Shooting targets and moving objects with a pistol is lots of fun when they are close. But once the items start getting farther and farther away, then shooting accurately becomes the most challenging thing.
Luckily, you can always get the best handgun scope and start shooting things from far away without problems.
You won’t have to get frustrated anymore. Just attach the scope and aim – you’ll have the opportunity to shoot anything as far as the bullet reaches.
But to really enjoy what this kind of scope offers, you’ll have to pick the right one. And that’s what we’re going to help you out in this article.
We’re going to show you everything there’s to know about scopes and a little more. Care to find out? Then come and learn!
Benefits of Using Handgun Scope
For those who know what a scope offers, it is clear what the benefits are. But for those who aren’t sure yet, here’s what you’ll get with one of these scopes:
Whether it is a medium distance or long distances, the accuracy of a pistol increases exponentially with one of these.
The pistol won’t immediately start shooting better, but the scope will help you aim more accurately.
Not only will a scope help you when shooting things far away, but it will also help you shoot things in low-light environments or anywhere with tons of distractions.
Placing your eye on the lens and looking through will eliminate everything around, improve your vision, and help you aim through the reticle.
Better Long-Distance Vision
As said before, a scope will help you see things more clearly, especially if they’re far away. But we didn’t mention that you can actually zoom in to objects, animals, or targets effectively with the right scopes.
Even if they are for handguns, you may still have the chance to zoom in up to 4 or 7 times for an even more accurate shot. This is an excellent way to put things closer to you. Whether it is for surveillance, hunting, or shooting practice – a scope will not disappoint.
10 Best Handgun Scope Reviews
Now that you’re aware of all the benefits a handgun scope offers, it is time to learn more about the best models out there. Here, we’re reviewing 10 scopes that are totally worth considering. Want to know why? Then read up!
#1. Leupold VX-3 Scope
Let’s start with the best pistol scope: the Leupold VX-3. This model is one of the few high-end models that take durability to a whole new level.
For those who want to take their aim to another level, the VX-3 offers everything they need and more. It all starts with a 2.5 to 8 magnification system, ideal for getting closer to most things for several hundred yards. You won’t have any problem getting your pistol bullets far away.
This all happens with the 1/4 MOA adjustment system. You can easily click the adjustment with your finger and achieve the perfect windage or elevation according to your needs.
As for size, you will get 32mm. This is ideal for an excellent focal point and field of view. And with only 10.9 ounces of weight, handling will be a piece of cake. The 15-inch eye relief makes operation even easier, so you can achieve better accuracy.
What really stands out is the build, though. You will get a totally waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof product. It won’t let you down when it comes to shooting in demanding environments.
Lastly, you get a superb gas blend with seals that surpass any kind of limitation from pressure or depth. It will perform amazingly well, even in the highest or most humid places.
Whatever you’re looking for in scope, you will get it all from the Leupold VX-3. It is a high-end model for demanding users who want the best of the best.
- Exceptional magnification at up to 8x
- Practical MOA system with easy-to-handle light design
- Superb construction for extra durability & protection
- Incredibly expensive
- Duplex reticle is not everyone’s favorite
#2. WEAVER Classic Scope
We love high-end scopes, and the Weaver Classic is precisely that. It costs more than the average model for pistols, but it delivers an outstanding performance & resilience that not many others will.
It all starts with a 28mm design. And it is ideal for those users who want a decently-sized scope with enough field of view and a perfect focal point.
The clarity is also outstanding. It comes with fully-coated lenses that don’t let anything blur out your vision. Even a challenging distant target will be as clear as it can be. Then, you’ll get a decent magnification at only x2. This will be enough to see up to 50 yards or more in front of you.
For adjustability, you get a 1/4-inch MOA system for elevation and windage. This goes well with the Dual-X reticle so you can aim at things more effectively.
Moreover, it is made of high-quality materials in its entirety. And this pairs up well with a shockproof, fog-proof, and waterproof construction. It will stand all kinds of usage without leaving durability behind.
To make it even better, the tubes are totally nitrogen-purged. This eliminates yet the slightest sign of fog – even in the coldest or moistest places. But what really makes it stand out from the competition is the capacity to withstand high caliber without problems. You can pair it up with the most potent pistols or revolvers without fear.
If you want a scope that does it all – then the Weaver Classic will be a perfect choice. It comes in both Matte Black and Silver.
