Whether you are a hunter, competition shooter, or just a prepper, you must have come across the term ‘scout scope’. Such scopes have their own use and place in the firearm community.
Every rifle must have a good scout scope. However, before you choose one, there are certain aspects that have to be considered. Here, we’ll talk about the use and importance of scout scopes, and the factors of a good one. We will also review some of the best scout scopes on the market to help you with your buying decision.
Best Scout Scopes Comparison Chart
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 V-Plex MOA
Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm Duplex
Best Leupold Scout Scope
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x24
Best Vortex Scout Scope
Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm
Best Burris Scout Scope
Nikon Force XR 2.5-8x28 EER
Best Nikon Scout Scope
What is Scout Scope and What is it Used For?
The term ‘scout scope’ was coined by Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper in the 1980s. A scout scope is a low-powered, rifle-mounted optic scope with long eye relief. So long that you don’t have to squeeze your eye into the optic to view the sight picture.
Scout scopes are designed to be mounted on scout rifles. These scopes let you shoot with both the eyes open since you have a longer eye relief that is somewhat similar to reflex sights. Scout rifles are exceptional general use rifles.
They can be used for hunting, shooting competitions, tactical uses, and much more. A scout scope keeps you more aware of your surroundings while you aim at a target. This feature is useful when you’re hunting in the woods and want to stay aware of any imminent threats nearby. The wide view of scout scopes improves your situational awareness.
Aspects to Consider When Buying a Scout Scope
Buying optics for your rifle requires attention and care, since the quality of the optic is directly related to your accuracy and shooting performance. Here are certain aspects to consider before you go shopping for a good scout scope:
Scout scopes are generally used for hunting and defense. Or in simpler terms, scouting. So these scopes are subject to a lot of rugged use. Consider choosing a durable scout scope which is resistant to fog and water and is also shockproof. Having a good, durable metal body also helps with this.
Since scout scopes offer a long eye relief. As such, their lenses must be crystal clear to allow more light to pass through and then project a good sight picture to your eyes. Scopes with multi-coated lenses and crystal clear reticles are a good choice for overall usage.
Scout scopes have a limited spectrum of magnification, generally not more than 10x. However, such a scope should be aptly adjustable for windage, elevation, and parallax metrics to deliver a crisp and clear image of your target.
Scout scopes are mounted a bit forward on the rifle. Plus, they are subject to a lot of carrying and lugging around when taken on hunting trips. Choosing a lightweight scout scope does not off-weight your rifle and keeps it balanced. Plus, it eases the strain on your body as you carry the rifle.
Quick Take - The Best Scout Scopes
These are our recommendations for the best scout scopes:
Review of the Best Scout Scopes
Based on the aspects mentioned above, we scoured the online marketplace to come up with the best scout scopes. This list has been compiled based upon their individual features and positive customer reviews across the firearm users community. These scopes have been tested for durability, performance, and other important features. Most of all, the scopes reviewed in the list are quite affordable.
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 V-Plex MOA
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II is a renowned hunting scope used by a lot of people. In fact, it is among the best-selling scopes on the market. The Crossfire II scout scope features a lightweight and durable body made from aircraft-grade aluminum. The scope tube is O-ring sealed and nitrogen-purged, which makes it resistant to water and fog. Additionally, the scope is also resistant to shock, so you can mount in on rifles with a heavy recoil.
The scope has a variable magnification of 2x-7x, which is enough to let you hit targets at a medium distance. The scope has an objective of 32 inches, which is apt for a scout scope. The scope has a tremendous 9.45" of eye relief, so you can aim at your targets while being aware of your surroundings. The fast focus eyepiece facilitates quick and easy reticle focusing. The V-Plex reticle of the scope is an all-purpose hunting reticle and allows easy aiming over the target.
The lenses of the scope feature an anti-reflective multi-coating to deliver a crisp and clear image of the target, even at the maximum eye relief setting. The scope is fully adjustable for windage and elevation, in case you want to take longer shots. The scope is also set for parallax at 100 yards, so you don’t have to make adjustments for close quarter hunting. The tube size is just one inch, which makes it easy to carry and handle.
The Vortex Crossfire II is an exceptional scout scope which can be mounted on a wide range of rifles, regardless of their recoil. The scope has an apt magnification range and a durable body to withstand extreme usage.
Best Leupold Scout Scope:
Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm Duplex
Looking for a fixed magnification scout scope? We have found the answer with Leupold. The FX-II scout scope from Leupold is a fixed magnification optic scope with a compact body and sturdy construction. Fixed power scopes are good for short range shooting, generally at a distance of 50-100 yards.
This scope features an aluminum-based body which has been gas purged with an argon/krypton gas mixture to resist water, fog, and recoil. Due to the materials used in its construction, the scope is light in weight. Plus, it is also easy to carry because of its compact design. The scope has ¼ MOA adjustments for windage and elevation if you need it.
