2020’s Best Scopes for 338 Lapua: Solidly Built Waterproof Models With Adjustable Lens, Long-Range Zoom & Crystal Imaging Capacity–Full Reviews & Buying Guide
- Erik Himmel
For good or bad, long-range shooting is all the rage these days. The most powerful, accurate, and commonly used cartridge is the .338 Lapua Magnum. It was developed in the 1980s and ruled the roost at that time.
There’s no particular scope especially designed for your .388 Lapua rifle and your choice will revolve around the long range shooting scopes. But there are scopes designed for spotting, shooting, hunting or for competitions. Where do you fit in? How will you find the best scope for 338 lapua?
Here in this guide, we put together a collection of the finest scopes reviewed by our team with a buyer’s guide. This is your grand opportunity to make the right choice without too much fuss!
What You Will Get Here
- Best Scope For 338 Lapua Comparison Chart (Updated 2020)
- Why Follow Our Lead
- Our Product Selection Procedure
- Our Top 10 Best 338 Lapua Scope List
- Best Second Focal Plane Scope: Vortex Optics Crossfire II 30mm Tube Riflescopes
- Best First Focal Plane scope: Vortex Optics Diamondback Riflescopes
- Good Value for Money: Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-inch Tube Riflescopes
- For Seasoned Marksmen: Steiner Model 5122 T5Xi 5-25x 56mm Riflescope
- A List of 6 Other Products We Reviewed
- Other Notable Brands & Models
- What’s So Special About 338 Scopes?
- .338 Lapua Scope – Buying Guide
- Cleaning & Maintenance Tips
- A Word from Rangerexpert
Best Scope For 338 Lapua Comparison Chart (Updated 2020)
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 30mm Tube RiflescopesRead Full Review
Vortex Optics Diamondback RiflescopesRead Full Review
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-inch Tube RiflescopesRead Full Review
Steiner Model 5122 T5Xi 5-25x 56mm RiflescopeRead Full Review
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen IIRead Full Review
Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm MIL-DOTRead Full Review
Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x50 Parallax AdjustmentRead Full Review
Athlon Optics Argos BTR RiflescopeRead Full Review
Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BCD RiflescopeRead Full Review
Monstrum G2 6-24x50 FFP Rifle ScopeRead Full Review
Why Follow Our Lead
RangerExpert was established around 8 years ago by a bunch of hunters, competitive shooters, archers, and outdoor enthusiasts. We love the great outdoors and being close to Mother Nature. Our different action-packed adventures are enjoyed by many.
This is the sole reason this platform exists and visited by people from all corners of the USA. Aside from our stories, our content also contains how-to blogs where we share different tips and tricks to help our audience make the most of their outdoor activities.
We also review a range of hunting, shooting and outdoor gear through a time-consuming and in-depth process to make sure that our reviews are honest and unbiased. Go through other pages on this site and get to know more about the RangerExpert team.
Our Product Selection Procedure
Over the years, we’ve developed a thorough product testing procedure after a lot of trial-and-error sessions. This time was also no different.
At first, we conducted a 24-hour long online research and listed out the most popular 338 scopes of that time. In the next phase, with the involvement of our volunteer team, we tested each one of those models at the range to see how they functioned.
It took us around 3 weeks to finish the process and by then, we had a clear idea about the overall performance and accuracy of those scopes. We finalized this top 10 list based on our findings.
But our quest for the best scope for 338 lapua didn’t stop there. We also got in touch with other sharpshooters that we personally knew and asked for their feedback on our shortlisted choice. As expected they too were quite positive about our findings that gave us the confidence that all that effort of ours didn’t go in vain.
Our Top 10 Best 338 Lapua Scope List
So, what’s the best scope for a 338 Lapua? You’re about to find out. Whether you’re a veteran marksman or just getting started with long-range shooting, we’ve a choice for every shooter out there.
Constructed of a single piece, the aircraft-grade aluminum epitomizes strength and shockproof functionality. The eyepiece is made impervious to water, dust, and fog by O-seals and argon purging. Vortex is a prominent name in the optics industry so we picked this model to investigate.
As far as affordability goes the Crossfire II is the scope for the .338 Lapua Magnum. Period. The question of compromise on quality just does not exist. The objective is adjustable and has both the brawn and brains that one looks for in a heavy-duty riflescope.
This top-rung scope for the Ruger Precision Rifle gives you a reliable magnification level between 6 and 24.the choice for hunters and tactical shooters who put their scopes for use in long-range shooting.
