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The Best 3-9×40 Scopes in 2020

The best 3-9×40 scope is an ideal choice for hunters and shooters alike because of several good reasons. One of these is that it is just one of those scopes capable of providing you with enough low magnification to make close-in shots precisely.

best 3-9x40 rifle scope

It also lets you take advantage of high-level magnifications that you can use to fire long-distance shots accurately. Aside from providing you with the exact thing you need for hunting, it also has a sleek and nice look. Now, the question is, how can you find the perfect scope for your unique requirements?

Start shopping with our compiled and reviewed 3-9×40 scopes here as all these products deliver exemplary performance while granting your shooting requirements and needs.

Quick Answer: The 8 Best 3-9×40 Scopes for 2020

  1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9×40 BDC (MOA) Riflescope
  2. Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-9×40 BDC (MOA) Riflescope
  3. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 Riflescope
  4. Simmons Truplex 3-9×40 Riflescope
  5. Leupold VX-R 3-9×40 Riflescope
  6. UTG 3-9×40 1″ AO Hunter Scope
  7. Burris 3-9×40 Riflescope
  8. Bushnell Trophy XLT 3-9×40 Multi-X Reticle Riflescope

First, let’s take a look at the top-rated 3-9×40 scopes, then we’ll talk about how to choose the right one for you in our buying guide below.

Best 3-9×40 Scope Reviews of 2020

#1 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9×40 BDC (MOA) Riflescope

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9x40 BDC (MOA) RiflescopeIf you wish to own the best budget 3-9×40 scope then you will never be disappointed choosing the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9×40 BDC (MOA) Riflescope. Some say that it is a high-quality 3-9×40 scope under $100 with most of the features they need for various hunting and shooting scenarios.

I found out that it has a flexible design, making it suit both the beginner and the high-end professional categories of riflescopes. It can deliver a fantastic shooting performance when used on long hunting trips.

I think its durable single-piece design constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum alloy plays a major role in it. It is strong and sturdy enough that it has the highest resistance to maximum magnum recoils. Despite its strength, it remains lightweight, promoting ease in maneuverability.

I also love how this scope is capable of taking .340-caliber cartridge shocks in an almost effortless manner. That is possible even if you constantly use it under tough and rough situations. The fact that it utilizes a DEAD-HOLD BDC reticle is also a big advantage as its customized dot design can eliminate your concerns regarding holdovers.

Expect it to be of help in delivering highly accurate shots regardless of elevation by lessening holdover or windage corrections.

However, I would like to complain about its tendency to distort images once it is set to 6x magnification.
Pros
  • Extremely sturdy while remaining lightweight
  • Eliminates holdover concerns, thanks to the customized dot design of its reticle
  • Lessens holdover or windage corrections for better accuracy
  • Ideal for long hunting trips
  • Guarantees smooth magnification adjustments with its precision-glide erector system
Cons
  • Somewhat distorted images for 6x magnification
If you intend to go on a long hunting trip while being exposed to extremely rough environments and conditions then go for this Vortex Optics Crossfire II riflescope because aside from its lightness, it is also extremely sturdy that it will continue to work for you for the whole duration of your trip.

#2 Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-9×40 BDC (MOA) Riflescope

Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-9x40 BDC (MOA) RiflescopeAnother suggestion I have for those who are searching for a high-quality 3-9×40 scope for the money is the Vortex Optics Diamondback riflescope. One of the many things I find pleasing in this riflescope is its Dead-Hold BDC reticle, which I find truly useful for shooting and hunting on different ranges, particularly those that cause holdover concerns.

It also has a flexible design in the sense that it works as a high-quality 3-9×40 scope for AR-15, as well as for slug shotgun, rifle, muzzleloader, and big game applications. I can also rave for the almost indestructible construction of this riflescope. It has can resist magnum recoil that well because of its strong aircraft-grade aluminum alloy built.

I am also greatly satisfied with the full multi-coating used for the scope’s lenses as such delivers bright and clear images when using it from dawn until dusk. Another praiseworthy feature is the scope’s fast-focus eyepiece, which I find helpful if you want to have an easier time focusing the reticle quickly.

Another reason why many love this riflescope from Vortex is its ability to ensure highly accurate and precise tracking and repeatability. This is all because of the scope’s precision glide erector system.

You are also allowed to reset this scope to zero after sighting it in with the aid of its metal-on-metal turrets built for precision.

