Pentax Rifle Scopes Reviews of 2018 & Unlimited Guide

Buying a new rifle scope, like anything, can be a daunting process plagued by shoddy products, bad manufacturers and a lack of information. It’s more difficult when buying a rifle scope because these products can be incredibly dangerous if they’re made incorrectly.

One way to know that you’re going to get reliable products is to choose a favorite brand and stick with it. But how do you first choose a brand? That’s another difficult process, but today we’re here to tell you why Pentax – makers of both mid-and-high end rifle scopes – are a good contender.

What makes a good rifle scope brand?

One of the key factors in a good buy is whether or not you end up getting the best rifle scope for your money. This equates to a good balance of a lot of things – safety, function, style, adjustment, etc. and it can be very different for a company to offer all of these things.

Rifle scope safety

Using a bad rifle scope or setting one up improperly can literally cost you an arm and a leg. A lot of rifle scopes carry different features which can either be a good thing or a bad thing for your personal safety.

  • check
    The distance between your eyes and the actual viewing piece – known as eye relief – is incredibly important, if you like to see. A distance too short means that you could be struck in the eye during the rebound from a powerful shot. Make sure that the scope you’re getting is suitable for the type of rounds you’ll be firing.
  • check
    The size and weight play a factor in safety, too. If a company makes a huge scope for a small gun, the weight is going to throw it off balance and pose safety hazards.
  • check
    Durability and sturdiness are also big factors in regards to safety. If your scope or its parts can’t handle the vibrations from the shock or rebound it’ll quickly fall apart and you’ll be left with a bunch of loose screws.

Rifle scope function

Function boils down to quite a few different aspects of a rifle scope, each with a variable level of importance.

The objective lens is the last lens of the scope and is responsible for a bunch of things, including:

Pentax Gameseeker HS20

Pentax Gameseeker HS20

  • Light transmission. Generally bigger objective lenses allow more light in, which is good for folks who will be shooting at dusk or dawn. A good company will make a lens with superior quality light transmission.
  • The strength of the lenses is also important, since they are not invincible. Good companies make lenses with top quality glass that can withstand a beating.

Magnification is another huge variable in terms of rifle technology. There are two primary types of rifles in regards to magnification:

  • Fixed magnification rifle scopes can’t be adjusted and focus on a single magnification; these are great if you know what you’ll be shooting at what distance. Otherwise:
  • Variable scopes can be adjusted and are generally just… better. The range for variability changes greatly between rifles – some are adjustable between 3 and 9x, some from 5 to 45.

So what makes Pentax a good brand?

There are a couple things you’ll notice about Pentax scopes that sets them above the average rifle manufacturer.

One of the first things you’ll notice (or haven’t noticed, and this is why) is that you can’t buy Pentax scopes in typical gun stores, or if you can, they’re very hard to find.

This is because their scopes are often made to be custom-ordered. They’re available online, but big shipments don’t get sent out to stores very often.

Pentax has two major lines of scopes. One of them is an entry-level line which is generally considered to be high-quality; products in this line receive reviews of 4 stars or more. The second line, the Gameseeker line, is generally considered to be for intermediate to experienced users, but doesn’t always receive as positive of reviews.

Each Pentax scope is made with discretion, every part is soldered, glued, or twisted into place with careful attendance and each individual part passes safety assessments. The quality of a handmade scope is superior to those machine made or partially machine made.

  • Pentax takes pride in the longevity of their rifle scopes. They are made by very talented craftsmen and built to withstand incredible force. A majority of them are made to be used with high powered rifles and can thus handle tons of shock and recoil; many Pentax guns come with the claim that they’ll outlast the user.
  • Pentax scopes are made to be compact, but that doesn’t compromise their quality.They’re also made to shoot over a long distance – Pentax’s minimal magnification scopes (1-4x) are generally considered to be on the lower end of functionality in regards to what they offer.

Pentax also makes a wide variety of scopes for a huge assortment of different rifles, which is a key component of any quality manufacturer. They have an assortment of scopes each for long range shooting, for tactical shooting and tactical long-range, as well as standard hunting scopes for both long and short-range.

Last but not least, Pentax is concerned about their customers and their experience with the company. Their website is riddled with safety tips and information to prevent anyone from making a dangerous mistake, and their products are each catered to specific wants and desires. All of this combines to make Pentax a customer oriented, quality company that reliably produces great scopes for virtually any rifle.

All Pentax products come with a “worry free” warranty, which isn’t as great as a lifetime warranty, but is certainly better than no warranty. They say that any structural damage that comes to your scope – not including cosmetic damage, theft, or loss – even if it’s your fault, will be repaired and/or replaced for a fee of $19.95.

Selected For You:  Best Varmint Rifle Scopes of 2018 & Buying Guide

So what Pentax rifle scopes are the best?

Most of Pentax’s best scopes are a part of their intermediate line of guns, which are known for quality and affordability. However, some of their Gameseekers – despite popular criticism – are actually quite good scopes. These are the best scopes that Pentax has to offer.

