Shooting a large sniper is always a pleasure. Think about the power it has, the huge bullets it uses, and the heart-pounding recoil that moves your entire body.
It is an experience that any gun enthusiast will love – especially when it comes to the 338 Lapua Magnum cartridge.
But that’s not enough unless you have the right scope. Using the best scope for 338 Lapua will provide all of the above as well as a superior accuracy and unbeatable aim capacity.
Finding it is not easy, though. There are several factors to consider, as well as different models to go over.
If you want to make your experience with a 338 Lapua Magnum exceptional, then you’ll want to use the right model with the right features. Here, we’ll show you how to get exactly that. Keep on reading to learn how!
What Magnification Do You Need?
The first thing to consider is the magnification. Remember, the .388 Lapua Magnum is one of the largest and most potent sniper cartridges in the world. And that means that a single bullet can travel several hundred yards and up to a mile without problems.
But to accurately aim as far as a bullet can reach, you’ll need the ideal magnification. Otherwise, you won’t be able to see targets far away. And that will make the whole focus of this type of rifle useless.
So, what type of magnification would be ideal for a Magnum Lapua cartridge? Well, it all depends on your needs, the quality of the scope, and proper capacity that fits the power of the rifle.
We recommend scopes that offer at least 10x magnification. This means that the model will get closer to things up to ten times compared to the scopeless view. If something is at a mile away, then it will look as if it were at 176 yards or 528 feet.
However, you can go up to 25x of magnification if needed. That type of magnification will get closer to targets at twenty-five times than the scopeless view. So, if something is at a mile away, then it will look as if it were at only 71 yards or 210 feet.
That’s how powerful a scope can be. And that’s how much accuracy you can get from one. So, you’ll have to choose accordingly.
Type of Use
To have a better idea of where you can use every kind of magnification, let’s give you a short image.
For example, a 10x magnification can be used anywhere like plains, where it is necessary to have a long-distance view with not many trees around. This is perfect for hunting & spotting caravans that are several yards or even miles away.
And a 25x magnification works the same way, with the advantage that it can go even further, for places like steppes and mountains. It can be used for hunting, as well as spotting small bodies far away, such as groups of people or individuals.
But it is important to remember that magnification doesn’t necessarily mean the quality of the image. Some super magnifications come with low-quality lenses that don’t offer half of the necessary image quality. Meanwhile, others may offer half the magnification, but thrice the image quality.
So, it all comes down to really knowing what to look for. Sure enough, the more magnification, the better it is in terms of capacity – but it can also be a slight issue if the quality is not ideal.
Overall, the best magnification for a .388 Lapua Magnum would be the one that combines both high capacity and excellent image quality. Once these two pairs together, there’s nothing else to look for.
10 Best Scope for 338 Lapua Magnum
Now that you have a better idea of how magnification affects the performance of a rifle, and how you can get the ideal magnification, then let’s go over 10 of the best scope models out there. Here’s what you need to know about each:
1. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Riflescope
The Viper HS-T from Vortex Optics is one of the many different configurations that Viper offers. As one of the best brands in the market, it also delivers the best scope for 338 Lapua Magnum. The HS-T is precisely that: a superb-quality rifle for those who want exceptional results for a decent cost.
It starts with a fully multi-coated set of lenses with extra-low dispersion. This adds outstanding resolution and color quality, combining the XR and Armortek coatings for fantastic protection.
This quality of the image and overall durability goes well with the 6-24x magnification. That will be enough to get close to things that are up to a mile away. This works well with the precision-glide erector system, for extra zoom smoothness when using.
You will still get an excellent adjustability MOA system. It boasts exposed target turrets that are easy to adjust with a simple finger click. And you can come back to zero with its CRS Zero Stop without issues. The scope also comes with a VMR-1 reticle with a second focal plane (SFP).
And this is one of the best you can get at this cost. It leaves tons of space and clarity to aim accurately, even if you’re in a harsh environment.
As for construction, it leaves nothing to be desired. Its 50mm diameter tube with aircraft aluminum build offers tons of rigidity. And sure enough, it comes with a rugged connection and precision-force spring for repeatability and recoil resistance.
