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

PictureNameSpecsTypePriceRating (1-5)
1. Leupold VX-31 4.5-14x50 Riflescope4.5-14x50FFP$$$4.8
2. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II5-25x50SFP$$$$4.8
3. Burris FullField II6.5-20x50FFP$$4.8
4. Trijicon Credo 2.5-10x56 Second Focal Plane Riflescope2.5-10x56SFP$$$$5

5. Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x403-9-x40SFP$$4.7

6. Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescope3.5-10x50SFP$$4.7

7. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Circle-X Reticle Riflescope, 3-9X 403-9X40FFP$4.7

8. Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope6-24x50FFP$$4.6

9. Monstrum Alpha Series 6-24x50 FFP Rifle Scope6-24x50FFP$$5

10. UTG 4-16x44 30mm Scope 4-16x44FFP$$4.5

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.  Check out our buyer’s guide for scopes under $300 for an overview of scope terms.

Top 3 Best Hunting Scope Reviews

Best First Focal Plane Scope – Leupold VX-31 Riflescope

Leupold VX-3iThe Leupold VX-3i is one of the highest rates scopes of any kind on the market.  Simple, sleek, and durable, it has an ample 50MM objective lens size.  We like the wide range of magnification offered including the 4.5X for a wider field of vision at low magnification.  Leupold’s Twilight Max system really does deliver excellent clarity and low-light performance.

The scope has a duplex reticle with 1/4 MOA click adjustments for windage and elevation.  It has good 3.5 inch+ eye relief and comes with Leupold’s lifetime warranty.

Best Second Focal Plane Scope – Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II

Vortex ViperA great entry from a trusted brand, the Viper PST Gen II has many features common in more expensive scopes.  It is available is various configurations including MOA or M-RAD and both FFP and SFP versions.  We reviewed the SFP 5-25×50 with an illuminated reticle MOA.  The high maximum magnification is a nice feature.  It has a simple, uncluttered reticle with easy hold points.  We like the etched, tactical-style turret dials for precision and no-guessing.

A winning feature is the intuitive RZR Zero stop system which allows you to return back to your zero no matter how you adjust the scope elevation.

 

Best Bargain Hunting Scope – Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Circle-X Reticle Riflescope

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn ScopeIf you are looking for value and performance it is hard to beat this FSP scope from Bushnell, a leader in outdoor optics.  It has crystal clear optics including Bushnell’s Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) coating which enhances low light vision.  It uses an easy-to-see Circle-X reticle and works well for a wide range of calibers.

The quarter inch MOA fingertip windage and elevation adjustments are easy to grip, but rounded to be snag free.  It is has single-tube aluminum construction for durability and has shown to hold its zero well even with heavy use.

We like the low-light visibility and versatility of this scope.  For the price, it is really hard to beat.

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