Best Hunting Scopes Available in 2024

Last updated on April 5th, 2024

Listed below are the 8 best hunting scopes available in 2024 with a focus on long range hunting. There are countless optics available for hunters to choose from, with companies constantly releasing new models with better features appealing to the modern hunter. Keep in mind the list below is a starting off point with most of the optics listed available in other configurations, such as lower magnification ranges and different reticles. The optics chosen are selected with features that are most important to hunters such as having a solid construction to withstand unforgiving environments and being lightweight to help keep weight down.

Table of Contents

  1. Best Overall Hunting Scope: Maven RS.4 5-30×56
  2. Best Long Distance Hunting Scope: Steiner Predator 8 4-32×56
  3. Most Durable Hunting Scope: Schmidt & Bender Exos 3-21×50
  4. Most Modern Hunting Scope: Burris Eliminator 5 5-20×50
  5. Most Slimline Hunting Scope: Swarovski Z8i 3.5-28×50
  6. Most Popular Hunting Scope: Leupold VX-6HD 4-24×52
  7. Best Value Hunting Scope: Vortex Razor HD LHT 4.5-22×50
  8. Best Field of View Hunting Scope: Zeiss Victory V8 4.8-35×60

Best Overall Hunting Scope: Maven RS.4 5-30×56

Maven Optics

Maven Optics are a Wyoming USA based company that has carved a niche in the world of hunting optics with its focus on high quality without the retail mark up. The Maven RS.4 is a great example of their quality components and innovative design coming together to make an exceptional scope. The RS.4 is made for hunters who want reliability and quality. Maven’s unique direct to consumer model sets it apart from the other optics listed. By selling directly through their website, Maven cuts out the traditional retail markup, offering high end optics at cheaper prices. This not only cuts the cost of the optics but builds a direct relationship between the company and the buyer.

The Maven RS.4 5-30×56 is designed to meet the demands that long range hunters have. This scope blends high end specifications with user friendly features, making it a top contender in the world of precision hunting optics. The RS.4’s is in the first focal plane and has a magnification range of 5x to 30x. The FFP element to the optic is crucial for shooters who need accurate holdovers at any magnification. The 56mm objective lens, paired with a 34mm tube offer up a great field of view and exceptional light gathering capability. This design is further enhanced with a listed light transmission rate of 91.84%. This ensures the bright, clear image Maven scopes are famous for and help make it one of the best overall hunting rifle scopes available today.

Maven Optics

The scope’s compact size and high build quality is reflected in its dimensions and weight. At 325mm in length and weighing 35.4oz, it’s made to offer a compact durable package without overburdening the rifle. It’s capable of still working up to 3m below water, along with a nitrogen purged tube, make it both waterproof and fogproof, suitable for use in what ever weather conditions you find yourself in. The RS.4 is equipped with an extensive internal adjustment range, with 120 MOA/35.5 MIL for elevation and 50 MOA/14.6 MIL for windage, more than enough for long distance shots and varying wind conditions for those that prefer to dial. The turrets are tactile and as with all high end optics track consistently.

The scope’s compact design is comfortable and easy to use. The eye relief varies from 78-92mm at 5x magnification to 86-92mm at 30x, providing a good range, even for those that wear glasses. The field of view at 100 yards ranges from 23.3ft at 5x to 3.9ft at 30x magnification, which gives a broad overview at lower magnifications and more detailed focus at the higher end. The RS.4 features a glass etched reticle which is available in several different variants including MOA-2, SHR-W, SHR-MIL, and CFR-MIL, catering to different preferences. The illuminated reticle is adjustable in red and green and is a great feature on a hunting scope to enhance the reticle under varying light conditions, adding to the scope’s hunting versatility.

Comparatively its slightly heavier than other optics on the list but the RS.4 is still one of the best hunting scopes available in 2024 due to its short tube and huge 120 MOA elevation adjustment. As I use a Maven RS.3 on my hunting setup, I can tell you that when Maven says the RS series have an ‘Exceptionally Clear, Bright, High Contrast Image’ they aren’t lying.

