The SKS is not a long range precision rifle and is best used under 300 meters. So a powerful long range optic is not needed. What works best is a small, lightweight, and low-powered variable scope. The scopes must be compact due to the mounting requirements (see our article on the best SKS scope mounts). Too long of a scope and the user risk problems with ejection, and interrupting the way the rifle ejects rounds. An SKS scope should be fast and easy to use since the rifle is very popular for brush hunting, where rapid target acquisition is key.
Here are our recommendations for the 4 best scopes for SKS rifles:
- Monstrum Tactical 4x30 Ultra-Compact Rifle Scope with Illuminated Range Finder Reticle (Black)
- Price as of 10/22/2020 08:16 PDT(more info about ad)
The Monstrum Tactical brand is one that is growing very fast. They have become of the best budget-level optic makers in the country. This 3 to 9 power rifle scope is extremely compact and perfect for the SKS platform. The Monstrum is about the same size as an ACOG but offers a variable zoom. The 3 power is perfect for brush hunting and getting on target rapidly. However, when you get to a clearing and need to extend the range, crank the magnification ring down for even more precision.
The Monstrum Tactical (see full specs) features a 40mm objective lens to provide a clear and concise sight picture and works in tandem with the multi-coated lenses to provide optimal light transmission. The Monstrum tactical 3-9 power optic offers an illuminated reticle with options for either red or green and a variety of different brightness levels. The reticle is not dependent on an illuminated reticle and features a regular black cross hair so when the batteries die you can still rock and roll.
The Monstrum only needs a short section of rail to be fully secured and ready to go, so this makes it perfect for the SKS. The glass is extremely clear and provides an excellent sight picture. The Monstrum is simple, reliable, and affordable—and is one of the best scopes for SKS rifles.
- Sniper Compact Rifle Scope MT4x32 with Ring, Hunting Scope
- Price: $35.99
- Price as of 10/22/2020 18:02 PDT(more info about ad)
The Sniper Compact aims to provide all the same functions of a traditional sniper scope in a small, lightweight package. The only trade off is instead of a 10 power optic, you have a 4 power fixed magnification. A fixed magnification means the scope is simple and less likely to fail. And due to the limited effective range of the SKS rifle, the 4 power magnification works fine.
The Sniper compact feature an integrated range finding reticle, and mounts with any standard scope rings. The scope is built on a cardan joint platform for increased durability and is a single piece design. A single piece design has no weak points that are common with multiple piece designs. The Sniper scope is rated for a much more powerful round than what the SKS fires, so you can have complete confidence in its durability.
The Sniper scope provides a clear and bright view of the target. Aide by its sapphire coated lenses, the scope also provides excellent light transmission. The turrets do not require a tool to adjust, making it very easy to adjust for wind and elevation in the field and on the fly. This is one of the best SKS scopes period, especially if you’re on a budget.
Primary Arms 3x Compact Rifle Scope
- Primary Arms SLX Compact 3x32 Gen II Prism Scope - ACSS-CQB 300BLK/7.62x39 - FDE
- Price as of 10/22/2020 11:33 PDT(more info about ad)
I’m a big fan of Primary Arms. They seem to seamlessly find a way to provide a high quality product while pairing it with a reasonable price. The Primary Arms 3x Compact rifle scope is one helluva nice optic for your SKS. It’s not a long eye relief scope so you’ll need a dust cover mount of some kind.
This is a fixed power 3x scope that features Primary Arm’s own ACSS reticle (see full specs). This reticle is purposely built for 7.62x39 caliber rifles, like the SKS. This scope’s reticle has a bullet drop compensator which allows shooters to easily compensate for distance when shooting. The Primary Arms 3x also has 12 different brightness settings for the reticle. The reticle is also glass etched so if the batteries die the scope is still functional.
The Primary Arms 3x compact rifle scope is plenty tough, like the SKS. It’s shock-proof, water-proof, fog-proof, and hopefully idiot-proof, but you never know. This scope is small and quite lightweight. It’s easy to mount, easy to use, and a sureshot with the SKS. It should belong on any list of the best SKS scopes.
- BARSKA 3-9x42 Contour Riflescope IR Mil-Dot Riflescope
- Price: $122.33
- Price as of 10/22/2020 18:02 PDT(more info about ad)
Barska has become famous for producing quality optics at a budget price. The Barska Contour is no different. This compact scope offers 3-9 power magnification and a nice and wide 42 mm objective lens. This level of magnification is a surprisingly powerful optic when one considers how compact the optic is. At 9.1 inches and right at 16 ounces, this optic does a lot for its small size.
The Contour is designed for the 30-30 round, but the 7.62 x 39 that the SKS fires is remarkably similar to the 30-30 round. The Barska optic works very well with the SKS’s chosen round, and since both rounds are only effective out to 300 yards, it’s perfect for the SKS.
The Barska feature an illuminated reticle with five different brightness settings. The optic’s reticle can swap from red to green or works without batteries as an all black reticle. The optic is waterproof and is fog and shockproof as well. These fully coated optics give a concise and clear sight picture.
When it comes to reliability, it’s hard to beat Russian designed weapons. Their simplicity and ease of use make them wonders to behold mechanically. There is no reason not to buy an optic just as durable, reliable, and simple as your rifle. A good optic can work wonders on an SKS and turn it into a completely different shooting experience. We hope you’ve found the best scope for SKS rifles in this article. Just don’t forget that SKS scope mount. Good luck!
Owner of Reloaderaddict.com, 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.