Top 5 Best Scope for SKS Rifle Review in 2017

best scope for sks rifle

The SKS was the commie’s gun before the AK-47 designed to be a cheaply made and mass-produced weapon for guerrilla warfare the SKS lives on today as a relatively cheap surplus relic of the past that has become a favorite of American shooters because of its cost and availability.

If you want a cheap beater truck gun that shoots and intermediate round for less than the cost of an AK-47, AR-15, or even Ruger's mini 30 rifles then the SKS is going to be about as good as it gets for your situation.

That doesn't mean that outfitting your SKS with a magnified optic or scope is a lost cause. Quite the contrary comma mounting up a magnified object to your SKS is going to be one of the single best upgrades you can make to your rifle. Mounting a scope forward of the receiver, to avoid the brass being ejected upright you should use the best scout scope you can find, otherwise you’ll have the wrong scope.

Best Scope for SKS Rifle - Comparison Table

Product Name

Magnification

Objective Bell

Price

Our Rating

Primary Arms 1-6X24 SFP Hunting Scope

1-6x

24mm

$$

#1
​Editor's Choice

Primary Arms 1-4X 24 Illuminated Scope

1-4x

24mm

$$

#2

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6 x 24

1-6x

24mm

$$$

#3

UTG 3-9X32 1" Bug Buster Scope

3-9x

32mm

$

#4

CVLIFE 4x32 Compact Rifle Scope

4x

32mm

$

#5

The Best SKS Scope

The ideal scope for the SKS is a combination of a lightweight, medium magnification, simple to use and fast to hit with an optic that takes advantage of the SKS's lightweight and easy maneuverability. When you start shopping you'll quickly notice that the majority of scopes that fit these criteria have been made for either the AK-47 or AR-15. this isn't necessarily a bad thing, many of the Scopes that have been purpose made for the AR-15 or AK-47 will work like a charm on the SKS.

After all the SKS is really a grandfather to all of the intermediate carbines found on the market and in the hands of modern militaries today. Keep in mind that one of the main benefits of the SKS is the fact that it is a surplus rifle that can be picked up for relatively cheap and pressed into service and a ton of different situations. The 7.62x39 cartridge doesn’t need a ton of magnification, look for one of the best1-6x power scopes to make sure you don’t over burden your rifle set up.

The ideal scope for the SKS will be just as cheap and versatile and take advantage of these qualities. A medium magnification scope between 1-9x power and a small objective bell less than 30mm across and an overall weight of less than a pound will allow you to get every benefit out of the 7.62x39 cartridge without ruining the handling and quick maneuverability of the SKS.

Other features like a BDC reticle, target turrets, and an illuminated reticle can go a long way to making the scope much easier and faster to get rounds on target without adding much weight or bulk to the scope.

Remember magnified Optics do not help you shoot better, they help you see better. If you are a bad shot before you mount up a high-quality scope, you'll be a bad shot afterwards. You need to have your marksmanship fundamentals down pat before you expect to make any large gains in accuracy or effectiveness with your rifle.

Our Pick for the 5 Best Scope for SKS Rifle

Product Name

Magnification

Objective Bell

Price

Our Rating

Primary Arms 1-6X24 SFP Hunting Scope

1-6x

24mm

$$

#1
​Editor's Choice

Primary Arms 1-4X 24 Illuminated Scope

1-4x

24mm

$$

#2

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6 x 24

1-6x

24mm

$$$

#3

UTG 3-9X32 1" Bug Buster Scope

3-9x

32mm

$

#4

CVLIFE 4x32 Compact Rifle Scope

4x

32mm

$

#5

​#1 - Primary Arms 1-6X24 SFP Hunting Scope

Primary Arms 1-6X24 SFP Hunting Scope

Primary Arms is a new kid on the block when it comes to optics. They have a huge catalog so far and they’re getting wonderful reviews. The thing that sticks out the most though, is their price. They come in significantly cheaper than other scope brands without sacrificing in field effectiveness. This is the 1-6x24mm offering tailored to tactical rifle shooting, perfect for your SKS.

