The Best Air Rifle Scopes of 2022

Last Updated on January 22, 2022.

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Many people consider air rifles to be too weak to warrant a scope. However, modern pellet guns are quite powerful and sport enough range that you need a good optic to get the most accuracy out of your airgun at maximum range.

But having a scope on your air rifle goes further than bare accuracy. There are two big reasons why having a precise optic for your pellet gun is critical:

  1. Airguns aren’t as powerful as guns. If you hunt with your air rifle, shot placement is critical for hunting humanely. Not only will you lose your game if you’re off the mark, but it can cause the animal a lot of unnecessary suffering.
  2. Air rifle competitions can be even more demanding than shooting competitions. Air rifle competitions generally involve shorter ranges than rifle competitions. So the targets are usually much smaller than long range rifle competition targets look at great distances. It can actually be more challenging to hit a competition airgun target at short range than it is to hit a rifle target at long range.

With these things in mind, it’s clear that having a quality air rifle scope is almost mandatory.

Can I Use A Rifle Scope on My Air Gun?

Here’s what you need to know about pellet gun scopes:

One of the biggest mistakes shooters make is putting their rifle scope on their air rifle. You shouldn’t do this. Here’s why:

  • Not all rifle scopes are built to withstand the recoil of an airgun. This might sound a bit silly, but hear me out.On a rifle, the recoil is generated by the expansion of gases and the bullet being propelled out of the barrel.On a spring-powered air rifle, the recoil is generated by the force of the spring compression being released. This actually creates two recoil impulses:
    1. One that pushes the rifle back into your shoulder when the spring is released.
    2. One that snaps the rifle forward when the spring hits the wall of the chamber and stops.
    A scope has to be more durable withstand this dual-impulse recoil than to endure normal rifle recoil. If you put your rifle scope on your air rifle, your rifle scope might break.Many manufacturers build their scopes to be airgun rated. But many still don’t. If you’re not absolutely sure you have an airgun rated scope, it’s best to purchase an air rifle scope.
  • Rifle scopes are not designed for the ballistics of an airgun. Since pellet guns and rifles have different effective ranges, optics for each one are designed to focus at different distances.Most rifle scopes simply aren’t made to work as well at air rifle distances. You can make a rifle scope accurate on an airgun, but it takes a lot of time. It’s much better to get the right scope for the job.

Now that you know you need a scope built for an air rifle, here are the key things to look for in an airgun scope:

Key Characteristics To Look For

Since air rifles are used for different purposes and in different contexts than standard rifles, it makes sense that airgun optics might be a bit different than rifle optics, right?

Many scope characteristics are equally important between the two types of scopes. But there are two key things to consider when you’re choosing a pellet gun scope:


Magnification does the same thing for you in an airgun scope as it does in a rifle scope. However, air rifles usually max out at around 100 yards. So, it’s best to get a scope with only moderate magnification.

If you’ve got too much magnification, it can be nearly impossible to keep your crosshairs steady. Typically, 3-9x magnification or lower is best.


Parallax often gets overlooked because many quality rifle scopes have adjustable parallax or the parallax is set at 100 yards. 100 yard parallax is fine for rifles.

But a shorter parallax distance is better for air rifles. A typical airgun competition distance is 10 yards. So, a scope with an adjustable parallax that can be set to 10 yards is ideal. A scope with a fixed 10 yard parallax will also work well.

Most scopes that are durable enough for airguns will have an acceptable parallax range, but it’s an important spec to check before you buy.

Top Air Rifle Scopes on the Market (Updated 2022)

Our Best Choice

If you’re in a hurry and want to know what the best option is RIGHT NOW, here it is:

​UTG 3-9X40 1″ Hunter Scope

​UTG 3-9X40 Hunter Scope

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  • Parallax is adjustable
  • Excellent for night shooting
  • Clear images and sharp reticle

The Best Air Rifle Scopes

Here are the top models, these are sorted from highest to lowest price.

1. ​UTG 3-9X40 1″ Hunter Scope

​UTG 3-9X40 Hunter Scope

Best Overall Air Rifle Scope

UTG is a fairly dominant name in the pellet gun optics game. The UTG 3-9×40 Hunter Scope represents the high end of their air rifle opticsUTG built the Hunter Scope to be the go-to optic for those who want a Leupold, Bushnell, or Tasco air rifle scope, but struggle to find a model from those manufacturers that meets the durability demands of airgun shooting.