- High-quality build resistant to water, fog, and shock
- Withstands the highest-caliber pistols effortlessly
- Excellent design for clarity and a large field of view
- Not the best magnification available
- Exterior surface scratches easily
#3. Leupold FX-II Scope
Now, if we had to pick the best pistol scope for 44 MAG – we wouldn’t think twice before choosing the Leupold FX-II. It takes resistance & durability to a whole new level.
Despite a totally lightweight scope, it offers decent resistance. You won’t have any problem using it with the highest-caliber pistols out there. Whether we’re talking about a 44MAG or any other revolver – it will handle the recoil & potency effortlessly.
But what really sets this model apart from the competition is the Twilight Light Management system. It allows you to have outstanding brightness at any time of the day. You will get decent glare reduction, excellent contrast, and an ultra-crisp image.
This pairs up well with the outstanding 4x magnification. You can get closer to anything you’re aiming at without moving your body. And with 18-inch of eye relief, aiming accurately will be a piece of cake.
Still, you get a Duplex reticle inside a 28mm construction. This build will help you enjoy maximum clarity and field of view.
Lastly, you can get the most out of its light construction. With only 8.4 ounces of weight, you can achieve top-notch handling at all times. It will still withstand all kinds of environments, as well as fog, water, scratches, and impacts.
In short, this is an almost perfect scope to use with your pistol. It won’t leave a single thing to be desired.
- Light & easy-to-handle construction
- Excellent magnification & eye relief
- Top-notch recoil & impact resistance for revolvers
- A little expensive
- The field of view could be better
#4. Burris 2-7x32mm Scope
The Burris scope is an excellent choice for those who are looking for both resistance and extra clarity in their vision. This model comes in three different models, the Ballistic Plex, the Ballistic Plex with Posi-Lock, and the standard version.
Each one offers its own set of advantages. However, all of them provide a robust scope that handles an outstanding amount of recoil, thanks to the double spring-tension system. This will let you shoot with the most powerful handgun out there.
Also, the eye relief is also ideal at 11-inch, so you won’t have any problem getting closer to the scope to make excellent shots. Yet, it is the 2-7x magnification that increases its overall value, so you can get as close as you need to the targets from far away.
It is made of high-grade optical glass that ensures tons of clarity & contrast. You will also get tons of durability and resistance to impacts. It boasts Hi-Lume multi-coating aids as well that eliminate glare and provide perfect low-light performance. You will have the chance to use the scope during twilights or early in the morning.
Moreover, the scope also comes with nitrogen-filled tubes, offering the chance to prevent fog and operate even in the moistest of environments. And sure enough, the one-piece tube also withstands tons of recoil without problems.
If you want the Posi-Lock model, then you’ll get a retractable steel post for extra adjustment. With its MOA system and Ballistic Plex reticle, using this scope will be a total pleasure.
- Exceptional clarity with Hi-Lume feature
- Sturdy & recoil-resistant construction
- Unique reticles with decent magnification
- Awkward adjustment system
- A little heavier than expected at 13 ounces
#5. UTG 2-7X32 Scope
Starting with the low-end scopes, we first meet the UTG 2-7x32mm Handgun model. It is a small yet excellent performer for those on a low budget who still want tons of quality.
The first thing you’ll notice is the 2-7x magnification. This is enough for most shooting operations in the wild. Whether it is a simple non-moving target or something hard to focus on – this magnification will help you get close to it.
Then, you’ll get 32mm in objective diameter with 1-inch of the tube design. Together, they make it easy to enjoy a superb field of view and achieve clear visibility at all times. And despite all that, it weighs only 14 ounces.
Another exciting feature it offers is the 25-inch eye relief. It is a great option that makes it easy to enjoy easy aiming at any time. Along with the Projectile Drop Compensation or PDC reticle, you’ll achieve excellent aiming accuracy with this scope.
You will also get a multi-emerald lens coating. This will increase the overall resistance and durability of the product. It won’t get scratched easily, and it will resist all kinds of situations, including moist and fogged environments.
Moreover, the scope still manages to provide a nitrogen-filled tube. It offers extra shockproof, rainproof, and fog-proof. You won’t have any problem enjoying this scope to the max.
As for adjustability, you get a windage/elevation locking system as well, for easy tweaking. And sure enough, it offers AccuShot Rings & Flip-Open Lens Cap, so you can store & handle the entire scope without problems. This model takes convenience to another level, and for an unbeatable cost.
