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8 Best Scopes for 338 Lapua Magnum in 2021 — Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated on May 15, 2021

Barska Varmint_Amazon

The last thing that you want to throw on your .338 Lapua Magnum is a scope that inhibits its versatility. You own a top-notch rifle, so you don’t want to limit its capabilities by pairing it with a subpar scope. That’s why we tracked down eight of the best scopes out there for Lapua Magnums.

With any of these scopes, you’ll be getting the most out of your rifle, and you’ll have no problem hitting your target — if you know what you’re doing. So, read the reviews, and if you still don’t know which one you want, check out the buyer’s guide. It’ll answer any questions that you might have, and you’ll be ready to pick out a scope in no time.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescope Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescope
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Three reticle options
  • Fast-focus eyepiece
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Beileshi 6-24X50mm AOEG Optics Hunting Rifle Scope Beileshi 6-24X50mm AOEG Optics Hunting Rifle Scope
  • Affordable
  • Fast-focus eyepiece
  • Five brightness settings
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Steiner T5Xi Tactical Rifle Scope Steiner T5Xi Tactical Rifle Scope
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Excellent eye relief range
  • Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
  • Fast-focus eyepiece
  • Two reticle styles
  • Parallax-adjustable lens
  • Monstrum G3 6-24x50 First Focal Plane FFP Rifle Scope Monstrum G3 6-24x50 First Focal Plane FFP Rifle Scope
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Two color options
  • first focal plane reticle
  • The 8 Best Scope for 338 Lapua Magnum — Reviews 2021

    1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescope — Best Overall

    Vortex Optics Crossfire II

    Vortex Optics makes tons of great scopes for rifles, so it’s no surprise that it has an outstanding option for your .338 Lapua Magnum. Its Crossfire II Riflescope is an excellent mix of price and affordability, and like all Vortex Optics scopes, it comes with a lifetime warranty.

    Moreover, there are three different magnification ranges to choose from and three different reticle patterns. This scope also has an anti-reflective coating that prevents glare and gives it a bright view.

    The only real drawback of this scope is that it uses a second focal plane reticle, but if you know what you’re getting from the beginning, that’s not too big of a deal.

    Pros
    • Lifetime warranty
    • A great mix of price and performance
    • Three magnification ranges
    • Three reticle options
    • Anti-reflective and bright coating
    • Fast-focus eyepiece
    Cons
    • It uses a second focal plane reticle

    2. Beileshi 6-24X50mm AOEG Optics Hunting Rifle Scope — Best Value

    Beileshi 6-24X50mm AOEG Optics

    If you’re looking for the best scope for a .338 Lapua Magnum for the money, it’s hard to beat the Beileshi AOEG Optics Hunting Rifle Scope. Not only is it an extremely affordable option, but it also gives you a great magnification range for mid- to long-range targets, from 6x to 24x.

    This scope utilizes an illuminated reticle to cycle through two different color options, red and green. However, it is a budget scope, and nothing highlights that more than the harsh eye relief. It’s an extremely sharp 3″ to 3.2″, depending on the magnification setting.

    While the 6x to 24x magnification range is excellent for mid- to long-range targets, it makes it difficult to hit targets closer to you.

    Pros
    • Affordable option
    • Great magnification range for mid to long-range shooting: 6x to 24x
    • Fast-focus eyepiece
    • Two color options for the illuminated reticle: red and green
    • Five brightness settings for the illuminated reticle
    Cons
    • Minimum 6x magnification, limiting close-range shooting options
    • Only mounts to a Weaver or Dovetail mount
    • Sharp eye relief at 3″ to 3.2″

    3. Steiner T5Xi Tactical Rifle Scope– Premium Choice

    Steiner T5Xi Tactical Rifle Scope

    If you’re not worried about how much your new scope will cost, you can’t beat the Steiner T5Xi Tactical Rifle Scope Line. They’re extremely expensive scopes, but they come with a lifetime warranty and have five different magnification ranges that you can choose from.

    Furthermore, they have an illuminated reticle with 11 different brightness levels. The first focal plane design makes it an outstanding choice for beginners and experienced shooters alike. Even better, it gives you extremely generous eye relief: 4.3″ at the lowest magnification level and 3.5″ at full power.

    If you can afford this scope, you won’t regret it — and you won’t have to spend another dime on a rifle scope.

    Pros
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Five different magnification ranges
    • Illuminated reticle has 11 different brightness levels
    • First focal plane design
    • Excellent eye relief range: 3.5″ to 4.3″
    Cons
    • Expensive option

    4. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

    Vortex Optics Viper-HS-T

    You should take a look at the Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes before making any purchases. It is a more expensive option, but it has a lifetime warranty, and there are two different magnification ranges to choose from. Additionally, it has a fast-focus eyepiece, two reticle styles, and a parallax adjustable lens.

