5 Best Handgun Scopes

Scopes are most commonly associated with rifles and snipers. As a matter of fact, a handgun will most likely be the last weapon on your mind when you hear about scopes, but there are best handgun scopes which complement a handgun.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
1,200 Reviews
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope – V-Plex Reticle
  • The 2-7×32 Crossfire II Rim fire riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The V-Plex reticle is a popular all-purpose hunting reticle intended for a variety of hunting applications.

However, because of the added advantages that a scope offers to rifle users and snipers, pistols and other handguns now use scopes too

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A handgun scope however is different from a rifle scope. Before you go purchasing a scope for your handgun, you have to familiarise yourself with the features and the different types of scope. 

In case you do not have the time to go through the whole article, we have compiled a list of our top three choice picks of the best handgun scopes. These scopes are top-notch and offer a lot of benefits.

Top 3 Best Handgun Scopes

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope – V-Plex Reticle
Anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses provide bright and clear views for the user.
Nikon 8470 Force XR 2x20mm Pistol Scope, Nikoplex reticle, Matte
Nikon 8470 Force XR 2x20mm Pistol Scope, Nikoplex reticle, Matte
Long Eye Relief; Will hold up to the strongest recoil (field tested against the SandW 500)

You need not fear though, we’ve got you. Here, we have done the hard work and picked out the top five handgun scopes.

5 Best Handgun Scopes (Ranked And Reviewed)

1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
1,200 Reviews
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope – V-Plex Reticle
  • The 2-7×32 Crossfire II Rim fire riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The V-Plex reticle is a popular all-purpose hunting reticle intended for a variety of hunting applications.
  • With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box, you’ll be able to quickly get a sight picture and acquire your target. The fast focus eyepiece allows quick and easy reticle focusing.


  • Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 1.5 Pounds
  • Material: Aluminum

Which scope list is complete without a Vortex scope? The Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescope is an upgrade on its predecessor, the Crossfire II. It has completely multi-coated optics which helps with its light transmission, this provides a crystal image of your target thus giving you a chance at an accurate and precise shot. 

Its fast focus eyepiece is also efficient at quick target acquisition, it allows you to identify your target with ease. It also offers a zero turret adjustment which allows you to make a fast and easy adjustment of the windage and elevation turrets. 

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

With the eye relief this scope possesses, you do not have to worry about straining your eyes while trying to aim at your target. It also has sufficient magnification for a handgun scope, you can zoom in to your targets and take precise shots with ease. 

This scope has a second focal plane reticle which is quite amazing for target acquisition. It not only offers you a clear and bright image of your target, but as you magnify or zoom into your target, it does not visually change the size but rather maintains a clear and bright image of the target. 

Not to leave out its durability, this scope is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and will stand the test of time even under harsh conditions. It is also waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof thus increasing its durability and ensuring it is not a weak scope that cannot endure tough situations. 


2. Nikon 8470 Force XR 2x20mm Pistol Scope

Nikon 8470 Force XR 2x20mm Pistol Scope, Nikoplex reticle, Matte
26 Reviews
Nikon 8470 Force XR 2x20mm Pistol Scope, Nikoplex reticle, Matte
  • Long Eye Relief
  • Will hold up to the strongest recoil (field tested against the SandW 500)


  • Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 0.46 Pounds
  • Material: Aluminum

The Nikon Force Pistol Scope is one to be desired, it packs all the adequate features of a scope, that too in sufficient quantities. Its ultra-clear coat allows up to 95 percent light transmission. This guarantees a clear bright image whenever you are using this scope. Even if you find yourself in a bad lighting condition or if you find yourself hunting at night, this scope will still offer the required light to take down your target. 

Its reticle is the efficient Nikon’s Nikoplex reticle, it helps with fast target acquisition while also offering a precise and accurate shot at your target. This scope a quick focus eyepiece, it allows you to comfortably aim at your target without straining your eyes. Its eye relief is another perk of this scope, you need not strain your eye or press your eye to this scope before being able to acquire your target. 

Nikon 8470 Force XR 2x20mm Pistol Scope

This scope is also very strong and durable, manufactured with recoil-proof construction aluminum, this scope was designed to withstand demanding handgun hunters and harsh conditions. It is also waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof, thus, ensuring its ability to survive even in unfavorable circumstances. 


