The 338 Lapua is an extremely powerful gun designed for accuracy.
But in as much as it is built for accurate shooting, you need a scope to enhance its capability.
And not just any scope, you need a scope that can fit a Lapua and that is capable of helping you improve your accuracy.
So finding the best scope for a 388 Lapua is not that difficult if you know what to look for. But if you have never bought a scope before this could a bit of a challenge particularly if you have very little knowledge about scopes.
They are not complicated pieces of equipment, but knowing how they are operated and how they work can help you make a more informed decision.
To get you started, this guide discusses what you need to look for when choosing a scope for a 338 Lapua. And it also reviews some of the best scopes for this type of rifle.
Scopes for 338 Lapua Comparison Chart
|Objective Lens Diameter|
|Field of View|
17.8-5.1 ft/100 yds
24.7-8.4 ft/100 yds
21.5-4.3 ft/100 yds
7.3-1.8 m/100 m
4" / 102 mm
3.9 to 4.4" / 10 to 110 mm
3.5 to 4.3" / 90 to 109 mm
3.6 to 4"
15.5" / 39.4 cm
13.1" / 34.5 cm
16.6" / 42.2 cm
15" / 38 cm
50 yd / 45.7 m to Infinity
100 yd / 91.4 m
50 yd / 45.7 m to Infinity
45.72 m to Infinity
5 Best Scopes for 338 Lapua (as of September, 2020):
- VMR-1 MOA Duplex Reticle
- Reticle Placed on the Second Focal Plane
- 30 mm Diameter Single-Piece Main-Tube
- 1/4 MOA/Click Impact Point Correction
Designed as a second focal scope, the Vortex Optics VHS-4325 6-24×50 is specially made for precision and tactical shooting. It is usually the scope of choice for law enforcement and military snipers.
And it is a great option if you have a 338 Lapua rifle that you often use for hunting or shooting competitions.
The Viper HS-T is a second focal plane scope. Meaning the reticle is situated at the backside of the magnification lens. Unlike the first focal plane in which the reticle is situated at the front of the lens.
The position of the reticle is what differentiates the two and the positioning also differentiates how each works. The first focal plane reticle adjusts visually in size as you adjust the magnification.
The second focal plane reticle remains visually the same in size even when the magnification is adjusted. And it doesn’t matter even though the magnification is set at the highest power.
This is not what you get with a first focal reticle because when you adjust the magnification it also affects the appearance of the reticle.
One downside with the second focal plane reticle is that to adjust the ranging and holdover for accuracy, this can only work when the magnification power is at its highest. So before you use the reticle, ensure that you first adjust the two features.
Like many high-quality scopes, the Viper HS-T has an eyepiece that has a fast focus feature for quick and easy focusing. Adjusting the reticle focus is not complicated. There is a focus knob on the scope designed for this function.
The scope has a magnification ring which used for changing the magnification. Then there are the windage and elevation knobs with audible clicks, which are used for adjusting the reticle for accuracy.
There is a side focus knob, which is used to eliminate parallax error thereby providing a clear and sharp image focus. This knob enables you to get a sharp focus on your image making it easier for you to hit your target.
The Viper HS-T has a radius bar that visually helps keep track of the turret rotations. So you are able to confirm if a knob position is correct or if it is at zero point.
- XR anti-reflective fully multicoated optics & XD extra-low dispersion glass
- Precision-Glide Erector System
- Etched-glass reticle placed on the Second Focal Plane (SFP)
- VMR-1 MOA duplex crosshair reticle
- 65 MOA windage/elevation adjustment range, with 12 MOA travel per rotation
- Customizable Rotational Stop (CRS) Zero-Stop
- Side-focus parallax knob: corrects parallax error from 50 yd to infinity
- Fast Focus Eyepiece with 4″ long eye relief
- Argon-filled, water and fogproof
- 30mm aluminum single-piece main-tube
- Scratch and corrosion-resistant matte-black anodized finish
- MAG-View bar & Radius bar
- ArmorTek ultra-hard scratch-resistant lens coating protects against scratches, oil and dirt
- High-quality lenses
- Solid construct that is durable and waterproof
- Ideal for hunting and tactical shooting
- It may be hard to use at the beginning
- Exposure to sunlight over a prolonged time may affect its performance or even cause damage
The Millett BK81006 6-25×56 LRS-1 designed for hunting and tactical shooting. So if you want to do some long-range shooting, try this scope. With it, you can hit a moving target that is over a 1000 yards without difficulty.
