Whether your hobby is to be active during this hunting season or whether you just shooting at a random target at the range, you will need a high-quality and calibrate rifle scope.
However, you have probably wasted thousands of dollars on your rifles which probably means you are not planning to spend another thousand for a good scope. And that’s a good enough reason because there are plenty of them that are under $500 and offer great features.
Considering the number of brands and different models that are available on the market, finding the right one that costs below $500 can be a bit difficult. You will have to go through a lot of factors to support your research.
Fortunately for you and everyone else that is planning to make this kind of investment, we have already gone through the research to find the top 5 rifle scopes that are under five hundred dollars.
Things we considered
But, before we start listing which are the top 5 we picked, we should probably mention what we factored in while we were doing our research.
A lot of times, I have made an investment in weapon gear only for it to break just a couple of months or years later. This kind of equipment should last at least as long as the gun will. It makes no sense to pay hundreds of dollars every couple of months because manufacturers avoid doing quality control of the materials they purchase.
This is why it is very important to find a reliable brand that always uses the highest quality of materials during their scope manufacturing process.
This factor goes very well together with the first one we mentioned. If you are unsure about the investment you are making and about the reliability of the product, you should at least have some kind of long-lasting warranty to give you a bit of peace of mind. This is especially important when spending three, four, or five hundred dollars on your next rifle scope.
Most weapon attachments at this price should come with at least three or four years of warranty for regular damage. Some even have a lifetime warranty too. Although, if you drop it and break the optics, you probably will not get a replacement for free. However, the place you have bought it from might offer to fix it for you. It is still better than nothing, right?
Another very important thing when going shopping for a rifle scope is its adjustability. It should be easy to use and handle, no matter what kind of previous experience you have had with weapons. They usually have some kind of indicators on the optics itself for wind and distance, so calibrating it should be easy to do with the knobs that are located on the top or on the sides.
We would advise that you never go with a scope that costs around $500 without any kind of adjustability.
1. Nikon Buckmasters II BDC
Now that we have gone through all of the things we factored in during our research, here is our first contender. The first thing we have to mention is the very famous BDC reticle by Nikon. It is so simple while providing you with so much information at the same time. It is rare to see such a thing these days.
Naturally, there is an anti-reflective coating on every single layer of the lenses which means you will have a truly bright picture. Most people claim that they can use it both through the day and through the night on the same settings. Yes, it is actually that good. The Nikon Buckmasters II BDC has a lifetime warranty. If you notice there is any kind of manufacturing error on your scope, you can easily return it and ask for a new one. If you want a bit more in-depth review for the Buckmasters II, check out Target Frog.
2. Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8X24
Listed somewhere between $350 and $450, this scope is a great option for people that are looking for versatility, especially when looking for an attachment for an AR instead of a bolt-action.
The materials used for this product feel very firm and reliable and the lenses are coated multiple times for extra protection. However, even after so many coatings, the image you will see will still be very crisp which means you will be able to spot any kind of movement.
It requires a CR2032 lithium battery for the eleven different illumination settings that you can choose from any time you want for different outdoor light conditions. You will be glad to hear that it is also waterproof and fog proof too. You won’t have to worry about any kind of humidity or water damage inside of the lenses.
3. ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20
We had to put the ATN X-Sight II on this list because the ballistic calculator is simply amazing. This smart sight will calculate the ballistics right after you fire away from your first shot which means you can instantly calibrate it for your next shot. The accuracy you will have with this scope will be unmatched.
Another great thing about this sight is the feature that lets you identify the range between you and your target up to two kilometers. Once the sight has determined the range to your target, there are a bunch of other settings to fully calibrate your next shot.
4. Vortex Optics Crossfire II
With a magnification of 6-24×50, this is the perfect sight for people that want to go for small target shooting or small game hunting. The Crossfire II has an eye relief feature which means your eyes won’t get tired after looking through the lenses for too long. For just $370, this is a great contender.
5. Simmons Truplex
For a price as low as $100, the Truplex is a great option for those that want to save a bit of cash when purchasing a rifle scope. Of course, it is not as rich with features or protective coatings on the lenses, but it is still good enough for mid-range shooting. Believe it or not, but it feels quite durable and delivers good precision too.
After going through dozens of different scopes, we believe these five we listed are the best under $500.