If you’re shopping around for the best tactical rifle scopes, you might be having a hard time picking the right one for you without a clear idea on the things to consider. As there are plenty of the same products on the market, you might find it challenging and time-consuming to compare each product. That is why we have created this buying guide.
We’re featuring the top 11 picks in the TAC scope category so that you can weigh your options and that you can figure out the right one for your needs, skills and budget. In the following, we’ll also discuss a buying guide on the considerations to check when shopping around. If you’re ready, let’s get started with these reviews.
Quick Answer: The 11 Best Tactical Rifle Scopes for 2020
- UTG 3-9×32 1″ BugBuster Scope
- Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50 FFP Riflescope
- Nikon P-Tactical .308 4-12×40 Matte BDC800 Riflescope
- Nikon M-Tactical .223 4-16x42SF Matte BDC600 Riflescope
- Nikon P-Tactical Rimfire 2-7X32 Matte BDC150 Riflescope
- Trijicon ACOG 4×32 Combat Scope Rifle
- Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope
- Leupold Mark MOD 1 3-9x40mm Riflescope
- Athlon Optics Midas 6-24×50 TAC Riflescope
- Redfield Revolution 3-9x40mm TAC-MOA Reticle Riflescope
- Hawke Sidewinder TAC 30 8.5-25×42 Mildot Riflescope
First, let’s take a look at the top-rated tactical rifle scopes, then we’ll talk about how to choose the right one for you in our buying guide below.
Best Tactical Rifle Scope Reviews of 2020
#1 UTG 3-9×32 1″ BugBuster Scope
The cheap tactical scope under $100 is our top pick for the finest tactical scope that you can count on for its sturdy and rugged features. It is ready for any task because this BugBuster scope is made for every terrain you can imagine. It is built to last long, so it is ideal for use even on rough terrains, especially among the military men who can be exposed to different condition, as they perform their duties.
The UTG 3-9X32 lightweight tactical scope is with a wide range of magnification settings that you can easily adjust and use for what the situation is calling for to meet your needs. In addition, this military grade rifle scope is engineered with a one-inch tube, which is a standard for many best scopes on the market.
More so, I would like to note that it comes with a valuable range estimating reticle, offering great shooting and aiming performance. This model is also with an adjustable objective ranging from three yards to infinity.
The best scope for Mini 14 tactical is also with illumination that offers us with optimal lighting transmission no matter the combat condition. In addition, this feature makes the scope more versatile to perform for your needs. The combat rifle scope also offers a rainproof and shockproof performance.
#2 Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50 FFP Riflescope
This tactical rifle scope under $500 from Vortex is another top of the line choice for sighting devices that deliver and perform under many conditions. I loved that the best scope for Savage 110 tactical is designed with variable magnification from four to 16 times, allowing us to see better even if the target is far.
In addition, the Diamondback Tactical scope is a top rated scope that features both value and precision. One of the things that I appreciate about the sighting tool is that it is a great scope on the market that has an incredible array of performance. This sighting tool is with extra low dispersion glass, which promotes better sight.
I’d also like to note that it is one of the very nice scopes that is designed and made with fully and multiple coated lenses, improving sight picture for an increased chance of target acquisition. I would also like to mention its first focal plane reticle, maintaining accurate sub-tensions throughout the four time zoom range.
This scope is also with a fog proof, waterproof and shockproof performance for long-lasting use. It is also with a 30mm tube that makes it rugged to keep up with even the harshest conditions. For its even better performance, I found that it is with nitrogen purging and O-ring sealing.
#3 Nikon P-Tactical .308 4-12×40 Matte BDC800 Riflescope
The high-quality tactical scope for AR-10 is another to include on your list when shopping around for a premium quality scope. The Nikon P-Tactical .308 scope is made with solid and rugged components that make it a great choice for tactical shooters and hunters globally.
For one, the high quality scope is with fully and multiple coated lenses that make it suitable for all hunting conditions. I would like to note that its multiple coated lenses are housed in an aircraft-grade aluminum that enhances its integrity. It is what you need to see even in a dismal environment.
