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Best Scout Scope for the Money in 2021

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Did you know with a scout scope you will not just be able to aim quickly and accurately but also recover quickly from recoil and take another shot? 

Wait, that’s not all,

What sets them apart is that you can do it all with both eyes. 

But any cheap scout scope won’t cut it. So after testing over 20+ scout scopes over a year in different weather conditions and lights, here are my top picks for 2021.

These have been reviewed based on weight, optics clarity, budget, and eye relief so you have utmost clarity about which scope is ideal for you.

Oh wait, were you looking for a quick-fire purchase, no problem? Skip the hassle of having to read through the entire article. Here’s a lowdown of my top picks followed by a comparison.

  1. Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32
  2. Burris 2-7×32 Scout Scope
  3. Leupold VX Freedom Scout 1.5-4×28
  4. UTG 2-7X44
  5. Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm Duplex

 

Reviews of the Best Scout Scopes for the Money

Image Product
Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32
  • It is pocket-friendly
  • Nitrogen purging keeps out fog and moisture
  • Godo image quality till 4x zoom
VIEW ON AMAZON → READ REVIEWS →
Burris 2-7×32 Scout Scope
  • Get clear images even at 7x zoom
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Nitrogen purge makes it ideal for any weather
VIEW ON AMAZON → READ REVIEWS →
Leupold VX Freedom Scout 1.5-4×28
  • Lens passed military-grade scratch testing
  • Weighs just 9.2 oz
  • 10/10 for durability and recoil-resistance
VIEW ON AMAZON → READ REVIEWS →
UTG 2-7X44
  • Costs lesser than the Vortex Crossfire
  • The multi-color mode has about 36 colors for any weather condition
  • It weighs just 7 oz
VIEW ON AMAZON → READ REVIEWS →
Leupold FX-II Scout
  • It is lightweight at 7.5 oz and thus easy to carry
  • Special gas blend keeps out fog and moisture from hindering your view
  • Good durability for the price point
VIEW ON AMAZON → READ REVIEWS →

But if you like to know the nitty-gritty details, continue below.

1. Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 (Best Scout Scope on a Budget)

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex ReticleCheck Latest Price on Amazon

Let’s kick things with a more affordable pick for those on a tighter budget.

Important Stats

  • Magnification: 2-7x
  • Eye Relief: 3.9 inches
  • Weight: 14.3 oz

The Crossfire II 2-7×32 scope by Vortex costs less than $150 but cheap doesn’t always mean poor quality and it proves just that.

With a solid aluminum build, the Crossfire can hold its own in the toughest of situations and easily last you longer as compared to the cheaper scout scopes from Burris, or Leupold.

And it will help you hold your own as well whether you are out in the wild in rain or fog as the tightly sealed o-rings in tandem with the nitrogen purge keep out any hindrance, even dust, and dirt for efficient performance and better durability.

Even the dials to adjust the windage and elevation are well protected by the caps and conveniently located and smooth so adjustments take only a fraction. Even resetting to zero is quick and it holds its positions really well.

Another thing I like about this scope is its longer eye relief and fast focus eyepiece which allows you to lock onto your target within seconds (because out in the wild every second counts).

Plus, I prefer SFP reticle. This means the reticle doesn’t zoom in and out as you magnify giving you a large aim at all times, in turn, making long-distance shooting easier.

It also has a 7x magnification though truthfully, the magnification is at its best only around 2x to 4x and beats most of the other scopes in this range in terms of optics quality.

Also, the magnification ring is a bit hard to move and takes some getting used to especially if you are just starting out using a scout scope.

Another drawback with this scope is that its view box is a tad smaller but nonetheless, for a scope that costs less than $150, its image quality and durability are much better than expected.

Pros

  • Costs less than $150
  • Nitrogen purging keeps out fog
  • Sealed o-rings make it water-resistant and dustproof
  • SFP reticle is ideal for long-range shooting
  • Longer eye-relief and fast-focus eyepiece for quick target acquisition
  • Great image quality till 4x magnification
  • Turrets hold position well
  • Resetting them to zero is easy and quick
  • Great durability for a cheaper scope

Cons

  • Visuals blur at full magnification
  • The magnification ring is hard to turn

Check Latest Price on Amazon

 

2. Burris 2-7×32 Scout Scope

Burris Ballistic Plex Hunting Riflescope, 2.75X-20mm, BlackCheck Latest Price on Amazon

If you are willing to up your budget a bit the Burris 2-7×32 Scout is high-end scout scope that is a great investment for both starters and those looking for an upgrade. Here’s why.