3. Leupold FX-II Handgun Scope


  • Dimensions: 14 x 3.3 x 2.8 inches
  • Weight: 1 Pound
  • Material: Aluminum

An extremely powerful handgun scope, the Leupold FX-II Scope is a top-notch scope. Powered by the Leupold Twilight Max Light Management System, this scope offers incredible light early in the morning and also at dusk when the lighting conditions are not favorable. It offers you an advantage even when the light does not favor you. With the Leupold FX-II Scope, you are guaranteed a bright and clear image irrespective of the lighting conditions. 

It has a duplex reticle which offers you a quick and accurate aim. It is designed to allow you to scout your target easily without any fuss. Its fixed 4x magnification complements this reticle, both work together to offer you a quick and precise shot at your target. 

Leupold FX-II Handgun Scope

The durability of this scope is also not in question, it can survive harsh conditions and is immune to elements such as water and shock. It has also been nitrogen-filled to make sure that it is fogproof. This scope is guaranteed to maintain its performance even in terrible conditions or under harsh weather. 

Another impressive feature is its eye relief, it stands at 18 inches. This allows you to comfortably aim your target without straining your eyes. Its adjustments are also pretty easy to make. This scope is also lightweight and easy to carry, it is very easy to conceal while hunting in the wild. 


4. Bushnell Trophy Handgun Scope

Bushnell Trophy Handgun Scope with Multi-X Reticle
32 Reviews
Bushnell Trophy Handgun Scope with Multi-X Reticle
  • Fully multi-coated optics and rain guard HD offer 91% light transmission in any weather
  • 100% waterproof, Fog proof and shockproof 1 inch one-piece tube construction with integrated saddle


  • Dimensions: 16.4 x 3.5 x 2.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.69 Pounds
  • Material: Aluminum

A quality and top-notch handgun scope, this scope has a great optics system. Its optics system consists of fully multi-coated optics and rain guard HD lens coating. This offers a shooter the light he needs to aim at his target irrespective of the lighting conditions. Even if it is dusk or quite dark, this scope will still come through for you and give you the necessary clarity to take out your target. 

Also present is a fast-focus eyepiece which allows you to quickly ascertain your target without any fuss. Its elevation, windage, and parallax adjustments are also quite easy to make, you can aim and adjust quickly without taking your eyes off your target. 

Bushnell Trophy Handgun Scope

This scope also has an incredible Multi-X reticle, this offers you an incredible aim at your target. You are guaranteed a successful and precise shot with this reticle. Now factor in its 2x to 7x variable magnification, this scope is very good for accurate and precise shots. It makes it harder for you to miss. 

Its eye relief also allows you to aim at your target for a long time without straining your eyes. It has a 20-inch eye relief which is good for extended mounting capability. 

Also guaranteed is the ability of this scope to last for a long time, it is durable and will serve you for a very long time without reducing its performance. It is also one hundred percent fogproof, shockproof and waterproof. 



  • Dimensions: 14.50 x 3.50 x 3.50 Inches
  • Weight: 1.125 lb
  • Material: Aluminum

This is a scope that has an incredible optics system. The Burris Ballistic Plex Pistol Scope comes with a 32 mm clear objective lens and high-grade optical glass. This ensures bright and clear optics while you aim at your target. Its clarity helps you take out your target with efficiency and accuracy. 

It has a 2x 7x magnification range which is okay for a handgun scope. This allows you to bring your target into proximity thus ensuring a precise shot. It also offers eye relief to shooters, you need not strain your eyes while aiming. It has a strong eye relief of 10-20 inches. 

Burris Handgun 2-7x32mm

The Burris Pistol Scope makes use of a Ballistic Plex Reticle, a simple but highly effective reticle. The ballistic Plex reticle offers you accurate and precise aim, it also helps with bullet dropping. It also offers quick target acquisition for easy and fast kills. 

This scope is also durable, it can endure and survive in harsh and extreme conditions without getting damaged. It is solidly constructed and was designed for heavy and demanding use. It is also immune to harsh weather conditions, it is waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof. You have nothing to fear while using this scope even in extreme weather conditions. 


Important Features to Consider Before Buying a Handgun Scope

Handgun scopes are not like traditional scopes, they are quite different from rifle scopes especially. Before you buy a handgun scope, you have to take into consideration some features which are important for close-range combat. 

  • Lens Durability: The lens of a scope is a very important part of the scope, it will not be out of place to say it is the most important part of a scope. It is the lens that offers you a view of your target. The lens of a handgun scope should be durable, resilient, and able to withstand harsh conditions. 

