5 Best Riflescopes for Hunting

Hunting Riflescopes

Having the right riflescope on your hunting rifle can be the difference between filling your freezer with wild game and explaining to your friends and family how you “barely” missed. Riflescopes can be very difficult to choose because there are so many models with the lingo that can be difficult to understand for many of us. I hunt with a 30-06 out here in Virginia, but I use a 6.5 Creedmoor out west to get a little more distance. I use a Vortex Crossfire II with my 30-06 and a Leopold VX with my 6.5 Creedmoor to give me the best chance at lining up a deer. This blog is focused on the top 5 riflescopes that I’d recommend and all of them are still in stock so there is no worry about Coronavirus fear ruining your hunt.

Riflescope Magnification

Riflescope magnification is often misunderstood because beginners always associate higher magnification with higher clarity and better picture. The average shot distance in Virginia is only about 100 yards. I took a deer last season at 172 yards, but that was further than any other shot I’ve taken before out here. You need to understand that the quality of your glass is much more important than the level of magnification. When Shooting from a tree stand, you’ll normally want a wider window so your field of view is wider. Very rarely will you ever need a scope more than a 6-power magnification while hunting in the east. However, if you’re hunting in the Rockies or Cascades, you’ll need at least a 14-power magnification. Personally, I would never shoot more than 700-800 yards in the Rockies because I’m not that great and my confidence wains as the swirling winds zip through the valleys that I’m laying in. A 14 power magnification is plenty for my range because Leopold makes some of the best glass you’ll ever find.

VORTEX CROSSFIRE II 6-18X 44 AO RIFLESCOPE

For someone like me with horrible vision (cataracts cover my entire Iris), I need a scope that is going to give me a lot of eye relief so I can stay comfortable for longer. With a 3.7″ eye relief, I can look through the scope without having to focus as hard on the reticle.  Having an eye relief above 3″ will ensure you don’t take a scope to the eye-socket after a shot. In Virginia, the density of the forests don’t really allow us to take crazy long shots like many hunters out west can take, so we don’t need scopes more than a 6-18x. No one in Virginia is taking shots more than 700 yards (regularly) in Virginia because there is very little open space and the 18x magnification gets blurry at the max setting.

Specs:

Vortex Crossfire II
Magnification 6-18x
Reticle Dead-Hold BDC
Length 13.5″
Weight 19.6 oz/ 1.23 lbs
Objective lens Diameter 44mm
Eye Relief 3.7″
Field of View 15.2-5.3 feet/100 yards
Tube Size 1″
Turret Style Capped
Adjustable Graduation 1/4 MOA
Travel Per Rotation 15 MOA
Max Elevation Adjustment 50 MOA
Max Windage Adjustment 50 MOA
Parallax Setting 10 yards to infinity
Finish Hard coat anodizing
MSRP $220.00

 

Features: 

• Fully Multi-Coated for increased light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces

• Rugged construction withstands recoil and impact

• Single-Piece Tube for maximized alignment for improved accuracy and optimal visual performance

• Capped Reset Turrets allow re-indexing of the turret to zero after sighting in the riflescope. Caps provide external protection for turret

• Second Focal Plane Reticle – Scale of reticle maintains the same ideally-sized appearance.  Listed reticle sub-tensions used for estimating range, holdover, and wind drift correction are accurate at a magnification of 18x

• Adjustable Objective – provides image focus and parallax removal

• Fast Focus Eyepiece – allows for quick and easy reticle focusing

 

 

 

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VORTEX RAZOR HD LH 1.5-8X 32MM G4 BDC RIFLESCOPE

This scope is incredibly light and has an even better eye relief than the Crossfire II that I use, but doesn’t have as much magnification. This is the point of understanding your desired hunting location, because most hunters won’t need more than an 8-power magnification. As I’ve mentioned above, the quality of glass is more important than the magnification because if the sight picture is blurry, it’s not going to matter if it can zoom in further. The Vortex Razor HD LH has an incredible high-definition sight picture with an anti-reflective lens. The Vortex is completely fog proof and waterproof due to the O-ring seals that prevent everything from dust to water getting inside the lens.

Specs:

Vortex Razor HD LH
Magnification 1.5-8x
Reticle Dead-Hold BDC
Length 11″
Weight 13.4 oz/.84 lbs
Objective lens Diameter 32mm
Eye Relief 3.8″
Field of View 72.2-13.2 feet/100 yards
Tube Size 1″
Turret Style Capped
Adjustable Graduation 1/4 MOA
Travel Per Rotation 15 MOA
Max Elevation Adjustment 110 MOA
Max Windage Adjustment 110 MOA
Parallax Setting 100 yards
Finish Hard coat anodizing
MSRP $750.00

 

 

 

Features:

  • Fully Multi-Coated for increased light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces

• Rugged construction withstands recoil and impact

• Single-Piece Tube for maximized alignment for improved accuracy and optimal visual performance

• Capped Reset Turrets allow re-indexing of the turret to zero after sighting in the riflescope. Caps provide external protection for turret

• Adjustable Objective – provides image focus and parallax removal

• Fast Focus Eyepiece – allows for quick and easy reticle focusing

 

 Buy Here

 

Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x 50mm Riflescope

Anytime you buy a Leupold scope, you know you’re going to get the best possible quality and a lifetime warranty for product defects. My favorite characteristic for my VX-3i is how clear and precise my picture is during low light. As every hunter on earth knows, the “Golden hour” is our best chance to get an animal and you don’t want a scope that is going to give an obstructed view under low light conditions. I’ve shot more deer within the last 30 minutes of daylight with this scope than any other scope I’ve had because I know my picture is as clear as glacial water in the north pole. I would only shoot this at moderate ranges (about 700 yards), but I know better hunters that have used this scope at 1,00 yards in low light.