This scope has long eye relief adding a barrier of safety from heavy recoils. It is provided with a quick eye focus which makes it well-founded to put to use for different applications. A Dead-Hold BDC reticle completes the ensemble which is well suited for hunting or shooting at varying ranges.
The lens is multi-coated that reduces glare and comes with a sunshade.
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II comes with an unlimited, unconditional, lifetime warranty, also called a VIP (Very Important Promise) warranty.
Our review team needs an introduction. I am Brian, the Team Leader. The crew is Samantha, Mario, and Ben. We put it to a field test. Honestly, we didn’t quite find anything to gripe about. Yes, there was a blurring issue at 14x.
Adjusting the objective is tight. We evaluate user reviews with a little reservation. Some of the defects mentioned are frivolous in nature. We hold the opinion that this scope comes with a plethora of well designed, quality features, all backed by a warranty.
|Magnification||Variable: 6-6.9x minimum and 20-24x max|
|Eye relief||3.8 to 4.4 inches|
|Field of view/ 100 yards||17.3-4.4 feet|
|Parallax setting||10 yards to infinity|
|Adjustment graduation||½ MOA|
The vortex Crossfire II scope for the Ruger Precision Rifle .338 Lapua Magnum is one of the best choices. It’s durability and unwavering performance clinching it. It is priced decently so why not check it. No harm was done and you are getting for your spend. But of course consider your options and your needs, your shooting style before dashing off and making a hasty buy.
Happy and Safe shooting.
Vortex always manufactures high-quality optics that are hard to beat. They are indestructible and backed by an invincible warranty. We can only roll our eyes.
The Diamondback may be missing the bells and whistles of the more premium scopes but is armed superbly for solid performance. It has fully coated optics for a crystal clear picture and an image that is anti-selective; a one-piece durable construction and argon purging makes it weatherproof.
The fast-focus eyepiece and the precision glider erection system give you flawless experience under the hardest conditions; truly visionary. It is a lightweight scope.
When testing, we noticed zero held like a charm. The reticle had an issue against white backgrounds at 300 yards. No one mentioned the random defects that were bound to creep in.
Cross-checking with Vortex, we were assured that such problems were taken care of immediately as they are known to give the VIP guarantee.
At 16x, the clarity begins to dip a bit. Darker targets at low light seem to present a problem of clarity.
The Diamondback is not the only scope we are going gaga over. The Viper PST and the Nikon Prostaff are breathing down its neck.
- On higher magnifications, images could be better
- Turrets do not track as well as they could
|Eye relief||3.1 inch|
|Field of view/ 100 yards||32.4-11.3 feet|
|Parallax setting||100yards factory set|
|Adjustment graduation||¼ MOA|
The Diamondback 4-12x 40 is one of the best 338 lapua scope for a reason; it’s high-performance that’s absolutely nothing short of perfection. Yes, our reviews have made sure of that. It’s an American-favorite optic brand. When hunters and shooters want to get it exactly right, they have hit the hammer on the nail’s head. So the running theme here is. “Do it right the first time, every time.”
You take your shooting seriously, right? Vortex doesn’t believe in chances when it comes to durability, performance, reliability, and accuracy. Its ample zoom of 4-12x combined with a 40mm objective is tailor made for short and medium ranges. At this range, the.338 caliber will rip through anything.
Being in the SFP, the reticle does not waver in the ideally-appearance of the target.
Your eyes are well protected with the 3.9-inch eye relief. Maximum light transmission is ensured by the multi-coated and anti-reflective lens.
The construction is of a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum that means being shockproof and tough as nails. O-seal rings and nitrogen purging renders the eyepiece fog, rain and water-resistant.
The fast-focus eyepiece and field of view make it a cinch to sight in your targets even if it is a moving one.
What we lie particularly about this scope is the dead hold BDC in those cases where estimating a holdover is a bit of a concern. Priced in the range $180 to $270, it lives up to its image as good value for the money. The parallax/zoom adjustments are just that little too tight.
We have sniffed, poked and prodded quite a few riflescopes by now and what distinguishes the Crossfire is that it is a no-frills budget scope with all the bits and pieces in place. If you are starting out, suggest you give it a try.
There are two contenders for comparison; the Primary Arms XLS and the Athlon Optics, Argos BTR but we will come to that eventually.
|Eye relief||3.9-4.4 inch|
|Field of view/ 100 yards||24.7-8.4 feet|
The Vortex Crossfire II is a rifle scope on demand not only by the .338 Lapua Magnum but the .338 GUM as well. Why does this not surprise us? For one there is no dearth of features, it is time-tested, ideal for all ranges. The fast-focus eyepiece is a boon. The destructive power is tremendous. Give it a look-over.
