Scout rifles are all-purpose rifles that people use in a variety of capacities. You can use them for target shooting, survival, home defense, and more. A scout rifle uses a full-size rifle cartridge and a midsized optic that is durable and well made.
In addition to being versatile, scout rifles are lightweight, attractive, and made in many different designs. The scope needs to compliment this rifle by allowing you to have faster target acquisition and rapid reloading. Continue reading to learn all about the best scout scopes on the market today.
What Are the Basics of a Scout Rifle and Scope?
The scout rifle was created by a man named Jeff Cooper. He envisioned a rifle that could have multiple uses, while being lightweight and portable. This rifle can be used for hunting, personal defense, target practice, and more. It didn’t take long for this rifle to become widely popular, along with the scope that is needed along with it.
Cooper wanted the rifle to have certain characteristics, including the following:
- Bolt action rifle would be smooth and reliable
- Weighs less than seven pounds with sling and optic
- Less than 39 inches long with a 19-inch barrel
- Chambered for a .308 Winchester
The scope on a scout rifle is unique because it is forward mounted yet has very low magnification. As a result, you can be very precise in a distance-shooting situation, whether you are shooting a target or hunting. Check out other reviews of riflescopes if you’re not using a scout rifle!
The scout rifle requires excellent eye relief and fine crosshairs. This is essential to being able to make a quick shot. The scope also needs to be shock-proof and sturdy enough that it will not lose its zero. One of the most important features is its durability.
The scout rifle can shoot a target up to 450 yards in distance (what are the top 500 yard riflescopes?). If it doesn’t have a scope, it can shoot around 200 yards. The great thing about adding a scope is that you can maximize your shooting range. In fact, you can triple your range with a good scope and practice.
Generally, close-range shooters will shoot under 150 yards, medium-range is 150 to 350 yards, and long-range is anything over 350 yards.
The magnification power is usually low because people rarely use scout rifles for long-distance shooting. The lens diameter can also be small, and you will still have good light transmission and image size.
Another consideration is eye relief. This refers to the distance between the ocular lens and your eye, and a longer eye relief allows you to see the full image. You can keep both eyes open when you use the scout rifle, and the eye relief is generally nine to twelve inches.
The field of view (FOV) refers to how wide you can see through the scope. The FOV is dependent on the construction of the scope along with the magnification power. You normally have a wide view as long as you stay with lower magnification.
Another important feature is the lens coating. The glass should be high quality, and the lens needs multiple layers of coating. The lens and the lens coating is the primary factor in image quality. Better coating and more layers improve the durability of the optics, and they protect the lens from scratching and water.
You will want to look at the reticle. There are three common reticle patterns: Simple, Mil-dot, and BDC. You should choose based on which one you prefer. They are pre-calibrated to certain types of rounds and known for assisting in your making accurate shots from further distances.
The tube of the scope should be about one inch in diameter, and you want it to be as light as possible because you generally carry it with one hand.
The turrets are the parts that are used to adjust for elevation and wind so that you can make precise shots. When you are considering the turrets, you should look for them to be repeatable and precise.
You should be able to clearly hear the clicks, and you want it to be low profile. It might have a cap to prevent changes while you are carrying the rifle.
What Magnification Do You Need for the Typical Use of a Scout Rifle Scope?
The magnification you need depends on your personal use of your scout rifle. Typical use will range from 1x magnification to 9x. Straight out of the box, the scout rifle can shoot around 200 yards with less than one MOA.
However, if you add a scope, you can shoot three times as far. Remember that the ranges are as follows:
- Close to range: up to 150 yards
- Medium range: 150 to 350 yards
- Long-range: over 350 yards
The magnification can improve your shooting at different ranges. Which scope you need depends on your personal use of your scout rifle. You have to consider your average use and go from there.
Long-range is used when you are hunting large prey. If you intend to be hunting targets that are 350 or more yards away, you will want 7x to 9x magnification.
