Best Air Rifle Scopes Reviews of 2018 & Buying Guide
Choosing a good scope for your air rifle can be a bit of a task – a lot of them are inherently inaccurate. Despite that, it’s pretty much a necessity to have a good quality scope for your air rifle if you’re hoping to hit anything from a long distance.
Still, that means you have to sort through a ton of bad products and sheisty manufacturers to find an air rifle scope that’s got any redeeming qualities to it. That’s what we’re here to help you figure out, though!
UTG 3-9X40 1″
Winchester by Daisy Outdoor Products 2-7 x 32 AO
Crosman CP392RG Centerpoint 3-9x32mm
Why buy an air rifle scope?
Well, first off, you need to understand what an air rifle scope does. Not all air rifle scopes are great for long range, 1000 yards or more – but all of them certainly help you hit your target with ease. Still, you have to sort through high-end rifle scopes and budget rifle scopes depending on your financial state.
An air rifle scope uses a series of lenses to magnify the image of whatever it is you’re targeting, putting you on the same visual plane as the object. This will greatly improve your accuracy and make it easier to identify where your target is.
- An air rifle scope needs to be strong and durable enough to withstand the reverb and recoil of a powerful rifle blast. You`d figure that all of them would be able to do this, but as we’ve mentioned, some companies are just there to make money. Not to sell quality products.
- Never use a firearm scope on an air rifle. This can cause a lot of problems immediately, and should be considered common sense – the product isn’t made for air rifles, so don’t use it on one. Plain and simple.
What kind of air rifle scopes are there?
There are a couple main kinds of air rifle scopes, which we’ll discuss in detail to help you understand what type of scope suits your needs.
Fixed air rifle scopes aren’t very versatile. They’re set on a single magnification level that can’t be adjusted. This is both the benefit and the problem with these scopes – you don’t need to adjust them, which can be a very difficult process when you’re in the heat of the moment. However, this is also a problem – you can’t adjust your scope, even when you’re out of the field or in between targets and want to change your magnification level.
Variable air rifle scopes, as you might expect, are the contrary ones compared to fixed scopes. Variable scopes can be adjusted, often by a set of finger turrets that can be adjusted with your fingertips while you’re on the fly. They’ll often be labeled something like “4-12X40” which would mean the magnification can be adjusted between 4 and 12x magnification, and the 40 signifies that the objective lens will be 40mm wide.
What’s an objective lens, you might wonder? The objective lens and its size denote two very important aspects that contribute to your ability to target things in a distance.
- A wider lens allows more light to enter your field of vision to assure that you’ll be able to make an accurate, well-lit shot. This is great for people who tend to do their shooting at dawn or dusk when the light is minimal – a large lens can absorb much more light than other, smaller lenses which could render the rifle useless at these times.
- A bigger lens also means you can reach a larger magnification. A bigger magnification isn’t always necessary – people doing close range shots can do with a smaller lens that only magnifies a few times. If you’re doing long distance shooting, which we’ve covered in another of our articles, you’re going to want a bigger lens of at least 45mm.
What about mounts?
A mount is necessary for any scope because it’s what connects that scope to the gun. There are a bunch of different kinds of mounts for you to choose from, and each one carries its own benefits for certain types of scopes.
High mounts are great for bigger scopes with larger objective lenses, especially those intended for long-range shooting. High mounts let the scope sit higher up on the gun, which is only good if you have a bigger lens of 45 mm+. This allows your scope to clear the barrel and provide the best possible vision; mounting a smaller scope on a high mount will just distort your shooting process.
Mid mounts are a bit smaller than high mounts. They’re pretty much good for any scope less than 45mm, which will be the majority of scopes that people not interested in long-range shooting will be dealing with.
One piece mounts are a bit more expensive than your typical mid-to-high range mounts, and they’re made to offer stability for a scope that’s being situated on a high-power rifle. Stability equates to accuracy, so a lot of folk using high-powered rifles find it worthwhile to spend the few extra dollars on a one piece mount.
Tips for choosing the right scope
Even though you now know about the details of various types of scopes and their mounting accessories, it still helps to have some bonus tips to keep you informed when making a decision about which scope you’re going to get.
- If you’re doing close-range shooting – for example, small rodents – then you’re not going to need an extended-range scope. A fixed scope, with magnification up to 32x (though this is hardly necessary) should do the job for you. If you’re going to be doing long-distance shooting and hunting larger game, you’ll want to get a variable scope.
- Make sure you get the right mounting hardware – buying an incorrect mount or a mount that’s too big for the scope that you’re getting will offset your balance and accuracy. This will suck not only because you’ll have a hard time hitting your target, but because you’re probably just going to have to go out and get another mount right away. Buy right the first time!