However, I find the eye relief of this Vortex Diamondback riflescope slightly fussy and insufficient, though.
Pros
  • Ideal for use on various shooting and hunting ranges with holdover concerns
  • Flexible as it is compatible with different applications
  • Strong and indestructible aircraft-grade aluminum alloy built
  • Equipped with a multi-coated lens that showcases bright and clear images
  • Comes with a precision glide erector system for accuracy and preciseness
Cons
  • Slightly fussy and insufficient eye relief
If you are searching for a high-quality 3-9×40 scope under $200 then the Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-9×40 BDC (MOA) Riflescope fits your requirements as it has most of the essential qualities that a good 3-9×40 needs to possess, giving you a wise and nice return of your investment.

#3 Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 Riflescope

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 RiflescopeAnother good 3-9x40x scope that you can pick out is the Nikon Buckmasters II. I am truly impressed with this riflescope from the well-known brand Nikon because it has a strong and rigid built designed to withstand even the most difficult shooting and hunting situations.

It is even further strengthened with its waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof properties. I like how it is created in such a way that it can satisfy the majority of shooting requirements. You can instantly sense that through its built-in anti-reflective system, which is bright enough while also compromising adjusting lenses.

With this anti-reflective capability, I am pretty sure you will enjoy this scope’s improved clarity and brightness as well as its impressive light transmission. It is, therefore, a big help in pulling out your target from its surrounding whether you decide to hunt either at dawn or dusk.

I am also glad of its nitrogen-sealed structure designed to help in ensuring that moisture does not penetrate the housing inside. I am also glad that this riflescope uses spot-on ballistic match technology as I found it capable of finding the target points precisely at different distances depending on your specific load and ammunition.

There is also a positive click reticle adjustment, which is a big help in maintaining your settings while also promoting ease in zeroing it in quickly.

Furthermore, it has a good and generous eye relief plus a see-through ballistic circle, which makes it appropriate for long-range shooting while providing regular target image in case you prefer short-range shooting.

However, one thing I dislike is that it lacks the scope rings and mount.
Pros
  • Waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof, allowing it to handle most shooting and hunting scenarios
  • Comes with an anti-reflective system for clarity, brightness, and good light transmission
  • Prevents moisture from penetrating inside, thanks to its nitrogen-sealed structure
  • Good and generous eye relief
  • Easy and quick to zero in
Cons
  • Does not include the scope rings and mount in the purchase
Overall, I can conclude that the Nikon Buckmasters II is well-made with all the features and qualities at the right places, making it deserving of its popularity in the industry at present.

#4 Simmons Truplex 3-9×40 Riflescope

Simmons Truplex 3-9x40 RiflescopeMost legitimate and fair 3-9×40 scope reviews will not be complete without the Simmons Truplex 3-9×40 Riflescope. I discovered this budget-friendly option reliable and useful as it has features and benefits that are in line with the specific needs and demands of most of its users.

It is offered at a cheap price but you have a hundred percent assurance that its build is not compromised. It is even constructed sturdily and durably while keeping in mind precision and accuracy. With such a high level of precision, I am happy to announce that it is truly compatible even with competitive hunting.

It has an attractive design, too, which will surely motivate you to carry it with you all the time. I am so glad of the built-in adjustment system for the elevation and windage. Such components make use of ¼ MOA audible-click and sure-grip system, which is useful for proper and easy customization and adjustment.

I am also glad that the windage and elevation system features a distinctive lock mechanism, making it possible for the riflescope to hold zero. This is possible even if you are shooting using rifles with high recoil in strenuous and rough situations. Another reason why I am very happy with this scope is that it is easy to mount.

It also boasts of its lightweight build, further promoting convenient use.

However, I do not find its offered level of light transmission adequate, making it less suitable when used in dusty situations and long hunts compared to the others.
Pros
  • Budget-friendly
  • Sturdy and durable build without weighing too much
  • Easy to customize and adjust elevation and windage
  • Capable of holding zero well, thanks to the distinctive lock mechanism for the windage and elevation system
  • Easy to mount
Cons
  • Not that suitable for dusty situations and long hunts because of its somewhat insufficient light transmission
Despite that flaw regarding light transmission, I can still safely conclude that this item is the best value 3-9×40 scope because even with its affordable price, it still delivers incredible precision and accuracy.

