3 gun shooting competitions are unpredictable; you never know what you will come up against, from paper targets, metal plates to clay pigeons. More importantly, the targets can be a few yards out or a few hundred yards away.
As such, you need to be prepared to shoot at different distances. To do that, you need a versatile scope. A scope with a variable magnification to make it easy to sight at various ranges. More importantly, it needs to be lightweight so that you don’t have to re-zero your gun.
These are all the qualities of the best 3 gun scope. We have compiled a list of the six best 3 gun rifle scope based on their magnification, construction, and reticle.
Our pick for the overall best 3 gun optic goes to the Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen. For its price, it is hard to beat, especially in regards to optical performance. It is followed in second by the Steiner 5201 P3TR P4Xi Riflescope.
The latter managed offered a better image quality than the others listed except for the Bushnell Tactical Elite SMRS. However, given the latter’s price tag, we felt the Steiner offered more value for money.
However, all the other scopes on our list are fantastic optics for any 3 gun competition.
Reviews Of Best 3 Gun Scope
Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II-E 1-6x24 Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
When it comes to versatility, it doesn’t get better than the Optics Razor HD Gen II-E rifle scope. Designed for short to medium range, it is perfect for 3-gun competitions. But what exactly is it about this scope that makes it our top choice for 3 gun shooting?
Well, for starters, the magnification. It has a magnification range of between 1 and 6x. This is sufficient for close-range targets as well as targets that are a bit further out. An illuminated center dot complements the magnification.
This center dot is bright enough to be visible in sunlight. To further enhance the optical performance of this scope, Vortex throws in an innovative objective lens.
According to the manufacturer, this scope ships with an index-matched Apochromatic objective lens. This might sound like fancy marketing terms by the scope maker, but they are not.
In our analysis of the scope, the targets appeared sharp and bright. The scope does a fantastic job of delivering a clear and bright image quality, which is what you want in a 3 gun optic.
- The scope is o-ring sealed to ensure no moisture enters the tube
- We found the large turrets on the scope to be easy and quick to adjust
- The 4-inch eye relief works well for short to medium target acquisitions
- The illuminated reticle dot greatly improves your ability to acquire targets quickly
- All controls on this scope are easy to access
- This model does not come with flip caps to protect the lenses
- The price of the scope is not for everyone.
Most people rate this as the most versatile scope on the market, and for good reasons. It comes packed with plenty of useful features for competitive shooters. More importantly, its magnification and reticle combo make it the best scope for 3 gun shooting.
Steiner 5201 P3TR P4Xi Riflescope
- Low profile windage and elevation turrets
- 1-4x magnification range
- 24mm objective lens
- Second focal plane
- 10.3 inch long
- Illuminated reticle
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Measuring 10.3 inches long and weighing 17.3 ounces, the Steiner 5201P3RT scope is yet another designed for 3 gun shooting. It is short and lightweight, meaning it does not take up too much space or weight.
But there are other reasons why we have chosen to include it on our list. The main one being the scope’s optical quality. The middle of the reticle features a red dot that has 11 light settings. Out of these 11 settings are two-night vision settings for low light use.
There is a switch on the scope that lets you adjust light intensity or turn it off. So how does its lens compare to other sopes? In our tests, the scope did pretty well and was on par with some pricier models, such as the Trijicon 1-4x scope.
The reticle is uncluttered and straightforward, which is what you want in a 3-gun scope. As for the magnification, it ranges from 1 to 4x. Making it ideally suited for short to medium-range target shooting.
- The lenses on this scope are extremely clear and bright
- It is possible to adjust the brightness of the reticle's red dot or turn it off
- The scope's reticle is simple and uncluttered
- The scope is waterproof and is also shockproof
- It is easy to mount onto different types of guns
- The windage and elevation knobs are not the best
- At 17 ounces it is a bit bulkier than other similar products
Our first thoughts of this scope were that it is an excellent option for 3-gun competitions. It is very well made and is not overly long. Also, its red dot illuminated reticle means it can be used in low visibility environments as well.