Top 4 Pentax Rifle Scopes Reviews

1. Pentax PF-80ED Spotting Scope with Field Case Review

Pentax PF-80ED

Pentax PF-80ED

The most noticeable fact about this scope, to me, is that it uses a unique material for its construction. Instead of aircraft grade aluminum, which the average scope is made of, or titanium, which some really gnarly budget scopes are made of, this one’s made with a magnesium alloy. This makes it very durable and lightweight – magnesium alloys are seen more often in camera scopes than rifle scopes, which makes sense because Pentax is very popular in the camera scope market.

It uses extra-low dispersion optics to create an extremely impressive quality in your field of view, and the objective lens itself is a whopping 80mm – something much larger than you’ll ever see on a typical rifle scope. This lets in an incredible amount of light, so folks using this scope at dusk or dawn won’t have any trouble absorbing plenty of light.

It’s both fog proof and waterproof as indicated by federal standards. There’s a built in shade lens that protects against oppressive sunlight and further protects against rain and the elements.

Pros

  • check
    Has one of the biggest objective lenses you’ll ever see
  • check
    Impressive amount of light admission
  • check
    Uses a magnesium alloy body for durability and a beautiful looking aesthetic
  • check
    Not a very heavy model

Cons

  • Fairly expensive
  • Not optimized for use on rifles for long-range shooting

2. Pentax Gameseeker HS20 Dot Scope Review

Pentax Gameseeker HS20

Pentax Gameseeker HS20

This scope is the essence of simplicity, if not in its function then at least in its form. The whole thing just looks like a black brick with some buttons and a lens on it.

While not being the most visually pleasing scope on the market, the HS20 dot scope is appealing because of its price. It’ll only cost you a few dozen dollars, and what it does provide for this low price is reasonable enough for you to consider buying it.

The dot itself is the ideal size for average shooters – it uses a 5 MOA dot. The reticle is illuminated and comes with eleven different settings that can be easily adjusted considering the time of day you’ll be shooting at. The battery that’s provided with the product provides 72 hours worth of continuous lighting.

The thing makes continuous adjustments for both wind and elevation, making it easy to use in various environments. It uses a special technology known as Penta Bright to ensure that you get a clear visual. Unfortunately, this product isn’t known for being the most durable, but for such a cheap price, you couldn’t really expect as much.

Pros

  • check
    One of the cheapest scopes available on the market, period
  • check
    Uses a 5 MOA dot
  • check
    Has an illuminated reticle with easily adjusted brightness settings
  • check
    Comes with a battery that`ll last you 72 hours
  • check
    Uses PentaBright technology

Cons

  • Not very durable
  • Magnification isn`t adjustable
  • No good for long-range

3. GS-30 Matte (PP-HT) Gun Scope Review

This is a solid one-piece design that is a part of Pentax Gameseeker (GS) line, which is notorious for having some pretty bad products. This one, however, beats up the hype and provides a lot of quality features for one scope.

The tube is 30mm and made of aluminum, coming in a single piece, which means a few things. One-piece tubes are typically made because they’re more durable and don’t run the risk of detaching from themselves. 30mm tubes are smaller than some, which also means that it’s going to be light and have less impact on your ability to aim.

There’s a big 50mm objective lens which allows a ton of light to be let in, great for evening or early morning shooting. The eye relief changes throughout the magnification levels but is generally between 3 and 3 and a half inches, which should be enough unless you’re firing incredibly powerful shots.

Pros

  • check
    Huge objective lens
  • check
    Adjustable
  • check
    Made with a 30mm aluminum one piece tube
  • check
    Very affordable model

Cons

  • Reticles aren’t always accurate

4. Pentax 3x-9x 40mm Pioneer II Scope Review

Pioneer II

Pioneer II

This is one of Pentax’s better variable scopes, coming in with a range of 3x-9x. The objective lens is 40mm, so it’s not very big in comparison to the other scopes we’ve listed here. However the optics are fully multicoated and use the Penta Bright technology to help you receive very clear images in a great resolution.

There’s 3.1 to 3.8 inches of eye relief depending on your level of magnification, and the whole unit is both waterproof and fogproof. The eyepiece is made to be quick-focused and comes with a Penta-Plex reticle.

The tube is made of aluminum and features another one-piece design, which Pentax has continually used because of their assurance of improved durability and stability. Adjustments are made on a one quarter MOA adjustable turret which clicks into place to ensure that your adjustments won’t be altered while you’re out in the field, unless you do it yourself.

This is a good budget option for folks who aren’t going to be doing long-range hunting.

Pros

  • check
    Good for mid-to-short range hunting
  • check
    MOA adjustable turrets
  • check
    Multicoated glass optics
  • check
    One piece design
  • check
    Variable scope

Cons

  • Not good for long range
  • Not great focus

So which is the best?

The GS-30 Matte takes the cake here. Pentax’s other scopes are good for folks on a severe budget, but this one – while still being affordable – packs far more of a punch. It’s got a huge objective lens and a slick, stylish one piece design that ensures any of the users won’t have to worry about the thing falling apart on them.

This scope defeats the Gameseeker’s bad reputation and proves that Pentax still has some tricks up their sleeve.