[Hands On] Leapers UTG Bug Buster 3-9×32 Review

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Can you get everything you need out of a rifle scope that costs a fraction of what the big boys charge? If you’re on a budget, and you’re looking for a scope that matches that budget but still gives you the durability and clarity of a scope at a much higher price point, look no further than the UTG BugBuster.

Ok, so the Bug Buster is not all pros, and honestly the Bug Buster may not be the scope for you, but in this scope review I’ll cover the most important features, compare the Bug Buster to other scopes in the same category, and discuss whether the UTG BugBuster is the scope of your dreams or not.

Leapers UTG Bug Buster 3-9x32 Review Summary

If you’re on a budget, then the features and performance you’ll get out of the UTG BugBuster are pretty impressive. The manufacturer warranty is good, but not the best in the business. The magnification range is good and seems true strength, and it can mount quickly onto a hunting rifle, competition rifle, or even an airsoft rifle, for that matter, thanks to its included rings.

Scopes in the price range of this leapers generally fall into a category of being low-quality optics. Some aren't really fog-proof even though they say they are, and can't make it through a testing process without losing zero. The Bug Buster platform is solid line of scopes, though, and is much better than most scopes in this range.

UTG 3-9x32 1” BugBuster Scope

UTG Bug Buster 3-9x32

The price of UTG Bug Buster 3-9x32 varies, so check the latest price at

Our Review of the Leapers UTG Bug Buster 3-9x32

utg bug buster

What Is The Leapers UTG Bug Buster Designed For?

Despite its appearance, I don’t think the UTG BugBuster was designed for a SWAT team. It has fair durability and the smart spherical structure that handles the interaction of the inner and outer tubes is cool. The price of this scope makes it a good fit for beginners or more casual hunters who are tagging along. A typical scope at this price will have trouble with heavy recoil from a large caliber rifle.

Putting one on elephant rifles can break a budget optic in a single round, and while there are some reports of the UTG not being able to withstand heavier recoil, most of the complaints have nothing to do with that.

Using The Leapers For Hunting

In theory, this could be a great scope for hunting. The 3x-9x range is good for the vast majority of hunting situations, as is the adjustable objective and illuminated reticle. That said, you'll want to test it out thoroughly at the range prior to taking it hunting to make sure it is holding zero properly on your rifle.

As I talk more about below, the most common complaint about this scope is that it won't get to zero or hold it when it gets there, and this is particularly problematic for hunting. If you can't get your shot placement where it's supposed to be, then you'll have no success at hunting whatsoever, and you don't want each shot to be a coin flip.

Is It Good? Why?

Overall, thanks to the magnification, the mil-dot reticle with illumination, and other features like the adjustable objective, the UTG scope has great reviews and gives a great shooting experience for shooters at any experience level.

The most common reason this scope gets bad reviews is that it won’t hold zero, or that the turret adjustments can’t get to zero in the first place. By far, most shooters do not run into this problem, but there may be some quality control issues that affect the accuracy of the scope.

Keep in mind that it isn't 100% clear what materials the Leapers is made out of. The materials seem to be high quality and do very well. Rather than any issue with build quality or something like that, it seems more like the occasional quality control issue, which is normal for any manufacturer.

If you're liking what you see from Leapers scopes, you can check them out at Amazon or Optics Planet.

UTG 3-9x32 1” BugBuster Scope

UTG Bug Buster 3-9x32

The price of UTG Bug Buster 3-9x32 varies, so check the latest price at

What’s In The Leapers UTG Bug Buster Package?

Along with the scope, you have flip-open lens caps for both lenses, mounting rings, a sun shade, cleaning cloth, allen wrench, and a mil-dot chart. For the most part, you get a lot more in the package than with a lot of scopes at a higher price. A lot of scopes don’t even come with lens caps and that's why we go for UTG Bug Buster 3-9x32 review.

Design and Features

The Reticle of Many Colors

The reticle here is a mil-dot, with numerous brightness settings and some unique illumination options. The Mil-dot allows for tactical range estimating for holdovers, and the illumination of the mil-dot reticle is great in that it allows you to choose from 36 different colors instead of just the normal red-green duo.

The tactical range estimating mil-dot reticles makes holdovers easier than just a basic crosshair, so if you find yourself shooting holdovers instead of using the windage and elevation target turrets for adjustment, then the mil-dot reticle will work great.

Want to know more about Mil-dot reticle scopes? Check out our complete guide.

Magnification and Other Features

The UTG 3-9x covers the basic range that will work for most beginners. A lot of rifles come with a basic scope just like this, and it’s considered the “catch-all” magnification. The included sunshade is nice to keep glare off the lenses, and the medium rings give a decent saddle height for most rifles. The lenses have an emerald coating that maximizes light transmission.

The weight isn’t too bad at 13.6 ounces, and the UTG 3-9x’s magnification is great for a variety of distances, whether long distance or short distance. The battery is a CR1620 3v battery, and for a scope that doesn’t cost a fortune, it really does a lot for you.

It comes with mounting rings, which is nice, but the rings will not mount on all rail types. It will mount on a Picatinny just fine, but if you want to mount it on any other type or size of rail, you'll have to purchase separate rings to get it on there. 

If you are looking for the best scope rings for your rifle, Here is the guide for you.

