If you want to shoot extreme ranges, the .338 Lapua Magnum (.338 LM for short) was specifically designed for the job. Although this flat-shooting cartridge has a strong military background, in recent years, it has gained a cult-like following among long-range hunters and sport shooters.
Finding the best scope for 338 Lapua requires a little knowledge. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry. We’re going to introduce you to some of the best optics to pair with your .338 LM rifle.
If you don't have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated scope for .338 Lapua:
- 1Steiner T5Xi 5-25x 56 Riflescope
- 2NightForce SHV 5-20x56 Riflescope
- 3Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20x50 Riflescope
- 4Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm Riflescope
- 5Vortex Optics Razor HD 5-20x50 Riflescope
- 6Swarovski Z5 3.5-18x44 Riflescope
- 7Monstrum G3 6-24x50 Riflescope
- 8Nikon Black FX1000 6-24x50mm
- 9Bushnell Elite Tactical HDMR II 3.5-21x50mm
- 10Schmidt & Bender Zenith 3-12x50mm
Table of Contents
- How to Choose the Best Scope for Your .338 Lapua Rifle?
- Best Scope for 338 Lapua on the Market Reviews
- 1 Steiner T5Xi 5-25x 56 Riflescope
- 2 NightForce SHV 5-20x56 Riflescope
- 3 Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20x50 Riflescope
- 4 Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm Riflescope
- 5 Vortex Optics Razor HD 5-20x50 Riflescope
- 6 Swarovski Z5 3.5-18x44 Riflescope
- 7 Monstrum G3 6-24x50 Riflescope
- 8 Nikon Black FX1000 6-24x50mm
- 9 Bushnell Elite Tactical HDMR II 3.5-21x50mm
- 10 Schmidt & Bender Zenith 3-12x50mm
- Final Thoughts
How to Choose the Best Scope for Your .338 Lapua Rifle?
To get the best performance from your .338 Lapua rifle, you need a scope that matches the range capabilities of the cartridge. Here are a few key things to consider when looking for the perfect optic for this long-range rifle.
The .338 Lapua Magnum is one of the most effective sniper cartridges ever developed. It is completely capable of touching targets well beyond 1000 yards. In fact, a single bullet fired from a .338 Lapua rifle can travel up to a mile and not even break a sweat.
To accurately hit targets at the extreme ranges .338 Lapua can reach, you’ll need a scope with enough magnification for you to effectively see your targets. You can’t effectively aim at what you can’t see. If you opt for a low magnification scope, it defeats the whole purpose of shooting this long-range cartridge.
How Much Magnification Do I Need?
For precision accuracy on long-range targets, we recommend you find a scope with at least 10x magnification. A variable power scope is generally preferred over a fixed power optic. A variable power scope provides greater range versatility. You can use a lower magnification for easier target acquisition at closer ranges, but also dial up the magnification for targets at distance. Look for a rifle scope with a variable magnification range that spans anywhere from 3x up to 25x.
Magnification isn’t the only thing your scope needs for you to see distant targets. Powerful magnification won’t do you much good if you can’t clearly see your target when you zoom in.
Glass quality plays a huge role in image clarity. Look for a scope with extra low dispersion (ED) glass and fully multi-coated lenses.
Most long-distance shooters prefer a scope with detailed reticles with BDC, MOA, or Mil-Dot markings. These marks will help you make adjustments for holdover and windage on tough long-range shots.
A reticle located on the first focal plane (FFP) is also a helpful feature when shooting 338 Lapua. An FFP reticle changes size in proportion to the target when you adjust magnification. Because the size of the reticle remains proportional to the target, you can make effective adjustments for bullet drop and windage no matter which magnification level you use.
Best Scope for 338 Lapua on the Market Reviews
1 Steiner T5Xi 5-25x 56 Riflescope
The Steiner T5Xi is a top-notch riflescope perfect for every long range shooting application - from combat to competition. Made for extreme durability, the T5Xi performs impeccably, even in freezing or wet conditions. The scope is completely fogproof, shockproof, and waterproof. It is even submersible to a depth of 33 feet. The T5Xi has also endured strenuous impact testing, and all electronic and optical components are guaranteed to stand up to hard abuse.
