4 Best Sniper Scopes of 2021
Hitting the bullseye or taking down big game from 1,000 yards out or more definitely takes some special skills, and it will also require you to have the right caliber rifle, and of course, the best sniper scope.
A sniper or tactical scope is designed to provide extra target range, clearer optics, higher magnification power and more precise instruments for compensating for elements like parallax, elevation, and windage.
These scopes are available in a whole range of specs to ensure there is something for all kinds of long-range shooters. But, with our sniper scopes review and buying guide below, finding the perfect one for you should be easy.
- 4 Best Sniper Scopes – Review
- How to Buy the Best Sniper Scopes
4 Best Sniper Scopes – Review
1. Burris XTR II (Best Overall)
2. Leupold VX-R 113769 (Best for Short & Medium Range)
3. Vortex Viper PST-5258 (Reliable Bullet Drop & Wind)
4. CVLife RR-40-RE-FL (Best Budget)
1. Burris XTR II
2. Leupold VX-R 113769
(Best for Short & Medium Range)
3. Vortex Viper PST-5258
(Reliable Bullet Drop & Wind Scope)
4. CVLife RR-40-RE-FL
1. Burris XTR II – Best Overall Sniper Scope
- Zoom Range: 8-40x
- Objective Diameter: 50 millimeters
- Tube Diameter: 34 millimeters
- Parallax Setting: 50 yards to infinity
With an impressive 8-40x zoom range and a 50-millimeter objective diameter, the XTR II by Burris is our best overall sniper scope and probably also among the top performing ones in the market.
Besides the wider magnification range, it is also a well-built scope that features a 25% thicker main tube that is designed to be more rugged to withstand harsh environments.
The top rated sniper scope uses some high-quality multi-coated optics that will optimize the target resolution, improve image contrast and provide top-notch low-light performance. And the reticle is also illuminated to allow you to shoot in almost any condition.
You can also be confident of always getting an absolute shockproof performance when using this scope as its internal components are triple-spring tensioned to eliminate shock even under heavy recoil.
When compared to others on our list, this is quite an expensive scope but for a long range scope, it is still quite reasonably priced, and this is more so when you compare it with others in its class. Also, dip in clarity at higher magnification is typical of almost all scopes and should hence not be a bog concern.
2. Leupold VX-R 113769 – Best Short and Medium Range Sniper Scope
- Zoom Range: 1.25-4x
- Objective Diameter: 20 millimeters
- Tube Diameter: 30 millimeters
- Parallax Setting: 150 yards
While the 1.25-4x zoom range that Leupold's VX-R Patrol offers might not be what many shooters expect on a sniper scope, it is still ideal for a variety of situations.
These situations include when you need to use your rifle for short and medium ranges and for shooters that hate having to adjust through a wide magnification range.
Leupold also makes this scope to serve you for a long time using polymer and an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy material, and it is also a generally more lightweight scope.
Other things that make this one of the best sniper rifle scopes include the illuminated reticle as it increases its versatility and the motion sensor technology that will switch off the illumination when the rifle is idle.
There is also an efficient light management system (Twilight Light Management) that also plays a crucial role as it delivers crisp and high contrasting images.
While the reticle is a little on the thicker side it still does an amazing job and many users will hardly notice the extra thickness.
3. Vortex Viper PST-5258 – Reliable Bullet Drop and Wind Compensating Scope
- Zoom Range: 5-25x
- Objective Diameter: 50 millimeters
- Tube Diameter: 30 millimeters
- Parallax Setting: 25 yards to infinity
When shooting from long distances, it will be necessary and vital to adjust for both bullet drop and wind in most instances. Hence, the fact that the Viper PST Gen II makes both compensations easy means it will be an excellent sniper scope.
Its laser etched turrets, RZR zero stop, and adjustable parallax is what will make compensating for windage, bullet drop, parallax and elevation more straightforward.
With its fully multicoated lenses, this scope is also made to deliver a crisp sight picture and the lenses also have Armotek coatings that will provide protection from scratches and dirt.
The illuminated reticle is another great addition to this scope, and it will provide precise aiming points to allow for accurate shooting even in low light conditions.
Durability is also guaranteed as the Viper is made with a single piece aircraft-grade aluminum main tube and is argon-purged and O-ring sealed to ensure a fog and waterproof performance.