I also recommend the scope for its O-ring sealing that keeps moisture and wetness out to prevent it from entering the body. It is also with nitrogen-purging for reliability versus thermal shock. With it, you can look forward to longer-lasting use.
The P-TACTICAL scope, overall, has the features that can improve your shooting experience. It is also with an aircraft-grade aluminum that makes it sturdier to last no matter the hunting or tactical shooting condition.
More so, this stylish scope is with a versatile zooming range, offering a clear and good view field for improved shooting experience.
#4 Nikon M-Tactical .223 4-16x42SF Matte BDC600 Riflescope
The Nikon M-Tactical scope is a high end sighting device that you might want to take a look into if you would like to make use of cool scope that can deliver the performance that hunters and tactical shooters are looking for.
One of the reasons for using a scope is to improve the sight picture. It is to help in improving the view of the object or target. This sighting tool is made using a premium glass that has a multicoating for high contrast and bright pictures. In addition, the scope is designed with a purpose-driven reticle that is ideal for long range shooting. Speaking of a long-range shot, the scope offers between four- and 16-times magnification.
This scope also has a 30mm main body tube, adding to its integrity. It can also offer shooters with open-circle aiming points along with hash marks ranging from 100 and 600 yards. I’d like to mention that this model also has a turret-mounted knob that can allow quick adjustment even without changing your shooting position.
Moreover, I would like to note that the coolest scopes are with a generous and long eye relief, keeping your eyebrows safe from a heavy recoil. Plus, you can look forward to great functionality and versatility with this scope that is with a quick focus eyepiece.
#5 Nikon P-Tactical Rimfire 2-7X32 Matte BDC150 Riflescope
If you’re shopping around for a high-quality tactical scope for M&P 15-22, you should check out the Nikon P-Tactical scope. This sighting tool is best used for many types of rifles for hunting or tactical shooting.
The military tactical scope features a generous eye relief that can offer protection to your eyebrows even when used in a heavy recoil. The Nikon P-Tactical Rimfire is also with variable magnification settings between two and seven times, so it is ideal for short- to long-range shooting.
In addition, the scope is with a BDC 150 reticle, offering you with open-circle aiming points from 50 to 150 yards. Also, the military rifle sighting tool is with a durable one-inch body tube, adding to its integrity.
This tactical rifle scope is also with elevation turrets and elevated windage to enhance your shooting experience. It also remains tough even in the harshest environments as well as its easy resetting to zero after sighting in. it can be used for making field adjustments when needed.
This model is also with an aircraft-grade aluminum construction that makes it durable and heavy-duty. It can also resist drops and shock, making it one of the best tactical scopes under $200 that many people choose.
#6 Trijicon ACOG 4×32 Combat Scope Rifle
Another option for a tactical scope is the Trijicon ACOG combat scope. This ACOG scope is with a battery-free illumination for its fiber optic illuminated reticle; it works by automatically adjusting the brightness in relation to the light available.
This model is also backed by the brand’s limited lifetime warranty, which add to your peace of mind in the purchase. Take note, though, that this scope is with a fixed power. It is a compact and lightweight scope that will not cause straining even when used for a longer time. This model also has a dual-illuminated reticle that works well no matter the light available.
Moreover, this scope can offer you with bright aiming solutions for its premium quality lenses. It is also easy to mount and use, making it a good choice also for beginners. The sighting tool is also versatile that it can be utilized for sporting and tactical applications. Nevertheless, you will get more value out of your money for this scope that lets you use it for a wide range of applications.
The high-quality tactical scope for M1A is also with a durable and rugged construction. The lens is housed in an aluminum-alloy housing. It is made of forged 7075-T6 aircraft-aluminum-alloy that can offer an indestructible performance. This combat scope is also one of the most chosen in combat versus the rest in the same category are.
#7 Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope
Are you shopping around for the best scope for Remington 700 tactical? If you are, you might want to consider the Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint scope. It is loaded with the features to find in a sighting tool that you can depend on even under low lighting conditions.
One of the things that I liked about it is that it is great for a tactical gun, so it is chosen by the civilian and military market in improving the sight picture of their target. That is thanks to the premium quality lenses, which can deliver a better view of the sigh with clarity. The lenses are also with great light-gathering capabilities as well as a zero distortion.
