How much are you willing to put down on a good rifle scope? How about this: there are over 13.7 million known hunters in the US.
That’s a big group of people in need of a rifle with a reliable pair of eyes.
So, if you’re looking for a great deal to last you through the season, here are the best rifle scopes for the money this year.
What Should I Pay For A Rifle Scope?
This all depends on the kind of game you’re hunting and the environment you’re hunting in.
If you’re looking for a long-range scope between 500-1000 yards, you can expect half of what you paid for your rifle. There are two schools of thoughts here:
- Any scope you buy should cost half of what you paid for the gun
- If it does the job, pay little as possible
Some scopes, like the Black Spider BSO1, will run you about $800 dollars. The only way to tell if you’re making the right purchase is to run through the specs and see if they ensure you’ll have better accuracy than what you started with.
The first school of thought says this is a good deal if your rifle cost twice as much. The second tells us, a scope makes it easier to see our game, so pick whatever works best for the least amount of cash.
In reality, the easiest way you can tell if you have the best rifle scope for your money is to look through its specs.
What Makes The Best Rifle Scopes For The Money?
Scopes all have internal and external parts that cost different amounts. For example, some scopes have glass made of fluorite, which increases image quality. Scopes with fluorite glass have great resolution but cost more than normal glass.
Since hunting is held in the world of sports, trends are constantly replaced, making it hard to choose the right equipment. Luckily we can depend on the objective elements that make a good rifle scope.
This is the construction of a scope’s body. Any scope build that is non-corrosive and virtually unbreakable is worth your money.
Scopes are almost exclusively made of metals like aluminum. The parts on the exterior of the scope, including the body itself, adjust the sight and range that you can see. This means it’s important you have a scope body that can take damage without crushing your lenses, or their adjusting parts.
Lenses are either made of standard glass or composite material. If you’re looking for a high-quality scope, try searching for one that contains clear yet resilient glass.
A scope mount attaches to a rifle. Try avoiding any experimental mounts and instead choose one that holds onto the rifle firmly.
This is perhaps the most important quality for a scope. When hunting, you’re going to have distance between your game and you. That said when looking for the best rifle scope for the money, look for one with high distance magnification and clarity.
Now that we’ve established some markers for the best rifle scopes to buy, and how they work, here are some worth the money.
15. Vortex Optics Diamondback
The Vortex is a budget scope that will run you $179. Compared to other scopes, the Vortex is ideal for big game hunting. What else is there to know? Here are the specs.
- Fog proof and waterproof lens
- Anodized finish
- Strong metal turrets
- A gliding precision system for increased accuracy
The Diamondback is a great option if you’re looking for a cheap big-game hunting scope.
14. Primary Arms 1-6X24
The PA costs you $289. It is a fully adjustable scope, complete with a standard reticle and an additional focal design to keep your shot in focus. Here’s what else is going on.
- Lifetime Warranty
- Full-range brightness setting
- 6 levels of magnification
- Waterproof and Fog proof
The Primary Arms 1-6X24 is a great option if you are hunting in the rain or snow, providing clarity through heavy brush as well.
13. Leupold VX-6
This scope costs well over a grand. But it might be worth it to you.
- 7x high magnification
- 100 yard+ field of view
- Fogless lenses, waterproof lenses
- Layered glass for a better view
The Leupold is expensive. In the hunting gear market, this sometimes indicates higher quality. Don’t let this pattern deceive you, especially if you have a better item that doesn’t cost as much.
12. Nikon Buckmasters
- Lightweight and easy to store
- Great view
- Holds steady images without difficulty
The Buckmaster offers many Nikon classic features, such as high light sensitivity and good focus. This scope is worth your money if you’re looking for sight above durability.
11. UTG BugBuster Scope
- Fast zero-in features
- Adjusts to winds and elevations quickly
- Rainproof, fogless
- High range of illumination
The UTG’s big feature is its illumination range. This quality notches up its light sensitivity and makes it easy to spot game in the rain.
10. AR-15 Scope: Nikon P-233
Fully automatic weapons like the AR-15 run you at risk of heavy recoil. This can make it difficult to keep your aim through a scope.