A longer eye relief would have been better to make shooting from long range more comfortable. But unless you are shooting with a rifle that has excessively heavy recoil, you should still be perfectly okay with this scope.
4. CVLife RR-40-RE-FL – Best Budget Sniper Scope
- Zoom Range: 3-9x
- Objective Diameter: 40 millimeters
- Tube Diameter: 25.4 millimeters
Most sniper scopes will often come at a high price tag, but the good news is that it is still possible to get a top quality budget model for under $50 like CVLife's Tactical R4.
This amazing rifle scope features fully multicoated optics that deliver 90% light transmission for bright and clear images even in low light.
And it is also a solid and well-built scope with aircraft-grade aluminum alloy main tube that is also nitrogen filled and sealed completely to ensure complete fog and waterproof performance.
And despite being the cheapest among our review of sniper scopes, this scope also comes with a fantastic R4 reticle designed specifically for sniper rifles, smooth zoom adjustment ring, and free mounts.
The included standard mount might not be compatible with some rifles, but you can easily get the right ones at a small price. Also, while the adjustment screws do not give you an easy time like turrets, they should still be okay once you get used to them.
How to Buy the Best Sniper Scopes
Here are some of the most crucial things to consider when choosing a sniper scope.
1. Quality Glass
Because the glasses or lenses are what will allow shooters to see clearly through the scope, they are among the most important things to consider when shopping.
A scope with high-quality glasses will also make it possible to judge the mirage effect that comes with parallax and windage and also see clearly when shooting from shorter distances.
Besides making sure that you buy a scope from a reputable company that is known to use high-quality glass on their products, checking things like the lens size and coating can help you get something with good optics.
2. Milling Reticle
The best sniper rifle scope for you is one that has a good reticle system. Technical reticles are the best for these rifles and ideally, a mil-dot will be a perfect choice.
However, because you will need to first measure and estimate the target range before calculating the drop and then adjusting the turrets to accommodate it, a milling reticle is better suited for sniper scopes.
A milling reticle will have evenly spaced hash marks or dots that can either be MOA or mills, and it will be designed to make it easy to calculate the adjustments you need to make from any distance.
3. Zoom Range: Fixed or Variable
To make a good shot from a long range, you will need a magnification power of at least 18x, and so a sniper scope with a zoom range of 18-25x is often the best for sniper rifles.
However, if you are a hunter or a target shooter that will be shooting from various ranges a scope with a lower magnification power, for example, 5-25x will be perfect as you might need to use your rifle from short ranges in some instances.
Also, you will need to decide whether to go for the variable power or the fixed power scopes.
The fixed scopes will not offer the flexibility of a variable scope, but they offer the advantage of being more water resistant and with fewer components and lenses which makes them lighter and generally more affordable.
Variable power sniper scopes offer a wider magnification range for increased flexibility and they are better suited for use in all kinds of environments and different ranges. However, these are more complicated scopes that require more adjustments and most are pricier than fixed scopes.
4. Objective Diameter
The objective lens diameter is another important factor that you will need to consider as it will determine the amount of light that your sniper scope will be able to gather.
Larger objective diameter scope like the 50mm Vortex Viper PST-5258 is always more favorable as it will gather more light which translates to brighter and clearer pictures from long range and in low light conditions.
Your shooting distances and condition should help you determine the right objective diameter for you, but a scope with at least a 40mm objective lens is often good enough.
While there are many good sniper scopes available in the market, not all of them are made to stand the test if time.
Before you settle on any model, it is important to make sure that it is designed to be durable and rugged enough to withstand the harsh outdoor environment.
A one-piece aircraft-grade aluminum alloy scope like CVLife RR-40-RE-FL should be rugged and durable enough for use in any environment.
When choosing the best sniper scope, you need to understand that different shooting situation and conditions call for different scopes. But, the good news is that the scopes on our list are all quite versatile and ideal for various situations.
With that in mind the Burris XTR II seems to slightly outperform the others in different aspects from a wider magnification to superior low light performance and is hence our best overall pick.
But, if you prefer something highly affordable that still gets the job done and is rugged enough, the CVLife RR-40-RE-FL will work well for you.