If you want quality and exceptional results, you won’t hesitate to consider this scope. It is almost the perfect choice.
However, if you are looking for more budget products, check this review on the best rifle scopes under $100.
- Superb magnification at up to 24x
- Resistant & durable lenses with XR and ArmorTek coatings
- High-quality VMR-1 reticle with excellent adjustability
- Adjustable turrets spin opposite of the markings
- Difficult cheek & eye positioning with different magnifications
2. Bushnell Elite DMRII Tactical Riflescope
Quality comes in many different ways – and the Bushnell Elite is a perfect example of that. This is easily one of the most reliable scopes you can get, as it offers magnificent precision without leaving practicality behind.
It all starts with a 50mm objective lens offering 6x to 24x magnification according to your needs. This is enough to get pretty close to any target as far away as 1000 yards. Yet, it is the quality of the image that stands out the most, so you’ll get fantastic brightness and a smooth zooming capacity.
This comes down from the Throwhammer Throw Lever. It is a magnification-changing lever that lets you zoom in and out smoothly and with a simple flick of a finger.
The quality also comes from an ultra-wideband coating and a multi-coated set of optics. This delivers extra light transmission for more quality, pairing up well with a Rain Guard HD that prevents fog.
You will also get the EXO Barrier Technology, a system that protects the lens even further. It repels water, dust, debris, and even oil while preventing scratches.
All of that works wonders with the G2 Reticle with a first focal plane (FFP). You can achieve perfect holdover, windage correction, or range effortlessly. And with the side-focus parallax adjustment, getting top-notch accuracy will be a piece of cake.
Also, the entire scope measures only 13 inches, which fits a .388 Lapua Magnum without problems. And with the low weight and 30mm design, you won’t have any problem installing it.
- Exceptionally resistant lens coatings for durability
- Clear & bright image with superb optics quality
- Practical & easy-to-use design and features
- Can get difficult to aim with superior magnifications
- Zero-return adjustability can be imprecise
3. Steiner T5Xi Riflescope
For those who want the highest-quality scope, nothing will come close to the Steiner T5Xi Riflescope. This is a high-end model that takes rifle-scoping to a whole new level only experts know about.
It all starts with a 56mm objective lens, ideal for achieving the exceptional vision through the 34mm tube. This adds up to a superb magnification that goes from 5x up to 25x. You won’t have any problem seeing things that are up to 1 mile away.
But it is not only the magnification that stands out but the Razor-Edge image clarity. The light transmission it offers with its multi-coated lens will give you the brightest of images with an excellent detail capacity.
To enjoy this scope, even more, you can use the throw lever system so you can magnify the scope according to your needs without making any effort. And with the windage and elevation system, you can adjust aim with a single click of a turret.
Sure enough, there’s no shortage of reticle quality. You get an Illuminated SCR Reticle at the first focal plane (FFP), a top-notch option that comes with 1/2-mil holdover lines, 2/10-mil windage hold-off, and 1/10 mil-ranging brackets. And you can still enjoy its four nighttime levels and seven daylight modes.
Moreover, it doesn’t compromise the quality of construction, either. You get a submersible build with excellent recoil resistance. It also comes with Tenexbraex cover so you can keep it safe when not using it. And of course, it is totally coated against scratches, dust, debris, and sand.
Pairing everything together delivers an excellent option for demanding users who want only the best of the best.
- Unbeatable magnification at 5-25x capacity
- Outstanding Illuminated SCR reticle with extra markings
- Excellent adjustability system with low-profile turrets
- Extremely expensive
- Faulty parallax can be challenging to adjust
4. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescope
While high-end models always come useful, nothing compares to a decently priced option like the Vortex Crossfire II. Putting it all together, we can safely say this is the best affordable scope for 338 Lapua.
You will get a decent magnification system and design. It offers 6-24x magnification with a 50mm objective lens. That’s enough to enjoy proper aiming even at long distances, no matter what gun you’re using.
The objective comes with a unique adjustability system. This way, you can zoom in and out effectively without having to remove parallax every time. And with the fully multi-coated lens, you can enjoy exceptional image quality every time.
