Confused about which fixed power scope is the best in 2022 for hunting and winning competitions? No problem, we got you covered.
I have spent the last 8 months testing scopes in different lights and weather conditions in the wild and reviewed the top 5 based on durability, ease of use, weather, and water-resistance, and other factors that matter so you get the best bang for your buck.
So let’s dig into it.
In case you are looking to make a quick-fire purchase, here’s a summary of my favorite scopes.
- Leupold FX-II 4×28 Fixed Power Riflescope – Our Top Pick
- Trijicon 4×32 ACOG TA01NSN308
- Leupold Competition Series 45×45
- Bushnell Trophy 3-9×40 Rifle Scope
- Primary Arms SLx Compact 1×20
If you want more details, the comparison table below should provide you just that.
Best Fixed Power Scopes for 2022 Reviewed
|Leupold FX-II||• Ideal scope for budget buyers|
• Get 20 minutes of extra light with Twilight Max Light Management
• Good eye relief of 4.5”
|Trijicon 4×32||• Illuminated reticle with 6 brightness settings for low light|
• Drop-tested by the US military
• Excellent visuals at any magnification
|Leupold Competition||• Get 20 mins of light for dusk and dawn|
• Aircraft-grade aluminum build, plus a lifetime warranty
• Excellent optics with 45x magnification
|Bushnell Trophy||• Costs less than $100, thus cheapest on the list|
• Lightweight and compact so carrying it is a breeze
• Decent recoil-resistance for the price
|Primary Arms||• Illuminated reticle for 11 brightness settings|
• Reticle gives range estimations for accuracy
• Very versatile, can be used with micro-donut mounts
But in case you like to discuss and read about scopes in detail, below is just what you need.
1. Leupold FX-II 4×28 Fixed Power Riflescope (Budget Fixed Power Scope)
If you are a beginner and don’t want to spend big on a scope yet, the Leupold FX-II is just the fixed power scope you need. But there’s more to it than just its low price.
For example, its optics are much better than other scopes tested at this price range thanks to the multi-coated lens that disperses light better. But aren’t all lenses multi-coated?
Well, at least that’s what all brands claim, but the major difference between Leupold and some of the others such as Bushnell is the better quality of lens, which means you get little distortion even in low light or at full magnification.
But it isn’t just the lens quality.
Adding to the comfort of using the scope in low light is their Twilight Max Light Management system which gives you 20 minutes of additional shooting light. So when the deers are out early morning or late evening you won’t be struggling for a view.
It also has a much higher eye relief at 4.5” (others have around 3” to 3.5”) which is another reason it is ideal for beginners. That’s because you have additional leeway as to how close/far you place your eye without the gun recoiling back to punch you harder than Connor Mcgregor would.
But that’s not all.
Durability is another strong suit of the scope. Even with bumps, the scope doesn’t crack or scratch thanks to its aluminum build. And the sealed o-rings, in tandem, make it waterproof so even submerging it in water for a bit shouldn’t be an issue.
And if you still face any issue, all your replacements and repairs are free. Yes, thanks to the lifetime warranty, you won’t have to pay a dime in most cases.
Even with that build, the scope manages to remain one of the lightest on the list at 7.5 oz, so carrying it around is a breeze. Plus, it makes it easier to install and detach.
Also, don’t you just hate it when you miss a target because the scope lens fogged up due to moistures? Not anymore. Equipped with a nitrogen purge, the scope ensures the glass remains crystal clear at all times.
The turrets are smooth, but I wish they were slightly bigger as it would have been easier to grip. I would have also loved numbers on them for precise adjustments as it can now take some practice to get it right for newbies.
Another drawback is that the reticle is neither illuminated nor comes with hash marks to indicate bullet drop but considering its lower price range, these come as no surprise.
But it’s not all bad. The black reticle is pretty dark and large and thus mostly remains clear.
- Good optics in low light and full magnification
- Twilight Max Light Management gives additional 20-minutes of light
- Good durability for the price
- It is water and weather-proof
- Smooth turrets that are easy to adjust
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- The reticle is dark and large for clarity and precision
- Good eye relief of 4.5”
- No bullet drop, holdover measurements provided
- The reticle isn’t illuminated
- No numbered markings on the turrets
- They could have been bigger
#2: Trijicon 4×32 ACOG TA01NSN308
If you are willing to spend the big bucks for a premium fixed power scope, it hardly gets any better than the Trijicon ACOG.
I mean, if a brand can be trusted by the US Army, Police, Special Forces, then surely it is good enough for hunting in the wild, right? But don’t go get it just for that, here’s more.
Where the Leupold lacks, the Trijicon makes up. Firstly, it has better optics, which means whether you are at full magnification or in low light, the visuals remain crystal clear.
This isn’t just because of a more premium lens or multiple layers of coating but playing a supporting role are the 6 brightness settings of the illuminated reticle.
