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The idea behind a scout rifle is that you should be able to keep both eyes open when you are engaging the target. It should be light, portable, and hard-hitting caliber.
As long as you get the best scout scope, your dominant eye is going to line up with that scope, and you will get a nice, slightly magnified view of what you are looking at with fine crosshairs.
What this means is that a scout scope is fairly quick at acquiring targets. It’s not lightning-fast, but it’s faster than a dedicated one-eyed scope.
You can retain your peripheral vision so that you can see what’s going on around you while getting a clearer picture of what you are targeting.
Let’s say there is a deer that is at 100 yards away and he is in and out of the brush and walking slowly. You can either shoot through the bush or wait for the perfect opportunity.
Having a proper scout scope will really help you pick that deer out, make your shot and also make sure your shot is accurate.
A scope made for scout rifles is a more precise system. It will give you a better sight picture, finer crosshair to put on your target and it’s going to allow you to pick your shot better.
Top 7 Best Scout Scopes
Here are 7 of the best scopes for scout rifles.
The Ballistic Plex Scope from Burris is considered as the best variable-power scout scope for an M1A scout. This is a 2-7x magnification power optics with 32mm objective lens diameter. The lenses are crisp and bright, and it has sharp and thin reticles for precise aiming. Awesome clarity combined with great quality.
For shooting at varying and extended distances, it has the Ballistic drop marks. This feature allows you to shoot without having to adjust the elevation and windage knobs. This scope won’t shift its adjustments under recoil. The magnification adjustment knob is stiff and low-profile.
Also, it’s rigid enough to keep its adjustments and stays on whatever setting you put it. Whether it’s jostles or minor bumps, this scope won’t lose its zero. Being a scout scope, it has decently generous eye box which is easy to align, easy to find snapshots, and get a crisp picture and different magnification power. The eye relief is also perfect.
Burris is a company that is known for its excellent service. With this scope, you will get an unbeatable combination of clarity and durability with a reasonable price tag. It’s not cheap, but it’s not too expensive, either. If you want to improve something of this scope, it would be the lowest magnification power. I wish it could go down to 1X or 1.5X. But overall, you will be quite satisfied with this product.
The UTG 2-7X44 is the most versatile scout scope in this list. This optic performs really well, and the viewing end is also very large. In addition to that, this one features Mil-dot illuminated reticle. This patented reticle features dual-color mode as well as additional 36 color options to accommodate all light/weather conditions.
Without the illumination, it’s a black reticle that is just like other scout scope reticles. It comes with its own mount, and since it has a long eye relief, you won’t need a riser on the stock if you are mounting this on an M1A scout rifle. It has excellent optics, well-made or should I say built like a tank.
This one won’t easily lose its adjustments. The turrets are finger adjustable with positive clicks, and also lockable. You can easily set them to your zero distance. If you need to do it at a different distance, you can re-adjust it via the ballistic software. And you can also return your original zero quickly.
The illuminated reticle is a nice feature, especially in a low-light hunting situation where the black crosshairs disappear on a dark target. You can set your desired brightness and color settings via the EZ-Tap housing buttons. There are five brightness settings for both the red and green color.
If you are looking for a great quality scope with a long eye relief at a reasonable price, the Leupold FX-II scout is the one. It’s the ideal scope to hunt with because of its compact and durable design. This one is rugged and lightweight and is a perfect match for a Ruger scout rifle. If you prefer to shoot at or under 100 yards, this is a great choice.
This optic is bright and clear and can easily hold up to high recoil of a large caliber rifle. Because it’s a scout scope, it has the long eye relief which is a must for a scout rifle. This high-quality scope is perfect for the bolt action scout. However, you won’t find any adjustable diopter correction.
Which means, if you don’t have a perfect 6/6 vision, you’d better wear your glasses. Apart from that, it has everything else you would want is scout rifle mounting scope. Being a Leupold product, this one is well built as expected. It’s relatively compact and lightweight.
If you properly mount it on a rail, the crosshair will provide easy acquisition. You can also mount it on your big bore rifle. Hunters can get the most out of this scope because it’s clear, weatherproof, and tough. You also don’t need to worry about zoom, accuracy, and bullet drop ballistics.
The Crossfire 2 scout scope from Vortex features a V-Plex MOA reticle which is an all-purpose hunting reticle that can be used on a wide variety of hunting applications. The CF-31002 model is a scope that’s made specifically for scout rifles because only this model has a 9.45-inch eye relief.
