Best Knife

For any outdoor enthusiast, public safety professional, military member, or emergency responder, a knife is a must-have. We want to show case are favorite knifes we like – there is a wide assortment of knives, knife accessories, knife sharpeners, equipment and more so that you may maintain a tactical advantage wherever you are.

Best AR 15 Scopes

Finding the best AR 15 scope in 2018 can be a challenge.

With so many AR 1`5 optics on the market, how do you choose …

With rigorous testing and actual field study of hundreds of scopes, we have narrowed down the list for those of you looking to get the best AR 15 scope for the money!

Narrowing the list wasn’t easy, as there is a big range of the best ar scopes to choose from, but we were able to come up with a great Top 10 list.

Top 10 Best AR-15 Scopes​

  1. Nikon P-223 3×32 BDC Carbine
  2. Aimpoint Pro 30mm
  3. Burris Fastfire III 3 MOA
  4. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 2 1-6×24
  5. Trijicon 1×25 MRO 2.0
  6. EOTech 512-A65 Tactical
  7. Barska 1-4×28 IR
  8. Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223
  9. Bushnell Trophy TRS25 1×25
  10. Vortex Viper PST 1 4×24

Technology has brought the cost of AR 15 optics down substantially so you no longer have to buy an extreme tactical military AR 15 scope which would set you back thousands of dollars.

In fact, you can now find the best AR 15 scopes under $400 or $200 now.  Sometimes less. The idea though is that you find the best AR 15 scope for the money. Where can you find the best bang for your buck?

For a few hundred dollars you can get a solid AR 15 optic that not only looks great on your AR but it will help your shooting performance.

We have put this post together so that you can find the best AR 15 optic without having to break the bank.

Best AR-15 Optics in 2018 – Top 10

These scopes won’t be for everyone and there are others that didn’t make the list, but very well could have. With so many different types of AR optics, from reflex / red dot sights to holographic sights, to heads up and tube styles, it was difficult to narrow it down to the Top 10 best when reaching into each category.

The AR optics below we feel are the best that you can get today. In the future, we will narrow down the Top AR optics in each category, but for now, enjoy our Top 10 best AR-15 Optics in 2017!

Why didn’t I include the Trijicon ACOG 4×32, or the Leupold Mark 5 HAMR in my Top 10 list of best AR 15 rifle scopes?

I’ve had some people ask me why these two AR optics didn’t get on the list for best AR15 optics. After reviewing them, here’s why.

  • These AR15 optics are very expensive.
  • Honestly, they don’t really deliver any better experience compared to the less expensive AR15 scopes on the market.
  • There are some extra features added on that aren’t necessary unless you’re in the military or heavy tactical usage (ie. military-grade materials).

So, in simple words, you are paying for unnecessary features that drive up the price. Some of you may not mind the extra features and don’t mind the higher price tag, but for most, we want to find the best AR15 scope for the money.

For now, these rifle optics are a little expensive, especially if you are just looking for something to get the job done or are on a budget.

However, we believe that these rifle scopes are ok if you are the type of person who is not on a budget and wants the extra features as these scopes and other high-tier AR scopes are definitely high quality.

Quick Overview About the AR-15

The AR 15 has become one of America’s favorite rifles – and for good reason!

The AR 15 was first designed for military and tactical applications however now there are models built for sport shooting, hunting, and plinking.

This is the reason that the best AR 15 optics need to be matched to its intended use.

For example, you wouldn’t use the BSA Sweet 17 for competition sport shooting. The AR 15 scope has become mainstream with a ton of different quality optics offering different features depending on what you are looking for. Some of our favorite brands of AR 15 scopes are Vortex, Nikon, Bushnell, Aimpoint and EOTech.

Many people don’t know that AR-15 was originally developed by Armalite, so it stands for Armalite Rifle. However Armalite ran into financial issues and sold its design to Colt and after making its own modifications, Colt started selling the rifle as the M-16, then later the Colt AR-15.

The AR-15 is sold under many different names and under various manufactures. The AR-15 is used by the military, law enforcement, and civilians because of the accuracy, affordability, and modular design of the rifle.

There are some differences between what you as a civilian can get compared to what the military or law enforcement use. Most notably, the semi-automatic AR-15 that you can buy compared to the fully automatic M-16, will have different trigger mechanisms, slightly different designs, and some internal modifications so that the civilian model cannot be converted into a fully automatic weapon.

Considerations to Choosing the Best AR-15 Scope

Choosing the best AR 15 scope requires you to be honest with yourself. You need to decide what the purpose of the AR optic is?

Will you be shooting varmint at 50 yards?

Will you be sport shooting and need to reach out to 200 yards? 500 yards?

Are you taking your AR-15 out hiking for 5 days in the bush?

Are you trying to find the best AR-15 scope for coyote hunting?

AR15 optics specs may say that it is good for all of the above but that is rarely the case.

AR 15 scopes are built for different purposes so make sure do check out the best AR 15 tactical scopes reviews and do some research!

A general rule of thumb for purchasing AR 15 optics is that the more expensive it is, typically the better the optic you will get. This is not unlike basically everything else in life.

With that being said, there are definitely solid brands and models of AR 15 scopes that provide better value. As with other rifle scopes, the larger the objective lens the more light the scope will allow in and provide you with a clearer image especially in low light conditions.

Keep in mind that the physical size and weight of the AR rifle scope also goes up so it is a constant trade-off. If you are looking for a variable magnification AR 15 scope, the lower the bottom end of the magnification range means the bigger field of view you will get and the easier it will be to acquire your target.

Buying the best AR-15 optic also requires you to decide if you want a standard variable or fixed magnification scope or whether you want a budget AR red dot sight.

Both have their pros and cons and in fact, many people will choose to own at least one of each. A red dot sight (sometimes called green dot) is built for short and medium-range shooting as they are generally not magnified or are only magnified slightly.

These AR riflescopes are easy to set up and allow for fast target acquisition as the dot appears on the intended target.

Generally speaking, if you are looking for the best AR 15 scope for the money and want variable magnification, we would recommend something on the lower end of the magnification scale.

In fact, you can get a good AR15 scope that features a 1-4x or 1-6x magnification range. This provides versatility as you will get good target acquisition at close range while still being able to shoot out to 500+ yards.

Check out our guide for choosing the best scope as it provides some good general information about purchasing a rifle scope.

Must-Have Features for AR 15 Optics

When you are looking for the best AR 15 optics, there are certain features you need to look for:

  • Choose an AR15 optic produced by a well-known brand
  • Choose an AR15 optic that is durable, compact, and lightweight
  • Choose an AR red dot optic or a holographic sight for your AR15 scope

Best Brands for AR 15 optics

When it comes to rifle scope manufacturers and brands, there are a lot to sift through. For your AR-15 optic, regardless of whether you choose a reflex sight, a red dot scope, or a holographic sight, it should be made from high-quality materials and feature quality construction.

Not all of the best AR scopes brands are created equal. It is best to choose an optic produced by a well-known brand with a good and established reputation for producing high-quality ar 15 optics.

Stick with proven brands such as:

These brands are proven brands that make great AR 15 optics. I’m sure there are some others that I failed to mention, but the brands above you cannot go wrong when choosing your next AR-15 scope.

Have you heard the saying, “you get what you pay for?” This applies to AR15 scopes as well and only the best brands will be able to provide this kind of high quality.

However, this does not mean that you have to spend $500 or even $1,000 in order to obtain a high-quality AR 15 rifle scope, especially if you are looking for the best AR 15 optics for the money!

It simply means that you need to determine what level of performance you will require out of your scope depending on the use that you intend to put it. Then you choose the appropriate price range depending on those requirements.

Choose AR 15 Optics That Are Durable, Compact, and Lightweight

AR-15 rifles are specifically designed to be compact and lightweight. Because of this, it only makes sense to choose an optic that is also compact and lightweight as well.

But durability is also something that you need to make sure that your AR15 rifle scope has. AR 15 optics are designed for defensive/tactical use and must be both rugged and durable so that they can withstand not only minor impacts but the major impacts of use as well.

The recoil is also something to consider that is generated by rapid and/or repeated firing of the AR-15 and still and still maintains its zero. This is the main reason why the scope needs to be made of high-quality materials and feature high-quality construction.

The Right Type of AR 15 Scope or Sight​

When choosing a AR 15 rifle scope for defensive/tactical or for close-range hunting, the ability to acquire the target quickly is extremely important.

Because of this, both red dot sights and holographic sights are often the optic of choice for the AR-15.

However, when shooting at longer ranges, finding your target quickly isn’t as important so AR 15 optics with minimal to moderate magnification are often the best choice here.

In either case, you want to be able to see your target clearly at various distances and in varying light and atmospheric conditions so looking at optic specifications such as the magnification power, the size of the objective lens, the size of the exit pupil, the size of the tube diameter, the amount of eye relief the type and number of coatings on the lenses, and the type of reticle all affect the quality of the sight picture.

In the end, whichever AR 15 scope sight you decide to choose if you intend to use it in bad weather, be sure that it is also both waterproof and fog proof.

The only negative thing with getting an electronic sight is that is will always require some sort of power source, so the life of the power source (usually a battery) is a concern here.

Various Types of AR 15 Optics

I want to break down the various different types of sights you can get for an AR-15. As mentioned above some of the various types of AR-15 optics we recommend are:

  • Reflex Sights (Red Dot Sights)
  • Holographic Sights

Reflex / Red-Dot Sights Breakdown

So what is a reflex sight or red dot sight? First of all, it should be noted that red dot sights do not employ a laser. What this means is that there is no significant amount of light that is emitted forward of the shooter.

Most red dot sights fall into this category due to the fact that they consist of an objective lens with a partial mirror coating which is used to project the reticle from a point behind the objective lens which is then reflected off the back of the objective lends toward the shooter’s eye.

Also, some AR red dot sights make use of the ambient light which is gathered by a fiber-optic system, while others are supplemented by a tritium beta lamp unit for use in low light conditions.

So what it comes down to is the red dot sight requires a wider bandwidth of light in order to project the reticle onto the objective lens. This alters the color of light passing through the lens coating but more than those that employ an LED to generate the reticle (known as illuminated scopes).

Red dot sights are generally available in a couple of different styles:

  1. Heads Up style – incorporates only one lens mounted in a bezel with the source of the reticle contained in a small box positioned behind and below the lens resulting in different appearances from the tube-type reflex sights. The heads-up style sight can usually be mounted lower on the firearm than tube-type reflex sights.
  2. Tube-Body style – This style of red dot sight incorporates a tube with a lens positioned at each end so it looks like a normal rifle scope.

Many shooters prefer the heads-up style red dot sights for AR because they are more compact and lightweight than the tube-body style. Heads up red dot sights also usually have a wider field of view than tube-body red dot scopes.

Another benefit to red dot sights for your AR is that they offer extremely fast target acquisition and are very practical for hunting and target shooting. The reason why is because they allow the shooter to maintain a field of view (FOV).

Note: You won’t be able to shoot as accurately as you would be able to with a high-power magnification AR rifle scope, but you will be able to shoot much faster, so it’s a give and take.

Best Red Dot Sights for AR 15






1 x 25 mm


1 x 25 mm


1 x 30 mm


Holographic Sights Breakdown

The only manufacturer with a holographic weapon sight (HWS) is a company called Electric-Optic Technologies or EOTech. They sometimes are marketed under the Bushnell brand as well.

Holographic sights have a reticle that is superimposed on the target using a laser that illuminates a hologram that is contained within the objective lens (not projected onto it).

Due to this, there is no need for a reflective coating on the objective lens. Instead, a photograph of the reticle is taken which is then sandwiched between two layers of optical glass and illuminated by a laser mounted behind the objective lens.

Then the picture is projected forward away from the shooter which creates a reticle image that is meant to appear at a virtual 50 yards in front of the shooter.

All holographic sights use the heads-up style which many shooters prefer anyways due to is compact size and lightweight.

In addition, because the reticle is a virtual hologram, it can be any size or shape. ​EOTech has incorporated a 1 MOA dot (smallest in the industry) combined with a 68 MOA circle which not only provides extremely quick target acquisition, but it also provides greater precision at longer ranges than the 2 MOA or 4 MOA dotes used on reflex sights.

What this means is at 200 yards the 1 MOA dot only occludes 2 inches of the target whereas, the 2 MOA and 4 MOA dots occlude 4 to 8 inches of the target respectively.

When holographic sights are combined with a special 3x magnifier, only the target is enlarged while the dot remains the same size. But when a magnifier is added to a reflex sight, both the target and the dot are enlarged.​

Best Holographic Sights For AR 15










Best AR 15 Scopes Reviews 2018

1. Nikon P-223 3×32 Matte BDC Carbine AR 15 Scope – Best AR 15 Scope in 2018

Nikon, another top manufacturer of quality optics including high quality AR-15 scopes, has out done themselves with the P-223 3×32 BDC Carbine.

Now some of you may be wondering why you would want to purchase a fixed magnification scope.

It is actually one of the rare times that I would suggest the average user may actually benefit from a fixed magnification AR 15 scope.

If you compare 2 scopes side by side; fixed magnification and a variable magnification at the same price. The fixed magnification scope will almost always be higher quality that its variable counterpart. The reason is that it takes more moving parts, more technology, and more effort to build a variable mag scope.

Now if you are looking for a long-range hunting scope then of course you should get one with high-powered magnification. However, if you are just looking to shoot a few hundred yards (up to 500 yards) then a fixed 3x scope will be just fine.

The Nikon P-223 BDC Carbine AR 15 scope has a generous eye relief and tactical style zero-reset targets that get you zeroed in quickly. Make sure to get some high-quality scope rings, especially if you are using high-powered and heavy recoil cartridges.

