The .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge has some history. This rimless, bottleneck, centerfire rifle cartridge was developed throughout the 1980s, primarily for military use because of its high-powered, long-range abilities.
Then, since it became popular in the Afghan and Iraqi wars, this round became much more popular and widely available in the civilian realm.
So, which scopes work best with it?
There are countless articles out there listing their top fives and tens, without much thought. But we’ve made sure to list eight of the actual best scopes for .338 Lapua mag on the market right now – at least in our humble opinion.
We’ll give you key features, pros and cons, as well as the main reasons why each scope will suit this magnificent round.
So let’s get straight to it and fire through each choice…
Top 8 Best Scopes for .338 Lapua Mags in 2023 Reviews
1 Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescopes – Best Illuminated Reticle Scope for .338 Lapua Mag
First on our list of best scopes for .338 Lapua Mag is the Vortex Optics Crossfire II. It comes with an adjustable objective, and it’s a second focal plane riflescope. It comes with either a Dead-Hold BDC Reticle, plus V-Brite Illuminated and V-Plex options.
If you choose the V-Brite Reticle, you’ll find it uses the same format as the V-Plex, and it produces a brightly illuminated center dot for targeting in lowlight environments.
The eye relief is very long. And the eye box is super forgiving so that you can quickly acquire targets in a moment’s notice. Additionally, the fast-focus eyepiece lets you find targets much quicker than with your average scope.
You also benefit from capped reset turrets for windage and elevation. And they are finger adjustable, with precise MOA clicks. As well, the adjustments can be easily reset to zero after sighting in.
Multi-coated lenses, and shockproof…
The multi-coated lenses are anti-reflective and provide pristine visuals, ideal for hunting or target shooting. Also, the construction is a 30mm single tube made from aircraft-grade aluminum. This gives it excellent shockproof qualities and makes it exceptionally durable out in the field.
Furthermore, the scope has been O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged to make it both waterproof and fog-proof.
- Illuminated reticle.
- Long eye relief.
- Forgiving eye box.
- Fast-focus eyepiece.
- 0.50 MOA click adjustments.
- Resets to zero.
- Durable/weatherproof construction.
- Match competition shooters might want smaller adjustment increments.
2 Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Riflescopes – Most Versatile Scope for .338 Lapua Mag
Next up, we’re looking at the Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescope. We’re checking out the VMR-1 (MOA) version, though there is also a VMR-1 (MRAD) available.
This MOA model is perfect for shooters who want to make accurate holds at extended ranges. The premium fully multi-coated lenses give you extra-low dispersion, color fidelity, and a beautiful resolution to target long-range. The XR coatings allow for excellent light transmission, and the Armortek coating is there to protect the lenses.
You can choose between a 4-16x magnification with a 44mm objective. Or there’s also a 6-24x magnification option, with a larger 50mm objective lens. And, the exposed target-style turrets are made for repeatable and very precise finger-click adjustments.
You also benefit from a CRS Zero Stop that allows for a reliable return to zero capabilities after sighting in.
Versatile, as well as water and fog proof…
The 4x zoom version that we’re looking at gives you great versatility with .338 Lapua rounds. Plus, there is side parallax available to use and a fast-focus eyepiece for acquiring targets quickly.
Lastly, it’s good to know that this scope is O-ring sealed and argon purged for waterproof and fog-proof performance. Also, the one-piece tube design makes this scope incredibly sturdy for tactical use, hunting, or targeting shooting.
- Accurate long-range holds.
- Fully multi-coated lenses.
- XR coatings.
- Armortek coatings.
- CRS Zero Stop function.
- Side parallax.
- O-ring sealed, and argon purged.
- May take some time getting used to the parallax adjustment.
3 Steiner T5Xi 5-25x 56mm Riflescope – Best Competition Scope for .338 Lapua Mag
The Steiner T5Xi 5-25x 56mm Riflescope uses a Special Competition Reticle, and it’s designed for hunting and competition use. The oversized one-piece 34mm tube gives it solid strength, reliability, and durability out in the field.
The riflescope also offers you an extended illumination area, and there are windage holdover lines to make use of for accurate targeting. Also, the 1/10-mil ranging lines built-in make your ranging activities very precise.
What’s more, you can utilize the quick-functioning and intuitive throw lever, which allows you to easily make magnifications in the spur of the moment. Plus, the included Tenebraex lens covers protect your lenses from dust and moisture. As well, the diopter Adjustment Range is +2 to -3.
You also benefit from a second rotation indicator. This means that after your first 120 clicks, the mil numbers on the scale change automatically, preventing you from getting lost on the dial.
Lastly, one final benefit is that you get a Heritage Warranty included in the package. This means the company will repair or replace a defective scope at no charge for the lifetime of the scope. However, it does not cover damage, loss, or theft.
- Special Competition reticle.
- 34mm one-piece tube.
- Throw lever magnification.
- Tenebraex lens covers.
- Second rotation indicator.
- Lifetime Heritage Warranty.
- Warranty does not cover damage, loss, or theft.