Precision shooters will love Steiner’s unique SCR (Special Competition Reticle). This illuminated, etched glass FFP reticle features an extended illumination area. It also features extremely precise markings for ranging, holdover, and windage.
The windage and elevation knobs on this premium scope offer just the right amount of resistance for precision adjustments, allowing you to easily achieve sniper level accuracy. It even features an exclusive Second Rotation Indicator that shows your adjustments through an indicator window. This helps you keep track of your revolutions no matter how many adjustments you make.
2 NightForce SHV 5-20x56 Riflescope
NightForce optics are famous for their precision accuracy. The NightForce SHV riflescope performs beautifully at close ranges, extended ranges, and everything in between. While this is a highly versatile optic, its extreme range abilities make it an ideal partner for the .338 Lapua.
The NightForce SHV has outstanding clarity, crispness, and color contrast, even at the highest magnification level. With superb glass quality and an ample 56mm objective lens, this scope offers amazing brightness that works beautifully in low light.
The SHV features a full 80 MOA of elevation adjustment, an easy 25-yard parallax adjustment, and a helpful ZeroSet function. ZeroSet lets you instantly return to your initial zero after adjustments, taking out all the guesswork.
3 Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20x50 Riflescope
Although Trijicon is best known for its battle-proven ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight), the company also makes a serious showing in the field of long-range riflescopes. The AccuPoint TR23 is one of the most durable optics on this list.
It features an aircraft grade aluminum housing that is o-ring sealed and nitrogen purged. The result of this design is reliable shockproof performance in any weather condition. The exterior also has a black matte finish designed to eliminate external glare. This prevents your scope from bouncing light and giving away your position, making this a perfect option for shooting applications where stealth is a major asset.
The TR23 also features Trijicon’s signature battery-free illumination. In place of battery power, Trijicon uses fiber optic technology and a tritium phosphor lamp to illuminate the reticle. The design automatically adjusts reticle brightness for maximum visibility in any light condition. However, this optic also has a manual brightness override, so you can easily adjust the brightness setting to suit your personal preferences.
4 Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm Riflescope
Leupold is one of the most respected names in the optics world. Their top-level scopes have been trusted by elite members of the United States military. Durable, dependable, and insanely accurate, Leupold’s VX-3i LRP is one of the company's best offerings to date.
With LRP (which stands for Long Range Precision) right in the name, you know this scope was born for the .338 Lapua. This model delivers match-grade accuracy in a sleek, ultra-lightweight package.
Although lightweight, this scope is anything but delicate. It features a rugged aluminum housing that is engineered to disperse recoil, making it perfect for hard-hitting cartridges like the .338 Lapua.
Big game hunters will love Leupold’s patented Twilight Max Light Management System. Utilizing specialized lens coatings that eliminate glare and maximize image brightness, Twilight Max can extend your shooting time by up to 20 minutes at dawn and dusk.
5 Vortex Optics Razor HD 5-20x50 Riflescope
The Razor HD riflescope from industry leader Vortex Optics has gained quite a following among long-distance shooters. Built to handle the exacting needs of extreme, long-range shooting, this version of the popular Razor features an ample magnification range of 5-20x.
The optical quality on this scope is insanely good. It features high density, extra-low dispersion glass with premium multi-layer coatings. It also has index-matched apochromatic lenses that deliver impeccable color fidelity across the visible spectrum.
This scope is also built like an absolute tank. It is constructed from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminum and has a hard anodized exterior finish for extra durability. The housing is o-ring sealed and argon purged, making it reliably fogproof and waterproof in every weather condition.
6 Swarovski Z5 3.5-18x44 Riflescope
Swarovski optics are best-known for their incredible glass quality, a feature that is crucial to successful long-range shooting. Swarovski’s Z5 3.5-18x44 model makes an awesome addition to your precision .338 Lapua rifle.
