If you enjoy a good day at the shooting range, plan to go out for the first time in the coming hunting season, or want to join a beginner shooting competition, then a lightweight hunting rifle scope is something that you need.
As a first-time buyer, it can be quite tricky, especially if you don’t have anyone to help you make the right decision. But the lightweight scope is not that hard to find if you know what you are looking for.
There are many choices out there, so you will not run out of options, and you will soon find the right lightweight hunting rifle scope for you to improve your shooting skills.
Lightweight Hunting Rifle Scope Comparison
Last update on 2023-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Top 10 Best Lightweight Hunting Rifle Scope Reviews- 2023
In buying a lightweight hunting rifle scope, you have to consider quite a few factors that can make or break your experience. Needless to say, these will also affect your accuracy, especially when shooting at a distance. These scopes are among the best ones for their value and features. Have a look and see which one is right for you.
#1 Vortex Optics Crossfire II
The Crossfire II is made from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum tube that ensures shock-proof and durable construction. Aside from the durable construction, it is also sealed with an O-ring and is purged from nitrogen, which keeps fog from building up. This is useful when you’re shooting from areas of high elevation.
It has a 2-7×32 configuration, which means you have a magnification strength from 2x up to 7x. This helps in accurately seeing targets that are at a moderate distance. The sights have long relief, which makes it more comfortable for your eyes. You will easily get a sight of the target with this feature.
And the eyepiece also has a fast-focus system that allows for easy reticle focusing. You can also expect the lenses to be coated multiple times and provide bright and clear views. The images from the sight have crisp and bright colors.
A thing worth noting here is that the turrets click when you adjust them, so you are more accurate when setting the right focus on your target. It has the basic left and right, up and down adjustment for you to get the view of the target. They can also be reset to zero after sighting in.
#2 Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane Riflescopes
Next on this review is another scope made by Vortex. This one, in particular, marries precision and value quite smoothly. It has a 4-16×44 range, which allows you to shoot from moderate to long distances with ease. The low dispersion and multiple coats on the glass give you clear views, even on a particularly cold day.
You can use this without fog build up in the lenses. The first focal plane keeps suspensions accurate throughout all the magnification stages. And the eyecup and magnification ring are both made of metal and turn very smoothly and have no play.
To increase accuracy, you can get a 3” sunshade in the box. It is textured inside to cut down on glare. You can also get rubber protectors as well as a cleaning cloth.
In this scope, you will get a side-focus turret, which allows you to focus from 20 yards to infinity. It also has the standard turrets that have accurate settings for a clear and precise shooting experience. They click right on the line when fine-tuning your focus.
One thing you can rely on this scope is the great tracking on both horizontal and vertical. It is one of the best valued tactical scopes out there.
Related Guide: best Scope for 100 Yards
#3 Vortex Optics Strike Eagle
For anyone looking for a great beginner and entry-level scope, this will fit the bill. This lightweight hunting rifle scope has enough magnification to get you around the range and help novices understand how to operate a scope precisely.
The scope has a 1-6×24 configuration, which is great for close quarters, and even for hunting. This config has taken over in recent years but has also increased its prices over that time period. The Strike Eagle maintains a great value for money.
Controls for this scope is straightforward. It has a knob to help with adjusting the zoom power all the way from 1x to 6x. The focus ring is very large and easy to get in focus.
This has an illuminator and a bullet drop compensator, which are amazing features for a scope of this price range. The illuminated reticles are great for seeing in low light conditions.
Caps cover the windage and elevation turrets for safekeeping. Like with other Vortex scopes, the adjustment is very tactile with clicks and can be done with the hand as opposed to others that need tools.
One cool feature they added to the caps is that you can store a spare battery for the illumination there. Other features include multi-coated lenses. It has a 30mm tube that helps keep the weight to a minimum and high-grade aluminum tube.
