Shooting distances of 200 yards are quite common when hunting. Actually, most hunting ranges are probably less than 200 yards and as such using super high-powered rifle scopes might not always make sense.
You typically won’t need the highest magnification but features like eye-relief, fast target acquisition, and large field of view are more important. Find what makes a good optic for that range and our picks for the best 200-yard rifle scopes.
What are the basics and features you have to consider for such a scope? Read below to find out and to have a look at the best 200-yard rifle scopes!
What are the basics of a scope for 200 yards?
Shooting at 200 yards with accuracy requires magnification. This range is often used when hunting medium game or big game, such as deer, coyote, and moose.
Sufficient Objective Lens Size
Due to the long-range, moving targets, and high caliber bullets, the best scope for 200 yards should include specific features. One of the first details to review is the objective lens size.
A larger diameter allows more light to reach the scope, resulting in clearer optics. A larger size is also helpful in low-light settings, such as hunting at dusk or dawn. However, a large objective lens results in a larger, heavier scope for 200 yards.
While a 50mm objective lens allows more light in comparison to a smaller lens, it may require a bipod for dealing with the added weight. Most scopes for 200 yards include an objective lens that measures between 32mm and 40mm.
Field of View Considerations
The field of view (FOV) impacts your vision when tracking moving targets. With a smaller field of view, you see less of the area surrounding the target. The FOV also decreases as you zoom in.
Most scopes are rated based on the FOV at 100 yards for the lowest and highest magnification settings. If the scope offers at least 30 feet at 100 yards, you should have a decent field of view on a rifle scope for 200 yards.
Eye Relief – Keep your Distance
The recoil from the heavier caliber rifles used for medium-range shooting typically requires more generous eye relief. The average eye relief for a rifle scope is about three inches.
Depending on the recoil and whether you wear glasses, you might want to get a scope with larger eye relief. More eye relief may keep the scope from hitting your safety glasses.
At 200 yards, you may also want a mil-dot or bullet drop compensation (BDC) reticle. These reticles help you zero the scope at 200 yards and compensate for bullet dropping at longer ranges.
Coatings and Sealed internals
If using the scope for hunting, look for scopes with multiple lens coatings and environmentally sealed tubes. Fully multi-coated lenses include protective coatings on both sides of the lens, helping to reduce glare and reflection while increasing overall clarity and sharpness at dusk or dawn.
Properly sealed scopes provide added protection against the elements. Look for fog-proof, moisture-proof, and shockproof scopes when using the scope outside the shooting range.
Reviews and Recommendations to find the best scope for low light hunting!
What magnification do you need for the typical use of a rifle scope for 200 yards?
Along with a large objective lens and FOV, the best scopes for 200 yards should provide optimal magnification. Scopes offer fixed or variable magnification. A fixed scope has a set magnification level, such as 7x or 9x.
If you need to focus at various ranges, use a variable scope. This allows you to shoot at closer ranges when your target moves closer to your position. A variable scope with at least 7x or 9x magnification should bring your target into view at close or medium range.
As mentioned, the field of view gets smaller as you zoom in. If selecting a scope with a higher magnification range, ensure that it offers a larger FOV.
A scope that offers 1x to 3x magnification at the lowest power level is recommended for close-range shooting. If you only plan on shooting at 100 yards or more, scopes with a minimum of 4x magnification should suffice.
The highest magnification level determines the longest range you can accurately target. For a decent marksman, 7x to 9x is more than enough. With 9x magnification, 200 yards appear about 22 yards away.
Higher magnification levels are available but may come with higher power settings for the lowest magnification level. While you can find many 3-9x and 4-12x scopes, you will not find 1-12x or 1-15x scopes. You also typically won’t need such large magnification if you’re not shooting long-range.
Variable scopes also have variable eye relief. When you dial up to the highest zoom setting, your eye relief is the shortest. That might interfere with your glasses, the position of your face, or even open you to risk for scope bite!