Quick Stats: Maven RS.4

GlassJapan
Magnification5-30×56
Weight35.4oz / 1004g
Eye Relief3.62” / 92mm  
IlluminationYes

Best Long Distance Hunting Scope: Steiner Predator 8 4-32×56

Steiner Optics

Steiner are known to produce high quality optics that are built to survive tough conditions. The Predator 8 continues that legacy and easily makes the list of the best hunting scopes available in 2024. Having extensively used Steiner’s tactical optics I did spend some time with the Predator 8 on loan from Beretta to see how different their hunting optics are.

The standout feature of the Predator 8 is its customisable ballistic turret. This design allows hunters to set custom distances using movable rings, ensuring fast and accurate elevation adjustments. There is a substantial field of view at 100 meters, ranging from 1.18m (3.8ft) at the highest magnification of 32x to 9.46m (31.03ft) at 4x. This wide range allows for a good level of target acquisition at close range to better target ID at longer ranges.

The eye relief comes in at 95mm (3.7 inches), giving a good range to get comfortable behind the scope.  Measuring in at 15.1 inches in length and weighing 27.3 ounces, the Steiner Predator 8 fairly long but does bring with it the large mag range. It’s nitrogen filled to prevent internal fogging, a must have for changing temperatures and conditions in when out hunting.

The wind and elevation click value of 1/4 MOA allows for good adjustment and packs an elevation and wind range of 32 MOA at 100 meters. This is a decent range when dialling for bullet drop and wind drift. The parallax adjustment is from 20m out to infinity. The huge magnification range, low weight and solid construction make the Steiner Predator 8 an easy contender for being one of the best hunting scopes available.

Steiner Optics

Quick Stats: Steiner Predator 8

GlassGermany
Magnification4-32×56
Weight27.3oz / 773g
Eye Relief3.7” / 93mm
IlluminationYes

Most Durable Hunting Scope: Schmidt & Bender Exos 3-21×50

Schmidt & Bender

The most expensive optic on our list, the Schmidt & Bender Exos is a perfect example of getting what you pay for when spending big on a scope. My long distance target rifle sports a Schmidt & Bender as it’s the best glass I have ever used and the most solid scope too. The Exos offers a magnification range from 3 to 21x, which is a good option for close targets and those at longer distances. The 50mm objective lens diameter provides a broad field of view, which narrows from 13m at the lowest magnification to 1.9m at the highest.

The Exos weighs in at 925g and measures 340mm in length. The 34mm tube diameter is big but is does ensure a solid scope body that is durable. The Exos 3-21×50 also offers a comfortable 90mm eye relief. As with all Schmidt & Bender glass, the light transmission rate of over 90% helps achieve the scope’s great performance in dim conditions, helping the shooter have a clear and bright as possible view of the target. The scope offers adjustment options of 0.1 MRAD or ¼ MOA click values.

To withstand challenging environments, the scope can operate in –25 to +55 °C. This range has most hunting spots around the world covered, freezing temperatures and scorching heat wont be an issue with the Schmidt & Bender.

The Exos 3-21×50 includes an illumination feature for improved reticle visibility in low light condition. The scope also offers a choice of reticles, including D7 (SFP) and LRH-MOA (SFP) depending on preference. The top tier true colour glass quality, high quality customisable turrets and rugged military grade constriction come together in a perfect hunting scope. The turret design is arguably the best on the market with extremely tactile clicks. If you get the chance, get hands on with the Schmidt & Bender Exos and see why it’s worth the price tag.

best hunting scopes
@tatiana.the.huntress

Quick Stats: Schmidt & Bender Exos

GlassGermany
Magnification3-21×50
Weight32.6oz / 924g
Eye Relief3.54″ / 90mm
IlluminationYes

Most Modern Hunting Scope: Burris Eliminator 5 5-20×50

best hunting scopes

I have been lucky enough to test out the Burris Eliminator 5 in 2023 for a few months on a hunting rifle. What makes this scope different to all the others on the list is the built in ballistic calculator. With the push of a button you can see the distance to target and exact point of aim all from inside the scope.

