Having the right weapon can make all the difference. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, you need to make sure that you are using the right equipment to improve the results of your shooting experience.
The Best Tactical Scope allows you to focus on your moving and steady objects regardless of the distance. Whether you are experimenting with short or long range shooting, you are going to be able to concentrate on your game and shoot it accurately.
Finding the best tactical scope can be tough especially that there are hundreds of products available on the market. If this is your first time shopping for a tactical scope, you might be overwhelmed by the products and their various specifications. This is why we decided to prepare this guide with all the information that might help you with your choice.
Quick Answer – Tactical Scope
1. ATN DGWSXS520Z X-Sight II 5-20x/85mm
2. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24×50
3. Leupold 113769 VX-R Patrol
4. Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm
5. SWFA SS 3-15×42
6. Nightforce Optics 4-14×56
7. Steiner GS3 3-15x 56mm
8. Athlon Optics Riflescope 4.5-27 x 50
9. Monstrum Tactical 4-14×44
10. Primary Arms 4-14 X 44
Reviews of the Best Tactical Scope Under $1000
We asked a team of experts to try and test various products on the market. In this section, we analyze the main features of every amazing rifle scope. If you are looking for the best rifle scope under $1000, then you’ve definitely hit the jackpot. All you have to do is to read our reviews carefully and you will find what you are looking for.
1. ATN DGWSXS520Z X-Sight II 5-20x/85mm Smart Day & Night Rifle Scope
Are you looking for a versatile scope that will provide the best image quality? This tactical scope produces HD image whether you use it in the daylight or the dim light of the night. You get to enjoy a vivid image with millions of colors whenever you decide to use it.
This is a reliable tactical scope as it features a ballistic calculator for long range and angled shots. There will be no mistakes once you decide to use this scope. The smart rangefinder feature identifies the precise range of your target and the point of impact.
The magnification power ranges from 5 to 20X with fine tune adjustments to guarantee the perfect magnification every single time.
You can easily record all your hunting trips and adventures as it saves HD videos and images thanks to the Recoil Activated Video feature. Everything you record can be easily shared with your friends and family. You can say goodbye to old boring hunting expeditions as this tactical scope will change your life.
- High-quality HD images.
- Perfect image day or night.
- A ballistic calculator and a rangefinder to improve your hunting experience.
- Fine tune magnifying adjustments.
- The ability to record and share all your pictures and videos.
- Doesn’t stay charged for long.
2. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24×50 Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
This is a great tactical scope that will improve the quality of your long-range shots. The 50mm lens features low distortion glass that will improve the resolution of your image.
You can see far objects with more details and more vivid colors. Your images will always be sharp no matter how far your prey is.
You can depend on this tactical scope when you are on a hunting expedition because the scale of the reticle stays in proportion with the image because it features the second focal plane.
You will get the same crisp image at all magnification settings. You can adjust your tactical scope easily for a precise shot and zero errors at 6 to 24X magnification. You can achieve better tracking of your game at all distances.
The eye relief is 4 inches. You can efficiently use this tactical scope to determine holdovers and windage corrections. It also comes with a lens cap to protect your lens when it is not in use.
- Low distortion glass to improve the quality of the images.
- Sharp and crisp images at 6 to 24X magnification.
- Second focal plane to keep the reticle size in proportion with the image.
- Maximizes long distance shooting.
- Eye relief of 4 inches.
- At 24X magnification, the image can get a little bit unclear around the edges but always stays clear in the center.
3. Leupold 113769 VX-R Patrol FireDot Illuminated Rifle Scope
The best thing about this tactical scope is that it is made of aluminum. It is very lightweight yet durable to withstand harsh conditions and extreme abuse. It is considered to be the best rifle scope under $1000.
The diamond coat exterior ensures that your lens will be resistant to abrasion and is going to provide excellent light transmission for the best image quality.
This is a great scope for short range shooting as it provides sharp images all the time.
You can easily locate your target even in low light conditions thanks to the illuminated FireDot. This tactical scope illuminates the image to ensure that you can see your target accurately.
You can also easily adjust the windage and elevation for precise shooting every single time. If no motion is detected, the scope will turn off the dot to save battery until you are ready to shoot.
- Sturdy aluminum body.
- Abrasion-resistant lens.
- Illuminated FireDot for easily locating your target in low light conditions.
- Easy windage and elevation adjustment.
- Illumination is turned off when no motion is detected to save battery.
- The reticle could be thinner.
4. Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope
A lot of hunters love this tactical scope because it is reliable and easy to use. It is an excellent scope for heavy caliber rifles. The large magnification range and oversized lens allow you to locate and shoot your target accurately every single time.
The eyepiece features a quick focus for instant target acquisition. Forget about losing your target just because you are trying to get a clear and sharp image.
The optical system is bright and fully coated. This means that you will get a clear image with no distortion in all light conditions.
