The 3 Best SKS Scope [2020 Update]

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Not sure what scope to get for your SKS?

Look no further.

I’ve tested ALL the best SKS scope (plus SKS scope mounts and accessories.)

By the end of this guide, you’ll find the perfect optic for your SKS.

Let’s get started!

The 3 Best SKS Scope

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best SKS scope:

  1. Vortex Strikefire II Red Dot Sight: Best Red Dot
  2. UTG 3-9X32: Best for the Budget
  3. Leupold FX-II Ultralight 2.5×20: Best Fixed Magnification

1. Vortex Strikefire II Red Dot Sight: Best Red Dot

The Vortex Strikefire II is one of the best red dot sights on the market.

In fact, it’s favored by military, law enforcement, and civilians.

I have this sight mounted on my AR-15 and can’t imagine replacing it with anything else. It’s that good.

Want to know why? Read on…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The Vortex Strikefire II has crystal clear glass.

The lenses are fully multi-coated, which means you’ll get a nice, bright sight picture. And you don’t have to worry about glare.

Plus, the reticle is 4 MOA red/green dot, so you get the best of both worlds.

I love using the green dot during the brightest part of the day, because it’s easily visible. The red dot is perfect in the dim morning or evening light.

On top of that, the Strikefire II has 11 different illumination settings, so you can adjust based on the ambient light and feel confident that the dot will make target acquisition quick and easy.

The lowest two illumination settings are also night vision compatible, giving you the option of using this sight any time of day or night.

And, the illumination runs off of a CR2 battery that can last up to 80,000 hours! So you can have peace of mind that it won’t go out when you’re in the middle of a hunt or defensive situation.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

As with any red dot sight, the eye relief is unlimited.

Not only do you not have to worry about having enough eye relief, you’re also able to shoot with both eyes open. This allows for faster target acquisition, which is imperative in situations like close quarters combat.

Having the ability to keep both eyes open also lets you use the whole of your peripheral vision, giving you maximum situational awareness. This is essential for self defense or combat situations, which is why it’s so popular with law enforcement or military personnel on M4 rifles.


Durability

Vortex makes quality products and the Strikefire II is no exception. It’s ruggedly durable.

This red dot sight is lightweight and compact, although it is a little bigger than most red dot sights. But, the one-piece body makes it extra durable and shockproof.

Plus, it is O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, which means it’s fogproof and waterproof.

If that’s not enough, it also comes with Vortex’s unlimited lifetime warranty. I’ve dealt with their customer service before and I can assure you that they are amazing and will take care of any problem you may have.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation and windage dials are ½ click MOA adjustments.

I’ve found that the dials turn smoothly and each click is easily discernible. Plus, the accuracy is dead on.

Zeroing was very easy. In fact, mine was almost zeroed straight out of the box. It only took 5 minutes to get it perfect.

I’ve shot at least 500 rounds at this point and the zero has held.


Parallax & Magnification

All red dot sights have a magnification of 1x.

This is perfect for short range shooting. I use it for home defense and the occasional hunting trip and can see everything I need.

You can easily add on a red dot magnifier, though, if you feel you need more magnification. I like the Vortex Optics VMX-3T Magnifier.

Sale
Vortex Optics VMX-3T Magnifier with Built-in Flip Mount
  • The VMX-3T Magnifier and Flip Mount combo adds a 3x magnification to your rifle's red dot sight. Simple, fast, and effective, the push button design engages and disengages the flip mount allowing the...
  • The lens are fully multi-coated maximizing resolution, light gathering capability, and color fidelity. Eye Relief-2.2 inches. Field of View-38.2 feet/100 yards
  • The VMX-3T does not require any special sight-in. The dot centering screws can be used to help center your red dot image in the VMX-3T's field of view.

The Vortex Strikefire II red dot sight is also parallax free, so you don’t have to worry about any distortion.


Mounting & Rings

This red dot sight comes with an offset cantilever mount that attaches easily to a picatinny rail.

This is great because it allows you to adjust where on the rail you put the Strikefire II. You can leave room for a magnifier or use backup iron sights all on the same rail.

It also comes with flip-cap covers to keep the lenses safe, so you pretty much have everything you need and are ready to go when you get this sight.


Is the Vortex Strikefire II Red Dot Sight worth it?

This red dot sight is the best overall red dot sight you can buy.

It has:

  • Clear glass
  • Flip-up lens covers
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • 11 illumination settings
  • Night vision compatibility
  • Option of red or green dot

If you’re looking for the perfect red dot sight to complete your setup, try the Vortex Strikefire II Red Dot Sight. You won’t regret it.


2. UTG 3-9X32: Best for the Budget

The UTG 3-9×32 is the best for the budget.

In fact,

The glass clarity alone can compete with some of the $1000 optics I’ve tested.

Here’s how it works…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The scope’s clarity is awesome- you wouldn’t be able to guess how affordable it was by looking through it.

