The 3 Best 50 BMG Scope [2021 Update]

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In this guide I’m going to show you the best 50 BMG scope.

In fact:

These are the same scopes that many optic experts and competitive shooters use.

The best part?

I’ve sorted the scopes by use. So whether you’re on a budget or need a solid scope for 50 BMG, you’ll find it here.

Let’s get started!

The 3 Best 50 BMG Scope

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best 50 BMG scope:

  1. NightForce Tactical 5.5-22×56: Best Scope for 50 BMG
  2. NightForce SHV 5-20×56: Best for Extreme Long Range
  3. Vortex Optics Diamondback 1.75-5×32: Best for the Budget

1. NightForce Tactical 5.5-22×56: Best Scope for 50 BMG

I’ve been using the NightForce Tactical 5.5-22×56 on my Browning Machine Gun for almost 3 years now, and I don’t think I’ll ever use another scope.

NightForce makes some of the best quality scopes on the market, but I can’t get over the quirks that come on this one.

It has a ZeroStop feature, which basically helps you hold a zero better. I’ll explain more about that later on.

That, along with the wide range is what makes this the best scope for 50 BMG, and other guns too!

Alright, let’s get into the nitty-gritty details about this scope…


Glass Quality and Reticle

As you’d expect with any NightForce scope, this scope has amazing glass.

I chalk that up to the fully-multicoated reticle.

One thing is clear, this isn’t a budget 50 MBG scope, it’s on the more expensive side.

But that’s okay with me because the quality is much better than any other scope on the market.

You also can’t beat the 56mm objective lens – that’s a pretty nice perk too.

This is a long-range scope, and as such it has a BDC Reticle on the second focal plane.

When you buy the scope you can choose your own reticle, either an MOAR or an MOAR-T. The difference being that the MOAR-T is finer and more precise.

If you’re looking to shoot between 1000-2000 yards, this scope has you covered.


Eye Relief and Eye Box

The eye relief on the NightForce Tactical 5.5-22×56 is 3.9 inches.

It’s perfect for me, but the quality eye box really sells me on this scope.

That eye relief is necessary, especially if you’re using a high powered gun like a 50 BMG.


Durability

If you’re going to spend the money on a high-quality scope, you’d expect it to last you for years.

This one will. It’s fogproof, waterproof, and shockproof.

This scope is made for extreme long-range shooting in extreme conditions. You may not be Chris Kyle, but this scope is military-grade if you’re looking to elevate your shooting to that level.

And the best part? If you somehow experience issues with your Tactical 5.5-22×56 you’ll still be able to participate in NightForce’s Limited Lifetime warranty – it’s a win-win.

If you’re looking to improve accuracy with a smaller gun, check out some great eotech magnifiers.


Elevation & Windage

The elevation and windage turrets on this scope are of the same quality as the rest of the scope: amazing.

They click into place smoothly, are easy to zero, and thanks to the Zero Stop feature, will hold that zero for as long as you need.

“Zero Stop” means that turrets are able to be adjusted but still return to the original set zero. This is a feature seen on many quality tactical scopes made by NightForce.


Parallax & Magnification

The NightForce Tactical 5.5-22×56 features a parallax adjustment turret on the side of the scope.

Giving the shooter the freedom to adjust their parallax is great for advanced shooters and those who are shooting from a wide array of distances.

And, because of the versatile magnification from 5.5 to 22x, you can use this scope at quite a wide array of distances.

At 5.5 you’ll be able to shoot at just 200 yards, but at 22x you will be able to shoot up to 2000 yards!

Like I said before, this scope is military-grade if you need it to be. It’s the best 50 BMG scope on the market.


Mounting & Rings

This scope doesn’t come with a set of rings, so you’ll have to get your own.

However, NightForce makes some of the best rings that I’ve ever used. With a scope like this one, you’d expect nothing less.

I use the NightForce Ultralite 30mm ring set, and I’ve had it mounted on my Tactical 5.5-22×56 since I got it several years back.

NightForce Ultralite 30mm Ring Set, High, Titanium/Alloy, 1.125, A107
44 Reviews
NightForce Ultralite 30mm Ring Set, High, Titanium/Alloy, 1.125, A107
  • Nightforce Optics 1.125" High Ultra Light Titanium Alloy Ring Set for 30mm Scopes

Their titanium/alloy build makes them of great quality and durability, and they’re made for scopes with a 30mm diameter like this one.


Is the NightForce Tactical 5.5-22×26 worth it?

If you’re looking for the best 50 BMG scope on the market, look no further.