For a hunting and tactical scope, no questions asked, the Steiner T5Xi is top-of-the-line. This high-quality scope for the Remington 700 .338 Lapua magnum is also shock and waterproof. It is an all-weather scope. It is also a great choice for competitions. The magnification is a mind-boggling 5-25x and the objective, a gigantic 56mm.
What makes it special as hunting and a competition rifle scope is the special competition reticle which is customized for precision. It has a large illumination area, windage area, holdover, and windage lines.
Another wonderful facet is the throw lever. This provides for quick and easy changes in the magnification. Addedly, the lens has a Tenebraeks lens cover which is double insurance against dirt and dust. The eye relief is more than generous.
There is a second rotation indicator. Once the 120 clicks are over with, the mil numbers on the scale will change to avert one getting lost in the dial. That is a clever innovation.
It has a lifetime warranty which can put your mind to rest.
Mario, our gun expert was drooling over the Steiner T5Xi. He took his time getting used to the various adjustments. Another feature that is guaranteed to blow you away is the special competition reticle that along with clarity gives 100% accuracy. The numerous advantageous features make it the best scope out there. Their customer service is matchless. The tube is 34mm so expect it to be on the heavier side.
The Viper Optics PST may come close but we doubt if it can compare with the Steiner. No doubt it’ll burn a hole in your pocket at around $1400, give or take.
|Eye relief||3.5-4.3 inch|
|Field of view/ 100 yards||21.5-4.3 feet|
|Tube Diameter||34 mm|
|Adjustment Click value||0.1 Mil Rad|
|Reticle||BDC, First Focal Plane|
Once in a while there comes along a rifle scope which proudly proclaims, I am the best. The Steiner T5Xi does not make this empty boast. It has a number of features that were hitherto not seen. All the checkboxes have been ticked; performance, durability and more. We recommend that you have a look at this marvel. It may be too expensive but you can get the feel and build of a superior scope.
A List of 6 Other Products We Reviewed
The Viper PST Gen II riflescope is another superb scope from the erstwhile stable of Vortex, a pioneer in optics.
The first focal plane reticle is illuminated and the tactical style turrets make it a cinch to recompense bullet drop and wind drift at long ranges. To halt the turret from misaligning below the original zero after a compensated long-range shot a Rapid Return Zero (RZR) is incorporated.
Extra-low dispersion glass boosts color trueness and resolution. This gives you a crisp, sharp image. To heighten light transmission, all air to glass interfaces are fully multi-coated with anti-reflective coatings. The exterior of the lens surface features Vortex’s patented ultra-hard ArmorTek coating to safeguard against oil, dirt, and scratches. The body is of 1-piece, 30mm tube of aircraft-grade aluminum.
A durable hard-anodized low glare matte finish is spread to promote concealment. The Viper PST Gen II scope is O-ring sealed and argon-gas purged for that cent percent waterproof and fog-proof dependability. The EBR-2C MOA reticle is for calculating windage and elevation compensation.
We would like to put in a word here. Vortex Optics is our all-time fav. The bad news first; zero does not hold. The manufacturer made adjustments and all was hunky-dory. The reticle illumination for daytime does not quite cut it. It’s all up from here, especially the lens that we simply felt was a sublime piece of optical engineering.
Our Advanced choice, the Steiner T5Xi is a good contender with the Viper Gen II which may not be high-tech but it sure delivers the goods. The centerpiece, the lens is superior to the Steiner. Eye relief is a bit constrained.
This premium scope is covered by a VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty and comes at between $800 and $1300.
|Eye relief||3.2 inches|
|Field of view/ 100 yards||58.3-11.7 feet|
|Adjustment range||50 MOA|
Vortex is no newcomer in the field of riflescopes. The Viper PST Gen II is a stunning piece of optics and bears testimony to the skill and professionalism of Vortex. What took our breath away was the superlative optical arrangement and the care and expertise that has been put into ensuring the lens is well protected. The price is a little high we agree but the product is way more worth the expense.
For Primary Arms, the SLX is the soul of their line-up. Their first foray into First Focal Plane Optics was the 4-14x44mm scope and is one of the most cost-efficient models in the market.
It is a reticle that stays true. A ‘built like a tank’ and a three-year warranty and one can easily fathom out why it’s so popular.
