Best Scope for 338 Lapua – The Top 4 Optics in 2023

The .338 Lapua Magnum, often shortened to .338 Lapua, is a very powerful long-range cartridge. It’s capable of bringing down big game like elk and grizzly, and it’s a favorite of African big game hunters.

It’s also a popular long-range target shooting round. You can hit a dinner plate at 1,000 yards, provided you’ve got a good enough rifle.

But whether you’re hunting or shooting on the range, you’re going to need a good scope.

In this guide, I’ll go over four .338 Lapua scopes that could be considered the best scope for .338 Lapua.

Why Should You Believe Me?

Don’t. At least, don’t take me any seriously than you take anybody else on the internet. At the end of the day, you’ll have to get your hands on a scope and try it for yourself to truly evaluate its performance.

That’s what I do. Sure, I try to start with scopes that have good reviews, but I also take my time to sample several scopes.

In my search for the best scope for .338 Lapua Magnum, I tried over a dozen options. Most of them got returned.

These are the four scopes that exceeded my standards.

The 4 Best Scopes for .338 Lapua

Want to skip the reviews and get straight to the recommendations? These are my top picks:

  1. Vortex Optics Diamondback 6-24×50
  2. Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-25×50 
  3. Athlon Optics Argos 6-24×59 BTR GEN2
  4. Vortex Optics Viper PST 6-24×50 Gen I 

1. Vortex Optics Diamondback 6-24×50

Vortex is famous for making high-quality optics at a reasonable price. The Vortex Optics Diamondback 6-24×50 is no exception.

This is a lightweight scope that’s perfect for use in the field. It weighs just 16 ounces, with a length of 14.5 inches and a 50mm objective lens. It also has a 30mm tube, so you can use it with a whole slew of mounting rings.Vortex Diamondback 6-24x50

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The Diamondback boasts a low-dispersion glass with plenty of clarity. The image didn’t get murky or foggy, even when I looked far downrange at maximum zoom. 

The lenses are fully multi-coated, and you don’t have to worry about glare. Even on a sunny day, the sun didn’t mess with my shooting.

This is a first focal plane scope, which means that the reticle zooms in and out along with the lens. It will get larger when you zoom in, and smaller when you zoom out.

Many beginning shooters find this annoying, but it serves a purpose. The reticle has ultra-fine crosshairs with MOA hashes along the entire length and numeric indicators out to 32 MOA. There’s even a pyramid of dots under the center, so you can make complex adjustments for windage and elevation.

Be warned: the markings are very small. If you don’t have great vision, you’ll have trouble making them out.

Vortex diamondback 6-24x50 reticle
credit: Moondog Industries

Parallax & Magnification 

A ribbed adjustment ring is located right in front of the eyepiece. It has white numbering so you can keep track of the adjustments, and I didn’t have any trouble with it. You can zoom smoothly from 6x to 24x magnification, which allows you to shoot at shorter or longer ranges.

The field of view is highly variable depending on your zoom level. At 6x magnification, you’ll have a wide, 18-foot field of view at 100 yards’ range. At 24x magnification, you’ll have a much tighter 4.5-foot viewing window.

A parallax dial is located to the left. This lets you adjust the parallax on the reticle, so it won’t drift as you move your head from side to side. The dial works smoothly, and can be adjusted from 10 yards to infinity.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation and windage knobs are responsive and easy to use. Both knobs are knurled for an easy grip, and click audibly when you adjust them. One click moves the reticle by ¼ MOA, which is more or less standard for modern MOA scopes. 

There’s a 65-MOA window for elevation and windage. This gives you plenty of flexibility with regard to elevation adjustments. I was able to sight all the way out to 1,000 yards without needing an adjustable mounting ring.

The elevation knob also has a zero reset. However, this brings up a minor issue I ran into. The numbers on the knobs don’t line up exactly. When you reset to “zero,” the dial will actually be slightly to one side.

Like I said, this was a minor complaint. It doesn’t affect the scope’s ability to hold zero, and it’s easy to get used to.Vortex Diamondback 6-24x50 adjusments knobs

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The Diamondback has an eye relief of 3.9 inches. That’s a comfortable distance for most rifles and most shooting positions. I wasn’t positioned way down the stock, but I wasn’t too close to the scope, either.

