Best Hunting Binoculars of 2021

Hunters have specific needs when it comes to optics, so finding the right pair of binoculars takes more than just finding a trusted brand. Binoculars are one of the most important pieces of equipment for hunters. But with so many choices on the market, how do you know which pair is right for you?

We have reviewed five of the top options for hunters, so you can narrow your search to find the best pair for your outdoor adventures. These pairs range in price and features, so there’s something for everyone.

 

Upland Optics Perception HD: #1 Recommendation

While it’s true that spending more money on optics means better quality, our top pick doesn’t break the bank. In fact, it’s one of the most affordable premium optics around. Upland Optics Perception Binoculars

Every product from Upland Optics is designed by and for hunters. This means that the Perception HD offers exceptional glass, great durability, and weather-resistance.

Some of the key features and specs of the Perception HD binoculars include:

  • Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) Glass
  • Waterproof & fogproof
  • 10x42mm
  • 113m FOV at 1000m
  • 17.2mm eye relief
  • Dimensions: 5.5″ x 5″ x 2″
  • Weight: 1.44 lbs
  • Lifetime Warranty

Click here to shop for the Upland Optics Perception HD.

 

 

Nikon Monarch Best Hunting BinocularsNikon Monarch 5 Binoculars

Nikon Monarch binoculars come in three sizes: 8X42, 10X42, and 12X42, so you have many choices at your disposal. Nikon’s high-quality glass and prisms ensure a solid viewing experience in most lighting conditions.

The build is designed for comfortability and durability, making it an all-around excellent pair of binoculars for most uses, including hunting.

Some notable features of the Monarch 5 10×42 include:

  • Premium ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) Glass
  • Fully Multicoated Eco-Glass Lenses
  • Apparent FOV: 51.3°
  • 288′ field of view at 1000 yards
  • 18.4mm eye relief
  • Weight: 21 ounces
  • Dimensions 7.6 x 3.1 x 5.9 inches

Click here to shop for the Monarch 5.

 

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD

These are one Bushnell’s most popular binoculars, and it is no surprise that they are some of the best binoculars for hunting out there. They come in 4 sizes: 8X36, 8X42, 10X36, and 10X42.Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42

Like others we have discussed so far, these are built for durability and all weather conditions. These are often found for slightly less than the Nikon and Upland pairs that take the top spots.

Notable features of the 10×42 include:

  • Exceptional optics with ED Prime Glass, Ultra Wide Band Coatings, and RainGuard HD water-repellent lens coating
  • Waterproof & fog proof
  • Ultra wide field-of-view with long eye-relief; locking diopter
  • Weight: 22.5 Oz
  • Dimensions 5.28 x 4.02 x 6.89 in

Click here to shop for the Bushnell Legend Ultra.

 

Upland Optics Venator

This is the upgraded version of our top choice. For the discerning hunter, the Venator 10×42 are the pair to get for the best possible glass. Excellent light transmission and premium lens coatings help deliver top grade optical performance while also being durable enough to survive tough hunting excursions.

Though these are priced higher than any of the binos we’ve discussed so far, they are still very well priced for their quality and the amazing glass. You can read our full review of the Venator here. Our most significant findings are that the build quality is outstanding and the premium glass makes it worth the splurge.

Here are some key features and specs:

  • 10x optical zoom, 42mm objective lens
  • 114m field of view at 1000m
  • 15mm eye relief
  • Waterproof & fogproof
  • Includes carrying case, lens cloth, neck strap, and lens caps
  • Dimensions: 5.5″ x 5″ x 2″
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs

Click here to shop the Upland Optics Venator.

 

Vortex Diamondback

Vortex Diamondback binoculars are of very high quality, and although the company is not as big as its competitors, it can deliver a great product. Diamondbacks come in 4 sizes: 8X28, 8X42, 10X42, and 12X50. Vortex Optics Diamondback 10x42

One of the most appealing things about the Diamondback in this list is that it is the most affordable pair we recommend for hunting. It’s currently priced well under $200 and isn’t usually much more than that.

Some of the notable features of the Vortex Diamondback 10×42:

  • Dielectric, fully multi-coated lenses transmit more light and clearer, brighter images
  • FOV 330′
  • Eye relief 15mm
  • Multi-position eyecups twist up for adjustable eye relief
  • Waterproof and fogproof 
  • Weight 21.4 oz
  • Dimensions: 5.8″ x 5.1″

Click here to shop for the Vortex Diamondback.

Best Scopes for a Rimfire (.22lr) Rifle in 2021

Developed well over 100 years ago, rimfires’ technology has remained unchanged over the years, and rimfire bullets are still popular even after the invention of centerfire bullets.

The .22lr rifle is a fairly affordable and accurate shot, making it a favorite for many budget-minded small game hunters and target shooters. Its lightweight and minimum recoil also make this rifle a great beginner’s tool for youngsters, and overall; most people learn to shoot with a .22lr. It is a preferred option for target practice, plinking, and pest control because it is cheaper than shooting centerfire ammo.

Many shooters operate under the misconception that this rifle’s versatility allows it to be paired with any scope out there. Therefore, very few of them invest in a fitting scope which in turn limits their experience with this rifle. To make the best decision, you need to understand the rimfire rifle’s capabilities and limitations.

The need for a light cartridge and a thin base limits the .22lr’s accurate shooting distance to about 200 yards. Longer shooting distances are possible under the right conditions, but it’s not very effective because your bullet will drop about a foot or more at 100 yards. Since this is the case, you will find that you may not require a very high magnification optic. A powerful magnification at closer ranges causes both blurriness eye fatigue.

Outlined below are our top riflescope choices for a .22lr rifle after taking all of its specs into consideration, and then we further summarize key factors to look for when trying to select the right scope for your rifle.