The scope is also with a battery-free illumination, eliminating the need to buy batteries to operate it. This model is made using a fiber optic technology that can work automatically when it comes to adjusting the brightness level along with the reticle contrast for improved vision. I would like to note that the Trijicon TR23 is with a tritium phosphor lamp that can illuminate the scope’s reticle if there is little or no light.
You can also count on it if you’re looking for a scope that you can use no matter the weather, and that is also thanks to the quality aircraft-grade aluminum housing. It can protect the scope from harsh elements and hunting conditions.
#8 Leupold Mark MOD 1 3-9x40mm Riflescope
Finding a high-quality tactical scope for AR-15 is uneasy if you’re unaware of things to consider. One of those is the brand, which can offer you with peace of mind that you’re dealing with a reputable one. A consistent and trusted brand by many hunters and shooters is the Leupold Mark.
To date, a great offering from them is the Leupold Mark MOD 1 scope, which is a top rater in the category. The best tactical rifle scope is also made of aluminum and polymer, which can deliver heavy-duty performance. It is also made in the USA, ensuring rigid quality testing. In addition, the value scope is also with an illumination for use regardless of the lighting condition. More so, this sighting device can deliver a shockproof performance, so it can resist bumps and drops.
In addition, the scope is with P5 turrets that enhance its performance. This scope is also backed by a lifetime warranty. I would also like to note that this item has multiple coating, delivering you with a clear and bright image all the time. So even if you would use it in a low to no lighting condition, you can count on its performance.
#9 Athlon Optics Midas 6-24×50 TAC Riflescope
If you would like to get your hand on a reliable scope that can perform regardless of the weather condition, add this Athlon Optics into your list. The optics system is a sought-after solution among hunters and tactical operators that want a clear and bright image regardless of the lighting condition.
The combat optic scope is a great sighting device that has the features to love. One of the things that make it unique is that it has a first focal plane reticle, which can stay consistent no matter the power setting that you use. It lets you use the special reticle that can grow or shrink along with the object or target while you’re zooming in or out.
The scope is an excellent choice for many tactical shooters and hunters because it also has an HD glass that can give users a better experience for the optimal light transmission that it can deliver. With the sharper and brighter images, you can improve target acquisition.
This model is also made with high-tech multiple coated optics that can reduce the reflected light so that you can improve your vision. In addition, the scope is with zero stop system that lets user lock down their zero, and then dial back to this zero with a sharp stop at the zero mark.
#10 Redfield Revolution 3-9x40mm TAC-MOA Reticle Riflescope
Redfield Revolution is the best mid-range tactical scope that you can count on for its premium quality and construction. One of the things that make the sighting device a cool choice is that it offers a variable magnification range between 3 and 9 times. When shopping for high quality scopes, you should consider its magnification if you’re planning to use it for short to long range shooting. You can get that versatility from this REDFIELD scope.
It also has a matte black finish for a scratchproof performance, meaning keeping its elegant and solid appearance over time. With this great rifle scope, you can be certain that you’re going to use a heavy-duty scope that can last. In addition, it has a tube diameter of one inch, making it a solid choice for those looking for a durable scope.
Another thing to like about the scope is that it is with a fog proof and waterproof performance that you can count on for all types of weather. This model also has a consistent eye relief for providing you with eyebrow protection, especially with rifles that have a heavy recoil. In addition, the 3:1 Zoom Scopes can help cover all your demands. This model can also let you adjust your aim using ¼ MOA increments.
This item also features quality glass that can increase the overall quality of the image you will get. Check it out for yourself when comparing your options.
#11 Hawke Sidewinder TAC 30 8.5-25×42 Mildot Riflescope
When shopping around for the best tactical hunting scope, you should not miss including this riflescope on your list. The Hawke Sidewinder tactical scope is a great choice for those that want an easy to adjust and use riflescope.
The Mildot Riflescope is also with variable magnification, allowing you to use it for long range shooting, too. It gives you more versatility that you’re looking for when finding a quality scope for competition, hunting or military purposes.
