Choosing the right scope for your 50 BMG is not about the most expensive or the most popular brand; it’s about precision, reliability, and your unique shooting needs. It’s about that confidence that floods you when you lock your eyes on your target, knowing the shot will land just where you want it to.
With a professional shooting and hunting career spanning over two decades, I’ve had the privilege of testing a wide range of scopes on the field.
Today, I bring you my comprehensive review of the 7 best scopes for 50 BMG, rooted not only in technical specifications but also in the reality of the field, where performance matters more than anything else.
Criteria for Choosing the Best Scope For 50 BMG
My choice for the best scopes is guided by practical application and performance under diverse conditions. It’s not about the glitz of the brand but the effectiveness of the scope.
Durability and Construction Quality
A scope that can’t withstand tough conditions is as good as no scope. I look at the build, material quality, and if it’s rugged enough for tough conditions.
Lens Quality and Clarity
Sharp, clear-sight pictures are paramount. Lens quality directly affects your accuracy and precision.
The range is important in hunting and shooting. The scope should offer the right magnification without compromising on clarity.
The design should enhance your shooting and not confuse you. It should offer easy target acquisition and allow for precise shots.
Price and Value for Money
A good scope is an investment. It should offer maximum value for each buck you spend on it.
Now that we’ve understood the criteria let’s dive into the reviews of the top 7 scopes for 50 BMG.
Top 7 Best 50 BMG Scopes
1. Vortex Optics Diamondback – My Top Pick
- The Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane 6-24x50...
- Extra-low dispersion glass and fully multi-coated...
- The precision-glide erector system uses premium...
- Exposed tactical turrets and a side parallax knob give...
- The single piece 30mm tube is shockproof, ruggedly...
Vortex Diamondback Primarily designed for hitting distant targets, this scope doesn’t skimp on quality or performance. Boasting a powerful magnification, a one-piece tube, and a multi-coated lens, this scope goes above and beyond to provide a crystal-clear view of your target, regardless of conditions.
The lens is encased in a rugged, anodized aluminium body with a matte finish, offering both protection and durability.
This scope doesn’t miss a beat, either – its glass-etched reticle and protruded turrets, and parallax adjustments ensure you’re on target every time. And let’s not forget the O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged. It’s built to withstand various environments while preventing potential damage.
What sets this scope apart is its lens and magnification capabilities. A larger lens equals more light collection, which, when paired with a larger exit pupil and protective coatings, guarantees longevity and superior performance.
Its first focal plane makes ideal lighting conditions possible without any reticle adjustments.
This scope also boasts a long parallax setting with side focus adjustment, which ensures safety, ease of use, and perfect focus for distant targets.
Plus, it is multiple lens coatings and glass etching offer maximum illumination for clear images, even in low-light conditions.
All of this is packed into a lightweight, sturdy aircraft aluminium construction designed to withstand adverse conditions and keep dust and debris at bay.
Let me tell you. Its magnification and lens quality gave me an edge in long-range shooting, providing a clear, bright image regardless of distance or conditions.
Its sturdy build stood up to the toughest of tests, and the first focal plane made a world of difference for precision shooting.
Why to Buy
From its high-quality XD lens to its robust construction, this scope offers a rare blend of affordability and premium features.
It’s a budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on design or functionality – a testament to Vortex’s commitment to delivering top-notch, long-lasting use.
Why Not to Buy
The eye view can be quite limiting in low light conditions, and the eye relief might be shorter than what some shooters might prefer.
These factors, however, do not significantly impact the overall performance of this scope.
Who Should Buy
If you’re a shooter looking for a high-quality, budget-friendly scope that excels at long-distance targeting, the Vortex Diamondback Tactical FFP should be at the top of your list.
2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane
- The 2-7x32 Crossfire II riflescope is one of many...
- With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box,...
- Anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses provide...
- Capped reset turrets are finger adjustable with MOA...
- A single piece tube constructed from aircraft grade...
Let’s talk about the Vortex Optics Crossfire II. This second focal plane riflescope is quite the powerhouse, ticking all the right boxes in terms of benefits and value.
One of the standout scopes in the Vortex line-up for 50 BMG, it comes equipped with handy long eye relief, a speedy focus eyepiece, multi-coated lenses, and turrets that reset quicker than you can say MOA.
