When the cartridge dictates some reduction in effective range, or when the hunter is contained in areas that in general only allow closer range shooting the use of lower powered variable scopes can be an advantage.
In many cases, the lower power systems are carried on smaller overall main tube designs which make the whole scope rifle pack a faster handling tool for the hunter. Also, lower powered systems in many cases retain a wider field of view than the big long range glass sight and as such again are a better balance when taking on deer or other game in tight quarters. Hunt a black willow swamp in Minnesota or the green hell of the deep south and my point will be made in spades.
- Best Low Power Variable Scopes
Best Low Power Variable Scopes
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7X32
Here we have an example of a low power lighter weight scope that will bring in long range targets, but allow the very low two power level to take effect when targets are in close cover and moving fast. The lower the power setting the more field of view you have to work with and this is very important when selecting a scope for deep cover or close range fast moving targets.
This scope is considered a basic rimfire rifle scope because it is set u for closer range work. However, I have a very close model to this on a Winchester Model 94 30-30 that I use exclusively in high country heavy timber when hunting whitetail deer.
This scope is dressed in a black tube and is measured at 14X3X3 inches. The reticle s a V-Plex which is a good choice for general purpose hunting, rabbits to deer in effect.
With the long eye relief and forgiving eye box, the scope is fast when taking on running game in brush or timber. The scope retains capped turrets for tough field use, and the system makes use of MOA click adjustments at ¼ MOA per click. Anti-reflective fully multi-coated lens surfaces allow for positive light control.
The scope is built from a single one piece tube of aircraft grade aluminum. The unit is O-ring sealed and is water and fog-proof.
Vortex Optics Diamondback 2-7X35
As a second rifle scope by Vortex, the Diamondback 2-7X35 is another basic rimfire scope that is designed like a big rife system.
That is to say at one time 22LR scopes were 3/4” tube and very basic 4X single power systems. Shooters did not believe the 22 LR required any more glass than that. Well, that was back in the day and times have changed. The current rifle interest in shooting longer range target events, hunting game and general use make the larger one inch tube scope an interesting and at times required adjustment when thinking about glass sights on rimfire rifles.
In effect, this scope is workable on light larger caliber rifles as well as 22 rifles. Mounting it on say the Henry lever rifles chambered in lower power rounds (357 Magnum or 44 Magnum ) is a good idea in terms of keeping weight down and meeting some range extension needs. This scope is also a god match when mounted on shotguns or muzzleloaders as well. The glass sight is a budget priced all around system and I can see a lot of our local mountain hunters here in the BlackHills of South Dakota using a system like this on a simple rifle when taking subsistence deer for the family table.
The glass on this rifle is fully coated and O ring sealed against fog and water.
The lens system will pull light well even in lower lighting conditions afield. And the eyepiece retains a quick focus system for fast target acquisition.
The enclosed turrets are metal to metal and the erector system will bring the scope zero setting exactly to the previous point being used. The turrets are set up in MOA 1/4” settings per click for accurate sight adjustment at any range desired. The scope tube is one piece construction and a solid unit from end to end. In effect, this is a good scope for the price.
Leupold VX-3HD 1.5-5×20
Leupold, being a very favorite of mine over the years offers a lightweight small low power scope tube, and like others again well suited for smaller receiver rifles, shotguns, and muzzleloaders.
This scope uses the Leupold Duplex cross hair CDL-ZL reticle and comes in a flat matt finish regarding the one piece tube. This reticle is designed to stand out against heavy cover or low light conditions. I can’t tell you how many times I have been in low light situations and not able to make out the vitals on a deer that I know was a good one. I will pass the shot versus dumping a bullet into an animal’s gut and losing it to the wolf.
The scope has the “ ZeroLock” custom dial system with an open turret adjustment for fast elevation changes. This dial turret system can be customized to your rifle and cartridge. Dial the shot and send it.
Leupold glass and the system they use will produce the very best light gathering ability when early morning and evening shots are taken.
This is a great scope for the small receiver rifle, and also a system that keeps weight down for a fast-handling rifle in deep woodlands cover.
Leupold VX Freedom 2-7x33mm
The Leupold Freedom 2-7 power is a hunter’s scope that will offer some extension for longer range shooting but is still built for the eastern USA brush hunter that wants speed and sighting reaction to match a light fast handing timber rifle.
Like the other Leupold glass sights, this scope is built to pull light in low light hunting situations, deliver repeatable accurate results from its turret settings and retains capped turrets with a large focus adjustment ring at the rear of the main tube. This scope is a full lifetime guarantee package, being the original owner or not.
