Optics Mag is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Read more.

10 Best Tactical Rifle Scopes in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated on

marines using a riflescope Best Tactical Rifle Scope

We’ve all been there. You have a clear shot and think you can’t miss. You line up the scope and pull the trigger, only to have the bullet fly way off target.

You can’t figure out what happened, but upon further investigation, you find your scope came out of zero. Or maybe your scope is just a piece of junk. Either way, your target is far gone.

That’s why when you’re purchasing a rifle scope, you want to get it right the first time. There are tons of great choices to choose from, but there are also plenty of duds in the bunch. Add in the fact that rifle scopes aren’t cheap, and it can quickly turn into a stressful situation.

That’s why we took the time to come up with the most comprehensive tactical rifle scope review on the Internet. We want you to get the right scope the first time. That way, when you line up that next shot, your bullet goes exactly where you were expecting.

scope crosshairs divider 2

A Quick Glance at Our Favorite Picks in 2022

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical Riflescopes Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical Riflescopes
  • Two different range sizes to choose from
  • Lifetime warranty through Vortex Optics
  • Anywhere from 4x to 24x magnification
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Pinty Mil-Dot Tactical Rifle Scope Pinty Mil-Dot Tactical Rifle Scope
  • It has a very affordable price tag
  • Five reticle brightness levels to choose from
  • 5 to 10x magnification
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Steiner T5Xi Tactical Rifle Scope Steiner T5Xi Tactical Rifle Scope
  • Anywhere from 5x to 25x magnification
  • Illuminated reticle for low light conditions
  • Hassle-free lifetime warranty
  • CVLIFE 4x32 Tactical Rifle Scope CVLIFE 4x32 Tactical Rifle Scope
  • Rails on both sides allow you to install a laser or flashlight attachment
  • Crisp image and sharp focus
  • Three different colors for reticle illumination
  • Nikon P-Tactical Rifle Scope Nikon P-Tactical Rifle Scope
  • Generous eye relief
  • Quick focus eyepiece
  • Holds zero very well
  • The 10 Best Tactical Rifle Scopes

    1. Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical Riflescopes – Best Overall

    Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical Rifle Scopes

    If you’re looking for a high-quality rifle scope, you need to start and end your search with Vortex Optics. They make some of the best rifle optics around, and their Diamondback Tactical Riflescope is no exception. These scopes are the perfect combination of affordability and performance.

    Even better, they all have a lifetime warranty, so you never have to worry about your scope failing on you no matter how long you’ve been using it. With their Diamondback Tactical Riflescopes, you have two different reticles and range sizes to choose from.

    Whether you’re looking for an MOA reticle with a 4x to 16x magnification, or an MRAD with 6x to 24x, they have you covered. While these scopes are a great choice, they aren’t perfect. They are more expensive than some of the cheaper options out there, and they don’t offer a true 1x magnification.

    Still, they’re precisely what most hunters and target shooters are looking for in a riflescope. Overall, we think this is the best tactical rifle scope available right now

    Pros
    • Great combination of affordability and performance
    • Two different reticles to choose from
    • Two different range sizes to choose from
    • Anywhere from 4x to 24x magnification
    • Lifetime warranty through Vortex Optics
    Cons
    • More expensive than some options
    • No true 1x magnification

    2. Pinty Mil-Dot Tactical Rifle Scope – Best Value

    The best tactical rifle scope for the money has to be the Pinty Mil-Dot Tactical Rifle Scope. While it’s not the best rifle scope out there, it’s a great deal for its lower price tag. It offers anywhere from 2.5x to 10x magnification and has five different reticle brightness levels for you to choose from.

    Moreover, it comes with a red laser that can help you quickly zero in on targets under 100 yards. But it still is a cheaper rifle scope, and you need to be aware that it has a harsh eye relief, and it doesn’t have as much clarity as some of the more expensive scopes.

    But if you’re on a budget and want a great scope and don’t want to spend a ton of money, this Pinty Mil-Dot Tactical Riflescope is an outstanding choice.

