Best Scopes for SKS Rifles (2020): Buying Guide

Best SKS Scopes 2020 - Feature Image

When you own an SKS rifle, it means it is equivalent to holding a piece of history in your hands. It is a rifle that is very popular with a lot of shooters and collectors. Not forgetting to mention, these Soviet-era military rifles are also really fun to work around with.

If you wish to mount a scope on your SKS rifle – no matter if it is for target practices or hunting – you will find out the details later on in this article. We will talk about the criteria and other important topics related to your SKS scope first. Among them, how to mount I, and recommending some of the best scopes for your SKS rifles.

The SKS rifle has undoubtedly been a workhorse of former Soviet Bloc nations. It is the rifle of choice they have chosen to send as military aid to for many decades. To this day, it still remains in ceremonial use in several countries. Some countries still hold it dor reserve or military use.

The SKS rifles can still be found in regular use in conflict zones across the globe. It is said that a lot of the SKS rifle has been imported into the USA since the 1980s. Ranging from valuable collectible military surplus rifles to those made for the commercial market, it is a very popular rifle with shooters and collectors alike.

With 1 or 2 notable commercial exceptions that are shipped from the factory with built-in scope mounts, scoping the SKS has been a bit difficult in the past. And choosing the proper scope has been just as problematic.

At times the mount somewhat determines the scope. Having said that, and with that in mind, we have carefully selected scopes that are both suitable for the intermediate power of the 7.62×39.

It isn’t super expensive so to speak. But it isn’t so cheap to an extent it’s junk. Other than collectibles, the typical SKS scope price you’ll see can go up to US$400+ or more. That’s one of the best things about SKS rifles and their accessories, they are not super expensive that they can break your bank.

There are a lot of really good choices. You just have to look for one that is so good it fits your SKS rifle just right!

What Makes a Great SKS Scope?

As the SKS rifle is not your top-of-the-range rifle or a very expensive kind at that, it does make sense to stick to low-to-medium cost scopes for those kinds of guns. At the same time, keep in mind the purpose of the gun and what your intentions are to shoot with it.

If you are the kind of gun owner who likes to go hunting during the day time, you will require a more basic scope. However, when it comes to night time or dusk hunting, you will need optical coatings on the scope for better lightings.

Magnification

When it comes to the magnification power of your SKS scope, we will advise you to choose a magnification that is suitable for the range up to 300 yards. Anything that is more than 4x will be a bit of an overkill as the SKS rifle is a 3-4 MOA rifle.

Objective Lenses

The objective lens us the light-gathering lens on the far end of your scope. The bigger your objective lens, the better you can shoot in lower light. The final number in your scope’s description will tell you the size of the objective.

For example, the scope with a designation of 5.5-22x56mm has a 56mm objective. Just get yourself the biggest objective you can currently afford.

We will highly recommend an objective that is at least 50mm minimum. However, please keep in mind that the size will affect your sight picture.

Reticle

While almost all scopes you can find comes with a sealed and nitrogen purged tube coated optics, the reticle can make the scope really stand out from the rest.

Also, reticles can be illuminated or not. However, the illuminated ones make it possible to acquire targets better in all lighting conditions.

Scope Size: Which Do I Need?

It depends on what you are looking for, to be honest. In all honesty, it will depend on a few of your personal needs and preferences.

If you are looking for a scope that can give you a lot more coverage in terms of your image picture, then it is important to look for a scope with a larger objective. A good lot of the time the scope’s overall diameter will in all likelihood be an inch. That is something which fits most scope ring mounts or flat mounts.

Mounting your SKS Scope

In order to mount your scope on the SKS rifle, you will obviously need a scope mount. Your scope mount should be solid, secure, and durable at the same time.

When you mount the scope on to the rifle, your scope or any attachments should be firmly attached to the firearm with as little movement as possible. It will (and can) guarantee better shooting accuracy when firing.

To make sure that the mount is securely attached to your firearm, you will need to know the best way to mount your scope on the SKS rifle.

Therefore you will need to plan accordingly to the optic and mounting solution placing your scope. This is so that it does not get damaged when the rifle is fired from the ejection port. What will determine the top-rated SKS rifle scope mount on the market are the cost. Its alignment precision, the fit, the design, and the durability.