The P-223 is built specifically for the AR platform and the .223 cartridge which means that you are getting a custom-made rifle scope for your AR15. All things considered, one of the best AR15 optics on the market.

Testing this optic out on my AR 15 was awesome! I went to a small local range and sighted it in at 25 yards within a couple of rounds. And once I did that I was able to hit targets pretty accurately up to 300 yards!

I would recommend sighting the scope in at 100 yards as this is what it’s designed for. It really shines between 50 to 100 yards, but can still do the job at 20 yards or 250 yards.

​I actually found it easier than I thought it would be for quick target acquisition (usually slower when using a rifle scope versus AR red dot sights). I was able to shoot with both eyes open and spot the next target pretty quickly.

I put a couple of hundred rounds through it over a weekend and was really happy as it held zero as it should!

One of the first things I noticed was its clarity. You will see a difference when shooting with the P-223 compared to cheaper AR 15 scopes​.

The P-223 Ar-15 scope is slightly on the large side. It’s about 2/3s of a hunting scope, so keep that in mind when mounting to your Ar-15.

Overall, one of the best ar scopes on the market. So great that it made #1 on this list in my opinion for the fact that you can shoot very accurately at close range or long-range! The versatility of the scope is great and it is extremely easy to sight in and holds zero as it should.

It is ​also a very durable and strong scope which is a must for tactical use on your AR-15.

In short, the price just can’t be beaten. The P-223 AR scope is truly the best Ar-15 optic for the money. I highly recommend purchasing this scope for your AR-15.


  • Nikon Lifetime Warranty
  • Great light transmission.
  • Very clear glass with great clarity. No distortion near the edges.
  • Great field of view.


  • A little large for tactical use.


Magnification: 3x

Objective Lens: 32mm​

WaterProof and Fogproof

Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223 Reticle AR 15 Scope Review

Alright we’ve all heard about Bushnell, right? If not, you probably have not done enough research about finding the best AR 15 scope because they are an industry leader across the entire scope industry.

If you aren’t familiar with the brand don’t worry. We have a complete guide to choosing the best scope and in the article, you will find a fairly comprehensive list of the top rifle scope brands.

Bushnell is a great brand and an even better manufacturer of high-quality hunting and shooting gear. They produce top riflescopes that will fit your budget and your shooting requirements.

The Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223 is a solid optic that has outstanding close-quarters accuracy with the drop zone 223 BDC reticle for mid to long-range accuracy.

What the optic allows is very accurate shooting within 50 yards with the ability to step out to 500+ yards.

Quite outstanding for an AR 15 optic at this price. This Bushnell AR 15 scope has fully multi-coated optics for brightness and durability.

The scope features a 1-4x magnification range and a 24mm objective lens which is perfect for an ar 15 as it allows you the flexibility with being able to magnify your target but isn’t bulky and heavy.

The Bushnell AR Drop Zone-223 features target turrets for precise adjustments combined with a fast-focus eyepiece for maximum accuracy and reliability. The ar 15 scope is durable as it is built out of aluminum alloy, anodize-finished, and sealed to protect the inside from abuse and the elements. This model has great eye relief so you won’t be concerned with scoping yourself!

I know what you are thinking. Why purchase a Barska when you can get the Nikon P-223 or the Bushnell AR Drop Zone-223 for a few dollars more?

In some cases, I agree, but this little illuminated reticle (green, red, black) is actually a great option for your AR platform. Featuring a 1-4x zoom and a 28mm objective lens, the Barska 1-4×28 IR rifle optic is one of the best tactical AR 15 scopes.

What the illuminated reticle is great for is when you are shooting in low light, or even dark, conditions looking to maintain accuracy. All you need is a little 3v battery and you are good to go!

The Barska Illuminated Reticle AR 15 scope mounts easily on a picatanny rail and you should have no trouble zeroing it in. This is by no means a high-end AR 15 scope and at just over $100, it is a bargain. A solid AR 15 optic for the money.

Bushnell AR 93940 AR Optics 3 – 9 x 40mm AR-15 Optic Review

Bushnell makes some of the best AR 15 optics and within their AR 15 scope category there are 6 different configurations to equip any AR platform, from a .22 rimfire to long-range 223/5.56 firearms.

They each have fully, multi-coated optics for excellent brightness and their Drop Zone-223 ballistic reticle has aiming points out to 500 yards. Bushnell AR 15 scopes are built for max accuracy and reliability for every tactical scenario.

The particular AR 15 scope that we are talking about here is the Bushnell AR Scope 3-9x40mm which is slightly larger than the Bushnell 1-4x24mm AR reviewed above but it gives you the added flexibility for longer range shooting and ultimate accuracy.

Remember however, the larger the scope the heavier and bulkier it will be. We are not saying that the AR 3-9x40mm is “bulky” however relatively speaking it is larger than its counterpart. If you are looking for extreme accuracy and long-range capabilities and don’t mind the added weight, this Bushnell AR scope is for you.

I would recommend this scope to anyone that is shooting off benches or anyone that isn’t planning on packing this thing through the bush.

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24 Rifle Scope AR-BDC Reticle – AR 15 Scope Review

Wow! Vortex is hands down (in my opinion) the top optic manufacturer out there.

In fact, Vortex makes the BEST AR-15 optics for the money. I’m not saying it’s cheap, but it’s worth every damn penny they charge for it!

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm rifle optic is built for those of you that are experienced and wanting to purchase a top of the line scope for your AR platform. The magnification range is precise.

The 1x is built for speed and versatility and is perfect for those of you that need to focus on targets at point-blank all the way to those extended ranges that 6x magnification can offer. Whether you are using Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm for target shooting at the range or perhaps varmint hunting, this scope will not let you down.


The Vortex optics are fully multi-coated which increases light transmission, excellent for those of you planning on shooting at dusk or dawn.

Another great aspect of the Strike Eagle is that it is illuminated, providing precise accuracy and aiming under those low-light conditions.

Don’t worry though, the Strike Eagle Rifle Scope AR-BDC Reticle will perform just fine without illumination. Tube size in this guy is a 30mm diameter and it is built out of aircraft-grade aluminum for a rugged and durable AR scope.

This Vortex optic is shockproof, fog proof, waterproof, and basically any other ‘proof that you want to throw at it. It has a fast-focus eyepiece which allows for quick and easy reticle focusing.

Yes, I know UTG isn’t a brand that you would consider making the “Best AR 15 Scope” and…’s not.

With that being said, for the price, the UTG 3-9x32mm BugBuster is actually a pretty good scope for the money.

At under $100, it is almost hard to go wrong with this scope for your AR 15 if you are under a tight budget. If you have the money or the time to save, I would recommend getting (or saving up for) something better like the other scopes above or some of the Red Dot optics or Holographic scopes.

Final Thoughts – The Best AR 15 Optics

Finding the best AR 15 scope is a bit of a process. You have to understand and research different AR 15 optics to understand their construction and what their intended use is.

The AR platform is one of the most popular in the United States and isn’t just available to the military and the police anymore.

In our opinion, the Best AR 15 optic is either the Nikon P-223 or the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm AR rifle scope. Its durability and construction lead it to be one of the most rugged AR-15 scopes in 2017 and it does not sacrifice precision and versatility.

Thanks for looking at the best ar scopes with us! You really can’t go wrong with any of the ar scopes listed in this post.

Stay safe and happy shooting!

Best Night Vision Scope

Have you ever wanted a night vision scope?

Most do … but how can you find a high-quality one on the market for the money?

It’s pretty difficult, but we’ve tested and reviewed several different night vision scopes and narrowed it down to what we think are truly the best night optics.

Top 4 Best Night Vision Scopes

  1. Armasight Vampire 3x42mm
  2. Sightmark Photon 4-6x42mm
  3. Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5x42mm
  4. ATN X-Sight-4k Pro Edition

I’ve spent a lot of time researching and testing a lot of different optics to use at night taking a lot of things into consideration such as cost, quality, clarity, glass, brand, etc.

See below the exact models and their prices and rating out of 5 stars.

Quick Navigation

Best Night Vision Scopes in 2017

Night Vision Scopes Quick Overview

Night vision rifle scopes, often called starlight scopes, were originally designed for tactical military use only in the 1930’s however technology has improved greatly which means that these rifle scopes are now generally available to the general public for shooting and hunting.

Night vision scopes have evolved over the years and they now fit into different “generations” which can be confusing when choosing your night vision scope however I hope this guide clears things up for you.

We’ve taken the opportunity to provide you with information about night vision scopes and update you on the best night vision optics in 2017!

You will find substantially different prices whether you are looking at Gen I, Gen II, and Gen III.

For example, a top-of-the-line Gen III with IR and all the bells and whistles can cost you $10,000!

However, you can purchase a good Gen I night vision rifle scope for less than $400 which will allow making 100 yards kill shots in the dark.

This has to do with simple economics and economies of scale however the advancement in technology has brought the price down substantially.

Probably the first thing that you will notice about night vision scopes are that they tend to be much more expensive than your traditional hunting rifle scope!

A lot of guys mount night vision scopes on their AR 15 or other tactical rifles for varmint hunting, especially when hunting those pesky hogs.

Another popular use for night vision scopes are for crossbow hunting. Night vision won’t scare predators like a traditional LED flashlight.

Others mount their night vision scopes on larger caliber rifles such as the .308 Winchester or 30-06 Springfield depending on the quality of the scopes.

Some of the cheaper Gen I night vision scopes I would suggest wouldn’t hold up to the recoil on those firearms and would be more suitable for a .223.

Note that you will want to check the regulations in the country that you live in. I know that in Germany you are not allowed to mount a night vision scope on a rifle.

Currently, in most states in the US, there are no such regulations however regulations are subject to change so be careful! I have heard that California state laws are more strict than most states.

Considerations for Night Vision Scopes

You need to first decide what the purpose of your night vision scope will be at the beginning when researching and reviewing starlight scopes and be honest with yourself.

If you want a good night vision scope for varmint hunting or target shooting with you AR 15 and don’t expect to make shots over 100 yards, then a Gen 1 might be sufficient.

If you want to reach out for longer shots with your .308, you might have to look into Gen 2 or Gen 3 night vision scopes, however, the money that you will have to dish out will be a heck of a lot more.

Now I know I have already touched on the price of night vision scopes, however, if your budget is the main concern and you are limited to what you can spend, then that should be your starting point.

If you can only spend $500, then you are most likely limited to a Gen 1 night vision scope if you are purchasing it new.

Ask around, some of the guys you shoot with may be willing to sell you a used night vision scope for half the cost. If your budget is under $5000, then you can expect to get a really good gen 3-night vision scope that will be more versatile than a gen 1 or gen 2.

Gen 1 Night Vision Scopes

Generation 1 night vision was basically the first technology that was developed for shooting in dark conditions.

It was developed from Gen 0 technology however for the purpose of explaining the different generations, I am going to start at Gen 1. These night vision rifle scopes rely on ambient light as opposed to infrared (IR) light sources. These scopes produce a light amplification of around 1000x however they rely on moonlight to function.

Gen 1 rifle scopes tend to be bulkier as compared to Gen 2 or Gen 3. The upside, they will definitely be cheaper than further generation night vision scopes.

Gen 2 Night Vision Scopes

Generation 2 night vision hunting scopes are a step up from the technology that was developed in Gen 1.

These devices feature an improved image intensifier resulting in a much brighter image along with improved image quality and reliability.

Light amplification is around 20,000x. Gen 2 went further with Gen 2+ technology which feature better optics and improved resolution.

Gen 3 Night Vision Scopes

Generation 3 night vision maintains some of the same technology as Gen 2 such as the micro-channel plate (MCP) but now uses a photocathode which helps to further improve image resolution and light amplification improves to 30,000x to 50,000x.

Gen III went further and developed into Gen 3+ for Gen III Omni IV-VII. Consumer classification calls the Gen III+ the Gen 4.

Best Night Vision Scopes Reviewed

Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Riflescope Reviewed

The Sightmark Photon XT is one of the best digital night vision scopes for the money. It is designed for medium-range shots (under 150 yards) and is extremely versatile. Sightmark states that it is 33% more efficient with battery usage and also 30% lighter compared to other digital night vision scopes. This scope offers Gen III quality optics and clarity for less than most Gen I riflescopes with its infrared technology. It comes with 6 different reticles, 3 different reticle colors, contrast adjustment, and an infrared adjustment.

If you haven’t used a night vision scope before you will notice that they are bulky. If you are using the Sightmark Photon 4.6x42mm on a heavy rifle you will definitely notice the added size and weight of this scope. You will probably want to buy a set of quality 30mm scope rings unless you have a spare set around. I would suggest that you purchase a set of detachable scope rings so that you can use your rifle with multiple scopes. It uses AA batteries – think about using a good set of rechargeable batteries.

This night vision rifle scope consistently outranks others and is one of the best night vision scopes for under $500.


Magnification: 4.6x
Objective Lens: 42mm

Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5×42 Night Vision Rifle Scope Reviewed

The NVRS Mini Varmint Hunter 1.5x42mm uses enhanced multi-coated optics, a durable titanium body, and has a sleek ergonomic design that provides additional comfort during shooting. It has a built-in powerful Pulse infrared illuminator which can easily be activated to enhance the brightness and increase range in total darkness.

Yukon’s NVRS 1.5x42mm uses Gen 1 technology so don’t expect to be able to see too far out past 100 yards or so. With that in mind, this scope was built for hunting varmint so 100 yards is typically plenty. This night vision rifle scopes will work well on your varmint rifle such as a 17 HMR and also can fit on a crossbow. It can also be used in the day which provides added versatility.