Top Scopes for the .22lr Rifle

There are several viable options of scopes to select from, varying from optics for plinkers to those for competitive championships. Prices range from as little as $30 for standard makes to over $1000 for top-notch products, and our recommendations are not biased toward popular brand-name products; instead, they are inspired by the functional highlights that count most in rimfire scopes.

Here are our 7 favorite rimfire scopes at different price points:

1) Athlon Optics Neos 3-9x40mm (BDC22 Reticle)(Our top pick)

Athlon is a company that has been impressing many people in the optics world of late. Their quality products and affordability have been hard to beat, even for the larger optics companies. And in no area is that truer than in riflescopes set up perfectly for a rimfire rifle. The Neos is a simple, quality rifle scope set up for most shooters to use easily and accurately. And the BDC22 version of the scope couldn’t be better for your new .22lr rifle build.

This scope has fully multicoated glass, which is shocking and amazing in a scope at this price point. That means your vision will be exceptionally clear for your shooting. It also uses a single aircraft grade aluminum tube construction, so it can handle some bumps and bruises without any serious damage. Anyone who’s dropped a rifle and had its zero go way off knows how important that is.

There are a lot of good options for scopes these days, but I would seriously consider giving the Athlon scope a try. It’s tough to beat right now. You can see it’s current price on Amazon here, or find it on OpticsPlanet.com here.

2) Nikon ProStaff Rimfire 3-9 x 40 Riflescope (BDC 150)

The simple and “no-frills” Nikon ProStaff Rimfire 3-9 x 40 is perhaps one of the best, if not the best, optics for the .22lr caliber. Although it is specifically designed for rimfire rifles, it is still widely used on all sorts of rounds.

The Prostaff rimfire is equipped with a comprehensive combination of features that will greatly enhance the use of your rifle. The scope’s fully multicoated optics facilitate up to 98% light transmission to aid the shooter in dark conditions, and it is nitrogen-filled, oxygen-purged and O-ringed, so this scope is rugged enough to handle almost anything that nature may throw your way.

The Prostaff Rimfire offers sufficient eye relief despite the .22lr’s lack of recoil, and its 40mm objective lens ensures a large field of view but is not hefty to the point of weighing the rifle down. This scope makes sighting easier, and the BDC reticle works superbly at distances up to 150 yards. This BDC reticle is unique not only because it is designed specifically for a .22lr rifle, but it also has see-through ballistic circles to give the shooter an additional advantage when shooting from long distances. Finally, this scope comes with a lifetime warranty. Click here to check the current price.


 

3) Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope, Rimfire MOA Reticle

The Leupold VX-Freedom offers quality optics with multi-coated lenses and 3:1 zoom ratio. Price, versatility, and material quality are favorable aspects of this scope when it is compared to many of the other rimfire scopes on the market.

This rimfire scope notably offers Twilight Light Management System, scratch resistant lenses, and 1/4 MOA click turrets. In addition to the zoom ration, the Leupold has ranges for windage and elevation which allows you to compensate for both wind and bullet drop.

In addition, the classic duplex reticle is highly versatile and minimalist. Overall, this scope comes with a solid set of features for the reasonable cost. Click here to check the current price on Amazon, or here to see it on OpticsPlanet.

 

4) Simmons .22 Mag TruPlex Reticle Rimfire 3-9x32mm Riflescope (Budget pick)

Simmons focuses on developing products that are dependable and extremely affordable, so their rifle scopes will only contain those features needed most by the shooter. Unlike most brands, Simmons specializes in simplicity and do not produces scopes with excess features.

The Simmons .22 Mag Riflescope does not offer the clarity of the Nikon or the ruggedness of the Leupold; what it offers is an affordable alternative with all the basic features that will suit the low budget shooter.

This rifle scope gives you ultimate control, featuring elevation and wind adjustment knobs that can be easily turned even while wearing gloves. It is also fitted with an adjustment knob for the objective lens to ensure that you see a clear, focused view at every magnification.

With an under $50 price tag, it is one of Amazon’s best-selling and best-reviewed scopes. For that price, you acquire a scope that performs impressively at distances below 150 yards. Its 32mm objective lens offers a crisp and clear field of view under the entire magnification range. Targets may appear a bit blurry at 9x magnification power, but that should be expected of a scope at that price range. Click here to see the current price on Amazon, or here to see it on OpticsPlanet.

5) Vortex Crossfire 2 Rimfire

Vortex is the company to watch in the world of optics; it is continually giving the bigger guns a run for their money with the production of better and more advanced scopes. Vortex Crossfire 2 rimfire edition is built to the same specs as its bigger centerfire sibling, but it is toned down for rimfire calibers.

The Crossfire 2 rimfire is a 2 to 7 power optic with a 32 mm objective lens. The Fully multi-coated lens offers bright light transition, and a clear, high-definition picture. The parallax is set for fifty yards and is adequate for most plinking and hunting operations. The 2x magnification is excellent for close range shooting and picking your shot on a small target.

The Crossfire 2 is made from aircraft grade aluminum and built from a single piece of aluminum to make the finish field-ready, waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. This scope assures a sustainable performance and great value for the price. Click here to see current price on Amazon. You can also buy it from OpticsPlanet.

6) Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 4-12x40mm Riflescope

I know that the inclusion of this scope in this list goes against our recommendation for low magnification power scopes for the .22lr, which is included in our list of recommendations when selecting a scope at the end of this article. However, as many of you shall find out, 4x magnification is perfect for the rimfire caliber, so this scope fits in just fine.

