SCOPES

Best Handgun Scopes: The Leading Products in the Market

Top scopes for handguns
Nick Stucker
Written by Nick Stucker

There is a general misconception when it comes to handgun scopes; many believe that any scope you lay your hands on can work with any firearm you have. This is a misconception which should be debunked as it can lead you to get the wrong scope for your handgun.

The job of getting the best handgun scope should one given enough time and attention. We understand that the process of buying a scope for your handgun is challenging because there are many options you need to consider. Let alone the many products in the market.

Scope mounted on handgun

So, which scope should I buy for my handgun? This depends on a number of things including what you want to use the scope for and how you want to use it. Your situation will determine the specs of the different scopes you can consider.

In this article, we are looking at some of the best products that we could find in the market. However, before we do that, let’s look at the basics of handgun scopes.

Product nameMagnificationFOV @ 100YDSPrice
Simmons Pro Hunter2-6x14/4.5Check the price on Amazon
UTG 1.25-4x31-13Check the price on Amazon
Bushnell Trophy2-6x12/4 @ 2xCheck the price on Amazon
Weaver Classic2x21/6.7Check the price on Amazon
Leupold FX-II4x9ft - 3mCheck the price on Amazon
BSA Edge2-7x60/16Check the price on Amazon
Aim Sports2-7x14/4.6Check the price on Amazon
Nikon Force XR2.5-8x4.1-13.1ftCheck the price on Amazon
Nikon Force XR Nikoplex2x20.5ftCheck the price on Amazon
Hammers2-7x24.5-11.5ftCheck the price on Amazon

Factors to Consider Prior to Purchase

The first thing you need to do before you consider a particular type of scope is to have a clear idea of the different situations in which you will use your scope. For example, if you plan to go out hunting, you need to consider the size of the animal that you are going to be shooting. Ask yourself where you will be doing the hunting.

You could also be considering using the scope during competitions. Other things you need to contemplate before selecting the best scope include conditions such as the terrain, distances, and weather where you are planning to do your shooting.

Your Situation

The first thing you need to do before you consider a particular type of scope is to have a clear idea of the different situations in which you will use your scope. For example, if you plan to go out hunting, you need to consider the size of the animal that you are going to be shooting. Ask yourself where you will be doing the hunting.

Scoped gun on guncase

You could also be considering using the scope during competitions. Other things you need to contemplate before selecting the best scope include conditions such as the terrain, distances, and weather where you are planning to do your shooting.

Manufacturing

If considering where you are going to use your scope is the first consideration, the second one could easily be the way the scope is made. A good scope is one that is manufactured from the best quality materials the industry can offer.

Shooting game or entering competitions requires a handgun scope that is made from materials that are durable. Look carefully at the glass; it is the difference between any good and mediocre scope.

Scope on a revolver

If you are looking for a good scope, you will need to insist on a body made from aluminum that is aircraft grade. This kind of material makes your scope both reliable and durable. Look at the seals on the adjustment knobs and between the different body parts of the scope. This will help you to prevent damage and corrosion to the internal parts.

We know that it is difficult to see the quality of materials used to make the scope from just looking at a picture on the internet. This is why reviews such as the ones we have here are important.

Adjustment Turrets

Every good scope comes with two knobs or turrets for adjusting windage and elevation. These knobs are usually located on the top and upper sides of the scope. Scopes with higher power can come with 3 knobs; the third one being the parallax knob. In competitive shooting.

Scoped revolver on table

Look for higher riding turrets if you do competitive shooting mostly. For hunting, consider turrets that require tools when adjusting the settings. This will ensure that you do not offset the adjustments by mistake while moving through dense forests.

Magnification

One of the most important things you will keep hearing when looking for handgun scopes is magnification. The question is whether you should buy fixed or variable magnification.

If you are planning to shoot within a range of between 50 and 500 yards you may consider a scope whose magnification can be adjusted. If you are planning to shoot within ranges that are clustered within the same distance, then you will contemplate a fixed magnification scope.

M648 with scope

The main advantage with fixed scopes is that they are more durable when compared to variable scopes. We believe that the reason behind this is that fixed scopes have fewer parts and therefore the risk of breaking down is minimal. This is also the scope you will get if you want to buy a cheaper product. Variable scopes are more versatile when it comes to the shots you can take.

Field Of View

The field of view and magnification go hand in hand. Just like everything else which has to do with scopes, it can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your shooting situation. Good scopes come with a field of view of around 35 feet at a magnification of 3 times.

