Hunting, today, is an activity that can be done with all kinds of weapons, from firearms to crossbows, from traps to slingshots. Among these weapons are the often times underestimated pellet guns.
While it is true that they started off as toys and hobby projects for children, as time went on more and more technological advances were made and invested into these pellet guns. While air-powered, they are able to shoot a pellet at speeds rivaling those of a bullet, with next to no sound or recoil, and land a kill.
Probably the best accessory that you could purchase for such a rifle is a scope. You’d gain the ability to see more clearly across great distances as well as aim with a lot more accuracy.
They’re not like other scopes though. They are considerably smaller, lighter and calibrated in such a way that the shooter can get a good idea of the distance that the projectile will travel despite the fact that it is a lot smaller and a lot lighter than the normal bullet.
|UTG BugBuster Scope||3-9x32mm||Mil-dot||9.8 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|Winchester AO||2-7x32mm||Cross-hair||12.6 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|CVLIFE Compact Rifle Scope||4x32mm||Cross-hair||7.48 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|Solomone Cavalli AO||6-24x50mm||Rangefinder||12 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|Barska AO||3-12X50mm||Mil-dot||13.8 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|Bestek Rifle Scope||3-9x40mm||Cross-hair||11.81 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|Gamo 6212044154 LC||4x32mm||Cross-hair||12.9 inches||Check price on Amazon|
Things to consider when choosing the best pellet gun scope
Before you rush off to buy a scope for your pellet gun, you will need to keep a few things in mind. A pellet gun is not the same as an air-powered rifle or a normal rifle. It uses small lightweight plastic pellets which have drastically different performances when traveling at high speeds through the air.
That being said, the scopes that are designed specifically for this kind of rifle will not only compensate for the capabilities of the ammunition but also provide you with a clear visual point that you can use in order to aim.
With that in mind, there are a few things that you will have to remember when you set off to purchase a scope. You will have to pay attention to the reticle used on the scope in question in order to see whether or not you can work and aim properly with it.
You will have to pay close attention to the magnification level of the scope in order to see whether or not it matches the range and capabilities of your weapon. Lastly, you will have to make sure that you get a scope that fits properly on top of your rifle, which is why the length of the scope often times is an important yet often underestimated stat.
The reticle is the marking on the lens that you use in order to aim. While it can come in many shapes, forms and designs, there is only a handful of them that are used for pellet gun scopes. The most popular of them all is the Crosshair reticle followed closely by the Mil-dot reticle, mostly because Mil-dot is a Crosshair reticle with extra markings on the actual hairs.
The third one, however, is the Rangefinder reticle which is essentially a cross-hair reticle with a planar range scale underneath. This scale is usually representative of the drop level that the projectile has over certain distances. This one is the reticle of choice for seasoned hunters that use the rifle in large open fields and over long distances.
The magnification level
Figuring out what level of magnification the scope offers you is relatively simple. it’s usually in the name of the scope itself. Often times it is presented under the following form: min-max zoom x focal field of view.
For example: if a scope has 3-9×50 mm magnification, it means that it is able to offer you a zoom level of between 3x and 9 x with a field of view focal lens of 50 mm. That being said, the optimal magnification level for your scope is something that you will have to figure out on your own. You can start by looking at where you often hunt.
If you’re hunting in an open field with little to no obstacles around, usually medium game, chances are you would benefit more from a scope with greater magnification capabilities.
However, if you’re hunting in more restrictive environments that are littered with obstacles and foliage, like a forest or a jungle, you might want to go for a scope with lesser magnification capabilities.
The length of the scope
Something that people don’t really keep in mind is the fact that the barrel of a pellet gun is generally shorter than that of a normal rifle. This means that the rifle, overall, is often times smaller and lighter.
In contrast to that, the length of the scope used can affect its performances. It can throw the rifle out of balance if not mounted properly, it can make the rifle feel cumbersome and hard to maneuver, it can even give you slightly skewed information if the barrel is short enough.
That being said when you’re out there browsing for a scope, make sure that you have a good idea of what the size of your barrel is. A good rule of thumb is that the scope should not stretch further than half the length of your barrel.
