As a retired military member and lifelong hunting enthusiast, I’ve had the opportunity to use a wide variety of scopes on many different rifles over the years. When it comes to finding the best scope for CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) service rifles specifically, there are a few key factors I evaluate based on my hands-on experience.
In this article, I’ll share my picks for the top scopes purpose-built for CMP competition shooting events. I’ll provide an overview of each model, highlight the pros and cons I’ve discovered through extensive testing, and offer my recommendations on which shooters can benefit most from each scope.
Introduction to CMP Competition Shooting
For those unfamiliar, CMP sponsors marksmanship competitions across the U.S. for both junior and adult rifle shooters. These matches typically involve magazine-fed semi-auto rifles like the AR-15 or M1 Garand. Shooting positions are varied, with stages requiring rapid targeting and accuracy while standing, kneeling, or in the prone position.
CMP matches demand a great deal from both rifles and optics. Scopes must provide sufficient magnification for making tight shot groups out to 600 yards, while still allowing for quick target acquisition and a wide, forgiving eye box. Durability is also key when running matches in all weather conditions.
When evaluating scopes for CMP use, I look for the following criteria:
- FFP or SFP reticle options
- At least 4-16x magnification
- Parallax adjustment for accuracy
- Illuminated reticle for low light
- Durable water/fog proof construction
- Generous, consistent eye box
- Clear, high-contrast images
- Heavy weight can unbalance the rifle
- Excess height over bore
- Complex controls slow targeting
- Narrow field of view on high-power
Considering these factors, I’ve identified and extensively tested 7 riflescope models well-suited for CMP service rifle competition. Here are my in-depth reviews of each scope, along with my rankings of which are best for different types of shooters.
|Vortex Crossfire II
|Athlon Talos BTR
|Vortex Crossfire II 30mm
|Vortex Viper Gen II
|ATN X-Sight 4K
Top 8 Best Scope For CMP Service Rifle
UTG 30mm AccuShot Scope
The AccuShot scope from UTG (Universal Tactical Gear) has become my go-to optic for CMP competitions over the last few years. This scope shines when you need both precision and rapid target acquisition capability.
- FFP reticle stays valid on all magnifications
- Illuminated MIL-DOT reticle for holdovers
- Side focus adjustment for parallax removal out to infinity
- Resettable locking turrets keep track of adjustments
- Includes lens caps and 2” offset sunshade
- Heavy for its size at over 2 lbs
- Turrets are canted off-axis slightly
- Eye box narrows past 14x zoom
I’ve found the AccuShot delivers excellent clarity and light transmission thanks to fully multi-coated lenses. The zoom range from 4-16x is ideal for CMP matches, offering enough power for 600-yard shots while still allowing quick sights on close targets.
The reticle illumination in particular stands out, with a wide rheostat that allows easy brightness control between full day and night shooting. The red illumination is vivid even under canopy shade.
Overall, the AccuShot hits the sweet spot of precision and speed I need for dominating CMP rifle matches. The generous eye box and side parallax make it easy to establish a sight picture on close-in-offhand targets. Yet it has the magnification and illuminated reticle to accurately engage small bullseyes way out to 600 yards with no holdover guesswork.
If you’re a competitive CMP rifle shooter looking for an optics edge to tighten your shot groups and shave seconds off your stage times, the AccuShot delivers. This scope has helped me bring home more than one Gold medal and I highly recommend it.
Ideal For: Competition and recreational precision shooters seeking quick, accurate target engagement at varied distances in all conditions.
Vortex Crossfire II 1-Inch Riflescope
Vortex Optics built an excellent budget-friendly CMP scope option with their Crossfire II riflescope. This simple, no-frills scope cuts costs by focusing firmly on the basics – clear optics and accurate, repeatable adjustments.
- Fast focus eyepiece for quick target acquisition
- Capped resettable MOA turrets
- Nitrogen-purged and O-ring-sealed housing
- Includes lens covers and sunshade
- No parallax adjustment
- No illuminated reticle options
- Limited to a 6-18x zoom range
The Crossfire II proves you don’t need to break the bank for a competition-worthy optic. The fully multi-coated lenses render targets clearly across the entire generous 3.8” eye box, even as you crank up magnification. The 1-inch tube does limit the max zoom range, but 6-18x is still sufficient for CMP matches.
I appreciate the finger-adjustable MOA turrets with audible clicks and pre-settable rotations. Once I have my drops dialed in, I can quickly index back to zero between stages. The rugged capped turrets also maintain protection and waterproofing.
For cost-conscious marksmen Not looking to dominate every match but wanting reliable optics for CMP plinking and competition, the Crossfire II fits the bill nicely.
