The 4 Best 500 S&W Scopes – Magnum Sight Reviews 2023


Photo by Stephen Z / CC BY

Getting a scope for a .500 S&W Magnum is a no-brainer. Ater all, is there any beast bigger than the S&W .500? Not on the production line, and an optic is an amazing way to unleash that caliber’s potential. The S&W .500 is also a great hunting handgun, and it does offer long-range potential that’s unmatched by other guns. This means an optic with magnification is a must have if you are a hunter.

Luckily, Smith and Wesson have made most S&W .500s optic-ready, so it’s easy to attach an optic’s rail and pick and choose a sight at your leisure. An optic for the S&W .500 needs to be rugged, dependable, and extremely precise. The S&W .500 is often called bear medicine and is used for defense against bears. Used in this way, a gun needs to move fast and get on target fast; otherwise, you’ll be raw human steak for Smokey. We’ll present optics for various situations below.

These are our recommendations for the 4 best .500 S&W scopes on the market:

Best .500 S&W Scope 1: Leupold VX-3 Handgun

The Leupold brand will come up more than once when it comes to S&W .500 optics. These optics are extremely well made and backed by an amazing warranty, so they are naturals for the S&W .500. The Leupold VX-3 is a dedicated handgun scope that sports a variable magnification design of 2.5 to 8 power. The S&W .500 is a high power weapon, and the eight power magnification will allow you to reach out and touch a target with relative ease. The lower 2.5 power optic is best suited for closer ranges and still allows you to see a target fully.

The Leupold VX-3 (see full specs) is a premium grade optic that uses Leupold’s Xtended Twilight Lens System to increase the shooter’s ability to see in low light situations. Most game likes to move in the early morning and the late evening. In this situation, the Leupold VX-3 is a beast. It allows you to see animals clearly and safely as the sun gets a little lower or just hasn’t come up yet. The simple reticle makes it easy to look at your target and to place precision shots.

The VX-3 is also a compact scope and is quite lightweight when compared to competitive scopes. The VX-3 is an extremely accurate optic, and it sports adjustable fingertip turrets with ¼ moa adjustments. The VX-3 is shockproof, and when mounted on the S&W .500 it absolutely has to be.

S&W 460XVR with Scope.MPG

Best .500 S&W Scope 2: The Ultra Dot Match Dot 2

The Ultra Dot Match Dot 2 is red dot scope from the always underappreciated Ultra Dot brand. Ultra Dot optics are incredibly well made and when it comes to red dots are a favorite of hunters. The Ultra Dot makes an appearance at most NRA Bullseye matches for a reason. The Match Dot 2 is a purpose-built optic designed for close to moderate range shooting. One of the best features of this optic is the inclusion of differently sized reticles.

The reticle can be switched on the fly, and you can swap between 2, 4, 6, and 8 MOA red dot reticles. The smaller reticles make the Match Dot 2 a better option for longer shots. The smaller the reticle, the easier it is to see your actual target at longer ranges. The larger reticles are quicker to pick up with the eye and faster to get on close-range targets. The S&W .500 is a powerful weapon, so it needs a strong optic. The Ultra Dot Match is a rugged and extremely strong optic, and it will take the force of the S&W .500 with ease.

The Ultra Dot sports an on the fly bullet drop compensating system that allows you to make elevation adjustments in the field. The Ultra Dot is capped off with a slight extension that keeps glare down and allows you to see in the brightest of days.

blackhawk 357 with ultradot 30

Best .500 S&W Scope 3: Leupold FX-2

If you need a magnified optic that a bit more affordable, the Leupold FX-2 is a great choice. The Leupold FX-2 is a little older but still extremely well made. It’s also a little simpler than most optics but rugged and strong enough to take on the S&W .500 magnum. The FX-2 is a magnified optic but also a fixed four power optic.

As a fixed power optic, the FX-2 loses some versatility but gains simplicity and durability, which makes it one of the best .500 S&W scopes for the money. The FX-2 is also a very compact optic and quite light. The S&W .500 is a beast, but it’s still a handgun. As a handgun, you want to keep weight low to keep the gun moving fast and to keep it from fatiguing you.

The Leupold weighs only 7 ounces, so it is unintrusive. The fixed four power design does give enough magnification to take advantage of the S&W .500’s power too. The FX-2 has a duplex reticle that is thick on the outside for quick acquisition and the thin on the inside to easily see the vital parts of your target. The Leupold makes it easy to practice proper shot placement, which is critical to making humane shots on an animal.

500 Smith and Wesson Scoped (leupold fx-II 4x28mm duplex handgun scope)

Best .500 S&W Scope 4: The Trijicon RMR

Most picture the S&W .500 as a might gun sporting a massive barrel and compensator, and that’s what is commonly used when it comes hunting. S&W makes a number of S&W .500 models with shorter barrels designed for defense against big game. These types of S&W .500s do not have massively long barrels, and they aren’t going to be used at long ranges. Plus you want to keep them light and fast.

For this kind of S&W .500, I suggest the always fantastic Trijicon RMR (see full specs). The Trijicon RMR is likely the most robust miniature red dot scope on the market. It can take tons of abuse, including what the S&W .500 throws at it. There are lots of different models, but I suggest the dual illuminated RMR with a large 7 MOA reticle.

This ensures the optic is always ready, and the large 7 MOA red dot is quick and easy to pick up. This makes it perfect for rapid on target capability to deliver those life-saving powerhouse shots at Yogi and his furry friends.

Trijicon RM04 RMR Reflex Sight Dual Illuminated

The .500 S&W Sights Conclusion

The S&W .500 is an absolute beast of a gun. It can take any North American game and will do so with style. A good optic will ensure you can shoot straighter, faster, and further. Picking the right optic is critical, and the above-listed options are some of the strongest, most durable out there. Good luck!

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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