If you’re shopping around for the best tactical rifle scopes, you might be having a hard time picking the right one for you without a clear idea on the things to consider. As there are plenty of the same products on the market, you might find it challenging and time-consuming to compare each product. That is why we have created this buying guide.
What We'll Cover
- Quick Answer: The 11 Best Tactical Rifle Scopes for 2020
- Best Tactical Rifle Scope Reviews of 2020
- UTG 3-9×32 1″ BugBuster Scope
- Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50 FFP Riflescope
- Nikon P-Tactical .308 4-12×40 Matte BDC800 Riflescope
- Nikon M-Tactical .223 4-16x42SF Matte BDC600 Riflescope
- Nikon P-Tactical Rimfire 2-7X32 Matte BDC150 Riflescope
- Trijicon ACOG 4×32 Combat Scope Rifle
- Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope
- Leupold Mark MOD 1 3-9x40mm Riflescope
- Athlon Optics Midas 6-24×50 TAC Riflescope
- Redfield Revolution 3-9x40mm TAC-MOA Reticle Riflescope
- Hawke Sidewinder TAC 30 8.5-25×42 Mildot Riflescope
- What is a Tactical Scope?
- How Do Tactical Scopes Work?
- What Makes a Great Tactical Scope?
- What Magnification Do You Need?
- Factors to Consider when Buying a Tactical Scope
- How to Properly Mount a Tactical Scope
We’re featuring the top 11 picks in the TAC scope category so that you can weigh your options and that you can figure out the right one for your needs, skills and budget. In the following, we’ll also discuss a buying guide on the considerations to check when shopping around. If you’re ready, let’s get started with these reviews.
Quick Answer: The 11 Best Tactical Rifle Scopes for 2020
First, let’s take a look at the top-rated tactical rifle scopes, then we’ll talk about how to choose the right one for you in our buying guide below.
Best Tactical Rifle Scope Reviews of 2020
UTG 3-9×32 1″ BugBuster Scope
BEWARE OF COUNTERFEIT PRODUCTS SHIPPED DIRECTLY FROM CHINA
1 Inch Tube with Emerald Coating for Maximum Light Transmission, Premium Zero Lockable & Resettable Turrets with 1/4 MOA Per Click Adjustm...
The UTG 3-9X32 lightweight tactical scope is with a wide range of magnification settings that you can easily adjust and use for what the situation is calling for to meet your needs. In addition, this military grade rifle scope is engineered with a one-inch tube, which is a standard for many best scopes on the market.
More so, I would like to note that it comes with a valuable range estimating reticle, offering great shooting and aiming performance. This model is also with an adjustable objective ranging from three yards to infinity.
The best scope for Mini 14 tactical is also with illumination that offers us with optimal lighting transmission no matter the combat condition. In addition, this feature makes the scope more versatile to perform for your needs. The combat rifle scope also offers a rainproof and shockproof performance.
What I don’t liked about this scope are some isolated reports on blurry images.
- Most accommodating and generous eye relief
- Comes with accessories
- Rugged to last long
- Shockproof and rainproof
- Comes with two pieces of lithium batteries
- Blurred image issues
But then, these are isolated cases that do not comprise the majority of the reviews. This budget scope is also with quality construction and a solid design that meets the demands of military men. You might want to check it out if you are looking for these features and more in your sighting device.
Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50 FFP Riflescope
The Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane 6-24x50 stands at the intersection of precision and value, delivering an impressive array of features and performance.
Extra-low dispersion glass and full...
In addition, the Diamondback Tactical scope is a top rated scope that features both value and precision. One of the things that I appreciate the sighting tool is that it is a great scope on the market that has an incredible array of performance. This sighting tool is with extra low dispersion glass, which promotes better sight.
I’d also like to note that it is one of the very nice scopes that is designed and made with fully and multiple coated lenses, improving sight picture for an increased chance of target acquisition. I would also like to mention its first focal plane reticle, maintaining accurate sub-tensions throughout the four time zoom range.
This scope is also with a fog proof, waterproof and shockproof performance for long-lasting use. It is also with a 30mm tube that makes it rugged to keep up with even the harshest conditions. For its even better performance, I found that it is with nitrogen purging and O-ring sealing.