- Ideal magnification & adjustability for its size
- Practical AccuShot Rings & Flip-Open Lens Cap
- Super resistant & durable construction
- The large and heavy design
- Not suitable for high-caliber pistols
#6. NcStar Pistolero 2.5X30 Pistol Scope
We always appreciate affordable options, and the NcStar 2.5×30 is precisely that. It is one of the cheapest scopes you can get that will still manage to offer an ideal performance with your pistol.
The scope starts with a magnification of 2.5x, which is enough to get closer to things several yards away. It won’t be the best magnification out there, but it’s still pretty decent.
You can pair this up with an excellent eye relief of 10.45 inches. Together with a field of view of 19.5 feet at 100 yards and a 30mm diameter vision, you can achieve exceptional image while looking through.
It takes into account large and small pistols, so you won’t have any problem pairing it up with powerful revolvers or little handguns. Yet, it works better with Scout-setup guns.
Apart from that, it also offers an illuminated Duplex reticle, ideal for its simplicity but also outstanding accuracy. And with the 11.4 ounces of weight, you can easily handle the scope with your pistol, as it adds little to no weight.
Moreover, you will also get a Blue lens coating, which helps to see more clearly through. Even the harshest of lights or glare won’t affect you much.
Overall, this is an excellently made scope for low-budget users that strives in simplicity to achieve more-than-decent results. If you’re short on budget and want something that stands out, then go for this pistol scope.
- Extremely affordable for the quality
- Decent magnification and clear vision
- Clear vision with Duplex reticle
- Not the most resistant or resilient out there
- Short eye relief could become an issue for some
#7. Hammers Elite Compact Lightweight Scope
When it comes to budget scopes, few brands offer what Hammers Elite is capable of. The Compact Lightweight scope is the perfect example of why this brand is such a great choice.
Once you set your eyes on it, you’ll know this is not like other models in the list. This one comes with a 20mm diameter design. That means it has a small FOV when compared to other models, but not exactly quite.
You can easily see 15.72 feet at 100 yards, which is an excellent measure of how well-made it is despite its 20mm diameter. This pairs up well with the 12.5-inch of eye relief, perfect to keep you close to the gun when shooting for extra accuracy.
Also, you will get windage and elevation settings if needed. And it boasts a 2x Quick Focus magnification. This will improve how well you can shoot from far away. As for crosshair, you get a fine cross pinpoint design. It is similar to a Duplex in which you get tons of vision and excellent accuracy with the right aim.
Still, what really stands out about this budget model is the waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof construction. Thanks to a multi-coated premium set of optics, you can achieve exceptional durability & resistance out of this piece.
Moreover, you will even get the mounting rings for Weaver rail for extra convenience. Pairing that up with the rest of this fantastic scope leaves you with an excellent choice in its entirety.
- Decent budget build for durability & resistance
- Ideal magnification and eye relief for small guns
- Ultra-convenient settings & mounting features
- The eye relief could be too short for tall people
- Low-light performance is not the best
#8. BSA 2-7X32 Edge Series Pistol Scope
Riding in the line between low-end and high-end models, we now have the BSA 2-7×32 Edge Series. This is an excellent model for those who don’t want to spend too much but don’t want to spend too little either.
It all starts with a 1-inch tube that offers 32mm of overall vision diameter. This will be enough to work well with its magnification at 2x to 7x. You can get really close to any objective without having to move a single foot. That’s something you don’t get with many of the different scope options out there.
Also, it has a long eye relief, which goes from 12 to 20 inches easily. This will be ideal for those who like shooting close to the gun, but also for those with long arms who need extra space.
You will still get the chance to adjust its elevation and windage as well. Despite its low cost, it is utterly functional, so you won’t be short of shooting features & capacities. This means you get a 1/4 MOA system for easy use.
As for the reticle, you’ll get a Duplex design. And with its 12-inch length, which makes it one of the longest but weighs only 10.5 ounces, helps to achieve excellent handling.
Overall, it is a practical and efficient choice for those who want to get their shooting to another level. If that matches your demands, then this is the scope to go for.
- Excellent FOV & magnification for the cost
- Decent MOA adjustments for practicality
- Ideal eye relief with lightweight design for ease of use
- Terrible low-light performance
- Not the most resistant against impacts & recoil
#9. Hammers 2-7X32 Pistol Scout Scope
If you’re looking for a revolver scope at a meager price, then you will find no better choice than the Hammers 2-7X32 Pistol Scout Scope.
