If you are looking for the best rifle scopes out there, then you have come to the right place.
You already know that when you are in the right moment, right time, and right place, that it is critical that your equipment works good.
When you are in the hunt and ready to take down your target, not only do you need a good rifle, but you also need a scope that is accurate and will always perform.
To put it another way:
There is nothing worse than missing a shot because somehow your optics weren't clear or couldn't hold zero.
Here's the thing:
When it comes to picking the perfect scope for you, there are many factors to consider, and many options to choose from.
In this article, we are going to review the best hunting scopes, and discuss what the key criteria are for getting the perfect scope.
Whether it's a deer, hog, or coyote hunting scope, I've got you covered.
Let's look at the top winners, then we will review criteria to look for, and then walk through each of the scopes one by one.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, where I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Best Rifle Scope Comparison Table
A rifle scope is a type of telescopic sight. I am going to cover the main things you need to know next.
For hunting, most of us are going to be shooting within a 300 yard range most of the time. The most popular scope arrangement that works great for 300 yards or less hunts is the 3-9x40.
As a refresher to what the numbers mean, the 3-9 is the magnification, where 3x is the minimum and 9x is the maximum. The 40 is the size of the objective lens in millimeters (mm).
If you plan on hunting farther than 300 yards or smaller game, you should consider getting higher magnification.
Most hunters want to keep versatility in their scope, so they try to get the lowest minimum mag they can get while also getting a high enough maximum mag.
Typically, the 4-12x40 and 4-16x40 arrangements are the next most popular scopes.
If you like hunting at dusk or dawn, keep in mind that the light conditions will be much lower. One way to help you see better is to get a scope with a bigger objective lens. The next step up from 40 mm is 50 mm. For example, the 3-9x50 is very popular.
When you are hunting close up game, like hogs, you need a scope with low mag. A popular one is a 1-4x20.
It's important to get a decent quality scope that has good optics and is built to last. Cheap scopes that are under $100 usually don't last long and the performance suffers greatly.
You want a hunting scope that is not going to fog up on you when you need it most. Good scopes will have the air purged out of them with a different gas to prevent fog up.
For most of us, price is always a consideration. The best strategy is to find the highest quality scope that meets your needs, and one that is at a good price that meets your budget.
The Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 is one of the best when it comes to quality.
It has great value for the price. It is a 3-9x mag scope with a 40 mm objective lens.
It is Nitrogen filled, making it water proof and fog proof. The eye relief is 3.6 inches.
The reticle is the popular bullet drop compensator (BDC) for those that like that type of reticle.
The scope design allows a 98% transmission rate, which means brighter images under many lighting conditions.
Check out the video of it below.
If you are looking for even more quality for almost twice the price, then the Leupold VX-2 3-9x40 is the winner.
This scope is one of the best deer hunting scopes out there.
It is also in the 3-9x mag range, with a 40 mm lens.
The Leupold VX-2 3-9x40 has all of the great features for a hunting scope.
It is both water and fog proof. There are a few reticles to choose from, where the Duplex is more common.
For those that want to hunt during dusk or dawn, you'll need a little bit more light coming into your scope.
That is where the Nikon ProStaff 3-9x50 comes in.
With its 50 mm objective lens, you'll be able to see a lot better under lower light conditions. It also has the 3-9x mag capability.
This scope is fog and water proof.
If you want the ability to shoot beyond 300 yards, then consider more magnification.
The Nikon ProStaff 4-12x40 helps out here with its 4-12x mag range. It has the standard 40 mm objective lens.
This scope has all of the great features of a typical ProStaff. It is fog and water proof as well.
Another great option for those longer distances is the Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40.
It supports a 4-12x mag with a 40 mm objective. Vortex is a great alternative to the Nikon options.
The scope uses Argon purging for its water and fog proofing.
The reticle is a Dead Hold BDC, which gives you markings for both elevation and windage correction.
If you need even longer distance but don't want to sacrifice your short range game, then the Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16x42 is great.
It has a 4-16x mag range and a 42 mm objective lens.
This scope also has the Dead Hold BDC reticle. It is fog and water proof.
The Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16x42 is the best scope for coyote hunting.
When close range is your game, like hog hunting, then nothing beats the Leupold VX-HOG 1-4x20.
It has a 1-4x mag range with a 20 mm objective lens.
This scope is perfect for hog hunting with its Pig Plex reticle.
To wrap up, we covered the big picture criteria that you should look for in a hunting scope. We discussed range and magnification as well as durability. A fog proof scope is a necessity when price can allow for it.
Don't forget that one critical tool to have with you on the hunt is a rangefinder for accurate shooting.
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