Best High End Rifle Scope in 2023

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Are you searching for the best high end rifle scope? In this comprehensive guide, we will review some of the top options to help you narrow your search.  

Choosing the proper optic can seem like a difficult chore with many alternatives available, whether this is your first or fifth time looking for the optimal rifle sight. You can think about a few things to simplify the procedure.

What is your budget, first of all? No matter how much money you have to spend—$100, $200, $300, $500, $1000, or even more—there is a rifle sight that will work for both your needs and your budget.

Second, what shooting activities do you engage in? Do long-range shooting, deer hunting, or varmint management require a rifle scope? What kind of gun will you mount your scope to? What kind of reticle or objective do you require? Will the scope be given to someone else?

Through our evaluations and equipment recommendations, we strive to assist you in finding the answers to these and other questions so that you can make an informed decision.

If you’re still unsure where to begin, scroll down this page. There is truly something here for everyone as we have selected the best rifle scopes for 2022 and 2023 from a variety of the greatest brands and in various pricing ranges.

 

Best High End Rifle Scope: The Highest-Quality, Most Powerful Hunting Optics for 2023

1) NightForce SHV 5-20X56 – Best Overall

 

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A scope like the NightForce SHV 5-20X56 should not be played with. Hunters are enticed into adoring this $1300 rifle sight because of its stunning 30 mm tube body and illuminated MOAR reticle on flawless, unmatched glass.

NightForce produces a more respectable rifle scope for us hunters, especially for a well-known tactical company. In hunter-language, the big objective lens, the glass-etched reticle, and the wide range of variable power speak volumes.

Our in-depth review will set those sparks flying if you want to fall in love with everything this scope offers.

Pros

  • Rugged construction
  • Shock and fog-proof glass
  • Compact
  • Clear vision
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Pricey

2) Maven RS.1 2.5-15X44 – Best FFP Scope & Best Under $1500

 

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Regarding the Maven RS.1 rifle sight, I have ample reason to be biased. Every day, all day long, I will recommend it without reservation. I fully support it because I have personally used and tested it.

It’s a high-performing scope from a new company, and it’s the best they have to offer. That is, until the Maven RS.4, a mighty, incredibly fantastic, field-tested product. But I digress.

The SHR (Simplified Holdover Reticle), our preferred option for all hunting purposes, is present in this model. With the reticle, you can easily extend your range to 600 yards and adjust it for a more extended range.

Turret clicks, speaking about dialing in, are audible, reliable, and quite noticeable. Anticipate this high-end scope to have 100% tracking constancy. Also, just as the RS.4 5-30×56, the reticle is in the first focal plane, allowing you to employ hash marks at any magnification.

The build quality is superb. To resist the hard damage a hunter can give it, it must be resilient, drop-proof, and weatherproof. This scope will keep its zero and remain waterproof if it is dropped, frozen, or submerged in water. Although you don’t have to, you may cringe as you do it. This is a proper scope.

It is an excellent hunting and target scope that is well-crafted and made to last. Its high accuracy and well-made design go hand in hand with its simplicity and ease of usage. There are a few scopes that the Maven RS.1 scope would face severe competition from, but we dare to claim that the Maven is our favorite.

Pros

  • FFP reticle Long-range 30 mm tube price
  • Fantastic quality

Cons

  • There is no illuminated reticle.

Any skilled shooter knows that sight is only as good as its internal components, and visually, the RS.1 is competitive with the industry’s top models.

The massive 100 MOA in elevation and 70 MOA in windage movement are available from the 30 mm tube body. With the Maven scope, it will become addictive to hit steel at very distant distances.

3) Swarovski Optik Z5 3.5-18X44 – Best Lightweight

 

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Although it costs only about $1600, the Swarovski Z5 3.5-18X44 P is a beefed-up rifle scope worth breaking the bank for. Its quality is on par with areas costing much more. It excels in every field thanks to its 4-coil spring system, ballistic turret technology, lightweight, and small size.