At the core of this scope is the FFP Mil-Dot reticle. Properly paired with Mil/ Mil turret adjustments, military forces in many countries favor this reticle.
This FFP tactical rifle scope is built to last with its aircraft-grade 6063 aluminum body and a 30mm tube. Being fog resistant, it is also water and shockproof. The SLX is an admirable match for your AR-15 or your favorite hunting rifle.
The MIL/MIL turrets track faithfully through their full 17.5 mm range allowing for assured adjustments for those shooters who prefer to count the clicks. The glass is clear, the construction heavy-duty and a true FFP reticle that can be levered at every magnification.
This riflescope is promising. The zoom adjustment is a bit tough to manipulate. The crosshairs can’t a bit but service support can easily fix this. The clicks we found are a bit spongy or mushy. But in all other respects be it holding zero, the accuracy offered by the reticle and so on, it runs away with all the accolades. Also, the hash marks don’t line up exactly. It truly is a well-performing budget scope.
The Vortex Crossfire II is a close match for the Primary Arms Scope based on the budget. Other things considered, both are excellent long-range scopes. The Crossfire II has a larger magnification whereas the Primary Arms boasts of a mil-dot reticle. It is an FFP whereas the Crossfire is an SFP. The one thing common is that they are great bargains.
|Eye relief||3.22-3.14 inches|
|Field of view/ 100 yards||27.2-7.85 feet|
|Parallax||15 yards to infinity|
|Reticle||MIL Dot/ MRAD|
This was a new product for us. So we walked the extra mile to have a close look at it. Mil-dot reticles are much favored over the BDC. It’s high rating by other users points to its versatility and promise.
Vortex has come up with this robust product that will suit every firearm.
The parallax adjustment scope will deliver extraordinary brightness minus any fringing. With the Mil-dot reticle, calculating the windage and elevation is not required. Being an SFP, the magnification can be altered easily without bothering about the reticle’s crosshair.
Extra-low dispersion glass has been used to craft the 50mm focal lens. The X plus outer coating on the lens on this scope delivers up to 95% light transmission and superior color fidelity.
The 6.5 to 25x magnification makes it equally effective for indoor shooting practices as well as in wildlife hunts. The magnification can be rapidly changed with the exclusive precision-glide erector system.
The turrets are capped for protection and audible clicks make a whole lot easier in the woods. Purging with argon and rubber seals make the scope moisture-proof, fog-proof, and waterproof. An additional protective measure is the use of ArmorTek lens coating.
Coming from the house of Vortex takes half of your worries away. Backed by a lifetime warranty, so many amazing features make this scope a great pick given its price.
A drawback is for users who wear specs or glasses. The 3.1 to 3.3 inch might not be a good fit. Lens caps are sadly missing and the turrets don’t move as fluidly as claimed.
Another Vortex product, the Diamondback is a comparable alternative to the Viper. The Diamondback is an FFP, has a BDC reticle. It is an earnest performer and is also equipped with the precision glider system. The Viper has the upper hand in the lens but we can say they are well balanced both in features and in price.
|Eye relief||3.1-3.3 inches|
|Field of view/ 100 yards||6.2-24 feet|
|Parallax||50 yards to infinity|
The Vortex Optics Viper is a treasure trove of features picked and developed so the end product is one that leaves little to chance. We have attempted in this guide not only to describe and review but also to compare products more or less similar to smooth the choice you need to make.
Athlon was a new brand for us until somebody suggested we try it out.
The lens of the Argos BTR has two coatings; a multicoat to enhance image clarity and brightness during those hours of diffused lighting. This coating is followed by an XPL coating that dispels accumulated gunk This multicoating dispels reflected light and intensifies light transmission yielding a much brighter image than a normal single-coated lens.
The Argos BTR has a massive magnification range from 8-34x. The colors and edges did degrade but at 24x, it was superb. The BTR also has a side parallax adjustment.
The reticle is an APMR FFP IR (Illuminated Reticle) MIL. Another small hitch we found was that the IR turret was stiff but gets smoother with use.
The reticle is etched on the glass and allows for a complex reticle design and also buffering recoil shock. Being a first focal plane scope, as you zoom, the reticle gets larger. This means goodbye to adjustments, windage or holdovers; just zoom and boom. The Argos BTR is fabricated of 6061T6 heat-treated aircraft-grade aluminum in one piece that’s usually used in aerospace. The scopes are purged with Athlon argon that keeps the tube moisturize-free.
