Watching snipers shoot can be exciting, even a lot of snipers have said it is exciting for them too, but the job of a sniper is far from just excitement. A lot needs to be in place for their shooting to be successful.
The room for error is so small that snipers make sure to get everything right before pulling the trigger. This includes the type of equipment used as this has a huge influence on the outcome of their shooting. One important gadget a sniper cannot do without is the scope. This is because precision and long-distance shooting is a recurring situation.
A top sniper will only make use of the best scopes when shooting. The sniper scope industry has seen the input of technology boost its sniper efficiency and features and has made it easier for snipers to hit targets as far as 2000 yards away.
This guide will highlight some of the best sniper scopes available and a buying guide to help you make informed buying decisions.
5 Best Sniper Scopes
There are so many long-range scopes in the market right now and picking just any scope with this ability will most likely result in poor results. If you want to be in the top-tier sniper group you’ll need to get the best gadgets that include a scope. Here is a list of the best scopes you can use for your long-range rifles.
- Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24×50 SFP Riflescope -Best Pick
- Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50 FFP Riflescope
- Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope
- Burris Optics XTR II 8-40×50 Riflescope
- Steiner Model 5122 T5Xi 5-25×56 Riflescope
|Vortex Optics Viper HS||• Fully multi-coated lenses|
• Easily adjustable turrets
• Fast-focus eyepiece
|Vortex Optics Diamondback||• A-1 glass|
• Good eye relief
• Easy to set up
|Trijicon TR23||• Magnification of 5-20x|
• An objective lens of 50x
• Wide eye relief
|Burris Optics XTR||• Beautiful design|
• Great glass quality
• Good eye relief
|Steiner Model||• Lens covers available|
• Lifetime warranty
• Throw lever
#1. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24×50 SFP Riflescope
No matter the long-range weapon you’re using, without a proper scope you’ll be doing nothing. The vortex optics viper scope is one hell of a sniper scope you don’t want to miss. It has a wide range typical of sniper rifles at 6-24x. Its objective lens is also massive at 50mm, this is to allow the user to see far away objects clearly since more light will get into this 50mm objective lens.
This is a second focal plane reticle which means the reticle remains the same across all magnification levels. Vortex optics viper is fitted with finger adjustable turrets with audible clicks that make zeroing easier. The available turrets are elevation, windage, and parallax adjustment knobs. These dials are quite easy to use for the average shooter.
It is designed with good eye relief to prevent accidents from gun recoils. Its build is also solid and rugged to withstand the many challenges and terrains this scope will go through. It is made from a single-piece material to minimize the number of movable parts and increase durability. Its aircraft-grade aluminum body is shockproof. It is also sealed to keep it fog proof and waterproof.
Vortex Viper HS-T features a fast-focus eyepiece for easier, faster targeting and shooting. Its lenses are some of the most interesting parts of this scope with XR coating that improves its light gathering ability and leads to clearer images. There’s also the armortek coating that protects the lens from scratch and dirt.
- Wide magnification range of 6-24x
- A large objective lens of 50mm
- Good eye relief of 4 inches
- Fast-focus eyepiece
- Waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof
- Fully multi-coated lenses
- Easily adjustable turrets
- Availability of parallax turret
- Fitted with CRS zero stop
- Can get blurry at a magnification of 24x
#2. Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50 FFP Riflescope
Another vortex Riflescope on the list, this time it is the diamondback tactical with a similar magnification range with the above-mentioned scope at 6-24x and an equally wide objective lens of 50mm so a good amount of light can enter the scope and brighten the images. The magnification and objective lens size is important for a sniper scope because of the distance you’ll regularly be shooting from.
This scope is a first focal plane reticle with its reticle position changing as the magnification is altered. Its lenses are fully multi-coated with extremely low light dispersion so more light can enter the scope. The coatings also prevent scratch, and dirt from affecting the image quality.
To produce the quality images it is known for, diamondback lenses are fully multi-coated with extremely low light dispersion features. The coatings also cover the lens and protect it against scratches and dust. Further increasing its durability. The glass is an A-1 glass with fantastic image quality. Its body is made from durable materials that can withstand accidental drops and recoil pressure.
It has tool adjustable elevation, windage, and parallax adjustment knobs which give you more room to improve the accuracy of your shooting. Its turrets, however, do not have a locking mechanism which is a major drawback considering the rough terrain a sniper scope will pass through.
It has a 4x zooming range which makes its long-range targeting superb but you’ll struggle when aiming at close objects as they are difficult to sight. That shouldn’t be too much of an issue though, since this scope is predominantly for long-range shooting. Its premium component precision glide erector further helps to make magnification smooth and clear.
Diamondback is an affordable scope with a lot of premium features added.
- Magnification range of 6-24x
- An objective lens of 50mm
- 4x zooming range
- Fully multi-coated lenses
- A-1 glass
- Good eye relief
- Easy to set up
- Difficult to sight close objects
- Locking turret mechanism not available
#3. Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope
Trijicon’s TR23 AccuPoint scope is an ideal long-range scope perfect for hunting, sports, or target practice. This scope comes with a vast magnification range between 5-20x and an equally wide objective lens of 50mm to enable clear images even at higher magnification.
The image quality from this scope is important to its manufacturers and that is why they went further by using a multi-coated lens with anti-reflective glass so you not only shoot accurately but also remain unnoticed for as long as you want.