Important Stats:

  • Magnification: 2-7x
  • Eye Relief: 9.2-12 in
  • Weight: 13 oz

While the 7x magnification range of the Burris is the same as the Vortex Crossfire Scout Scope, it has better quality optics. 

That means you get a clearer view even at 7x magnification helping you aim even at targets 300-400 yards away.

Plus, not only is the magnification dial smoother, the reticle, even at the highest magnification, aims dead in the center so you do not have to constantly adjust your head and view with each change.

Another thing that won’t bother you irrespective of the magnification and the distance is the recoil (say goodbye to injured eyes and scars on your face). Playing a role in that are the internal assemblies and the single tube aluminum build.

And putting to rest any fears you might have about paying such a premium price, is the lifetime warranty which means any repairs or replacements won’t cost you a penny.

But that’s just half the story.

Don’t you get tired of all that squinting of the eye that comes with aiming when using rifles? Guess what, not anymore. 

Thanks to the forward mounting design of the Burris, the scope is mounted ahead of the ejection port which means you get longer eye relief and with it, the comfort of being able to fire with both eyes.

And you can do that without worrying about moisture or fog build hindering your view in the cold or rain as this is also equipped with a nitrogen purge.

My only issue with this scout scope is that getting precise adjustments for windage and elevation needs practice since the marking isn’t that clear.

Some might also add that it is pricey scope but considering the display at high magnification quality and its long-range shooting ability, it is well worth every penny.

Pros

  • Good image clarity at the highest magnification
  • Comes with 7x magnification
  • Ideal gun for long-range shooting
  • You can shoot with both eyes 
  • Nitrogen purging to keep fog and moisture out
  • Excellent recoil resistance
  • Very durable, will last you for years
  • It has a lifetime warranty
  • Smooth adjustment dials

Cons

  • Windage and elevation adjustments aren’t marked clearly

Check Latest Price on Amazon

 

3. Leupold VX Freedom Scout 1.5-4×28

Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x28mm RiflescopeCheck Latest Price on Amazon

If you are willing to sacrifice a bit of magnification the Leupold VX Freedom scout is another steal though it costs above $300 and here’s why.

Important Stats:

  • Magnification: 1.5-4x
  • Eye Relief: 6-6.9 in
  • Weight: 9.2 oz

One of its standout features is its low weight. At just 9.2 oz, it is the lightest scout scope on the list which makes it so much easier to move around whether the scope is the back or mounted on the rifle.

And does the low weight mean low durability?

Not at all. With a 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum, this bad boy will easily last you for years whether you drop it, slip and fall, or even end up stuck in rain.

In fact, as per Leupold’s testing, it is designed to withstand 5,000 recoil impacts 3x more powerful than the .308 rifle.

Well, my scope hasn’t reached that point yet so I cannot confirm the claims that but in all the months I have used it, it has been rock solid, even dropped it once by mistake (FYI, not even a scratch).

And that’s not just the body but also the lens which meets military standards in terms of durability.

Furthermore, it has also been tested to deliver top performance at -40ºF to 160ºF. Further, the Proprietary gas blend and the tight seals can handle all pressure changes, fog, and moisture build-up (rain, snow, or fog, there’s no stopping you).

Providing the icing on the cake is its lifetime warranty which means any repair or replacement is paid by the company itself.

Talking about the lens, image quality is just as commendable. 

The high-quality lens allows for better light transmission so your visuals are sharp and bright. Further amping it up is the unique Twilight Light Management System.

With this feature, you get 10 extra minutes of light. Furthermore, it improves image quality by lowering glare which means the scope perfectly adapts to changing light.

While it loses out to the Burris in terms of magnification, its smooth and the clearly marked dials are ideal for quick windage and elevation adjustments. And it is really precise as well thanks to the 1/4 MOA.

Pros

  • Gives 10 extra minutes of light when needed
  • Scratch resistance of the lens passes military-grade testing
  • Weighs just 9.2 oz
  • Very durable and excellent recoil resistance
  • Easy to adjust magnification and windage/elevation
  • Tested to work in  -40ºF to 160ºF temperature
  • Special gas blend to prevent fog and moisture
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Good image quality even in low light

Cons

  • Lower magnification at 4x

Check Latest Price on Amazon

 

4. UTG 2-7X44

UTG 2-7X44 11' - 9.5' Long Eye Relief 30mm Scout Scope Glass ReticleCheck Latest Price on Amazon

This UTG scout scope isn’t the most feature-rich and does have its flaws but costs even lesser than the Vortex. So if you are strapped for cash or need a backup scope, this might just be the one for you.

It’s not all bad though, there are a few positives.

