Best Hunting Scope Reviews and Buying Guide 2018 (Update)

Why would you need the best hunting scope reviews? Because you’re looking to increase your accuracy with a rifle. Because you want to increase the distance you can target pests or small game. Because you don’t do well with traditional sights that might be on your rifle. We all have different needs that must be met. The best hunting scope will make sure that those needs get met, whether that’s squirrel hunting, plinking, or just making sure someone doesn’t shoot their eye out.

Hunting scopes might all be created around the general concept of magnification to improve accuracy, but how each manufacturer provides results can be very different. The chart below can help you to quickly compare and contrast makes and models so you can find the best option for your air rifle today.

5 Best Hunting Scope Review:

1. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 BDC


This is a versatile hunting scope, brought to you by the collaborative efforts of two brands. The end result is one of the best anti-reflective systems we’ve seen in this category to date. The housing is waterproof, which prevents fog from forming, and nitrogen filling makes sure that moisture doesn’t affect your shot ever. The compensation system provides you with fast and accurate shooting points for several shot distances and the scope itself is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Easily one of the best hunting scopes on the market today.


2. CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope 6-24×50 AOE Red and Green


With a field of view that is about 30 feet at 100 yards, we found that this hunting scope does a great job for close hunting needs. We also like the illuminated crosshairs within your field of vision when aiming, making it easier to be accurate even when you’re in heavy cover. The 6-24x magnification is standard, the installation was easy with the mounts, and it works well for air rifles or other hunting rifles. In terms of overall value, this hunting scope definitely punches above its weight class and deserves a close look.


3. Ledsniper® Brand New Hunting Rifle Scope 6-24×50


If you’re looking for a hunting scope with a proven record of use, then this is one of the top choices to look at today. It has the illuminated optics that other scopes offer, but you can still use it as a standard scope if you don’t feel like installing the batteries or they die on you. The one challenge we noticed is that some hunters may need to purchase dovetail-to-weaver adapters to have this scope work on some air rifles for a good mount, but that’s the only negative we could find in a world full of positives. We highly recommend this affordable scope to anyone looking to improve their accuracy.

4. Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope with Truplex reticle


This 8 point truplex reticle scope has a stunning level of clarity. The design is simplistic compared to other hunting scopes, but we found it to have a superior level of effectiveness when compared to other scopes in this category. The coated optics in particular help to make your targets stand out. The windage and elevation adjustment system helps you stay locked on target even in very difficult environmental conditions. This is one of the few hunting scopes we’d be tempted to keep after a trial period because it is so good at what it does.


5. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12×56 AO Hog Hunter


This is easily the best hunting scope on the market today. Made from aircraft-grade aluminum alloys, the multi-coated and anti-reflective lens coatings give you brighter views than you’ll find in almost any other scope. The construction of the scope includes shock reductions, allowing it to withstand recoil and impact with up to 12x magnification. You are accurate even in the heaviest of cover, making it the perfect scope for the hard-core hunter. You won’t be disappointed with this investment.


What Features Should the Best Hunting Scopes Have?

We could talk about windage and elevation. We could discuss the pros and cons of each objective lens diameter. It’s possible to write an entire novel on how different levels of optical quality can provide certain strengths and weaknesses to hunters. Yet through it all, there are two truths that will always remain: 1) you can’t beat a solid warranty; and 2) you can’t overlook competent customer service.

To be fair, the best warranty you can have for a hunting scope is the one you never need to use. Despite a manufacturer’s best efforts, however, there can be defects in craftsmanship or the quality of materials being used. In that circumstance, it is a good thing to know that your product is covered by a reliable warranty that is fast and free.

You’ll also want to find a manufacturer who will not hesitate to make things right if your scope isn’t performing how it should. An example of this is the Golden Ring Guarantee by Leupold, which offers lifetime repair or replacement if scope doesn’t perform as it should. Other manufacturers have similar warranties that can also be just as effective. By reading through the best hunting scope reviews, you’ll be able to find the best features for your scope so your investment is protected every day.

How to Find the Best Hunting Scope

Even though it seems like it should be a fairly straightforward task, finding the best hunting scope can be complicated and confusing. A number of technological improvements in recent years have even caused confusion with some experienced hunters. The first thing you must do when looking for the perfect scope is to compare its specific features with other scopes to determine if you’ll be comfortable with the product.

The best hunting scope reviews can also take you through some of the specific features you may wish to have for your rifle.

  • Is it fog proof? The first fog proof scope was introduced in 1947, but not every manufacturer has the same quality of construction as others. Unless you plan on hunting in only fair weather, absolute waterproof integrity is a must to keep the fog out.
  • What is the optical quality? The glass of the scope’s lens is just as important as the water resistance features. A lens should have multiple coatings to maximize clarity and the transference of light. Some offer targeting markers within the scope as well for more accurate results.
  • How large is the field of view? The type of hunting you do will dictate the field of view, eye relief, and magnification requirements you have. Close-range shooting in heavy woods requires a large field of view, which means a lower magnification is better. Long-range shots require more magnification, but have a lower field of view. 

When you start looking at the public reviews for hunting scopes and perhaps even on websites like this, you’ll notice that one of the features listed on many scopes is a “30mm maintube.” Just about every scope uses this today because it gives you better strength and accurate adjustments. If you find a hunting scope without a 30mm maintube, you should ask why. 

3 Advantages from the Best Hunting Scopes

Why make an investment into the best hunting scopes on the market today? Because you’ll gain 3 specific advantages with your purchase.

Advantage #1: Flexible reticles come with the best hunting scopes, naturally leading your eye to the center of your aiming point. When in heavy cover or at a close range, this will dramatically improve your accuracy. 

Advantage #2: When you change your magnification on a hunting scope, you’re also changing the exit pupil. This affects the amount of light you receive in the scope, which may alter how you take your shot. Consistency in this area will provide you the most light possible without being overwhelming. 

Advantage #3: The best hunting scopes will provide you with a crisp set of adjustments so you can account for windage, elevation, and other local environmental factors that may affect your shot. This way you won’t have to shift your point of impact when you’re shifting your magnification. Most scopes have this advantage today, but be careful if shopping for older scopes. 

What Are the Prices of the Best Hunting Scopes?

You’ll find that most hunting scopes on the market today are priced below $60. You’ll have a variety of magnification options at this pricing level with many highly rated hunting scopes so you can have your needs effectively met. Entry-level scopes tend to be priced around $30 and are good for plinking or light hunting. Professional hunters may wish to look at premium hunting scopes, which can retail for $300 or more, but come with superior levels of magnification. Most hunters will find a suitable product at the $50-$80 price point.

Final Verdict:

The best hunting scope reviews can help you quickly find the right product in this category to meet your needs. Use this guide to find your perfect scope today and any accuracy headaches you’ve had will slowly fade away.

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