The scope offers a magnification range of 5-20x and the giant 65mm objective lens diameter helps light gathering, ensuring a bright and clear image. The X96 reticle in the Second Focal Plane (SFP) provides the ground for the ballistic calculator to work on. The maximum elevation and windage adjustments are both 50 MOA, giving a good range for adjustment at various distances. Weighing in at 834 grams, the Eliminator 5 isn’t overly heavy for the technology it packs. Its good to know it won’t significantly add to the rifle’s weight.

The Eliminator 5 has long range hunting covered with a massive maximum range out to 2000 yards/1828 meters. Once calibrated to your ammunition of choice it’s as simple as pressing a button to range the target and the firing solution dot appears on the reticle. The parallax starts at 30 yards and is adjustable out to infinity. The ballistic computer needs some power and that comes in the form of the scope needing 2 x AAA batteries to run.

The Burris Eliminator 5 5-20×50 is a unique choice for the hunter looking to take advantage of what the latest ballistic tech has to offer.

best hunting scopes
Burris Optics

Quick Stats: Burris Eliminator

GlassUSA
Magnification5-20×50
Weight28.8oz / 816g
Eye Relief4” / 101mm
IlluminationYes

Most Slimline Hunting Scope: Swarovski Z8i 3.5-28×50

best hunting scopes
Swarovski Optics

If you want the best glass available, the Swarovski Z8i is for you. The Swarovski optics family is loved by hunters around the world for its tough construction and arguably the best glass available today. The Z8i series have been made in Austria since production started in 2019. This high end hunting scope is backed by a 10 year warranty and is designed for hunters who want the very best a hunting scope can provide in a slimline package.

This scope features a variable magnification range from 3.5x up to 28x, suitable for most hunting applications. The field of view ranges from a minimum of 1.5m/100m at 28x to 12.1m/100m at 3.5x, providing a good range across different distances. The Swarovski Z8i has 95mm of eye relief so it wont be difficult getting comfortable behind the scope.

The scope’s turret is lockable, with an adjustment per click of 0.1 MIL. It features a multi turn elevation turret with 14 MRAD or 50 MOA of elevation and 7 MRAD or 25 MOA windage adjustment. The SFP reticle ensures a consistent view across the magnification range. The reticle illumination is in red, with good daytime usability and an auto turn off feature. Weighing in at a light 665g and measuring 381mm in length, the Z8i brings great durability without excessive weight. The scope is also nitrogen filled, making it fogproof and waterproof. The scope includes a fast focus eyepiece and fully multi coated lenses for great light transmission at an impressive 93%. The tube diameter of 30mm is a pretty standard choice for high quality rifle scopes with this magnification.

Unquestionably the Swaro Z8i is lightweight, compact and has exceptional European glass quality making it one of the best hunting scopes available in 2024.

best hunting scopes
Swarovski Optics

Quick Stats: Swarovski Z8i

GlassAustria
Magnification3.5-28x
Weight23.5oz / 666g
Eye Relief3.74″ / 94mm
IlluminationYes

Most Popular Hunting Scope: Leupold VX-6HD 4-24×52

best hunting scopes
Leupold Optics

Leupold are the workhorse of the hunting optics world. The VX-6HD series are a very popular choice for long range hunters as the price point and quality are well matched.

A key feature of the VX-6HD is the push button locking mechanism on the turrets, this great feature makes sure your turrets only move when you really want them to and arnt accidentally bumped. Another great feature is the electronic reticle level indicator, a unique feature that alerts the user if the scope is off center. If the optic is one degree left or right, the illuminated reticle blinks to let the user know it’s off center.

There’s a very comfortable eye relief of 3.7 inches and an illuminated reticle is also included. As you would expect at this price point the Leupold’s VX-6HD is water and fogproof, which is essential for hunters and I wouldn’t buy a premium hunting scope without it. Both bright and clear glass coupled with the rugged construction give some tough competition to the European brands.

best hunting scopes
Leupold Optics

Quick Stats: Leupold VX-6HD

GlassUSA
Magnification4-24×52
Weight25.9oz. / 734g
Eye Relief3.7″ / 93mm
IlluminationYes

Best Value Hunting Scope: Vortex Razor HD LHT 4.5-22×50

best hunting scopes
Vortex Optics

The Razor series from Vortex made a name for itself in the target shooting community with its professional grade features and good price point. The hunting focused Razor HD LHT 4.5-22×50 brings these same qualities and is a well though out hunting optic drawing on the qualities of the proven target shooting variants. Locking elevation turret, capped windage, illuminated reticle, and side-parallax adjustment are all packed into the compact 30mm tube, offering fantastic value for money.