#4 Vortex Optics Crossfire II – 30mm Tube Riflescopes
The optic itself is 1-4×24, which means it goes from 1-power magnification to 4-power magnification. This is ideal for close range and even for some distances in the range or for hunting. The focus ring is on the eyepiece for quick focusing.
And the lenses are the V-Brite reticles, which are very clear, and it also comes with a battery-operated illumination for better view in low light conditions.
Windage and elevation are sealed with a rubber O-ring to prevent water from seeping in and reducing fog buildup in the lens. Adjusting them is no problem, and they also give an audible click for more precise tuning.
They designed a simple illumination knob on the top where you can adjust the intensity of the lighting of the reticle. It will light the red dot in the center, which helps guide the shooter to their target.
Eye relief is about 4 inches, which is plenty enough, especially if you want to mount it on an AR. You will quickly get a sight picture of your target. This lightweight hunting rifle scope is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum and from one solid block to ensure strength and stability, as well as durability from use.
For the price, this scope is well built. This is waterproof, fog-proof, as well as shock-proof, making it a great buy for its price.
Related Review: Top Scope for 600-800 Yards
#5 Vortex Optics Crossfire II – 1-inch Tube Riflescopes
Due to its slim design and parallax adjustment on its objective bell, this is good for small caliber rifles. The housing design is decent and slim. More so, the lenses are multi-coated, which protects them from stains and scratches. The eyepiece has a fast-focus feature that allows proper and fast adjustment on the fly.
Manufactured from one-piece of aircraft-grade aluminum, you can expect durability and strength from this scope, making it last a long time even with regular use. This lightweight hunting rifle scope is meant to be waterproof, fog-proof, and even shock-proof.
It has a bright and clear image in almost any condition. AO, which stands for adjustable optical, enables for adjustment on the scopes for more precise focusing.
This comes with a 4-12×40 configuration, which means it has a basic magnification power from 4 and can go up to 12. Ideally, it can have a clear look at targets from a relatively far distance.
Windage and elevation can be easily adjusted using the turrets and can be reset to zero after sighting in making your adjustment simple and easy afterward. Its reticles are clear for easy targeting. However, they are not illuminated.
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#6 Nikon Buckmasters 3-9×40 BDC
Nikon is well known for its cameras, and it is no surprise that they also went to manufacturing scopes for rifles. Here’s one that will prove to be a great addition to any arsenal if you need one and don’t want to spend a lot.
This scope has multi-coated and O-ring protected lenses that will keep water and fog from penetrating the scope itself. In addition, it is also nitrogen-purged, which will help keep the lens from any thermal shock.
Constructed with aircraft-grade aluminum and a type-III anodized finish that makes this as rugged as it can be. It will last you a long time. Adjusting the elevation and windage is no problem because of the tactile feedback.
You can increase your accuracy by using the bullet drop guide in the reticle. The images you will see are clear.
One thing that is interesting about this is the SpotOn app that comes along with this.
It is a feature that helps you be more accurate and can aid up to 600 yards, which is plenty helpful for anyone shooting long range. It does this through information and databases on its website.
All in all, this lightweight hunting rifle scope is a good value for its price and will help any novice and even a professional put a scope on their spare or even main rifle.
Suggested Topic: Vortex Diamondback vs. ViperScopes
#7 Athlon Optics Argos BTR
Athlon is well known for manufacturing outdoor equipment that deals with magnification. These include binoculars, spotting scopes, and rifle scopes. That means that this scope is one that will provide the consistent quality they provide for their range of products.
This has a 6-24×50 lens configuration, which will make this scope ideal for anyone looking for a long-range scope. It also has an illuminated reticle that will work well in low-light conditions making this ideal for hunting outdoors in any condition.
The body of the scope is made from aircraft-grade aluminum. This secures the components of the scope and makes this a rugged accessory that fits most rifle bodies.
It boasts of fog-proof, waterproof, and shock-proof design. The lenses are multi-coated, and it is O-ring protected to prevent moisture from building up inside it.
