The 3-9×40 even today is the most commonly found scope size for hunting. There’s probably not a single rifle scope manufacturer that does not have one of these as an offering.
Pinty was kind enough to provide their model to us for testing and review. That they supplied that scope does not in any way mean that we looked more favorably at the scope. Without further ado, let’s have a closer look at this optic.
With a price tag far south of $100, the Pinty 3-9×40 is for sure a budget rifle scope. That doesn’t mean, though, that it has to or is cheaply built as the Pinty scope proves.
To be clear, this scope can’t compete with high-end 3-9x scopes, and you shouldn’t try to compare it to the Leupold’s (Leupold Rifle Scope Reviews), Swarovski’s, Zeiss’ (Zeiss Rifle Scope Reviews), or other high-end brands. But, it certainly holds its own to any of the models flooding the market coming from Asia. In many aspects, it does actually quite a bit better than just hold its own!
As the model number states, it’s a 3-9×40 scope that comes with a 3x zoom with magnification ranging from 3x to 9x. The 40mm objective lens diameter combined with the 1-inch scope tube is the standard measurements you can expect for scopes in that range.
The scope is well-built. It’s sturdy and feels rugged when you pick it up. It’s not some flimsy scope that breaks down after shooting a handful of rounds. It’s built solid, and you’re not in danger of having to replace the scope after its first hunting season is over. The tube is made from aircraft-grade aluminum, and you won’t see differences when you compare the scope with more expensive models.
Glass and Lenses
The glass is as clear as you expect it for a scope in that price range. It’s not ultra-clear glass you could find on a $1,000 scope, but that’s also not to be expected.
It’s sufficient for a scope with 3-9x magnification (How much Scope Magnification do You need for an AR-15 Rifle?) and won’t let you down when you aim at your target a couple of hundred yards. You won’t be the first in the morning or the last when it gets dark to take a shot. Yet during regular light settings, you’ll be targeting as confidently as any of your buddies with scopes that cost a lot more, and that probably makes them have a meltdown if their scope breaks during a hunt when being dragged through the woods and brush.
Main Tube and Technical Specs
The Pinty 3-9×40 comes with a standard 1″ scope tube. It’s made from aircraft-grade aluminum and is quite solid.
The field of view on this scope at 100 yards is 39.3 feet at 3x and 13.1 feet at 9x magnification. The eye relief ranges between 3.3 inches and 3.1 inches. That’s sufficient eye relief for most rifles today, but for really high-powered rifles with heavy recoil, you might end up with this eye relief being too short.
The rear focal plane reticle is a Mil-Dot reticle with 12 dots on each axis. Each dot represents 1 MRAD or 3.6 inches at 100 yards. These provide you with solid references to estimate the size of your target and are helpful for hold-over estimations for windage and elevation compensation.
These types of reticles were initially designed for the military to provide snipers with making long-range shots (Top-rated scopes for one thousand yards). The range and size estimation support are certainly also helpful when you’re hunting.
While the reticle is a Mil-Dot reticle, the turrets are MOA-based. This is not ideal but also not the most significant issue you could face. In a perfect world, you’d want the reticle to be the same as the turrets. So, if you have a Mil-Dot reticle, you preferably would have Mil-Dot turrets.
If you do long-range shots, you might have to work a little harder to calculate between MRAD and MOA (Guide on MOA vs Mil vs MRAD for Hunting and Shooting), but overall, it is less complicated than it sounds.
The click value of the windage and elevation turrets is 1/4 MOA per click. Compared to other budget scopes, that’s quite granular as many of those cheap scopes come with 1/2 MOA click values.
The turrets are not capped. You can tighten them so they should not accidentally change their settings when you track through the woods but having capped turrets can be advantageous when hunting.
As if you haven’t had enough turrets and adjustments, the scope also has parallax adjustments that you can adjust on the objective bell. It adjusts from 5 yards to infinity.