    As the name implies, it does use a second focal plane reticle, and it’s quite pricey.

    Pros
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Two magnification options
    • Parallax-adjustable lens
    • Two reticle styles
    • Fast-focus eyepiece
    Cons
    • A more expensive option
    • It does not have an illuminated reticle

    5. Monstrum G3 6-24×50 First Focal Plane FFP Rifle Scope

    Monstrum G3 6-24x50

    A great scope at an affordable price is the Monstrum G3 First Focal Plane FFP Rifle Scope. As the name implies, it utilizes a first focal plane reticle, which is a huge perk. From there, it gives you extremely generous eye relief, starting at 4.5″ at the lowest magnification before shrinking to a still generous 4″ at the highest magnification setting.

    This scope utilizes a wide-ranging magnification range, starting at 6x before maxing out at 24x. This makes it an excellent choice for both mid- and long-range targets but limits its usability for closer objects.

    It also only comes with a 2-year warranty, and it can be challenging to make the necessary adjustments to zero in your scope. But at this price point, it is still an outstanding option.

    Pros
    • Utilizes a first focal plane reticle
    • Two color options to choose from
    • The magnification range is great for long-range applications: 6x to 24x
    • Parallax-adjustable lens
    • Generous 4″ to 4.5″ of eye relief
    • Illuminated reticle
    Cons
    • Minimum 6x magnification limits close-range shooting options
    • It can be difficult to adjust
    • Only 2-year warranty

    6. Leupold VX-3i 6.5-20x50mm Side Focus Riflescope

    Leupold VX-3i 6.5

    Leupold is a huge name in the optics world, so it’s no surprise to see that its VX-3i Side Focus Riflescope is an outstanding choice. While it comes with a lifetime warranty, it is on the more expensive side of things.

    But Leupold does plenty of things right with this scope. It utilizes a DiamondCoat 2 coating for the best possible light transmission, and the eye relief is extremely generous, ranging from 3.7″ to 4.5″. This scope has a 6.5 to 20x magnification range, which is excellent for both mid- and long-range targets, but that does limit its versatility for close-range targets.

    Finally, this scope utilizes a second focal plane design, making it a little more challenging to use for both beginners and experienced shooters.

    Pros
    • Lifetime warranty
    • DiamondCoat 2 for the best possible light transmission
    • American made
    • 5x to 20x magnification range is excellent for mid- to long-range shots
    • Generous 3.7″ to 4.5″ of eye relief
    Cons
    • More expensive option
    • Minimum 6.5x magnification limits close-range shooting options
    • Second focal plane scope

    7. BARSKA Varmint Mil-Dot Riflescope

    BARSKA Varmint Mil-Dot Riflescope

    Barska is a company known for making low-priced scopes that last, and that’s precisely what you get with its Varmint Mil-Dot Riflescope. Not only is it affordable up front, but it also comes with a lifetime warranty, so you don’t have to worry about replacing it later.

    The Varmint Mil-Dot line has four different magnification ranges to choose from, and the 3.6″ of eye relief is plenty generous. Even better, it has a parallax adjustment knob that allows you to get a clear image of your target.

    However, this scope uses a second focal plane design, though that’s not a deal-breaker on its own. The real problem is that this scope can’t handle a ton of recoil. Barska will fix it for you, but if you keep slapping it on a high-recoil weapon, it’s going to spend most of its time at the repair shop.

    Pros
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Affordable option
    • Four magnification ranges
    • Generous 3.6″ of eye relief
    • Parallax-adjustable lens
    Cons
    • Second focal plane design
    • This scope can’t handle a ton of recoil

    8. NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope

    NIGHTFORCE SHV 5-20x56mm

    While there are a few things to love about the NightForce SHV Riflescope, it’s an extremely expensive scope. It does come with a lifetime warranty, but the 3.14″ to 3.54″ of eye relief and the second focal plane design are difficult to justify the price.

    This scope is easy to sight in, and it comes with a wide range of 5x to 20x magnification, but even that limits your close-range versatility. In the end, if you’re spending this much money, you can get a better option.

    Pros
    • Outstanding magnification range for mid- to long-range targets: 5x to 20x
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Easy to use and sight in
    Cons
    • More expensive option
    • Minimum 5x magnification limits close-range shooting options
    • Second focal plane
    • Harsher eye relief: 3.14″ to 3.54″

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    Buyer’s Guide

    If you’re finding that you don’t know which specs matter and which ones you can ignore, you’ve come to the right place. We break down everything that you need to know here. This way, you can better understand what you’re looking at in the reviews! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced shooter, we’ve got you covered.