#5 Leupold VX-R 3-9×40 Riflescope

Leupold VX-R 3-9x40 RiflescopeThe next product designed for anyone searching for the best 3-9×40 riflescope is the Leupold VX-R. Constructed using aircraft-quality aluminum material, I can safely say that this riflescope will not disappoint in terms of the quality and strength of its build. In fact, it can bring out a fantastic performance even when dealing with harsh recoil.

The 30-mm main tube of this scope is also created with incredible strength and durability while also bringing out a higher range of elevation and windage adjustment. There is also an assurance of its one hundred percent shockproof, fog-proof, and waterproof structure, further improving its solid and stable structure.

Another positive feature integrated into this riflescope is its lens, which assures users of clarity of images because of its ability to supply excellent illumination and light transmission. In other words, the lens promotes clear vision even in those conditions and environments where there is poor or dim lighting.

It is also one of the best Leupold riflescopes that work well for target shooting and long-range hunting. I am also drawn into this riflescope because of its illuminated reticle, which makes it appropriate for use in lowlight conditions. It can guarantee an additional of ten minutes glassing light with the help of twilight management system.

Also, there is a motion sensor technology capable of extending the life of the battery just by automatically deactivating the light in case it gets inactive for five minutes.

One thing I dislike about this scope from Leupold, though, is its price as it is somewhat expensive.
Pros
  • Clarity of images guaranteed
  • Provides incredible illumination and quick light transmission
  • Can be used even in environments with poor or dim lighting
  • Works well for target shooting and long-range hunting
  • Boasts of a truly solid and stable structure with its shockproof, fog-proof, and waterproof nature
Cons
  • Expensive
The Leupold VX-R Riflescope may not be suitable for those looking for a high-quality 3-9×40 scope under $300 as it costs more than that but if you are willing to spend more than three hundred bucks then you should give it a try because all the features and benefits it presently possesses make it truly worthy of your investment.

#6 UTG 3-9×40 1″ AO Hunter Scope

UTG 3-9x40 1" AO Hunter ScopeThe UTG 1-inch AO Hunter Scope is also one of those 3-9×40 riflescopes that will not leave you feeling disappointed. I even agree to those who say that it works well for hundreds and thousands of serious marksmen and hunters who say that it is a reliable scope capable of bringing their shooting game into an even higher level.

Offered at a cheap price, this UTG AO Hunter scope does not skimp in terms of features and performance. It is because everything that goes into this scope seems to be well-thought-out. For instance, it is equipped with a mil-dot range estimating reticle, which many find extremely useful as it optimizes one’s aiming or targeting potential.

This can further lead to an improved shooting performance overall. I am also fond of the adjustable parallax promised by this scope. I am so satisfied with the premium and high-quality resettable and lockable turrets, too. It is because I noticed how useful such features are in the quick manipulation of the scope.

This also assures users of rapid zero adjustments and retention as this only takes around a few seconds. Another reason for the continuous positive feedback of this scope is its ability to offer a wide range of colors for the illumination of its reticle. It also has a few brightness intensities to choose from.

With that, you are allowed to pick the one that is specifically appropriate for the industry you are in. It does not also fog up that easily even if you decide to hunt on harsh and extreme weather because the whole body is sealed and filled with nitrogen.

I dislike the packaging, though, as I noticed that it is quite subpar.
Pros
  • Offered at an inexpensive price
  • Can optimize aiming or targeting potential with the aid of the mil-dot range estimating reticle
  • Comes with an adjustable parallax
  • Quick and easy to manipulate with the aid of its resettable and lockable turrets
  • Does not fog up easily
Cons
  • Subpar packaging
Overall, I can say that this UTG scope is a high-quality and flexible product composed of most, if not all, of the most valuable features that any great-performing riflescope should carry.

#7 Burris 3-9×40 Riflescope

Burris 3-9x40 RiflescopeAnother premium-quality but affordable hunting riflescope you should check out is the famous Burris 3-9×40 Ballistic Plex Riflescope. There are plenty of things that encouraged me to give this Burris riflescope a try. One of these is the optical glass known for being high-grade that it presently holds.

It is because the built-in optical glass offers incredible clarity and brightness while assuring users of long-lasting sturdiness. I feel good about the dual spring system used in this riflescope as I noticed how effective it is in controlling recoil. With such a system, I am sure that it can hold up hundreds of AR rounds.

