Choosing the Best DMR Scope Reviewed in 2021

dmr scope

Having trouble picking out the perfect scope for your new DMR build? Choosing a long-range rifle scope can be difficult, especially since the margin of error is so much smaller than with an optic designed for close range shooting.

Luckily, we've done the hard work of sorting through dozens of scopes from industry-leading manufacturers so you don't have to!

What is a DMR?

A Designated Marksman Rifle, or DMR for short, is a unique, usually semi automatic rifle designed to fill an intermediate role between medium and long range shooting.

DMRs have their roots in military and law enforcement use, where squads found the need for a weapon that could handle faraway threats that were outside the range of standard infantryman’s assault rifle but not far enough away to necessitate a dedicated sniper rifle.

They typically, but not always, incorporate a fixed stock, bipod, and a longer, heavier barrel for better stability and performance.

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

BEST PICK FOR HUNTING

Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 Optics

Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 Optics

  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Magnification: 3.5-21x
  • Length: 13.2 in
BEST PICK FOR BUDGET

Vortex Optics Crossfire II SFP Riflescope

Vortex Optics Crossfire II SFP Riflescope

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 2-7x
  • Length: 11.3 in
BEST PICK FOR SCOUT RIFLE

Burris Ballistic Plex Hunting 2-7x32 Riflescope

Burris Ballistic Plex Hunting 2-7x32 Riflescope

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 2-7x
  • Length: 9.7 in
BEST FOR FAST TARGETING

Primary Arms Silver Series 4-14×44 FFP

Primary Arms Silver Series 4-14×44 FFP 

  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Magnification: 4-14×
  • Length: 13 in
BEST LIGHTWEIGHT OPTIC

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope

  • Diameter: 40mm
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Length: 12.39 in
BEST FOR LONG RANGE

Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm MOA 

Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm  MOA 

  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Magnification: 6-24x
  • Length: 14.96 in
BEST FOR TACTICAL SHOOTING

Schmidt & Bender PM II 5-25x56 Scope

Schmidt & Bender PM II 5-25x56 Scope

  • Diameter: 56mm
  • Magnification: 5-25x
  • Length: 16.37 in
BEST FOR DEPENDABILITY

Trijicon ACOG M4A1 Scope

Trijicon ACOG M4A1 Scope

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 4x
  • Length: 5.8 in
BEST MILITARY SCOPE

Sig Sauer Tango6T Riflescope

Sig Sauer Tango6T Riflescope

  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Magnification: 1-6x
  • Length: 10 in

Nowadays, plenty of civilian firearm enthusiasts are interested in having a DMR of their own, whether they enjoy replicating and shooting weapons used by the military or whether they just want a lightweight, durable, and accurate rifle for hunting and target shooting.

(Or hey, maybe they’ve been playing too much Modern Warfare or Black Ops: Cold War and feel a sudden urge to replicate their favorite overpowered Warzone loadout. We don’t judge.)

So what's the secret to a great Designated Marksman scope? Let's take a look at some of the major points you need to consider before you buy.

The Key Factors for a Great DMR Scope

Target Acquisition Speed

Designated Marksman Rifles are designed to be used in high-stress situations where target acquisition speed is crucial. Several factors play into this: the design of the scope's reticle, the quality of the glass, and the field of view.

Like the weapons themselves, most good DRR scopes are hybrids, with simple, high-visibility sight pictures that sacrifice a bit of precision at the longest ranges in exchange for being able to make quicker shots (and follow-up shots) at closer ranges.

While you shouldn’t expect a high-magnification scope to outperform a red dot in close quarters, they can still more than hold their own in most short range applications, too. 

dmr range

Good glass is crucial—multicoated optics reduce glare and reflections that might give away the shooter's position, while light transmission determines how bright the sight picture is and whether or not the scope can be used in low-light conditions.

And of course, better glass means better clarity and a sharper image. A good reticle also plays a factor, but much of it comes down to personal preference--some like an illuminated one, while others want a razor-sharp traditional crosshair.

A wide field of view is highly advantageous for a DMR, because the shooter may be required to transition between multiple targets at different ranges or track moving targets.

