Do you want to buy the best illuminated scope? By the end of this post, you’ll find a reliable illuminated scope that will enhance your shooting experience.
The primary purpose of an illuminated scope is to enhance target acquisition and aiming in situations where traditional non-illuminated scopes might be less effective. It ensures that the aiming point remains visible and clear even in dim lighting, making it a valuable tool for hunters and shooters who may encounter varying light conditions during their activities.
However, you’ll find many illuminated scopes, making narrowing your search hard. We created this post to help you make a well-informed purchase.
Let us get right into it.
7 Best Illuminated Scopes
1) Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope
Searching for an illuminated scope that excels in both performance and durability? Look no further than the Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope. This versatile optic offers an impressive array of features designed for close to medium-range shooting, whether you’re hunting in the wilderness or participating in tactical operations.
The most outstanding feature of this scope is its exceptional low-light performance. The fully multi-coated optics provide stunningly bright and clear images across a variable zoom range of 3x to 9x.
This scope is ideal for hunting at dusk or dawn or for any low-light situation where you need to take that critical shot. This is because the fast focus eyepiece ensures rapid target acquisition and maintains reticle sharpness.
It is made from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum to ensure it is durable and highly resistant to wear and tear. In addition, the hard-anodized finish offers an extra layer of protection, minimizing sun reflection so you can maintain a stealthy position.
We recommend this scope for a seasoned hunter or a tactical operator because of its top-of-the-line optics, rugged build, and ease of use.
2) EOTech Vudu 3.5-18x50mm Rifle Scope
If you are searching for a premium scope, consider buying the EOTech Vudu 3.5-18x50mm Rifle Scope. It is designed for tactical shooters and long-range shooting enthusiasts.
The EOTech Vudu ensures efficient light transmission and razor-sharp clarity and is outfitted with a 50mm objective lens and XC high-density, low-dispersion glass. With its first focal plane (FFP) reticle, targeting at varying distances becomes a breeze, allowing for more dynamic and accurate shooting.
This rifle scope is no slouch when it comes to ease of use. It features oversized, precision-machined turrets, an EZ Chek zero-stop feature, and a parallax adjustment system. This makes it easy to make adjustments on the fly.
The LED-illuminated red reticle is perfect for low-light conditions. A simple push-button control easily adjusts brightness levels. This allows for optimal visibility irrespective of the ambient lighting.
The Vudu 3.5-18x50mm is engineered for toughness, featuring aircraft-grade aluminum construction. In addition, the scope is fog-resistant and shock-resistant.
We recommend it for anyone who wants to hone their long-range shooting skills.
3) NightForce 3.5-15×50 NXS Tactical Rifle Scope
The NightForce 3.5-15×50 NXS Tactical Rifle Scope is a high-performance scope that stands out for its innovation, reliability, and top-notch craftsmanship. It is a go-to choice for both military and law enforcement professionals.
This scope is made from 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum for longevity. In addition, the black finish gives it a sleek look and enhances its weather-resistant capabilities.
This scope has an adjustable magnification range of 3.5 to 15x. This makes it an excellent choice for close-quarters encounters and long-range targeting.
The MOAR reticle on the second focal plane (SFP) enhances shooting accuracy. It also helps you in low-light conditions.
This scope boasts a 50 mm objective lens diameter, ensuring optimal light transmission. You’ll always get clear images across all the magnification levels.
The exceptional feature of this scope is its unprecedented 110 MOA of internal adjustment. In addition, the parallax adjustment allows for clear targeting from 50 yards to infinity.
4) SIG SAUER TANGO-MSR LPVO 1-8x24mm Rifle Scope
The SIG SAUER TANGO-MSR LPVO 1-8x24mm Rifle Scope is a top-quality LPVO scope with many impressive features to take your shooting game to the next level. Tailored to work seamlessly with Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs), this scope brings remarkable light transmission and unmatched clarity that SIG SAUER is famous for.
Its effortless target acquisition makes the SIG SAUER TANGO-MSR 1-8x24mm scope a cut above the rest. Thanks to its illuminated MSR BDC-8 reticle with 11 different brightness settings, you get a sharp, vivid target picture regardless of the lighting conditions.
The scope provides a generous eye relief range between 3.74 and 3.93 inches and a diopter adjustment range of -2.5 to +2.5 dpt. With 0.5 MOA per click adjustments and 100 MOA windage and elevation travel at 100 yards, it’s built for fine-tuning.
One of the standout features is its rugged build quality. The scope is waterproof up to an IPX-7 standard, fog-proof, and shockproof. You can depend on it even in challenging environmental conditions.
We recommend this scope because of the Spectracoat lens coating. It ensures you always get a crystal-clear view for precise shots every time.
5) Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44mm Rifle Scope
The Leupold VX-5HD employs a high-definition optical system and the revolutionary Twilight Max Light Management. This stellar combination offers incredible clarity and unparalleled performance in low-light conditions.
The FireDot illuminated reticle functions brilliantly in all lighting conditions. With easy one-button intensity adjustments, you can swiftly switch from a subtle point of focus to a vivid red dot-like display.
The CDS-ZL2 elevation dial is one of the most intriguing features of this scope. The dial locks into place and offers two full rotations of elevation adjustment. This prevents accidental changes during those critical moments.
The Guard-Ion Rain Shedding coating also makes the lens exceptionally resistant to water and dirt. This ensures a crisp and clear image.
The Second Focal Plane (SFP) design ensures that the reticle size remains constant, even when changing magnification. This is particularly useful in low-light situations and makes range estimation straightforward.
The 30mm tube is crafted from 6061-T6 aluminum and features a matte finish. Furthermore, it is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof.
