Quality lens design and construction is a very important consideration when choosing a scope for one’s hunting, tactical, or competitive shooting rifle. Evaluating the overall performance of a particular rifle scope can be tricky, however. The good news is that there are brands that can guarantee the quality of their lens and the performance of their rifle scopes.
What We'll Cover
- List of All Best Rifle Scope Manufacturers on the Market
- #1 Vortex Optics
- #2 Leupold
- #3 Leapers (UTG)
- #4 Bushnell
- #5 Simmons
- #6 Trijicon
- #7 Primary Arms
- #8 Nightforce Optics
- #9 Athlon Optics
- #10 Burris Optics
- #11 ATN
- #12 Sightmark
- #13 Barska
- #14 BSA
- #15 CVLIFE
- #16 Sig Sauer
- #17 Steiner Optics
- #18 Zeiss
- #19 Swarovski Optics
- #20 Hawke
- #21 Redfield
- #22 Mueller
- #23 Weaver
- #24 TRUGLO
- #25 NcSTAR
- #26 Konus
- #27 Meopta
- Frequently Asked Questions
Knowing which of the many rifle scope companies to trust can help you determine the ‘ideal’ optical solution for your shooting needs. That is why we came up with a list of the best rifle scope manufacturers that never compromise on the quality of their products.
List of All Best Rifle Scope Manufacturers on the Market
#1 Vortex Optics
This company is one of the newest kids on the block. In a short time, Vortex Optics has clearly established itself in the design and manufacture of excellent quality optical devices. Any list of the best scopes for outdoor use will never be complete with VO products. From high-end scopes to red dot sights, spotting optics, and holographic sights, Vortex Optics has all the solutions any avid hunter or competitive and tactical shooter will ever need.
Vortex Optics continues to design the best rifle scope units on the planet. Their Razor HD, Crossfire II, and Viper series scopes are well known throughout the globe. They also have precision binoculars that birdwatchers and ornithologists use in the field. The overall performance of their scopes remains unbeatable in the world of firearms.
Leupold& Stevens continues to remain true to the vision of its founders over one hundred years ago. The company first repaired survey equipment in 1907. However, it was only after the Second World War when the company began producing scopes for rifles. The brand never looked back ever since. Fast forward more than 11 decades later, Leupold has become a household name in gun scopes and other optical products.
As a company that has its origins in the United States, Leupold always emphasizes on the quality of their products. For example, their VX-1 and VX-2 series are known for their exceptional accuracy. Owners of AR rifles also pick the 115370 Mark AR over other brands. The company guarantees the performance of their scopes for a lifetime. Very few other companies can offer such a warranty.
#3 Leapers (UTG)
For more than 28 years, Leapers (UTG) has been producing many of the scopes preferred by practical hunters. These devices are very easy to use and come with accessories that the company manufactures itself. The company’s best scope, the 3-9×32 Bugbuster has a very sophisticated look and a performance that will never let you down. Their 3-9×50 Hunter is a deer hunter’s favorite.
The company also has some of the best budget scopes on the market. They make sure that only the highest possible quality products get delivered to their distributors from their facility in Livonia, Michigan. From unique lens coating to very crisp turret adjustments, Leapers makes sure that you will get the right device for your hunting gear without making you eat potatoes for a whole year.
Kansas-based Bushnell first started as a manufacturer of quality binoculars in 1948, upon David P. Bushnell’s return from Japan. Today, not only is Bushnell well-known for its binoculars. It is also a popular brand of scopes for rifle enthusiasts and professionals. They also have other optical products for different applications.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of Bushnell scopes is the clarity of its lens. You have to try the Trophy Extreme X30 6-24×50 long range Riflescope or the Banner Dusk & Dawn Riflescope to appreciate the quality of Bushnell’s optics. The Legend Ultra Mil Dot 4.5x14x44 is also an exceptional Bushnell scope. The company also has amazing trail cameras, terrestrial spotting optics, telescopic sights, and magazine loaders to make its array of products more impressive.