You may alter your scope settings for different hunting environments, such as open plains or forested areas, with the Z5’s extensive power range and side focus mechanism.

It also has a shallow profile and is lighter than most rifle scopes with a 1″ tube in this power range, weighing in at just under a pound.

If finding the best value for your money is your goal, this lovely Swarovski will not disappoint you.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Accurate
  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Clear images

Cons

  • Expensive

4) NightForce NXS 5.5-22X56 – Best Long-Range Scope

 

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At this price range, the NightForce NXS 5.5-22X56 has won third place. This NightForce rifle scope was chosen as one of the top 3 because of how much abuse it can withstand.

Forget about its comprehensive power range, glass-etched reticles, Hi-Speed 20 MOA turrets, and the list of reticle variations available; it will still get you out to distances of more than 1000 yards with ease.

The violent, merciless damage this scope can withstand is the $2000 NXS’ most fantastic feature.

Pros

  • Glass etched reticles
  • Easy to use
  • Comfortable to use

Cons

  • None

5) Vortex Razor HD LHT 4.5-22×50 – Best Crossover Scope

 

 

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The greatest glass and controls from Vortex are found in the Razor HD range, but the LHT (short for Light Hunter Tactical) adds a flexible first-plane reticle to the mix. Shooters who want to hold for long shots will find plenty of elevation and windage references in the MOA-based reticle.

The locking elevation dial is conveniently indexing for those who wish to dial turrets for their aiming solution.

Vortex has created a hunting scope that will function for long-range target shooters as a precision tactical sight and for long-range hunters as a precision target scope.

With a first-plane reticle calibrated to MOA standards, a low-profile locking elevation turret that is simple to adjust, a capped windage turret, and a rock-solid turret zero stop, it is the perfect crossover scope.

The Razor HD LHT combines hunting and long-range precision shooting capabilities to provide a perfect shot without being overly bulky and heavy.

Although the 30mm scope weighs 21.7 ounces, it would be home on a lightweight hunting rifle. Moreover, the illumination module is combined with the parallax dial to maintain the slim design.

The Razor HD LHT has 45 MOA of windage adjustment and a total elevation adjustment range of 75 MOA inside. In addition to having the famous Vortex’s lifetime transferrable warranty, the glass is brilliant, has coatings that make the image pop, and is extremely durable.

Pros

  • This is a good rimfire scope since it can focus as closely as 25 yards.
  • The XLR-2 MOA-based reticle is practical without being overly complex.
  • Intelligent push-button illumination is both bright and dim.

Cons

  • Too readily, the elevation turret rotates.
  • I’d like to see this reticle in an MRAD format.
  • Merchandise Description

6) Swarovski X5i 3.5-15×50 – Best Under $4000

 

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With secondary all-purpose capabilities, the X5i 3.5-18×50 is one of Swarovski’s most excellent hunting scopes. The X5i’s enhancements will be more expensive and heavier (30.7oz). The X5i is a good upgrade for long-range shooting, hunting, and many other uses.

Given that an FFP scope is preferred for heavy Extreme long range (ELR) shooting and that the X5i has the SFP reticle, it might not be your first choice—let alone for PRS competition.

But, the vast, exposed turrets mounted on a thick 30mm tube provide significant 122 MOA elevation adjustment and 72 MOA windage adjustment, which is a lot of motion for fine-tuning those long shots when necessary. You will value the well-designed zero-stop system and the side focus with a minimum distance of 55 yards if you frequently dial in.

With its SFP reticle, it is a hunting champion. It will be a lowlight scope you can rely on for pick-apart-detail resolution during first and last light thanks to 91% light transmission and a big 50mm lens with high twilight factor specifications. The outstanding optical quality of Swarovski requires little persuasion. The proof is in the eating.

The X5i is available in MOA or MRAD variants, each with a unique turret system-specific reticle design that is lighted with ten brightness settings. It has its location with a button interface on top of the ocular bell rather than duplicating the illumination function of the third turret.

