If you want to make sure you hit your target every time, you need an air rifle scope that is accurate, clear, and dependable. Choosing a good optic for your air rifle could mean the difference between hitting your target and hitting empty air.
In our guide, we’ll help you find the best air rifle scope to suit your shooting needs. Use this guide as your complete grab-and-go resource to help you find just the right scope.
Things to Consider When Buying Air Rifle Scope
Before you choose a scope, here are a few initial things to take into consideration.
- Keep in mind that many air rifles come with their subpar scopes. Be prepared to upgrade if you want quality, durability, and accuracy.
- As with any tool, even the best scope is only as good as its user. A quality optic is still no substitute for good old-fashioned practice.
- A conventional rifle scope should not be considered a substitute for an air rifle scope. Air rifles create unique two-way recoil that differs greatly from the typical, unidirectional recoil of a conventional rifle. There is the initial recoil when the piston or spring is released, followed by the snap forward when it reaches its full length. This extra recoil is a lot for the delicate, internal parts of a conventional rifle scope to handle. Air rifle scopes are designed to roll with the extra jarring motion of that extra recoil and therefore offer consistent and accurate air rifle shooting.
Top 10 Air Rifle Scopes Table
Don’t just jump right into your rifle scope purchase without reading this section!
Here, we will go over a few basic things you need to know before you choose one.
- Fixed Power Versus Variable Power Ocular Magnification. Ocular magnification refers to the eyepiece lens (the end you look through) and is the first number in the scope magnification. So for a 4×32 scope, the “4” indicates that the eyepiece lens magnifies objects four times what the naked eye sees. A higher number indicates a higher level of magnification.
Higher magnification is handy for more distant targets. It is important to remember, however, that a higher magnification creates a narrower field of view. Think of your scope like the lens of a microscope; the greater the power of magnification, the smaller the area you can view through the lens.
Fixed air rifle scopes tend to have lower ocular magnification, and therefore a larger field of view, making them a great option for shooting closer ranges and sighting moving targets. As a bonus, their lack of moving parts increases their field durability.
Variable air rifle scopes have a range of ocular magnification: this makes them a more versatile choice with the option of a low magnification for close range or moving target shooting as well as the higher magnification necessary for sighting long-range. The typical numerical designation would be 3-9×32, indicating that the eyepiece lens is capable of being adjusted to magnify three to nine times what is seen with the naked eye.
- Objective Lens Size. Objective lens size refers to the piece facing away from the eye. It is the second number after the “x” in scope magnification. For example, in a 4×50 scope, the 50 refers to the size of the objective lens. There are two important things to consider when deciding on the objective size of your scope.
- The larger the objective, the more light that can enter the scope, therefore enhancing image brightness and assisting in low-light shooting.
- The larger the objective, the more clearance the scope needs above the rifle. Scopes with higher objectives tend to be bulkier and heavier.
Top 3 Best Air Rifle Scope Reviews
The Nikon PROSTAFF Target EFR 3-9x40mm is the overall highest rated air rifle scope by both experts and novice shooters. Nikon is well-known as a manufacturer of quality camera optics, and they bring the same level of performance into their line of sporting optics.
The Nikon PROSTAFF is affordable, yet has many of the same features as the company’s higher-end scopes, including a nitrogen-filled, O-ring sealed construction which makes the scope fog proof, shockproof, and waterproof.
The variable ocular magnification of the Nikon PROSTAFF Target EFR 3-9x40mm adjusts well from long-range to short-range shooting, making it great for small game or pest control. Moreover, it has a large objective lens which delivers a bright, clear sight picture, making it an excellent choice for dawn-to-dusk shooting.
The Nikon PROSTAFF Target EFR 3-9x40mm is a flexible optic for both caliber center fire and air guns, comes packed with features, and is hands-down the best air rifle scope on the market.
When describing the Hammers 3-9x32AO Air Rifle Scope with One-Piece Mount, the first thing that comes to mind is “easy.” Its one-piece mount provides easy installation. The scope’s zoom and AO adjustments are available on either side, making it easy to operate. The focus is easy to adjust with the eyepiece focus ring, and the price makes it easy to afford.
The Hammers 3-9x32AO Air Rifle Scope comes with mil-dot range estimating reticle, which helps the shooter make easy range estimations and is great for shooting at a variety of distances.
One thing is for sure: the durability, quality, and ease of use provided by the 3-9x32AO Air Rifle Scope makes it easy to love.
The NcStar 4×30 Compact Scope offers a classic design in a small package, and there isn’t a better value at such an unbelievably low price. There are plenty of “budget scopes” on the market, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find one with the features, clarity, and practical functionality of this little gem.
Lightweight and well-made with sturdy aircraft-grade aluminum, the NcStar 4×30 Compact Scope features a P4 sniper-style reticle with bullet drop marks, making shooting easy and fast with no guess work. The scope also features blue-coated light-enhancing optics, which work wonders for low-light shooting.
If you want a scope that is worth far more than its price tag, the NcStar 4X30 Compact Scope/Blue Lens is the scope for you.