Keep in mind that the quality of the glass and the overall craftsmanship of the scope also affect clarity at various magnification levels. A quality 3-9x scope should offer better accuracy compared to a cheap 4-14x scope. A high magnification level on a cheap scope may cause blurring when looking through the reticle.
Overall, 3-9x and 4-12x are the two most common choices for variable magnification scopes intended for 200-yard distances.
What are the best scopes for 200 yards?
Pay attention to the magnification range and other essential features as you compare the following picks for the best rifle scope for 200 yards.
Nikon Prostaff P5 2.5-10×42 BDC
The Nikon Prostaff P5 is well suited for almost any rifle, thanks to its compact design and clear optics.
Features and Construction
The Nikon Prostaff P5 is a mid-range scope with surprisingly high-quality glass for its price. The lenses are also fully multicoated to increase clarity. These features ensure that the image remains crisp when zooming in or using the scope in low light.
The Nikon Prostaff scope is nitrogen purged and fully waterproof and shockproof. The exterior features a durable matte finish. The overall construction of the scope is solid and should hold up to rugged use.
It is equipped with spring-loaded turrets with ¼ MOA clicks for adjusting based on windage and elevation. The adjustments remain zeroed, even with substantial recoil.
The magnification range on this Nikon Prostaff model is 2.5x to 10x. This range works at distances of 200 yards or less for most shooters.
The 42mm front lens or the Nikon Prostaff P5 is large and offers generous eye relief and allowing lots of light into the tube for a 200 yard scope. You also get a wide FOV, even at a high magnification level.
- Durable design and construction to withstand heavy recoil
- Provides a wide magnification range for close or medium distances
- High-quality glass and the fully multi-coated optical system deliver crisp images
- Does not come with lens covers
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9×40 BDC Reticle Riflescope
If you plan on using a large caliber rifle, you may prefer the generous eye relief on the Vortex Optics Crossfire II.
Features and Construction
The affordable Vortex Optics Crossfire II provides 3-9x magnification, which is one of the most popular magnification ranges for riflescopes. You should have no problem viewing bullet holes at 200 yards.
The Crossfire II from Vortex Optics has a forgiving eye box and more eye relief compared to some of the other choices. It also has a durable single-piece tube made from aircraft-grade aluminum with a shockproof design. These features make it suitable for use with large caliber rifles.
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II has a fully multicoated optical system and decent glass for sharp, clear images and target sight. You may notice a little blurring in low light settings. This is more common when using the full 9x magnification.
The 40mm primary lens still provides quality light transmission which is sufficient in low light conditions for a 200 yard scope. While this Vortex Optics scope is best suited for daytime use, it provides decent optics for hunting at the break of day or in the evening.
- The eye relief and durable design work well with large calibers
- The capped turrets include ¼ MOA clicks and remain zeroed after sighting in
- The scope is relatively affordable compared to options with comparable glass
- The image may become blurry when using 9x magnification
Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10x40mm Rifle Scope
The Leupold VX-3HD provides high-quality optics with extra design features for improved performance in low light settings.
Features and Construction
The VX-3HD from Leupold is a reliable scope from a trusted manufacturer. The tube is made from durable aircraft-grade aluminum to withstand abuse from heavy recoil.
The design is fully waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. The sleek scope has finger-click adjustable turrets with ¼ MOA clicks for windage and elevation. The settings hold zero and provide greater precision compared to lower-cost scopes.
The magnification range is 3.5-10x. This should suit most situations at 200 yards or less. It is paired with a 40mm objective lens that is sufficient for a scope for 200 yards. For greater clarity, the lenses feature ion-assist lens coatings.
The Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10x40mm includes the Twilight Max Light Management System found on most Leupold scopes. This innovative lens system provides up to 20 more minutes of light at dusk or dawn and helps reduce glare.
Overall, the Leupold VX-3HD is a contender as the best rifle scope for a couple of hundred yards, specifically in low light conditions. It gives you a clear, crisp image in most environments, making it one of the more versatile scopes for distances of 200’ish yards.
