A Few Recommended Riflescopes

By Randy Wakeman

In the medium-low price class there lots of 3-9 power variable scopes, but precious few that are worthy of consideration by the serious deer hunter on a budget. Here is an exception.

Sightron SI 3-9x40mm - At a street price of around $129, this multi-coated scope gives you finger adjustments, a one-piece tube, and the best lifetime warranty in the business. In a rare move for Sightron, lens covers are also included. It has become a very popular scope for all these reasons, and it is one of the very few value-priced scopes that will inspire confidence.

In the very hotly contested $200 scope price point, a couple of models remain standouts. If you want to stay in the $200 range in a quality variable 3-9 or 3-10 scope, these are easily worthy of your consideration.

Sightron SII 3-9x42mm - This is one of Sightron's best big game hunting scopes, and a favorite of several Guns and Shooting Online staffers. It features the Sightron ExacTrack adjustment system, a generous 95 inches of internal adjustment, fully multi-coated lenses, and so forth. It is the scope that defines "Sightron," and Sightron seems to have a problem making them fast enough, with good reason. This scope is reviewed in detail on the Product Review Page.

Bushnell Elite 3200 3-10x40mm - Hammer forged titanium enhanced tube, the popular Bushnell Rainguard feature, repeatable adjustments, quick focus, the Elite 3200 scopes have been outstanding. This is my pick of the litter. Billed as a "compact scope," that might be a bit of a misnomer. It is a semi-compact, just a tad shorter than the Sightron SII above. For similar quality and performance in a longer package (some longer action rifles) the Elite 3200 3-9x40mm might be your choice, and a full-length review of that model can be found on the Product Review Page. They are tough scopes, extremely popular in the $200 arena, and well worth consideration.

If a Ballistic Reticle that doesn't become a distraction when not in use appeals to you, these Burris models are exceptional. Whether you choose the Burris Ballistic reticle, or perhaps their more conventional "plex" style reticles, these scopes are simply impressive optics--even more impressive when you consider their respective prices.

Burris 2-7x35mm Ballistic Plex - Fully multi-coated lenses, lifetime warranty, click adjustments, fast focus, double adjustment springs topped off with a ballistic reticle for around $169 makes this scope a real value for a compact rifle. It is particularly applicable for a medium range rifle; one primarily intended for use in the woods but where a long, cross-canyon shot may occasionally be required. This scope is smaller, lighter, and offers a wider field of view than the 3-10x40mm Ballistic Plex Burris (see below). The Burris Fullfield II 2-7x35mm riflescope is reviewed on the Product Review Page.

Burris Signature Select Ballistic Plex 3-10x40mm - This newly redesigned Burris is one of the most impressive scopes I've used in recent memory. It is a good choice for a long range big game hunting rifle. A few guides judged this scope to be superior optically to the Zeiss Conquest and other far more expensive tubes. I'll let you be the judge of that, but it is as bright, as clear, and as tough a scope as I've ever used. Once in a while a scope comes along that makes you say, "Wow!" This is one of those fortunate times. The Burris Signature Select 3-10x40mm is reviewed on the Product Review Page.

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Copyright 2006, 2016 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.