Ideal for: Budget-focused shooters wanting quality optics for casual and entry-level competition.
Athlon Optics Talos BTR 4 Riflescope
The Talos BTR riflescope from Athlon Optics utilizes exposed turrets and a unique reticle for dialing in extremely precise shots during CMP matches. The advanced magnification and side focus knobs provide pinpoint accuracy at a distance.
- Advanced FFP reticle with unique wind holds
- Exposed locking turrets in MOA or MIL
- Side parallax knob for distance compensation
- Etched glass reticle visible with no battery
- Exposed turrets require careful handling
- Reticle complexity slows reaction time
- Narrow eye box at highest 14x zoom
I love having the exact elevation and windage corrections right at my fingertips with the Talos. The tall tactile turrets have audible clicks and zero-stop locks. Combined with the advanced wind hold intervals built into the FFP grid style reticle, I can easily calculate and dial in shots way out to 600+ yards.
The fine crosshair and floating center dot are perfect for honing in on distant small targets while providing holdover points for wind drift. Side focus adjustment eliminates parallax issues that could throw off precision shot placement.
For CMP shooters looking to push the limits of their rifle’s accuracy potential at long range, the Talos BTR 4 provides all the instruments you need to dial shots dead-on target. Just be prepared to take a bit more time lining up your precision calculations compared to faster combat optics.
Ideal For: Long-range competitive shooters and technical marksmen wanting extreme precision across all ranges and conditions.
Truglo Tru-Brite Compact Riflescope
Truglo built this budget-friendly scope specifically for aficionados of classic CMP service rifles like the M1 Garand and M14. The compact form factor and SIM wheel adjustments are perfect for maintaining the sleek lines and handling of your prized rifle.
- A smaller profile prevents unbalancing
- Red/Green dual-color reticle illumination
- SIM windage/elevation adjustment
- The diamond coating protects the exterior lens
- Water, fog, and shockproof construction
- Fixed 4x zoom limits range
- Limited eye relief can cause scope bite
- Cluttered duplex-style reticle
I love the way the Tru-Brite model embraces the old-school charm of traditional service rifles. The smaller 1-inch tube and simplified windage/elevation keeps the rifle trim and balanced. The proprietary diamond coating also adds an extra layer to protect the exterior lens from scratches.
While the fixed 4x magnification does constrain long-range shot capabilities, most CMP matches have rifle stages 100 yards, and in where this scope excels. The illuminated range compensating duplex reticle helps lead targets and provide holds while still getting shots off rapidly.
Shooters of classic service rifles looking for a compact scope to match the heritage of their firearm should give Truglo’s Tru-Brite a close look. It maintains the classic lines of rifles like the M1 Garand without sacrificing durability or key optics performance.
Ideal For: Shooters of classic CMP rifles like the M1 Garand who prioritize retaining the heritage style and handling of their firearm.
Vortex Crossfire II Riflescope
The 30mm tube version of the popular Crossfire II design opens up higher zoom ranges and increased adjustment precision perfect for long-range CMP competition. The Vortex Dead-Hold BDC reticle also helps compensate for bullet drops to extend your effective range.
- Anti-reflective lenses for bright views
- Fast-focus eyepiece for rapid target lock
- Capped resettable turrets
- Dead-Hold BDC reticle
- A taller mount clears the barrel farther
- Still no parallax adjustment
- Reticle crosshairs are fairly thick
The 30mm body of this Crossfire provides noticeable improvements for precision shooting over its smaller 1-inch sibling. The higher zoom ceiling of 3-12x gives you more magnification to spot targets at a distance and discern shot placement.
I love the custom-calibrated BDC reticle on this scope paired with common 55-grain .223 rounds. The hash marks incorporate expected bullet drops out to 500 yards, allowing you to hold dead-on for ranges once you learn your holds instead of counting clicks. This makes stringing together hits on multiple distant targets faster.
At its affordable price point, it’s difficult to find another scope that provides this level of support for skilled shooters able to capitalize on ballistic compensation tools. Those looking for a budget-friendly scope to take their mid and long-range shooting abilities even further will see benefits from the Crossfire II 30mm.
Ideal For: Intermediate to advanced shooters looking to extend their maximal shooting range and round capacity without excessive additions of weight or cost.
Vortex Viper Gen II Riflescope
The Viper Gen II scope from Vortex cranks every feature up to 11 to create their ultimate precision-focused CMP competition scope. A generous tube paired with an intricate hashmarked reticle lets skilled shooters engage the most distant targets with brain-breaking accuracy.
