Top 7 Best Rifle Scopes (for every budget) in 2023
Before we start, let’s see what the scope is… A scope attaches directly to the gun’s barrel with a rail system. It makes aiming easier, and it is no longer necessary to align the rear sight, the sights, and the target to shoot properly. With it, you just have to align the reticle and the target before pulling the trigger!
Available in many models, this accessory is chosen according to your needs. Several technical characteristics are also to be taken into account: diameter of its objective, reticle, twilight index, magnification, and mounting. What are the basic elements of a fixed magnification scope? What are the best scopes available? And at which price are they?
In this article, we will explain all you need to know about scopes. Then, we will present you the best 7 hunting scopes for every budget in 2022.
In this Guide
- Understand the range of the rifle
- 1. Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane Rifle scopes
- 2. Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II First Focal Plane Rifle scopes
- 3. Burris Signature HD Hunting Scope with Premium Multi-Coated Glass
- 4. Burris Fullfield E1 Hunting Scope
- 5. Vortex Optics Razor HD LHT 4.5-22×50 First Focal Plane Riflescope – XLR-2 Reticle
- 6. NIGHTFORCE ATACR 7-35x56mm F1 Precise Illuminated 34 mm Tube Black Matte Hunting Gun Scope
- 7. Bushnell Banner 6-18x50mm Riflescope, Dusk & Dawn Hunting Riflescope with Multi-X Reticle
Understand the range of the rifle
Traditional optical rifle scopes are, at heart, basic. A single-magnification fixed rifle scope has a few elements that you need to become familiar with. The basic elements of a fixed magnification scope include:
The tube or the bezel housing
Scopes have a very distinct shape that most people recognize. The long thin metal tube in the center of the scope is usually 30 mm or one inch in diameter. The size of the tube is standardized to make it easier to mount your scope on your rifle.
The bell or objective lens
One end of your scope is usually much larger in diameter than the rest of your scope. This end of your scope houses the objective lens. The objective lens collects the light where you look.
At the opposite end of the scope is the eyepiece. The eyepiece contains the final lens and is where the image you see is. This lens can have an adjustment to allow you to fine tune the lenses.
Near the middle of the scope are mounted two knobs or screws. These knobs turn the turrets and adjust the drift and elevation of your scope. Before you take your rifle and scope into the field, you must zero the scope and rifle by adjusting the drift and elevation so that the bullet impacts where the scope is aimed.
When you look through your scope, you see the reticle. Many people still call it the reticle. Long ago, the reticle was two strands of a spider’s web. Today, synthetic materials create the reticle, or, in the case of better scopes, the reticle is etched directly onto one of the lenses of the scope.
Scopes can, of course, have many other features and options to augment the functionality of the scope. Parallax adjustments, diopter adjustments, light reticles, and adjustable magnification are some of the more popular features that manufacturers add to scopes.
1. Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane Rifle scopes
Despite the fact that you may underestimate it, this Diamondback TACTICAL 4-16X44 FFP is a great performer. It ensures maximum repeatability and ease of adjustment. With no system, guarantees that the components of the zoom mechanism glide smoothly and cleanly through all magnification ranges. As it allows a quick and easy focusing of the reticle.
The quality of the glass is clear and provides excellent light transmission.
The 44 mm lens provides excellent light transmission even during twilight hours.
The sub-tensions on the reticles [FFP] are perfect. Targeting has never been easier.
Its relatively simple design puts you firmly in the driver’s seat with the potential to take that 1,000-yard mark and beyond, all at a price point that’s easy to justify for new shooters, your practice rifle, as well as experienced shooters looking for a basic back-optic on their fun gun.
Many users liked the Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical. It has been tested by over 2500 people. Most of them loved the optics of this device, which is very clear. In addition, it is of very good quality, and very easy to align with the target. If you are looking for a high-quality Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical for great value, this is the one for you.
2. Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II First Focal Plane Rifle scopes
The Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II is designed for long-range precision shooting. In fact, its range can easily reach up to 1,500 meters.
It includes a visual rotation indicator that allows shooters to easily track revolutions on the turret.
In addition, its 6x zoom range offers magnification versatility, while the quick-focus eyepiece adjusts the reticle for sharp focus. The side parallax adjustment and illumination controls have been integrated into a single knob for easy access and simplified performance.
If you are looking for a rifle scope with excellent range, precision manufacturing, high quality, and extremely accurate, this is the one for you.
More than 300 users have purchased it. They were very satisfied with its quality. But most of all, they appreciated its long-range which can reach up to 1,500 meters. Clear and accurate, the Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II is very affordable compared to others where you can spend up to $6,000 for the same features. People also liked the high quality of its construction, which will make this wonder last a lifetime.
3. Burris Signature HD Hunting Scope with Premium Multi-Coated Glass
The Burris Signature guarantees accurate shooting from near and far! It is a versatile scope for shooters requiring clear, bright views over a wide range of distances. Built with a 1″ nitrogen-filled tube, it includes a new push/pull locking turret and a zero-stop feature that automatically stops the height turret in the zero range, making zeroing easier than ever.