The X5i is not meant to be a scope you admire from a distance while being costly as one would expect from the prestigious name. For a Swarovski scope, it is reasonably priced, and you may occasionally find it on sale to make your wish list a reality.

Pros

  • SFP reticle
  • ELR
  • Reticle lighting
  • Exceptional vision
  • Null stop

Cons

  • Heavy

7) Zeiss Victory V8 2.8-20X56 – Best Lowlight Scope

 

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With its comprehensive zoom range of 2.8-20x magnification, you can use this scope for anything close to incredibly far distances from night to daylight. With its huge 56 mm aperture, you can see clearly in low light.

Do you want to know how far you can shoot? Feel free to maximize modifications with the ASV Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) and massive 36 mm tube body if you have a caliber that can travel a long distance. A Ballistic Stop is also included in an exposed tactical-style elevation turret to return you to zero quickly. Finish this baby off with the beloved #60 illuminated dot reticle.

With specs like this, who cares that it weighs about 2 pounds? You’ll likely never want to mount this scope if you surpass the ridiculous price tag. What do you think? Too pricey to want to use and abuse realistically?

Pros

  • Broad zoom range
  • HT Schott glass lenses with fluoride
  • Large opening
  • Long-range use is close to

Cons

  • Pricey

8) GPO Spectra 6x 4.5-27x50i

 

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This 4.5-27x version of GPO’s Spectra 6x high-magnification extension is set up for a hunter who wishes to dial for long-distance aiming options. It has tactile controls, infinitely adjustable lighting, and a milling reticle in the first focal plane.

GPO has invested heavily to accommodate the growing number of Western hunters looking for a precise reticle inside a hunting scope. The Spectra 6x has so many characteristics of a precision target scope, including a 34mm tube, enormous uncapped tactical turrets, and a considerable magnification range it might be too much for many walk-about hunters.

Nonetheless, there is much to like for those who want to adjust their scopes to deliver rounds to distant targets.

The pull-to-dial turrets turn with good accuracy and responsiveness to the touch. Images are straightforward at any distance because of the infinitely adjustable illumination and the parallax, which ranges from 25 yards to infinity.

The turrets are set to 0.1 MRAD click levels, and the revolution indicator and indexing are also excellent, which should lessen the likelihood that shooters will become “lost” in the turrets.

The reticle is basic yet effective in the middle of the magnification range, from roughly 8 to roughly 20X, and the glass is good.

Pros

  • Lighting controlled by a rheostat
  • extensive range of magnification
  • Plenty of internal reticle adjustment is possible with a 34mm tube.

Cons

  • Reticle is not immediately visible until around 8x.
  • Large turrets are easily snagged.

What to Consider Before Buying the Best High End Rifle Scope

Optical Grade

Whatever the manufacturer has to offer in terms of APO triplet lenses, ED or fluorite glass elements, light transmission coatings, or exterior lens coatings, the optical quality must be the highest possible. Even if people rate it subjectively in this price range, the glass is contrasted.

Parallax

In general, high-magnification or high-magnification LPVOs will make up the majority of scopes in this price range. This requires long-distance labor, necessitating this feature’s use for parallax correction and crisp resolution. Side-focus turrets are more common than changeable objectives.

Firearms Reticles

At this price point, it’s unlikely to find a simple duplex reticle because the focus is on optimizing accuracy from close quarters to extremely long ranges. It’s a matter of personal preference whether a reticle is scaled in MOA or MIL, and that’s the right decision to be made when picking one.

Weight and Size

Premium scopes often include large objective lenses for more light, thick tubes for more significant travel, and high magnification for extended range. This translates to a large, heavy, and incredibly coveted riflescope.

Warranty

Having a high-quality guarantee might make all the difference for expensive items. These are premium scopes, so they probably have the most outstanding warranty the manufacturer can provide, but not all warranties are created equal. Lifetime, unconditional, and fully transferable warranties are the best hassle-free guarantees.