The overall length of this scope is also just enough to promote ease in mounting it in well-known short actions of today. It has a single-piece construction, which is sturdy and solid enough as it is reinforced with quad-seal gas seals. I am so impressed with the multicoated lens offered by this riflescope, too, as it contributes to optics clarity.

With its fog-proof, waterproof, and shockproof build, this Burris riflescope is also a sure hit as far as being long-lasting is concerned. The precision-ground lens is high in quality and bigger than other scopes, making them more capable of collecting or gathering light.

The strong, sturdy, and integrated eyepiece design used in this scope is also famous for being non-slip, promoting quick and easy field adjustment. It is lightweight and compact, too, promoting convenience in terms of maneuvering it.

One thing I dislike about this riflescope, though, is that it is slightly difficult to clean.
Pros
  • High-grade optical glass featured in its construction, which provides incredible clarity and brightness
  • Capable of controlling recoil well
  • Easy to mount, thanks to its adequate length
  • Single-piece yet sturdy construction
  • Waterproof and shockproof
Cons
  • Not that easy to clean
You will find such issue very minor, though, once you start recognizing how this Burris scope performs in whatever field or environment you decide to use it to.

#8 Bushnell Trophy XLT 3-9×40 Multi-X Reticle Riflescope

Bushnell Trophy XLT 3-9x40 Multi-X Reticle RiflescopeYou will also find the Bushnell Trophy XLT Multi-X Reticle Riflescope a wise choice if versatility, durability, and fantastic performance are what you are looking for. It is a versatile and all-around hunting riflescope that works well for big-game hunting and target shooting.

I super like how this riflescope from Bushnell is built, especially because it showcases a high level of accuracy. It has a sturdy single-piece tube structure, which is famous for being fog-proof and waterproof. This is all thanks to the O-ring sealing and nitrogen-purging structure used in creating it.

I think that the bright optic system of this Bushnell riflescope is also one of its most powerful and amazing features. It is because I noticed how effective it is in promoting excellent light transmission and clarity. The fully multicoated optics system of this riflescope is also one reason behind why it delivers the bright and clear vision.

The fact that the lens is coated with several layers also promote less reflection on the surface, further maximizing the transmission of light. The adjustable magnification and fast-focus eyepiece also ensure that you will be able to adjust it depending on what you require on a particular scenario.

Furthermore, it delivers supreme protection. It has flip-up caps designed in such a way that your lens will be fully protected from fogging and precipitation. The scope is also capable of resisting water and shock, allowing it to withstand heavy and constant uses even in poor conditions and weather.

However, some complained about the somewhat inconvenient and limited eye relief that this Bushnell riflescope provides.
Pros
  • Works as an all-around and versatile riflescope
  • Fog-proof, waterproof, and strong structure
  • Minimal surface reflection guaranteed, promoting good light transmission
  • Easy to adjust magnification and a fast-focus eyepiece
  • Supreme protection guaranteed
Cons
  • Somewhat limited and inconvenient eye relief
Considering all the positive benefits and valuable features present in this scope, it is safe to say that this product can add a touch of fun and excitement to your game hunting adventures, which makes it ideal for both casual and professional hunters.

Buying Guide

What is a 3-9×40 Scope?

best 3-9x40 compact rifle scope

As the name states, this is a scope that has a range of magnification starting from 3x to 9x power. This type of scope is usually used on rifles chambered for smaller and less powerful rounds.

You will usually see this scope mounted on rimfire rifles like the .17 Winchester Super Magnum (.17 WSM), .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (.22 WRF), and the hugely popular .22 Long Rifle (.22 LR). Because these rounds have limited effective ranges, using overly high-powered scopes will be a bit overkill.

However, there are times when low-powered scopes are useful on high-powered firearms, as long as the ammunition it is chambered for does not have a lot of recoil. The 3-9×40 scopes are ideal for close-range or medium-range, which is up to 200 yards.

When you scope a target 200 yards away using the 9x magnification, it would seem like it is just around 22 to 25 yards away. If you zero your scope correctly, you can hit your targets every time.

What Does a 3-9×40 Scope Mean?

best 3-9x40 hunting scope

All the numbers in scope names have a meaning. When it comes to the 3-9×40 scope, it describes its magnification power and the objective lens size. The “3-9x” denotes the range of magnification that the scope can handle. This means it has 3x zoom at the lowest setting and 9x zoom at the highest.

