Do you feel frustrated with always having your shot missed? Are you looking for the best sniper scope to upgrade your game? Look no further! Check out this article!
The word “sniper” is probably the most misused one in the military term. When everyone hears this word, they usually mistake it with the equipment, which is a rifle instead of a person.
Because snipers specialize in long-distance target, therefore, they need a tactical, mil-spec optic that designed to assist them in long-range shooting. So what does it mean by a mil-spec optic?
The term “mil-spec” stands for military specification, and for an optic to be Mil-spec, it must meet all criteria defined by the military standard, and every aspect of it has to be ultimately approved by a U.S government inspector.
The best scope for sniper should be able to provide different ranges, added clarity, and super precise tool for compensating for the windage, parallax, and elevation. Besides, these scopes can cost you a fortune, so you need to make sure that your dollar is well-spent.
However, shopping can be a challenging task when you have a long list to go down.
This is when we come in to help. In our review, we go through every product and narrow it down to the five best scopes for a sniper, and together with our buying guide, we hope it can give you some idea to think about before making that one-click purchase button.
In-depth Review Of The Best Scope For Snipers
|Product Name||Product Detail|
| Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes |
● Ideally on 22 rimfire, shotguns and muzzleloader
● Fully multi-coated lens
● Fast focus eyepiece
● Zero reset button
● Waterproof and fog-proof
| Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes |
● Multiple configuration
● Feature VMR-1 Reticle (MRAD)
● Fully multi-coated, extra low dispersion lens
● Finger adjustable click turrets
● 4x magnification
| Bushnell Elite Tactical G2DMR FFP Reticle Riflescope (6-24x50-mm)|
● Ultra Wide Band Coating and Fully multi-coated lens
● 6 to 24x magnification
● 50 millimeter objective lens
● Mil-hash marked First Focal Plane
● Limited lifetime warranty
| Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope, Black, 3.5-14x40 |
● Aluminum built material
● Nikon’s Patented BDC reticle
● Fully multi-coated optic
● Quick focus eyepiece
● Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology
| Burris XTR II Riflescope with F-Class MOA Illuminated Reticle, 8-40x 50mm|
● F-Class MOA illuminated reticle
● 34mm main tube
● Zero stop button
● Front focal plane
● Waterproof, fog proof
#1 Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
To kick off the list, we would like to start with the well-built Diamondback Second Focal Plane from Vortex Optics. This is the ultimate scope with a full-on array of features designed for snipers or long-range shooters.
This scope has the Second Focal Plane System developed by Vortex and the V-Plex reticle feature, which is popular among hunters.
The Diamondback also offers versatile magnification which is ideal for close-range shooting if you intend to use on any muzzleloaders, shotgun or 22 rimfires.
If you ever found yourself struggling to get focus when you look into the scope, then you will be glad to know this optic features a fast focus eyepiece which allows you for easy and quick reticle focusing on the target.
With Diamondback, you will have the ability to zero your scope at ease after signing in because of the user-friendly designed turrets.
Besides, the fully multi-coated lens will provide you with a brighter and clearer image whether you are hunting at dawn or dusk. This scope is an ideal one to start with whether what game you are in
- Hold zero at ease
- Affordable price
- Short eye relief
#2 Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
This Viper is one of the multiple configurations scopes in the Viper series HS-T (Hunting and Shooting Tactical). This optic features a VMR-1 Reticle in MRAD which is perfect for long-range shooting scenarios.
The best part of this scope comes from the premium, multi-coated, and extra-low dispersion lens that will increase contrast and bring you high-resolution image with color fidelity.
On the other hands, you will be a relief to know that on any circumstances, the Armored coating technology will adequately protect the lenses from external impacts while the XR coating enhances light transmission for added clarity.
The model also features a shooter-friendly turret with finger adjustable that allow for quick and easy return to zero. Additional benefits are including the O-ring sealed and argon purge to make sure your scope is waterproof and fog proof.
This Viper HS-T is a versatile and simple rifle scopes weather for snipers, hunters or tactical operations.
- MRAD reticle
- Finger adjustable turrets
- Good for long-range shooting
- Narrow eye relief
#3 Bushnell Elite Tactical G2DMR FFP Reticle Riflescope (6-24 x 50-mm)
This scope is a bit of an investment for you if you are a professional hunter or trained sniper. The Bushnell Elite Tactical features an Ultra Wide Band coating and fully multi-coated lens to provide you high-quality image with color fidelity.
In tactical operation, whether it is foggy or rainy, the rain guard HD optic with anti-fog technology will guarantee to keep your vision clear from obstruction.
With the adjustable power 24x magnification and a large objective lens for more transmission light, the Bushnell Elite allows you to reach any target from a distance up to 100 yards at ease.
For a sniper, the mil-hash marked First Focal Plane reticle is a significant advantage, which helps them to calculate for ranging, holdover, and windage correction.
Other features including side focus parallax adjustment for long-range shooting accuracy, this makes the Bushnell Elite one of the world’s finest optics for snipers.
Overall, this item is worth your money, especially when you are looking for a premium quality optic for your precision rifle.
- Powerful 24x magnification
- Rain guard HD optic
- Parallax turret feature
- Unilluminated lens
#4 Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope, Black, 3.5-14 x 40
When it comes to optics, the brand Nikon probably upholds its reputation not only in quality but also in high performance, and commonly used among many shooters.
This PROSTAFF 5 inherits the patented BDC reticle with see-through ballistic circles from Nikon technology, which is extremely useful for extended long range shooting.
In any situation, you can carry this optical device around without hassle as the aluminum built components makes it one of the lightest scope in the market.
Like other similar products from Nikon, this PROSTAFF supports shooters with the Spring-Loaded Instant Zero-Reset turret so that you can adjust at ease.
Besides, the Nikon fully multi-coated lens will ensure the best quality of the image and enhance the light transmission to increase brightness whether you are at dusk or dawn.
Additional features of this item are including waterproof, fog-proof, anti-shock and a lifetime warranty.
- The brand is well-known
- Lifetime warranty
- Short eye relief
#5 Burris Optics XTR II Riflescope 8-40 x 50mm
There is nothing much to talk about this optic, indeed. At first glance, its simple look probably does not give you any impression at all, but don’t judge the book by its cover.
This Burris Optics XTR II is one of the best scopes made for snipers in tactical operation.
The world premium glass features an F-Class MOA illuminated reticle that helps you to achieve accuracy at any extend range up to 200 yards and eye on dark objects.
You will also find the turrets are designed to turn smoothly with a click and vertical hash marks for tracking of adjustment.
Besides, if you have a problem with setting to zero in other scopes before, this Burris Optics has a solution to that matter. The zero click knob adjustment will assist you to do that at ease with one click.
And it’s good to know that this optic is shockproof as well as waterproof, so no matter what field you are in, it works perfectly in any shooting scenario.
- Illuminated reticle
- Fit for long-range shooting
- Zero after signing at ease
- Expensive price
What makes a scope mil-spec
Before you make any buying decision, make sure that you understand what makes a scope mil-spec.
Milrad (MRAD) adjustment
In the military, people use a lot of different metric measurements in the optic, and one of them is Milrad (MRAD), which is known as milliradian.
Just similar to MOA (minute of angle), which measure by a minute of angle, MRAD is only a conical measurement method in which people use milianradian for scope adjustment. So when you see on a scope says that it features an MRAD reticle, it merely means the crosshairs in the optics will appear as milianradian instead of MOA.
Hash marks for elevation and windage
Mil-spec optics usually use a hash mark on the mil-dot style reticle for windage and elevation reference. Snipers often use this feature when shooting the real world because there are not paper targets with graduations.
Some scopes use other markings to assist estimations and calculations. However, the mil-dot reticle is the most popular used among long-range shooters.
The most expensive and highest-quality optic does not give you the power to hit any target, but it is possible to get one with higher quality than what the military uses.
A scope like that should give your more advantages and increase your chance of hitting the target with accuracy and reliability. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune on it, you only need the one that is good enough for your need.
What to consider when choosing a scope
Every sniper has different techniques and needs for the ranges; it is essential to search carefully before you buy one. Here are the things you need to consider when choosing a scope for your rifle.
If there is anything to put some thought at in the first place, it should be the glass as it is the most crucial component of your scope. Therefore, you should not be skimp on the quality.
A good glass not only allows you to see clearly at a short distance but also assists you in judging the mirage effect so that you can make a correct adjustment for windage and elevation.
A milling reticle
In a most long-range shooting situation, you will need any scope that features a milling reticle, which has hash marks arranged evenly along the X and Y axis. These lines can display either in MOA or Mil.
When firing a shot with a milling reticle, a sniper can be able to calculate how much they need to adjust compensator windage and elevation based on the hash marks.
Power of magnification
The more you can zoom, the higher chances you can hit the target at a long-range. For example, to make a good shot, you will need at least an 18x scope. Therefore, a standard sniper optic can offer a zoom range between 18 and 25.
However, if your intention is for hunting only, the low end of the zoom should also be a consideration. In this case, any scope has a range in between 5, and 25 is good enough to see a deer appearing at 50 yards.
For snipers, light is the most crucial element in shooting. More light means you can see better and more chances of hitting the target correctly. However, not all the light is available, especially when hunting at dusk.
Therefore, when choosing a scope for the rifle, the objective lens size needs to be taken into your consideration. A bigger lens size will allow for more brightness in low light conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many types of rifle scope?
A rifle scope is essential for long-range shooters and sniper, whether in hunting or tactical operation.
What is the difference between a rifle scope and a gun sight? The answer lies in the power of magnification. A rifle scope can be able to magnify an image while a gun sign cannot.
There are several types of rifle optic that is used widely in the field. They are including aperture sights, open sights, dotted, and laser sights.
How much should I pay?
You probably know that less is weak, that means if you go too low for a bargain, you will end up with a low-quality optic that can be destroyed after several shots.
If your budget is too little, buying a cheap one can save you from burning the pocket, but it will cause either stress or ruin your game. You don’t have to spend a fortune on it; a mid-range rifle scope is already enough to start.
And when you progress, a little more of an investment can make you go along way. We recommend you can kick-off with anything between $300 – $350 and max up to $600 – $700.
However, you are a more experienced and regular shooter; you may want to invest a considerable amount for a high-quality optic.
Do I need a lot of magnification?
When it comes to magnification, people usually think the more you can zoom, the better. But that is not true in this case. Too much magnification will obstruct you in many ways.
When you aim at the max zoom out image from your scope, it will limit the field of view and make it challenging to look for the target.
In general, the best scope should be the one that gives you the best picture at its least magnification.
What is the best scope magnification for the distance?
To know the best scope magnification, it depends on what your intention of the game is. For example, while target shooting requires higher magnification setting based on range, hunting usually demands a lower one but based on the target size and distance.
An ideal distance for hunting is somewhere between 200 to 400 yards, sometimes longer. The lower magnification you set, the faster you can find in the scope.
However, for target or competition shooting, this is where your highest magnification comes in handy. You won’t necessarily need a wide field of view and probably don’t need to look for the target.
These objects will not move and what you need is a scope that can magnify as much as possible to get the most accurate shot.
What is the best scope brands?
There are hundred of scope brands we can write here, and the list could be endless. But what makes a scope more effective than another? It is the number of specification, features, material, and quality of glass.
However, the manufacturers also play a crucial part in the game as they have been developing and designing rifle optics for many years. Each model is making improvement based on the previous design and customer feedbacks.
To conclude, there is no best brand, just only wise buyers as everyone has different demand and specific needs.
Now that you know how to choose the best scope for a sniper, you should have a reasonably good idea before going shopping. Just remember a proper scope should be able to give you the most explicit image no matter from what angle you are aiming at.
Like we said, there is no best best brand, we just need to choose the one that satisfy our demand the most, and in this case, the PROSTAFF 5 BDC from Nikon company seems to fit our purpose perfectly, especially for snipers.
We choose this one not only because of the famous brand but also for the versatility and effective performance of the scope in long-range distance. This optic won’t let you down in any shooting scenario.
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