Budget Gear Review: 5 Best Hunting Rifle Scopes (2016)

best rifle scope

The importance of purchasing the best rifle scope cannot be understated. The proper rifle scope to fit your rifle may be the difference between killing the game and going home without any hunting trophies. You need to be able to see through your rifle scope accurately to make the shot that will kill your game.

The rifle scope you need to consider when buying:

  1. Nikon P-223 BDC 600 Riflescope with Rapid Action Turret, Black, 4-12×40
  2. UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings
  3. Bushnell AR Optics FFP Illuminated BTR-1 BDC Reticle AR-223 Riflescope with Target Turrets and Throw Down PCL, 1-4x 24mm
  4. Nikon P-223 3×32 Matte BDC Carbine
  5. Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600

What Constitutes the Best Rifle Scope

The Packaging of the Scope

Does the scope look well-built when you take it out of the package? Are all the pieces there? Does it come with instructions on how to assemble it and how to mount it? You might consider if the best rifle scope you want to purchase is packaged well when it arrives at your front door. Also, can you answer yes to all the above questions? The last thing you want to discover about your rifle scope is that it wasn’t what you ordered or expected.

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Who wants to spend a considerable amount of time researching the best rifle scope that money can buy? Then the product is finally shipped to their front door, they excitedly tear through the packaging and find that the instructions are missing. Or the instructions that they received with the rifle scope are the wrong instructions. Worse yet the instructions are for the rifle scope they ordered but the actual rifle scope they were sent is the wrong scope!

​Here is another scenario, what if you receive your rifle scope and it’s intact. The scope was carefully and deliberately packaged to hold up to anything that could happen to it during shipping. You are impressed with the packaging and you feel confident that your rifle scope will be in very good condition. You open the package and the rifle scope is missing parts. Or the instructions on how to assemble it are missing. In essence, you wasted your money ordering this scope.


Manufacturer’s Responsibility

You may save yourself a lot of money and heartache if you do a background check on the gun manufacturer you plan on buying the best rifle scope from. Look and see what other users are saying about this company. Did you find that there were more negative reviews than positive reviews about the company?

You will find that reviewers will be honest and realistic in their reviews of rifle scope products. You may want to find out if the company sends the right product and that all the guaranteed parts are in the package. You may also want to investigate if the company sends the right instructions with the right rifle scope. You know you can find out a lot about a company by reading other people’s experiences in dealing with that company.

It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to guarantee that they send you the exact rifle scope kit you ordered.

All the parts need to be there and they need to be clean and in good working order. Any parts that are moveable should move without any difficulty or obstruction. The parts should be well oiled and easy to operate like they were originally intended to function. Their instructions should be simple and clear to read and understand.

Furthermore, none of the parts should be shipped broken or missing any components. All the parts should be intact so the rifle scope will function as a whole unit like it is supposed to function once it is mounted to your rifle. The rifle scope instructions should have some type of warranty information clearly stated on it. These are some things you may want to consider before buying your rifle scope from a particular manufacturer.​


Rifle Scope Mount

This may be the vital consideration for your best riflescope purchase. Will this rifle scope mount easily and fit on just about any gun? Is your new rifle mount easily to put together if this is required? You might consider these requirements.

Once you mount it on your rifle; does it seem like a sturdy mount that won’t come off easily? You may want to think about if your rifle scope is sitting snugly and squarely on your rifle. You should be able to look clearly through your rifle scope once it is mounted on your rifle.

​Does your rifle scope come with any adjustment settings? The settings should be easy to read and adjust. You should observe if your crosshairs align properly when you line up your scope with your line of fire. Your eyes should the see the target from a particular distance and vantage point. Your crosshairs should ideally line up with the same distance and vantage point on the target as your eyes. These are some reasons to investigate to be sure you are getting the best rifle scope that money can buy.

Top 5 Best Rifle Scopes on The Market 2016

This scope is loaded with some nice features. It has 30 millimeter SWAT 3-124XX IE tactical range estimating scope with mil-dot, full 36-color EZ-Tap reticle 0-Millimeter tube built on a True Strength Platform. The platform is sealed and nitrogen filled, shockproof, fog proof, and rain-proof.

The riflescope comes with the best multi emerald coated lenses; they are integrated angled front sunshade complete with flip-open lens caps. It has a special circuit and housing design for uninterrupted illumination even under heavy recoil.

Premium zero locking and zero resetting target turrets with most consistent and precise adjustment; it carries a lifetime warranty. This is a very good warranty

Pros

  • It holds zero from being shot from various distances.
  • It is an accurate scope for target shooting.
  • The scope is very clear to see through. One user said it was the clearest scope he ever used.
  • One user honed in quickly on his target with this scope. It took less than 30 minutes.
  • One user killed five bores with seven shots using this scope

Cons

  • This scope will not hold zero. One consumer went to the target range and fired from different distances and he couldn’t get this scope to hold zero. He shot using a different rifle with iron sights and the shots were dead on.
  • One user said the windage and elevation adjustments were too hard to turn with the zoom. He made adjustments to these and they still didn’t move like they were supposed to.

This scope has the BDC 600 Reticle with open circle aiming points and hash marks from 100 to 600 yards making for some long distance shooting. You can make quick hand-turn 1/4-inch @ 100 yard adjustments with Rapid Action Turrets.