It was in the Goldilocks zone – just right.


This scope is made from tough anodized aluminum, with O-ring seals around the lenses. The tube itself is nitrogen-purged, which flushes out any potential moisture and prevents fogging.

Vortex backs this with a robust manufacturer’s warranty. The warranty even transfers if you sell your scope – no paperwork required.Vortex Diamondback 6-24x50 view

Is the Vortex Optics Diamondback 6-24×50 worth it?

For its price range, this is the best long range scope for .338 Lapua. The Diamondback is a legitimate 1,000-yard scope, with a reticle that’s detailed enough for even the most finicky of target shooters. The 50mm objective lens lets in plenty of light, even at maximum magnifications.

At the same time, it’s also a solid choice for hunting. The reticle holds zero very well, even when the scope gets bumped around. And the 6x magnification is useful for shorter-range shots where you want a wider field of view. It would also be one of the best Vortex scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor.


  • Durable design that holds zero well
  • Easy windage and elevation adjustments
  • Accurate at any range
  • Good value


  • Awkward return-to-zero function
  • Reticle design is confusing for beginners

2. Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-25×50 Mil-dot Crosshair

The Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint Mil-dot crosshair is a bit pricier. However, it comes with an awesome tritium phosphor reticle that’s purpose-built for low-light shooting.

The weight of 26.9 ounces is par for the course with a scope this size. It measures 13.5 inches long, with a 50mm objective lens and a standard 30mm tube. All in all, I had no issues with the size or weight.Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-25x50

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The TR23’s glass is fully multi-coated with a special broadband treatment. This ensures that all colors come through equally, and there’s no tinted cast to the image.

The scope is clear and bright, and it’s easy to track a moving target. The anti-reflective glass does a great job of preventing glare, and there’s a sunshade included just in case.

The crosshairs have a unique, modern design, and this design is the main reason I liked the TR23. They’re narrow, with big black dots so you can adjust for droppage and windage.

The dot in the center is lit by fiber optic and tritium phosphor technology. The fiber optic is powered by a green bar on top of the eyepiece that makes for a unique visual feature. During the daylight, it keeps the dot nice and bright. In low-light conditions, the tritium phosphor enough is sufficient for good visibility.

I loved this dot, because it makes target acquisition a breeze. When you have only a few seconds to shoot an elk, even half a second can make the difference between a hit and a miss. The Trijicon would also be one of the best scopes for .30-06.Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-25x50 reticle

Parallax & Magnification 

The zoom ring is in front of the eyepiece, with tall ridges that allow for a secure grip. I was able to make fine adjustments, even with a thick set of gloves on. You can zoom between 5x and 20x magnification, and there are white numbers that let you know your current zoom level.

The field of view is reasonably generous. At 100 yards, you’ll have a 19.4-foot field of view at 5x magnification. Zoom in to 20x, and you’ll have a 5.2-foot field of view.

The parallax dial is located on the left side of the housing. Unfortunately, it’s marked with hashes, not numbers. I eventually got the hang of it, but I had to fiddle around with the adjustments first.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation dial is located on the top, while the windage dial is positioned to the side. Both of them turn very smoothly, at ¼ MOA per click.

That said, the dials are both tall and highly exposed. I haven’t had the opportunity to take this scope hunting, but I wouldn’t want to. Those dials could get turned by mistake, and I could end up missing. On the range, this isn’t a concern.

This scope has 40 MOA of total travel, both for the elevation and for the windage. This will be perfect for most ranges. However, you’ll need an angled mount to shoot beyond 800 yards without any holdover.Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-25x50 adjusment knobs

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The TR23’s eye relief ranges from 3.8 inches to 4.1 inches, depending on how far you’ve zoomed in. I had no issues acquiring my target in any position, especially not with the bright dot in the center of the reticle.


The tube is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum, and won’t get dinged up from a few bumps and bangs. It’s also waterproof to 10 feet of depth, although I’d still recommend keeping your gun out of the water.