However, it is expensive, though, so those beginning in the hobby might not be able to afford it if they don’t have a large budget.
- Smooth magnification changes for its precision glide erector
- Quick focus eyepiece
- Can be used for hunting or tactical shooting
- Increased color fidelity
- Consistent sub-tensions at all magnifications
Overall, I’d like to recommend this scope for its sturdy features and optimum performance. The scope is also offering quick and easy reticle focusing along with a quick focus eyepiece. It is also dependable for long-distance shooting.
Nikon P-Tactical .308 4-12×40 Matte BDC800 Riflescope
The BDC 800 reticle offers Shooters unique open circles, dots and hash marks aiming from 100 to 800 yards
One inch body tube
Spring loaded instant zero resets turrets
Elevated windage and elevation...
For one, the high quality scope is with fully and multiple coated lenses that make it suitable for all hunting conditions. I would like to note that its multiple coated lenses are housed in an aircraft-grade aluminum that enhances its integrity. It is what you need to see even in a dismal environment.
I also recommend the scope for its O-ring sealing that keeps moisture and wetness out to prevent it from entering the body. It is also with nitrogen-purging for reliability versus thermal shock. With it, you can look forward to longer-lasting use.
The P-TACTICAL scope, overall, has the features that can improve your shooting experience. It is also with an aircraft-grade aluminum that makes it sturdier to last no matter the hunting or tactical shooting condition.
More so, this stylish scope is with a versatile zooming range, offering a clear and good view field for improved shooting experience.
On the downside, some users reported of poor view field issues, but these were isolated cases only.
- Spring-loaded instant zero resets turrets
- Consistent and generous eye relief for eye brow protection
- Can perform on any weather
- Unique dots, open circles and hash marks
- Fog proof, waterproof and shockproof performance
- Poor view field issues
Overall, it is one of the best military scopes that give you the most value of your money. Definitely, it deserves a second look if you’re shopping around for a great scope that can work on any conditions, even at night. It is made with tough components that improve its performance and is with top-edge engineering for ease of use and effectiveness as a tactical scope.
Nikon M-Tactical .223 4-16x42SF Matte BDC600 Riflescope
Engineered for the .223 Reminton/5.56 NATO round w/55 gr polymer tipped bullet at 3240 fps
30mm main body tube
Spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets with coarse knurling
BDC600 offers shooters u...
One of the reasons for using a scope is to improve the sight picture. It is to help in improving the view of the object or target. This sighting tool is made using a premium glass that has a multicoating for high contrast and bright pictures. In addition, the scope is designed with a purpose-driven reticle that is ideal for long range shooting. Speaking of a long-range shot, the scope offers between four- and 16-times magnification.
This scope also has a 30mm main body tube, adding to its integrity. It can also offer shooters with open-circle aiming points along with hash marks ranging from 100 and 600 yards. I’d like to mention that this model also has a turret-mounted knob that can allow quick adjustment even without changing your shooting position.
Moreover, I would like to note that the coolest scopes are with a generous and long eye relief, keeping your eyebrows safe from a heavy recoil. Plus, you can look forward to great functionality and versatility with this scope that is with a quick focus eyepiece.
However, some people reported that the parallax didn’t work.
- Fast focus eyepiece
- Variable magnification settings
- Ideal for a wide range of rifles
- Built with a side-focus parallax
- Consistent and generous eye relief
- Parallax adjustment not working for some users
Overall, the TAC scope is one of the most versatile and functional scopes on the market that can keep up with the changing demands of a serious shooter or hunter. It is made of premium and robust materials for long-lasting performance. If you’re buying your first scope, you might want to consider adding this sighting tool into your list.
Nikon P-Tactical Rimfire 2-7X32 Matte BDC150 Riflescope
The BDC 150 reticle offers shooter unique open circle aiming points from 50 to 150 yards
One inch body tube
Spring loaded instant zero resets turrets
Elevated windage and elevation turrets
The military tactical scope features a generous eye relief that can offer protection to your eyebrows even when used in a heavy recoil. The Nikon P-Tactical Rimfire is also with variable magnification settings between two and seven times, so it is ideal for short- to long-range shooting.