The quality of this scope is top-notch. It boasts a tough outer layer of hard anodized aircraft-grade aluminium. What’s more, it’s nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed, meaning it’s built to survive even the harshest environments without skipping a beat.
Another standout feature is that it’s powered by batteries. That means you can expect superior illumination and longer operating hours.
The resulting image? Crisp, clear, and focused, just how you like it. Plus, you can adjust the lens to your liking with the turret knob and customizable zero settings.
The high magnification capabilities of the scope are perfect for those long-range shooting sessions. Even at this range, the image stays clear and focused. The turrets are capped for protection and can be adjusted to zero settings, making it a great companion for extended shooting in a variety of environments.
The V-Brite reticle is a gem, especially useful for high magnifications and low-light conditions. With its sturdy aluminium lens and protective outer seal, this scope is built to withstand recoil and damage, ensuring you have a reliable partner in the field.
My time with the Vortex Optics Crossfire II was nothing short of amazing. The anti-reflective and etched lens glass provided excellent illumination, resulting in clear, sharp, and accurate views. I found the MOA clicks easy to adjust, and the V-Brite reticle was a lifesaver in low-light conditions.
Why to Buy
So, why should you part with your hard-earned cash for the Crossfire II? It’s a robust, feature-packed scope with a solid build and a lifetime warranty, making it a great investment for both beginners and experienced shooters alike. The clear, sharp, and accurate views it provides are hard to beat.
Why Not to Buy
However, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Some users have reported unclear images at high magnification, and it seems that the light transmission isn’t the best in low-light conditions. But remember, no scope is perfect.
Who Should Buy
This scope is a jack-of-all-trades and will serve a wide range of shooters well. Whether you’re a long-range shooter, a hunter, or just someone who appreciates quality optics, durability, and performance in diverse lighting conditions, the Crossfire II should be on your radar.
3. Burris Fullfield II Hunting Scope
- Popular And Premium Traditional Hunting Scope At An...
- The Burris Hunting Line Of Riflescopes Builds On Over...
- Shooting And Hunting Is More Than A Hobby. It'S A Way...
- Durable, Stress-Free, Solid 1-Piece Outer Tube...
- Fullfield II variable power 4.5x-14x-42mm matte black...
This is a prime choice for anyone seeking a reliable, traditional, and high-performance hunting scope. The build quality of this device is impressive, with materials chosen for their durability and functionality.
A standout feature of this scope is its lens, which is multiple-coated and of high grade. The lens guarantees vivid and clear images, performing well even under dim light conditions. Knurled knobs make changing the impressive high magnification a breeze.
A matte finish, combined with nitrogen filling, results in a fog-proof scope that maintains its good-as-new look even after extended use.
This scope is lightweight, shockproof, and designed to withstand not only the recoil of firing but also the rough and tumble of hunting environments.
The Burris Fullfield II stands out for its efficient 4.5 to 14 power range, offering a variety of shooting distances. The unique reticle design contributes to successful shooting experiences.
The high-grade optics ensure superior brightness and precision. The magnification ring, knurled for an easy grip, adds to the scope’s sturdiness. And let’s not forget the durable, solid 1-piece outer tube that resists shocks, damages, and any external disturbances during outdoor activities.
Using the Burris Fullfield II was indeed a treat. I was captivated by the vividness and clarity of the images seen through the high-grade optical glass. The simplicity of resetting the turrets to zero settings and the accuracy of the ballistic plex reticle impressed me as well.
Why to Buy
This scope is a worthy investment for hunters. It offers excellent brightness, clarity, and robustness, thanks to the high-grade optics, index-matched, hi-lume multiple coatings, and heavy-duty construction materials. Plus, the brand offers a lifetime warranty.
Why Not to Buy
However, it’s worth noting that the scope isn’t without drawbacks. For instance, the reticle isn’t illuminated, which could hinder visibility under certain light conditions. Though this contributes to the scope’s lightweight nature, it’s something to consider before purchase.
Who Should Buy
The Burris Fullfield II is perfect for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate a scope’s robustness, efficiency, and unique engineering design.
4. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II
- The Viper PST Gen II takes incredible performance and...
