Today’s Best Rifle Scope Reviews of 2017 and Buying Guide

So you have decided to up your hunting game by buying a rifle scope for your weapon of choice. But wait: you probably have never purchased a scope before or if you have things did not go as well as you had planned and is why you are in the market for a new scope. So how are you going to find the Best Rifle Scope in a market flooded with all kinds of rifle scopes?

To answer this and so many other questions I am sure you have on How to Choose a Rifle Scope is what this article is here for. In this article, I will be reviewing some of the best rifle scopes I have used or tested and also give you some tips on how you can become a pro at rifle scope shopping.

​Let’s say you are in search of the best long range rifle scopes. Maybe you are a hunter or a shooting competition beginner, or maybe you are a gun enthusiast with an appetite for high-quality gear. Whatever the reason you are in the market for a rifle scope, you will have to do a bit of research on the best rifle scopes the optical industry has to offer.

Fortunately, for you, the number of the Best Rifle Scope Brands has risen in the past few years. However, with high-end European brands such as Schmidt & Bender and Carl Zeiss taking up a substantial 40% of the rifle scope market share, finding the best scope can be challenging. To help you on your search I have compiled a list of the Best Rifle Scope Reviews for your convenience


Best Rifle Scopes For The Money

When money is not a problem, the rifle scope market is truly at your disposal, and you can choose whichever rifle scope you feel is the best. Below are the reviews of two rifle scopes that I think will appeal to you if you do not have a restrictive budget.


Carl Zeiss Optical Conquest HD5 5-25x50 Rapid-Z 1000 Rifle Scope


Description

Carl Zeiss is the Mercedes-Benz of rifle scopes. As such, you do not expect the Germany-based company to be making cheap low-quality scopes; after all, they do have a reputation to maintain.

Best Selling Scopes of Zeiss -

One of the company’s best-selling scopes is the Carl Zeiss Optical Conquest HD5 5-25x50 Rapid-Z 1000 Rifle Scope. Weighing a meager 1.7 pounds, this Carl Zeiss premium scope is extremely compact and is shorter than many of its competitors. Surprisingly, this rifle scope has a magnification of 5X to 25X and a 50 mm wide objective lens, not what I was expecting from such a compact and lightweight scope.

And the surprises do not end with the magnification; designed for long range viewing; the scope boasts of HD lenses with a T coating. Thus, you are assured HD image clarity and brightness. Overall, I was blown away by the performance of this Carl Zeiss masterpiece.​

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight and compact
  • Boast of a robust design capable of withstanding heavy recoil
  • Bright and clear multi-coated optics

Cons

  • It is an expensive rifle scope ; But really worth your money.

Specifications

  • 5x to 25x magnification
  • 50 mm objective lens
  • Rapid-Z 1000 ballistic reticle
  • 1-inch tube
  • Lutec water-resistant hydrophobic lens coating

Who is it for?

​Given that this model is one of the best rifle scopes for the money, its price tag puts it out of the reach of some people. So who is it for?

First, this riflescope is ideal for long range shooters particularly if you use a .308 caliber rifle. Also, this rifle scope is the perfect scope for people looking for the best scopes on the market and who are not afraid to splash money on the acquisition of a scope.


Burris XTR II Riflescope 8-40x 50mm scope


Overview

One of the Carl Zeiss Conquest’s closest competitors is the Burris XTR II Riflescope 8-40X 50 mm scope. Weighing two pounds, this Burris rifle scope has all the markings of a premium high-end rifle scope.

​What's Inside ?

Inside the gray box that my Burris XTR came in was a manual and little wrench for adjusting the zero stop. After taking the Burris XTR out of its box, I could not help but be impressed by its matte black finish that gave it a serious tactical look.

I was also impressed by the scope’s magnification ring that is sufficiently textured for easy turning even with gloved hands. Speaking of magnification, this riflescope features a powerful 8X to 40X magnification.