Performance, Clarity, Etc.

Pros will appreciate the adjustable objective to handle parallax, and it can be set as close as 3 yards, and all the way out to infinity. The included rings will not mount on a weaver rail as they are Picatinny, but you can purchase Weaver rings if you need to. You have standard windage and elevation turrets that are .25 MOA adjustments.

These knobs are also resettable to zero so after you’ve got it sighted in, you can take advantage of that feature to move the turrets back to zero. The scope is fog-proof and has more durability than you would expect from a scope at this price.

It can easily handle the recoil from an AR-15 style rifle, and should be able to handle rifles up to 7.62x39 and even 7.62x51, although that seems to be where it starts to be less reliable.

Eye relief is between 3.2 and 4.2 inches, so the eye relief should be fairly comfortable for most shooters in most shooting positions. Considering this is a budget optic series, having good eye relief is much appreciated. Keep in mind, though, that this is not a scout scope, so if you're looking for a scope or a scout rifle, this one will not be a good fit for you.

The differences between scout scopes and regular scopes are easy to spot, as the primary difference is how long the eye relief is.

Pros & Cons:

Pros

  • Good eye relief of 3.2- 4.2 inches
  • Affordable even on a tight budget
  • Magnification ring is smooth
  • Will fit on most rifles
  • Nitrogen purged to be fog proof

Cons

  • Even with emerald coating, light transmission could be better
  • May need riser for a flat top rifle
  • Scope parallax can only be set to 3 yards at 3x magnification
  • Sunshade could offer better coverage
  • You can learn more about the Bug Buster platform on Amazon or Optics Planet.

Alternatives

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

ALTERNATIVE

CV Life 3-9x40mm
Riflescope

CVLife 3-9x40m Riflescope

  • Diameter: 40mm
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Length: 12.20 in
ALTERNATIVE

TRUGLO TRU-Brite  1-6x24mm
Riflescope

TRUGLO TRU-Brite 1-6x24mm Riflescope

  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Magnification: 1-6x
  • Length: 9.50 in
ALTERNATIVE

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight

  • Diameter: 25mm
  • Magnification: 1x
  • Length: 2.48 in

1. CVLife 3-9x40mm Riflescope

CVLife s3-9x40

If the UTG 3-9x isn’t budget enough for you, you can always try this scope. The CVLife has great reviews, though I have not personally done a review on it yet. This scope is very similar to the Bug Buster, but the reticle is just a simple duplex unless you pay more for the adjustable objective, which then gives you a mil-dot reticle.

This makes holdovers not as easy, and the reticle is not illuminated, but it is rare to see such a good scope at this price. 

There's nothing earth-shattering about the features that this optic has to offer, but simply the fact that it gives the image quality that it does at such a low cost makes it worth looking at twice, especially if you have a smaller firearm that you would like a scope on but aren't willing to drop the big bucks for.

CVLife 3-9x40mm

The price of CVLife 3-9x40 varies, so check the latest price at

2. TRUGLO TRU-Brite 30 Series 1-6x24mm Riflescope

Truglo 1-6x24mm scope

This is an optic I might recommend as an alternative to the Bug Buster if you are looking for great, consistent performance and are willing to sacrifice the 7x-9x portion of the zoom range. 

Opening all the way up to true strength one power makes this optic better for a competition and a lot of hunting scenarios. Zooming in up to 6x gives you enough flexibility to make shots up to around 300 yards with this optic.

If you need that extra magnification, then this won’t be a great alternative, but TRUGLO is a trusted brand with great reviews, and this comes with the same illuminated mil-dot reticle as the UTG 3-9x, just without all the different color options.

I personally prefer the 1-6x to the 3x-9x for most situations, but a lot of that is personal preference and it can go either way depending on what you're used to, how good your vision is, and how you prefer to shoot. For a lot of hunters, 6x just isn't enough to do what they want to do, and in that case a scope that goes to 9x would be a better solution.

TRUGLO TRU-Brite 1-6x24mm 

The price of TRUGLO TRU-Brite 30 Series 1-6x24 varies, so check the latest price at

Want to know more about 1-6x scopes? Check out our complete guide on best 1-6x scopes.

3. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight

As long as we’re talking about a budget optic that’s worth the money, here’s a great affordable red dot sight that is even more affordable than the Leapers UTG scope. It’s a bit of a stretch to include this as an alternative to a 3x-9x scope, but what makes it an alternative is that a lot of people would love a red dot, but feel like they’re all too expensive.

Rather than settling for a 3x-9x scope because that’s all they can find in the price range they can afford, they can take a look at the Bushnell Trophy scope.

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot 1Sight Riflescope

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight

The price of Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight varies, so check the latest price at

Looking for a red dot that does not cost you so much, We got one for you: Leapers UTG red dot review.

Closing Thoughts:

There's a lot to consider when getting a scope: construction quality, the internal optics, a feature that's important to you like illumination, and even how well the turrets work. 

If you're shooting at a lot of different distances, then the UTG scope is a great optic. The illuminated reticle is nice, and being able to adjust parallax down to 3 yards is great for an optic like this.

Hunters may choose one optic for their hunting and a different optic for testing at the range. You'll always want your scope to be fog proof, but depending on the situation you may want more or less elevation adjustment than .25 MOA per click. 

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