Owning an SKS means you’re holding a piece of history in your hands. Being very popular with shooters and collectors, these Soviet-era military rifles are also great fun.
If you want to mount a scope on your SKS, either for target practice or hunting, you’ll find out the details you need to know in this article.
We’ll talk about the criteria for choosing your SKS scope, how to mount it, and recommend some top picks for the best scope.
Best SKS Scopes Comparison Chart
Primary Arms 1-6X24mm SFP Riflescope with Patented ACSS 5.56/5.45/.308 Reticle Gen III
Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6x24 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - AR-BDC Reticle (MOA)
SNIPER Compact Rifle Scope 4x32 with Ring, Hunting Scope
UTG 4-16X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings
BARSKA 3-9x42 IR 2nd Generation Sniper Riflescope
Monstrum Tactical 3-9x40 Rifle Scope with Illuminated Range Finder Reticle
What Makes a Great SKS Scope?
Because the SKS is neither a very high-end rifle nor very expensive, it makes sense to stick to low cost or medium cost scopes for this gun. Also keep in mind the purposes of the gun and how you intend to shoot with it.
If you wish to go hunting in the daytime, you will require a more basic scope, but for night time or dusk hunting, you’ll need optical coatings on the scope for better light.
When it comes to the magnifying power of your SKS scope, you should go for a Magnification that is suitable for the range of 300 yards. Anything more than 4x will be overkill as the SKS is 3-4 MOA rifle.
The objective lens is the light gathering lens on the far end of your scope, and the bigger the objective lens, the better you can shoot in low light. The last number in the scope’s description, tells you the size of the objective.
For example, a scope with the designation of 5.5-22x56mm has a 56mm objective. Simply get the biggest objective you can afford.
An objective that is at least 50mm is highly recommended, but keep in mind that the size will affect your sight picture.
While almost all scopes come with a sealed, nitrogen purged tube, and coated optics, the reticle can make the scope really stand out from the rest.
Reticles can be illuminated or not, but the illuminated ones make it possible to acquire targets better in all lighting conditions.
Choosing the Perfect SKS Scope for Your Shooting Style
Due to the 7.62x39mm cartridge being comparable in power to some 30-30 rounds, the SKS is often used as a deer rifle in some parts of the country.
Keeping in mind the practical considerations like loading with stripper clips, and the issue of spent brass hitting the scope, a compact scope with either fixed power or modest magnification (or a red dot) mounted on a stable, secure mount, is recommended.
The SKS is not designed for the sniper-like accuracy, but it is accurate enough for most hunting.
Unless your SKS has had some custom work done on it to make it more accurate, you’ll be better off choosing one of the scopes on our list below, that have been chosen to fit the basic functionality and operational parameters the SKS is capable of.
Quick Take - The Best SKS Scopes
These are our recommendations for the best scopes for the SKS:
Reviews of the Best SKS Scopes
Now that you know what you need (and don't need) when buying a scope for your SKS, it’s time to check the top list we’ve made for you.
The Primary Arms 1-6x24 SFP GEN III Rifle Scope contains advanced technology such as the Advanced Combined Sighting System reticle.
It makes features like bullet drop compensation, wind holds, moving target leads and range estimation easy to use and intuitive.
The second focal plane design means the reticle remains the same size at all magnifications for quick acquisition.
The scope allows you to zoom in at 6x maximum power. The Gen III scope is 10.04 inches long and weighs 16.90 oz.
- Waterproof, fog resistant and shock resistant
- High magnification
- Durable and tough
- Fast focus eyepiece
It is a fully featured scope that can compete with the best. Ideal for hunting and target shooting in all sorts of conditions, the Gen III scope will take whatever you dish out and keep you on target.
The Strike Eagle 1-6x24 is both versatile and fast. Ranging in magnification from 1x to 6x, the scope has high-quality, and fully multi-coated lenses for a clear, crisp sight picture, and optimal low light performance.
It has an illuminated, glass-etched BDC reticle with up to 11 illumination settings for changing light conditions. The fast focus dial on the eyepiece ensures that your reticle is always sharp.
It ensures reliability in all weather conditions. To make transitions even quicker, you can make use of the optional Vortex Switchview SV-4 Throw Lever.
- Waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof
- Quick transition
- Good for low light conditions
- Clear and crisp sight picture
This scope can handle any target your SKS is capable of hitting, and then some. It has 6x magnification and a quick acquisition system, making it ideal for hunting.
This basic hunting scope can be used on a Picatinny rail and has quality sapphire lenses, with a fixed 4x magnification, which cannot be adjusted as well as objective diameter of 32mm and a field view at 100 yards.
The range-finding reticle ensures a great shooting experience, and the windage and elevation knobs don’t require a special tool to adjust.
The knobs provide 1″ of adjustment per click at 100 yards and have metal tabs to make rotation easier.
The scope sights in very quickly and easily. It comes with mounting rings, but the rings make the scope ride rather low on the rail.
- Low cost
- Good quality lenses
- The reticle is quite thick so it can create issues for longer range shots
- No illuminated reticles
- It sits low on a flat-top receiver
- No zoom capability
It is a decent budget option for an SKS, considering that it will get the job done without having too many bells and whistles.
The UTG 4-16x44 30mm compact scope uses multi Emerald coated lenses for clarity and light transmission.
The EZ-TAP Illumination Enhancing (IE) system allows Red/green dual-color mode and 36 colors multi-color mode to accommodate all weather/light conditions.
For consistent zero locking and zero resetting, the target turrets have a 1/4 MOA per click windage/elevation adjustment. This scope can be attached to any gun using Picatinny/Weaver rings.
- Nitrogen filled, shockproof, fog proof and rainproof
- 36 colors in the reticle
- Sunshade and lens cover
It is an excellent scope with many functions and a very functional sight. It is an appropriate accessory for your SKS, especially for longer range shots.
This tactical sniper scope is both waterproof and fog proof with extra rigid shockproof construction.
The built-in sniper edged sun-shade helps to reduce glare for use in bright sun conditions. The multi-Coated optics deliver clear crisp images while the illuminated red and green mil-dot reticles make targeting easy in any light conditions.
Adjustments are straightforward with the easy-grip target-style windage, and elevation adjustments and side parallax adjustment with 1/4 MOA click adjustment.
The scope comes with protective scope caps, lens cloth and set of rings. It has a limited lifetime warranty.
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof
- Clear images
- Less glare in sunny conditions
It is a great scope for the outdoors enthusiast planning to use an SKS in all types of terrain and weather conditions.
While it may be considered overkill by some, this sniper scope will make the SKS rifle a deadly weapon within its usable range.
With a powerful 3 to 9 times magnification and a 40mm objective diameter, this scope is no slouch.
It offers high optical clarity at any range and has a glass rangefinder reticle for on-the-fly range estimation and long-distance targeting.
You can control the reticle illumination in both red and green with multiple brightness intensities.
The scope rail mount fastens securely to any flat top Weaver or Picatinny rail equipped rifle, and the scope is available in Black or Flat Dark Earth.
- Multiple illumination options
- Easy to use
It is not as expensive or high-quality as some of the higher end scopes on his list, but it is more than sufficient for the SKS. Whether it is hunting deer or having some fun at the range, you will enjoy the shooting experience.
Mounting Your SKS Scope
In order to mount your scope on the SKS, you’ll require a scope mount. Your scope mount should be solid, secure and durable.
When mounted on to the rifle, your scope or any attachments should be firmly attached to the firearm with minimal movement. It will guarantee better shooting accuracy when firing.
To ensure that the mount is securely attached to your firearm, you need to know the best techniques to mount your scope on the SKS rifle.
Hence, you need to plan according to the optic and mounting solution placing your scope so that it doesn’t get damaged when the rifle is fired from the ejection port.
What will determine the top-rated SKS scope mount in the market are the cost, the alignment precision, the fit, the design, and the durability.
When choosing the best scope for your SKS, keep in mind the capabilities of the rifle and the purpose you will be using it for.
For hunting in low light conditions, with shot ranges of 100 to 200 yards, choose a scope with medium magnification and the right coating for low light.
The reticle and objective lens size will also determine the best scope for the desired conditions.
There is no need for fancy tactical accessories on a rifle like the SKS, but you can browse our list of recommended scopes with some options that suit a variety of budgets.