4 Best Scopes For Hog Hunting [2020 Update]

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Today I’m going to show you the best scope for hog hunting.

In fact:

I’ve hand- tested over 10 scopes alone for this review.

The best part?

I’ve sorted the scopes by use. So whether you’re on a budget or need the best AR-15 hog hunting scope, you’ll find it here.

Let’s dive in!

The 4 Best Scope For Hog Hunting

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best hog hunting scopes:

  1. Leupold FX-II Ultralight 2.5×20: Best Hog Hunting Scope
  2. Trijicon ACOG 3.5×35: Best Scope for Fast Target Acquisition
  3. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro 5-20x: Best Night Vision Scope for Hog Hunting
  4. Pulsar Trail 2 LRF XP50 Thermal Riflescope: Best Thermal Scope for Hog Hunting

1. Leupold FX-II Ultralight 2.5×20: Best Hog Hunting Scope

The Leupold FX-II Ultralight is a fantastic fixed-magnification scope in a lightweight, low profile package.

In fact, I think it’s the best scope for hog hunting.

Want to know why? Keep reading…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass on the FX-II is very clear.

Leupold used their Index Matched Lens System to fully multicoat the scope which results in a very clear image. This is great for hogs on the move.

Also, the light transmission in this scope is very good. In fact, it’s so good that I can get an extra 20 minutes of shooting time out of this scope versus trying to shoot with my naked eye. This is because of Leupold’s Twilight Management System.

Now, on to the reticle.

This scope uses a simple Wide Duplex reticle. The wide posts are great for rapidly drawing my eye in to center, and the fine crosshairs are precise enough for target plinking at 150-200 yards.

The reticle is etched into the glass and shows up really well in low-light conditions. This pairs really nicely with that great light transmission I mentioned earlier and makes for easy, clear sighting on those late-night hog hunts.

There aren’t any holdover lines, but with a fixed 2.5x magnification, you don’t really need them. This reticle excels in fast target acquisition at close to mid range.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

Here’s one of my favorite things about the FX-II:

The eye relief is a whopping 4.9 inches!

At this distance, you can even set your scope up “scout style,” where you mount the scope in front of the receiver of your rifle. This setup is a literal must-have for bolt-action guns and Garands.

Combined with the low-fixed magnification, this setup allows me to use the scope while still keeping both my eyes open. Speaking of magnification…


Magnification & Parallax

This scope provides a fixed 2.5x zoom.

I find that this amount of magnification is perfect for hog hunting since I’m usually within about 100 yards to my target.

This level of magnification is also great for rimfire plinking and varmint hunting. I’ve had a blast running the FX-II on my Ruger 10-22.

I’ve had no issues at all with parallax on this scope. That’s because Leupold has factory set the parallax adjustment to 150 yards.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

This scope uses ¼ MOA click turrets.

I like the solid “click” that I get when making adjustments, and the low-profile turrets help give the scope a sleek look.

Zeroing was quick and easy. I was zeroed in within about 5 shots and after dozens of hunts, the zero has held true.


Durability & Weight

I’ve come to expect durability from Leupold scopes, and the FX-II doesn’t disappoint.

The scope is waterproof to a depth of 33 feet, fogproof, scratchproof, and shock resistant. If that’s not enough, Leupold also tested the scope at temperatures from -40 to 160 degrees.

All these features mean that you can take this scope into any conditions without worrying about damaging it.

Here’s my favorite thing about this scope: It only weighs 6.5 ounces.

This low weight is not only great for my comfort as a shooter, but it makes the scope more recoil resistant, too. The heavier the scope, the more it wants to stay in place when you fire. A lighter scope travels with the rifle with less resistance.

Basically, this means that the lighter the scope, the more it’s able to take recoils without taking any internal damage or messing with your zero.

Plus, when you’re out hunting, you’d want a lightweight optic. Remember, every ounce counts 🙂


Mounting & Rings

The FX-II doesn’t ship with any mounts or rings.

So I’d recommend Low Leupold Rifleman Scope Rings to mount this scope to your rifle of choice.

The scope does include some slip on lens covers. But honestly, they felt cheap. So I went with Leupold Ultralight Flip Back Lens Covers (Eye piece: size 59060, Objective: 20mm).

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These will keep your glass protected while still maintaining that nice, low weight.


Is the Leupold FX-II Ultralight 2.5×20 worth it?