In addition, the TAC scope vis with red or green illumination reticle. It works by offering five different brightness settings for brightness, clarity and crisp images. The optimum visibility improves your chances to acquire your target. This scope is designed and built for all-weather use.
The Hawke Sport Optics is also the best tactical scope for the money because it has illumination for offering bright and clear sight picture all the time even if used at dusk or dawn. You might want to check it out if you’re looking for a versatile scope that also features target style turrets and side focus parallax adjustments.
This model also has target style turrets and includes accessories, such as lens caps, sunshade and hard case. It is also backed by the brand’s limited lifetime warranty.
- What is a Tactical Scope?
- How Do Tactical Scopes Work?
- What Makes a Great Tactical Scope?
- What Magnification Do You Need?
- Factors to Consider when Buying a Tactical Scope
- How to Properly Mount a Tactical Scope
What is a Tactical Scope?
Tactical scope is often associated with military accessory for their firearms. The best tactical optics are defined through their low magnification range, allowing the shooter to extend his range, much farther than the regular vision. This is the reason why using tactical optics are often linked to military activities.
The best tactical scopes have high-precision that allows you to see target at a very distant location. The image of the target is seen by adjusting scope, allowing you to have a clear view even across 1000 yards and even more. Your objective here is to hit the target and put this skill into practice for actual shooting or in a live game. When used properly, a good tactical scope can really help you in your target shooting skills, which are great addition to your recreational target shooting activities.
A tactical scope may vary according to brand, length or distance, and price. But it will always depend on the user to decide which brand suits his needs and the magnification he requires.
How Do Tactical Scopes Work?
Tactical Scopes work as an accessory to the rifle being used. In a sense, it is a refracting telescope with range that magnifies the target from a distance. For the scope to work, you need to adjust it according to the distance your target is located. Some experts advise to have your scope adjusted the day before your shooting activity. This is to ensure that there is little or no wind that can alter bullet trajectory once shot is fired.
Basically, there are three adjustments on a tactical rifle scope. Adjust it using the knobs. Hear a click sound for every turn, signaling an increment for each adjustment. Look into the eye piece and set a target. Adjust the magnification skill until you can finally see the target clearly. Basically, the tactical scopes work by viewing the target precisely even from 100 yards away. Tactical scopes have crosshair reticules. These reticules are lines on the vertical and horizontal axis you can see from the view finder. These lines are the target’s distance from the center.
What Makes a Great Tactical Scope?
A great tactical scope is the one that can help you see and shot your target easily. A good tactical scope allows you to focus easily without having to adjust the knobs too much. A great tactical scope has the basic technology you might need in shooting. Despite the technological advancement, the materials ad adjustment mechanisms for a tactical scope have become more complex. But with all these complexities, it is important to understand that the great tactical scope is the one that works perfectly with your rifle. This scope should be easy to use, with the right magnification suited for you shooting range need.
A great tactical scope should be made from durable materials. Most shooters prefer scopes that are weather proof. For most shooters, a great tactical scope is the one with great and clear view finder. The axis should also be easier to adjust and resists glare, allowing you to see clearly from the distance.
What Magnification Do You Need?
Magnification is one of the most important considerations when buying a tactical scope. This is what target shooting is all about. It is important to note that magnification does not only mean you can see the target bigger from a distance. Remember, the size of your target does not vary from the distance – it is the view that changes. A 50-pound deer is still a 50-pound deer from 1000 yards. You need to remember that what you need is to hit the target on the set target mark.
Almost every scope comes in default designation of 9×40 or 3-9×40. Here, note that the 9 and 3-9 is the magnification. A 9×40 is fixed magnification while the later one is adjustable. For 9×40, it means that the scope can make the target appear 9 times closer while the later allows you to adjust the magnification from 3 to 9 times. For some shooters, a fixed magnification is more durable than the adjustable one. However, its disadvantage means you are stuck with that magnification power.
You need the magnification depending on the ranges of your shooting. There are scopes that stretch from 4x to 20x magnification, making them suited for 1000 yards and more.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Tactical Scope
There are several factors you need to consider before buying the best tactical optics. These include the objective or magnification lens and their coating, the material where it was made of for durability, and for some shooters, the price.