Magnification: 1.5x
Objective Lens: 42mm

Armasight Zeus 160 4-8×42 Night Vision Scope Reviewed

The Armasight Zeus 4-8x42mm is a tactical night vision scope used by law enforcement and the military because it can be used in daylight or darkness, and cuts through dust, smoke, and other obstacles that may be in your way. This high-performance thermal imaging camera has a multiple hunting scenarios function which it makes it the perfect varmint hunting scope for night conditions.

If you are serious about shooting in darkness and have the budget, then the Armasight Zeus 4-8x42mm may be a good fit for the price. If you are just looking for a good night vision scope and price is important, then this scope is probably overkill. It uses thermal technology as opposed to standard night vision which makes it undetectable.


Magnification: 4-8x
Objective Lens: 42mm

Armasight Vampire 3X Night Vision Rifle Scope Reviewed

The Armsight Vampire 3x Night Vision rifle scope uses Gen 1 technology however has made some adjustments to it so it operates with similar features to Gen 2 and Gen 3. It is built with their CORE (Ceramic Optical Ruggedized Engine) technology which basically functions to double the clarity and brightness of the Gen I technology. I would say that this scope lies somewhere between gen 1 and gen 2 and is a good scope for under $1000 if you are looking for a high-quality night vision scope.

With this rifle scope, you should be able to reach out to 200 yards, depending on how well your rifle is sighted in and the dark conditions. It basically will allow you to shoot double the length of other gen 1 night vision scopes.


Magnification: 3x
Objective Lens: 42mm

Final Thoughts – Best Night Vision Scopes

There is no doubt about it – for a quality night vision scope you will have to spend more money as compared to a traditional rimfire rifle scope.

There is so much more technology built into it that allows you to see in complete darkness. These riflescopes were built for tactical applications such as law force and for the military and are only recently being offered at the general consumer price range.

The best night vision scope for the money is the Armsight Vampire 3x night vision because it uses a hybrid of gen 2 and gen 3 technology however still considered gen 1.

If you are looking for a good night vision scope for varmint hunting or for your crossbow, get the Armasight Vampire. With a solid warranty, you won’t be disappointed.

Best Rifle Scope for .30-06

If you are looking around for the best red dot sights, you could potentially be looking for a while unless you know what you’re looking for.

With so many red dot sights on the market at various price ranges, it’s really difficult to pinpoint the best red do sight to buy.

Maybe you’re trying to find the best red dot sight for the money . . .

To solve this issue, we went on the hunt to review and test dozens of the best red dot scopes and narrowed the list down to the top 6!

Top 6 Best Red Dot Sights

    1. Burris 300234 Fast Fire III
    2. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25
    3. Vortex Optics StrikeFire 2
    4. Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic
    5. EOTech 512
    6. Vortex Optics Sparc 2

It’s never easy to go through all of these gun scopes to figure out which is the best, but when if came to finding the best red dot sights in this category, it was super fun.

Red dot sights are a blast and it’s no wonder why they are gaining so much traction in the gun world.​

Best Red Dot Sights in 2018 – Top 6

You may have some other red dot scopes that you will are better than the ones listed below, after all, we could have broken down red dot sights into their own separate categories.

Below are our top 6 red dot sights. You can read further along in each of our red dot sight reviews for why each red dot made the cut. Enjoy!

Best Red Dot Sights




4.4 / 5


4.3 / 5


4.6 / 5


4.9 / 5


4.7 / 5


4.6 / 5


Why the Trijicon RMR 3.25 MOA and Sightmark Ultra Dual Shot Pro Spec NV Sight QD are not on my list?

Some top gun enthusiasts are wondering why I didn’t include some of these other popular red dot sights that others have reviewed but aren’t on my Top 6 list? They were close, but after reviewing them, the others just topped them in one way or another.

    •  The Trijicon is too expensive.
    •  When looking for a red dot scope, a scope that is going to be up in the $500 range doesn’t really deliver any better experience compared to the less expensive red dot scopes on the market. It’s about finding the best red dot sight for the money.
    •  The Sightmark was the opposite. It’s an inexpensive red dot sight, (under $150), but it lacked in quality.
    •  There were issues with it staying powered on with a high-powered rifle. It would be perfect for a .22lr or another rimfire due to the lower recoil.

Basically, you are either paying too much for a reputable name that drives up the price or you aren’t paying for something that is built well. Some of you may feel better buying a red dot with a reputable name like Trijicon and don’t mind the higher price tag, and others may be ok with something that is cheap, but for most, we want to find the best red dot sight for the money.

For now, these red dot scopes didn’t make our Top 6 list.

However, we believe that the premium red dot sights are ok if you are going to be using the sight for heavy tactical purposes or constant use. We also believe in finding some great budget scopes that are inexpensive as long as you don’t sacrifice on too much quality.

Red Dot Sights Quick Overview

Red dot sights first emerged as tools for competition shooting as well as for military use.
Some of the first red dots were big, heavy, and expensive.
Today is a different story. Today’s red dots are small, lightweight, compact, very durable, and priced well.
You can find a high quality red dot scope for under $200 now!

Red dots are almost always zero power (or 1x) This means that they do not magnify, or are a fixed magnification.

The military uses a lot of red dot as on foot combat is generally in close to mid range​. The hit percentage is drastically higher than with iron sights.

Considerations for the Best Red Dot Sight

Red dot sights are typcially not used for precision shooting. Their purpose is to be used for close and fast shooting.

A red dot sight is perfect for fast target acquisition. All that is required is that you put the dot on the target and shoot.​

The larger the dot, the quicker shooters will find the target.

A red dot is great for hunting as well. Some people even use red dots for target games like trap, skeet, and sporting clays on their shotguns.​

Red dot sizes vary from each brand and scope type. Some have dots that are adjustable, so make sure to consider the dot size you prefer to use and how large of a reticle you need when you’re finding the best red dot sight for you.

Some red dots have different shapes as well and different colors, like green. It’s all personal preference.

Also something to consider is that most red dot sights use batteries. You cannot get the illumination of a red dot sight without some sort of power, and the standard is to use batteries.

If used for hunting, keep in mind that cold weather drains battery life, so always have backups. But overall, the battery life on the best red dot sights last quite a while. Many hunters even leave their red dot sights​ on for the entire hunting trip.

​Aimpoint, for example, advertises the battery life up to 10,000 hours or about 5 years.

Red dot sights can be used on any type of firearm and for a lot of uses. People use red dot sights for rifles, shotguns, and even handguns.

A lot of people prefer red dot sights for home defense as well as red dot sights are great for use in low light conditions (at night) and for fast target acquisition.​

Price Range for Red Dots

Red dot sights vary in price range. From as low as $20 to as high as the thousands of dollars. Doing these red dot sight reviews requires me to look at every price range to truly see what is the best red dot out there.

Unless you are on a very tight budget, we recommend to choose a red dot scope price between $150-$500. In this range you will likely find a very high quality scope that will last you a very long time without needed to worry about it losing its zero and breaking down with long term use.

Inexpensive or budget red dot sight are perfect for plinking guns or just fooling around shooting at different targets.

Price isn’t always a determination factor of the quality, sometimes you are just paying a high price because of the manufacturer, like Trijicon. Granted, Trijicon makes super high quality scopes and are very reputable, but you can find a high quality scope for far less.

Keep in mind that any red dot sight under $50 should not be expected to withstand the recoil from anything but a rimfire rifle, but everyone once in a while you might be surprised.

The best sights are closer to the $200-$500 range. Anything higher and you are overpaying, unless you want the extra features and need a specific brand name.

1. Burris 300234 Fast Fire III

Burris is a very well known scope company. When it comes to red dot scopes, they make some of the highest quality scopes out there.

The Fast Fire III is one of the most versatile red dot sights that you can find. You can mount it on any firearm, whether it be a pistol, shotgun or any type of rifle, including your hunting rifle.

The Burris has a power button with 3 levels of brightness which you will need to adjust in order to see the dot clearly, but once you’ve done the proper adjustments for your needs, the clarity is great.​

Out of the box, the first thing I noticed was that it is one of the smallest and lightest red dot sights I’ve ever seen. Even smaller than the Bushnell TRS-25, which is pretty tiny.

Because of its small size it can be mounted on handguns very easily. This is one of the reasons why it is so versatile because it can be used for a wide variety of applications, uses, and any firearm.​

Some handguns are even pre-fitted for the Fast Fire III.

​It has really good battery life as well, which is always a plus. Most of the top red dot scopes have longer battery life these days.

The quality is definitely there. It’s extremely light weight, so it’s perfect for mobility when you are hunting and for tactical uses. Some scopes and sights can really add some bulky making the firearm seem a little more awkward, especially if equipped on a handgun.

Sighting this in was super easy. Instead of having to use an allen wrench or some sort of screw driver to sight it in, it sights in with clicks, just like a traditional variable magnification scope. This made it very easy to zero.

I sighted in at 25 yards within 4 shots and then at 100 yards. It also held it’s zero, as expected, through a few hundred round on my AR-10.

It was also extremely easy to mount. It took me only 10 min using the instructions and tools Burris provided. See prices on Amazon

Overall, what a great red dot sight. It met all of my expectations and passed all of my test for our in depth red dot sight review and I have to say, I was very pleased.

I ended up purchasing 3 others for my CZ75 SP01 Tactical handgun and a couple of my ARs.


In short, I don’t think there is a better mini and compact red dot scope on the market for the money. It’s perfect for handguns and can hold its own on larger calibers as well.

    •  Burris Warranty
    •  Very small and lightweight. Perfect for mobility
    •  Perfect for handguns and for ARs.
    •  Very durable and high quality.


This is still one of the the best red-dots at this price point, but one thing to note is it might be a little more fragile than other red dot sights, mainly because of its tiny size. I’m just not confident that it would remain intact if it was dropped. But it can surely handle any type of recoil.

    •  Very tiny. This is a pro and a con. Feels a little fragile.
    •  Too small for most shotguns unless you get a higher mount.

2. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 – Best Red Dot Sight For The Money

I’ve mentioned the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 in several other different categories as one of the best scopes you can buy.

It’s one of the top scopes Bushnell makes and makes our list of top 6 best​ red dot sights because of its price. For under $100, you can’t beat the high quality and versatility of this red dot.

If someone didn’t know the price of the TRS-25, they would not guess that it costs less than $100.

The TRS-25 has a really nice sharp and crisp red dot reticle. You can control the brightness and other settings of the red dot very easily with the control knob. The control knob has a little bit of resistance, but this is on purpose so that it doesn’t accidentally adjust on its own

The battery life is great too. Bushnell claims that the battery life lasts up to 3000 hours. This is plenty of time, but make sure to always have backup batteries just in case.​

I tested the sight with an AK47 to see if it could handle its recoil and hold zero. And as expect, it did! I put about 400 rounds though it​ and it held zero nicely.

I sighted it in at 25 yards and then at 100 yards, and was worried that it wouldn’t hold up because of its price range, but it did.​

As I was testing it out, I seriously couldn’t believe how small it was. You don’t get a sense of its size until you actually see it in person, very similar to the Burris.

Even though it’s small, it’s well built (as I would expect from Bushnell) and didn’t added any noticeable weight to the rifle. It may add a little bulk to a handgun, but not much. TRS-25 on Amazon

In the future, I might use this red dot scope primarily for a rimfire rifle, though I think it handled the AK47 just fine and would probably be able to handle other higher caliber rifles and shotguns.

If you are getting this red dot sight and expecting it to match the quality of a dot scope in the $500 range, then save up and get the real thing.

The TRS-25 does what it needs to do without any extra features.

If you are looking for something that is a fraction of the cost, made very well, holds zero as it should, has great glass, and is durable, The Bushnell TRS-25 will work just fine!


In short, for the price, this is one of the best red dots sight for the money. Though it is a budget red dot sight, it doesn’t feel like one.

    •  Easy to zero and holds zero
    •  3000 hours of battery life
    •  Very lightweight and small for mobility


The tube design is a little bulky when compared to the Burris, for example, but really only noticeable if you were going to use it for your pistol, as it’s extremely small and not noticeable on a shotgun or AR.

Also, the projector block is in your line of sight.

    •  Adjustments a little hard to use
    •  Projector block is sometimes in your line of sight
    •  Tube design adds a little extra bulk, mostly noticeable when equipped to a handgun

3. Vortex Optics StrikeFire 2 – Best Red Dot Sight For an AR-15 Rifle

Vortex is another one of those companies that makes high quality scopes for lower prices. I have a lot of different Vortex scope reviews on this site because they simply have some of the best scopes for the money.


Their red dot sights are no different. ​We went through a series of tests with the Strikefire 2 as we would with any red dot sight review.

One of the biggest factors that pushed this Vortex red dot into the top 6 was its price. For under $200 you are really getting a lot. Its a great red dot for the money.

It features rear-facing controls for the power instead of on the top of the sight which made it a little easier to make turn the sight on when I was already in a shooting position in case I forgot.

As far as adjustments go, there are ten dot intensity levels. The lowest 2 settings are for night vision. What’s great is that the sight automatically returns to the last dot intensity that you used when you power it back up. That was nice, especially if I was going to shoot in the same situation as before.

In my test. I equipped the Strikefire 2 on my Ar-15. The first thing I noticed was how well if fir on the AR-15. It seemed super sturdy and durable. Probably because of the 30mm aluminum allow chassis which also helps with high recoil. Check Prices on Amazon

It’s also waterproof and fog-proof a feature I would expect when spending up to $200 on a red dot sight.

Mounting it was also pretty easy, especially with the cantilever mount that was included with it.

Zeroing was a breeze. It didn’t take long as I used a bore sight to help get a really accurate zero since I was planning on shooting at longer ranges.

After sighting in, I was able to hit some targets at 100 yards away pretty easily. I was very impressed. Even after putting a few hundred round through it, it held zero, which was expected with such a high quality Vortex red dot.

