The 4 Best Scopes for .338 Lapua Mag – Reviews 2023

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The .338 Lapua is an extremely capable and powerful, long range round. It’s capable of doing a lot, it can do a lot more when paired with a proper scope.

The .338 Lapua puts a lot of stress on an optic, and one of the first considerations one should have is the scope’s strength and durability. Since the.338 Lapua is also specifically designed for long range shooting, the scope should therefore have an effective magnification range. Another consideration is the optic’s reticle: it needs to allow for compensation for bullet drop and windage.

With these considerations in mind, we’ve gone ahead and put together a list of the 4 best scopes for .338 Lapua Mag rifles.

Nightforce SHV 4-14×50 Scope

Nightforce is the number 1 brand in long-range tactical shooting. Nightforce scopes are the choice of elite forces like the US Navy SEALs and Delta Force Commandos. These scopes are rock-solid, reliable, and perfect for the .338 Lapua round.

When it comes to long-range shooting, and I’m talking about beyond 1,000 yards, then the Nightforce SHV is for you. First off, it packs enough magnification to reach out and touch a target quite far. 4-14 is powerful enough for most shooters to reach out and touch a target. The Nightforce SHV riflescope is also packed with some of the best glass in the industry.

Nightforce glass is crystal clear in low light conditions and glare-free when it’s high noon. The Nightforce SHV scope allows you to see and track moving targets via the wide 50mm objective lens. Inside the scope packs an illuminated MOAR reticle that makes it easy to compensate for both windage and elevation at nearly any range. The MOAR reticle is infinitely useful for long-range shooting.

The Nightforce SHV has a 30mm main tube that makes finding mounts easy. The scope is made to go to war and come back again. It’s water and shockproof to a crazy degree. It can take whatever you toss at it and come back at it. The SHV is an excellent FFP scope and is well suited for both competition and tactical use. Hands down, the Nightforce, if you can afford it, is one of the best scopes for .338 Lapua Magnums around.

The Primary Arms FFP

One of the best budget options for the .338 Lapua is the Primary Arms First Focal Plane (FFP) scope. A FFP scope is much more accurate and more precise than a second focal plane scope, especially during tactical and long range shooting. The Primary in itself is a well-priced and well-made optic. The Primary Arms FFP scope features a mil-dot reticle that grows and shrinks as the magnification changes.

The FFP optic has a magnification range that goes from 4 to 14 power. The Primary Arms FFP optic may not have the same superbly powerful magnification range we’ve seen with the other optics, but is still perfectly proficient for the .338 Lapua. This is especially true for tactical shooting with the .338 Lapua. The scope is smaller, lighter, and perfect for the shooter on the move. The Primary Arms FFP scope comes with a sunshade to reduce glare, and the lens is fully multi-coated for excellent light transmission.

The Primary Arms FFP has more than 3 inches of eye relief to manage the powerful recoil of most rounds. One of the most interesting features is the parallax settings. The optic can be set from 10 yards of parallax to infinity, making close range shooting extremely accurate at all ranges. The Primary Arms FFP is among the very best scopes for .338 Lapua Magnum rifles if you’re on a budget.

Primary Arms 4-14X44 FFP Scope in the Rain

Vortex Viper PST

The Vortex Viper PST is one of Vortex’s higher end optics. The PST features a wide arrangement of ranges, but for the .338 Lapua, I’d choose the 5 to 25 power optic. This magnification range allows easier viewing of smaller targets and a lowered setting for closer range shooting. The Viper PST is a very well-built scope and is capable of withstanding the recoil of the powerful .338 Lapua round.

The Viper (see full specs) has a 50mm objective lens that aids in gathering light, and increasing the size of the field of view at extreme magnifications. The Vortex Viper PST, like the .338 Lapua, is not small. The PST uses standard 30 mm tubes, which is beneficial when it comes to shopping for nice, strong rings. The optic is also made entirely from T6 aircraft-grade aluminum and is a one piece construction.

The Vortex Viper PST is capable of being used for tasks that range from hunting to target shooting to even tactical shooting. The Viper PST has an EBR-2 MOA reticle. Since the scope’s adjustments are MOA, the reticle aids in precision tuning. The reticle allows the user to accurate compensate for windage and bullet drop over extreme distances. While admittedly not cheap, it’s certainly among the best scopes for .338 Lapua Mags.

Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50 FFP MOA

Nikon Pro Staff 5

Nikon makes scopes that last, and if you are rocking a .338 Lapua Magnum, you’ll need a scope that can take the recoil. The Pro Staff 5 is certainly that scope. These weapons are extensively tested and reviewed over and over again to withstand the recoil of hundreds of different, powerful rounds. This includes elephant gun cartridges like the .375 H&H Magnum, much less the .338.

The Pro Staff 5 is the latest from Nikon’s Pro Staff line and represents the lessons learned from previous generations. The Pro Staff 5 line is made up of three different scopes, and today we are specifically looking at the Pro Staff 5 4.5-18×50. This is the most powerful model in the line and offers users a dynamic and versatile zoom ratio. You can deliver lead on targets from 200 to 1,000 yards with ease. The scope features capped target turrets for easy elevation and windage changes as well as a quick focus eyepiece that gets the user on target faster.

The Nikon Pro Staff 5 features a customizable BDC that is compatible with Nikon’s Spon On Ballistic Match Technology. This is a website that you enter your information to see where the bullet drops in accordance with the BDC reticle. The BDC reticle uses circular marks that are feature a transparent middle. This means your target is hardly ever obstructed. This entire system comes together to be a powerful and capable optic worthy of the mighty .338 Lapua.

Nikon Prostaff 5 4.5-18x40 review


Choosing the wrong optic can often be disastrous. A cheap optic, a piece of junk, can be easily broken by the powerful .338 Lapua’s recoil. A good scope that isn’t designed for long range shooting is never going to allow you to take advantage of the full potential of the .338 Lapua round. Choosing a scope for a round like this is important, and it must be done with full consideration of the mighty Lapua round. 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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