Top 5 Best Spotting Scopes with Reticles

Top 5 Best Spotting Scopes with Reticles

You can keep your eyes centered on your target by choosing a scope with reticles. Here is a list of the top 6 best spotting scopes with reticles.

After a long time in the tree stand looking for your trophy buck or staring at busy tree branches full of leaves or needles looking for that elusive bird, your eyes are likely to become tired. From this moment until bedtime, it is going to be increasingly difficult to focus your eyes. To help curb this fatigue, at least a little bit, some people choose to purchase spotting scopes with reticles. Reticles are the little lines (that often form a cross or grid) seen in rifle scopes. These lines are often called ‘crosshairs.’ Not only do they help to center and focus the eyes, but reticles can also help to size targets, and even measure relative distances. Here is a list of the top five best spotting scopes with reticles to help find a scope that can give your eyes a break, size up your target, or locate your favorite bird.

Leupold Mark 4 12-40x60mm Tactical Spotting Scope 

The Leupold Mark 4 12-40x60mm Tactical Spotting Scope sits on the list of top spotting scopes mainly because of the DiamondCoat 2 ion assist lens coating used on its optical lenses. This coating greatly increases the light transmittance and provides a high level of resistance to abrasion. With the efficient use of available light, a spotting scope will give you a clear image and sharper focus. The coating with abrasion resistance will also aid in the cleaning process. A scratch and abrasion-free lens is much easier to maintain than a lens with scratches or micro-abrasions. The Leupold Mark 4 is also fully waterproof as well as fog proof and shockproof, making it a good choice for situations involving inclement weather or heavy use.

The image produced by the Leupold Mark 4, thanks to the BAK-4 Prisms, are free of edge distortion and provide a perfectly round exit pupil. This is to make sure that the image is clear and well defined.

The glassing light is increased by 10 to 20 minutes with the Twilight Max Light Management System, meaning that twilight conditions are not a problem. This feature is important since many desired game animals are ‘on-the-move’ at dusk or dawn. The reticle used is a Tactical Milling Reticle (TMR). A Tactical Milling Reticle has lines that originate from a center dot, and that have hash marks spaced down the lines.

The Leupold Mark 4 has a magnification range of 12x-40x.

  • DiamondCoat 2 ion assist lens coating for high light transmittance and abrasion resistance
  • Fully waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof
  • BAK-4 Prisms eliminate edge distortion
  • Very clear and perfectly round image
  • Quality Twilight Max Light Management System adds up to 20 minutes of glassing time
  • Compact design
  • TMR reticle
  • Made in the USA
  • 60mm objective lens
  • 60mm objective lens needs to be cleaned frequently due to size

BARSKA 11-33X50 WP Tactical Spotting Scope

The BARSKA 11-33X50 WP Tactical Spotting Scope stands out because of the additional zoom. The BARSKA WP has a magnification range of 11x to 33x. After reaching maximum magnification, the BARSKA WP can zoom farther to enlarge the image. The image clarity can also be fine-tuned by turning a small adjustment knob. Many people find the zoom to be a great feature because it is easily fine-tuned from the ‘back-end.’

The construction of the BARSKA WP is solid. The exterior is covered in a rubber armor material. This makes the spotting scope waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. This is important since the weather conditions are never guaranteed to be optimal on any hunting trip.

This spotting scope comes with a tabletop tripod that folds and is just as portable as the scope itself. This model can be fitted with any standard mounting screws, making it a great fit for your favorite tripod as well. A soft carrying case is also included with the purchase of the BARSKA WP.

The BARSKA WP Spotting Scope has a 50mm objective lens and is excellent for hunting and tactical applications with the Mil-Cross reticle. The Mil-Cross reticle is great for range finding as well as targeting, especially with the use of the side knob for focus adjustments. Range finding is crucial because it can help you to determine if the target is within shooting distance and worth preparing a shot. It can also help you to determine the distance of other objects to get a better idea of the relative position of your target.

  • Precision Optics make for great magnification and zoom
  • Mil-Cross reticle and side adjustment knob make targeting and range finding easy
  • Durable construction
  • Waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof
  • Compact
  • Includes carrying case and tabletop tripod
  • Easily mounts to other tripods
  • 50mm objective lens with a good ‘middle-of-the-road’ magnification range
  • Reticle rotates with the eyepiece
  • Only 100% accurate at full magnification
  • Blurry after 500 yards

Nikon 16383 X1000 Matte Illuminated x-MRAD Reticle Spotting Scope

With multi-coated glass (all surfaces exposed to open-air) and specialized reticles, the Nikon 16383 X1000 Matte Illuminated x-MRAD Reticle Spotting Scope is a no-brainer on this list of the top five best spotting scopes with reticles. The reticles and adjustment (x1000) have MOA tactical variants and are glass etched. They have an illumination option, allowing them to be easily seen in adverse conditions. The illumination has ten settings. In between each of these settings is an ‘off’ switch ensuring there is a clear differentiation between the levels of brightness. This also helps to cut-back impending eye and facial fatigue.

The field of view of this spotting scope can be between 6.8 feet and 27.2 feet at 100 yards. This riflescope also has a Parallax adjustment knob that can be adjusted to minimize the need for the shooter to reposition his or her body.

