The Ultimate Guide to the Best Rifle Scopes in 2023: Boost Your Shooting Performance

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Rifle Scopes in 2023: Boost Your Shooting Performance

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced shooter, this guide will help you make an informed decision and improve your shooting performance. 

Unsure about which rifle scope to choose?Search no more. I've personally put to the test every top-notch rifle scope available (including rifle scope mounts and accessories). By the time you finish reading this guide, you'll discover the ideal optic for your rifle. Let's kick things off!

(Reading Time: 4-9 Minutes)

What is a Rifle Scope?

In simple terms, a rifle scope is a magnifying optic that improves shooting accuracy and allows you to engage targets at greater distances. With its powerful magnification capabilities, a rifle scope provides a clear and amplified view, helping you hit your mark with precision.

What you need to know about rifle scope

Before we dive into the world of rifle scopes, let's cover some essential terms you need to know:


    The reticle, also known as the crosshairs, is the aiming point within the scope. While the standard crosshair is common, various scopes offer different reticle designs, such as circles, chevrons, dots, or lines. Each reticle style has its advantages and is suited for specific shooting purposes.(If interested, you can take a look at our article on Scope Reticle Types


    Eye Relief

      Eye relief refers to the distance between the rear end of the scope and your eye. It's important to choose a scope with sufficient eye relief to avoid any discomfort or "scope bite" caused by recoil. Most scopes offer around 3.5 inches of eye relief, but for high-caliber rifles, longer relief may be preferable.

      Eye Box

        The eye box refers to the space behind the optic that allows for unrestricted movement of the eye in various directions: closer, farther, up, down, left, and right. Even within a specific scope magnification and eye relief distance, the eye box provides a clear field of view. Essentially, the eye box is the optimal position where these specific thresholds align, ensuring that no shadows obstruct the sight picture.


        Rifle Scopes



        Parallax can be defined as a distinct displacement in the position of the reticle when observing through a scope from various angles. If you observe the reticle deviating from the target as you adjust your viewing angle, that's a clear indication of parallax. To ensure consistent reticle accuracy regardless of the viewing angle, it becomes necessary to make the appropriate parallax adjustments. While certain scopes come pre-set for parallax at a specific distance, others provide the convenience of adjustable parallax knobs to mitigate this effect.


        Windage and elevation knobs on scopes enable precise adjustments to your point of aim (POA). Windage controls left/right movements, while elevation handles up/down movements. These knobs offer flexibility to align shots, compensating for wind, distance, and other environmental factors. Utilizing windage and elevation adjustments ensures accurate targeting.

        Rifle Scopes | WINDAGE AND ELEVATION
        Rifle Scopes


        The concepts of the first and second focal plane revolve around the positioning of the reticle within the glass lens of the scope.

        First and Second Focal Plane Diagram – from Ampro
        First and Second Focal Plane Diagram – from Ampro


        Long-range target shooters often favor first focal plane (FFP) rifle scopes. With FFP scopes, as you adjust the magnification, the reticle size changes proportionally, growing larger as the magnification increases. This unique feature ensures that each hash mark, whether MOA or Mil, maintains the same value regardless of the magnification setting. In other words, the units of measure remain consistent throughout the zoom range.


        Left: FFP   Right: SFP


        Conversely, a second focal plane reticle remains constant in size regardless of the zoom setting. This feature offers advantages in defense gun setups, ensuring consistent reticle appearance across different zoom levels and facilitating rapid target acquisition.



        Zeroing your scope aligns your Point of Aim (crosshairs) with the Point of Impact (bullet strike). This vital process ensures your scope guides shots accurately at a specific distance. Most American hunters zero their scoped rifles at 100 yards, but distances like 50 or 200 yards are also chosen. Accurate zeroing guarantees consistent and dependable shooting. Once properly mounted, it ensures precise target hits.

        Rifle Scope Zeroing


        Magnification refers to the extent of zoom offered by a scope. Scopes are available in two types: fixed magnification and variable magnification.

        • Fixed magnification means the level of zoom remains constant and cannot be adjusted. For example, a 4×32 scope provides a fixed 4x zoom.
        • Variable magnification scopes allow you to adjust the zoom within a specific range. For instance, a 4-16*40 scope offers magnification between 4x and 16x, giving you flexibility in choosing the desired level of zoom.
        Rifle Scope Magnification
        Rifle Scope Magnification


        What does the number at the end of 4-16*40 scope refer to? Well, that’s the size of the objective lens.

        Most riflescopes have objective lens diameters ranging from 32mm to 44mm. Generally, a larger objective lens provides a wider field of view and a clearer image due to its ability to transmit more light. However, it's important to find a balance because a larger objective lens increases the overall size and weight of the scope. So, it's crucial to consider your specific needs when choosing the right size for your objective lens.