The Athlon Argos BTR has all its bits and pieces in place. Special care has gone into the care of the lens which has two coatings as double protection. This scope can be a bit tight for heavy recoiling calibers. The eye relief is ample but the box could get cramped at higher magnification. This is a budget-friendly scope with all the bells and whistles. Do take a peek at one.
We did say earlier that the Crossfire II 1-inch tube is a likely challenger to the Argos. Being in the same price bracket, the features are more or less similar. The Crossfire is an SFP with a fast-focus eyepiece; the Argos is an FFP which is a bit more advantageous.
|Objective Lens Diameter||56mm|
|Eye Relief||3.3 inch|
|Field of view at 100 yards||12.5 - 3 feet|
|Reticle||APMR FFP IR MIL, Glass etched|
|Adjustment Range per Rotation||5 MIL|
|Side Focus Parallax adjustment||15 yards to infinity|
|Material||6061 Aluminum Tube, Heat treated|
|Warranty||Athlon Gold Medal Lifetime|
The purpose of this verdict is to briefly appraise you of our efforts so that you end up with the best deal. The Athlon Argos is a tremendous scope that’s also pocket-friendly. Two things need special attention; it is a first focal plane scope which simplifies things a lot and the utmost care they have bestowed on the lens with twin coatings. It is a good deal if you are the market for one.
Welcome to our review of the Prostaff 5 BCD, another gem from Nikon. Let’s see first-hand how it holds up to its reputation.
For enhanced light transmission, a 50mm lens is provided with a power of 4.5-18x. The adjustable magnification makes it just great for long-range shooting. Contrast, crispness, and clarity are flawless making this scope a rare beauty to shoot with.
To maximize light transmission, the lens is fully multi-coated. The BDC reticle features transparent ballistic circles which dishes out a great advantage for long-range shooting while still giving a normal sight picture for those short-range applications.
One terrific feature is compatibility with Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology which gives precise aim points Light transmittance is a dream.
The field of vision is a bit restricted because of the high magnification. But ample enough for any hunting situation.
Mounting the scope is a simple job but you need to source them as Nikon does not supply them.
The chamber is nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed. That takes care of waterproofing and fog proofing.
Let’s run through our review. The scope has an overall length of 13.6 and a weight of 17.1 oz, somewhat on the larger side. The eye relief is a bit short at 4 inches. The reticle sadly is not illuminated. Overall it is a splendid scope especially the Ballistic Match Technology. But then Nikon being trailblazers come up with innovations all the time.
|Objective Lens Diameter||40mm|
|Eye Relief||4 inch|
|Field of view at 100 yards||7.2 - 28.6 feet|
|Adjustment Range per Rotation||5 MIL|
|Parallax adjustment||50 yards to infinity|
|Warranty||Full Lifetime Warranty|
The Nikon Prostaff 5 bears the trademark of Nikon and is a high-performance scope brimming with features that makes hunting easy and mostly fun for all hunters. Having to meet the demands of not only hunters but some very demanding ones, it is a reliable tool.
It features tactical turrets with ¼ MOA clicks. For wind and elevation, the provided reticle is illuminated which can be turned on and off. A side parallax adjustment is provided so that one does not have to take his eyes off the target.
This is a first focal plane scope so that the crosshair stays steady. The glass quality is exceptional though blurring will be experienced at greater magnification which is a trade-off. The magnification range is quite wide. It is quite suitable for medium to long-range shooting.
It is crammed with features and quality for the price. The zero holds very well and the appearance is very pleasing.
The scope has an adjustable objective lens which enables better focus of the target. This feature also allows the nullification of parallax and enables estimation of range.
Honestly, the Monstrum G2 took us by surprise. Just loading a scope with features does not reflect the engineering innovation of the makers. Monstrum has gone that one step ahead to deliver a product worthy. And the pricing is so very inexpensive, it is a bit befuddling. It is priced at around $200 which is a great deal.
The included mounting rings are too high. Zeroing can be difficult. Use rings that are of the right profile rings. There have been some aspersions cast on their customer service.
Primary Arms SLX is nearly in the same price bracket though it comes with its own bells and whistles, pros and cons, not to speak of its features.
The Monstrum has received a middling review and prized at just under $200, which is a steal.
|Objective Lens Diameter||50mm|
|Eye Relief||4-4.5 inch|
|Focus Range||1500 yards to infinity|
|Warranty||Full Lifetime Warrantyv|
Reviewing a riflescope is an intricate business. The Monstrum G2 has clearly proved it’s up there. It is a joy for all kinds of hunters and shooters with an adequate shooting range. The features provided all have great application in a successful end result. Priced as it, we do recommend that a good look at it is warranted.
