An Air Rifle is typically used for recreational purposes. It is also used for short range hunting especially for hunting down those pesky little rats.
It supports a wide variety of calibers including the more popular .22 and .25. An air rifle scope complements your air rifle and tends to increase the accuracy.
Purchasing a new scope might be an overwhelming process for even the most professional hunters and marksmen.
The technologies and processes that are related to an air rifle scope are continuously evolving. Here’s your quick guide to buying such a scope.
Buying Guide for an Air Rifle Scope
The important factors to look for in an air rifle scope are:
Some air rifle scopes come with airgun rating which means that it is suitable for an airgun. This rating should not be ignored.
Basically what happens is that whenever an airgun is fired, it experiences recoil in both back and forward direction.
Mostly scopes that are available in the market are able to withstand backward recoil generated from firing a rifle. They don’t cater to the forward recoil.
Scopes with airgun rating are tested for both recoils and are then prone to lesser damage. Scopes without this rating will break into piece in no time.
Type of Magnification – Fixed or Variable
When considering the magnification power of an air rifle scope, you have two options – variable or fixed. The former can be adjusted according to your needs while the latter comes with 1 magnification level only.
A variable magnification scope will have magnification power ranging between minimum and maximum value. For instance, 6-24X denotes variable magnification ranging between 6X to 24X.
Both of these have their advantage and disadvantages. A fixed magnification scope leaves no room for calibration. It also doesn’t have any of those confusing dials that are used for adjusting magnification. In short, using a fixed scope is much easier as compared to a variable one.
On the other hand, a variable scope offers more versatility. This means that you can use your scope for medium to long ranges or even close range hunting as well.
Magnification Power that suits your needs
Keeping in mind your needs, you have to decide how much magnification power your scope should have. If you are hunting down squirrels in your area then 4-6x magnification is perfect for you.
With your air rifle you won’t usually be going above 500-600 yards, so purchasing a 12x scope in order to get yardage of 100-150 yards seems like a good option.
For general plinking like shooting cans, a 3-9X magnification power works well. In case of competition shooting, a 4-20X power scope is recommended.
Parallax is one of the greatest contributors to missing your targets. Even if you sight is exactly aligned, a slight movement of your head will cause the reticle to move.
A typical firearm comes with a parallax adjustment of 50 to 100 yards. An airgun usually allows you to hit targets under 50 yards so a parallax adjustment of 50-100 yards isn’t suitable.
For this reason, an air rifle scope comes with adjustable objective (AO) which offers a parallax adjustment ranging from 10 yards to infinity.
This design is different from the traditional side parallax adjustment knob. AO is a ring located near the objective lens.
The Size of the Objective Lens
When it comes to the objective lens, you have two options – a large 40-56mm objective lens or a small 20-32mm objective lens.
Which size is perfect for you depends upon your needs. If you will be using your scope in extreme low-light then a large sized objective lens is preferable.
Such a lens allows greater light to transmit through it and the images you see are brighter. Your field of view is large as well.
On the other hand, big sized objective lenses tend to be bulky. They increase the overall weight of your scope and it becomes difficult to use.
If weight is your preference then a small sized objective lens is what you need. You can also mount your scope lower in order to achieve accurate shots.
Duplex or Mil-Dot Reticle
While there are many reticles in the market, the two main types are duplex and mil-dot. The rest are simply alterations of these two fundamental types.
For plinkers and target shooters, a duplex reticle is a great choice. It has thick outer crosshairs and thin inner crosshairs which work together to draw attention to the center.
Although a bit more complicated, a Mil-Dot reticle is great for hunting purposes. It has a number of aiming points which allows you to compensate for windage and elevation.
Learning to use a mil-dot reticle might take some time but once learned, this type of reticle can assist you in accurately hitting farfetched targets.
Scope Mounting System
As discussed earlier, you need your air rifle scope to withstand the back and forth coil. You don’t want your scope to get damaged or even loose zero in the process.
We suggest you to look for a mounts that comes with stop pins or use some sort of mechanism which lets this scope hold zero.