Fast Eye Focus
The Millet 6 LRS-1 has a fast focus feature that enables you to quickly and easily focus on your target. There is a focus knob that helps you adjust the crosshairs to get a sharp focus of your target.
Side Range Focus
There is a range focus control knob that is used for eliminating parallax and improving the scope’s focus on varying ranges.
The scope has turret lock to ensure that the windage and elevation adjustments don’t shift in case of accidental movement. At the base of the turret, there is a ring, which you turn to lock or unlock, so to speak, the adjustments.
- Huge 56 mm objective for a wider field of view and brighter image
- Massive, super-strong 35mm tube improves reliability and resolution
- Positive 1/4 MOA click adjustments for windage and elevation
- Come-up scale on windage and elevation adjustments
- Glass etched exclusive Mil-DotBar reticle
- 35mm scope rings included
- Fully multi-coated lense
- Locking windage and elevation target turrets
- Large settable windage and elevation knobs
- Quick side-focus range adjustment
- European-style eye focus
- Matte black finish one-piece T6 aluminum tube
- Fast eye focus for fast and easy focusing
- Multi-coated lenses for clear and sharp viewing
- Turret loc features to keep the windage and elevation adjustments in place
- Illuminated side range focus for sharp and clear images at long range
- Wide field of view for sharper and clearer viewing
- Windage and elevation adjustments for better focusing
- Solid, durable and compact design
- Waterproof and fog proof
- The eye relief is not ideal for people with poor eyesight
- Some consumers have complained about the illumination not working properly and difficulty adjusting the turrets
- 4.0-12.0 Magnification, 44mm Objective
- Fast Focus Eyepiece
- Fully Multicoated Optics
- 1″ Diameter Tube Design
The Vortex Optics CF2-31015 Crossfire II 4-12×44 is a second focal plane heavy-duty scope that is designed for heavy and light recoil rifles. And it is specially designed for hunters who hunt for sport and want a scope that can deliver high performance.
Dead-Hold BDC Reticle
This reticle enables you to set the correct windage and elevation adjustments. So when adjusting for ranging and holdover, you don’t need to do any guesswork.
This reticle gets correct the adjustments, which is why it is a great option for shooting or hunting at long-ranges.
The adjustable objective helps you to have a sharp focus and to eliminate parallax providing clear images at all ranges.
- Fully Multi-Coated
- Second Focal Plane Reticle
- 1 inch Diameter Tube
- Single-Piece Tube
- Aircraft-Grade Aluminum
- Waterproof, Fogproof & Shockproof
- Hard Anodized Finish
- Capped Reset Turrets
- Fast Focus Eyepiece
- Multi-coated lenses for clear viewing in low light conditions
- Adjustable objective for shaper, clearer viewing
- Fast focus for easy and quick focusing
- Solid construct that is nitrogen purged for fog proof and waterproof
- Eye relief of 3+ which is sufficient for light and heavy recoils and ideal for people with poor eyesight
- It’s a little more expensive than its equally high-quality counterparts
Vortex Crossfire II Riflescope:
The Steiner Model 5122 T5Xi 5-25×56 is a first focal plane riflescope used for hunting and tactical shooting. The 56mm objective lens provides you with a wide field of view that enables you to see your target without needing to move much.
The scope features a fast-focus eyepiece that allows you to focus on your target quickly and with ease. This combined with multi-coated lenses provides clear and sharp views at all ranges.
So it doesn’t matter if your prey is 1000 yards away or more, or whether it’s day or night, this scope is designed to deliver optimal performance at all times.
