The Best Scope For SKS Rifles

When I think of the SKS I picture Soviet era soldiers standing guard in the winter snow. Through movies and gun shows it has remained in the minds of gun owners.

I can remember when I bought mine sometime in the early 90’s. My father found it at a gun show for something like 50$. Sadly the days of cheap gun show specials are over, but the popularity of the SKS rifle still remains today.

Not only are they affordable, they’re still a very cable self defense rifle. Powerful, accurate, easy to shoot and ammo that doesn’t cost a fortune. Its only problem is the terrible Russian Military surplus sights.  Once you find the proper sks scope mount continue reading below to find a great SKS scope.

Scout Scope vs Traditional Scope

The type of scope you need will depend on your mounting setup.  Due to the top ejection port some people choose a forward mounted rail.  Forward mounts are much cheaper than receiver mounts, but require a dedicated scout scope. 

Scout scopes have an extremely long eye relief allowing you to move the scope farther away.  This type of setup allows you to shoot with both eyes open giving you a better sight picture. 

Giving you a wider field of view and speeding up your target acquisition speed.  It’s much easier to track moving targets with a scout scope.  The rest of this article will be covering traditional scopes.

Scout scopes are limited to a low magnification range and increased price tag.  If you want more than 7x magnification you’re going to need a traditional scope. 

With a top ejection port you’ll need a receiver mounted scope.  Due to the varying manufacturer specs receiver scopes are a serious hassle.  Unless you want to shell out big bucks for the UTG PRO SKS Receiver Mount you’ll need to put in some elbow grease. 

You won’t be able to use stripper clips with the UTG mount, but it’s easy to install and extremely sturdy.  Receiver cover mounts are much cheaper, but require some metal work.  You will most likely have to grind down your mount until it will fit your rifle.

What’s The Best Scope For SKS Rifles?


1.  Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm Scope

Notable Features:

  • Premium Quality Scope
  • Extremely Durable Design
  • Easy To Adjust
  • 100% Waterproof and Fogproof

 Check Price: Amazon

If you’ve been around the firearm industry for a while you’ll recognize Leupold scopes. Known for making some of the best scopes in the industry. They don’t skimp when it comes to quality, even in their budget lineup of scopes.  With some of the clearest glass on the market, you can’t go wrong with the VX2 rifle scope

Leupold’s VX-2 Riflescope is part of Leupold’s budget lineup of scopes. Referring to them as a budget scope is an injustice to their quality standards.

These are actually extremely nice scopes for the price. You’ll receive most of the benefits of Leupold optics, without the high price tag. Even on budget scopes, Leupold uses some of the clearest glass in the industry.

Built to last with oxygen purged and nitrogen filled tubes.  Giving you a completely waterproof and fogproof seal that should last for decades. Leupold also offers a lifetime guarantee on all of their products.

With oversized turrets, you’ll have quick and easy adjustments in the field.  The crystal clear glass offers an extremely bright sight picture. You’ll be able to see in almost any lighting conditions from dawn to dusk.

2. Vortex Optics StrikeFire 2 Red Dot Sight

Notable Features:

  • Value Priced
  • Sturdy Design
  • 100% Waterproof Construction
  • Fast Target Acquisition
  • True 1x Magnification

Check Price: Amazon

Most people don’t equate modern red dots with the SKS rifle. If you aren’t trying to shoot out past 100-200 yards a red dot is a perfect choice for your SKS.

If you’re eyes are strong enough to see down range the 1x magnification red dot is an excellent choice. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to find a quality red dot.

Vortex Optics are known for making extremely affordable optics that are packed with features. For the price the Vortex Strikefire 2 stands up with some of the best red dots in the firearm industry.

Vortex Strikefire 2 is arguably my favorite red dot on the market. I have higher priced red dots that are much nicer than the Strikefire, but they come in at 2-3 times the overall price.

The Strikefire 2 is an extremely durable red dot at a fraction of the price. People like to buy Aimpoint Scopes because of their durability, but I don’t see how anybody could break a Vortex optic with normal use.

I’m not the most graceful person in the world, and I’ve smashed the Strikefire into a lot of trees and concrete. It even flew off the back of my Polaris Ranger at one point.

Every time the Vortex Strikefire continues to hold zero and only showed minor cosmetic damage. It is also nitrogen purged and 100% waterproof and fogproof.

Vortex also stands behind there products and offers one of the best warranties in the industry. This red dot has adjustable brightness settings, so you will be able to use it at almost any time of day. If you’re in the market for a red dot you can’t go wrong with the Vortex Strikefire 2.

3.  Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight

Notable Features:

  • Extremely Affordable Price
  • Durable Waterproof Design
  • Clear and Bright Sight Picture
  • Unlimited Eye Relief
  • Lightweight Micro Size

Check Price: Amazon

Bushnell’s Trophy TRS-25 red dot is the perfect blend of price and durability.  It’s an extremely durable red dot for a fraction of the price.  Built to handle the shotgun recoil this red dot will last for years on your SKS.

Wouldn’t it be nice to find a red dot that’s perfect for any weapon.  Bushnell’s micro red dot will work on just about anything.  At about the length of my thumb, you can mount it on anything from a pistol to high recoil 12 gauge shotgun. 

The completely shockproof design is backed by Bushnell’s lifetime warranty, but you shouldn’t need it.  Nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed it’s completely waterproof and fogproof.  More than just durable, the glass is top of the line.