This American brand is a subsidiary of Bushnell Corporation. As a subsidiary of one of the top manufacturers of scopes for rifles, one can always expect Simmons to provide products that are top notch in craftsmanship and performance. The company’s Aetec series is one device that hunters love. It has an exceptional eye relief that improves the overall shooting experience. The edge-to-edge clarity of its glass is also noteworthy. The same is true for its Protarget and Whitetail Classic series.
Simmons also manufactures advanced range finders, spotters, and binoculars. It uses its technical know-how to produce a glass platform that allows for clear and vivid tracking of subjects in the field. The Venture series of hunting accessories is always a welcome addition to one’s arsenal of hunting gear.
Very few brands of rifle optical devices can come close to the effectiveness of Trijicon’s tactical scopes. The brand’s ACOG system is the preferred platform of many special units in the US Military. They also have reflex sights that law enforcement agents use. These scopes for tactical purposes allow for greater precision with each shot made. Acquiring targets is also very fast, an attribute that is important in CQB engagements.
If you think Trijicon is only for short range shooting activities, you are wrong. The company also has scopes for long range shots. They have the AccuPower 5-50×56 Extreme Long-Range Riflescope that elite special forces snipers use to hit targets from beyond 2000 yards. There is no question that Trijicon is one of the best manufacturers of optical solutions for rifles and other firearms.
#7 Primary Arms
One of the rifle scope companies that people trust for its quality optics is Primary Arms. What is admirable about this brand is that they always take into consideration the affordability of their products. While their scopes are not the cheapest on the market, one can always expect them to be more affordable than others. Primary Arms provide a good combination of affordability and good optical performance.
No one can question the accuracy and speed of Primary Arms’ optical solutions. From their SLX 1-6×24 to their PLX 6-30×56 and everything in between, the company offers a wide array of optics for every hunter or shooter. Not only does the company provides remarkable scopes. They also offer other merchandise like shooting gear, cleaning tools, mounts, and lasers, among others.
#8 Nightforce Optics
Reliable, rugged, and repeatable. These are the three core characteristics that make the products of NightForce Optics stand out from the rest. If you were to make a list of all rifle scope manufacturers, NightForce Optics will be there right at the top. The company’s products come with a superior optical design that guarantees the maximum transmission of light through the optics.
Benchrest shooters love the brand’s New 8032×56 Precision Benchrest Illuminated Riflescope and the Competition 15-55×5 Riflescope. Not only do these rifles afford exceptional optical clarity. They also ensure the best performance when every squeeze of the trigger counts. It should not surprise you one bit if people you meet will say that NightForce Optics is one of the best scope manufacturers in the world.
#9 Athlon Optics
This brand of rifle optics is well-known for their quality workmanship. At the core of Athlon Optics’ operations is the mission to provide rifle enthusiasts the best possible solutions for their various needs. From advanced power options to a reticle system that is both crisp and easy to use, the solutions that Athlon Optics provide can make for a more exciting shooting adventure.
Athlon Optics has a wide range of sport optics products that include hunting scopes, long range optics, red dot systems, and short to medium range scopes. The company names its scopes after popular ancient Greek figures like Ares, Cronus, Talos, and Argos, to name a few. Regardless of the brand’s naming convention, one can expect only the best from this brand of optics for rifles.
#10 Burris Optics
Before Don Burris established his own company in 1971, he served as one of Redfield’s design engineers. He believed that rifle owners deserve a much better scope to fit in their firearms. At Redfield, Burris was instrumental in the company’s many scope innovations that included the Wideview, the Accu-Range, and the non-magnifying, constantly-centered reticle. As such, one can expect Burris Optics to remain faithful to the innovative ideas of its creator.
Hunters rave about Burris’ Veracity, while long range shooters love the company’s XTR II 5-25x. Tactical shooters like Burris Optics’ TAC30, MTAC, and RT-6. While Burris uses only premium quality materials in all of its products, it still manages to bring the prices down relative to other brands. Some might even consider these as good value budget scope products.
Ifyou are looking for the best night vision optics to go with your rifle, then ATN is the brand for you. The company was established in 1995 with a very clear idea of what they want to provide. ATN is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of industry-leading digital scopes and sights. This is where advanced digital technology meets old-school hunting optics know-how.
