The 3 Best Scout Scope [2020 Update]

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In this guide I’m going to show you the best scout scope.

In fact:

These are the same scopes that many optic experts and competitive shooters use.

The best part?

I’ve sorted the scopes by use. So whether you’re on a budget or need a solid scout scope mount, you’ll find it here.

Let’s get started!

The 3 Best Scout Scope

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best scopes for scout rifle:

  1. Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7×32: Best Burris Scout Scope
  2. Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20: Best Leupold Scout Scope
  3. Vortex Razor HD Gen II-E 1-6×24: Best Vortex Scout Scope

1. Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7×32: Best Burris Scout Scope

If you’re in the market for scout rifle scopes, let me introduce you to the Burris 200261.

For the price, you really can’t beat this little powerhouse of a scope.

It’s reliable, simple, and super effective for hunting in all types of environments.

This is my go to scope for my scout rifles when I’m woodland hunting or up in the mountains.

If you’re looking for something for up close hog and varmint hunting, check out these scopes.

But if you’re looking for a great mid to long range hunting scope, keep reading and I’ll tell you why I recommend the Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex.


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass on this is crystal clear and made of Hi-Lume multi-coated glass to reduce glare.

That’s an awesome feature when you’re hunting in the middle of the day and the sun is beating down on you.

It almost completely eliminated the glare for me, allowing for a clear shot.

It’s got a SFP Ballistic Plex Reticle which is my hands down favorite style. It’s simple, uncluttered, and does the job with no frills.

It also has trajectory compensation up to 500 yards, which has been a lifesaver more than once.

My one gripe is that it doesn’t come with a lens cover and I absolutely recommend you get one. This is the one I recommend.

Monstrum Rubberized Flip-Up Rifle Scope Lens Covers
  • Rubberized flip-up rifle scope lens covers that conform tightly around your rifle scope tube, protecting your lenses from dust and abrasion
  • Spring-loaded flip-up mechanism pops open effortlessly when needed and securely tightly when not in use
  • Each package includes one Rubberized Flip-Up Lens Cover

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The eye relief is a variable 9.2-12”.

Combined with the super generous eyebox, it’s amazing. The only time it gets a little narrow is at 7x magnification.

When I adjusted a little and got a bit closer to the scope that issue was gone.

One of my favorite things about this scope is that you can have both eyes completely open while sighting.

It’s great being able to be fully aware of my surroundings when I’m in the wilderness.

It also helped me find and track my targets faster and that’s a definite benefit.

If you put this scope on anything but a dedicated scout rifle, you’re really not reaping the benefits of it.

Check out these scopes for something more close range, or these for a more tactical situation.


Durability

Scopes don’t get much more durable than this beast.

It’s recoil, water, and fog proof, and it’s nitrogen purged to keep out moisture.

As if that weren’t enough, it’s also got quad seals which give it double protection against water.

I’ve dunked this thing in rivers, streams, and even once in a lake on accident and it’s come out perfectly functional every time.

It’s made of a solid piece of high grade aluminium which makes it extra durable if you’re clumsy like me.

I’ve put this scope through its paces and it hasn’t disappointed me yet.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

I was able to easily zero in at 100 yards and after over 500 shots I haven’t had it shift from zero yet.

The turrets turn easily with an audible click.

They’re so smooth I’m able to turn them with just my fingertips and minimal pressure.

The downside is that you’ve got to be careful not to bump them or they might shift on their own.

On the other hand, this scope has one of the best features I’ve seen in the Posi-Lock system.

This ensures that your scope remains perfectly zeroed by utilizing a coil spring assisted retractable steel post that locks in place.

I’ve been spoiled by it and I miss it when I use my other scopes.


Parallax & Magnification

It’s got a 2-7x magnification range with a 32mm objective lens.

That makes it perfect for hunting in the woods.

It’s missing a parallax adjustment knob, but honestly I’ve never had any issues with tunneling.

The scope is just as crystal clear at 7x as it is at 2x.

Use this for hunting up to 600 yards and it’ll treat you right.


Mounting & Rings

This scope has a forward mounting design so you can get that extended eye relief.

It doesn’t come with the mounts or rings to mount it though.

I recommend the Burris Optics Picatinny mount. It’s the one I use and it works great.

Burris Optics P.E.P.R. Scope Mount, Includes Both Smooth and Picatinny Ring Tops, 30mm, Standard Attach, BLACK (410341)
  • The Burris P. E. P. R. mount is perfect for mounting your scope forward on your personal protection rifle.
  • The Proper Eye Position Ready (P.E.P.R.) mount provides 2" of forward scope positioning room which will allow you to obtain proper eye relief and maintain a proper shooting position.
  • Provides optimum eye relief and full field of view helping to improve your accuracy

Is the Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7×32 worth it?

In short, yes. This is the scope I use on my scout rifles and it’s never let me down.