This makes these types of scope an excellent option for hunting, where many high-magnification scopes create a “tunnel vision” effect that makes it difficult to track your quarry for a follow-up shot if the first round misses or only wounds it.

Durability

It goes without saying that a scope meant for military use has to be durable, but that's also a quality that recreational shooters and hunters can certainly appreciate, too.

A high quality scope should be at minimum shockproof, fogproof, and waterproof, and able to hold up to the recoil of the rifle it is mounted on.

Thankfully, any manufacturer worth their salt has a rigorous torture testing process in place for their scopes to ensure that they hold up even in the harshest conditions, and many scopes also come with generous warranties to cover any defects or damage they incur in the field. Rest assured that every scope on this list will handle whatever you throw at it, and then some.

Precision at a Distance

DMRs are often used to shoot at the absolute limits of the weapon platform's effective range, even when equipped with an excellent midrange optic like the Trijicon ACOG, so being able to accurately put rounds on target at those distances is essential.

Because the shooter may not have time to make complicated holdover adjustments or correct for wind speed, many DMR scopes come equipped with handy features like bullet drop compensation (BDC) markings or reticle hashmarks for windage, allowing the shooter to quickly and accurately adjust their point of aim.

And because they are often used at both medium and long range, the overwhelming majority of DMR scopes resemble a traditional sniper scope, with a versatile magnification range that allows them to engage targets at virtually any range.

Now that you have a clear idea of what makes a good scope for the DMR, let's look at which ones made the cut for our list: 

1. Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 Optics

best dmr scope

Bushnell collaborated with military and law enforcement experts while designing their Elite Tactical scopes, and it shows—that's why we featured it on our list of the best long-range rifle scopes.

With clarity and brightness that rivals scopes that cost twice as much, the Elite Tactical G2 is an excellent option for a DMR build chambered in either .223 or .308.

The scope's mil-hashmarked Designated Marksman Reticle is one of my favorite features, with intuitive markings for bullet drop compensation and windage correction that allow you to make quick aiming adjustments without the busy sight picture that plague many other high-magnification scopes.

The included throw lever and parallax adjustment are also very welcome additions, allowing the shooter to rapidly refocus and make precise shots at variable distances.

The G2's multi-coated lenses are also worth mentioning—they are actually molecular-bonded to the glass, providing virtually unmatched protection against scratches, oil, and dust.

The rest of the scope boasts equally impressive durability, with a one-piece argon-purged main tube that is shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof. Combined with the included sunshade to reduce glare, this Bushnell scope is ready to handle any weather conditions.

Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 Optics

The price of Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 Optics varies, so check the latest price at

2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II SFP Riflescope

dmr scopes

Vortex Optics have earned a lot of fans by producing high-quality, reliable scopes at a price point that won't break the bank, and the Crossfire II SFP is no exception. Clear glass, durable construction, and longer-than-average eye relief make it a top choice..

This optic comes in multiple configurations and objective lens sizes, but for DMR purposes, we recommend the Dead Hold BDC reticle and either a 40 or 50mm objective lens, depending on whether you would prefer a more compact, low-profile scope or slightly improved low light performance.

If I had to nitpick, the lack of side parallax adjustment means a very slight loss of clarity at both extremes of the magnification range, but considering you'd have to pay twice as much or more for a scope of comparable quality with that feature included, it's hard to knock the Crossfire II for omitting it.

All in all, it's an excellent option for anyone who wants to put together a DMR build but doesn't have hundreds or even thousands of dollars to spend on a scope.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II SFP Riflescope

The price of Vortex Optics Crossfire II SFP Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

3. Burris Ballistic Plex Hunting 2-7x32 Riflescope

dmr scope

Unlike the other scopes on this list, the Burris Ballistic Plex is specially designed to be used as a scout scope that is mounted forward of the ejection port.

This setup has a few benefits—target acquisition and follow-up shots are very fast thanks to the very long eye relief, and being mounted so far forward allows the rifle to be fired with both eyes open, which means peripheral vision isn't impacted and the shooter is able to maintain situational awareness.

