The Hottest New Rifle Scopes of 2023
Here are the latest rifle scopes for hunters and competition shooters
If you’re in the market for a rifle scope you can use to hit stuff that’s a long, long, way off, there’s some good news for you in 2023. If you’re in the market for a more general-purpose rifle scope, like a fixed 4X or the one-time industry standard 3-9X, you may have to fire up your time machine. Consumers drive the market, and the market says we need more long-range optics, and that’s what 2023 has given us. From a 1-10X LPVO to a 5-30X rifle scope that retails for less than seven Benjamins, you should be able to find something you like this year. Of course, there are sure to be some new red dot sights as well. From around $370 to ten times that much, here are the latest rifle scopes for 2023.
Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18X44
For 2023, there’s a new 6X zoom riflescope from Vortex. It’s the Strike Eagle 3-18X44 FFP riflescope. With its illuminated MOA or MIL EBR-7C first-focal-plane reticle, you can experience accurate holdovers throughout the full magnification range. It also features the REVSTOP zero-stop system, uncapped turrets, lens covers, a throw lever, and a three-inch sunshade. This Strike Eagle scope is waterproof, fog proof, shock proof, and nitrogen gas purged. It has a 34mm tube and measures only 13.3 inches long, weighs 27.3 ounces, and sports 3.8 inches of eye relief. This scope has a low-glare matte black anodize finish and has a suggested retail price of only $849.
All my experiences with Maven optics have been very positive. They make good stuff, but I think a lot of shooters and hunters overlook them. Their latest offering, which is brand new for 2023, is for the long-range hunter. The RS3.2 still offers a 6X zoom with a 5X to 30X magnification range and a 50mm objective. New, are the larger and more tactile elevation turret and an improved zero stop. A capped windage turret, a fast-focus eyepiece, knurled and easy-to-manipulate magnification adjustment, crystal clear ED glass, side parallax focus, and Maven’s lifetime warranty are all standard; custom turrets are an option. What I really appreciate about the RS3.2 is that it has all the features you need for going the distance, without that tactical, SWAT team look. MSRP is around $1,600.
Leupold Mark 5HD 2-10×30 M5C3 FFP TMR
Leupold’s new scope for 2023 is more suited to tactical applications than hunting. Given its power range and compactness, it is an ideal configuration for a law enforcement designated marksman. In fact, though not intended as a hunting scope, I believe it would also be a rugged companion to a predator caller armed with an AR15. The 2X magnification will work well for up close engagements, and at 10X it will take most any shooter out to the limits of their ability. The three-turn elevation adjustment offers 30 MILs of correction in 0.1 MIL increments, and the ZeroLock feature prevents inadvertent dial movement. And of course, the first focal plane TMR reticle will allow for arcuate holdovers, wind correction, and even range estimation. A side parallax adjustment and a magnification throw lever are standard on this very compact, 11.2-inch, 24-ounce riflescope. But you’ll need special rings because it has a 35mm main tube. MSRP: $1999.
Bushnell Match Pro ED 5-30X56 FFP
Bushnell has created a new rifle scope that should appeal to hardcore rimfire shooters and to those who enjoy the long-range precision game. This new scope is called the Match Pro ED 5-30X56 FFP. It offers a 6X zoom factor, a large objective, and a first focal plane reticle. The ED in the name signifies that this rifle scope has extra-low dispersion glass and all exterior lens surfaces are treated with Bushnell’s EXO barrier coating. This scope has a 34mm tube and 30 MIL/103 MOA elevation range. The adjustment turrets include a zero stop and a pop-up revolution indicator. The DM2 reticle is illuminated with 11 brightness settings, and the parallax is adjustable from 15 yards to infinity. The scope also comes with a threaded sunshade and removable throw lever, and you get it all for only $699.
Crimson Trace HardLine 1-10X28mm
A new addition to the Crimson Trace HardLine optics line is the 1-10X28mm. This low-power variable optic (LPVO) is built on a 34mm aerospace aluminum tube and weighs 18 ounces. The scope is fitted with a second focal plane illuminated reticle called the CT TR1, and it is available in an MOA or MIL configurations. The eye relief is set at 3.5 inches, the zero-reset adjustment turrets are capped, and it the scope is shockproof, waterproof, and nitrogen purged. A removable throw lever, flip-up lens covers, and a lifetime warranty are standard at $649. This should make a fantastic optical sight for a general-purpose modern sporting rifle.