The scope also features an illuminated SCR reticle situated at the first focal plane, which means that the reticle is located at the front side of the magnification.
So if you are targeting a particular object, this reticle enables you to hit exactly what you are aiming at. This is why this scope is ideal for target shooters particularly, those who often participate in target shooting competitions.
Another great feature is the side focus. This feature helps correct parallax error making the view clearer and sharper despite the light conditions.
Steiner is one of the leading producers of optics globally. And with years of experience under its belt, it doesn’t come as a surprise that their scopes are some of the most sought after in the market.
The T5Xi is a single piece 34mm tube with an elegant black finish. The scope is nitrogen purged to ensure that it is fog proof and waterproof.
- Illuminated SCR Reticle
- 1st Focal Plane
- Razor-Edge Image Clarity
- Low-Profile Never-Lost Turrets
- 34mm Tube for Long Range
- Windage/Elevation Click Value: 1 cm. @ 100m (1/10 mRad)
- Paralax Focus: Side Focus
- Turrets: Low Profile, Resettable, Second Rotation Indicator
- Legendary Military Ruggedness
- Tapered All-Metal Magnification Ring
- Fogproof & Shockproof
- Waterproof, Submersable to 33ft
- Battery: CR2450
- Lifetime Heritage Warranty
- Illuminated SCR reticle designed for shooters who engage in shooting competitions
- Strong and compact construction that is nitrogen purged to ensure that it is fog proof and waterproof
- Multi-coated lenses for high contrast and bright viewing even in poor lighting conditions
- Sufficient eye relief ideal for people with poor eyesight
- Throw Lever that enables you to quickly and easily adjust the magnification
- Wide field of view for easy viewing
- It is extremely expensive compared to many other high-quality scopes
Nikon 16335 Prostaff 7 5-20×50 SF has consistently continued to produce supreme optics for different purposes. The Nikon Prostaff series was designed for shooters who prioritize precision aiming. This makes this scope a great option for hunters and target shooters.
BDC Reticle and Multi-Coated Lenses
There is no missing with this scope especially at distances of 1000 yards even though you are a terrible shot.
The lenses are multi-coated to ensure clear viewing day or night. Nikon uses multi-coats on its lenses to allow more light in thereby providing clear and bright viewing even in poor light conditions.
So if you are a novice hunter who is looking for a scope that offers high accuracy, consider getting the Nikon Prostaff for your 338 Lapua rifle.
The scope is a 30mm tube designed for strength, durability, and reliability. The construct is designed to be shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof.
So even in the rain, snow, or fog, this scope is designed to be damage resistant. But if dropped from a high height, it may get damaged.
Fast Eye Focus
Like most standard scopes, the Nikon Prostaff has a fast-focus eyepiece for easy and fast focusing of targets. There is a fast focus knob on the scope to help you adjust the reticle for a sharp focus.
- Hand Turn ¼-inch Adjustments
- 4-Time Zoom Range
- Nikon’s BDC Reticle
- Built With 30mm Main Body Tubes
- Generous Eye Relief
- Spring-Loaded Instant Zero-Reset Turrets
- Nikon’s Fully Multicoated Lenses
- Quick Focus Eyepiece
- Waterproof, Fogproof & Shockproof
- Fast focus eyepiece for quick and easy focusing
- Multi-coated lenses for clear, high contrast, and bright views
- Windage and elevation knobs for adjusting the scope’s reticle for accuracy
- Solid construct that is shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof
- Wide field of view for better viewing
- Ideal for long-range shooting
- Eye relief of 3.6 inches which is sufficient for heavy and light recoils
- The eye relief is not sufficient for people who have eyesight problems or wear glasses
However, since it became available to civilians, manufacturers have modified the old version to make it more suitable for activities such as target shooting and hunting.
Furthermore, you can use this scope offers even in the worst weather conditions and not worry about its performance.
