The 338 Lapua magnum is a bottlenecked, rimless, centerfire cartridge used for war in Afghanistan and Iraq, in time dedicated hunters have adapted to this cartridge and made the best out of it.
Today, a lot of hunters love to shoot with this caliber and many new hunters want to join in that fun. If you are someone who wants to get into this great caliber but doesn’t know what kind of scope will suit the beast, then you are at the right place.
You and I are on a mission to find out the best scope for the 338 Lapua Magnum. Without further ado, let’s get to work.
How To Choose a Scope For 338 Lapua?
You are aware of how vicious the caliber is. And it takes a lot of effort to tame this monster. But without having a good scope, you can’t really master the cartridge. For that, I have already given you some of the best offerings on the market. But I get that you might still be confused about what to choose. Don’t worry, I’m here to help you with that confusion.
You can divide this confusion into two sections. The first one is what you want and how much magnification you require.
- What do you want in a scope?
- Is it the magnification?
- The compact form factor?
- The lightweight build?
- Or maybe how gorgeous they look?
Ask yourself these questions and you will already come out with one scope on top filling most of your blanks. And don’t forget the magnification. Depending on what range you shoot at, take a scope that has enough magnification for your needs.
Lastly, the budget. The budget will play the most vital role in the decision making. Even if the Swarovski or Steiner ticks all of your boxes, you might not feel comfortable spending that much on a riflescope. And I get that. Don’t get me wrong, I get that. But good things cost a lot, you need to understand that as well.
If you are serious about this career, then a Steiner will pay off its cost within a year or two of regular use. But if you don’t want to spend that much, that’s totally okay. Athlon and Vortex got you covered in the budget section as well.
See, you don’t need to feel bad about spending less or getting a cheap scope. We all start somewhere. Don’t take it too harshly and just start the wonderful journey. You are in for a ride my friend.
Best Scope For 338 Lapua [Editor’s Picks]
|NIGHTFORCE SHV 5-20x56mm Zeroset .250 MOA Scope MOAR/Forceplex Reticle||Buy on Amazon|
|Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50 SFP Riflescope VMR-1 MOA , black||$699.00||Buy on Amazon|
1. Steiner T5Xi 5-25×56 Tactical Rifle Scope
The Steiner T5Xi is an extremely long-range riflescope designed for designated marksman rifles and sniper rifles as well. While the Lapua Magnum is mostly used in military sniper rifles, the T5Xi has found its way into military rifles as well.
The T5Xi is an extremely expensive riflescope made by Steiner. A brand that you can trust with your eyes closed to deliver. And they did great with the T5Xi. The scope is available in several different configurations. The one that I want you to go with is the 5-25x56mm.
As you know already, the 338 Lapua magnum is capable of reaching up to 1,500 or so yards. With that much distance in the book, it’s always better to have a scope that can magnify to that range if not more. And that’s exactly where the Steiner shines. At long-range, the FFP reticle provides you with accurate bullet drop compensation and the reticle is simply excellent for game hunting.
Is the reticle of the scope illuminated?
Yes, it is. The SCR MOA reticle is not a Christmas tree reticle that you might have seen in other long-range scopes. This one has a lot of ways to tell you the range, windage, and elevation.
What kind of scope rings will I need for this?
The tube is a bit thicker than most other scopes in the market. It’s a 34mm tube instead of the 30 or 1” you are used to seeing. Steiner makes some 34mm rings called H-Series. They are pretty good for this.
What kind of warranty does Steiner provide?
Steiner has something called a heritage warranty with their products. As long as the product exists, Steiner will take care of your product.
2. Swarovski Z5 3.5-18×44 Ballistic Turret Riflescope
Swarovski is another trusted brand that makes great high-end riflescopes. The one that I’m recommending to you is used by a lot of hunters who do big-game hunting professionally. The scope’s accuracy and durability are quite insane and out of this world. With craftsmanship like this, your scope will outlast most things in your collection.