Other Notable Brands & Models
Aside from these shortlisted options, the following scope makes are also popular for producing high-end models -
Visionking, Feyachi, Sightmark, TRUGLO, CVLIFE, Crosman, Barska, Sig Sauer, Sniper, NcSTAR, Steiner, Quigley-Ford, Zeiss, Huskemaw, and Thompson Center.
Also, here are few scopes worth checking out by any long-range sniper -
- 01 BARSKA 10-40x50 IR 2nd Generation Riflescope
- 02 Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 4-12x40 Riflescope
- 03 Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II Riflescopes
- 04 Ade Advanced Optics 6-25X56 35mm Mildot bar
- 05 Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen I 6-24x50 FFP Riflescope
- 06 Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Riflescopes
- 07 Ade Advanced Optics 6-25x56 35mm Rifle Scope
- 08 Monstrum G3 4-14x44 FFP Rifle Scope
- 09 NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope
- 10 Vortex Optics Golden Eagle HD 15-60x52 Riflescope
- 11 Nightforce Optics BR Benchrest Series Rifle Scope
- 12 Sig Sauer BDX Combo Kit KILO1800 Rangefinder SIERRA3BDX
What’s So Special About 338 Scopes?
A stellar scope for the .338 Lapua Magnum is one that can come up with fulfilling our expectations in terms of long range shooting. The magnum rifle has carved a niche as a weapon that can pin down accuracy even at long distances. But it is handicapped in delivering this without the use of a .338 Lapua Magnum scope.
A better or tactical shooting encounter would come true only if a top-notch riflescope is pressed into use. A power magnification is guaranteed without any compromise on the image quality you will derive on the scope. Using a crack, top-rate scope will provide an unclouded and bright, lit-up picture. It is hassle less as the superb top quality lenses and works unhindered in low-light conditions.
Gas purging and O-sealing the lenses contribute greatly to better durability and non-stop performance no matter the weather conditions as they are waterproof, fog and rainproof.
These are a sampling of the qualities that go into a matchless scope for the .338 Lapua Magnum rifle that you need to unearth when making your choice for a new optic system for it.
Your pick of .338 Lapua scope is as strong as the bullet.
.338 Lapua Scope – Buying Guide
One thing you can be sure of; your precious scope will take its share of beating. Knocks from overhead boughs, raps and thumps and more. You want a durable scope and it is terribly important that it is really robust. For some persons like law enforcement officers, hunters and so on this attains even more critical proportions.
Durability also encompasses weatherproof and it would be a shame if your investment is wasted. So when you choose that scope, make sure it is robust and durable. Scopes of aluminum alloy and covered exterior coatings work wonders.
Accuracy is the backbone of a scope. The sole purpose of shooting is to score a hit at one go. Otherwise, you will end up wasting ammo. Without the most accurate scope, you might as well be throwing stones at the moon. Durability, clarity, magnification all have their parts to play and are equally important. But without accuracy, these other factors are relegated to playing second fiddle. In order that your long-range shots are surefire, accuracy and precision are paramount.
Without magnification, you may as well be shooting in the dark. Magnification goes hand in hand with accuracy. Magnification brings the target closer which raises the odds of your hitting the target at one go. Size is immaterial when it comes to your rifle scopes magnification.
Deciding the magnification level for your scope is one thing you really need to bend your mind in deciding. The .338 Lapua Mag is a powerful rifle intended for long-range shooting with sniper scopes and rifles. Here you need max magnification and anything less than 8x, dump it. A parallax adjuster is a must so that your first shot counts.
If a person can’t see clearly, all purposes are defeated. Magnification and accuracy are rendered redundant. So much so that the riflescope is reduced to a non-functional ornament.
5. Focal plane
The etching of a reticle is either in the first focal plane or the second focal plane. This means it is positioned near to the objective lens in the FFP and in the SFP, it is closer to the ocular lens and eyepiece.
When set in the first focal plane, the reticle is magnified along with the image whenever the magnification power of your scope is adjusted. In other words, when you zoom in a scope with a mil-dot reticle, the small markers become enlarged with enhanced accuracy over long distances.
A reticle situated in the second focal plane behaves the opposite. Regardless of the magnification of the scope, the reticle remains the same size. Which configuration to use is strictly on the application and the user’s preference. But it is a fact that in the U.S., the FFP is preferred
6. Tube diameter
The sole riding factor about tube diameter is that larger tubes allow more adjustment leeway for windage and elevation. It is a personal choice and you may feel it’s important. If that is so, larger tube size is going to be beneficial to you when purchasing a scope.