While choosing between a pair of scope rings and a single mount, going for a one-piece mount is a better option. It is more reliable and less prone to instability.
Now we move onto reviewing the 10 best air rifle scopes that are currently available in the market. You can read more about rifle scopes in this article on pyramydair.com.
Top 10 Best Air Rifle Scope Reviews
Here are the top 10 best air rifle scopes and their in depth reviews:
- UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings
- CVLIFE Tactical 3-9×40 Optics R4 Reticle Crosshair Air Sniper Hunting Rifle Scope with Free Mounts
- X-Aegis Tactical 3-9×56 Red & Green Mil-dot Illuminated Optics Sight Hunting Air Rifle Scope with 2 Mounts & Lens Cover + Free Mounts
- Hawke Sport Optics 2-7×32 AO Sport HD Rifle Scope, Mil-Dot Reticle, 1/4 MOA, 1 Tube
- ATN DGWSXS520Z X-Sight II 5-20x/85mm Smart Day & Night Rifle Scope w/1080p Video, Ballistic Calculator, Rangefinder, WiFi, E-Compass, GPS, Barometer, IOS & Android Apps
- UTG 4-16X44 30mm Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, w/ Rings
- Hammers 3-9x32AO Air Rifle Scope with One-Piece Mount
- Winchester by Daisy Outdoor Products 4 x 32 AO Winchester Scope (Black, 4 x 32)
- BARSKA 3-12×40 AO Airgun, Black Matte, Mil-Dot
- UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings
UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope
Achieving versatility and optimal aiming performance is achieved by UTG BugBuster Air Rifle Scope. It features a tactical range estimating dual illumination reticle.
The red and green illuminated reticle lets you aim at targets in low light. With 9 aiming points on the crosshair, this reticle gives you unmatched accuracy.
The illumination can be adjusted using RGB side wheel illumination. Its premium lockable turrets provide precise elevation/windage adjustments. The turrets also have the re-setting feature.
With a versatile magnification power of 3X to 9X you can hit at a variety of ranges. The 32mm objective lens allows ambient light to pass through the lens. Emerald coating on the optics gives brighter images.
BugBuster has a Smart Spherical Structure which makes this scope reliable and long-lasting. This structure is a part of UTG’s True Strength Platform.
The scope is completely sealed and is purged with nitrogen. This offers water resistance, fog prevention and shock proofing.
With your BugBuster you get one 2inch sunshade and two heavy duty mounting rings. The manufacturer explicitly warns its customers regarding counterfeit scopes that are made in China.
- It is a great quality scope that is able to withstand the recoil generated by an air rifle.
- It easily mounts on air rifle and holds zero.
- The reticle and image quality is exceptional.
Recently, we have also shared best night vision scopes.
CVLIFE Tactical 3-9×40 Air Rifle Scope
Being your ultimate air rifle companion, CVLIFE Tactical Scope is made to make your life as a hunter and a shooter more convenient.
The R4 reticle on this scope allows you to exactly target objects at a medium range. It has really thin inner crosshair and heavy outer ones.
The 3-9x zoom range works great for hunting purposes. The large 40mm objective lens provides bright images.
The optical system is fully multi-coated allowing more than 90% light to pass through the lenses. The external scratch-resistant coating prevents the lens from getting any scratches.
CVLIFE Tactical scope has a smart design which ensures that the inner and outer structure smoothing interact with each other. It also makes sure that the reticle stays in its place even when it receives large recoil from using an air rifle.
It has a magnification adjustment ring which allows for smooth zoom in and out. Its exterior turrets enable you to have precise elevation/windage adjustments.
It is a very sturdy scope that is constructed using aircraft grade aluminum alloy. 100% nitrogen filling makes it fogproof and rain proof.
This scope comes with two scope mounts, one lens cover and one allen key. These mounts are compatible with a 20mm rail.
- It mounts perfectly and performs flawlessly on an air rifle.
- The crosshair does not shift and the scope stays true to zero.