The other reason we included this scope is its price. It is an affordable scope that would be able to double as your “go to” rifle scope larger caliber hunting rifles without much damage to your wallet. This is the right scope for shooters who are after an above-average performance at a decent price range.

The fixed magnification keeps the Bushnell Rimfire 4×32 light and compact; it only weighs 15 ounces. Its constant 3.3″ of eye relief protects your eyes but still offers a clear view. The Bushnell 4-12x40mm offers a crisp and clear picture and much better magnification than most other scopes its class.

It is 100% waterproof and fog proof and offers proven durability. The manufacturer also offers an attractive warranty and world-class customer care. Click here to see the current price.

7) BSA Sweet 22 Rifle Scope

The BSA Sweet .22 Duplex Reticle Rifle Scope is a tool designed simply for reliably getting the job done. BSA has been in the scope industry for a very long time and is well known for high quality, low priced optics that can run with the big boys regarding features and quality. The Sweet 22 is no exception to that rule.

Designed for the .22 long rifle cartridge, and intended to be a top quality .22 scope, the Sweet 22 features interchangeable target turrets calibrated for all popular .22 loads. The magnification and turrets are optimized for a .22 with low profile movable turrets for adjustments.

Its waterproof and fog proof construction make it ideal for most weather conditions. Its large 40mm objective lens helps to maximize light gathering. This may very well be the best scope for .22 rifles for a budget-conscious shooter who wants to run a precision target scope. Click here to see the current price.

Selecting the Right Scope for Your .22lr Rifle

We have provided a number of scope options above at a wide range of prices, so if you are still trying to figure out what features are most meaningful to you when making a selection, here is a summary of all of the important features to review when selecting a rifle scope for your .22lr:

  • Weight – light, kid-friendly, and quite handy, most .22lr rifles weigh about 5 pounds in their stock configuration. So attaching a heavy optic throws it off balance and consequentially affects its ease of handling and speed of movement. This can act against you while hunting fast-moving varmints or small game.
  • Magnification – I cannot stress enough that a 16 power magnification scope is both impractical and wasteful on your 22lr. 3-9x or 2-7x power scopes are sufficient for rimfire rifles.
  • Reticle – it is not relevant to acquire a scope with adjustments for elevation and windage at over 100 yards because bullet drop is typically significant at these distances. Also, note that illuminated reticles can be too bright and the resulting wash out might make small targets difficult to see.
  • Adjustable Objective – this allows users to essentially adjust the scope’s parallax to facilitate hitting of excessively small targets. An adjustable parallax enhances accuracy at various ranges, as well as provides a clearer sight picture.
  • Lens size – although anything below 32mm will reduce the quality of the sight picture, lenses larger than 40 or 42 mm are too bulky for your rimfire .22lr rifle.
  • Dedication – any suitable, well-built scope can do the job but .22-dedicated scopes perform better at most times because they are correctly ranged and calibrated for the most common .22 rounds.

Reviews of the Best Rifle Scopes of 2021

The Best Rifle Scopes

Click to see bestsellers

Whether you are a hunter, or you just enjoy shooting for sport, you know that choosing a scope for your rifle will be one of the biggest factors in determining how accurately you’ll be able to shoot. A scope allows you to zoom in on your target, and precisely lock in exactly where you want your shot to land.

There are many scopes on the market from many different reputable manufacturers, so choosing the best one is a daunting task. In the end, the scope you choose will largely come down to personal preference and your shooting needs. This guide will help you figure out what the best scope is to suit your (and your rifle’s) needs.

My #1 Recommendation

If I had to pick one scope to recommend above all others, especially on a modest budget, the crown would go to the Vortex Diamondback. Vortex is an incredibly popular brand of sporting optics, and for good reason. Their products are very high quality, and generally are in the mid range in terms of price. I like their 4-12×40 model scope personally, as it allows me to zoom in just far enough while still being able to make close up shots by cranking back the zoom. Click to see the price.

The Vortex Diamondback is our top pick

Best Rifle Scopes For the Money

Rifle scopes can range from $40 up to thousands of dollars depending on how much one is willing to spend. Depending on what the rifle scope is being used for, you can sometimes get away with or at least get the same results with a cheaper scope that you could do with a higher end one. You should always think about what is economically sound for you to spend on a scope, because a some scopes that are $100 might be all you need, and you can save money by purchasing these scopes instead of getting the highest quality scope that really doesn’t improve your chances anymore than the cheaper one. Below are just a few different scopes that are considered to be the best in their dollar range, but before choosing your scope, you should look at all the details in order to make sure it will provide you with a solution to all of your individual needs.

Best Rifle Scope Under $100

There are a lot of different rifle scopes that you can get for under $100, many of which you probably want to avoid. However the UTG 3-9×32 BugBuster Scope is one of, if not the best in this price range. It offers a lot of quality features, and has a sterling reputation with thousands of online reviews.

UTG 3-9x32 BugBusterFeatures:

  • Mildot reticle with both red and green illumination.
  • Lockable and reset-able turret design.
  • It comes with 3-9x magnification, and the objective lens is 32 millimeters.
  • Included with the scope are a 2″ sun shade, quick release rings, and flip cap covers.

While it won’t compare to the Zeiss and Nightforce scopes at the end of this list in terms of optical clarity and quality, this budget scope is perfect for getting the job done with a minimal financial burden. Click to see the price.

Best Rifle Scope Under $200

There are a wide variety of scopes in this price range, including many from well known manufacturers, and it was Nikon that won here. For a price tag that is handily under the $200 mark, the Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40mm is of exceptional quality. It is designed for rifles chambered in .223 (although it would work for many others as well), and it is made by Nikon, which is one of the best rifle scope brands on the market (as well as optics brands in general).