A lot of people end up with distorted images in low light or at different magnification adjustments, but not with this scope. It is the most convenient tactical scope to use every single time.
You can rest assured that this scope will never disappoint you. It is shockproof so it won’t break or shatter as you carry it during your hunting expedition. It is also waterproof and fog proof. Whenever you need a clear and sharp image, this scope will come to the rescue.
- Great tactical scope for heavy caliber rifles.
- Large magnification range and big lens for clear images.
- Quick focus for instant target acquisition.
- Bright and fully coated optical system.
- Shockproof, waterproof and fog proof.
- Doesn’t come with a mount. You need to buy this separately.
5. SWFA SS 3-15×42 Tactical Rifle Scope
It is very important to choose a tactical scope that will help you with locating your target regardless of the surrounding environment. Holding zero is one of the main features that you should look for when you are shopping for the best tactical scope.
This product is specifically made to help you maintain a clear image of your moving or stationary target. Thanks to the delicate adjustment setting, you will be able to fine-tune the resolution for a clear and bright image regardless of the distance or the light.
The rifle scope itself is fully coated so it will look great for long. It is shockproof so you can depend on it if you ever go on a hunting expedition. It will not break if you accidentally drop it and will continue to work just fine. It is also fog-proof and waterproof. Don’t worry about using it in extreme weather conditions because it will give you a clear image every single time.
The most remarkable thing about this scope is the quality of the glass. The diameter of the lens is 49 mm and its main job is to enhance contrast which is what you need to get a sharp and distortion free image. It also minimizes the reflection of the light to keep the details clear.
The magnification and parallax knobs are smooth and reliable. It is one of the best tactical rifles scopes for long range shooting since the reticle size stays in proportion due to the first focal plane feature.
- Fully coated rifle scope to resist shocks.
- Waterproof and fog proof lens to provide a clear image at all conditions.
- Fine tuning of the magnification setting to improve the resolution.
- Minimizes light reflection and enhances contrast for a sharp image.
- Clear scope for long-range shots.
- Doesn’t come with instructions.
6. Nightforce Optics 4-14×56 SHV Riflescope
This tactical scope is designed to provide the most precise image. Use it whenever you are going hunting and you will never miss a target. The 56 mm objective lens of this tactical scope is what makes it extremely special. It maximizes light transmission and minimizes reflection which usually affects the quality of the images.
Although this rifle scope is not illuminated, you would still be able to get precise and detailed images whenever you need to because it works in the second focal plane.
The magnification power ranges from 4 to 14X to help you keep an eye on your target at all distances.
It is crafted from aluminum alloy which is well known for being sturdy and durable. Your tactical scope will not break if you drop it. It can well endure recoil from larger calibers in addition to extreme temperature changes.
The zero tolerance feature prevents the movement of the optical elements in any direction to ensure that you will always get a sharp and precise image. This is a heavy duty tactical scope that you can use in tough situations. Thanks its sturdy construction and high-quality components, it is considered to be one of the most reliable products on the market.
- High-quality aluminum body.
- Large objective lens to maximize light transmission.
- Endures shock and change in temperature.
- Zero tolerance feature to provide a precise image.
- The rifle scope is not illuminated.
7. Steiner GS3 3-15x 56mm Game Sensing Riflescope
Whether you are hunting in the broad daylight or at night, this scope will not disappoint you. The color adjusted transmission lens provides vivid and detailed images in any light conditions.
This is a big plus especially for hunters who want to locate their targets in low light. You can easily spot your game in any environment.
The scope zooms up to 5 times to ensure that you can see your game clearly regardless of the environment. The resolution will always be sharp even at long distance shooting.
This is the best tactical scope for wide-open areas. The holdover reticle shows cascading dots to compensate for wind with no problem whatsoever.
This is a strong tactical scope that won’t break. The body is shockproof to withstand the harsh conditions in any environment. It doesn’t lose its sharpness in foggy conditions or if it starts to rain.
- Color adjusted transmission lens to provide clear images.
- 5 times zooming.
- Holdover reticle with windage compensation.
- Shockproof, waterproof and fog proof.
- The lens doesn’t come with a protective case.
8. Athlon Optics, Ares BTR, Riflescope, 4.5-27 x 50 First Focal Plane
There is a good reason why a lot of hunting enthusiasts consider this tactical scope to be one of the best products that aim to improve the image quality when you are on a hunting trip.
The HD glass of the lens maximizes the light transmission and ensures that you will receive flawless images every single time.
The reticle stays properly adjusted at all different power levels because this is a first focal plane scope. Don’t worry about your tactical scope’s battery running low. It will do its job right till the last second.
As you zoom in or out, this scope guarantees that you will receive sharp and precise images. Even in pitch black darkness you can lock down your zero position and retrieve it easily thanks to the convenient dial.
It features a high precision erector system for the most accurate power settings and smooth magnification change with no distortions.
The optics of this scope are multicoated to reduce the reflected light and improve the quality of the image. Normal single coated lenses don’t guarantee this image quality as they don’t allow for maximum light transmission.