The Leupold FX-II is a great riflescope that proves that great things can come in small packages.

It’s got:

  • 2.5x zoom
  • Clear glass
  • Solid “click” turrets
  • Extremely lightweight
  • High eye relief for scout setup
  • Wide duplex reticle for fast target acquisition

Plus, the whole thing is backed by Leupold’s Gold Ring Lifetime Warranty.

So if you’re looking for a durable, lightweight, affordable riflescope for close-mid range hog hunting and target shooting, the FX-II Ultralight is for you.

Still not sure what you’re looking for in a scope? Check out this Essential Guide to Choosing a Rifle Scope.


2. Trijicon ACOG 3.5×35: Best Scope for Fast Target Acquisition

For fast target acquisition, Trijicon’s ACOG 3.5×35 more than achieves expectations.

In fact, the “Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight” has been used for medium distance engagements by Marines and Special Forces since the early 90’s.

I figured if it works for them then it’ll work for me. I wasn’t wrong.

Read on to learn more…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

Crystal clear glass.

That’s what I noticed when I first looked through the Trijicon ACOG. To be honest, I’m still a little amazed by how clear it actually looks. The image detail is awesome.

To top it off, I didn’t notice any fogging in the lens during those early morning hunts. Turns out, this optic is nitrogen purged.

When choosing my ACOG, I was a little overwhelmed by the different reticle choices Trijicon offers. With some research, I decided that the green BDC chevron was the best fit for me because it’s standard for military M4s.

After a few hog hunts, I absolutely loved this reticle. Here’s why:

First, it uses a simple-to-understand Bullet Drop Compensating (BDC) feature that automatically estimates windage, holdover and distance for you. Once you sight in at let’s say 100 yards, the hash marks below the reticle are great at picking off shots out to 800 meters.

And second, the illuminated reticle doesn’t need batteries to operate. During the day, a fiber optic light gathering strand directs light to the reticle. And at night, tritium illuminates the reticle.

However, I noticed that on REALLY bright days, the reticle can become too bright. This can make shooting distant targets inside a dim lit area somewhat challenging because the glow from the reticle is a little overwhelming.

I found that putting some tape on the fiber optic strand helps with reducing the illumination intensity. Simple fix in my opinion.

Speaking of fixing, the ACOG comes with a lense pen, which I use for maintenance. Keep in mind you’re not going to want to use any solvents on this (as with any high-end optic) or you’ll probably ruin the lense coating.

I haven’t done it myself but I have watched some guys hose mud off their ACOGs. Seems to work and their glass still looks great afterward!


Eye Relief & Eye Box

2.4 inches of eye relief is what you get.

Doesn’t seem like a lot, which is what I initially thought when I read the manual, but after actually using it on my rifle I’ve had no problems.

Keep in mind, troops use this ACOG on belt-fed machine guns without getting “eye punched” so you’ll be fine.

I had to remove my rear iron sight to get the proper eye relief but I don’t miss it. I even toyed with the idea of mounting iron sights offset at 45 degrees but simply decided I don’t need them with this ACOG.

The field of view when looking through the ACOG is more than generous for my needs. It also allows me to keep both eyes open, which greatly improves situation awareness.

Instead of squinting through a scope, I’m now able to more easily scan the surroundings during hog hunts and better prepare for my next target in competitive shooting.

In essence, the AGOC has noticeably improved my reaction time.

Not bad for only 2.4 inches of eye relief.


Durability

So far, the ACOG is the most dependable optic I own.

The moment I held it, I knew right off the bat this thing is built tough. And it’s true: The ACOG is forged from 7075-T6 aircraft grade aluminum alloy.

It’ll work if I do drop it.

And I have dropped it on a few occasions.

I have a SCAR 17, which is notorious for trashing out cheap optics, and the ACOG works flawlessly when paired with it.

No busted lenses or broken seals so far, even after dropping it from a tree stand onto roots. I’ve also dropped it on gravel and concrete. It still worked like a champ.

It’s also waterproof. The most water I’ve had on mine was from rain, but the specs say it can be submerged up to 100 meters.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

I’ve dropped my ACOG hard enough to dent one of the turret caps and it still maintains zero. Turrets still work great and feel durable.

Easy to zero but slightly different than other scopes. Adjustment increments are ½ inch per (audible) click at 100 yards. 2 clicks move the bullet 1 inch on the target.

The adjustment cap lanyard saved me from rummaging through tall grass to find butterfingered caps on more than one occasion.