Features:

  • This scope comes with 3-9x magnification, and it has a large 40 millimeter objective lens.
  • 1/4 MOA tactical style hand adjustable turrets with reset functionality.
  • BDC 600 reticle designed specifically for .223 caliber rounds.
  • Nitrogen filled, water and fog proof design.

Also in this price range is the Vortex scope I recommended at the top of the article, which you should really consider (especially if you are shooting something other than .223). Click to see the price.

Best Rifle Scope Under $300

This scope price range was a little more difficult to narrow down, but in the end, the best rifle scope for under $300 came out to be the Athlon Optics Talos BTR 4-14×44. It offers a variety of different features that makes it stand out more so than the others in this particular price range.

Nikon ProStaff 5 BDCFeatures:

  • This rifle comes with 4-14x magnification, and it is equipped with a 44 millimeter objective lens.
  • This scope makes any rifle superior at long range shooting thanks to Athlon’s APLR2 FFP IR MIL reticle, a super advanced reticle.
  • The scope is waterproof and nitrogen purged.
  • It has fully multicoated glass for excellent image quality

As stated earlier, Athlon is one of the top brands on the market for making high quality rifle scopes, and this particular rifle scope is just one of the mid price range examples of why they made it to the top brand list. Click to see the price.

Best Rifle Scope Under $500

This category was a hard choice to make. Out of all the different rifle scopes in this price range, I couldn’t narrow down to just one scope, but I was able to narrow it down to the top two rifle scopes for less than $500.

The Vortex Viper PA 30mm Tube Rifle Scope – Although this brand didn’t make it in the top rifle scope brands, this particular scope could not be overlooked. It is one of the top rifle scopes on the market today. It has a variety of different aspects that make it this way, and it will surely get the job done efficiently and effectively.

Vortex Viper PAFeatures:

  • It comes with a one-piece tube that is 30 millimeters, which makes it easier to store without having to worry about loosing any removable parts.
  • It is actually made out of aircraft grade aluminum to guarantee it’s sturdiness.
  • It comes equipped with tall turrets which allows the shooter using it to quickly and easily make any adjustments.
  • There is also a side knob parallax adjustment for versatility. Click to see the price.

Nikon Monarch 3 4-16x50mm Side Focus Rifle Scope – Once again, Nikon makes the top! This variable scope is by far one of the top rifle scopes on the marketplace today price ranged under $500. Nikon does not disappoint with this scope as it has many of the features that Nikon is known for using on their high end scopes.

Nikon Monarch 3Features:

  • The Nikon Monarch 3 comes with 4-16x magnification, and it also comes with a larger than normal objective lens. It’s lens is actually 50 millimeters.
  • It is renowned because of its Ultra Clear Coat Optical System which allows up to 95% light transmission.
  • It has a quick focus eyepiece that is meant to allow the shooter to instantly bring their reticle into focus.
  • It’s best feature is the MONARCH 3 Eye Box Technology which allows for a 4 time zoom range. It also allows for a four inch eye relief.
  • This scope is optimized to be used with the Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology.
  • Last but not least, it is easily adjusted thanks to its Spring Loaded Instant Zero Reset Turrets. Click to see the price.

Top Rifle Scopes For an Unlimited Budget

When money is no object, all the rules of the game completely change. A lot of the scopes over $1000 are made by brands that are not seen at the lower budget products. There is a simple answer as to why that is. When most people think of the best brands, they think about the brands that the majority of people who buy a product actually purchase. That is why the higher end rifle scope brands may vary from the over all best and most popular brands. Seeing as this category in finances is so broad, below are two different rifle scopes that can be considered the best rifle scope for those that have an unlimited budget. You should also consider looking at Schmidt & Bender and Swarovski.

Zeiss Conquest Rifle scopes 5-25×50 Black Rapid Z 1000 – On average, this particular scope runs around $1100. It has a lot of different features, and it is manufactured by Zeiss one of the more popular brands among those that enjoy the high end and expensive rifle scopes. Below are just a few of the many features that makes this rifle scope stick out among all of the other unlimited budget scopes on the market today.

Zeiss Conquest Rapid Z 1000Features:

  • This scope comes with a 50 millimeter objective lens, and it comes with 5-25 magnification ability.
  • It is used mainly for hunting anything at long range, including predators, big game, and varmints.
  • It has a robust, one piece tube that is built to stand some of the worst recoils even on extremely demanding terrains.
  • For the rifles that have a harsh recoil, this scope has a 3.5 inch eye relief in order to help protect the shooter’s face from the rifle’s recoil.
  • The Zeiss Conquest rifle scope is one of the most ideal scopes for those that enjoy target shooting on the range.
  • One of the things that helps this be an ideal scope for long range shooting, it offers precision aiming with accurate holdover and wind-corrected information.
  • The lenses of this scope are MC multi-coated, and this help by achieving outstanding brightness regardless of low light situations that might arise on the hunt. Click to see the price.

Nightforce NXS Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 5.5-22x 56MM Hi-Speed – The Nightforce NXS Rifle Scope is a high speed scope that could not be ignored for the unlimited budget best category. Nightforce is one of the top brands for professional rifle scopes, and that is why it didn’t make the top brand list. Most Nightforce scopes cost way more than the average person would even think about paying for a sports scope for their rifle. This scope generally runs anywhere from $2,250 to $2,500. Generally, the price depends on where one purchases this scope. Below are just a few of the unique features that this scope has to offer someone.

