NcStar Scopes Review – The 3 Best NcStar Rifle Scopes 2023

In recent weeks, I’ve been testing a range of NcStar scopes. While the manufacturer isn’t widely known throughout the country, the brand is growing at a remarkable pace.

To make sure you’re in the loop, I’m going to share some information about the company’s best products and shooting accessories.

This article will focus on NcStar’s rifle optics and discuss the scopes I think are worth your money. I’ll also tell you a little about NcStar and how it got where it is today.

Nc Star scope back
NC Star scopes review

NcStar Top Scopes Quick List 

Scope Image



Ncstar 3-9X42 Mark III Tactical GEN II: MIL DOT - STM3942GV2

NcStar Mark III Tactical P4 Sniper 3-9x42

NcStar 3-9X42 Compact-Red and Green Illuminated P4

NcStar 3-9x42 Compact Sniper Scope

Ncstar 3-9X42 Mark III Tactical GEN II: MIL DOT - STM3942GV2

NcStar 3-9x42 Mark III Tactical Gen II MIL Dot Scope

A Quick Guide to NcStar Scopes

NcStar certainly isn’t the youngest rifle optics maker on the market. When compared with centuries-old rivals, it seems like a young buck but it has been operating for more than two decades.

The company was launched in 1997 with a small product range that has since developed and expanded.

Aim Accuracy

NcStar hasn’t always manufactured optics but it entered the market strong with affordable, user-friendly products when it did. It now has a reputation for low prices and broad appeal.

The important thing is quality has remained high too. It sells rifle scopes on a sliding scale of affordability – there are pricier, fancier products at the high end – but ensures its budget options are strong choices too.

Most of NcStar’s scopes are priced at around $200 or less. It’s a big part of the reason this brand is gaining traction throughout the states. Critics say its accessories are priced too low to be high quality, but I disagree.

After testing some for myself, I’m pleasantly surprised. They’re not world-class but nobody promises that.

gun and scope Safety

Is ncstar a good brand?

These are low to mid-range scopes that offer a lot of value for a modest price. Let’s not compare an $800 scope with a $200 scope and get mad when the cheaper one doesn’t perform as well. That’s silly. Scopes at this lower end are naturally lighter and a little smaller to boot.

Though, I didn’t notice any major differences in regards to magnification. It’s quite common for lower-priced NcStar scopes to have a similar zoom power to pricier products. For the money, yes!

You can look at their lighter weight and assume these scopes are flimsier. Or, you can be forward-

thinking and realize they’d suit lightweight weapons with a smaller weight tolerance very well. Not all rifles are built to carry big, heavy scopes.

One thing I do love about NcStar scopes is their quality red sights. Most are designed to deliver tactical precision over shorter ranges as opposed to longer game hunting distances.

Many of these scopes come with rail mounts included or mounting mechanisms integrated with their builds. This can be very beneficial particularly when getting accustomed to a new scope or weapon. It saves money too because you don’t need to go out and purchase a separate rail mount.

 Even mounting with rings costs extra, so the fact NcStar includes this feature is a big selling point.

Proper rifle and scope aiming

Now let’s get down to business with the

TOP 3 Best Rifle Scope from NcStar

Ncstar 3-9X42 Mark III Tactical GEN II: MIL DOT - STM3942GV2

The NcStar Mark III Tactical P4 Sniper 3-9x42 scope is a tactical glass that provides magnification powers of 3x to 9x. The lens itself is 42mm in size.

Being a primarily tactical accessory, it enables users to pick out targets at medium range while also activating the scope’s red dot sight for expediency.

The red dot sight is easily one of this scope’s best features. It’s the difference between a reasonably good scope and a great one particularly when the need is for tactical marking or close quarters tracking.

 The core optic itself is adjustable. So, you don’t even need to use magnification if you don’t want to. The red dot sight alone provides a surprisingly wide and effective field of view.

The optical lenses and the red dot sight are both protected with multiples layers of light reflecting coating.

This is designed to increase toughness and light transmission in a range of conditions. They’re helpful features but I’d say the lenses’ illumination system is even more valuable.

It can be operated in red or green and adjusted to varying degrees of brightness depending on where and what you’re shooting. Anybody looking for the scope’s parallax mechanism may be disappointed.

There isn’t one. Instead, you’ll find the lens illumination functions on the side turret.

I noticed the scope’s elevation and windage turrets are less than remarkable. It’s not too surprising considering its low price.

Yet, the rest of the Mark III Tactical P4 Sniper Scope performs so well you do forget it’s a budget option. I’d have liked to see the turrets offer something beyond basic ancillary precision, but it’s a small weakness.