This scope is made with Nikon's fully multicoated optics for maximum brightness and light transmission. This is a big plus for night shooting. The adjustments are made quite easily with Spring-Loaded Instant Zero-Reset Turrets. This scope is optimized for use with Nikon's authentic Spot on Ballistic Match Technology

Pros

  • One customer put this scope through some major abuse. He threw bump, hard dives and a couple of tumbles with an unbalanced bi-pod. He even let three complete strangers throw it and his rifle in the mud. It stayed at zero through all this. He shot 4000 rounds total through the rifle. He put it through more abuse and it still held steady at zero.
  • Scope shoots well out at 600 yards. It zeroes very easy. And adjustments are quite easily made on the scope.
  • It easily adjusts back to factory settings

Cons

  • The scope on a large scale is flawed. One consumer found the reticle in his scope was tilted 2-3 degrees to the left. This means you have to adjust for windage by three clicks to the left you will be high. Then you have come down a click or two to get the right sighting. This shouldn’t be the user having to make two adjustments every time. He took it back to where he purchased it from. Every scope on the shelf had the same defect. He called Nikon they said the reticle should be straight. The Nikon representative checked his scope and it too was tilted! So this is a major problem with this scope.

This scope has very good optics with outstanding HD clarity. Beautiful design and durability built to last. The materials are of high quality they have been tested extensively.

The BTR-1 first focal plane reticle has excellent low light performance and holdovers 500 yards out. The scope has a Unique Power Change Lever for quick power changes. It has target turrets for pinpoint-precise adjustments (1 mil click value). Fully made multi-colored optics for premium brightness.

This scope is made with high-durability aluminum alloy, anodize-finished and it’s sealed to protect the inside from external elements.

Pros

  • The reticles are very bright and sharp. The lenses are clear.
  • The throw lever is clever and very functional.
  • Illuminated First Focal Point reticle makes it elementary to make holdovers at any magnification level.
  • The range of adjustments is wide at 1/10 clicks.

Cons

  • Poor instruction manual has many mistakes in it. The manual doesn’t explain how to use the scope.
  • The scope bounced back and forth on every other shot this user took. One shot was high left the next one was low right.
  • This scope is not covered in the manufacturer’s normal “bullet-proof “warranty.
  • The crosshairs on users scope was 1/3 off which is a big discrepancy.

It has Generous and Consistent Eye Relief-Keeps your brow safe even if you have the heaviest recoiling cartridges, lightweight rifles, and severe shooting angles. The BDC Carbine Reticle was Developed specifically for the trajectory of the .223 Rem /5.56 NATO round with 55-grain polymer tip bullet.

The new BDC Carbine reticle provides a 200 yard crosshair with ''hash marks'' marked at 400 yards and 600 yards. The Nikon Fully Multicoated Optical System-Provides up to 98-Percent light transmission and maximum brightness from dawn to dusk.

The extremely, precise, 1/4-MOA Hand-turn Tactical-Style, Zero-Reset Turrets-Positive click reticle adjustments get you zeroed in quicker. You can maintain your setting even with repeated recoil. The scope is Waterproof and Fogproof. The scope is Nitrogen filled and sealed with O-rings.

Pros

  • One user shot 400-500 rounds with this scope. The scope performed magnificently. He purchased the iPhone application and coupled with the BDC his accuracy for shooting was magnified. This combination really improved his accuracy and understanding of ballistics. He consistently hit a steel target 1.5 feet square at 450 yards. He used the BDC reticle at this shooting distance with no issues.
  • One user thought the glass was very clear to look through and he installed the p series mounting rings to mount the scope to the rifle. Everything fits well and looks great.

Cons

  • This scope cannot be used to shoot at a distance of 600 yards like it is listed. The user said he couldn’t see clearly beyond 100 yards. He found that it couldn’t be zeroed in at 200 yards like the manual said. The magnification just wasn’t there.
  • One user couldn’t sight his scope in no matter what he did. The crosshairs wouldn’t budge no matter how many clicks he clicked the adjustment either way

It has a Generous, Consistent Eye Relief-This scope will keep your brow safe. Even with the heaviest recoiling cartridges, lightweight rifles, and severe shooting angles, your brow will remain safe.

The BDC 600 reticle has been developed specifically for the trajectory of the .223 Rem /5.56 NATO round with 55-grain polymer tip bullet. The BDC 600 reticle offers shooters some unique open circle aiming points and hash marks from 100 to 600 yards. Precise, 1/4-MOA Hand-turn Tactical-Style, Zero-Reset Turrets.

The positive click reticle adjustments helps you zero in quicker. You are able to maintain your settings even with repeated recoils. The 100-yard Parallax Setting-Eliminates parallax for precise shooting. The scope is waterproof and it is Fog proof. It is Nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed.

Pros

  • One user found that the clarity of this scope on low light is fabulous. It zoomed all the way to 9x. The reticle is adequate.
  • Another user zeroed the scope very easily at 100 yards. He consistently hit a gong at 800 yards out.
  • The glass on the scope is clear. The Nikon spot on app really helps with shooting accuracy.
  • The scope is well constructed and the user shot groups consistently at 100 yards.

Cons

  • The lines on the turret don’t match up with the corresponding lines on the scope. Shooting accuracy isn’t possible.
  • Scope is a little fuzzy at upper magnification.
  • One user says the scope doesn’t hold at zero. The user also said he shot at 100 yards several times using 55 grain ammo. He had to click the scope 15 clicks vertically and horizontally to get it back to the proper adjustments.

Concluding Thoughts

We prefer the Nikon P-223 BDC 600 Riflescope with Rapid Action Turret, Black, 4-12×40 is the best pick of the five rifle scopes we reviewed. This scope had the fewest negative reviews eight out of a total of 180+ reviews. The scope received an overall rating of 4.9/5.0 which is very commendable.

The scope is reasonably priced and Nikon’s customer service is excellent. One reviewer gave the phone number of the Nikon representative in his review. He even gave the rep’s name and said ask for him personally. He was very concerned about an unrelated issue. You might seriously consider purchasing this scope of the five

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