The Ballistic Plex's glass is bright and clear, and sharp enough for both precision medium-range shooting and accurate snap shooting at closer distances. It's a simple, durable, and hard-working optic that would be right at home on a mid-ranged DMR.

While this scope will work well on any rifle platform with an extended rail or scout mount, it's an especially great pick for anyone who is planning on using an M1A or other heavy-barrel rifle as the basis for their DMR.

It's worth noting that a scout scope does sacrifice some precision in exchange for being much faster and more maneuverable at close range—keep this in mind when deciding what kind of shooting you plan to do.

Burris Ballistic Plex Hunting 2-7x32

The price of Burris Ballistic Plex Hunting 2-7x32 Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

4. Primary Arms Silver Series 4-14×44 FFP 

dmr range

Another manufacturer known for providing rugged, innovative, and high quality optics at great prices, Primary Arms' Silver Series FFP is one of the most cost-effective options for a first focal plane DMR scope available on the market.

With a crisp ACSS HUD DMR reticle (a long-range variant of the already excellent ACSS reticle) that stays true at all levels of magnification, side-adjustable parallax, a quick-focus eyepiece, and tactical zero reset turrets, the Silver Series FFP is an ideal choice for quickly switching between medium and long range without losing track of a target—even if it's moving.

And like every scope on our list, this one is built to last, constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum and designed to be fogproof, shockproof, and waterproof.

This scope is more than capable of handling .223 and the heavy recoil of .308, making it a flexible choice for common DMR platforms like the AR-10, AR-15, and M1A.

Primary Arms Silver Series 4-14×44 FFP

The price of Primary Arms Silver Series 4-14×44 FFP varies, so check the latest price at

5. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope

dmr scopes

If you've spent much time hunting, you probably already know that Leupold's rifle scopes are some of the clearest and brightest in the business, and that trend continues with the VX-Freedom.

Light transmission through the scope is impressive, especially for a 40mm objective lens, allowing you to squeeze more shooting time out of that last bit of daylight.

The VX-Freedom comes in an almost overwhelming variety of options, but for a DMR build we recommend sticking to either the Tri-MOA, TMR, or AR-Ballistic reticles, since they have the finest crosshairs and BDC hashmarks. 

dmr scopes

Regardless of which one you choose, you can rest assured that the scope will be more than capable of making the shot at all ranges.

The VX-Freedom feels very sturdy, even though it weights in at less than 11 ounces.

Leupold rigorously tests their scopes to ensure that they are 100% waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof, and while I can happily say I've never had the opportunity to verify this myself, the scope is rated under lifetime warranty to perform at temperatures as low as – 40 degrees and as high as 160.

In other words, it's going to handle anything you can throw at it.

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm

The price of Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

If you are looking for some other options with same magnification, then must check out our guide on best 3-9x40mm scope. 

6. Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm MOA 

best dmr scope

For those who are willing to shell out a little extra cash for an exceptional scope for DMR, the Sightron SIII offers some of the clearest, brightest glass available.

Clarity and sharpness are exceptional at all magnification levels, and the field of view is surprisingly large. Turret adjustments feel crisp and have an audible clock, and the multi-coating process on this scope cuts glare on even the sunniest days.

Best of all, it doesn't sacrifice color, or contrast, or brightness to do it.

dmr scope

The reticle itself is razor-sharp—no more worrying about your crosshair obscuring the target at long distances—and finger-adjustable turrets are rock-solid and very tactile, so sighting it in is a breeze.

The SIII is built like a tank and will stand up to even the worst weather conditions, and even knocking it around a bit won't shift its zero.

The only negative thing I have to say about this scope is that it's definitely on the heavy side – tipping the scales at 24 ounces, the SIII is twice as heavy as some of the other scopes on this list. It's not much of an issue on an AR, but on a heavier rifle the weight can start to add up.

Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm MOA

The price of Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm MOA varies, so check the latest price at

7. Schmidt & Bender PM II 5-25x56 Scope

best dmr scope

The Schmidt & Bender PM II is the yardstick by which most other Designated Marksman scopes are measured. Seeing extensive use with military and law enforcement units across the globe, this scope has a battle-proven record for rugged excellence.