The Nikon P-233 adapts to this, offering eye relief from recoil, and good long distance parallax.
There are other options out there for automatic weapons with a heavy emphasis on aim, a good resource for this is Spike’s Tactical.
Here are the other specs that make the Nikon P-233 worth buying:
- High density for better durability
- Center focusing even during recoil period
- Relief for eye and brow
Tip: If you’re trying to buy an AR-15 scope, consider buying something that is resilient and takes pressure off your face.
9. Simmons Truplex
The Simmons will be the cheapest option on our list. It will run you about $40. But, in case you think it’s just a cheap scope, here’s a rundown.
- Shockproof internals
- Waterproof, fog proof
- 6-9 times magnification
- Strong grip
A tip: don’t let low prices fool you, some cheaper options still offer superior focus and acquisition compared to their peers.
8. Vortex Crossfire
Despite what big blockbuster movies might show you, most scopes require meticulous effort to build.
Crossfire is a great example. It has multiple variations for magnification and focus and includes the following qualities.
- Great aluminum build
- Full adjustable optics
- 3.5″ eye relief
The Vortex’s internals is finite, making adjustments to brightness and optical size easy. Consider buying the Vortex if you feel particular about the exact sight of your scope.
7. ATN X-Sight
Here’s what makes the ATN worth the money.
- 3-14x zoom range
- Night vision
- Easy battery replacement
- Elevation and windage adjusters
For night hunters, the ATN is like music to their ears. The Night Vision on the X-Sight is hyper-sensitive, making the low-light game easy to find.
6. Nightforce Optics 5
The low down.
- Clear illumination
- Lifetime warranty
- MOAR reticle
- High price
The Nightforce will run you close to 1,500 bucks. If that’s out of your budget range, yet you dig the scope’s specs, you can try doing a cross-search for other scopes with the same qualities.
The CVLIFE is a big scope. It has a 20mm mount, red and green illumination, and is made of reinforced aluminum. Here’s what else you need to know.
- Runs you less than $40
- 2-10x magnification
- High light transfer
- Deep sights
The CVLIFE is perfect for you if you prefer a stocky, durable, and high-light scope.
4. Bushnell Banner
The banner will cost you approximately $80. This is a good price for a scope that is fully waterproof and fog proof, is great under low-light, and with HD image quality.
- Multi-coated lenses
- Windage and elevation
- Strong eye relief
Consider the Banner if you’re looking for a cheap scope that has high image quality.
3. Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest
The Zeiss is the perfect option for long-distance hunters. It includes deep zoom technology for 5x magnification.
- HD Lens
- Durable aluminum body
- Lifetime warranty
- A ballistic reticle for long distance shooting
This German manufactured scope is meant for long range big game hunting. If you are looking for something that targets game down range, on a clear day, this might work for you.
2. Athlon Optics
The Athlon runs you around $200, not including a typical package that throws in two free mounts and the Argos BTR.
- The optics are multi-coated and HD, making it possible to use it in rainy day weather and on sunny days
- The tube itself is made of aircraft aluminum, making it both flexible and durable
- Multiple power settings for adjusting to long range hunting
If you’re worried about breaking your scope, the Athlon Optics is a great all aluminum option for you.
1. Burris Eliminator
The Burris Eliminator sounds like a weapon itself, yet is made for delicate actions and adjustments while hunting.
- Laser ranger reaching up to 700 yards
- Optical glass, crack preventive
- Low-glare and low-reflection optics
- Easy to activate the scope
For long-distance scopes, the Burris is an option that doesn’t give you away and allows for you to hit with accuracy up to an absurd distance.
Try the Burris if you’re interested in a powerful scope, yet you can make the purchase of about $1,500.
Keep Your Game In Focus
Whether you’re teaching your kid how to use a gun for the first time, or you’ve been hunting since you were young, finding a good scope can be the difference between a hit or a miss.
Based on this list it’s easy to tell, there is no perfect way to pick a scope. You need to look for options that match your shooting style, environment, and skill level.
Once you’ve gone through that process many times you’ll know what counts as the best rifle scopes for the money.
Now, enough talk. Are you ready to get out of your house and into the woods? Go for it! Try acquiring one of these great rifle scopes and see what they can do for you!