Thus, with this scope, you can hit targets as far away as 1000 yards. Personally, with my XTR mounted on to my Remington 700, I managed to hit targets from a distance of 600 meters. The illuminated reticle worked superbly, and I was thoroughly impressed by the scope’s image quality, which was courtesy of the fully multicoated optics

Pros

  • Produced razor sharp images
  • Lightweight and compact for a scope of its magnification caliber
  • Features an illuminated reticle
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • The turrets are a bit stiff and do not turn easily.
  • It is lil bit pricey

Specifications

  • 50 mm objective lens
  • F-class MOA illuminated reticle
  • Hi-lume multicoated optics
  • 8 to 40X magnification

Who is it for?

The Burris XTR II is not the cheapest rifle scope out there, which begs the question is it the right scope for you?

Well, it all depends on what you want. If you are a long range shooter who excels at hitting targets beyond the 1000 yard mark, then this is the right scope for you. Thus, this Burris scope is recommended for professional shooters who are experienced in the art of long range shooting. Overall, the Burris is arguably one of the best rifle scope for the money.

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NightForce NXS5.5-22x56mm Riflescope


A Short Overview

There are rifle scopes, and then there is the Nightforce NXS 5.5X-22X 56mm rifle scope. Arguably one of the best riflescope for long range shooting, this Nightforce creation is marvel that inspires awe and admiration from all those who have used it, myself included.

The 5.5X to 22X magnification of this scope means that you can easily hit targets at 2000 yards as easily as you can hit targets at 60 yards. And it gets better: this rifle scope’s 33 mm body is crafted from high-quality aluminum making the scope virtually indestructible.

Though the scope is larger than its competitors, it fingers adjustable turrets are easy to turn even with gloved hands. Also, it is not the lightest scope out there; however, its razor sharp optics more than makeup for its size and weight.

Pros

  • Provides exceptional clarity and resolution across all magnification levels
  • Has a virtually indestructible aluminum body that is shockproof and waterproof
  • Is arguably the best long range scope on the market
  • Has an excellent eye relief of 3.9 feet

Cons

  • It is pricey But worth your money if you are a professional hunter or shooter.

Specifications

  • 5.5X to 22X magnification
  • 56 mm objective lens
  • 17.5 feet at 100 yards field of view
  • MOAR-20 MOA illuminated reticle
  • Fully multicoated optics

Who is it for?

Nightforce is a company known for making high-quality devices for professionals. That being said, this nightforce rifle scope is for professional hunters.

This is the kind of scope you buy when your budget is unlimited, and you want the best that the market has to offer. In conclusion, due to its sophistication, this rifle scope I would recommend this to professional and experienced hunters. In my opinion, it is the best rifle scope for 1000 yards.


Best Rifle Scopes Under $1000

Sometimes you might be in search of the best rifle scope, but do not want to spend more than $ 1000. There are several great options available for you. Below I have reviewed three scopes that I strongly recommend.


ATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Riflescope


Overview

It is hard to imagine that the ATN X-sight II 5-20 Smart Riflescope is not up there with the Conquest HD and the Nightforce NXS.

Everything HD!

With a futuristic design, this X-Sight scope has HD everything, HD lenses, HD sensors, and even an HD display. As such, all images are displayed in crystal clear 1080p HD quality.

Night vision and Rangefinding Capability

The icing on the cake is the scope’s night vision capabilities. With this scope, there is no time of day you cannot hunt. Also included in this smart riflescope is a gyro rangefinder, which I found to be easy to use. As if that is not enticing enough, this scope is both Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi enabled. Thus you can share pictures and videos of your hunt on social media and even with friends. Also, you can connect it to your smartphone or tablet.

Pros

  • Images are displayed in a 1080p HD quality
  • Resolution is exceptional, and I experienced zero blurriness
  • It comes with a video recorder and is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled
  • Boasts of an automatic rangefinder that works very well
  • It works superbly well at night thanks to the built-in Infrared Illuminator.
  • Is surprisingly lightweight.

Cons

  • The mounting rings of this scope are compatible with Picatinny rails only.
  • The GPS feature needs improvements.

