Best Illuminated Reticle Scopes in 2021 – Top Optics


Best Illuminated Reticle Scopes

There are two main factors that play a part in whether or not you hit your target - your skill as a shooter and the accuracy of your rifle. 

But what can you do if you are confident in your skills as a shooter but you are wary about the accuracy of your rifle?

One of the best ways you can ensure your precision is high is to purchase an illuminated scope for your rifle. However, choosing the right scope for your rifle can be tricky - which is why we are here to help.

Below you will find our guide to some of the best illuminated reticle scope and products on the market and how you can choose the ideal one for your next shooting trip. 

We have sorted through hundreds of scopes and rifles currently available to make sure we only recommend the best!

How to choose the best illuminated reticle optics


Choosing the right scope for your rifle can be tricky, especially with so many incredible features out there. The first step you need to take is to decide on what you think you will need for your unique purposes.

How to choose the best illuminated reticle optics

A lot of scopes out there are designed with set features in mind, for example, some are made for low-light conditions whilst others offer incredible precision ideal for long-range targets. You may not need to spend more on one that has a larger sum of features if it won't helping your shooting accuracy.

You also need to consider your rifle of choice as not all scopes are universally compatible. Always check that the one you have your eye on is compatible with one or more of your rifles, otherwise you may not be able to use it.

Illuminated Reticle Type

In terms of the type of illuminated reticle type, you want to try to decide what you will be shooting at the most often. If you plan on taking your rifle to a target range and shooting from a distance between 100-400 yards then a BDC reticle is ideal.

For longer-range targets, a MIL-Dot may be more suitable as it offers higher precision across extreme distances.

Magnification Levels

As with all scopes, you always want to consider the magnification levels a sight can provide. Much like your choice of reticle type, this depends entirely on the range you expect to be shooting from the most. For example, you won't need a 14x if you are only shooting across 200 yards.

Magnification Levels

Ideally, if you are aiming at closer targets a 4x scope will be completely fine and is highly recommended. For longer ranges, try to find one that offers at least 8x magnification or higher if possible.

No matter whether you know exactly what scope you need or you are new to shooting, take a look below to see what we think are 5 of the best illuminated reticle scopes currently on the market.

Scope Image

Scope

Price

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6x24

Burris Optics II Riflescope 8-40x50

Burris Optics II Riflescope 8-40x50

Athlon Optics Argos BTR Illuminated Hunting Riflescopes 6-24x50

Athlon Optics Argos Illuminated 6-24x50

Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44 FFP Rifle Scope

Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44 FFP Rifle Scope

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12x40

1. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6x24

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescope

Scope summary

When it comes to pure aiming speed and accuracy, few scopes featured today offer the performance that the Vortex Strike Eagle can boast. The adaptive true 1x scope provides the versatility that regular shooters may require. 

Whether you are shooting a target up close or across a long-range, this illuminated reticle scope has got you covered.

The BDC3 illuminated reticle itself is no slouch in the accuracy department. You will find it extremely easy to focus on your target, up to 650 yards away, as this reticle has been designed with quick target acquisition in mind.

This is supported by the finely crafted fast-focus dial found on the side of the eyepiece, providing you with a quick focus action. Regular users can also rest easy as this comes with Vortex's lifetime warranty covering most accidental breakages. 

All light conditions have also been considered here as the anti-reflective lens offers eye relief during daytime shooting sessions. Night-time users will also benefit from this as the lens offers low-light performance comparable with shooting during the day. 

If you are searching for an affordable but extremely powerful illuminated reticle scope, then you would be hard-pressed to find one quite like the Vortex Strike Eagle. Few rifle scopes come as highly recommended as this one.

Ever gone shooting during twilight hours? This scope allows you to see more in less light. It adds up to 10 extra minutes of shooting light and it eliminates up to 80% glare-producing stray light than other competitors.

We cannot say enough about the durability of this scope and how much of a joy it is to use it. The lens clarity and scratch resistance make this scope one of our favorites.

Key Features:

  • Glass-etched reticle
  • Versatile zoom options
  • Weatherproofed
  • Fantastic low-light performance

PROS

  • The reflective lens offers impressive daytime and lower light performance
  • 1x true-sight scope offers extreme clarity
  • Fast-focus dial for faster holdovers
  • Available at an affordable price

CONS

  • Doesn't come with a mount
  • Scopes eye box can be pretty tight

2. Burris Optics II Riflescope 8-40x50

Burris Xtreme Tactical XTR II 8-40x50mm Precision Rifle Scope with 5x Zoom and Zero Click Stop Adjustment

Scope summary

With a 5x magnification range reinforced with high-grade optical glass, the Burris Optics II is an exceptional rifle scope. Whether you shoot in the early dawn sun or you prefer night-time hunts, this premium style scope offers everything you may need.

The 11 brightness settings offer precision in a range of different lighting conditions. From night vision to daytime modes, this illuminated scope will never compromise your aim.

In terms of durability, the scope has been thoroughly weatherproofed, perfect for those of you living in wetter parts of the states such as Washington. Fog and condensation have also been heavily considered, as the interior of the riflescope has been nitrogen-filled to prevent internal fogging.

Long-range shooting is made easy thanks to the well-designed zero-click adjustment knobs helping you compensate for both windage and elevation. Simply rest your reticle on your target and adjust with a few twists to compensate for the distance.

Although the price is slightly higher than other competing scopes, it is more than worth it as the bevy of premium features offers you an uncompromising shooting experience.