Important Stats:

  • Magnification: 4-7x
  • Eye Relief: 9.5″
  • Weight: 7 oz

For example, I love the turrets even more than the ones on the Leupold. And the reason for that is the marking is clearer as it is done in white, thus getting precise adjustments is easier.

They also hold the setting well and are smooth. Plus, resetting them is a breeze and takes only a few seconds.

There is also the nitrogen purge which makes the scope weather-resistant. So even if there is light rain your view remains free from any moisture or fog.

Furthermore, to ensure bad weather or dim light never plays spoilsport, it is armed with 2 special modes, an RGB Dual-Color mode and a Multi-Color Mode that has a whopping 36 colors to choose from. 

And every time you use the scope, you won’t have to go through all the light settings to choose your favorite one. You can go to the previous setting in seconds with just one click since it has a memory feature.

Even bright, scorching sun rays won’t hinder your view as it has a sunshade attached.

Now, this isn’t the most durable of scopes and you definitely do not want to be dropping as the lens could crack and that’s where the flip-up lens cover is such a plus.

It also only prevents the lens from cracking but also keeps out dust and dirt when the scope isn’t in use. 

Another strong suit of this scope is its versatility. It fits onto almost all scout scopes as it comes with Twist Lock Picatinny/Weaver Rings so whether you are using the Mossberg MVP Scout .308 Winchester or the Savage M11, it should fit on them all.

On the downsides, it is heavier than others on the list at 25 oz and though it comes with 7x magnification, the image clarity at the 7x magnification is poor.

Pros

  • Comes with a flip lens cover for added protection
  • The multi-Color mode has 36 color modes for any weather
  • Jump to the previous light settings with a single click
  • Nitrogen purge prevents fog or moisture 
  • Affordable costs less than $130
  • Fits on almost any scout rifle with ease
  • Turrets are easier to adjust
  • They hold position well and are easy to reset
  • Comes with a long eye-relief of 9.5”

Cons

  • The image gets blurred at full magnification
  • Durability is average
  • Heavier than others as it weighs 25oz

Check Latest Price on Amazon

 

5. Leupold FX-II Scout

Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm Fixed Power RiflescopeCheck Latest Price on Amazon

Important Stats:

  • Magnification: 5x
  • Eye Relief: 9.3 in
  • Weight: 7.5 oz

If you are looking for more mid-range scout scope, the Leupold FX-II Scout checks all the boxes. Not only does it cost less than $300 but is also packed with features to make shooting easy peasy.

Just like the Leupold VX Freedom Scout, this scout scope is also equipped with the Twilight Max Light Management System, except, it does it better.

Rather than just 10, this one gives you 20 more minutes of light by adjusting the light transmission and also lowers glare to ensure you get a clear view. 

It also has better eye relief at 9.3-inches. This not only means that you have a larger viewing area but also ensures you do not end up with a black eye with all the recoiling. 

Another thing I love about this scope is that it is pretty easy to mount and detach. Plus, carrying it as you hike across the forest is also easy as it weighs just 7.5 oz, almost 2 oz lesser than the Leupold VX Freedom Scout.

You won’t have to worry about fog or moisture build-up either. Armed with the same Proprietary gas blend as most Leupold scopes, this will keep your view crystal clear in any weather conditions. 

Durability is also commendable. It has also been stress-tested in extreme conditions and goes to toe with the Leupold VX Freedom Scout. Though the dials are slightly hard to turn.

Another drawback of this scout scope is the magnification. While it suggests 5x magnification, the view gets blurry at that.

But considering its cheaper price point, it is worth the consideration as you get a light, easy to use scout scope that delivers excellent quality images.

Pros

  • Comes with a long 9.3” eye relief
  • Gives you 20 minutes of additional light
  • It is lightweight at just 7.5 oz
  • Keeps out moisture and fog 
  • Good durability
  • Duplex reticle makes target acquisition quicker

Cons

  • Dials are harder to turn
  • Image quality as 5x is poor

Check Latest Price on Amazon

Conclusion

Well, those are my top picks for the best scout scope. These have been ranked based on several features including ease of use, magnification, and budget.

My favorites are the Burris 2-7×32 Scout Scope and Leupold VX Freedom Scout 1.5-4×28 as they are perfect for long-range shooting not just because they have good magnification but also because of their lens quality.

For all budget buyers, Id’ suggest the Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 which though cheap, is durable and easy to use.

In case you have other recommendations, we are all ears. Write to us about scout scopes you have used in the past. You can also send in any question you might have about these or other scout scopes on the market.

 

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About Author

James Towndrow, a NRA-certified Firearms Instructor. During a career of 18 years had won several shooting competition including major leagues. Taking all those experience down the road, is now a successful Shooting Instructor in Texas, US.


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