As an owner of the SKS rifle, you may feel like you are possessing a historical piece in your hands. It is a Soviet-era rifle, which is fun to own and famous among collectors and shooters. You can improve the efficiency and accuracy of your rifle and showcase its positive qualities if you also mount it with the best scope for SKS.
That way, you can use it for a number of applications, including hunting and target practice. What is great about the SKS rifle is that it has a lot of positive qualities, including accuracy, ease of shooting, and being affordable and powerful. Pair that with a high-quality scope, such as the ones reviewed in this article, and you will surely have a fun-filled and exciting experience using it.
Quick Answer: The 7 Best SKS Scopes/Optics for 2020
- UTG 3-9×32 1″ BugBuster Scope
- Pinty 3-9×40 Sniper Riflescope
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 SFP Scout Riflescope
- Primary Arms 1-6×24 SFP Rifle Scope (Gen III)
- Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-8×24 SFP Riflescope
- Aim Sports 4X32 Compact Rangfinder Scope
- BARSKA 3-9×42 IR 2nd Generation Sniper Riflescope
- Sightmark SM26005 Ultra Shot M-Spec Reflex Sight
- Vortex Optics Sparc II Red Dot Sight
First, let’s take a look at the top-rated SKS scopes/optics, then we’ll talk about how to choose the right one for you in our buying guide below.
Best SKS Scope/Optic Reviews of 2020
#1 UTG 3-9×32 1″ BugBuster Scope
One dependable SKS scope worthwhile of anyone’s attention is the UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster. Priced below a hundred dollars, I noticed that it is an excellent choice for anyone searching for the best cheap scope for SKS. It has a kind of magnification that is appropriate for the majority of shooters.
I like the promised objective lens diameter, too, because I think it is good enough to offer a decent amount of light transmission. I also recommend the BugBuster if you wish to own the best compact scope for SKS. It is because it is built to be compact while still offering as many features and benefits as you want.
The compactness of this scope makes it perfect for those who run short carbines or platforms that have limited space. I am also delighted that this scope comes with a design guaranteed to withstand shocks and other vagaries associated with different weather and environmental conditions.
In other words, it is possible to depend on the scope each time you wish to go for a hunt when raining or in case there is poor visibility because of foggy situations. It has an accommodating eye relief, too, making it possible for you to use it with the least effort whether you are a beginner or an experienced hunter.
Another great benefit is its nice and smooth adjustments. Rotating the magnification ring is also easy, further promoting its user-friendliness. I am impressed with the proprietary multicoated lenses that help provide nice, bright, and crystal clear pictures while also aiding in light transmission.
The emerald coating used also works in relaxing the eyes.
#2 Pinty 3-9×40 Sniper Riflescope
Another riflescope that left a good impression on me is the Pinty Red Green Rangefinder. It is one of the most reliable SKS accessories as it can surely enhance your whole experience each time you are out for hunting or shooting. I like the variable magnification provided by this riflescope, which ranges from 3 to 9x.
Such magnification is also equipped with an achromatic eyepiece, which is created in a way that it can prevent any aberration in the images it produces. It also serves as a high-quality scope for SKS 5.56mm because of its ability to supply the ultimate solution as far as reticle clarity is concerned.
I think it is due to the inclusion of five brightness adjustments that you can use in setting the reticle based on your desired level of brightness. This results in the reticle clarity you need whether you are using the SKS rifle and scope during the day or at night.
I am fond of the green or red illuminated rangefinder reticle built into this scope because it ensures a high level of shooting accuracy whether you use it for mid-range or long-range shooting. This high-quality scope for SKS Tarkov and other versions of the SKS rifle can also further improve its shooting accuracy with the aid of its windage and elevation built to be adjustable.
Another thing that impresses me about this riflescope is the integrated flip cover, which assures users of the ultimate answer to maneuverability. This cover also works in protecting the ocular and the objective lens and ensuring that they stay clean.
I am also even more impressed with the nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed nature of this riflescope as this allows it to be one hundred percent fog-proof and waterproof.
#3 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 SFP Scout Riflescope
If you wish to invest in the best hunting scope for SKS then you will not get disappointed if you decide to give the Vortex Optics 2-7×32 Crossfire II Riflescope. It works perfectly on almost all kinds of scout rifle, including the SKS. It is a fantastic choice for hunting as it is equipped with the V-Plex reticle, which is famous for acting as an all-purpose reticle designed for a wide range of hunting applications.
One thing that I genuinely recognized as impressive in this riflescope is its single-piece tube construction mainly based on aircraft-grade aluminum material. Such a construction is extremely helpful as it allows the scope to have a high amount of strength while boasting of its shockproof performance.
The fact that the Crossfire II riflescope from Vortex Optics is built to be nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed also turns out to be an advantage as it makes the entire product totally strong. I think this is also what allows it to showcase its shockproof, fog-proof, and waterproof performance, proving how sturdy the scope is.