FAQs on the Best High End Rifle Scope

1) Does Leupold outperform Vortex?

Because Leupold and Vortex are two of the most well-known optics manufacturers, I frequently get asked which brand of rifle scope is superior to the next. It depends, is the answer?

Depending on the product you’re comparing, yes. Leupold’s VX-3HD range of scopes generally outperforms Vortex’s lower-end Crossfire II, Diamondback, and Strike Eagle lines regarding glass quality, control accuracy, and longevity.

However, Vortex’s higher-end Razor HD line scopes perform on par with or better than Leupold’s VX-3 series. On the other hand, Leupold’s premium product lines, including the Mark 5HD, Mark 6, and Mark 8, are some of the best rifle scopes available and are similarly priced.

2) Which scope’s glass is the clearest?

Rifle scopes feature a variety of lens elements, and various companies frequently use different glass types for each lens. Yet, the largest of these lenses is the one that matters the most in terms of image quality. The large lens closest to your target is the objective lens.

Glass qualities like ED (extra-low dispersion) or HD (high-definition) are often regarded as having better clarity than conventional glass. The quality of the coatings, however, is on par with the glass quality in a scope.

These minuscule films make the reticle and images “pop” when viewed through the scope by lowering glare and improving contrast and color fidelity. A better grade of objective-lens glass and proprietary coatings are almost always worth the extra money.

3) Which rifle scopes are used by the military?

The military employs hunting rifle scopes, right? Not typically. Military optics are typically overbuilt since they must withstand more incredible abuse than hunting scopes. Specific rifle scopes, like the Leupold Mark 5HD you might see at your neighborhood sporting goods store, are used on military rifles.

Although it has been chosen for the U.S. Army’s Precision Sniper Rifle program, sports optics companies often do not compete for contracts since military criteria are strict regarding withstanding the punishment of battle.

However, military snipers favor the Steiner M7Xi, while Marine Corps snipers employ the precision rifle scopes from Nightforce.

4) Do Burris scopes have high quality?

Burris scopes are typical of good quality and longevity. Nonetheless, compared to more expensive product lines, lower-priced product lines typically include a glass of lower rate and a weaker construction. So it makes sense.

Moreover, a scope’s electronics become less robust as it contains more electronics since electronics are sensitive to recoil, dampness, and field wear. Because of this, rangefinding rifle scopes from Burris’ renowned Eliminator brand typically have less robust warranties than analog scopes.

However, the best and most resilient precision scopes on the market are those from Burris’s XTR Pro tactical scopes.

5) What is the price of a rifle scope?

A rifle scope can cost anything from $100 to $4,000. What therefore distinguishes the sharp pricing differences? Everything, including the scope’s glass quality, the accuracy of the erector system, and the turret controls.

The most accurate optical instruments require more complex manufacturing and quality-control procedures, which raises the price. However, the most expensive grades of Chinese and Malaysian glass on the market might cost three to four times as much as the best German and Japanese glass.

The price of a scope skyrockets as features like Bluetooth connectivity, an illuminated reticle, and rangefinding capabilities are included. But aren’t you looking for a rifle sight to be able to place bullets at an immense distance? With all those qualities, the scopes become even more accurate and dependable weapons.

Conclusion

The variety of rifle scopes (magnification, size, reticle type, and turret design) makes choosing one specifically designed for numerous applications complex. On the other hand, there are just as many issues when relying on a multipurpose, all-purpose scope for specialized jobs like blasting steel plates at a mile distance or combat shooting in poor light.

This roundup introduces readers to various scope types, examines their characteristics for various shooting activities, and demonstrates how well they can handle multiple shooting challenges.

Ultimately, choose a type of scope that best meets your requirements, such as a long-range precision scope, a low-power variable optic, or perhaps an all-purpose hunting scope, and then contrast models within that category.

You can also check Best Scope for Barrett 50 Cal in 2023