It features one of the most extended eye-relief options in the market at 13 to 17 inches for its size. The 10.5 inches of length, along with its 32mm of diameter, allow this eye relief to be perfect. You can achieve outstanding accuracy without making much of an effort.
The field of view is also outstanding, offering 24.5 up to 11.5 feet at 100 yards. Along with the windage and elevation, 1/4-inch MOA system, you can achieve no less than fantastic accuracy.
All of that matches well with the 2-7x magnification system. You can get pretty close to anything and achieve superior aim on any target. Along with the 4Plex reticle, you can achieve pinpoint accuracy, so no target gets out of sight.
As for optics quality, it won’t let you down either. You’ll get great clarity that makes even the most difficult of places easy to shoot at. And sure enough, it resists recoil well for its price. You’ll get scope rings as well as a see-thru lens for the Weaver scope rail and base. This will add the extra shock & recoil protection you need.
Overall, it leaves nothing behind. Despite its low price, this scope takes shooting with a revolver or any high-caliber pistol to another level.
- Superb eye relief & magnification for the cost
- High-quality build & design for recoil resistance
- Decent clarity and practical reticle for accuracy
- The large design may feel bulky on handguns
- Low-quality mounting rings
#10. BSA 2X20 Edge Series Pistol Scope
To finish this list, we meet the BSA Optics 2×20 Edge Series. This is a smaller version of the Edge Series we reviewed before, but with the same quality and overall performance.
What makes it so amazing is the 1 MOA adjustability system, ideal for smooth operation when aiming. This pairs up well with the eye relief that goes from 11 to 20 inches. You won’t have a problem aiming according to your needs and the pistol size.
The design is simple and easy to use. Yet it stands out for a fantastic weight of only 7.5 ounces. This is low enough so you can handle your pistol in the most straightforward ways possible.
Sure enough, you get excellent magnification at 2x. That’s not the best out there, but decent enough for the fantastic price of this scope. And with its objective diameter of 20mm, you won’t have any problem achieving a proper field of view of 25 feet at 100 yards.
It works well on almost any handgun you can imagine, as it resists both low-caliber and high-caliber guns without breaking. And it still boasts dust covers to prevent the lenses from getting dirty and comes with a decent construction against shocks and impacts.
You won’t get the most fantastic scope with the highest number of features – but it will still handle rough use without breaking. And that’s a lot to say for a scope that costs and weighs so little.
- Perfect magnification & field of view
- Durable & resilient despite its low cost
- Super light design at only 7.5 ounces
- Windage/elevation adjustability can be tricky
- Gets blurry at long-yard aiming
Features to Look for Before Buying
So, you’ve gone through all the reviews above, and you feel like an expert on scopes now. Well, don’t fool yourself. You’re probably not that familiar with scopes yet. For that, learn more about them with the following section of features to think about when buying:
This refers to how well the lenses can handle fog, water, and shock. Of course, most scopes will probably say that they do resist all that. So, you’ll have to consider other things instead.
For the most resilient lens, we recommend taking into consideration any type of unique construction. Things like nitrogen-filled scopes, shatter-resistant builds, and scratch-resistant coatings are all excellent ways to get a resilient lens.
If you’re going for the most resilient model possible, then we recommend high-end brands over low-end ones. Here, you should focus on Leupold and Weaver scopes over all others. They often offer the best constructions for a more resilient lens and scope.
Size & Weight
It is essential to know how big your scope is. That gives you a perfect idea of how well it will fit your pistol.
For example, most scopes for handguns tend to be between 20mm and 32mm in size. That refers to the diameter of the lens. Then, you’ll have to consider the tube, which is usually 1-inch in diameter. If the scope goes over or below those measurements, then it is not a good scope for your handgun.
Apart from that, you’ll have to consider the weight. The biggest scopes are also the heaviest – so you’ll have to pick accordingly. We recommend models that don’t go over 12 ounces if you want a decently light option. But if you can go for models below 10 ounces, then that would be even better.
Read Also: Best Scope Under $100
There are thousands of reticles to consider – and one buying guide wouldn’t be enough to talk about them all. Still, we can give you an idea of what you may encounter when it comes to scopes.
Here are three different types you’ll find:
These are standard reticles with a cross and sometimes a red or black pointer in the middle. It helps to aim better and gives a simple yet effective aim.