Handgun scope field of view

The higher your magnification the less your field of view. If you are planning to take shots south of 100 yards, a low magnification will serve you better as it can give you a field of view which is wider.

Objective Lens

If you have ever read the specifications of a scope, you will see another number just after the magnification. Something like 3-9X40. The second number (40 in this case) indicates the diameter of the objective lenses. It is measured in mm.

Scope on silencer handgun

When your objective lens has a larger diameter, more light comes in and you get a brighter and clearer view. However, a bigger lens has its own limitations. When your scope is too high off the barrel, it has an impact on your shooting stance and can make things uncomfortable. You can get around this by customizing your firearm with cheek rests that are raised.

Eye Relief

This refers to the distance ocular lens and the eyes. Things that determine eye relief include the exit pupil and other such factors. If you are going to be shooting a cartridge which is high caliber, then you will require a good number of inches when it comes to eye relief. With a higher eye relief, you get a shooting position that is more comfortable.

Top Choices Available on the Market

Do not feel challenged when looking for the best handgun scope for your piece, we have selected and reviewed some top range models to make your selection easier.

Simmons ProHunter Handgun Scope

Simmons ProHunter ScopePrice: Estimated $200

Magnification: 2-6X

Objective Lens: 32mm

F.O.V: 14/4.5

Weight: 9.7 ounces

Specific Features: 2-6x magnification; 32mm objective, Simmons TruPlex reticle

Best Use: Handgun, rifle, and shotgun

If you are looking for a handgun scope that provides High Definition clarity you may want to look at the Simmons ProHunter Handgun Scope. This scope is made from quality materials that are tested extensively. It is designed exquisitely with the aim of making it last longer.

Just like all good handgun scopes, the Simmons ProHunter Truplex comes with multi-coated optics. This high optical glass is the reason behind the bright and sharp images produced by this product.

Your most extreme hunts will be accommodated by the special TrueZero windage. Also, check out for the elevation adjustment system that can support even the most challenging hunts. Add to this the fact that the product is waterproof, fog proof, and recoil-proof to 1000 rounds if you are using a slug gun which fires a shell measuring 3.5”.

The Simmons ProHunter Truplex is a product we can recommend with confidence for any serious hunter. The scopes eye relief is 3.75 inches right across the magnification range.

This is a reliable scope that is compatible with most revolvers with both large and small calibers. This is also a great product for someone looking for a good product to use for practicing on the shooting range. The color of the product makes it get dirty quickly but many buyers will be delighted that the cleaning process is quite easy.

PROS:

  • Dials in at 100 yards easily
  • Holds zero well
  • Used with 2x it is great for fast target acquisition
  • Clear lens
CONS:

  • Difficult to use with glasses

Related Item: Since you will need to mount your new scope to your favorite handgun, why not take a moment to consider the Picatinny/Weaver Medium Profile Rings from AccuShot to give you a great mounting option.

Check the price on Amazon

UTG Handgun Scope with Duplex Reticle

UTG Handgun Scope Duplex ReticlePrice: Estimated $100

Magnification: 1.25-4X

Objective Lens: 32mm

F.O.V: 31-13

Weight: 14 ounces

Specific Features: 25 eye relief, ideal for a .22lr Ruger Charger, Parallax pre-adjusted 35yds

Best Use: Handguns

The one aim that the manufacturers of the UTG Handgun Scope with Duplex Reticle when they made this scope was to build a platform that is strong. This is shown by the handgun scope that is fog proof and waterproof. The scope is completely sealed, so there is no fear that the internal parts do not rust or get damaged.

Another feature of a good scope is that it should be easy to use. The parallax arrives set at 35 yards. The adjustable turrets allow for easy adjustment. Security is enhanced by an eyepiece with a locking ring.

The advantage of a good eye relief is that it makes using your scope comfortable. The eye relief in this product is good value for a product in this range. For this reason, we can recommend this it without a fear of contradicting ourselves.

PROS:

  • The ring placements are limited
  • The optics clear
  • Has a solid build
  • Easy to adjust
  • Target acquisitions is fast
CONS:

  • The ring placements are limited

Related Item: You should consider the UTG High Profile Rings as a mounting option for this scope on your preferred weapon to give it a solid base.

Check the price on Amazon

Bushnell Trophy Handgun Scope

Bushnell Trophy Handgun ScopePrice: Estimated $200

Magnification: 2-6X

Objective Lens: 32mm

F.O.V: 12/4 @ 2X

Weight: 11 ounces

Specific Features: 2-6X magnification, 20-inch eye relief, 1/4 MOA fingertip windage

Best Use: Handgun

If you are looking for any handgun scope that can deliver in excess of 91% light transmission, you may as well say you want the Bushnell Trophy Handgun Scope. This scope can transmit light in any weather.