German Precision Optics
Spectra 6X 4.5-27X50i SFP
For 2023 GPO has launched several new optical sights. The first is the Spectra 6X 4.5-27X50i SFP. Billed as the ultimate long-range hunting scope, it does have a lot of features long-range hunters should appreciate. The reticle, which is illuminated, is busy, but it does offer lots of reference points for elevation and windage holds. It has fully multi-coated lenses with the total light transmission rated at 92 percent. The Spectra 6X comes with uncapped ¼ MOA-click-adjustment turrets with a zero-stop-lock and 30 MOA of adjustment. The scope also has a parallax adjustment knob, a removable throw lever, and see-through flip-cap lens covers with an MSRP of $1249. It should work well for center hits on steel or fur at distance.
Spectra 1.5-8X44i with G4i reticle
At the first SHOT Show I attended, a new scope reticle would have been big news. That’s not so much the case anymore. Today, manufacturers create new reticles that could solve calculus problems all the time. However, I think this reticle is newsworthy because, unlike most new reticles, this one is simple. GPO has added their very practical illuminated hunting reticle to one of their very practical hunting rifle scopes. Their Spectra 1.5-8X44i rifle scope now has the G4i reticle. This is a thin-wired German #4 style reticle with a small, illuminated dot at the center. The reticle brightness is fully adjustable and powers down when the scope has been stationary for more than three hours. This is a wonderful reticle option, in a great hunting scope, with a suggested retail price of $949.
Spectra Reflex Dot
Another new GPO optic is purpose-built for pistols. It’s the Spectra Reflex Dot and is a first-of-its-kind from GPO. It features dense polymer lenses that are fully coated with GPObright. And like all GPO products, it’s 100 percent tested in Germany. The Spectra Reflex Dot has a built-in photo sensor that adjusts the brightness of the 3mm red dot automatically depending on outside conditions. There’s also no on button to break; the sight is ready to go all the time and has a built-in motion sensor to turn the sight off and on. Battery life is estimated at 25,000 hours. At only 1.04 inches wide, 1.6 inches long, and 0.90 inches high, this sight is incredibly compact and weighs only three-quarters of an ounce. It should fit a wide variety of handguns and comes with a rail mount for a carbine or rifle. The optic will cost around $379.
Khales K525i DLR
Though very popular in Europe, you don’t hear a lot about Khales optics in the United States. Their new-for-2023 scope is the K525i DLR. It has a 5X zoom factor with magnification from 5X to 25X. The elevation turret features 100 clicks/10 MILs per rotation, with highly visible indicators, and the SKMR4 first focal plane reticle should be ideal for match shooting or field use. It has a 56mm objective and a 23.16-foot field of view (5X) at 100 yards. What’s unique about the K525i DLR is that all the operating elements—including the top-mount parallax adjustment—can be easily manipulated with either hand. This is a relatively compact scope with an overall length of only 14 inches. It has a 34mm tube and weighs 35 ounces. MSRP is $3943.
Zeiss LRP S3
The new LRP S3 line of rifle scopes—which includes a 4-25X50mm and a 6-36X56mm model—are fantastically configured for precision rimfire or long-range shooting. Both have a 34mm tube and a first focal plane, daylight visible, illuminated ZF-MOAi or ZF-MRi reticle, that has 160 MOA/46.5 MRAD (4-25X) 110 MOA/32 MRAD (6-36X) of adjustment. These scopes are built with ED glass and multi-coated lenses and deliver 90 percent light transmission. Zeiss LotuTec and T* coatings are standard, as are highly visible turret markings, a zero stop, a locking windage knob, and a throw lever. With 3.0 to 3.5 inches of eye relief, the 4-25X model weighs 36.7 ounces, is 13.4 inches long, and retails for $2199. The 6-36X version weighs 39.1 ounces, is 15.1 inches long, and costs $2499.