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II First Focal Plane Riflescopes
- 3.2-inch eye relief
- 32 mm objective lens
- 30mm aluminum tube
- 20 yards to infinity parallax settings
- 2-10x magnification level
The Vortex Viper PST gen II is yet another fantastic scope from Vortex Optics. As with the other vortex optics on the list, this one has excellent optical performance.
This scope doesn’t come cheap like the other scopes, and it has the features to match its price tag. It is equipped with low-dispersion fully-multi coated lenses. These produce excellent color fidelity and brightness thanks to improved light transmission.
What we particularly loved about this scope is its reticle. It is uncluttered and simple, however, it features hold points and ten intensity settings. This means you can acquire targets quickly and in different light conditions.
The elevation and windage turrets are easy to turn. The entire scope is waterproof as it is o-ring sealed to prevent water from entering the tube.
- All the lenses on this scope are fully-multicoated and deliver a sharp and bright image quality
- The reticle is simple and uncluttered and offers hold points
- This scope is O-ring sealed making it waterproof, and it is also fog proof
- The 2 to 10x magnification is ideal for most short to medium-range shooting
- The focus adjustment knob is easy to use
- Measuring 12.75 inches and weighing 26.3 inches it is quite bulky compared to other similar products
- The illuminated reticle underperforms in bright sunlight
As mentioned, this scope doesn't come cheap. However, it is worth every penny you spend on it. While it is a great 3-gun scope, it can also be used for other applications. It is one of the best 3 gun ar scope.
Bushnell Tactical Elite SMRS 1-8.5x 24mm Illuminated BTR-2 FFP Reticle Riflescope
- First focal plane reticle
- 1-8.5x magnification
- 24mm objective lens
- 34mm tube diameter
- 4-inch eye relief
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Bushnell is one of Vortex Optics’ main competitors, so it was only fair to compare how the company’s products compare to the competition. The scope we picked is the Bushnell Tactical Elite SMRS.
The first thing we noticed was the large adjustment knobs. While the scope’s tube measures 34 inches, the knobs were still quite large. And they are mostly to blame for the scope’s rather bulky 25.9-ounce weight.
While this might seem like a bad thing, we found the large knobs to be easy to grip. In terms of optical performance, this is one of the best. Whether the scope is in 1x or 8.5x magnification, you get a crisp and bright view of your target.
The high-quality glass is paired with an uncluttered reticle. And as with any other 1x scope, it is almost invisible at the lowest magnification level. However, it becomes visible when set the brightness setting to 11.
- The glass quality was the best among all the scopes we tested on this list
- It features a clutter-free reticle that makes target acquisition fast and easy
- The large adjustment knob gives good tactile feedback and making adjustment is easy
- The illumination setting allows you to set in the right illumination for your situation
- Priced at about $2000 this is one of the priciest scopes on the market
- At 1x magnification, the reticle is nearly impossible to see unless with illumination turned up
In terms of optical quality, not even the Vortex Razor HD can beat this unit. It offers a crisp and clear view of your target. Also, the reticle is uncluttered, and you get 11 brightness levels for low light and daylight. Were it not for its high price; it could top the list.
Weaver Tactical 1-5x24mm 800364 Illuminated Close-Intermediate Scope
- 4.25-inch eye relief
- Fully-multi coated lenses
- 30 mm tube diameter
- 14.46-ounce weight
- First focal plane reticle
When you want to engage close to intermediate targets at the range, we recommend the Weaver Tactical 8000364 scope. With its 1-5x magnification range, this suited more to close range engagements.
And like the Bushnell Elite SMRS it doesn’t come cheap. So is it worth the investment? To start with, it measures about 14 inches long. Thus it will not take up a lot of room on your rifle.
In regards to optics, this scope is true to its price tag. All the exterior glass surfaces have a hard coating to protect against scratches. Similarly, the lenses are fully-multicoated, which is what we would expect from a scope in this price tag.
It comes with reset-to-zero turrets that adjust smoothly. Unlike some of the other scopes on our list, this scope is on the first focal plane. As such, the reticle changes with rise in magnification, which helps with estimating range.
