As any newbie knows, it is overwhelming to look for a new rifle scope. There are tons of different brands and things to consider when looking for one, which makes it easy to get lost.
How can you tell one rifle scope brand apart from the other brands?
The best rifle scope brands have three aspects in common: they make better scope lenses, they have better customer service, and their scopes are more durable.
Having a scope with those aspects makes a huge difference.
Knowing the best brands of rifle scopes will help you choose a high-quality scope. That is why I have put together this list of rifle scope brands. Here are the best rifle scope brands, ranked from one to five.
ALSO: If you want to know what my favorite rifle scopes are, read my article, “The Best Rifle Scopes on the Market.“
Leupold being at number one might not be a surprise to an experienced scope buyer. Leupold, founded in 1907, was started by a family from Portland, Oregon. The company, also known as Leupold and Stevens Inc., has been passed down from generation to generation. To this day it is still owned by the same family that created it.
As with a large percentage of companies established in the U.S., you can depend on Leupold to produce high-quality products. No matter what the price of any Leupold scope you buy is, you can always rest assured that you will be buying a top of the line product in that price range.
I have owned many Leupold scopes over the years, and I was not let down by any of them. Also they can, and will, last for generations because of their durability.
Also, Leupold scopes are used by the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps. Obviously if the U.S. trusts Leupold’s scopes to defend their nation they are pretty high-quality.
Leupold makes just about any level of scope you could find, from regular hunting scopes to high powered tactical military scopes.
Here is my all-time favorite budget Leupold scope. In my opinion, it is one of the best rifle scopes on the market because it doesn’t cost much but its quality is through-the-roof. If you want to check it out, go ahead:
Bushnell is a very reliable brand as far as durability and quality goes. Most Bushnell scopes are priced low, but that does not mean they are low in quality. Two examples of Bushnell’s low cost/high-value ratio are their Trophy and Trophy Xtreme series of scopes. Both of those series are well-known for including great lower-priced scopes, such as the Bushnell Trophy Xtreme X30 6-24×50 (See on Amazon).
Bushnell has been around for about seventy years, and their experience in the optics niche rubs off on their scopes. Most of their scopes are all built to last, and their glass quality is unmatched by even some of the Leupolds I’ve used.
Who Uses Bushnell Scopes? Should I Buy a Bushnell Scope?
Bushnell scopes are used by ordinary hunters all the way up to professional target shooters. Their scopes can be found in any price range you look in, but they are mainly found below $400.
Bushnell includes a 100% money back guarantee on all of the rifle scopes they sell. This fact further proves their commitment to excellence because it confirms that they have confidence in their scopes, something that many companies lack.
I recommend getting a Bushnell to anyone that wants a cheap scope with the same qualities and abilities of a more expensive scope. Some of the Bushnell scopes might not be as durable as their Leupold counterparts, but Bushnell scopes aren’t that far behind.
Here is one of my favorite Bushnell scopes. Anyone can use it, but it is one of the best rifle scopes for beginners. It doesn’t cost much at all but it still functions really well. Check it out:
3. Vortex Optics
Coming in at number four, we have Vortex Optics. Since 1986, Vortex Optics has been an American owned, veteran owned, and family owned business.
Vortex Optics is extremely customer oriented. When the owners started the company, they had the mindset that if they provided their customers with fast, friendly, and personalized service, everything else would take care of itself.
If you have a problem with a Vortex Optics scope, just contact them and they will be right on top of it. One time I had some reticle problems with my scope after dropping it, so I contacted Vortex and they told me to send it to them and they would get it back ASAP. Three days later, I had a brand new replacement scope at my door. There was no hassle, no stress, and no money involved. I doubt that there is any better customer support for rifle scopes that what Vortex Optics provides.
If you are looking for a great scope in your price range, you always have to consider buying a Vortex Optics scope. They might not be the flashiest scopes, but they get the job done. If you’re a person that doesn’t care for all of the extra bells and whistles some scopes provide, go with Vortex Optics. They prioritize the simple, but important, things. Things like having clear glass, a sturdy build, and spot-on adjustments.
Here is another great rifle scope from another great company. It is relatively cheap but it won’t let you down:
To finish our list, we have Nikon. Nikon is one of the most well-known optics manufacturers in the world. Nikon was founded in 1917 and it is located in Tokyo, Japan.
You probably recognize Nikon because they are globally known as a huge photography company. However, they also make hunting optics. Nikon has tons of different scopes, so if you want a scope that’s a perfect fit for you, don’t forget to check out Nikon.
Nikon's BDC Reticle
One of the things that stands out about Nikon is their BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation) reticle. BDC reticles are good for long range shots because you don’t have to adjust the turrets to aim at your target. You just match the target with the correct circle, and then fire. A lot of rifle scopes nowadays have BDC reticles, but the thing that makes Nikon stand out is their Spot On website. The Spot On website allows you to customize your BDC reticle to match the rifle you’re using. This software is almost necessary if you want to use a BDC reticle, however Nikon is the only company that has it. I use a BDC reticle when I do long range shooting, and so do many professionals. Nikon’s BDC reticle is like magic because of how easy it is to use.
This Nikon scope utilizes their BDC technology. It is one of their lower priced BDC scopes:
That wraps up Optics Empire’s list of the best rifle scope brands. Did you find this article helpful? Don’t forget to share with your friends and family!
ALSO READ: “The Best Scope for a Savage 220“
About The Author:
Hi! I’m Will Scott, the author of this post. I’m an outdoor enthusiast with over 10 years experience. I love trying out new gear and reviewing it so that other adventurers can get the most out of their experiences. I hope you’ve found my website informative, educational and helpful.
1 thought on “The Best Rifle Scope Brands (Ranked & Compared)”
This is a high-quality article, thank you for putting this together, Will!