Looking for the best handgun scope? In today’s buying guide, we will look at the features, pros, and cons of the top-recommended options. Our main aim is to help you narrow your search, especially if you are a beginner.
The primary purpose of a handgun scope is to enhance accuracy at longer distances than would be achievable with open sights or red-dot sights. They are popular among hunters using handguns for game and varmint hunting and among competitive sport shooters.
Handgun scopes have variable or fixed magnification. Fixed magnification scopes have a set level of zoom and are simpler and more robust. Variable magnification scopes allow the shooter to adjust the zoom level, offering greater flexibility but potentially at the cost of added complexity and size.
Let us look at some of the best options available.
7 Best Handgun Scopes
1) Burris Handgun 2-7x32mm Rifle Scope
The Burris Handgun 2-7x32mm Rifle Scope is one of the best scopes for hunting and target shooting applications. It is designed to withstand even the most punishing recoil from today’s magnum calibers.
It’s built from aircraft-grade aluminum, offering a single, solid, stress-free tube that can withstand shock, recoil, and even vibrations. With a double internal spring-tension system, the scope holds zero flawlessly, ensuring your aim is true shot after shot.
The scope has high-grade optical glass that promises excellent brightness and clarity. The lenses are not just large but are also treated with an index-matched, Hi-Lume multicoating. This aids in low-light performance and practically eliminates glare, allowing you to focus on your target with razor-sharp precision.
The Burris Handgun 2-7x32mm offers a lot in terms of adjustability and convenience. It offers a 2-7x magnification range and a 32mm objective lens. In addition, the adjustment click value is 1/4 MOA, making it straightforward to tweak for windage and elevation.
Most avid shooters recommend this scope because it has generous eye relief, making it easy to aim. This handy feature considers many cartridges and barrel lengths, helping you make accurate shots.
We included it because the nitrogen-filled tubes ensure that internal fogging becomes a non-issue, even in adverse weather conditions. In addition, the scope is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.
2) Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32mm Rifle Scope
When it comes to finding the perfect handgun scope, the Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32mm Rifle Scope stands out as a durable, bright, and clear addition to your firearm. It is an ideal choice for both seasoned marksmen and beginners alike.
The most outstanding feature of this scope is its rugged construction. It is constructed from high-quality aircraft-grade aluminum. Therefore, it can withstand the rigors of shooting, recoil, and impact.
The Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32mm Rifle Scope takes weatherproofing to the next level. It is fully waterproof, thanks to precision O-rings that prevent moisture, dust, debris, and more from entering the tube.
In addition, it has a 32mm objective lens diameter and variable magnification ranging from 2x to 7x.
The fully multi-coated glass lenses provide high-quality optical performance. This allows you to acquire targets with precision and accuracy.
The V-Plex reticle is located in the second focal plane, meaning it maintains the same size regardless of magnification. This is ideal for quick target acquisition and accurate holdover points.
3) Leupold VX-3 Handgun 2.5-8x33mm Rifle Scope
The Leupold VX-3 Handgun 2.5-8x33mm is another excellent option that will help you hone your handgun shooting skills. It is a top-tier scope with a good price-to-performance ratio.
The exceptional feature of this scope is Leupold’s innovative Twilight Max Light Management System. It ensures optimal clarity and brightness in any shooting environment. With this technology, you’ll experience enhanced visibility during early morning or low-light conditions, giving you the edge in critical moments.
Durability matters when it comes to optics, and the Leupold VX-3 doesn’t disappoint. Its scratch-resistant lenses and tough 6061-T6 aluminum construction ensure that this scope can withstand the rigors of regular use. You can trust it to perform reliably even in challenging conditions.
This scope can handle everything, whether you’re out in the rain, facing heavy recoil, or dealing with sudden temperature changes. It’s waterproof to keep moisture out, shockproof to endure recoil, and fogproof to maintain clarity when transitioning between temperature extremes.
4) Burris Handgun 3-12x32mm Rifle Scope
The Burris Handgun 3-12x32mm Rifle Scope is another high-performance scope you can pair with your handgun. It is very easy to use, making it a great choice for hunters and target shooters.
The unique feature of this scope is its fully multicoated optics. This feature ensures outstanding brightness and clarity, even in challenging lighting conditions.
In addition, the Hi-Lume Multi-Coated lens guarantees exceptional light transmission and minimizes glare. This is a crucial factor for hunters seeking an edge during low-light hours.
The Burris Handgun Scope comes equipped with the Ballistic Plex reticle, designed to simplify trajectory compensation for hunters. This reticle is elegant and incredibly effective. It can be tailored to match various calibers and bullet weights, ensuring pinpoint accuracy at short and long ranges.
This scope is designed to handle the harshest recoil from powerful magnums. Its generous 10-inch eye relief and compact design provide comfort and safety during shooting sessions. Its aircraft-grade aluminum construction guarantees durability and shockproof performance.
We recommend this scope because it features a parallax adjustment that allows you to fine-tune your shots with exceptional accuracy at various distances.
5) Leapers UTG 2-7x32mm Handgun Scope
Leapers UTG 2-7x32mm Handgun Scope is an affordable scope suitable for beginners on a budget. It boasts an impressive 32mm objective lens and adjustable magnification ranging from 2x to 7x.
The most outstanding feature of this scope is the PDC (Projectile Drop Compensation) reticle. It is designed to assist shooters at various distances.
The other unique feature is the extraordinary eye relief, extending up to 25 inches. This means you can enjoy comfortable shooting sessions without the discomfort often associated with handgun scopes.
