A concept of Designated Marksman dated from the Soviet Union Red Army. DM denotes the selected marksmen capable of filling a gap between a regular infantryman and a long-range sniper.
The designated marksman (DM) was usually equipped with semi-automatic rifles topped with fixed or variable scopes in the military. Good DMR optics should allow the shooter to fire at targets ranging from close-range to 600 yards.
- Factors When Buying DMR Scope
- Best DMR Scopes
- 1. Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 Optics
- 2. Nightforce Optics 4-14×56 SHV Riflescope
- 3. CVLIFE 3-9×40 Optics R4 Reticle Crosshair Scope
- 4. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane
- 5. Pinty 3-9X40
- 6. Sightmark AR 5-20×40 SCR-308 Riflescope
- 7. Burris Scout Rifle Scope
- 8. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope
- 9. Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9×40 Matte BDC600
- 10. Sig Sauer Tango6T 1-6×24 Riflescope
- 11. Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope
Factors When Buying DMR Scope
Since the Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) is an excellent option for hunting and target shooting, many civilian firearm enthusiasts want this piece in their gun vaults. However, to get the best from a DMR, you have to mount proper optics with high-quality glass, a wide field of view and an adequate design of the scope’s reticle.
It goes without saying that DMR optic has to be durable, withstand inclement weather, and hold up to the recoil of the platform it is mounted on.
Best DMR Scopes
1. Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 Optics
Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 Optics is the finest scope in the family of DMR rifle scopes. With a variable 3.5-21x magnification range, it fills all the requirements of a designated marksman.
The Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR 3.5-21×50 is well-equipped to serve in medium and long-range hunting and targeting applications.
This massive scope body is built of forged aluminum alloy. The one-piece, 34mm main tube is weather-sealed to withstand typical field conditions.
The Elite Tactical DMR II boasts a sophisticated G2DMR reticle that provides precision holdovers at any range, making it ideal for CQB and long-range shooting.
This DMR scope features fully multicoated ED prime glass and proprietary moisture repelling layer called RainGuard HD.
The scope comes with exposed target turrets, which incorporate a T-Lok, locking technology.
Bushnell’s 3.5-21×50 Elite Tactical Rifle scope has a wide field of view for enhanced situational awareness, a really important feature in combat or dangerous game hunting situations.
2. Nightforce Optics 4-14×56 SHV Riflescope
A DMR optic hasn’t to be too expensive or possess “overbuilt” characteristics. That mainly refers to if you aren’t heading into combat or don’t have an unlimited budget.
In that case, a perfect option comes from the Nightforce and their SHV series. With the acronym SHV which stands for Shooter, Hunter, Varminter, all of your shooting activity would be covered, especially if you chose the high-powered 4-14×56 model.
The versatile 4-14×56 SHV rifle scope is designed with a wide range of shooting disciplines in mind. Shooters on a budget can now enjoy the benefits of the max zoom power without distortion due to the superb NF glass quality. All lens surfaces are fully multicoated for more light transmission and edge to edge clarity.
The SHV 4-14x is built on a single-piece scope body with a 30mm aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum tube to withstand all possible hunting scenarios. The scope comes with an exposed elevation turret and capped windage turret.
This SHV has equipped with a 2nd focal plane MOAR reticle. This rangefinder style comes with illumination and allows precise ranging and quick follow-up shots.
The large 56mm objective gathers enough light to provide bright images especially important for low light and all-around hunting.
3. CVLIFE 3-9×40 Optics R4 Reticle Crosshair Scope
The CVLIFE scopes are used for different purposes with great success and plenty of positive reviews. CVLIFE 3-9×40 Optics with R4 reticle is their latest entry into the DMR rifle scope market.
The CVLIFE 3-9×40 scope is built of an ultra-strong aluminum tube with a diameter of 1″. Surprisingly, this cheap scope is completely sealed and nitrogen-filled for water, fogproof, and shockproof performance.
It comes equipped with a versatile 3-9x magnification which makes it optimal for DMR work or hunting.
For clarity, CVLIFE 3-9x Optics is equipped with a 40mm objective lens and fully multicoated glass to produce bright and clear images. In addition, the outer glass surfaces are protected with scratch-resistant coating.
The scope comes with an SFP R4 reticle in the form of a simple crosshair, which effectively minimizes clutter in the field.