Nightforce NXSFeatures:

  • The NXS Rifle Scope comes with 5.5-22x magnification, and it also has a 56 millimeter objective lens.
  • It has a 30 millimeter diameter tube.
  • The eye relief for the NXS Rifle Scope is 3.9 inches.
  • It has finger adjustable turrets and it has a click adjustment.
  • The field of view for this scope at 5.5x magnification is 17.5′, and the field of view at 22x magnification is 4.7′ at 100 yards.
  • The NXS Rifle Scope has a exit pupil diameter of 10.2 to 2.5 millimeters, and the scope weighs around 32 oz.
  • This scope can be recommended for just about all types of weather, because it is shock proof, water proof, and fog proof. Click to see the price.

 

Want more options? See the current bestselling rifle scopes here.

Types of Scopes

There are a lot of different types of scopes, but they can practically all be placed in two categories. It is important to understand the different types of scopes and the pros and cons to each one before purchasing one. Below are three of the different types of scopes, and they are the most common scopes on the market.

1. Variable Scopes – By far the most common, variable scopes are useful if magnification of the target is needed for a clean shot. With these types of scopes, the shooter can adjust the magnification of the target that they are looking at. These types of scopes come in a variety of magnification variables, and depending on what you are hunting, this could be extremely important. Sniper rifles often use variable scopes, because sniper rifles are used at a much farther distance than a normal hunting rifle.

2. Fixed Scopes – These scopes can be a little less complicated than variable scopes, but they are also only better if people know exactly the specs they need when shooting their gun. You cannot adjust the magnification on fixed scopes like you can on variables. Therefore, these scopes are only recommended in certain occasions and for certain types of firearms.

3. Night Vision Scopes – These are specialty scopes. They can be combined as a variable scope or a fixed scope. What makes these scopes different is the fact that they are used for shooting at night or at times of day when there is a small amount of light to naturally see the target. They are very expensive and bulky, so before choosing a night vision scope, make sure that you actually need to shoot during low light hours of the day.

How to Choose a Rifle Scope

buying a rifle scopeThe majority of rifle users want the best scope for their rifle in order to help with whatever it is they are hunting. In the past, the old metallic sights that were placed on rifles were a lot harder to aim with than the newer scopes on the market today. When using a rifle scope, one thing should come to mind: simplicity. The use of a rifle scope has made it a lot easier for the majority of people to be able to line up a kill shot on their target.

When using a rifle scope, all you have to do to get a kill on your target is line up your cross hairs or reticles on the target that you are aiming at. Learning to shoot with a rifle scope is an extremely useful skill. Not only is it easier to line up the gun to your target, but it also magnifies your target, making it easier to tell which part of the target you will actually hit. There are a large number of factors that need to go into thought when choosing the right rifle scope.

Is bigger and more expensive always better?

This can be a tricky question to answer when you are dealing with rifle scopes. The best way to answer this question is this. When you are going to look for your idle rifle scope, you should ask yourself what is it that you are going to be shooting at. In general, if you are a deer hunter, using anything over a 3-9x or 4-12x scope on your rifle would be overkill, and it could actually hinder you in the long run. Those are the average scope sizes for anyone wanting to go hunting, because they offer what is needed for the majority of rifle users.

You also need to figure in what kinds of shots you are planning on having to take. If you know that you are going to be shooting far away at your prey, then you will be using a different scope as opposed to shooting at something closer. This has a lot to deal with having the proper magnification on the scope that you choose in order to be able to perform the hunting that you wish to do.

What do the Numbers on a Scope tell me?

This is a good question to ask. Before you can properly choose a rifle scope, you need to know what the numbers on your scope actually mean. In order to help with this, I am going to reference you to a Nikon P-223 3-9×40 SF rifle scope in order to explain the importance of the numbers on a rifle scope. The numbers when choosing a scope that are important are the 3-9×40.

In this particular number, the 3 means that any image that you look at through this scope will appear three times closer to you than it would to the naked eye. The 9 means the same thing. If the scope that you choose has a 9 like this one it means that you can see your target 9 times closer through the scope than with the naked eye. The last number, in this case the 40, is the objective lens diameter in millimeters. If you see a number like this, these scopes are classified as variable scopes. Basically, you can choose if you want your target to be 3 times magnified up to 9 times magnified. In general, the larger the magnification range, the more that particular scope will cost. This is because the wider the range the more versatile that scope will be.

Why is eye relief and light transmission important when choosing a scope?

A shooter’s age can affect the dilation of their eyes. People who are older will experience smaller dilation than someone of a younger age. An exit pupil is extremely important when choosing your scope. Basically, an exit pupil can be determined by holding a scope out at arms length from you. The small circle of light that appears in the scopes eyepiece when doing this is the exit pupil. The exit pupil is extremely important when thinking about eye relief because the larger the exit pupil is the less important head positioning in relation to the scope becomes.

When talking about eye relief in regards to rifle scopes, eye relief is the distance that your eye can be away from the ocular lens of the scope and still provide a full and clear picture of your target. Currently, four inches is the largest eye relief available for any standard rifle scope. If you are using the rifle correctly, four inches in plenty of distance for your face to be out of the way of any recoil your rifle might do. You should always pay attention to the amount of eye relief and exit pupil that a scope offers before purchasing it.

What should I look for in a scope in regards to the objective lens size?

On most medium variable scopes, the standard object lens size is anywhere from 40 to 44 millimeters. There are objective lenses on the market that are larger, but in most cases these larger lenses are not necessary. As a matter of fact, the larger the objective lens on a rifle scope is, the harder it is to be able to hold your rifle properly. These larger lens also can cause your rifle to be a little less comfortable to shoot due to the fact they can make the rifle feel unbalanced, clumsier, and heavier.

Why is Field of View on a rifle scope so important?

