We made some tests of high-end hunting wide angle rifle scopes and compared all the main features. These rifle scopes have true 1x power for hunting with both eyes open, (except the Zeiss Victory V8 1.1-8×30) an easily usable reticle with a very strong illumination that is usable at day-light by strong sun, or even at snow where the visibility of the red dot is challenging.
Also, a big field of view is a must in this category of rifle scopes, because in most cases the game is running and with a small field of view there would be very difficult to come on the target in that short time.
All rifle scopes in this comparison have variable magnification, with a zoom range from 5x till 8x. Except for the Zeiss Victory V8, all rifle scopes have a main tube diameter of 30mm (Zeiss 36mm), and most of them can be ordered with a Zeiss ZM / VM, Swarovski SR rail, or a Schmidt & Bender Convex rail for easy mounting.
The turrets in the hunting wide angle rifle scopes are capped, so no accidental movement can occur.
In this category European made rifle scopes prevail over the US or Japan made scopes, mostly they have a bigger field of view, are lighter and richer in functions.
In this test, we didn’t include CQB (Close Quarters Battle) rifle scopes, because they have a different purpose like these hunting wide angle scopes.
We tested following rifle scopes, and they are also numbered from the best rifle scopes from this category in descending order.
1. Swarovski Z8i 1-8×24
2. Leica Magnus 1-6.3×24 I
3. Schmidt & Bender Exos 1-8×24
4. Swarovski Z6i gen2 1-6×24
5. Zeiss Victory V8 1.1-8×30
6. Kahles Helia 1-5×24
7. Docter V6 1-6×24
8. Steiner Nighthunter 1-5×24
9. Meopta Meostar R2 1-6×24
10. Leupold VX6 HD 1-6×24
Swarovski Z8i is in our opinion the best rifle scope in the hunting wide angle rifle scopes comparison because it has an exceptional field of view of 42.5 meters on 100 meters, 4 different reticles, and the 4A-IF reticle has the option to additionally turn on a circle around the red dot in the middle for even easier concentration on the center and thus easier target acquisition.
The Swarovski Z8i 1-8×24 rifle scope has a very bright illumination that can be precisely adjusted for any environment light, the red dot is also very fine and nicely rounded. This rifle scope features also an automatic switch-off function for saving the battery, this means, when the weapon is tilted sideways over 30 degrees or if the weapon is placed upwards or downwards over 70 degrees, the illumination turns off automatically. When you take the rifle and place it into a shooting position, it automatically turns the illumination back on.
This rifle scope is slim in design and very low weight and is one of the few that can be ordered with a Ballistic Turrets.
Like every rifle scope, this one also has his downsides. One of them is the not so ergonomically designed illumination control, that has a small lever on the eyepiece, that is difficult to turn on when using gloves, or when your hands are cold because of the cold weather.
Another downside is the price, that starts by around 2000 euros, but with all additional features like the Ballistic turrets, the Swarovski SR rail for mounting, and the 4A-IF reticle the price jumps up till almost 2900 euros.
Leica Magnus 1-6x24i is in our second place of best hunting wide angle rifle scopes. It has, like the Swarovski Z8i an astonishing image quality, an even better eyebox, so you don’t need to be so centered when looking through the rifle scope, and it has an even wider field of view, which is by this rifle scope incredible 43.2 meters.
In our opinion, Leica Magnus 1-6x24i has the best possible illumination ergonomics, that can be used easily with or without gloves. You simply turn the illumination knob on the eyepiece for day-light or nigh-time illumination, and then just click on this knob for more or less brightness. The red dot that appears in the middle is very sharp and even in the brightest setting it is crisp and it doesn’t shine like a star.
Another great feature is the automatic shut off function, that turns the illumination off when the weapon is in a non-firing position. This rifle scope can be also ordered with a Zeiss ZM / VM rail for easy and reliable mounting.
One of the downsides of the Leica Magnus 1-6x24i rifle scope is definitely the price. For a 6x magnification rifle scope the price could be a little bit lower. But, all other great features compensate for it. Another downside is the illumination, because the automatic shut off function cannot be turned off by the user, but has to be made back in the company. This can be a problem for IPSC shooters, but for normal hunting use, this does not matter.
On the third place of our hunting wide angle rifle scopes is the Schmidt & Bender Exos 1-8×24 rifle scope. This rifle scope features a unique feature, the CC – Mode. This feature is perfect for close range hunting because all other rifle scopes in our comparison have parallax fixed on 100 meters, or 91 meters ( Leupold ), but this scope changes the parallax from 100 meters to 25 meters, simultaneously when you turn the magnification on 1x. This makes the image much sharper at close ranges and the parallax error vanishes.