In addition, the scope is with a BDC 150 reticle, offering you with open-circle aiming points from 50 to 150 yards. Also, the military rifle sighting tool is with a durable one-inch body tube, adding to its integrity.
This tactical rifle scope is also with elevation turrets and elevated windage to enhance your shooting experience. It also remains tough even in the harshest environments as well as its easy resetting to zero after sighting in. it can be used for making field adjustments when needed.
This model is also with an aircraft-grade aluminum construction that makes it durable and heavy-duty. It can also resist drops and shock, making it one of the best tactical scopes under $200 that many people choose.
However, this model has shorter open-circle aiming points compared to other products in the same category have.
- Generous and consistent eye relief
- Easy to adjust and use
- Fully multicoated optics
- Can enhance your rimfire shooting experience
- Durable aircraft-grade aluminum
- Shorter open-circle aiming points
Overall, the best scope for Ruger 10/22 tactical is a recommended scope for many hunters and shooters because it is lightweight, portable and efficient. It is also with a premium body construction for long-term use.
Trijicon ACOG 4×32 Combat Scope Rifle
BATTERY-FREE ILLUMINATION: Features a tritium/fiber optic illuminated reticle that automatically adjusts the brightness based on available light
RUGGED ALUMINUM-ALLOY HOUSING: Forged 7075-T6 aircra...
Take note, though, that this scope is with a fixed power. It is a compact and lightweight scope that will not cause straining even when used for a longer time. This model also has a dual-illuminated reticle that works well no matter the light available.
Moreover, this scope can offer you with bright aiming solutions for its premium quality lenses. It is also easy to mount and use, making it a good choice also for beginners. The sighting tool is also versatile that it can be utilized for sporting and tactical applications. Nevertheless, you will get more value out of your money for this scope that lets you use it for a wide range of applications.
The high-quality tactical scope for M1A is also with a durable and rugged construction. The lens is housed in an aluminum-alloy housing. It is made of forged 7075-T6 aircraft-aluminum-alloy that can offer an indestructible performance. This combat scope is also one of the most chosen in combat versus the rest in the same category are.
On the cons, some users complained about image issues in low lighting conditions, though.
- Battery-free illumination
- Ideal for a wide range of calibers
- Combat proven and tested scope
- Tough aluminum-alloy housing
- Can have issues with the images in low lighting conditions
Still, the ACOG 4×32 scope is a trusted name in the industry that you might consider on your list when comparing your options. It is known by thousands of military and civilian hunters and shooters from around the world.
Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope
SUPERIOR QUALITY LENSES: Multi-coated lenses provide superior clarity and light gathering capabilities with zero distortion
BATTERY-FREE ILLUMINATION: Fiber optic technology automatically adjusts t...
The scope is also with a battery-free illumination, eliminating the need to buy batteries to operate it. This model is made using a fiber optic technology that can work automatically when it comes to adjusting the brightness level along with the reticle contrast for improved vision. I would like to note that the Trijicon TR23 is with a tritium phosphor lamp that can illuminate the scope’s reticle if there is little or no light.
You can also count on it if you’re looking for a scope that you can use no matter the weather, and that is also thanks to the quality aircraft-grade aluminum housing. It can protect the scope from harsh elements and hunting conditions.
On the downside, this scope is a bit bulky, though.
- High grade budget tactical scope
- Aircraft-grade aluminum housing
- All-weather and durable construction
- Second focal plane for retaining reticle size
Still, the scope with a battery-free illumination is one of the best when it comes to delivering quality images with just the right brightness and contrast. You can rely on it no matter the hunting or shooting conditions and available light.
Leupold Mark MOD 1 3-9x40mm Riflescope
Leopold Model #115370 - mark AR mod 1 3-9X40mm with illume. Fire Dot tar reticle and Matte finish
100% waterproof, fog proof, shockproof, and backed by Leopold Lifetime
P5 turrets - 0. 1 mil dials ...
To date, a great offering from them is the Leupold Mark MOD 1 scope, which is a top rated in the category. The best tactical rifle scope is also made of aluminum and polymer, which can deliver heavy-duty performance. It is also made in the USA, ensuring rigid quality testing. In addition, the value scope is also with an illumination for use regardless of the lighting condition. More so, this sighting device can deliver a shockproof performance, so it can resist bumps and drops.
