Our Guide To The 6 Best Rifle Scopes On The Market (2023)

  • By: Michaela King

If you’re a hunter or gun enthusiast, then you know that having the right gear can make all the difference when it comes to accuracy and performance. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at some of the top rifle scopes currently on the market, so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to investing in one for your next hunting trip!

Let’s take a moment to explain what the scope is… A scope attaches directly to the gun’s barrel through a rail system. Aiming is easier, and the rear sight, sights, and target are not required to align to shoot correctly. To use it, you just need to align the reticle with the target before pulling the trigger!

This accessory comes in many models and is chosen based on your needs. There are several technical features to consider as well: the diameter of the objective, the reticle, the twilight index, magnification, and mounting. What are the basic elements of a fixed magnification scope? How much do they cost?

Our article will explain everything you need to know about scopes and present you with the 6 best hunting scopes for every budget in 2023.

The Basics of a Rifle Scope

The basics of a fixed magnification rifle scope are few and simple. The basic elements of a fixed magnification scope are:

The tube or the bezel housing

The scope’s long thin metal tube is usually 30 mm or one inch in diameter. The size of the tube is standardized to make it easier to mount the scope on your rifle.

The bell or objective lens

The objective lens of your scope is usually much larger in diameter than the rest of your scope. The objective lens collects light where you are looking.

Eyepiece

It is the eyepiece at the other end of the scope that contains the final lens and is where the image is seen. You can adjust this lens to fine-tune the image you see.

One key factor you need to take into account is the eye relief of a scope is the distance between the eyepiece and the shooter’s eye. A scope with a longer eye relief will provide a more comfortable shooting experience and is less likely to cause eye strain. 

Turrets

In the middle of the scope are two knobs or screws that are used to turn the turrets and adjust the scope’s drift and elevation. To zero your rifle and scope, adjust the drift and elevation so that the bullet hits where the scope is aimed before taking them out into the field.

Reticle

There are two strands of a spider’s web in the reticle of your scope when you look through it. Many people still call it the reticle. In modern scopes, the reticle is etched directly on the scope’s lens, or synthetic materials are used to create it.

A scope can also have many other features and options, such as parallax adjustments, diopter adjustments, light reticles, and adjustable magnification.

Our criteria for assessment

  1. Magnification: The amount of magnification a scope offers can have a big impact on its performance. Generally, the more magnification a scope has, the better it can perform at longer distances.
  2. Objective Lens Diameter: The objective lens diameter of a scope determines how much light it can gather and is usually measured in millimeters. The larger the objective lens diameter, the more light it can gather, resulting in a brighter image.
  3. Reticle: The reticle is the pattern inside the scope which helps with aiming. Reticles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and some even offer features like windage and elevation adjustments.
  4. Eye Relief: The eye relief of a scope is the distance between the eyepiece and the shooter’s eye. A scope with a longer eye relief will provide a more comfortable shooting experience and is less likely to cause eye strain.
  5. Durability: The durability of a scope is an important factor to consider when selecting one. Look for a scope that is waterproof, fogproof and shockproof, as these features will ensure the scope can withstand the elements and the recoil of a rifle.
  6. The weight: The feel of the rifle scope is imperative and the weight is an important factor.
  7. Value for Money: We want to make sure you get the most value for your buck. So how does the benefit stack up versus how much you are paying for it. You should decide whether or not to buy a rifle scope depending on a few factors, including your budget, the type of shooting you plan to do, and the type of rifle you own. An expensive scope may not be necessary for a beginner shooter who does not plan to do any long-range shooting. However, if you intend to do a lot of long-range shooting, an expensive scope may be a worthwhile investment. The decision is ultimately yours.

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. With no system, it guarantees that the zoom mechanism components will glide smoothly and cleanly through all magnification ranges. As it provides quick and easy reticle focus.

The glass is clear and transmits light well.

Even at twilight, the 44 mm lens provides excellent light transmission.

There is no better way to target than with the sub-tensions on the reticles.

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, its relatively simple design puts you firmly in the driver’s seat with the ability to take that 1,000-yard mark and beyond.

Also Read: Do Vortex Scopes Ever Go On Sale?

Opinions of users

The Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical has been tested by over 2500 people. Most of them liked the clear optics of this device. Additionally, it is of excellent quality, and it is easy to align with the target. This Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical offers great value for money if you’re looking for a high-quality weapon at an affordable price.

