‘Sniper’ or tactical scopes are made to help you to make fantastic shots that count at a long distance range. These kinds of scope will help you to get extra range, give a lot of extra clarity and they’re incredibly precise pieces of equipment that help compensate for windage, parallax and elevation.
These types of sniper scopes tend to be available in a bunch of different magnifications and specifications, and they all have their own types of special reticles and adjustment turrets. With so much variety, you can bet that there’s a sniper scope that will suit almost any rifle. Nevertheless, it can still be a little tricky for your average hunter to be able to know what kind of sniper scope which will work well for your rifle.
Sniper scopes can be a little expensive too, so it’s pretty vital that you make the right choice for your shooting style and rifle, to the letter.
Thankfully, we’re here to help you make it easier to make a decision. We’ve done all the research to show you the best sniper optics that are available out on the web today. As there are a lot of options out there, it can be a little tricky to narrow down a couple that are likely to suit everyone. With that being said, we’ve managed to bring you a few options that will be able to fit a couple of different shooter types.
Read on to find out our full reviews of some of the best sniper scope models. We’ve also covered all the important specifications, and we’ve also explained what every one of them means as far as actual shooting results are concerned. In addition, we’ve added a useful list of a few tips that will help you to scope out all of the options.
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Sniper Rifle Optics - Comparison Table
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Sniper Rifle Optics - Reviews
This scope is completely catered to military specifications and it has an immense power range, and it even has a MOAR adjustment reticle system.The scope comes with a bunch of different features, such as extended eye relief, zero stop and it also has a very narrow tube that really makes you understand the higher pierce. A lot of previous buyers have this high on their list of favorite scopes! As a top range option, it’s only natural we’d recommend it. It’s perfect if you don’t have any constraints in your budget.
This is a pretty decent choice for a sniper scope as it’s made out of fantastic quality materials, and has a sleek matte finish that makes it look as good as it performs. It’s very durable too. It comes from one of the most respected names in the scope industry, so you can bet that it’s a great choice.
The scope comes with knobs which you can fully adjust so it’s easy to operate, and it also comes with a locking ring that will help to hold it in place. It’s got quite impressive zoom, providing a crystal clear image that doesn’t give any distortion
As far as budget options are concerned, the Vortex Viper is definitely a strong choice. It’s a lot cheaper than a lot of the more high end tactical scopes but it still maintains many of the features of high end scopes. It comes with MOA adjustments, a SFP reticle and a brilliant built quality that’s very durable. It gives a lot of other scopes a run for their money.
The scope has some incredible ratings online, and a lot of hunting rifle gun magazines have given it shout outs. It also champions a lifetime warranty!
Sniper Rifle Optics - Buyers Guide
By this point you may have a decent understanding of what all of these scopes can offer you. It simply comes down to one question - what’s the best option for you?
It’s worth getting the NightForce NXS if you’re much more serious about being a long range shooter, even if it means a little bit of extra expense. It’s significantly better than a lot of other choices as far as build quality, durability and its accuracy are concerned and it also has a very large range. With that being said, we understand that the price may get in the way for some buyers as this certainly is not a cheap option.
Meanwhile the Vortex Viper is a good choice for those snipers who have a little less money to play with, and also for maybe a beginner who’s just starting out but isn’t serious about hunting long range at the moment. It’s very functional and boasts a lot of power that will cover most of your needs. It’s also a very high quality scope too, featuring a lot of the quality you would likely find in some of the more high end scopes.
The Redfield model is also a fairly solid option if you’re on a budget, as it’s lightweight, has decent magnification and a fantastic build quality and construction. It also looks pretty awesome, and has a bunch of adjustability options. There is a lot of clarity in this scope, and it’s all for an affordable cost so it’s a great option, even if it doesn’t come with lens covers.
How can I shop for a sniper scope?
This is probably one of the most important considerations for when you’re shooting at longer ranges. A good quality of glass will help to give you more clear vision at closer ranges and it helps you to be able to judge the mirage effects from things like parallax and windage even at long distances. It’s important to ensure that the scope is made by a company that has a decent reputation for providing scopes with very clear glass that isn’t marked. It’s even better if you can get a scope that has lenses that are optically indexed or engineered digitally. Some of the least expensive options on this list still have decent optics. There’s still not much of a reason to buy something incredibly cheap if it means your shooting ability is going to be hindered.
You should ensure that you’re finding scopes that are precise, and include things like tactical and lockable adjustment turrets. These should also be exposed be properly matched to the reticle with MOA markings or mil dot markings.
These are vital. Ideally you should be looking for a mil dot reticle. You’ll find that BDC reticles usually aren’t technical enough to be used for sniping. The only reticles that will help you to be able to properly compensate for windage, elevation and bullet drop at long ranges are technical reticles.
SFP (Second Focal Plane) Reticles
These are pretty great reticles as they tend to stay around the same size regardless of zoom level. Reticles positioned on the first focal plane will tend to change size depending on what settings you have, and it can be a lot harder to get your eyes to adjust in that moment, causing accuracy issues.
Etched In Reticles
Usually reticle issues tend to come from a crosshair coming loose from the glass. It’s rather common if you’re using a scope on a particularly large gun. It’s not possible to loosen crosshairs on an etched lens, so it’s no longer an issue.
Spring Loaded Turrets
Scopes with padded or spring loaded turrets are very helpful as they help you to be able to deal with any kickback you may get from a particularly powerful long range rifle. Durability can be concerning with scopes, so you need to make sure that you prioritise good build quality, in addition to the magnification power.
High Power Ranges
Power is important! You should be looking out for scopes that have higher power ranges. It’s good to start with 5-6x rather than 3-4x for example, and then going upwards of 16-18x. The more higher end lenses aid you in making more accurate shots past 1000 yards. At this level of magnification, 12x isn’t all that useful in the slightest.
Make sure you’re considering scopes with larger objectives so that you can keep your field of vision at those higher zoom levels. A lens between 40-50mm is more than sufficient.
With the majority of rifle scopes, you’ll find that upper tier is considered anything that’s valued above $1000. Usually, scopes in the range of $500 - $1000 are considered to be budget range. You should be spending a lot more money on a sniper scope. It’s also worth mentioning though that your average shooter can cope quite well with a scope valued around $750 - $1000. If you’re a serious shooter, then it’s worth looking into the more pricier options listed in the £2000 to $3000 range.