4 Leupold VX-3i LRP Focus TMOA Riflescope – Best Long Range Scope for .338 Lapua Mag
Moving on, let’s check out this super impressive Leupold Riflescope. It comes with their high-performance TMOA Reticle. It has a matte black finish to prevent glare, and the LRP stands for Long Range Performance.
The Leupold VX-3i LRP is made to produce match-grade accuracy at long distances. It’s also of punish-tested design, which means the scope will be very durable and tough out in the field. The windage and elevation adjustments are in precise 1/4 MOA clicks, and you also get side parallax. Plus, the lenses are scratch-resistant to mil-spec standards, and the construction is ultra-lightweight.
Bear in mind that the scope can deal with a variety of ranges with its versatile 3:1 zoom ratio erector system. Also, the scope is completely waterproof and fog-proof, so it should work great in all weather conditions.
Furthermore, there’s an integrated Twilight Max Management System built-in, which gives you an extra 20 minutes of shooting light. It also eliminates glare and gives you premium edge-to-edge lens clarity.
Lastly, this Leupold also incorporates a throw lever into its design. This lets you make extremely quick magnification changes, when needed, in the heat of the moment. Plus, it uses a rear focal plane (RFP) reticle so that you will only minimally cover your target at long-range – making for better overall accuracy.
- TMOA RFP reticle.
- Match-grade accuracy.
- Rigorously tested.
- Lightweight design.
- Twilight Max Management System.
- Throw lever built-in.
- Waterproof and fog-proof.
- You might not require a scope for long-range accuracy.
5 Nightforce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope – Best Value for the Money Scope for .338 Lapua Mag
The Nightforce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope is the most powerful in its category. It’s flexible for short and long-range requirements. It is also well-suited for hunting big game, varmints, or making tight groups down at the range.
The stand out feature with this scope is the clear, crisp, and high color contrast visuals it produces. This is also said to be true at every magnification setting.
It incorporates ZeroSet technology, which means you can return to zero very easily after dialing in adjustments. The adjustments include windage and elevation, with 1/4 MOA clicks and an 80 MOA adjustment range. There’s also side parallax added into the mix.
Withstands heavy recoil…
This Nightforce scope can handle heavy recoils, so it’s well suited to the .338 round. And, it’s worth pointing out that this is a very affordable scope option when you compare it to other brand competitors that offer a similar setup.
It’s a second focal plane riflescope that should suit a lot of hunters. And there are some reticle options to check out. For US customers, you can get the MOAR 20 MOA, with center illumination or without. It features 1 MOA elevation and windage markings.
Plus, you get 125 MOA lines, which make hold-offs range finding much easier for smaller long-range targets.
- Short to long-range flexibility.
- Ideal for hunting.
- ZeroSet technology.
- 1/4 MOA clicks.
- 80 MOA adjustment range.
- Affordable option.
- MOAR 20 MOA Reticle.
- There is a Forceplex reticle option, but it is only sold in Europe.
6 Trijicon AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope – Best Tactical Scope for .338 Lapua Mag
Here we have the Trijicon AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope. It comes in black and weighs in at just 29.6 ounces. It’s a second focal plane riflescope, and it uses a large 50mm objective lens along with a 30mm tube diameter.
Find your target fast…
One great aspect of this scope is the Easy-Focus Eyepiece, which lets you adjust magnification rapidly to find your target. Furthermore, the in-built diopter means that any shooter can match their eye prescription – meaning clear visuals for all!
The illumination is battery-free and is always on because Tritium and fiber optics share the job of lighting up your visuals. These allow you to aim confidently in any lighting conditions you may encounter.
There’s also a repositionable magnification lever added to this setup, and the scope is made very adaptable for various rifle platforms and calibers. So there should be absolutely no issues with .338 Lapua mags.
Adjust with ease…
You can confidently make precise windage and elevation adjustments with no tools needed. The adjustments are very generous too. Plus, the design is heavily durable and super tough, meeting mil-specs standards so that it can handle extended and hard use out in the field.
The scope uses multi-coated anti-reflective broadband glass. So you get an exceptionally clear, crisp, and high color contrasted image, every time. As well, it’s great that you can use a both-eyes-open style of shooting technique for faster engagement.
- Easy-Focus Eyepiece.
- Built-in diopter.
- Battery-free illumination.
- Magnification lever.
- No-tools needed adjustments.
- Multi-coated broadband glass.
- Both-eyes-open shooting.
- The illumination won’t be as bright as some battery-powered scope options.
7 Monstrum G3 6-24x50mm Riflescope – Best Lightweight Scope for .338 Lapua Mag
Now we’re looking at the Monstrum G3 riflescope, with 6-24x magnification and a 50mm objective lens. It uses a first focal plane reticle design and weighs in at a lightweight 1.875 pounds.
It’s the 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum that makes it so lightweight, as well as ruggedly strong and durable. It’s also been O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged to ensure that no fogging effects or water can enter into the scope.
The windage and elevation adjustments can be smoothly and accurately dialed in at 1/4 increments, and there’s an 80 MOA adjustment range to play with. Also, the scope’s focus range is from 1,500 yards to infinity.
