Top 7 Best Air Rifle Scope for 2018: Buyer’s Guide

Best Air Rifle Scope

An air rifle lets you have fun shooting without having to spend too much on expensive rifles and ammunition. It helps you practice your shooting, and it’s also dead useful when you need to get rid of vermin around your house. 

You don’t alarm the neighbors when you fire it. But it’s a lot more fun if you can hit your targets consistently, and for that you need the best air rifle scope for your needs.

The 7 Best Air Rifle Scopes under $100

Seriously, there’s no need to overspend on scopes just so you can get a good one. After all, these scopes are meant for air rifles instead of rifles. 

So their range is limited and you don’t need to get a scope that can help you pick out targets at 1,200 yards. You have to be more realistic about what you can do with your air rifle.

Besides, air rifles are generally more affordable than standard rifles. It stands to reason that the scopes they need should be much less expensive too.

Hammers 3-9x32AO Air Rifle Scope Review

Score: 4.2  Andrew Garfield

This scope measures 12.75 inches long, and it has an anodized black matte finish. It fits into a ⅜-inch dovetail groove or rail. It has a 1-piece mount with 3 clamping screws along with a built-in stop pin.

The magnification ranges from 3x to 9x which should allow for some versatility in uses. It also comes with a mil-dot reticle that’s very easy to see even with darker backgrounds. It also offers an adjustable objective feature to deal with parallax.

Pros

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    This is extremely affordable, even when compared to the other sub-$100 scopes on this list. The price is actually much nearer to $50 than to $100.​​​​
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    With the variable magnification, you can use this for shooting at different distances. The 3x can give you a wider field of vision to find the target, and the 9x can make your target so much bigger.​​​​
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    The optics are bright and clear through the magnification range.
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    It’s very stable in the mount. That’s due to the 1-piece construct, the stop pin, and the use of the 3 clamping screws. 
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    The mil-dot reticle is not only easy to find, but is also able to help with long distance adjustments for elevation and windage.

Cons

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    At this price range, it’s simply not expected to withstand too much recoil that you can get with an air rifle that’s too powerful. If you have a powerful air rifle like the RWS model 34, it just won’t hold zero consistently.
BARSKA 3-12×40 AO Airgun Scope

Score: 4  Andrew Garfield

Here, the magnification range goes all the way to 12x and the objective lens size is bigger. You’d think that this will cause the price to get much nearer to $100, but you’d be wrong. It’s more expensive than the Hammers by just a few dollars more.

Here you have fully coated optics for a clearer image. That’s true even for the 9x and 12x magnification. You have an adjustable objective lens that helps with parallax. You can also make your adjustments easily without using a tool.

It helps with the image clarity that the objective lens is large at 40mm, and it’s both waterproof and fog proof. Also, it comes with extra-rigid construction that makes it shockproof as well.

It uses the mil-dot reticle too. Again, that’s easier to see and also able to help with elevation and wind factors.

Pros

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    You can get up to 12x magnification
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    The larger objective lens keeps the images bright and clear.
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    With most regular air rifles, it should be shockproof.
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    It’s also airproof and fogproof.
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    The mil-dot reticle is fine.

Cons

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    It doesn’t come with mounts.
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    It doesn’t do well with powerful air gun “scope eaters”.
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    A few people have complained about the hardware quality, though for most it seems to work well enough. 
UTG 3-9×40 AO Mil-Dot Scope Review

Score: 4.4  Andrew Garfield

Now this one is substantially more expensive than the first 2 on this list. It’s probably not a coincidence that it has received far fewer complaints about build quality. 

It’s generally highly regarded. The magnification is 3x to 9x, which should suit the needs of most people. What’s great is that it has a 40mm objective lens, so you get more illumination and the image is much brighter. 

It also helps that the lenses are emerald coated for greater image clarity. This is shockproof, and it features Picatinny/Weaver rings. Since it is completely sealed and filled with nitrogen, it’s also fog proof and waterproof. 

The mil-dot reticle is here again, and you can adjust for windage and elevation with ¼ MOA clicks. The parallax can also be adjusted from 5 yards out. 

Finally, it uses a special Illumination Enhancing (IE) System to keep things clear, while it also has 36 colors in multicolor mode.