What’s cool is that it can co-witness with your iron sights! That’s a great thing.

One of my favorite things about Vortex is their unconditional lifetime warranty. Their customer service is great with any optic.


In short, Overall a great sight for the price your paying for it and will highly recommend this sight to anybody looking for a quality red dot sight, especially for your AR-15

    •  Vortex Lifetime Warranty
    •  Very easy to mount and zero
    •  Perfect for an AR-15.
    •  Great red dot for the money


The tube design is a little bulky when compared to the Burris, for example, but really only noticeable if you were going to use it for your pistol, as it’s extremely small and not noticeable on a shotgun or AR.

Also, the projector block is in your line of sight.

    •  Cantilever mount doesn’t fit well on some ARs.
    •  A little heavy for tactical and mobility, but still not bad at all

4. Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optics – Top Rated Red Dot Sight Review

The Aimpoint Pro was one of the best red dot sight reviews we did. It is such a quality red dot sight and I will always be impressed with how quality Aimpoint makes its scopes, especially its red dot scopes.

The reason Aimpoint made it at #4 on the list was merely because of its price tag. When doing these red dot scope reviews price was a big factor in deciding what the best red dot sight is, even though the Aimpoint Pro is one of the best red dot sights on the market today.

It’s so good that it is widely accepted as one of the top red dot sights for military combat as well. It really is a high quality red dot scope.

With that being said, the review was fun. It’s made for real-world conditions so it’ll be able to handle harsh conditions. It’s also waterproof (submersible up to 150ft) can handle harsh cold temperatures (as low as -49 degrees F) and extremely hot temperatures (up to 160 degrees F).

The Aimpoint Pro is equipped and ready to be used with a spacer. The mount is worth the additional cost of the Aimpoint Red Dot Sight over other high quality red dots ​in this top 6 list. With the included spacer and mount the optic works awesome with standard AR-15 iron sights to co-witness in case the red dot fails.

When testing out the Aimpoint, I found it was super easy to zero since it uses 1/2 MOA adjustments. I sighted in at 25 yards and confirmed at 50 yards before doing some serious shooting.

The dot itself was super bright and small enough to be used with precision up to 200 yards!​ Another bonus is when you increased the brightness level of the dot, the dot never grew and never washed out (something that can occasionally happen with some red dot sights).


In short, if the Aimpoint pro was less expensive, it would have been the #1 red dot in my opinion, but the price pushed it toward the bottom. It still made my top 6 red dot sight list and is one of the highest rated red dot scopes on Amazon.

    •  Burris Warranty
    •  Can handle harsh temperatures and weather conditions
    •  Waterproof up to 150 ft
    •  Wide range of adjustment levels
    •  Comes with a mount and great battery life


The only complaint I have over the Aimpoint Pro is the cost. I can get other optics that do a great job and what I need for a fraction of the cost. With that said, there is still so much value in what you are getting for the price. Great scope.

    •  Cost, but that’s it. This is a great red dot optic.

5. EOTech 512 review – Best Holographic Red Dot Sight Review

EOTech is another one of those companies that makes super high quality tactical red dot sights. They are widely known as one of the best red dot sight manufacturers, but you are also paying for the name and the extra features which is why the EOTech 512.A65 also made it toward the bottom of this top 6 best red dot sights list.

Regardless, its still an amazing high quality scope and deserves to be on this list. Here’s why. …

The EOTech 512 is one of the most popular red dot holographic sights on the market according to EOTech. It’s designed for close range combat.

Holographic optics fall into the realm of red dot sights but aren’t like a traditional red dot since it uses holographics. ​It’s capable of reflecting a laser into a more complex reticle than a traditional red dot scope.

The reticle design is called the A65 and the reason why is because its outer circle is 65 MOA and the center dot is 1 MOA.

It’s also square with a square lens which allows the shooter to see over the sight more efficiently and a wider field of view for the shooter.​


After a quick zero, we were ready to get started with the EOTech review. At close range, the sight was awesome and the A65 reticle is really simple to use.

It worked best when both of our eyes were open. ​

The EOTech was seriously so much fun to use that I ended up using it 6 other times (one of my most extensive scope reviews I’ve ever done). I never had to readjust the sight since the first time and after several hundred rounds, it held zero.​

I ended up purchasing the EOTech 512 for my own personal use and equipped it on my AR.

The reason it’s not closer to the top of the list is due to its higher price poin​t.

Overall, The EOTech 512 was a great scope and I actually prefer the A65 reticle over traditional red dots.

Though it may not be that effective at night since it lacks a night vision mode and the fact that the battery life is low, it’s still an excellent optic.

Check out our in-depth EOTech​ 512 review if you’re still undecided.


​In short, the EOTech 512.A65 is a great optic and didn’t have a single issue during our EOTech 512 review. It so good we consider it one of the best optics for an AR-15

    •  Holographic site with A65 Reticle
    •  Square shape and glass helped with wider FOV
    •  Very durable and high quality.


If you’re willing to spend a little more money for an amazing holographic red dot sight, this is a good one, but it’s not cheap at around the $400 price point.

Also, because its a holographic red dot sight, the battery life is horrible compared to other red dot sights clocking in at around 1000 hours.

    •  A little costly.
    •  Lacks a night vision mode.

6 – Vortex Optics Sparc 2 – Best Red Dot Sight under $200

Last, but not least, we have another Vortex red dot scope. Like I’ve said before, i really like Vortex for a number of reasons. They have such good value and the prices for what you get just can’t be beat.

In my red dot site review of the Sparc 2, the first thing I noticed was that it was very similar to the Strikefire 2.

It’s a tube style red dot sight and has a ton of versatility.

Its very light weight and durable, so it’s great for mobility.

The red dot is also bright and the adjustments are easy to use and work great.

The Vortex lifetime warranty is something I wanted to mention again ​as it is really very good.

In my red dot review of the Sparc 2, i put a few hundred rounds to see if it held zero, which it does. the red dot is sharp and clear.​


Overall, this was a great scope to test out and you will be extremely happy with it if you decide to move forward on the Sparc II. Great red dot sight under $200

    •  Vortex Lifetime Warranty
    •  It’s small, light, and uses little upper real estate.
    •  Night vision compatible


    •  Adjustments aren’t as smooth as I would have liked.

Best Scope for a .308 Riffle

In order for the .308 rifle to get near-perfect results, there’s a rifle accessory that you just can’t do without:

The correct and best .308 rifle scope… especially if shooting long range.

Unfortunately, finding that ‘best’ scope for a .308 isn’t easy to do.

That is why I have created this list for you to find the Best Scope for a .308 Hunting Rifle.

Top 4 Best .308 Scopes

Vortex Diamondback HP 4-16x42mm
Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm
Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm
Vortex Crossfire II AO 6-18-44mm

I’ve spent a lot of time researching and testing a lot of different optics for a .308 carbine and have been able to narrow down the list to the top 4 best 308 scopes which you can buy right now. Seen here and can be purchased on Amazon:
UUQ Tactical 4X32 Compact .223 .308 Scope Rangefinder Reticle/w Ring Mounts


Best Rifle Scopes for .308 in 2018 – Top 4

These scopes may not be for everyone as some of them carry a higher price tag.

With that said, these rifle scopes are good enough to make our list of the Top 4 best rifle scopes for a .308 to buy in 2018, and for good reason. Below are my .308 scope recommendations

Vortex Optics Diamondback HP – Best .308 Rifle Scope

The Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane 4-16×44 .

The Vortex Diamondback High Performance offers clear glass throughout the magnification range in front of its durable and rugged design.

The scope has the side parallax adjustment which is a bonus at the price range.

It comes with a healthy 4” eye relief which is very comfortable and relatively easy to sight in.

Vortex is known for building quality scopes at various price ranges and this is no exception. This is really the best vortex scope for a 308.

Another bonus with buying a Vortex optic is that it comes with one of the best warranties included.

  • Unlimited Lifetime Warranty
  • Fully Transferable
  • No warranty card to fill out
  • No receipt needed to hang on to

While reviewing this scope I looked to see if it would let me shoot at a long distance and would not break the bank so I mounted this scope on my .308, went out to the range to test the scope there, and then headed out on a 4-day hunting excursion in the backcountry with a buddy.

Happy to report that between all the rounds I put through it at the range beforehand and during the hunt, it held perfectly zero. I also noticed that the scope never fogged up at all, which has been the case for me sometimes with other more expensive brands.

I shot about 60 rounds at the range and was really happy as it was very clear and lets in a lot of light, something that I always look for in my scopes. even in the shade it did a great job.

I also really liked the side AO and zooming from 4 to 16 was very very smooth. See the best prices on Amazon

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this scope. It comes with  BDC reticle, something that is a must for me when hunting because I don’t have time to mess with the elevation adjustments in the field.

And I especially like this scope’s BDC reticle because I like the hash marks instead of circles that sometimes come on other BDC reticles (such as with Nikon).

The glass was my favorite feature and a rifle is only as good as the piece of glass it’s wearing (referring to its rifle scope).

This Vortex is currently selling with a sunshade and lens cover, however it doesn’t come with scope rings. Make sure you don’t cheap out – buy quality scope rings.

In short, the Vortex Diamondback HP is the perfect and best .308 rifle scope for the money. It is a clear high quality scope that is worth every penny when you only get one shot.

Pros about the Vortex Optics Diamonback Scope.

  •  Unconditional Lifetime Warranty
  •  Super high quality for the price.
  •  Very clear glass and sometimes more clear than other scopes from quality brands.

Cons about the Vortex Optics Diamonback Scope.

A draw back to this scope is that it is pretty heavy (2 lbs) when compared to other rifle scopes for mobility. It’s not something I would ever want to mount for a tactical use.

It also isn’t the best scope to take in the brush, sometimes it would have a hard time focusing.

    •  Be aware of the heavy weight.
    •  Has a hard time focusing in certain environments, such as the brush.

    Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm

    One of my favorite rifle scopes, the Leupold VX built by one of the industry’s most trusted brands is Leupold’s VX-2 Scope.

    If you want a quality scope and one of the best .308 scopes that will withstand all the abuse that you can throw at it while maintaining zero, this is my recommendation.

    With solid reviews from hunters and shooters alike, Leupold continues to impress with this product.

    The VX-2 is light, exceptionally clear, and does not fog up easily. It comes with finger click adjustable turrets which are convenient.

    You can’t beat Leupold Scope for the price. With this scope and after sighting it in using the proper techniques, I was consistently shooting sub-MOA out to 300 yards and MOA at 400 yards. Although I typically don’t shoot above 400 yards (my average deer shot is 200-250 yards), it sure is nice knowing that this scope allows me to have that extra reach.

    It has a sleek design and low profile and the clarity is really really great.

    At the range, sighting in the scope was pretty easy and took me only a few round to get a 1″ grouping.

    I always love using these scope reviews​ to get me out there to hunt, and so of course, that’s what I did.

    I found an 8 point buck at around 150 yards​ at dusk, 10 min to sundown and the picture was still very bright. Needless to say, I got him. For the money, it did the job.

    When comparing this to the Leupold Scope HP, this Leupold almost won. There were a few things that almost made me choose the Leupold over the Vortex as the best .308 rifle scope:

      • Weight is much lighter than the Diamondback HP, weighing in at a little under 1 lb!
      • Seemed to be a little more crisp around the edges
      • Eye relief felt a little more forgiving than the Vortex Diamondback HP

      ​Overall the Leupold is a great optic and is particularly a great rifle scope for a .308 if you are a hunter.

      It was close on my list to take the top spot​, but in the end, the Vortex Diamondback HP took the lead as I felt the glass was just slightly better (barely) and Ifavor the Vortex BDC reticles.

      Regardless, the Leupold is one of the best scopes for a .308 hunting rifle and really one of the best Leupold scopes for a 308.

      In short, the Leupold VX-2 is the perfect and best .308 rifle scope for hunters. You will hit your target at most long ranges and the glass is extremely clear. Your investment in this scope will stand the test of time as its durability is one of its top features.

      Pros about the Leupold VX Scope.

        •  Lifetime Warranty
        •  Extremely durable and will last years.
        •  Very clear picture and great quality glass.
        •  Considered the standard in hunting and for good reason.

        Cons about the Leupold VX Scope

        The only downside is that the adjustments may not hold up to continued use. Many shooters like to dial-in adjustments for varying reasons instead of holding over or under. Leupold Scope on Amazon

        Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm

        Nikon, an optics industry leader, teamed up with Buck Masters to produce this high quality and extremely durable riflescope.

        If you are looking for a tough, all water-proof scope for your 308, this is a great option.

        It features Nikon’s brighter anti-reflective system of multi coated lenses which provides ample light transmission and optical clarity.

        The quality image and consistent viewing throughout the magnification range is standard with all Nikon scopes.

        The Nikon Buckmasters is the perfect rifle scope for someone who is looking for the best .308 scope for $100.

        It used to be its midline between the Prostaff and Monarch, but now the Buckmaster is now considered an entry level line for Nikon.

        I tested it out on my 30-06 first and loved it. So I had to try it for the .308.

        As I was testing the Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm the first thing I noticed was how bright the glass was. It seems ultra bright when compared to glass from other optics.

        And I have to admit, I dropped my rifle a 3 times pretty hard off of the shooting bench, (I was clumsy that day) and it didn’t move zero at all. That was definitely impressive since most scopes closer to $100 will lose zero in these cases.

        And to be honest, this would be a great scope if it was closer to $200, but even better value considering that it is closer to $100!

        The scope was very easy to install and zero at the range.

        Overall, for a .308 rifle scope under $200, this Nikon Buckmaster is a great scope. It is not a high dollar scope, but it does not need to be for a rifle that goes in the woods.

        If you are a low maintenance hunter, all your scope needs to be is accurate and able to stay on zero. Both of which this scope does!

