8 Best SKS Rifle Scopes

best scopes for sks

The SKS is one of the most popular rifles around, especially for shooters who like to tweak and customize their guns. 

sks rifle scope

One of the most common additions to an SKS is, of course, a scope… But which scope should you go with?

Well, we had the same question, so we wanted to test out some common options and see what works the best on this excellent rifle platform. Along the way we pulled a number of the most popular options from Amazon and other retailers, as well as just some choices we’d heard good things about from other SKS owners.

If you’re just looking for the ones that did the best in our testing, you can find them below.

Still here? Alright let’s talk about how we picked the best SKS scopes out there, what we think you should look for when you’re picking your own scope, and then we’ll dive into the recommendations in depth. 

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

Primary Arms SLx Prism Scope

Primary-Arms-SLx

Primary Arms SLx Prism Scope

  • Magnification:2.5X
  • Reticle:ACSS CQB
  • Weight:14.9 Oz

UTG BugBuster Scope

UTG-BugBuster

UTG BugBuster Scope

  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Reticle: RGB Mil-Dot
  • Weight:0.87 Pounds

BARSKA IR Riflescope

BARSKA

BARSKA IR Riflescope

  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Reticle:Illuminated Red/Green IR 30/30
  • Weight:1 Pounds

Monstrum Rifle Scope

Monstrum

Monstrum Rifle Scope

  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Reticle: Illuminated Rangefinder
  • Weight:14 oz

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Riflescopes

Vortex-Optics

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Riflescopes

  • Magnification: 1-6x
  • Reticle:AR-BDC3
  • Weight:18.5 oz

Bushnell Trophy Sight Riflescope

Bushnell-Trophy

Bushnell Trophy Sight Riflescope

  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Battery: CR2032
  • Reticle: 3 MOA

Sig Sauer Romeo4H 

Sig-Sauer

Sig Sauer Romeo4H 

  • Magnification: 1x
    Material:CNC Aluminum
  • Weight:11 oz

TRUGLO Sight

TRUGLO

TRUGLO Sight

  • Magnification: 1x
  • Reticle: 5 MOA Red/Green
  • Battery Type:CR2032

What Makes a Scope a Good Choice for an SKS Rifle?

SKS rifles were developed at the end of World War II when the Soviet Union (along with many other countries) realized that they needed a new type of rifle. While their current rifles, like the Mosin-Nagant, were great for long ranges, most combat occurred at ranges of about 100 to 350 yards. In other words, existing rifles were overkill and overly large for typical rifle use.

Thus the SKS rifle was born. 

best scope for sks

It’s a lightweight carbine chambered in 7.62x39mm and has an effective range of up to 400 meters (about 440 yards). Though it was quickly replaced by the AK-47 with the Soviet Armed Forces, this Russian rifle is still well-loved among civilians for marksmanship and hunting, both in the former Soviet Bloc and in the West. 

An SKS scope, therefore, needs to compliment these features. 

SKS scopes tend to have low magnification or, in the case of red dot sights, none at all. After all, the SKS was designed because an alternative to a sniper rifle was needed, so it definitely doesn’t need a sniper scope.

They also need to be mounted a little differently from other scopes. For one, they don’t have a built in Weaver or Picatinny rail, but it’s a bit more complicated than just adding one on top of the SKS receiver. The SKS has an open breach which ejects shells vertically. 

That means that to ensure that your scope isn’t in the way of the breach, you’ll need an offset scope mount, a forward mount, or a rail with a built-in shell deflector that you can then put a normal rail mount on top of. 

best sks scope

Check out our SKS scope mount recommendations to help you choose the right mount for your needs.

How Do You Choose the Best Scopes for SKS Rifles?

When it comes to choosing your SKS scope, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First let’s talk a little bit more about magnification. You don’t need a lot of it, considering the SKS’s range. 

A variable magnification scope needs a minimum magnification of no more than 3x and a maximum magnification of at least 6x. The absolute highest I’d recommend is a magnification range of 3-9x. For fixed magnification scopes, you can go with anything from 1x to 4x magnification. 

Exactly what magnification you need depends on what you’ll be using the scope for. You generally want lower magnification for a hunting scope than a tactical scope or especially a target scope. The smaller and farther away your targets, the higher you want your magnification to be.