The Bushnell Trophy compares well to others in the same class as it comes 100 % waterproof. You can also add to this the fact that it is shockproof and fog proof and you will have an idea why this product features among the best that we could locate in the market this time around.

Another reason why this is a scope you will want to give serious consideration to is that it is constructed from a single-piece tube. This ensures that the product is durable as chances of moisture making it into the scope are minimal. So, you can expect no rust on the scope.

Bushnell will assure you that this product is able to handle a recoil from 7mm-08 caliber. If you hold it and it fails to hold zero after you have started the sight-in process, you can always adjust the scope to Rimfire caliber.

We love to recommend products from Bushnell as they usually come with great warranties. This particular product comes with a lifetime warranty. No one will ask you any questions, they will just honor the promise. We find it difficult not to recommend a product such as this one.

PROS:

  • Excellent build
  • Accurate
  • Easy to zero
CONS:

  • Needs raised scope rings

Related Item: The Rifleman Detachable Rings from Leupold might be the right rings to mount this particular scope, depending on your firearm choice and preferences.

Check the price on Amazon

Weaver Classic Silver Handgun Scope

Weaver Classic Silver Handgun ScopePrice: Estimated $150

Magnification: 2X

Objective Lens: 28mm

F.O.V: 21/6.7

Weight: 6.7 ounces

Specific Features: Dual-X Reticle, 50-yard parallax, 2X28 Silver,

Best Use: Handgun

When we noticed that the manufacturers of the Weaver Classic Silver Handgun Scope call it the professional scope, we decided to give it a closer look with the aim of identifying what it is that makes them make such a bold claim. In our inquest, we realized that the product has some great features such as lenses that are fully multi-coated. This is the reason behind a clarity that is optimal.

Weaver Classic Silver Handgun Scope is equipped with tubes purged with Nitrogen. This helps ensure that there is no fogging on the internal components of the scope. Like all other good scopes in the same class, this product is also water and fog proof.

We will not advise you to drop the handgun scope on the floor but we can tell you that if you do you can rest assured that it is shockproof. How do we know this? The product has been extensively torture-tested so that it is able to withstand the toughest handgun calibers you will find in the market.

One of the main reasons why we can easily recommend this product is that for its price, it is a lot of scope for what you are paying.

PROS:

  • Excellent customer service
  • Clear image
  • Long eye relief
CONS:

  • This is only a two-power scope

Related Item: When you are walking about with this scope mounted to a weapon, consider the Scope Shoulder Holster to keep your firearm safe with not messing up your scope settings.

Check the price on Amazon

Leupold FX-II Handgun 4x28mm Scope

Leupold FX-II HandgunPrice: Estimated $350

Magnification: 4X

Objective Lens: 28mm

F.O.V: 9ft/3m

Weight: 7 ounces

Specific Features: 4 x magnification, 28 mm objective

Best Use: Short or long distance targets, ranger and game targets

If you can use the terms durable and reliable in one breath like you can do when describing the Leupold FX-II Handgun 4x28mm Scope, then you know that you are talking about one of the best products in its class.

Some of the leading features of this product include the heavy posts that can help you to see images even when light conditions are challenging. He crosshairs make the process of centering a breeze.

Like most of the good scopes we have already featured, this product comes with fully coated lenses; the reason for a view that is not only clear, but also bright. The eye relief is a generous 18″, ensuring that your shooting experience is always comfortable. The adjustments are both audible and tactile so that no one has an excuse why they haven’t got the most extreme precision possible.

Anyone who has used a product manufactured by Leupold will by now already know that these products are durable. If you have tried other products, you will know that the field of view delivered by the Leupold FX-II is outstanding. If you decide to invest in a scope as this one, you will know that your viewing experience will be greatly enhanced.

PROS:

  • Top quality build
  • Keeps zero well
  • Excellent customer service
  • Clear image
CONS:

  • Expensive

Related Item: The Rifleman Detachable Rings from Leupold might be the right rings to mount this particular scope, depending on your firearm choice and preferences.

Check the price on Amazon

BSA 2-7X32 Edge Series Pistol Scope

BSA 2-7X32 Edge SeriesPrice: Estimated $100

Magnification: 2-7X

Objective Lens: 32mm

F.O.V: 60/16

Weight: 7.5 ounces

Specific Features: 1″ tube, 32 mm objective

Best Use: Target hunting

The BSA 2-7X32 Edge Series Pistol Scope is the product made for someone who has always aspired to become a master marksman. The manufacturers of this product promise that they are able to sell the best pistol scope at low prices because they enjoy the muscle made possible by their massive buying power.