The best products on the market
Finding the very best scope for your pellet gun is not an easy thing to do. There are a lot of variables to factor in and a lot of things to keep in mind. Not to mention the fact that there is no one universally best scope on the market. Every scope has its strengths and its weaknesses.
That being said, you will have to look at every scope on the market, examine them in detail, read their reviews, see what features they come with, and try to narrow down your list to a handful of options that you can later choose from.
Here are some of the pellet gun scopes that are among the most popular on the market.
Price: Approximately $80
Weight: 13.9 ounces
Dimensions: 9.8 x 3.4 x 3.9 inches
Specific features: True strength platform, premium lockable and resettable turrets, side wheel illumination
Best use: Medium range hunting, mechanical and air-powered rifles
Description: The UTG BugBuster Scope is a scope that is built, from the ground up, to accommodate the standard hunting needs of a beginner and inexperienced hunter. This is because of the fact that the scope itself is very easy to operate.
The turrets themselves have RGB lighting options, making them easier to both see and keep track of in dimly lit environments or in the dark. Not to mention the fact that the magnification and focus controls are set up in such a way that they can be operated with a single finger without any problems.
Another great feature that this scope has is the emerald coating that lines the interior of the tube. This is to maximize the light transmission through the lenses and offer a sharper and more accurate picture.
Something interesting about this scope is the Mil-dot reticle that it sports. While it is not a rangefinder per say, it does carry some of the markings that are typically found on rangefinder scopes. The added marks also help inexperienced shooters get a better accuracy level and actually hit what they are aiming to hit.
One more thing that this scope has to offer is the versatile dual illumination system. This gives the shooter the ability to light up the actual reticle in either a green or a red color. This makes hunting a lot easier, mostly because the reticle itself does not run the risk of blending in with shadowy dark areas.
- Can fit on most rail systems
- Very easy to use
- Reticle and turrets can be lit if necessary
- Not a good fit for experienced and expert hunters
- Does not accommodate other types of weaponry
- Can be difficult to calibrate when first mounted on a rifle
Related: UTG respects hunters worldwide, which is why it also makes it possible for them to purchase the UTG Tactical OP Bipod in order to prop up their rifles when in a prone position and keep them still while lining up the shot.
Price: Approximately $40
Weight: 1.4 pounds
Dimensions: 12.6 x 3.6 x 1.8 inches
Specific features: Fog-proof, shockproof and color corrected, Daisy quality
Best use: Medium-long range hunting, mechanical and air rifles, semi-automatic and automatic rifles
Description: If the name “Winchester” strikes you as being familiar is because of the fact that this is indeed the same manufacturer that produces the famous hunting weapons and accessories.
While this Winchester AO scope might not appear to be something to write home about, it is still able to bring its own features to the table.
For starters, the inside of the scope has been lined and treated heavily against condensation. This means that your lenses will not fog up if you happen to make the tradition between a hot environment and a cold one, at least not on the inside. That being said, there is no actual reason for which you would ever want to disassemble this scope.
It is also shockproof, meaning that you can drop it from very high places without risking damage to the lenses inside.
Something else worth mentioning about this scope is the fact that it has a magnification level of 2-7×32, meaning that while it can zoom in up to 7 times, the focal field of view lens is only 32 mm. This actually helps in wide open fields, helping the hunter focus properly on the animal that he has his sights on without being distracted by other ones.
One last thing worth mentioning about this scope is the fact that it is among the few scopes out there that do not need recalibrating if you take it off the rifle and put it back on again. It still manages to hold an impressive level of accuracy even if dismounted from the actual rails.
- Very accurate, does not require recalibrating if taken off the gun
- Heavily fog-proofed and shock-proofed
- Does not require special cleaning or transportation options
- Can be a bit difficult to use by new hunters
- Can be a bit difficult to clean and maintain
- The turrets often times feel heavy and difficult to rotate
Related: The good people at Winchester, with their years of experience in regards to hunting needs and equipment, make the Winchester GRW006 Gun Chair available for purchase. It is a foldable gun rack that you can use to prop up your guns while on a hunting trip, thus preventing them from getting dirty.
