Recommended Hunting Scopes 2014

Burris Fullfield II 3-9 x 40mm

For the money, meaning under $200, the Fullfield II 3-9 x 40mm and the 2-7 x 35mm scopes are uniformly excellent with an exemplary track record.

Bushnell 6500 2.5 – 16 x 42mm

This is my favorite Bushnell scope, and defines the “do it all” versatile riflescope as well as anything. While 16x is more than needed or used for big game hunting under low light, you'll appreciate it for range work. It packs a tremendous amount of optics horsepower into its 17.3 ounce weight, with a 30mm tube and side focus. Selling for under $700, it is its own class of hunting scope.

Hawke Optics Hawke Endurance 3-9 x 40mm

Retailing at just $229.99, featuring the new infinitely adjustable stepless side rheostat illuminated center cross reticle, as well as extremely generous eye relief, this is quite a value-packed rifle scope that can be mounted on most any long gun, including slug guns and turkey guns, at a reasonable weight of 17 ounces.

Leupold VX-6 2-12 x 42mm, Leupold VX-R 3-9 x 40mm

The VX-6 2-12 x 42 is the best big game hunting scope I've tested in years, regardless of price. The VXR 3-9 x 40 is a standout as well, and at $500, the upper end of what many consider affordable.

Minox ZA-5 2.5-10 x 40mm

With a generous four inches of eye relief, weighing 13.1 ounces, this is a terrific all-around hunting scope in the under $500 category.

Sightron Big Sky SII 3-9 x 42mm, Sightron Big Sky SII 3-12 x 42mm

Over the last ten years, I've dropped more animals with Sightron SII and SII Big Sky riflescopes than any other line. I particularly like the “Hunter Holdover Reticle,” likely because I had input into the design. The 3-12 x 42 Big Sky is a personal favorite; that's what went to South Africa with me last year.

The Big Sky 3-9 x 42mm can be had for under $400. Another good (and less costly) option is going with the standard SII, the SII 3-9 x 42 HHR, a very well-made scope. You still have the benefits of the HHR reticle, at a street price of about $275. The duplex reticle SII 3-9 x 42 is about $250.


 Copyright 2014 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.

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