If you value your rifle, you want to make sure you put the best possible parts on it. You cannot expect to put a cheap scope on your rifle and then expect to have great shots. When it comes to rifle scopes, you get what you pay for. There are a lot of scope options out there. A lot! So you really need to make sure you do your homework in order to find the best rifle scope for your needs. That is what we are here for! We want to help you find the rifle scope that is going to give you those great shots and provide you value for your hard earned money!
In this article, we provide rifle scope reviews of the top rated scopes for rifles. Note however, that our rifle scope reviews do not cover rifle scope reviews of scopes intended for assault rifles or other tactical rifles. Our rifle scope reviews are of scopes designed for general rifles, such as hunting rifles. We will cover the best scopes for assault rifles etc. in a different article.
Which Rifle Scope Is the Top Rated Rifle Scope?
Want to know which rifle scope is the top rated of the rifle scopes reviewed below, with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5? User comments for the rifle scope include: “This Scope Is Awesome” and “Fantastic optics!“.
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And the answer is…
The Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40 scores an average user rating of 4.8 out 5 from 122 user reviews. 117 out of 122 users (that is 96%!) gave this rifle scope a rating of 4 or more out of 5.
Please note, this was the rating at the time of the writing of this article and is subject to change.
Rifle Scope Reviews – The Top 5 Rifle Scopes Analysed
Below we review the 5 top rated rifle scopes.
Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40 Black Matte Rifle Scope
When sifting through rifle scope reviews for the best rifle scope, Nikon is typically the brand that many people gravitate to due to their long-standing reputation as a reliable and quality company. With the quality of this particular rifle scope, it seems the reputation may be well-deserved. The Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40 rifle scope has a bullet drop compensator or BDC reticle, which allows for more precise and accurate shooting due to the fact that the reticle allows the user to know exactly how to adjust their aim due to the subtle changes of bullet drops caused by wind and gravity.
The lens housing is filled with nitrogen and properly sealed with a strong O-ring to provide waterproofing and to prevent fog accumulation. The lens also has multiple coatings of protection to prevent nicks and scratches. In addition, this scope lists a light transmission level of 98%, allowing for a brighter and clearer view.
Looking through rifle scope reviews to get a good idea of quality is a great idea, but it’s always a good idea to remember that practically everything has a negative point or two. The one main problem that people seemed to have with this scope when writing their rifle scope reviews was difficulty in zeroing in. The manufacturer explains that zeroing in and setting the sights is quite easy, but several users have claimed that it’s quite difficult to get the scope to zero in on a target, and if the scope does get properly sighted it may need to be severely adjusted again when the magnification levels are changed.
Nikon ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Rifle Scope
As you look through the various rifle scope reviews on the Internet, you may notice that some look very similar to each other. While the Nikon ProStaff 4-12 x 40 seems to be quite similar to the Nikon 3-9 x 40 rifle scope, there are some key differences that you should pay attention to.
For example, this scope has a wider range of magnification with four to twelve times the magnification levels as opposed to three to nine times magnification. This scope also has slightly more eye relief with 3.7 inches of eye relief instead of 3.6 inches, and it measures out to be slightly longer at 14.1 inches instead of the more compact 12.4 inches.
Other than that, they share many of the same benefits. The lens housing is also filled with nitrogen with a fully sealed O-ring to waterproof and fogproof the lens. There are also multiple coatings of protection on the lens to prevent damages such as scratches and nicks.
This scope also instills the use of a BDC reticle to properly compensate for bullet drops, and has a 98% light transmission level.
Another difference between the two is the fact that this scope doesn’t seem to have the same problem with zeroing in as the other seemingly had. In fact, one of the only complaints found in most of the rifle scope reviews about this model is the fact that the reticle may appear to be too thick and may block the user’s view of the target slightly. Most of the rifle scope reviews reflected almost entirely positive views on the scope other than that.
Nikon Buckmaster 4.5-14 x 40 Rifle Scope
When it comes to rifle scope reviews, another highly respected brand that frequently pops up is Buckmasters. Nikon and Buckmasters have combined their resources and knowledge about scope technology to bring us this particular rifle scope. In terms of reticles, this scope comes with the option of getting one of three reticles. It can either have a BDC, Mildot or Nikoplex reticle. Mildot is a favorite for tactical rifles as it is incredibly accurate and measures distance from the target. Nikoplex reticles do have thick lines to allow you to easily see the crosshairs, but the lines become very fine near the center to allow for more precise shooting.
In terms of light transmission, this scope doesn’t fare as well as the others with 92% light transmission. However, the housing and lens are shockproof in addition to waterproof and fogproof to make it slightly tougher than the competition. The lens also has multiple coatings of protection to further protect it from damage.
Looking through the rifle scope reviews of most users, there doesn’t seem to be many complaints about this scope. A couple of users have complained that the reticle is hard to see, but it’s not clear which reticle seems to be having this problem. Some users have also stated that the 3.6 inch eye relief could be better.
BSA 3-12 x 40 Sweet 17 Rifle Scope
The BSA 3-12 x 40 Sweet 17 series rifle scope is labeled as being great for target and varmint shooting with its fairly close range and clear optics. In terms of rifle scope reviews, most people have nothing but good comments about this particular scope. However, the information listed is fairly limited in terms of the vital areas. The reticle is a Nikoplex, which works well in close quarters. The light transmission is not listed on the Internet, which may indicate that the light transmission is somewhat low compared to the competition. However, many users have stated that the scope is very clear and bright.
The scope’s lens housing is waterproof, fogproof and shockproof to protect from damage. There is a lens coating listed, but it’s possible there’s only one coating instead of a multi-coating.
In terms of negative rifle scope reviews for this product, complaints are few and far between, but some people state that the scope is slightly heavy for a close range scope. The weight of the scope is 19.4 ounces, but this may still be an issue for some people. The screws may also be of poor quality, and they may easily strip out if you try to make adjustments or switch scopes between guns. Some users also stated that they may suddenly come loose, so it’s a good idea to check if the screws are tight before using the scope on a firearm.
Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 50 Black Matte Rifle Scope
Back to the Nikon ProStaff series, there also seems to be plenty of benefits to love about the Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 50 scope if the rifle scope reviews are any indication. This scope measures out at about 12.5 inches long with 3.6 inches of eye relief.
The reticle is a BDC, and the light transmission percentage is estimated at being 98%. The lens is fully multi-coated providing plenty of protection against scratches, nicks and other damage. The lens housing is nitrogen-filled and properly sealed with an O-ring to make the scope waterproof and fogproof. The scope also supports a sunshade attachment for even more protection from dirt and dust while also keeping the sun out of the shooter’s eyes.
The small size and close range magnification levels make it a favorite for target shooters, but the maximum magnification levels could be slightly higher while remaining at a comfortable range.
While a vast majority of the rifle scope reviews for this particular model are positive, there have been some noted complaints by users. The main complaint that seems to pop up is the fact that the turret caps are plastic, and they tend to strip out very easily. If you typically need to make adjustments to your scope several times due to change in range, sighting it in or other factors, this could quickly make the caps completely useless. A few other users have stated that the adjustment dials are somewhat difficult to grab onto and adjust.
What Do You Think?
Do you believe there are better rifles scopes than the scopes listed in our rifle scope reviews above? We would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment in our comments section below.
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