Ranking The 10 Best Rifle Scopes of 2021

Matt Lewis
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We scoured the entire internet to find the best rifle scopes of 2021. These are quality scopes that can give you outstanding performance for a reasonable price. With our help, you'll unleash the accuracy inside of you, and take your marksmanship to a whole new level.

In today's market, rifle scopes have progressed dramatically and have become increasingly sophisticated. From standard to high tech, rifle scopes have become a lot more versatile than ever before.

Today's scopes are not only capable of performing basic functions such as shooting a 10 ring but can also work in a tactical setting or a hunting expedition. Light gathering ability, range finding reticles and illuminated crosshairs and scopes have all become standard equipment.

Chances are if you're reading this then you know the value of having a scope for your rifle, and what it can do for your shooting performance. Scope technology has been around for a long time, but not all scopes are created equal. For your money, you want the best scope for your rifle.

With so many different rifle scopes on the market, how do you know which one is right for your needs?

NameCategoryProduct
Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane RiflescopesBest OverallVortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle ScopeBudget PickSimmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope
Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane RiflescopesUpgrade PickVortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

1. Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Our rating: 9 / 10

Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

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Pros:

  • Waterproof, fogproof and shockproof
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Features fully multi-coated optics and XR plus fully multi coated lenses
  • Available in a variety of magnifications and price ranges
  • Made of aircraft grade aluminum and meets the standards for the U.S. armed forces

Cons:

  • Not suitable for low light conditions
  • When the magnification is set to anything over 8x you should consider adding a laser/light combo as a backup
  • Available only in black

Remember the lens cap that comes with this scope? It’s not just for the protection of the lens, but it also serves to focus the image. The lenses are specifically designed to focus light at the center and throw a lot of light to the outside edges. This improves the overall contrast of the image and makes it easier to track moving animals.

Among the best features of this scope is its elevation turrets, which are in the second focal plane. This means that the turrets remain in the same position regardless of what magnification you are using, so you can make quick adjustments to the scope for a shot at any distance.

2. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Our rating: 9 / 10

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

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Pros:

  • Made from aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Rubber armor for extra durability
  • Argon purging to relieve water vapor inside the tube
  • 3-inch sunshade for low-light situations
  • 36-63x zoom range
  • Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
  • Great for extreme environments
  • Very lightweight

Cons:

  • Not suitable for all weather conditions
  • Not suitable for long distances

The Viper HS-T is a riflescope with a big zoom range. It is quite big and is, therefore, suitable for long-distant shooting, even in extreme environments.

The scope is fog- and waterproof, and that makes it suitable for foggy and rainy weather. The rifle scope comes with a rubber coating on the exterior, so it will be more durable.

If you like to shoot longer distances, this scope is to recommend for you. It has the perfect zoom range for that kind of shooting. You will easily spot your target even from quite a long distance.

3. UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope

Our rating: 8 / 10

UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope

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Pros:

  • Great for crossfire applications
  • External zero-reset turret dials for easily dialing in your target with a single hand
  • Illumination controls for adjusting reticle illuminations during the day and/or night
  • The field of view is one of the largest among 1-inch tubes

Cons:

  • Crosshairs are not illuminated
  • The eye relief is not as long as some of the competitors
  • The glass is not as clear as some of the other scopes in this price range

This scope features precision target adjustments that are designed to provide you with a range of different adjustment options. They easily allow you to zero-in on targets that are considerably away. It has a large field of view that can help you take in all that is around you in order to avoid any potential problems.

The 34mm maintube of this scope truly makes it stand out from the crowd, especially at a price point that is significantly lower than many of the other scopes that you will find in this size group.

You will also be able to make adjustments to your scope that can help you to take in all of the sights that are around you. The crosshairs are easy to spot and they stand out thanks to the red color that they have been painted in.

4. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 BDC

Our rating: 7 / 10

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 BDC

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Pros:

  • BDC 50 reticle
  • Precise yardage hold-over marks and windage settings
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Narrow parallax setting
  • Uses Rings
  • 1-inch tube clamping system and lightweight design
  • Nikon Speed-motion trigger system
  • Matte finish on the outer tube and shockproof design
  • Accurate and easy adjustments
  • Cost effective

Cons:

  • Instructions could be better
  • Mounting of scope not included

Most people were happy with the quality of the Buckmaster right out of it’s box. Some customers even said that it was up to par with scopes that cost twice as much.

Some owners liked the scopes straight away and had no issues with the scope on targets at distances of 60 yards.

