Top 5 Best Tactical Rifle Scope – Reviews

Best Tactical Rifle Scope

It is easy to choose a tactical rifle but selecting a scope for it requires sufficient research to make sure it is the best one for your needs. The first thing to consider when you are looking for the best tactical rifle scope is the intended use.

In terms of the intended use, optics vary from one to another. Will the optic be shared between more than one rifle for different uses, calibers and ranges or will it be permanently mated to one rifle?

The basic purposes of tactical rifle scopes are recreational shooting, serious hunting, law enforcement and military application. There are very few scopes that can serve all these purposes well.

To make sure you have the right scope for your tactical rifle, you must determine your intended shooting activity first before comparing scopes based on important factors including durability, accuracy, reticle and light transmission. What exactly do you want to achieve with the scope?

Name

Magnification & OL

Reticle

FOV

Price

2.5-8x36

Tactical milling reticle

37.50-13.70/12.50-4.60(ft@100 yd/ft@100 yd)

10x37

Illuminated reticle

12.8 @100yds

1x:4x 32

Ballistic Crosshair Reticle

146.3 Feet @100yds

5-25x56

H59 Reticle

5.3-1.5m (@100 m)

4-12x40

VMR-1 (MOA)

23.6-7.9ft/100yd

6-25X56

Mil-DotBar reticle

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Our Picks

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Leupold Mark 4 MR T 2.5-8x36mm

Score: 5  Andrew Garfield

Leupold, a brand known for its world-class optics, has a line of scopes called the Mark 4. Among the things that make these scopes outstanding are their tactical milling reticle, hassle-free adjustments and their tactile selectors that are easy to operate.

Weighing 16 oz., the Leupold Mark 4 MR/T measures 2.5-8x36mm.With a 30mm main tube, the scope’s housing is made of 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum.

The scope is adjustable in 1/4-minutes of adjustment (MOA) windage and elevation adjustments with audible and tactile clicks. It has a 90-MOA of both windage and elevation adjustment.

Along with black matte finish, this scope comes with flip-open lens covers. It has 3.7-inch eye relief and its field of view at 100 yards ranges from 13.6 to 35.5 feet.

Features:

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    This tactical rifle scope has black-ended edges and a diamond coating on its clear glass. The edges minimize flash while the coating gives you crisp overall image because it allows more light to pass through.
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    Using Leupold’s index matched glass that comes with wavelength specific lens coatings, the Index Matched Lens Systemoptimizes the low-light wavelengths transmission. This reduces unwanted glare and diffusion through the lens edges and improves resolution, contrast and optical performance.​​​​
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    The inside of the scope is filled with a gas mixture of Argon and Krypton. This mixture eliminates the effects of thermal shock.
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    It comes with Leupold’s Golden Ring Lifetime Guarantee. Whether or not you are the original owner of the scope, you will immediately get a replacement if the scope breaks for whatever reason.
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    It provides you with 2.5x-8x magnification. With this magnification, you can get a clear idea of the actual size of the object you are targeting.

Pros

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    This tactical rifle scope is waterproof.
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    It is durable and dependable.
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    It works well in urban settings.
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    It offers precision adjustments that are quick and repeatable.
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    It gives you clear and bright sight picture in low-light conditions.

Cons

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    This is not for those who are looking for a tactical rifle scope with reticle illumination.
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    It has no parallax adjustment.

If you are looking for a rugged scope with an illuminated reticle, the Leupold Mark 4 MR/T 2.5-8x36mm is a great choice. This is a strong optical tool ideal for medium-range shooting applications.

This tactical rifle scope excels in dependability, durability, accuracy and precision. Its optical quality and performance are among the things serious shooters and hunters love about it.

US Optics ST-10 Mil GAP FFP Rifle Scope

Score: 5  Andrew Garfield

US Optics has a full line of high-quality rifle scopes, including the ST-10 Mil GAP FFP. This tactical rifle scope is simple in function but it excels in terms of quality and performance.