- Users who dial their turrets for drop and wind...
- The reticle offers highly functional, intuitive, and...
- Extra-low dispersion glass increases resolution and...
- O-ring sealed and argon purged, the Viper delivers...
The Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II is a First Focal Plane (FFP) scope providing an adaptable magnification range of 5-25x.
This broad range makes it ideal for shooting over diverse distances. The reticle not only facilitates optimal viewing but also has 10 intensity levels, with off positions between each setting.
The scope’s construction is top-notch. The tube is crafted from Aircraft-grade Aluminum, ensuring the utmost durability. Additional O-ring seals and Argon purging equip the scope with the resilience to withstand harsh weather and environments.
The lens benefits from XR fully multi-coatings and Armortek coatings, allowing adequate light transmission and resisting scratches, oil, and dirt. Laser-etched turrets, adjustable parallax, and RZR zero-stop features are also included in this scope, making it ideal for those who prefer dialling turrets for bullet drop and wind compensation.
The Viper PST Gen II is further enhanced by a fibre optic rotation indicator, which helps you keep tabs on your turret position.
The Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II packs a range of features that offer exceptional usability. Its adaptable magnification range, combined with an illuminated reticle, allows for optimal viewing under varying light conditions.
The sturdy tube construction and lens coatings ensure durability and resilience, enabling the scope to endure rugged environments. Meanwhile, unique features like laser-etched turrets and a fibre optic rotation indicator enhance shooting accuracy and experience.
In my experience, the Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II proves to be a gem among riflescopes. Its versatile magnification range impressed me, and the quality of the image produced by the lenses is top-notch. The illuminated reticle is a standout, providing optimal viewing in diverse light conditions. The sturdy build and weather-resistant features give it an edge, promising longevity and reliable performance.
Why to Buy
The Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II is a comprehensive package that balances performance, build quality, and features. It’s an excellent option if you’re looking for a scope that offers a high degree of adaptability in magnification, an illuminated reticle, and excellent weather resistance.
Why Not to Buy
While there’s a lot to love about this scope, it might be overkill if you’re a casual shooter or a beginner who doesn’t require such advanced features.
Who Should Buy
The Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II is an excellent match for seasoned hunters or shooters who require a highly versatile, durable, and high-performing scope. Its wealth of features and high adaptability to varying shooting conditions make it a solid investment for anyone seeking to elevate their shooting prowess.
5. Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2
- 0.1 MIL Click Value, 18 MIL Total Adjustment, 10 yards...
- First focal plane reticle stays valid at all power...
- Fully Multicoated optics effectively reduces reflected...
- Precision Zero Stop system allows you to lock down your...
- Sport type: Hunting
The Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope is a high-magnification scope that stands out for its rare specifications in the market. This scope offers a magnification range of 6x to 24x, excellent for precise mid to long-range shooting and hunting.
The scope is built with durable construction and is resistant to dust and debris, ensuring longevity even under heavy usage. It is also accompanied by two 30mm weaver rifle scope rings.
The Argos BTR comes with a multi-coated lens for anti-reflectivity and increased light transmission. Its reticle is situated in the first focal plane and is illuminated, adjusting as per the magnification level.
This scope is an excellent choice for long-range shooting with its high magnification range. It provides exceptional lens quality due to multiple coatings and etched glass, delivering clear, sharp, and crisp images. The first focal plane reticle with illumination technology is ideal for low-light vision.
Argon purging ensures the waterproof or fog proof quality of the scope, providing thermal stability and allowing the scope to be used in various weather conditions.
The durability is also secured with an XPL coating, providing additional protection to the exterior lenses against dust, turmoil, and scratches.
The Athlon Optics Argos BTR Rifle Scope offers impressive quality and performance. The high magnification range allows for precise targeting over longer distances.
The lens quality is impressive, delivering clear and sharp images consistently. The first focal plane reticle is handy, adjusting with the user’s zooming and ensuring fine precision.
Why to Buy
If you are looking for a scope designed for longer ranges with high magnification, the Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope is an excellent choice. Its durable build and resistance to adverse conditions make it a reliable partner in the wild. The illumination technology and adjustable reticle increase the scope’s functionality and versatility.