Pros

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    The build quality is excellent.
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    The large objective lens really keeps the image bright.
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    The clarity is great as well.
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    The adjustment for parallax starts at 5 yards, and not at the usual 10 yards.
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    The 3x to 9x magnification is good enough for most.
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    The mil-dot has lots of nice color options to make reticle more visible.
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    It can keep zero reliably.

Cons

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    The multicolor options can help because sometimes the dots can seem too small to be easily visible.
Winchester Air Rifle Scope 2-7x32 AOScopeReview

Score: 4.5  Andrew Garfield

Why pay more for 9x magnification when you don’t really need it anyway? With this scope, you pay a lot less (less than $40, in fact) and yet you get 2x to 7x magnification for target practice at much closer distances. 

What’s also a great boon for buyers is that the manufacturer (Daisy Outdoor Products) is well-known for its attention to quality, reliability, and durability.

Here it has duplex crosshairs, and the 32mm objective lens is good enough to add brightness even for 7x magnification. Everything is well-made, mounting it is easy enough, and it holds zero very well. It’s very lightweight too.

There’s adjustment for elevation and windage, as well as for parallax down to 5 yards. It’s shockproof and fogproof, and there’s color collection to boot. Even the rear eyepiece is adjustable.

Pros

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    The price is amazingly low.
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    The build quality is great especially at this price point.
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    The light weight won’t tire you out.
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    There are lots of adjustment options.
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    The lenses are very clear.

Cons

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    It comes with a mount, but you may want to get mounts with a stop pin especially with a very powerful air rifle.
UTG 4×32 1”inch Hunter Scope Mil-Dot Air Rifle Scopefor 35 Yards

Score: 4.2  Andrew Garfield

Now this is a much more affordable UTG scope. That’s because it only comes with 4x magnification. The mil-dot reticle is also preset for 35 yards, so you have to adjust on your own for different distances. 

However, the scope does offer adjustments for wind and elevation. With the 2 dovetail scope rings, mounting shouldn’t be a problem for many air guns. However, if you have a weaver style rail you’ll have to buy separate rings.

Pros

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    You get UTG quality at a very low price. 
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    Mounting isn’t really a problem.
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    It’s actually accurate for 35 yards. With the mil-dot reticle, you can adjust for distance if you want.
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    Durability is outstanding.
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    You can adjust for wind and elevation with your finger.

Cons

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    You will have to learn how to use the mil-dots for targets at different distances (other than 35 yards).
Crosman CP392RG Centerpoint 3-9×32

Score: 4.1  Andrew Garfield

Here’s another mid-priced option with features that are certainly not middling at all. First you have a magnification range from 3x to 9x, and that’s certainly good enough up to 50 yards out. You can also easily adjust the dials for wind and elevation adjustment.

This is a 1-piece tube, and it comes with the standard dovetail scope-mount rings. The lenses are multicoated, and the cope is proofed against water, fogging, and shock.

This also has a mil-dot reticle, and it’s dual-illuminated so you have red and green reticles for low lighting conditions.

Pros

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    It’s very well-made and very durable.
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    It keeps zero reliably. 
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    The image clarity is good.
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    You can do adjustments for wind and elevation with your finger.

Cons

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    There’s no parallax adjustment.
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    You’ll need to buy picatinny tings on your own.
CVLIFE Tactical 3-9×40 Air Rifle Scope Review

Score: 4  Andrew Garfield

At first glance, the features and the price don’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. How can it have up to 9x magnification with a large 40mm objective lens, while its price is much closer to $20? What’s the catch?

It remains perplexing when you find out that this mounts easily enough with both weaver and picatinny rails. You get 2 free rail mounts that suits a 0.79-inch rail.

This feels very solid too, as it’s an all-metal build. It’s shockproof, as well as waterproof and fogproof. But it only weighs just 0.76 pounds. The multicoated glass is scratchproof, and offer clear and well-lit images with good contrast. The duplex reticle works well enough too.

Pros

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    It’s a very solid scope that should last for a long while.
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    It offers windage and elevation adjustments.
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    The magnification adjustment ring is very smooth.
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    The price is amazingly very low.
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    It’s easy to mount and zero.

