Top 8 Best 3-9×40 Scopes in 2019 – Ultimate Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Every gun owner knows that you can’t have too many scopes. There will always be a time when “Just one more wouldn’t hurt.”

One of the reasons for this is because there is such a wide variety of scopes that it just feels like you need one for every type of rifle you own.

But what if you could only have one scope?

It would probably be a 3-9 x 40. That’s why in this best 3-9 x 40 scopes review, we’ll be covering one of the most popular classes of scopes available. The reason why they are so popular is that they fit nicely in the middle for “all-purpose scopes.” The best 3-9×40 scopes work perfectly for hunting and competitive situations and can fit on a variety of rifles, ranging from ARs to sniper rifles.

best 3-9x40 scopes
Photo by Kevin.MC

If you are an experienced shooter, then the comparison chart below will be a quick and useful tool for you to get straight to the information you are looking for. However if, as we recommend, you want to read about the top-picks in detail. Then please head to the complete product analysis to help you decide which of the best 3-9×40 scopes on the market is the perfect one for you…

Top 8 Best 3-9×40 Scopes Reviews

Comparison chart

NameLensesHousingWeather-proofIlluminated reticleMounts includedZero-resetTurret type
Lenses
Nikon Fully-multicoated
Housing
High-quality aluminum
Weather-proof
YES
Illuminated reticle
NO
Mounts included
NO
Zero-reset
NO
Turret type
Capped
Lenses
Dusk and Dawn Brightness Fully-coated
Housing
High-quality aluminum
Weather-proof
YES
Illuminated reticle
NO
Mounts included
NO
Zero-reset
NO
Turret type
Capped
Lenses
Emerald multi-coated and layered
Housing
High-quality aluminum True Strength Platform
Weather-proof
YES
Illuminated reticle
36 colors
Mounts included
YES
Zero-reset
YES
Turret type
Exposed
Lenses
Nikon Fully-multicoated
Housing
High-quality aluminum
Weather-proof
YES
Illuminated reticle
NO
Mounts included
NO
Zero-reset
Spring-loaded Zero-reset
Turret type
Capped

Lenses
Fully-multicoated
Housing
High-quality materials
Weather-proof
YES
Illuminated reticle
NO
Mounts included
NO
Zero-reset
NO
Turret type
Capped
Lenses
Superior Fully-multicoated
Housing
High-quality aluminum
Weather-proof
YES
Illuminated reticle
2 colors and five brightness levels
Mounts included
NO
Zero-reset
NO
Turret type
Capped
Lenses
Magenta Fully-multicoated
Housing
100% high-quality materials
Weather-proof
YES
Illuminated reticle
NO
Mounts included
NO
Zero-reset
NO
Turret type
Capped
Lenses
Fully-multicoated
Housing
Durable aluminum
Weather-proof
YES
Illuminated reticle
NO
Mounts included
NO
Zero-reset
NO
Turret type
Capped

We’ll now move on to the in-depth product reviews that will break down the details to help you make the best choice of scope…

  1. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm

Nikon has a long history in the optical industry. They have spent over 90 years perfecting their craft and are one of the recognized leaders in the business.

Product description

The Buckmasters 2 series has all the superb qualities of Nikon optics and offers fully multicoated lenses that provide superb brightness as well as clarity. The lens surface is covered with multiple layers so that it doesn’t reflect light but still gives optimal brightness and vivid images.

Made from high-quality aluminum, the housing is durable and won’t break under stress. The tube has also been nitrogen purged, and O-ring sealed so is completely waterproof, and the lenses won’t fog up. It is also shockproof and can take whatever the rugged outdoors throws at it.

The Buckmasters 2 uses the standard Nikon BDC Reticle (Bullet Drop Compensator) designed for both long-range and shorter-range shooting. For further accuracy, it uses Nikon’s “Spot-On” Ballistic Match Technology. This allows you to see precise points on your reticle and will help you match the points to your distance as well as the type of ammo you are using.

But true accuracy lies in the windage and elevation turrets, and the reticle adjustments are precise and hand-adjusted. This means no tools are required, and you will hear audible clicks to help identify the adjustment. The turrets are capped to prevent dust and moisture from hindering the movement.