So what are the best air rifle scopes?
We have a number of different articles on various types of air rifle scopes for people with different intentions. Those articles are geared more toward people with a specific goal in mind (long-distance shooting, etc.)
For people who are just using their air rifles for general purposes, we’ve concluded through ample research that these scopes are the best. They’re good for beginner to intermediate rifle users and can be a great way to introduce newcomers to the world of wonderful, accurate shooting.
1.Hammers 3-9x32AO Air Rifle Scope with One-Piece Mount
Behold – one of the most convenient air rifle scopes on the market. The accuracy and magnification on this beast are super impressive – you can zoom in close enough to target the feathers on a bird’s head on a tree far off in the distance.
It uses a 32mm parallax objective lens which is fully adjustable between 3x and 9x magnification, providing an unbeatable clarity of zoom for a scope that only magnifies between this range. It uses a MilDot reticle and a standard 1 inch one-piece main tube, allowing for a great amount of accuracy and personalization.
It comes with a one piece mount with three screws with a stop pin that allows you to stabilize the scope on your gun without risk of it being destabilized and screwing up your accuracy.
- Extremely convenient and easy to set up
- Great quality of zoom for something with a minimal magnification
- Uses a 32mm parallax objective lens
- Uses a MilDot reticle for easy adjustment
- Not the most durable mount on the market
2. UTG 3-9X40 1″ Hunter Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot
- It’s built on a True Strength platform for enhanced stability and durability
- It’s lenses are coated with emerald
- The unit is completely sealed and nitrogen fuelled
- It’s shockproof, fogproof and waterproof which allows you to shoot in the best and worst conditions of weather without having to worry about losing your accuracy
There are zero reset target turrets that allow you to make adjustments without the need for a huge process or many interruptions to your game. The Mil Dot reticle allows you to have a great aiming system and improves your accuracy while the parallax is adjustable up to five yards for more precision shooting.
One of the coolest things about this scope is the EZTap Illumination Enhancing system with 36 colors that allow you to pick the most appropriate colors to brighten your experience depending on the situation you’re in and your personal preferences.
- TrueStrength platform provides the best kind of stability
- Emerald coated lenses
- Super cheap considering how much is packed into this tiny unit
- Pretty much entirely weather proof – you can use it in all sorts of weather conditions without compromising your accuracy
- Comes with a great Mil Dot reticle for improved accuracy and smooth adjustments
- The illuminated reticle isn’t the most effective lighting system
- May not last as long as other alternative scopes
3. Winchester by Daisy Outdoor Products 2-7 x 32 AO Winchester Scope
It’s got an adjustable magnification between 2x and 7x. There’s a 32mm objective lens which isn’t huge but considering you’re going to be using this for general rifle shooting instead of long-distance, and you’re barely going to be spending more than two dozen bucks, there’s no reason to complain.
It’s adjustable for wind and elevation, so you can try to do long-distance shooting while compensating for distances in terrain or weather. There’s a cross-hair reticle; it’s fogproof and shockproof though doesn’t claim to be waterproof.
It comes with appropriate mounting hardware so you won’t have to worry about going to get yourself a perfect mouth and deal with that whole process.
- Super cheap and great budget option
- 32mm objective lens which is good quality for the price
- Adjustable for wind and elevation
- Cross hair reticle
- Comes with appropriate mounting hardware
- Not the most durable
4. Crosman CP392RG Centerpoint 3-9x32mm Riflescope
This scope comes with the necessary mounting hardware as well – one and ⅜ inch of dovetail scope rings. That said, you can also adjust this scope to fit pretty much any other mount that you may or may not have already bought.
The reticle’s illumination level is also adjustable between red and green, depending on your situation and your environment. Another cool thing is that the left-hand side of the scope has an adjustable setting where you can choose the level of illumination on the scope!
It’s been rated for both airgun and firearm usage, which is super useful – most scopes aren’t cross compatible with firearms and air rifles. The lenses are multi-coated for extra clarity and the whole unit is a single piece.
- Adjustable illumination levels depending on your environment
- Comes with necessary mounting hardware
- Multi-coated lenses make an extra-clear range of vision
- Unit is a single piece (good for convenience)
- Unit is a single piece (not good for durability)
So which one’s the best?
The UTG Hunter Scope is the best out of the lot here. It’s not much more expensive than the other options but it comes with a lot more features and a lot more reliability.
The lenses are coated in emerald (without even raising the price!) The unit is pretty much entirely weatherproof, with shock, fog, and waterproof features. This means you can use the device in pretty much all weather forms.
It also comes with the EZTap Illumination System which is great for adjusting depending on your personal preferences and variations of environment. Can’t go wrong for that price.