With a magnification range of 4.5-22x, the Razor HD LHT is a versatile optic and there is no wonder its such a popular choice around the world. The 50mm objective lens lets in a lot of light that helps give a great high contrast image. This scope is significantly cheaper than the Maven RS.4 with its amazing high contrast image, however the Razor still punches above it weight with the glass quality used in the optic.

best hunting scopes
Vortex Optics

Equipped with the XLR-2 reticle in the First Focal Plane, the reticle provides fantastic capability for holdovers. Be sure to check this reticle out because if you prefer to dial shots, this could be a little crowded for some. The scope features adjustments in 1/4 MOA or .1 MRAD, when changing windage or elevation. The travel per rotation on the turret is 15 MOA or 6 MRAD. The total elevation and windage adjustments are 75 MOA or 22.4 MRAD and 45 MOA or 12.7 MRAD. This provides a great range for long distance shooting.

The parallax ranges from 22 meters out to infinity which is fairly standard. The Razor HD LHT weighs in at a very light 615 grams and measuring 338mm in length. The scope strikes a great balance between solid construction and manageability in the field. Its matte black colour also gives it a sleek, professional look which I’m a huge fan of. This is the lowest priced optic in the list due to the smaller magnification range and tube size. However, the Vortex Razor HD LHT remains a lightweight and intuitive hunting optic offering terrific value for money.

Quick Stats: Vortex Razor HD LHT

GlassJapan
Magnification4.5-22×50
Weight21.7oz / 615g
Eye Relief4” / 101mm
IlluminationYes

Best Field of View Hunting Scope: Zeiss Victory V8 4.8-35×60

best hunting scopes
Zeiss Optics

Last on the list is the giant Zeiss Victory V8 4.8-35×60. This is a top tier rifle scope and a premium choice for serious hunters looking for a long distance optic. With a magnification range of 4.8 to 35×, the Victory V8 brings with it the highest magnification of all the scopes listed. Combine that with the huge 60mm objective lens and 34mm tube, it becomes a serious piece of kit for a specific kind of hunter. That large objective lens helps deliver the 92% light transmission within the scope.

Surprisingly the optic weighs in at only 35.1oz/995g considering the huge magnification range and tube size. In addition to the great optical quality, the Zeiss Victory V8 also has an extra large eye box for fast target acquisition. The parallax setting starts at 50 meters and goes out to infinity. Not ideal for close targets but I doubt you are planning on hunting anything at close distance if you are looking at getting this scope.

The Zeiss Victory V8 is a purpose built premium long distance hunting optic. For me this is the ideal scope for dawn and dusk hunting scenarios where you will be shooting at game that’s beyond the reach of most hunting scopes.

best hunting scopes
Zeiss Optics

Quick Stats: Zeiss Victory V8

GlassGermany
Magnification4.8-25×60
Weight35.1oz / 995g
Eye Relief3.62” / 92mm  
IlluminationYes

Things to Look For in a Long Range Hunting Scope

When looking at high end long range hunting scopes, there are several critical factors to consider. Each hunter has their own requirements and preferences, ranging from the need for high magnification and lightweight design to a specific price point. Understanding each aspect helps in making an informed decision. Here are each of the key areas of what most people look for in a long range hunting scope.

best hunting scopes

Budget Considerations for the Best Hunting Scopes

The price of hunting scopes vary significantly, but overall reflecting the quality of materials, construction, and tech features it offers. For instance, consider the comparison between the Vortex Razor HD LHT and the Schmidt & Bender Exos. The Vortex, priced at least $2,000 less than the Schmidt & Bender, is more accessible to hunters at a lower price point but does not match the S&B in terms of glass quality and construction.

Expensive scopes generally offer advanced features like superior lens coatings, better construction, and finer/more adjustment capabilities. These features can significantly enhance a hunting experience by giving you a clearer image and more reliable protection from the element in the field. However, a higher priced optic doesn’t always guarantee a better scope for every hunter’s needs. The more budget friendly Vortex Razor HD LHT can still offer excellent functionality, and it’s important to balance the cost with the specific features you need for your hunting style.