In addition, the scope is with P5 turrets that enhance its performance. I would also like to note that this item has multiple coating, delivering you with a clear and bright image all the time. So even if you would use it in a low to no lighting condition, you can count on its performance.
On the downside, some quality issues were reported that it might not be the most durable pick in the category.
- Made in the USA
- Waterproof for all-weather performance
- Fog proof and shockproof for improved integrity
- Extreme image clarity and quality
- Variable 3-9x scope
- Not the most durable around
Still, I would like to recommend this sighting device for its reliability to work under any lighting condition and weather. You can rely on it for a wide range of applications. It is also made in the USA for guaranteed quality and performance. Check out the best value tactical scope if you want to get more out of your spending.
Athlon Optics Midas 6-24×50 TAC Riflescope
0.1 MIL Click Value, 25 MIL Total Elevation Adjustment, 10 Yard to Infinity Parallax Adjustment
First focal plane reticle stays valid at all power settings allowing you to fully utilize the special...
The combat optic scope is a great sighting device that has the features to love. One of the things that make it unique is that it has a first focal plane reticle, which can stay consistent no matter the power setting that you use. It lets you use the special reticle that can grow or shrink along with the object or target while you’re zooming in or out.
The scope is an excellent choice for many tactical shooters and hunters because it also has an HD glass that can give users a better experience for the optimal light transmission that it can deliver. With the sharper and brighter images, you can improve target acquisition.
This model is also made with high-tech multiple coated optics that can reduce the reflected light so that you can improve your vision. In addition, the scope is with zero stop system that lets user lock down their zero, and then dial back to this zero with a sharp stop at the zero mark.
On the cons, the scope might not be suitable for beginners.
- 10 yards to infinity for its parallax adjustment
- Fully and multiple coated optics
- Advanced fully multicoated optics
- Premium HD glass for bright light transmission
- Designed for rifle series competition
- Might not be suitable for beginners
Overall, the Athlon Optics Midas TAC Riflescope is an excellent scope of choice if you want a reliable hunting or tactical shooting device that works even in the harshest conditions. You might want to check it out for its quality and performance.
Redfield Revolution 3-9x40mm TAC-MOA Reticle Riflescope
Tube Diameter: 1", Adjustment Click Value: 1/4 MOA
Water/Fogproof: Yes, Reticle Focal Plane Location: 2nd
Reticle: TAC-MOA, Min power: 3x, Max power: 9x
Objective Bell Diameter: 45.72mm, Ocular Bel...
It also has a matte black finish for a scratchproof performance, meaning keeping its elegant and solid appearance over time. With this great rifle scope, you can be certain that you’re going to use a heavy-duty scope that can last. In addition, it has a tube diameter of one inch, making it a solid choice for those looking for a durable scope.
Another thing to like about the scope is that it is with a fog proof and waterproof performance that you can count on for all types of weather. This model also has a consistent eye relief for providing you with eyebrow protection, especially with rifles that have a heavy recoil. In addition, the 3:1 Zoom Scopes can help cover all your demands. This model can also let you adjust your aim using ¼ MOA increments.
This item also features quality glass that can increase the overall quality of the image you will get. Check it out for yourself when comparing your options.
On the cons, it includes no rings and sunshade, though.
- One-inch tube for added integrity
- 3:1 zoom ratio for most distance coverage
- Multiple coated lens
- Quick target acquisition eyepiece
- Accurate range reticle
- No sunshade and rings included
Overall, the quality rifle scope is packed with the features that you’re looking for when it comes to hunting or tactical shooting. It is with easy adjustments and compact built for a heavy-duty performance.
Hawke Sidewinder TAC 30 8.5-25×42 Mildot Riflescope
Adjustable 8.5 to 25x magnification, 42-millimeter objective riflescope with fully floating 20x 1/2 Mil Dot reticle
Red/green illuminated reticle with five brightness levels for optimum visibility ...
The Mildot Riflescope is also with variable magnification, allowing you to use it for long range shooting, too. It gives you more versatility that you’re looking for when finding a quality scope for competition, hunting or military purposes.