The 5x zoom system features premium multi-coated glass for crisp, bright images; water, shock, and fog resistant, and backed by the Burris Forever premium finish warranty Built on a tradition of reliability and trust that is paramount, the new Burris Signature series of scopes offer shooters the Burris Signature experience with clear, bright optics and rugged reliability.
Offering three different magnifications and a variety of front and rear focal plane reticle options, the Signature Series brings high-end features to a platform that serious hunters and shooters appreciate.
The Signature Series uses premium multi-coated glass to produce crisp, bright images. Precision machining, no-click stops on all target buttons, and a push/pull locking turret provide the reliability and ease of use that experienced hunters demand. Signature HD scopes are waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.
Many people have loved the Burris Signature HD. It has a solid but light scope, and a very fine reticle, perfect for slow and careful shooting. As far as the price of the Burris Signature HD goes, it’s a very affordable price compared to other brands.
4. Burris Fullfield E1 Hunting Scope
Burris Fullfield E1 combines exceptional optical performance and accuracy with an advanced reticle. It allows clear, sharp sighting in low light for a dead reckoning from 100 to 500 yards thanks to its high magnification.
Thanks to this Burris model, many users have been satisfied, whether it is its design, the quality of the optical glass that offers excellent brightness, or its unbeatable price.
If you’re looking for a tool with proven performance, multi-layer lenses, 100-500 meter direct sighting, low profile turrets, and a dual internal spring tension system, Burris Fullfield E1 is for you!
5. Vortex Optics Razor HD LHT 4.5-22×50 First Focal Plane Riflescope – XLR-2 Reticle
The Vortex Razor HD LHT 4.5-22×50 FFP XLR-2 rifle scope gives you the ability to shoot accurately at any distance with its first focal plane reticle (FFP) and powerful zoom range. But that’s not all there is to this hunting optic.
The Razor LHT is an excellent scope. Notoriously, the price is a bit out of the hobbyist’s budget, but if you can save your money and get one, you won’t be disappointed, and you’ll never go back. The razor glass is beautiful and the balance of information from the XLR-2 reticle is perfect without being overwhelming. The size and weight should not be underestimated. Everything else will feel like a brick compared to Razor.
Users have very much appreciated the size and weight, incredibly compact and considerably lighter. The image quality is 10-15% sharper and brighter, the XLR-2 reticle is the best in the industry, locking the upper turret and the zero stop system is much simpler. Yes, the razor costs more, but if you can save up to buy one, you’ll never want to go back.
6. NIGHTFORCE ATACR 7-35x56mm F1 Precise Illuminated 34 mm Tube Black Matte Hunting Gun Scope
Versatile, this scope features an extended magnification range and a wide field of view across the scope, making it easy to see and engage your targets.
The NightForce ATACR 7-35x56mm with Tremor3 reticle has amazing tactical features like ZeroStop, integrated power bars and a 34 mm body designed for superior strength.
The NightForce rifle scope is the newest and most innovative entry in the ultra-long range rifle scope market. ATACR stands for Advanced Tactical Riflescope and offers the highest magnification range – 7-35 × 56. This extended magnification range combined with the first focal plane configuration and a range of available reticles provides what can be considered one of the best options for long range tactical applications, sniper rifle competition.
The ATACR Rifle Scope line is very popular worldwide and considered the best rifle scope money can buy. The ATACR 7-35 x 56 F1 takes this proven performance to a whole new level, helping shooters reach and exceed the limits of their precision rifle systems.
Many people liked the quality, which is incomparable! The quality of the glass is exceptional, while the reticle is ideal for late night or early-morning shooting. Some customers have even ranked it among the top 10 in tactical scopes.
7. Bushnell Banner 6-18x50mm Riflescope, Dusk & Dawn Hunting Riflescope with Multi-X Reticle
Part of the Bushnell Banner series, this scope model is designed as a budget scope option for a variety of long-range shooting applications. By budget, I mean scopes that cost less than $150 on the market today.
This 6-18x model is proving to be a bestseller at Bushnell, especially for rat catchers, as it offers a very affordable high-magnification optic that works very well at a fraction of the cost.
This goggle model comes with an adjustable objective lens that allows for focusing up to 10 meters, an uncommon option on goggles in this price range.
The first Banner 6-18×50 scopes were made with 1-inch tubes, Bushnell has maintained this standard as current Banner 6-18 scopes are still made with 1-inch tubes.
However, given that the Banner line is aimed at beginner or low-budget shooters and hunters, I doubt that Bushnell will offer a 30 mm version of this model.
This model was introduced as a 2nd focal plane refractor and is still manufactured as a 2nd focal plane configuration. As with the 1″ barrel, I doubt Bushnell will offer the first focal plane version of this scope given its price.
If you’re looking for an entry-level long-range or high-magnification rifle scope, I’d say the Banner 6 18×50 is a viable contender with above-average optical quality and price. This model offers a good value for a new scope for under $150 in the 6x to 18x power range.
Now, to be fair, this is a $150 scope, so keeping your expectations realistic is essential. This scope won’t compete with the Nightforce or Leupold in the 6-18 power range, but because of the price difference, it shouldn’t.
Now that you have acquired some information about hunting scopes, which one is your favorite?