- The 1-5x magnification is ideally suited to close to intermediate range
- This scope is argon purged meaning it is waterproof
- The exterior glass surfaces are covered in a hard coating that protects against scratches and debris
- All the adjustment knobs are easy to turn and give a good tactile feedback
- All lenses are fully multicoated for crips and bright view
- It is a rather heavy scope
- Is quite costly compared to other scopes
Designed for close and intermediate ranges, this scope does what it is built to do very well. Also, the fact that it is illuminated is great. Overall it qualifies to be considered one of the best 3 gun rifle scopes.
Trijicon AccuPoint 1-6x24 Riflescope
- Multi-Coated lenses
- Battery-free illumination
- 1-6x magnification
- 24mm objective lens
- Second focal plane reticle
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Trijicon scopes are famous for their use in the armed forces. So you would expect some fantastic 3-gun scopes from the company. And that is what the Trijicon Accupoint riflescope is.
The lenses on this model are not fully multicoated but are instead multicoated. However, the scope delivers a surprisingly great optical clarity. The views are crisp and clear, even with the multicoated lenses.
One problem we always have with illuminated scopes is their dependence on batteries. Thankfully, this one does not require batteries. Trijicon takes advantage of fiber optic technology to deliver a decent illumination without the need for batteries.
It features a second focal plane reticle. While first focal plane reticles have their benefits, a second focal plane is beneficial as the reticle size remains the same whether the scope is set to 1x or 6x magnification.
- The lenses on this scope are of a superior quality
- It has a battery-free illumination meaning you can use the illumination at any time
- The entire scope tube is made from aircraft-grade aluminum which guarantees durability
- It has a second focal plane reticle which is suitable for precise aiming
- The 1/4 MOA per click offers excellent tactile feedback
- The optics are not fully multicoated
- The Mil-dot reticle is not the best
This is a true Trijicon product that lives up to the company's exemplary reputation. It has fantastic optical performance. Furthermore, it is an overall easy to use scope, with adjustment knobs that turn smoothly.
Things To Consider Before Buying Best Scope For 3 Gun
3-gun competitions are fast-paced and involve close to medium range target shooting. Furthermore, you have to use three different weapons in these competitions, hence the name. As such, not every scope out there will be suited for this kind of competition.
Question is, what kind of scope should you bring to a 3-gun competition? Here are the qualities to look out for when making your selection
The first thing that differentiates 3-gun scopes from your standard hunting scope is the magnification. Since this is a close-quarters competition, a low magnification is what you need.
A long magnification will be unnecessary. Ideally, go for a scope with less than 10x maximum magnification.
One crucial factor to consider when buying a scope is the reticle. For purposes of a 3-gun competition, an uncluttered reticle is better. Basically, a reticle that helps you acquire on target as fast as possible.
A reticle with multiple aiming points will come in handy in this kind of competition.
There is nothing worse than getting bruised by the recoil of your gun. And in the fast-paced world of 3 gun shooting, this is a possibility. As such, a scope with a longer eye relief is ideal. A 4-inch eye relief is a good bet.
First focal plane vs. second focal plane
The reticle of a first focal plane scope changes size as you zoom in or out. A second focal plane reticle’s size remains constant. So which one is best for a 3 gun optics?
Well, a first focal plane scope can slow your progress. So we advise getting a second focal plane scope for you 3 gun competitions.
Do you need an illuminated reticle? You may think you don’t since 3 gun competitions are usually held during the day. However, it may be difficult to see the reticle in 1x magnification.
Also, an illuminated red dot will help draw your eye to the center. This way, you are able to acquire your targets quicker. Therefore, an illuminated reticle will be of great help in 3 gun competitions.
Ease of use
Due to the fast-paced nature of 3-gun competitions, the best 3 gun ar scope has to be easy to use. In that, the turrets need to be easy to turn and have good tactile feedback. This way, you do not spend too much time trying to adjust your scope.
The one thing to always remember in 3-gun competitions is that speed matters. How fast you can switch from one weapon to another, counts. Of equal importance is how fast you are able to acquire targets from different distances.
The one tool that will help you do this is the best 3 gun optic—as such, having a quality scope will mean the difference between winning and losing in such a competition.
About The Author:
Lake Streeter, A Gun enthusiast, and loves to hunt in the middle of the wood. Always check the latest hunting gears out in the market and try to share his honest opinion with the audience in OUTDOOR EVER.