The scant eye relief is a bigger problem and my main gripe with this NcStar sniper scope. These days, two inches isn’t really big enough. If you wear spectacles, it’s yet another accessory that’s not built for you.

I don’t think it’s a quality issue because lots of expensive scopes also lack eye relief. It’s a common oversight contemporary manufacturers should be addressing.

The Mark III Tactical P4 Sniper Scope is lightweight (just 17 ounces) with an elegant matte black exterior. This doesn’t just look stylish, it’s also good for avoiding glare in bright environments.

If you’re hunting, the last thing you want is a scope to reflect every ray and expose your location. From a tactical perspective, this is very dangerous so it’s good the NcStar scope accounts for it.

Final Verdict:

The NcStar Mark III Tactical P4 Sniper Scope provides a reasonable combination of affordability and performance.

It’s not the most accurate scope you’ll ever use but it shoots well in most conditions and will give beginners a satisfying but also challenging experience.


  • Stylish matte black finish (good for camouflage)
  • Performs well as a tactical or distance scope
  • Lenses coated to protect against the elements


  • Very meager eye relief (only two inches)

2. NcStar 3-9x42 Compact Sniper Scope

NcStar 3-9X42 Compact-Red and Green Illuminated P4

As mentioned, the NcStar 3-9x42 Compact Sniper Scope has the same lens size and magnification powers as the NcStar Mark III Tactical P4 Sniper 3-9x42.

Although, one difference is it doesn’t have a red dot sight near the ocular lens like NcStar’s other scope. You’ll still find the same red or green illuminated reticle and accompanying functions, but configuration differs somewhat.

One thing I like about this rifle scope is how effortlessly you can adjust its magnification. I’d say it’s a little more user-intuitive here than on the other product. On the Mark III Tactical P4 Sniper 3-9x42, the sliding ring is too close to the red dot sight.

There were a few times I managed to catch the ring and had to awkwardly fumble to get it into the right position. This scope doesn’t present the same problem.

The NcStar 3-9x42 Compact Sniper Scope includes a clever fast release mount that is compatible with both Picatinny and Weaver-style rails.

Again, it’s similar to the previously discussed scope but these little differences stand out. You’re getting a little more value, practicality and adaptability. It’s enough to put this scope ahead of the other in my opinion.

The fast-focus eyepiece is an added bonus and the integrated sun cap provides the objective lens with extra protection. On the other hand, without the red dot sight, some experienced shooters might disagree with me about this scope being superior.

Certainly, from a tactical perspective, it could be viewed as less functional. It really depends on how you’re planning to use the accessory

Final Verdict:

NcStar’s 3-9x42 Compact Sniper Scope is a very decent all-purpose hunting glass. While some may lament the lack of red dot sight, it’s a high performing accessory that’s great for short to mid-range hunting.


  • Decent level of magnification (3-9x)
  • Coated lenses for extra weather protection
  • Fast release mount
  • Fantastic fast-focus eyepiece


  • Lacks a parallax adjustment turret

3. NcStar 3-9x42 Mark III Tactical Gen II MIL Dot Scope

Ncstar 3-9X42 Mark III Tactical GEN II: MIL DOT - STM3942GV2

The last scope on our list - the NcStar 3-9x42 Mark III Tactical Gen II MIL Dot Scope – integrates an MIL dot reticle with a fast-detach base function that enables users to ‘click’ it onto Picatinny rails in a fraction of a second.

It means the glass is effortless to use and can be quickly switched between rifles. For those who need to shoot across varying ranges or combine weapons, this is a truly superb feature.

The scope’s MIL reticle boasts additional holdover points to make it easier to account for factors such as elevation and windage. The result is a steady and precise shot even in less than perfect weather conditions.

Again, I like the fact its reticle comes illuminated. As with NcStar’s other scopes, this can be used in one of two colors: blue or green in this case. Needless to say, blue is quite an unusual option. I’m as yet undecided on whether it makes much difference but it a less common option.

NcStar’s 3-9x42 Mark III Tactical Gen II MIL Dot Scope includes a sun cap to protect its objective lens just as the NcStar 3-9x42 Compact Sniper Scope does. Though, this scope provides a series of lens covers as well. This is useful for anybody worried about safely transporting their scope.

Unlike the NcStar Mark III Tactical P4 Sniper 3-9x42, this particular scope has an anodized outer surface. It’s still dressed in black – it’s the only color stylish enough for a sniper rifle scope, let’s be honest – but the anodization helps to prevent rusting.

If you’re going to be treating your weapon rough and expecting it to weather many challenges, this kind of protection is what you need.

