100!

One more note-worthy scope is the Burris Fullfield II 3-9X40 with its knurly turrets and dual spring tension system for ultimate recoil control.

Best Medium Budget Scopes Under $800

To cheap folks like me this price range may seem a little high to consider the “medium range”, but in all reality, this is the next price range up for throwing in a few bells and whistles that will really get you excited. And, perhaps surprising news to you, a lot of other hunters happily spend in this price range to get a quality, high-functioning, and good-lookin’ scope.

Arguably, this is the price range where excellent scopes are born and you probably won’t spend out of this price range, ever. If you’re looking for specific features that can really up your hunting game and improve your marksmanship skills, then there’s definitely a scope in this price range that can do it for you.

For long range hunters, faithful BDC users, and shooters looking for precise accuracy, this is the price range you want to budget for to get the best scopes.

We took into account quality glass, the availability of different types of reticles, and all the extra trappings – from parallax adjustments, reset zero features, to turret usability to get the top 3.

Vortex-Optics-Viper-4-16X50-HS
  • Vortex Viper 4-16X50 HS Long Range
  • 4-16X Magnification
  • 50mm Objective Diameter
  • 4.4/5 Customer Rating
  • Features
    Extra Low Dispersion (XD) glass
    XR fully multi-coated lens
    Second Focal Plane reticle
Best-Medium-Budget-Scope-Meopta-MeoPro-4.5-14X44-HTR
  • Meopta MeoPro 4.5-14X44 HTR
  • 4.5-14X Magnification
  • 44mm Objective Diameter
  • 5/5 Customer Rating
  • Features
    Intuitive MeoTrak TRZ Target Turrets
    MeoBright for 99.8% Light Transmission
    Glass-etched SFP Reticle
Nikon-Prostaff-7-4-16X42-BDC
  • Nikon Prostaff 7 4-16X42 BDC
  • 4-16X Magnification
  • 42mm Objective Diameter
  • 4.5/5 Customer Rating
  • Features
    One-piece 30mm Body Tube
    Side focus for self-adjusted parallax compensation
    Zero-reset Turret

#1 Medium Budget Scope #1 Medium Budget Scope

Meopta MeoPro 4.5-14X44 HTR

The Meopta MeoPro 4.5-14X44 HTR is a star in its own right. This specific model took top place and booted out all other candidates with its versatile use in the hunt, a tactical scenario, and at the range (HTR).

It also has the intuitive MeoTrak TRZ Target turrets that has everything you want in a set of easy-to-use dials. And, reticle options… there’s four to choose from in the series and that’s a whole lot more than any of the following top 2 rifle scopes have yet to offer.

This scope is only in the mid-range category because it fit the price range at roughly $800, otherwise its features, glass, and build are best suited for the high-end section.

For a scope brand that’s on par with world-class manufacturers, this is a steal. For more on the number one moderate budget scope, see our Meopta Scope Review.

#2 Medium Budget Scope #2 Medium Budget Scope

Vortex Optics Viper 4-16X50 HS Long Range

The Vortex Optics Viper 4-16X50 HS Long Range will get you out to longer ranges later in the day. If you’re looking to practice your long range hunting skills, then this is the mid-range rifle scope for you.

For around $600, you’re getting Vortex’s XD lens quality and XR fully multi-coated coatings. This model keeps the SFP reticle which comes in handy for making those long distance shots when you need to see everything on your target.

Vortex is an exceptional brand and is synonymous with quality for a more affordable price. To find out what features you’re getting away with by paying less than you should, our Vortex Scope Review has all the answers you’re looking for.

#3 Medium Budget Scope #3 Medium Budget Scope

Nikon Prostaff 7 4-16X42 BDC

The Prostaff 7 4-16X42 BDC is from a favorite, dependable, and well-known brand – Nikon. This relatively new Prostaff puts you in the $400 range and you’re getting comparable quality to the flagship Monarch line that costs twice as much.

With a 30 mm tube body, increased internal adjustment range, and zero reset turrets, this Nikon scope is a great buy. Nikon is known for their dependability without muddying up the waters of the scope industry with too many fancy trappings that devalue the functionality and simplicity of a rifle scope.

Once again, Nikon delivers an excellent mid-range rifle scope that deserves more attention than the cool guys want to give it. If you’re rooting for the underdog that took third place in the moderate budget scope section, then you’ll have nothing but high-fives for our Nikon Scope Review.