Like the other products we have featured in this list of the best 10, the BSA 2-7X32 Edge Series comes waterproof, shockproof and fog proof. The product will also allow you to experience the clarity made possible by a fully multi-coated objective lens. These ensure that you can expect images that have no distortions.

Some of the pros we identified about this pistol scope include the low price. Even though we approached this scope with skepticism because of its price and the fact that it was manufactured by BSA, we were pleasantly surprised when we saw what it can do. We noticed that the construction of the scope is on the overall great.

Other great features include an eye relief which is long. We think that it sits somewhere between 10″ and 20″. Buyers have options to select between 2x to 7x magnification.

While we think that this is a fine product for the price at which it goes, we were not so impressed by a parallax of 50 yards. There is also no illumination. This makes us think that this scope is not the most suitable when it comes to serious hunting; it would rather be great for target practice.

PROS:

  • Makes long-range shooting easier
  • Affordable
  • Has a large eyepiece
CONS:

  • Some of the model’s reticle is a bit cockeyed

Related Item: Since you will need to mount your new scope to your favorite handgun, why not take a moment to consider the Picatinny/Weaver Medium Profile Rings from AccuShot to give you a great mounting option.

Check the price on Amazon

Aim Sports 2-7X32 Pistol Scope

Aim Sports 2-7X32Price: Estimated $50

Magnification: 2-7X

Objective Lens: 32mm

F.O.V: 14/4.6

Weight: 9 ounce

 

Specific Features: Magnification is 2X-7X, Tube diameter is 1″, objective lens 32

Best Use: Mauser m96, 6.5×55, Ruger MKIII 22/45

Are you looking for a pistol scope whose accuracy can only be described as hair-splitting? Then you want to give the Aim Sports 2-7X32 Pistol Scope some serious consideration. This rifle scope comes with scope rings that could otherwise be purchased separately.

The Aim Sports 2-7X32 Pistol Scope has some great features including optics that a multicoated. This is the reason why you are assured that there will be no distortions. The scope comes with a long eye relief ensuring that your shooting experience is comfortable.

PROS:

  • Works on a Mosin
  • Holds recoil well
  • Includes bungee corded dust covers
  • Clear
  • Affordable
CONS:

  • The included rings do not provide separation from the sight and gun

Related Item: Since the included rings don’t do the best job, take a moment to consider the 1-Piece Dovetail Mount from Leapers to mount this particular scope.

Check the price on Amazon

Nikon Force XR 2.5-8×28 EER Matte with BDC

Nikon Force XR 2.5-8x28Price: Estimated $300

Magnification: 2.5-8X

Objective Lens: 28mm

F.O.V: 4.1-13ft

Weight: 11.5 ounces

Specific Features: .223/5.56 caliber

Best Use: Single shot handguns,

Nikon has become the synonym for quality optics. The Nikon Force XR 2.5-8×28 EER Matte with BDC is the latest product in their range. Some of its greatest features include an extended eye relief. It also has adjustments that you can set by hand. This is a dependable scope, thanks to an eyepiece that can be adjusted quickly.

This scope is not only durable, its brightness is a leader in its class. It is recommended for use with revolvers and handguns as well. It is great for game targets.

The handgun scope is constructed to be recoil proof. It is also rugged in a way that will last several hunting seasons. Just like the other scopes we have featured above, the Nikon Force XR is fog proof, waterproof and shockproof. This is the reason why hunters using this scope remain confident even if conditions are challenging.

The Nikon Force XR 2.5-8×28 EER Matte with BDC is the scope that should be selected by someone looking for a scope that works well on long ranges. Couple this with the Nikon Spot-On application on your smartphone and increase the range significantly.

It also delivers great results when put together with QD rings. You will also appreciate that this product comes at a reasonable price.

PROS:

  • Well built
  • Clarity of images is superb
  • Affordable compared to other top brands
CONS:

  • Short Eye Relief

Related Items: You should consider pairing this scope with a set of Quick Detach Rings from Warne Scope Mounts to give you a scope that can be swapped between guns.