The night vision scopes of ATN are an engineering and design masterpieces. They come with advanced image sensors mated to either infrared or thermal imaging. The ThOR LT and the X-Sight II HD are two of the most popular scopes of the brand. They also have digital rangefinder units and thermal binoculars. This is definitely a scope brand that is for the tech-savvy shooter.
Sightmark is one of the newest companies that provide quality scopes for different purposes. The company was introduced in 2007 and had their Texas headquarters completed in 2011. Sightmark’s facilities are large enough to accommodate all of their resources. This helps ensure the highest possible quality of their products that include scopes, night vision devices, and other defense-related products.
One of the company’s best-selling scopes is the Photon XT. This night vision scope comes with a very unique profile and a crystal-clear lens. It is not a digital scope; yet, it acts like one. The company’s other bestsellers include the Citadel, Latitude, Core, and Pinnacle series. Sightmark guarantees that these devices are built to last. They have repeatable turret dynamics and their lenses are of premium quality.
Barska is an American company that specializes in sports optics, protective travel cases, and biometric safes. They have an amazing lineup of sights and scopes that are perfect for precision target shooters and hunters. The brand uses components outsourced from leading manufacturers both in the US and overseas. One of the greatest strengths of their products is the high-density rating of their glass and prisms. They also allow for custom builds for certain clients.
A high quality product of the company is the 1-4×28 IR SWAT-AR Tactical Rifle for members of elite police units. They also have a long-range scope for SWAT snipers, like the IR SWAT Extreme Tactical. These scopes come with the same quality workmanship that one can expect from premium quality products.
Birmingham Small Arms Company or BSA is one of the world’s oldest gunsmiths. Records show that the company has been around since the time of King William III in 17th century Britain. While the company’s roots are that of gunsmiths, they did foray into the design and production of scopes for the very same guns that they produce. Today, BSA is one of the world’s best scope manufacturers.
Hunters love the Sweet Series of the company because of its use of a technology that BSA Optics borrowed from elite sniper units in the military. As one of the best optics brands, BSA makes sure that it uses only the best quality prisms and glass for its scopes. It also integrates ballistically-calibrated turrets. These are very easy to adjust to match the projectile’s characteristics.
CVLIFE is one of those rifle scope manufacturers that balances its quality product offerings with excellent customer service and support. It believes that you do not only have to feel satisfied with your purchase. They also want you to experience a different kind of customer service that other brands may not provide.
One of the hallmarks of CVLIFE products is their affordable price range. This is perfect for those who are relatively new in the use of scopes for shooting. It is also good for people who may not have sufficient means to purchase more premium products. This does not mean that CVLIFE’s scopes are mediocre. The short-range scopes come with color-illuminated reticle. There are tactical optics with holographic dots and laser sights, too.
#16 Sig Sauer
More than a third of law enforcement agencies in the US use firearms manufactured by SIG Sauer. This is a brand that is known for making high performance firearms. It is the result of the partnership between the German J.P. Sauer and the Swiss SchweizerischeIndustrieGesselschaft in 1976.
A trademark of this well-known brand is the SBT system. This system guarantees unmatched accuracy for every shot. One of the favorite scopes of hunters is the Whiskey5 2-10×4, which has a magnification range that is more ideal for short- to medium- range hunting. The brand also has state-of-the-art reflex sights that deliver uncompromising accuracy and rugged construction. SIG Sauer’s electro-optics fuse together superior HD-quality glass with advanced electronic technologies and military-inspired scope designs for the best performance of any scope.
#17 Steiner Optics
Karl Steiner established Steiner Optics in Bayreuth, Germany in 1947. While the company focused more on the production of quality binoculars for police and military use, it soon expanded into the manufacture of optics for hunting, ornithology, seafaring, and other outdoor activities. Today, it is one of the most trusted names when it comes to scopes that perform well in various conditions.
A very interesting fact about Steiner Optics is its invention of the indestructible Makrolon housing. It is also known for using a nitrogen-charged, all-conditions system to create a fog proof scope. The company has scopes for tactical, military, and hunting uses. Their best sellers include the T5Xi for tactical purposes and the H4Xi for avid hunters. Military personnel love Steiner Optics’ M8Xi and M7Xi series of scopes.