Specifications

  • 5 to 20X magnification
  • Field of view of 241 ft at 1000 yards
  • 85 mm objective lens
  • Micro HD display
  • Micro SD slot
  • Micro HDMI

Who is it for?

The ATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Riflescope is one of the Best Rifle Scope Under $1000 on the market. Due to its plethora of sophisticated features, I would recommend this to professional hunters looking for a pocket-friendly yet high-quality scope.


Vortex Viper Pst 6-24x50 Riflescope


Overview

At first sight, it is very easy to mistake the Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50 Riflescope for a high-end riflescope such as the Burris XTR. But believe it or not, this rifle scope costs less than $1000.

This riflescope is made from the same grade of aluminum used to make the NightForce NXS5. To make things more interesting, Vortex opted for high-quality extra-low dispersion lenses, which are standard in most top-tier scopes. With these lenses, the resolution is amazing and so is the color fidelity and clarity. The fully multicoated optics combined with the illuminated reticle guarantee precise aiming even in low light. I was pleased with the fact that the scope’s 30 mm tube is a single piece tube. Single piece tubes improve precision and visual accuracy.

Pros

  • The scope is made from high-grade aluminum
  • This scope is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof
  • Has a low glare matte finish, which is great for camouflaging your location
  • The tactical turrets are easy to turn

Cons

  • The magnification adjustment ring is rather stiff.

Specifications

  • 6 to 24X magnification
  • 50 mm objective lens
  • 4.0-inch eye relief
  • CRS Zero Stop Tactical style turret
  • 17.8 to 5.1 feet at 100-yard field of view

Who is it for?

At its price point, it is hard to find another riflescope that offers you the same features you get with the Vortex Viper PST 6-20X 50 mm rifle scope.

Thus, it is the perfect rifle scope for medium range shooting. If you are gun enthusiast looking for a good scope this scope is one I highly recommend, it gets the job done without being overly sophisticated. Thus it can also be used by a beginner.

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Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 FFP Reticle rifle scope


Outline

The Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 FFP reticle rifle scope is a scope that is very dear to me and is one I use often. Having used it for some time now, I am more than familiar with the scope’s pros and cons. The scope has many pros, the most notable being its 6X to 24 X magnification. The latter is the kind of magnification I expected to find in a high-end model not a model in the Elite’s price range.

The 50 mm objective lens is coated with what Bushnell refers to Ultra Wide Band Coating. Thanks to this coating the lenses provide a consistent and razor sharp image quality. Thus, whether it is day or night, the image quality remains the same.

As its name suggests, this scope has a reticle dubbed the G2 FFP. With the FFP all my shots are stabilized regardless of weather conditions, which is something I love.

Pros

  • Is lightweight and compact weighs only 1.7 pounds
  • Considerably cheaper than other scopes with the same features
  • The lenses produce razor sharp images with good resolution
  • Is a very durable scope

Cons

  • The reticle is not illuminated
  • Though it is advertised as a long range scope, its long range capabilities are below par

Specifications

  • 50 mm objective lens
  • Rain Guard HD coated lenses
  • Fully multicoated optics
  • 6X to 24X magnification
  • 17.5 and 5.3 ft at 100-yard field of view
  • 30 mm single tube

Who is it for?

Bottom line: this rifle scope is a great scope for anyone looking for a tactical scope without having to spend heavily to buy one. This scope is designed for professional marksmen and will be a great addition to your arsenal of scopes if you in a shooting competition. This scope is right up there with the best long range rifle scopes out there.

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Best Rifle Scopes Under $500

I have used a number of rifle scopes in the under $500 price segment. Of the many I have used in this segment, three stood out, and they are:


Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x50 Rifle Scope


Overview

Topping the list is a rifle scope that I believe is the best rifle scope under $500, the Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20X 50 rifle scope. With a 50 mm objective lens fashioned from extra low dispersion glass, the color quality and resolution of this scope are second to none. The optics are fully multicoated with several layers of anti-reflective material. Thus, images appear bright and clear.