As a user of this riflescope, I am sure that its full multicoated and anti-reflective lens will delight you, too, because it serves as the ultimate solution in case you are after receiving clear and bright views to increase your chances of making highly accurate shots.
I am so happy of the 9.45-inch eye relief and the super forgiving eyebox of this scope, too, as it promotes the quick acquisition of not only your sight picture but also your target. Furthermore, you can easily and quickly focus your reticle through its fast focus eyepiece.
#4 Primary Arms 1-6×24 SFP Rifle Scope (Gen III)
Primary Arms is also one brand to check out if you are looking for a high-quality scope for SKS 7.62×39 rifle or any other SKS rifles for that matter. It came up with the Primary Arms Gen III 1-6×24 SFP Riflescope, which is perfect for medium-range shooting and close quarter battles (CQB).
One major highlight of this riflescope is its second focal plane design, which makes it possible for you to acquire your target in the quickest manner possible. I am also impressed with the built-in ACSS reticle because I noticed how effective it is in offering a quick range and wind holds.
The reticle is illuminated, too, which you can take advantage of when trying to get the clearest pictures and views. It comes with the CR2032 battery, which you can use in powering up the illumination of the reticle. Furthermore, it is possible for the ACSS reticle to showcase its speed from zero to three hundred yards and accuracy from four hundred to six hundred yards.
The brightness is also adjustable using the knob that you can find at the left part of the scope’s tube. With the eleven brightness settings integrated into this scope, I am one hundred percent sure that you can use it for both daylight and low-light situations. I like how tough and rigid the built of this SKS riflescope is, too.
It is built using the 6063 aluminum material while boasting of its black anodized finish – both of which confirm how strong and sturdy the scope truly is. This scope also takes pride in its multicoated lens as well as its waterproof, fog-proof, and nitrogen-purged nature.
This just shows just how much it can handle even the most challenging and the toughest situations.
#5 Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-8×24 SFP Riflescope
Built by the most famous and the leading maker of firearm optic, Vortex Optics, the Strike Eagle 1-8×24 SFP Riflescope is surely one of those scopes for SKS rifle designed to deliver the best performance on the field. I love the overall quality of this riflescope plus its ability to handle long-range shooting.
It is built with a 30-mm tube, which takes pride in its variable magnification range of 1-8x. This range is ideal if you are after accuracy and speed of target aim. It also promotes a high level of precision when used at extended and zero ranges, as well as those that reach up to a max of eight hundred yards.
It is one of the most diverse and versatile options for reflex sight for SKS. This is noticeable through its compatibility with a number of shooting applications and environments. I can also safely say that it is the best tactical scope for SKS because it has eleven levels of brightness that you can use to make it suit tactical hunting and shooting regardless of the weather condition.
I think another fascinating reason why this scope is well-loved is its ability to withstand plenty of elements, even the harshest and the toughest ones. It is waterproof, water-resistant, shock-proof, and fog-proof. I am delighted that this riflescope features a CR2032 battery, too, because I noticed its effectiveness in powering up this scope for a max of 10,000 hours.
I am fond of the fully multicoated lens included in the riflescope because it works in enhancing light transmissions. The clear glass is also built with protective properties from harsh environmental elements, as well as fog, scratches, and oil spills.
#6 Aim Sports 4X32 Compact Rangfinder Scope
If you are in search of the best scout scope for SKS that is compact enough then the 4×32 Compact Rangefinder Scope from Aim Sports is a sure hit for your needs. It boasts of its compact size, promoting ease when it comes to using and managing it during all shooting and hunting scenarios.
Despite its compactness, I can still vouch for its strength and functionality. Sighting in this scope is also easy plus you will be impressed with how good its built-in clear glass is. I noticed that this scope is lightweight, too, while still retaining the strong and sturdy built.
It takes advantage of an exceptional reticle, which is helpful in zooming in and viewing your aim or target clearly. I am also fond of the fact that I can adjust this scope in such a way that I can make long-distant shots in a precise and accurate manner. This scope also gained popularity because of its superior optics.
It is due to its multicoated lens that allows it to deliver a great light transmission and fantastic resolution capability. With such capabilities, I can assure you that the scope is capable of accumulating light, giving you a clear view of your target even during the daylight.
The reticle also comes with just the right amount of thickness to promote a fixed 4x magnification that is perfect for shooting. It also boasts of its impressive field of view that specifically meets the shooting requirements of shooters and hunters.
Mounting this riflescope is also easy as it is already equipped with all the accessories you need for it. The scope’s body is synthesized using the aircraft-grade aluminum material, boosting its sturdiness and durability. The shock-proof and fog-proof housing of this scope also makes it much stronger.