But with this scope, you can rest assured that you will see your target clearly regardless of the light conditions. If you are looking for the best long range tactical scope, then you need to consider this one.
- HD glass lens to reduce reflected light and increase light transmission.
- Multicoated optics to improve the quality of the image.
- Zero position lock down for easy retrieval.
- Accurate power settings and smooth magnification change without distorting the image.
- Properly adjusted reticle even in low power settings.
- Rather expensive compared to other products on the market.
9. Monstrum Tactical 4-14×44 First Focal Plane (FFP) Rifle Scope
This first focal plane tactical rifle scope ensures great precision as you keep an eye on your game. The 44mm objective lens and the eye relief allow you to watch your target at all times to guarantee the success of your hunting expedition.
The sharpness of your images is always guaranteed regardless of your magnification power. The lens is adjustable to minimize image distortion at various settings.
No mistakes or errors will happen as this is one of the most reliable rifles on the market. The easy-to-read ranging information will remain constant to allow for fast range estimation.
The reticle illumination is easily controlled with a touch button. The red or green light ensures that you will always be able to locate your target even at night time and low light conditions.
You can even use the sunshade attachment for better visibility when the light is too bright. Although this rifle scope is relatively cheap compared to other products on the market, it is by far one of the most versatile and reliable ones.
- Budget-friendly rifle scope.
- Adjustable lens to minimize distortion at different magnification settings.
- Constant easy-to-read information for proper range estimation.
- Touch-button reticle illumination.
- Suitable for locating your target at different light conditions.
- Doesn’t work very well for long distance shots.
10. Primary Arms 4-14 X 44 FFP Scope
Hunters usually face a hard time locating their targets especially in challenging light conditions. With this rifle scope, there will be no problem doing so because it features 6 brightness settings. You get to choose the most suitable one that will allow you to see your target clearly and with great precision.
The fine tuning feature of the illumination of the reticle is another great feature that you shouldn’t miss. The size remains clear since it works in the first focal plane. Because everything can be precisely adjusted, you will always be able to determine the best elevation for excellent shots.
The holdover reticle is the best for long range shooting. The illuminated horseshoe is particularly useful especially at the minimum magnification power when the horseshoe usually becomes too small.
The glass of this rifle scope is of great quality. It maximizes light transmission which provides great and sharp images. It minimizes light reflection to minimize distortion. You will always get good colors and vivid images.
- 6 brightness settings.
- Illumination reticle that can be fine-tuned.
- Glass minimizes image distortion and keeps the details clear.
- Holdover reticle for long range shooting.
- This rifle scope is rather heavy.
How to Buy the Best Tactical Scope
When it comes to rifle scopes, the options can be unlimited. One scope doesn’t necessarily work for all purposes. In addition to making sure that your rifle scope fits your weapon, it should be specifically made to address your needs when you are on a hunting mission.
In this section, we will highlight the most important features that you should consider if you want to buy a good and reliable scope.
How much magnification do you actually need? The magnification power of your scope determines how useful it can be with respect to your specific needs.
Typically, low magnification scopes are cheaper, easier to use and more reliable when it comes to target tracking. However, a scope that features more than 16X magnification will provide better resolution with more detailed images. Nevertheless, such scopes are always more expensive and are usually heavier to carry.
Your best bet would be to buy something that combines the best of both worlds. There are several good rifle scopes that can be used for both short and long-range shooting.
Size of Objective Lens
A big objective lens will transmit more light and provide a clearer image. As you select high magnification power, you are most likely going to need a big objective lens. However, large lenses are heavier. You can easily lose zero or drop your scope because it will be heavier. You should go with a large lens, only if you need to use one.
A lot of good scopes come with illuminated reticles. These are extremely useful, especially in challenging light conditions. If you usually go hunting in good light conditions, then you might not have to spend that extra cash on a scope that features an illuminated reticle. These are specifically made to guarantee a better shooting experience at night or in low light conditions.
The position of the reticle in the scope is determined by the focal plane. The second focal plane keeps the same reticle size with respect to the size of the image. With the first focal plane, the reticle size will change as the size of the image changes.
This means that the markings will be extremely accurate. However, with low magnification settings, the reticle can become too difficult to see. Again, to pick the best focal plane, you will have to assess your needs.
A lot of hunters pay their only attention to the gun they are carrying. It is true that a good weapon can help you shoot any target with ease, but locating and tracking your game is not always an easy job. In addition to an excellent rifle, you need that special piece of equipment that you can attach to your gun to improve the visibility and tracking of any game.
Choosing the Best Tactical Scope Under $1000 becomes easy with the proper research. You need to assess your needs and evaluate the features of each scope according to your specific requirements.
Scopes that work for short range shooting don’t necessarily provide the same clear images in long range shootings. Make sure that you pick a scope that can deliver the best results in your specific situation.
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