        It gets decent enough light collection at dusk, but it is not a night vision scope. It got blurry for me 5 min before sunset. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm

        Pros about the Nikon Scope.

        •  Nikon Lifetime Warranty
        •  Very bright glass.
        •  It’s nice to be able to use the Nikon app.
        •  Surprisingly holds zero for a cheaper scope.

        Cons about the Nikon Scope

        A drawback to this scope is that it is pretty blurry at 30 yards or less at 3x. So it’s strictly a long-range rifle scope nothing more.

        •  Issues with focus at anything under 30 yards at 3x.
        •  Eye relief not very forgiving.

        Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44 AO

        The Vortex Crossfire 2 is known for featuring a higher standard as compared to other riflescopes in its class.

        With an exceptional magnification range, this scope is perfect on a .308 for long range shots and at the range.

        I was particularly impressed with how clear the image was at 18x magnification.

        If you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg but looking for a quality long distance scope, the Vortex Crossfire is right for you. My son was amazed with how accurate he could group at 150 yards on his 308.

        And for a .308 scope under $200​, you can’t go wrong with this one.

        Again, another rifle scope from Vortex means that you get their amazing lifetime warranty. Really this warranty is awesome.

        As I tested the scope out at the range I was blown away by how well it’s built! I usually feel this way about Vortex optics but for some reason the Crossfire felt strong and durable.

        After I got it zero’d I was very happy with my shot groupings. At 100 yards I had no problem finding the bullseye and it looked like I was standing 10 ft away! I even convinced another shooter at the range to get one as well as he was super impressed.

        So, I decided to go take it deer hunting. Looking through the BDC reticle was great. I spotted a dear pretty just under 200 yards. That’s usually farther than i like as I’m not the most accurate shooter (which is why I love a good rifle scope). The crosshairs were very fine so it was easy to see the deer.

        And I dropped it on the first shot!

        I knew I would have success as this scope truly made me look like a better shooter than I really am.

        Pros about the Vortex Scope

        In short, the Vortex Crossfire 2 is the perfect and best .308 rifle scope for $200. It’s perfect for hunters and long-range shooters and will always keep zero (at least it did for me).

        •  Unconditional Lifetime Warranty
        • Great features for the money.
        •  Very clear picture and great quality glass.
        •  Extremely durable and built very well.

        Cons about the Vortex Scope

        Something to note about the Vortex optics scope, the front objective is pretty big and you will need high mounts or the scope will touch the barrel.

        Eye relief isn’t that great and the flip up covers get in the way when trying to make adjustments unless removed.

        •  Caps and covers are a bit cheap and get in the way when trying to make adjustments.
        •  Eye relief not the best.

        Why didn’t I include other Popular .308 rifle scopes on my top 4 list?

        Lots of people are wondering why I didn’t include some of the other .308 rifle scopes like the Nikon M-308 4-16×42 or the Trijicon ACOG 3×32 on my Top 4 list? After reviewing them, the answer is simple.

        •  These .308 optics are very expensive.
        •  Honestly, they don’t really deliver any better experience compared to the less expensive .308 optics on the market.
        •  There are some extra features added on that aren’t necessary unless you’re in the military (ie. military grade materials).

        So, in simple words, you are paying for unnecessary features that drive up the price. Some of you may not mind the extra features and don’t mind the higher price tag, but for most, we want to find the best .308 rifle scope for the money.

        For now, these rifle optics are a little expensive, especially if you are just looking for something to get the job done or are on a budget.

        However, we believe that these rifle scopes are ok if you are the type of person who is not on a budget and wants the extra features as these scopes and other high tier scopes are definitely high quality.

        .308 Rifle Quick Overview

        The .308 Winchester has always been a popular choice for shooters and hunters because it is relatively economical, has manageable recoil, and its ability to hunt medium to large-sized game.

        That being said, it doesn’t offer the same performance as larger calibre rifle such as the .300 Win Mag or 7mm Rem Mag, so your choice of scope is that much more important. The .308 replaced the 30-06 rifle for military use in the 1980s.

        A 308 cartridge is great all-around hunting rifle for medium to large-sized animals, depending on what grain ammunition you are loading, your accuracy, and distance.

        I personally don’t like shooting large game at long distances with a 308 for ethical reasons but it sure does take down deer or hogs at almost any distance.

        In terms of deciding which scope you should mount on your .308 hunting rifle, I recommend spending about half as much as you spent on the rifle.
        Technology has improved far enough that you can definitely get away with a $200 scope if you choose – it just may not be quite as accurate or last quite as long.

        Considerations for the Best .308 Rifle Scope

        Before buying a rifle scope for your .308, talk to your hunting and shooting buddies to get their advice. There is no substitute for doing your homework!

        Decide how far you plan on shooting. What is your ideal or most likely shot?

        For me, I want a scope that can provide the accuracy for at least a 300 yard shot. I find that is at the high end for most of the hunting I do and to be honest, if you are worried about making a 600 yard shot, you probably aren’t giving yourself the best chance for hunting success.

        If you are looking for the best rifle scope for a .308, consider buying a good quality spotting scope.

        These will allow you to see greater distances to spot wildlife and are often used on the shooting range so you can see exactly where your bullet is hitting the target. This way you can really fine-tune your scope!

        Price range is important when deciding what scope will work on your rifle. Although you don’t need to buy a $1500 Schmidt & Bender I do recommend spending between $150 and $500.

        If that isn’t in your price range today, do yourself a favor and save some more money before “pulling the trigger” on buying a new scope.

        There are a lot of brands out there making quality and affordable scopes for a 308. See “Top Rifle Scopes for Long Range”  for a listing of the most popular brands.

        For a quality scope in this category, I trust LeupoldNikon, and Vortex.


10 Best Field Strip M&P Shield Reviews

Disclaimer: We are using Amazon affiliate Product Advertising API to fetch products from amazon, include: price, content, image, logo, brand, the feature of products that are trademarks of So, when you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more.

Top 10 Best Products

Below is a list of top 10 best Field Strip M&P Shield Reviews.


Bastion Laser engraved

BASTION Laser Engraved Rear Cover Slide Back Plate for Smith & Wesson M&P 9/40 Shield SUBCOMPACT ONLY
$16.99  in stock
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Recover Tactical SHR9

Recover Tactical SHR9 Compatible with The Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm and SW40 Picatinny Rail– Easy Installation, No Modifications Required to Your Firearm, no Need for a Gunsmith
$29.95  in stock
Buy Now
Free shipping

CYA Supply Co

CYA Supply Co. Fits S&W M&P 9/40 Shield M2.0 Inside Waistband Holster Concealed Carry IWB Veteran Owned Company (Black, 053- S&W M&P 9/40 Shield M2.0)
$$39.74 in stock
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Free shipping

Crimson Trace Lightguard

Crimson Trace Tactical Weapon Mount Flashlight for Smith & Wesson M&P Shield and M&P Shield 2.0, 100 Lumen LED White Light Tactical LTG-770 Lightguard
$64.49  in stock
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Free shipping

AmeriGlo Tritium I-Dot Green with Orange Outline
AmeriGlo Tritium I-Dot Green with Orange Outline Sight Set, Smith and Wesson, M and P Shield
$74.13 in stock
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LaserMax CenterFire Laser
LaserMax CenterFire Laser (Red) CF-SHIELD-45 For Use With Smith & Wesson 45 Shield
$89.99 in stock
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Free shipping

LaserMax Centerfire Laser RED Sight For Shield
LaserMax CenterFire Laser (Red) CF-SHIELD For Use With Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, Multi, One Size
$89.52 in stock
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ArmaLaser TR28 Designed to fit S&W M&P 380 Shield EZ, M&P 22 Compact and M&P 9 EZ Ultra Bright Red Laser Sight Grip Activation Smith and Wesson

ArmaLaser Designed to fit Smith & Wesson S&W Shield TR4 Super-Bright Red Laser Sight with Grip Activation
$98.75 in stock
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Crimson Trace LG-489 Laserguards

Crimson Trace LG-489 Laserguards with Red Laser, Heavy Duty Construction and Instinctive Activation for Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Pistols, Defensive Shooting and Competition
$183.53 in stock
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Features of Field Strip M&P Shield Products

Below, we have listed the features of the top 10 best Field Strip M&P Shield.


Bastion Laser engraved

BASTION Laser Engraved Rear Cover Slide Back Plate for Smith & Wesson M&P; 9/40 Shield SUBCOMPACT ONLY – Superman
$16.99 in stock
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  • Compatibility: M&P9; Shield M2.0 Subcompact; M&P40; Shield M2.0
  • Subcompact; Performance Center M&P9; Shield M2.0 Subcompact,
  • Performance Center M&P40; Shield M2.0 Subcompact, Performance Center
  • M&P9; Shield Subcompact, Performance Center M&P40; Shield
  • Subcompact, M&P9; Shield Subcompact, M&P40; Shield Subcompact.
  • NOT COMPATIBLE with M&P; full size/compact
  • Hard coat anodized T6 machined aluminum
  • Lasered artwork won’t rub off; not painted
  • NOT COMPATIBLE with M&P380; Shield nor M&P45; Shield.

LaserMax CenterFire Laser (Red) CF-SHIELD

LaserMax CenterFire Laser (Red) CF-SHIELD For Use With Smith & Wesson M&P; Shield, Multi, One Size
$89.52 in stock
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  • Tough reinforced nylon design offers superior integration with firearm frame
  • Easily programmable for steady or high-vis pulsed beam
  • 10-minute automatic time-out prevents inadvertent battery drain
  • Fully adjustable for windage and elevation
  • 1/3 N Lithium Battery required; Class IIIa Laser Product


Crimson Trace LG-489 Laserguards

Crimson Trace LG-489 Laserguards with Red Laser, Heavy Duty Construction and Instinctive Activation for Smith & Wesson M&P; Shield Pistols, Defensive Shooting, and Competition
$183.53  in stock
Buy Now


  • BRIGHTNESS: Features a 5mW peak, 620-670nm, Class 3R visible red laser that is in conformance with and complies with 21 CFR 1040.10 with a max power output of 5mW for a Class 3R Red Laser – the brightest beam allowed by law
  • RUNTIME: 4 hours of battery life that runs on (1) 1/3N battery (included)
  • EASE OF USE: Front activation button engages the laser immediately when the firearm is held in a normal firing grip – user-installed – no gunsmithing required
  • RELIABLE: Factory sighted at 50 feet, but is fully user-adjustable for
  • Windage and Elevation with a provided tool
  • FITS: Smith & Wesson M&P; Shield and M&P; Shield M2.0 9MM and .40 S&W; (does not fit models with an integrated laser)

CYA Supply Co

CYA Supply Co. Fits S&W; M&P; 9/40 Shield M2.0 Inside Waistband Holster Concealed Carry IWB Veteran Owned Company (Black, 053- S&W; M&P; 9/40 Shield M2.0)
$39.74 in stock
Free shipping
Buy Now


  • Fits Only: Smith & Wesson M&P; 9mm/.40 S&W; Shield & Shield M2.0 – 3.1″
  • Barrel – No Light/Laser Attachments (Right Hand Draw Only)
  • IWB Holster – Inside The Waistband – Easily Adjustable Retention Pressure & Carry Angle (Cant) 0-15 Degrees
  • Precision molds from CAD milled in the house on our CNC. Made of .08″
  • Thickness Boltaron Material – Belt Clip 1.5″ wide – All Stainless Steel Black Powder Coat Hardware
  • Posi-Click’ Audible Retention Lock System – Sweat Guard covers full length of slide
  • Made in the USA – WE STAND BY OUR QUALITY: 100% Satisfaction Guarantee,
  • No questions asked return policy and Lifetime Warranty.

Barrel Inside Waistband Holster Concealed Carry

Barrel Inside Waistband Holster Concealed Carry
$39.95 in stock
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  • Inside the waistband kydex holster fits: Smith & Wesson m&p 4.25″ (only unless specified)
  • Exclusive holster features
  • Adjustable ‘posi-click’ retention & cant
  • Claw compatible – eliminates printing

LaserMax CenterFire Laser (Red) CF-SHIELD

ArmaLaser Designed to fit Smith & Wesson S&W; Shield TR4 Super-Bright Red Laser Sight with Grip Activation
$98.75 in stock
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  • Extremely bright Class 3R 635nm
  • Custom designed to fit Smith and Wesson Shield 9/40. WILL NOT FIT
  • SHIELD 45, 9 EZ, 380 EZ, or M&P; WITH RAILS.
  • Class 3R 635nm
  • Adjustable laser, battery door, master kill switch. Made from DuPont Zytel polymer pistol material.
  • Designed and assembled in Florida, USA. Patented. Ultra reliable electronics.
  • Simple installation. Class 3R Laser Product (Does not exceed Class IIIA emission limits)

Amberide IWB KYDEX Holster

Amberide IWB KYDEX Holster Fit: S&W; M&P; Shield & Shield M2.0-9/40-3.1″ Barrel | Inside Waistband | Adjustable Cant | US KYDEX Made (Black, Right Hand Draw (IWB))
$26.99 – $37.99 in stock
Buy Now
Free shipping


  • CARRY WITH CONFIDENCE when you secure your pistol in our concealed carry gun holster. Only Fit: S&W; M&P; SHIELD 9/40 & SHIELD M2.0 – 3.1″
  • Barrel – No Light/Laser Attachments. This robust waistband holster safeguards your handgun while facilitating discreet, safe carry.
  • RUGGED .08” KYDEX is strong yet lightweight for comfortable, confident carry in any situation. Waterproof and washable, it features a sweat guard that covers the full length of the slide to help maintain your side arm in pristine condition.
  • CUSTOMIZE THE CANT of the 1.5” standard belt clip with a Phillips screwdriver for faster draw speeds and optimal concealment under clothing. The black powder-coated stainless steel hardware can be adjusted from 0 to 15 degrees without sacrificing full accessibility.
  • ADJUSTABLE RETENTION PRESSURE ensures a fast and smooth draw, customized to your needs. Adjustments can be made quickly so you can tighten the retention screw for your morning jog and loosen it later for regular carry.
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY pledge ensures your peace of mind when you choose this Amberide IWB Holster. If our product should ever cease to perform as promised, return it for replacement or a full refund of your purchase price.