The magnification, on this scope, is a bit on the high end. The minimum magnification is 6.5 X while the maximum is 20X. Of worth noting is how well the zero-reset turret work. I was surprised at how easy it is to adjust the turret without any tools. Also, I was impressed with the quick focus eyepiece, which turns quickly and lets me focus on targets easily.

Pros

  • The 30 mm body of this scope is waterproof and fog proof
  • Works well with rifles with a high recoil
  • Images appear clearing and brightly
  • Is affordable considering its features

Cons

  • It is not ideal for short range shooting
  • Some users have complained of the zoom ring being stiff

Specifications

  • 6.5X to 20X magnification
  • 50 mm objective lens
  • 3.1-inch eye relief
  • Tall capped turret
  • arallax setting of 50 yards and beyond
  • Mil-dot reticle
  • Fully multicoated optics

Who is it for?

Considering what you are getting the Vortex Optics Viper is well priced. Thus, it is great rifle scope to buy.

However, it is important to note that it is not for everyone. Due to its relatively high magnification, this is not the best scope to use for short range shooting.

In essence, it is recommended for hunters who engage in medium to long range hunting. In conclusion, thanks to its long range magnification and wide objective lens, this is one of the best rifle scopes for elk hunting.

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Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope, 4-16x42


Overview

A favorite of many hunters the world over, the Nikon Monarch 3 BDC Riflescope is one of the best rifle scopes I own. Weighing 1.2 pounds, this Nikon Monarch is compact and lightweight.

One of the things I love about this scope is its optical quality. When using this scope, I always get crystal clear views of my target. Additionally, with the 4X to 16X magnification, I can hit targets at close range as well as from long range.

With this scope, I have hit targets from up to 400 yards. And it gets better: with the zero reset turrets, I can easily reset the turrets back to zero by just pulling the knobs. While there is a lot of debate as to which objective lens is better the 42 mm of this Monarch or the 50 mm lens, I have no complaints to make about the 42 mm lens

Pros

  • Very lightweight and compact
  • Affordable price tag
  • Easy to adjust zero reset turrets
  • Made from high-grade aluminum for durability

Cons

  • The flip up lens covers of this scope are of poor quality
  • The magnification adjustment ring is very stiff

Specifications

  • BDC reticle
  • 4X to 20X magnification
  • 42 mm objective lens
  • 6.3 to 25.2 inch at 100-yard field of view
  • 3.7-inch eye relief
  • 1-inch main tube diameter
  • Parallax focus of 50 yards and beyond

Who is it for?

Having used this Nikon Monarch for quite some time now, I can confidently say that it is one of the best in Nikon’s Monarch line of rifle scopes. Hence, if you are looking for a scope that will improve your accuracy, this is the right scope for you. This, scope works best for marksmen and hunters who engage in medium range shooting.

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Millett 6-25 X 56 LRS-1 Illuminated Riflescope


Overview

I got a chance to test the Millet 6-25X56 LRS-I illuminated riflescope some few days ago. My first impression of the scope is that it is huge. Measuring 22 inches long and with a 35 mm single tube, this is one of the longest scopes I have ever used.

However, do not let its size deceive you, as this scope weighs 1.2 pounds. The objective lens is also big as it has a 56 mm diameter. With such a wide objective lens, this scope can suck in huge amounts of light.

Thus, images are bright and razor-sharp, thanks to the fully multicoated optics. One of the things I loved about this scope is its focus knob, which is conveniently located on the left side. I was also pleased with the overall construction of the scope as well accuracy and range.

Pros

  • The optics are fully multicoated and offer crystal clear viewing
  • It is a lightweight scope despite its size
  • It is built to withstand harsh weather conditions and rifle recoil
  • It is a well-priced scope

Cons

  • The rings that come with this scope are too high

Specifications

  • 56 mm objective lens
  • 6 to 25X magnification
  • Mil-dot bar reticle
  • Second focal plane
  • Fully multicoated optics

Who is it for?