Elevation and windage adjustment turrets are precise and have tactile sensation making them feel good in the hand. These can easily be operated to get the most out of each aim.
Since it is designed for tactical shooting, the illuminated reticle has plenty of drop marks for both vertical and horizontal directions that can guide the shooter to aim and hit the target with high accuracy.
To further help with getting the right accuracy, the reticle is located in the first focal plane. This allows the reticle to shrink or grow depending on the magnification of the scope. As a well-thought scope from a reputable company, this is a great lightweight hunting rifle scope for anyone looking for a budget-friendly scope.
#8 Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9×40
Aiming is crucial in any shooting situation, which is why this scope is loaded with features that allow you to get the right sight for the accurate shot.
This is housed in a multi-coated rugged exterior that will withstand shocks. More so, it is made from aircraft-grade aluminum for extra durability. It also has O-rings that keep it watertight. And to keep fog at bay, it is nitrogen purged.
On the low end of the magnification, it will provide the shooter with a 3x power, and the high end gets the user up to 9x power. The reticles are bright and clear for easier sighting.
Nikon’s SpotOn technology helps make every shot count. Using the app helps you determine everything you need to consider before shooting the target. These include the type of rifle you’re using and the bullet it is loaded with.
The bullet drop guide may seem asymmetrical at first, but you will come to understand it once you’ve used it. The company states that the design helps to add holdover and can be used for a better estimation of a shot.
It has an extra-quick focus eyepiece, spring-loaded instant zero turrets for accurate reticle focusing, and a generous 3.5-inch eye relief that’s as good as it gets.
#9 Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II
If you’re looking for a versatile scope, then look no further. This one has the ability to provide you with the right magnification from close to long-distance shooting situations. This elite and top tier scope is designed for the dedicated guy who wants to elevate his game.
The features of this scope are enough to make anyone drool. It has an extra-low dispersion (XD) glass that increases resolution and color fidelity. This results in crisp, high definition and sharp images.
It also has the XR™ Fully Multi-Coated feature. These are designed to increase light transmission. It also has multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces for a better view of the target.
Reticles are glass-etched, so you don’t need to worry about losing them if the battery on the illumination runs out. What’s better is that it is located on the first focal plane, so it remains in proportion to the target no matter what magnification power you are using.
And the tube itself is made from high-quality aircraft-grade aluminum, which is coated in scratch-resistant paint. This also resists oil and dirt.
Exposed elevation and windage help in fast, accurate, and easy adjustment on the fly. They have the return-to-zero feature that stops them from moving when you are resetting them using the steel components. It has a fast-focus eyepiece for more accurate focusing.
#10 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44 AO
This scope is among the most sought after products in the Crossfire line simply because it has the ideal zoom capability that long-range shooting enthusiasts enjoy.
It owes that to the 6-18×44 adjustable objective that helps the shooter focus on subjects that are at a considerably far distance. That also helps reduce parallax and increases the focus on the subject, making this ideal for hunting and shooting in the range.
You can easily get a sight picture thanks to the ultra-comfortable eye relief. The eyepiece also allows easy and quick reticle focusing. And the elevation and windage turrets can be easily adjusted using your hand and can be reset to zero anytime you have sighted in.
Construction of the tube is made from strong aluminum materials that ensure that it will not easily break and can withstand the shock of gun recoil. Aside from the great build quality, it also resists water and keeps fog buildup.
Multi-coated optics provide crisp and clear sight and visual. They also reduce glare so that you don’t need to strain your eye when using this scope out in the field on a sunny day. Equipped with the dead-hold BDC, which is a customized hashmark on the reticle, this eliminates guesswork when adjusting the elevation and windage.
Features to Look for before Buying The Best Lightweight Rifle scope
While it may be debatable if there is such a thing as the best riflescope, there are things you can consider so that you can find the perfect scope for your rifle.
Scopes make hunting, competition, target, and long-range shooting a great experience – not to mention more accurate. To choose the right one, here are the best things for you to consider.