The scope is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum. The same type of aluminum is used by all companies in their flagship products. The inside of the scope is also chemically purged and filled to make it immune to all sorts of moisture and eliminate all leftover moisture from machining.
The lenses of the scope are what seal the deal for me. They are fully multi-coated, as you expect them to be. But it features Swarovision, a technology developed by Swarovski to utilize the full potential of HD glass.
That’s right, the lenses are made out of HD glasses and their low-light performance is mesmerizing. They are one of the best 338 Lapua scopes for low-light shooting.
Where are Swarovski optics made?
They were founded in Austria and they are still made there. Though they operate all over the globe, they are still sticking to their roots.
Is the reticle of this scope in the first focal plane?
It’s not. The reticle of this scope is in the second focal plane. This can be a bit turn-off for many, but the reticle is still 100% accurate at long range.
What’s the tube thickness of this optic?
The tube thickness of this scope is standard. It’s a 1” thick scope that supports any 1” rings that you want to put around it.
3. NIGHTFORCE SHV 5-20x56mm Zeroset .250 MOA Scope
Nightforce may not be as expensive as Swarovski, but it definitely packs a punch that can give Swarovski a run for its money! Nightforce SHV is a long-range riflescope suitable for sniper rifles and cartridges like the 338 Lapua Magnum.
The cartridge is capable of firing accurately beyond 1000 yards and this scope can back up that distance with ease.
The scope is made from aircraft-grade aluminum. The same type of aluminum you are used to seeing in god knows how many scopes. Not saying it’s a bad thing, but it’s a thing you are very familiar with. The inside of the tube is purged chemically to eliminate all moisture and prints left through machining.
That makes this wonderful scope not only fogproof but also water and shockproof as well. A lot of scope struggles with the recoil of something like the Lapua magnum. But this one is here to stand still like the scarecrow in summer.
The scope is available in both non-illuminated and illuminated reticles. If you are taking this scope for hunting, I would recommend you to get the illuminated reticle variant. While the illumination might cost a little bit of extra, that illumination will come in handy.
Is this a good scope for hunting?
The SHV scopes are designed for versatility. Depending on your usage, the scope can easily be the only scope you will ever need. It can do tactical shooting and hunt like a monster as well.
What’s the tube diameter of this scope?
The tube is 30mm thick. It’s the same thickness as most other scopes on the market. Thanks to that, finding rings for this will be easy.
Any warranty with this?
Yes, there is. The warranty period is a limited lifetime with transferable ownership benefits available as well.
4. Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44mm Side Focus Riflescope
The next one that I will recommend with Lapua is from none other than Leupold themselves. Leupold is not a new kid on the block. They have been making quality recreational shooting optics and hunting optics for a long time now.
The VX series is quite versatile for being able to be used in hunting and tactical shooting. On top of that, the VX series usually costs a lot less than the competition.
The VX-5HD is made from CNC-machined aluminum. The housing is purged internally and anodized externally. Making it immune to internal fogging and resistant to external scratches. On top of that, the scope is also water and fogproof.
The lenses are the main selling point of this optic. They are fully multi-coated and they have Guard-ion lens coating on top of that.
This layer of coating prevents dirt and fingerprints from sticking on the lens surface and it sheds water quite nicely. The HD lenses are flawless. There are no visual glitches, aberrations, or distortions present on the scope. It’s a beast for hunting.
What kind of mounting rings will be good for this scope?
It can accept all sorts of scope rings. As long as the rings are 30mm. This specific model of VX5-HD is 30mm. It also has other models that are 34mm thick.
Will this have any warranty issues?
No, it won’t. Leupold is known for their after-sales service. They will take care of you for a lifetime. As long as you have a Leupold product, Leupold is bound to take care of you.
Where is this scope made?
The scope is made in the USA. From designing to machining to and lastly the assembly process, all of that is done in the USA.
5. Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope
The TR23 is a really good hunting riflescope that allows a lot of customization and freedom to the user. From manual brightness override to contrast syncing based on light conditions, the TR23 has done a lot of things right.