- Superior image clarity compared to lower-cost options
- The scope captures less glare and reflection in low-light settings
- The design is durable and made to withstand heavy recoil
- This is one of the most expensive scopes for this range
Simmons 2.5-10×40 Protarget Black
The Simmons 2.5-10×40 Protarget Scope is a budget scope designed for ease of use. It offers a good balance of features for its price point, with a mil-dot reticle and flip-up scope caps.
Features and Construction
The Protarget provides 2.5-10x magnification with a 40mm objective lens. It comes ready to use, with medium mounting rings.
The tube is short and fully waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. The lenses are coated but do not include multiple coatings. When using this scope in low-light settings or high magnification levels, you may notice a notable reduction in clarity.
The scope includes standard adjustable turrets to adjust for windage and elevation. Instead of MOA clicks, the turrets use MILs. Whether using MIL or MOA is overall not that big of a difference. Either system allows you to compensate for elevation and windage over long distances.
The Protarget scope is not the most durable choice. When used with a large caliber rifle, such as .50 Browning, the recoil may damage the internal components. This affordable scope is best suited for lighter rifles. For example, it may work well when deer hunting with a .22.
- One of the most affordable options
- Easy to use and mount
- Provides a wide magnification range
- Image may blur at high magnification or in low light
- The scope can break when used with a large caliber
UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope
The affordable UTG 3-12×44 Compact Scope has a large objective lens to help improve light transmission in dark environments. The scope is on this review list as the best 200-yard scope that’s very compact in build.
Features and Construction
The UTG is designed for use in tough environments and with rifles with heavy recoil. It includes advanced circuitry to protect the internal components from recoil and is made with a 30-millimeter scope tube. The tube is nitrogen-filled and sealed, making it waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof.
The optics include 3-12x magnification. If you cannot get a clear view at 200 yards with 9x magnification, you may need the additional power. However, your target would need to be small and stationary to require a 12x zoom at 200 yards. The field of view is limited at that high of a setting so anything moving somewhat fast will be out of sight in an instant.
Along with a wide range of magnification levels, the scope has a 44mm objective lens. The large objective lens size provides greater light transmission, which is enhanced with fully multi-coated lenses.
The adjustable turrets include MIL measurements while the glass includes an illuminated MIL-DOT reticle. Novices should find it easier to adjust for windage, elevation, and bullet drop with this configuration.
- Affordable price for a reliable scope
- Dependable construction should hold up to tough use
- The large objective lens offers greater light transmission in low-light settings
- The illuminated reticle may be distracting for some hunters
Hawke Riflescope Vantage 3-9x40mm Riflescope
The Hawke Riflescope Vantage is carefully crafted to improve clarity in low-light settings and works well at close or medium range.
Features and Construction
The scope has a 3-9x magnification range and a 40mm objective lens. The lenses are part of a fully multicoated optical system with 11 layers of coatings. You get reliable light transmission, resulting in better clarity and contrast.
The Hawke Vantage also includes an illuminated reticle. The center dot in the MIL-DOT reticle remains illuminated in red or green to increase visibility in the dark or low-light environments.
The turrets include ¼ MOA clicks. They are easy to adjust while the low-profile design ensures that they remain out of the way. The scope has fixed parallax focus at 100 yards.
The scope for 200 yards comes with lens covers and a battery for the illuminated reticle. Mounting the scope is easy if the rifle uses standard mounting rings.
While this is a decent scope for its price range, one of the best features is the warranty. Hawke will replace or repair your scope at no charge if it is damaged or defective.
- The lifetime warranty covers damage and defects
- Includes an illuminated reticle with a clear image
- The large objective lens helps improve light transmission
- May not remain zeroed when using a large caliber rifle
Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope
The Primary Arms SLX is a mid-range scope with a traditional MIL-DOT reticle and fast focus eyepiece for accurate shooting at close or medium range. It’s a great match as one of the best scopes for 200 yards.