Choosing the Best Scope for Your Shooting Style

As the 7.62x39mm cartridge is comparable in power to some 30-30 rounds, the SKS rifle is often used as a deer rifle in some parts of North American countries. Do keep in mind that the practical considerations like loading with stripper clips, coupled with the problem of spent brass hitting the scope, a compact scope with either fixed power or modest magnification (or a red dot) mounted on a stable, secure mount, is highly recommended.

The SKS rifle is not made with sniper-like accuracy in mind. However, it is accurate enough for most hunting games anyway. Unless your SKS rifle has some custom works done on it previously to make it more accurate, you will be better off choosing one of the scopes on our list.

The scopes listed here that have been chosen to fit the basic functionality and operational parameters that an SKS rifle is capable of.

Scoping the SKS Rifle

The SKS rifle was made in the fierce house-to-house fighting of the 2nd World War Russia. While there are guns and rifles that offered momentous amounts of short-range fire-power, the Russians lacked effective intermediate-range self-loading rifles.

It is inspired by the German 8mm Kurz that was used in the StG 43 rifle. Russian engineers made the 7.62x39mm cartridge and in 1945 fielded a limited amount of number of prototype SKS rifles.

But from the earliest of its days, it was made to be an infantry rifle and fitted with iron sights. No SKS rifle using nation adopted and issued a standard scoped version. However, there were some limited effort made to scope some of the rifles during the conflict in former Yugoslavia.

It took Norinco to mass produced scoped SKS rifles, and these were strictly made for the USA commercial market. Ultimately, scoping the SKS has watered down to side mounts attached to the back of the rifle with screws.

It went on to having various dust cover mounts ranging from barely capable of holding 0 to requiring multiple set screws. Or various clamp on schemes or rear sight replacement scout mounts.

It is sufficient to say that getting a solid and stable scope mount in your SKS rifle is either an act of gun-smithing or a bit of witchcraft. But as soon as it is done, then we are left with the question of which (or what) is the best scope?

The Best SKS Scopes: Reviewed

Now that we are over with the criteria part when choosing the best SKS scope, let’s have a look at some of the best scopes for your SKS. Take note of some of the best scopes you think fits your SKS rifle best. You may find one that you like here.

1. Primary Arms 1-6x24mm SFP Riflescope (with Patented ACSS) Reticle Gen III

Primary Arms Patented ACSS

This is one of the scopes where a lot of new users are very happy with. The same group of new users said that it takes them a few minutes to attach it to their SKS rifles. They are also impressed with the image quality saying how it is crystal clear and appeared to be in high definition.

Another user said that this is a great scope for him for all his hunting applications. He also said that the illuminated reticle made his low-light hunting experiences a lot easier.

As mentioned before, this scope is mayhap one of the best SKS scopes that is currently on the market. We are, in some ways, inclined to agree to an extent. For a start, it has got some really great quality in terms of the scope itself. Its body is made from high quality 6063 aluminum that can keep the 0 settings protected even via repeated amounts of shock.

Not only that, but the 11 illumination settings are also available for you to cycle through so you can find the best one for all kinds of hunting applications. So whether you are hunting when the sun is coming up or down in broad daylight. This scope can certainly be your best hunting friend that you will come across for your SKS rifle.

This Primary Arms 1-6×24 SFP Gen III Rifle Scope contains advanced technology such as the Advanced Combined Sighting System reticle. It makes its features like bullet drop compensation, wind holds, moving target leads and range estimation easy to use and intuitive.

The 2nd focal plane design means the reticle remains the same size at all magnifications for quick acquisition. It allows you, as a scope, to zoom in at 6x maximum power. The Gen III scope 10.04 inches long and weighs 16.09 ounces.

This is the ultimate hunting scope for a lot of gun users. You have the illuminated reticle, great body quality, and lenses that produces high quality image pictures. Generally, it is one of the best scopes that will get the job done and drop your hunting targets right in its tracks. It didn’t matter if it is a deer or any small game targets, it works.

If you are hunting with an SKS, you will need a scope that will make every hunting application maximized to your advantage. Hence, the bottom line is that the Primary Arms SFP Riflescope is one of the best of the best and with good reasons too.

