In today’s age of technological advancements where people are almost blind to their environment, there are still individuals who want to immerse themselves in nature, even if it’s just for a brief amount of time. Hiking, fishing, camping, and hunting are hobbies that allow individuals to separate themselves from the outside world’s noise.
Hunting has been a part of human civilization since ancient times, although its reasons certainly have changed. It was primarily done to provide food for the tribe or family. However, nowadays, hunting has become a hobby of many individuals who want to experience the thrill of a hunt in the same way their ancestors did.
With the help of scopes, they can make that experience even better. But choosing the proper scope isn’t easy since there are plenty of things to look out for. So this guide will talk in particular about -9×40 Scopes – what they are, and the top 5 options in the market.
What Is a Scope?
A scope can be described as a telescopic sight mounted on top of a rifle or firearm, used to magnify the user’s vision. It allows the user to hit their target from a far distance with accuracy. Scopes can be found in different magnifications and lenses, allowing the user to choose different scopes for various lengths.
What Is a 3-9×40 Scope?
In a 3-9×40 Scope, the three means it can magnify the image three times(3X), which means the image you will see through the scope looks three times closer than it does with the naked eye. The nine means you can magnify the image nine times(9X), which means the image you will see through the scope will look nine times closer than with your naked eye. And the forty (40) is the size of the objective lens. This type of scope is known as a variable scope which means you can magnify the image from 3 to 9 times depending on the distance of your target. Typically, the more extensive the range of magnification, the more you will have to pay.
A 3-9×40 scope can help the user shoot from 200 yards, making them ideal for medium-range and close-range shots. When shooting a target that is 200 yards away, with 9x magnification, the target will seem like it’s only 25 yards away.
Usually, hunters will use a scope when hunting a big game as it would be unwise to hunt such animals from a close distance. Along with providing a magnified view of the target, scopes also provide a crosshair for shooting targets accurately. A crosshair is an aiming point in your scope which tells the user where the shot will land.
When buying rifles, most individuals make a prevalent mistake—splurging on an expensive gun but purchasing the cheapest scope for it. This is considered a very rookie mistake. Some even argue that a quality rifle will make it challenging to shoot a target when combined with a mediocre scope. Whereas, if you mix a mediocre gun with a good quality scope, hitting your target with accuracy will not be so difficult.
When considering purchasing a scope for a rifle, one needs to understand what to look for in a scope. Only then can an informed decision be made. Fortunately, in this article, not only will we be reviewing the top 5 best 3-9X40 scopes, but we will also provide a buying guide to help you make that decision.
Best 3-9X40 Scope Buying Guide
To spend your hard-earned money on a scope for your rifle, you will need to be equipped with the proper knowledge to make a well-informed decision and avoid any regrets post-purchase.
The following are the key things to look for when buying a 3-9X40 Scope:
When buying a scope, you will need to make sure it has a solid and sturdy build. The resiliency of the scope plays a key factor when you are going on regular hunting trips. Additionally, you don’t want your scope breaking from the recoil of your rifle when hitting a target.
2. Waterproof & Fog Proof
Another factor to be considered when purchasing a rifle is if it offers waterproof & fog-proof options. Both of these features are ideal if you are going to hunt in extreme weather conditions. These options should be considered when choosing a scope.
3. Eye Relief
Eye relief refers to the distance between the eye of the user and the scope of the rifle. Allowing the user to see the image clearly without causing harm to the user’s eye when the rifle recoils. Generally, the more eye relief a scope offers, the better it is for the user.
There are two types of Zoom options you can get with a scope. Optical Zoom or Digital Zoom. Optical Zoom provides more magnification of the image without a loss in resolution of the picture. In contrast, Digital Zoom allows for a clearer image but will compromise the image’s resolution. Going for a scope that helps both of these zoom qualities is the way to go.
Parallax refers to the movement of an object when it is viewed from different positions. When purchasing a 3-9×40 scope, you should opt for a parallax of about 50 yards which is considered the standard for a 3-9×40 scope. If you cannot find this precise parallax on a scope, try to look for one closest to it.
You should take the weight of the scope you will be purchasing for your rifle into account, especially if you will be carrying your weapon for a prolonged period. Measure the weight of the gun and add it to the weight of the scope you are buying. That is the total amount of weight you will be carrying with you on a hunt.
As we have mentioned previously, scopes provide the user with a visual marker known as crosshairs or reticles. These reticles offer the user an aiming point and tell them where the shot will hit when the trigger is pulled. Reticles can come in many different designs, and it is crucial to choose the appropriate reticle for the distance you want to shoot from and the activity you wish to use your scope for. Following are some of the different types of reticles available on the market:
- Crosshair Reticle
The crosshair reticle was the first of its kind. This was the first reticle that was designed for riflescopes. This kind of design is straightforward and suitable for the precise shooting of targets. However, this type of reticle is not ideal when it comes to hunting. This is due to the fine crosshairs, which can be hard to view against targets in low light conditions.
- Duplex Reticle
This reticle is one of the most common reticle designs. Many hunters prefer it due to the thick crosshairs of the reticle that can stand out against targets. It has a combination of thick and thin crosshairs, allowing the user to shoot the target while in movement with efficient accuracy. Many manufacturers have their names for this reticle which usually incorporates the word ‘plex.’
- Mil-Dot Reticle
These types of reticles are generally used for long-distance shots. With a mil-dot reticle, these reticles can compensate for wind drift and bullet drops by doing specific calculations. Using a mil-dot reticle requires a certain amount of study and practice, which is why we do not recommend using this reticle for beginners.