It’s crystal clear. I can get it into focus as close as 3 yards then magnify out at a distance with excellent clarity.

The lens has an Emerald coating which allows for maximum light transfer within the optic and a brighter visual image for your eye.

The UTG 3-9×32 uses a RBG Mil-dot reticle. In short, it’s a simple reticle packed with a lot of versatile applications- I’ll break that down for you.

Firstly, the seemingly simply crosshairs have 9 Tactical Range Estimating (TRE) MIL dots. These provide 18 points of aim across windage and elevation (21 if you include the reticle’s origin and the inner edges of the reticle’s outer duplex).

With some range estimating, you can accurately shoot targets at a variety of ranges without having to re-adjust your turrets. This means less fiddling and more shooting.

Range estimation requires some knowledge about your target’s width or height as well as an estimated distance.

For easy reference, each scope comes with a pre-calculated mil-dot table of most used distance estimates. I laminated my card so I could carry it with me for quick reference while shooting.

With a little practice, you can compensate for the bullet’s drop accordingly for incredible performance and accuracy.

As for the RGB illumination, this feature makes the scope more versatile for a variety of weather and light conditions.

The crosshairs can illuminate in green or red when powered on.

Even maxed out, they’re not true daylight bright. That being said, the side adjustment knob can dim and brighten for nearly infinite illumination options.

Most scopes with an illumination feature have a set amount of click values. Since the UTG 3-9×32 has a smooth dim/brighten turn feature, the illumination can truly be customized to your personal preference.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

The eye relief is 4.2″ – 3.2″.

At the lowest magnification, its a comfortable space, but when maxed out to its highest illumination, it gets a bit tight.

I’ve found that collapsing the stock about half way gets you right in there consistently.


Durability

Despite the slick compact build, the scope is shockproof, fogproof, and rainproof.

The inner optic is Nitrogen filled which keeps the optic from fogging up in humid weather or vast temperature changes.

The scope is really compact- only 206mm which makes all of the knobs and adjustments easy to reach.

I will say that this scope struggles to handle hard recoils. But, if it does break, the lifetime warranty means that I’m only out about $20 bucks and a few weeks of shipping time.

For now, mine has withstood around 700 rounds on my AR15 and is still going strong.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

All the turrets are completely toolless with reliable holdovers.

The windage and elevation knobs are finger adjustable with locking rings and a quick reset.

Even if you fall or jostle your rifle around, the settings will hold strong.


Parallax & Magnification

This optic has a 3-9x magnification range.

Even when zoomed in at 9x, the 32mm objective lens allows you to have a wide field of view at great distances.

I will say that at its greatest magnification, the crosshairs do get a little fuzzy, but the MIL dots are still more than readable.

Probably my favorite feature on this optic is the adjustable objective lens.

With the adjustable objective lens, the scope is absolutely parallax free from 3 yards to infinity.

It’s a truly premium feature for such an affordable scope.


Mounting & Rings

This scope comes with an insane amount of add-ons right out of the box. So not only are you getting an affordable optic, but it also comes with a lens cover, quick detach rings, and a sunshade.

Mounting was easy. The rings fix onto any Picatinny 21 mm rail, which makes it a viable option for airsoft rifles.

The compact optic body allows for a low mounting height and the build is light and easy to maneuver.

The quick detach rings are really sturdy. They hug the scope with 4 bolts on each ring for maximum stability; I haven’t had to make any adjustments since I first set it up.

With the quick detach rings, I can switch out the optic with a red dot or reflex sight if I wanted to.

The 2” sunshade eliminates glare and allows the shooter to see further out. Combined with the RBG illuminated reticle, it makes the optic nearly daylight bright.

The two flip-up lens covers work great. They don’t fit as snugly on the sunshade, but a little electrical tape fixed that.


Is the UTG 3-9X32 worth it?

A crystal clear image, versatile reticle, and compact optic body are some of the premium features that make this sight stand out at a fraction of the price.

The versatile 3-9x magnification and intuitive reticle design are why I recommend it for quick, short-, mid-, and long-range target shooting.

Here’s what sets it apart from the competition:

  • Adjustable Objective Lens
  • The Best Never Rest Warranty – Lifetime
  • Zero Lockable and Zero Resettable Target Turrets
  • Sunshade, quick detach rings, and lens covers included

Once you get your hands on the UTG 3-9×32, you’ll wonder how you didn’t pay twice as much.

UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings
  • 1 Inch Tube with Emerald Coating for Maximum Light Transmission, Premium Zero Lockable & Resettable Turrets with 1/4 MOA Per Click Adjustment
  • Range Estimating Mil-dot Reticle for Optimal Aiming and Shooting Performance, Adjustable Objective from 3 Yards to Infinity
  • Red/Green Dual Illumination for Versatile Applications, Large Field of View and Most Accommodating Eye Relief for Optimum Critical CQB Mission

3. Leupold FX-II Ultralight 2.5×20: Best Fixed Magnification

The Leupold FX-II Ultralight is proof that great things really do come in small packages.