When speaking about rifles, field of view is generally measure at every 100 yards. What this means is the field of view is the amount that you are actually able to see from right to left at a distance through your scope. When adjusting the magnification of your scope, your field of view will be adjusted. In general, if you decrease the magnification of your scope your field of view will actually increase. This is generally more important with variable scopes, because the difference in magnification can change the field of view drastically. For instance, if you are using a 3-12×42 scope, if the magnification is set to 3 then your field of view will be the full 100 yards. However, if your magnification was turned closer to 12, your field of view would actually decrease down to somewhere around 14 to 10 yards.

For more about choosing the top rifle scope, watch the below video:

Best Rifle Scope Brands

  • Leupold
  • Redfield
  • Sightmark
  • Burris
  • Bushnell
  • Barska
  • Nikon

revies of rifle scopesJust like any other product, there are a lot of different brands and companies that make rifle scopes, but just like with every other product, there are a number of brands that stick out in the market. Below are a list of the top six brands that make rifle scopes, and they all got on this list for a variety of reasons. Some have created special features that make their scopes better in certain aspects, and some brands have an all around aspect to their products that put them on top.

Leupold

A family owned company since its founding in 1907, Leupold & Stevens is without one of the highest quality optic manufacturers in the world. It’s scopes are used by the United States Marine Corps and Navy SEALs, which definitely is a major vote of confidence in their design and manufacturing. They make everything from simple hunting scopes to the incredibly powerful and adjustable tactical designs used by the military.

Redfield

Redfield was purchased by Leupold & Stevens, Inc. back in April of 2008, but they did not acquire any of Redfield’s capability of repairing their products that were made prior to them buying the company. However, Redfield is still currently one of the top manufacturers of rifle scopes on the market. Their motto is “No Excuses”, and they offer a full lifetime warranty to their customers on all of their non-electronic products like their rifle scopes.

Sightmark

Sightmark was founded back in 2007, and they have steadily been growing in the modern shooting market thanks to their products and rifle scopes. Currently, they are operated out of Mansfield, Texas, and there motto is “Make Your Mark”. They offer a variety of different products that are ranked top of the market, and they are known for making Triple Duty, Ezekiel, and Pinnacle rifle scopes that excel in performance.

Burris

Burris considers themselves specialists when it comes to making rifle scopes. They vow that they only employ the most passionate and knowledgeable engineers to manufacture their products. Burris products are not only used by the occasional hunter or sports shooter, but some of their rifle scopes are used by professionals throughout the entire world. Burris is best known for their scopes having lenses with larger diameters than most of their competitors.

Bushnell

Bushnell is one of the older popular rifle scope manufacturers with their products still on the market. They have been in business for over 65 years, and they pride themselves on providing only the best quality to their customers. The majority of their products are some of the more reliable and affordable hunting products, like rifle scopes on the market to date. Their shotgun scopes are also among the best.

Barska

Barska is currently operated out of Pomona, California, which is on the southern end of California. Their priority products all deal with sport optics, and they are considered to be one of the top brands that puts out rifle scopes on the market today. They actually have a global customer base. They have over 40 countries that they distribute their products too outside of the United States. They even offer products that can be individualized for their corporate customers if needed.

Nikon

Nikon is one of the more well known Sports Optics companies in the world. They have a variety of different products that they create, and they are well known in the hunting industry for both their cutting edge hunting optic rifle scopes. Some of their company strengths include their commitment to innovation, quality, and the performance of their products.

 

Athlon Optics Argos HMR 2-12x42mm Riflescope Review

I’ve tested a lot of Athlon’s binoculars over the last few years, as well as recently a spotting scope and a red dot sight. However, I hadn’t gotten ahold of one of their rifle scopes until just recently, and boy was I looking forward to putting it through the paces. Athlon is very proud of their riflescopes, and rightly so. That seems to be the area where they focus most of their energy, and customer reviews have been excellent on every scope I’ve looked at. So when they sent me their new Argos HMR 2-12x42mm, I was beyond stoked to test it out (and not only because it gave me an excuse to buy another hunting rifle).

The scope they sent me has the illuminated BDC 600A reticle in it, which is a fantastic reticle. In most of my guns I run a standard duplex type reticle, sometimes with re settable elevation turrets. However, such turrets are notoriously unreliable, and though I’ve never had any problems yet, I’ve always been tempted to try something like what this Athlon scope has. The various marks are set up to be your holds for 100-600 yards. Athlon advertises it working with a wide variety of calibers. I put this scope on a new 6.5 Creedmore Tikka Superlight, which of course shoots very flat, and the reticle isn’t perfectly dialed for it. However, it will work great for me with a 200 yard zero, with the next holds down being for 250, 325, and 415. Those are great holds for my purposes of hunting deer and elk. The illumination is also a great feature that really helps the reticle stand out. I initially had a difficult time getting focused when I first started shooting thanks to how thin the reticle is, however once I got the parallax and focus adjusted it worked great, and the illumination makes it that much better! The thin reticle of course is ideal for taking longer shots. My only complaint is that the reticle light dial is a little bit tough to move. It’s possible that it will loosen up with use, but I could imagine it being tough to work in the cold when my fingers are numb.

The Athlon Argos HMR on my new Tikka T3x Superlight in 6.5 Creedmore. This is proving to be a very deadly hunting set up!

This scope has a zoom of 2-12 power. What’s especially impressive here is that low end 2 power. The most common scope I see is a 3.9 power, so this scope not only has the ability to zoom in further, but also the ability to zoom OUT further, which can be instrumental when hunting in close quarters. It’s rare I see a scope that has that low of a minimum zoom, and I totally love it. The 42mm objective lens is also great, it keeps the scope light which is perfect for hunting purposes.