X-Aegis Tactical 3-9×56 Rifle Scope
X-Aegis Tactical Air Rifle Scope offers versatility and a clear vision even in low-lighting. It has a red and green mil-dot illuminated reticle.
The illuminated reticle has 5 red and 5 green colored intensity levels. It requires a CR2032 battery for illumination.
This Amazon’s choice hunting air rifle scope comes with a magnification of 3-9X and uses an oversized 56mm objective lens.
Made up of Aircraft-Grade Aluminum Alloy, it has a solid construction. Its fast focus eyepiece allows you to quickly acquire your target.
As it is a waterproof, fog proof and a shockproof scope, it can be used in harsh weather conditions and a variety of tactical situations.
In the package, there is one riflescope, a lens cover and a pair of 20mm scope mounts. These mounts are designed in a way so as to ensure stability.
- It is a well-built scope that works great with an air rifle.
- From smooth mounting to shock resistance, everything is true for this scope.
Hawke Sport Optics 2-7×32 AO Sport HD Rifle Scope
Hawke Sport Optics sport riflescopes are made to step up your game. It features a mil-dot reticle which has 4 equally spaced dots on the crosshairs in order to have precise aiming.
This is a great short to mid-range scope with 2-3X magnification power. Its 32mm objective lens has adjustable objective (AO) parallax adjustment. You can read more about AO on WikiHow.
The optical system has 11 layers of full multi-coating which provides great light transmission.
The scope has a rugged construction with a matte black finish. It is waterproof and fogproof. Please keep in mind that this scope will not be suitable for spring piston airguns that are greater than 12 ft pounds.
You get an elasticated lens clap and lens cloth every time you purchase this scope.
- The accuracy and image clarity on Hawke Sport Optics 2-7×32 AO Sport HD Rifle Scope is extremely high.
ATN DGWSXS520Z X-Sight II 5-20x/85mm
One of the most innovative air rifle scopes in the market, ATN X-Sight II is packed with features that will make this scope standout from the rest.
If you are looking for an amazing day and night scope, then X-Sight II is the one for you. It features a Day & Night system which comes with an IR illuminator in order to see at night.
You don’t have to worry about the ballistics anymore. Ballistics are calculated with the ballistic calculator. The distance to the target is easily calculated by the built-in rangefinder.
The 3-14X magnification allows you to see medium and long distance targets. With HD 1080p sensors, you can record HD quality videos.
Advanced features like WiFi, E-Compass, GPS, Barometer, IOS & Android Apps make this scope as the most useful and user-friendly. Additionally, this scope is sold with a remote control and a battery pack.
- The best day and night vision scope for an air rifle.
- It offers clear images both in day and at night as well.
- This scopes gets sighted in quite easily.
UTG 4-16X44 30mm Scope
While choosing the best air rifle scopes, you cannot go wrong with this UTG scope. Its unique Innovative EZ-TAP Illumination Enhancing (IE) System makes this scope a gem!
It has a range estimating mil-dot reticle which has more than 4 aiming dots on the crosshair which greatly enhances accuracy.
There is an integral sunshade built into this reticle which not only optimizes aiming but increases the performance of the scope as well.
The EZ-Tap Illumination Enhancing technology gives you a variety of color modes. It has red/green dual mode and a 36 color multi-mode. These color modes help in shooting under different light conditions and prove really effective for color blind shooters.
It comes with a magnification power of 4-16X and an objective lens with a diameter of 44mm. This oversized lens allows a large amount of light to transmit through the lens.
Side wheel adjustable turret allows for parallax adjustment. This sturdy scope is built using True Strength Platform.
It is filled with nitrogen and completely sealed in order to make it a fogproof and rainproof scope. It is sold with flip open lens caps and a Max Strength ring.
- This is a reasonably priced scope with amazing clarity and great precision.
- Its rugged design allows it to withstand two directional recoil experienced by an air rifle.
Hammers 3-9x32AO Air Rifle Scope with One-Piece Mount
Specifically built for an air rifle, this scope from Hammers features a mil-dot reticle. This reticle has 4 dots on each crosshair which assists in finding the target.