    Pros
    • It has a very affordable price tag
    • 5 to 10x magnification
    • Five reticle brightness levels to choose from
    • Red laser range of 100 yards
    Cons
    • Harsher eye relief
    • The sight loses some clarity

    3. Steiner T5Xi Tactical Rifle Scope – Premium Choice

    Steiner T5Xi Tactical Rifle Scope

    When the price isn’t a concern, seek out the Steiner T5Xi Tactical Rifle Scope. It provides anywhere from 5x to 25x magnification, making it the perfect choice for most mid to long-range applications. Even better, when it comes to warranties, it’s hard to beat what Steiner offers.

    You don’t need proof of purchase or anything else – all you need is the scope. If it’s not working correctly, Steiner will fix it free of charge, no matter the scope’s age. But it’s not likely that this rifle scope will break on you.

    Not only is it extremely durable, but it also has an illuminated reticle that has eleven different brightness settings – including a night vision setting. Finally, with zero stops built into the windage and elevation adjustments, you don’t have to worry about losing track of your current adjustments.

    While it’s an excellent scope, it’s just far too expensive for most people – and most people don’t even need the extra features that it offers.

    Pros
    • Anywhere from 5x to 25x magnification
    • Hassle-free lifetime warranty
    • Illuminated reticle for low light conditions (four nighttime settings and seven daytime settings)
    • Low adjustment turrets with hard zero stops for elevation and windage adjustments
    • It has an extremely clear lens
    Cons
    • Very expensive – and most people don’t need this much extra power

    4. CVLIFE 4×32 Tactical Rifle Scope

    CVLIFE 4x32 Tactical Rifle Scope

    If you’re looking for a barebones riflescope that can get the job done, then the CVLIFE tactical rifle scope is a good choice. It’s available for an affordable price, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank to upgrade your rifle’s iron sights.

    This scope only offers a 4x magnification setting. While that’s better than nothing, not having the ability to change your magnification can be a bit frustrating. From there, this scope offers three different reticle colors, allowing you to adjust your sights for the conditions or personal preference.

    Finally, this tactical rifle scope offers rails on both sides, giving you the option to mount a wide array of attachments. However, we do wish that CVLIFE included dust covers for this scope to help extend its service life.

    Pros
    • It is very affordably priced
    • Rails on both sides allow you to install a laser or flashlight attachment
    • Three different colors for reticle illumination
    • Crisp image and sharp focus
    Cons
    • Only one magnification setting – 4x
    • No dust covers for the lenses

    5. Nikon P-Tactical Rifle Scope

    Nikon P-Tactical Rifle Scope

    Nikon makes a wide range of optics products, and they do an excellent job with all of them. Their P-Tactical Rifle Scope is no exception. It provides a magnification range from 3x to 9x and has spring-loaded instant resets for the elevation and windage turrets.

    Moreover, it offers generous eye relief, has a quick focus eyepiece, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a rifle scope that holds zero better. There have been some complaints about the eye relief, but that comes largely because it’s a second focal plane scope.

    The Nikon P-Tactical Rifle Scope isn’t cheap, but it’s not overly expensive either. It’s a great mix between performance and affordability, but it simply can’t hold up against some of the better competition.

    Pros
    • Magnification from 3x to 9x
    • Spring-loaded instant reset elevation and windage turrets
    • Generous eye relief
    • Quick focus eyepiece
    • Holds zero very well
    Cons
    • The reticle is a bit small and hard to see

    6. MidTen 4-16×50 Tactical Rifle Scope

    MidTen 4-16x50 Tactical Rifle Scope

    If you’re looking for a rifle scope that can do it all, then the MidTen Tactical Rifle Scope is an excellent choice. First, it has a very affordable price tag, placing it well within most people’s budget.

    But what really sets it apart is its versatility. The actual scope itself offers 4x to 16x magnification, which is a wide range to choose from. But if you’re looking for a red dot sight, there’s one mounted to the top of this scope, giving you a true 1x magnification.

    There are five different illumination levels for both the reticle and the holographic scope, letting you adjust your brightness levels to the conditions that you’re shooting in. Finally, this scope has a side-mounted laser for easier target acquisition.

    While all these features are nice, they add a bit of weight and size. Overall, this is a bulkier scope that might get in your way. Furthermore, it’s heavy. Weighing in at 25 ounces, it’s one of the heaviest scopes that we reviewed.

