So, you have purchased rifle that uses the 338 Lapua Magnum, congratulations on one of the best long-range rifles there is. However, now you have to contend with another question, which is the best scope for the 338 Lapua?
This ammo is a hugely well-known one, especially with people who are ex-military or currently serving. It is the ammo that they used, and still do, for long-range, high powered sniper shooting. It was the choice among snipers during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and has gained a significant amount of popularity because of it. The range of the ammunition is second only to the .50 caliber. The 338 Lapua is actually a “bridging weapon round” between the lighter weight 7.62 rifles, such as the MK14 and the higher-powered .50 cal rifles as the Barrat M82.
It was in 1983 that RAI (Research Armament Industries) began to develop a cartridge that would eventually fire a 16.2g bullet at a massive speed of 914 meters per second. However, the British military use overpressured 338s, and it was with that round that the record for the longest distance confirmed combat kill with anything less than a .50 caliber round. That is arguably the third-fastest round in general production. And that definitely means that you have to have a rifle that will handle it.
If you are interested, the rifle that Corporal of Horse Craig Harrison used for that shot was the Accuracy International L115A3. So, if you own one of those, you have a world record rifle!
However, today we are talking about the 338 Lapua, and which is the best scope for it.
Of course, the first thing that you need to consider when you are looking for a scope for a 338 Lapua rifle is the range that you are firing at. While many rifles use this ammunition, it is often the ammo that determines the scale at which you will be able to hit the target.
We have spoken about the speed of the round, and at 914 meters per second, or close to 3000ft/s, you are indeed looking at some high range. Designed to penetrate military body armor at 1,094 yards, you are looking at a maximum effective range of nearly double that.
The rounds are so powerful that the longest confirmed kill with this ammo was at a huge 2,707 yards! Therefore, if you are looking for close-range firing, perhaps choose a different rifle such as one that uses the 45-70 ammo. However, if you are looking for long-range effectiveness, you will certainly need a scope with a much higher magnification.
Top 5 Best Scopes for 338 Lapua Magnum
Here is the shortlist of the top 5 scopes for the 338 Lapua Magnum.
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12x44mm
- Ade LRS-1
- Hi-Lux Optics M1200 ART Scope with Illuminated Reticle
- Primary Arms PA4-14XFFP
- SWFA SS
For those of you who take your long shooting seriously, then you might want to settle for something like the Vortex Optics Crossfire II. Vortex was careful in their decisions of preciseness and accuracy when they created this scope.
Why Should we consider this scope?
There are plenty of reasons as to why this should be your scope of choice. First and foremost, this scope is quite superb when it comes to its zoom-in range of 4 to 12x, which is great for medium or short-range shots.
Second to focus on with this scope is the reticle that it comes with, which helps you to focus accurately on the target in a way that will allow you to make your shot the first time. The MOA turrets are resettable, and there is simply no compromises when it comes to the overall performance of the reticle.
Consumers will like the fact that the image is quite clear and bright. You will experience perfect contrast with this scope. So no matter the type of environment you will be working with, you can rest assured that you can use this scope with ease.
The scope uses aircraft-grade aluminum. That means that you’ll experience high strength and resistance to any sort of damages during various situations that you might be in while you are hunting.
You’ll also fully appreciate the fast-focus eyepiece, which gives you a vast field of view. It merely allows viewing your targets much more relaxed. You’ll experience a field of view of 8.4 feet to 24.7 feet in yards.
- Rough Craftsmanship
- Superb image quality, and large objective lens
- Long-range zooming
- Has some Parallax
- A little blurry at high zoom
So if you want short to medium range shooting, then you should consider this scope that has a 4-12x zoom range and a 44mm objective lens. Your pray can be big, small, fast, etc., and you’ll still have the ability to make a clear shot and hit the first time with the use of this multi-coated lens that has anti-reflective qualities.
2. Ade 6-25x56mm LRS-1
Large caliber rifles and long-range rifles are what scopes like the Ade were for. It can handle recoils that are quite heavy. This scope was tested by computers to ensure the actual accuracy of it. It is a good option for when hunters are seeking to go after the large game. It is also for long-range shooting situations.
The Mil-Dotbar reticle is quite illuminated and is an improved version of the Mil-Dot reticle. Scope rings for 35mm scope tubes aren’t common, but the LRS-1 has 35mm tactical scope rings that allow for easy mounting.
Not only does it mount easily, but it is also easy to use. There are not many scopes available that come with added extras. However, the Ade LRS-1 does come with sunshades. They are ideal for times that the sun is relatively low in the sky, which will accompany the fully coated lenses to remove almost all of the glare that you will ever get.
