Using a scope for your handgun is a very effective way to dramatically improve your accuracy. But one of the main issues that shooters experience is the lack of a one-size-fits-all solution. And if this is your first handgun scope, it’s important to make the right choice.
Therefore, I decided to review the best handgun scopes & optics currently on the market to ensure you make the correct choice.
So, let’s get the lowdown on pistol scopes, what you need to look out for, and also take a look at the most highly recommended options, starting with the…
Top 5 Best Handgun Scopes & Optics In 2023 Reviews
1 Leupold FX-II 4x28mm Handgun Scope – Best Low Light Handgun Scope & Optic
This Leupold FX-II Handgun Scope is a top product from a proven market leader in the development of scopes and other gun accessories. If you need the best fast focus functionality, this model is for you. The classic lockable eyepiece is solid and practical and enjoys a low-profile lock ring that optimizes reticle performance.
The 4X magnification gave me precise targeting out in the field with a duplex reticle that thinned out the center perfectly. I was also very impressed by the quick target acquisition that worked well even in low light conditions. Plus, the lenses are scratch-resistant and built for durability and high performance.
Rugged, durable, and reliable…
The built-in Twilight Light Management system gave my Magnum 357 revolver about 20 minutes of extra shooting light. It achieved this by balancing the light transmission while also reducing the contrast and glare. This gave me fantastically clear images with premium brightness in any light.
For all its top target acquisition features, the rugged and durable design might still be the key selling point. The tube is constructed from 6061-T6 aluminum and is fully fog-proof, waterproof, and shockproof. In fact, it’s been tested heavily tested for hard knocks and racks in fewer than 5,000 impacts on a recoil simulator.
The only potential drawback I found was the fixed magnification, which is not suitable for all styles of shooting. But apart from that, this is easily one of the best handgun optics and scopes you can buy.
- Classy duplex reticle.
- Fast focus.
- Lockable eyepiece.
- Solid aluminum tube construction.
- Durable and rugged.
- Great in low light conditions.
- Fixed power magnification.
2 Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 V-Plex Rimfire Scope – Most Accurate Handgun Scope & Optic
This Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire Scope comes from the very popular and reliable Crossfire line of scopes. I love a good Vortex scope, always have done. They always work great for me, are very durable, and perform to exceptionally high levels.
Get on target…
The fast-focus eyepiece and the all-purpose hunting reticle are geared for precise target shooting. And the forgiving eye-box and long eye relief were features that immediately impressed me.
It uses a V-Plex MOA Reticle that makes this model suitable for all manner of hunting applications. The crystal clear optics were enhanced by the reticle being in the Second Focal Plane; therefore, it doesn’t change the target size when you alter the magnification, always offering a clear and reliable view. Reliability is always a cornerstone of Vortex scopes, which is why I swear by them.
Come rain, come shine…
The MOA turrets could be easily and quickly adjusted using your fingers which makes it a cinch to rest your zero after you have finished sighting. This is a versatile scope that works best at close to mid-range distances and routinely delivers bright and clear images in all light conditions, even at sunset and sunrise.
The aircraft-grade construction makes this one of the best pistol scopes for those seeking rugged durability. The tube is nitrogen purged and is waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof. I used it in all weather conditions, and it never let me down. All in all, this is a very impressive Vortex handgun scope.
- Excellent fast-focus eyepiece.
- Multi-purpose reticle.
- Resettable and adjustable MOA turrets.
- Constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum.
- Weather and shock-resistant.
- Limited parallax adjustments.
3 Burris 2-7x32mm Handgun Scope – Most Durable Handgun Scope & Optic
I was eager to try this Burris 2-7x32mm Handgun Scope as this brand has been a personal favorite of mine for many years. The easy mounting options and the clear and concise images were the initial positives I found when using it for the first time. While the high-grade optical glass and a lightweight tube design made it comfortable to use and carry out in the field.
I loved the top-notch ballistic plex reticle that was simple but effective. And the bullet drop compensation enhanced my precision and gave me unnerving accuracy on every shot. In conjunction with the 2x to 7x magnification, it gave me the ability to easily aim and focus on the target with no issues at all.
Absorbing serious recoil…
The overall performance was complemented by the lightweight aluminum alloy tube construction. It’s waterproof and shock-resistant and held its own under heavy usage. It held zero perfectly and can withstand heavy recoil of up to .50 BMG, making it a solid and reliable scope for all occasions.
The only potential downside is the lack of adjustability, but that’s only to be expected with a scope like this. It can affect performance when using it to track moving targets, but on the whole, it’s an impressive pistol scope that works well in all conditions.
- Top-notch optical glass.
- 32mm objective lens.
- Ballistic plex reticle.
- Lightweight aluminum construction.
- Good eye relief.
- Limited fixed power scope adjustments.
4 NcSTAR 2-7×32 Pistol Scope – Best Budget Handgun Scope & Optic
This NcSTAR Pistol Scope is a high-quality optic from a brand that can be trusted to develop reliable accessories. The multi-coated lens and the 32mm objective lens are top quality, giving you clear images with minimal distortion. This allowed for simplified aiming and shooting at targets, which at the end of the day, is the reason why you need the best scope for your handgun in the first place.