Recover Tactical SHR9 Compatible with The Smith & Wesson

Recover Tactical SHR9 Compatible with The Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm and SW40 Picatinny Rail – Easy Installation, No Modifications Required to Your Firearm, no Need for a Gunsmith
$29.95 in stock
Buy Now
Free shipping


  • Designed for the Smith & Wesson Shield
  • Won’t Damage your Firearm
  • Made Out Of Glass Reinforced Nylon
  • Goes on and off in under 3 minutes
  • Least expensive solution on the market and the only one that is 100% reversible without needing to modify your pistol

Crimson Trace LTG-770 Lightguard Tactical Weapon Mount Flashlight

Crimson Trace Tactical Weapon Mount Flashlight for Smith & Wesson M&P; Shield and M&P; Shield 2.0, 100 Lumen LED White Light Tactical LTG-770 Lightguard
$64.49 in stock
Buy Now
Free shipping


  • LED WHITE LIGHT: Featuring a 100 Lumen LED tactical white light with broad beam for maximum versatility
  • INSTANT ACTIVATION: Ambidextrous Tap-On / Tap-Off Controls for immediate light activation from either side of the unit. Includes Constant-On & Momentary light modes
  • OVER ONE HOUR OF BATTERY LIFE: Powered by two 1/3N Battery (included)
  • FITS: Smith & Wesson M&P; Shield and M&P; Shield M2.0 in 9mm and .40 S&W.; Does NOT fit .45 ACP models. Does NOT fit models with factory-integrated laser sight.
  • EASY INSTALLATION & RAPID CHANGE BATTERY CAP: User installed- no gunsmithing required & no need to remove the light to change batteries

AmeriGlo Tritium I-Dot Green with Orange Outline

AmeriGlo Tritium I-Dot Green with Orange Outline Sight Set, Smith and Wesson, M and P Shield
$74.13 in stock
Buy Now


  • AmeriGlo, Sights/Lasers/Lights

LaserMax CenterFire Laser
LaserMax CenterFire Laser (Red) CF-SHIELD-45 For Use With Smith & Wesson 45 Shield
$89.99 in stock
Buy Now
Free shipping


  • Tough reinforced nylon design offers superior
  • Easily programmable for steady or high-vis pulsed beam
  • Controlled activation to promote firearms safety; Fully adjustable for windage and elevation
  • 10-minute automatic time-out prevents inadvertent battery drain
  • Ambidextrous TAP ON/TAP OFF switch reinforces safe firearm handling;
  • Class IIIa Laser Product

5 Best Hunting Trail Cameras

Let’s face it, as much as we’d love to, we simply can’t spend every waking minute of our lives in the woods hunting. There are plenty of instances where we’re lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, and we take that trophy animal or get an awesome story to share back at camp. But what about those times we aren’t in the woods at all, let alone the right place? For those scenarios, we need a little electronic help—a trail camera.

To increase your presence in your hunting area, you can deploy a handy trail camera to scribe away the goings-on you miss while you’re off at the kids’ soccer games, working, or picking up that gallon of milk you forgot to get on your shopping trip.

You want a quality camera that you aren’t scared to leave out in the elements for days, weeks, or months on end. That being said, you aren’t looking to sell off the family vehicle just to spy on Bambi—so you’ll be doing some research to decide what is available, and what best suits your budget. Here, we’ve done the hard part already—lucky you!

In this article, we’ll talk about the trail camera (also referred to as a game camera) market. After reading this, you’ll be able to decide exactly which camera will be custom-tailored to your needs, budget, and hunting area.

The 5 Best Hunting Trail Cameras On The Market

What is a Trail Camera?

A trail camera, also known as a game camera, is used to take photographs of animals and scenes after being deployed in the woods. Trail cameras are used to capture close-up photos and videos of wildlife remotely and avoiding the risk of scaring wildlife or getting a personal injury while in the field. On top of that, a game camera allows you to be in the woods without actually being in the woods. Setting up a camera over an area that your buddy tells you is “full of deer”, may end up proving your buddy wrong—and leading to you finding a new place to hunt—or a new buddy.

Many cameras now are equipped with infrared lights, which cast a beam of light that is invisible to humans and animals, but provides light that the camera itself can process—which means you are able to collect photos of passers-by even in the dark of night.​

Trail Camera Features

When shopping for a trail camera, you’ll want to keep in mind the features that are available. This will allow you to compare any model to your own wish list of features until you narrow your options down to the cameras that suit you and your needs best.


Today’s game cameras will offer a variety of storage options, and there are instances where the exact type of storage can make a significant difference. Game cameras typically store their photos and videos on SD cards, the SD means Secure Digital, which is a standard form of digital storage. Not all SD cards are created equal; in fact, there are a handful of different formats available in the SD card market—and of course—not all cameras accept all types of SD cards. It’s like the guys who invent electronics get together every year and think of ways to screw with the minds of people who aren’t on the bleeding edge of technology. Anyways, here’s a basic rundown of the types of SD cards you’ll be faced with:

  • SD – Secure Digital: this is your standard (used in older models) SD card. SD has a maximum capacity of 2 gigabytes (2GB).
  • MiniSD and microSD refers to a smaller format that uses the same standard for storage and speeds—typically these are used in mobile phones and cameras. miniSD and microSD cards can be placed into an adapter for use in a standard sized SD card slot.
  • SDHC – Secure Digital High Capacity: the same size as a standard SD card, although SDHC supports card capacity up to 32 gigabytes (32GB)
  • SDXC – Secure Digital eXtended Capacity is just like the big brother to the previously mentioned SD formats, and adds larger capacity. The SDXC can hold a maximum of 2 terabytes (2TB) which is 2000GB.

Most modern cameras will support the use of SDHC, and even SDXC cards—but it is important to know exactly which type of card your camera supports, or you will be extremely disappointed when you go to collect your photos. I had just this situation happen to me.

I set out with two hunting buddies to create a triangular zone of camera coverage—each of us deploying a camera of our own. We created our small perimeter of photo coverage where we intended to put our tree stands in the coming weeks. Before splitting up and going home, we tested the cameras—they all worked. Good for us—or so I thought.

A day later, one of the groups (no need to mention names) decided he would go check the cameras so he could share the pictures with rest of us. He didn’t bother checking to see which card belonged to which camera when he re-deployed them into the woods, and we wound up having one camera go blind because it was unable to write to the SDHC card put inside it. Lesson learned, get the right card for your camera—or get new buddies.​

Night Vision

You can’t see at night, but thanks toeons evolution, most animals can. No, they don’t see a brilliant glowing green like the military’s night-vision goggles allows our soldiers to see—but the animal eye reflects light to allow the critters to see exponentially better than we humans do. Your game camera may have infrared flash it can use to take photos at night—which is a feature you’ll most likely be interested in if you’re trying to track that trophy buck.


With the advent of larger format memory cards, many cameras are now equipped to film HD (720p) video. This may be a feature you’re interested in, especially if you have been seeing some false positives on your camera, meaning the camera is snapping photos when it detects motion—but you don’t see an animal.

A brief video of the scene may show what set the camera off. It’s also nice to see the animals you plan to hunt moving in their natural habitat—a few out-of-context photos can be helpful, sure, but a video of them in their natural element is nearly priceless.

What are the Advantages of Trail Cameras?

  • Know your target: Trail cameras give you an advantage in seeing game before hunting it. Trail cameras give you a chance to understand the natural habitats of the animals without disturbing them.
  • Get to know the animals’ habits: Setting up your trail camera helps to gather information on animal habits. You’ll easily learn which animals pass through your spot, and the frequency at which they pass as well.
  • Get to know the area: Reviewing your photos and videos captured by a trail camera will let you know if that exact spot is a hotbed for animal activity, or if you’d better hunt a new area.
  • Keep it mobile: As the season’s change, so do animal habits. You can easily strap your trail camera to a tree for a pre-rut reconnaissance, then move it for the rut, and even to the post-rut location to keep up with the whitetails in your area.

Things to consider when choosing the best trail cameras

  • Cost: The best trail camera doesn’t necessarily need to be the most expensive. It entirely depends on your needs, and what it can accomplish for you. A less expensive trail camera that is loaded up with reliable features may be all you need.
  • Durability: You should consider the camera’s lifetime. A reliable trail camera is one that last for many seasons without wear and tear. Things like memory cards and batteries are a slight operating expense—but you don’t want to replace your camera every season.
  • Camera Trigger Speed: Snapping a photo of an animal who is grazing over food isn’t much of a challenge for a camera. For example, if you are planning to hang it over a food source, the camera’s trigger speed will not factor when making a purchase. If you’re trying to snap a few photos, or even a video, of that monster buck who has been sighted all over your area—a camera with a quick trigger speed may be needed to catch a glimpse of the behemoth as he passes by.
  • Recovery time: Simply put, this is the amount of time the camera needs in order to be ready for subsequent shots. Cameras that have a quick recovery time could be the difference between seeing the hindquarter of a deer—or seeing a handful of stunning images.
  • Battery Life Impacts Time: As we mentioned above, you can’t be in the woods 24/7, but your camera can. It’s of no use to you if the batteries are dead. When buying a trail camera, find one that has a battery life coinciding with how often you plan to be in the woods to check the memory and refresh the batteries
  • Night Range: This is the distance your camera’s flash is capable of capturing when snapping photos at night. Always keep in mind that environmental conditions such as clouds and rain may affect the camera’s accuracy.
  • Memory: The camera you choose should accept an SD memory card to store the photos that you intend to take. If you are planning to take a plethora of pictures, you should choose a memory card with high capacity such as an SDHC card. Remember not all cards are created equal—be sure your camera supports the type of card you buy. You may even want to have two cards on hand, they aren’t very expensive, and having one in the camera as well as a spare to put into the camera when you take one out may prove to be worth spending some extra cash
  • Camera Design: Cameras come in so many shapes and sizes that you may end up with too many options to even consider—try this: decide where you want the camera to be placed and take a photo of the exact tree you wish to put the camera on. Compare the tree and background of the photo to the camouflage patterns available and make your choice that way
  • Cellular Compatibility: A trail camera that is cellular compatible (typically 3G) enables you to transmit the images through a cellular network. These cameras have the greatest flexibility since they can be used anywhere. You won’t be out in the woods swapping memory cards very often—since the photos can be accessed remotely
  • Date and Time Stamp: If you want to document the events of your hunting, you should consider trail cameras that document both the date and time that the shot was taken. Note: some cameras reset the date and time when the batteries die—if accurate logging is desired for your photos, be certain to keep a close eye on this feature.
  • Video Recording: Some of the latest trail cameras for hunting come with advanced video capture functions. These cameras record videos of different lengths from few seconds to minutes.

5 Best Hunting Trail Cameras for Your Budget

If you are planning to acquire a brand new trail camera from Amazon, the best advice is to narrow your search by deciding which features you want most. We have scoured the web for you, and put together a list of the five best options for getting extra eyes in the woods without using up your entire budget—you still need to buy some ammo for the season after all.

Reconyx Hyperfire

The Reconyx Hyperfire is a highly sought-after camera. Boasting excellent battery life and an HD IRTM lens that records clear and sharp images, the Reconyx Hyperfire is a powerful trail camera that will offer exquisite photos for many years to come.

A feature we really like in this camera is the infrared range—coupled with the snappy trigger speed—you’ll be grabbing pictures of Bigfoot any time, day or night. Ok, we can’t promise you’ll end up with photographic proof of Bigfoot trudging around your hunting area, but we can promise you won’t get photographic proof of any wildlife in your area without deploying a trail camera.

Reconyx Hyperfire

Back on subject, the Reconyx Hyperfire has 0.70-second trigger speed, 4 second recovery time, and a 100-foot detection range.​

A few more features of ReconyxHyperFire HC500 include night detection up to 50 feet, 6 or 12 AA-size batteries can be used, exceptional battery life, rugged weatherproof enclosure, 1080p HD images, and an Ultra HD IRTM camera lens.

Because of the exclusive Ultra HD IR™ camera lens, the camera is best suited for hunters who want high-quality images in the daytime and night. It provides images that are clearer and sharper than many other cameras on the market.

The camera is a bit expensive when you compare it to other models. But if you are looking for a high-quality trail camera, to take some crystal clear images day or night—the Reconyx Hyperfire is certainly a contender.​

Things We Liked

  • Provide nighttime flash without startling the animals.
  • The camera makes shots of up to 50 feet for night shots.
  • Superb lens quality leads to excellent photo quality
  • Its Digital Memory Card supports HD footage
  • Temperature range of -20F to 120F
  • Two battery options which enable the camera run for long without losing power
  • Comes with BuckViewTM Advanced software for your PC

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The warranty covers just 1 year
  • IR is only considered semi-covert
  • The camera is a bit expensive

Moultrie Bundle Trail

Moultrie is a name that is synonymous with quality trail cameras. Chances are if you’ve spent time researching or using trail cameras, you’ve seen Moultire’s name plastered on dozens of fine products like Moultrie Bundle Trail.

The whole idea behind having a camera is to put eyes in the woods when you can’t physically be there—the Moultrie Game Spy A-5 will not only do that for you, but it will do it on the cheap.