So is this rifle scope worth purchasing? Yes. Not only is it a great rifle scope, but it is also pocket-friendly. Thus, it is a great alternative to some of the pricier long range scopes on the market. Due to its magnification, this scope is not ideal for short range shooting. Thus, it is perfect for long range hunters as well as medium range hunters.


Best Rifle Scopes Under $300

When you are on a limited budget of let’s say $ 300, finding the best rifle scope can be difficult. However, with the right information, you can get yourself a good quality scope at less than $ 300. After doing some extensive research on the under $ 300 rifle scope market, I ended up with the following three;


Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16x42 Riflescope


Overview

Vortex is a company that never disappoints. As such, do not expect the Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16X42 Riflescope to be a disappointment. After all, this scope has the term HP, which stands for high performance, in its name. And true to its name, this Riflescope offers high performance at an affordable price.

I was pleased that vortex opted for high-quality extra-low dispersion glass in the making of the scope’s lenses. Some of the other scopes I have used in this price range do not have this kind of glasses. Capable of zooming from 4X to 16X, this riflescope performed exceptionally well in low light. Another great thing about this scope is that it is very well designed. The side parallax/focus adjustment knob is easily accessible, and the scope weighs 2 pounds, which is the standard weight of most scopes.

Pros

  • Performs exceptionally well in long light
  • Features a lightweight construction
  • Is an affordable scope considering the features you are getting
  • Is fitted with extra low dispersion glass lenses, a rarity in this price range

Cons

  • The field of view could be better
  • Is only good for short range and medium range shooting, not long range.

Specifications

  • 42 mm objective lens
  • 4-16X magnification
  • 4.0-inch eye relief
  • 23.6-6.1 ft field of view at 100 yards
  • 1-inch tube size

Who is it for?

Due to its magnification, this is not the best scope for long range shooting. Thus, if you are long range shooter I recommend you look for another scope, probably in the under $500 region.

However, all things considered, this scope is an impressive piece of optical hardware designed for demanding hunters who do not want to spend more than $300 on the acquisition of a scope.

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Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope, 3.5-14x40


Overview

Nikon is one of the most trusted names in the rifle scope industry. Thus, it should come as no surprise that I own a couple of Nikon rifle scopes, one of which is the affordable Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC rifle scope. With a 3.5X to 14X magnification, this riflescope is versatile. Compared to some of my other rifle scopes, the field of view on this PROSTAFF scope is exceptionally wide.

But here’s the kicker;

The scope’s reticle features see-through ballistic circles, which give this scope its long range capabilities. This Nikon scope also features a quick focus eyepiece as well as easy to adjust zero turrets. I particularly loved the bullet drop compensator on this scope and its fully multicoated optics that deliver unrivaled light transmission and brightness.

Pros

  • The optics are incredibly clear, and the scope can be used together with Nikon’s spot on app for an accurate shot
  • Compared to other scopes with the same features, this Nikon PROSTAFF is a bargain at its price range
  • The scope holds very well in repetitive firing especially in the gun range

Cons

  • The parallax knob is made of plastic and makes the scope feel cheap
  • The lens covers are not flip caps and are thus inefficient in keeping the lenses covered.

Specifications

  • 3.5X to 14X magnification
  • 40 mm objective lens
  • 1-inch tube diameter
  • 4-inch eye relief
  • 7.1 to 12.8 ft field of view at 100 yards
  • Parallax setting 50 yards to infinity

Who is it for?

The Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC rifle scope is a great scope for beginners as well as pro hunters and shooters. It has an excellent eye relief and is not as sophisticated as some of the other scopes I have reviewed above. Therefore, it is a great scope to purchase as a second rifle scope. In conclusion, this PROSTAFF has everything you will require from a gun scope.

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Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope


Overview

The Leupold VX-3 was my Leupold scope of choice before I discovered the new Leupold VX-2 3-9X 40 mm rifle scope. Though both scopes are of the same dimensions, the VX-2 has the edge over its sibling when it comes to picture clarity and brightness. And with a 3 to 9X magnification, this scope proved to be a more than ideal scope for short range as well as long range shooting.