This has got to be the most important aspect of any scope. Magnification is the amount of range it can multiply your eye’s vision.
When choosing a magnification, pick the one that appeals best to you, and how you will use the rifle you will mount it on. If you’re shooting at a moderate distance, something with a 5-30x power may not suit you as those are designed for really long distances.
Size of the Objective Lens
The objective lens is the one that’s closest to the barrel of the rifle and at the opposite end of it. And the size of it affects the amount of light that enters it.
Generally, the larger the size of the objective lens, the brighter the image you will see. Only, you will compensate for the weight of the scope with a larger lens.
Overall Weight of the Scope
You will need to consider this if you plan on stalking the game and doing a lot of hiking. Constantly raising your rifle and putting it down may take a toll on you over time if you have a weighty scope.
On the other hand, if you are shooting long distances at the range where you have a bipod or sandbags, this shouldn’t bother you as much.
Elevation and Windage Adjustment
These are critical components in the scope and is worth it to look over and over when picking out a scope.
Elevation and windage are mostly used to adjust the position of the bullet’s impact.
And elevation moves it vertically, while windage moves it horizontally. The movement is done through either minute of angle units or milliradians. Take good note of these if you are more of a tactical and long-range shooter.
Light transmission also depends on the lens coating. You always want to see the clearest possible image when you look through the scope. As mentioned before, this is affected by the amount of light that enters it.
The coating helps reduce the glare caused by reflection. As a rule of thumb, more coating means better light transmission. Also worth considering is that the more coatings there are, the higher the price of the scope. There are four main coatings: coated, fully coated, multi-coated, and fully multi-coated.
The reticle was used to be known as crosshairs. And the main reason for that was when scopes were first invented, they used two strands of wires as thin as a hair as guide points. This is the part that helps guide the shooter where the bullet will go. It is similar to when you’re lining the target with the iron sights.
There are a wide variety of reticles available, and it’s up to the buyer to decide which one is comfortable for them. But remember that larger reticles tend to be clearer in low light settings. But they may cover up the target, especially if it’s small. Some reticles have bullet drop compensation for guiding the shooter.
This does not get talked about as it should, but it should be something that any buyer should consider. And this is basically where the reticle is etched. The focal plane can be found in two forms. They can be in the first or second. The way it is affected is thus:
First Focal Plane: The reticle is located in front of the erector tube. When you zoom the scope, it also zooms in on the reticle. This creates a proportionate changing size between your target and reticle.
Second Focal Plane: This, on the other hand, has the reticle on the lens near the stock of the rifle. It retains the size of the reticle even when the zoom is at max. It gives it the illusion that it is growing in size, but in reality, it just stayed the same.
This consideration is more about how you can mount it on your rifle. If you don’t plan on buying mounting rings for the scope you’re buying, you should choose one that has the same size as the mount you currently have.
Most scopes have either 1-inch or 30-mm tube size. So, the size depends on your taste and preference.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Usually, you should have mounting rings, a cover flip cap, and a bubble level.
Scopes come in a variety of options when it comes to magnification. The best way to determine which is the best one is to find what suits your needs best.
MOA stands for Minute of Angle. It is a term used to explain variances or differences on a target at 100 yards. To give an example: If your scope’s adjustment is 1/4 MOA, then for every click of the adjustment knob, the bullet’s point of impact will move 1/4″ at 100 yards.
Most of the time, riflescopes do not need much maintenance. Just the proper care and mounting will suffice. Most of the time, these accessories do not require any solvent for cleaning them or any lubricant for the mechanical parts.
While some lenses have anti-scratch properties, it is generally advised to use the cleaning cloth that came with the box to clean it. Do not use any oil to clean it as it will smear and reduce the visibility of the lens.
Using a scope on your rifle will not just help you become more accurate with your shooting but will also improve your skill and elevate it to the next level.
If you want to get the best lightweight Rifle scope for you, then consider all the crucial factors and go for the one that suits you best.