Keep in mind…

As with any optic, don’t force the turrets beyond their adjustment limits — damaging the prism assembly is possible.

Even Superman has a weakness.


Parallax & Magnification

This ACOG has a fixed 3.5x magnification. Awesome for fast target acquisition.

No fumbling with various magnifications.

Plus, with 3.5x, longer shots using the BDC reticle are fun.

3.5x has less parallax than the 4x version. Up and down movement has no parallax that I can tell. There’s some parallax with side to side movement but nothing concerning.


Mounting & Rings

This optic comes with the thumbscrew mount for “flattop” MIL-STD-1913 rails or the carry handle screw and washer set (for ARs with fixed carry handles).

Can only find the carry handle mount option? Buy the MIL-STD adapter.

Adapters are also available for weaver rails and H&K firearms.

Trijicon ACOG Weaver Adapter
  • Fits: 3.5x35, 4x32, 5.5x50 ACOG, 1x42 Reflex (with ACOG bases) and 1-6x24 VCOG
  • Length: 3.50 inch
  • Color: black
Trijicon Hand Rifle Adapter
  • Country Of Origin: United States
  • Item Package Dimensions: 16.51 L X 10.16 W X 5.588 H (Cm)
  • Item Package Weight: 0.25 Pounds

I use my ACOG on different firearms and prefer the throw lever mount for easy removal/attachment. There’s also a quick release option

Trijicon ACOG Arms Picattiny Rails Throw Lever Adapter
  • Fits: Colt sporter, A3 rails & 1 piece Weaver bases
  • Weight: 4.0 oz
  • Overall length: 3.87 inch

Can’t seem to get the proper eye relief for your comfort? Try the extended eye relief adapter.

Trijicon ACOG Extended Eye Relief Picattiny Rail Adapter
  • Country Of Origin: China
  • Item Package Dimensions: 17.526 L X 10.16 W X 6.096 H (Cm)
  • Item Package Weight: 0.2 Pounds

Concerned about lense reflections? Grab an anti-reflection device.

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The ACOG comes with a Scopecoat but you may prefer a flip cover (like myself). Only available for the objective lens and it doesn’t work with the anti-reflection device.


Is the Trijicon ACOG 3.5×35 worth it?

If you’re out hog hunting and need the best scope for fast target acquisition, then get the Trijicon ACOG 3.5×35.

Here’s why:

  • Built strong
  • No batteries
  • Generous FOV
  • Easy to understand BDC

I’ll have to admit:

The ACOG comes at a considerable price for a fixed magnification. But if you’re looking for fast target acquisition AND Special Forces approval, then this is it.

(Need something cheaper? Check out my review on the Aimpoint Pro vs. T1).

If you’re settled on buying this, be warned: Watch out for knockoffs. This video will help you determine what’s legit:


3. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro 5-20x: Best Night Vision Scope for Hog Hunting

The ATN X-Sight Pro is a high-tech night vision scope with a ton of advanced features.

In fact, it’s the best night vision scope available for hog hunting.

This scope packs in the kind of advanced features that you only get from a digital scope, but it looks and feels like a traditional riflescope.

How have they done this? Read on to find out.


Image Quality & Reticle

The image quality when looking through this scope is fantastic.

In the daylight, I can see every detail, and the color fidelity is incredible. This is all thanks to the 4k Ultra HD sensor that makes up the backbone of this scope.

And at night, I can clearly see my targets even in total blackness, thanks to the included infrared illuminator. This is important when hogs decide to charge in the night!

One of my favorite things about this scope is the reticle.

The X-Sight uses a digital Smart Mil Dot reticle.

You can customize the variance between the mil dots using the smartphone app so that your reticle is custom tailored to your caliber and load. Plus, the reticle automatically adjusts as you increase zoom.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

Unlike many digital scopes, the X-Sight has a much more traditional eye relief.

I set mine right at 3.5 inches.

Now, here’s one of my issues with this scope:

The eye box is pretty unforgiving. There is a lot of extra information displayed in the scope image, and I find that if I don’t keep my cheek weld solid, I can’t really see any of it.

That said, it’s still a lot more comfortable to use than my other digital scopes.


Special Features

ATN has put a lot of cool features into this scope.

One of the most advanced things this scope has is the Smart Rangefinder.

The scope will take two measurements from the reticle and calculate the distance to target. Then the range is displayed right there on screen. No more guesses.

