It goes without saying that scopes can add a whole new dimension to your shooting experience.
The benefits include…
- Greater accuracy at any distance.
- The ability to sight and acquire long-range targets.
- Improved scorecards when visiting the shooting range.
- Increased confidence in your shooting and hunting abilities.
There is no denying you have a host of scope types to choose from, but in his article, we will be looking at some of the best 3-9×40 scopes out there.
This type of scope continues to increase in popularity, and as we progress, you will understand why.
What Does The ‘3-9×40’ Actually Mean…
Before digging into 8 of the best 3-9×40 scopes for the money, let’s clarify exactly what the figures mean:
- The ‘3’ relates to any scope carrying the lowest magnification setting – 3x
- The ‘9’ relates to the fact that this is the highest magnification setting – 9x
- The ‘40’ refers to the objective lens diameter – in this example, it is 40mm.
We have also compiled a list of things to look for in the best value 3-9×40 scopes. You will find this after we have completed the eight in-depth reviews.
There is an excellent choice of best quality 3-9×40 scopes available. Here’s our take on eight that are certainly worthy of consideration.
Top 8 Best 3-9×40 Scopes For Your Budget 2023 Reviews
1 Pinty 3-9X40 Red Green Rangefinder Illuminated Optical Rifle Scope
You may not have heard too much of Pinty yet, but with scope offerings such as this, you soon will! And it has to be considered as one of the best low priced 3-9×40 scopes available.
This no-nonsense scope will more than meet the needs of occasional hunters or those new to the sport. It is well-made and constructed from aircraft aluminum alloy. This makes it both fairly durable and versatile. The lens flip cover allows ease of maneuverability while also helping to protect the ocular and objective lenses.
Sound eye relief is yours, and this varies between 2.7-3.3 inches, while brightness levels cover five options on both the green and red illuminators.
The rangefinder reticle allows for fast, straightforward aim at various distances. Thanks to the nitrogen filled, O-ring sealed reticle you will achieve good performance in adverse weather conditions.
Included in the package are 2 x 1” scope rings. These are quick and easy to mount on 20mm Picatinny or Weaver rails.
It takes one CR2032 battery which is included and for this low price you also get a handy cleaning cloth!
- Excellent value.
- Not as long-lasting as other makes.
2 Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope
Bushnell is another highly rated best 3-9×40 scope manufacturer. Their Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope is a no-nonsense, no great frills scope at a good price.
All hunters know that dusk and dawn hunting is a great place to be! With the proprietary Bushnell DDB (Dusk & Dawn Brightness) coating, you are sure of clarity, sharpness, and excellent focus during low light conditions.
This one-piece designed tube has multi-coated lenses and is also fog, water, and shockproof.
You will be assured that this scope stands up to demanding hunting and weather conditions.
The multi-X reticle has 1/4 MOA adjustments for windage and elevation to help with target acquisition and accuracy. You can also opt for an illuminated reticle if that is a preference.
Just looking at previous purchaser reviews of this best quality 3-9×40 scope shows what good value for money it is. It is certainly one of the most popular in the Bushnell scope range.
- Multiple reticle choice.
- Illuminated reticle available.
- Reports of quality control issues.
3 UTG 3-9X40 1″ Hunter Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, w/ Rings
This UTG True Hunter scope comes with quality turrets that are lockable and resettable.
These target turrets offer premium zero locking as well as zero resetting. Such features assure precise, consistent 1/4 MOA per click adjustments for windage and elevation. It means scope manipulation is fast. Intuitive zero adjustment and subsequent retention take seconds to achieve.
The scope has the UTG patented EZ-TAP 36-Color Illumination Enhancing System complete with a 1-click illumination memory. Using this feature takes you back to your last setting.
With emerald coated lenses, you can be assured that scoping is highly effective regardless of environmental and light conditions.
This scope has a front bezel objective lens. It is adjustable and provides first-class parallax adjustment range from a mere 5 yards right up to infinity.
You really are spoilt for choice when it comes to reticle illumination colors and brightness intensity. This scope has a far greater range than the standard industry red or green.
Two other aspects many will appreciate are…
- The lens caps flip-open feature.
- The maximum strength scope rings that allow for quick detach.
The quality of construction is seen through a fully sealed main tube that has been 100% nitrogen filled. This makes this scope rain, fog, and shockproof.
This best 3-9×40 for the money scope does come complete with Picatinny/Weaver Rings. However, you should check the type of rings your weapon requires before ordering.
- Patented illumination enhancing system with a multi-color choice.
- Flip open lens caps.
- Maximum strength scope rings.
- Must know your rail ring size before ordering.