If you plan on making your SKS into a 3gun or defensive rifle, then look no further for a value is driven option for shooting out to the very edge of the 7.62x39’s effective range. It combines a 1-6x power magnification range with fully multi coated glass that is a scant 24mm across. Slim, trim, and feature packed.

Yes, this scope has a reticle that is technically tailored for the .300 blackout, however, the 7.62x39 is close enough in exterior ballistics that you can adjust this scope to make it work. That means you get this awesome “Christmas Tree & Horseshoe” style reticle that is fast and intuitive.

You get a set of flip up lens caps with this scope and primary arms manufacturers rings, bases, and one-piece mounts of several different types. You also have a good warranty, not that you’ll need it. The early in field reports from this manufacture is that these scopes are squared away and you should get one if you need a good scope for your SKS for cheap.

Pros
  • Very good reticle
  • Small optic
  • Excellent quality
  • Good warranty
Cons
  • Uncommon tube size
  • Pretty long for an SKS

​#2 - Primary Arms 1-4X 24 Illuminated Scope

Primary Arms 1-4X 24 Illuminated Scope

Much like the scope above this is a scope from Primary Arms, a new kid on the block that has yet to be proven but has loads of potential. The best thing about this scope is you get the fast handling, the rugged lineage from the scope above, but you shed all of the “tactical” features you’ll never need while hunting, and the result is an excellent light and fast optic.

With this scope, you get a 1 inch tube, 24mm objective bell, that is ridiculously small but still, has an illuminated reticle. An illuminated reticle is an excellent feature for a stalking rifle, or for those last 30 minutes of shooting light when it’s legal to shoot but too dark to see your crosshairs. This scope won’t suffer from that.

The scope is still bound by laws of physics though and they’ve done an excellent job of making this scope bright, but it’s still a 24mm objective bell. You just can’t beat this scope for value and features for a carbine type rifle like an SKS. Especially for hunting where you’ll likely never need a BDC, red dot, or target turrets.

Pros
  • Excellent quality
  • Purpose driven design
  • Good warranty
Cons
  • Uncommon tube size
  • Pretty long for an SKS

​#3 - Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6 x 24

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6 x 24 AR-BDC Reticle

Vortex optic is known the world over for being two things, value driven and exceptionally innovative. They bring high quality features and components to price ranges that in years past, meant you couldn’t even get a reasonable scope.

Everything this scope has used to be reserved for scopes that were made exclusively for bench rest, or precision shooting. You can now have things like an illuminated reticle, 30mm tube, and exceptional glass on a carbine like an SKS.

The materials, construction and top-notch features of this scope simply ooze quality and durability. Vortex did an unusually good job on this scope of putting together and targeting exactly what this scope’s intended use is going to be.

You can dial the scope back to 1x power and have a very high-quality sight for quick snap shooting at close range, or you can dial out to 6x power and really take advantage of this scope range.

In fact, if you take this scope’s silky-smooth magnification, extremely high-quality crystal clear, fully multi coated glass and pair it with the BDC reticle, you can very easily shoot past further than the 7.62x39 cartridge can be relied on to drop game cleanly.

If you’re a glass connoisseur than this is your scope, simply put this is one of the best scopes you can put on any lightweight carbine that will be used for precision shooting.

This scope comes with the Vortex Warranty, legendary for being above and beyond, but you’ll probably never need it. You’re more likely to destroy your rifle before you harm this scope.

Pros
  • Excellent quality
  • Superb glass
  • Great features
  • Purpose driven design
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Large

​#4 - UTG 3-9X32 1" Bug Buster Scope

UTG 3-9X32 1

Some people are glass snobs, especially when it comes to scopes. That too bad for them because there’s a bit of a renaissance going on in the optic industry with companies popping up bring products to the market that are exceptional, and priced well blow event the budget lines from traditional brands like Leupold or Bushnell.

This is an excellent example of what would be great atop an SKS intended for just about any purchase. From UTG this scope has literally thousands of reviews online and gets over 4.0 stars constantly on multiple retailers. A great scope that has magnification, clear optical quality, and has it all for a dirt-cheap price.

A 3-9 powered 32mm scope designed around light and fast carbines that include features like illuminate colored reticles and excellent. A decent field of view, two-inch sunshade, and infinitely adjustable parallax round out a list of features that are hard to beat on any scope at any price. Finally, this scope comes already mounted to the rings and bases. All you have to do is screw it down to a picatinny rail and sight it in!