3-9x variable magnification power gives this scope versatility. The medium sized 32mm objective lens transmits enough light to provide clear images.
For easy and quick parallax adjustment, AO is used. Windage and elevation adjustments are made using fingertight external turrets.
This innovative one-piece scope comes with built-in stop pins which can be easily removed. These pins enable the scope to maintain its position against the hard recoil generated by an air rifle.
It has a matte black anodized finish which keeps it free from glare and reflection. It is designed in a way so as to make it shockproof.
This air rifle scope is sold with airgun mount and 3 clamping screws. You can easily fit this scope on a 3/8 inches dovetail rail.
- It is definitely one of the favorites out there!
- With solid construction and a great finish, you can rely on this scope.
- It is very accurate and never fails to hold zero.
Winchester Scope (Black, 4 x 32)
Winchester by Daisy is engineered in a way so as to withstand the recoil generated by an airgun. It features a crosshair reticle for conveniently aiming at the target.
This is a fixed 4X zoom scope with a 32mm objective lens. It has an adjustable objective (AO) design which helps in adjusting for the parallax.
It is a quality scope that is fogproof as well as shockproof. It comes with lens cover and mounting rings for your air rifle.
- For its extremely low price, Winchester has great quality.
- It provides excellent magnification and clear images.
- It quickly mounts on air rifle.
BARSKA 3-12×40 AO Airgun, Black Matte, Mil-Dot
If you are looking for the best rifle scope for your air rifle then this scope is what you need. It is specifically designed for an airgun and will withstand the backward recoil as well.
It has a second focal plane non-illuminated mil-dot reticle. This reticle has 4 aiming points on each one of the four crosshairs. With these dots, deciding upon the holdover and the bullet drop is not an issue anymore.
It comes with a variable magnification range of 3-12X which allows you to use it in for different purposes. The 40mm large objective lens provides vivid images.
The optical system is fully multi-coated in order to provide clear and bright images. Like other air rifle scopes, it features Adjustable Objective lens.
It has a waterproof and fog proof integrity. Constructed from quality materials, this scope is shockproof as well.
The package comes with scope caps, Limited lifetime warranty and lens cloth for cleaning.
- This is a durable scope with a clear view.
- It holds zero and definitely exceeds expectations.
- The price is quite reasonable too.
UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings
Finally, we have this tried and tested compact air rifle scope from UTG – the brand that specializes in producing high-quality air rifles.
It comes with a Tactical Range Estimating mil-dot reticle which has EZ Tap Illumination enhancing technology. This reticle has different from traditional mil-dot reticles in the way that it offers 9 aiming points for both windage and elevation.
The EZ Tap illumination technology offers 36 color multi-mode operation in addition to the basic red and green illumination.
This technology makes this reticle a great option for shooters with color blindness. For managing the illumination, 2 soft touch buttons located above the ocular lens are used.
The versatile magnification power of 3-12X and the 44mm objective lens allows for brighter images. The lens has multi emerald coating for added light transmission.
In order to achieve a parallax free view from 10 yards to infinity, Side wheel adjustable turrets and the adjustable objective are installed. Lockable turrets let you adjust the windage/elevation and reset it to zero as well.
The True Strength Platform allows this scope to have a solid construction. It is tested for extreme recoil conditions. Nitrogen purging makes it rainproof, fog proof and shockproof.
It comes with a lifetime warranty, lens caps and two heavy duty rings.
- It is a very compact and convenient scope.
- It offers excellent eye relief and great quality vision.
- For the price, it is a great value!
Complementing your air rifle with an air rifle scope would massively increase your accuracy. It is without any doubt a very useful investment that you should make for your rifle.
If you plan on purchasing an air rifle scope then you should look for the magnification power, objective size, parallax adjustment, the reticle, strength and finally your budget. Choosing the right features will give you the performance that you are looking for.
Our top 10 best air rifle scope relieve you of the stress of finding the top scopes from the hundreds and thousands of scope that are available in the market.
These are top-quality products that will never disappoint you!