It is a waterproof scope that has sealants, synthetic grease and O-rings to protect against the elements, ingress, fog, and pretty much anything that you can throw at it. Crafted from a single peice tube, you are looking at one of the better scopes for all-round rigidity and ruggedness. This scope would also be a good .243 scope.
- It is robust and able to hold up to heavy recoil.
- Good clarity
- Turrets for windage tend to slip and can be difficult adjusting for accuracy at times.
- Reticle might wash out your view if illuminating settings are too high.
- Compromised quality at long ranges.
3. Hi-Lux Optics M1200 ART Scope with Illuminated Reticle
The High-Lux Optics scope has a magnification of 6-24x. Also, its XLR reticle makes it possible for the shooter to hit targets that are meters and yards in the distance. The illuminated glass is a wonderful feature that it has for when you are in a situation when there isn’t much light.
The elevation level can be easily adjusted from 328-1,312 yards. The turrets also adjust easily for the windage so that you will have accurate sightings of your target. The mount has windage that is built-in, and it’s easy to change when needed as well.
If you have a trouble with ranging or do not have a range finder, the M1200 may well be the one that you NEED to have. With the inbuilt ART (Automatic Ranging Technology), it will automatically adjust for bullet drop between 300m and 1200m. However, consider that you may need to dial it in a little if you are using this on a rifle using the Lapua. That is because the 338 Lapua is one of the flattest trajectory rounds available at this size.
Likewise, if you need a little assistance with windage, there is an external windage adjustment built into the base of the scope. Using this scope with a 338 Lapua rifle, you are going to find it harder to miss the target than hit it!
- The scope adjusts automatically for different elevations and ranges.
- Parallax adjustment is accurate.
- Ballistics aren’t necessary to be calculated while you are shooting.
- Setup instructions can be a bit confusing.
- It can be a bit complex to use until you understand the features better.
4. Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope
This scope has a Mil-Dot reticle that is very high in quality when it comes to staying true to its range of magnification. The magnification of the Primary Arms is 4x to 14x. The turrets can be adjusted by 0.1 Mil per click which matches well for the reticle.
Honestly, some people prefer the MIL-DOT system, and if you are one of them, this scope may be for you. The first focal plane reticle will allow you to keep your aiming by MIL-DOTS simple throughout the ranges. While it will not be as easy to use as the one above, it will certainly be a lot more fun for target shooting. It will also get you into practice for elevation and windage calculations on your own, which is certainly a great skill to have.
Of course, as with most scopes now, the SLX is fog resistant, waterproof and shockproof, which you will need for the kickback of any 338 Lapua rifle.
It would also be an excellent Remington 700 scope.
- Clear Optics.
- The adjustments are accurate.
- Heavy recoil handles well while keeping at zero
- It’s on the heavier side.
- Turret movements aren’t very crisp.
- The reticle isn’t illuminated; which may not appeal to everyone.
5. SWFA SS 16×42 Tactical Riflescope
Unlike other scope options that are available on the market, the SWFA Tactical Rifle is a fixed power scope of only 16x. However, do not let that put you off this scope. The field of view is second to none, even though the objective lens, a lot of thought and engineering is in this scope. You will be getting a 2.2m field when looking at 100m, which for a fixed 16x magnification scope is quite considerable.
You can still adjust the rear lens as well as the turrets to 0.1 Mil per click. Instead of the reticle being a Mil-Dot, it is a Mil-Quad.
Durability is important, and that is a department that his scope does not lack in. It is actually very durable, and it is also able to easily handle a heavy recoil just like other 338 scopes. Furthermore, it is advertised as a scope capable of handling a 50cal rifle, so a 338 will not be able to budge the zeroing through recoil alone.
- Very durable.
- Optics are clear.
- Smooth and accurate turret adjustments.
- Eye relief is too tight.
- It has very few adjustments which make the scope limited to longer ranges only.
- It doesn’t come supplied with lens covers.
As you have seen throughout this article, there are many different magnification scopes. You can use any of them on your 338 Lapua. As with all scopes, your decision rests on knowing what you are going to do with the rifle. However, in the case of 338s, you should only really be looking at longer ranges. If you are confident in your aim and sometimes want to get a little closer to the target, the SLX is probably the best fit.
However, when you are shooting at 1000 yards, you are likely to need something a little more capable. If I had to choose one, which I am glad that I don’t, I would probably opt for the M1200 for long-rage precision every shot.