#7 BARSKA 3-9×42 IR 2nd Generation Sniper Riflescope
I am also proud to recommend the 3-9×42 IR Sniper Riflescope offered by BARSKA. This is one of the bestsellers of the BARSKA brand, making it on top of their most popular riflescopes considering the fact that it comes with strong features that make it suitable for hunting and target shooting.
I am pleased to say that this riflescope is built to be easy to use and precise when utilized in tactical situations and environments. It takes pride in its multicoated lens or optics that supply clear, high-contrast, and bright images regardless of the weather and the lighting condition.
I also recommend it to anyone looking for the best red dot scope for SKS as it comes equipped with a mil-dot reticle with red and green illumination. This promotes ease when targeting your aim in all kinds of lighting situations. This riflescope is also built to be extra rigid, waterproof, and fog-proof.
This gives it the opportunity to deal with and withstand all types of harsh elements and conditions thrown at it. I like the ergonomic rubber style applied to this riflescope as I also find it helpful in protecting the scope while also providing a more secure and non-slip grip.
It is also equipped with a sniper edged sunshade, which lets the shade of the sun cast a shadow, thereby reducing glare when used during a bright sunny day. The fact that it can withstand shocks also makes it possible for you to obtain better control and accuracy each time you shoot.
#8 Sightmark SM26005 Ultra Shot M-Spec Reflex Sight
Built in such a way that it adapts the law enforcement and the military technology, I am quite sure that the Sightmark SM26005 M-Spec Reflex Sight is around to impress a huge number of potential users. What I like about this sight is that it is constructed in a heavy-duty manner, allowing you to use it for all tactical, competition, hunting, and shooting needs.
One of the most impressive qualities of this reflex sight is its versatility. It is versatile and flexible in the sense that it can adapt to any hunting and shooting environments where you decided to use it. I am glad that a heavy-duty and military-spec cast-magnesium alloy housing is used to encase it.
Such housing also comes with an extra protective shield, allowing it to withstand high recoil while also being submersible for a max of 40 feet. I think it is primarily because of its IP68 waterproof rating. I am pleased with the long-lasting dependability provided by this reflex sight.
The long-lasting nature of this reflex sight is even maximized with its battery life with a max of one thousand hours. You can also easily use it, thanks to the automatic on/off motion sensor technology applied into it. I am also delighted with the fact that this scope is ideal for night and day operation.
It has multiple daytime brightness settings, digital switch controls, and a few options for the reticle. With that, I am one hundred percent sure that it has the capability of accommodating to whatever environment you decide to use it.
You can also customize it in a way that suits your preferences.
#9 Vortex Optics Sparc II Red Dot Sight
The last product I will suggest for the best scout scope for SKS is the Spark II Red Dot Sight from Vortex Optics. It has plenty of good qualities that make it fit the requirements of those who are interested in target shooting and hunting. One is that it is highly compact, making it as portable as possible.
Apart from being compact, I can vouch for the lightweight yet strong construction of this red dot sight. It is also full of incredible performance features that make it adaptable to a wide range of situations and platforms. I like the rugged body of this scope, which is strong enough considering the fact that it is built using the aircraft-grade aluminum material.
With the O-ring sealing applied to this product, I was also able to confirm its fog-proof and waterproof performance. I like the versatility of the multi-height mounting system of this red dot sight, too. This makes it capable of accommodating the majority of firearms, not just the SKS rifles.
These include rifles that require lower or absolute heights. It even features a modular base with three pieces and four individual mounting heights, making it as customizable as possible based on your weapon. I am impressed with the completely multicoated lens integrated into this sight because it provides a clear and wide field of view.
The unlimited eye relief promised by this unit also aids in making it free of parallax. I am pleased with the shockproof performance delivered by this SKS scope as it also showcases its ability to withstand impact and recoil.
- What Makes a Great SKS Scope?
- What Magnification Do You Need?
- Factors to Consider when Buying a Scope for SKS
What Makes a Great SKS Scope?
The SKS rifle is chambered for 7.62×39 cartridges, which packs the same amount of punch as a 30-30 and has a maximum effective range of around 150 yards. Since the ammo of the SKS rifle does not have enough mass and powder charge to travel very far, you do not need to use a scope with a high magnification.
If you have a scope that can let you see clearly beyond 200 yards, you can’t still expect it to do you good if your ammunition will not even reach that far. A great SKS scope is one that has just enough magnification for mid-range shooting, so a 3-9x or a 2-12x variable scope is a good choice. However, if you want to pick a target quickly from just within the 150-yard effective range then you can just go with a fixed zoom 6x scope.
At the end of the day, the thing that makes a great scope for the SKS rifle is what you will be using it for most of the time. Will you be using it for hunting? Will you be using it for plinking at your local range? Or will you be using it for homestead defense? Maybe for prepping? You need to choose a scope that will best suit your intended purpose.