Medium Budget Honorable Mentions

Since this entire review can’t all be about Leupold scopes, I’m going to take this moment to give credit to our entire Leupold Scope Review that is worthy of mentioning here. But, the one that stands out the most is the Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10X40. This beauty has many various reticle options, their Twilight Max Light Management System and Diamondcoat 2 lens technology that gives you the best, clearest, and sharpest image possible, and all with the Leupold stamp of quality, accuracy, and premium usability.

Best High Budget Scopes Under $2000

Now, who can benefit from a premium rifle scope? This is your cue to raise your hand, along with practically everyone else’s hand too.

These are the scopes that have you researching and reading every single review about it online. These are the scopes that have you obsessing about whether or not you should spend this kind of cash on one.

So, again you hit the search engines to read everything until there is nothing but that purple highlighted title from Google telling you you’ve read all there is to read on this heck of a brilliant scope.

This is all of us. From the varmint hunter to the extreme long range precision shooter, the best high budget scopes are going to require some deep pockets that will prove to be money well spent.

In deciding what scopes made this top 3, we had to slim down the margins – a lot. We considered the availability of multiple reticles, illuminated options, and a few extra perks that you’ll discover with the top 3 reveal!

Burris-Eliminator-III-4-16X50
  • Burris Eliminator III 4-16X50
  • 4-16X Magnification
  • 50mm Objective Diameter
  • 4.5/5 Customer Rating
  • Features
    Adjustable Objective for Parallax Correction
    Built-in Rangefinding Technology
    Remote Cable Switch
Best-High-Budget-Scope
  • Leupold VX-6 4-24X52
  • 4-24X Magnification
  • 52mm Objective Diameter
  • 5/5 Customer Rating
  • Features
    Twin Bias Spring Erector System (shockproof)
    Xtended Twilight Light System &
    Diamondcoat 2 for Brightness & Clarity
NightForce-SHV-5-20X56
  • NightForce SHV 5-20X56
  • 5-20X Magnification
  • 56mm Objective Diameter
  • 5/5 Customer Rating
  • Features
    56mm Objective for Low Light Performance
    ZeroSet for fast return to original zero
    Glass-etched Reticle in SFP

#1 High Budget Scope #1 High Budget Scope

Leupold VX-6 4-24X52

This Leupold VX-6 4-24X52 is your ultimate pure-blood, American-made, long range rifle scope that can get you out past 700 yards with ease.

The Xtended Twilight Light System, Diamondcoat 2, illuminated reticles, and Twin Bias Spring Erector System gives this optic an unparalleled edge in quality, light transmission, and shockproof-ability.

With Leupold’s Custom Shop only a shipment away, the modularity of this scope offers extreme versatility to fit the needs of the extreme long range shooter, the low light hunter, and the serious varmint and big game regulator.

At a killer $1600, I can guarantee that you won’t regret a penny from the golden child brand, America’s favorite – Leupold & Stevens. To see if this rifle scope is truly worth it, scrutinize our Leupold Scope Review to justify every penny spent.

#2 High Budget Scope #2 High Budget Scope

Burris Eliminator III 4-16X50

The Burris Eliminator III 4-16X50 is a beast of a rifle scope, but I think that’s what makes it such an intriguing device. To have such large dimensions, 15 inches long and 30 ounces, it’s got to be jam-packed with loads of cool and advanced technology right?

Well, to make it on the number 2 spot of this part of the review, it’s a must. This whopping $1400 Burris scope took everyone here at Target Tamers for a pleasant ride. The laser rangefinding button and remote switch literally eliminates the need to carry an extra device in the field… seriously you read that right – a remote cable switch!

The X96 reticle works on any magnification, and of course you’ve got a built-in integrative inclinometer to compensate for angle shots uphill or downhill… of course, right?

Before I give away all of the Burris’ scope secrets, you should know that you can access full details to every awesome feature this beast of an optic has right here in our Burris Scope Review.

#3 High Budget Scope #3 High Budget Scope

NightForce SHV 5-20X56

The NightForce SHV 5-20X56 is not a scope to be toyed with. This $1300 rifle scope has the illuminated MOAR reticle on pristine and incomparable glass that sits in a gorgeous 30 mm tube body that hunters are seduced into loving.

For a world-renown tactical brand, NightForce sure pumps out a more than decent rifle scope specifically for us hunters. The wide range of variable power, the large objective lens, and the glass etched reticle speaks volumes in hunter-speak.