Specifications

As the title of the article indicates, the scope magnifies from 3x to 9x magnification and has an objective lens of 40 mm. This is wide enough to allow light to enter the scope and give bright clear images. It will also allow you to easily stay on moving targets because of its wide field of view. It is approximately 15 inches long and weighs around 26 ounces.

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm
Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Fully multicoated.
  • Nikon Lenses.
  • Weather-proof.
  • Bullet Drop Compensator Reticle.
  • Spot-On Ballistic Match Technology.

Cons

  • Reticle not Illuminated.
  • Capped turrets.
  • No Zero-return.

  1. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn

Bushnell is another very well respected and popular brand in the optics industry. They have many decades of experience and hunters and competitive shooters widely use their products.

Product description

Bushnell offers a scope that works as well in low-light situations as it does when there is plenty of light. This is because of their Dusk and Dawn Brightness multicoated lenses which offer clear and bright images regardless of the conditions.

It features a clear Multi-X reticle set in the Second Focal Plane. The housing of the scop is made from quality materials and has gone through extensive stress tests in order to bring the best possible product to you, their customer. The Scope is completely weather-proof meaning no water is getting into the scope, and no fogging will block your view regardless of temperature changes.

The accuracy comes from its precise windage and elevation turrets and its ¼ Minute Of Angle adjustments. These can easily be made by hand simply by removing the caps protecting the turrets.

Specifications

The scop has a large 40mm objective lens and has a magnification from 3x to 9x. The eyepiece has a fast-focus ring along with a parallax compensator. Also, it has a comfortable 6inch eye relief, so you don’t need to place your eye so close to the eyepiece. The scope is around 12 inches long and weighs approximated 15 ounces.

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros

  • High-quality materials.
  • Dusk and Dawn Brightness.
  • Multicoated lens.
  • Weather-proof.

Cons

  • Capped turrets.
  • No zero-reset.
  • Reticle not illuminated.

  1. UTG 3-9X40 1

UTG is a sister brand of Leapers which may be more familiar to most hunters and competition shooters. They have over 20 years of experience and are a perfect balance between quality, value, and innovation.

Product Description

UTG scopes are built on a “True Strength Platform” and are nitrogen treated to prevent fogging, and it is completely waterproof. In addition, the scopes go through strenuous tests in extreme temperatures that promise a lifetime of trouble-free use.

The lenses are fully-coated and have an emerald layering to provide maximum brightness as well as clarity. Etched on the glass is UTG’s 36 color IE 9 Dot wire Mil-Dot reticle. This is superb as an aid in multi-purpose range shooting. And the illuminated reticle can be adjusted by the EZ-Tap system on the ocular tube to provide maximum visibility.

To get the best results, the windage and elevation turrets feature a locking mechanism which allows you to make changes while shooting and then return to true zero. The adjustments are set in ¼ MOA and are exposed turrets for fast adjustments in the field.

Specifications

Set with a 3-9 x magnification and a large objective lens, this scope more than fits the bill. The housing is a 1-inch tube with a length of 320 mm and a weight of 21.1 ounces. The parallax sttings go from 5 yards to infinity, and it has a comfortable 3-4 inch eye-relief.

UTG 3-9X40 1
Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • True Strength Platform.
  • Emerald Multi-coating.
  • 36 color reticle.
  • EZ-Tap adjustments.
  • Exposed turrets.
  • CR2032 3V batteries and Mounting rings included.
  • Zero-reset and locking mechanism.
  • Flip-up lens cap included.

Cons

  • The Mil-Dot’s may be too close to each other.

  1. Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope

The ProStaff series is a slight upgrade from the other Nikon products with more advanced features. And are very highly recommended for all uses.

Product description

Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum with a Type-3 anodized coating gives it the strength needed for the rugged outdoors. The scope is also O-ring sealed to keep it waterproof and has been nitrogen treated to prevent it from thermal shock. This makes it perfect for any situation you may find yourself in.

The ProStaff uses the same BDC reticle as the Buckmasters 2 and has the same unique see-through ballistic circles which will not hinder your view of the target. The lenses are also fully multi-coated, allowing maximum light to enter the eyepiece.