While we often preach the adage “you get what you pay for”, we also appreciate a good buy when we see one.

The Game Spy A-5 is the epitome of a good buy. As of this article, the price tag is a mere $59 on Amazon, and with a 4 of 5-star review average—it’s clear that this is a quality product that has brought a smile to the face of many hunters.​

Moultrie Bundle Trail

Being a budget option, this particular Moultrie camera will be sacrificing slightly on some features, but at such a great price point we would be lying if we didn’t say there was a ton of value here. The resolution is 5MP with a 40-foot detection range and up to a 50-foot flash range. This means you’ll be collecting photos of critters up to 50 feet away with a resolution of 2560×1920. It can be easy to get sucked into megapixel hell and think you need a camera that boasts a massive MP feature, but the fact is this: your HD TV or computer monitor most likely has a maximum resolution of 1920×1080, which translates to 2MP. Taking photos higher than 2560×1920 isn’t necessarily a benefit unless of course, you plan on editing HD images on a computer with the images taken from your game camera.

Things We Liked

  • High-resolution 5MP camera
  • Trigger speed less than 1.5 seconds
  • The Gen2 variant of this product has a burst mode to collect more than one image in a row
  • Excellent price vs. performance ratio
  • This new variant (Gen2) has been rebuild from the ground up
  • Green color to blend with its surroundings
  • Battery life will last up to 16,000 images
  • Uses (8) AA batteries as opposed to C-cells required in older models
  • Easy to use control panels

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Has a smaller night range of up to 50 feet
  • 40 foot detection range
  • Lack of HD video recording

Stealth Cam No-Glo Trail Game Camera

So you want to have an extra set of eyes in the woods? How about four extra sets? That’s right. Stealth Cam’s G42NG bundle nets you four cameras for quite literally the price of one top-shelf camera.

The G42NG is advertised as a No Glo trail camera that houses 42 “black” IR emitters on the front. These dark emitters don’t glow, and won’t tip off the local animal population that you’ve set up surveillance in their area of operations.

The 100-foot range on the IR, coupled with it’s .5 second reflex trigger means you’ll be grabbing photos quickly, day or night.​

Stealth Cam No-Glo Trail Game Camera

A 10-megapixel maximum resolution allows you to take very high-quality photos, but we all know how much space you can use. Stealth Cam No-Glo Trail Game Camera has gone ahead and included 8MP, 4MP, and 2MP settings as well—for users who utilize smaller memory cards—or who would like to use less space on photos and more on the HD video and audio G42NG will capture.

Things We Liked

  • 2-10MP settings
  • Four cameras in a single bundle
  • 100ft range on the “black” IR Emitters makes for quality night shots
  • Secure Lock password protection keeps your data safe
  • SDHC compatibility (up to 32GB memory cards supported)
  • HD Video & Audio with the time-lapse function
  • Intuitive menus make the cameras user friendly

Things We Didn’t Like

  • As expensive as a single high end trail camera
  • You’ll be using four times the batteries and need 4x the SD cards
  • Setup will be done four times

Bushnell Trophy Cam Trail Camera

When spending money on hunting equipment, hunters like to rely on a brand they recognize and trust. Bushnell is a leading manufacturer in hunting equipment and brings that reputation to the trail camera market as well.

The Bushnell Trophy Cam Trail Camera features an 8MP camera with night vision and 32 LED’s for flash photography and IR.

The field-scan option allows you to pre-program the camera to take photos at set intervals, which may prove quite useful for finding out if there are animals in your hunting spot during the hours you plan to hunt.​

Bushnell Trophy Cam Trail Camera

Things We Liked

  • 8MP camera with night vision
  • Trusted name brand
  • Up to one year of battery life
  • SDHC 32GB compatible
  • 45-foot motion-activated sensor and flash range
  • Captures up to 60 seconds of video (with audio)
  • Camouflage pattern keeps it concealed
  • Three shot burst photo mode makes photographing game easier

Things We Didn’t Like

  • •with any device left in the woods it’s vulnerable to theft
  • 45-foot range may not cover your hunting spot
  • Batteries may dislodge upon moderate impact

Exodus Trail Cams

The Exodus Lift is a new trail camera on the market today. This camera is manufactured by Exodus Trail Cams. If you are looking for a camera that can last for decades, the Exodus Lift Trail Cam is an awesome choice.

This camera is best suited for people who are planning to hunt in the cold. You can use the battery for a long but still, the camera runs strong.

If you are looking for a relatively affordable camera with good features, The Exodus Lift – 12mp Trail Cam is the best trail camera you can consider.​

Exodus Trail Cams

Things We Liked

  • Running on long life batteries for thousands of photos
  • Good daytime pictures as high as 12 megapixels
  • 1080p video with sound
  • Built-in color viewer
  • Has a high capacity storage of up to32GB
  • Password protected camera so only owners and authorized users can use your camera
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty completely supported by money-back guarantee
  • Top part of the camera permanently sealed to prevent water leakage.
  • Can swing to bottom allowing users to two over-sized latches when trying to maintain pressure getting into the unit
  • Parts designed with rugged plastic shell and aluminum-alloy bracing that enhances stability
  • Customizable Video Length
  • Camera is durable
  • Customizable Operating Hours

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Camera will not take photos if the password is not entered
  • Night time photos are not clear enough
  • Difficultness when removing memory card
  • Rechargeable battery which goes dry after a few hours

Final Thoughts

As you can see from the market research above, you will need to be careful when it comes to choosing the best trail camera for you. Some trail cameras are more user-friendly compared to others, others require more technical knowledge to operate. Some cameras may be available in this year’s latest and greats camouflage pattern—while others may have a look you aren’t particularly fond of. We get it, you want to be satisfied with the look of your fancy new gadget. Just try to keep in mind the practical side of the camera, and pick one that best suits your needs.

From the information above, the Stealth Cam G42NG bundle claims the coveted position as Outdoorhill’s most recommended trail camera. The resolution settings of 2-10MP allow the user a wide range of photo quality, as well as allowing you to fine-tune how much of your precious storage is chewed up with each subsequent photo.

Add in the 100ft range of the blacked-out IR emitters, and the 180 seconds of HD video (with audio) you can record, and these puppies really are the best option to maximize your outdoor presence. You can’t be in four places at once, but the Stealth Cams can certainly make it possible.

The price tag of $459 places this bundle into the range of many very high-end game cameras, and in a one-on-one comparison, you may find that the Stealth Cams don’t perform quite as well as a single top-notch trail camera, but we’re all about making your dollar go a long way.

We want to see you become the best hunter you can, and having four extra sets of eyes in the woods seems like an incredible advantage. With SDHC compatibility (up to 32GB) and secure lock password protection on the devices, you’ll truly be the commander of your hunting spot. This bundle fulfills all the things that buyers should consider when choosing the best trail camera: good camera recovery time, good lens, long night range, video recording, and plenty of memory.​

5 Best Survival Knives

If you’re like us, and spend a significant amount of time outdoors camping, hiking, hunting, or simply enjoying nature, you want the best equipment—or at least the best within a reasonable budget. The best survival knife can prove invaluable for numerous tasks you would perform in any outdoor scenario, including survival. The following research and reviews will help narrow this ever-broadening market, and assist you with finding the best survival knife for your needs, and budget.

We have compiled a list of high quality survival knives that offer great value. Our focus is on the quality and functionality of the knife, not celebrity endorsements or fancy packaging. A survival knife is a tool that needs to be relied upon in all circumstances and given the proper care and respect.

With careful ownership, your survival knife could last for years and become almost an extension of your arm. The choice of knife is a decision that should not be made quickly or taken lightly.

The 5 Best Survival Knife For Hunting On The Market

​What to Look for in a Survival Knife

A common mistake buyers make when searching for a survival blade is to make a choice based on how a knife appears, or which celebrity, government agency, or branch of the military appears on the packaging. We’re not saying that a celebrity-endorsed knife will be of inherently poor quality, but products that focus more on a sexy design or a popular celebrity icon raise a few red flags.

The appearance of a knife tells you nothing about how the knife will function or feel in your hand. Below are a few things to take into consideration when you shop around for a survival knife.


It’s a common misconception that the bigger the knife, the better it can perform all the tasks you will need it to do. In truth, the size of the knife shouldn’t be cumbersome or awkward for you to hold. A knife that’s ideal for one person may be too big—or too small for you. If it doesn’t immediately make you think “this feels right” when you hold it, you should probably continue shopping. The ideal length averages between 9-11 inches with a 4-6 inch blade, but this may vary depending on an individual’s hand.

Bear in mind that larger knives will not be as efficient at slicing and performing more delicate tasks. Large knives are often ideal for hacking, chopping, digging, and similar uses. Smaller knives will do well at more nuanced tasks, but may fall short will more hefty chores like building an emergency shelter.

Fixed vs. Folding

While a folding blade seems like a great choice for an everyday carry (or EDC) knife—it’s not an ideal choice for a survival knife due to the potential weaknesses created by it’s design. The matter comes down to the joint that allows the knife to fold. This joint is often seen as a weak point in the knife and can be detrimental to your survival should the joint give while you are using the knife.

survival knife for campers

You can still bring a folding knife with you to handle smaller, less demanding tasks, and quite frankly we recommend doing just this. Almost every outdoorsman can find a use for an old-fashioned pocket knife, smaller fixed blade, or a folding knife for their EDC or utility blade. However, your main survival knife should always have a fixed blade.


The best survival knife blades are full tang. A full tang is when the blade extends down the middle of the handle to the end of the knife. This can be seen from looking at some tactical knives, while others have a completely enclosed handle, making it hard to tell if the knife utilizes a full tang, three-quarter tang, or other design.

Stainless steel or carbon steel are the typical materials used to make knife blades, each having its own strengths and weaknesses. Stainless steel is resistant to rust and corrosion, making it easier to maintain. Steel that is qualified as high carbon steel is harder, and therefore known for retaining an edge better than some other steels.

A serrated blade can come in handy, but a wholly serrated blade will be a problem when you need a straight blade. If you want a serrated blade, look for a knife that has a blade that is partially serrated—this will offer you plenty of versatility in the field.


The handle can be just as useful as the blade of a survival knife. Choosing a knife with a sturdy pommel at the end of the handle allows your survival knife to double as a striking tool. Hollow handles will not be useful for impacts, because they lack heft and are more likely to break. A hole near the end for a lanyard is a good feature—and shouldn’t greatly impact strength.

The best handles are often coated in a material that prevents the hand from slipping and ensures that the grip is well-maintained. If the handle is uncomfortable, strangely shaped, or imbalanced, you will run into problems while using the knife—problems when using a tool that your life depends on are exactly the type of thing we’d like you to avoid. After all, if you die out there in the field, how are you going to come back to read more articles?

A good handle could very well be the difference between avoiding the need for medical attention and—you guessed it—requiring medical attention. In a potential survival scenario, any injury exponentially complicates things, so it’s wise to choose a properly designed survival blade.

The 5 Best Survival Knives

Bushcrafter Outdoor Survival Knife

The Benchmade – Bushcrafter 162 Fixed Outdoor Survival Knife is designed for heavy outdoor use. Interestingly, the original version of this knife was found and used by explosive ordinance technicians who liked the quality of the knife—and used it frequently for cutting plastic explosives.

Their input leads to the redesigning of the survival knife, and here you have it.

The blade is fashioned using S30V stainless steel and keeps its sharp edge with care. The knife is well-balanced and easily fits in large hands for outdoorsmen and women that find smaller knifes difficult to grip.​

Bushcrafter Outdoor Survival Knife

Editor’s Rating:

The knife smoothly and efficiently batons, cuts and shaves wood and tinder, butchers game, and can be utilized as a multi-tool. The handle has edges that may dig into the hand upon initial use. The edges can be filed down by hand if they are uncomfortable and the sheath can be replaced with one of your own choosing.

The Bushcrafter’s price is a good deal higher than most survival knives. The higher price speaks to the exceptional quality and durability of the knife. However, it would stand to reason that the handle would be a bit better constructed for such a costly item.​

Things We Liked

  • S30V Stainless steel blade
  • Exceptionally sharp
  • Spine is great for striking a ferro rod
  • High ground drop point with polished finish
  • Thick durable blade
  • Quality leather holster with D ring
  • Full tang
  • Well-balanced

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The sheath the knife comes with maybe too tight for the knife, requiring the purchase of a separate sheath
  • Handle edges are harsh and may be uncomfortable to grip
  • Large price tag

Cold Steel Survival Knife

The Cold Steel SRK Survival Rescue Fixed Blade Knife is a reasonably attractive knife, if not a bit simple, but what it lacks in beauty it makes up for with durability and functionality.

The SRK is sharp and retains its edge even with extensive use. The kraton encased handle helps keep your grip from slipping and makes handling the knife comfortable. The full tang design allows the knife to withstand harsh treatment and being battered through outdoor activities.

The high shine of the blade can be a deal breaker if you are looking for a stealthy knife. While the polish is impressive, it is a bit shocking, but it will fade over time with use. You could also dirty up the blade some to cut down on the shine if it’s really a serious concern.​

Cold Steel SRK Survival Rescue Fixed Blade Knife

Editor’s Rating:

This knife is a bit expensive and when you venture into the knife market anywhere north of the $100 price range, the competition gets incredibly tough. While the construction is solid and well-done, thematerials alone may not warrant a high price. Still, the quality of the knife is worth the cost, if you can spare a bit more cash.