Cons

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    There’s no parallax adjustment.

Factors to Consider Before Buy Scopes For Air Rifles?

When you buy a scope, you’ll need to do some extra dedicated research on Google to see that the scope can actually be used for the type of air rifle you have. Once that’s done, you’ll also need to take a look at the following factors:

Magnification and Objective Lens size

This is denoted by numbers like 4x32. In this case, the 4 is the magnification power and it’s fixed to make thing 4 times nigger (or closer). The 32 is the size in mm of the objective lens, or the lens that’s farther away from your eye. 

The magnification power can also be adjustable, so you may get something like 3-9x32. This means the magnification can range from 3x to 9x. Since you’re using an air rifle, you don’t really expect to hit targets from more than 600 yards away. 

That means you don’t need much magnification power. For most people 4x can suffice, while 12x is the maximum. As for the objective lens size, a larger size offers more illumination to compensate for the darker image a higher magnification produces. 

You don’t really need too large of a lens since you’re dealing with low magnification anyway, and besides, the larger lens can add too much weight that can throw off your aim.

Parallax adjustment

It’s not easy to describe “parallax” to someone who hasn’t really encountered this optical phenomenon. The effect comes in when you move your head a bit and the target seems to move. 

It’s like looking at something in front of you with one eye, and then the other eye. It’s the same effect when you look through a scope and you move your head just a little bit. 

Parallax is a problem because it can throw off your aim. To correct for this, there’s often a parallax adjustment knob that you can turn. This is called AO, or adjustable objective.

Reticle

This is just a fancy name for crosshairs, because nowadays they may not resemble hairs at all. The traditional fine crosshair is still common, since the reticle doesn’t cover much of the target at all. 

On the other hand, it’s easy to lose track of the reticle when you’re deep in the wood. That’s solved by the duplex reticle, which starts with thicker crosshair lines from the edges so you can find them more easily. 

The crosshair in the center part is still fine so you can see the target. Finally, there’s the mil-dot reticle. This is like the duplex reticle except you have dots along the fine cross hairs. 

With these dots, you can use them to compensate for a different range as well as for strong winds that can affect the trajectory of your bullet. The dots are also much easier to see than the fine crosshairs.

Mounting

Scopes offer a variety of mounting options that can keep it in place. You need mounts with stop plates or pins to keep the mounts in place. Your mount can be a 1-piece design or you can use 2 scope rings. 

The 2 scope rings are less expensive, and for the most part they work very well. The 1-piece mounts are more expensive, though in the long run they’re much more stable.

Proofing

Many cheap scopes can fog, so you may want to look for fogproofing features. If you don’t want to worry about the rain, you’ll need waterproofing. Shockproofing is also important so that you don’t have to worry about the effect of the recoil or any impacts on the scope.

Cost

For an air gun don’t really need to spend more than a thousand bucks for a good scope. In fact, we already have a list of the best air rifle scopes that cost under $100.

What’s the Difference between a Scope for a Rifle and for an Air Rifle?

If you want to be accurate when you’re shooting from farther away, then yes you need one. 

It helps you hit your paper targets when you’re practicing your shooting, and a scope can make you more accurate when it’s time to get rid of that darn rodent around your house once and for all. 

The problem is that standard rifle scopes are comparatively much more delicate. That’s because a rifle scope is designed to withstand only the single recoil that a regular rifle produces. 

On the other hand, firing an air rifle causes recoil when you release the piston or spring, and another instance of recoil occurs in the opposite direction once that piston or spring is fully extended. 

So there’s a lot more shaking with an air rifle, and a regular scope isn’t equipped to handle that. But an air rifle scope can.

Conclusion

All these options show that you can get good quality scopes without spending too much money. The best air rifle scope can be both affordable and high quality.

Put on any of these scopes and see just how much more accurate your shots can become at greater distances. You’ll win target shooting contests with friends, while you can hit vermin with greater confidence. As long as you use them properly, you’ll get the accuracy you want.

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Andrew Garfield
 

Andrew is a predator. Have years of experience in hunting with a lot of expert knowledge in hunting technique, rifle, scopes and other tools of types of equipment that used for hunting.

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