The TR23 is covered by Trijicon’s lifetime warranty, although you’ll have to send in the warranty card to register. The exception to this is the tritium phosphate pip, which is guaranteed for 15 years.Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-25x50 side view

Is the Trijicon TR23 worth it?

Without a doubt. While this scope is far from perfect, it also has a lot to offer. In particular, I loved the fiber optic/tritium phosphate reticle.

If you’re primarily looking for a range scope, you might not care about this.

But the .338 Lapua is a big game round, and if you’re hunting big game, fast target acquisition is critical. That’s why the TR23 earned its place in my gun safe.


  • Beautiful broadband coating on all lenses
  • Easy target acquisition
  • Wide field of view
  • Very durable


  • Limited adjustment range
  • Exposed dials can easily get turned by mistake

3. Athlon Optics Argos BTR 6-24×50 GEN2 MOA reticle

The Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2 MOA reticle is a mid-priced scope that offers some features that most mid-priced scopes don’t.

It has a 50mm objective lens, and measures 14.1 inches in length, with a 1.8-inch viewport. It tips the scales at 30.3 ounces, which is a bit heavy, but not excessively so considering the size. The 30mm tube will mount easily in a wide variety of ring mounts.Athlon optics 6-24x50

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass on the Argos BTR GEN2 are fully multi-coated, which reduces glare and increases brightness. For the most part, this works well, and I had no issues making out details at low to medium magnifications.

That said, the coating isn’t perfect. There’s a purple ring around the lens that obscures the edges, and the image looks a bit fuzzy at the highest magnifications.

The reticle consists of a thin red crosshair with multiple fine markings. There are tiny hashes at 1-MOA increments, with fatter hashes at the 5-MOA positions. They extend all the way out to 40 MOA, so you can make extreme adjustments on the fly.

The reticle is displayed on the first focal plane, so it will zoom in and out along with your image. That way, your MOA readings will always be pinpoint-accurate.

In addition, the center cross can be illuminated with a dial on top of the eyepiece. I didn’t notice any difference in bright light, but it was a big help in low-light shooting.athlon 6-24x50 reticle view

Parallax & Magnification

There’s a grooved ring at the front of the eyepiece for adjusting the magnification. This ring is easy to rotate, and I was able to push on the flange with just my thumb. It has white numerals to let you know the zoom level, and can range between 6x and 24x magnification.

At 100 yards, you’ll have a 16.7-foot field of view at 6x magnification. Zoom in to 24x, and that number falls to 4.5 feet. That’s a bit tight for shooting at 100 yards, but the window will get proportionally wider at longer ranges.

The parallax dial on the left side of the tube works well. You can adjust from 10 to infinity yards, and the crosshairs remain very stable. That said, the dial is a tad stiff, which can make it hard to select a precise setting.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation dial is located on the top, and the windage dial is positioned to the side. Both are well-designed and responsive, with a crisp click for each movement. They move at a standard ¼ MOA per click.

The zero reset function is very easy to use. All you have to do is zero your scope, then unscrew the top of the turret and rotate it back to zero. Tighten it back down, and you’re good to go.

I zeroed mine at 200 yards, then sighted in at 300 yards. I was able to switch back in just a couple seconds.

Both dials have an adjustment window of 60 MOA. This means you have tons of flexibility for sighting in long or short.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The 3.3-inch eye relief is a little on the short side. For a high-recoil round like the .338 Lapua, I generally prefer something a little more forgiving. Then again, it’s great for shooting from a bench rest, or for shooting with your rifle shouldered in a deer stand.Athlon 6-24x50 side view


The Argos BTR GEN2 is made from aircraft-grade aluminum, so it can handle a lot of abuse. It’s drop-resistant, water-resistant, and impact-resistant. Moreover, the lenses are coated with an anti-scratch finish that also repels dirt and oil.

In addition, the tube is argon-purged, which makes it virtually condensation-proof.

You also get a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. And like the Vortex warranty, this one is transferrable.

Is the Athlon Optics 6-24×50 worth it?

This is an amazing piece of glass, especially when you consider the price. While the lenses themselves aren’t perfect, you’re getting a very accurate, easy-to-adjust scope. You’re also getting a very durable one.