If you want to fall in love with everything this scope has to give, our fully detailed NightForce Scope Review will make those sparks fly.

High Budget Honorable Mentions

The Bushnell Elite LRHS 3-12×44 rifle scope was almost featured in the top 3, but “almost” isn’t good enough. Its 4X zoom, 30 mm tube body, Mrad measurements, long range capabilities, and FFP reticle are still show-stoppers in their own right.

And, then there’s the Meopta Optics MeoStar R1r 3-12X56 RD that might just be the cheaper counterpart to the Zeiss Victory HT scopes. It has a very comparable and notable center-illuminated, SFP, glass etched reticle that is one of the best that you’ll find.

And, last but not least the Vortex Optics Viper PST 6-24X50 FFP. This scope offers extreme long range, excellent glass, ballistic reticle with illumination, and a FFP glass etched reticle for less than what it’s worth. This scope is the definition of a “steal buy”.

Best ‘I Had to Sell a Kidney’ Scopes (Price = $2000+)

Now these are the rifle scopes that we mere hunters only wish we could afford. One or two of us might just give up both kidneys to sport one of these babes on our rifles for just one day – they’re definitely worth it. But, if money is the only variable in this “who’s it for?” equation, then these rifle scopes are reserved for those with even deeper pockets than previously needed or for those willing to mortgage their house – for a second time.

Trying to determine which scopes earned a spot on the top 3 was relatively easy since scopes in this range represent a considerably smaller market than more affordable ones. We took into account high end features such as FFP reticles, ballistic turrets, and even better glass with exceptional light transmission quality.

Even more specifically, we had to closely examine these features. Why? Overall user-friendliness is a big reason since an excess of high end features can easily complicate things.

We also scrutinized the one feature that makes these high end scopes worth paying for to see if they actually improve this area of your hunting experience.

Carl-Zeiss-Victory-HT-3-12X56
  • Zeiss Victory HT 3-12X56
  • 3-12X Magnification
  • 56mm Objective Diameter
  • 5/5 Customer Rating
  • Features
    #60 Illuminated Reticle in SFP
    Solid and Robust 30 mm Tube Body
    Schott HT Glass & LotuTec Technlology
Best-Extreme-Scope
  • Swarovski Optik Z6i 3-18x50 P
  • 3-18X Magnification
  • 50mm Objective Diameter
  • 5/5 Customer Rating
  • Features
    4-point Coil System for Ultimate Shockproofing
    Ballistic Turret with 3 Original Zeros
    Waterproof up to 13 Feet
NightForce-NXS-5.5-22X56
  • NightForce NXS 5.5-22X56
  • 5.5-22X Magnification
  • 56mm Objective Diameter
  • 4.9/5 Customer Rating
  • Features
    56mm Objective for Low Light Performance
    Hi-Speed Turret System with ZeroSet
    2000 meter long distance ranging

#1 'I Had to Sell a Kidney' Budget Scope #1 'I Had to Sell a Kidney' Budget Scope

Swarovski Optik Z6i 3-18×50 P

The Swarovski Optik Z6i 3-18×50 P is a show-stopper and the kind of scope you don’t dare touch if you found it on a shelf in a store.

It’s long ranging and low light specs make it a winner straight off the bat since we already know that Swarovski is an authority in providing crystal clear glass. But, the noteworthy feature of this Swaro is definitely the incredibly easy and intuitive ballistic turret technology with the three extra color coded rings for setting up three original zeros.

Everything about this rifle scope is built with precision and attention to painstakingly small details with hands-on expertise. That’s why this rifle scope is a dream scope maxing out at an astronomical $3000. For more low whistles on this extremely sleek scope, check out our Swarovski Scope Review for comprehensive and intimate information that you can’t get anywhere else.

#2 'I Had to Sell a Kidney' Budget Scope #2 'I Had to Sell a Kidney' Budget Scope

Zeiss Victory HT 3-12X56

The Zeiss Victory HT 3-12X56 happens to be one of my favorite rifle scopes on the market. If this was a biased review, it would have taken the number one spot in a heartbeat.

It’s all because of the center-illuminated reticle – #60. There is not another illuminated reticle that can compare with this pure and fine dot. While the MeoStar does a nice job at attempting to, there’s just not anything that can compare to a Zeiss.