Specifically designed for hunters, this scope is made using aircraft-grade single-piece aluminum tube. The tube has a hard-anodized finish, and the inside of this tube is nitrogen purged. The top is O-ring sealed, which make this scope waterproof, shockproof, and also fog-proof.
All of these features ensure that you get the reliability and the highest levels of performance. As I’ve said before, this scope is perfect for a scout rifle. It has an ultra-forgiving eye box to acquire your target and get a sight picture quickly. This one also has a fast-focused eyepiece which comes in handy for people that wear glasses.
Vortex used premium quality fully multi-coated lenses on the Crossfire 2. These optics are anti-reflective and provide clear and bright views for the user. The turrets are capped, finger adjustable with MOA clicks. You can reset them to zero after sighting in. Last but not least, the pricing on this one is very competitive.
The Burris 200269 is a heavy plex reticle scope with a fixed 2.75x magnification. It has a 1-inch tube diameter and 20mm lens diameter. This USA made scout scope might look simple at first, but it has more to offer than what meets the eye. It has a rugged construction, and matte black finish looks sleek on any rifle.
All the lenses are fully multi-coated to provide a bright and clear image. If you want to make a scout rifle and want a scope that can handle the powerful recoil this is the one. You can use this with a lever rail system XS sight with ghost rings. Because of its low mounting capabilities, you can have this mounted all the way forward.
This scope can also hold zero under heavy fire. You can shoot rounds after rounds without adjusting the settings. Don’t worry about its fixed magnification power. The 2.7x is enough for everything your scout rifle is capable of. The ability to hold zero of this scope is really impressive. Even if you routinely subject this scope under heavy recoil, this scope won’t lose its zero.
Finally, all I can say is that this scout scope will be a great value for your money. If you want an extended eye relief, look no further. The optics let in a decent amount of light to provide a clear and bright image through the scope. And the reticle is perfect for short to mid-range shooting applications.
This scout scope from AIM SPORTS has been a massive hit amongst scout rifle owners. It has a long eye relief which you are used to seeing by now, 2 to 7x magnification power with 30mm tube diameter. It comes with ring mounts. However, they are not that solid but works well.
Since it is a second focal plane scope, the accuracy of the bullet drop compensator will accurate on the maximum magnification. That’s how this scope was designed. If you mount this one properly, you won’t have any issue regarding not holding zero. This one can handle heavy recoil if you use the UTG mount and use Loctite.
It has bright and clear glass, and the clarity is on par with more high-end riflescopes. This is an awesome product for the price because of its amazing optical clarity. The range finding reticle is good, and it won’t interfere with normal shooting. And being a scout scope, it has great eye relief.
For the price, you can’t really beat this product. Plus, thanks to its sturdy aluminum body, you will get a lot of service life out of this one. And it’s also relatively lightweight. The turrets have 1/4 MOA adjustments on the knob, which is very precise.
The Bushnell Trophy is a scope that is designed to fit every hunting application. It has amazing light transmission, great clarity, and very affordable. Compare that with its huge relief, and you will get yourself one beast of a scout scope. Thanks to their unique light transmission technology, this scope can provide a bright and clear image.
All the optics are fully multi-coated, and Bushnell claims that this optic is able to transmit 91% light. I don’t know how accurate this is, but the lens quality is on par with high-end Bushnell scopes. Plus, it can be used in any weather. It has a built-in rain guard, and the scope is fully waterproof.
Not only that, but it is also shockproof and fog proof thanks to the nitrogen purged tube. It also comes with a fast-focus eyepiece, which is crucial if you don’t have a perfect vision. The windage and elevation adjustments can be made using the adjustable finger turrets with 1/4 MOA. The 7.9-inch eye relief should give plenty of forward-mounting options.
Zeroing this scope in is also easy. It can take heavy recoil, and once you sight this in, it will be accurate for rounds after rounds. You can shoot over 300 rounds, and this scope will still hold its zero. Combining all the features, this is an amazing scope for the price.
Buying A Scout Scope | Things You Should Know About
Scout rifle concept was originally popularized by Jeff Cooper. His concept was a versatile rifle in a military caliber that would be around 6 pounds, and it will allow you to be able to use it for hunting and also for personal defense.
