Air rifle scopes are essential for improving your accuracy and preventing eye strain when shooting air guns. Admittedly, though, it can be challenging to know how and when to pick the right scope for your needs. See the guide below to learn more about buying an air rifle scope and how to find the best air rifle scope for your needs.



  • Best air rifle scope under 100
  • Mil-dot reticle is perfect for accounting for drop-off
  • Eye relief at 4.2"
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When is it Time to Replace My Air Rifle Scope?

If you don’t replace your scope at the right time, you risk further damage to the scope that may significantly interfere with your accuracy, costing you your trophy or harvest. 

The primary sign to look for when your air rifle scope is nearing the end of its life is sudden inaccuracy when shooting in situations where you’ve had success before. 

For example, imagine that you’ve shot your rifle at the range, practicing on targets at 50 yards. You get each shot just right, perfectly on the mark. Yet, when shooting in the field at the same distance, you find that your shots are too far left, right, up, down, and everywhere else. 

If the problem remains consistent despite all your adjustments and environmental conditions, it’s time for a replacement. 

When Would I Use an Air Rifle Scope?

People often wonder when it’s appropriate to use an air rifle scope instead of a firearm scope. 

Here are a few examples to help you out. 

Shooting Small Game at Close Range

Air rifle scopes are excellent for shooting targets at close range. High-quality models will enable you to shoot close groups and at small game between 10-50 yards. 

This is harder than it sounds, but with the pinpoint accuracy of an air rifle scope, you can rapidly perfect your shots before progressing to greater distances.

When Shooting an Air Rifle

Air rifles don’t produce the normal one-directional recoil of a standard firearm. Instead, they have a “double recoil.” First, the gun jolts backward when the gas piston releases. Then it jumps forward when the piston completes its full length. 

This can destroy firearm scopes’ internal components and lenses within just a few shots. On the other hand, an air rifle scope is designed to handle this volatility.

You Live in an Area with Strict Gun Laws

Air guns are not considered proper firearms, so you can slip past legal gun restrictions when you want to shoot at the range or in the field. 

It’s much safer and better for your gun to use a specialized air rifle scope in these cases. This will maintain the equipment’s integrity and ensure you enjoy yourself, even without a “real” rifle.

How Do I Choose an Air Rifle Scope?

Truthfully, the air gun market is quite small compared to real firearms. This means that you’ll need to be careful when shopping for your gear since there aren’t too many reputable manufacturers to choose from.

The key components to evaluate when selecting your air rifle scope are as follows:

The Best Air Rifle Scopes

Finding the best air rifle scope can be tricky if you don’t know where to look, which is why we’ve already reviewed the top contenders on the market for you. 

Top Pick

Vortex Diamondback HP 4-16x42mm Riflescope


  • Excellent magnification for close- and long-range shooting
  • XR fully multi-coated lenses help maximize light
  • Shockproof, thanks to the aircraft-grade aluminum


  • Some may not like the capped turrets
  • Some customers are not happy with eye relief at higher magnification

What Recent Buyers Report

Air gun shooters have held Vortex optics in high regard for years, and this model is no different. Most customers – especially hunters – love the side focus and the versatility of the available magnification levels. The side focus is a plus, and the monetary value can’t be beaten.

Why It Stands Out to Us

This air rifle scope stood out because of its incredible magnification range and durability. The aircraft-grade aluminum is highly resilient, and the combination with the O-ring is sure to keep your scope in good condition, no matter the weather. 

The XR fully multi-coated lens is perfect for optimizing visibility. At the same time, no parallax down to 30 yds will surely help you hit your target with the greatest possible accuracy each time.


Getting the right air rifle scope is crucial to improving your accuracy and hardware’ integrity when out on the range or in the field. Yet, you can only reap these benefits when you choose a high-quality model. 

With this review and buying guide, you’re now prepared to get the most bang for your buck when shopping for air rifle scopes and hit all your targets when it’s time to hunt or practice.

People Also Ask

You may still have a few questions about air rifle scopes. This is understandable, as they’re not as popular as standard firearm scopes, so there’s not as much information available for them as more commonly used models. Here are a couple of FAQs that may help fill any knowledge gaps.

What magnification do you need for an air rifle scope?

For those shooting at close range (20-50 yd), 2-4x is perfect. Magnifications of 6-8x are best for moderate distances (50-80 yd, still considered to be “close range” by some), and 8-12x are suitable as you get farther away 80-150+ yd.

What is the best Nitro Piston Air Rifle?

Determining the best Nitro Piston air rifle is highly subjective and depends on your shooting needs, budget, etc. One of the most widely acclaimed models is the Crosman Nitro Venom, which comes with a complimentary scope.