Features and Construction
The Primary Arms SLX has a 4-14x magnification range and a large 44mm objective lens. You get a wide range of magnification, making this a top choice for those who need to shoot beyond 200 yards.
The scope includes several features not found on comparable scopes in the same price range. It comes equipped with a side-adjustable parallax and a fast-focus eyepiece. These features should appeal to hunters, as they allow you to easily track your target.
The turrets on this 200-yard scope are large, but easy to adjust. They include MIL adjustments for windage and elevation. The reticle includes the standard MIL-DOT design, helping to calculate range and holdover.
The tube is fog-proof, waterproof, and shockproof. The quality construction of the scope using aircraft-grade aluminum should withstand abuse and heavy recoil.
The field of view is a little small, especially when focusing at 200 yards. It offers a 7.85-foot FOV at 100 yards with 14x magnification. The Primary Arms SLX works well in low light conditions as your go-to scope for 200 yards.
- Wide magnification range for distances beyond 200 yards
- The large objective lens provides greater light transmission
- The parallax adjustment offers more control when focusing
- The exposed turrets are large and may get snagged
- The FOV is a little small at the highest magnification levels
Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm Riflescope
With the Nikon Buckmasters II, you get a relatively affordable scope with plenty of magnification and a bright, clear image.
Features and Construction
The Buckmasters II from Nikon stands out for its high-quality glass. Nikon is primarily a camera manufacturer and has over 100 years of experience producing superb lenses.
The lenses on the Nikon Buckmasters II are fully multicoated to increase light transmission at dawn or dusk. The superior optics ensure that you get a crisp, clear view.
The magnification on this Nikon Buckmasters II scope ranges from 4x to 12x. This may not work well for close range but should provide the magnification needed for distances between 100 yards and 300 yards.
As with most scopes in the same price range, the tube is nitrogen filled and designed to withstand water, shock, and fog. Thanks to these features, it should hold up well in rugged conditions.
The turrets on the Nikon Buckmasters II scope are finger adjustable and include ¼ MOA clicks. The adjustments remain zeroed in, even with heavy recoil. This is a versatile, reliable scope with an affordable price tag making it a serious choice as the best 200 yard scope.
- The clear optics stand out compared to other scopes in this price range
- The scope is lightweight and easy to mount on most rifles – Guide to Choosing the Best Types of Rifle Scope Mounts
- It can withstand heavy recoil and provides generous eye relief
- The turrets are made from cheap plastic and may need to be replaced eventually
Conclusion – Best 200-yard Rifle Scopes
No matter which option you choose, you are getting a great value when picking one scope for 200 yards from the list above. Most of the scopes discussed offer comparable magnification levels which are matching for a 200-yard scope. The Nikon Prostaff P5 and Simmons Protarget both offer 2.5-10x magnification, providing the greatest versatility for shooting distances.
Many of the other options provide a 3x or 4x magnification range on the lowest setting and 9x to 12x on the highest setting. These make the magnification range a good fit for the best scope for 200 meters or yards.
If you have poor eyesight or need a little extra magnification, the Primary Arms SLX provides a 4-14x magnification range. These scopes are also equipped with large objective lenses, measuring about 40mm.
The UTG Compact Scope and the Hawke Vantage Rifle Scope include illuminated reticles, a feature that is useful in low-light environments.
The Leupold VX-3i stands out for offering the clearest optics which makes it the best scope for low light conditions. It is also one of the most expensive scopes for distances of 200 yards. If the price is a major issue, both Nikon riflescopes provide decent clarity.
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II is hitting the best balance between quality, features, and price and is overall the best scope for 200 meters or yards. The glass is not as clear as on the Leupold VX-3i but it’s still good glass. If you don’t want to spend the money on the Leupold then have a closer look at the Vortex Crossfire II when looking for a scope for 200 yards.
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