I was a widely accepted concept and quickly became very popular. So are scopes that you need to mount on these rifles. One of the unique things about the scout rifle concept is a forward-mounted scope of very low magnification.
The idea of the forward mounting of the scope and the low magnification is that it will give you the opportunity to be very precise in a hunting situation or distance shooting.
It will also allow you to very quickly get the scope up in front of you and knowing where those crosshairs are in the case of a close-range hunting situation. Not only can you see those crosshairs easily, but you can also keep both eyes open.
So, you are not really losing any normal and natural two-eyes open focus on the target. Now, if you want to close an eye and really bear down on the crosshairs, you can do so.
Since most of the scout rifles have duplex reticles, if you want to look a lot tighter at those to really get narrow on your target, you can easily do so. You can go ahead and take that more precise shot with a scout scope.
Why Do You Need a Scout Optic?
The forward mounting concept of a scout rifle requires specifically designed scout optics with longer eye box, generous eye relief, and fine crosshairs. Without this, making a quick shot will be nearly impossible.
Because of the caliber, the scope needs to be durable and shockproof so that it won’t lose its zero. If you want to mount a scout scope on a scout rifle, make sure the optics you are buying have a durable construction.
The ability to hold zero for rounds after rounds are what makes a scout scope so popular. Combine this fact with their rugged construction, and you will see why these scopes are so popular.
Popular brands like Vortex, Burris, Leupold, Nikon, and Bushnell do a job of manufacturing scope that meet all the standard features.
Since scout rifles are used a lot, the scopes should be able to cope up with the regular abuse. And thus, they need to be made durable and tougher than regular riflescopes.
As long as you stick with the name brands, you won’t have to worry about the quality of the scopes. But if you decide to buy one on your own, let this buyer’s guide make your purchasing decision much easier.
A scout rifle is capable of shooting a man-sized target from about 450 yards away. Without a scope, a .308 chambered rifle or something similar can shoot up to 200 yards. And in less than 1 MOA, which is pretty impressive.
After adding a proper scope, you can shoot even further. You can triple that distance just by adding a scout scope. It will help you maximize your shooting range with a little bit of practice; you can shoot even further.
If you are a close-range shooter, the distance will be under 150 yards. For medium range, it will 150 to 350 yards, and for long-range, it will be 350 yards and up.
Depending on your shooting style, you should choose the right magnification power. Otherwise, you will probably waste money by not getting enough or getting one that won’t go the distance.
Now that I have covered the shooting range, it’s time to look at the magnification aspect of a scope. Mounting the best scout scope with proper magnification can turn a basic scout rifle into something spectacular.
However, even these scopes have different models, and you need to know which one will work for you. Having the right magnification is important, and that’s why here is a shortlist that will help you buy the right power scope from the start.
1. Close Range
This is the shortest range you would typically use your scout rifle for. Below 150 yards is where most hunters shoot, and for that, a 1-3x magnification scope will be more than enough. Unless you plan on shooting a longer distance, go with this magnification power.
2. Medium Range
For target shooters, 150 to 350 yards is a comfortable range. And, for this range, a scout rifle is the ideal weapon. If you want perfect accuracy at this range, go for a scope that has a 3-7x magnification.
3. Long Range
If you want to go beyond 350 yards which I highly doubt anyone will go, you need a scope that has more than 7x magnification. And they are also very expensive because of the high magnification power.
Plus, a scout rifle doesn’t have the power to take down large targets at a long distance. This is due to the lack of penetrating power of the rifle. However, you can plink steel plates with easy with a scout rifle.
All you need to do is get a powerful scout scope with high magnification that has the reticle to compensate for bullet drop. With a little bit of practice, you can easily hit targets from far away.
Balancing the Weight
You need to check the weight of the scope you are buying. You don’t want to mount a heavy scope on your rifle because scout rifles are used for longer than most firearms. Adding too much weight will tire you out quickly.
You should also pay close attention to the balance and fit of the mount you use. I prefer to use a quick detach mount because of their low-profile mounting position.
Since these rifles are generally carried in a sling, you want to keep the scope mounted as low as possible. You don’t want a top-heavy rifle and mounting a lightweight, yet durable scope will make sure the balance is checked.
Since most of the time you will be on foot, carrying the rifle in a sling, you don’t want it digging into your side. Try to mount it as close to the bore as possible. It will protect your scope and help with the balance.