4 Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope
The second of our best Nikon 3-9×40 scopes. And it is very easy to understand its inclusion in our review.
Perfect for big game hunting. It will stand up to the rigors of use in heavy cover while still providing ease of zoom and magnification.
Let’s focus on just three excellent features of this scope, rest assured, there are many more…
The Nikon optical system is fully multi-coated, and from a lens perspective, it affords high performance. Light transmission is increased by up to 98%. This ensures you receive the maximum brightness available day or night.
Field adjustments are straightforward and easy thanks to the zero-reset turret feature. The zero-reset comes with a spring-loaded, adjustable knob. Simply rotate to your required ‘zero,’ and you are ready to re-engage when it is time to sight.
Nikon’s patented BDC Reticle really is a high-quality feature that cannot be dismissed. This is because, in a nutshell, it just makes hunting game that much easier.
You can adjust bullet drop up to 600 yards and have the ability to hold “dead-on” at numerous ranges. It enhances your long-range shooting experience thanks to the ballistic circles which are see-through. It also more than holds its own at shorter ranges.
- Excellent light transmission.
- Generous eye relief.
- Easy access, quick to use adjustment features.
- On the larger side.
- No mount ring included.
5 Simmons Truplex Riflescope (3-9X40, Matte)
If budget is a constraint, then you would be wise to look at one of the best value 3-9×40 scopes on the market today.
This Simmons Truplex model certainly fits into that range.
While this scope is certainly budget-friendly, there is no compromise on the build. It has been constructed with precision and accuracy in mind. These attributes are shown through its high popularity.
It can be used in various environmental conditions without a problem. The ‘TrueZero’ elevation along with the windage adjustment feature are worthy of mention.
These components utilize the Simmons audible-click 1/4 MOA Suregrip system. This means adjustment is really easy. Both features also have a very solid lock mechanism which means the scope will hold zero regardless of recoil.
It comes with a QTA eyepiece. Once again ease of focus adjustment while hunting makes target acquisition fast and will surely help with shooting accuracy.
With a light build and easy mount, this 8-point scope suits the needs of many. It is robust and has fog, water, and shockproof capabilities.
Having said this, it is not one of the best 3-9×40 scopes as far as light transmission is concerned. Hunters who regularly go on long hunting sessions, or who enjoy hunting at dusk would be wise to look elsewhere.
- Fingertip windage and elevation adjustments.
- Zero is held under stiff conditions.
- There are better light-gathering scopes out there.
6 Tasco Pronghorn 3-9x 40mm 30/30 Reticle Riflescope
Many may be aware, but for those who are not; Bushnell actually own Tasco. It is therefore little wonder that the quality of this scope, coming with a 30/30 reticle is above average. Couple that with the low price and you have a very solid scope package.
Here are three features that make up this well-received scope:
A solid one-piece build is yours. It is constructed from durable, high-quality material that has been tested. You will find accuracy of alignment and sound visual performance.
In terms of robustness, the scope has O-ring seals to prevent dirt, dust, and moisture from gathering inside. This allows for use in most types of weather conditions, and its rugged design can withstand recoil and impact.
Being nitrogen purged means there is resistance to internal fogging, and the scope is also waterproof.
You get positive click 1/4 MOA windage and elevation on this scope. These allow you to zero in, and hold your setting even under heavy recoil.
Multi-coated optics afford good light transmission and give a clear, bright image when sighting in on your target.
This best 3-9×40 scope certainly offers excellent value for money.
- Solid, well-reviewed scope.
- Very good value.
- Not designed for low light shooting.
- Scope rings need separate purchasing.
- Reticle has no range compensation markers.
7 Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
Our final review of the best 3-9×40 scopes out there is from another very prominent manufacturer. And you do not need us to tell you that Vortex Optics are up there with the best.
With a traditional 1” tube design, you will find the variable magnification gives clear sight of your target. And the aluminum alloy material used for this one-piece scope is of aircraft grade which ensures durability.
This very well-manufactured scope offers easy-adjust turrets dependent upon your environment and situation. It also has a parallax knob that allows for precise shooting accuracy. Turret-wise, the precision offered gives real advantages. Your ability to zero reset once you have sighted-in is a great feature. This is something that will certainly be appreciated when tracking prey and during repeated shooting bouts.
It also offers support for a wide range of reticles from sub-tension through angular value fit.
Another excellent feature is the haptic feedback. Any adjustments to windage or elevation via the dials receive audible ‘clicks’ once completed.
It saves you wasting valuable time checking things are in order. You will make these precise adjustments without taking your eyes off the target.
Those who use ‘heavier’ firearms will be aware of the issues surrounding recoil. The use of a single-piece constructed scope definitely helps to alleviate recoil. This best quality 3-9×40 scope scores very well in this area. And it will handle whatever recoil is thrown its way.