The scope is durable as it is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and further boosted with a hard coat anodized finish. It is however not made from one piece of aluminum which may affect its durability. You get to use this scope for years because of its durability. One feature I am particularly excited about is its no battery illumination feature. It does not need a battery for its scope illumination. This means you won’t have to worry about the battery running out on you in the middle of nowhere and spoiling your shooting expedition. It also ensures the illumination does not affect the image quality.
The AccuPoint scope has long eye relief so you can position the scope anywhere on the rifle without harm. It is a high-end scope with a not so affordable price point. However, it provides you with great quality to match the price.
It has finger-adjustable windage, elevation, and parallax turrets to help you improve your accuracy.
- Magnification of 5-20x
- An objective lens of 50x
- Wide eye relief
- Windage, elevation, and parallax dials are available
- Battery-free illumination
- Speed focus
- Lifetime warranty
- Lack of turret locking mechanism
- Its body is not made from a single block of aluminum
#4. Burris Optics XTR II 8-40×50 Riflescope
Burris is no stranger in the optics industry, producing quality optics for decades. The XTR II scope is designed for long-distance shooting and equipped with a first focal plane reticle. Its magnification range stretches from 8x to an outstanding 40x. This is huge and allows you to reach unimaginable distances with your scope.
With an objective lens of 50mm, enough light can enter the tube and brighten the image even at higher magnification. Its design is aesthetically pleasing with a matte black finish. It is also made with the rough terrains it may encounter in mind. The XTR is a typically fixed position shooting scope. With a high-quality glass fitted to this scope and an illuminated reticle for low-light shooting, this scope covers some of the biggest challenges regular shooting scopes present.
One thing with long-range rifles is their recoil, so you do not want a scope with poor eye relief. This scope has a decent eye relief of 3.25-4.25 depending on the magnification. Its fog proof and waterproof body allow you to use it in wet conditions without affecting the quality of image you can see or even damaging the scope.
XTR features easy-to-adjust turrets. These turrets are the windage, elevation, and parallax turrets for improved accuracy. They are all finger adjustable so you can make adjustments on the go without wasting time. The knobs are fitted with zero-click stop adjustment so you can aim more effectively.
Even though the XTR’s glass quality is great, you’ll still see foggy images at 40x which is expected considering the magnification level.
- Extremely large magnification range 8-40x
- An objective lens of 50mm
- Good eye relief
- Parallax adjustment knob available
- Shockproof, fog proof, and waterproof tube
- Beautiful design
- Zero click stop adjustment available
- Great glass quality
- Bulky build
#5. Steiner Model 5122 T5Xi 5-25×56 Riflescope
This scope brings a combination of precision and rugged design to the forefront. Everything about this scope seems to be enhanced as you’ll see soon. Its magnification range stretches from 5-25x which is the typical range for sniper scopes. Its objective lens size on the other hand is 56mm which is greater than the typical 50mm you’ll normally find in most sniper scopes. This boosts its image quality as even more light can enter the tube.
It uses the popular special competition reticle which makes the scope easy to use as most shooters are familiar with this reticle. Its turrets are designed for better usability which includes reduced height to make the scope less bulky. The elevation turret is fitted with a zero stop function and has a low profile. There is a parallax adjustment knob available so you can adjust more than the typical vertical and horizontal directions and improve your accuracy.
There’s also an easy grip feature attached to the knobs for better Handling and adjustments on the go. The turrets are resettable with a locking diopter.
Its 34mm tube is fog proof and waterproof and is submersible in up to 33 feet. Its lens cover protects the lens when not in use. There are so many amazing features in this scope that add to its weight. It also includes a throw lever that allows you to make quick magnification changes.
- Magnification range of 5-25x
- A wide objective lens of 56mm
- Low profile turrets
- Parallax adjustments available
- Can be used in wet conditions
- Shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof
- Highly precise
- Resettable turrets with locking diopter
- Lens covers available
- Lifetime warranty
- Throw lever
Things to Consider when buying a Sniper Scope
If you want to select the best sniper scope for you out of the numerous available in the market, you need a guide. Something to cross-reference when making your decision. This is what this section is all about. To help you choose the scope that best suits your needs.
Here are factors to consider when scouting for sniper scopes:
If this is not already obvious, magnification is probably the most important factor to consider when looking for a sniper scope and this is because sniper rifles are long-range weapons that typically shoot targets over 1000 yards away. You want a scope that can aid your aiming across far distances.
This is why you need to select a scope with not only a wide magnification range, but one with a high magnification limit. So you can zoom in and see your target.
This goes hand-in-hand with magnification. Remember sniper rifles require long-range shooting, this means the scope you get must be able to produce clear images at higher magnification levels.
This is why you need to select a scope with a wide objective lens as the more light that goes in the clearer the image it produces. You should also consider the type of lens and coatings available as they improve the light transmission through the tube.
This is still tied to long-distance shooting. Long-range rifles typically have high recoil which exposes the shooter to harm. This type of injury is typically known as scope kiss and occurs when the recoil of the gun forces the scope backward and hits close to your eye.
Getting a scope with good eye relief is non-negotiable if you want to avoid injuries when using a sniper scope.
While durability is paramount for any type of scope, a sniper scope might need it more. This is because the scope is subjected to all types of rough terrains and may get bumped a couple of times when moving through the bush or trying to aim while lying down. You may also be forced to use it in harsh weather conditions while waiting for your target.
This is why you need a highly durable scope for your sniper rifle.
Snipers handle long-range shooting where there is limited room for error as they typically have one chance to hit their targets. This is why they need all the help they can get. A sniper scope will provide the necessary help to improve aiming and effectiveness.