        PINTY 1-5x24 SFP Rifle Scope Combo

        The Best Budget-Friendly Rifle Scope for Beginners

        Pinty 1-5x24 SFP Rifle Scope Combo is a fantastic value for money product that offers excellent performance and quality at an affordable price. If you are in the market for an entry-level rifle scope but don't want to compromise on quality or accuracy, then this is the perfect product for you. Its features, combined with its affordability, make it a top choice for anyone looking to enhance their shooting experience and take their skills to the next level.

        Ultra-Clear Glass and Precision Reticle

        It features ultra-clear glass that provides optimal clarity and brightness. With a precision etched reticle, the scope allows for accurate shooting in any light condition, ensuring that the point of aim coincides with the point of impact.

        How clear and bright....think of it as Vortex viper clear and bright or Leopold vx3 clear and bright.

        Rifle Scopes

        Comfortable Eye Relief for Accurate Aiming

        This rifle scope's eye-relief supports accurate aiming with 3.8-4.5 inches of adjustability. This feature accommodates the most popular rifles in America and ensures that shooters can maintain a comfortable and natural shooting position. 

        Easy Adjustment Turrets for Greater Accuracy

        It has easy-to-use adjustment turrets that provide smooth and positive clicks for both windage and elevation. The floating turrets move easily and ensure reliable and accurate adjustments for every shot.

        Rifle Scope

        Great Magnification and Parallax-Free Vision

        With a magnification range of 1-5x, this rifle scope caters to a versatile range of firearms and shooting situations. The scope provides parallax-free vision that allows for unobscured optical accuracy in any range. At 1x magnification, shooters can keep both eyes open, thereby ensuring situational awareness.

        Great Magnification and Parallax-Free Vision
        Great Magnification and Parallax-Free Vision

        1-5x24 SFP Rifle Scope captured in real-life scenarios

        Easy Mounting Options from a Trusted Brand

        The Pinty 1-5x24 SFP Rifle Scope Combo comes equipped with a reliable and sturdy cantilever mount, which makes installation facile. The cantilever mount design ensures that the scope stays securely in place despite shooting recoil and vibrations.

        Is Pinty 1-5x24 SFP Rifle Scope Combo Worth It?

        Yes. It is a fantastic rifle scope that provides excellent value for its cost. With its ultra-clear glass, precision etched reticle, comfortable eye relief, and easy-to-use adjustment turrets, this rifle scope will help any shooter improve their accuracy and precision. Its magnification range, parallax-free vision, and easy mounting options make it a reliable and versatile choice for a range of shooting situations. Together, these features make the Pinty 1-5x24 SFP Rifle Scope Combo worth every penny and an excellent investment for anyone looking for a high-quality rifle scope.

        Pinty 1-5x24 SFP Rifle Scope

        Vortex Viper PST 1-4×24: Ideal Choice for AR-15 Rifle

        If your budget is sufficient, check this out. The Vortex Viper PST 1-4×24 stands out as the ultimate LPVO scope for the AR-15. It offers unparalleled quality without the exorbitant price tag often associated with comparable scopes. This versatile optic is perfectly suited for short to mid-range shooting purposes, making it an ideal choice for professionals.

        If you remain skeptical, allow me to provide a concise overview to solidify my claim.

        Glass Clarity & Reticle

        The Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24 boasts ultra-clear glass that enhances resolution and color accuracy, producing a crystal-clear image. Its anti-reflective coating reduces glare and provides a bright image, even in low-light conditions. The Tactical Milling Close Quarters (TMCQ) reticle ensures pinpoint accuracy for your shots and is easily visible with its illuminated options.

        Eye Relief & Eye Box

        With 4 inches of eye relief, the Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24 allows you to aim accurately from any shooting position. This scope provides clear visibility for nearby objects while still enabling seamless zooming for distant targets, allowing you to make quick adjustments and transitions.

        Elevation & Windage Knobs

        The Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24 features tall turrets that allow for faster range calculations and quicker shooting adjustments. The turrets are easy to adjust and produce an audible clicking sound as you make changes, ensuring you can keep track of your adjustments and maintain accuracy. The Customizable Rotational Stop (CRS) feature helps you easily zero your scope for consistent shots.

        Parallax & Magnification

        With a magnification range of 1-4x, the Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24 is perfect for various hunting scenarios and shooting targets. It is parallax-free, ensuring greater accuracy while shooting, and factory-focused at a distance of 100 yards, allowing you to aim further with precision.

        Mounting & Rings

        The Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24 doesn't come with mounts or rings, but you can use a 30mm Vortex Optics Sport Cantilever Riflescope Mount with a 2-inch offset for most rifles. This mount is sturdy yet lightweight, and it's compatible with most rifles. Additionally, the Vortex Optics Riflescope Switchview Throw Lever helps you address any zoom lever issues, and the Vortex Optics Defender Flip Cap offers additional lens protection, making this scope an excellent investment for any rifle owner.

        Is the Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24 Worth It?

        The Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24 is a top-of-the-line rifle scope that offers unparalleled accuracy and precision for your shooting needs. With its high-quality glass, precise reticle, easy adjustments, and mounting options from a trusted brand, it's worth investing in if you're serious about your shooting.

        Vortex Rifle Scopes

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