Zeiss is one of the best optics companies in the world. Its founder, Carl Zeiss, is a renowned German optician in the mid-19th century. From 1846, Zeiss grew to become a multinational corporation that is well-respected in different segments of modern society. They have brand recognition in photography, medical solutions, industrial metrology, and rifle sights and scopes, among others.
As a trustworthy optics manufacturer, one can always expect Zeiss scopes to have exceptional quality of glass. A good example is the Conquest HD5 that promises to deliver precision shots, whether it is from 100 or 1000 yards out. The Terra 3-9×42 Plex is also a good choice for novice hunters. It has a good price and good quality workmanship that deliver the best possible hunting performance.
#19 Swarovski Optics
This Austrian company is more known for their budget scope. It was in 1935 when Wilhelm Swarovski started designing and producing binoculars. In World War II, he created scopes for use in the German Wehrmacht’s Karabiner 98k and the Mannlicher M1895. The very first rifle optics that Swarovski produced for non-military use was a 4×32 scope in 1959.
While the brand is more known for its spotting scopes, one cannot underestimate its rifle optics. The Z3 4-1s2x50 BRH is perfect for medium- to long- range shots, while the Z6i 1-6×24 EE L is great for short-range hunting. Both of these scopes feature the same premium quality glass that Swarovski uses for its binoculars. They also come with a robust scope body construction that is great for all-terrain, all-weather use.
Hawke is a British manufacturer of optical solutions with more than 15 years of experience producing good quality scopes for the modern sports shooter. This Suffolk-based family-owned business also has an office in Indiana and is present in more than 60 countries around the world. The company is famous for producing sporting optics for air guns, crossbows, and rifles.
As a major player in the very competitive optics industry, Hawke strongly listens to the needs of its customers. They produce optics that appeal more to the emotive and passionate side of optical solutions. Some of their most popular scopes for rifles belong to the Frontier, Panorama, Vantage, Endurance, and Sidewinder series. They also have the Airmax for those who are fans of air gun shooting.
Redfield is another 100+ year old manufacturer of good quality scopes. It was founded two years after the establishment of Leupold& Stevens in 1907. It is not surprising that Leupold bought Redfield in 2008, making it one of the latest subsidiaries of the big-name scope brand. This does not mean that Redfield has already lost its mettle. It still has. And with the full backing of Leupold, you can expect the optical solutions of the 21st century Redfield to be even more amazing.
Some of the most popular Redfield products include the Revolution 2-7×33, the Battlezone 2-7×34 TAC-22, and the Revenge 3-9×42 Accu-Range. These scopes have remarkable glass quality that allows for optimum light transmission. Their turrets and reticle types are also spot-on, ensuring the kind of scope performance you need.
You have got to give credit to Mueller Optics. This brand offers premium quality optics that come with unparalleled accuracy and craftsmanship. These scopes have the quality of a Leupold glass and the amazing price of a Simmons or a Tasco. The company is proud to use only the latest tools to produce tactical, competition, and hunting scopes with amazing light gathering capabilities and astonishing clarity.
For speed and precision, you have got to give the Quick Shot a try. And if you prefer shooting at long range targets, then Mueller’s 8.5-25×50 AO Eraticator is worth your effort. There are also scopes for hunters and tacticians. You can get almost any other scope that performs well for your intended activity. And each one of these will not cost you much.
Weaver specializes in rifle scopes built for making tough shots in the roughest of places. The company also provides powerful binoculars and mounting systems for your favorite scope. What many do not know is that this company is one of the oldest. It was in 1930 when the company’s founder, William R. Weaver, first introduced the Model 3-30 scope. At the time, you can get reasonably priced scopes from this brand.
Fast-forward to the 21st century and Weaver still adheres to its founder’s vision of creating good quality scopes at very affordable prices. A friendly price tag is definitely one of the features that customers love about Weaver products. Check out Weaver if you want a quality scope without breaking the bank. They offer a wide range of scopes that you can count on for reliability, performance and affordable prices.
TRUGLO believes that the secret to a good scope is in the quality of its optics. If you can see your target clearer, then there is no way you are not going to make the shot. While TRUGLO provides amazing scopes for rifles, its main focus is in the production of innovative archery scopes. It aims to please people who prefer to hunt the more traditional way of using bows.