The eye relief of the Nikon 16383 X1000 Scope is reliable and consistent. This keeps you safe while encouraging proper form and discouraging over-straining. Tired eyes and facial fatigue can shorten the amount of time that you are at your peak performance on the hunt. 

Elevation and windage turrets are located on the body of the scope. These turrets are ergonomic and have 0.1 MRAD click graduations. This means that each turn results in 5 MRAD. The Nikon 16383 X1000 Scope is O-ring sealed and waterproof as well as dustproof and shockproof. The body is 30mm and made of aircraft aluminum alloy.

  • Fully multi-coated glass
  • Reticles have MOA tactical variants and are glass etched.
  • Reticles can be illuminated at ten different brightness settings
  • Has Parallax adjustment feature
  • Great eye relief and protection
  • Ergonomic windage and elevation turrets
  • O-ring sealed
  • Waterproof, dustproof, and fog proof
  • Lifetime warranty included
  • Slightly high in price

Sightmark Latitude 20-60×80 XD Tactical Spotting Scope

With extra-low dispersion glass that is fully multi-coated, the Sightmark Latitude 20-60×80 XD Tactical Spotting Scope is a hefty contender on the list of the top five best spotting scopes with reticles. Extra-low dispersion glass is used to enhance clarity and accuracy. The coating is resistant to scratches and abrasions. The glass is also coated in a dielectric mirror coating to increase reflectivity. This is to make sure that the maximum possible amount of light is utilized when looking through the scope.

The reticle is located on the initial focal plane. This model has a mil-radian reticle. The body of the scope is housed in a protective rubber armor for durability, making this scope fully waterproof and fog proof.

  • Extra-low dispersion glass
  • Glass is fully multi-coated
  • Glass also coated with Dielectric mirror coating for more efficient light-reflectivity
  • Mil-radian reticle
  • Rubber-armored exterior
  • Waterproof, dustproof, and fog proof
  • Tabletop tripod included
  • Carrying case included
  • Eyepiece cover included
  • Rubber collects dust and dirt

Leupold GR 20-60x80mm Gold Ring Spotting Scope

The 80mm objective lens makes the clarity and light transmittance extremely bright, crisp, and efficient in the Leupold GR 20-60x80mm Gold Ring Spotting Scope. The Impact reticle is also unique and incredibly useful. As in some other mentioned models, the reticle is located within the front-most focal plane. This ensures that the reticle and measurements remain accurate at any magnification. Accuracy at all magnifications eliminates unnecessary calibrations and calculations, saving you precious time when it counts.

Maximum light transmission is achieved with the help of the Diamond Coat 2 Ion-assist coating used on the lenses. The Diamond 2 Coat also increases the resistance of scratches or abrasions.

The Twilight Max Light Management System integrated with the Leupold GR will add 10 minutes or more to your glassing time. This is important because dawn and dusk are proven to have the most activity of large game animals, making this spotting scope an excellent hunting companion.

The compact size is maintained due to the Folding Light Path Technology used in the Leupold GR. Never underestimate the importance of versatility and packability of your hunting equipment. Space, time, and energy must be conserved whenever possible if you plan to spend long periods on your hunt. The universal tripod adapter port allows the Leupold GR to be attached to your favorite tripod with ease.

  • Performs well in low light
  • 80mm objective lens
  • Impact reticle on the first focal plane
  • Diamond Coat 2 provides optimum light transmittance and abrasion protection
  • Twilight Max Light Management System gives you more glassing time
  • Compact size
  • Fits most tripods
  • Large 80mm lens requires frequent cleaning due to size

Frequently Asked Questions About Spotting Scopes with Reticles

Q: What is a mil-dot reticle?

A: A MIL-Dot reticle is what most people think of when they think of reticles. The crosshairs meet at 90-degree angles to make a dot in the center of the view. Each axis has four dots with a diameter of 0.25mil. The distance between any two adjacent dots will equal 1mil. These measurements make calibration and calculation easy.

Q: Is an illuminated reticle necessary?

A: Although not entirely necessary, having the option to increase the visibility can come in extremely handy in low light situations. It can also be of great help when using a ranging reticle. Using a ranging reticle popular among big-game hunters. Glass etched reticles will also increase visibility and clarity. Some other reticles become blurry or fade over time.

Q: Is high magnification a must?

A: Although high magnification can take a bit of effort to focus and fine-tune, a high magnification means spotting at longer distances. If you are planning to hunt with a long-range weapon, it is always advantageous to purchase other equipment that will match the magnification power of the scope that is located on your weapon. This way, there is no chance that none of your equipment will become obsolete due to out-performance.


Finding a spotting scope with a reticle can be an overwhelming task. There are so many spotting scopes with different functions that it can be challenging to sort through them all to find the best spotting scope to fit your needs. 

When purchasing a spotting scope with a reticle, the best feature to look for is a scope that has a reticle on the first focal plane. The benefit of having this is that you will have 100% accuracy, no matter the magnification that your situation requires. Having such accuracy will save you time and energy in setting up your shot. 

If you are not planning to use your spotting scope on a hunt, having a crisp, clear visual on your reticle is still important. If you are looking at a blurry image, your eyes will become tired after a short amount of time. Another feature to look for its durability. You should make sure that your spotting scope will survive your journey, no matter what it entails. With a quality scope, and with proper care, your scope should last for years to come. Hopefully, you have found this list of the top five spotting scopes with reticles useful in finding a good spotting scope that meets your price point.