Others found that the scope was not as easy to sight in as it should be and had problems setting the range markings to the correct yardage …even with the assistance of the provided booklet.

5. Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope

Our rating: 7 / 10

Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope

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Pros:

  • It is a Mid-range scope for a reasonable price
  • It is one of the best scopes for the money
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty
  • It will handle recoil well
  • It is resistant to fog and rain
  • The dot has a 1/4 MOA
  • The tube diameter is 1-inch
  • The objective diameter is 40mm

Cons:

  • The lenses are on the more fragile side
  • It may be lacking the brightness of a daylight optic
  • Customer service is not that good

The Leupold scope has been created with a variety of different users in mind. This scope is great for target shooting on the range, varmint hunting, and satisfying any other shooting hobby you might have. This scope was designed to provide a variable magnification for your needs. You can customize your magnification and even leave it at the highest magnification if you wish. This scope is a bit unique in that it has only one objective lens. This however doesn’t take away from its efficiency. It also has a heavy duty construction and will hold up to a decent amount of recoil.

6. Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600

Our rating: 7 / 10

Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Mate BDC 600

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Pros:

  • An integrated mount gives you a stable platform for fast shots
  • Easy to use Turrets
  • Comes with a significant warranty – lifetime
  • Matte finish makes it very durable and is great in all types of weather
  • Comes with a protective lens
  • Comes with a ring that can be used for mounting on a rail or a scope mount
  • The magnification can be adjusted to whatever best suits the shooter’s needs
  • The lens can be removed, and replaced with other lenses if necessary
  • The 3x to 9x magnification is great for hunting almost any type of game

This may be one of the best budget riflescopes on the market. It provides enough magnification to take out predators, but also has enough power to take out deer.

On the lowest magnification the sight is accurate up to 40 yards. On the highest it is accurate up to 200 yards. This can make it great for short and long distance shooting.

It is durable and can be used in the worst weather conditions without the lens becoming foggy.

7. Nikon M-308 4-16X42 Riflescope BDC 800 Reticle

Our rating: 7 / 10

Nikon M-308 4-16X42 Riflescope BDC 800 Reticle

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Pros:

  • Affordable price tag
  • Good optical quality
  • Includes an illuminated reticle for low light situations
  • Protective lens cap and hard case included
  • Acquisition range of 800 yards
  • Penetration range of 1000 yards
  • Enough dots for quick target acquisition

The Nikon M-308 4-16X42 Riflescope BDC 800 Reticle features Nikon’s BDC 800 reticle which represents the trajectory of a .308 caliber bullet out to 800 yards.

This scope has an illuminated reticle that you can adjust manually to your preference of brightness.

It has a 4x zoom which allows for precise shots at long range. This scope is built for long-range shots and offers quite a lot in that regard.

8. Nikon 6729 ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope

Our rating: 6 / 10

Nikon 6729 ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope

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Pros:

  • nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed, this scope is both water and shock resistant
  • the T-bars on this scope are one of the best made and will not move or be misaligned with the adjustment dials
  • excellent for both ranges and hunting
  • painted lenses provide excellent light transmission
  • scope has a zero-reset feature

Cons:

  • the target turrets are not reset to zero after they are rotated (only on the product from Amazon, but may be due to receiving a refurbished unit)
  • the lens caps that come with this scope fit very tightly
  • the black paint does run in the heat
  • the scope is loud to adjust (this being the only reason why I prefer the other scope over this one)

This is a great scope for a great price. It is better than other scopes that cost twice as much as this one. The turrets, while loud, are also easy to read.

If you are looking for a scope that will hold its zero after being knocked around or dropped and wiped clean, then this is the scope for you.

9. Bushnell Tactical Elite ERS 3.5-21x 50mm G2DMR FFP Reticle Riflescope

Our rating: 6 / 10

Bushnell Tactical Elite ERS 3.5-21x 50mm G2DMR FFP Reticle Riflescope

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Pros:

  • A red LED glows behind the reticle
  • Text is easy to read and highly visible
  • Some users had it sighted in at 100 yards
  • Eye relief distance is very generous
  • Turrets are adjusted silently and smoothly
  • Turrets are finger adjustable

Cons:

  • Some people say the glass has a yellowish tint to it
  • Some users had problem with the scope not zeroing in at 100 yards
  • Some people complain about the scope being inaccurate
  • Some users had trouble getting the scope to zero

Key Features:

  • 6-24x magnification
  • Low to high x-tall reticle
  • Integrated 34mm main tube
  • Ultra clear glass
  • Super bright optics and illuminated reticle
  • Etched reticle for simple aiming and precise holdovers
  • Low-glare matte finish
  • Adjustable parallax (10 yards to infinity)
  • Finger-adjustable windage and elevation knobs
  • Picatinny rail
  • Flip up lens covers
  • Maximum length: 15.5 inches; weighs: 1.8 pounds

The Bushnell option is one of the best for a day of shooting, though the accuracy may not be as good as others. The scope has high 20-60x magnification and an illuminated reticle.

10. Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope

Our rating: 6 / 10

Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope

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Pros:

  • Adjustable for windage and elevation
  • Their bright and sharp reticle makes target acquisition quick and easy
  • The multi-coated lens technology makes them effective even in bright daylight
  • Cheap

Cons:

  • The scope ring designed to hold them to the gun is not very secure so your sight is likely to fall out unless you’re careful
  • You’ll need to tighten all screws and nuts before you can use it
  • The plastic cover for the eyepiece easily pops of when you fire your gun

With an impressive 8-point design, this model is far more accurate than most other scopes in its class. A focal length of 50 mm means that it is suitable for targets that are up to 400 yards away.

The eye relief is a generous 3 inches, which means that you won’t have to be an olympic applicant to use it. You should also find that the shorter 20 mm tube gives you a wide field of view.

This scope comes with a 3-9x magnification range and it has a fast-focus eyepiece. This means that you can adjust it quickly to suit your target distance. The 4 inches of eye relief give you plenty of room to make those fine adjustments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the Top 10 rifle scopes?

This in-depth breakdown of the top 10 rifle scopes features an array of different types and qualities of the top rated rifle scope. You will find a wide range of prices and features to cater to a multitude of different needs and preferences that are perfectly suited to both amateur and professional marksmen. If you’re in the market to purchase a rifle scope but are unsure of which one to choose, this is your chance to find out.

The first rifle scope on the list is the Leupold VX-1 3-9X40mm. Lightweight in nature, the Leupold VX-1 3-9X40mm is one of the most user-friendly rifle scopes on the market. Its lens coating uses patented Diamond Coating technology which is designed to preserve image clarity at any time of the day. This rifle scope offers several magnification options which are ideal for people who need more flexibility when using their rifle.

What is the best long range scope on the market?

The Leupold Mark 4 Long Range Tactical Rifle scope is an extremely high-quality piece of equipment. It has a magnification of up to 25x, which, as long as you have a steady hand, will allow you to spot bulls-eye targets from a distance of 1,000 yards. The optics are clear, and the other details are precise, making this unquestionably one of the best rifle scopes currently on the market.

The scope has a built-in mil dot reticle which is great both for beginners and seasoned professional snipers alike. For beginners, this reticle is perfect for learning to shoot because it provides clear reference points that will enable them to get their shots right in the first shot, and will help them in learning how to adjust their aim. For the pros, this reticle will come as an excellent tool for hitting targets precisely thanks to the precision provided by the dots.

Which rifle scope is the best?

So which riflescope is the best? Is it the same for everyone or is there a best rifle scope for everyone? The best rifle scope always comes down to your needs. What works best for you might not be best for someone else. Two people might have the exact same rifle, but one of them might shoot better with a riflescope with a different magnification than the other. This happens quite often among experienced shooters.

For anyone looking for general advice, we recommend you look into buying the best rifle scope for AR-15.

Why buy a rifle scope for AR-15?

The main interest people have in buying the best rifle scope for AR-15 is because AR-15 is an assault-style rifle. For new types of firearms, you have to be more specific with the type of rifle scope you get.

How much magnification should the best rifle scope have?

What scope should I use for 1000 yards?

The general recommended rifle scope for ranges up to and including 1000 yards is a 3-9×40 model. You’ll “target-shoot” with this scope at close to medium range and sight in around 300 yards. A four-power scope is ideal as it will have a distinct advantage over the 3x scope.

For hunting at 1000 yards, you’ll need a variable scope. All variable scopes work on the same principle: You can unscrew the objective lens to increase magnification. Make sure the scope is set up to allow for easy way to adjust magnification. Some are easier to use than others, and if you have never used one before, it might take some time getting used to.

Conclusion

We did the research and created this list of the 10 best Rifle scopes of 2021 for anyone looking to buy on a budget, or anyone looking for the best scope they can get for their money.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane RiflescopesBest OverallVortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle ScopeBudget PickSimmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope
Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane RiflescopesUpgrade PickVortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes