Exploring The 9+ Best Hunting Scopes in 2024: Analysis and Top Picks

Highly detailed and sharp focus hunting scopes, Crystal clear optics for accurate aiming, Sleek and modern design, Versatile for different hunting environments, Excellent light transmission for low-light conditions, Precise and adjustable reticles, Enhanced magnification for long-range shots, Durable construction for rugged use, Waterproof and fogproof for all weather conditions, Wide field of view for better target acquisition, High-quality lens coatings for improved clarity

Review of The Best Hunting Scopes

As the hunting landscape continues to evolve with advances in technology and technique, choosing the right optic can dramatically enhance your experience in the wild.

The best hunting scopes of 2024 offer a remarkable fusion of cutting-edge optical technology, rugged durability, and precision engineering.

These scopes are designed not only to meet the demanding needs of modern hunters but also to push the boundaries of what hunting optics can achieve.

Whether you’re tracking deer in the dense forests of the East, calling elk across the vast plains of the West, or setting up for a precision shot in a competitive target environment, the latest scopes bring clarity, accuracy, and reliability to every shot.

Our Top Picks of The Best Hunting Scopes of 2024

Best Overall

#1. Maven RS3.2-5-30X50

  • The Maven RS3.2 features a first focal plane, a 5-30x zoom range, side parallax adjustment, exposed turrets with…

Runner-Up

#2. Steiner Optics Predator

  • Integrated customizable ballistic turret
  • High-contrast glass with best-in-class optical clarity

Best Budget

#3. Meopta Optika6 2.5

  • TRUE HUNTING RIFLESCOPE – The 2.5-15×44 Optika6 scopes feature capped windage and elevation turrets…

The Ultimate Guide to Hunting Scopes: Best Practices for Every Hunter

The Ultimate Guide to Hunting Scopes: Best Practices for Every Hunter” is an indispensable resource for both novice and seasoned hunters aiming to elevate their hunting game.

This comprehensive guide covers everything from selecting the right scope to mastering its use in the field.

It delves into the critical aspects of scope functionality, including magnification, reticle types, and adjustment techniques, ensuring you make informed decisions.

Additionally, it offers practical tips on mounting, zeroing, and maintaining your scope to enhance accuracy and longevity.

Whether you’re stalking big game or targeting small varmints, this guide equips you with the knowledge and skills needed to optimize your hunting scope for a successful and ethical hunt.

Maven RS3.2-5-30X50 mm FFP Lightweight Long Range…
  • The Maven RS3.2 features a first focal plane, a 5-30x zoom range, side parallax adjustment, exposed turrets with toolless zero, lockable zero-stop, custom turret options, and is one of the lightest full-featured hunting scopes on the market.
  • The Maven RS Series represents our elite line of rifle scopes, designed to fit your specific needs, delivered for a fraction of the cost to comparable rifle scopes and stacks up with the most celebrated and expensive scopes in the world.
Sale
Steiner 3002 Predator 8 2-16x42mm E3 Reticle &…
  • Integrated customizable ballistic turret
  • High-contrast glass with best-in-class optical clarity
SIG SAUER WHISKEY6 3-18x44mm Riflescope with MOA…
  • ELECTRO-OPTICS SOLUTION – Designed in Oregon by the SIG SAUER Electro-Optics team, the WHISKEY6 brings a new level of performance for SIG SAUER hunting riflescopes; It delivers improved clarity, resolution and light transmission from the original WHISKEY5
  • HUNTING RIFLESCOPE – This rugged 3-18x44mm gun scope with a 30mm maintube diameter is designed to bring the hardest of targets into sharp focus to ensure that your first shot will be the only one; Side focus is adjustable from 45 yards to infinity
Revic Acura RS25i 5-25x50mm Illuminated RH2 Front…
  • 5-25x50mm rifle scope with 30mm tube size weighing 34 oz. at a compact 14.25 inches in length
  • First focal plane, Illuminated, RH2 MOA reticle with wind holds
ZEISS LRP S3 4-25×50 First Focal Plane MOA…
  • Best-in-class total elevation travel. The ZEISS LRP S3 first focal plane riflescopes are purpose-built for success in long-range shooting and hunting with a staggering amount of total elevation travel of 160 MOA.
  • Advanced Optics; With Extra Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements, ZEISS T* multi-coated lenses, and 90% light transmission, the ZEISS LRP S3 models deliver advanced optical performance.
TORIC UHD 2.5-15×44 MRAD 30mm Hunt Series Rifle…
  • First Focal Plane MRAD based Hunting reticle and is designed to allow the hunter and shooter to use the reticle for bullet drop compensation or range estimation
  • Features TRACT’s Ultra High Definition (UHD) optical system as well as Schott High Transmission (HT) glass to provide sharp, bright images with superior light transmission values that allow you to use the scope in any situation.

9+ Best Hunting Scopes On The Market

This year’s lineup features scopes that are tailored to a variety of hunting styles and preferences, ensuring that there’s an ideal match for every hunter.

Innovations such as improved light transmission, advanced ballistic reticles, and more user-friendly adjustment systems make these scopes more versatile and easier to use than ever.

Best Overall: Maven RS3.2 5-30×50 FFP

Maven RS.3-5 – 30X50mm FFP Lightweight Long Range…
  • 5-30x magnification range, machined turrets with toolless zero, and a lockable zero-stop
  • At 26.9 oz the RS.3 takes the title for the lightest full-featured 30x hunting scope on the market
  • Built to top the most accurate rifles in the world and designed to compete with premium scopes costing much more, the Maven RS Series rifle scopes bring unmatched value to a true premium scope, while leaving you enough money for that hunt of a lifetime

Score Card

  • Optical Performance: Very Good
  • Aiming System: Excellent
  • Design: Very Good
  • Price/Value: Very Good

Key Features

  • Magnification range of 5-30x
  • 30mm diameter tube
  • Weight of 27.8 ounces
  • First focal plane reticle
  • Elevation adjustment range of 80 MOA/23 MIL
  • Parallax adjustment from 20 yards to infinity

Pros

  • Exceptionally clear and bright optics
  • Smooth and easy-to-use controls
  • Options for MOA or MIL adjustments
  • Multiple reticle choices
  • Customizable turret options
  • Covered by a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Limited selection of reticle designs
  • Overly powerful maximum magnification
  • Lack of illuminated reticle

The Maven RS3.2, has minimal shortcomings as a versatile scope designed primarily for Western big-game hunting, yet capable of achieving impressive precision in long-range target shooting.

Its enhancements include refined turrets and an improved zero stop, maintaining a competitive price.

The scope boasts superior Japanese optics, precise controls, and a sturdy build ideal for various rifles, making it a favored choice for precision shooters and hunters alike.

Best Value: Meopta Optika6 2.5-15×44

Meopta Optika6 2.5-15×44 30 mm SFP Second Focal…
  • TRUE HUNTING RIFLESCOPE – The 2.5-15×44 Optika6 scopes feature capped windage and elevation turrets to avoid unwanted adjustments when moving fast through heavy cover
  • MEOBRIGHT- A proprietary ion-assisted lens multi-coating for the riflescopes developed by Meopta, eliminate glare and reflections and delivers an industry leading 99.7% light transmission per lens surface

Score Card

  • Optical Performance: Very Good
  • Aiming System: Excellent
  • Design: Good
  • Price/Value: Excellent

Key Features

  • 2.5-15x magnification power
  • 30mm tube diameter
  • Second focal plane BDC reticle
  • Parallax from 20 yards to infinity
  • Capped turrets with 0.25 MOA adjustment per click

Pros

  • Superior clarity and brightness in the lens
  • Effective BDC reticle with windage indicators
  • Affordable at under $700
  • Primarily tailored for hunters

Cons

  • No reticle illumination
  • Limited capability for precision shooting

The Meopta Optika6 impresses with its performance against more recognized brands, providing excellent optical quality and mechanical precision. It suits big-game hunting with its robust features and reliable BDC reticle, enhancing its versatility and appeal at a modest price point.

Best for Elk Hunting: Steiner Predator 8 2-16×42

Sale
Steiner 3002 Predator 8 2-16x42mm E3 Reticle &…
  • Integrated customizable ballistic turret
  • High-contrast glass with best-in-class optical clarity
  • Extra-wide field of view

Score Card

  • Optical Performance: Very Good
  • Aiming System: Excellent
  • Design: Very Good
  • Price/Value: Good

Key Features

  • 2-16x magnification
  • 30mm tube
  • Second-plane E3 MOA reticle
  • Exposed customizable elevation turret
  • Parallax focus from 20 yards to infinity
  • Illuminated reticle with 11 brightness settings

Pros

  • Top-tier optics and coatings
  • Customizable turret distances
  • Lightweight and compact, suitable for various rifles
  • Intuitive and quick aiming with the second-plane reticle

Cons

  • Not ideal for precision target shooting
  • Limited adjustment range of 55 MOA
  • High price point

Steiner’s Predator 8 is crafted for dynamic hunting environments, offering swift and easy target acquisition with its excellent ballistic reticle and customizable turret. Although less suited for precision competitions, its features make it a formidable choice for serious big-game hunters.

Best for Whitetail Hunting: Sig Sauer WHISKEY6 3-18×44

SIG SAUER WHISKEY6 3-18X44mm 30mm Tube F2/SFP…
  • WHISKEY6 3-18X44MM SCOPE – A workhorse gun scope engineered to deliver rugged versatility for recreational shooters, hunters & avid outdoorsmen alike; Utilizing a redesigned zero-stop elevation dial, the locking push button allows for quick manipulation of the exposed multi-turn turret without needing to remove a threaded cap

Score Card

  • Optical Performance: Good
  • Aiming System: Excellent
  • Design: Very Good
  • Price/Value: Good

Key Features

  • 3-18x magnification
  • 30mm tube diameter
  • Second-plane MOA Milling Hunter 2.0 hash-style reticle
  • Parallax adjustment from 45 yards to infinity
  • 78 MOA elevation and windage range
  • Capped turrets with 0.25 MOA per click
  • Detachable throw lever

Pros

  • High-quality lens with superior light transmission
  • Precise side focus adjustment
  • Choice of reticle designs

Cons

  • No illumination in the reticle
  • Limited capability for precision target competition
  • Excessive emphasis on “WHISKEY6” branding

The WHISKEY6 scope is ideal for hunters transitioning from traditional duplex reticles, offering sufficient reticle references for effective long-range shooting in competitive settings, yet primarily designed for hunting applications.

Most Innovative: Revic Acura RS25i 5-25×50

Revic Acura RS25i 5-25x50mm Illuminated RH2 Front…
  • 5-25x50mm rifle scope with 30mm tube size weighing 34 oz. at a compact 14.25 inches in length
  • First focal plane, Illuminated, RH2 MOA reticle with wind holds
  • Elevation turret features a 2 rotation MOA option, or replace the top MOA ring with a custom BDR (Ballistic Data Ring) ring made for your specific load.

Score Card

  • Optical Performance: Good
  • Aiming System: Excellent
  • Design: Very Good
  • Price/Value: Good

Key Features

  • 5-25x magnification
  • 30mm tube
  • First-plane RH2 MOA reticle
  • Exposed elevation turret with Ballistic Data Ring
  • Wind-Assist Icons for windage adjustments
  • Push-button red illumination with 10 intensity levels
  • Designed for mid-sized rifles with a 14-inch length

Pros

  • Exceptional optical quality
  • Customizable elevation turret options
  • Tool-less rezeroing with adjustable zero stop
  • Designed as a precision hunting scope
  • Ambidextrous throw lever
  • Integration with the Revic/Gunwerks ballistics ecosystem
  • Wide field of view relative to peers
  • Alignment aid for cant-free mounting

Cons

  • Complex interface
  • Heavier at 35 ounces for a hunting scope

Revic’s Acura RS25i stands out with its innovative design and integration with a ballistics app, offering a customizable reticle and turret system tailored to specific loads and environmental conditions. This scope is a top contender for hunters and long-range shooters looking to enhance their skills and equipment.

Bright Clarity and Sharp Glass

TORIC UHD 4.5-30×56 34mm MRAD ELR – Extreme Long…
  • The 34mm, one-piece tube provides greater strength and a wider adjustment range for extreme long range shooting
  • Battery not included.
  • Highly responsive control system
  • Multifunctional reticle design
  • Adjustable side parallax from 10 yards to infinity
  • Optional reticle illumination available

Cons

  • At maximum zoom, the reticle may obscure the target
  • Low visibility of the non-illuminated reticle at minimal magnification

The Tract Toric stands out as an exemplary model for western hunting, showcasing its capability as both a target and hunting scope. With a first-plane, milliradian-based reticle that includes detailed hash marks for precise targeting and ranging, it excels in both clarity and functionality. The scope’s side focus extends from 10 yards to infinity, ensuring accuracy at any distance. Its elevation turrets are exceptionally smooth, enhancing its usability in varied shooting contexts.

Hunting attributes of the Toric UltraHD include its sleek, low profile and light 28-ounce weight, making it a top choice for hunters who appreciate versatility and performance. The optional illuminated reticle enhances visibility in low light conditions, making it a solid investment for serious hunters.

Best Lightweight: Vortex Razor HD LHT 4.5-22×50

Vortex Optics Razor HD LHT 4.5-22×50 First Focal…
  • The Razor HD LHT 4.5-22×50 FFP riflescope answers every demand of the long-range hunter, and is still among the lightest in its class while adding first focal plane functionality and a higher mag range.
  • The HD optical system and premium XR coatings generate unparalled image quality and brightness. Index-matched apochromatic lenses correct color across the entire visual spectrum. Armortek coatings protect the lenses.

Score Card

  • Optical Performance: Good
  • Aiming System: Very Good
  • Design: Very Good
  • Price/Value: Good

Key Features

  • 4.5-22x magnification range
  • 30mm tube diameter
  • First-plane tree-style reticle
  • Adjustable elevation turret with .25 MOA/.1 MIL click values
  • Capped windage turret
  • Weighs only 21.7 ounces

Pros

  • Exceptional clarity and brightness
  • Compact version of Vortex’s premier target scope
  • Multi-functional first-plane reticle
  • Parallax adjustment from 25 yards to infinity
  • Includes a free ballistic turret strip

Cons

  • Some hunters find the reticle overly complex for quick shots
  • Limited elevation adjustment compared to competitors

The Vortex Razor HD LHT is a superb example of a hybrid target/hunting scope, blending high-end optics and precision into a lightweight frame. This scope is designed to perform in diverse settings, from close-range rimfire competitions to long-range hunting, providing exceptional versatility.

Best Redesigned: Riton 5 Primal 2-12×44

Riton Optics 2023 Series 5 Primal 2-12×44 MOA…
  • Dry Nitrogen Purged and Sealed-Utilizing Nitrogen gas, the optic is purged and sealed to ensure optimal performance in all weather conditions for the life of the optic.
  • Precision Quality Assurance-Every Riton product goes through a rigorous quality control process by a certified technician in Tucson, AZ. Each product you receive has undergone a thorough dual inspection process, being tested and inspected twice prior to making it to you.

Score Card

  • Optical Performance: Good
  • Aiming System: Good
  • Design: Good
  • Price/Value: Very Good

Key Features

  • 2-12x magnification
  • 30mm tube
  • Second-plane PHD reticle
  • Capped, zero-resettable turrets with .25 MOA adjustments
  • 90 MOA total elevation adjustment range
  • Adjustable three-height throw lever

Pros

  • Enhanced and robust erector system
  • Rated for use with airguns
  • Wide and useful magnification range

Cons

  • Reticle primarily suited for hunting, less so for precision targeting
  • Reticle references are most effective at the highest magnification

This newly redesigned Riton scope offers an improved optical system and a robust build, making it ideal for hunters who need fast, intuitive targeting. The simple yet effective hash-style reticle facilitates rapid alignment and shooting, with an open center aiming point that enhances speed and accuracy.

Best Entry-Level: Sightmark Presidio 3-18×50

Sale
Sightmark Presidio 3-18×50 MR2 FFP
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optics: Features fully multi-coated lenses for optical performance. Maximized light transmission, superior brightness, color accuracy, reduced reflections ensure premium image quality for competitions, range plinking, or hunting.
  • Accessible Low-Profile Locking Turrets: Low-profile locking turrets provide swift, secure adjustments in dynamic scenarios. Crucial for users demanding rapid, accurate turret adjustments in challenging conditions.

Score Card

  • Optical Performance: Fair
  • Aiming System: Good
  • Design: Good
  • Price/Value: Very Good

Key Features

  • 3-18x magnification
  • 30mm tube
  • First-plane tree-style reticle
  • Exposed turrets with .1 MIL click adjustments
  • Capped windage turret

Pros

  • Parallax adjustment from 10 yards to infinity
  • Highly affordable at under $400
  • Includes red reticle illumination
  • Comes with a throw lever

Cons

  • Lower quality glass
  • Turret markings can be confusing

The Sightmark Presidio is an excellent starting point for those new to long-range shooting or precision rimfire competitions. It combines a versatile LR2 reticle with broad illumination settings and a substantial adjustment range, making it a capable and budget-friendly option for both target practice and mid-range hunting scenarios.

How to Choose a Versatile Hunting Scope

When selecting a crossover hunting/target scope, consider the primary use—whether for competition shooting or hunting. For shooting, prioritize first-plane reticles and tactical turrets. For hunting, simpler reticles and capped or locking turrets may be preferable, especially for dynamic shooting environments.

For those who dial in shots, clear turrets with precise adjustments are essential. For those who prefer holding over, detailed reticle markings are crucial, regardless of the scope’s magnification.

Additional considerations include reticle illumination, side parallax adjustments, and integration with ballistic apps. Evaluate the scope’s warranty and overall value, considering how the scope’s features align with your shooting or hunting needs.

Final Thoughts on the Best Hunting Scopes

Choosing the right scope involves balancing between specific hunting needs and the desired precision for target shooting. While categorizations like “Best For…” can guide you, the ultimate decision should align with how you plan to use the scope across various settings. These versatile scopes offer significant value, capable of adapting to a range of shooting conditions and game, making them excellent investments for any shooter’s arsenal.

FAQs About Hunting Scopes

What is the difference between first-plane and second-plane reticles?

First-plane reticles, also known as first focal plane (FFP) reticles, scale in size as you adjust the magnification. This means that the reticle’s markings, which are used for range estimation and bullet drop compensation, remain proportionally accurate at any magnification. Second-plane reticles, or second focal plane (SFP) reticles, stay the same size regardless of magnification, which means their markings are only accurate at one specific magnification setting, typically the highest.

How do I choose the right magnification for my hunting scope?

The right magnification for a hunting scope depends on the type of hunting and the typical range at which you will be shooting. For close to medium-range (up to 300 yards), a lower magnification (3-9x or 4-12x) is often sufficient. For longer ranges, such as those found in western mountain hunting, higher magnifications (10x to 20x or more) may be necessary.

What are MOA and MRAD, and how do they affect my choice in scopes?

MOA (Minute of Angle) and MRAD (Milliradian) are units of angular measurement used in the adjustment of rifle scopes. MOA is more common in the U.S. and is approximately equal to 1 inch at 100 yards. MRAD is a metric measurement and is about 3.6 inches at 100 yards. The choice between MOA and MRAD depends on personal preference and perhaps the system you are more comfortable with.

Can a higher price scope improve my hunting success?

While a higher-priced scope often offers better optical quality, durability, and features like a wider range of magnification or advanced coatings, it does not automatically improve hunting success. Skill, experience, and the right type of scope for the environment and game are also critical factors.

What is parallax in a hunting scope, and why is it important?