7. Objective lens size
The objective lens is the one on the outer side of the scope. The larger the objective, the more light it will allow in that renders the image clearer; especially in low-light conditions. Larger lenses are bulkier but they also offer a larger field of view.
Another important parameter is the exit pupil. This is the amount of light emanating from the scope. It is derived by dividing the objective with magnification. So an objective of 32mm with a power of 4 will give you 8mm. By day, the human pupil varies from 2-4mm; at dawn and dusk, this goes up to 5-9mm. In low light conditions, it is desirable to get as much light in your eye as possible.
8. Eye Relief
Like we mentioned earlier, the caliber of a .338 Magnum is a mean machine for the men. It can generate great recoil because of its power, so of crucial importance is eye relief. A 3.5 inch eye relief, preferably more would be recommended. The situation is exacerbated when shooting from positions that are unorthodox or sharp angles. The chances of injury are high if the eye relief buffer is insufficient.
This parameter will take on some importance if you shoot standing upright. The weight should not be overpowering. A heavy scope will make your arms wobbling and then it’s a lost cause. A top-heavy scope will bring in imbalance. So pay careful attention to whether you are going to be a Sunday shooter or if it is a passion.
10. Light transmission
Crisp, clear and bright images are the order of the day from dawn to dusk with flawless clarity. It is pretty much unpredictable to say how long it may take to hunt your quarry down. The lens should be capable of rendering quality images in conditions that are dimly-lit. A well-defined scope will have your back whether its foggy, dark or rainy.
Multicoated, anti-reflective lenses are imperative for maximum light transmission.
For long-range shooting, two factors creep in; bullet drops due to gravity and bullet deviation due to the wind. Both need to be compensated for a true hit. Bullet trajectory predictions and holdover positions help a ton.
The crosshairs must be maintained clean and without clutter irrespective of the detail. Illuminated helps a great deal so you are not faced with problems in the dark.
When choosing a scope for a .338 Lapua, you should reckon-in the durability. As you are aware, the scope is up against different severe outdoor conditions. For the identical reason looking out for a scope to stay level with varying conditions
You must find a robust scope to fit all types of shooters, that is combat, law enforcement, and hunting. It is a similar thing you locate a durable scope intended for a .338 Lapua.
For one, the waterproof measures must be looked into. It will improve the product’s durability and escalate its odds of lasting more. By locating a scope that is durable, you can anticipate long-lasting operation. Or else, you might find it impractical to expect extended use with the scope.
If you normally use your rifle for deer hunting, weatherproof takes a front seat. Hunting is a passion and the hunter is not waiting for clear skies to go into the woods. Hunting is not confined to wet weather, fog, or adverse elements.
Your hunting scope should be robust enough to take what Mother Nature can dish out. Preferably, your scope should be dust-proof, water-proof, fog-proof and also shock-proof to take those inadvertent knocks on trees and rocks while you are focused on hunting.
The method to ensure weatherproof is achieved by sealing O-rings on the lens and purging the interior with nitrogen or argon gas.
14. Warranty and Budget
The budget you’ve set aside for your scope should be in tandem with the rifle you shoot with. The rule of the thumb is to settle for the best magnified optic as possible to squeeze the topmost performance out of your rifle.
Considerations being your rifle and the job you require it, you are looking at $300-$1300. A pretty decent scope will come for under $500. Some persons hold the view that the cost of the scope should match that of your rifle.
Your budget is of utmost importance. Go in for well-reputed manufacturers rather than boutique makers. Remember, these long range scopes don’t come cheap.
Cleaning & Maintenance Tips
For accurate shooting, keeping your rifle scope clean is obligatory. A gunky lens will in all probability make your shot go awry not to mention the wasted ammo.
Here are some tips that will keep your scope ship-shape.
- Lens dusting
You’ve invested a fair bit on your scope. Before you take a cloth for cleaning the lens, just dust off the lens.
- Use a microfiber cloth
In a rush, we tend to use our shirt to clean the lens; heresy, do not do that. Paper towels, Kleenex, wipes and so on won’t cut it either. They will scratch the lens and also leave microscopic fibers. Use a microfiber cloth that is specially designed to clean oils and smudges off of the lens without scratches or fibers.