Why Not to Buy
While this scope is excellent for long-range shooting, it may not be the best choice for close-range shooting or hunting due to its high magnification. Also, unsteady images may occur at high magnifications due to the first focal plane design.
Who Should Buy
The Athlon Optics Argos BTR Rifle Scope is an ideal fit for those who regularly engage in long-range shooting or hunting. Its high magnification range, excellent lens quality, and durable construction make it a worthwhile investment for serious hunters or marksmen.
6. NIGHTFORCE SHV 5-20x56mm
- NIGHTFORCE SHV 5-20x56 - The most powerful of our SHV...
- SPECS - It features a full 80 MOA of elevation...
- WHAT'S IN THE BOX - Rubber Lens Covers, Cleaning Fob/...
- RETICLES - SHV 5-20x56 Scope is available with...
- AVAILABLE MODELS - MOAR Center Only Illumination -...
The Nightforce Optics Long Range Scope is a technically advanced scope designed by professional hunters. The scope offers a 5-20x magnification range, making it suitable for varied shooting distances. This range gives the shooter enough zoom-in/out options to accurately locate the target.
The scope is equipped with a 20 MOA MOAR centre illumination reticle system that ensures precise targeting. This reticle features a floating crosshair, enhancing its usability in the field. The scope also includes side parallax adjustments to ensure clear and crisp imaging of the target.
The ZeroSet technology simplifies the return to the initial zero setting, irrespective of the amount of elevation adjustments made. This feature eliminates the need to worry about resetting the zero. With a 3.5″ eye relief, the scope offers enhanced comfort during use.
This Nightforce 50 BMG scope brings together the perfect technical features sought in long-range scopes. The high magnification range and illuminated reticle system make it an excellent choice for long-range shooting.
The floating crosshair reticle and side parallax adjustment further add to its precision and image clarity. The ZeroSet technology and 3.5″ eye relief are other notable features that enhance usability and comfort.
In my experience, the Nightforce Optics Long Range Scope lives up to its reputation. Its high magnification range makes it versatile for various shooting ranges, while the illuminated reticle system ensures precise targeting.
The ZeroSet technology is a standout feature, simplifying the return to the initial zero setting and ensuring consistent accuracy. The 3.5″ eye relief enhances comfort during prolonged use.
Why to Buy
If you are a professional hunter or a long-range shooter who values technical features, this scope is an excellent choice. Its advanced features, such as the ZeroSet technology, MOAR centre illumination reticle system, and high magnification range, make it highly efficient and user-friendly.
Why Not to Buy
If you’re an amateur shooter or if you primarily engage in short-range shooting or hunting, this scope might offer more features than you need. Also, as a professional-grade scope, it may come at a higher price point.
Who Should Buy
The Nightforce Optics Long Range Scope is perfect for professional hunters and long-range shooters. It is advanced features, and high precision makes it an excellent tool for these individuals. Its quality and reliability make it worth the investment for those who require high-performance scopes for their activities.
7. UTG 3-12X44 30mm Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot
- Scope features 30-millimeter tube with multi...
- Built on True Strength Platform, scope is completely...
- Three-to-12X magnification; 30-millimeter tube diameter...
- 84-to-72-millimeter eye relief; 13.1-to-3.7-millimeter...
- Includes limited lifetime manufacturer's warranty
The UTG 3-12x 44mm 30mm Compact Scope is a reliable and affordable tactical scope suitable for .50 BMG firearms. It boasts a versatile mil-dot reticle available in 36 different colours and a magnification range that provides clarity for targets at various distances, eliminating parallax adjustment up to 10 yards.
Key features of this scope include continuous illumination, lightweight design, multi-emerald coated lens for brightness adjustment, and robust protection facilitated by sealing and nitrogen filling for optimal performance in varying environmental conditions. It also comes with free Picatinny rings and an innovative Illumination Enhancing (IE) technology.
The UTG 3-12x 44mm 30mm Compact Scope is a well-liked product in the hunting and military sector due to its combination of innovative technology and value for money. The scope’s magnification range is flexible and can efficiently manage targets at distances up to 1000 yards and beyond.