The windage and elevation turrets are set in the standard ¼ MOA and positioned under the turret caps for protection. And you can adjust them by hand without the use of tools and the click sounds are audible, so you know when you have made an adjustment. The turrets also come with a spring-loaded zero-reset to quickly return to your original zero.

Specifications

This model is a bit more compact that the Buckmasters 2, but still has the same 3-9x magnification and a large 40mm objective lens. It measures 12.4 inches and weighs around 24 ounces. The ProStaff has a comfortable eye relief which is 3.6 inches and has a Nikoplex reticle for quick focusing.

Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Fully multicoated.
  • Nikon Lenses.
  • Weather-proof.
  • Spring-loaded zero-reset.
  • Bullet Drop Compensator Reticle.

Cons

  • Non-illuminated reticle.
  • Capped turrets.

  1. Simmons Truplex Riflescope

Simmons is well known for providing high-quality scopes that won’t burn a hole in your wallet. They are cutting edge as well as very durable, making them a great addition to your collection.

Product Description

The Truplex scope’s construction is from high-quality materials that house the lenses safely and keep them in good condition for a lifetime of use. The tube is also covered in a black matte finish which will keep it from getting scratched.

The lenses are fully-coated to provide extremely clear and bright images with high contrast. Etched onto the glass, the Truplex reticle gives the shooter a single crosshair to focus on and will deliver pinpoint accuracy.

To ensure you hit the target, the capped windage and elevation turrets have a TrueZero adjustment system. This keeps the turrets from being accidentally adjusted.

Specifications

Featuring an eye relief of 3.75 inches, which is pretty universal. It weighs around 10 ounces and has an approximate length of 13 inches. As to be expected, this model has a 3-9x magnification and an objective lens of 40mm.

Simmons Truplex Riflescope
Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Budget friendly.
  • High-quality.
  • Weather-proof.
  • TrueZero adjustments.
  • Truplex reticle.

Cons

  • Non-illuminated reticle.
  • Capped turrets.
  • No zero-rest.
  • No mounts included.

  1. Pinty 3-9X40 Red Green Rangefinder Illuminated Optical Rifle Scope

Pinty offers everything you need and is perfect for an entry-level scope. It has all the features you could want at a very affordable price.

Product Description

The scopes housing is high-quality aluminum with a black matte finish. The tube is O-ring sealed and is nitrogen treated, so you are guaranteed high-performance in all weather conditions.

The lenses are very high quality considering the low price and provide clear and bright images throughout all of its magnifications. The reticle is a rangefinder type which helps calculate distance and is also easy to use and focus through.

The windage and elevation turrets are capped and can be hand-adjusted. Their click value is at ¼ MOA and on the ocular piece is the brightness turret for the illuminated rangefinder. In total, it has two colors – red and green and has five levels of brightness for each color.

Specifications

The scope has a 3-9 x magnification and 40 mm objective lens. It weighs around 14 ounces and has an approximate length of 15 inches. This particular model comes with standard scope rings and is fits easily onto all standard Picatinny rails.

Pinty 3-9X40 Red Green Rangefinder Illuminated Optical Rifle Scope
Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Illuminated Rangefinder.
  • High-performance.
  • Weather-proof.
  • Scope mounts included.

Cons

  • Capped turrets.
  • No zero-reset.

  1. Tasco Pronghorn 3-9x 40mm 30/30 Reticle Riflescope

For over 50 years, Tasco has been offering quality optics at a reasonable price. So let’s see what they have to offer with their Pronghorn…

Product description

The scope’s housing is strong andis made from high-quality materials. And before being sold, each and every scope goes through an extensive testing process to make sure of its durability. The outer coating also has a black matte finish which adds an extra layer of strength and protects the housing from scratches. The scope guarantees that it can withstand water, fog, and shocks, so is perfect for any conditions.

The lenses are magenta colored and are multi-layered to prevent reflections when the sun hits the lenses. Their design will also increase the amount of light that is input to provide crystal clear images through the eyepiece.

The windage and elevation turrets are kept and protected under caps, and they can be easily adjusted by hand once you remove the caps. There isn’t a parallax turret as this model has a fixed parallax of 100 yards.

