10 Best Hunting Scopes 2021

If you are a hunter, you know the meaning of a good scope. A high-quality scope that gives you a clear picture of your target has the right amount of amplification, and that won’t fail in any kind of weather is the difference between a fully stocked freezer and buying all your meat from the butcher.

In this guide, we’ll help you find the best hunting scope for your needs, give you an idea of how much they’ll cost, and provide you with some useful shopping tips that will help you choose.

You’ll leave more informed and more prepared to tackle your next hunting adventure, armed with the knowledge you need to connect with your target.

Top 10 Hunting Scopes Ultimate Table

PictureNameScope WeightPriceRating (1-5)
Scope Weight
Rating (1-5)
1. Nikon Prostaff Target EFR 3-9x40 AO Matte Precision Reticle, Black15.7 ounces$$$4.8
2. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 BDC 1.4 pounds$$$4.7
3. Leupold VX-1 3-9x40 Waterproof Riflescope, Matte Black, Duplex Reticle 11387411.2 ounces$$$$4.7
4. Nikon 8496 P-223 3x32 Matte BDC Carbine12.2 ounces$$$4.7
5. Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Mate BDC 60015 ounces$$$$4.7
6. Nikon P-300 BDC SuperSub Reticle Riflescope, Black, 2-7x321 pound$4.6
7. Bushnell Trophy XLT Multi-X Reticle Riflescope Bone Collector Edition, 3-9x 40mm 13 ounces$$4.6
8. Primary Arms 1-6 X 24mm Hunting Scope w/ ACSS BDC Reticle Gen II PAPS1-6X15 ounces$4.6
9. Bushnell Optics Drop Zone 223 BDC Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets and Side Parallax1.3 pounds$$$4.5
10. Simmons 8-Point Truplex Reticle Riflescope, 3-9x50mm 10.1 ounces$4.3

Buying Information

Just as when you are purchasing any new hunting gear, there are a few things that you need to consider.

  • Habitat. What is the best hunting scope for different habitats?

Will you be in the frozen tundra of Alaska or the scalding desert of Southern Texas? Knowing what kinds of weather you may face should factor into your scope choice.

  • Distance. What is the right scope for based on the shooting distance?

If you go hunting out in the open, you’ll want a scope that can shoot out to 500 yards and beyond. If you’re hunting in an area of dense trees, you’ll want a scope with a quick sight picture, but limited zooming capabilities to help you take a quick and accurate shot if you jump game from close quarters.

  • Features. Finally, what kinds of features do you want your scope to have in place to help you make an accurate shot?

The best hunting scope features can range from the basics (one set of crosshairs) to the extreme (laser dot crosshairs with built in range finder and range delineations). You should be aware of what you really need for a successful hunt and what an unnecessary feature for your purchase is.

Top 3 Best Hunting Scope Reviews

1. Nikon Prostaff Target EFR 3-9×40

Of the different scopes that were looked at, this one provides the best value for the customer based on price and performance. It has quick site picture, accurate tuning system, and Nikon’s world-class optics glass set this one apart from other scopes that they have tried.

The scope was also found to resist hot and cold temperatures very well. Many find that it doesn’t fog up when moving from a warm car or blind to frigid outside air and we must say that we agree after trying it. It was also given high marks for durability. While its weight has it in the middle of the pack of scopes that were screened, its users did not feel that it was too heavy to lug around all day in the field but was also not so light that they worried about its durability.

Summary: This was the most expensive scope screened, and as such, it earned high marks for reliability, durability, and quality. Even though it was the highest priced scope reviewed, it still was relatively inexpensive. This combination of quality and affordability make it our claim for best hunting scope.

2. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 BDC

This scope is by far the cheapest scope we reviewed. Though its price tag was a pleasant surprise, so was its performance. It would probably be a good scope for beginners since it does not have much in the way of extra features. What it does have, however, is a rugged design meant to make it accurate and easy to use.

The biggest drawback for this scope is its weight. It comes in at a whopping (in the scope world) 1.4 pounds. That makes it 5 ounces heavier than our top ranked scope. For some hunters, especially those who move a lot during the day, this weight could be seen as a burden; however, if you are a stand hunter that worries about durability, this will be a welcome feature.

Summary: While this is the cheapest of the three scopes reviewed here, it very nearly takes the title for best hunting scope. It has been shown that it has a good combination of innovative features while maintaining a no frill approach. This combination, along with Nikon’s trusted quality and durability, make this scope a great value.

3. Leupold VX-1 3-9×40 Waterproof Riflescope

This scope has some features that may lure in some hunters. First of all, it has an easily adjustable zeroing in feature that can be turned with your finger; this is a big advantage over other scopes that require some type of tool to turn their adjustment knobs. Secondly, it claims to be waterproof and fog proof for the life of the scope. If you are planning on hunting in some unsavory conditions, this may be a good choice for you. Lastly, of the three scopes reviewed it is the lightest. While we are only talking a few ounces of difference here, that might make all the difference in getting to that far away spot to bag your trophy animal.

The only possible con for this scope is its weight. While the lightweight might make it easier to carry for a longer period, it is also more likely to be less durable. It might lose it’s zero faster if knocked or dinged than the other two scopes reviewed here.

Summary: This scope has some great features, like easily adjustable knobs, light weight, and it is waterproof and fog proof. Its light weight may also mean that it is less durable than some other scopes.

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