Paul LoRocco established TRUGLO in 1993. As an avid hunter and competitive archer, LoRocco believes that scopes should have a sighting mechanism that will allow people with visual acuity problems to make effortless shots. He developed the 3-pin aperture and the Deluxe PWR-DOT colored fiber optics systems that are now a standard in TRUGLO’s product line.
This Southern California sporting and optics company was established in 1997. It aims to provide competitive shooters and hunters quality optics at very reasonable prices. The company provides different rifle scope products that have clear glass, sturdy scope body, and a very sleek finish. The brand’s Compact Prismatic Scope would look dashing on your AR. Its Mark III Tactical Gen 2 can give Trijicon’s ACOG a run for its money.
Not only does NcSTAR provide scopes. They also have high performance gun cases, some of which are very fashionable enough for the hunter who wants a more luxurious way of keeping his firearm. The company offers every bit of accessory that you can possibly add to your rifle. NcSTAR also guarantees a customer service experience that is second to none.
Konus is a family-run business that has been wowing the crowd in the hunting industry for more than three decades. It offers European-designed scopes and other optical devices that are great for tactical shooting and hunting. Konus guarantees that its scope products feature only premium quality glass. The design of its scopes allows for reliable consistency, ease of use, and all-weather protection.
As one of the world’s top scope brands, Konus integrates only the latest technological advancements from the military in all of its scopes. Every scope development requires a reevaluation of the existing model. This helps guarantee a new scope that performs way better than its predecessor. Two of the brand’s bestsellers are the KONUSPRO EL30 4-16×44 LCD Riflescope and the KONUSPRO 2-6×28 Illuminated Riflescope.
It does not matter how you want to view the world. Meopta can give you the right tools you will ever need to appreciate nature, experience the thrill of the hunt, or take out your opponents in a tactical situation. Such is the aim of this Czech scope company that was established in 1933 by Alois Mazurek and Alois Benes. Meopta started out as a producer of fine cameras for photography and videography. Today, they specialize in sport optics.
Meopta provides rifle optics solutions that allow for very rapid target acquisition and superior precision accuracy. Their R2 1-6×24 RD happens to be one of the best scopes any hunter can have. You would be surprised at the quality of the glass and the repeatability of its scope dynamics for its price point.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Brands of Rifle Scopes are Best?
There are hundreds of rifle scope manufacturers around the globe. Unfortunately, not everyone can guarantee quality craftsmanship, reliable performance across shooting conditions, and the backing of loyal followers. There can also be other reasons why people trust only certain brands of rifle scopes. So, which ones are the best?
Vortex Optics is one of the best rifle scope brands. From turret design to the scope body construction and the quality of their glass, there is not much that you can frown upon with a VO product. The same is true with Leupold and Leapers UTG. These two brands make superb scopes for firearms.
Simmons is also a great rifle scope brand, owing to its being a subsidiary of Bushnell Corporation. You can expect these two brands to produce excellent-quality optical solutions for virtually any firearm in your arsenal.
Rifle owners also consider Nikon as one of the best. Some rifle scope companies also use Nikon optics in their products. Nikon products are also well-known for an excellent combination of performance and affordability. Trijicon is well-known for its ACOG system, while NightForce Optics are popular for their revolutionary design and reliable target sighting system.
The rifle scopes of Primary Arms are also top notch. Burris Optics often rely on the expertise of its former Redfield designer-owner in the manufacture of premium-quality rifle optics. Athlon Optics is another brand that serious hunters and competitive shooters trust when it comes to high quality rifle optics.
Lens quality is the common denominator of these top rifle scope brands.
What are the Top Name Brands of Long Range Rifle Scopes?
Long range scopes are a very special kind of rifle optics. The best in the field always have an industry-leading optics. This guarantees a very clear field of view regardless of the distance of the shooter to the target. Of course, powerful magnification in the range of 20x and upwards also counts. However, even if the scope has a 50x objective, if the quality of its glass is mediocre, then sighting a target some 1000 yards or so can be very challenging. That is why only a handful of manufacturers can produce high performance rifle scopes for long range shooting.