Also, you get fully multi-coated lenses that reveal crisp and sharp imagery and excellent color contrast. The newly designed reticle can be illuminated in red for use in lowlight conditions or nighttime shooting. Plus, it allows for faster range estimation and holdover corrections.
A fully loaded package…
This scope has a MIL-STD 8625 type III hard anodized outer finish. The package also includes two heavy-duty medium profile 30mm scope rings, a detachable anti-reflective honeycomb filter sunshade, and a set of spring-loaded flip-up lens covers. The scope uses a CR2032 3V battery for illumination, which is included.
- Lightweight design.
- 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum.
- MIL-STD 8625 type III hard anodized.
- 1/4 MOA clicks.
- 80 MOA adjustment range.
- Multi-coated lenses.
- Illuminated reticle.
- The parallax might not work so well at longer ranges.
8 Primary Arms Platinum Series 6-30x56mm FFP Riflescope – Best Beginners Scope for .338 Lapua Mag
Last on our list is the Primary Arms Platinum Series 6-30x56mm FFP Riflescope. It comes with flip-up lens caps and a sunshade. The glass is also excellent, giving you enhanced clarity. It’s made in Japan.
This is an FFP scope…
The first focal plane reticle (FFP) means that your target will stay true at every magnification. This is great for long-range targeting, and the scope sights in quickly at any magnification – making it ideal for hunters.
The is a total of 11 red brightness settings to run through for various lowlight conditions. The first two brightness settings are night-vision compatible too. Plus, you get audible clicks on the adjustments, and the knobs have to be pulled out first before you can start dialing in. As well, the turrets are lockable and can be reset to zero.
Rugged and reliable…
The construction is extremely rugged. And a 34mm single-piece tube is used to ensure long-lasting durability and strength. Additionally, it’s been hard-coat anodized to better prevent from corrosion and scratches affecting the scope. The scope is waterproof, fog proof and shock-resistant too.
Finally, it’s good to know that you gain a limited lifetime warranty when you purchase this truly long-range capable scope design.
- High-quality Japanese-made glass.
- Heavy-duty construction.
- 11 brightness settings.
- Night vision enabled.
- Lockable/resettable turrets.
- Includes sunshade and lens caps.
- Long-range accuracy.
- You might not need so many brightness settings.
Best Scopes for .338 Lapua Mag Buying Guide
Before we conclude this review, we’ve included a quick buying guide so that you can recap on some of the scope options. This will allow you to see which ones are best suited for particular types of shooting with the .338 Lapua Mag.
Best All-Purpose Hunting Scope for .338 Lapua Mag
What we mean by this is a scope that will work well for all types of hunting at various ranges. It’s very hard to choose one, as all these scopes could be, to some extent, classified in the category. However, we think, overall, the…
Nightforce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope
… fits the bill. It’s a scope that can be used for varmints right through to the big game, and it’s effective from short to long-range distances. The glass is super clear, the adjustments are precise, it has a rugged design, and it includes ZeroSet technology.
Best Competition Scope for .338 Lapua Mag
If competition shooting is your thing, then precision and reliability are paramount when looking for the right scope choice. The…
Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm (30mm) Side Focus TMOA Riflescope
…stands out as a top performer, with its match-grade accuracy and TMOA RFP reticle. It provides long-range performance. And the rear focal plane aspect of this scope lets you see small long-range targets much more clearly, as it won’t cover up the target so much. Plus, the throw lever design means magnification changes can be fluid and easy.
Best Value Scope for .338 Lapua Mag
If you want a quality scope to pair up with your .338 Lapua magazines but want true bang for your buck, then we suggest, yet again, the…
Nightforce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope
Yes, it’s a great all-around hunting scope. And it’s also a surprisingly affordable scope option, given its high-quality construction and various features it possesses.
Best Tactical Scope for .338 Lapua Mag
Without a doubt, there is one stand-out scope on our list that fits the criteria of a very good tactical scope. Of course, we’re talking about the…
Trijicon AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope
It uses battery-free illumination and an Easy-Focus Eyepiece, so you can find your targets fast! The repositionable magnification lever helps with quick targeting, and the construction is exceptionally ruggedized for heavy use out in the field. Plus, the visuals are stunning.
Best Low Light Scope for .338 Lapua Mag
Lastly, if you need a scope that gives you good nighttime or lowlight visuals, then a battery illuminated option should be a go-to. There are a few on our reviews list that suit, yet we prefer the…
Primary Arms Platinum Series 6-30x56mm FFP Riflescope
…with its extensive 11 brightness settings. You’re sure to find one setting that fits the light levels in your given environment. Furthermore, the first two settings give you night vision compatibility.
So, what are the Best Scopes for .338 Lapua Mag?
Firstly, thanks for running through our review of the best .338 Lapua scopes. We’re sure that there must be one that takes your fancy. Our personal favorite, and overall winner, is the…
Nightforce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope
The main reasons are that it’s very reliable, adaptable, great for hunting, and offers you excellent bang for your buck!
So, whether you’re a hunter, competition shooter, or a range guy that wants a good scope upgrade, we hope you now have some strong options to deliberate over.
Thanks again, and happy shooting!