The Best Barska Scope Reviews – Top 4 Scopes for AR-15 and Hunting
If you’ve ever discussed rifle scopes on an online platform like Reddit, you’ll know opinions are strong and things can quickly become heated.
Just the other day, I was involved in a prickly conversation with a bunch of purists who took umbrage at my fondness for Barska.
Now I don’t mind a disagreement. Everybody has preferences. Is it fair to base your whole opinion of a scope on the fact it came from China though?
Open your mind a little. Yeah, we make the best scopes in the world here in the USA, but there’s plenty of good shooting apparatus and ammunition out there overseas. You’ve just got to give it a chance.
I believe, if you truly want to be the best, you use high quality scopes and ammunition, and Barska scopes are superb. No really, hear me out. For one thing, it’s short sighted to reject products just because they’re foreign made.
Secondly, Barska are affordable, durable and well crafted. You can get one of these for half the price of a premium US made scope.
They’re not the best of the best, but they offer both quality and consistency on a low to midrange price tag. I’ve obliterated varmints from 300 yards with my Barska scope. And warned off a few intruders as well.
At moderate to close range, they always get the job done and I think they’ve got real charm.
So, I decided to write a little love letter to Barska scopes. I’m taking on the challenge of convincing you – because I know you’re sceptical – that these Chinese made shooting accessories are worth your time. Then, you can be the one improving your shot at a fraction of the cost while your pals pay over the odds.
Top 4 Barska Scopes Comparison Table
Here’s my guide to the best (and most underrated) Barska scopes on the market. These reviews are based on my real life shooting experiences. The goal is to provide a clear and transparent review because so many of the existing ones are unreliable.
Barska 4x32 IR
Barska 1-4x28 IR Hunting Scope
Barska 3-9x32 Plinker-22 Rifle Scope
Barska 6.5-20x50 AO Rifle Scope
Now let’s get down to business with the
TOP 4 Scopes List Details
1. Barska 4×32 IR – Best Scope for AR-15
It’s surprisingly difficult to find an affordable scope for the AR-15 that also performs consistently every time. It’s a surprise because the AR-15 is one of the most popular semi-automatics in the USA. You’d think there’d be a little variety.
There isn’t which is why I opted for the Barska 4x32 IR scope. It promised great value for money, so I was excited to try it. I got it mounted on my gun pretty quickly and took it out to the range.
To start, I fired off 200 or so rounds to get familiar with the feel of the scope. I spotted a few prairie dogs sniffing around at, maybe, 300 yards out. So, I took aim and the Barska held up beautifully. Didn’t miss a shot.
As I grew in confidence, my accuracy held, and I started to fire off shots much more quickly. Short range or long range, I only missed two or three times throughout the afternoon.
At one point, I dropped the rifle and was worried that what I’d been told about foreign scopes was going to be true. No damage taken.
The Barska 4x32 IR is tougher than you’ve heard.
The scope stayed firm and I left feeling really pleased with its performance.
The Barska 4x32 IR scope provides an array of great features. It’s extremely versatile and a bit of an ‘all-rounder’ insofar as it can be used for various types of shooting. The majority is made from aluminium alloy which makes it remarkably lightweight. In fact, it weighs just a touch over ten ounces. It has a one inch tube diameter.
It’s not completely impervious to superficial damage – over time, a few blemishes have appeared on my scope - but the anodized matte coating resists scratches.
Users get an impressive 3.3 in of eye relief and there’s even a sunshade attachment for when you’re shooting in less than ideal conditions.
As for the reticle, well, I rarely see illumination this consistent at this kind of price. Again, I’m not saying it’s the best performing scope on the market.
It’s just real satisfying particularly when you consider it’s a lower priced accessory. The Barska 4x32 IR scope provides both a green and red illuminated mil-dot reticle that is interchangeable if you use the side turret.
The green reticle is best suited to bright, sunny conditions. The red reticle performs best in lower light conditions and cloudy weather.
You can even tweak their brightness to ensure you’re getting the best possible eye on a target.
2. Barska 1-4x28 IR Hunting Scope -Best For Hunting
I’m happy to splash the cash on a rifle scope I know is going to offer me next level performance. I just don’t think every great scope is a really expensive one.
If you keep an open mind and shop around, you can uncover some really great and affordable equipment like the Barska 1-4x28 IR Hunting Scope.
It is Barska’s lowest priced scope. Yet, it offers variable magnification, an illuminated reticle and a 28mm objective lens. That’s already a lot of bang for your buck, so to speak. Like most of their scopes, this one is super tough.
The body is built to withstand all kinds of wear and tear. As for shooting accuracy, it’s a doozy at medium range (300 to 400 yards especially).
One of my favorite things about the Barska 1-4x28 IR scope is that it also impresses at extremely close range. At 1x with the iron sights on, it maintains performance and feels comfortable and natural.
The optical quality on the Barska 1-4x28 IR Hunting Scope is impressive. It’s like the manufacturer knows it has something to prove. And it does a great job.
The scope’s lenses are multi-coated, so the view always appears clear and true even if weather conditions are determined to put you off.
As its O-ring sealed and CO-2 nitrogen purged – features common to more expensive accessories – the glass doesn’t steam or fog in cold weather.