Zeroing and adjusting the scope was a breeze. I mounted it using a scope mounting kit and Talley one piece alluminum rings, which I highly recommend to create a bombproof seal between the scope and rifle. The first shots at 50 yards were almost dead on without any adjustment. After dialing in there, I went to 100 and then finally 200 to get totally zeroed in. The scope has easy to use 1/4 MOA clicks on large adjustment rings. They are also covered with screw on caps, which is by far my preferred style of scope adjustments unless you want a resettable elevation turret. I know this scope will stand up to the elements and abuses of hunting without any danger of it losing its zero.

The glass in this scope is excellent, and meets the standards of what I would expect for a scope in this price range. It doesn’t compare to something like a highend Nightforce or Schmidt & Bender, but of course it also costs a tenth of what those scopes do, and I wouldn’t dare bring something like that into the field. This scope definitely is in that sweet spot where it is a nice enough setup to do everything I need it to in the field, but it doesn’t cost so much that I feel like I need to bubble wrap the whole thing before I step out my door.

Overall, I was very impressed with this scope. I didn’t get to test out the long range holds built into the reticle yet as the ammo shortage limited my range time, but I’m looking forward to testing it more and then carrying it on some hunts in the near future! If you want to check out this scope, take a look at it on Amazon here.

Athlon Optics Midas TSR3 Red Dot Hands On Review

Athlon has been one of my favorite companies of late, as they have been producing some great optics at very competitive prices. Their red dots in particular have been getting some very positive feedback, so I was very excited when they sent me their Midas TSR3 model to test out. I ran it through its paces and was very impressed.

Athlon is selling four different red dots right now that represent four different size classes. The TSR3 is the second largest of them, and I absolutely loved this size mounted on my AR. There is no need on a gun like that to have a super compact sight. Conversely, the enormous objective and ocular lenses on this optic gave it crystal clear vision and the ability to very quickly pick up a target. After using this red dot, I don’t think I could ever go back to a smaller sight. I was also incredibly impressed with the glass quality. The model tends to be about a couple hundred bucks, and with optics in that price category sometimes the glass is hit or miss. However, Athlon did a great job here. I was very impressed, although I shouldn’t be surprised since the glass is fully multicoated and I’ve always had good luck with their products.

The Athlon Midas TSR3 mounted on my standard DPMS AR-15.

Mounting the sight was easy, just a simple wrench tightening and it was solidly on my AR’s rail, it definitely won’t be moving on accident. I ran it through a bunch of shooting, starting with zeroing. It has 1/2 MOA adjustments underneath screw on caps, which is perfect for a red dot like this and makes zeroing the sight easy. The sight has a simple two button control for dialing the brightness of the red dot. Even on the middle and lower settings, the dot was more than bright enough to work outdoors. And obviously in a lower light setting it will be highly visible.

This offering from Athlon boasts a claimed 50,000 hour battery life. It uses Smart Power Management, putting itself in sleeping mode after 5 minutes of no motion detection. This is a great feature that makes total sense on a sight like this, and I’m not sure why all red dots don’t have something similar!

Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend this red dot highly. There are a lot of good options out there when it comes to tactical sights, and this is one of the best if you are looking for something without magnification for your AR or similar rifle for close up shooting.

Rangefinders Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals 2020

If you’re in the market for a new rangefinder, or are looking for a great gift, this Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a great time to pick one up.

Here are some range finders to look for this holiday season.

Top Pick: Upland Optics Perception 1000 Laser Rangefinder

While it was just released and unlikely to be discounted so soon, Upland Optics’ new rangefinder is worth a look. We’re big fans of their binoculars, so we expect great things from this new product. With 1000 yard accuracy and weather resistance, this would make a fantastic gift for the sportsman on your holiday shopping list (or even for yourself!). Be the first to own this excellent rangefinder.

Under $100: Simmons Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder

This under $100 rangefinder offers in-view LCD and 10 to 600 yard accuracy. If you want a budget pick that will still get the job done, the Simmons rangefinder is a good option. This is a popular rangefinder for bowhunters.

Nikon Aculon Laser Rangefinder Good Deal

The Nikon Aculon is a solid rangefinder at a good price. It’s compact and lightweight, and it is optimized for 6 to 550 yards. This is a great option for bowhunters and golfers as it has great optics and is easy to carry around.

Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 with Horizontal Component Distance Rangefinder 

A little pricey, this rangefinder has excellent optics and great grips. It’s designed for the elements, so it’s weatherproof and lightweight. It features the well-known Vortex design and offers accuracy for 10 to 1000 yards.

 

Give the Gift of a Rangefinder

Many hunters and golfers want a rangefinder, but it’s often at the bottom of their “must-buy” list. That’s why a rangefinder makes a great gift for your loved ones this holiday season. Keep an eye out for sales and deals this Black Friday and Cyber Monday and into the month of December.

 

 

 

 

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Telescopes Sales & Deals of 2020

Telescopes open the way to the stars for us. They’re not the most common gift that comes on a birthday or in a stocking but they are definitely worth it. Telescopes come in a variety of sizes and powers, so it’s important to do your research beforehand.

If you’ve ever wanted to glimpse the stars, planets, nebulas, and just about everything else space has to offer, you should consider our picks for the best telescopes of 2020. Telescopes are not just for the experienced professional. Nowadays, they are becoming a lot more user and family friendly, so you can have yours set up in only a couple of hours or so.

Click here to see all Cyber Monday deals on telescopes

 

Telescopes Current & Expired Deals

As you can see, Celestron dominates a large part of the telescope market with their wide range of telescopes. If none of these telescopes appeal to you, keep in mind there are still plenty of manufacturers that produce telescopes of varying power levels and difficulty ratings.

Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker

Celestron 70mm Travel Scope

Celestron NexStar 130

Celestron NexStar 8

Gskyer Kid’s GT Telescope

Meade Instruments Infinity 70mm

 

Telescopes to Watch For

Gskyer German Technology Telescope

 

Do Telescopes Make Great Gifts?