A scope with a small objective lens, aluminum tube construction, quick detach mounts with 1-3x magnification will be ideal for most scout rifle owners.
Objective Lens Size
For scout scopes, magnification power will be small because hardly anyone will use these rifles for long-distance shooting. For that reason, the lens diameter can also be small, but you won’t have any problem because all the scout scopes will have a decent exit pupil.
You will get good light transmission and good image size through the scope. However, there are some cheap scope manufacturers that use a large objective lens to mask their poor-quality lenses.In a low magnification scope, having a large 42mm diameter objective lens might increase the image quality a bit, but it will make the scopes heavy and clunky, which isn’t ideal for a scout scope. The maximum threshold is under 32mm.
The distance between the ocular lens and your pupil is referred to as eye relief. The distance should be enough so that you can see the full image and for most scope, it is between 3 to 4-inch.
Since scout scopes have a forward mount position, they will need longer eye relief. This long-distance will provide you with a full field of view while maintaining a comfortable shooting position.
You can also retain your peripheral vision by keeping both eyes open. Most scout scopes will have up to 9 to 12-inch eye relief.
Field of View
The FOV of a scope means how wide you can see through the optic. Normally, the field of view is measured at X feet at 100 yards. FOV depends on the construction of the scope as well as the magnification power.
It’s hard to tell the field of view of scope just by looking at the spec sheet. Only in a scout scope can you get unlimited view by keeping both eyes open at the same time while acquiring a target. Also, this is only possible at lower magnification.
Every scope needs good quality glass and lenses. And the lenses should have multiple layers of coating if you want to get the best performance out of your scope.
It is because glasses and lens coatings are the main contributors to image quality. These coatings also enhance the durability of the optics by making them scratch resistant and waterproofing the glasses and internals.
If you have the budget, always go for fully multi-coated lenses. That being said, there are different categories of coatings.
- If the spec says only coated, it means that only one lens surface has a single layer of coating.
- If it says fully coated, it means all of the lenses will have a single layer of coating.
- Multi-coated means one of the lenses will have multiple layers of coating.
- Only the best scout scopes will have fully multi-coated lenses. It means that there are multiple layers of coating on all the lenses.
Which reticle you will want will depend on your preference. You will usually find three reticle patterns, and the rest are based on those groups.
The first group of reticle pattern consists of Duplex, V-Plex, NikoPlex, Dot, etc. The second group is mainly different types of crosshairs, and the third group of reticle pattern is known as Bullet Drop Compensation reticles.These are pre-calibrated to particular rounds and are famous for making accurate shots at long distance.
In terms of tube size, 1-inch diameter tube is desirable. Also, the scope should be as light as possible because you will be carrying the scout rifle with only one hand. A compact scope that has a 30mm tube is desirable but don’t exceed that.
Turrets are used to adjust the windage and elevation to make precise shots. The most important things for turrets are repeatability and precision. The clicks should be crisp, audible, and tactile.
Some turrets have caps on them to prevent accidental adjustments and having a low-profile turret will keep the scope size compact and easy to use. Look for features like finger adjustability, zero stops, and zero resets.
When you are mounting a scope, make sure it comes with all the necessary mounting accessories. While some manufacturers provide them, some don’t. And to mount that optic properly, you need third party accessories.
Also, it is advisable that you properly mount your optics if your scope to function properly. And the first thing you should get is the mount. This is what attaches your scope with the base of the rifle.
And it’s very important that you go with a high-end mount if you want your scope to hold zero. This also helps withstand recoil shock. Along with mount, you would want to consider a proper rail.
Scout rifles are kind of lightweight but powerful enough to use on hunting grounds. The most common load is .308, which is strong enough to pack a wallop, the scope should also be strong to handle that recoil, hold its zero and not add too much weight on the gun.
Because of the versatile nature of a scout rifle, the optics you mount on them should be able to handle all the stress of daily usage. None but best scout scopes are able to withstand all of these.
With a long eye relief, clear visuals, and the robust build of a scope, you can turn a scout rifle into a multi-purpose hunting/home-defense firearm.
Larry is a professional Shooter and his hobby is shooting and Hunting! He has been shooting for the last 6 years and he loves using many types of guns while outing as well. Based experiences with a different type of Guns and Hunting related products. He is sharing his opinion about various Guns so that a beginner can get started right way. Find him on Twitter.