Pinty did a nice job with the illumination of the reticle. Most illuminated reticles come with either red or green illumination or, in the best case, both.
The Mil-Dot reticle of this scope also has the option to be blue illuminated. The red and green work usually well, but in some lighting conditions, it can be pretty helpful to have a third option!
Each color has three brightness settings that you adjust with the turret on the left side. While you change the settings from one color to the next, there’s an ‘off’ setting between each color to switch the illumination off.
The illumination of the reticle is powered through a CR2032 battery. The battery is conveniently housed in the turret you use to adjust the brightness and switch the color.
Just to avoid any confusion. The reticle is visible even without illumination. So, if you end up without a battery during a hunt, you can still use the scope. It’s not like with a red dot that becomes useless when you’re out of battery!
There’s no question about it, the Pinty 3-9×40 is a budget scope. It’s priced well below the magic $100 threshold. And for that price, you are getting an excellent scope that is sturdy and will last you.
Again, do not compare that to a high-end scope from the likes of Leupold or others. You get a solid scope with good optical and mechanical capabilities that you can mount on your hunting rifle and take with you on a hunting trip any day of the week. Or mount it on a gun you use for plinking and have some fun.
You won’t shed many tears if, by accident, you break the scope during a hunt. Think how you’d feel if you have a scope from Vortex or Leupold costing you 10 or 20 times what you’ll pay for the Pinty scope if it breaks on a hunting trip! And no, we’re not saying that you have to assume that the scope will break. But scopes do break at times when you’re out in the woods…
Our Thoughts about the Scope
The Pinty 3-9×40 is a great scope for the money. It won’t compare to high-end scopes that cost 10 or 20 times as much, but it’s a sturdy scope you can use anytime that won’t let you down.
The scope comes with a solid build and quality, and it’s hard to find scopes at the same price point that could conceivably be better. All technical specifications are within what you expect to get with a 3-9×40 scope.
- Budget scope with clear lenses and easy adjustments
- Solid quality for the price
- Picatinny rail mount rings included
- Sunshade and lens covers included
- Brightness adjusts by only three levels.
What other Scopes should you Consider?
You can find numerous 3-9×40 scopes with parallax adjustments anywhere today. We’ve picked a few budget scopes that compare to the Pinty scope and highlight where we see the differences to be.
Monstrum 3-9×40 AO
The Monstrum scope is roughly in the same price range as the Pinty one. It comes with a single-piece offset scope mount for Picatinny rails.
The crosshair reticle on this scope is not illuminated. Having an illuminated reticle can be helpful in some lighting conditions, so we think that’s a nice advantage that the Pinty scope offers.
What we like, though, is that the Monstrum 3-9×40 does come with capped turrets. This prevents any accidental changes of settings you dialed in with the turrets while you’re in the woods.
OMMO 3-9×40 Red/Green Illuminated Mil-Dot Scope
The OMMO scope is somewhat similar to the Pinty scope. It does not offer parallax adjustments which can be a downside compared to the Pinty optic.
It has an illuminated Mil-Dot reticle. You can pick between red and green illumination, and each color can have the brightness adjusted in five levels. The Pinty scope has the additional blue illumination, which can be helpful in certain surrounding light conditions.
The OMMO scope has a significantly smaller field of view on the lowest magnification. It provides 25 feet at 100 yards compared to the 39.3 feet you get at 3x with the Pinty scope. Specifically, when you’re hunting, that’s a significant advantage for the Pinty offering.
CVLIFE 3-9x40AO Scope
The CVLIFE 3-9×40 scope comes with parallax adjustments but without an illuminated reticle. The reticle itself is a Mil-Dot reticle that matches the one that Pinty uses.
You can adjust the parallax between 15 feet and infinity. In comparison, the Pinty scope has parallax adjustments starting at 5 feet.
While the reticles on both the CVLIFE and the Pinty scope are Mil-Dot variants, the CVLIFE scope has no illumination. A positive of the CVLIFE, though, is that it comes with capped turrets.