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Optics can be a great addition to your Airsoft kit. While there are a lot of people who believe in keeping the sport as pure as possible and not using any additional equipment, there is no doubt that Airsoft is a lot more fun when you can modify your kit to your liking.
However, selecting an optic for your airsoft rifle is a bit different from selecting one for a real rifle. Instead of dead-accurate shooting from a standstill position, you will need to be accurate while moving, dodging, and weaving through the arena.
On top of that, many people think of Airsoft as a hobby and are unwilling to spend a huge amount of money on an optic. For people like those, balancing price with performance is very important.
Luckily, we are here to take you through the criteria for finding the right optic for your rifle. After that, we will also recommend some optics that outperform the others on the field!
- 1 5 Best Airsoft Optics Compared Head-to-Head
- 2 Review of The 5 Best Airsoft Optics
- 3 What do You Need in an Airsoft Optic?
- 4 Conclusion
5 Best Airsoft Optics Compared Head-to-Head
Based on the aforementioned criteria, here are 5 optics that are perfect for Airsoft. We have included both reflex sights as well as scopes, and it’s up to you to decide which one you want.
Review of The 5 Best Airsoft Optics
Best Overall: Vortex Optics Strikefire II
The price tag of the Vortex Optics Strikefire II may make you a little apprehensive at first, but the optic provides great value. As you may have guessed, this is an optic that is not only perfect for an Airsoft weapon but also a conventional rifle such as one based on the AR-15 system.
When it comes to durability, this is as good as it gets. While it may lose some of its aesthetics as time goes on due to wear and tear, its performance never falters. Even years of rugged use will not do anything to dampen its accuracy and functionality. The lens has been purged with Nitrogen and the rings have been sealed to make sure no water or fog impacts your aim.
Add to this the fact that you can use the sight in both red as well as green, and you have 10 brightness settings to choose from, and its obvious why the Strikefire II is great for Airsoft.
What I particularly loved about the optic was its battery life. At the lowest brightness setting, the battery lasts over 5000 hours. Even at the highest settings, you can still get up to 300 hours of use from a single battery pack.
Overall, this is an optic for the professional. It will be beneficial to any Airsoft player and it definitely justifies its slightly hefty price tag.
Best for Snipers: UTG Compact Scope 3-12×44
If you are a sniper and you are hell-bent on taking out enemies from a long-range, then the UTG provides you with everything you could need. As is the case with the Strikefire II, you can also use this scope with actual weapons. In fact, this UTG model is one of our most recommended models across multiple areas due to its amazing build quality and performance.
The magnification range isn’t too large but it isn’t too small either. At 3-12x, you should easily be able to spot enemies and take them out. On top of that, the 44mm lens means that this scope delivers fantastic low light performance.
Unlike other scopes in this price, you also get a full 36-color illuminated EZ Tap reticle that can accurately compensate for bullet drop far beyond the range of a typical Airsoft sniper rifle. You also have a scope that is very durable and cannot be used without fear of it breaking apart.
Lastly, its target turrets allow you to adjust for elevation and windage if the need arises. Chances are that you will never use this feature in Airsoft. However, those who also like to hunt will love the dual-use that this scope provides.
Overall, this is a great scope for snipers and provides a lot of features for a fantastic price.
Best Premium Option: EOTECH XPS3
If money is not an issue for you, then this is perhaps the best CQB sight available. Not just for Airsoft, but in general.
The chances of you breaking this thing are so slim, especially if you use it for Airsoft, that you might as well not need the 10-year warranty that comes as standard with it. However, if you do somehow manage to shatter the glass, the sight still does not stop working. As such, it is loved by shooters who go to extremely difficult environments for long periods.
Another feature to love is the long battery life. At normal brightness, you should expect 1000 hours of battery life. This level is more than enough for you to spot targets clearly at all times of the day.
This optic is also incredibly light, weighing between 9 and 11.2 ounces depending on the model. That, coupled with how small it is, means that you can attach additional devices to your weapons with ease. The sight is also compatible with gen 1-3 night vision devices.
Sadly, while this is the best optic to go for if you have unlimited funds at your disposal, I would not say this provides great value. The EOTECH XPS3 may be great for a soldier going out to fight an actual war where CQB is a real possibility, but I have to admit this is overkill for Airsoft.
As such, anyone who wants to save some cash would be better off with the Vortex Strikefire II. It offers comparable performance at a much lower price.
Best Hybrid Optic: CVLIFE Tactical Rifle Scope 4×32
If you are unsure whether you want to go for a red dot sight or a scope, then this may very well be the perfect hybrid for you.
The CVLIFE Tactical Rifle Scope is almost like an ACOG sight. It has 4x magnification on the scope and a fiber optic sight on top. You can use the scope for medium-range combat and the fiber optic sight when the target is up close.