In addition, the TAC scope vis with red or green illumination reticle. It works by offering five different brightness settings for brightness, clarity and crisp images. The optimum visibility improves your chances to acquire your target. This scope is designed and built for all-weather use.
The Hawke Sport Optics is also the best tactical scope for the money because it has illumination for offering bright and clear sight picture all the time even if used at dusk or dawn. You might want to check it out if you’re looking for a versatile scope that also features target style turrets and side focus parallax adjustments.
This model also has target style turrets and includes accessories, such as lens caps, sunshade and hard case.
On the cons, its adjustments can be hard for first timers, though.
- Five different brightness settings
- Illumination for bright images all the time
- Includes accessories like lens caps
- 30mm mono tube for improved performance
- Side focus parallax adjustment
- Hard adjustment for first timers
Summing up, you might want to check out the scope whether or not you’re looking for a low price sighting tool because it is durable and packed with great features. In addition, the scope is with an illumination that makes it a solid choice for versatility and functionality no matter the lighting condition.
What is a Tactical Scope?
Tactical scope is often associated with military accessory for their firearms. The best tactical optics are defined through their low magnification range, allowing the shooter to extend his range, much farther than the regular vision. This is the reason why using tactical optics are often linked to military activities.
The best tactical scopes have high-precision that allows you to see target at a very distant location. The image of the target is seen by adjusting scope, allowing you to have a clear view even across 1000 yards and even more. Your objective here is to hit the target and put this skill into practice for actual shooting or in a live game. When used properly, a good tactical scope can really help you in your target shooting skills, which are great addition to your recreational target shooting activities.
A tactical scope may vary according to brand, length or distance, and price. But it will always depend on the user to decide which brand suits his needs and the magnification he requires.
How Do Tactical Scopes Work?
Tactical Scopes work as an accessory to the rifle being used. In a sense, it is a refracting telescope with range that magnifies the target from a distance. For the scope to work, you need to adjust it according to the distance your target is located. Some experts advise to have your scope adjusted the day before your shooting activity. This is to ensure that there is little or no wind that can alter bullet trajectory once shot is fired.
Basically, there are three adjustments on a tactical rifle scope. Adjust it using the knobs. Hear a click sound for every turn, signaling an increment for each adjustment. Look into the eye piece and set a target. Adjust the magnification skill until you can finally see the target clearly. Basically, the tactical scopes work by viewing the target precisely even from 100 yards away. Tactical scopes have crosshair reticles. These reticles are lines on the vertical and horizontal axis you can see from the view finder. These lines are the target’s distance from the center.
What Makes a Great Tactical Scope?
A great tactical scope is the one that can help you see and shot your target easily. A good tactical scope allows you to focus easily without having to adjust the knobs too much. A great tactical scope has the basic technology you might need in shooting. Despite the technological advancement, the materials ad adjustment mechanisms for a tactical scope have become more complex. But with all these complexities, it is important to understand that the great tactical scope is the one that works perfectly with your rifle. This scope should be easy to use, with the right magnification suited for you shooting range need.
A great tactical scope should be made from durable materials. Most shooters prefer scopes that are weather proof. For most shooters, a great tactical scope is the one with great and clear viewfinder. The axis should also be easier to adjust and resists glare, allowing you to see clearly from the distance.
What Magnification Do You Need?
Magnification is one of the most important considerations when buying a tactical scope. This is what target shooting is all about. However, the magnification does not only mean that you can see the target bigger from a distance. Remember, the size of your target does not vary from the distance – it is the view that changes. A 50-pound deer is still a 50-pound deer from 1000 yards. You need to remember that what you need is to hit the target on the set target mark.
Almost every scope comes in default designation of 9×40 or 3-9×40. Here, note that the 9 and 3-9 is the magnification. A 9×40 is fixed magnification while the later one is adjustable. For 9×40, it means that the scope can make the target appear 9 times closer while the later allows you to adjust the magnification from 3 to 9 times. For some shooters, a fixed magnification is more durable than the adjustable one. However, its disadvantage means you are stuck with that magnification power.