Parallax is an apparent displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight. In rifle scopes, parallax issues can lead to errors in accuracy when the target and the reticle are not on the same focal plane. Adjustable parallax settings help ensure that the scope’s focus is at the same distance as the target, reducing shooting errors, especially at longer ranges.

How important is the weight of a hunting scope?

The weight of a hunting scope is particularly important if you will be moving a lot, especially in rough terrain, as it adds to the overall weight of the firearm. A lighter scope can help reduce fatigue and maintain maneuverability. However, balance and durability should not be sacrificed for the sake of lighter weight.

What should I look for in a hunting scope if I hunt in various light conditions?

If you hunt in varied lighting conditions, look for a scope with a large objective lens and high-quality coatings to improve light transmission and clarity. Illuminated reticles can also be beneficial in low-light conditions, such as dawn or dusk, enhancing reticle visibility against dark backgrounds.

How do turret adjustments work, and what should I know about them?

Turret adjustments alter the scope’s point of impact vertically and horizontally. Turrets typically have clicks that correspond to a specific unit of measurement (MOA or MRAD). When choosing a scope, consider turrets that are easy to adjust with clear and tactile clicks, and whether they have features like locking mechanisms or zero stops to maintain zero under field conditions.

What are the benefits of a higher objective lens diameter in a hunting scope?

A larger objective lens diameter allows more light to enter the scope, which can enhance image brightness and clarity, especially in low-light conditions. However, it also makes the scope bulkier and may require higher mounting, which can affect shooting posture and accuracy.

Why would I need a scope with an adjustable objective or side focus?

An adjustable objective or side focus is used to correct parallax errors at various distances. This feature is particularly useful for long-range shooting, where parallax can significantly impact accuracy. Adjusting the focus ensures the target and the reticle are in the same focal plane, which is crucial for precise shooting.

How can I ensure my hunting scope is durable enough for harsh conditions?

To ensure durability, look for scopes that are waterproof, fog-proof, and shock-resistant. These features are typically achieved through O-ring seals and nitrogen or argon purging, which protect the scope from moisture and internal fogging. Additionally, scopes with rugged construction materials, such as aircraft-grade aluminum, are better suited to withstand the rigors of harsh hunting environments.

SHARE THIS:

Speaking Events Best Fit:

  • LEO Academy Graduations
  • Any Public Safety Events
  • Men’s Groups
  • Church Conferences
  • Military Veteran Events
  • At Risk Youth Programs
  • Business Growth Events
  • Recruitment Conferences
  • AI Implementation Strategy
  • Online Marketing Events

About Me

Speaking Events Best Fit:

  • LEO Academy Graduations
  • Any Public Safety Events
  • Men’s Groups
  • Church Conferences
  • Military Veteran Events
  • At Risk Youth Programs
  • Business Growth Events
  • Recruitment Conferences
  • AI Implementation Strategy
  • Online Marketing Events

With an unparalleled charisma and a captivating stage presence, EL Forestal, the founder and creator of  Hero Helper AI,  has the ability to captivate audiences and leave a lasting impact. Drawing upon his immigrant upbringing, law enforcement background and expertise in AI automation, strategic recruiting growth & business development, EL Forestal delivers powerful messages that resonate with both personal and professional aspirations. 

During his keynote address, EL Forestal will delve into the depths of motivation, sharing valuable insights and practical strategies to unlock hidden potential and drive success. He will inspire attendees to break through barriers, overcome challenges, and reach new heights in their lives.

EL’s unique perspective and experience make him the perfect keynote speaker for your event. With over 20 years of experience in law enforcement, EL has seen it all. He has a deep understanding of the challenges law enforcement professionals face daily and knows how to motivate and inspire them to overcome those obstacles.

Whether you are a law enforcement professional seeking to excel in talent acquisition or a leader looking to inspire your team, EL Forestal’s keynote speech is a must-attend event. Prepare to be energized, motivated, and empowered as EL Forestal imparts his wisdom and passion to ignite the fire within.

Tell Us About Your Needs and We'll Be In Touch!