When looking to buy a handgun scope, you should ensure that the lens is immune to harsh and extreme conditions. The lens should be waterproof so that while hunting in the rain, the lens does not get damaged. It should also be fogproof so that even in extreme conditions, you are still able to use your scope without it suffering any damage. 

Look out for scopes that have scratch-resistant lenses too, this guarantees a clear and right view of your target. Also, take into consideration the construction and build of the scope, a scope should be manufactured with quality and strong materials. 

  • Weight of the Scope: An handgun unlike rifles and sniper is a small weapon, thus, the scope should also not be large. You don’t want a scope that is bigger or heavier than the gun itself. The common size of handgun scopes is between the range of 20mm and 32mm. 

A lightweight scope would be of great benefit while hunting with a handgun, it would give you the liberty of quick and easy movement. 

  • Reticle: The reticle is equally an important part of a handgun scope, it allows you to take accurate and precise shots easily. There are several scopes with different types of reticles. The most common kinds of reticles are cross reticles, marked reticles, and fully marked reticles. The fully marked reticle is the most complex among them all. 

Each reticle has its advantage and perks and each is suitable for different purposes. You can select the scope with a reticle that suits your purpose. The duplex and ballistic plex reticles are however among the best reticles you can choose. They are pretty efficient and suitable.

  • Eye Relief: Eye relief in scopes refers to the distance at which a shooter will look through the lens. It helps prevent eye strain. A handgun scope with eye relief between 15 and 30 inches is suitable.

This is because pistols and handguns generally have a strong recoil, thus, your eye mustn’t bethem very close to the gun while shooting. The minimum eye relief a handgun scope should possess is 9 inches. Anything below that will not be suitable and can reduce your shooting performance. 

  • Magnification: The magnification settings of a scope is another feature to consider before buying a scope. However, because handguns are rarely used for long-range shooting, it is not a very important feature. 

However, it can come in handy, a scope with a mid-level magnification power is quite suitable for a handgun. There are also two types of magnification in scopes, fixed and variable magnification. 

Fixed magnification is quite easy to use as it has been present and cannot be changed. However, it means you cannot adjust it to suit your demands. Variable magnification however can be changed or adjusted, you can zoom in or out according to your demands. However, the downside is that it makes scopes heavier and is quite expensive. 

  • Light and Clarity: The main advantage a scope offers is to provide light and clarity of view to shooters. Some scopes offer several features which give you a bright and clear view of your target. Features such as anti-glare and low-light lenses give you a crystal clear view of your target. 

Thus, you should look out for these features while searching for the handgun scope of your choice. For instance, the Hi-Lume from Burris or the Twilight Management System from Leupold are excellent features that will give you an advantage while shooting or hunting. 

Perks of Using a Scope with your Handgun

A handgun scope is of several advantages to shooters, some of these advantages include:

  • Accuracy and Precision: A scope can help improve the accuracy and precision of a handgun, although not as much as that of a rifle or a sniper. A scope, due to its features, helps a shooter deliver precise and accurate shots. 
  • It improves a Shooter’s Skills: A scope can help improve the skills of a shooter, with a scope, the chance of hitting the bulls-eye is increased thus helping a shooter harness his shooting skills. 
  • It improves Long Range Shooting: A scope helps magnify images by bringing it closer to the shooter. This helps with long-range shooting by allowing shooters to see their targets nearby. This way, they are more likely to hit the target. 
  • It offers Clarity and Light in Low Lighting Conditions: A scope helps turn a disadvantage into an advantage. For instance, hunting during dusk or in low lighting conditions, a scope offers a clear and bright view such that a hunter need not worry about the low lighting conditions. 

Instead, all he needs to worry about is how to carry his game home because the scope would provide the light he needs. 


Yes, you can put a scope on a pistol. 

The Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope offers the best eye relief among the scopes reviewed here. 

Several pistol scopes are both good and effective, but our choice would be the Nikon 8470 Force XR 2x20mm Pistol Scope.


The perfect scope would fully complement a handgun, as a matter of fact, it would help improve the performance of the handgun and ensure its owner reaps the full benefits. 

Choosing the best handgun scope is however quite difficult as there is an abundance of scopes to choose from, however, choosing the right scope would offer you a lot of benefits. This is why we have taken the burden of reviewing the best scopes on ourselves. 

Select the best scope that fits your purpose while taking into consideration the features and strengths of each. I’m sure you would be happy you made the right choice. 

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .

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