The PM II comes in 8 different reticle options, all of which are ideal for extremely precise shooting at long distances. Some of the reticles are designed for high-level competitive shooting and might be a bit busy for a dedicated DMR.

So my recommendations are the LRR-MIL and Gen II XR, both of which provide BDC markings and unobtrusive windage hashmarks for allow the shooter to quickly and easily put rounds on target without any guesswork necessary.

The PM II boasts outstanding build quality and overall durability, which is why so many military and law enforcement personnel trust the scope with their lives. No matter what your needs are, the Schmidt & Bender PM II is simply one of the most impressive long-range optics that money can buy.

Schmidt & Bender PM II 5-25x56 Scope

The price of Schmidt & Bender PM II 5-25x56 Scope varies, so check the latest price at

8. Trijicon ACOG M4A1 Scope

dmr build

Designed specifically for the US Army's SOPMOD M4 carbine, the legendary Trijicon ACOG 4x magnified optic is a great choice for a DMR or tactical rifle that prioritizes speed over absolute precision.

The tritium illuminated reticle is clear and bright even in direct sunlight, and the BDC markings make it a breeze to quickly and effortlessly adjust for multiple targets at different ranges.

It's integral rear ghost ring aperture is a nice feature that gives the shooter another option for close range shooting, and a sighting hole built into the scope's mount lets you use back up iron sights, though you'd be hard-pressed to find a situation where you'd need them.

best dmr

The ACOG is legendary for its durability, and with an anodized housing and aerospace seals, it can hold up to anything from the worst storm to a long drop without losing zero.

The ACOG may not offer quite as much magnification as some of the scopes on this list, but it makes up for it with speed on target that rivals a red dot sight at medium range, and it's still an excellent.

DMR option thanks to its simple, sharp, and easy-to-use reticle and the flat trajectory of the .223 round.

Trijicon ACOG M4A1 Scope

The price of Trijicon ACOG M4A1 Scope varies, so check the latest price at

Want to know more about best ACOG scopes? Check out our guide.

9. Sig Sauer Tango6T Riflescope

dmr scopes

The Sig Sauer Tango 6T is an upgraded version of the same scope that the US Army selected as their DMR optic of choice in 2018 after rigorous testing, and we have to agree with their assessment.

Extra-low dispersion glass is paired with high transmittance glass to offer unparalleled clarity, brightness, and contrast, and the illuminated horseshoe reticle allows for both long-range precision and fast, accurate shots at medium range.

The scope has a notably large exit pupil, and it is also compatible with night vision, while an included throw lever lets you swap between magnification levels with the flick of your thumb.

The Tango6T offers a lot of value in a relatively compact package, and it's no surprise why it beat out the competition to win a military contract.

In terms of dependability, the anodized main tube (in an attractive matte finish) is fogproof, shockproof, and waterproof—even rated for total immersion up to 20 meters.

Sig Sauer also covers the scope with their lifetime warranty for a little extra peace of mind. If you’re looking for a tactical scope for DMR that is rugged and effective enough to earn a place on a US Army battle rifle, this is your pick.

Sig Sauer Tango6T Riflescope

The price of Sig Sauer Tango6T Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

Parting Shots

A quality optic is absolutely essential if you're looking to put together a DMR, and many options on the market simply don't meet the standards for a dependable, durable, and purpose-built scope suitable for this kind of rifle.

Luckily, we've sorted through all of the competition to bring you this list of the absolute best DMR scopes, and we're confident that our list has something to offer shooters at every budget and experience level without compromising on quality.

Whether you're interested in hunting or long-range target shooting, the optics on this list will perform at an exceptional standard for DMR.

Do you have experience with any of the scopes on this list? Did we leave off one of your favorites? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think, especially if you end up buying one of the scopes on this list!

If you're thinking about putting together a DMR but aren't sure where to start, check out our rundown of the best AR-10 rifles, one of the most popular platforms for dedicated long-distance shooting.

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