- BDC Reticle
BDC of ballistic reticles is designed to compensate for the bullet drop effect, which is the effect of gravity on a bullet as it travels through the air towards your target. The simplest way to overcome this pull of gravity on the bullets is to aim your rifle slightly above the desired target for the shot to hit the target regardless of gravity’s effect. You can see this technique being used by many shooters, but most would opt for using a rifle with a BDC reticle. The extra lines on the reticle mark help hunters calculate how high to aim to get the desired shot.
- Illuminated Reticle
If you plan on hunting in low-light conditions or a highly wooded environment, then an illuminated reticle is your best choice. Many illuminated reticles can be found available in different combinations and colors. These reticles are specifically designed to help the user see the crosshairs of the reticle in low light environments. When choosing this kind of reticle, we advise you choose the more expensive models. These models allow you to adjust the brightness of the reticles. Cheaper models will usually hinder the view of your target instead of enhancing it.
Now that you know what to look for in a Scope, we will review and list the top 5 best 3-9×40 Scopes out there!
Top 5 Best 3-9×40 Scopes
Following are the top 5 best 3-9×40 scopes out on the market right now:
1. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm BDC
In the shooting and hunting community, Nikon scopes are praised for their features and quality. This 3-9×40 scope is a prime example.
This scope is built for challenging hunting conditions and can withstand extreme weather conditions. Additionally, it is also waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. This scope will stay with you all the way.
This scope offers a BDC reticle with trajectory compensation. This provides the user with fast and easy aiming of their target. This scope also features Nikon’s ‘anti-reflective system.’ Which offers the user a high level of light transmission. Meaning, you can shoot with accuracy no matter the light conditions. You can take advantage of this feature when hunting during dusk or dawn as it provides a clear view of the target in low-light conditions.
This scope provides a generous amount of eye relief. Hunters using rifles that produce heavy recoil will undoubtedly appreciate the great eye relief this scope offers. However, this scope may not be compatible with some rifles that have bolt action. Before choosing this scope, you should first check its compatibility.
2. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Riflescope
This company is another highly praised scope manufacturer. The Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope is a great scope at a reasonable price point.
Every hunter knows that dusk and dawn hunting is the best time to hunt. This scope is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. The Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Riflescope also provides a one-piece designed tube constructed with multi-coated lenses. This means it will provide sharpness and clarity even in low light conditions.
To help with adjustments in windage and elevation, this scope offers a Multi-X reticle that has a ¼ MOA that can make accuracy and target acquisition an easy task. You can also go for an illuminated reticle if you feel the need.
This scope is one of the most sought-after scopes in the Bushnell Scope Range, making it a great contender for one of the best 3-9×40 scopes out there.
3. UTG 3-9×40 Hunter Scope
This true hunter scope comes with quality turrets that can be locked and reset. This means these turrets provide zero lockings and also zero resettings. These features provide consistent and precise ¼ MOA per click adjustments for elevation and windage. This means that the scope manipulation is quick. This also means zero and subsequent retention can take seconds to acquire.
This scope offers UTG’s EZ-TAP 36-Color Illumination, enhancing the system’s complete action with a one-click illumination memory. Using this will take you to the last setting.
This scope provides emerald coated lenses which means you can be assured that scoping will be highly effective in any environment or light condition. This hunter scope offers you a front bezel objective lens. It can be adjusted and will provide great parallax from 5 yards up to infinity. The main tube in this scope is sealed and is also nitrogen-filled. This makes the scope fog, rain, and shockproof. These 3-9×40 scopes also come with Picatinny/Weaver Rings. You will have to check the type of rings your rifle works with before ordering this scope.
4. Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 Scope
Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 riflescope is the second scope from Nikon on this list, showing that this company is doing something right. This scope is perfect for large game hunting. It provides excellent zoom and magnification features for heavy cover use.
Nikon’s optical system provides light transmission that is increased up to 98%. It also offers a multi-coated lens which provides the user with high performance. You will get the maximum brightness regardless of the time of day. Thanks to its zero-reset turret feature, you can make field adjustments quite easily. This scope will also provide a spring-loaded and adjustable knob with zero-reset.
Nikon’s BDC Reticle is a very high-quality feature. This feature makes the hunting game relatively easy. You can adjust the bullet drop up to 600 yards, and you can also hold ‘’dead on’’ at different ranges. Due to its ballistic circles, this scope can enhance your experience of shooting from long ranges. Additionally, it holds its own at short degrees too.
5. Simmons Truplex Riflescope
If you are on a tight budget, then this scope is one of the best 3-9×40 scopes in terms of value for money out on the market today. For a budget-friendly scope, the Simmons Truplex Riflescope does not compromise on build quality. This scope was constructed with accuracy and precision in mind.
You can use it in many different environmental conditions without any drawbacks. The Simmons Truplex Riflescope also provides a ‘TrueZero’ elevation with windage adjustment features rare at this price point. It utilizes an audible-click ¼ MOA grip system. This makes the adjustment reasonably easy. These features have a great lock mechanism which means the scope can withstand significant recoil and retain Zero.
It offers a QTA eyepiece which makes the focus adjustment and target acquisition fast and easy. With a build that is light and an 8-point scope, it fulfills the needs of many hunters. It’s also very robust and is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof.
Having said all that, this scope is not one of the best when it comes to light transmission. If you wish to go on hunting sessions at dusk or dawn, you would be wise to look for another choice.
Having said all that, choosing any one of these scopes would be a great choice regardless if you’re looking for a scope that provides the best bang for the buck or the best quality and builds. Most hunters highly praise all the companies listed in this list for their overall build and quality. Although choosing a good rifle for your hunting sessions is mandatory, selecting the best type of scope to go with is paramount if you wish to have a great hunting experience.