You get a good deal of clear image quality and the ability to reach out and touch something at impressive distances. You will be left wanting for more to find any other scope quite like this if you want something that can easily help you kill a deer from about 300 yards out.

It’s guaranteed that is a fully featured scope that can compete with the best. Also it is ideal for hunting and target shooting in all sorts of conditions. The Gen III scope will take whatever you throw at it, and at the same time keep you on target.

2. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24 2nd Focal Plane Riflescope – ARBDC Reticle (MOA)

Vortex Optics Riflescope Strike Eagle

A lot of new users reported back saying they are very happy with this scope. Many of them are able to use it without any or much problems in both a low-light setting, and a broad daylight setting.

Nonetheless, either way they are able to hit their targets from a really impressive distance. One of the users said that he spotted a whitetail deer from around 400 yards away before shooting it out with a couple of shots. To put it simply, he was also quite impressed with the adjustment knobs being easy to handle, and just adjust if the shots appeared off.

This Vortex Optics scopes are well known for being one of the best scopes for SKS in terms of its durability. As a matter of fact, they have built scopes that are probably some of the most durable ones in the scope market.

Which is a good thing if you want something that is built solidly and can easily give you the opportunity to improve your sharpshooting skills in a hunting application. This scope fits that really well and it may be right up your alley too.

This Strike Eagle scope is both versatile and fast at the same time. It ranges in magnification from 1x to 6x, and the scope has high quality and fully multi-coated lenses for a clear and crisp sight picture. It also comes with an optimal low light performance too.

At the same time, it also has an illuminated, glass-etched BDC reticle with up to 11 illumination settings for changing light conditions. Its fast focus dial on the eyepiece makes sure that your reticle always stay sharp.

It always ensures reliability in all weather conditions. To make transition even faster and seamlessly, you can make use of the optimal Vortex Switchview SV4 Throw Lever.

This scope is a really good scope for hunters who wants top-notch durability. To put it simply, they want a scope that can last a very long time and can handle any and all kinds of weather they find themselves in whenever.

The bottom line here is that this scope is damn near indestructible. Therefore, if you are inclined to find a scope that has the potential to last you quite a long time, then look no further. This Vortex Optic scope is definitely something you are looking for!

The bottom line is that the Vortex Optic Strike Eagle Rifle Scope will outshine and outpaced any scope at any given day when it comes to durability. However, it can put on quite a show if you are in a hunting or target shooting situation.

If you are looking to shoot at targets located and situated at absurd distances, then you will want a scope like this one. Scopes like this one can help keep you going through every application that is fit for an SKS rifle.

This Vortex Optic scope can handle any targets your SKS rifle is capable of hitting. It has up to 6x magnification and a quick acquisition system, which makes it an ideal scope for hunting in general.

3. Sniper Compact Rifle Scope 4×32 (With Ring)

Sniper Compact Riflescope - With Ring

This is another SKS rifle scope that has impressed a lot of new users. New users said how they are able to hit targets from well over 200 yards and even beyond. A lot of new users who have used this on their rifles like the air rifles and even SKS rifles themselves.

They mentioned how they can consistently hitting targets with such accuracy and precision that one user said his likelihood of hitting kill shots have increased compared to the scopes he have previously used.

So far this scope is maybe one of the better SKS scopes on the market that has an affordable price tag, according to a lot of gun users. That means if you are looking for a scope that is great and excellent in quality inside and out, then this may be the first choice you should look into.

It will not suck your bank account dry so you won’t have to worry about how expensive it will get for you. You will get a whole lot more than what you have paid for since you will be able to see clearly and hit your shots with great accuracy at 200 yards or more.

The basic hunting scope can be used on a Picatinny rail and have really great quality sapphire lenses. With a fixed 4x magnification that cannot be adjusted as much as its objective diameter of 32mm and a field view at 100 yards.

Its range-finding reticle makes sure that you get a great shooting experience. At the same time the windage and elevation knobs do not need a special tool to help adjust.

The knobs provide 1” of adjustment per click at 100 yards and have metal tabs to make rotation a lot easier for you. It is said that the scope sights in very quickly and very easily. It comes with mounting rings. However, the rings make the scope ride rather low on the rail.