These are the ones with more than just a cross or a point. These often come with markings for distances that help you aim even better – especially on targets that are far away.
Fully Marked Crosshair
The fully-marked crosshair is the most complex of all. It offers not only distance markings but also all kinds of additional features, including windage, lights, de-cluttering, and more.
Just remember that most reticles have a not-so-simple or straightforward marking. You should go for the one that looks better for your needs. We recommend Duplex and Ballistic Plex reticles as the best ones. But there are still tons of different options to go for – don’t shy out and pick a product that suits your requirements.
The eye relief of scope refers to the distance in which a user will need to look through the lens. This makes all the difference between a model that offers a massive field of view and magnification and a scope that doesn’t.
If you want the best field of view and magnification, then you’ll go for an option with an eye relief between 4 and 12 inches. But if you don’t need that much magnification, then you will do well with an eye relief between 15 and 30 inches.
This is an essential part of rifle scopes. But, for handgun scopes, it is not as critical to consider. Still, we recommend taking a good look at the type of magnification you’re getting out of the scope. It will help you achieve better aim & accuracy over a long-range.
For pistol models, a 4x magnification will be more than enough. But most models can go from 2x up to 8x and a little more. The more magnification you get, the more practical the scope will be. But with more magnification, you also get less short-range accuracy. So be careful when choosing.
Field of View
Also known as the FOV, it refers to the amount of image or “resolution” you’ll get when looking through the scope. This goes hand-in-hand with the diameter of the scope. The more diameter you get, the more FOV you will also enjoy.
But it is also essential to consider that with more magnification, you also get less FOV. So it is a feature that relies heavily on the size of the scope as well as the type of magnification.
This FOV is often measured in feet per 100 yards. For example, you’ll are likely to find models offering 7-feet per 100 yards. This means that you will see only 7-feet of total space from one edge of the scope to the other. Of course, we recommend going for the highest amount of field of view possible.
Not many people consider this, but it is also an essential part of scopes for pistols. It matters because even though handguns are often small, some of them can have tons of recoil and power.
For example, a huge Magnum revolver will have way more recoil than a Glock. So, you’ll have to pick something that matches that kind of recoil accordingly.
We often recommend models that offer specific types of anti-recoil builds or components. A dual spring-loaded tensioner would be a perfect example of that. Shatter-resistant and impact-resistant scopes are also ideal for preventing any recoil damage.
Overall, just make sure the scope can handle tons of recoil if you’re installing it on a powerful handgun. Otherwise, you may do well with most types of scopes.
Light & Clarity
Finally, consider all models that come with special anti-glare or low-light lenses. These will be excellent for places with low light or where you can easily get glared up.
Systems like the Hi-Lume from Burris or the Twilight Management System from Leupold are worth considering. They keep glare and blur out of sight – so you can aim more effectively and without distractions.
Special coatings against blur like Weaver offers are also excellent features to have. So, consider all those scopes with these – they are super helpful when aiming in less than ideal conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know that browsing in search of a high-quality scope for your pistol is not an easy job. But that’s nothing compared to finding all about them with a single article. That’s why we are adding another section with specific nuggets of knowledge you may want to know about.
Here’s what we mean:
What are the best scope brands out there?
If we had to pick two brands that stand out from the rest, those would be Leupold and Weaver. Those are the only two brands that offer exceptional results at a high-end range. Despite a higher price tag than other models, they offer all kinds of features, excellent durability, and more.
What’s the best scope magnification?
For pistol magnification, anything over 8x will be too much. That’s why we recommend sticking between 2x and 7x for the best experience.
Do I need a variable or fixed magnification?
It all depends on your needs. For example, a fixed magnification will offer something between 2x to 4x or even 7x, but you can’t change that. This adds tons of durability but lacks versatility. As for variable magnification, you can have tons of different options while shooting. But it lacks resilience.
What is parallax?
Parallax refers to the accuracy of the reticle inside the scope. When you see dark edges while looking through the lenses, that is parallax. When you move your head back and forth until the edges disappear, then you’re parallax-free. This measure refers to the distance for this to happen.
It won’t be easy. But choosing the best handgun scope will be something that you will totally appreciate. As long as you take our advice & tips into consideration, you will probably end up with an excellent model entirely.
So don’t waste more of your time and pick one now. Your shooting will never be the same!