Size of tactical optics
Also consider the rifle you are using before buying a tactical scope. Your scope must be suited to the size of your rifle. Any smaller or bigger to the riffle may affect your shooting performance. When you visit the store, describe your shooting capacity and the distance you are usually shoot. In this sense, the store can provide you with the best magnification for your need.
Aside from the lens magnification, it is also important to consider the coating of the lens you use. Coating can reduce glare, especially when you’re shooting with the sun is up. It also serves as scratch protection for your lens. Lens with multi-coating property for a clearer and anti-glare feature. A better coated lens as it has better light transmission. But if you’re not too specific about the coating, you can simply choose a single or fully coated lens.
As mentioned earlier, the reticle is the crosshair symbol that you see on the view finder once you look at the view finder. Getting the correct reticle can go a long way toward getting a scope best suited for your needs. Some reticles are circle, some are seen as dot or any other symbol. It is important to choose the right reticle that you can easily see and recognize even at 1000 yards.
Tactical scopes have different forms of adjustments – usually left to right for wind adjustment and up to down for elevation. Simple tactical scopes have capped adjustments which are easier to use. If you are new at tactical shooting, you can settle with the cap adjustment. Other more complex tactical scopes use turret adjustments. Turret adjustments allow you can adjust the windage and elevation while shooting. Although not all shooters are trained to do such a thing, they are very popular with the seasoned ones.
The eye relief in a tactical scope refers to how far you position your eye from the scope to get the proper alignment. You must be comfortable with how you place your eye on the scope for a better shot. Without proper alignment, there is a chance that you will not get an accurate view of the target. Although most tactical scopes work with most shooters on almost all types of rifles, some people still prefer comfort when they lay their eyes on the view finder. It helps them eliminate eye-strain. This applies to shooters who wear glasses when shooting.
And the last consideration but not of least importance is the price. Having a tactical scope for recreational shooting does not mean you have to break your bank. There are tactical scopes that are affordable and of high quality.
Convenience and easy to use
Aside from price, shooters are also considering the convenience and user friendliness. You won’t get the precise and accurate shoot if you are not comfortable with the tactical scope you use. And of course, the compatibility of the scope with the rifle is also of most importance.
How to Properly Mount a Tactical Scope
First, you need to match the rings and the bases of the scope with the rifle. Assuming that you are using a modern rifle with pre-drilled on installed base for the scope, then you’re set on the first step. Make sure that the mounting system of the scope fit that of the rifle. Rings may have various heights so it is important to fit it to the scope first.
Next step is to the mount bases. Mount the bases as low as possible, this is to ensure that the scope is closest to the rifle. But ensure that the objective bell does not touch the barrel and there is enough clearance for the eyepiece.
Attach the bases and wipe dry the attaching surfaces. Clean the attaching parts by applying a very light coast of oil. You can also use rust preventive solution. This also helps to maintain the attachment, especially when you don’t plan to detach them after each use.
Check the bases and make sure that the tactical scope and rifle are properly aligned. There is a common mistake of attaching the scope backwards – or with the other end on the supposed eyepiece position. Check the magnification before attaching.
The next step is to lock the attachment. You can apply a small drop of a thread-freezing compound like Loctite. Ensure that you check the screws for tightening. And the final step is to check the reticle for alignment as well as the eye relief. Make sure that the vertical and horizontal view of the reticle are well positioned by rotating the scope back and forth. Check the screw one more time.
For the final step, try to see on the eyepiece and look for a target. Adjust the reticle if needed. Now you’re ready for a real target shooting.
With the right sighting device, you can improve your shooting experience. So, again, pick the scope that has the features you deem helpful for your needs and skills so that you can enhance your hunting or tactical shooting experience. With this tool, you can also expect bright and clear images and ease of adjustments. It is also what you need for quality and durable construction and solid design.
We’re hoping you’ve learned what to check when comparing the best tactical rifle scopes on the market so that you can get the most out of your purchase. Buy the tactical scope for your preferences and requirements today!