There’s also the Schott HT glass and LotuTec, the ASV+ Elevation turret with nine extra metal distance rings, but I’m still hooked on the #60. Once you get a sneak peak at it, you’ll be just as obsessed as I am – even with a price tag of a whopping $2800!

If you dare read more on it, here’s our full Zeiss Scope Review for the best scopes there are.

#3 'I Had to Sell a Kidney' Budget Scope #3 'I Had to Sell a Kidney' Budget Scope

NightForce NXS 5.5-22X56

The NightForce NXS 5.5-22X56 has earned the number three spot in this review. The amount of abuse this rifle scope is capable of is the first and foremost reason that this NightForce scope made the top 3.

Forget its incredibly wide power range, the glass etched reticles, the Hi Speed 20 MOA turrets, and the list of reticle options available – even getting you out past 1000 yards no problem.

The most impressive feature of the $2000 NXS is the harsh, punishing, and brutal abuse this scope can take. Do I dare say bullet proof? You’ll have to read our NightForce Scope Review to discover the answer to that.

Honorable Mention

The Swarovski Optik Z5 3.5-18X44 P is a souped-up rifle scope that is worth giving up your arm and leg for, and although its only around the $1600 price range, it’s quality belongs here in this category. Its 4 coil spring system, ballistic turret technology, and light weight and compact build make it a winner in every field.

A-Z of the Best Rifle Scope Brands

» Barska

Barska LogoThis is a brand that dabbles in both the tactical and hunting rifle scope industry, and they’re known for their unbeatable, low budget prices. In our Barska Rifle Scope Review, you won’t spend more than $100, even for an illuminated reticle and an AO parallax adjustment!

This budget brand doesn’t believe low prices should keep you from having high end features. If you’re strapped for cash and need an affordable rifle scope today for under $100, Barska is our top recommendation.

» Burris

Burris_LogoThis optics manufacturer is the top of the line brand for affordable and low budget rifle scopes. Pragmatic advice that gets passed around from hunter to hunter in the optics world is “buy the best of what you can afford” – and Burris is the epitome of this concept in the low budget category.

This American company has a website that’s organized, streamlined, and systematized to help you navigate their huge inventory of rifle scopes to ensure you’re getting the right one for your hunt.

» Bushnell

Bushnell LogoSpeaking of a huge inventory, Bushnell literally has it all, from tactical scopes saved for the elitists, long range hunting scopes for ambitious shooters, to rookie hunters looking for something dependable as a first buy.

This loved American brand has listened and provided to the needs of hunters for nearly a century and is almost always considered the “go to” brand for many hunters in the field.

» Leupold & Stevens

Leupold LogoNow, this American brand has deep roots in the rifle scope industry and is by far a world-leading brand that has a huge consumer base that’s unrivaled by even the best-of-the-best optics manufacturers to date. Their scope engineers, expert glass-men, and master scientists deliver some of the world’s most memorable and currently popular rifle scopes there have ever been and will be.

If you’ve got the cash in any price range – low, medium, or high to spend on the best rifle scopes, Leupold will be on the lips of many hunters’ top recommendations.

» Meopta

Meopta LogoThis underdog optics company has some of the most high end rifle scopes in the market today. Although they’re not as well known as other competing brands in the same category, their rifle scopes speak for themselves.

The quality of scopes they have puts them in the premium class, but they literally slash their costs to half of what their competitors sell the same scope for. It’s because of these reasons that Meopta shimmied its way into our review process. I also predict that they will become a common household name in the optics industry as more of us hunters expose their exceptional scopes.

» NightForce

NightForce LogoIf you’re an optics freak, then there’s a 110 percent chance that you know who this prodigious optics company is… they’re also optics fanatics themselves. NightForce has a wide and five-star reputation with not only their tactical scopes, but their hunting scopes too. There’s nothing that they can’t make.

One of their most imposing company policies is to ensure that your scope will handle the abuse any firearm can dish out. They also painstakingly pay attention to every minute detail that goes into making your scope. With a manufacturing process as meticulous as theirs, you know you’re going to get nothing less than the absolute best.

» NikonNikon Logo

This brand has been around for ages and is at the point where they no longer have anything to prove. Their monumental optics reputation has reached a peak where hunters automatically trust and love what they have to offer.