The X-Sight also has a built-in Ballistic Calculator. Program in your weapon profile and environment data like wind and humidity using the smartphone app, and then the scope will adjust your point of impact accordingly.

Also, the X-Sight has full HD video streaming capabilities, and automatically records video when you start shooting. This is great for tracking a running target after you take your shot.

Basically, this scope does all the work for you!


Durability and Battery

This scope is pretty durable, as far as digital scopes go.

It’s water resistant, weather resistant, and tested to operate at temperatures from -40 to 130 degrees.

The tube is made from high-grade aluminum, and it’s fogproof and shockproof too.

The battery life on this scope is great. You can run the scope for 18 hours without having to recharge it. This is perfect for long hunts, or trips where you don’t have access to a charger between hunts.


Zeroing

Zeroing was incredibly quick.

This scope has a One Shot Zero system. All I had to do was take a shot, adjust my point of impact, and I was good to go.

I’ve put hundreds of rounds through my Mini-14 with this scope mounted, and have had no problems with the zero straying.


Magnification

The X-Sight gives you 5-20x variable magnification.

I’ve noticed that the image tends to pixelate a little bit at the higher magnifications, but not enough to obscure my target. I can easily shoot targets up to 800 yards out using this scope.

Also, this scope uses a smooth zoom wheel rather than buttons. I prefer the way this feels versus my other digital scopes. It acts like a traditional glass scope, which is more what I’m used to.


Mounting & Accessories

The ATN X-Sight includes a picatinny rail with standard rings, plus one L-shaped ring to use with accessories. It also includes an infrared illuminator and a sun shade, so right out of the box, it’s ready for both night and day shooting.

I highly recommend getting the ABL Laser Rangefinder from ATN.

It attaches right onto the side of the scope, and automatically communicates with the scope via Bluetooth. The built-in Smart Rangefinder is nice, but for hogs, you’ll want to be able to instantly get a range on your target.

The X-Sight also ships with a nice neoprene scope cover, but it doesn’t include any lens caps. I recommend Butler Creek Flip Caps (Objective Size 48, Eyepiece Size 02.)


Is the ATN X-Sight Pro 5-20x worth it?

Overall, the X-Sight Pro packs advanced digital features into a streamlined scope that resembles more traditional glass scopes.

It’s got:

  • 4k Ultra HD image
  • Comfortable eye relief
  • Customizable digital mil dot reticle
  • Automatic video recording and streaming
  • Built in Smart Rangefinder and Ballistic Calculator
  • Night Vision Mode with included infrared illuminator

Plus, the scope is covered by ATN’s 2 Year Warranty.

So if you want the best night vision scope for hog hunting at night that’s easy and comfortable to use, look no further than the X-Sight Pro. Those hogs will never see you coming!

Need a good scope for your .22-250? Check out our top picks.


4. Pulsar Trail 2 LRF XP50 Thermal Riflescope: Best Thermal Scope for Hog Hunting

The Pulsar Trail 2 LRF XP50 is a fantastic thermal riflescope.

In fact, it’s the best thermal scope you can buy for hog hunting.

(If you’re unsure if you need a thermal or NV scope, read this article.)

Pulsar crammed a ton of hi-tech features into this scope, and managed to keep the price much lower than their competitors, too.

Want to know if the Trail 2 LRF is for you? Read on to find out.


Image Clarity & Reticle

The Trail 2 LRF produces one of the clearest digital images I’ve ever seen in a scope.

Usually, when I use a thermal scope, I can tell when I’m aiming at heat, but I can’t tell what that heat is coming from. Most thermal scopes just produce a blob of white.

But the Trail 2 LRF shows every detail. I can clearly see and identify what I’m aiming at, whether it be a hog or a coyote. This is because of the advanced thermal sensor in the scope, which can detect heat up to 2000 yards away.

In fact, this scope has such a clear image, I can use it in full daylight with no problems at all.

Speaking of range, the Trail 2 LRF has a built-in laser rangefinder that displays the range to target right there in the display. No more guessing the distance to the hog — just raise your rifle, aim and shoot.

This scope also lets you swap between white-hot and black-hot modes. Between that and the 13 different reticles, I was able to find the perfect settings for every shooting scenario.


Recording and Streaming

The Trail 2 is so advanced that it connects wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet for easy recording and streaming of your hunts.

If you want to show off your hunts on YouTube or Twitch, this is definitely the scope for you!