If you are looking for a scope that gives you a lot more than you have bargained for, then this scope will be the one. Hence, this is why we consider this scope to be a great one for those who are starting out with SKS hunting or target shooting.

It may be the only scope you will be relying on for many years down the road…or it may be one that you will be using until you found one better to upgrade to. However, regardless of what you are looking for, you will still get some pretty good accurate shooting out of the whole thing. Go ahead and land that kill shot or bullseye with this scope. Don’t be surprised if you do!

In summary, this scope is the clear choice – odds in favor – for budget shoppers. So if you are one of them, you are getting quite a steal of a sweet pricing here. Although it may be great for hunting, it will excel in target shooting situations too.

Regardless of all that, you can expect this scope can do it all. So if you are wanting to make your SKS rifle shooting experience more accurate and precise without sinking a hole in your bank account, then choosing this scope may just be the right decision.

The bottom line is that it is a decent budget option for an SKS rifle. Consider how it will get the job done without having too many bells and whistles.

4. UTG Compact Scope With Rings

UTG Compact Scope Mildot with Rings

A lot of gun owners and gun users are impressed with this scope’s ability to retain your favorite illumination settings that you can use in low-light settings. One of its users mentioned how he had an illumination that he liked, and made sure that he wasn’t going to spend all kinds of time adjusting it.

With just one press of a button, he was able to restore it. Hence so far it has helped him land a whitetail deer before sunrise and before anyone else was up. Generally, the scope proves to be superb in durability and allows for hitting targets up to 500 yards out itself.

One of the features that stands out to us and many other users is the mil-dot reticle. The dot comes with different colors. Each one allowing you to set one to ensure that you are able to use it for all your accurate and precise shooting at almost any given distance up to 500 yards.

Hence, if you are looking for a scope that will make it easier on you and your eyesight, then this scope may be the best option for you. Even better is that the mil-dot is at the right size so you may be able to increase your hot probability by some.

That means if you are a hunter or even a target shooter and accuracy is your leading concern, this scope may end up on your shortlist of what you are choosing.

This compact scope uses multiple Emerald coated lenses for clarity and light transmission. Its EZ-TAP Illumination Enhancing (IE) system allows red/green dual-color mode and 36 colors to accommodate all weather and light conditions.

For consistent 0 lockings and 0 resettings, the target turrets have a ¼ MOA per click windage/elevation adjustment. You can attach this scope to any guns using Picatinny or Weaver rings.

If you are looking for a scope that is built to last and super fun to use for all your SKS shooting needs, then this scope by UTG will definitely give you the best user experience you ever will.

It is said that it is built like a tank, and can definitely give you a performance that can give other scopes a run for their money. Do expect this to last you many years or decades to come. Assuming that you take great care of your SKS rifles on a regular basis.

The bottom line is that this UTG Compact Scope will be the best possible choice for many SKS rifle hunters and target shooters. All you have to do is to just install this sleek scope and watch your hits probability rise almost instantly.

Who knew if you may land an awesome and precise kill shot on the same day you got this scope. That is if you sight it in first and make sure that everything runs smoothly.

It is definitely an excellent scope with plenty of functions and a very workable sight. At the same time, it is an appropriate accessory for your SKS rifle, especially for longer range shots.

Our Verdict

When choosing the best scope for your SKS rifle, remember the capabilities of the rifle and the purpose you will be using it for. If you are hunting in low light conditions with shot ranges of 100 to 200 yards, remember to choose a scope with medium magnification and the right coating for low lights.

The reticle and objective lens size will also determine the best scope for the desired conditions. There is no need for any fancy tactical accessories on a rifle like the SKS. However, you can browse our list of recommended accessories on a rifle like the SKS. There are a wide list of recommended scopes with some options that suit a huge variety of budgets online too.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) some new gun owners and gun users may have.

Q: Can you put a scope on a SKS?

Yes you can put a scope on a SKS rifle. There are several really good scopes that you can find on the market for your SKS rifles.

Q: Is SKS a sniper rifle?

The SKS rifle is a designated marksman rifle being a middle ground between a stereotypical assault rifle and a sniper rifle. The SKS rifle is not without its downside for obvious reasons.

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