I found it a treat to use in a variety of conditions, but it performed best in low light and moderate to heavy cloud. If the illuminated reticle doesn’t work for you, fall back to the steady reliability of the crosshair.
Unlike the Barska 4x32 IR, this scope isn’t all that lightweight. It’s actually a little bit chunky truth be told. You can see it before you even pick it up.
It is a tough, rugged scope with a sizeable body, but the advantage is it seems invincible. If the weight causes you trouble, I recommend using the external target turrets to lock elevation and windage.
There’s even more eye relief (4.4 inches) than on the Barska 4x32 IR scope. This is helpful when shooting directly into the point of greatest magnification.
3. Barska 3-9x32 Plinker / 22 Rifle Scope -Best For Target Practice
This would probably be my first choice of Barska scope if I was on a very tight budget. It manages to deliver a great deal of quality at a low price. In fact, I think you’d struggle to shop for a scope of similar quality on this kind of budget (maybe Simmons has a deal or two to compete with it).
It’s a fantastic choice for .22 calibre shooting. For more .22lr rifle scopes click here.
So, it’s not a scope you’ll be hitting high scores with down at the range. What it is good for is old fashioned shooting. Target practice for the fun of it and, well, for practice. Don’t knock it; we’re all plinkers at heart.
The Barska 3-9x32 Plinker scope is absurdly lightweight at just 11.05 ounces. Yes, really. I say, give it the benefit of the doubt. It feels flimsy, but a few hours of shooting reveal a surprisingly rugged construction.
This glass is durable – don’t throw it around, but it can certainly take a knock or two – and the one inch monotube is fully waterproof.
While I was using it, the plinker scope rarely budged from the rails and always held a steady zero. It also boasts a 3/8 inch mounting loop, a handy lens cap and a supplementary lens cleaning towel.My favorite feature of the Barska 3-9x32 is definitely its finger adjustable turrets.
Target shooting with these turrets enables the rifle to zero in at fifty yards and maintain that rock steady zero across every increase or decrease in magnification. The finger turrets are set at 0.25 inch click spacings and, when paired with the duplex reticle, short range targets (and plinking foes) are no match at all.
4. Barska 6.5-20x50 AO Rifle Scope - Best For Varmint Shooting
If it’s a sturdy and reliable critter shooter that you need, I recommend the Barska 6.5-20x50 AO Riflescope.
Varmint shooting presents a number of challenges. There’s rarely any consistency of range. Obviously, you want to catch invaders before they get anywhere near your property, but it isn’t always the case.
I most consistently hit varmint at 100 to 150 yards out.
I’ve also take down wily coyotes from much further away than that. It depends on circumstance which is why you should have a relatively versatile scope. The Barska 6.5-20x50 is a top choice because it is affordable, consistent in all weathers and provides adjustable magnification.
After unboxing this scope, the first thing I noticed it its heft. Just like the Barska 1-4x28 IR Hunting Scope, it’s a beefy thing. In total, it weighs over 22 ounces.
When you’re taking on varmints though, it’s not so much of a distraction. You need a scope that feels solid and reassuring in the hand.
My only gripe is it is heavy enough to feel like an added weight particularly if you’re used to slinging your rifle over one shoulder. I guess it comes down to preference.
For varmint shooting, I don’t mind the weight so much. It’s not a scope I’m taking out on hours long excursions so it’s rarely a problem.
Plus, the Barska 6.5-20x50 AO is weather resistant with moisture and fog proofing.
The adjustable finger turrets are perfectly positioned for use in complex environments and aid shooting accuracy by easily accounting for elevation and windage.
These turrets are adjustable at 1/8 MOA and make a satisfying click when engaged.
As for my favorite feature, it’s undoubtedly the optical quality. This scope has some weaknesses and limitations, no doubt, but it’s easy to forget them once you see the clarity of the images. I’ve got a couple of Simmons scopes with similar specifications, so I decided to take both out and do a comparison.
The Simmons varmint scope I used cost over a $100 more than the Barska 6.5-20x50 AO. That’s a substantial difference in price for performance which has no trouble matching up to its rival. When using the Barska scope, there’s no blurriness and no fuzzy spots.
In poor conditions, the 50mm objective lens allows light to flood in and deliver a clear view.
The Final Word on Barska Rifle Scopes
I admit, I get frustrated when people dismiss products simply because they aren’t manufactured in America. I’m all for showing pride in our industries and enjoying shooting equipment that comes from overseas doesn’t negate that.
Besides, it’s a little hypocritical considering all of the Chinese made products we use and purchase every day. I’m not going to say Barska’s scopes are my all-time favorite or even that they’re better than US made scopes. I don’t think they are.
What these scopes are is well made, reliable and a joy to shoot with. It also helps that they deliver all of this at an extremely affordable price. If you’re on a budget and you can’t afford the scope you want right now, give Barska a go.
You won’t regret it.
For other rifle and scope types check:
1. Best Long Range Rifle Scopes - Top 10 Tactical Scopes For 2022
2.The Best .308 Rifle Scopes Onlines
2. Best Ruger 10/22 Scopes Reviews