Apart from offering a better picture quality, the VX-2, in my opinion, had a better eye relief. In low light conditions, the VX-2 performed better than its cousin the VX-3. Additionally, weighing 11.2 ounces, this scope is super lightweight and compact.

Pros

  • Delivers great picture quality
  • Is a lightweight and compact
  • Is a durable scope capable of surviving the test of time
  • It is an affordable riflescope

Cons

  • The dials on this scope are a bit stiff

Specifications

  • 3.2 to 9X magnification
  • 40 mm objective lens
  • 4.20-inch eye relief
  • 5.60-inch tube length

Who is it for?

The Leupold VX-2 might not be the best rifle scope Leupold has to offer, but for its price, it is well worth the money. Ideally, it is designed for hunters and shooters.

Specifically, this scope is ideal for newbie shooters who want to upgrade their shooting status but are not ready to invest a hefty amount of money on a rifle scope.

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Best Rifle Scopes Under $200

The low-end market is not where you would expect to find the best rifle scope. However, There are still some great scopes in the under $200 price segment. Needless to say, you will have to do some searching to get the best in this price range. Here are my picks for the best scope under $200


Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Mate : Best Rifle Scope for ar15


Overview

There is something about the Nikon P-223 3-9X40 riflescope that will make you dispute its price tag. Maybe it is its attractive matte black finish, or its easy to turn focus known and zero-reset turret.

Whatever it is, the Nikon P-223 is a real optical work of art. In fact, it is arguably the best 3 9x40 rifle scope, I have ever had the privilege of testing. I tested this scope on an AR 15 rifle and true to Nikon’s reputation; it performed brilliantly. The fast focus eye piece turns effortlessly while the fully multicoated optics delivers exceptional image quality.

As with some of the other Nikon scopes I have used and tested, this scope comes with a bullet drop compensating reticle. The variable 3X to 9X magnification is sufficient for close and medium range takedowns.

Pros

  • Boasts of up to 98% light transmission, an impressive fete for a scope in its price range
  • Works with the Nikon SpotOn program for accuracy
  • The zero reset turrets are easy to turn
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • The 9X maximum magnification is not the best for long range shooting

Specifications

  • Nikon BDC reticle designed for the 223 Rem /5.56 NATO rounds
  • 40 mm objective lens
  • 100-yard parallax setting
  • Waterproof and fog proof construction
  • 3X to 9X magnification

Who is it for?

Designed for the popular AR15 rifle, this Nikon Scope is one of the best rifle scopes for ar15 I have tested in a while. Its price tag combined with its features makes it a great scope for beginners as well as gun enthusiasts.

Due to its 9X magnification, this is not the best scope for long range shooting. Nevertheless, if you are a beginner, this scope will help you familiarize with the world of precision shooting.

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Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Mate BDC 600
List Price: $199.95
Price: $175.80
You Save: $24.15

Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 scope


Overview

There are not many rifle scopes in the under $200 that can compete with the Vortex Optics Diamondback 40-12X 40 scope. With a design that epitomizes elegance and functionality, this is a scope that will serve you for years. Also, the fully multicoated optics provide a crystal clear image of your target while its aluminum body makes it an ideal scope for outdoor activities.

The uniquely designed reticle of this scope helps you eliminate guesswork in regards to windage and hold-over corrections. Unlike other scopes, the zero-reset turret on this scope does not require a wrench to adjust. Thus you can easily adjust the turrets using your fingers.

Pros

  • The scope offers greater value for money than other scopes in its price range
  • The scope is made from a sturdy aircraft grade aluminum and can thus withstand harsh weather conditions
  • The zero turrets are easy to adjust while out in the field.

Cons

  • The parallax is rigid especially at around the 50-yard mark

Specifications

  • 4 to 12X magnification
  • 40 mm objective lens
  • 1-inch tube size
  • 32.2 to 11.4 field of view at 100 yards
  • Parallax setting of 10 yards to infinity
  • Capped turret system
  • 3.1-inch eye relief

Who is it for?