I like the Argos BTR GEN2 for hunting in particular. Then again, it’s also a great range scope, as long as you’re not shooting at extreme distances. It is also one of the best scopes for .300 Win Mag.


  • Easy-to-use reset-to-zero function
  • Effective parallax dial
  • First focal plane design
  • Durable design and lifetime warranty


  • Narrow field of view
  • Short eye relief

4. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen I 6-24×50 EBR-1 MOA

The Vortex Optics Viper PST is designed as a step up from the Diamondback. It’s a touch heavier, at 23.4 ounces. But that’s still pretty light for a 24x scope.

The Viper is also larger, at 15.5 inches long, with a 50mm objective lens. Like all of today’s scopes, it has a 30mm tube, which goes to show you how popular that size is.Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen I 6-24x50

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass on this scope is pristine. It has very low dispersion, with anti-reflective and transmission-increasing coatings on all the lenses. It’s so good I would call this scope one of the best long range sniper scopes. And if the coating isn’t enough, there’s also a sunshade to keep the glare away.

When I looked through it, I thought I was looking through a high-quality analog camera lens. That’s how clear it is. However, when I zoomed all the way in, it was harder to get the Viper in focus. I blame this more on the focus dial than the lenses themselves, since the image was still crisp once I got it focused.

The reticle has a unique design. The top part of the crosshair is narrow, while the bottom and sides are fat. However, both disappear towards the center, and are replaced by a finer red crosshair. This crosshair has tiny MOA markings, so you can adjust for droppage and windage.

This is a second focal plane scope, so the reticle remains the same size regardless of your magnification level. The MOA markings are accurate only at maximum magnification.

The red portion of the reticle can be illuminated. There’s a knob on the top left part of the eyepiece where you can turn it on and off and adjust the brightness. It takes a single CR2032 battery, which is included in the kit.Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen I 6-24x50 reticle

Parallax & Magnification 

The grooved ring in front of the eyepiece adjusts the magnification between 6x and 24x. It’s easy to turn, and has numbering on it so you can keep an eye on the zoom level.

The field of view is right in the middle of the pack. At 6x, you’ll have a 17.8-foot viewing window at 100 yards’ range. Zoom in to 24x, and the field of view shrinks to 5.1 feet. As always, this will be larger at longer ranges.

The parallax knob is located on the side of the tube, and can be set from 50 yards to infinity. It works very well at shorter ranges, but I had to mess around with it to get the right parallax at longer ranges. The numbers on the dial are incorrect.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation and windage knobs both adjust your reticle at a rate of ¼ MOA per click. You get a wide, 60-MOA adjustment range, along with an easy-to-use zero reset on the elevation turret.

At the end of each turret is a grooved fiber optic stripe. It’s easy to see, and I also had no trouble making minor adjustments by touch.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

I absolutely loved the eye relief on the Viper. At 4 inches, it’s right in the sweet spot for shooting off-hand. At the same time, it’s close enough that I can easily shoot with my rifle shouldered.

Of course, the “perfect” eye relief depends on the shooter, the gun, and the shooting position. But for my money, this was spot on.

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen I 6-24x50 side view


The lenses are coated with a solid, scratch-resistant coating. This coating also protects against oil and dirt, and cleaning the lenses was easy.

O-ring seals and argon purging protect against fogging. And you get Vortex’ transferrable lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.

Is the Vortex Optics Viper PST 6-24×50 worth it?

This is a fantastic rifle scope, both on the range and in the field. It can take a beating, and the eye relief is perfect for shooting from different positions.

The illuminated reticle works well, and the rest of the crosshair is also well-designed. And other than the twitchy focus dial, I was impressed by the image quality.


  • Crystal clear glass
  • Illuminated reticle for easy target acquisition
  • Plenty of eye relief
  • Transferrable lifetime warranty


  • Finicky focus dial
  • Parallax dial is awkward at longer ranges

Wrapping Up

Any one of these scopes could be the best fit for you. Like I said, these are just my opinions. At the end of the day, you’re going to have to make up your own mind.

Have you used one of these scopes? Do you already have a favorite scope for your .338 Lapua rifle? Hit me up in the comments and let me know!

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