That does include the aircraft-grade aluminum. The housing is also purged with chemicals to make it immune to internal moisture. Thanks to proper lens sealing, water can’t get inside of the scope either. Making it a perfect choice for hunting in the wilderness under harsh weather.
The scope also features a battery free illumination system. The illumination is not too in the face and it feels subtle enough to help you aim better instead of hogging all of your attention while you are after the target.
The lenses are extremely clear. They are bright and vibrant, and the colors are lifelike. As there is no aberration present on the optic, you won’t see a mirage of your targets either.
What’s the tube diameter?
The tube diameter of this scope is 30mm. Keep in mind to get 30mm rings and not 1” rings. The 1” won’t fit.
Where is this scope made?
Just like the vast majority of Trijicon’s offerings, this one is also designed, machined, and assembled in the USA.
Is the reticle in FFP?
No, it’s not. It’s a second focal plane reticle.
6. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24×50 SFP Riflescope
The Vortex Viper series is a very popular hunting accessories series from Vortex. The riflescope under this banner has some incredible value to them. For the price, they are unbeatable. The HS-T is a second focal plane reticle scope that is available with VMR-1 MOA or MRAD reticle.
The scope is made out of durable aircraft-grade aluminum. The inside of the scope is purged as well. The scope is fog, shock, and waterproof at the same time. O-ring sealing has always been a working method from preventing water from getting inside. The scope is also available in 6-24×50 and 4-16×44 configurations.
If you are into long-range shooting, then by all means get the 6-24x model. The lenses on this scope are fully multi-coated. They are some of the most clear lenses you will ever come across under 1000$.
Where is this scope made?
While Vortex is a US based company, they don’t make all of their products right here in the USA. And this one isn’t either. The Viper HS-T is made in the Philippines.
Same warranty as other Vortex scopes?
Yes, the same. The same unconditional lifetime guarantee that you are used to with Vortex products.
Is this scope good for hunting?
It’s made for hunting. People use this as tactical and range shooting as well but the main purpose of the scope was hunting.
7. Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2 6-24X50mm FFP Riflescope
Lastly, I have another great scope to recommend to you guys. This one is from Athlon. I’m sure you have heard of them or in fact, read about the BTR Gen2 right here. If so, you already know how good of a scope this is for the money. If you didn’t, no worries. You will know now.
The scope is constructed from high-quality aluminum. The aluminum is lightweight and extremely sturdy. The inside of the tube is filled and purged with argon. Using argon removes all sorts of moisture from the scope and makes it immune to internal fogging.
To prevent water from going inside, the tube is sealed properly and the turrets of the scope are also sealed properly.
Advanced fully multi-coating makes the scope lenses look phenomenal. Long-range has no fatigue or vision blurring issues. The scope doesn’t suffer from any kind of glare from light or color alteration. You won’t see a raccoon in place of a deer. That’s for sure.
Jokes aside, the coating Athlon uses on their scope is top-notch. It also improves the resistance ability of the scope. The lenses resist water, oil, and dust well.
What’s the tube diameter of this scope?
The tube is 30mm in thickness and the tube is 14.1” in length. Don’t buy 1” rings, you will waste your money if you do so.
Is this scope too heavy?
For the size and magnification, it’s packing? Hell no! The scope weighs only 30oz. That’s excluding rings and sunshades, of course. But the weight is quite nicely balanced and it doesn’t tilt too forward.
What kind of warranty does Athlon offer?
Athlon offers a limited lifetime warranty with all of their optics. This one is no exception. You won’t get an unlimited warranty, but the warranty provided is not bad either.
Well, would you look at the time? Who am I kidding, it’s not like you can read the time here. Jokes apart, I hope you found your answer. You and I started this journey to find the best scope for 338 Lapua and we are ending this with a huge success. At least I hope it was a success on your end as well.
With that said, that’s all for now. Thanks a ton for sticking around and reading my blabbering. I appreciate you all reading and learning more about something we love. That’s all for now folks. I will see you at the next one. Till then, take care and have fun, bye.