    Pros
    • Very affordably priced
    • It offers 4x to 16x magnification
    • Laser sights for easy target acquisition
    • It has a separate top-mounted red dot sight
    • Five different illumination levels
    Cons
    • It’s a bit heavier at 25 ounces
    • All the extra features make this a bulkier scope

    7. TRUGLO TRU-BRITE Tactical Rifle Scope

    TRUGLO TRU-BRITE Tactical Rifle Scope

    Another unique rifle scope that you want to consider is the TRUGLO TRU-BRITE Tactical Rifle Scope. While the design might seem a bit clunky and awkward to those used to a regular rifle scope, it offers easy-to-use features.

    As an example, it utilizes a zoom lever, making it easier than ever to bear down on your target. This scope offers anywhere from 3x to 9x magnification and has a dual-colored reticle that you can use with or without illumination.

    While this is an affordable scope, it’s not the cheapest option out there either. Also, while the design might be unique and easier to use, it weighs more. The entire scope weighs 2.2-pounds, which makes it one of the heaviest scopes that we reviewed.

    Pros
    • Anywhere from 3x to 9x magnification
    • It has a dual-colored reticle that you can use with or without illumination
    • It has an easy-to-use zoom lever
    • Generous eye relief
    • Affordable price tag
    Cons
    • Heavier weight at 2.2 pounds
    • Bulkier design
    • The design is a bit clunky and awkward

    8. Edenberg Reticle Rifle Scope

    If you’re looking for a simple rifle scope that can get the job done, the Edenberg Reticle Rifle Scope is an outstanding choice. It offers 3x to 9x magnification, which is precisely what most hunters are looking for.

    Furthermore, it offers a fast-focus eyepiece and has two removable dust covers to help you preserve the scope when it’s not in use. Additionally, if you’re new to hunting or just want a more comfortable scope, this Edenberg scope offers maximum eye relief.

    But while there are plenty of things to love about this scope, what sent it plummeting down our list was the overall clarity level. While it’s adequate for its price point, it can’t begin to keep up with the higher-end models.

    Pros
    • It has a very low price tag
    • Anywhere from 3x to 9x magnification
    • Fast focus eyepiece
    • Two removable dust covers
    • Good eye relief
    Cons
    • Low-level clarity compared to more expensive scopes

    9. Burris Xtreme Tactical XTR II Rifle Scope

    Burris Xtreme Tactical XTR II Rifle Scope

    There’s no questioning that this is a great scope. The problem is that it’s full of features that only competition shooters need. For instance, the minimum magnification is 8x, while the maximum magnification is 40x.

    That’s far more power than most users need, and you’re paying for all the extra power that comes with this scope. It also has a night vision setting, but unless you’re shooting distant targets in the dark, it’s not needed.

    You do get excellent brightness and clarity and have eleven different brightness settings to choose from. Additionally, there’s a power saver position between each setting, so you don’t have to either waste power or cycle through a ton of different settings between shots.

    But for all these great features, we can’t get over the higher price tag and the fact that most users can’t use it for typical applications.

    Pros
    • Anywhere from 8x to 40x magnification
    • Great brightness and clarity
    • Zero stop elevation and windage resets
    • 11 brightness settings to choose from
    • It has a night vision setting
    • Battery saver position between each setting
    Cons
    • Very expensive for what you get
    • It offers way more magnification than most people need

    10. BESTSIGHT 4-12X50 Tactical Rifle Scope

    BESTSIGHT 4-12X50 Tactical Rifle Scope

    The BESTSIGHT Tactical Rifle Scope barely made our top ten, but that doesn’t make it a terrible scope. It’s a 3-in-1 design that offers a scope, a holographic red dot, and a laser sight. The scope itself offers anywhere from 4x to 12x magnification. Meanwhile, if you want a true 1x magnification, you can use the holographic red dot mounted to the top.

    While it comes with a laser sight, there are also Picatinny rails that allow you to mount additional attachments if you have them. It’s an affordably priced scope, but it’s also heavier at 1.7-pounds. Furthermore, because of all the extra features that it offers, it’s a much clunkier design.

    This BESTSIGHT scope isn’t a bad choice, but it’s simply outdone by the MidTen Tactical Rifle Scope, and there are plenty of traditional scopes that outperform it in most categories.