Price: Approximately $17
Weight: 12.8 ounces
Dimensions: 7.48 x 1.26 x 2.1 inches
Specific features: 4.13 inches of eye relief, fully-coated optical glass, compact size
Best use: Short/medium range hunting, semi-automatic/automatic rifles
Description: Sometimes, smaller is better, and when it comes to hunting, this is the scope that you need for those times. This is because the CVLIFE Compact Rifle Scope is one of the most compact scopes on the market. Not to mention the fact that it is also one of the lightest.
Its low profile and reduced size actually give it quite a bit of an edge when hunting in thick forests and jungles, not to mention the fact that the relatively reduced zoom level also makes it great for fast aiming and fast sniping.
While this is the kind of scopes that sits a bit further down the rail or the barrel, it is also the kind that brings a lot more versatility to the table.
Great for fast aiming and fast shots, it is also a good scope to have when stalking your prey and trying to line yourself up for the shot. This is because of the 32 mm field of view lens that it sports, allowing the shooter to get a fairly wide field of view at short/medium range from the target.
Another thing worth mentioning is the fact that the lenses are made out of fully-coated optical glass. This means that the shooter does not have to deal with lighting effects such as glaring and reflections.
- Great for fast aiming and shooting
- Does not require a lot of adjusting in order to take the shot
- Fully coated glass protects the shooter’s eyes from lighting effects
- Does not do well with long distance shooting
- It is not of much use on rifles designed for open field hunting
- can often times feel too small for a rifle
Related: Another thing that is available for purchase from CVLIFE is the CVLIFE Bore Sight CAL 223 5.56mm Rem Gauge Red Dot Boresighter which will help you, in conjunction with your scope, to get a better accuracy level and take down even the fastest targets.
Price: Approximately $36
Weight: 2 pounds
Dimensions: 12. x 3.4 x 2 inches
Specific features: Rangefinder reticle, different brightness levels, 5/5 illumination level settings
Best use: Medium – very long range shooting, air/mechanical rifles, semi-automatic rifles
Description: While versatility can play an important part in hunting, more often than not having the right tool for a specific job can mean the difference between landing a kill and missing the target.
This Solomone Cavalli AO is the same with this scope, while it can be used in a multitude of environments and a large number of rifles, it is the best choice for a specific style of hunting. The fact that it sports the rangefinder reticle, as well as the massive magnification level, make this a great choice for long and very long distance shooting.
For starters, the rangefinder reticle will help you compensate for the loss of kinetic energy and the drop distance of the projectile, while the increased zoom level will help you spot targets at very long range, everything is done through a 50 mm focal field of view lens.
One more great feature that this scope brings to the table is the ability to actually tweak the illumination level of the reticle. This relieves a lot of the strain that is put on the eyes of the shooter at dusk or dawn, or in dimly lit areas. Being able to compensate for lighting level, the shooter can always see the reticle properly and decide whether to take the shot or not while at the same time not having to deal with eye soreness.
- Adjustable lighting level
- Great for long and very long range shooting
- Very durable and resilient
- It requires patience and practice in order to master
- Can be hard to use by a beginner
- Does not fit well on shorter rifles
Related: While not that much of a prominent name, Solomone Cavalli makes it possible for hunters to also purchase the Solomone Cavalli Tactical Molle Combat Vest, making it easier to carry ammunition and hunting equipment around.
Price: Approximately $56
Weight: 1.1 pounds
Dimensions: 13.8 x 13.8 x 2.5 inches
Specific features: Extra-rigid construction, adjustable objective lens, simple tube construction
Best use: Medium range shooting, semi-automatic rifles
Description: One of the biggest strong points of this BARSKA AO scope is the fact that it not only sports a simple design but is also simple and comfortable to use. It does sport the usual turrets and controls, however this time they lack certain extra markers that beginners use.
Designed for long hunting trips and medium range shooting, this scope can fair well with most of the rifles that it is mounted on.