Specs:

Leupold VX-3i
Magnification 4.5-14x
Reticle Duplex
Length 12.2″
Weight 16.4 oz/ 1.02 lbs
Objective lens Diameter 50mm
Eye Relief 3.6″
Field of View 7.40-19.1 feet/100 yards
Tube Size 1.18″
Turret Style Capped
Adjustable Graduation 1/4 MOA
Travel Per Rotation 10 MOA
Max Elevation Adjustment 117 MOA
Max Windage Adjustment 117 MOA
Parallax Setting 100 yards
Finish Hard coat anodizing
MSRP $500.00

 

 

Features:
• ¼ MOA Finger Click
• 3:1 Zoom Ratio
• Side Focus
• 2nd Generation Argon/Krypton Waterproofing
• Generous Eye Relief
• Shock Resistant
• Twin Bias Spring Erector System

 

 

 

Bushnell Engage Riflescope

The Bushnell Engage riflescope is meant for long-range shooting out to 1,000 yards with the 24-power magnification setting. The EXO Barrier Protection gives this scope waterproofing and repels dirt and oil from your gun. The lens is multi-coated to prevent glare and to provide a very clear sight picture, even as you zoom to 24x magnification. The Deploy MOA reticle is designed to be used universally with higher or lower caliber rifles with its think reticle and MOA hash marks for windage and elevation. For the price, this scope is an incredible buy that will give you years of reliable use. I would recommend this scope be used in the higher elevations of the mountains as you look over vat open valleys and hilltops.

Specs:

Bushnell Engage
Magnification 6-24x
Reticle Deploy MOA
Length 14.2″
Weight 23.7 oz/1.48 lbs
Objective lens Diameter 50mm
Eye Relief 3.6″
Field of View 18 feet at 6x/100 yards
Tube Size 1″
Turret Style Capped
Adjustable Graduation 1/4 MOA
Travel Per Rotation 8 MOA
Max Elevation Adjustment 50 MOA
Max Windage Adjustment 50 MOA
Parallax Setting 100 yards
Finish Hard coat anodizing
MSRP $466.00

 

 

Features:

  • Exclusive EXO barrier protection – Bushnell’s newest and best protective lens coating molecularly bonds to the glass, repelling water, oil, dust, debris and preventing scratches
  • Fully multi-coated – multiple layers of anti-reflective coating on all air-to-glass surfaces deliver bright, high-contrast images
  • Deploy MOA reticle – compatible with multiple calibers, the thin reticle doesn’t obscure the target, and MOA hash marks aid in windage and elevation holdovers
  • Side parallax adjustment
  • Adjustable from 10 yds to infinity parallax adjustment range
  • 8 Mil travel per rotation
  • Tool-less locking turret (TLT) elevation turret
  • Locking (TLT) windage turret
  • Elevation locking
  • Wind locking
  • Exobarrier
  • IPX7 waterproofing
  • Ultrawideband coatings

 

 

Athlon Ares ETR 4.5-30x 56 APLR5 IR MOA 

I chose the Athlon Ares ETR riflescope because this is by far the best scope of all the ones you read above. This scope is at least $1,200 and provides the clearest picture of any scope I’ve ever seen. The 34mm tube diameter gives it the strength and durability to hold up against the recoil of rifles as big as a 300 Winchester Magnum without throwing off your zero. The IR reticle sight picture gives you as clear of a reticle as you’ll ever need in low light or in the middle of the day when the sun is brightest. With a 30-power magnification, you can use this scope to reach distance over 1,000 yards with ease. Just remember, as nice as this scope is, if your fundamentals and ballistics suck, you won’t be able to take advantage of this phenomenal piece of technology.

Specs:

Magnification 4.5-30x
Objective Lens Diameter 56 mm
Reticle APLR5 FFP IR MOA, Glass Etched
Surface Finish Matte/Brown
Lens Coating Advanced Fully Multicoated
Extra Coating Xtra Protective Coating
Tube Material Aircraft Grade Aluminium
Tube Diameter 34 mm
Exit Pupil 8.8-1.9mm
Eye Relief 3.9″
Field of View @100 yards 24.5-3.75 ft
Click Value 0.25 MOA
Adjustment range per rotation 25 MOA
Total Elevation Adjustment 110 MOA
Total Windage Adjustment 110 MOA
Turret Style Exposed Direct Dial/Locking Windage Turret
Parallax Adjustment Side Focus – 25 yards to infinity
Purging Material Argon
Length 15.3″
Weight 36.5 oz

Features:

  • UHD Glass- Extra-Low Dispersion glass significantly reduces chromatic aberration giving you an utmost bright and sharp image with true color reproduction.
  • Illuminated Reticle
  • First Focal Plane Reticle-The reticle offers quick target engagement at low power while offering precise holdover positions with finer details.
  • Advanced Fully Multicoated- Fully Multicoated optics effectively reduces reflected light and increases the transmission of light giving you a brighter image than normal single coated lenses
  • XPL Coating-XPL Coating gives you protection on the exterior lenses from dirt, oil, and scratches or anything else mother nature can throw at you.
  • Precision Zero Stop System-The system allows you to lock down your zero position and dial back to it with a sharp and precise stop right at your zero mark even you are turning it in pitch-dark or blind-folded.
  • Waterproof
  • Fog Proof
  • Locking Windage Turret-This Locking Feature allows you to push down to lock the turret and pull up to turn. This feature prevents the windage knob from being turned accidentally and keeps your zero all the time.
  • High Precision Erector System- The high precision erector system processed by high precision CNC machine with +/- 0.0001mm tolerance level to provide you the most accurate power settings and smoothest magnification change

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