When it comes to the ranging spotting scope, there is often a lot of confusion about the different varieties available. Some scopes will have a MIL dot reticle, others an MOA reticle, and others an MRAD-ranging reticle. Neither of these types of ranging reticles is better than the other; rather, they are just different types utilizing different units of measurement and, thus, different conversion formulas for determining distance accurately.

Those with a military background will likely find MOA reticles easier. However, they all take time to get used to and move from where you need to convert to using the reticle as second nature. In reviewing these ranging reticle spotting scopes, our top pick was the Leupold Mark 4 Spotting Scope, which we’ll explain in detail below.

Our Pick: Leupold Mark 4 53756 with Mil-Dot Reticle

This tactical spotting scope features a MIL dot-ranging reticle and a magnification range 12-40x. Multicoat four lens optics are complemented by a 60mm objective lens and Leupold’s infamous quality optics. This spotting scope for ranging is actually the United States Army’s official optic, assuring you of the quality and ruggedness of this tactical scope. This ranging spotting scope measures just over a foot long and weighs around two and a half pounds. Available accessories allow you to adapt this scope to night vision or digiscoping easily.

Leupold is renowned for its high-performance optics, which makes this a more affordable choice, although this scope does retail at about $2000. This scope is versatile and can be used for closer viewing as it has a close focus of 36 feet. It is fully waterproof and backed with a lifetime warranty. It includes a protective, soft-sided view-through carrying case that further protects this already durable scope.

Runner-Up: Swarovski STR 86833 Spotting Scope with MRAD Reticle

When it comes to spotting scopes, Swarovski is the top of the line. While their scopes are typically sold without an eyepiece (allowing you to choose just the right level of magnification for your use), we found this one offered with a 20-60x eyepiece.

This particular scope is also available with an MOA or MRAD-ranging reticle. However, the scope and eyepiece combo we tracked down featured the MRAD reticle. The MRAD-ranging reticle can be activated and deactivated. This lets you accurately judge distance and enjoy uninterrupted viewing or use this ranging reticle scope for digiscoping.

This scope has HD optics and fluoride-filled lenses, with optics that are known for incomparable clarity and color fidelity. Featuring a wide 80mm objective lens, this spotting scope measures 15.9 inches (with the eyepiece) and weighs about four and a half pounds without the battery.

This spotting scope has amazing optics that do not compare with any other optics company on the market. However, with that impressive level of quality comes a rather impressive price tag! This scope without the eyepiece is sold directly from Swarovski at just over $3.5k, with this scope and eyepiece combo that we located coming in at just under $4,000. While the quality alone makes this the last scope you’ll ever buy, the price tag nearly guarantees that.

Also Great: Barska AD11430 Tactical Spotting Scope With Mil-Dot Reticle

This is a compact and lightweight spotting scope that has a lot of features but at a much more affordable price. This MIL dot reticle scope is versatile, practical, 11 inches long, and weighs just 1.4 pounds. This ranging spotting scope has a magnification range of 11-33x and has a 50mm objective lens. It is O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, making it waterproof and fog proof, while the rugged rubber armor housing renders it shockproof. The optics are fully multi-coated and made of BK-7 glass. It comes with a table-top tripod, carrying case, and lens cover.

This is the lowest-priced MIL dot-ranging reticle spotting scope available; with that said, there are some quality differences between this scope and the others in this list. The reticle is on the second focal plane, not the first, which means that the standard MIL dot formula only works at the highest magnification.

However, this isn’t a big deal. Barska provides its own conversion formula for each magnification setting, allowing you to use the reticle accurately -it just takes some getting used to it. This scope also has a fixed, angled eyepiece, which comes down to personal preference as a pro or a con.

Honorable Mention: Kruger Optical Lynx 60303 with Mil-Dot Reticle

This is a mid-priced ranging spotting scope comparable to the Leupold price-wise. It features a 7-25x magnification range, a 50mm objective lens, and fully multi-coated optics. The illuminated MIL dot reticle has a single button to control the brightness with ten different brightness settings. It has an ergonomic design for ambidextrous handheld use and a tripod mount. It is 11 inches long and weighs 5 pounds.

The reticle also magnifies equally along the magnification range. Rugged construction makes this scope waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. While it was designed by US optical engineers, the advanced electronics, ergonomic design, and magnification range make this a versatile ranging reticle spotting scope.

This is a rugged-ranging scope with a much more affordable price tag. It has an illuminated reticle that can be turned off or on with a single button and has variable brightness settings. It was specifically designed for handheld use, making it more versatile than other ranging spotting scopes. The sleek design has thumb grips for both left and right-handed users and an extra long eye relief that is comfortable wearing eyeglasses or goggles.

What Is the Best Ranging Spotting Scope?

As you can see, most ranging spotting scopes are only offered by high-end manufacturers and, thus, have quality optics, you can count on. We tried to present a fair range of what’s available on the market right now.

After deliberation, we narrowed our choice to the Leupold Mark 4 Spotting Scope. The quality of Leupold’s optics is well-known, and the price isn’t too bad. But, in the end, it came down to this one point: if this ranging spotting scope is good enough for the US Army, well, then it’s good enough for us.

Sources and Official Brand Websites:

Swarovski Optik  |  Barska  | Wiki: Spotting Scope

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