I prefer variable power magnification as opposed to fixed power, but that’s just my opinion. The 2x to 7x magnification power was very good, and with the perfectly clear reticle, and worked a treat for precision targeting. And although this is a non-illuminated reticle, it did work well in the majority of light conditions.
Affordable, reliable, and durable…
The ultra-generous eye relief helped me to maintain focus on the target and also gave me extended mounting capabilities. It also comes equipped with one-inch aluminum weaver-type rings and a separate lens cap. If you want to buy one of the best affordable handgun scopes that will perform to high levels, I would seriously recommend this model.
There are a few small issues, but nothing serious; for example, the limited left and right adjustments can be a little irritating, making it awkward to adjust the scope. But apart from that, my experience was mostly favorable.
- High-quality multi-coated lenses.
- Variable 2x to 7x magnification.
- Long eye relief.
- Extended mounting capabilities.
- One-inch aluminum weaver rings included.
- Limited left and right adjustments.
5 BSA Optics Edge 2-7×32 Pistol Scope – Best Basic Handgun Scope & Optic
BSA have a solid reputation for developing reliable and affordable handgun scopes. This pistol scope is ideally suited for hunting and target shooting and is simple yet effective like all good scopes should be. There are no bells and whistles, and that’s not a bad thing.
The generous 12 to 20-inch eye relief made it simple to seek out a target. And this Edge Series pistol scope comes equipped with a 1-inch tube and a top-notch 32mm objective lens that uses some of the clearest optics I’ve seen. The variable 2x to 7x magnification gave me more options and power than the fixed models.
Value for money handgun scope…
There is a 50 yards fixed parallax distance when using this scope, but shooting beyond that range is no problem at all. The only issue I had was its limited adjustments and lack of flexibility. But for this price, you really can’t expect to get everything.
The solid one-piece tube is durable and attractive with its black matte finish. It’s very reliable and comes highly-recommend by myself and other experts. Is it one of the best handgun optic in the marketplace? For this price range, most definitely!
- Very clear, high-quality optical glass.
- Massive 12 to 20-inch eye relief.
- Variable 2x to 7x magnification.
- Durable one-piece construction.
- Superb value for money handgun.
- Limited adjustments.
- Lacks flexibility.
Best Handgun Scopes & Optics Buyer’s Guide
Before you start splashing the cash on our preferred handgun scope, you need to take a couple of things into consideration. So, let’s take a look at the most important factors to bear in mind before you make a purchase decision.
What Pistol Scope Magnification Do I Need?
This will largely depend on your shooting style and preferences. Whichever style or settings you prefer, the main purpose of the scope is to greatly improve your accuracy when hunting. Although there are dozens of types of scope, the main thing to think about is whether to buy a fixed power or a variable power scope.
Fixed power scopes, as the name suggests, have a fixed magnification and usually come in magnifications of 2x, 4x, and 6x. They have fewer moving parts that make them generally more durable and less likely to break. Their field of view is wide, which helps in terms of rapid target acquisition.
Scopes with variable magnification give you more flexibility and the option to quickly adjust them on the move. These types of scope generally have medium magnifications, although some have more than 9x. They are better for long-range hunting due to their zoom functions, and they do offer very clear images. However, they are more complex and can be bigger and bulkier than fixed power models.
Better Eye Relief
I recommend that you buy pistol scopes with as long an eye relief as possible. Because handguns have volatile recoils, longer eye relief will eliminate any potential accidents. Preferably, opt for scopes that have eye reliefs that are at least 9-inches because anything shorter could well negatively affect your accuracy and performance.
Last but not least, you need to consider the mount. These are used to secure your scope to your handgun and can massively affect your performance. If you have an ill-fitting mount, it will affect both the balance of your handgun and your ability to shoot accurately. It will also affect how you zero the scope.
Buying a handgun scope with high-quality mounting rings is essential. They need to fit tightly, so everything is secure and in place.
Looking for Some Quality Scopes for Your Other Firearms?
Then check out my in-depth reviews of the Best Mil Dot Scopes, the Best Scout Scopes, the Best 308 Rifles Scopes, the Best Rimfire Scopes, the Best Air Rifle Scopes, or the Best Scope for Hog Hunting currently on the market.
Or, take a look at our reviews of the Best 300 Win Mag Scopes, the Best Vortex Scopes, the Best Scopes for AR15 under 100 Dollars, the Best Mini 14 Ranch Rifle Scopes, the Best Scope for AK-47, as well as the Best Deer Hunting Scopes you can buy in 2023.
So, Which is The Very Best of The Best Handgun Scopes & Optics?
I’ve come to the end of my review of the best handgun scopes currently on the market, so it’s time to decide on my personal favorite, which is the…
I like it because it has variable power from 2x to 7x magnification, long eye relief, and extensive mounting capabilities. The high-quality multi-coated lenses and the lightweight design combine to create a handgun scope that performs well, is very durable, and gives you lots of power options.
There are other scopes that do some things better, but overall this is the one that offers the best of everything for a fair price.
Happy and safe shooting.