The CVLIFE scope also comes with 3 different illumination settings, each with 3 different brightness settings. This might not be good enough for hunting, but it is definitely good enough for Airsoft. The scope is also shock and fog proof.
What makes this great for Airsoft are the weaver mounts on each side. They can be used to attach additional components such as lasers and flashlights. While most Airsoft weapons already have rails for such attachments, having the extra options is always nice.
Sadly, I would not recommend this scope for actual rifles due to its weight and its build quality. It may be able to survive an Airsoft game, but it won’t survive the high-recoil from some of the more powerful sniper rifles.
Best Budget Option: Ohuhu Reflex Sight
If you are short on cash, then the Ohuhu Reflex Sight may be a decent last resort. It is one of the most inexpensive sights I have seen, especially once you consider that it is battery-powered with multiple illumination settings and reticle sizes.
Sadly, it is not built from a sturdy material. As such, it will not survive the recoil from a real gun for very long. However, if you simply need an optic for your Airsoft weapons that gets the job done and costs next to nothing, then this is it!
To add to this, the optic is very lightweight and will make moving with your Air Gun very easy. It holds its zero fairly well and will suffice in an Airsoft game due to its unlimited eye relief and above-average brightness.
What do You Need in an Airsoft Optic?
Generally, you should look for a single type of optic for a single type of weapon. For example, you can use a decent long-range scope with your sniper rifles that are accurate at distances above 500-yards. However, Airsoft is a different beast.
The vast majority of Airsoft weapons are used at a distance of fewer than 300 feet. In fact, it is safe to say that apart from snipers, players will usually engage each other at a distance of 25-150 feet.
On top of this, most Airsoft weapons, even those that try to replicate their real-life counterparts, try to be as viable in combat as possible. As such, everything from pistols to fully-fledged rifles have ample railing for attachments. This means that most of the optics here will be compatible with the vast majority of Airsoft weapons.
Here is the criteria for selecting the Airsoft optic that is right for you:
The first aspect is the magnification. As you may already know, magnification is not that important as you are shooting at close distances. Unless you are a sniper, you can do without any sort of magnification.
However, those who are visually impaired may want to opt for a scope with magnification. In this case, it is extremely important that you opt for a scope with a lot of eye relief as you will need it due to the fast-moving nature of Airsoft.
Depending on how you plan to play Airsoft, brightness can be of little consequence to extremely important. If you are someone who plays in dimmed arenas or during the evening hours, then having a reticle that is bright is necessary. On top of that, certain people who are visually impaired will appreciate bright reticles as they will allow them to spot enemies much more easily.
Unless you are a sniper, you will not be needing to use turrets on your optics much. Due to the nature of Airsoft, chances are that you will not really have the time to adjust your optic and will need to be ready to shoot at all times. As such, optics are not a huge concern in selecting the right Airsoft optic.
Bullet drop is once again of little concern as you will not need to compensate for it at such short distances. As such, having a BDC reticle is not needed. However, snipers may want to consider Airsoft arenas nearby (or wherever they plan to practice shooting) before they purchase a scope as they may actually need to compensate for bullet drop if the distance is large enough (the distance depends on the individual rifle).
Otherwise, the only thing you need to be concerned about when it comes to the reticle is whether or not it allows you to clearly spot and track the target. Red-dots and holographic sights are quite adept at this and should work well in most cases.
Durability is one thing you should not compromise on. Contrary to popular belief, Airsoft is still quite demanding for your optic. Obviously, the recoil is not nearly as intense as that of a high-powered sniper rifle. However, there is a chance that your optic is hit by a BB.
Not only that, serious players often engage in aggressive maneuvers that can damage a sub-par optic. As such, it is important that you go for an optic that can take a beating.
The last aspect is the price, and this is something that you need to be especially aware of. Price essentially encompasses everything that we have discussed so far. For example, a more durable optic made of better material will be more expensive. However, it will also last longer. Chances are, that you will end up saving money by paying more for an optic (up to a certain extent, of course). Essentially, you have 2 options to choose from when it comes to Airsoft optics.
If you extensively use real weapons too, then it might be prudent to opt for an optic that works well with both Airsoft as well as actual rifles. However, those who only shoot BBs may not need to spend a lot of money on a quality optic.
Considering the criteria that we have mentioned at the start, it is obvious that Strikefire II by Vortex Optics provides the best value for money from all of the Airsoft optics listed above.
However, that is not the only worthy optic here. All 5 of them are viable pieces of equipment that you can use. The actual choice depends more on your budget, play style, and the number of real guns that you shoot. Of course, you may just want to opt for a standard scope if you are planning on using an air sniper rifle.
Remember that this list was made for those who like to compete with others on Airsoft. If you plan on using Airsoft to hone your skills with real weapons, then it is best if you stick to real sights (such as the Strikefire II or the UTG Compact Scope).
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