Most shooters fall into the medium-range category. If you intend to use your scout rifle between 150 and 350 yards, you will want to use anywhere from a 3x magnification to 7x magnification. Finally, if you are a close-range user, you will want your magnification to be from 1x to 3x. You won’t reach 1000 yards with a scout rifle but if you’re interested, here are the best scopes for 1000’ish yards!
When you are shooting smaller targets, it is important to note that you will require higher magnification. That is where the magnification can vary within each category.
You need to know what kinds of targets you intend to hunt to choose the ideal magnification level. For instance, if you are hunting a smaller target at a long-distance range, you will want to opt for 9x magnification over 7x magnification.
The thing to remember is that increasing your magnification will decrease your field of view. However, it is necessary if you need to view a particular size target as magnification will make this possible. You should have a general idea of the range you intend to use your scout rifle, as well as what targets you will typically be shooting – click here for our buyers guide for long-range scopes.
What Are the Best Scout Scopes?
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Scout
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II scout scope is a popular all-purpose hunting scope that is used for a wide variety of hunting applications. It has 2x to 7x magnification, so it is designed for close to medium range hunting.
In addition, it offers 9.45 inches of eye relief along with a very forgiving eye box. This enables you to quickly sight your picture and acquire your target. It has fast, simple reticle focusing.
The lenses are fully multi-coated, anti-reflective, and they provide you with bright, clear views. The scope also has capped reset turrets that are adjustable by finger. They have MOA clicks that can be reset to zero after you sight in on your target.
The tube is constructed as a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum, and it has incredible strength and provides a shockproof performance. It is sealed with an O-ring and purged with Nitrogen, and it delivers waterproof and fogproof performance every time.
Best for: The Vortex Optics Crossfire II scope is designed to be an all-purpose scope for hunters and shooters at the close to medium range levels. It is one of the most rugged out there, and it provides great value as well. It is often included in packages from manufacturers because it is a popular and versatile scope.
- Easy to mount and zero
- Repeatable windage and elevation adjustment
- Excellent eye relief at 9.45 inches
- Rugged and durable
- High quality makes it enjoyable for a long time
- 22-foot field of view so that you can capture your target in an instant
- Recoil and environmentally resistant
- Versatile and useful for close to medium range shooters
- Image quality is reduced at higher magnification
- Expensive compared to others
Burris 2-7×32 Scout
The Burris 2-7×32 Scout scope is designed to complement the scout rifle perfectly. It is a slim compact optic that gives you low to medium magnification from 2x to 7x, and it is perfect for close to mid-range targets. You can place it forward on the rife and it allows you to keep both of your eyes on the targets, even if they are moving quickly.
The Burris scope is made with the best quality materials, which makes it reliable and durable. This is important in your scout scope, and it also has a variable magnification so that you can choose your target. If you are hunting targets that are further away, using higher magnification will improve your accuracy.
The lenses on this scope are fully multicoated, which allows for maximum light transmission and clarity to help you acquire targets quickly. It has a slim diameter, which makes it low profile and easy to maneuver.
The glass will give you incredibly clear images. Burris fills and purges the scope with laboratory-grade nitrogen a minimum of 24 times to prevent fogging, which holds true even at extreme temperature changes.
The scope also has a simple, trajectory-compensating Ballistic Plex reticle. It is a basic and uncluttered design, which makes it easy to use and quick. It is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof, and it can be used on a wide range of scout rifles.
Best for: This is a great choice for anyone who needs a close to medium range scope, and it is versatile. It is easy to adjust and highly durable. It is designed for users who have some experience, but you do not have to be an expert to use this scope.
- Made of high-quality resistant steel
- Multicoated lenses for increased accuracy
- Easy to mount on a variety of weapons
- Impressive clarity and glare resistance
- Fogproof, waterproof, and shockproof
- Extremely accurate up to 100 yards
- Great glare resistance
- Large ocular lens
- Easy to zero
- A great choice for those who need adjustable magnification
- Field of view is 21 feet at 100 yards, smaller than some competitors
- Heavier than average at 13 ounces
Using an air rifle instead? Here are the best scopes for air rifles!
Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5 x 28 mm
This Leupold FX-II Scout scope is great for hunting within 200 yards. Many consider it the ideal scope for hunting deer. The scope has a one-fourth MOA field click, which allows you to adjust it for any potential wind or elevation factors. It is compact and durable, and the one-inch main tube of the scope fits many different legacy rings.
The eye relief on this scope is among the best. This is so important for scout rifle users. It is 9.3 inches, and you can see far away targets with both eyes. This scope comes in two shades of color so that you can match it to your rifle perfectly.
The Leupold scope is lightweight and compact, which makes it easy to carry along with you when you are out hunting. It has a standard-size tube that will easily match most weapons. It is easy to mount, and anyone can use it, including a beginner. It will last for many years because it is made with high-quality resistant material and nitrogen.
In addition, people love this scope because it is 100% waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. It is safe to use at all times, and nothing will ever get in the way. The design is a single-piece tube of high-grade aluminum. It is compact and holds zero without any trouble. With the low magnification, you can take shots with both eyes open, which is the purpose behind a scout rifle. This allows you to keep the entire field of view in your eyesight when you pull off your shot.
The scope is incredibly light at 7.5 ounces, so it will not interfere with the balance of your rifle. It will not weigh you down as you are hunting. The lenses offer excellent low light performance, and they reduce glare in normal light, providing a crystal clear image.
Best for: This is a great scope that is ideal for hunters who want a lightweight and durable scope. It is versatile for different scout rifles, and it is a great affordable option.
- Durable and lightweight
- Eye relief: 9.3 inches
- Multicoated lenses work well in low light and reduce glare in normal light
- 100% waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof
- Choose from two colors
- It is compact
- Difficult to adjust turrets quickly
Thinking about a scope with built-in rangefinders? Click to get to see the best rangefinder scopes!
UTG 2-7×44 Long Eye Relief Scout Rifle Scope
The UTG 2-7×44 Long Eye Relief Scout scope is a great and affordable scope for anyone who wants adjustable magnification. It is durable and made of good quality materials, and it is built on a true strength platform, completely sealed, and nitrogen-filled. As a result, this scope is shockproof, fogproof, and waterproof.
The tube is 30 mm and one piece, which allows maximum light transmission. It also has a side wheel adjustable turret (SWAT), which allows parallax adjustment from 10 yards up. It has an etched glass reticle for ideal performance.
One great feature of this scope is that it provides true and consistent eye relief for shooters. It also has an EX-TAP illumination enhancing system, which has RGB in dual-color mode and 36 colors in multicolor mode, so it will accommodate all weather and light conditions. The lenses are emerald coated for the best clarity, and it has premium zero locking and precise MOA.
Best for: This scope is ideal for any users who want adjustable magnification at an affordable price.
- Excellent long eye relief
- Quality and durable scope
- Shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof
- Emerald coated lens completely sealed
- Precise MOA
- A little heavier than other scopes
Is the UTG BugBuster similar to the Scout model? Find out in our in-depth review of the BugBuster from UTG!
AIM Sports 2-7×42 Long Eye Relief Scout Scope
AIM Sports makes scopes that people love for their quality combined with affordability. The AIM Sport Long Eye Relief Scout Scope is definitely the best scope in its price range, and it is a large scope with a 30 mm tube.
The magnification ranges from 2x to 7x, so it works for close and medium-range targets. In addition, it is a 42 mm rifle scope, so it is large enough to gather the light you need (Click here for tips you should consider when buying a scope!).
This price is great because you end up with a rifle scope that is completely usable, has a 30 mm tube, and gives you plenty of eye relief. It has a mil-dot reticle, which helps you to predict your shots.
Best for: This scope is popular with people who build rifles for the zombie apocalypse or survival alone. It is functional, powerful, and affordable, so you have plenty of money left over for other accessories and ammunition.
