Best Scope for SKS – 2021 Complete Guide

The SKS rifle is a highly sought-after storied piece of history from the golden age of Soviet weapons. They’re a bit dated, and there are some things owners will want to do to maximize the accuracy of their SKS. 

Today, we’re taking a closer look at everything you’ll need to know about finding the best scope for your SKS. 

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best overall
  • Modular base allows for four different mounting heights for enhanced versatility
  • One of the lightest and most compact options on the market
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  • Offers 1-6x magnification for versatility in the field or when hunting
  • Lightweight aircraft aluminum body
  • XD multi-coated glass for precision optical quality
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  • Best value for the money
  • Built on Leapers’ True Strength platform for unparalleled durability and reliability
  • Ideal for mid-range shooting with 3-9x magnification
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  • Multi-coated emerald glass for superior optical quality
  • Illuminated 36-color reticle provides ideal visibility in any light condition
  • Built on the True Strength platform
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  • Illuminated reticle with 12 brightness settings
  • Low profile turrets with caps to prevent unwanted changes to settings
  • Offers up to 4x magnification, ideal for hunting
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  • Perhaps the most affordable option on the market
  • Four different reticle patterns in two colors
  • Unique tubeless design
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What Purpose Does a Scope for SKS Serve? 

While they were initially issued as a combat weapon by many European countries, the SKS rifle can serve a broad range of uses when equipped with a proper scope. 

Hunting 

Since SKS rifles are lightweight, fairly accurate, and affordable, they make a solid choice as a hunting weapon. But without a scope, the effectiveness of this rifle as a hunting weapon is significantly reduced.

Recreation 

There’s a reason why the SKS is still such a popular rifle; they’re awful fun to shoot. While you can always expect a fun day on the range when shooting an SKS, adding a scope to your rifle will allow you to practice accuracy at greater distances.

Emergency Gear

These rifles are reliable and affordable, making them an ideal choice to stash away with other emergency essentials. You’ll want to be ready for anything in the event of an emergency, and adding a scope to your rifle will increase the versatility and effectiveness of the gun. 

What to Look for When Buying a Scope for SKS

Consider these different attributes and features below when choosing, and you’ll have no trouble selecting the best scope for your SKS.

Magnification

The magnification level of a riflescope is an indication of the range that it’s effective at. For an SKS rifle that was intended for short and mid-range applications, purchasing a high-powered scope intended for long-range will be a waste of money, as you’ll always have accuracy issues with the gun. 

Instead, look for a scope designed with low to moderate magnification, which will be a much better fit for your SKS.

Optical Quality

Most scope manufacturers go to great lengths to maximize their lenses’ optical quality with various coatings and lens materials. The optics of a rifle scope can dramatically affect how accurate and effective the scope will be, so always go with a model that offers premium optics and durable multi-coated lenses.

Objective Lens

The size of the objective lens will indicate the size of the scope’s largest opening. A larger objective lens lets in more light, which provides a clearer image for the shooter. But that doesn’t mean you’ll want to go with the largest objective lens possible. 

Larger lenses mean heavier scopes, so you’ll need to strike a balance between the size of the scope and how comfortable it is for you to shoot.

Reticle

The reticle is the feature of a scope that assists you in sighting a target. There are various reticles on the market, from basic mil-spec options to heavily advanced reticles that provide windage and bullet drop compensation for long-range applications. 

Choosing a reticle is mostly a matter of preference. Most SKS owners prefer a simple red dot or cross configuration since the rifle doesn’t have much long-range application.

Review of the Best SKS Scopes

Here are some of the best and most popular options on the market. 

Top Pick

Vortex Optics Sparc II Red Dot Sight – 2 MOA Dot

Vortex Optics Sparc II Red Dot Sight - 2 MOA Dot

PROS

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love that this scope checks so many different boxes for them. It’s compact and unobtrusive so that it won’t interfere with your iron sight. Plus, since it’s so small, there’s plenty of extra room for additional accessories, such as a magnifier. 

Why It Stands Out to Us

The SPARC II from Vortex is compact, built tough, and perfect for various applications. It offers an illuminated red dot sight and 1x magnification, and it can provide shooters with a tremendous accuracy upgrade. 

This scope is also straightforward to mount, and it’s quite versatile, so you may want to swap it between other guns you own as well.

Bottom Line

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a scope that’s easier to install, built better, or offers more transparent optics than this competent scope from Vortex Optics. 

Runner Up

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 Riflescope

PROS

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report

Owners of the Strike Eagle love the heavyweight build quality and superior optics of this scope. It lives up to Vortex’s reputation for quality, and it offers a variety of magnifications, making it a solid choice for everything you’d apply your SKS to.

Why It Stands Out to Us

Like other Vortex scopes, the Strike Eagle offers impressive optics, thanks to its ultra-low dispersion glass and durable multi-coated lens finishes. Whether you’re on 1x or 6x magnification, you’ll enjoy a sharp image with crisp contrast and a dead accurate illuminated reticle. 

Bottom Line

For shooters looking for an exceptionally versatile scope that’s built to stand up to anything, the Strike Eagle is worth a closer look. It’s well designed, relatively lightweight, and ideal for hunting, the range, or anything in between.