- Very solid scope across various environments.
- Handles any recoil.
- Short mounting area.
- Not the best for range use.
8 Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm BDC 1in Waterproof Matte Riflescope
Nikon scopes are rightly praised by the shooting community for their quality and features. This best Buckmaster-II 3-9×40 scope is a very good example of why.
This scope has been built to withstand extreme hunting conditions. It is fog proof, waterproof, and shockproof. Hunting conditions can get pretty tough, and this scope will stay with you all the way.
The Nikon Buckmaster II features the company’s ‘brighter anti-reflective system.’ This allows for up to 92% anti-reflection, meaning the scope provides high-level light transmission. Your shooting accuracy will be the same no matter what light conditions you are shooting in. This feature is particularly advantageous for clearly sighting and targeting your prey during dawn or dusk forays.
The scope also comes with a BDC reticle offering trajectory-compensation. This allows for fast, easy aiming.
Generous, consistent eye relief is yours regardless of the rifle or ammo you are using. Those shooters who opt for lightweight rifles with cartridges giving heavy recoil will certainly appreciate the leeway this gives.
While we feel this is one of the best quality 3×9-40 scopes out there, it may not be suitable for some bolt action rifles. This is because it offers limited mounting space on some bolt action weapons. If this is your weapon of choice, do check compatibility first.
- Perfect for low-light conditions.
- Highly durable.
- Limited lifetime warranty.
- May not be suitable for all rifles.
Best 3-9×40 Scopes Buyers Guide
Considerations To Sight In On!
Choosing one of the best 3-9×40 scopes out there can be bewildering. There is a huge selection that range in quality, features, and price. To help with that decision, here are some key factors you should look at from a personal perspective. By doing so, you will narrow down the choice to the best 3-9×40 scope for your needs.
Purchasing a solid, robustly constructed scope is something you must take into account. Having said that, your decision on how sturdy the scope needs to be should be dependent upon your hunting conditions.
The majority of 3-9×40 scopes out there will be fog and waterproof resistant. That is enough for many shooters. However, if you are regularly out in tough conditions, then shock-proofing must be a consideration. Those who live in environments with extreme temperatures should make sure their chosen scope will withstand these extremes.
Alternatively, if you are hunting in ‘standard’ conditions, or are an occasional hunter, then you do not need to go overboard on construction.
This is for those shooters who regularly use a high recoil rifle. You would be very wise to ensure good shock and recoil resistance capabilities of any best 3-9×40 scope.
Take into account scope dimensions in terms of length and weight against the rifle you will be using it on. Both need to be compatible in order to ensure your shooting abilities are not hampered.
What Scope Features Suit Your Style?
Here you should be looking at four primary issues:
When it comes to zoom and resolutions, you can opt to go for digital or optical.
What are the benefits of each?
- A digital zoom helps improve the image, but you compromise on resolution.
- An optical zoom allows image magnification without too much effect on resolution.
Opting for a scope that allows both of these zoom qualities is the way to go. You then couple this with a good quality reticle that affords accuracy and precision.
What parallax should you go for?
A standard parallax for 3-9×40 scopes is about 50 yards. Look for a scope offering this or very close to it, and you will not go far wrong.
This is an obvious consideration. It largely depends on:
- Justifying the amount a scope will cost against use.
- How often you use your weapon.
- Conditions you usually encounter.
There is no need to opt for one of the best, but most expensive 3-9×40 scopes if you don’t have regular opportunities to use your weapon. Conversely, if you are a regular hunter and often encounter rough terrain then take the opposite tack. You would be wise to invest more in your chosen scope; otherwise replacement could well become a regular occurrence.
Weigh up what type of user you are. What are the usual weather conditions you go out in? Do you do a lot of poor-light hunting – i.e., at Dawn and Dusk? What terrain do you cover?
Make a full list of important scope considerations and don’t hesitate to get the opinion of more experienced hunters. By defining these personal parameters, you will quickly narrow down your preferred 3-9×40 scope choice.
So What Are The Best 3-9×40 Scopes?
It’s our duty to give you recommendations! So, in our best reviewed 3-9×40 scopes, we feel the need to split this into two categories.
Occasional users and those just starting out will get excellent value from the…
You may not have heard too much about Pinty, but with scopes like this, you surely will soon.
However, for seasoned hunters, those who love to get out regularly, and anyone favoring dusk and dawn shooting excitement, we cannot look past the truly tried and trusted…
Nikon has been getting it right in the optics industry for over 90 years now. This best quality 3-9×40 scope shows exactly why they are still up there with the best.