Vortex Optics and Leupold are two of the best brands when it comes to long range scopes for rifles. Expect the construction of the scope body to play a role in the performance of their optics, too. The same can be said of Nikon. This Japanese brand employs its professional camera lens technical know-how in the production of glasses that it fits into its rifle scopes.
The same can be said of Bushnell and Trijicon. The latter’s reticles are one of the hunting world’s most popular systems. A good reticle is important for long range shooting. As much as possible, you would want a first focal plane type to make target sighting and acquisition more precise.
Athlon Optics and NightForce Optics are two other brands that you can rely on for high-performance long-range scopes. These American companies guarantee the quality craftsmanship of their products to help shooters make fantastic long-range shots.
What Rifle Scopes Brands are Made in the USA?
It is quite difficult to determine which rifle scope brands are 100 percent made in the USA. This requires that all components of the scope should be produced by the same company. In some instances, they can also source these components also from US companies for these rifle scopes to be considered as genuine US-made brands.
Global manufacturing in the 21st century puts emphasis on quality. Whether we like it or not, there are countries other than the US that are better when it comes to the manufacture of certain rifle scope components.
There is also the issue of cost. Labor costs outside the US are less expensive. You can look at Apple and other popular US brands that have manufacturing facilities overseas. They produce the components abroad, bring the components back to the US, and have the final product assembled here. This also happens in the rifle scope industry.
So, it may be difficult to look for a 100 percent US-made rifle scope. However, if a 100 percent US-assembled scope will suit you fine, then you will have a number of options.
Vortex Optics, Leupold, Trijicon, and U.S. Optics are four very popular brands that produce high quality rifle scopes in the US. You can also get a Redfield Optics, although Leupold already bought the company in 2008. Burris Optics also makes excellent rifle scopes owing to the fact that its owner was a former scope designer for Redfield. NightForce Optics, Leapers UTG, Athlon Optics, Athlon Optics, Primary Arms, Barska, and ATN are also good choices.
What Rifle Scopes Brands are Made in Japan?
Seasoned hunters and members of military special units know that many of the world’s best rifle scopes have components made in Japan. In most cases, big-name brands like Leupold and Bushnell will source their glass from Japan and have them shipped to the US for assembly. There are other manufacturers of high-quality scopes and sights that acknowledge the expertise of the Japanese when it comes to premium quality optics.
If you are looking for specific brands of rifle scopes that are 100 percent made in Japan, then Nikon will have to be one of them. The brand uses its expertise in designing and producing remarkable glasses for its consumer and professional photography equipment in creating equally-astonishing products for firearms.
Novel Arms Corporation is another Japanese brand of rifle scope. The company specializes in red dot sights that it ships mainly to China. Like Nikon, Novel Arms produces their own glass to put into their products.
Another Japanese rifle scope brand that you can trust is Japan Optics. There are people who say that some well-known rifle scope manufacturers in the US and Europe also source their lens from this company. Some people think that the company is the Japanese counterpart of U.S. Optics.
One of the best parts about these Japanese rifle scope brands is that they do not cost as much as those from the European and American markets. They provide exceptional value to those who want a reliable target sighting device to fit into their favorite firearm.
The best rifle scope manufacturers offer different products and can utilize different manufacturing technologies. However, they all share something in common. All of these manufacturers know the importance of quality optics. They also understand the need for a robust scope body construction that can stand up to the elements.
Some of them price their scopes very high, while others make their products affordable even for novice rifle owners. Top scope manufacturers can have different means of sourcing their components and different marketing strategies. However, they all do this to give the people only the highest possible quality of optical solutions for their needs.
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You list Nikon as one of your top rifle scope producers. They haven’t made rifle scopes for the past two years. They will no longer participate in that space.
owned redfield 3x9 for 45 yrs been good but seal just broke fogged up on me. appreciated your article to start shopping for replacement
Well, I don' think you did too bad on #1 & #2, however, its difficult to understand what you grading procedure was. Putting Bushnell & Vortex in the same sentence ? I have always been a big fan of Nikon, but hello, they quit making rifle scopes a few years ago? Then I see Swarovski, Steiner & Zeiss below Bushnell, Simmons, BSA, etc., etc.. I laughed so hard I think I peed my pants.