Be wary of choosing magnification that’s too high, though. It limits your field of view and amplifies the effects of any moves you make, slowing your target acquisition. It also makes it harder to track moving targets, which is why hunting scopes generally have lower magnification.

The quality of the optical components themselves is also important. High-quality optics will have clear, distortion free glass with fully multi coated lenses. This allows for higher contrast and better light transmission for a bright, high-definition sight picture. A large objective lens allows more light to enter the scope, improving low light performance as well.

Consider the reticle pattern as well. A dot or duplex reticle is great for most SKS uses, since they’re easy to use and allow for fast target acquisition. However, if you want to make more long distance shots (well, relatively anyway), you may want a simple BDC or rangefinder reticle to help with ballistic correction.

Finally, long eye relief is another advantage. It allows for more comfortable shooting and makes sure that recoil doesn’t cause your SKS scope to jam into your eye. Yeah, that’s even more painful than it sounds and can lead to lasting damage to your eye, so it’s better to play it safe there.

sks rifle scopes

1. Primary Arms SLx Compact 2.5x32 Prism Scope

First up is the Primary ArmsSLx Compact Scope.

sks scopes

The SLx line is the backbone and heart of Primary Arms’ optics lineup, and though this particular scope was designed with ARs in mind, it can be mounted on anything with a rail.

The compact 2.5x scope has a ACSS CQB illuminated reticle, which combines the advantages of a close-quarters reticle with the ranging features of a BDC reticle. For an SKS rifle, you can probably use it to range up to around 300 yards. It also has features for windage correction and moving targets.

The ACSS reticle has 11 illumination brightness settings and will work with night vision gear. The etched reticle does not need illumination turned on so if the battery goes dead, or you just prefer to use it without illumination, this scope can keep on keeping on.

Other great features include the capped turrets with tactile, audible clicks and the option Picatinny top rail that allows you to piggyback a red dot sight like the ones we recommend below.

This prism scope is, like all of Primary Arms optics, fog proof, waterproof, and shockproof.

Primary-Arms-SLx

Primary Arms SLx Prism Scope

The price of Primary Arms SLx Prism Scope varies, so check the latest price at

2. Leapers UTG 3-9X32 1” BugBuster Scope

Next up, the Leapers UTG Bugbuster.

best scope for sks rifle

This scope is widely reviewed and for good reason. It’s truly a great scope.

The reticle is a crosshair in Mil-Dot, and it is 9 inches long. That length will work and fit, but the use of stripper clips is out the window.

The scope has a one-inch tube sealed and nitrogen filled, making it waterproof and fog proof. The glass is emerald coated for clarity and weather resistance. The turrets are finger adjustable, locking, and resettable to zero.

Parallax adjusts from 3 yards to infinity with an adjustable objective. Before we move on, a parallax from 3 yards as its closest is not much to celebrate on a battle rifle, but fantastic for a rabbit shooter.

Leapers includes a two-inch shade cover and flip-up scope caps. Just be careful how far back you mount the scope so it doesn’t interfere with case ejection. It includes a set of quick detach rings as well.

UTG-BugBuster

UTG BugBuster Scope

The price of UTG BugBuster Scope varies, so check the latest price at

3. BARSKA 3-9x42mm IR Contour Compact Rifle Scope

Our next scope is the Barska IR Contour Compact Rifle Scope. It delivers durability, precision, and optical quality all in the same compact package. It works well on anything from ARs to battle rifles like the SKS.

good scope for sks

This scope features an illuminated 30/30 duplex reticle, meaning that the thin sections of the lines represent 30 MOA. The reticle has both red and green illumination options. Each color offers adjustable brightness with 5 different settings for a variety of different lighting conditions.

The lenses themselves are made of quality glass and are fully coated for image quality and low light performance.

The scope is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. It comes with mounting rings, a CR2032 3V lithium battery, scope caps, and a lens cloth. It also comes with Barska’s lifetime warranty.

BARSKA

BARSKA IR Riflescope

The price of BARSKA IR Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

4. Monstrum Tactical 3-9x32 Tactical AO Scope

Our next pick is the best budget magnified optic for the SKS.

scope sks

The Monstrum Tactical AO Scope has an illuminated rangefinder reticle, which is a cross between a BDC and duplex reticle. It has 6 hash marks for bullet drop correction and one on each side of the center of the reticle for windage correction.