6) Leupold VX-6HD 2-12x42mm Rifle Scope
The Leupold VX-6HD 2-12x42mm Rifle Scope is another premium illuminated scope that will deliver value for the money you spend. It is packed with state-of-the-art features that deliver results you can rely on.
The VX-6HD 2-12x42mm offers a blend of a broad field-of-view and long-range magnification. This allows for quick target acquisition, making it easier for you to line up your shot whether you’re out on a hunting expedition or engaged in a shooting competition.
This scope is virtually indestructible because it is crafted from 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum. In addition, its unique Argon/Krypton gas blend offers superior thermal shock resistance.
The Leupold VX-6HD features a CDS-ZL2 elevation adjustment system, allowing easy customization. You can get a laser-etched dial that perfectly matches your ammunition’s ballistics.
The Twilight Max Light Management System offers exceptional light transmission and glare control. This means you get crystal-clear, high-contrast images, even in low-light conditions.
We recommend this scope because of its one-button brightness control and Motion Sensor Technology (MST).
7) Leupold VX-6HD 3-18x50mm Rifle Scope
The last scope on our list is the Leupold VX-6HD 3-18x50mm Rifle Scope. It is designed to be versatile, reliable, and incredibly precise.
With a versatile 3-18x magnification range, this scope allows you to scout your terrain easily at lower magnifications and switch to higher magnifications for pinpoint accuracy. The ambidextrous reversible throw lever further enhances this adaptability. This makes it easy to make magnification adjustments.
Leupold’s Custom Dial System takes the guesswork out of ballistics. By laser-etching an elevation dial that matches your specific load, velocity, and environmental conditions, you can eliminate the need for holdovers or ballistic calculators. Simply range your target, dial in, and your shot will be accurate and swift.
The most outstanding feature of this scope is the Twilight Max Light Management System. This feature guarantees bright, clear images by optimizing light transmission and minimizing glare. This makes it easy to hunt at dusk and dawn.
We recommend this scope because of the red illumination color for better target acquisition. However, it is very expensive.
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Factors To Consider When Buying The Best Illuminated Scope
Mil-Dot, BDC, or Duplex: Choose a reticle style that suits your shooting style. Mil-dot reticles are often favored for precision shooting, while BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator) reticles are designed for specific cartridge trajectories. Duplex reticles are simple and versatile.
Ensure the scope offers multiple brightness levels for the illuminated reticle. This allows you to adapt to different lighting conditions, from bright daylight to low-light situations, providing optimal visibility without overexposing the target.
Check the expected battery life of the scope, especially if it uses electronic illumination. Longer battery life means less frequent battery changes during your shooting sessions.
Look for scopes that are built to withstand rugged use. High-quality materials, waterproofing, fog resistance, and shockproof construction are essential features for durability.
Consider your shooting needs. A variable magnification scope allows you to zoom in for long-range shots and zoom out for close-range or fast target acquisition. Fixed magnification scopes are simpler but can be effective for specific purposes.
Objective Lens Diameter
A larger objective lens allows more light to enter the scope, improving low-light performance. However, it can make the scope heavier and bulkier.
Look for scopes with fully multi-coated lenses. These coatings reduce glare, improve light transmission, and enhance image clarity.
Scopes with parallax adjustment enable you to eliminate parallax error, ensuring that the reticle and target are in focus at different distances.
Adequate eye relief is crucial to prevent scope eye injuries. Check the eye relief specifications and ensure it’s comfortable for your shooting style and rifle recoil.
Decide between capped or exposed turrets. Capped turrets are protected from accidental adjustments, while exposed turrets allow quick and easy field adjustments.
Determine whether you prefer a first focal plane (FFP) or second focal plane (SFP) scope. FFP scopes maintain reticle subtensions at all magnifications, while SFP scopes keep the reticle size constant.
Price and Budget
Set a realistic budget based on your requirements. While premium scopes offer exceptional features, there are also budget-friendly options that provide good performance.
Brand Reputation and Warranty
Choose reputable brands known for quality and customer support. Check the warranty terms to ensure you’re covered in case of any issues.
User Reviews and Recommendations
Read user reviews and seek recommendations from fellow shooters or hunters who have experience with the scope you’re considering. Their insights can be valuable.
Frequently Asked Questions On The Best Illuminated Scope
1) How Does an Illuminated Scope Work?
The illuminated reticle in the scope is generally lit by an LED light, which can be adjusted for brightness. The illumination helps the reticle stand out against the target and background, making it easier to aim.
2) What’s the Difference Between First and Second Focal Plane?
In a First Focal Plane (FFP) scope, the reticle grows and shrinks with magnification changes, allowing the reticle’s subtensions to remain accurate at all magnification levels. In a Second Focal Plane (SFP) scope, the reticle stays the same size throughout magnification changes. Depending on the design, illumination can be applied to FFP or SFP scopes.
3) Battery Life: How Long Do They Last?
Battery life varies among brands and models but is generally between 30 to 100 hours, depending on the brightness settings. Some scopes come with auto-off features to save battery.
4) What Should I Consider for Hunting vs Tactical Shooting?
For hunting, you might prefer a scope with a simpler reticle that offers rapid target acquisition. A more complex reticle with hash marks for windage and elevation adjustments may be beneficial for tactical or long-range shooting.
5) What Are the Recommended Brands?
Brands like Leupold, Vortex, and Nightforce are known for their high-quality illuminated scopes, but many other reliable brands are also available.
In conclusion, an illuminated scope will offer critical advantages in low-light conditions and specialized shooting scenarios. By carefully evaluating your requirements and considering the factors outlined in this article, you’ll be better positioned to select a scope that meets and potentially exceeds your shooting needs.
We hope this post helped you find the best illuminated scope.