In fact, this little baby is the best fixed magnification scope on the market.

Want to know why? Keep reading…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass on the FX-II is fantastic.

The image is clear, and the colors stay true.

This is because the outer surfaces of the lenses are coated with a special DiamondCoat treatment. Plus, the lenses are made using Leupold’s special Twilight Max Light Management system, which enhances light transmission through the scope.

In fact, with this scope on my rifle, I can get an extra 20 minutes of shooting time at twilight. This is great for those long hunts that start to run into the night. This low-light performance also makes the FX-II a great choice for a defense gun setup, because you can’t count on danger to stick to daylight hours.

Now on to the reticle.

The Ultralight uses a wide duplex reticle with thick posts that narrow in the center.

I really like this reticle because the thick posts naturally draw my eye in to the center, and the narrow crosshairs allow for precise shooting and don’t obscure my target. A reticle like this will help speed up not only your target acquisition, but your target identification, too, since you can clearly see what you are aiming at.

There aren’t any ranging or holdover lines, but that’s fine with me. You won’t need them, especially at the ranges this scope is made for.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

The eye relief on this scope sits right at 4.9 inches.

That’s plenty of room to keep you safe from scope bite, even on high-recoiling rifles and muzzleloaders. It’s even far enough to use as a “scout style” scope, if that’s your preference.

The eyebox is pretty generous, too. As long as I keep a decent cheek weld, I don’t see any reticle wobble using the Ultralight.


Durability

This scope may be small, but it’s built like a tank!

The FX-II is nitrogen-filled, so it’s completely fogproof and waterproof up to 35 feet.

The scope tube is manufactured from aircraft-grade aluminum, so it’s strong and lightweight.

Plus, it’s been recoil tested at 3x the recoil of a .308 rifle, so it should be able to handle anything you want to mount it on.

And that DiamondCoat lens coating I mentioned earlier? Well, it not only helps with image clarity, but it protects your glass from dirt and scratches, too.

All these durability features mean that you can take this scope into any shooting conditions and not have to worry about damaging it in any way.

And here’s the best thing:

The entire scope only weighs 6.5 ounces. Low weight like that is fantastic for comfort, especially on long hunts. Even better, a lighter scope is more resistant to recoil, because it’s less affected by inertia when you take your shots.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The adjustment knobs on the FX-II are low-profile and reliable.

They make solid clicks on each adjustment, and turn at a rate of ¼ MOA per click.

¼ MOA is fantastic for precision zeroing, because you can really dial the scope in at a fine level.

And speaking of zeroing, it’s really easy to do with this scope. I was punching squares at 150 yards within a handful of shots.

And after dozens of hunts, the zero on my Ultralight has held true.


Magnification and Parallax

Magnification on this scope is fixed at 2.5x.

This is fantastic for shooting at 50-250 yards, which makes this scope good for hunting, defense, and plinking.

Plus, fixed magnification speeds up your shooting because you don’t have to fiddle with your zoom settings. You know right where it’s going to be, every time. Just raise your rifle, aim, and shoot.

Parallax is factory-set at 150 yards. I haven’t noticed any parallax issues using mine up to 250 yards.


Mounting & Rings

Unfortunately, the FX-II Ultralight doesn’t include any rings or mounts.

I’d recommend getting a set of Leupold Rifleman 1” Rings, which will work with any picatinny rail.

I use the See-Through High size so that I can still see the original ironsights on my SKS while using the scope, and it’s a great setup for target shooting and home defense.

To keep your glass safe, I’d recommend some Leupold Alumina Flip Caps (size Ultralight for the eyepiece

Leupold Alumina Flip Back Lens Cover Ultralight Ep 59060
  • Model #59060 - Alumina flip back lens cover kit in ultralight EP

and size 20mm for the objective lens.) These will protect your lenses without adding too much extra weight.

Leupold Alumina Flip Back Lens Cover - 20mm
  • Model #59030 - Alumina flip back lens cover in size 20mm

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

The FX-II Ultralight is a fantastic scope in a small, lightweight body.

It’s got:

  • Clear glass
  • 2.5x magnification
  • Wide duplex reticle
  • ¼ MOA adjustments
  • Only weighs 6.5 ounces
  • Waterproof, shockproof, fogproof

And if all that wasn’t enough, the whole thing is covered by Leupold’s Full Lifetime Guarantee, so you know you’re covered if anything goes wrong with your scope.

So if you’re shopping for the best fixed magnification scope you can buy, set your sights on the Leupold FX-II Ultralight: you won’t be disappointed!

Looking for a good scope for your pistol? Check out these top choices.


Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best SKS scope guide.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which scope will you pick for your SKS?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

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