It allows for parallax adjustment via the adjustable objective.

The scope body is made from 6061 aircraft grade aluminum and is available in Black or Flat Dark Earth finishes. It’s nitrogen sealed to make it fog and water resistant.

Monstrum

Monstrum Rifle Scope

The price of Monstrum Rifle Scope varies, so check the latest price at

5. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6x24 Second Focal Plane Riflescope

Vortex Optics has a great reputation and the Vortex Strike Eagle is one of our favorites. This is another AR-focused scope that will of course be just as happy on top of an SKS.

sks tactical scope

This low magnification variable scope has an illuminated glass-etched BDC reticle and fully multicoated lenses. The lenses also feature an ArmorTek scratch-resistant lens coating. 

The low capped turrets have ½ MOA adjustments, which isn’t as precise as the other scopes on this list, but it still gets the job done. The fast focus eyepiece helps speed target acquisition.

The scope is shockproof, IPX7 waterproof, and nitrogen purged for fog proofing. The body is made from aircraft grade aluminum and has a matte anodized finish.

The Strike Eagle comes with a thread-in throw lever, flip caps, lens cloth, and CR2032 battery.

As we’ve said before, you don’t necessarily need any magnification at all. If you’re only going to be using your SKS rifle for close range, consider the following red dot sights as well. If you decide you want magnification, you can always add it with a red dot magnifier.

Vortex-Optics

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Riflescopes

The price of Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Riflescopes varies, so check the latest price at

6. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot is one of the most popular red dot sights currently on the market and it comes at a great price. 

scope for sks

The TRS-25 has a 3 MOA Red Dot reticle, kind of big for precision shooting, but great to get on target quickly and find the red dot with both eyes open. The illumination has 11 brightness settings.

This little optic is built from the ground up to be tough as hell. It’s made from one piece of metal, o-ring sealed, and filled with nitrogen, making it waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.

The lenses are fully multi-coated, including Bushnell's Amber Coating which works to bring out contrasts in hiding or camouflaged targets and nature. A little more to think about, depending on what you have intended with this rifle.

Bushnell-Trophy

Bushnell Trophy Sight Riflescope

The price of Bushnell Trophy Sight Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

7. Sig Sauer Romeo 4H 1x20 MM 

The Romeo 4H offers my favorite reticle for this approach on optics: the Circle and Dot. This reticle style makes target acquisition lightning fast.

scope for sks rifle

The reticle has ten levels of illumination brightness, and Sig Sauer uses motion-activation to extend the battery life. Sig states a 5,000-hour battery life.

The eye relief is unlimited, like with all red dots, so it goes anywhere, on anything. Sig Sauer includes a set of solid and see-through caps with each unit. The lenses coated with their HDX lens coating for improved light transmission and image resolution.

The sight is made from CNC aluminum.

The Romeo has quick-release mounts built-in, so if open iron sights are needed, it only takes a few seconds to remove the red dot.

Sig-Sauer

Sig Sauer Romeo4H

The price of Sig Sauer Romeo4H varies, so check the latest price at

8. TruGlo Red Dot 30mm Dual Color

The TruGlo Red Dot 30mm Dual Color is our best budget red dot.

sks optics

The reticle is 5 MOA, so again quick target and sight acquisition, but not a precision shooter. The reticle has two color options built-in, red and green.

This little optic is water and fog proof, of course, and can withstand up to 1,000-grams on shock and recoil.

The wide field of view and 30mm body make taking advantage of this optic’s unlimited eye relief more accessible, and with it mounted halfway down the rifle, that's what we want: easy and useful. 

The interior of the optic is anti-reflective coated to tame stray light and mirage effects. The lenses are fully multi-coated.

TRUGLO

TRUGLO Sight

The price of TRUGLO Sight varies, so check the latest price at

Parting Shots

That wraps things up on our SKS optics recommendations, so what are you thinking?

Have any of these optics caught your attention? Do you think one will find a home on your SKS battle rifle?

Looking for more optic options? Check out our recommendations for the best scout scopes and the best red dot sights for some other optics that can find a home on your SKS rifle.

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