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.
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:
Magnification is another huge variable in terms of rifle technology. There are two primary types of rifles in regards to magnification:
Reticles are the unit of which the crosshair pattern is displayed and come in several different types, from the typical duplex reticle with a standard crosshair (thin toward the middle, thick toward the edges) to more complex Mildot reticles that have markings placed at measured distances to help identify the distance of your target.
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 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.
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
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.
2. Pentax Gameseeker HS20 Dot Scope Review
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.
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.
4. Pentax 3x-9x 40mm Pioneer II Scope Review
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.
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.