This makes this particular kind of scope perfect for plinking, otherwise known as shooting at the target range. It is also best for hunting small animals and even big game. However, you need to get a pretty solid shot if you want to take down a big animal using a .22LR or similar ammunition.

The “40” is for the size (in mm) of the objective lens, which is the one that is in front of the scope. In this case, the objective lens is 40mm in diameter. This is a good size for a because it lets in quite a lot of light, thus giving you a clearer and more focused sight picture.

What Range is a 3-9×40 Scope Good For?

3-9x40 scope range

The 3-9×40 is a good scope for rifles chambered for rimfire rounds. These are rounds that range from the .17 Winchester Magnum Rimfire, the rare .22 Remington Special, to the .22 Long Rifle, which is undoubtedly the most popular ammunition round available.

The effective range of rimfire rounds can go from 25 yards to 200 yards, depending on the length and rifling of the barrel. Using a rifle zeroed at 100 yards and a high-velocity round, like a .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire (which is a .17 cartridge that is based on a .22 WMR casing), you can hit a target of 200 yards away.

This is possible if you use the bullet drop compensation of your scope to allow for around six to eight inches of drop. If you will not be using your rifle for shooting at targets beyond 100 yards, you do not have to consider the bullet drop. The rimfire rounds are already powerful enough to hit the targets dead center.

Factors to Consider when Buying a 3-9×40 Scope

best 3-9x40 scope

Regardless if you are a beginner at shooting rifles or a professional with dozens of competition trophies under your belt, you should not make a small deal out of shopping for a dependable 3-9×40 scope. There are hundreds of different brands and models of 3-9×40 scopes out there.

This is mainly because .22LR rifles are popular (these are the preferred bases of this type of scope). However, not all of them perform the same way and if you are not careful, you might get a scope that will only disappoint you.

Reticle

The reticle is the most important part in any kind of scope, regardless if it is a 3-9×40 scope or not. It is the part that enables you to pick out a target and aim where your bullet will hit.

Even though some scope manufacturers use their reticle designs, they are typically based on one of the three main types, namely the duplex, mil-dot, and BDC (bullet drop compensation) reticles.

Duplex-type reticles are the best for beginners as they are easy to understand and very visible. If you have some experience shooting firearms and want something that can help with range estimation and bullet-drop compensation, then you will need to get the mil-dot or BDC reticles.

Objective lens size

The size of the objective lens will determine how much light gets into the scope, which will then contribute to the brightness and focus of the sight picture you get.

Although 3-9×40 scopes all have 40mm diameter objective lenses, you can also choose those that have bigger lenses for better light transmission. However, note that will also add a considerable amount of weight.

You can also go the other way and choose a 32mm objective lens for its compact size and lighter weight but keep in mind that light transmission will not be as good. When choosing the right scope, strike a balance between the weight of the lens versus light transmission and image quality.

Weather and shock-proofing

The .22LR rifles where 3-9×40 scopes are usually mounted on are great for hunting small to big game. This means that you will be exposing the scope to the elements. This is why you need to choose one that can thrive even in extreme conditions.

Choose a scope purged using nitrogen or any other inert gas. Doing this then sealing both sides of the scope using beefy O-rings will prevent water from getting inside. This will also prevent dust from penetrating and the possible fogging of the lenses.

Ease of use 

Just how easy a scope is used is purely subjective. There are certain functions that an experienced user will find easy but those who have no shooting experience will find complicated.

There are a couple of things that you need to keep an eye out to ensure that your scope is easy to use. First of all, check if the scope you are planning to buy is easy to mount on your rifle. This means scopes that come with mounting rings that are compatible with the receiver on your rifle should be on top of your list.

Secondly, choose one that is relatively easy to sight in and can hold zero even after numerous shots so you do not have to adjust your settings continuously. Finally, the turrets should easily reset to zero so that you can start over when you make a mistake adjusting for windage and elevation.

With these tips in mind, finding the perfect scope for your needs will not be difficult at all.

(Source: [1], [2])

Conclusion

There is no denying that good 3-9×40 scopes can help you shoot farther and more accurately than ever before, which is why you need this if you own a rimfire. Even though rimfire rounds do not have a far range compared to other ammunition, they can be pretty accurate firearms when you correctly sight the scope.

Finding the best 3-9×40 scope for your particular needs may take some time and effort. However, it will be well worth it when you can start hitting targets that are beyond one hundred yards away even if you are supposed to hit only those targets that are 30 yards.

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