So you’re looking for scopes for the .338 Lapua Magnum?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. This is your guide to finding the best scope for the .338 Lapua Magnum.
The .338 Lapua Magnum is a rimless, bottleneck, centerfire rifle cartridge. Developed in the ’80s as a high-powered long range cartridge for military use, it gained popularity during the Afghanistan and Iraq War.
Apart from the military, it is very common among civilian long-range shooting enthusiasts. Because of its large size, it can take out any game animal, even dangerous ones like rhinos, buffalos and even lions and leopards.
This round also holds the record for the longest confirmed sniper kill in combat at 2,700 yards. This record is held by Craig Harrison, a British sniper. You can bet that he would have had one of the best riflescopes in the business to take that shot.
Since you are in the market for a new riflescope for your .338 Lapua Magnum rifle, we’ve compiled this guide and reviewed 4 scopes to make your job a lot easier.
.338 Lapua Magnum Scope Buyer’s Guide
We know you’re eager to get your hands on a scope and get out there and start hunting. A good, accurate rifle scope can make all the difference in the world when you’re shooting long range, as you’re likely to do when hunting big game.
Before you start shopping for your scope, there are a few basic factors you need to keep in mind.
The .338 Lapua Magnum is made for very long range shooting with sniper rifles. So you would need a scope with as much magnification as possible. The higher the better, anything less than 8X, you should disregard entirely.
You also really need to get a scope with a parallax adjuster so that you hit your mark on the first shot. You don’t want to miss and then have a large animal charge at you.
You need your scope to produce bright, clear, crisp images with perfect contrast from dawn to dusk. Since there’s no telling how long it will take for you to hunt your targets down, you need a lens which will produce quality images in dimly-lit conditions. A good scope will have your back if it’s dark, foggy or rainy.
Multicoated, anti-reflective lenses are a must because they permit maximum light transmission which is absolutely imperative.
If you’re doling out several hundred dollars on a scope, you would want it to last you as long as possible. Cheap counterfeit knockoffs are guaranteed to get destroyed after only a few shots. Your .338 Lapua Magnum deserves a scope just as strong as the bullet.
Scopes made out of aluminum alloys and anodized exteriors are the best when it comes to avoiding scratches, bumps, and tears. You also need lenses that will not give way to inclement weather conditions.
Nitrogen, Argon purged lenses with O-ring seals are usually waterproof, dust and fog proof. They also provide a large amount of shock resistance.
A scope with a lifetime warranty would also be a very wise investment.
With the amount of recoil from a .338 caliber Magnum, eye relief is of paramount importance. You definitely need an eye relief of at least 3.5 inches and preferably, more.
If you’re shooting from unorthodox positions or weird angles, there is a high possibility of the scope hitting your eyes if you don’t have sufficient buffer (eye relief.)
Because you’ll be shooting long range, you need your scope to compensate for the bullet drop and windage over long distances. Having holdover positions and bullet trajectory prediction systems help a lot.
The crosshairs should be clean and uncluttered, regardless of the amount of detail. It should also ideally be illuminated, so you don’t have any problems in the dark.
The 4 Best Scopes for the .338 Lapua Magnum
There is a ton of great scopes out there, but each one still has its own pros and cons. You have to pick the one best suited to your needs. Here are our 4 top picks for this cartridge!
1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12x44mm Second Focal Plane Scope
If you take your shooting seriously, the Crossfire II series is guaranteed to make your day. Vortex has left no stone unturned with this one when it comes to performance, reliability, and accuracy.
Why You Should Definitely Give This Scope A Shot!
Its huge zoom range of 4 to 12X is perfect for both short and medium range shooting. At that range, the .338 caliber is a straight-up killer. The 44mm objective lens makes for a very large and clear image.
What we particularly like about this product is the dead hold BDC reticle is perfect for cases when estimating holdover is a concern. It eliminates all guesswork when it comes to holdover and windage corrections.
Being in the second focal plane, the reticle always keeps your target in the same ideally-sized appearance. With resettable MOA turrets, the dead-hold reticle makes no compromises whatsoever.
With an eye-relief of 3.9 inches, your eyes will never be in any danger, and you can concentrate your efforts solely on hitting your target.
The picture is clear and bright with near perfect contrast. So no matter how grassy or dense your environment is, you can scope out your target with absolute ease. The lens is multi-coated and anti-reflective, allowing for maximum light transmission.
The single-piece construction with aircraft-grade aluminum ensures strength and shockproof performance. The lenses are O-ring sealed, and the nitrogen purge makes the eyepiece resistant to water, fog, and dust. Sturdy, rugged and robust, this scope is sure to serve you for a long, long time. On top of that, there’s a lifetime warranty.
Moreover, the fast-focus eyepiece and the field of view are going to make sighting your targets a cinch, even highly mobile ones. The field of view stretches from 8.4 feet to 24.7 feet at a 100 yards.
- Rugged craftsmanship
- Image quality and a large objective lens
- Long-range zoom
- Slight parallax
- Distortion at high zoom
The Bottom Line
The 4-12X zoom range and 44mm objective lens is perfect for short to medium range shooting. No matter how big your prey is, how fast it’s moving, you’ll get a clear image of it on the anti-reflective, multi-coated lens. Moreover, the dead hold reticle with it’s estimated trajectories makes for perfect accuracy.
2. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50mm SFP Riflescope
Combining the best elements of Vortex’s exceptionally popular Viper PST and Viper HS riflescopes. The HS-T (Hunting Shooting Tactical) series is ideal for long range shooting with the .338 Lapua Magnum and is also, a personal favorite of ours.
What Makes This Scope So Awesome?
The 6X to 24X zoom range and a large objective lens of 50mm allow you to zoom in far into the distance and have a large, clear picture on the lens. The barrel itself is fairly large, at 15 inches.
What we also really like is the hashmark based second focal plane reticle is ideal for holds at long ranges. The markings do a great job for wind and moving target leads.
Exposed style turrets in this scope are designed for precise and repeated finger clicks. A zero step allows for a quick return to zero after temporary elevation corrections. This, combined with the side focus parallax adjustment totally takes out parallax and allows for optimum focus.
The fast focus eyepiece and wide field of view (17.8 to 5.1 ft at 100 yards) allow you to adjust the reticle according to your eye position and keep the focus on the target. The 4-inch eye relief is enough to ensure your eyes never come in harm’s way.
What we believe sets this scope apart from the rest of the crowd is the picture quality. The multicoated, extra-low dispersion lenses bring the image to life in spectacular resolution and vivid color. The XR coatings provide enhanced light gathering capability while an Armortek coating protects the lenses.
- 24X zoom range
- Holds zero perfectly
- Infinite parallax adjustment
- Highly durable (argon purged and O-ring sealed)
- crosshairs are a bit thin
- a bit large
The Bottom Line
Everything you would need or come to expect in a scope for the .338 Lapua Magnum, you can find all of it and more in this one. The picture is bright and clear and the best bit is how easy you can make adjustments for elevation and windage using the turrets. In our book, this scope is a great buy. Is also one of the best choices for another great long-range cartridge – the 6.5 Creedmoor.
3. Bushnell Elite 6-24x50mm FFP Reticle Riflescope
Bushnell is a company that takes the benchmarks of every scope – optical precision, rugged reliability, uncompromising performance and pushes them to the limit. When handling a large bullet like the .338 Lapua Magnum, you need your scope to pull its weight as well and this scope does that brilliantly.
What Makes This Scope So Awesome?
The lenses have been made with a focus to provide maximum brightness at all conditions. The Ultra Wide Band Coating on the lenses does a great job of boosting brightness in the wee hours of the morning or during twilight.
Rainguard HD technology keeps brightness and clarity levels high during rain, fog or other such troublesome weather conditions.
Their G2 DMR (Designated Marksman Reticle) features a mil-hash marked First Focal Plane (FFP) reticle, designed for ranging, holdover and windage corrections on the go.
There are no compromises when it comes to zoom range (6X to 24X). the objective lens (5mm) have the same statistics as the product reviewed previously and do just as good of a job.
It has a side focus parallax adjuster with a 1 Mil Click Value for long range accuracy. The lenses are argon purged and you get a lifetime warranty on them.
- Crystal Clear Picture Quality
- First Focal Plane Reticle
- Highly Affordable
- Does not have a zero stop
- The reticle is not illuminated
The Bottom Line
Despite the drawbacks we mentioned above, the scope is highly precise at long range shots. The reticle has a lot of info on it allowing you to make small, minute adjustments for added precision. The HD picture quality you get from this scope can hardly be matched by scopes 3 times its price.
4. Millett 6-25 X 56 LRS-1 Illuminated Side Focus Tactical Riflescope (35mm Tube)
Last, but definitely not the least on our list comes this one from Millet with a whopping magnification of 25X and an equally huge 56mm objective lens. Not only does it look absolutely stunning in the matte finish, but it is also a beast when it comes to accuracy.
Why This Scope Is A Must Have?
Let’s start with the reticle. The glass-etched illuminated Mil-DotBAr reticle is an advancement over previous Mil-Dot reticles. The trajectories calculated by the Mil-DotBar reticle are complete with a thin line and a dot at the end of it, allowing for easy range finding and holdover.
Precision controls allow for 140 MOA elevation adjustments with positive .25 MOA clicks. With the quick side focus range adjuster, the accuracy is outstanding for large chambered bullets like the .338 Lapua.
The fully multi-coated lenses allow for superior light transmission, ensuring you don’t lose your prey in the dark. The only drawback is the eye-relief is a tad small at 3 inches.
- Exceptionally stable aluminum-made 35mm tube frame
- Mil -DotBar Reticle with 0.1 mil adjustment
- lockable windage and elevation target turrets
- Huge zoom and field of view
- 5 mm scope rings and lens shade included
- Small Eye Relief
The Bottom Line
This one from Millet is hands down, the best, most accurate and feature-filled scope you can find at this price range. It looks great, is as sturdy as they come and will make for a very useful addition to your hunting arsenal. Rest assured this is a great investment.
Well, that concludes our guide to the best scopes for .338 caliber Lapua Magnum. Remember to buy a scope keeping in mind the kind of hunting you’ll be doing with it. Read through our guide above, and you should have a pretty good idea of what you need to keep in mind before getting yourself a scope.
Have fun hunting!