When considering the price, also factor in the potential need for additional accessories, which can add to the overall cost. Mounts, lens covers, and other enhancements can be necessary for the optimal use of the scope. In summary, while higher-priced scopes often offer superior quality and features, hunters should assess their specific needs and budget to find the best scope that offers the most value for their investment.

Maven RS.41800 USD
Steiner Predator 81999 USD
Schmidt & Bender Exos4340 USD
Burris Eliminator 51899 USD
Swarovski Z8i3699 USD
Leupold VX-6HD2299 USD
Vortex Razor HD LHT1499 USD
Zeiss Victory V83999 USD

Glass Quality in the Best Hunting Scopes

The quality of the glass in a hunting scope shouldn’t be overlooked, especially for long range shots. It’s the glass that dictates the clarity, colour fidelity, and overall visual experience when looking through the scope. Renowned glass manufacturers like those in Germany and Austria produce some of the world’s finest optics, contributing to the higher price of scopes using these materials.

High quality glass gives you better light transmission, which is crucial in low light conditions such as dawn or dusk which are common times for hunting. Superior glass quality also reduces chromatic aberrations, resulting in clearer, sharper images.

Another aspect where glass quality plays a crucial role is in the coating technologies used. Advanced coatings on the lenses can significantly improve light transmission, reduce glare, and make a clearer image. Multicoated lenses are now standard in high end scopes as the multiple layers of coatings make such a big difference in image quality.

However, high quality glass and advanced coatings come at a price. You should consider the environment and times you will most frequently hunt in to decide how much to invest in glass quality. For instance, if most of your hunting is done in bright, daylight conditions, the highest quality glass might not be needed.

Maven RS.4Japan
Steiner Predator 8Germany
Schmidt & Bender ExosGermany
Burris Eliminator 5USA
Swarovski Z8iAustria
Leupold VX-6HDUSA
Vortex Razor HD LHTJapan
Zeiss Victory V8Germany

Hunting Scope Magnification Range

The magnification range determines how well you can see targets at distance and how detailed the image. Scopes like the Zeiss Victory V8 and Steiner Predator 8, which have high magnification ranges, are worth considering if you are looking at hunting at long distances. A larger magnification range provides greater capability for long range.

A good shooting position becomes important when using the higher end of the magnification in these scopes. However, high magnification isn’t always necessary and will depend on your intended hunting situation. For some hunters, especially those who shoot in thick scrub or wooded areas, lower magnifications are alot more practical.

Luckily the scopes listed here have great glass but some high magnifications in cheap optics can amplify any imperfections in the glass, affecting the image clarity. While high magnification scopes like the Zeiss Victory V8 and Steiner Predator 8 offer some good advantages for long distance shooting, it’s important to consider the type of hunting and the typical shooting distances you will be engaging in.

best hunting scopes
Maven RS.45-30×56
Steiner Predator 84-32×56
Schmidt & Bender Exos3-21×50
Burris Eliminator 55-20×50
Swarovski Z8i3.5-28×50
Leupold VX-6HD4-24×52
Vortex Razor HD LHT4.5-22×50
Zeiss Victory V84.5x35x60

Impact of Weight on the Best Hunting Scopes

The weight of a hunting scope shouldn’t be overlooked, especially if you are spending long hours in the field or trekking through rough terrain. A heavy scope can add significant weight to the rifle setup, leading to fatigue and affecting your performance. The balance between the weight of the rifle, bipod, and optic can significantly impact your mobility and endurance. Lightweight scopes, like the Vortex Razor HD LHT, offer the advantage of reduced strain during long hunting trips. They are easier to handle and quicker to manoeuvre, which can be crucial in dynamic hunting situations. However, lighter scopes might compromise on some features like larger objective lenses or a more robust construction.

best hunting scopes

Heavier scopes, such as the Maven RS.4, can come with added benefits like larger lenses for better light gathering, a more durable construction, and additional features such as more turret adjustment.