Moreover, you will still get excellent eye relief, so you can get as close or as far as you need from the scope. And with the eye-box design, acquiring targets and shooting accurately will be a piece of cake.
Even the adjustability system with the capped reset turrets is impressive. You get MOA clicks with straightforward operation. You will still get a Dead-Hold BDC reticle, ideal for hunting thanks to variable-range markings and with excellent holdover. With a second focal plane (SFP) system, it leaves nothing to be desired.
Still, it is the construction that makes it so fantastic. You get aircraft-grade aluminum with an O-ring sealed build and nitrogen-purged interior. Everything will be waterproof, fog-proof, shock-proof, and free of scratches.
If you’re looking for high quality at a premium cost, you won’t find any better option than the Vortex Optics Crossfire II. For 17 WSM users, it is something unbeatable.
- High-quality multi-coated lens for extra resilience and image quality
- Superb Dead-Hold BDC reticle for precise aiming and accuracy
- Top-notch aluminum construction for resistance and durability
- Not the best low-light performance
- May not hold recoil as well as others
5. Monstrum G3 Riflescope
Keeping up with our decently-priced options, we now meet the Monstrum G3 Riflescope. This is another model that will fit any .388 Lapua Magnum without problems.
What makes it so unusual at first is the 6-24x magnification. That’s enough to go for 1500 yards effortlessly. With the adjustable objective system, you can achieve decent image quality while enjoying maximum focus, so aiming and shooting accurately is easier than expected.
The MOA adjustability system with the illuminated reticle won’t disappoint either. Together, you get a set of locking turrets for windage and elevation, as well as an illumination knob. You won’t have any issue aiming accurately, even in low-light settings.
Apart from that, it is still a durable and resilient scope. It boasts brass mechanics, making it a smooth yet resistant product. And with the MIL-STD 8625 Type III Hard-anodized finish, it stands scratches, water, and more.
It doesn’t matter how or where you use this scope; it is set to provide exceptional results. And with the chance to get it in either Black or Flat Dark Earth, it will stand out in terms of looks as well.
You will also get several accessories with this scope. That would be the CR2032 battery for the illuminated reticle, the Picatinny scope rings, and a honeycomb filter sunshade. It even comes with a flip-up lens cover with spring-loaded design, adding the extra convenience you need.
Overall, this cover is a reliable, well-made, and super practical choice for those who don’t want to spend a fortune. If that matches your needs, then look no further.
- Decent magnification for extra aiming distance
- Convenient & versatile set of accessories
- High-end illuminated reticle for fantastic low-light performance
- A dim image can be challenging to use without illumination
- Tricky MOA adjustment system
6. BARSKA Varmint Mil-Dot Scope
Low prices don’t always mean low quality. That’s what the Barska Varmint Mil-Dot Riflescope stands for.
This is a decent scope for the .388 Lapua that can offer up to 20x in magnification starting at 6.5x. That will be enough to get your shots accurately far away. This pairs up well with a 50mm objective lens with an adjustable system, so you can achieve proper clarity according to your needs.
You will get an excellent multi-coated set of optics. This will provide an amazingly clear image that helps you aim effectively at long distances without losing a grain of quality.
But it is the fine crosshair reticle with a second focal plane (SFP), and the1/8-inches MOA system that stands out the most.
You will get the chance to adjust windage and elevation with a simple touch of a knob. And if you want to come back to normal, it doesn’t let any adjustment harm your aim with the easy turret caps.
Whether it is for hunting, long-range shooting, or merely spotting things in the wild – you’ll find this scope an excellent choice.
The unbeatable price is something you won’t get anywhere else. And it will still hold the pressure and recoil of a .388 Lapua without problems. The Barska Varmint is a perfect example that you can get an excellent model for a low price. It aids in achieving exactly what you want without having to break the bank.
- Unbeatable price for the quality
- Practical magnification system with adjustable objective
- Easy-to-use MOA system with fine crosshair reticle
- Not the most durable or resilient scope
- Doesn’t offer enough fog-proof capacity
7. NightForce SHV Scope
Want the thickest scope out there offering an excellent image quality? Then go for the NightForce SHV Riflescope.
