Mark Ripley presents his top 10 picks for the best scopes for foxing this year.
10 – Hawke Frontier SF 5-20×50 IR
Hawke scopes have always been in my mind a very under rated brand that offer surprisingly good glass and build quality at a very reasonable price. The flagship Frontier range now boasts a host of impressive features to compete with scopes two to three times their price.
The Frontier SF 5-25×50 IR, the first on our list of best scopes for foxing, offers an excellent choice as an all round foxing scope including features such as variable magnification, 6 level brightness adjustable illuminated mill dot reticle so ideal for night vision add ons as well as use with a lamp.
Dial-able turrets first long range foxing. Zero lock ‘n’ stop turrets, flip up lens covers and sunshade supplied. If you’re looking for a good value scope with a host of features that’s not going to break the bank then I would seriously consider this scope!
- Hawke Frontier Tactical Review – read the full review here
9 – Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25 x 50
With a low base mag of 2.5 this scope will be a good option for use with a night vision add on, yet it still retains ample magnification for longer range shots too.
The viper offers similar features to the Hawke including supplied sunshade, dial able turrets with zero stop, side focus and an illuminated reticle but this time with 10 intensity levels. This scope would make for a good all round day/night long or short range option on any foxing rifle.
8 – Nightforce SHV 5-20×56
The SHV range from Nightforce was designed to offer that same rugged durability mixed with precise engineering to those on a tighter budget without compromise.
With 80 MOA of adjustment to play with as well as side parallax and 20x max magnification makes this this an excellent long or short range scope. Features include high quality glass, zero lock dial-able turrets, choice of illuminated or non illuminated reticles as well as various reticle styles.
This is a high quality scope built to take a few knocks and still be reliable when you most need it – a true precision workhorse.
7 – Schmidt & Bender Klassik German 3-12×50
S&B are well known for their outstanding glass with lowlight capabilities making this an ideal quality optic when glass quality is paramount and normal foxing ranges.
This scope is a more traditional hunting scope with a good variable magnification and illuminated reticle. Although this scope isn’t designed for long range shooting it is a great choice if you just want good quality glass in a rugged reliable scope.
6 – Sightron Stac 4-20×50
Sightron may not be a brand many are familiar with yet they offer a range of good quality optics at a surprisingly good price.
This particular model although not offering illuminated reticle does have a lot of features for the money including covered target style turrets for the ability to dial in accurately, side focus and a clever little pop up thumb lever on the zoom ring for quick easy adjustment.
The scope also includes a useful Moa reticle for quick accurate hold over ability at range.
5 – Leopold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20×50
Leopold are another brand well known in the shooting world and particularly popular in the America. This model offers excellent glass, build quality and reliability.
Although the base mag is a little high for night vision add ons and it doesn’t have an illuminated reticle, the scope is an ideal long range dayscope which offers target style turrets with zero stop, zoom ring lever and reliable accurate tracking.
4 – Swarovski Z6i MK2 2-12×50 IR
Swarovski is well known for being a top of the range brand offering the very best in glass quality. The Z6i range has been popular with stalkers and fox shooters since its introduction.
The 2-12 magnification range makes for a good general purpose hunting rifle scope in low light. This model incorporates an illuminated reticle with automatic shut off and brightness control (although the buttons on the eyepiece will prevent a rear night vision add on being used), side focus and the option of a ballistic reticle for accurate hold overs at longer ranges. If quality is paramount the Z6i won’t disappoint.
3 – Zeiss Conquest V4 6-24×50
Zeiss is another high quality optic with exceptional clear and crisp glass. This model offers high magnification for long range shots, target style turrets with zero stop, accurate tracking, Moa based illuminated reticle and side focus.
This is a particularly versatile scope for all hunting situations combining high quality glass and precision engineering comparable to any of the other top brands but slightly more affordable.
2 – Swarovski DS 5-25×52
If money was no object then this scope would definitely be on my shopping list! The Swarovski DS scope is a revolutionary optic which not only includes the standard features of the Z6i in terms of extreme high quality glass and build quality but also a whole long range shooting system.
The scope includes a built in laser range finder at the touch of a button which also then instantly factors in environmental factors to give an accurate aim point for that range by way of an illuminated dot on the crosshair to use.
Simply place the crosshair on the target, press the button then use the aim point given to take the shot – it really is that simple!
- Mark Ripley reviews the Swarovski DS scope – read the full review here
1 – Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56
This is for me the scope I would have to choose if I could only have the one and money was no object! It offers exceptional quality, reliability and build quality. And it makes the number one spot on our best scopes for foxing
With a good magnification range and light gathering ability this has got to be a top choice for long range daytime shooting. The ATACR incorporates zero-stop target turrets, illuminated reticle, side focus and zoom ring throw lever. This really is a scope that can take some abuse and still perform flawlessly.
More from Mark Ripley
- Full-time foxing with Mark Ripley
- Fox control in springtime with Mark Ripley
- Foxing during a driven game day
- Mark Ripley’s nighttime foxing