The Nikon name is just as powerful as Leupold and Bushnell. And best of all, their scopes are of top-notch quality that are affordable and user-friendly. If you want a scope from a tried and tested, favorite, and trusted brand, Nikon is a no-brainer option.

» Redfield

Redfield LogoThis is another brand in the line of affordable and low budget scopes, but it has an edge to it – it’s a subsidiary brand of Leupold & Stevens. With a first-rate parent company behind its back, you know you can get the best out of these economical rifle scopes.

For the no-fuss and practical hunter who can see through the smoke screen of marketing tactics, you’ll be drawn to the Redfield name.

Ditching the features that can complicate use, Redfield tacks on only the necessary features that can get you on target without the fancy add-ons and the fancy price tag.

» Simmons

Simmons LogoLooking for an economical rifle scope will result in a pathway leading you directly to a quarter century old optics brand – Simmons. As scopes are trending towards sporting higher, unneeded bells and whistles and consequently, higher, unneeded retail prices, Simmons stays true to the low budget market.

In fact, their cheapest rifle scope featured in our review has a high end feature that you will never see on a low budget scope. Simmons doesn’t disappoint if you want the best bang for your buck for as little cost as possible.

» Swarovskiswarovski optik logo

If you’re looking for the creme de la creme of scope brands, then you’ve just found one of them. Describing Swarovski as “expensive” is a massive understatement. If this excites you, then you’re most likely never going to go back to any other scope ever again after you’ve read our review.

Swaro is more than world-known, they’re galaxy-known – that’s how much their famous reputation precedes them. They make some of the most high-performing, intuitive, and high-precision rifle scopes available. Their scopes are tough to compare to and even tougher to beat.

» Vortex

Vortex_LogoThis optics brand has really set its footprint in the high end rifle scope market, and they’ve done well. The American brand has glass to rival even the best, world-class optics from European optics manufacturers

Even better, Vortex is run by real life hunters that know their stuff and use what they make. There’s no better way than this to prove to your customers that you believe your optics are the best there is to make long distance, ethical, and hair-splitting accurate shots. This is the legacy that Vortex offers every hunter, not only in the market, but out in the field too.

» Weaver

Weaver LogoThis long-time veteran of the optics world has led an acclaimed reputation for over 50 years. Trusted and contracted by the US military to produce tens of thousands of the well-known M73B1 sniper scopes, Weaver is certainly no newbie to good glass, durability, and accuracy.

By keeping things simple for the civilian hunter, Weaver scopes have just the right amount of features to make it a high-performing scope within the affordable price range.

» Zeiss

Zeiss LogoJust seeing the word Zeiss makes me think, “can more really be said?”. If you’re not familiar with this world-famous brand, then you’ve got a lot to learn and you have no idea what you’re missing out on.

Although they’re typically on the “wish list” side of the decision-buying process, they’re more than worth their weight in glass. Their astonishing illuminated reticles, intuitive ballistic turrets, and seemingly effortless usability puts this brand above all the rest,

Carl Zeiss is a brand you don’t want to put on your toy gun. In fact, they’re so nice you might not want to take it out of the box – ever!

Buying Guide: Consider This When Buying a Rifle Scope

» Your Budget

This is perhaps the first and foremost factor to consider when buying a rifle scope. And, any decent informative source will mention this in their rifle scope reviews.

Your budget sets the limits of what features to look for, the quality of the glass, and the overall usability of the scope. It will also narrow down the rifle scope options for you by naturally weeding out the scopes that won’t apply to your hunting needs and your financial limits. Our section on How to Choose the Right Optics in our Hunting Optics Buying Guide is a great place to start.

» Reticle Options

Rifle Scope Reticles ExplainedThis is another factor to consider since it will greatly help you to determine what range of rifle scopes you want to be shopping in.

Are you extreme long range shooting where a ballistic turret would be more appropriate? Maybe you’re varmint hunting out to 300 yards where a BDC reticle will be invaluable?

Most of the time for average hunters, a duplex reticle will get the job done effectively and efficiently. You should also be aware that the fancier your reticle gets, the more you might need to increase your budget.

Check out our Rifle Scopes Reticles article to help you identify which set of cross hairs is going to help you maximize your hunting potential.

» Magnification: Fixed or Variable?

If you’re set on a variable scope, it’s common sense that you’re going to pay a little bit more for high power optics. It’s also going to to determine how effectively you can use your BDC reticle, what distances you hunt in, the type of targets you’re hunting, and whether or not you’re going to need parallax adjustment.