The Z5 features the company’s patented SWAROVISION technology. SWAROVISION incorporates unique Field Flattener lenses for unparalleled edge-to-edge image clarity, fluoride-containing HD lenses that minimize fringing, and optimized coatings for maximum color fidelity. This scope also provides incredibly generous eye relief for a full field of view, even for shooters who need to shoot with their prescription eyeglasses.
7 Monstrum G3 6-24x50 Riflescope
It’s hard to find a budget priced FFP riflescope, but somehow Monstrum made it happen. The highly affordable Monstrum G3 has some surprising features for a scope in this price range. It definitely delivers some serious value for the money.
This high-quality tactical scope features generous 6-24x magnification, which is more than adequate for reaching out to 1000 yards and beyond. It also features a functional, easy-to-read reticle for faster range estimation and holdover corrections. You have complete control over the reticle brightness settings. You can choose from multiple intensities to maximize visibility, even at night or in low light shooting conditions.
This scope also comes equipped with an adjustable objective lens (AO). An AO helps deliver the sharpest focus possible and allows you to adjust for parallax at every range.
8 Nikon Black FX1000 6-24x50mm
The Nikon Black FX1000 is a match-grade rifle scope that is ready to shoot right out of the box. It features a highly detailed FFP reticle that was designed by Nikon specifically for this scope. This exclusive reticle optimizes the sight picture and incorporates everything you need for accurate ranging, holdover and windage corrections. It is also designed to maintain contrast in all light conditions.
The Nikon Black FX1000 features quality, high-speed target turrets with integral zero stop. With a quick focus eyepiece and impressive glass quality, you always have crystal clear images and true-to-life colors at every magnification.
Built to be both durable and reliable, the Nikon Black FX1000 is o-ring sealed and nitrogen purged. This construction design makes it completely shockproof, fogproof, and waterproof.
9 Bushnell Elite Tactical HDMR II 3.5-21x50mm
Although Bushnell started out as a small mail-order company, today the company is one of the most-respected names in the outdoor industry. Bushnell's scopes are favored by big game hunters around the globe, and the HDMR II is easily the best long-range optic the company offers.
Its compact, lightweight design makes it the perfect option for hunting remote locations. However, Bushnell managed to keep the size small without sacrificing performance. In fact, this scope performs well at any distance, offering impressive short-range performance and maximum long-range accuracy.
It has a specialized G3 illuminated FFP reticle. The G3 provides precision holdover adjustments, yet also allows you to get on those close-range, fast-moving targets easier than most reticle designs.
The HDMR II features a special Throw Hammer Lever for fast and easy magnification adjustments.
Built for the outdoors, the Bushnell Elite Tactical HDMR II features a durable construction and is o-ring sealed to prevent internal fogging. The scope is also completely waterproof.
10 Schmidt & Bender Zenith 3-12x50mm
Schmidt & Bender has developed a well-earned reputation for producing high-performance long-range rifle scopes. The company produces only a limited number of optics each year, choosing to focus on quality rather than quantity. The quality of their products and the limited accessibility of their products make Schmidt & Bender scopes relatively expensive. While the Zenith is considered one of the company’s “budget” models, this is definitely not an inexpensive scope. However, if you can afford the monetary investment, this optic is one of the best you could choose to top your .338 Lapua.
With its 3-12x magnification range, the Zenith is a great option for big game hunters. However, it has a sleek modern look that also appeals to tactical shooters.
The Zenith has excellent image quality. Shooters will enjoy razor-sharp clarity and high color contrast across the entire magnification range. With a 50mm objective lens and high-quality coatings, this optic also has amazing light-gathering abilities, which allows for bright images for easy shooting, even in twilight conditions.
The best scope for 338 Lapua will match the capabilities of this long-range cartridge. However, even a high-end optic with tons of fancy bells and whistles won’t magically make you a capable distance shooter. No matter which optic you choose, be sure to spend some time sending lead downrange. The best way to improve your long-range shooting skills is to practice using them.