When you are looking for the best air rifle scope for your gun, forget everything that you know about scopes for conventional rifles. The unique type of recoil that air rifles give off can completely destroy an ordinary scope after a single hunt by breaking the inside components of your scope. Fortunately, your air rifle scope is made differently than conventional scopes , and are able to withstand the two-way recoil from air rifles.

4 Best Air Rifle Scopes Table

Fixed Scopes vs. Variable Scopes

Before you choose a scope for your air rifle, make sure you get the type that works best for you. There are two types of air rifle scopes that you can choose from: fixed scopes and variable scopes. Both of these scopes provide excellent magnification, but go about it in different ways.

Fixed Scopes

Fixed scopes have a set magnification rate that doesn’t change. When looking at fixed scopes, make a note of the numbers printed on the box. They will be something like 4×32 or 6×32. The first numeral on these numbers lets you know the amount of magnification the scope is fixed on, so a 6×32 scope will magnify the target six times larger than it really is.

The downside of fixed scopes is that you have no ability to adjust your setting. While fixed scopes can be excellent for shooting targets at mid-range, they are not optimal for taking close range shots. Looking through a fixed scope at close range will drastically reduce your field of vision. Furthermore, the higher your magnification settings are, the darker your vision through the scope will be.

One of the benefits of using a fixed air rifle scope is that you are able to quickly line a target up in your sights. For this reason, they make excellent scopes for hitting small, moving targets at a medium range. Consider this type of scope if you plan on shooting varmints or hunting small game.

Variable Scopes

Variable air rifle scopes are much more versatile than their fixed counterparts. These types of scopes give you a broad range of ocular magnification, allowing you to use your scope at a variety of distances. These scopes come in numbers that look something like 3-9×32 or 4-12×32. Just like fixed scopes, the first set of numerals refers to the magnification intensity. A scope that is 4-12×32 allows you to adjust your magnification settings anywhere between four and twelve.

Variable scopes are excellent all-around scopes. You can use them for shooting at mid-range and far distances without any problem. The only downside to these scopes is that you have to take the time to properly adjust your scope, which makes it difficult to quickly shoot a moving target.

Other Details to Know

Now that we know what the first numeral means in the description of an air rifle scope, let’s take a look at the second string of numbers. Take a 4-12×50 scope, for example. The “50” in this description tells you the objective lens size. Generally, the larger your objective size is, the more illuminated your target will be when you use higher magnification.

Scopes with larger objective size are great for shooting in low light situations. However, the bigger your objective lens is, the larger and heavier your scope will be. Before spending money on the biggest objective size you can afford, think about what you want to use your air rifle for. There’s a chance you will not be happy constantly carrying around an excessively bulky scope.

Pick a Crosshair Style That Works for You

There are many different types of crosshairs, otherwise known as reticles, which you can choose from. Some of these are simply stylish, while others can actually improve your aiming skills. Make sure that you get the chance to test your air rifle scope out before you buy it, so you don’t get stuck with crosshairs that don’t work for you.

These are the most common crosshair configurations seen in air rifle scopes on the market:

Fine Crosshairs


Two thin lines that intersect in the center of the scope. They cover very little of the field of vision, but can easily become lost in dimly-lit settings. This setting is good when hunting in well-lit areas, or in a run-and-gun situation.

Duplex Crosshairs

Duplex Crosshairs

Similar to the fine crosshairs, but the outer portion of the lines are much thicker. This makes it easier for users to keep track of their crosshairs in settings with low light. Great reticle configuration for shooting targets positioned in a dark background.



The Mil-dot crosshairs are a modification of the duplex setting. The lines on this reticle are equipped with small dots along the edge of the crosshairs, which makes it easier for you to estimate distance. It is considered to be one of the most common reticle settings and is good for long range shots.

Target Dot

Target Dot

The target dot is a modified version of the fine crosshairs, except that it has a small circle in the center of the scope. This setting has the same problem of getting lost in darker backgrounds as the fine crosshair reticle, and the dot takes away from some of your vision. The target dot is not recommended for distance shooting.

Ready to Buy: Air Rifle Scope Reviews

Choosing an air rifle scope comes down to two things: what you want out of your scope and personal preference. Air rifle scopes come in a wide range of prices, so you can find decent models that don’t break the bank. Before you make a purchase, you’re encouraged to take a look through the scope to help you determine if it’s a right fit for you.

Here are some popular air rifle scopes currently on the market:

UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings
  • 1 Inch Tube with Emerald Coating for Maximum Light Transmission,...
  • Range Estimating Mil-dot Reticle for Optimal Aiming and Shooting...
  • Red/Green Dual Illumination for Versatile Applications, Large Field of...
  • Complete with 2" Sunshade, High Quality Flip-open Lens Caps and...

If you’re a beginner that is looking to try out an affordable scope, or if you’re a casual air rifle enthusiast who’s looking for a reasonably priced scope, the UTG 4X32 Mil-dot hunter scope is perfect for you. While there is nothing especially special about this scope, its sticker price and functionality make it arguably the best air rifle scope under 50 dollars.