Its amber coated lens blocks glare while improving brightness.  With multiple illumination settings you can further adjust the reticles brightness. 

The lens is surprisingly clear for the price and more than sufficient.  You won’t match Bushnell’s TRS-25 red dot without more than doubling your price.


4.  UTG BugBuster 3-9x40mm Scope

Notable Features:

  • Value Priced Scope
  • 3-9x32mm Magnification
  • Durable Construction
  • Lots of Premium Features
  • Easy To Use
  • 100% Waterproof

Check Price: Amazon

If you’re looking for a budget Scope look no further than this offering from UTG. The UTG Bugbuster scope is an extremely affordable optic with a lot of features.

If you’ve never heard of UTG optics your not alone. UTG Optics are made by Leapers Inc which was originally a European Company. They’ve shifted production into the United States and have been making a name for themselves in the industry. They offer very affordable scopes that have a lot of features. Many of the UTG Bugbuster’s features would be excellent for the SKS.

The UTG Bugbuster is a budget 3-9x Rifle Scope that is perfect for the SKS. The Bugbuster scope has a lot of features that aren’t commonly found on scopes in this price range.

One of the cooler features is you’re choice of reticle color. The illuminated display can be changed between standard black, red and green. With multiple brightness settings you will be able to use the BugBuster in just about any weather conditions.

It also has a 2 inch sunshade which isn’t normally found on budget scopes. Like the above scopes this one is nitrogen purged so that it’s completely waterproof and fogproof. You shouldn’t have any issues with the durability of the Bugbuster scope.

One of my favorite features is the range estimating reticle. Most scopes in this price range don’t have this feature and if they do it’s more of a gimmick.

You will be able to quickly estimate the range and make adjustments using the oversized turrets. If you are looking for an affordable scope you can’t go wrong with the Bugbuster Scope.

5. Monstrum Tactical 3-9×32 AO Rifle Scope

Notable Features:

  • Value Priced
  • Easy To Use Design
  • Waterproof Construction
  • Lots of Features

Check Price: Amazon

The Monstrum Tactical 3-9×32 Rifle scope is another great option. Monstrum Tactical is carving out their own path in the firearm industry. They are quickly becoming a go to company in the tactical firearm community. Monstrum Tactical makes quality gear at an affordable price point, by offering quality products in markets that are to small for the giants in the industry. With a ton of tactical features, this scope is worth a look.

The Monstrum Tactical scope is like all of the products on this list. It offers way more features than other products in it’s price range. You don’t normally see a scope that’s this clear in this price range. It includes an adjustable objective lens which will give you a very sharp focus. The durable aluminum scope body has a nitrogen charged tube which makes it water and fog resistant.

The fact that it’s water resistant is the reason I ranked the UTG BugBuster above this scope. Another cool feature on the Monstrum Tactical scope is the range finder reticle. You will be able to easily target out to 300 yards with the 3-9x magnification.

With a little practice most people will be able to push this scope to the 7.62x39mm cartridges limit. If you are looking for a quality sks scope that doesn’t break the bank this Monstrum Tactical scope is an excellent option.

Mounting Your SKS Scope

Adopted to replace the Mosin Nagant, the sks seems like it was made for distance.  This lightweight and versatile rifle was popular with Russian infantryman. 

With its reduction in recoil and increased range it was soon adopted by the Soviet Union.  While the SKS might seem like an excellent scope candidate you’ll run into a few problems.  The problem lies with the fact that it was always meant to be used with iron sights.  The Soviet Union never issued a scoped version of this rifle.

Due to the rifles top ejection port you’re going to run into problems mounting a scope.  You’re scope choice is entirely dependent on your mount setup. 

You’re going to have to choose between a forward mounted scout scope setup or traditional receiver mount.  The above scopes can only be used with a traditional receiver mount.  Check out my other post for more information about mounting options.

When to Get a Red Dot

Mounting a red dot on a 70+ year old rifle might seem like a travesty, but it’s surprisingly useful.  Red Dots have unlimited eye relief which makes them the perfect alternative for a forward mount. 

Forward mounts are easy to install and won’t interfere with stripper clips.  It’s an affordable solution when you don’t have the tools to grind a receiver cover mount.  Red Dots are not only convenient they’re extremely versatile.

Red Dots will significantly increase your close range target acquisition speed.  When you’re shooting under 50 yards nothings going to beat a red dot.  They’ve significantly dropped in price in the last couple years.  Bushnell’s TRS-25 Red Dot pairs perfectly with the SKS.

Which SkS Scope is Best?

It really isn’t hard to find a quality scope for your SKS Rifle. The first thing you are going to look at is mounting options. Unless you are looking for a classic historically accurate look you will want to install a picattiny rail onto your rifle.

The installation of a picattiny rail makes it easier to switch between scopes. Just make sure that the rail and scope don’t effect your placement of stripper clips. Personally I like to install either a low to medium range traditional optic or a red dot onto my rifles.

The best SKS scope for most people is going to be the Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 Scope. It’s fair to say that you can never go wrong with a Leupold scope. Leupold makes some of the clearest and most durable scopes in the firearm industry.

If you are looking for a red dot scope check out the Vortex Strikefire 2. The vortex Strikefire 2 is one of the best budget red dot scopes for the SKS. The best budget scope for the SKS is the UTG BugBuster. The UTG BugBuster Scope has more features than any other scope in it’s price range.

Recent Content