NightForce makes some of the best scopes in the game today, and the Tactical 5.5-22×26 is absolutely no exception.

To recap, it’s got:

  • High-quality multicoated lens
  • A huge objective lens of 56mm
  • Versatile magnification from 5.5-22x
  • It’s waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof
  • Top class BDC reticle on the second focal plane
  • It has a Zero Stop feature, allowing the shooter to hold a zero and still adjust their turrets

There’s a lot of good scopes out there, but there can be only one “best” for each firearm and for a 50 BMG, it’s the NightForce Tactical 5.5-22×56.

If you’re in the market for a 22 mag scope, check out some of the best 22 mag scopes.


2. NightForce SHV 5-20×56: Best for Extreme Long Range

Long-range shooters, look no further.

NightForce has created the best long-range scope in the game.

The NightForce SHV 5-20×56 has everything you could want from an extreme long-range scope, making it ideal for long-range hunting and extreme distance target shooting.

This is the scope of scopes, and here’s why:


Glass Clarity & Reticle

I can’t stress this enough: this is a high-quality scope.

The lens is fully multi-coated – meaning your brightness and clarity are going to be second to none due to the multiple layers of coatings that cover the entire scope.

The reticle is a MOAR reticle which is a signature to NightForce. It’s very good quality, but it’s on the second focal plane – which is a bit unique for a long-range scope.

However, quality remains king, and the focal plane adds to the versatility of the scope.

Another thing I’m crazy about is the 56mm objective lens, which leads to maximum light transmission and visibility.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

The eye relief is listed as 3.5 inches.

This eye relief is great because it’s kind of a sweet spot of versatility.

You can use this scope for a smaller weapon, or for extreme long-range shooting with a large rifle. The SHV matches up well with some of my favorite short-range scopes.

This scope is best for extreme long-range, but you can use it for shorter ranges if you’d like.


Durability

With a rifle scope meant for hunting and long-range target shooting, you’d expect top-notch durability.

Well, with the SHV, you get exactly that.

It’s fog proof, waterproof, and it’s built with the same quality as NightForce’s NXS, but is more affordable and offers the same vast magnification range.


Elevation and Windage Knobs

The turrets are very good quality and have everything I need from my scope.

When you make an adjustment, you get exactly what you programmed for.

They’re MOA tactical turrets, meaning they lock AND click into place. It’s an easy adjustment.

They’re also very easy to zero.

This scope also finds and holds zero perfectly, which yet again makes it amazing for long-range shooting across a wide range of distances.


Parallax & Magnification

With the SHV, you get up to 20 times magnification.

That’s amazing for long-range shooting because typically you want up to 12 times magnification for distances over 200 yards.

With the SHV, you get much, much more than that.

The scope also comes with a parallax adjustment knob from 25 yards to infinity, meaning the scope works for short-range shooting as well!

It’s just ideal for long-range.


Mounting & Rings

For this NightForce scope, I’d recommend sticking with NightForce for the mounting and rings.

The NightForce Ultralite 30mm rings are perfect for this scope, and they’re of high-quality titanium.

NightForce Ultralite 30mm Ring Set, High, Titanium/Alloy, 1.125, A107
44 Reviews
NightForce Ultralite 30mm Ring Set, High, Titanium/Alloy, 1.125, A107
  • Nightforce Optics 1.125" High Ultra Light Titanium Alloy Ring Set for 30mm Scopes

With a high-quality scope like this, you also need to take care of it.

That’s why I recommend picking up the Nightforce Optics Flip-Up lens cap.

It’s a great product and will help you keep this scope safe when you take it on long hunting ranges where you’re out in the wilderness for days (even weeks) at a time.


Is the NightForce SHV 5-20×56 worth it?

If you’re a long-range shooter, hunter, or just someone who’s trying to shoot accurately from a long distance, this is the perfect scope for you.

Here’s why:

  • Versatile magnification ranges
  • High quality, fully multi-coated lens
  • Easy adjustable, MOA tactical turrets
  • Wide-ranging, high quality, parallax adjustment knob
  • Waterproof and fog proof scope for increased durability
  • 56mm Objective lens which leads to maximum light transmission

The NightForce SHV 5-20×56 is, in my opinion, the best scope I’ve ever used from NightForce, and the best extreme long-range scope on the market.

NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope,30mm.250 MOA,Moar Non-Illuminated Reticle, C534
47 Reviews
NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope,30mm.250 MOA,Moar Non-Illuminated Reticle, C534
  • 56mm Objective lens for maximum light transmission
  • Second focal plane: reticle remaind the same size no matter the magnification
  • Tactical MOA turrets for easy adjustments

It does everything you’d want from a rangefinder scope, but without the complexities and unnecessary price tag.