If you are purchasing a rifle scope for the first time, this is one that I would highly recommend. It is not overly expensive, and neither is it of low quality. Thus you get value for your money. Needless, to say this scope is ideal for casual shooters and hunters.

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Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope


Overview

Another company that is highly respected in the rifle scope industry is Bushnell. The latter company is behind some of the best scopes on the market including the Bushnell Optics Drop zone-223 BDC reticle scope.

When I first bought this scope, I was not sure I was getting good value for my money. But after using it for several years now, I am more than satisfied with its performance. Designed for the AR platform, this scope boasts of a 3 to 9X magnification. As such, it has a generous field of view and clarity and resolution is consistent across all zoom levels. The side focus knob is convenient to access especially when I am out hunting, while the fully multicoated optics gives me a clear view of my targets. In regards to weight, this scope weighs 1.3 pounds.

Pros

  • Produces sharp and clear images
  • Does not add a lot to the overall weight of your rifle
  • The zero reset turrets turn effortless and so does the eye piece focus wheel
  • Has a decent eye relief

Cons

  • The turrets do not click as solid as on other scopes

Specifications

  • 3 to 9X magnification
  • Dropzone 223 BDC reticle
  • Fully multicoated optics
  • 1-inch tube diameter
  • 3.7-inch eye relief
  • Second focal plane

Who is it for?

This scope is an inexpensive alternative to some of the pricier scopes available on the market. Therefore, it is the perfect scope for a newbie shooter or hunter looking for an affordable scope. However, it can also be used by professional hunters. The optical performance of this scope is surprising considering its price tag.

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Best Rifle Scopes Under $100

Rifle scope prices range from as low as $40 to as high as $2,000. Therefore, there is still a decent selection of rifle scopes available in the under $100 market, for those who are willing to look. Personally, I have used several scopes in this price range. Of the many that I have used, the below three stood out.


UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope


Overview

At first sight, the UTG 3-9X32 Bugbuster does not look like it belongs in the under $100 market. I was surprised that at its price tag, this scope is equipped with flip open lens caps. These caps are of a better quality than the caps of some other pricier scopes.

Though the scope is heavier than most of the scope’s I own, it is very well constructed and proved that it could handle anything you can throw at it. Another thing about this scope that surprised me was the red and green illumination. This kind of illumination is a rarity in this price tag. In low lighting, this scope performed surprisingly well. Moreover, thanks to the 3X to 9X magnification and the emerald coated lenses, images appear bright and with good resolution.

Pros

  • Comes with some useful accessories including a 2-inch sunshade
  • The illuminated reticle works very well in low light
  • Produced sharp and clear images
  • It is an affordable scope

Cons

  • The battery door on the control knob was an annoyance
  • It heavier than other scopes

Specifications

  • 1-inch tube
  • 32 mm objective lens
  • 3X to 9X magnification
  • Emerald coated lenses
  • Red & Green Illumination
  • Range estimating mil-dot reticle

Who is it for?

The UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope is a scope that is worth more than the less than $100 that you are likely to pay for it. As such UTG should be commended for offering such a high-quality scope to the masses. In conclusion, this scope is ideal for first-time buyers who want to get a better understanding of how rifle scopes work.

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Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope 3-9X 40mm


Overview

As you probably have already figured out, I am a big fan of Bushnell optics. And one of the best Bushnell optics I have used is the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X reticle riflescope.

Do not let its long name bore you as there is nothing boring about this Bushnell scope. The multi-coated lenses offer a clear and bright viewing experience especially in low light, hence, the name Dusk & Dawn. In fact, this scope performed better than in low light than some other pricier models. The fast focus eye piece works exceptionally well while the 3 to 9X magnification is enough to help you make accurate and precise shots.