The specifications of the UTG 4×34 are as follows:

  • Dimensions are 2 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Weighs 9.1 ounces
  • Comes with rings that attach to a .22 rifle
  • Fog and rainproof

What makes this scope so special is that it’s insanely durable. You can shoot your air rifle more than 1,000 times without having to worry about readjusting your settings. The scope also comes with an instruction book that teaches you how to use the mil-dot reticule to help you find your range. Overall, it’s a solid scope that can take a lot of usage without giving up.

The only complaint to the UTG 4×32 is that if the internal lens is shifted, the scope is irreparable. With that said, it is very durable and for the price, you won’t worry about going over your budget if it does end up breaking.

Winchester by Daisy Outdoor Products 4 x 32 AO Winchester...
  • 4 x 32 with adjustable objective
  • Adjustable for windage and elevation
  • cross-hair reticle
  • fogproof, shockproof and color corrected
  • Daisy quality and reliablility for unmatched accuracy

The brand name Daisy is synonymous with excellent and affordable air rifle products, and the Winchester scope is no exception. This lightweight scope is fog proof, extra durable to withstand those shakes and vibrations, and it comes with an adjustable perspective.

The Winchester is special because of its incredible versatility. You can adjust the scope to shoot anything as far as 100 yards away or as close as ten yards. For this reason, it’s the perfect scope for air rifle enthusiasts who plan on shooting targets at a variety of different ranges. Moreover, the Winchester provides a crystal clear view and a great range of vision, making it the best air rifle scope for night shooting.

If you’re looking for accuracy at an affordable price, the Winchester is the right scope for you. You are guaranteed to get a bright and clear image of your target while using this scope, regardless of the time of day you plan on shooting.

UTG 3-9X40 1" Hunter Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, w/ Rings
  • Emerald Lens Coatings, Built on True Strength Platform, Completely...
  • Premium Zero Locking and Zero Resetting Target Turrets with Most...
  • Mil-dot Range Estimating Reticle for Most Optimal Aiming and Shooting...
  • Innovative EZ-TAP Illumination Enhancing (IE) System with RGB in...
  • Complete with Picatinny/Weaver Rings and High Quality Flip-open Lens...

This air rifle scope is arguably one of the most effective scopes with a mid-range price tag. If you see this scope on sale, make sure to purchase it right away! It’s the best air rifle scope under 100 dollars, hands down.

Here are some of the specifications of the Hunter Scope that makes it so special:

  • Emerald lens coatings
  • Shock, fog, and rainproof
  • Mil-dot reticle
  • EZ-TAP illumination enhancing feature – for a better shot
  • Simple windage adjustments

The Hunter Scope also has an exceptional durability rating, making it the perfect scope for the frequent shooter. The scope will keep its settings regardless of bumps, knocks, and vibrations. Furthermore, adjusting the scope is quick and easy, and it only takes a few clicks to perfectly sight up your target.

Another good feature that makes this scope stand out from its competition is the coloring in the reticle. Not only are the crosshairs colored differently, but they also illuminate so that you can get that perfect shot in a low light setting.

If you’re looking for incomparable accuracy in a variable scope, the Hunter Scope is your best bet.

The Evolution Series 4-16×50 by NcSTAR

This scope is an excellent choice for someone who is in the market in buying a high-end scope for their air rifle. Its craftsmanship and capabilities make it the best air rifle scope under 200 dollars. Here are some of the defining features that make the Evolution Series scope an excellent choice:
  • Fitted with high-resolution glass that makes it optimal for any outdoor condition
  • The optics have been designed to optimize clarity and visibility
  • It’s water, shock, and fog proof, making it durable enough to handle any harsh settings
  • Mil-dot reticle with illuminated blue and green crosshairs
  • Easy-to-use adjustable knob

The Evolution Series scope has a sturdier look and feel to it than its competition. The design is sleek and stylish, and its body has been anodized by aircraft-grade aluminum. The scope also comes with a carrying case, so that you are able to safely store it on days when you’re not planning to shoot.

While the Evolution Series scope is a bit bulkier than some of the other air rifle scopes on the market, it adds a tactical feel to your rifle while giving you the ability to shoot accurately at further distances. This is the perfect scope for marksmen or hunters looking to take down rodents.

What’s the Right Air Rifle Scope for You?

Now that you know a little bit about air rifle scopes, you need to ask yourself the following question: what am I using my scope for? After you decide how you will be using your rifle, you can then start figuring out which scope is best for you.

If you’re planning on shooting something at a close distance, like pesky raccoons or squirrels running around your garage, choose a fixed scope that is reliable and provides excellent clarity. For skittish animals that will run at the first sight of you, try using a scope that is excellent at longer distances. Another factor to consider is the power of your rifle. You don’t want to attach a long-range scope on an air rifle that is relatively weak.

When selecting a scope, remember the following: hunters don’t typically require as powerful of a scope as target shooters do. When you’re hunting, you will be tracking moving targets, which can be difficult to follow when running across the field. If you are shooting a scope in order to hunt small rodents, consider buying something with a power range of 4 – 12.

Enhance Your Air Rifle

Air rifle scopes are a fun way to help you get the most out of your shooting experience.

Using a well-made scope can help you improve your target shooting skills or assist you in taking down pesky varmint around the area.

Ultimately, choosing the best air rifle scope is going to take a little bit of research, as well as determining your own expectations. Once you have that sorted and do purchase your first scope, you will find your shooting experience to be much more enjoyable.