While extremely light at 0.761b. and with 12.20″ of overall length, you can mount this scope easily on any short, compact DMR rifle or carbine.
4. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane
Another affordable scope that would be an excellent match to your DMR rifle is the Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32mm rifle scope. The Crossfire II 2-7x32mm comes with the smallest objective lens in this list, but it should not deceive you into thinking that 2-7×32 is inferior.
This second-generation Crossfire scope features patented Vortex fully multicoated lenses with anti-reflective coating and redesigned zero resettable 1/4 MOA capped turrets.
It features a hard-anodized 1-inch tube made of a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum. The scope housing is O-ring sealed and is, therefore, element resistant and shockproof.
This Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 rifle scope comes with the Dead-Hold BDC reticle that uses unique holdover points. The reticle is located in a second focal plane and represents an ideal choice for medium and long range hunting.
This Crossfire II 2-7×32 is the best scope for hunting and target shooting between 200 and 700 yards with its magnification range.
5. Pinty 3-9X40
Pinty is the entry-level rifle scopes offered in more straightforward, more economical packages than many brands that cost much more. Although the Pinty 3-9×40 Red Green Rangefinder is considerably cheaper than most other budget scopes on the market, it offers decent quality at a good value.
This Pinty scope features the 3-9×40 configuration, which is the most commonly used scope size for hunting. Considering that, the Pinty 3-9x40mm provides solid close to mid-range accuracy for targets of 200 to 300 yards.
Engaging targets at slightly longer ranges comes equipped with a mil-dot Rangefinder reticle, which utilizes red or green illumination with five adjustable brightness settings.
The highly durable 1” tube is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum, and the complete scope body is protected by O-ring sealing. The nitrogen-filled makes the scope both water-resistant and fog proof.
The Pinty 3-9x40mm is shipped with two 1’’ complementary scope rings.
6. Sightmark AR 5-20×40 SCR-308 Riflescope
An AR-15 is a viable option for DMR, but an AR in 308 is a perfect rifle for the Designated Marksman role. The Sightmark AR 5-20×40 is built specifically for AR-10 or other modern sporting rifles chambered in .308 ammunition.
The SCR-308 finely etched reticle is a crucial part of this scope. This duplex-style reticle is designed for hog hunting with fine central aiming crosshair and holdovers. The reticle is calibrated for 150 gr. .308 Winchester bullet to complement your AR platform.
Sightmark AR 5-20×40 SCR-308 rifle scope is made of a rugged 6061-T6 30mm aluminum tube. Typically, the scope housing is nitrogen-filled to prevent internal fogging and sealed for waterproof performance.
The scope boasts a scratch-resistant lens system and fully multicoated glass surfaces to ensure maximum light transmission.
This decent tactical operation optics comes equipped with exposed pop-up locking turrets that provide precise 1/4″ per click windage and elevation adjustments.
7. Burris Scout Rifle Scope
One specific scope category is those designed for scout rifles such as the Burris Scout Rifle scope 2-7x32mm. Like other niche optics, Burris Scout Scope comes with medium magnification and a very long eye relief of 9.2 to 12-inches.
Besides, the extended eye relief is beneficial for fast target acquisition, also provides shooters increased situational awareness and both-eyes-open shooting.
The elegant and sleek scope body is nitrogen-filled to prevent internal fogging in the cold and rain.
The Burris Scout scope features high-quality, index-matched glass treated with Hi-Lume multicoating for better brightness and clarity.
Burris Scout Scope comes equipped with a trajectory-compensating Ballistic Plex reticle. Though basic and simple, this reticle provides precision long-range shooting out to 500 yards with its uncluttered design.
With a super slim diameter of 1 inch and 32mm objective lens, this Burris is not a lowlight performer, but it provides a low profile making it a great scope to use on many types of weapons.
8. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope
Leupold’s award-winning VX-Freedom series is one of the best rifle scope lines for beginners and more experienced hunters. The scope is made around a common 1-inch diameter tube constructed from lightweight 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum. As you would expecting, a single-piece scope body is completely waterproof and fog proof.
The Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm provides the ideal magnification for mid to long-range engagements.
This budget-oriented scope comes with a duplex-style reticle set in the second focal plane, making it the perfect choice for hunting hogs and whitetail deer out to a max distance of around 150 yards.
The VX-Freedom delivers outstanding Leupold performance since its lenses boast Leupold’s proprietary coating called the Twilight Light Management System.