The tactical rifle scopecomes with a Mil Dot reticle with MRAD adjustments. Its MIL GAP reticle has full MIL and 1/2 MIL hash marks are numbered and laid out in a clean display representing a total of 9 MILs of adjustment below the horizontal axis.

Colored black, this scope comes with a Lithium ion battery. The scope has 3.5-inch eye relief and 37mm objective lens diameter.

Features:

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    This tactical rifle scope is housed in a rugged body made of Type III hard-anodized 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum. This material makes it hold zero both from everyday use and in harsh field conditions.
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    It has a Turret Parallax Adjustment Locater (TPAL) system. With this system, you can make target acquisition for accurate shots beyond 1,000 yards and achieve the sharpest image resolution possible at 10X magnification.
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    Sitting in front of the TPAL system is a 37mm objective lens. This lens allows plenty of light in.
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    Along with its Erector Repositioning Elevation Knob (EREK) system are 1/10 MIL or 1/4 inch per hundred yards (IPHY) click values. These features maximize the scope’s gross elevation travel adjustment.
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    It has a 12-position illuminated reticle system. With this, you can take your best shot even in low light conditions.

Pros

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    This tactical rifle scope is well-built.
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    Its light transmission, clarity and resolution are remarkable.
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    For adjustments, its EREK knob is exceptionally precise.
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    It has topnotch tracking and internal construction.
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    Its mechanical precision and optical clarity are outstanding.

Cons

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    This tactical rifle scope is expensive.

The US Optics ST-10 Mil GAP FFP Rifle Scope is ideal for those who need a long-range precision optic. It may be expensive but you will realize it is worth the money because it is packed with features that make it a topnotch scope.

ELCAN SpecterDR Tactical Rifle Scope

Score: 4.4  Andrew Garfield

What makes the ELCAN SpecterDR Tactical Rifle Scope different from other scopes is its combination of the best features of close and precision fire ranged combats. This is the first dual field of view combat optical sight in the world.

This tactical rifle scope weighs 22.56 oz. and measures 153 x 76 x 76mm. To optimize weight reduction, it is designed with two sights in one and integrated lever-lock mount.

At the throw of a lever, this tactical rifle scope switches from 4x magnified sight instantly to a 1x CQB sight and its 70mm eye relief comes with a wide viewing angle. Included in the package are a battery, an anti-reflective device (ARD) and flip-up lens covers.

Features:

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    This tactical rifle scope has a dual-field-of-view (DFOV) sight. In a single package, you get not only close quarter but also precision fire ranged capability. 
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    It features a 4x mode. In this mode, you get ELCAN's legendary crystal clear image, long eye relief and a generous field of view.
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    It features a 1x mode. This mode gives you an enhanced optical path and identical eye relief so it is different from zoom sights.
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    In both 4x and 1x magnifications, the situational awareness is improved. The improvement allows for remarkable viewing in low light conditions and very wide viewing angles.
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    Along with its high efficiency broadband coatings is a large exit pupil diameter. These features even optimize the scope’s performance in low light conditions.

Pros

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    This tactical rifle scope functions as two scopes.
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    It is remarkably versatile.
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    It is lightweight for a 2-in-1 tool.
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    It has a generous eye relief.
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    It has a clear reticle.

Cons

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    This tactical rifle scope is a little bulky.
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    The red dot electronic may stop working randomly.

Having the ELCAN SpecterDR Tactical Rifle Scope is like having two scopes in one. You get the features of both scopes without doubling the weight while maintaining reliability and effectiveness.

This scope is designed to deal with the demands of modern professional use. It is ideal forboth CQB and Long Range engagements.

Schmidt and Bender 5-25x56 PM II LP Riflescope

Score: 4  Andrew Garfield

Designed for universal use, the 5-25x56 PM II/LP from Schmidt and Bender is highly recommended for tactical purposes. With a large magnification range, this rifle scope is known for its versatility.

The Schmidt and Bender 5-25x56 PM II/LP Riflescope weighs 38.1 oz. Its length ranges from 16.14 to 16.4 inches and its tube diameter measures 34mm.