Pros

  • The scope is waterproof and fog proof
  • Boasts of a long eye relief
  • This scope is ideal for big bore guns
  • Works well in low lighting

Cons

  • The turrets are not very repeatable
  • It is quite heavy, weighing 13 ounces

Specifications

  • Multi-X Reticle
  • 40 mm objective lens
  • Multicoated optics
  • 3X to 9X magnification
  • Long 6-inch eye relief
  • 12 inches long

Who is it for?

With its magnification and reticle, this scope is ideal for low light viewing. Thus, it is the perfect scope for anyone looking for an affordable scope to use for hunting at dawn or dusk. This scope has all the qualities of a great scope and as such should be considered an option when shopping for your next scope.

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Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight


Overview

While rifle scopes are awesome, so are red dot sights. The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight is one of the best in the market. As with all other red dot sights, this Bushnell sight has a 1x magnification and an objective lens of 25 mm. The optics of this sight are designed for clarity and brightness. Thus, with this sight, you can easily distinguish trees from your prey. Despite its miniature size, this red dot sight offers an excellent eye relief, and you can use it with both eyes. Thanks to its small size, this sight consumes less power and is built to last.

Pros

  • Is 100% waterproof and fog proof
  • The sight’s housing is filled with nitrogen
  • Offers exceptional clarity and brightness
  • A parallax free design eliminates the need for centering
  • Is a lightweight and compact sight
  • The scope’s CR2032 battery is long lasting

Cons

  • The reticle’s dot is not round and crisp

Specifications

  • 1X magnification
  • 25 mm objective lens
  • Multicoated optics
  • 3 MOA red dot reticle
  • Waterproof, fog proof and shockproof construction

Who is it for?

The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight is a great red dot sight for those looking for something different and affordable. The sight is both reliable and durable and will last you for a long time.

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Conclusion

There are hundreds of rifle scopes to choose from. With such a vast assortment of scopes to choose from the search for the best rifle scope can be an overwhelming endeavor. Nevertheless, by using my reviews, you can find the best rifle scope as per your needs and preferences.


How To Choose The Best Rifle Scope


So I am sure you are now wondering how I arrived at the above-reviewed scopes. Well in the many years I have been hunting I have learned a thing or two about shopping for gun scopes. In this section, I will be sharing some of the things I consider when searching for a rifle scope. And without more ado let’s get right into it, shall we?

Rifle’s max range

Did you know that different rifles are designed for different purposes? While some guns are designed for long range shooting others are designed for short to medium range shooting. The round that a gun uses will tell you whether it is a long range gun or short range. A rifle that fires a 30-30 round or a 300 blackout round will be more suited to short range shooting. If your gun uses these rounds, then there will be no need to spend thousands of dollars on a scope with a magnification of 18X and above. The scope you choose should be compatible with the range of your gun. For short range rifles, go for scopes with a maximum magnification of 10X and below.​

Gun caliber​

Rifles can also be distinguished based on caliber. Large caliber weapons can shatter a weak scope to pieces. Therefore, if you use a large caliber weapon such as a 375 H&H magnum, go for a scope that is built to be tough. Generally, speaking the toughest scopes will also be the priciest. On the other hand, if you use a small caliber rifle, for example, a 223 rifle, then there is no need to invest in a heavy scope. Instead, opt for a lighter scope that will not add a lot of weight to the overall weight of your small caliber gun.

Where you hunt

This might not be so obvious to everyone, but the optic you choose should be in line with your hunting tactics. If you hunt in bushland areas, then a fixed scope such as a red dot sight will be a better option. Contrastingly, if you hunt in the open fields or mountains an optic with a variable magnification will be ideal.

Apart from these determinants, there are several other determinants I consider, and these are;

  • The field of view is an important factor I consider, as this is the distance from right to left I can see through my scope
  • The size of the objective lens will also influence my decision. For long range hunting, a larger objective lens will be ideal, while short time hunting a smaller objective lens will be better
  • Another factor to consider is the eye relief, as this influences the overall comfort of a scope
  • The size of the scope will also influence my decision. Personally, I am not a fan of overly big scopes, however, there are times when a big scope works.

BinocularsGuru
 

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