- Refrain from spraying a cleaner directly on the lens
A piece of microfiber cloth and water do a pretty good job at lens cleaning. But sometimes the grime can be stubborn. Lens or eyeglasses cleaner is a safe bet. Make sure to spray lens cleaner on the microfiber. The lens should never be sprayed upon directly. The scopes seals can be damaged by excess moisture. Use in moderation.
- Keep the cap on
The cap should be kept on the scope whenever you are cleaning your rifle. The powders and solvents that are used to clean guns can damage both the waterproof seals as well as the lens. In passing, it is always a good idea to keep the cap on at all times even in the field to avoid dust, pollen, and dirt.
- Using a Q-tip is encouraged
A scope has many difficulties that novices often stumble upon. Tight spots and ridges are best cleaned using a Q-tip. Better still, wrap a Q-tip in microfiber cloth so that you can clean your lens without cotton wisps adhering to the lens.
- Use a LensPen
LensPens are specifically designed to clean rifle scopes. It does not use any liquids. Bristles are provided at one end for dusting the lens. Just make sure that it is clean of any oil or other contaminants that can scratch the lens. The other end has a compound containing a carbon pad to rub off smudges.
- Turrets should be unscrewed
The lens also needs your attention. If you were on an outing during wet or rainy conditions, the turrets should be removed and cleaned thoroughly so that rusting does not occur. Q-tips work well and microfiber cloth too. If you decide on the cloth, first clean the lens before the turrets. If you like the LensPen, you can use it for turrets.
It would be a good idea to have two LensPens - one for the lens specifically and the other for turrets.
- When you hunt, bring a cleaning kit
The elements can be unpredictable. Be prepared for the worst. Keep a microfiber cloth or a LensPen can come useful. It sure would be terrible if you botch your shot all because of mud splatter or water drops on the lens.
- Battery compartment should be cleaned
Assuming your scope runs on batteries, you need to periodically remove the batteries and the compartment should be cleaned. Batteries can get wet and old and that is when the corrosion process takes root. Batteries exude acid so it has to be cleaned or replaced. If you leave it indefinitely, you may need to replace your scope.
- Don’t Overdo It
When the lens is dirty, you sure need to clean it. Dust it gently. There is no call to clean it every time you go out hunting if the picture is blemishless.
A Word from Rangerexpert
We believe we have considered and discussed the points and features of different riflescopes.
The right .338 Lapua Magnum can give you immense joy in the field or in a competition. A few of them throw in clarity, magnification, and durability. So naturally, you have a scope high on performance with results guaranteed.
WIth a good scope, target acquisition is faster and easier. You will be one up in a satisfying experience in hunting and tactical shooting.
No matter how perfectly a riflescope is designed and built, there’s no single scope that will cater to the needs and demands of every customer. Before you make up your mind and pick up a particular scope, make sure the model has your preferred specifications. Always keep in mind your budget as well. Do not get carried away by the higher-end scopes that could put a hole in your pocket.
To get started with selecting the best scope for 338 Lapua magnum, you can refer to the selection of our top picks earlier. I hope you enjoyed our guide today and good luck in finding that Lapua Magnum Scope today.
Till next time!
Q. 1: How does the .338 Lapua Mag compare to .338 RUM?
A. Here we are referring to the caliber and not scopes. Let’s have a closer look at the .338 Lapua vs the .338 GUM. The 338 GUM delivers equal velocities with less powder and more velocity up to 250 grains. The disadvantage creeps in at 300 grains.
Q. 2: Why would you want to own a .338 Lapua Magnum?
The 338 Lapua is one heck of a powerful round, which is rather a problem to master even with a quality bolt-action rifle. They are inordinately expensive at $5 around and the majority consider them not worth the price. These are sniper rifles and unless you are one of them, it is a waste.
Q. 3: At 1000 yards, for a .338 Lapua Magnum, what is a good scope?
A. There are so many models that fit the bill that mentioning all is rather a wasteful task. 338 rifles are built for warfare that require special glass to handle the long distances. It is expensive as is the ammo. Vortex Viper PST, Bushnell Elite Tactical, and Vortex Optics Razor are great 1000-yard scopes.
Q. 4: Is the first or second focal plane a better option?
A. Front focal plane reticles for tactical or long-range shooting are better because the reticle subtensions remain unchanged irrespective of the magnification. The benefits are range estimations using the mil, holdovers, and holdunders in scenarios involving multiple targets and using the reticle to apply wind corrections. A first focal plane makes these vastly easier. The FFP is vastly desirable in the U.S.