Why do we think this is such a great choice? Well, it all comes down to its 56mm objective lens. Yes, you can get the widest and highest image out there. That’s enough to enjoy its 5-20x magnification to the max – providing a super focal view and exceptional parallax.
The crispness and sharpness with the fantastic contrast will make it easy to spot targets as far away as you can imagine.
You will still get a 30mm tube diameter. That will make it easy to enjoy the adjustment system with MOA for both elevation and windage. And with the ZeroSet feature, you can return to zero adjustments without making much of an effort. All of that comes within the uncapped turret.
As for the reticle, you can get three different versions: the Forceplex, the MOAR, and the 4A. Each offers its own set of features, but all of them come with a second focal plane (SFP). You may also pick the illuminated versions, so you get even better results in low-light environments.
And what’s even better, this scope is one of the most durable and sturdy in the market. You can achieve high-quality results with even the highest-caliber guns – including those that use .388 Lapua Magnum.
It will easily take your accuracy and aiming precision to another level. Whether it is medium-range or long-range shooting – this riflescope won’t be a bad choice.
- Top-notch adjustment system for ease of use
- Outstanding magnification with 56mm objective lens
- Sturdy & reliable construction for extra durability
- A little expensive
- The parallax can be annoying at times
8. Leupold VX-3i Side Focus Scope
If we had to pick a brand as the best one when it comes to quality for the cost, we wouldn’t think twice and go for Leupold. That’s easy to say, but it is clear when you consider the VX-3i riflescope.
The first thing that sets this scope apart is the 6.5-20x magnification. It is not the best out there, but it is more than decent for long-range shooting. Yet, what makes it so fantastic is the quality of the image, boasting a 50mm objective lens with side focus so you can achieve superior aiming at any time.
But the quality doesn’t come only from its size, but the coating and construction. You get a Diamond Coat 2, an ion-assist lens cover that transmits light like no other. This increases overall brightness and reduces abrasion and glare.
You will also get a Twilight Max Light Management System. This means that you can use the scope even in the lowest light settings as you still get excellent vision. Of course, it is not ideal for night vision, but it still handles low-light scenarios really well.
This pairs up well with the Fine Duplex or Varmint reticle with CDS. It boasts a Custom Dial System (CDS) that eliminates holdovers and other calculations, so every shoot becomes easy to make. And with the 1/4 MOA system, you can adjust windage and elevation with a simple finger click.
It is also one of the most resistant & durable riflescopes in the market, offering fog-proof, shockproof, and waterproof build. That goes well with the high-caliber capacity of the .388 Lapua Magnum.
- Unbeatable low-light aiming & brightness
- Versatile reticle options with CDS system
- Super easy adjustability & magnification
- Its magnification could have an extra level
- It doesn’t come with zero stop
9. Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint Riflescope
Keeping on with high-end models, we now meet the Trijicon TR23. This is a slightly different model from what you’ve read about so far – but that doesn’t make it any worse. Instead, it makes it a fantastic choice.
It offers a decent magnification of 5-20x. That’s enough for any long-range shooting you may want to do. Along with a 50mm objective lens, you can enjoy an excellent image at all times. That goes well with its superb-quality lenses, multi-coated for extra durability and exceptional light transmission.
This scope even offers illumination, but without a single battery. Yes, you can enjoy its fiber-optic technology that uses a Tritium Phosphor lamp to produce an enlighten reticle and overall image. Even in low-light environments, this riflescope will perform better than you can imagine.
The MOA adjustment system is also ideal. It comes with three easy-to-use turrets with clear markings. And with its second focal plane (SFP) reticle, you won’t have any problem aiming accurately.
In fact, the reticle is an exciting part of this scope because you can pick three different options. You’ll have the MIL-Dot Crosshair, the BAC Triangle Post, and a Standard Duplex Crosshair. All of them come in red, green or yellow, depending on what you prefer.
Lastly, you will get an impressive construction with aircraft-grade aluminum. That ensures a weatherproof construction in its entirety.
You can get the durability, performance, and overall ease of use that make any scope an excellent choice. The Trijicon TR23 would be an almost perfect option for your Lapua Magnum rifle.