Check the price on Amazon

Nikon Force XR 2×20 EER Matte with Nikoplex

Nikon Force XR 2x20Price: Estimated $200

Magnification: 2X

Objective Lens: 20mm

F.O.V: 20.5ft

Weight: 7.4 ounces

Product Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 2 inches

Specific Features: Magnification 2x to 7x, Long eye relief: 13″-17″

Best Use: Handguns

Even though the Nikon Force XR 2×20 EER Matte with Nikoplex is marketed as a handgun scope, it can work well when used as a riflescope. It will produce great results if you use it as a scope for scouts. Like all good scopes, it comes with long eye relief, simple to use and lightweight.

This scope works well with the 5.56 Mossberg MVP Patrol when you are using Warne QD rings. If you buy this handgun scope and end up with any issues, you can always return it. However, you will soon discover that there will be no need to return this scope as it is a great product.

Nikon promises good durability under the heavy coil of .500 S&W. Add to this the fact that the scope gathers light very well, it is compact, zeros easily, and produces an object that is not only clear but crisp, and you will know what all the hype is about.

Every Nikon handgun scope you buy is not only backed by great customer service, but also by a good warranty. There are very few scopes with such features that you can get at the price at which this product comes.

If the Nikon Force XR 2×20 EER Matte with Nikoplex will be your choice, you will have to remember that this is not a premium rifle sniper scope. Do not expect it to do those exceptional long ranges. Expect to hit targets the size of an average man at just about 200 yards.

We know that some people get worried that this scope is not made in the United States, but we can allay your fears by saying that you should not worry at all about this as there is no difference. We can recommend it as a great scope for the price.

PROS:

  • Makes an excellent rifle scope
  • Lightweight
  • Simple to use
  • Compact
  • Clear images
  • Easy to zero
CONS:

  • Not made in the United States

Related Item: Since you will need to mount your new scope to your favorite handgun, why not take a moment to consider the Picatinny/Weaver Medium Profile Rings from AccuShot to give you a great mounting option.

Check the price on Amazon

Hammers Long Eye Relief Pistol Scout Scope

Hammers Pistol Scout ScopePrice: Estimated $60

Magnification: 2-7X

Objective Lens: 32mm

F.O.V: 24.5-11.5ft

Weight: 1.3 pounds

Product Dimensions: 2-7X32, Length 10 1/4″

Specific Features: Magnification 2x to 7x, 4plex reticle, Long eye relief: 13”-17”

Best Use: Hunting

The Hammers Long Eye Relief Pistol Scout Scope is designed for use with scout rifles on forward mounting and pistols on target shooting. It comes with a great silver chrome finish. The mounting rings come included with the new product.

The scope has a long eye relief that can be used for pistol target shooting. What makes the Hammers Long Eye Relief Pistol Scout Scope one of the premier products in this class is the quality optics which is the reason behind the clarity and sharpness of images you see.

Check out for the lens caps, and scope rings that come included. The mounting and adjustment are easy.

We can recommend this as a great handgun scope. However, you’ll need to know that when used at higher magnifications, the views tend to shrink. One way of mitigating this is to bring it closer than you would normally do when you are firing a pistol.

The scope works fine until you get to around 3.5x. anything after that starts to shrink the image pretty fast. When compared to other products in its class. It is quite long for a pistol scope.

PROS:

  • Zeroing the scope in is easy
  • Affordable
  • Constructed well
  • No special tools needed to adjust the windage and elevation
CONS:

  • Develops black spots over the F.O.V.

Related Item: The Rifleman Detachable Rings from Leupold might be the right rings to mount this particular scope, depending on your firearm choice and preferences.

Check the price on Amazon

Final Thoughts on the Topic

Selecting the best product from the handgun scope market is a challenging experience because all the products we have featured are class leaders in their own way. Most optics manufacturer is now realizing the importance of using quality glass to deliver clear images.

Pick your handgun scope

Whether you are working within a budget or you can afford something a little more expensive, there is a handgun scope for you.

Next, we’d like to hear from you, which option did you select, let us know in the comments section below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Stucker
Nick Stucker

Nick is passionate about weapons. He likes history of companies like Colt or Lockheed Martin, but also latest scopes, binoculars and laser sighters on the market and everything in between. Nick writes about different gear that could be useful during hunting, astrophotography, night vision or just for self-defence.

  • Carl Agner

    I’m really interested in making sure that the scope I use doesn’t fog. I don’t think there’s anything worse that could happen in a hunting or competitive situation than that. From what I can tell, the Nikon Force scope above seems like the best bet. The only issue I see is possibly the price and eye relief. But overall, I would say you get what you pay for with scopes.

    • Nick Stucker

      You are certainly right, Carl. A handgun scope can have advanced features, but it must also be waterproof and fog-resistant for better performance and durability.

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