The adage went like this: you should spend at least twice what the rifle costs you on the rifle scope to create a quality long-range rifle setup. In other words, expensive rifle scopes weren't top of mind.
In the past 20 years, things have changed dramatically regarding long-range shooting, rifles, and high-quality rifle optics. Today's budget variable magnification scopes are lightyears beyond what anyone would consider a sound or great scope a couple of decades ago. But there are still reasons to save up for one of the more expensive rifle scopes a whole lot of reasons not to settle for the cheapest scope you see on Amazon.
While glass has improved dramatically, the most expensive scopes offer superior quality control, construction, and durability. They also provide advanced glare protection and fog-proof coatings. Many also offer a combination of features that increase versatility.
You can get a good optic for an affordable price, and the most expensive rifle scope isn't necessarily the best one for you. Still, it's pretty tough to turn your nose up at these offerings—and if you can afford it, why not get the absolute best? While brands like Bushnell, Trijicon, Vortex, and Burris offer some optics, these scopes are at another level.
Here are the most expensive rifle scopes we could track down for sale on Amazon right now.
Our Pick for Night Hunting
Nightforce offers tremendous affordable scopes but also provides some high-end ones. This premium optic with an F1 MIL-XT reticle sells for $3,600.
It features a 34mm main tube, tactical MIL turrets, waterproof and fog-proof construction, and an illuminated reticle for low-light shooting. It has a wide magnification range and optical performance.
This expensive rifle scope features a parallax adjustment down to 10 meters and 100 MOA of elevation travel, and a wide field of view on its entire magnification range. This feature-rich scope allows accurate target acquisition and shooting solutions in light conditions.
Our Pick for Rifle Scope Image Quality
This long-distance rifle scope has a high maximum zoom and bullet drop compensation range. The ZEISS VICTORY V8 owes its outstanding image quality and target resolution in this class to its unique transmission of 92%, HT glass, and vast fields of view. It has also set new benchmarks in ergonomic excellence.
You can quickly and precisely operate the fine illuminated dot. At the same time, the short and compact design ensures maximum ease of use. The scope features the new BDC/ASV LongRange reticle, whose extensive adjustment range ensures maximum distances.
Our Cutting-Edge Rifle Scope Pick
This scope represents the cutting-edge blending between a conventional rifle scope and digital targeting technology. This digital optic features an illuminated first focal plane 4A-I reticle, a side parallax focus, a 40mm main tube, and an eye relief of 3.75 inches. The large 40mm tube allows for high magnification of up to 25x—along with the large 52mm lens; this scope is perfect for long-range shooting.
On the electronics side, the Automatic Aiming Point feature considers distance, air pressure, temperature, angle, and magnification, along with personal ballistic data to display the correct aiming point in the scope's field of view with critical ballistic data. The scope connects to the dS Configurator app on your smartphone via Bluetooth, which allows the user to configure the following data:
- Personal ballistic data
- Units of measurement
- Size of aiming points
- The thickness of windage hash marks
- Duration of the aiming point
- Distance display
- Wind speed for wind aiming points, and more
Our Pick for Thermal Imaging
There's no easier way to jack up the price of a rifle scope than to add some thermal imaging technology. This thermal rifle scope offers 640x512 resolution, a 75mm lens, 3x optical magnification, and an 8.3s6.6 field of view, all with waterproof construction.
On board is a FLIR Tau 2 17?m pitch thermal sensor, a manually adjustable eyepiece and objective lens, a real-time display, and multiple color palettes. No wonder this is an expensive rifle scope with those features and options.
Our Costliest Costly Scope Pick
This scope has an extensive magnification range in a very compact and lightweight package suitable for short- to long-range shooting on various rifle types. It's only 14.5-inches long, allowing you to use it in conjunction with forward-mounted night vision or thermal aiming devices.
An illuminated MRAD hash-mark reticle comes standard. A double-turn elevation turret provides 18 MRAD clicks of adjustment per rotation for a total of 126 MOA—all in a ruggedly constructed package fit for an expensive rifle scope.
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