Best Budget Option

Leapers UTG BugBuster 3-9×32 Riflescope

PROS

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report

At this price, shooters love the BugBuster UTG scope from Leapers. This versatile scope offers a variety of magnifications, making it ideal for short and mid-range applications. While it looks and feels well built, it’s also relatively light, so it won’t affect how your rifle feels or shoots. 

Why It Stands Out to Us

The first thing you notice about the BugBuster is its incredible price. At under $100, it’s hard to go wrong with the BugBuster. While this scope doesn’t offer the dead-on accuracy of pricier models, it does provide a notable upgrade for SKS rifles, and it still provides fairly good optical quality given its sub-$100 price tag.

Bottom Line

It’s tough for rifle enthusiasts on a budget to beat this well-made and affordable scope from Leapers. The BugBuster offers versatility, clear optics, and second-to-none reliability, and it’s a solid scope for any SKS owner. 

Leapers UTG 4-16×44 Compact Scope

PROS

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report

This 4-16x scope from Leapers impresses users with its optical quality given its low price. Shooters are also fans of the 36-color reticle, which allows you to select the perfect reticle for your shooting conditions easily.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The first thing you notice about this scope from Leapers is the impressive optical quality, considering how affordable it is. This scope can easily hold its own with models costing twice as much. It’s a little on the heavy side, but if you can stand the added weight of this 21-ounce scope, you’ll be rewarded with crystal clear optics at any magnification.

Bottom Line

Affordable, well made, and with some cool bells and whistles that are sure to delight tech-minded shooters, this scope from Leapers is a significant upgrade for SKS fans.

Primary Arms 1-4x24mm Illuminated Riflescope

PROS

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report

Owners of this 1-4x magnification scope from Primary Arms are thrilled by this scope’s fit and finish. It offers a low profile design, and it doesn’t add much weight to the scope. The duplex red dot SFP reticle stays consistent at any magnification, and users love the overall design.

Why It Stands Out to Us

This Primary Arms scope offers a solid blend of value and performance, and its sleek shape looks great when mounted to an SKS or any other compatible rifle, for that matter. The optical quality could be slightly better, but it feels like nitpicking to complain about the optics on a scope this affordable. 

The turrets are easy to adjust and offer smooth and reliable performance. There are integrated caps to keep you from making unwanted changes to your settings. The reticle is useful, versatile, and offers 12 different brightness modes, so you’ll have no trouble sighting targets even in darkness.

Bottom Line

An affordable scope that performs exceptionally well when mounted to an SKS, this Primary Arms model is capable, reliable, and well suited to hunting and practicing at the range.

CVLIFE 1X22X33 Red Green Dot Gun Sight Scope

CVLIFE 1X22X33 Red Green Dot Gun Sight Riflescope Reflex Sight for 20mm Rail

PROS

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report

Owners of this affordable sight from CVLIFE feel they’ve provided their SKS with a dramatic upgrade over a standard iron sight. People also love how versatile this scope is, as it can easily be mounted to any gun with a 20mm rail.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The first thing you notice about this scope from CVLIFE is the price. For less than $50, what can you expect from a scope? The answer is a lot, apparently. This sight offers a dramatic upgrade over an iron sight, and it’s got some added bells and whistles that make this unique sight applicable in virtually any shooting scenario. 

The illuminated reticle offers two different colors and five brightness settings, and shooters can choose between four different reticle styles, so practically everyone can find the ideal settings for them.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an essential upgrade to the functionality of your SKS, look no further than this lightweight and affordable illuminated sight from CVLIFE. It doesn’t offer the premier optical quality or magnification of the other scopes on our list, but it’s still a solid option to upgrade your rifle. 

Advantages of Investing in a Quality Scope for SKS

Why should you include one on your SKS? Here are the top reasons. 

Increases Accuracy

The lack of a scope has always handicapped SKS rifles, and shooters were forced to rely on a standard iron sight to dial in a target. With a scope, it’s considerably easier for the shooter to accurately lock-in and engage the target. 

Improves Range

The SKS series was manufactured for intermediate-range, and it was never intended to be a long-range rifle. But, mounting a scope can significantly maximize the range of this rifle, allowing you to accurately engage targets at much greater distances than you’d be able to using only the iron sight. 

Easy to Install

In the past, the few scopes on the market that you could make work with an SKS were touch-and-go at best. Either they mounted awkwardly, wouldn’t hold zero, or required professional gunsmithing, and it was typically more trouble than it was worth. 

These days, there are several compatible scopes that you can easily install on your SKS quickly and easily.

Conclusion

Investing in one of the best scopes for SKS rifles is a solid choice for SKS owners, and it can dramatically increase the accuracy and range of your classic gun. The options on our list above represent the cream of the crop, and you should evaluate each scope to decide which model is the best choice for you. 

Joseph Fox

Joseph Fox

Joseph Fox writes on a variety of topics ranging from reloading ammunition to gun cleaning. He has been featured on various publications like thetruthaboutguns, Sofrep & many more. Joseph is also the founder of Gunloading, where he reviews different types of reloading & firearm products available on the market.