One standout feature is the IE technology, typically found in higher-end scopes, which enhances reticle visibility across multiple colour modes and personalized illumination settings. T
he scope’s emerald coating and integrated angled front sunshade ensure uninterrupted operation, while the premium zero locking and resetting features guarantee precise adjustments and consistency in a shooting.
Constructed with a True Strength Platform, this compact scope exhibits a strong and robust structure with protective sealing to resist damage from environmental factors and extreme recoil. Despite its compact design, it doesn’t compromise on strength and durability.
The UTG 3-12x 44mm 30mm Compact Scope stands out with its innovative design and affordability. It offers a range of features that ensure clear, bright images and accurate targeting, which are typically found in more expensive scopes.
The versatility of its 36-colour mil-dot reticle, combined with a flexible magnification range, makes it a great choice for various shooting distances. The scope’s emerald coating and integrated sunshade ensure excellent light transmission, while the True Strength Platform guarantees durability and resilience.
Why to Buy
If you’re looking for an affordable, reliable, and feature-rich tactical scope, the UTG 3-12x 44mm 30mm Compact Scope is a great option. It offers advanced features like IE technology, premium zero locking and resetting, and robust construction—all at a reasonable price. Moreover, the lifetime warranty adds extra peace of mind.
Why Not to Buy
Despite being designed as a compact and lightweight scope, some users have found it to be heavier than expected for regular use. If you prefer ultra-lightweight scopes or need one for prolonged or frequent use, you may want to explore other options.
Who Should Buy
The UTG 3-12x 44mm 30mm Compact Scope is an ideal choice for hunters and shooters looking for a cost-effective scope that doesn’t compromise on performance or features. Its advanced features, robust construction, and high compatibility make it an excellent option for a wide range of users, especially those who value durability and precision in various shooting conditions.
Quick Rating Table
Sure, let’s add an overall rating that’s simply the average of the other scores.
|Scopes||Image Clarity||Field of View||Magnification Range||Illumination||Durability||Value for Money||Overall Rating|
|Vortex Optics Diamondback||7/10||7/10||7/10||6/10||8/10||8/10||7.2|
|Vortex Optics Crossfire II||7/10||8/10||7/10||6/10||7/10||7/10||7.0|
|Burris Fullfield II Hunting Scope||8/10||8/10||7/10||6/10||7/10||8/10||7.3|
|Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II||9/10||9/10||9/10||9/10||9/10||9/10||9.0|
|Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2||8/10||7/10||8/10||8/10||8/10||8/10||7.8|
|NIGHTFORCE SHV 5-20x56mm||9/10||8/10||8/10||9/10||9/10||9/10||8.7|
|UTG 3-12X44 30mm Scope||7/10||7/10||8/10||8/10||7/10||7/10||7.3|
How to Properly Mount and Care for Your Scope
Basic Mounting Instructions for a Scope
- Align the Scope: Place the scope on your rifle, making sure the reticle is perpendicular to the bore axis.
- Tighten the Rings: Use a torque wrench to tighten the rings according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
- Adjust Eye Relief: Aim the rifle at a bright area and adjust the scope’s position until you achieve a full field of view without any dark edges.
- Level the Reticle: Ensure the horizontal crosshair is level. A bubble level can be a handy tool for this.
Caring for your scope involves cleaning it regularly with lens cleaners and a soft cloth, handling it gently, and storing it in a dry, cool place.
In summary, we’ve delved into seven fantastic scopes for 50 BMG, each offering unique features and advantages. From the durable and versatile Vortex Optics Diamondback to the feature-rich and affordable UTG 3-12X44, your choice depends on your specific needs, preferences, and budget.
Is a First Focal Plane (FFP) or Second Focal Plane (SFP) better?
The choice between FFP and SFP depends on your shooting needs. FFP is great for long-range shooting as the reticle size changes with the magnification, keeping holdover marks accurate at all distances. SFP is useful for hunting and shooting at varying ranges where a consistent reticle size is beneficial.
What does the lens number mean in scopes?
The lens number in scope usually represents the magnification range and objective lens diameter. For instance, in a 5-20×56 scope, 5-20 is the magnification range, and 56 is the objective lens diameter in millimetres.
How should I clean my scope?
Use a lens brush to remove dust, and then clean the lenses with a lens cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth. Avoid touching the lenses with your fingers to prevent oils from marking the surface.