When choosing a scope based on weight, consider the type of hunting you do most. If you’re often on the move, stalking over a long distances or anything to do with climbing mountains, a lighter scope would be beneficial. For stationary or hide based hunting, where the scope’s weight is less of an issue, a heavier model with more features might be better for you.

Maven RS.435.5oz / 1004g
Steiner Predator 827.3oz / 773g
Schmidt & Bender Exos32.6oz / 924g
Burris Eliminator 528.8oz / 816g
Swarovski Z8i23.5oz / 666g
Leupold VX-6HD25.9oz. / 734g
Vortex Razor HD LHT21.7oz / 615g
Zeiss Victory V834.2oz / 970g

Importance of Eye Relief in Hunting Scope Selection

Eye relief refers to the distance between the shooter’s eye and the rear lens of the scope at which the full field of view is visible. Good eye relief is needed for comfort and safety, especially when using high caliber rifles with significant recoil. For hunters who wear glasses, longer eye relief is also important for comfortable viewing. It allows you to maintain a proper sight picture without having to worry about pressing glasses against the scope. The right amount of eye relief varies from hunter to hunter, depending on personal preference, the type of rifle used, and the typical shooting positions adopted.

best hunting scopes
Maven RS.43.62” / 92mm
Steiner Predator 83.7” / 93mm
Schmidt & Bender Exos3.54″ / 90mm
Burris Eliminator 54” / 101mm
Swarovski Z8i3.74″ / 94mm
Leupold VX-6HD3.7″ / 93mm
Vortex Razor HD LHT4” / 101mm
Zeiss Victory V83.74” / 95mm

Illumination in Hunting Scopes

Illuminated reticles are a significant feature in modern hunting scopes, especially useful in low light conditions, such as dawn or dusk. Illumination helps highlight the reticle against the target, making sure that the crosshairs are visible, regardless of the background or lighting conditions.

All of the scopes listed, including the high-end models like the Zeiss Victory V8 and the more budget-friendly options like the Vortex Razor HD LHT, come equipped with illuminated reticles. This standardisation across various price points shows the widespread understanding of the importance of illumination in modern hunting.

best hunting scopes
Maven RS.4Yes
Steiner Predator 8Yes
Schmidt & Bender ExosYes
Burris Eliminator 5Yes
Swarovski Z8iYes
Leupold VX-6HDYes
Vortex Razor HD LHTYes
Zeiss Victory V8Yes

Choosing the Ideal Hunting Scope in 2024

When it comes to selecting the best hunting scope for 2024, it’s clear that a number of key factors are essential. From considering your budget and balancing it with the necessary features, to understanding the pivotal role of glass quality for clear, long range engagements, each element plays a role. Navigating through the price points, from cheaper options like the Vortex Razor HD LHT to high end such as the Schmidt & Bender Exos, it’s important to consider what’s important to you.

Finding the best hunting scope in 2024 is about striking the right balance across these key features. It involves a careful consideration of what you value most, ensuring that the chosen scope meets your expectations and allows you the best tool for the job.

Maven RS4

EDITORS PICK

Maven RS.4 5-30×56

Great high resolution glass, tough build and with a great warranty

LONG DISTANCE HUNTING PICK

Steiner Predator 8 4-32×56

High magnification with clear glass for low light hunting.

Schmidt and Bender Exos

MOST DURABLE

Schmidt & Bender Exos 3-21×50

Built like a battleship, the Exos wont let you down in the field.

Bussis Eliminator 5

MODERN PICK

Burris Eliminator 5 5-20×50

Inbuilt ballistic software ensures you will be on target.

Swarovski Z8i

SLIMLINE PICK

Swarovski Z8i 3.5-28×50

Incredibly clear glass and high quality build.

leupold VX-6

CLASSIC PICK

Leupold VX-6HD 4-24×52

One of the most popular hunting optic brands in the world. Solid build, good glass and reliable tracking.

Vortex Razor LHT

BEST VALUE

Vortex Razor HD LHT 4.5-22×50

Cheapest of the 8 but packs great features for the money.

Zeiss Victory V8

DUSK AND DAWN SPECIALIST

Zeiss Victory V8 4.8-35×60

Huge objective lens for capturing light and massive

If you are looking for a long distance target or competition scope checkout the best premium scope list.

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