Combining rugged design, scratch resistance lens and multicoated optics, the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm will add up to ten extra minutes of shooting light.
9. Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9×40 Matte BDC600
Another scope in the most popular 3-9x size and versatile 3x zoom ratio comes from Nikon Optics. Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9×40 is a multi-purpose scope designed for hunting and competition shooting.
Its name claims a caliber dedicated scope with a specifically made reticle that offers bullet drop hash marks for .223 Rem / 5.56 NATO 55 grains up to 600 yards. A BDC 600 Reticle features unique open-circle aiming points optimized for your exact caliber and load type.
While P-Tactical rifle scopes are available in several configurations, they all sport fully multicoated lenses to enhance the sight picture’s brightness, clarity, and contrast.
This Nikon P-TACTICAL .223 3-9X40 rifle scope is built of the rugged, one-inch, aircraft-grade aluminum main tube and features waterproof, fogproof and shockproof construction.
The Nikon P-223 has tactical-style elevation and windage turrets where each click is a quarter-inch at 100 yards.
With a maximum zoom of 9x and 40mm objective, the Nikon’s P-TACTICAL scope is designed to provide you a short to medium range precision in any weather conditions.
10. Sig Sauer Tango6T 1-6×24 Riflescope
We have the whole breed DMR rifle scope selected by the U.S. Army for the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle System.
The Sig Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm rifle scope belongs to the Low Power Variable Optic (LPVO) designed to fill the gap between traditional scope and red dots.
A battle-hardened model, TANGO6T, is now available in the commercial market with different reticle options and focal planes.
The model Tango6T sports varying the Second Focal Plane reticles, including 5.56/7.62 Horseshoe Dot, HELLFIRE variants and the new DWLR6.
The Sig Sauer TANGO6T scope is packed with features like a 6x Super-Zoom optical system, Power Selector Ring (PSR) Throw Lever, fast-focus eyepiece, the ALPHA4 ultralight mount, and HellFire illumination system.
As for the optical quality, this 1-6x LPVO rifle scope features HDX optics consisting of extra-low dispersion (ED) and high-transmittance (HT) glass.
Along with ultra-wide broadband SpectraCoat lens coatings, the Sig Sauer TANGO6T rifle scope has protective LenShield and LensArmor coatings.
This LPVO scope comes with the low-profile capped turrets with a precise 0.2 MRAD per click. The scope 30mm body is made of lightweight but strong aluminum and sealed for water and fogproof performance in the most inclement weather.
11. Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope
For those looking for a DMR scope of high quality at an affordable price, the Primary Arms 4-14×44 is the perfect product. Primary Arms SLX 4-14×44 FFP rifle scope provides a 3.5x zoom ratio with a 4x minimum magnification for fast, accurate shots at close ranges and deliberate precision fire at longer ranges.
Granted to the patented ACSS Orion first focal plane reticle with holdovers for bullet drop and wind holds, the PA SLX scope is perfect for accurately ranging in the field or on the range.
This standard tactical-style reticle includes illuminated horseshoe and chevron, making it perfectly at home on an AR-15 or your favorite hunting rifle.
The Primary Arms 4-14×44 is based on a 30mm main tube made of heavy-duty aircraft-grade 6063 aluminum and sealed for waterproof, shockproof, and fog resistance.
While you cannot expect the optical clarity of a Swarovski, the Primary Arms with an objective diameter of 44 mm lets in plenty of light for a clear and bright view in all light conditions.
Suppose you belong to civilian shooters or gun enthusiasts who want a Designated Marksman Rifle equipped with adequate optics. In that case, you can opt for the battle-proven designs used by military forces.
Usually, those premier weapon/sight systems are very expensive and less available commercially. On the other side, many rifle scopes are designed for standard MSR/AR and bolt action platforms that are particularly good for close to mid-range shooting, an actual stage for DMR scopes.
The best DRM scope is perfect for CQB / mid-range tactical engagements, but it should be ideal for 3 Gun competitions and hunting in a civilian context.
With more than 50 years experience in the field and the testing lab, author L.P. Brezny is one of today’s most recognized shotgun experts and authors. He is a contributor to dozens of firearms publications, such as Wildfowl, Shotgun Sports, and Varmint Hunters, and he is a regular columnist in the Gun Digest annual as well as AmmoLand News.