    Pros
    • Five different reticle designs in two different colors
    • Picatinny mounts easily allow you to add on extra attachments
    • Offers 4x to 12x magnification
    • It also has a 1x magnification red dot
    • Very affordably priced
    Cons
    • Heavier design at 1.7-pounds
    • It is a bit clunky because of all of the extra features

    Buyer’s Guide

    When you’re purchasing a rifle scope, there are so many features out there that it can all get a little overwhelming. That’s why we came up with this buyer’s guide to help you narrow down exactly what you need and find the perfect scope for you!

    Once you have a better idea of what you need and what you’re looking at, it’s a bit easier to pick out your next rifle scope and know that you’re getting everything you need.

    How Much Magnification Do You Need?

    More magnification doesn’t always equal a better shot. Too much magnification can lead to a whole host of problems, as even the smallest movements can send your bullet way off course.

    Most shooters will use a 3x to 5x magnification for a target at 100 yards, and for further targets, you might need even more magnification. But just as too much magnification can be a problem, so can too little magnification.

    For instance, targets that are more than 250 yards away will typically require a scope with more than 9x magnification. But just because you have a scope that can see that far doesn’t mean you can hit that target.

    That’s because even the smallest movements will cause significant differences in your shot when you’re that far away. Movements as small as your heartbeat can be enough to send your bullet a few feet off course!

    How Much Does Brightness Matter?

    If you’re always shooting in the middle of the day, brightness isn’t a significant concern. But most hunters will head out at the crack of dawn and potentially stay out until dusk. When lighting becomes scarce, then the brightness settings on your scopes can make a big difference.

    Most of the top scopes that we looked at here have different brightness settings for you to choose from, that way you can easily see your reticle even in low light situations. Just be sure that you can clearly see what you’re shooting, even if the reticle is well illuminated.

    Finally, two of the scopes that we reviewed have night vision settings. While this makes it far easier to see your target at night, just be sure to check out local laws and regulations before target shooting or hunting at night.

    How Important are Elevation and Windage?

    There are few things more important than getting your elevation and windage adjustments right. While these adjustments matter less and less the closer a target gets to you, that doesn’t mean you can count it out completely.

    If you don’t sight your rifle for the correct distances, windages, and elevations, you’ll never hit your target. Because of this, it’s crucial to get a rifle that makes it easy to adjust for both windage and elevation.

    If the rifle you’re using has hard stop resets, you’re good to go for the most part. Otherwise, you’ll need to remember each click so you can reset it at the end of the day. If not, the next time you head out, you might have to spend a considerable amount of time re-zeroing your scope to get an accurate shot.

    riflescope

    Image Credit: Pixabay

    Do I Need Red Dot or Laser Sight?

    Red dots and laser sights make everything easier for close-range shooting. But that’s all they do – make things easier. So, if you’re a novice or want to pick up a target quickly, a red dot or a laser sight can be a great choice.

    But as soon as you start aiming for farther off-targets, you’re going to need to master a traditional scope. So, you don’t need a red dot or a laser sight, but it can make everything a little bit easier if you’re a novice.

    What is Eye Relief?

    Eye relief is one of the most important considerations when you’re spending a day at the range. Eye relief refers to how far away you need to be from the scope to get a clear image. Too little eye relief will have you leaning over your rifle and potentially sending you home with a black eye.

    When it comes to eye relief, more is better. Not only can you rest easy knowing that your rifle isn’t going to fly in your face from the recoil, but you can also find a more comfortable way to look through sights if you’re in a different shooting position.

    Eye relief matters, and it’s not an area you want to skimp out on if you’re going to be looking through your scope for a while.

    scope crosshairs divider 1

    Conclusion

    With so many great rifle scopes out there, it can be easy to get sucked into a rabbit hole and look at rifle scopes all day, only never to find precisely what you’re looking for.

    Hopefully, after reading this guide, we walked you through everything you need to when you’re purchasing a scope. Moreover, we hope that we helped you find your next tactical rifle scope after reading these comprehensive reviews.

    Next time you line up that shot, rest easy knowing that your round is going to go exactly where your scopes pointed.


    Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

    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.

    Robert Sparks Profile Picture