When it comes down to it, this may be from a “cheap” brand, but for the price, it simply can’t be beaten. If you have an old beater SKS and need a scope, don’t be hesitant to go for this scope. You won’t be disappointed.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Good magnification
  • Includes rings
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Marginal optical quality

​#5 - CVLIFE 4x32 Compact Rifle Scope

 Roll over image to zoom in CVLIFE CVLIFE 4x32 Compact Rifle Scope Crosshair Optics Hunting Gun Scope with 20mm Free Mounts

Perfectly fitting into the light and fast niche of the SKS this is a great scope because it balances features and quality at a price point anyone who needs a scope can afford. This scope has the minimum fully multicoated lenses, all metal construction, and mil dot reticle.

The features included in this scope is one of the best for the price, they’re all usable even if they aren’t the highest quality. At just over 7.5” at length the scope is made from one piece aluminum and is plenty strong for anything you’ll use it for.

If all you plan on doing with your SKS is plink or hunt the back 40 of your house, this is a decent option that is literally as cheap as it gets. Every measure possible has been made to save you money when you buy this scope.

The scope includes rings that’ll attach to any picatinny mount and is quickly detachable with the large thumbscrews. It mounts tall enough that you can still keep your iron sights on the rifle you plan on using this scope with. A decent scope, for cheap, that bolts right up with no modification, what’s not to love?

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Includes rings
  • Illuminated reticle
Cons
  • Fragile compared to others
  • Marginal optical quality

​Things to Keep in Mind When buying a Scope for an SKS

  • Size & Weight - The SKS was designed as a lightweight carbine with an intermediate round. It wasn't designed for use with magnified optic but if you are created when you mount it it can work out. One of the main concerns of mounting an optic on such a small and handi rifle is ruining the handling characteristics of the rifle itself and ending up with a bulky and heavy package. Make sure that any scope that you put onto your SKS is lightweight and compact that you don't negate one of the best characteristics of the rifle. This includes large target style turrets, huge objective bells heavy mounts or anything that will get in the way.
  • Mounting - The way you met your optic on your SKS can make the difference between the scope helping you and ruining your shot. The SKS has an open breech and ejects spent brass vertically out of the chamber. This means that you have to either buy an offset to raise the height of the scope, or you have to move the scope so far forward that it would be out of eye relief and you’d have to use a handgun scope. With the availability of high quality mounts designed for the SKS, it makes little sense not to use a traditional scope.
  • Magnification - More magnification is not always a good thing get the least amount of magnification you need for the ranges that you'll be shooting at. For the 7.62x39, 9x power is about all you'll need. Any more magnification and you risk getting target fixation and not being able to clearly see your target when the time comes to make a quick snapshot.
  • Warranty - Make sure that any scope you buy has a decent warranty that reflects the quality of the scope that you bought. The American firearms industry is known throughout the world as being one of the best when it comes to customer service and honoring warranties. You shouldn't buy a scope from a company that won't stand by their work and provides service if it breaks. Every scope on the list above comes with a warranty that won't leave you stranded if your scope breaks.

​Final Verdict

If you feel like you want a magnified optic or scope for your SKS you'll need the best scope for your situation. There is no one best scope for the SKS it all depends if you're hunting, defending yourself or your property, or using SKS as a low budget competition rifle.

With a number of great scopes on the market today it's hard to go wrong and buy a completely worthless scope if you stick to one of the major manufacturers and especially if you go with one of the five listed here. The Scopes are about as good as it gets without spending an arm and a leg on a scope.

The world's best scope won't do you any good if you spend weeks on research, mounted up to your rifle, and let it sit in your gun safe. Get your hands on a good quality scope, some decent ammunition goes out and enjoy shooting with your SKS!

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About the author

    Mckinley Downing

    Mckinley is a gunman & instructor. He shoots, hunts and is a patriot in the sense that he enjoys pissing off gun grabbers and anti-hunters. He writes for several online outlets on the use of guns and ammunition to solve all sorts of problems from the 'hoods to the woods.

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