The lens surfaces have been coated with an ion-assisted lens coating which provides better light transmission and delivers a clear image of the target. The scope has a duplex reticle, originally designed by Leupold in 1962.
The reticle is a combination of thick lines on the outside, and thin lines on the inside as the crosshair converges. This makes target acquisition easier, whether you are shooting a stationary or moving target. The duplex is the most popular reticle in the world and is widely used for short range hunting.
The Leupold FX-II is a fixed magnification scope which is good for hunting at short range. The scope is compact and fit for rugged use. The Duplex reticle also complements your rifle’s shooting capabilities.
Best Vortex Scout Scope:
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x24
This is another masterpiece of the Crossfire II series from Vortex Optics. This scope has an extra feature compared to the first scope reviewed in this list. The scope has a variable magnification of 1x-4x which lets you sight targets clearly up to 150 yards. It has an objective of 24mm to let an ample amount of light to pass through. However, this is not an issue since the scope has a V-brite illuminated reticle.
The scope is battery-powered and the illuminated reticle is adjustable for brightness levels using the turret knob in the front. The scope has an eye relief of four inches, which is not very long but is optimum with respect to the size and power of the scope. The tube has been made from aircraft-grade aluminum and is O-ring sealed with purged nitrogen to make the scope waterproof and fog proof.
Additionally, the durable body of the scope protects its internal components from recoil and other shocks. The scope has been parallax set to 100 yards and has easy-to-access turrets for windage and elevation adjustments. The scope is perfect for people who like to aim with red dots for shooting. This scope has been fairly priced and is a decent scout scope for every rifle.
The scope is good for hunting in low light conditions because of the illuminated reticle. Plus, the scope is quite durable and available at an extremely affordable price respective of its feature.
Best Burris Scout Scope:
Burris Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm
The discussion on optic scopes cannot be complete without mentioning a Burris scope, so we decided to include one in this list. This scout scope from Burris has a variable magnification power of 2x-7x which is enough to take shots up to 400 yards. The adjustment knob for variable magnification is low-profile and locks in place, even under extreme recoil pressure. This is a great feature since scout rifles are subject to a lot of jolting and bumping.
Additionally, the scope is fully adjustable for windage and elevation, and these settings hold true no matter how many rounds you burn through your rifle. The audible Posi-Click system allows you to make turret adjustments without even looking at them.
The scope uses fully multi-coated lenses which deliver a crisp and clear image. The scope has been filled and purged with dry nitrogen, making it resistant against water and fog.
The ballistic reticle is thin and sharp with drop marks to allow you to shoot at longer distances without adjusting the elevation values. The scope has an apt height so it doesn’t obstruct the ejector port while you shoot. Apart from all this, Burris has a lifetime, transferable warranty on this scope, so it is definitely a win-win situation.
The Burris Scope holds its turret values under all pressure. Plus, the BDC-type reticle also allows you to take longer shots. The scope is good overall for scouting, as well as for mid-range hunting.
Best Nikon Scout Scope:
Nikon Force XR 2.5-8x28 EER Matte with BDC
This Nikon Scout Scope is mostly intended for use on old rifles, such as the Mosin Nagant or M1. The Nikon Force XR features a variable 2.5x-8x magnification along with a 28mm wide objective lens.
The scout scope offers a crisp and clear sight picture due to the fully multi-coated optical system, where the lenses feature layers of anti-reflective compounds. The scope is nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed for resistance to water, fog, and shocks.
It has been tested to withstand even the most rugged recoil. The trajectory-compensating BDC reticles let you take longer shots without making adjustments to the turrets, which are already quite easy to use.
The scope has a considerably long eye relief of 9-11 inches. The scope will allow you to hit targets around 200-250 yards with ease. The turrets hold zero under all conditions, which is definitely a plus.
The Nikon Force Scope is a lightweight piece of equipment that allows you to take long-range shots with accuracy and precision. The BDC reticle is definitely a plus. Additionally, the limited lifetime warranty also covers your back.
Are All Scout Scopes The Same?
The basic function of all the scout scopes is the same. They allow you to aim and shoot at targets while keeping both your eyes open. But different scopes have certain variations in features.For example, some scopes differ in their magnifying power. Some have a wider range, whereas some offer a small range or even fixed magnification.
Furthermore, a scout scope might or might not have an illuminated reticle, which allows you to shoot accurately under low light conditions. Scopes also differ in their reticle types, where some have basic reticle designs and others have BDC or red-dot designs.
Another important factor to note is the resistance to recoil. Scout scopes are subjected to a lot of persistent recoil, which may cause them to lose zero. Scopes may also differ in terms of durability. Some scope tubes are made from metal, whereas some are made from polymer.
A scout scope is useful for shooting at distant targets with both eyes open to maintain your situational awareness. A good scout scope must be durable, have good and clear optics, be lightweight, and adjustable. Buying an illuminated scout scope may also be of some help, however, it solely depends upon your taste.