This riflescope has 5-25x zoom magnification and 56mm objective lens. It also has 11 adjustable illumination intensity levels.

Features:

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    This universal riflescope has not only a broad and practical zoom range but also a large objective. These features enable the scope to perform well in low-light performance conditions and keep images clear and bright.
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    It utilizes index-matched anti-reflection fully multicoated optics. Custom-engineered to properties of the glass that were used on the lens elements, the lens coatings maximizes light transmission and further increases image brightness.
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    Aside from two turns in the elevation adjustment and illuminated reticle, it has parallax compensation. You can adjust parallax compensation from 10 meters to infinity and supply the scope with the reticle in either the first or the second focal plane.
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    Its reticle adjustment is comprehensive. You can successfully use it up to a distance of 2,000 meters.

Pros

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    This universal riflescope performs well under any light conditions.
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    It turns off automatically after 6 hours of operation.
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    You get high visibility from the reticle’s red illuminated center aiming cross.
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    You can avoid obstructed view through the illuminated cross that disappears completely when you turn it off.
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    You can easily set and adjust its turrets.

Cons

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    This universal riflescope is expensive.

The Schmidt and Bender 5-25x56 PM II/LP Riflescope is designed with law enforcement and military tactical professionals in mind. From medium to long ranges, its versatile optic maintains reliable performance whatever the distance is.

This universal riflescope can do tactical riflescope functions better than many scopes specifically designed for tactical uses. However, you have to be willing to pay the price if you want to enjoy the features of this universal riflescope.

Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 4-12 x 40 Riflescope

Score: 4.5  Andrew Garfield

Vortex Optics has several tactical rifles copes that are affordable but reliable. One of them is the Diamondback, which has a magnification range of 4-12x and weighs 16.2 oz.

The Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 4-12 x 40 Riflescope has a hard anodized finish and a VMR-1 reticle, which is a Plex/Duplex type. Its objective lens diameter and tube diameter measure 40mm and 1 inch, respectively.

The field of view of this black tactical rifle scope ranges from 7.9 to 23.6 feet at 100 yards. It has 3.8-inch eye relief, a 100-yard parallax setting and a focus range of 100 yards to infinity.

Features:

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    This tactical riflescope has proprietary coatings with various anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces. These coatings improve the scope’s light transmission.
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    It has a zero-reset feature and fiber optic rotation indicators. After sight in, the zero-reset feature allows you to re-index the zero reference marks on both turrets and you get a visual cue of your turret's position from the indicators that are integrated into the turrets.
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    The lens material is extra-low dispersion (XD) glass. You get crisp and sharp images from the increased resolution and color fidelity.
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    In its zoom lens mechanism, it uses premium components. This that the magnification changes are smooth under any harsh conditions.
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    Its exposed tactical turrets are built for dialing elevation and windage. These features enable you to achieve not only precise and quick bullet drop but also wind drift compensation at extended ranges.

Pros

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    This tactical riflescope is fogproof, shockproof and waterproof.
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    It is still clear even when you zoom in to the 12th power.
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    Its glass is very clear.
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    It has a clear Mil Dot reticle.
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    It has very smooth turrets with good audible click.

Cons

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    This tactical riflescope has no illumination.
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    Its magnification is less than that of pricier models.

If you are looking for a mid-range tactical rifle scope, Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 4-12 x 40 Riflescope is a good choice. It is packed with impressive features such as high-quality glass and precise adjustments.

In terms of magnification, this tactical scope cannot compete with more expensive scopes. It is not recommended for long-range precision rifles, as well.

Millett 6-25 X 56 LRS-1 Illuminated Side Focus Tactical Riflescope

Score: 4.2  Andrew Garfield

For many shooters who often need to take shots from long range distance, an itty-bitty scope isn’t going to cut it. You need a large scope so that even at long distance you still get the bright image you need to see and positively identify your target. 

It can also provide a wider field of view than normal, so you don’t have a devil of a time trying to find the target. You get all this with the Millet 6-25x56.