Key Features:

  • Zero-Click Adjustment Knobs
  • 5X Zoom System
  • 11 Brightness Settings
  • High-Grade Optical Glass

PROS

  • Excellent scope clarity even across long distances
  • Quick and easy-to-use adjustment knobs
  • Extremely easy to zero accurately
  • Adapts to a range of brightness settings

CONS

  • Slightly more expensive than other options
  • Illuminated reticle size can be too small for some users

3. Athlon Optics Argos BTR Illuminated Hunting Riflescopes 6-24x50

Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane

Scope summary

Featuring a fully multi-coated lens ensuring precision across the entire light spectrum, the Athlon Optics Argos is a contender for the best affordable reticle scope on the market. The scope itself is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum so you can be sure it will last you a while.

The illuminated reticle itself is designed around a first focal plane concept which allows it to grow and shrink depending on the current level of magnification. This is an extremely useful feature and can help beginner shooters get to grips with long-distance shooting.

Each section of the scope has been heat-treated to add a new layer of durability that isn't often seen in scopes of this price. Double this up with the internal argon purging for a fog-proofed lens and you have got yourself an impressively weatherproof addition to your rifle.

Shooters looking for a first focal plane scope design with an addition of extra features to round it out will instantly fall in love with this scope. From long-range precision to excellent durability, this scope has it all.

Key Features:

  • Aircraft Grade Aluminum Body
  • Advanced Thermal Stability
  • First Focal Plane Reticle
  • Side Parallax Adjustment

PROS

  • Multi-coated optics protects from dirt
  • Superb performance to price ratio
  • Extremely durable design
  • Reticle changes size depending on magnification

CONS

  • Low availability as it sells out fast
  • Side focus knob can be fiddly

4. Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44 FFP Rifle Scope

Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope - Illuminated ACSS-HUD-DMR-308

Scope summary

You just have to read all the glowing customer reviews about the Primary Arms SLX to know exactly why it's an incredible illuminated reticle rifle scope. The intuitive reticle means you won't need to use math to figure out the correct zero range, the reticle can do that for you.

For long-range targets, the MIL-ACSS reticle makes holding over incredibly straightforward. This means less time messing around with dials and more time hitting your targets.

The chevron reticle shrinks and grows as the magnification increases; whilst at minimum zoom the scope itself can be used similar to a red-dot sight. This adds a close-range option for smaller rifles and shooters who can appreciate the ability to adapt well to the range of their target.

Rifles with a 22" barrel will get the most out of this scope as the velocity required for the Bullet Drop Compensation indicators is fairly high. So smaller rifle users, such as AR-10's, may want to look elsewhere.

If you are looking for an alternative to a MIL-dot reticle then this may be the scope for you. With a chevron-style reticle and an insane range of magnification levels, this is perfect for shooters both new and old alike!

Key Features:

  • 6 Illumination Settings
  • Waterproof and Fog Proof Design
  • Impressive MIL-Ranging System
  • x4 - x14 levels of magnification

PROS

  • Accessible windage knob
  • 3-year warranty for added protection
  • HUD DMR offers an intuitive design
  • High-quality glass lenses

CONS

  • The magnification ring can be considered too stiff
  • Requires a 22" inch barrel

5. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12x40

Vortex Optics Crossfire II Adjustable Objective, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes

Scope summary

Designed around comfort and accessibility, the Vortex Optics Crossfire is ideal for shooters who can appreciate a decent eye relief. The forgiving eye box makes this an ideal choice for shooters new to the world of rifles as it compensates for your own accuracy - Meaning shots are more likely to hit no matter your skill level.

As opposed to the more common MIL-Dot reticle, the Crossfire II uses a Dead-Hold BDC reticle, making it a much more viable scope for close-range hobby shooting. Sadly, however, this may not be the ideal scope for extreme long-range shooting across 500+ yards so keep that in mind.

The single-piece tube that makes up the main body of the scope is designed using military-grade aluminum. This means it can withstand all sorts of shocks and impacts it may face as well as naturally being resistant to rain and rust.

As you might expect, the adjustable objective covers most of your targeting needs. Quickly focus on your target using the smooth focusing knobs for full parallax removal. Pair these up with the slick capped reset turrets and you have got yourself one hell of an accessible scope.

Comfort is often overlooked in the world of illuminated reticles, however, that is exactly what it specializes in. With a bevy of features designed around accessibility, we can easily recommend this scope to entry-level shooters.

Key Features:

  • Dead-Hold BDC Reticle
  • Capped Reset Turrets
  • High-Grade Focusing Eyepiece
  • Anti-Reflective Lens

PROS

  • Comfortable long eye relief
  • Precise Dead-Hold BDC reticle
  • Solid adjustment turrets
  • Extremely forgiving eye box

CONS

  • Lens clarity could be slightly clearer
  • Availability is fairly limited

Conclusion

Whether you are new to the world of shooting or you have been hitting targets for years, your rifle scope should never be overlooked. The 5 scopes we have featured today cover a range of functionality, so you are sure to find one to suit your rifle.

In terms of price to performance ratio, few scopes offer as much as the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6x24. With its excellent range of zoom levels offering a versatile product for a variety of target distances and its durable design, this scope is the one we would recommend to most shooters.

If, however, you don't mind splashing out on the best quality you can get we would recommend that you check out the Burris Optics II Riflescope 8-40x50. You would struggle to find a scope quite like it, even if it does have a fairly high asking price.

The next time you are looking for an upgrade to your shooting kit, be sure to keep any of the scopes we reviewed today in mind - Especially the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6x24. Don't waste your time with low-quality sights, grab yourself one of the top illuminated reticle scopes available and never miss a shot again!


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