- Excellent reticle options with colors
- Unique illumination system without batteries
- High-quality image with decent magnification
- Turrets are not as precise as expected
- Not ideal for rainy days
10. Beileshi AOEG Optics Hunting Scope
Expensive scopes are the only option you have. That’s what the Beileshi wants to tell you. As the best 338 Lapua scope for the money – this model offers excellent use of your money.
It is the perfect choice for beginners or those who don’t need much quality overall. The magnification is not bad, though. At 6-24x, you can see far away and enjoy accurate aiming even with the smallest or most difficult targets.
The objective diameter is 50mm, excellent to provide an ideal image for any type of shooting. And with the field of view it offers along with multi-coated lenses, you can enjoy high-quality images at all times.
Also, the lenses are sturdy and resistant. They can handle the recoil and the strength of a Lapua MAG, while also preventing scratching, dust, sand, and debris. As for the reticle, you’ll get either a Green or Red dot crosshair with front focus and illumination. And with the eyepiece adjustment, you can aim fast and accurately.
Moreover, the MOA adjustment system is also decent for the cost. You can get windage and elevation to your needs. And it won’t take much to get back to zero if needed.
For the price, you simply can’t get any better. It is easy to use, resilient and offers decent features that even more expensive models do not have. And that’s something you shouldn’t overlook.
- Perfect construction for resilience & durability
- Practical reticle with colored & illuminated crosshair
- Superb MOA system for easy adjustments
- Not the best low-light capacity
- Could have better image quality when zooming
Features to Look for Before Buying a .388 Lapua Scope
Getting the best scope for .338 Lapua MAG won’t be easy. You’ll have to know several things if you want to make the right decision. But don’t worry – we’ll help you with that. Consider the following factors when looking for a scope, and you’ll have no problem picking the ideal option:
As said before, the first thing to look for is the magnification the scope offers. If you’re using it on a powerful magnum such as the .388 Lapua, then you’ll want something that offers several levels of magnification accordingly.
Here, we recommend going for models that offer at least 10x of magnification. But you’re likely to find models that go up to 25x in the best cases. Typically, though, scopes for this type of rifle stay at around 6-24x – which means you’ll get four different levels of magnification starting from 6x.
The more magnification you get, the better your accuracy and overall sight will be on long distances. So, choose wisely.
Quality of Image
The image quality is something else that stands out in terms of sharpness & contrast. This is difficult to pick, though. You will have to consider a wide array of factors from the lens to the diameter.
But sharpness and vivid colors are what you’re looking for. To make sure you get that, go for those models that offer an adjustable objective system (AO). These are ideal for making sure you can achieve the perfect clarity when zooming in and out. It also provides adjustability for different environments as needed. Scopes under 300 are good enough in terms of image quality.
Overall, make sure the lenses are as clear as they can be. Some lenses are dim or dark, while others tend to be clear as water. Go for those that have no color at all.
Clarity of image doesn’t work alone; it actually has lots to do with how well the lenses transmit light across.
If you want to achieve a bright image, you’ll want a scope with the perfect light transmission. This means getting a model that offers an ideal performance to work both on high-light settings as well as low-light environments.
For this, we recommend going for multi-coated lenses that provide an excellent light transmission. They are often much more transparent and brighter than regular scopes, especially in low-light settings.
Apart from that, get something that prevents glare, reflections, and other image defects. That will make your experience with a .388 Lapua Magnum to another level.
After making sure you get excellent clarity and a perfect light transmission, you’ll have to pick the ideal reticle. Here, you’ll find hundreds of options to go for. Almost all scopes come with their respective reticle, offering all kinds of markings, designs, and overall performance.
Some reticles, for example, offer an average cross with a point in the middle. These are excellent for their simplicity, so anyone can achieve decent accuracy when shooting.
Then, you’ll get reticles that offer distance markings. These are ideal for those who are shooting for hundreds of years or even miles away. They help to adjust & aim more accurately.
And finally, you’ll get models with illumination. These are perfect for low-light settings, so you can always aim correctly even if the sun is getting away. But there are many more reticle models to consider, so you’ll have to pick according to your needs.