The optics are fairly comfortable to use, the lenses themselves are fully coated, making it hard for lighting effects to interfere with the shooter’s vision and the objective, or field of view, the lens is also adjustable. This helps not only with focusing on a target but also adapting to the environment that you are hunting in.
Another thing worth noting here is the fact that the scope itself has an extra rigid shockproof construction. This means that it is able to not only withstand the shock and energy released when shooting a rifle but also survive falls over long distances without any actual damage being done to the lenses and adjustment mechanisms.
- Easy to use if you have experience shooting scoped rifles
- Optics are fully coated and can protect the shooter’s eyes
- Very strong construction that prevents any harm from being done to the lenses
- Difficult to use by beginners
- Can be difficult to clean and maintain
- The scope sometimes requires the shooter to adjust the objective lens as well
Related: Often times darkness is a hunter’s worst enemy, which is why BARSKA is selling the BARSKA 140 Lumen 3W LED Zoom Flashlight, allowing hunters to light up the area and see their targets even in pitch black conditions.
Price: Approximately $15
Weight: 12 ounces
Dimensions: 11.8 x 3.8 x 4.1 inches
Specific features: Two rotating hand wheels on the upper and right of the tube, aircraft aluminum tube
Best use: Medium range shooting, semi-automatic rifle
Description: This Bestek Rifle Scope is your best option if you are looking for a scope on a budget. While it is one of the most affordable ones out there, it does not fall short when it comes to performances.
First of all, the design is simplistic, making it not only fit from an aesthetic point of view but also from a technical one because it matches the vast majority of rings and locking mechanisms. Another thing to add here is the fact that it carries over the traditional scope design, meaning that it is easy to use by both the experienced and inexperienced shooters alike.
In terms of optics, it does not disappoint. Keeping in mind that it was built for medium range shooting, the magnification level is there to match. The lenses themselves are coated and protected, helping shield the eyes from harmful and uncomfortable lighting effects.
Another thing worth noting about this scope is the fact that it works well with low profile rails like the ones found on less powerful rifles, however, it is able to fit and function on all kinds of rails.
- Easy to use
- Fits on most rifle rails
- Can be used by beginners with ease
- Can be tricky to clean and maintain
- The lenses are prone to scratching
Related: Bestek also helps hunters out by giving them the option to purchase the Bestek 75W Power Inverter so that they can recharge the batteries for their equipment in their own cars.
Price: Approximately $30
Weight: 1 pound
Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.5 x 1.6 inches
Specific features: Fully coated objective lens, The reticle focal lens is the second lens in the scope ensemble
Best use: Medium range shooting, semi-automatic rifles
Description: While the Gamo 6212044154 LC scope is relatively new on the market, it has managed to earn quite a bit of popularity.
Mostly with beginners, because of the relatively low price point and availability, however it has proven to be quite a versatile little scope.
One of the key features that this scope boasts is the fact that the reticle lens is the second one in the scope. This means that the reticle itself is not altered or unbalanced when the scope is adjusted.
This, in turn, gives the shooter a slightly better accuracy reading, allowing him to take the shot a lot faster and a lot more accurate than with other similar scopes.
Another great feature to mention here is the fact that the objective, or field of view, the lens is fully coated, meaning that it protects the eye of the hunter as he aims through it.
Overall, this is a nimble and useful scope to have.
- Accessible and affordable
- Easy to use, especially for beginners
- Focally-balanced reticle lens
- Is of little to no use to an experienced hunter.
- Can be difficult to calibrate
Related: In order to help shooters, especially beginners, to get used to their scopes, the good people at Gamo also offer the Gamo Cone Pellet Trap target for home target practice.
While there is quite a bit of choice on the market in regards to pellet gun scopes, not all are suited for every hunting and shooting scenario. Some are better suited for certain environments, some are better suited for certain guns, and some are better suited for certain ranges.
It is up to you to look over the scopes, compare them to your hunting needs and narrow it down to a handful of possibilities. Then simply put them side by side, compare every single feature and see which one comes out on top overall. If you take your time and examine every possibility, you will end up with the best pellet gun scope for your needs.