And guess what, even with the bright illumination you won’t have to worry about battery life or carrying additional battery packs. Yes, the ACOG is battery-less thanks to the tritium/fiber build of the reticle.
In fact, in most cases, you won’t even need to go through the hassle of adjusting the brightness either as the reticle does it on its own.
Also making usage so easy is ACOG’s BOC (Bind Aiming Concept) which allows you to take accurate shots with both eyes open.
And the reason your shots are so accurate is that the reticle gives you all the important details needed like the bullet drop, holdover, etc. (one shot and bam, you’d be home for dinner well in time).
When you pay over $1000, you want your scope to last long without having to spend a penny on repairs right? Well, this bad boy has passed the US military drop-test (need I even say more?).
Well, here a little more. Trijicon took the design a step further and managed to keep moving parts to minimal, which means lesser parts that might need repair or replacement. And even if a part did, the repair is free as it is backed by a lifetime warranty as well.
The Trijicon ACOG can remain submerged in water as well and comes with nitrogen purging to prevent the lens from fogging up. It has also been tried and tested in extreme cold and heat (so whatever the weather, it will last you through thick and thin).
As for the downsides, the turrets aren’t numbered but they are grippy and smooth so adjusting them quickly in intense moments is easier.
Another drawback here is the price, but considering the durability, ease of shooting, brand value, this is well worth the money and lives up to the reputation of a high-end fixed power scope.
- Illuminated reticle with 6 brightness levels for low light
- Battery-less operation
- Tried and tested in extreme weather conditions
- Built to handle abuse and is water-resistance
- Trijicon is trusted by the Police, the Army, Special Forces.
- Allows you to shoot with both eyes open
- The reticle provides info on bullet drop up to 800m
- Visuals remain crystal clear at any magnification
- Turrets are smooth to adjust
- On the expensive side but worth the money
- Turrets aren’t numbered
3: Leupold Competition Series 45×45
Yes, another Leupold (clearly I am a fan), and I’ll call this one the big, more understanding brother of the Leupold FX-II, and here’s why.
The Competition Series overcomes most of the drawbacks of the FX-II while retaining the important benefits.
For example, it has much bigger turrets. And while they don’t interfere with your view, they sure do provide a good grip and are much easier to turn even if your hands get sweaty in the hot weather.
Again, they aren’t numbered but capping does provide a layer of added protection and ensures they don’t change even if mounted and detached repeatedly.
It also has better optics. Yes, with more layers of anti-reflective material and a premium quality lens, the Competition Series has better light transmission giving you a clear view even if it is dusky or dawn.
Plus, it has the Twilight Light Management System, which gives you 20 minutes of extra light and sort of makes up for the non-illuminated reticle by giving you bright, sharp images (even hundreds of yards away, nothing will ever be a blur).
Oh, and it also has one of the highest magnifications of a whopping 45x allowing you to scope and shoot at distances you could not even imagine with other scopes.
It also goes toe to toe with the Trijicon in terms of durability. That is because it has also been tested to perform like a boss in extreme temperatures of -40ºF to 160ºF. And Nitrogen purging ensures your view remains unhindered in these extreme temperatures as it prevents moisture/fog build up on the lens.
Furthermore, Leupold also tests its scopes on their recoil simulator known as the punishes and this baby can easily withstand 5000+ recoils without any trouble. (FYI, that’s 3x the recoil of a .308 rifle).
But wait, there’s more.
Leupold claims the scope can remain submerged in water with a 33-feet depth, and while I couldn’t get it that deep, it did perform pretty well in my testing with the only thing that didn’t back out being the dust and dirt.
Lastly, it is also pretty light, and mounting and detaching is easy so even if you are using a scope for the first time, you’ll get the hang of it in a day or two.
But there are a few drawbacks you should know about as well. Firstly, there’s no illuminated reticle. Thankfully though the ⅛ MOA reticle is dark and big and thus it never gets lost in the background even in low light.
It also has a slightly lower eye-relief than the then Leupold FX-II at 3.2” which isn’t too bad and still safe to use but I would have preferred about 3.5” to 4”
- Get 20 mins of extra light in poor conditions with Twilight Light System
- It has better optics than the Leupold FX-II
- Tried and tested to perform in low and high temperatures
- Aircraft-grade aluminum build makes it rock-solid
- It can handle 5000+ recoils
- Nitrogen purge keeps fog out
- Turrets are smooth and bigger for quick adjustments
- They are capped and thus maintain position well
- More eye-relief would have been better
- Non-illuminated reticle
- Turrets aren’t numbered
4: Bushnell Trophy 3-9×40 Rifle Scope
I don’t really suggest you get cheap scopes but Bushnell is a popular brand and if you are on a really (and I mean really) tight budget, their Trophy Rifle Scope is a decent alternative. Here’s what I love and hate about this scope.