Of course there’s no need to belabor the point that the scope is heavy and large. That’s part of the package. It’s also why with this you can get terrific accuracy on a consistent basis.

Features:

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    This offers a magnification range of 6 to 25x. That’s a very powerful zoom to really let you see your target even from so far away.
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    The 56mm objective lens is large enough to offer very bright images through the scope. You won’t have to guess what’s out there when you’re shooting.
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    The wide field of view is great. You’ll be able to find your target through the scope more easily.
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    You get 140 MOA adjustments, and the precision controls are firm enough that you won’t accidentally knock off the settings.
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    This comes with a Mil-Dot Bar reticle, and this gives you enhanced accuracy.

Pros

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    The zoom is very powerful.
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    It lets you track your target easily.
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    Your settings won’t be knocked off accidentally.
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    Images are very bright.
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    It can hold zero very well.

Cons

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    It’s very big and heavy.
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    Dialing it in can be somewhat odd.
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    You need to check if it has the lifetime warranty.

The accuracy this gives you for long range shooting is terrific. It’s easy enough to use, and quite practical too. This will get the job done, and long range shooting can be very enjoyable indeed.

How We Wrote This Review

Military people, police officers, competitive shooters and gun enthusiasts can’t just use any tactical rifle scope without researching because optics are not created equal. Trusted brands have models that greatly vary in terms of the use case they are optimized for.

We compared the lists of best tactical rifle scopes from the past five years. The lists have different results because they used different criteria but these lists agree on several things, on which we based this list of the five best tactical rifle scopes.

To verify the reviews in the lists we compared, we checked what gun experts are saying. We also read the reviews of those who have purchased and used these tactical rifle scopes.

The five tactical rifle scopes that made it to our list stand out in terms of the benefits you can get from them. For each scope, we enumerated five features, five pros and two cons before giving our verdict.

How We Chose the Top 5

There are four basic criteria we considered when choosing the models and brands to be included in this list of five best tactical rifle scopes. These are illumination, glass quality, objective lens size and weight.

A good tactical rifle scope has an illuminated aiming point or an illuminated reticle that will make it perform excellently in low-light conditions. If the scope lacks this feature, it can still be considered outstanding if it excels in glass quality, objective lens size and weight.

The glass quality will tell you the highest possible clarity and brightness of the tactical rifle scope. The glass should be durable, tough, coated, crisp and clear.

In terms of objective lens, you want a scope that has a large one for low-light conditions because it will allow more light in making the image brighter.  But if you intend to use it in bright daytime conditions, you can choose scopes with smaller objective lens, which are also lighter.

The weight affects the balance of your rifle. While larger objective lens and more magnification have advantages, they can negatively affect the weight of the rifle.

Who Should Buy These Scopes?

For medium-range shooting applications, both the Leupold Mark 4 MR/T 2.5-8x36mm and the Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 4-12 x 40 Riflescope are recommended. For long-range precision rifles, go for the US Optics ST-10 Mil GAP FFP Rifle Scope.

If you want a tactical rifle scope that can handle both medium and long ranges, the Schmidt and Bender 5-25x56 PM II/LP Riflescope is a great choice. This is designed to meet the demands of law enforcement and military tactical professionals.

For those who are looking for a tactical rifle scope for CQB and Long Range engagements, choose the ELCAN SpecterDR Tactical Rifle Scope. This is also recommended to those who are looking for scopes with dual function.

Conclusion

Determine the intended use before you go shopping for the best tactical rifle scope. By doing this, you don’t have to spend too much time sifting through the long list of high-quality scopes. 

What you need to know is whether you want a scope for medium or long ranges. Most of those that are recommended for medium ranges are not good for long ranges and vice versa.

There are very few scopes that can tackle both medium and long ranges, such as the Schmidt and Bender 5-25x56 PM II/LP Riflescope. However, these models are expensive.

Those with the best features are pricey. But if you are on a budget, there will always be at least one model that will fit your specific requirements.

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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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