Great scope for a squirrel rifle, carbine, or even shotgun. Not a bargain basement special at all but rather a high quality optic if selected for use.
Lebo Optics 1-4×20 SFP MOA
Offered as a tactical scope this is a good fit for Ar’s, carbines, and short receiver long weapon. Shoot three-gun competition or gunning heavy cover with a hog rifle or deer gun this could fit the hunter/target shooter’s needs.
Shooting the 1X on the low end allows for a wider field of view and fast moving target acquisition. I can attest to this event after hunting Russian bore in yes Russia. Shooting a light carbine weight turn bolt in 7X57 Norma the scope was s 2X low end with a 50 mm bell. This was designed for dangerous game and these critters have been known to kill a man flat out with tusks and speed. When required sighting speed is everything. If our not on the target your not making the shot. Hog hunters in cover know this well, and we often use shotguns because we get an edge in the kill net department.
The scope uses an etched reticle which saves the possible loss of the cross hair under hard use, and the power settings allow for up to 650 yards longer range target adjustment. Fast focus dial, a forgiving eyepiece, and antireflective lens glass make for a workable target centering system.
The scope retains a lifetime replacement warranty. Not replace parts, but always replace the scope.
Feyachi Tactical 1-4X24 SFP Red Illuminated Starburst Reticle
Here we have a chopped bell scope that is tactical in design and set up for AR applications or other short receiver model rifles.
This is a scope that makes use of the red illuminated reticle and as such s a good low light sighting system in some situations.
The scope reticle is a 1.2” scope tube( 30mm,) making it a bit out of the previous unit standard.
This is a budget glass sight but carries an unlimited lifetime warranty. The scope is built off a one piece tube system, uses capped turrets and retains a good both eye open optical system.
Designed for three-gun type shooting or general use overall this is a good starter system for shooters just getting into the game being Ar-style shouting or hunting rifle applications. Lightweight and fast handling this is a good starter to an entry path within shooting sports.
Another tactical application budget scope in the low power range is the Edenberg design. This scope mounts duplex crosshairs and is stated to engage low light target with ease.
The scope retains ½ MOA adjustments being a bit course and better applied to a scattergun, but again for what it is the glass would be a workable entry level scope design for that first time shooter on a budget.
Fast focus eyepiece, water-resistant, and fog proof with sizing that is set at a chopped bell tactical level this unit should work out at the start up level in shooting.
Monstrum Alpha Series 1-4X24
This scope is a military look alike and for the most part follows the rules for a three-gun rifle scope design.
Adjustable turret setting for competitive shooting, set up in the FFP first focal plane and very workable from zero to 300 yards. This is a 30mm primary tube scope and is built from higher-grade aluminum as a one piece unit. The scope is sold with flip covers and honeycomb forward lens cover, and manual.
At FFP target size is always the size of the magnification migration. Crosshairs are custom to the scope and not generic in nature. MOA turret adjustments are fast and positive regarding return stop settings.
This scope is waterproof, fog-proof, and designed for heavy outside shooting applications.
TruGlo TruBrite 30 Hunter
Here we have a final scope and it is one I shoot all the time regarding both rifle and shotgun applications.
TruGlo builds a nice illuminated sighting system and when early morning or late evening sets in with its dull lighting conditions this scope starts to deliver the goods in spades
This scope is a 30mm tube design and at 1-4X24mm, it covers a multitude of possibilities in terms of firearms variations and task orientations. Brightness can be changed using click adjustments, an exit pupil is large with an eye relief of 3.75”. The lens surfaces a coated and light transmission is positive. The field of view is extremely wide and the scope carries a ¼ MOA adjustment click install for zero and sighting changes. Turrets are capped for rugged use afield.
I like this glass sight because of the illuminated reticle system. Older hunters with some night vision loss can greatly appreciate this feature especially under any and all low light conditions. Mounts are solid and weaver style of rail use, and the focus adjustment bell at the rear of the scope is easy to locate when the shooter’s eye is focused through the lens.
I have been writing firearms and outdoor material of over 50 years to date. I have hunted across the world including Russia and a great deal of time professional hunting in Australia. I currently live in the American west and hunt all across the Black Hills of South Dakota, and the Big Horn mountains. I have specialized much of my work as a load developer in shotguns and rifles. I have run a small company that builds suppressor barrels of my design, and load tests for writing purposes and consulting. My commercial names include Ballistics Research & Development / Metro Gun Systems.TM. Web site www.metrogun.com.