- Very wide windage/elevation adjustment
- First focal plane reticle scaling
- Side knob for parallax removal
- Taller mount improves stock weld
- Includes throw lever for magnification
- Heavy double-screw adjustments
- Intricate reticle crowded for CQB
- High price tag
Simply put, the Viper Gen II leaves nothing on the table when it comes to providing every possible advantage for extreme-distance shooting. The oversized tubes allow for 110 MOA of internal adjustment, while the laser-etched reticle offers detailed hold points and sub-tensions calibrated specifically for long-range tournament shooting in MIL and MOA.
The reticle illumination provides the brightest tagging point I’ve seen on a scope, especially on higher daytime settings. The red dot in the center makes targets pop even in mottled shade conditions. I also appreciate the simple spare battery compartment in the illumination dial.
With great capabilities come great cost and weight, however. This is not an optic I’d throw on just any old-range toy. For competitors chasing ultimate precision across all CMP matches and weather conditions, the Gen II Viper provides the instruments for next-level performance. Just make sure your rifle stock includes lead counterweights!
Ideal For: Top-tier competitive shooters looking for no-compromise equipment delivering unrivaled accuracy and range capabilities under any conditions.
ATN X-Sight 4k Pro Riflescope
The X-Sight Pro enters entirely new territory as a digital “smart scope” built specifically to dominate CMP and long-range shooting matches. Cutting-edge features like onboard ballistics computers, wireless connectivity, HD recording, and alternate vision modes take precision scoping capability to another level.
- Onboard-applied ballistics calculator
- Rangefinding and target lock
- WiFi, Bluetooth, video recording
- Multiple reticle options
- Night vision, infrared, and color modes
- Heavyweight stresses mounts
- Laggy digital interface
- Short battery life
- Extremely expensive
This optics system is such a technological marvel it deserves an article all its own, but I wanted to include it here as an option for well-heeled competitors looking to explore the cutting edge of precision shooting.
The X-Sight almost eliminates manual calculation of adjustments thanks to its built-in Applied Ballistics Ultralite calculator. Just pair with a Kestrel ballistics weather monitor via Bluetooth and get instant holdover solutions displayed right on the FFP-style reticle. The onboard computer measures range with a built-in laser and even incorporates the Coriolis effect when dialing!
I can pair wirelessly to a tablet from the bench or firing line to overlay shot data like MOA offsets and wind values in real-time. The HD color camera captures high-contrast video I can record to analyze my shooting after matches.
This is not a scope for the technologically timid or frugal… but for those wanting to leverage ballistics computers and videos to maximize analytical precision shooting practice and results, the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro offers capabilities no traditional scope can touch.
Ideal for: Competitive shooters and technical ballistic enthusiasts able to capitalize on bleeding edge integrated technologies for honing extreme long-range precision marksmanship.
Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint Riflescope
Even when you’re on full zoom, the glass of this riflescope remains incredibly clear for focused shooting. The ability to open and close the fiber optic will make this riflescope ideal for shooting on the sunniest of days. This doesn’t mean you can only enjoy daytime shooting.
The TR23 AccuPoint Riflescope also has excellent scope for shooting in extremely low light conditions. Whether in the day or pitch-black night, this is an ideal scope for super-fast focusing.
At 5 – 20 x 50, the AccuPoint scope is Trijicon’s longest scope. This makes it very easy and convenient to modify your range under any lighting conditions. Whether you’re hunting, range shooting, or using this scope in law enforcement, the accuracy and adjustability will surely blow your mind.
External controls are easily adjustable on this riflescope. You can easily control elevation and windage from the side parallax to further enhance our long-range shooting.
- Manual brightness override feature.
- High-quality multi-coated lenses.
- SFP reticle.
- Zero forward emission.
- No battery illumination.
- Advanced fiber optics.
- Has an extremely clear glass.
- Fast focus speed.
- No turret caps.
- The dial is quite tight on the zoom.
The Bottom Line…
All seven of the scopes reviewed above have served me admirably over countless hours of CMP matches. The best model for you depends entirely on your style of shooting, priorities, and budget. Extreme benchrest rifles deserve high-end glass like the Vortex Viper or ATN X-Sight models to push ultimate accuracy boundaries. Practical shooters on stages require rapid target acquisition and simpler reticles of scopes like my preferred UTG AccuShot or the budget Vortex Crossfire. And traditionalists cherishing the heritage of classic service rifles will appreciate compact gems like the TruGlo Tru-Brite.
I hope these reviews offer competitive CMP shooters guidance in selecting your next optic optimized for your personal skill level, shooting style, and rifle setup. Let me know in the comments if have have any other questions about finding the ideal scope for your particular CMP rifle and taste for precision!