Let’s recap:

  • Super durable
  • Ballistic Plex Reticle
  • 2-7x mag, 32mm lens
  • Recoil, water, and fog proof
  • Adjustable eye relief of 9.2-12”
  • Posi-lock system for unerring accuracy
  • Hi-Lume multi-coated glass reduces glare

Plus, you’ll always be covered by their incredible forever warranty.

That means even if you pass it on to someone else, they’ll still be covered by it.

So no matter what happens to it, they’ll fix it or replace it.

There’s no reason to not take advantage of that kind of offer, because if a company is that confident in their product, it’s got to be amazing.

Don’t take my word for it though, check out the Burris 200261 for yourself.

Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm
165 Reviews
Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm
  • Adjustment System is steel on steel; repeatable; with audible clicks
  • Double internal spring force
  • Posi-lock is a coil-spring Assisted Retractable steel post that firmly and & securely locks accuracy into place

2. Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20: Best Leupold Scout Scope

If you’re looking for the best scout scope, the Leupold VX-Freedom is the answer.

Scout rifles need scopes that match a certain criteria and the Leupold VX-Freedom does that.

Not only is it lightweight and compact, it’s the perfect magnification for both hunting and home defense.

Want to know what else makes this scope so amazing? Keep reading…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass on this scope is crisp and gives you a crystal clear image.

The lens is fully multi-coated, which cuts down on glare while also reducing color distortion so you get a bright, accurate sight picture.

It also has Leupold’s Twilight light management system. This system is one of a kind and draws in as much light as possible, so you get an extra 20 minutes of visibility at dawn and dusk.

While it’s not a night vision scope, these low-light capabilities make this scope perfect for home defense or hunting with your scout rifle.

The best part of this scope is the Duplex reticle.

With thin crosshairs and thick outer posts, your eyes are drawn to the center quickly. This makes for fast target acquisition, which is essential for hunting and close combat situations.

I regularly use this scope for hog hunting and I can tell you that I’ve been able to spot and target those guys much faster than with other scopes.

It’s also very simple, so you don’t have to worry about tons of markings that are confusing or overwhelming when you’re trying to shoot.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

You get plenty of eye relief with the Leupold VX-Freedom.

It has 4.17-3.74 inches, which is higher than average for this kind of scope. Always keep a good cheek weld and you’ll never have to worry about getting hit in the eye, especially with this much room to maneuver.

The eye box is generous and you get a nice, wide field of view with this scope.


Durability

If you’ve ever owned a Leupold, you know their brand is synonymous with quality. The VX-Freedom is no different.

It’s made from aircraft quality aluminum, so it’s solid and sturdy. This is also what makes it so lightweight and compact.

This scope is waterproof and fogproof and I can attest to that personally. I’ve dropped mine in a stream and it came out functioning as if nothing had happened.

It also has scratch resistant lenses for added protection.

Plus, Leupold offers a lifetime warranty on all their products, so you’ll easily be able to fix any problems that may arise.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

This scope has ¼ MOA adjustment turrets that are accurate and precise.

For a scout rifle or an AR-15, you’ll want to make sure the turrets aren’t mushy feeling, like so many are.

The Leupold VX-Freedom provides solid, crisp clicks that are easy to feel and adjust.

The only downside is that there doesn’t seem to be any labeling on the dials for visual confirmation, but with firm, audible clicks that’s not a huge problem. Plus, I got mine a while ago, so this may have changed.

Zeroing this scope was quick and easy. I had it done in a handful of shots. I’ve shot 1000’s of rounds and have yet to readjust it, so it seems to hold zero perfectly.


Parallax & Magnification

You get a variable magnification of 1.5-4x with this scope.

This is almost perfect for short range hunting and home defense. My only gripe is that I wish it started at 1x instead of 1.5x, but it still gets the job done.

It also has a 3:1 zoom ratio, which makes it great for various situations.

The VX-Freedom has fixed parallax, but even if it had a side adjustment, I don’t think I’d need it. I haven’t had any issues at all.


Mounting & Rings

The scope doesn’t come with any mount or rings, so you’ll need to purchase them separately.

You’ll need 1” rings to fit the tube, so I bought the Leupold QR rings, which I found to be the best scout scope mount system.

I also really like flip back covers for the lens, so I bought Leupold’s Alumina covers.


Is the Leupold VX-Freedom worth it?

This scope goes above and beyond the criteria I wanted for my scout rifle.

It features:

  • Clear glass
  • Duplex reticle
  • Lifetime warranty
  • ¼ MOA finger click
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Twilight Light Management System

If you want the best scout scope you can get, try the Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20. You won’t be disappointed.

Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20mm Riflescope, Duplex Reticle, Matte Finish
  • Repeatable 1/4 MOA precision finger clicks offer intuitive, simple adjustment over a lifetime of dependable use
  • Complete waterproof and fogproof integrity: ready for a lifetime in the field, in all conditions
  • Crafted from 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum

3. Vortex Razor HD Gen II-E 1-6×24: Best Vortex Scout Scope

Scout rifles are meant to be the one gun you grab when everything goes wrong. The criteria for a scout rifle is very demanding, especially as they relate to scopes.