While not exactly cheap, telescopes help us see the wonders of the universe. Not everyone can be an astronaut, but we all have chances to get unparalleled glimpses of space. A telescope makes a great gift for the budding explorer and anyone with an unquenchable curiosity.

Nowadays, some telescopes have astrophotography capabilities. Astrophotography is exactly how the name sounds. Not only will you see the uncountable number of objects in the sky, you’ll be able to save pictures of them so you can look back on them.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals and Sales for Rifle Scopes 2020

Rifle scopes are a must have for every long-range hunter. There a multitude of scopes on the market that come with different attachments and capabilities. Some are good for short range and others for long range. Check out our list of the best rifle scopes of 2020.

These tools are intricate pieces of hunting tech and require the utmost precision to maintain and use properly. We can understand why their price is so high, but this Black Friday/Cyber Monday, you can expect scopes to be on sale as hunting seasons continue and conclude around the country.

Rifle scopes make great gifts because, with proper maintenance and care, they can last you a long time. Compared to other tools and gear that a hunter uses, a rifle is one thing that you won’t have to replace every season or so. If you don’t see a rifle scope on here that you like, check out the general listing page for a complete look at the best selling available scopes.

Click here to see all scopes on sale right now!

 

Rifle Scopes: Current & Expired Deals

ATN X-Sight II 5-20x/85mm

CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope 6-24×50

UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster

Nikon ProStaff 4-12 x 40

 

Rifle Scopes to Watch For

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn

VX-1 3-9X40Mm Duplex Matte

Bushnell Trophy Xtreme X30 6-24×50

 

Why Rifle Scopes Are a Good Decision

Hunting seasons open and close year round. A rifle scope makes a great gift, especially during Black Friday/Cyber Monday when they are at their cheapest. The maintenance doesn’t just begin and end with keeping it clean. Since your scope will be tuned to your preference, consistent checking on the accuracy and measurements will ensure that its always ready for your next excursion.

You should also consider the type of railing that comes with your rifle and make sure it is the type that will fit your new rifle scope.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals and Sales for Spotting Scopes 2020

Spotting scopes are the next step in long-range optics after binoculars. For the hardcore birder or hunter, a spotting scope is going to give you pristine images at a much longer range than even your quality binoculars. Check out our top picks for the best spotting scopes of 2020.

Most spotting scopes are large and will take up a sizable portion of your carrying weight should you choose to bring them to your next excursion. These high-quality optics will make the perfect gift for you or the outdoor enthusiast this upcoming holiday season. You can bet that a majority of them will be on sale even as hunting seasons conclude (and some areas, open up) around the country.

Click here to see all scopes on sale right now!

Current & Expired Sales

Gosky 20-60X 80 Porro Prism

Celestron TrailSeeker 100

Vortex 20-60 x 85 Razor HD

 

Spotting Scopes We’re Watching

Bushnell Trophy Xtreme

Emarth 20-60x60SE

Roxtant Blackbird High Definition Spotting Scope

Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scope

Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm

 

Importance of Spotting Scopes

You’re probably thinking that you’re high-quality sporting binoculars are enough to get you through the hunting or birding season. However, it really depends on the type of animal or object you’re tracking and how well you want to see it. Spotting scopes can zoom in at a much farther range than binoculars and deliver better quality.

If you’re tracking animals well camouflaged in the wild, a spotting scope is going to be one of your best bets at catching movement where other outdoorsmen/women might not see. These optics will usually cost a pretty penny, but Black Friday/Cyber Monday are some of the holidays where you can catch them a sizable portion off of their original price.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Binoculars Sales & Deals 2020

Whether you’re a hunter, birdwatcher, opera enthusiast, or just like seeing long distances in general, be sure to pick up your favorite pair of binoculars this Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2020. No doubt you’re probably on the hunt for Upland Optics, Nikon, Bushnell, or Diamondback series binos, as those are the most mainstream and popular.

Click here to see all Cyber Monday sales on binoculars

However, there are a number of smaller brands whose products are already on sale (click here to see bestsellers). They may not be the type of binos you’ll see in the field but there a variety of uses for binoculars beyond hunting. Some brands have specialized their binos for birdwatching, observation, and even opera and plays.

Lightweight and handheld binoculars are going to be your preferable birdwatching and observation optics while larger and heavier optics from Nikon, Bushnell, or Vortex are going to be your mainline hunting and sporting optics.

Click here to see our top picks for binoculars to find low cost and affordable binoculars for your next excursion. Unfortunately Upland Optics, our highest recommended brand, doesn’t do discounts, but they are also worth considering if you’re looking for a pair.

 

Current & Expired Deals on Binoculars

Bushnell Legend L-Series 10x42mm Binoculars

Celestron 10x42mm Binoculars

Celestron 8x42mm Binocular

 

Binoculars to Watch For

Bushnell 10x42mm H2O

Nikon Monarch 5 8x42mm Binoculars

Vortex Diamondback 10x42mm Binoculars

 

Why Binoculars Make Great Gifts

Binoculars make great gifts for all things sightseeing. If you want to make sure you don’t miss those once in a lifetime shots, binoculars are going to come in real handy.

Most people assume that binoculars are only good for hunting since the market in that area is huge. The simple truth is that you can use binoculars for just about any long-range sighting activity you can think of. Don’t assume that just because you have hunting or birding binoculars that you have to remain faithful to those activities with those specific binoculars.

Some optics can be just as good in other activities as they are in the category they were made for. Keep in mind that the reason that specialized binoculars exist is to make objects and sights stand out through color and appropriate light distribution.