Firstly, the scope costs less than $100. Yes, you heard that right, you can get a new scope for less than $100. But does the compromise on price mean a compromise on durability or quality?
To some extent, yes, but the Bushnell did pleasantly surprise me in a few ways. Even though the scope isn’t as waterproof as the above-mentioned scope, it sure can handle a bit of rain
It also has argon purging so when you are in the cold or rain, you won’t constantly have to wipe off the fog on the lens.
It comes with a 9x magnification but at 9x, you will start to notice some blurring. Though I was quite happy that at about 4-6x the optics did manage to produce pretty sharp and bright images putting it head and shoulders above the other in the price range.
The lens quality isn’t as great as the Leupold scopes or Trijicon but is multi-coated, which keeps it protected from dust and dirt. Plus, it doesn’t scratch easily.
Durability and recoil-resistance are good. As long as you don’t drop it from a height, you should have no trouble, and it can handle a few bumps without cracking or scratching.
The reticle is another plus point. While it doesn’t give you bullet drop or holdover reading, I like the Multi-X reticle as it is large and dark, so you never lose sight of it while the thin X-shaped center ensures accuracy by not impeding the view.
Few more things that help with accuracy are the fast-focus eyepiece while it has a good eye-relief as well ensuring you can aim worry-free each time.
As for the turrets, they are harder to turn than I like, so adjusting them might take some practice. They aren’t numbered either but capping means once adjusted, you won’t have to worry about it for a long time even if you remove and mount the scope 100 times over.
Lastly, it weighs just 13 oz and thus barely adds to the weight of the bag or the weapon, so you should have no trouble carrying it either way as you move around.
- Costs less than $100
- Lightweight and compact thus easy to carry around
- Optics are good at lower magnification
- Argon-purge prevents fog build on the lens
- Good recoil-resistance
- Holds zero well
- Fast focus eyepiece and Multi-X reticle provide good accuracy
- Good eye relief for the price
- Turrets are slightly hard to turn
- Visuals blur at full magnification
- The reticle isn’t illuminated
- No bullet drop or holdover details provided
5. Primary Arms SLx Compact 1×20
Last but not least comes the Primary Ars SLx Compact scope and if you need a mid-range scope that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket (costs less than $250) and yet offers good benefits, this is the one for you.
The optics quality is only second to the Leupold and thus finishes below it in the budget race. At 5x magnification, I noticed a slight blurring on the sides.
But it is still worth the consideration and here’s why.
Unlike the Leupold, this one has an illuminated reticle and comes with 11 brightness settings and thus works well in low light situations. And if you can keep it to medium settings, you won’t have to worry about battery life either as it gives an amazing 12000-13000 hours.
And using it at low or medium settings will not be a hassle because the reticle is etched onto the glass and thus provides good brightness irrespective (no battery? Shouldn’t be a problem).
Oh, and it is a much advanced ACSS Cyclobe reticle which means you also get range estimations up to 300-400 yards for faster target acquisition even if they are on the move. Plus, you can even shoot with both eyes open thanks so to the large eye-relief and quick-focus.
The turrets are a bit jarry, so you’ll need to apply a bit of pressure, and neither are they numbered but are capped so their position won’t have to be adjusted all the time. On the other hand, the magnification ring is pretty smooth.
Shock-resistance is good which comes down to the black anodized finish and the metallic build. This also means you won’t have to worry about damage or faults for years. And even if something did happen, it is the lifetime warranty to the rescue.
Although don’t leave it submerged in the water for too long. As for rain and snow, it shouldn’t be an issue and neither will the lens fog up as it is equipped with a nitrogen purge.
Protecting the lens from dust, dirt, oil, or scratches are the flip covers. Plus, if needed you can remove the Picatinny mount and attach to it micro donut mounts thus giving you the freedom to use the scope with a wider range of rifles and guns.
- Comes with an illuminated reticle with 11 brightness settings
- Reticle gives range estimations for accuracy
- Good durability and shock-resistance
- Flip-up covers protect the lens
- Excellent battery life
- The etched reticle remains bright without illumination
- Costs less than $250
- It is backed by a lifetime warranty
- Works with other miro-donut mounts
- Only 5x magnification
- Optics blur at full magnifications
- Turrets aren’t the smoothest and neither are numbered
In a world of variable scopes, fixed power scopes may not be as popular but to think they aren’t useful at all would be wrong. After all, these scopes are lighter, more compact, cheaper, and also provide a better view as the mount is further down the action.
And with this guide, I am sure you will have no trouble finding a fixed power scope for hunting irrespective of whether you are a beginner on a budget or a professional.
In case you have doubts about any fixed power scope mentioned here or other places or if there is anything I missed out on, do let me know in the comments below or via the contact page.
Feel free to also share your experience with fixed power scopes and if you think they are better than variable scopes and why.