Do you really need a scope for your air rifle? Sure pellet guns are not as powerful as their bullet spitting counterparts, but modern ones do pack quite a punch. And the addition of a scope will greatly improve the accuracy of your air rifle. But is there such a thing as the best air rifle scope?
Well, the truth is different air rifle scopes have their strengths and weaknesses. In this article, I will be looking at what makes up a good air rifle scope. Also, I have selected six scopes that I believe deserve the title of the best air gun scope. But first below is a comparison chart showing how different scopes compare.
What To Look For Getting A Best Air Rifle Scope
Having used both air rifles and traditional rifles I can tell you that they do not use the same scopes. The last thing you want to do is attach your rifle scope to your air gun. Reason being that attaching a rifle scope to an air gun might result in the scope breaking. And since I do not want you breaking your precious rifle scope, here is what to look for in an air rifle scope.
Air rifles do not have the kind of range of a Winchester hunting rifle or even an AR-15. The max range of most airguns is around 100 yards. Meaning the best scope for air rifle shooting is one with moderate magnification. A magnification of between 3X and 9X is enough for an air gun. Anything beyond this and you will struggle to keep the crosshairs steady.
How big the objective lens is, determines how bright a scope is. However, a big objective lens does not always translate to a good scope. For an air rifle, a moderately sized lens is recommended.
In fact, the average air rifle scope objective lens ranges between 30 and 40 mm. Anything bigger than this will increase the weight of your gun. An adjustable objective lens is a big plus. With an adjustable objective lens, you can keep the crosshairs centered on your target.
There are many different types of scope reticles to choose from and more often than not it boils down to preferences. Nevertheless, if you like shooting at stationary targets with high contrast, a reticle with fine lines will do fine. On the other hand, for outdoor shooting go for a duplex reticle. The latter reticle has thicker lines that ensure the crosshairs remain visible.
As I have already stated you can break your rifle scope by attaching it to an air rifle.
So why is this?
You see, unlike normal rifles, air rifles have double recoil. On a normal rifle, recoil is caused by the expansion of gases and the bullet exiting the barrel. On an air rifle recoil is caused by the force of the spring compression being released. Meaning two recoils are generated, the first recoil is generated when the spring is released. The second recoil is generated when the spring hits the chamber wall and stops. Due to this double recoil air rifle scopes need to be extra durable.
6 Best Air Rifle Scope Reviews
The market is flooded with all kinds of air rifle scopes. With this in mind let us look at the best air rifle scope reviews. I have selected the scopes on this list based on their performance and user feedback.
Cabela's Air Rifle Scope
A relatively unknown rifle scope, the Cabela’s air rifle scope is one of the best air rifle scopes under 100. I recently bought this scope for my Gamo Varmint air rifle, and so far I cannot say I am disappointed. Because despite its price it is quite rugged and comes with an adjustable objective lens.
Adjustable objective lens
Speaking of adjustable objective lenses, the lens on this Cabela scope can focus down up to 15 yards. This 32 mm objective lens is surprisingly bright, thanks to it being multicoated.
This scope comes in two variations, a 4x fixed magnification, and a 2-7x variable magnification. I settled on the 2-7X variable magnification. Combined with the 32 mm objective lens you get a decent field of view.
The duplex reticle is an excellent fit for this scope. The thicker outer lines are always visible, which is something I love about duplex reticles.
The inside of the tube is filled with nitrogen. As such, the scope is fog proof and waterproof, which is awesome. In addition, it is also shockproof and seemed to handle the double recoil really well.
- It has an affordable price tag attached to it
- Comes with multicoated lens for improved light transmission
- Comes with a one year warranty
- It is shockproof, waterproof and fog proof
- Comes with lens caps and a lens cloth
- Does not come with mounting rings
To be honest I was a little hesitant about buying this scope given there is very little information about it online. However, given its price point, I saw it as a low-risk venture. So far so good. The scope is well built and handles recoil well. It is for this reason I consider it the best air rifle scope under 100.
UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope
The compact BugBuster scope from Leapers UTG is one of the most common scopes among air rifle users. I picked up for testing and to find out why air rifle shooters love it so much. At first glance, it looks really well built. Also, the quick detach rings that accompany it was a huge plus for me.
The magnification on this compact scope ranges from 3x to 9x. At between 3x and 7x the optic looks crystal clear. However, at 8x and 9x I did notice some blurring. Nonetheless, the blurring was not enough to distort the target.
Multi-coated lenses help improve the light transmission of the scope. On top of this, the multi-coating leaves a unique emerald sheen on the glass. I found the greenish sheen to be another big plus as it helps to relax the eyes.
The ability to reset back to 'zero’ is not something I was expecting from a budget scope. Thus, I was surprised that the BugBuster has this feature. Also, the fingertip adjustable turrets are a great addition. Rotating and moving the turrets was easy.
Adjustable objective lens
Something else I loved about this scope was the adjustable objective lens. The lens can focus down to 3 yards, which is pretty impressive.
- Comes with zero reset and lockable turrets
- Is offered at a really good price point
- Comes with mounting rings included
- Comes with a reticle illumination
- It is a compact scope
- Made from aluminum for improved durability
- Has a limited eye relief probably due to its compactness
- The battery door tended to get unscrewed whenever I turned the reticle control knob
Its compact design makes it a suitable option for beginners. Nevertheless, given that it is one of the best budget air rifles it is not restricted to beginners. It can be a good option for target practice, especially for holdovers.
CVLIFE Tactical 3-9x40
It is very easy to mistake the CVLIFE tactical 3-9X40 scope for a traditional rifle scope. However, do not let its good looks and long tube fool you. This is a scope designed for an air rifle and performs just as it is designed to.
CVLIFE uses aircraft grade aluminum in the construction of this scope. Meaning, you get a scope that does not only look great but is also durable. Additionally, thanks to its aluminum housing it can be used on different air rifle models. It can be used on Crossman springer rifles as well as airsoft rifles.
As with the other scopes on this list, this one sports a variable magnification of 3-9X. With this magnification, you get a clear picture of your target even from long distance. The zooming knob is easy to turn.
Fully multicoated lenses
One of the surprising things about this scope is that it has fully multi-coated lenses. This is not something you find in most similarly priced scopes. The layers of coating add to the scopes impressive light transmission.
Speaking of light transmission, the 40 mm objective lens on this scope does a good job of transmitting light. And when combined with the variable magnification, you get a decent field of view.
Fogproof and shockproof
To top everything all off, this tactical air rifle scope is fog proof and shockproof. It, therefore, can handle the double recoil of most spring powered rifles.
- Comes with a free rail mount included
- Can be used on a wide variety of rifles
- Has a stylish look and is lightweight
- It is offered at an affordable price point
- Is shockproof, waterproof and fog proof
- Can be difficult to reset to zero
his air rifle scope has very few cons to write about, which is a sign of its excellence. Due to its versatility, it is the best pellet gun scope. However, versatility is not its only selling point. This CVLIFE offering has a lot to offer airgun enthusiasts and shooters.
Hammers 3-9x32AO Air Rifle Scope
Not many scopes are designed to handle the double recoil of most air rifles. And one of the few is the Hammers 3-9x32 AO air rifle scope. Given the excellence that hammers airgun scopes are known for, this hammers scope is one of the best scopes for air rifle. It is recoil resistant, which makes it perfectly suited for air rifles.
Unlike the other scopes reviewed above, this one sports a mil-dot reticle. Now, this is not a bad thing as the mil-dot reticle has some useful benefits. For starters, you get a clear unobstructed field of view. Also, the mil-dot reticle allows for long distance targeting.
