There are few things that a soldier out on the battlefield fears more than the elusive and deadly sniper. There’s no denying that snipers are very skilled warriors because they are able to stay hidden and take out the enemy from extremely long distances. The reason why this is possible for sniper is largely because of the equipment that he or she uses. The rifle and ammunition are the very important elements of the sniper’s load out, but the next most important element is the scope.
Even though snipers heavily value precision and accuracy in their scopes, another quality that they strongly desire to have is durability. Snipers are consistently put through harsh conditions, both in their training and in real life scenarios, usually either completely alone or with their spotter. This means that all of their equipment absolutely needs to be able to last when out in the middle of nowhere.
Keep in mind that the primary role of the sniper is to take out enemy soldiers. For that reason and that reason alone, their optic absolutely cannot fail whatsoever, and it has to be as precise as possible – especially if the sniper only has enough time to make one shot.
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What is the Best Scope for a Sniper Rifle?
Now that we have established the importance of a sniper having a scope that is equally as durable as it is accurate and precise, the next question is: What is the best scope for a sniper rifle? There’s no denying that this is a bit of a tricky question, especially with all of the complexity and advancements that have been made in optics within recent years.
Instead, we’ll talk about what the specific features are that a sniper’s riflescope must have, under no exceptions, and then outline and discuss specific riflescopes available on the market that come with all of those features and are fully durable and precise.
Whenever you look at riflescopes, you will always see the numbers on the label from the manufacturer reading as #-#x#mm. For example, a scope might read 3-12x40mm. Each of these numbers are important as they tell you the magnification power and the objective lens of the scope, the latter of which directly impacts light transmission and determines how well you can see through the scope in dim conditions.
The 3-12x tells you the magnification range of the scope. Some scopes have fixed variable magnification meaning that they would only read one number, such as 12x. Under no circumstance should you, as a sniper, go with a scope that has fixed variable magnification. You simply won’t have the same shooting performance if you do go with one. Instead, adjustable magnification allows you to zoom in and out based on what is the most appropriate for any given situation.
The numbers here simply tell you how much closer the image will appear to you through the scope than it would just by looking at it with your eyes. So in our 3-12x example, this means that the object in the scope will appear to be three times closer to you at the least and twelve times closer at the most. Is this the kind of magnification that a sniper would need? Preferably not since the best sniper scopes and the best long range sniper scopes,have far greater range than this. But it is just an example to understand the way a scope is coded.
The final number, which is measured in millimeters, tells you the diameter of the objective lens. So in this example, our scope has an objective lens diameter of 40mm. The diameter of your lens greatly impacts two things: the overall size of the scope and the light transmission of the scope. As a general rule of thumb the larger the scope is, the more light transmission there will be meaning that the image through the scope will appear to be brighter. Since a lot of shooting is done in dim and dark times of day, such as dawn and dusk, it is especially important that a scope for a sniper have a large objective lens.
40mm is generally considered to be a middle of the road objective lens and the size favored by many hunters. For a sniper, however, your scope has to exceed the performance of a typical hunting scope. Try going with a 50mm diameter objective lens for a sniping scope.
The next thing to look for in the best sniping scope is eye relief. This is the physical distance that exists between the scope’s ocular lens and your eye while still having a clear view of the image through the scope. The more eye relief your sniping scope has, the better. As it currently stands the largest eye relief on scopes on the market these days comes in at around four inches. This is more than enough distance between your eye and scope, especially when you take the recoil of the rifle into account.
Field of View
The next major thing to take into account with a sniping scope is the field of view with the scope. Field of view is defined as the distance that you are able to see from left to right (or vice versa) through your scope and is measured to every 100 yards in most scopes. Just as how your sniping scope has to have adjustable magnification, it also has to have adjustable field of view, no questions asked.
Your magnification adjustments will also impact your field of views as well. As you decrease your magnification, the field of view of your scope will simultaneously increase and vice versa. In our 3-12x scope example, if your magnification is three times, you should have a field of view of at least a 100 yards. If you zoom in your magnification to 12, then that field of view will decrease to around 10.
Next, let’s talk about three specific rifle scopes that are also the best sniper scopes on the market right now. They not only meet the specifications discussed above, they actually exceed them.
Best Sniper Scopes
Best Budget Sniper Scope:
Best Marksman Sniper Scope:
Best Battlefield Sniper Scope:
Best Sniper Scope Conclusion
With the information in this article you have now learned the different qualities that the best scope for a sniper rifle must have and three scopes on the market that exceed those qualities in the budget, middle, and high price ranges.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re training to be a sniper on a security contractor team, law enforcement, in the military, or if you just want to train to be ready to outlast whatever doomsday scenario comes at you. You have to have the highest quality scope available and that quality comes in two forms that each must be fully met: the scope must be machined to be absolutely durable, meaning you should be able to toss it around on the ground without its performance being affected, and it must be dead on precise with a large objective lens and a wide range variable magnification power.
If you can find a scope that strikes just the right balance between those two qualities, then you will have found the best scope for a sniper rifle for you, and any of the three scopes that we have recommended meet those two qualities.
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