I personally like the recording feature because I’m not the best shot in the world, and sometimes my target will try and run before falling. The recording makes it really easy to spot the location and see which direction the hog started running in.

This makes it easier and quicker to find your game after the kill.

And you don’t have to remember to press the “Record” button. The Trail 2 detects when you fire a shot and automatically records from there, so you never have to worry about missing the action.

Recorded footage is stored in the scope and can be easily downloaded to your smart device or computer once you get back home. Reliving a great hunt has never been easier!


Eye Relief

The eye relief is right under 2 inches.

This took me a little getting used to, but once I got a feel for the extended eyepiece, I had no issues at all maintaining eye box.

2 inches is a little closer than I would normally mount a scope, but you need a close relief with thermal scopes. I’ve never had any issues with scope bite and I’ve used this scope on multiple calibers of rifles.


Durability

With the Pulsar Trail 2 having so much tech, I thought this thing would be fragile.

But was I wrong.

The Trail 2 LRF was recoil tested by Pulsar for up to 12 gauge/.357 H&H. I can confirm that first hand.

Plus, the scope can be submerged in up to three feet of water and still be completely fine.

The scope is fogproof, dustproof, and frost resistant as well. So you can take this scope into any field conditions and not have to worry about breaking it.


Zeroing

Zeroing was insanely easy.

The Trail 2 uses the Pulsar “One Shot Zero” function to ensure quick and easy zeroing right out of the box.

And I’ve taken mine on dozens of hunts and had no issues with the scope straying from zero at all.

Plus, this scope allows you to save up to three different profiles, and each of these profiles has up to five range settings that you can save.

This means that you can set this scope up for 3 different rifles and swap it out between them without having to do any major settings changes.

I love this feature because it means I can zero my Trail 2 on my three favorite rifles (ex: go from my AR to my M1A) and pick which one I want to use on the night of the hunt.


Magnification

You get 1.6-12.8x magnification from this scope.

I’ve noticed no image quality issues at all even when I zoom in to max.

Also, you can either use 2x steps or zoom smoothly. The 2x steps are nice and quick for when you need to zoom in on your target fast, and the smooth zoom is nice for when I have time to be more precise.

This is great for hog hunting, when your targets could come out of the treeline at almost any range without warning.

My favorite feature on the Trail 2 though is the Picture in Picture Zoom. Picture in Picture mode puts the zoomed in image in the top portion of the display while still showing the whole zoomed out image behind it.

The Picture in Picture mode makes it really easy to zoom in on your target for a good shot while still being able to keep an eye on your background. You don’t want to miss your hog and hit some cattle because you couldn’t see it grazing just behind your target!


Accessories

The Trail 2 LRF comes with some great accessories out of the box.

It’s got a carrying case, USB cord, cleaning cloth, and a battery charger. (Also, even though it comes with its own charger, I’ve found that any micro-USB charger will work!)

The scope also comes with a weaver rail and hex wrench for mounting to your rifle of choice.

And no need for flip caps — the Trail 2 already has one built-in on the objective lens.


Is the Pulsar Trail 2 LRF XP50 Thermal Riflescope worth it?

All in all, the Pulsar Trail 2 is an incredible thermal riflescope at about half the price of the competition.

It’s got:

  • 1.6-12.8x magnification
  • Picture in Picture mode
  • Built-in laser rangefinder
  • Detailed, clear thermal image
  • 13 different digital reticles to choose from
  • Easy automatic recording and streaming to your smart device

And if all that wasn’t enough, the Trail 2 LRF comes with Pulsar’s 3 Year Warranty.

If you want to feel like the Predator on your next hunt and need the best thermal scope for hog hunting, then the Pulsar Trail 2 is for you.


Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best scope for hog hunting guide.

So as a recap:

If you’re looking for the best hog hunting scope, get the Leupold FX-II Ultralight 2.5×20.

Looking for the best scope for fast target acquisition? Choose Trijicon ACOG 3.5×35.

How about the best night vision scope for hog hunting? Then opt-in for ATN X-Sight 4K Pro 5-20x.

Lastly, if you are looking for the best thermal scope for hog hunting, I’d recommend Pulsar Trail 2 LRF XP50 Thermal Riflescope.

That said, you can’t go wrong with any of these options. After all, I have hand and torture tested all the above scopes, and proved to be reliable.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which rifle scope will you pick for your hog hunting?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

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