One of the scope’s bestselling features is its recoil resistant. This makes it particularly ideal for magnum air rifles. The latter type of air rifles are known for their ferocious recoil. Thus, the fact that this scope is suited for them indicates how well it is built.
Finger tight adjustment turrets
The turrets on the scope are easy to adjust. Zooming in from 3x to 9x is a breeze using the knobs located on either side of the scope. This scope can focus on targets as close as 7.5 yards, which is pretty impressive.
To make it the optimal outdoors accessory it is shockproof, fog proof and waterproof. Thus, whether you are target shooting or doing pest control, this scope can handle it.
- It is made from high-quality materials
- It is resistant to recoil
- Thanks to its fully coated optics it offers a bright field of view
- It is easy to zoom in and out
- Can be used in different lighting conditions
- Tends not to hold zero
- The mounting mechanism is not the best
Is the Hammers AO air rifle scope worth it? Definitely, it offers a lot especially to users of magnum air rifles. Additionally, the fact that it can be used in different light conditions makes it ideal for pest control. In a nutshell, it deserves to be on any list of the best air rifle scopes.
UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope
One of the most advanced offerings from UTG is the UTG 3-12x44 compact scope. It comes with innovative and useful features. In fact, it is one of the most advanced scopes I have used on my air rifle. So what exactly does it offer?
Illumination enhancing reticle
A key feature of the scope that I love, the illumination enhancing reticle is fantastic. It offers multi-color modes and personalized illumination. In total, there are 36 color spectrums. This makes it one of the best for low light hunting.
The optics on this scope are of superior quality. There is an emerald coating on the lenses which makes sighting easier. The coating reduces glare and eye fatigue.
Zero resetting and locking turrets
Making adjustments while out in the field is a breeze. A side wheel adjustment turrets give you an adjustable parallax of 10 yards to infinity. This is a useful feature for quick aiming and shooting.
- With its features, it has an affordable price tag
- The parallax adjustment is limitless for accuracy
- Comes with illumination for low light shooting
- It is a versatile scope that works in different situations
- It is very well built
- It is rather heavy
- Due to it being heavy you might need a big bag for carrying it
When thinking of the best airgun scope for the money, this UTG scope is the first that comes to mind. It is packed with a lot of useful features and is very well built. On top of that, it is compact and will not take up much space on your rifle.
SonickingTactical 3-9x40 AO Riflescope
Another stylish rifle scope designed for air rifles is the Sonocking Tactical scope. Described as a high precision scope, it comes complete with a parallax setting. And that is not all, this scope has plenty to offer.
Fully coated lenses
The lenses on this scope feature a special coating that reduces glare and improves light transmission. Furthermore, the coating of the exterior lenses are abrasion resistant, which adds to the scopes toughness.
40 mm objective lens
A 40 mm objective lens sucks in light to provide optimal brightness. But apart from gathering light, the lens is also adjustable. This allows for easy focusing on targets at different distances.
Nitrogen filled tube
To ensure it is suited for outdoor use, this scope is filled with nitrogen and O-ring sealed. These two features make it extremely durable and capable of being used in different conditions. The tube is also waterproof and shockproof
Mounting this scope on to 20 mm rails is easy. This is because it comes with two complimentary rings for installation purposes.
- It is a durable and tough piece of optical hardware
- Has no parallax issues
- Comes with a lens cover for protecting the lenses
- There is an Allen key included making mounting easy
- It is relatively longer than most air rifle scopes
- It is quite heavy
For a budget scope, it does not disappoint. Its great collection of features earn it a spot on my list. Thus, while it might be longer than most, it is a great optic for any air rifle. In conclusion, it is one of the best pellet rifle scope.
The best air rifle scope is the one that meets your specific needs. Therefore, there is no one rifle scope that fits and satisfies the needs of all. When shopping for the best airgun scope it is important to consider its use. The scope that will be ideal for casual target practice might not be ideal for pest control. With that being said it is my hope that the above air rifle scope reviews have been of great help to you.