You need the magnification depending on the ranges of your shooting. There are scopes that stretch from 4x to 20x magnification, making them suited for 1000 yards and more.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Tactical Scope
There are several factors you need to consider before buying the best tactical optics. These include the objective or magnification lens and their coating, the material where it was made of for durability, and for some shooters, the price.
Size of tactical optics
Also consider the rifle you are using before buying a tactical scope. Your scope must be suited to the size of your rifle. Any smaller or bigger to the riffle may affect your shooting performance. When you visit the store, describe your shooting capacity and the distance you are usually shoot. In this sense, the store can provide you with the best magnification for your need.
Aside from the lens magnification, it is also important to consider the coating of the lens you use. Coating can reduce glare, especially when you’re shooting with the sun is up. It also serves as scratch protection for your lens. Lens with multi-coating property for a clearer and anti-glare feature. A better coated lens as it has better light transmission. But if you’re not too specific about the coating, you can simply choose a single or fully coated lens.
As mentioned earlier, the reticle is the crosshair symbol that you see on the viewfinder once you look at the view finder. Getting the correct reticle can go a long way toward getting a scope best suited for your needs. Some reticles are circle, some are seen as dot or any other symbol. It is important to choose the right reticle that you can easily see and recognize even at 1000 yards.
Tactical scopes have different forms of adjustments – usually left to right for wind adjustment and up to down for elevation. Simple tactical scopes have capped adjustments which are easier to use. If you are new at tactical shooting, you can settle with the cap adjustment. Other more complex tactical scopes use turret adjustments. Turret adjustments allow you can adjust the windage and elevation while shooting. Although not all shooters are trained to do such a thing, they are very popular with the seasoned ones.
The eye relief in a tactical scope refers to how far you position your eye from the scope to get the proper alignment. You must be comfortable with how you place your eye on the scope for a better shot. Without proper alignment, there is a chance that you will not get an accurate view of the target. Although most tactical scopes work with most shooters on almost all types of rifles, some people still prefer comfort when they lay their eyes on the view finder. It helps them eliminate eye-strain. This applies to shooters who wear glasses when shooting.
And the last consideration but not of least importance is the price. Having a tactical scope for recreational shooting does not mean you have to break your bank. There are tactical scopes that are affordable and of high quality.
Convenience and easy to use
Aside from price, shooters are also considering the convenience and user friendliness. You won’t get the precise and accurate shoot if you are not comfortable with the tactical scope you use. And of course, the compatibility of the scope with the rifle is also of most importance.
How to Properly Mount a Tactical Scope
First, you need to match the rings and the bases of the scope with the rifle. Assuming that you are using a modern rifle with pre-drilled on installed base for the scope, then you’re set on the first step. Make sure that the mounting system of the scope fit that of the rifle. Rings may have various heights so it is important to fit it to the scope first.
Next step is to the mount bases. Mount the bases as low as possible, this is to ensure that the scope is closest to the rifle. But ensure that the objective bell does not touch the barrel and there is enough clearance for the eyepiece.
Attach the bases and wipe dry the attaching surfaces. Clean the attaching parts by applying a very light coast of oil. You can also use rust preventive solution. This also helps to maintain the attachment, especially when you don’t plan to detach them after each use.
Check the bases and make sure that the tactical scope and rifle are properly aligned. There is a common mistake of attaching the scope backwards – or with the other end on the supposed eyepiece position. Check the magnification before attaching.
The next step is to lock the attachment. You can apply a small drop of a thread-freezing compound like Loctite. Ensure that you check the screws for tightening. And the final step is to check the reticle for alignment as well as the eye relief. Make sure that the vertical and horizontal view of the reticle are well positioned by rotating the scope back and forth. Check the screw one more time.
For the final step, try to see on the eyepiece and look for a target. Adjust the reticle if needed. Now you’re ready for a real target shooting.
With the right sighting device, you can improve your shooting experience. So, again, pick the scope that has the features you deem helpful for your needs and skills so that you can enhance your hunting or tactical shooting experience. With this tool, you can also expect bright and clear images and ease of adjustments. It is also what you need for quality and durable construction and solid design.
We’re hoping you’ve learned what to check when comparing the best tactical rifle scopes on the market so that you can get the most out of your purchase. Buy the tactical scope for your preferences and requirements today!