The Leapers UTG Handgun Scope features emerald-coated lenses that maximize light transmission. This ensures you get clear images even in low-lighting conditions.
In addition, the scope is built on the True Strength platform, making it shockproof, fogproof, and rainproof. This means you can confidently take it outdoors without worrying about the elements.
You’ll receive medium-height Picatinny/Weaver rings and high-quality flip-open lens caps when you purchase this handgun scope. This provides added value and convenience.
6) Burris 2x20mm Handgun Scope
The Burris 2x20mm Handgun Scope is the most compact configuration in Burris’s impressive product line. This scope boasts the incredibly simple Plex reticle, which provides a clear and unobstructed sight picture, making target acquisition quick and accurate.
The exceptional feature of this scope is its ability to handle the harshest recoil. It is designed for powerful magnums and features a long eye relief, ideal for hunters using high-recoil handguns. The scope is constructed with high-grade optical glass, ensuring excellent brightness, clarity, and long-lasting durability.
Burris has gone the extra mile to ensure top-notch optical performance. The lenses on this scope are larger than those found on comparable models. This allows for better light transmission.
Moreover, the index-matched, Hi-Lume multi-coating enhances low-light performance and eliminates glare. This increases your chances of a successful shot even in challenging lighting conditions.
Handgun hunters know the importance of a scope that maintains zero through shock, recoil, and vibrations. Burris has addressed this concern with a double internal spring-tension system. This guarantees that your scope always stays on target.
7) Weaver Classic Series Handgun Scope
The Weaver Classic Series Handgun Scope is another affordable option for those on a strict budget. It has a compact and lightweight design, making it an excellent choice for most handguns.
The outstanding feature of this scope is its advanced optical system. It significantly boosts contrast and clarity with fully multi-coated lenses, ensuring a crisp and vibrant image. Even in low-light conditions, this scope won’t let you down.
Ergonomically designed turret caps and a magnification ring with aggressive knurlings make this scope user-friendly. Whether you’re shooting in the rain or wearing gloves, you’ll find adjusting your settings on the fly easy.
In addition, the long eye relief ensures you can comfortably acquire your target without straining your eyes.
We recommend this scope because it offers exceptional performance. It is also built to withstand the harshest of elements.
Factors to Consider When Buying The Best Handgun Scope
When considering the purchase of a handgun scope, there are multiple factors to consider. Below are some key considerations, each explained in detail:
Handgun scopes come in fixed or variable magnification. Fixed magnification scopes are simpler and usually more robust but offer no flexibility to zoom in or out. Variable magnification scopes provide more versatility but can add complexity and weight. The choice between the two largely depends on your needs and how much variability you require in shooting distances.
Objective Lens Size
The size of the objective lens determines how much light the scope can gather, affecting its performance in low-light conditions. Larger objective lenses generally offer better light gathering but can make the scope bulky and heavy. Balance your need for low-light performance with the practicality of carrying a lighter, more compact scope.
Handguns often have significant recoil, so durability is an essential factor to consider. Look for scopes built to last, with features like waterproofing, fogproofing, and shock resistance. A rugged, durable scope will perform reliably, even under adverse conditions.
Eye relief is the distance between your eye and the rear lens of the scope where you can still see the entire field of view. Handguns generally have more recoil than rifles, making eye relief particularly important. Ensure the eye relief is sufficient to prevent “scope eye” — being hit in the eye by the scope due to recoil.
How the scope will attach to your handgun is critical. Some handguns have built-in mounting rails, while others may require special mounts. Ensure that the scope you choose is compatible with your handgun, and consider whether you’ll need additional mounting hardware.
The reticle, also known as the crosshair, is what you use to aim at the target. There are various types, from simple crosshairs to more elaborate designs with mil-dots for range estimation. Choose a reticle that suits your specific shooting needs, whether hunting, target shooting, or self-defense.
Weight and Size
Keep the weight and size of the scope in mind, as it will impact the balance and handling of your handgun. A scope that’s too large or heavy can make the gun unwieldy.
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Frequently Asked Questions When Buying The Best Handgun Scope
1) What type of reticle is best for my needs?
Reticle choice often comes down to personal preference and intended use. Simple crosshairs may suffice for target shooting, while more complex reticles with range estimators may be useful for hunting.
2) What is the optimal magnification for a handgun scope?
The optimal magnification depends on your intended use. A lower magnification, like 1x to 4x, is usually sufficient for short-range shooting or self-defense.
3) Is the scope compatible with my handgun?
Not all scopes fit all handguns. Check the mounting options and ensure the scope can securely attach to your specific handgun model. If needed, consult the manufacturer or a professional for advice.
4) How important is eye relief?
Eye relief is crucial for safe and comfortable shooting, especially given the different stances used in handgun shooting compared to rifle shooting. Longer eye relief is generally better, as it allows for more flexible positioning and reduces the risk of injury from recoil.
5) Is a more expensive scope always better?
Not necessarily. While higher cost often correlates with better quality, features, and durability, assessing whether the scope meets your specific needs is important. Sometimes, a less expensive scope may serve you just as well.
Choosing the best handgun scope is a crucial decision that can greatly enhance your shooting accuracy, whether you’re hunting, target shooting, or preparing for self-defense. Remember, a scope should enhance your shooting experience, not complicate it. Whether you’re a hunter looking for better accuracy at longer ranges or a sport shooter aiming for tighter groupings, there’s a scope out there for you.
We hope this post helped you find a reliable scope to hone your precision and accuracy skills.