Buying a scope suitable for a 338 Lapua rifle
Not every scope in the market is suitable for your 338 Lapua rifle because it may not have the features that can enhance your rifle’s capabilities. That said, how do you go about finding the ideal scope for your 338 Lapua rifle?
So there are a number of considerations that you need to keep in mind when choosing the best scope for your 338 rifle. And here are a couple of them.
Scope Lens Coatings
If you are a hunter, it wouldn’t make any sense to get a scope that you cannot use in low light conditions. And while most standard scope lenses are multi-coated, some only have a single layer of coating.
The number of coatings makes a huge difference when it comes to light transmission. So multi-coated lenses allow more light in and reduce glare making them capable of delivering clear views in low light conditions.
Different scopes are designed for different purposes and they also perform differently.
When it comes to design, most standard scopes are second focal plane (SFP) and this is because SFPs are cheaper to make. But this doesn’t mean that they don’t deliver optimal performance.
On the contrary, second focal plane scopes perform better in more situations than first focal plane scopes (FFP). This is the reason why FFPs are less common.
If you are wondering why SFPs perform better than FFPs it’s because of the position of the reticle on the scope and its adjustment capabilities.
An FFP reticle is located at the front of the magnification lens it adjusts as you adjust the magnification. In other words, if you are looking through an FFP reticle and you adjust the magnification, the reticle also visually changes in size.
An SFP reticle is situated at the back of the magnification lens and it does not visually change when the magnification is adjusted.
So what does all this mean?
When you want to get a more accurate aim or sharp focus, you need to adjust the windage and elevation turrets. And with and SFP, you need to adjust these turrets before using the reticle. Otherwise, you are not going to an accurate aim.
However, with an FFP reticle, although this is not an issue, when you adjust the magnification to its lowest power, the size of the reticle appears small. This can make it difficult to see your target.
So you would need to balance the turret and the reticle settings to get a clear view in low light conditions.
So an SFP reticle is easier to use and focus than an FFP reticle.
Understanding First Vs. Second Focal Plane Reticles:
The other feature you need to consider when it comes to construction is whether the scope is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.
You want a scope that you can take out in any weather condition without worrying that it might get damaged easily. And that it can perform well whether it’s raining, snowing or foggy.
Why is magnification important when choosing a scope for a 338 Lapua?
The 338 Lapua rifle is designed for accuracy but without a good scope with good magnification, it can only do so much.
Having a scope with good magnification can mean the difference between hitting and missing a target. And yes, it doesn’t matter how accurate the gun maybe.
What you need to know about magnification is that it plays an important role when it comes to viewing your target.
The higher the magnification the wider the field of view and the lower the magnification, the small the field of view. So a high magnification translates to a wide field of view. This means that you are able to see the whole target whether it’s on the move or stationary.
But if the field of view is small, it makes it hard to view your target. You also need to consider the magnification power.
So when choosing a scope for your 338 Lapua factor in the magnification, particularly if you are a novice hunter or target shooter.
Most expert hunters look for scopes that can deliver accuracy at all ranges. And most scopes today are designed for precision shooting. And these are scopes that have features that enable you to improve your shooting accuracy.
So when choosing a scope for your 388 Lapua, don’t assume that every scope is designed to deliver accurate shooting. Scopes have different reticles and each is designed to accomplish a certain purpose.
Some reticles are great for hunting and others are great for target shooting. So when choosing a scope, check what type of reticle it has and what the reticle is designed to accomplish.
When you shoot a rifle, it recoils and when this happens, the scope is pushed backward. So if the distance between your aiming eye and the scope is not sufficient, you can get a good smack on your face.
So to avoid injury, get a scope with an eye relief of 3 or 4 inches. But if you wear glasses or have poor eyesight, consider getting a scope that has an eye relief of 4+ inches.
Expert shooters often always know what to look for in a scope. As for beginners not so much. And if you have a powerful rifle like the 338 Lapua, you need a scope that can enhance its capabilities.
You need a scope that can deliver high accuracy and clarity. A scope that is capable of delivering great performance at all times and in any weather condition.