For the sake of saving your wallet some stress and ensuring a productive hunt, put a little thought into what range of power you’re going to want. For more on magnification and how it’s going to affect your hunting prowess, our Rifle Scope Parallax article might be of some help and the Rifle Scope Reticles article can give you some insight.

» Parallax Adjustment

Rifle Scope Parallax AdjustmentsThis high end feature can drive up the cost significantly unless you’ve found a low budget AO rifle scope that’ll serve you just fine in the field.

In determining whether or not you need to consider this as a factor in your shopping spree for the best scopes, you’ll need to take into account your hunting distances, types of targets, and magnification settings.

But, parallax is a tricky and widely misunderstood concept in the sporting world. To get up to date on what it is, how it will affect you, and how to get rid of it, our Rifle Scope Parallax article is your best resource.

» Objective Lens Sizes

Rifle Scope Objective Lens DiameterTo save you some serious cash, you might want to avoid the hype and low light myths of huge objective lens sizes. Although they have a large role to play in how much exit pupil is available to you and having a larger field of view, you will need to weigh it up against a few factors to consider…

Whether or not you want to mount your scope high, how much more weight it’s going to tack on, quality of glass, and usable magnification ranges to get the most use out of your large objective lens.

While a large objective lens isn’t for everybody, there are definitely some of us who swear by them. To see how objective lens sizes will affect your buying decision, our Objective Lens Diameter: Does Size Matter? article will guide you through an in depth look at helping you to narrow down the options.

» Your Scope & Firearm Combination

Right Scope for Your FirearmWhat are you mounting your scope to? Is it the appropriate scope for the firearm? Is it recoil rated for an air gun?

The best rifle scope reviews are going to inform you about proper scope and firearm combinations – not just so you can make the best buy, but so you can protect your investment and possibly protect your physical well-being and your handsome face.

Choosing the right rifle scope for your firearm is just as important as knowing everything about your firearm, knowing your shooting limitations, and knowing vital information about your target.

In a time and age where telescopic sights have quickly dominated the sights market, you can’t afford to lose accuracy or money because you chose the wrong scope.

To make sure you don’t kick yourself in the rear end for incorrectly mounting the wrong rifle scope to the wrong rifle, our Choosing the Right Rifle Scope for Your Firearm article will give you some comprehensive insights on what to look for.

» Turret Systems

Rifle Scope Target TurretsIf you’re not sure about what I mean by this, then take a moment to let me enlighten you.

You want a rifle scope that’s easy to sight in and can hold its zero, period.

This is a fundamental feature that all scope users must be able to nail, and sometimes it’s not due to a lack of skill that can get in the way of these two things. A good, quality, and user-friendly rifle scope’s turret system should enable you to get it sighted in fast and hold its zero, no matter what the amount of recoil is.

If you chose your scope correctly, the recoil shouldn’t be an issue.

Furthermore, ballistic turret systems are a high end and premium feature that’ll enable you long distance aficionados to push your skills to the limits and get dead on – Every. Single. Time.

Turrets are an important factor to consider and if you want to know how to use them effectively, our Turret Systems article is your number one source.

» Know Your Stuff

Rifle Scope GlossaryThis is perhaps the most essential factor to consider, even above budget.

How do you know what to look for in a rifle scope if you have no idea what I’m going on about?

You could just pretend you know what parallax, turrets, FFP/SFP, LRHS, #60, and every other vocable, term, and acronym in the book is, but then again, the rest of us would get a kick out of seeing your eyes glaze over.

Now, that would a be good moment to give you a hard time. Instead of being the butt of our jokes, why don’t you get caught up on the terminology and join our little tête-à-tête – this isn’t a suggestion, it’s a direction… even if it is for your sake only.

So, here’s our Rifle Scope Glossary to get you clued in and running your mouth like a pro!

The Best Hunting Rifle Scopes. Full Stop.

No matter how great each high budget scope is, there must always be a winner. And, these scopes will and should be touted as the best rifle scopes in the market – they deserve it.

It doesn’t matter what your budget is, if you’re new to the sport or a long-time zealot, there’s a rifle scope that’s been made just for you.

There’s no need to waste money on an after-market scope or a foreign and unheard-of brand. Any scope that’s worth mentioning has been thoroughly reviewed right here at Target Tamers so that you can make the most out of your buck.

Happy hunting!

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