- Very affordable for a 42 mm scope
- Long eye relief
- Mil-dot reticle to help predict shots
- Adjustable magnification from 2x to 7x
- Easy for beginners to use
- 30 mm tube
- Plenty of light
- Some customers say it doesn’t handle kick as well as other scopes
Sightmark 2.5×20 Scout Scope
Sightmark rifle scopes provide premium tactical operation optics. They are great for people who compete, hunt or use scout rifles for self-defense, and they keep your rifle ready for use at all times.
Sightmark is known for building tough scopes that are rugged and still lightweight and compact – the Sightmark 2.5×20 Scout Scope is no exception. They are constructed with hard anodized 6061-T6 aluminum tubes.
The lenses are premium and fully coated, and it has digital reticle illumination. In addition, it has generous eye relief and a rapid power rotation eyepiece. It is shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof. This is a very reliable scope.
You can select the digital illumination switch to turn on the reticle illumination, and you can press the switch again to move through the brightness settings. It has 10 settings, and it is great in both daylight and low light settings.
The whole eyepiece rotates to change the magnification. This makes changes simple and quick. You can turn clockwise to increase magnification or counterclockwise to decrease it.
Best for: This scope is ideal for anyone looking for a rugged, lightweight, and compact riflescope.
- 100% waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
- Capped, low profile turrets
- Digital reticle illumination
- Eight inches of eye relief
- Single piece construction with a one-inch tube
- Fully multi-coated lenses
- Some customers say eyebox is narrow
Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4×28 mm Riflescope
The Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x28mm riflescope is considered one of the best on the market. Leupold has an excellent reputation for producing reliable and durable products, and this scope is no different.
The scope is strong, and it is constructed as a one-piece body. It is easy to handle and 100% shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof.
The optics are fully multicoated, and the scope provides optimal light transmission. You will have a bright and sharp image in all different settings. This scope also features Leupold’s FireDot reticle, which has a red dot that helps to ensure rapid, easy target acquisition.
This scope is made from 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum, and it is nitrogen purged to make it completely waterproof and fogproof. The glass quality is excellent, with sharp end-to-end clarity and true color. The image you see through the optic will be better than anything you can see with the naked eye.
Best for: This scope is best for anyone looking for durability in a premium scope.
- Very strong, sturdy, and durable
- Easy to use for any level user
- It has a 22-foot field of view
- Waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof
- More expensive than competitors
Sig Sauer Romeo5 1×20 mm Compact Red Dot Sight
Sig Sauer is a trusted brand in pistol manufacture, and this is a high-quality cost-effective optic. The Sig Sauer Romeo5 1-20mm Compact Red Dot Sight features a 2 MOA dot that is adjustable and provides 10 different illumination settings.
In addition, it has a sensor built into the housing unit that can sense whether or not it is in motion. The unit automatically turns on when motion is detected.
It has an integrated Picatinny rail, and it is IPX-7 waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. It has efficient and wide anti-reflection lens coatings to reduce surface reflections and provide excellent light transmission.
It works best for under 100 yards, and it is easy to mount. It has a battery for the sensor, and the automatic shut-off allows for longer use. The lenses are crystal clear, and the red dot is bright and round.
Best for: This is ideal for targets at 100 yards or less.
- A sensor that detects motion
- Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
- Long-lasting battery
- Crystal clear lenses
- 2 MOA dot has 10 illumination settings
- Might need something else if you are looking for magnification
One of the important parts of putting your scout rifle together and getting it ready for use is choosing the best scope for your needs. There are small differences in the various features that can change how the scope operates, so it is important to know what you are looking for when you begin your search.
The most important place to start is the range you plan to shoot. This will impact which scope you choose. Once you have it narrowed down, you can choose other features that are important for you.
Choosing a scope is a very personal experience because you want it to last for years. Hopefully, the information in this guide will help you to narrow down your choices before you make a final decision.
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