What the customers said

“I love Vortex scopes. I have two vipers and two diamondback tactical scopes. I have owned 2 of these for several years and recently purchased this one for my 22 precision. One of our games is splitting match sticks at 50 and this dials right in, super clear. It’s an adjust for dialing at much longer ranges as well. I can’t say enough good things about Vortex. I recommend this to anyone looking for a high quality scope for a great value!”

Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II First Focal Plane Rifle scopes

Vortex riflescope

With its range of up to 1,500 meters, Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II is designed for long-range precision shooting.

A visual rotation indicator allows shooters to track the turret’s revolutions easily.

Its 6x zoom range offers versatility, while the quick-focus eyepiece adjusts the reticle for sharp focus. Additionally, it has a side parallax adjustment knob and an illumination control knob for simplicity and ease of use.

It is the perfect rifle scope if you want excellent range, precision manufacturing, high quality, and extremely accurate.

Opinions of users

Almost 300 people have purchased the device. They have been extremely satisfied with its quality. But most importantly, they are thankful for its long-range capabilities of up to 1,500 meters. In comparison to other models where you can spend as much as $6,000 for the same features, the Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II is clear and accurate. This wonder will also last a lifetime because of its high quality construction.

What the customers said

“I have a $2000 Valdada on my 338 lapua and I was thinking of getting another for my 308 but I was just so drawn to the vortex. I see the price went up for the vortex. When I purchased it, it was for $2500. I shot the Valdada at 1000yards and I could see the vapor trail to the target. I shot the vortex only upto 850yards but could not see any vapor trails. With that said I still had a 2″ grouping with the Vortex. I was super impressed. I love the stiff locking turrets and the way it’s built like a tank. I think the Valdada is a better scope but I would not by it again. If I was to purchase another scope it would be another Vortex Razor HD and screw it on my little wimpy hunting rifle. 🙂 I just love them. OK so to help you decide , if you are looking at shooting small targets at long distances like 1000 yards and your going to be in the prone position then I recommend this scope. If you are going to drag your gear and abuse it , I recommend this scope. If you like an image that’s just really nice and easy to get behind there might be something out there for the same price but I’m very satisfied and I am difficult to satisfy. I can’t say anything about the warranty but from what I read they have the best warranty in the business.”

Also Read: 7 Best Vortex Rifle Scopes

Burris Signature HD Hunting Scope with Premium Multi-Coated Glass

Burriss signature HD

It is a versatile scope for shooters who need clear, bright views from a wide range of distances. Burris Signature delivers accurate shooting from near and far! It has a 1′′ nitrogen-filled tube, a push/pull locking turret, and a zero-stop feature that automatically stops the height turret when it reaches zero.

A premium multi-coated glass lens provides crisp, bright images; it is water, shock, and fog resistant, and it is backed by Burris Forever’s premium finish warranty. This new Burris Signature series of scopes offers shooters the Burris Signature experience with clear, bright optics and rugged reliability, based on a tradition of reliability and trust.

The Signature Series brings high-end features to a platform that serious hunters and shooters appreciate, offering three different magnifications and reticle options.

Crisp, bright images are produced with premium multi-coated glass in the Signature Series. 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 fogproof.

Opinions of users

As far as the price of the Burris Signature HD goes, it’s a very affordable price when compared to other brands. The Burris Signature HD has a very fine reticle, perfect for slow and careful shooting.

What the customers said

“I was very skeptical, since this scope uses Chinese-made glass (which has historically been inferior compared to Austria, Germany, Japan, US, etc). I’m not saying it’s as good as a Swarovski or Leupold, but for the money, it’s pretty darn good! I compared it to another Burris scope, the Veracity. The Veracity is Burris “high-end” scope line (made in Philippines). I could not tell the difference in glass quality! Plus, this one has illuminated reticle, which is a bonus! I might buy another one! Good value!”

Also Read: 5 Best Burris Red Dot Sights Reviewed: Mid Range Killer?

Burris Fullfield E1 Hunting Scope

Burriss riflescope

Its high magnification makes it ideal for a dead reckoning from 100 to 500 yards thanks to its exceptional optical performance and accuracy.

Opinions of users

Whether it’s the design, the quality of the optical glass, or the unbeatable price of this Burris model, many users have been pleased. Burris Fullfield E1 has proven performance, multi-layer lenses, 100-500 meter direct sighting, low profile turrets, and a dual internal spring tension system.