The ideal scouting scope needs to be lightweight, easy to shoot with both eyes open, and disaster-proof.

I would like to introduce you to the Vortex Razor HD Gen II-E 1-6x24mm: a high quality Vortex scope for scout rifles that checks all the boxes…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

In a word, the view through this optic is beautiful. Seriously.

I thought the color fidelity was topnotch. I found the image quality to be extra crisp. There was no fuzziness whatsoever from edge-to-edge through the entire magnification range of the scope.

Vortex crafted this scope beautifully. The optimally indexed lens, HD extra low dispersion glass, and XR plus lens coatings work together to provide one of the cleanest sight pictures I have seen in any scope.

All of the engineering for the Vortex Razor HD Gen II-E provides excellent light transmission, lens focus, and clarity.

This scope has no business being this light weight and this good.

I liked the illuminated BDC reticle. The crosshairs were simple and clean with hashes for bullet drop. The bullet drop estimates were most accurate for heavier loads at full magnification power.

The illuminated dot was very bright and I could use it in any shooting situation.

The variable illumination knob on the left of the scope can lock. I can also turn the illumination off between clicks to save the battery.

I have astigmatism and the dot in this scope was still very clear for me at higher illumination options.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

I found the Vortex Razor HD Gen II-E to have an extremely generous eye box.

With an eye relief of 4 inches, I had plenty of room to maneuver behind or around the scope and still have an excellent view. This is a really important factor for anyone who needs to shoot from awkward defensive positions.

I could easily use this optic like a red dot for short distance target acquisition. I could shoot with both eyes open and maintain my peripheral vision while engaging my target.


Durability

I’m not sure how Vortex was able to make this scope more robust and yet cut a quarter of the weight off of its predecessor.

I honestly think I could run this scope over with my pickup and it would be just fine.

I haven’t bothered to put caps on the lenses and I’m not at all gentle with this scope. It gets tossed in my range bag. I throw it in the back of my truck. During training it gets bashed against concrete and dragged through the mud.

I don’t make any effort to keep it clean or covered. I definitely don’t try to keep it looking pretty.

After all that dust and grime from putting it through its paces in tactical training, I haven’t yet scratched the ArmorTek coated lenses or the hard anodized finish.

Even if I did manage to mangle my scope, I know that Vortex has my back with its VIP warranty. If they can’t fix it, they’ll send me a new one, at no cost to me.

The Vortex Razor HD Gen II-E is machined out of a solid piece of aircraft grade aluminium. Being crafted in one piece means there are less things to break and increases the waterproof abilities.

This scope is argon purged to prevent fogging through a wide range of temperatures. It also has rubber o-rings to seal out water.

This is my worst-case scenario scope.

I depend on this scope to function well when I need it the most. And it does.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The turrets are large, yet keep a low profile. They are easy to manipulate. In fact, I have no trouble turning them with gloves on.

Both turrets turn cleanly. I can both hear and feel the clicks as I make adjustments. I found that it was quite easy to fine-tune this scope.

Metal twist-on caps cover the turrets, so there’s no accidental adjustments.

I was able to zero the Vortex Razor HD Gen II-E in 3 shots at 200 yards.

After how poorly I’ve treated my scope, it still holds zero like a champ.


Parallax & Magnification

I found 1x to be very near to true on the Vortex Razor HD Gen II-E, and as I said before, I can use it as a red dot sight in short-range tactical situations.

I liked that I could zoom up to 6x and make accurate shots at 600 yards.

The higher magnification is helpful in close-combat because I can use the increased zoom to make more precise shots on known targets, or to help with positive target identification in low visibility situations.

My only gripe about the Vortex Razor HD Gen II-E is that the zoom dial is super stiff. I also have to turn it almost a full 180 degrees to move through the entire magnification range. I wish a throw lever came stock from Vortex. I have found this aftermarket throw lever to work really well.


Mounting & Rings

This optic has a 30mm tube. I have it mounted to my rifle with these rings that can be mounted on both a weaver base or picatinny rails.

Vortex Optics Pro Series Riflescope Rings
  • The finishing touch to your rifle and optic combination. Pro Series rings combine rock-solid reliability and strength with high quality machining to ensure ultimate accuracy and consistency.
  • Streamlined, lightweight and durable, these rings use four T-25 Torx-style socket cap screws for secure mounting.
  • Fits Weaver and Picatinny Rails.

Is the Vortex Razor HD Gen II-E 1-6x worth it?

I definitely think that the Vortex Razor HD Gen II-E is worth it. In fact, if the late Col. Jeff Cooper was still around, he’d probably have this scope on his own Scout rifle.

It meets several of his criteria:

  • Light weight
  • Built like a tank
  • Do-it-all versatility
  • Easy to shoot with both eyes open

For anyone shooting in close-combat tactical situations, both competitively or professionally, you can’t go wrong with this optic from Vortex.


Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best scout scope guide.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which scope will you pick for your scout rifle?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

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