Final Verdict:

NcStar’s 3-9x42 Mark III Tactical Gen II MIL Dot Scope is another versatile, high performing scope with a lot of great features. I especially like the rugged anodized surface, snap-on mounting mechanism and protective lens covers.

You’re getting a lot for your money here.


  • Click/snap-on mount (good for switching weapons)
  • Rust-resistant outer surface
  • Comes with added accessories (value for money)


  • Lacks a parallax turret

NcSTAR Scopes for Different Purposes

Best NcSTAR scope for hunting: NcSTAR 3-9x42E Red Illuminated Scope

If you're a hunter, the NcSTAR 3-9x42E Red Illuminated Scope is an excellent choice. The red illuminated reticle helps you aim accurately in low-light conditions, and the 3-9x magnification range provides versatility for hunting in a variety of environments. Plus, the durable construction and affordable price make this scope a great value for hunters on a budget.

Best NcSTAR scope for shooting range: NcSTAR 4x30 Compact Scope

If you're looking for a scope that's perfect for the shooting range, the NcSTAR 4x30 Compact Scope is an excellent option. The fixed 4x magnification is ideal for shooting at shorter ranges, and the compact size makes it easy to transport to and from the range. Plus, the price point is hard to beat for the level of quality you get.

Best NcSTAR scope for tactical use: NcSTAR Mark III Tactical Series 3-9x42mm Scope

If you need a scope for tactical operations, the NcSTAR Mark III Tactical Series 3-9x42mm Scope is an excellent choice. The illuminated reticle helps you aim accurately in low-light conditions, and the 3-9x magnification range provides versatility for a variety of tactical situations. The durable construction and shock-proof design make it ideal for rugged environments.

Best NcSTAR scope for other purposes: NcSTAR 3-9x40E Red Illuminated Scope

If you need a scope for a variety of purposes, the NcSTAR 3-9x40E Red Illuminated Scope is an excellent choice. The red illuminated reticle helps you aim accurately in low-light conditions, and the 3-9x magnification range provides versatility for a variety of shooting scenarios. The durable construction and affordable price make this scope an excellent value for a wide range of users.

NcStar Scope Features and Benefits

When it comes to NcSTAR scopes, there are a plethora of features and benefits to take into account. Let's take a closer look at some of the key ones:

1. Magnification:
NcSTAR scopes come in various magnification ranges, allowing you to zoom in on your target with ease. Whether you're hunting, target shooting, or engaging in tactical operations, the right level of magnification can make all the difference.

2. Reticle:
The reticle, also known as crosshairs, is a crucial aspect of any scope. NcSTAR scopes come with a variety of reticle options, such as Mil-Dot and P4 Sniper, that can help you aim with greater accuracy.

3. Durability:
NcSTAR scopes are built to last, with rugged construction and high-quality materials that can withstand even the harshest of conditions. Whether you're trekking through the wilderness or navigating urban environments, you can count on your NcSTAR scope to hold up.

4. Illumination:
Some NcSTAR scopes feature illumination options that can help you shoot in low-light conditions. This can be a game-changer for hunters and tactical operators who need to be able to shoot at any time of day or night.

5. Eye Relief:
Eye relief is the distance between your eye and the scope's eyepiece. NcSTAR scopes come with generous eye relief, making them comfortable to use for extended periods without straining your eyes.

6. Price:
NcSTAR scopes are known for being affordable without sacrificing quality. This makes them an excellent choice for budget-conscious shooters who want a reliable and high-performing scope without breaking the bank.

The Final Word On NcStar Rifle Scopes

I hope you agree that NcStar’s rifle scopes offer a reasonable degree of performance, functionality and style for a low price. Obviously, they would struggle to compete with top-priced premium scopes but, for their price range, they excel.

I definitely recommend NcStar scopes if you’re new to tactical shooting or on a tight budget. Until you can save up for something more sophisticated, these accessories will provide consistency and ease of use.

Can NcSTAR scopes be used in low light conditions?

Yes, NcSTAR scopes can be used in low light conditions, but their performance may vary based on the specific model and its features.

Are NcSTAR scopes durable and reliable?

NcSTAR scopes are generally considered to be durable and reliable, but their performance may vary based on the specific model and how well they are maintained and cared for.

How do I choose the right NcSTAR scope for my hunting needs?

To choose the right NcSTAR scope for your hunting needs, consider factors such as the type of hunting you will be doing, the distance of your shots, the magnification, reticle, objective lens diameter, and other important features that will impact your performance.

For other rifle and scope types check:

George Grey

About the author

Being an avid outdoorsman since I can remember, my passion for survival, hunting and the outdoors has grown every year. I love being out in the country and living off it whenever time allows. Huge Rifle Scopes aficionado!

George Grey