What the customers said

“Over the years I’ve had a number of Burris scopes, all of which were decent, nothing spectacular. Over the past few years the quality of affordable scopes in general has greatly improved. The recent Burris scopes I’ve purchased have been of very high quality for the price.

This scope has very clear glass, the reticle is a bit thin but usable and not too “busy”, there are plenty of markings to make accurate sighting adjustments without your field of view being cluttered with a lot of unused markings. The optics were clear except for the very edge and there was no noticeable chromatic aberration. The adjustments are a bit mushy and not very tactile or audible. There are no zero stops which is expected at this price range, the turret markings are able to be rezeroed with the use of a small tool that will fit in the very small notch.”

Also Read: 5 Best Zeiss Rifle Scopes

NIGHTFORCE ATACR 7-35x56mm F1 Precise Illuminated 34 mm Tube Black Matte Hunting Gun Scope

A wide field of view and extended magnification range makes it easy to see and engage your targets with this versatile scope.

The NightForce ATACR 7-35x56mm with Tremor3 reticle has amazing tactical features like ZeroStop, integrated power bars, and a 34 mm body with superior strength.

As the best rifle scope that money can buy, the ATACR 7-35 x 56 F1 takes this proven performance to a whole new level, allowing shooters to push their precision rifle systems to the limits.

Opinions of users

Several customers ranked it among the top 10 tactical scopes in terms of quality, as the glass quality is exceptional, and the reticle is ideal for shooting at night or early in the morning.

By budget scope, I mean scopes that cost less than $150 on the market today. This scope is part of Bushnell’s Banner series. There is no doubt that Bushnell’s 6-18x model is a bestseller, especially for rat catchers, since it offers an affordable high-magnification optic that works well. It comes with an adjustable objective lens that can focus up to 10 meters, an uncommon feature on goggles in this price range.

What the customers said

“This is my second NightForce scope. Nightforce makes an absolutely amazing product. None Better! The optics are amazing, the lighted reticle is great for early morning or late evening shots, and the Zero Stop feature is an engineering masterpiece.”

Bushnell Banner 6-18x50mm Riflescope, Dusk & Dawn Hunting Riflescope with Multi-X Reticle


In the past, Bushnell made its Banner 6-18 scopes with 1-inch tubes. The current Banner 6-18 scopes are still made with 1-inch tubes. As the Banner line is designed for beginners and low-budget hunters, I doubt Bushnell will offer a 30 mm version. I doubt Bushnell will offer the first focal plane version of this scope given its price, as this model was introduced as a 2nd focal plane refractor.

Opinions of users

It is a good value for a new scope for under $150 in the range of 6x to 18x power when you are looking for an entry-level long-range or high-magnification rifle scope. This is a $150 scope, so it won’t compete with the Nightforce or Leupold in the 6-18 power range, but because of the price difference, it shouldn’t.

What the customers said

“So I had decided to order this scope because I was currently in a tight spot. The magnification of the scope itself if it were another brand like Vortex and Leaupold would have been 3 or 4 hundred dollars more. So I went with the cheaper option and decided to replace my scope on a Mossburg patriot .308 and I am extremely pleased with it. Luckily the scope rings I already had fit the scope. After I bore sighted the rifle at 50 yards, I was able to walk the rifle on with the bulls eye of the target. To me at first the scope did not want to adjust right as It kept shooting 3″ up and 2″ left. The elevation got adjusted fine but going to windage it seemed to not adjust at first. I will try to redo everything another day as I ran out of light but so far im pleased with it.”

Also Read: 5 Best Bushnell Rifle Scopes That Won’t Break Your Bank

Spec table

 Magnification MaximumObjective Lens DiameterMaterialPrice
Vortex Optics Diamondback16x44mmAluminium$350
Vortex Optics Razor HD18x50mmAluminium$1,699
Burris Signature HD5x44mmPlastic$500
Burris Fullfield14x42mmPlastic$200
NIGHTFORCE ATACR35x56mmAluminium$4,500
Bushnell Banner18x50mmPlastic$150

Conclusion

We hope our guide has provided you with a better understanding of the different types of rifle scopes available on the market and which ones are right for your needs. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your current scope or if you’d like to buy one from scratch, we highly recommend taking a look at each option listed above. With so many great options out there, it should be easy enough to find the perfect one for any shooter. Thanks for reading!

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