This rifle scope is fully made from metal, what makes it the most robust rifle scope in our comparison. Schmidt & Bender offers 4 different reticles, and all 4 feature the S&B Flash-Dot technology. This means, where the illuminated red dot is, after the illumination shut down there is no black dot visible. What stays is a clearer picture without any marks where the illuminated dot was.
Another unique feature of the Schmidt & Bender Exos rifle scope is the posicon system. These are special turrets, that have an indicator of the erector system, where the inner parts are positioned. If you have a mount that is not in the same line like the barrel, this indicator shows you how much of an offset you have. But, if you don’t need these turrets, or you want to upgrade to ballistic drop turrets this is also an option.
Schmidt & Bender Exos rifle scope can be ordered without any rail, then you need 30 mm rings for mounting, an S&B Convex rail, or what’s new by S&B, with a Zeiss ZM / VM rail.
When we come to downsides, the biggest downside of this rifle scope is the price. It is the most expensive rifle scope in our test, because without any additional features the starting price is a little bit less than 2800 euros.
Also, the field of view isn’t very big, with only 35.3 meters on 100 meters it has the smallest picture from all 10 tested premium rifle scopes.
Like the Swarovski Z8i 1-8×24, that is in our opinion the best driven hunting rifle scope, also the smaller model, Swarovski Z6i gen.2 1-6×24 features a very big field of view, what makes it perfect for hunting on close range running game.
Also, 3 different reticles are available, with the Swarovski SR rail for easier mounting even 4 reticles, for a big enough choice for any hunting situation.
The illumination is very crisp and sharp, that can be very precisely adjusted to the environment light. Also, the smaller model features the Swarolight illumination unit, that shuts the illumination off when the weapon is tilted over 30 degrees, or placed over 70 degrees for example in a weapon cabinet. But, if you instantly need the rifle, the illumination turns automatically again on, without the need to make anything manually.
This rifle scope is also low weight, and slim in design. And like previously mentioned, it can be ordered without any mounting rail, or with the Swarovski SR rail for an easy and reliable mounting solution.
Like the big brother, the downside of this rifle scope is the non-ergonomically designed illumination switch. In this case, it is even worse. What makes this rifle scope very difficult to use with gloves or cold hands.
The second downside is the price, which is for a 6x zoom rifle scope very expensive, and the turrets are made of plastic, what doesn’t look very quality on such a rifle scope.
On the 5-th place, we have the Zeiss Victory V8 1.1-8×30 rifle scope. This rifle scope has the best illumination between all of our tested driven hunting scopes, and this is thanks to the optical fiber that is integrated into the lens where the reticle is on. The red dot that appears after the illumination turn on is the strongest of them all, and the smallest also. This makes the rifle scope very usable even on a longer range, because the dot doesn’t cover a lot of the target.
The ergonomics of the illumination is also very good, so using the scope on cold days is easily possible even with gloves. The illumination knob is located on the upper side of the eyepiece and is designed as a rotating small turret.
Even the field of view is very wide, with 39.5 meters on 100 meters, so the acquisition of the wild game should not be a problem. The build quality of this rifle scope is superb and very reliable for any hunting situation, and this rifle scope can be ordered also with a Zeiss ZM / VM rail for easier mounting.
This rifle scope has as the only one in our comparison a 30 mm objective lens, what makes this the brightest rifle scope in our comparison, but that’s why we come to our first downside, which is the tube diameter of 36 mm. This makes the rifle scope very big and bulky, and also the weight is on the top of our tested rifle scopes.
Another downside is the lowest magnification of this rifle scope, because it is not a true 1x power. Because of this, it is a little bit heavier to look through the scope with both eyes open.
Kahles Helia 1-5×24 rifle scope stands out from our category because of a very good price/quality ratio. This rifle scope costs 1500 euros, and it can also be ordered with a Swarovski SR rail for easier mounting, and also with this rail, the price isn’t much higher.
The field of view is superb for this price range, with 42.4 meters on 100 meters no wild boar can run away. Also, the eyebox is very good, so you don’t need to concentrate on where you have to position your head for a good view though the rifle scope.
This rifle scope is also very small and lightweight, so carrying this on a rifle will not be a burden. Even better, because of its compact dimensions, you won’t even notice it on the rifle.
The illumination on the Kahles Helia 1-5×24 is also very good, but because Kahles wanted to make a cheaper driven hunting rifle scope, they downgraded superb illumination inside the Kahles Helia 5. That’s why the illuminated dot is a little bit too big in our opinion.
Kahles was also the first manufacturer of rifle scopes that designed an automatic shut-off function of the illumination when the weapon is not in use or if it’s tilted to a non-shooting position.
Another downside is the magnification range, because it features only 5x zoom ratio, which is pretty low against the competition.