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The Hunter Scope uses 3-9x magnification to give you outstanding precision at competition ranges, while at the same time providing enough power to dial in tight shots at maximum distance.

For the best reticle alignment and steadiness at all distances, the Hunter Scope sports adjustable parallax that goes from 5 yards to infinity. No matter what sort of shooting you do, the Hunter Scope can be adjusted for it.

The reticle is a mil dot configuration, so you can make accurate range estimates and wind calls. But what really makes the reticle stand out is the illumination. 

The Hunter Scope offers 36 different illumination color options, so you get maximum reticle contrast in any lighting or environment.

This couples with UTG’s Emerald Coated lenses to give you the clearest picture and the sharpest reticle, and makes the Hunter Scope the top scope for night shooting.

The Hunter Scope is built with the durability you expect: waterproofing, fog-proofing, and shock-proofing.

The performance and price point make the Hunter Scope a great option for those with high performance air rifles that want a high performance optic to match.


  • Adjustable Parallax
  • Accurate Range Estimates and Wind Calls
  • Clear Images and Sharp Reticle
  • Excellent for Night Shooting
  • Maximum Reticle Contrast
  • Waterproof, Fogproof and Shockproof


  • FOV and Eye Relief can be better

2. UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-Dot, QD Rings

UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope

Top Air Rifle Scope for 100 Yards

The UTG 3-9×32 Bugbuster Scope is one of the scopes on this list that’s both an air rifle scope and a rifle scopeUTG optics are known for their durability, and UTG designed the Bugbuster to withstand even the most violent recoil impulses.

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First, the magnification:

The Bugbuster is equipped with a 3-9x magnification range, which is a great all-purpose power. 3x delivers steady and precise accuracy at typical air rifle distances. If you want to push the capabilities of your airgun, 9x will enable you to get hits at maximum pellet gun ranges.

Then, the parallax is adjustable from 3 yards to infinity. This gives you parallax free aiming at all but the shortest air rifle distances. You’ll get true crosshair steadiness at competition distances and at the furthest reaches of recreational shooting, so you can put pellets on target at any distance, using any magnification.

For clarity, the Bugbuster is fitted with a 32mm objective lensThis collects more than enough light for shooting from dawn to dusk and will gives your a sharp image for zeroing in on small targets.

The reticle is an illuminated mil dot reticle with hash marks for accurate range and windage estimation for exceptional accuracy without complicated calculations.

UTG built the Bugbuster with industry standard fog-proofing, waterproofing, and shock-proofing so your scope will last as long as your rifle.

Overall, the Bugbuster is the perfect scope for 100 yards, and is great for those who want one scope for multiple rifles.


  • Parallax Adjustable to Infinity
  • True Crosshair Steadiness
  • Great for Dawn to Dusk Shooting
  • Accurate Range and Windage Estimation
  • Fogproof, Waterproof and Shockproof


  • Some customers report loose dust covers
  • Eye relief can be an issue for some shooters

3. Mantis 3-9x32mm AO Mil-Dot Air Rifle Scope, Precise Parallax Adjustable Optics

Mantis 3-9x32mm AO Mil-Dot Air Rifle Scope

Best Value Air Rifle Scope

Mantis designed the Mantis 3-9×32 AO Mil-Dot specifically for air rifles. This means that they paid special attention to the characteristics that make a scope work well on an air rifle.

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The Mantis employs a 3-9x magnification range for precision at the most common air rifle distances. Hitting competition targets at 10 yards is easy at 3x, and 9x is perfect for pushing the limits of airgun performance.

To ensure that your reticle is true at all distances, the parallax is adjustable from 5 yards to infinity. This is ideal for short range plinking, air rifle competitions, and provides true reticle alignment out to 100 yards and beyond.

The Mantis is a purpose built air rifle scope, so it’s constructed with the durability a scope needs to withstand the double impulse of a spring air rifle without losing its zero or damaging the internals.

This scope will hold up through thousands of pellet gun shots.

The reticle is a mil dot reticle with hash marks for range and windage estimation so you can get hits at long range without adjusting your scope.

All this comes with industry standard durability features like waterproofing, shock-proofing, and fully multi-coated lenses. The Mantis is a great option for those that need years of hard use at an affordable price.