What Magnification Do You Need?
The maximum effective range of the SKS rifle’s ammunition is around 150 yards, so you do not really need to use a scope that is meant for sniper rifles. It does not seem viable to see targets that are beyond the range of the firearm. If you are planning to attach a scope on your SKS, you should just get one that is meant for short and medium-range shooting.
For shooting at short ranges, the scope does not need that much magnification. It should be just enough that you can get a clearer sight picture on your target. The primary reason for short range scopes is so you can quickly lock onto your target and engage it as soon as you can. For most people, a scope with a fixed 3x or 6x magnification will be more than enough for short-range shooting. Ideally, the scope should also have a red dot reticle to make it much quicker to engage your target.
For medium range shooting, a variable 3-9x or a 2-12x magnification scope will be perfect. With a good scope, you might be able to hit targets from 175 to 200 yards with a considerable bullet drop and windage correction. This means you might need to aim high above the target to take into consideration the loss in elevation due to the bullet losing forward momentum because of its light weight.
However, hitting targets beyond 150 yards is actually more dependent on luck than skill, because beyond that distance, the bullet will start tumbling in the air, making its flight very erratic. The amount of magnification of the scope for your SKS rifle will ultimately depend on what you will be using it mainly for.
If you will be using it for keeping your homestead safe from intruders and wild animals, the short range scopes will do. If you will be using it for plinking, the variable medium range scopes are best.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Scope for SKS
When you are shopping for the best optics of SKS rifles, you need to take into consideration a couple of important factors. These factors will determine whether the scope that you get are actually the best for your rifle or if you just wasted a lot of money on a scope that you cannot even use. To get you started, here are some of the things that you need to check off your list:
The SKS rifle does not have much in terms of range, so using a high-powered scope on it is just a waste of money. It is useless to clearly see a target 300 yards away but your ammunition can only reliably hit targets up to 150 yards away.
For the SKS rifle, a short-range or medium-range scope is the best. If you will be using the rifle mostly for short-range target shooting, a fixed magnification of 3x or 6x with a red dot reticle will make target acquisition much quicker.
Objective Lens Size
The objective lens is the one at the front of the scope. This is the part of the scope that allows light to get inside and give you a clear sight picture. The bigger the objective lens, the more light it can gather. However, the larger the objective lens is, the heavier it gets.
This means that even if you get a scope with a 50mm objective lens, although you can get a clear image through the scope, it has made the scope too top-heavy that it is hard to aim.
The reticle is the image in the scope that helps you aim the rifle. There are many different reticle designs available and they all have their own separate uses. For the SKS rifle, the best choices when it comes to reticles is the simple red-dot reticle for short-range combat and the basic Duplex crosshair reticle for medium-range shooting.
The red dot is the best for short range because you do not have to do any kind of correction whatsoever. You just place the red dot over your target and pull the trigger. The Duplex reticle, on the other hand, is for medium range shooting because you might need to do some adjustments when it comes to bullet drop and windage.
Durability and Weatherproofing
These qualities are important regardless if you will be using the rifle for hunting or not. The scope needs to be durable enough that it can survive quite a number of accidental drops, banging against the wall, and other kinds of abuse and still aim like a champ.
Weatherproofing just means that no amount of moisture or dirt can get inside the scope to obscure your vision. Many of the scopes nowadays are also filled with an inert gas, usually nitrogen, to prevent the lenses from fogging up.
There are only a couple of scopes in the market nowadays that do not have any kind of anti-reflection or anti-glare coating on them, mainly because they are very useful. The coating on the lenses prevents glare from distorting the target image, making it easier for you to aim at your target.
The coating also has anti-reflective properties, meaning that light will not bounce off the lens, which often gives away your location to your target. The film actually absorbs the excess light, allowing only the right amount of light to enter the scope’s tube.
The eye relief is the safe distance that you can place your eye behind the scope while still letting you get a good view of your target. This is important for many rifles because the recoil from taking a shot is often strong enough that it can push the scope into your eye socket and cause a considerable amount of damage. There have been many reports of novice shooters getting their eye sockets and the bridge of their noses shattered because they put their faces too close to the scope.
When you take these factors into consideration, it will be a cinch to find a scope that will help you unlock the full potential of your SKS rifle. Yes, you can shoot the SKS reliably even without a scope but it will surely perform better than ever when you partner it with a good scope.
The SKS rifle is one of the most reliable, affordable firearm that you can get right now. Not only is the rifle itself reasonably priced, it also uses cheap 7.62×39 ammunition, which means you can spend the whole day having fun shooting at targets without burning a hole through your pocket. However, to make shooting the SKS more fun, you need to equip it with the right kind of optics.
Hopefully, by now you learned what to look for when you are out shopping for the best scope for SKS rifles, so you can be confident that you will be getting the best product for your money.