A tactical scope is a crucial shooting accessory for any firearm owner that helps in locating and targeting with precision. You’ll find that it is much easier to shoot a target with the help of a tactical scope. It is also a vital instrument for precision shooting for a long distance shooter. It is always a good idea to invest in a good tactical scope if you are serious about your shooting hobby.
More advanced designs of scopes are designed and manufactured each year by various brands, which means that you will find a wide range of tactical scopes with different specifications on the market. It is always wise to compare and analyze the specifications on different scopes first before you decide on which tactical scope to buy.
How to choose a tactical scope
When choosing a tactical scope, you want to review its results on various tests such as optical and mechanical performance, ergonomics, advanced features, and overall performance. You also need to check for optimal resolution, eye relief, reticle illumination, tracking, and low light performance. After performing these tests and comparing one tactical scope with another, you will find it easier to figure out what’s best for your needs.
The price range varies according to specifications and the brand name, but there are scopes that you can find under $200 if you’re on a budget. If money’s no object, then you can choose from a number of high end scopes upwards from $1,500.
Here are some guidelines comparing a few popular tactical scopes on the market that might give you an idea about what you’re looking for.
Scopes from brands like Bushnell, Hensoldt, Leupold, Nightforce, US Optics, and Nikon are quite popular. So, you might want to look into one from these brands. The Vortex Viper Pst 6-24×50 Ffp boasts of top tier features and you can get it in under $1000. Its illuminated reticle works well under low light environment and it is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum.
The Razor HD 5-20x50mm from Vortex also has rave reviews from experts. If you’re looking for something under $1000, then you should also look into Nightforce SHV-4-14x56mm and the Bushnell Elite Tactical G2. The SHV-4-14x56mm may not have extra features like those of the pricier brands, but it doesn’t compromise in its quality.
For Nightforce models over $1500, there’s the Nightforce NXS 5.5-22×50, Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56, and Nightforce BEAST 5-25×56. The NXS 5.5-22x50mm features a second focal plane, 3.7 inch eye relief, and can be adjusted for parallax. It comes with four types of reticles including the Mildot. Released in 2013, the BEAST consists of a double turn turret with massive travel per revolution.
The scopes from VX-6 line from Leupold are made with the highest quality lenses and have excellent reticles. You can get the VX-6 1-6x24mm CDS model for under $1,200 street value. The VX-2 3-9x40mm model is probably the best value model from the company. Its features are easy elevation and windage dials, waterproof, tactile power indicators, lifetime guarantee, multicoated lens, and for a few extra bucks you can get seven different reticle styles.
At under $200, Nikon P-223 3-9×40 BDC 600 has fully multi-coated optics and 98% light transmission which allows maximum visibility in low light conditions. It is fog proof, water proof, allows generous eye relief, and can be adjusted for parallax. Monarch X 2.5-10x44mm from Nikon might also be worth looking into.
If you’re looking to spend over a $1000, then the choices are many. You can get the Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR 3.5-21×50 which comes with a Mildot reticle, first focal plane, parallax adjustment, and multi-coated optics. Its XRS 4.5-30x50mm model from the same line is also noteworthy in its accuracy and magnification.
There are, of course, many other fine tactical scopes available in the market. Before going into research mode, keep in mind that you will not find a ‘one size fits all’ kind of answer from any of the reviews. The right scope for you depends upon your field of use, comfort, and budget. The choice ultimately comes down to getting the right balance among multiple parameters such as specification, price, overall performance, and design.