  • Little to no adjustment required for long range
  • Rated Durable to thousands of shots
  • True Reticle Alignment
  • Adjustable Parallax to Infinity
  • Waterproof, Fogproof and Shockproof
  • Reticle Hash Marks for Range and Windage Estimation


  • Some customers report wavy optics

4. Winchester by Daisy Outdoor Products 2-7 x 32 AO Scope

Winchester by Daisy Outdoor Products 2-7 x 32 AO Scope

Best Air Rifle Scope under $50

Daisy is one of the oldest names in the air rifle industry. That’s why Winchester contracted them to build their line of air rifle scopes. The Winchester is built with all of Daisy’s airgun expertise and delivers the optimal combination of specs for air rifle shooting.

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Daisy built the Winchester Scope with 2-7x magnification to make it optimal for the things you do most with your air rifle. 2x magnification is perfect for nailing competition targets at 10 yards. 7x will give you the precision for 100 yard hits without being jittery at intermediate ranges.

The parallax is adjustable from 15 to 200 yards, which gives you plenty of focus range for any sort of airgun shooting. Although 15 yards isn’t right on the money for 10 yard shooting, the effect will be slight, and won’t put your shots off the mark for competitive shooting.

The Winchester is equipped with a crosshair reticle, which is simple and effective. The crosshair reticle minimizes clutter in the field of view, and provides exceptional precision for calculated shots.

Daisy constructed the Winchester to be waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof so you get the durability and performance you’d expect from any product with the Winchester name on it. Additionally, the fully multi-coated lenses color correct the image so you always get the clearest picture for zeroing in on small targets.

Overall, the Winchester may not be ideal for competitive air rifle shooters. However, recreational shooters and even hunters will find that the price point and performance of the Winchester are ideal for a hardworking air rifle.


  • Reticle minimizes clutter in FOV
  • Adjustable Parallax
  • Waterproof, Fogproof and Shockproof
  • Adjustable Parallax to Infinity
  • Multi-coated lenses help with image correction
  • Non-jittery images at intermediate range


  • May not be ideal for competitive shooters

5. UTG 4X32 1″ Hunter Scope, Mil-dot, Airgun Rings

UTG 4X32

Best Budget Air Rifle Scope

The UTG 4×32 Hunter Scope is just a step down from the 3-9×40 Hunter Scope. It offers respectable performance at a much more friendly price. It even sports a couple features that the 3-9×40 Hunter Scope doesn’t have.

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One strength of the 4×32 Hunter Scope is the simplicity. A fixed 4x magnification gives you more than enough power for hitting competition targets or small game at 10 yards. On the other hand, 4x is good enough for hitting medium targets at 100 yards, and won’t be jittery at intermediate ranges.

The parallax is also fixed at 35 yards. This is a great all-purpose parallax distance that works for shooting at both short and long ranges.

Fixed magnification and parallax trade a bit of performance for simplicity. 

But simplicity rewards good fundamentals, so the 4×32 Hunter Scope great for new shooters and children just learning to shoot.

To ensure that you’ve got a clear enough picture to make the most of the simplicity, UTG fitted the 4×32 Hunter Scope with their proprietary Sapphire Coating that improves color fidelity and image clarity in all light conditions.

Additionally, the 4×32 Hunter Scope has a built-in sunshade to reduce glare during daylight shooting, so the image never gets washed out when you’re shooting in the sun.

The 4×32 Hunter Scope may be a bit too simple for competition shooters. However, it is excellent for recreational shooting, new shooters, or as an optic for training shooting fundamentals.


  • Color fidelity and image clarity in any lighting condition
  • Built-in sunshade for glare reduction in broad daylight
  • Great for recreational shooters and hobbyists
  • Fixed all-purpose parallax for short and long range


  • May be too simple for competitive shooters
  • No indication of weatherproofing and shockproofing

Conclusion and Recommendations

Although the options for pellet gun scopes are a bit more limited than for standard rifles, buying an air rifle scope for your air rifle could be more economical and will give you better performance than trying to put your rifle scope on your air rifle.

So grab an air rifle scope, and get out to pop some pellets off!

You can also take a look at some great Gamo Air Rifle Reviews.

UTG 3-9X40 1″ Hunter Scope

​UTG 3-9X40 Hunter Scope

The UTG 3-9X40 1″ Hunter Scope is the top choice for any air rifle shooter. The combination of price and quality is hard to beat, and the specs are perfect for any airgun shooting context.