Things We Liked

  • Kraton handle offers a comfortable, solid grip
  • San Mai III steel made in Japan for high performance
  • Secure sheath comes with the knife
  • Keeps its sharpened edge for an extended period
  • A great survival or fighting knife
  • Designed to take a beating

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The Secure-Ex sheath is reported to dull the blade
  • The blade is very shiny and can be almost blinding when the sun reflects off of it
  • May be a cumbersome knife for smaller hands

Gerber Survival Knife

The Gerber LMF II Survival Knife is a smaller, but sturdy knife compared to others on the market. The weight may not be pleasing to some buyers, but others will find the heftiness a testament to its quality. The pommel is sculpted to become a defensive tool, and can be used to break glass if necessary.

The standard sheath that comes with the knife is versatile and can be worn in several ways. The blade is carbon, which should hold an edge nicely. The serrations would come in handy if you need to saw materials.

Moderately priced, but one thing that’s interested is the LMFII is offered in a few configurations that seem to flex a bit in price.

GERBER StrongArm Fixed Blade Knife

Editor’s Rating:

If you’re serious about this knife, you can find a few great deals on Amazon.​

The LMFII was designed with a few bells and whistles, which drove up the price a bit. It comes equipped with a built-in sharpener, which can be useful, but is unnecessary. The use of plastic in the handle may have contributed to keeping the price down, but a better material would have been a better choice, even if the price went up somewhat.​

Things We Liked

  • Doubles as a glass breaker
  • Built-in sharpener in the sheath
  • Partially serrated blade
  • Well-made, functional sheath
  • Sheath is fire-retardant

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Carbon blade needs extra care to prevent rusting
  • Heavy for its size
  • The weakest point seems to be the handle

Schrade Survival Knife

Schrade’s SCHF9N survival knife was designed for endurance and big jobs. The knife excels at chopping, hacking, and breaking apart materials, but does not have enough delicacy to tackle smaller tasks.

The size and heaviness of the knife lend to its ability to cut and chop wood but is its downfall for tasks requiring a lighter hand.

Schrade Survival knife

Editor’s Rating:

On the large side, this knife is perfect for a user with large hands and a good amount of strength. Buyers of smaller builds may find this knife a little unwieldy. A smaller knife is less taxing on the user and less awkward to use for people with smaller hands and less brute strength.

​Sold for around $40, the SCHF9N is a bargain for a survival knife without compromising quality. However, you may need to dole out a bit more money to invest in a knife that can handle less demanding tasks.

Things We Liked

  • Good for hacking, chopping, and heavy tasks
  • Blade is a durable carbon stainless steel
  • Full tang
  • Sturdy

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Does not perform tasks that require finesse particularly well
  • Heavy
  • Poorly designed sheath
  • Too large for smaller hands

Ontario Knife Company

Ontario Knife Company had deep-set roots in the knife-making world stretching back well over a hundred years—125 years according to their web site.

All of that expertise is put into the Black Bird SK-5 and it’s brother, the Black Bird Noir.

The size and materials used to create the knife make it especially durable and well-balanced. The price is on the high side, but as we’ve said before, you get what you pay for.

The SK-5 can be had for around a hundred dollars, but one look at this beauty and you know the price is for the craftsmanship of the knife instead of the aesthetics.​

Editor’s Rating:

The designer of the SK-5, Paul Sheiter, said “I believe the more complicated a product becomes, the more likely it is to fail when your life depends on it. For this reason, I designed The Blackbird SK-5 Knife to achieve maximum function delivered through pure simplicity.” When discussing the topic of survival gear, we couldn’t agree more, Paul.

The knife comes with a sheath—and if you’re feeling frisky there are plenty of custom options, like this one by Hedgehog Leatherworks, that pair very nicely with the Black Bird SK-5.

Things We Liked

  • 154CM Steel
  • Full tang
  • Extremely durable
  • Stainless steel allen-head screws keep the handle attached to the tang
  • MOLLE compatible sheath that also has belt loops and protective insert
  • Handle has great grip

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Only available in one blade configuration
  • Pricey
  • Utilitarian appearance

Of the survival knives we have researched and reviewed, the Outdoorhill overall top pick is the Ontario Knife Company Black Bird SK-5. We chose the SK-5 as our top pick as it can perform numerous functions equally well. It also has the impressive ability to maintain its edge and offers a solid grip to avoid slippage and possible injury. You may find yourself more attracted to a knife that’s designed a bit prettier, and we understand that, but the Black Bird SK-5 would be the ideal choice for any outdoorsman or survivalist needing a valuable tool that can be kept at their side at all times.


It should be noted, that most of the top 5 survival knives we looked at today were sold at high-end prices. This highlights the fact that well-made, high-quality knives will cost more, but are worth the expense for meeting your needs. Keep in mind that substance over style is far more important when choosing items you plan to potentially stake your life on.

Always ask yourself, will this knife get the job done? Don’t worry about how it will look while doing it.

A good survival knife will aid your survival, not act as an interesting accessory.​

A good survival knife will be your partner in the rugged outdoor landscape. You will need a knife you can depend on, demand the best from on each outing, and wield with precision and confidence. Choose the knife that will bring out the best in both of you!​

Gun and Riffle Drills Offer

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If you’re like me – going to the range is an evening well spent. I can get out of the house. But it has gotten more expensive then ever! With the cost of the range fees and the fees for ammo – it has become very expensive. My wife is not happy that my hobby has become a gauge on the pocketbook.

I usually bring my own ammo so I don’t have to pay the upcharges of ammo at the range. But Ammo is getting very expensive. Keeping ammo stocked has become challenging for alot of vendors and customers are paying a premium price for ammo. So going to the range seems a like tempting your  wallet.

Is there a solution to practicing and keeping your hard-earned money – sure there is! We have the answer and you will love it more than I will.
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Best Home Defense Firearms

A home invasion can be very bad. Home invaders normally run in packs of two to four people. They may be buzzed on meth or heroin and can be very violent. They may be looking for valuables or drugs. Even worst, is they could be looking for fun and have their sick way with you and your family members. Rape and torture are a sport for many thugs.

What are you going to use to defend yourself? A knife or baseball bat? Most likely one or all of the home invaders will be packing a pistol. A baseball bat or knife will do you no good in a gunfight.

Having a high capacity pistol or revolver will put you on an even playing field with the criminals. Having a pump shotgun or rifle is even better, and could give you the upper hand.

Defend Your Community:  Autoloading Rifle

A weapon for this purpose needs to reach out there, plus have firepower. Prepping for war, you need a good semi-auto rifle with open sights.

AR-15 rifle

With practice, you should be able to hit a basketball-size target at 200 yards. Low-cost ammo is important too, as you will need to stockpile. My first choice would be the AR-15 M4 rifle as parts and accessories are plentiful.


The second choice would be a toss-up between an AKM (AK-47) and Ruger Mini-14.
Both excellent weapons. See the Cheap AR-15 rifles website, as they list the best AR rifles on the market priced under $750.

Protect Your Home: Pump Shotgun

The autoloading shotguns are cool but have limited capacity. Get yourself a pump shotgun that carries at least 5 rounds of 12ga 2 3/4 shells in the tube. An ammo sling or shoulder bag with 15 rounds of backup ammunition is a good idea too. Pump shotguns are cheap, with prices starting under $200 for some imports.

Escort Shotgun

My favorites are the Mossberg 590 and Remington 870 police. The Escort Aimguard and Rock Island M5 are two of the best cheap shotguns.

Mossberg Pump

Keep an ammo stash of #8 target, #00 buck, and slugs. The #8 will be your cheap practice and hunting ammo. The pistol grip 18″ barrel shotguns look cool, but are not that fun to shoot.

Protect Your Family: High Capacity Handgun

If you can only afford one weapon for home protection, choose a high capacity handgun. A good pistol you can shoot well should be your first choice. One without an external thumb safety is best. In panic mode, all you need to do is pull the trigger. Calibers 9mm, 40 S&W;, and 45 ACP are all great with easy to find ammo. I would give the advantage to the 9mm for the high magazine capacity and cheaper ammunition. I am not going to tell you what brand of the pistol is the best. My advice is to see what the cops carry. The Best 9mm pistols site ranks and reviews over 30 handguns.

Some family members may not be able to grasp the function of a pistol. A double-action revolver may be a better choice for them. A D/A revolver is simple to load and easy to shoot. The first choice should be the 357 magnum, as it can also shoot popular 38 special ammunition. Even a cheaper single action cowboy gun in 357 makes a good home defense weapon. It is natural to pull the hammer back then fire. My wife does this with D/A revolvers too.

Protect Yourself: EDC & Concealed Carry

I always liked the concept of concealed carry. It is good to be armed when you are out and about. Nothing makes you feel more free and safe than a loaded gun.

Springfield XDS

For many years I could never grasp the EDC or “everyday carry” when you are at home. I thought EDC was only for paranoid nut jobs. What I have learned is there are times to be paranoid. A few examples: Riots are breaking out a few blocks from your house. Some of your neighbors have reported home break-ins. Three convicts just escaped from jail. People in the house down the street are rumored to be dealing drugs. You just fired a bad employee. Your daughter had a nasty breakup with her boyfriend. You are a witness to a crime.

Kahr CW9

My first EDC weapon choice would be a sub-compact single stack 9mm like the Kahr CW9 or Springfield XDS. A 380 ACP pocket-size handgun would be good too, as you won’t notice the bulk or weight. See the CCW concealed carry website as they have a weight sorted list of most concealed carry guns.

Stash Guns: Keep Weapons Within Reach

Don’t let bad guys get between you and a gun. In a home invasion, seconds do count. I think about how terrible it would be if someone broke into my home while I was in the shower. What if meth-heads got in through the bedroom window where I keep my pistol in the nightstand and shotgun in the closet? Meanwhile, the wife, kids, and I are watching TV in the living room. We would be in trouble!

Taurus 85

Stash guns should be low-cost firearms that you can afford to buy plenty of. Handguns are the best, as they are easy to stash. Good stash points are Bathroom cabinet (inside Ziplock bag). Kitchen cabinet. Under the living room couch (the invaders will force you to lay on the floor). In the garage. The utility room. In the basement. If you have young children in the home, make sure guns are secure or out of reach.

Smith Wesson SD9

The price limit is set at $350 for stash guns. A few good ones are the Taurus 85 revolver (pictured), Smith & Wesson SD9 (pictured), Walther PPX, Kahr CT9, SCCY CPX-2, Taurus 111 G2, Kel-Tec P-11, and Bersa Thunder 380.
See The Best Cheap Pistols Under $350

Cache Weapons: Guns, Ammo, & Knives

Cache weapons are for when your home security has been compromised. You flee out the back door and grab weapons from your hidden cache. Now you can go back inside to save a family member or property. When you re-enter your home, you may need some serious firepower. The cache is good for if your house burns down too. You may be homeless, but well-armed.

Taurus 111 G2

Your Cache: An old large Igloo cooler, or another watertight container. Loaded pistol grip shotgun with ammo sling. Loaded medium-size pistol with a nylon holster on a rope; so you can tie it around your waist or hang on your shoulder. Hunting knife. Include your choice of survival stuff like; snack food, water, blanket, and a tarp.

Riot Shotguns

Load up your cooler and bury it in the back yard, far away from your house. Make sure the lid is only 3 inches below the surface so you can dig it out with your hands. Another idea is to place it under a birdbath or flower pots flush with the ground, instead of covering with dirt. Don’t spend a lot of money on your cache weapons.

22 Rifle Food Getter: Ultimate Survival

A semi-automatic 22 rifle is awesome for hunting small game. With the firepower, the 22 autoloading rifles will work for self-defense in a pinch. At cheap prices, a 22 rifle should be part of your weapons collection. Keep quality ammunition on hand like the CCI Mini mags, Remington Golden, and Federal bulk pack. The hard-hitting Winchester 42 Max and Remington Viper ammunition are best for defense.

Ruger 10/22

Good ones are the Ruger 10/22, Marlin Model 60, and Savage 64. The 22 rifle is a great tool to get your family involved in a shooting.

High Power Bolt Action Rifle: Stopping Power

A scoped deer rifle can double as a sniper weapon. This is not the main reason we have it listed for home defense. A high powered deer rifle can kill a car engine. It can shoot through a car long-ways. Thugs are smarter than you think. Some of them may be wearing body armor. At close range, an 300 Winchester magnum will shoot through level IV bulletproof vest, including the breast-plate! The 300 Winchester can shoot through cinder-block walls too. The 270 Winchester and 30-06 Springfield will penetrate the popular level III vest at about any range.

Savage Rifles

I would stick to the long action popular calibers, like the 270, 30-06, 7mm Remington Mag, and 300 Winchester. If Walmart has it, it is popular. Ruger, Remington, Marlin, Mossberg, and Savage make good budget-priced high power bolt action rifles.

Bug-out Bag Gun: Get Out Of Town Fast

What are the best firearms for a bug-out bag? Really just about any that will fit, that isn’t too heavy. You need to take the weight and bulk of the ammunition into consideration too. A bug-out gun will not only be used for protection but may be used for small game hunting too.

Ruger SR22There is no real wrong choice, but a 22LR pistol is almost ideal. Do some research, as half of the 22 pistols on the market are jam-o-matics. The top 3 choices are the Smith & Wesson M&P22;, Ruger SR22, and Bersa Thunder 22. These three are lightweight and feed premium ammo just fine. The hard-hitting Winchester 42 Max and Remington Viper ammunition is best for defense.

Why America Stays Free

Here in the USA, we have the best army in the world, but sometimes it is stretched thin from conflicts around the globe.

The main reason we will never be invaded is our quiet civilian army. We are talking about 120 million gun owners in America with 270 million firearms. Over 15 million have a hunting license. This is 15 million hunters that know how to shoot and handle a high powered rifle or shotgun. 15 million hunters that know how to stalk, find a target and kill. They also have camping gear and 4×4 trucks!

Take the state of Michigan for example. There are 700,000 hunters in Michigan. This would make Michigan hunters the 6th largest army in the world; bigger than France and the United Kingdom combined!