The SHV gets my stamp of approval and I believe it’ll get yours too.


3. Vortex Optics Diamondback 1.75-5×32: Best for the Budget

The Vortex Optics Diamondback 1.75-5×32 is the best bang for your buck. Period.

It combines speedy target acquisition and versatile ranges, with a price tag that will leave you with enough money left over to go and have a fancy dinner.

It’s perfect for slug shotguns, big game hunting, and brush hunting. I was even running 50 BMG at one point and it stayed true. I definitely recommend this optic.

But why, you ask? Why is the Diamondback so good for the money? Let’s explore:


Glass Clarity & Reticle

Clean and clear.

The glass on this baby is fully multi-coated, and it doesn’t get clearer than that. Most optics in this price range skimp on the glass quality, but not the Vortex Diamondback.

My only complaint is that there isn’t any illumination, but I didn’t find myself hung up on that. The reticle was simple and easy to understand, and I never had a problem acquiring targets in any lighting conditions.

In fact, the reticle is one of my favorite parts about this optic.

It’s a dead hold BDC reticle, and it makes holdover no problem at any range. Each hash mark on the reticle corresponds to about 100 yards. So, at 300 yards, I simply used the proper marking on the reticle and I was dead on.

It also features a fast-focus eyepiece that makes target acquisition a breeze. Follow up shots are right on the money.

The reticle is Second Focal Plane, so it always looked the same at any range, which made it easy for me to point and shoot. It took the guesswork out of my shots. This feature was key for my continued accuracy, and it came in at half the price of other similar optics.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

The eye relief is 3.5 inches.

I found the eye relief to be more than enough. I didn’t have any problems with scope bite at this distance.


Durability

This scope is virtually indestructible.

The Diamondback is shockproof, fogproof, and waterproof. It’s a single-tube design made from aircraft-grade aluminum, Argon purged, and O-ring sealed. (Plus, the hard anodized finish just looks sleek and cool).

Perhaps the only drawback for all these features is that it’s slightly heavy. Depending on how you’ve got your rifle kitted out, you can always check out these lightweight options too.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The turrets are easy to use and have a “zero reset” feature

These are capped turrets, so they won’t move once they’re set. The coolest feature is the ability to reset the turrets to the starting position once the firearm is zeroed.

And it was easy to zero. The turrets have audible clicks, and I’m a stickler for that. It takes away the guesswork and streamlines the zeroing process.

Both knobs are finger adjustable and move in 1/4 MOA increments. The Diamondback makes precision easy.


Parallax & Magnification

The Vortex Diamondback gives you 1.75-5x magnification. This is plenty of magnification for a variety of needs.

Whether I was shooting under 100 yards or out to 300 yards or more, the Diamondback held true. (If you’re looking to shoot past 300 yards, check out the Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 for a little boost in the magnification).

The fast-focus eyepiece was clutch when I toggled through the different magnification settings. It made target acquisition simple.

The parallax is factory set out to 100 yards, and so far I haven’t noticed any issues with parallax.


Mounting & Rings

The Diamondback doesn’t come with rings or any mounting hardware, but for the price tag, who cares?

You’ll be able to buy the Diamondback and some nice hardware without breaking the bank. I recommend Vortex Optics Sport Cantilever 1” Riflescope Mounts…

…and the Vortex Optics 38-41mm Defender Flip Caps. (The Diamondback comes with caps, but I had some money to play with and I wanted to upgrade).

Vortex Optics Defender Riflescope Flip Caps
3 Reviews
Vortex Optics Defender Riflescope Flip Caps
  • Virtually indestructible, the Defender is the most versatile and durable flip cap on the market, this is the last flip cap you'll ever need
  • A stainless steel spring flips the cap into multiple stop positions at 45 and 90 degrees
  • Made in the USA

Is the Vortex Optics Diamondback 1.75-5×32 worth it?

The Vortex Optics Diamondback is a fantastic variable scope at an even better price.

For under $200, you get:

  • Durability
  • Fast-Focus eyepiece
  • Dead Hold BDC reticle
  • Turrets with a “zero reset” feature
  • Fully multi-coated, crisp glass clarity

It also comes with a lifetime warranty. So if anything breaks for any reason, Vortex will repair or replace your optic — no questions asked. That’s always good for peace of mind.

For the price tag, it’s near impossible to beat the Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5×32. It’s priced so that you can add other features if you want. But I found it great right out of the box.


Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best 50 BMG scope guide.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which scope will you pick for your rifle?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

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