Focal Place (FFP or SFP)
This refers to the type of reticle you’re getting. While it won’t change the design of the reticle, it will tell whether you get a reticle in front of the scope, or a reticle in the rear part.
Those who prefer the FFP or first focal point are often those with vision problems who have a hard time looking through the scope. This could affect overall adjustability a little but makes it easy to aim with.
And the SFP or second focal point models, refer to the ones that are in the front of the scope. These are ideal for extra adjustability features but are often a little more challenging to use.
When someone talks about the objective lens, they’re talking about the overall diameter of the internal scope.
It differs depending on the model, but most of the time, it comes at around 50mm. This is a large enough diameter for the objective to let enough light pass through and achieve exceptional quality. And it allows the scope to offer as much magnification capacity as needed.
If you want a decent scope for your .388 Lapua Magnum sniper, go for 50mm scopes only. Some larger models can also be an ideal choice, but they may be heavier.
Even if you get the best magnification, reticle, and objective lens, that won’t be enough if you don’t have proper adjustability. This refers to how well the scope can handle windage, elevation, holdover, and other adjustable factors when aiming with the scope.
It is also essential to look for the right type of adjustable system. Most scopes come with the MOA system, which helps to adjust with a simple finger click of a knob.
And what’s even more critical, you may need to go for a system that offers instant reset. This is a feature that helps to reset the settings of windage and elevation fast, so you won’t have to use the click system to go back to normal.
Another vital aspect of scopes to consider is the tube diameter. This is how broad and thick the scope is. It is not necessarily an important part, but it makes a difference in how well the image and light travel through the scope.
Usually, larger tubes of over 40mm are the best ones if you want decent adjustability features and quality. But anything going from 28mm to 34mm will be suitable for most scopes.
Be aware that the diameter also affects weight and overall size. While that won’t be too much of a problem in a .388 Lapua Magnum, it is essential to consider.
This is a vital factor to think about. The strength and overall build of the scope matters because it will tell you how well the product can handle the recoil of a .388 Lapua Sniper. This type of gun is super powerful. It shoots at an outstanding force which can easily break fragile lenses in one shot.
That’s why you’ll have to make sure that the product you get can withstand the recoil and overall force of the rifle. We recommend scopes with sturdy aircraft-grade constructions. Those are the ones that will stand the most shoots with one of these rifles.
Still, you can always get for those that come with additional spring-loaded anti-recoil systems, and those with heavy construction so they won’t jump around when the Lapua fires.
Along with the strength and durability of the product, also consider the weatherproof level it offers.
Most scopes are weatherproof-designed by the factory. This means they will withstand even the harshest of environments, including rain, fog, dust, sand, debris, and even scratches. But some models will not.
To make sure you get exactly what you need in terms of resilience, go for scopes with multi-coated lenses that can handle any kind of environment. Those are the ones that will keep the scope in pristine condition for years.
Frequently Asked Questions
By now, you should be well-aware of what to look for. But you still may hold some doubts. So let’s relieve some of them:
1. What does MOA mean?
It means the Minute of Angle. This term refers to the adjustments you can make at 100 yards. For example, if the scope offers 1/4 inches of MOA, then each time you move the elevation or windage knob, you will get an adjustment of 1/4 inches at 100 yards.
2. How can I mount the scope on my Lapua Magnum?
Mounting a scope on a rifle is not an easy job. That’s why we recommend taking the help of an expert for the best results. You can mount it yourself if you have experience with this kind of riflescope. Otherwise, call a professional.
3. What is parallax?
It is the process when the user can see the black parts of the scope within the lens. This happens when the scope moves or when the user needs to adjust to a certain distance, so the parallax doesn’t appear anymore.
4. Do I need to do any maintenance on my riflescope?
No, riflescopes don’t need any maintenance. However, we recommend keeping it clean, free of dust or dirt, and in dry places.
In the end, getting the ideal riflescope for your .388 Lapua Magnum cartridge rifle won’t be easy. There are many factors to consider, different models for thinking about, and tons of small quirks to go for.
But if you keep all our advice and recommendations in mind when buying, then getting the best scope for .338 Lapua won’t be as hard as it seems. So don’t waste more of your time and pick the ideal model now!