Specifications

As you’ve probably gathered by now, this is yet another 3-9 x 40 scope. The tube is a 1-inch solid piece of aluminum, and it has an eye relief of 3 inches. The click value of the turrets is ¼ or 0.25 MOA and has a fixed parallax of 100 yards. The scope weighs around 11.2 ounces and has a length of 11.75 inches.

Tasco Pronghorn 3-9x 40mm 30/30 Reticle Riflescope
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Stress tested.
  • Weather-proof.
  • Multi-layered lenses.
  • 1-year warranty.

Cons

  • Non-illuminated reticle.
  • No zero-reset.
  • Mounts not included.
  • Capped turrets.
  • Fixed parallax.

  1. Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Vortex optics are well known for their optics. They redefine the Quality vs. Price ratio and offer high-quality products that leave you with money left over.

Product description

The Diamondback is made from a durable aluminum tube and has an anodized finish which creates a strong housing for the lenses. And the internals have been argon purged, and O-ring sealed to keep out moisture and prevents the lenses from fogging up.

Its lenses are fully multi-coated and provide crisp and clear images in all lighting situations. The rear lenses also have a fast-focus eyepiece to help you get your target in focus as soon as you look through the lens. Once you look through the eyepiece, the BDC reticle should be instantly clear and focused. This reticle is also ideal for hunting and allows you to calculate your shots with absolute precision.

The capped windage and elevation turrets use metal on metal precision to get exact adjustments. The turrets also have a zero-reset and a glide erector system to make sure you know where are you dialed in and that you can repeat the process as many times as needed.

Specifications

This scope has a 3-9x magnification and a 40mm objective lens. The tube size is 1 inch, and the eyepiece has an eye relief of 3.3 inches. It features a fixed parallax set at 100 yards and doesn’t have its own turret. The scope weighs in at 14.4 ounces and has a length of 11.7 inches.

Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Anodized finish.
  • Argon purged.
  • BDC reticle.
  • Weather-proof.
  • Multi-coated lenses.
  • Zero-reset.

Cons

  • Not illuminated.
  • Capped turrets.
  • Mounts not included.
  • Fixed parallax.

Now that you have gone over the details and seen what each scope is capable of, here is a short buyer’s guide to help you make the best purchase.

Best 3-9×40 Scopes Buyer’s Guide

Scopes are actually one of the easiest accessories to buy because in reality there isn’t much to them. The main factors that come to mind are the lenses, the housing, the focal length, and the illumination. Other than that it’s just personal preference.

  • Lenses

The first thing to consider is the lenses. It’s preferable that they are multicoated as this will allow more light into the eyepiece, therefore giving you a clear image. Most brands will have a coating, but they are all different, so you should check to see how well they manage light and colors.

  • Housing

Next up is the housing. A good scope is one that you can use for many years without worrying about it breaking the first time you drop it or it fogging up when it starts to rain. Making sure you have an aircraft-grade aluminum, and a quality coating should assure you with its durability. Also, make sure that it has been purged with either nitrogen or argon.

scope Housing
Photo by aparicio cosio
  • Focal Length

This is important, but it is also a matter of personal preference. Some people like their scopes in the First Focal Plane while others prefer it the Second Focal plane. The difference is that one will increase the size of the reticle as you magnify while the in the other the reticle will remain the same size regardless of the magnification.

  • Illumination

In most cases, you’ll be outdoors, and it’s hard to predict the weather or the lighting conditions. Having an illuminated reticle will ensure sure that you will see your crosshairs clearly regardless of the lighting situation.

Now that’s covered, it’s time to move on to the moment we have been building up to! It’s time to pick the best scope from this review…

So what are the Best 3-9x40 Scopes?

The clear winner of this round up is the…

UTG 3-9X40 1″ Hunter Scope

It basically has everything a good scope should have. And has all the features you could need with barely a negative factor. The UTG Hunter Scope is durable and has amazing lenses, as well as a 36 color option illuminated reticle as well as fully featured turrets.

Other scopes may have slightly better housings or lenses, but they fall short in other categories, therefore, in our opinion, the UTG Hunter Scope is the best 3-9x 40mm scope on the list.

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