To the 7-th place in our test and comparison made the Docter V6 1-6×24 rifle scope. This rifle scope features a 6 times zoom ratio, which is a very big achievement for this price range. This rifle scope costs 1.520 euros and can be optionally ordered also with a Zeiss ZM / VM rail for an easy and reliable mounting. It is much less against other brands 6x zoom ratio rifle scope, and it still features many good features.
The image is very crisp and sharp all the way to the edges, and the illumination is strong and crisp even in the strongest setting. The illuminated dot is also very small but still fine and bright. That’s why this rifle scope can be used even on the medium range, because the dot doesn’t cover a lot of the target.
With this rifle scope Docter made the first step in the premium line of rifle scopes, but still with an affordable price.
What’s the downside of this rifle scope, is definitely the field of view, that is just 37.5 meters. This is almost 5 meters less than the best in this class of rifle scopes.
This rifle scope also doesn’t have an automatic illumination shut-off function, so the hunter must take more care to shut the illumination always off that the battery won’t give up in a short time.
Steiner Nighthunter 1-5×24 rifle scope made good points against the competition, but the more expensive rifle scopes still have some advantages. Whatsoever, the Steiner made good points when it comes to optics, because the image is really sharp and clear all the way to the edges.
Also, the illumination isn’t bad, the red dot is really small, fine and crisp, but it isn’t so bright than in the most expensive models tested. The illumination turret is located in the middle, on the left side of the scope, so it is easily reachable and usable even with gloves. It features 11 levels of brightness settings, 5 for day-time use and 6 for night hunting use. This rifle scope also doesn’t have an automatic illumination shut off function, what is a nice feature to have in such a rifle scope.
Another aspect where this rifle scope varies to other, more expensive rifle scope, is the field of view. The field of view of this Steiner is only 36 meters on 100 meter, and with only 5 times zoom range this rifle scope isn’t really a super-zoom rifle scope either.
The Steiner Nighthunter 1-5×24 rifle scope can also be ordered with a Zeiss ZM / VM rail for a precise and tension free mounting.
The price of the Steiner Nighthunter 1-5×24 is pretty high with almost 1900 euros, when ordered with the Zeiss ZM / VM rail.
On our 9-th place is the Meopta Meostar R2 1-6×24 rifle scope. It is also the cheapest rifle scope in our test, but the quality of this piece is everything else than cheap. The optical clarity and resolution are very good, although, on the edges, it is a little bit blurry.
With a price of only 1.249 euros, it still can compete with the very expensive ones. The reticle is nicely illuminated, with 8 brightness settings, that is very bright on the last level. But the bad thing about the illumination is the diameter, which was already changed from the last design, but in our opinion, it is still too big.
The illumination turret is located in the middle of the rifle scope, on the opposite side of the windage turret, so reaching it and turning the brightness levels is easy in all weather conditions and even with gloves. The Meopta Meostar R2 1-6×24 rifle scope is made slim in design, and it is pretty lightweight with only 500 grams.
The field of view isn’t very impressive, but it is still more than some much more expensive rifle scopes have. The last thing what we noticed was the eyebox, that isn’t so good either. You must be pretty centered behind the rifle scope to see a nice and clear picture through the rifle scope.
On the last place of the premium wide-angle hunting rifle scopes that we compared and tested is the only one non-European rifle scopes producer with his rifle scope Leupold VX-6 HD 1-6×24. This rifle scope is very small in design and extremely lightweight with only 380 grams.
But even it is so lightweight and small, that doesn’t mean the rifle scope isn’t robustly designed. It is also one of few rifle scopes that have an open tactical turret, and one free custom Ballistic BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation) dial with purchase. This turret has a zero locking function, that before dialing you have to push a small button inside to dial the elevation.
The reticle illumination is also extremely well made, because Leupold decided to make an illumination with an optical fiber like Zeiss. This means, the illumination is small but very precise, and even in the strongest setting the dot doesn’t shine like a star.
The illumination is designed that way, that you push a button on the turret located on the opposite side of the windage turret, and with each push, the illumination gets brighter, and when you reach the strongest, it starts all over again. To turn the illumination off, you just have to push the button for 15 seconds.
When we come to downsides, the first thing is the price. Although the scope is very well made, but if you compare it to a European made rifle scope, you will notice a difference in glass quality. Also, the field of view is small for this price class rifle scope.
And the last downside from our side was the eyebox, which is not that good in comparison to other rifle scopes in this test. This makes the rifle scope difficult to use when you don’t have much time to concentrate where you have to position your head.
We want to thank the Optics-Trade online shop for providing and enabling us to test these 10 great rifle scopes. Whatsoever, this review is not sponsored and it’s completely unbiased. This comparison was made simply because of our own interest in the optics and provides an objective opinion of tested rifle scopes.