    Zeroing in Your New Scope

    It doesn’t matter which scope you choose, if you don’t take the time to zero it in properly, you’re never going to hit a thing. That’s even more true with a rifle like the .338 Lapua Magnum, where you’ll more likely to be shooting at long-range targets.

    As the range of your shot increases, the more that mistakes in zeroing become obvious. Think of it this way: If you’re 1″ off zero at 100 yards, you’re going to be 5″ off at 500 yards.

    Take your time and zero your scope correctly — it’s going to save you tons of frustration.

    How Much Magnification Do You Need?

    rifle scope_andreas160578_Pixabay

    Image Credit: andreas160578, Pixabay

    There’s no set answer to this question, but it comes down to two things: how far away the target is that you’ll be shooting and personal preference. Consider this: A scope with 10x magnification will make an object that is 100 yards away look like it’s only 10 yards away, and a 20x magnification is going to make it look like it’s 5 yards away.

    Some people will prefer to have the target a little larger in the scope, while others will prefer the broader view that less magnification provides. Neither answer is wrong but it does make a big difference.

    Also, consider that more magnification doesn’t necessarily make it easy to hit a distant target. It does make it easier, but even if you have a top-notch scope and a fantastic rifle, in the end, it all comes down to skill. The farther away an object is, the more skill that you’re going to need to hit it. That’s because the farther away something is, the more that even the slightest movements are going to throw off your shot. Especially once you factor in elevation and windage, hitting long-distant targets takes a ton of practice and training.

    Think of the Warranty!

    We completely understand that scopes that come with a lifetime warranty cost more, but they’re almost always the better deal in the long run. That’s because scopes that don’t come with a lifetime warranty are bound to fail after a while, which means you’ll be spending even more money to replace them.

    When you opt for a product with a lifetime warranty, the company is guaranteeing you that it will last as long as you want it to, which means you don’t have to worry about it failing on you a few weeks, months, or even years down the road.

    Even better, when you get a product with a lifetime warranty, the chances of it being a quality product go up drastically. That’s because the company doesn’t want to deal with the warranty process any more than you do, so it’s far more likely to put out a high-quality product.

    So, such products are going to cost more up front. But if you can afford it, it’s going to save you money in the end.

    First Focal Plane vs. Second Focal Plane

    One of the most important decisions that you need to make when selecting a scope for your .338 Lapua Magnum is if you want a first focal plane reticle or a second focal plane reticle.

    First focal plane reticles always appear the same size when you look through the scope, meaning that it adjusts the hash marks for distance as you increase the magnification. This makes it easier to aim at your target and adjust for different distances.

    Second focal plane reticles, on the other hand, only appear at their full size at maximum magnification. Not only does this make them harder to see at lower magnification levels, but it can also render hash marks for distance useless.

    When given a choice, first focal plane reticles are usually easier to use and a bit more effective, but they also cost more than a second focal plane reticle.

    What Is Eye Relief and How Much Do You Need?

    rifle scope_Piqsels

    Image Credit: Piqsels

    Eye relief refers to the distance that you need between your eye and the scope to see through it accurately. If you don’t have enough eye relief as soon as you pull the trigger, you’re going to send the scope straight into your orbital socket.

    Not only that, but if you don’t have enough eye relief, it can also quickly become extremely uncomfortable to look through your scope, especially for an extended period. That’s why we recommend a scope with at least 3.5″ of eye relief, but if you can find one with closer to 4″, you’ll be in even better shape.

    Finally, keep in mind that as you adjust magnification, eye relief typically shrinks. That means if a scope has 5″ of eye relief at 1x magnification, it might only have 3.5″ at 7x or 8x magnification. The amount that the eye relief shrinks will depend on the scope, but keep it in mind as you mount your scope and determine how far forward you need to mount it on the rails.

    Conclusion

    After reading through the reviews, you might find it difficult to determine which scope you need. But there’s a reason that the Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescope is our top choice. It expertly blends performance with affordability and longevity, and it won’t be a scope that you’ll be disappointed with. If you’re on a strict budget, the Beileshi 6-24X50mm AOEG Optics Hunting Rifle Scope is an outstanding choice for the price.

    Hopefully, this guide walked you through everything that you need to know and gave you the confidence to get the perfect scope for your .338 Lapua Magnum today!

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    About the Author Robert Sparks

    Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.