12 Best Rifle Scopes Under $500 (2021)
Rifle sight aiming at target on firing range

12 Best Rifle Scopes Under $500 (2021)

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Whether you are into precision shooting or hunting, a proper rifle scope is essential for great results. The best rifle scope under $500 has excellent clarity and light transmission, is durable, and comes with a friendly warranty. Here are our favorites.

Top options

Best under $500

Vortex Viper
6.5-20x50mm

Best for hunting

Leupold VC-3i
3.5-10x40mm

Best budget option

Redfield Revolution
2-7x33mm

Best rifle scope under 500

1. Vortex Viper 6.5-20x50 PA Matte Riflescope

The Vortex Viper Riflescope features a 50mm objective lens with a variable zoom that ranges from 6.5x to 20x. You can comfortably take your close shots and do well in the long ranges. 

Even with a set of powerful optics, this scope only weighs around 22 ounces. It is not going to weigh you down once you fit it on your weapon. Vortex has used high-quality aircraft aluminum alloy in the construction of this scope, so it will be very resilient. 

And when precision matters the most, this riflescope is not going to disappoint you either. It is the best long range rifle scope under 500 because its tube diameter is over 1-inch, so light transmission will be pretty good. The scope also features a 2nd focal plane to ensure you stay accurate on your long-range targets. 

What makes it one of the best rifle scopes under $500 is a variable field of view ranging from 6.3 feet to 17.4 feet at 100 yards. Furthermore, it offers a pretty decent eye relief ranging from 3.1-inch to 3.3-inch. 

What we liked

  • The optics features XR fully multi-coating
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum single-piece construction for durability
  • Fully water, fog, and shockproof design for all-weather performance
  • Quick-to-focus eyepiece
  • 2nd focal plane available for long-range shooting
  • The scope comes with a hard-anodized finish
  • Takes recoil pretty well

What we didn’t like

  • Doesn’t come with an illuminated reticle
  • Not a very long battery life

Magnification: 6.5x to 20x
Lens diameter: 50mm
Field of view: 6.2 feet to 17.4 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.1-inch to 3.3-inch
Reticle: V-Plex
Length: 14.4-inch
Weight: 21.6 oz
Features: Armortek, XR fully multi-coated, single-piece construction

2. Atibal XP8 Mirage 1-8x24mm Riflescope with Rapid View Lever

The Atibal XP8 Mirage Riflescope features a 24mm objective lens and a variable zoom that ranges from 1x to 8x. If you are looking for an even lighter riflescope, you need to go with this. Of course, it is not going to be as high-powered as the first one, but it still packs quite a punch. 

This best illuminated rifle scope under 500 allows you to acquire your target quicker. You can zero in a lot faster due to its 1st focal plane configuration. But that also means you won’t be able to take those long-range shots. However, the best value rifle scope features a variable zoom, so you can be good at the close ranges. 

You won’t get that massive exit pupil; however, it comes with long eye relief. Additionally, it is made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy to deliver long-lasting performance. What makes it the best rifle scope under 500 dollars is a linear FoV that ranges from 12.45 feet to 105 feet. It’ll provide you with better situational awareness about your target. 

What we liked

  • Keeps your rifle lightweight
  • Wide range of linear FoV
  • Long eye relief 
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • 300+ battery hours 
  • Wide operating temperature range
  • 11 different brightness settings

What we didn’t like

  • Small exit pupil 
  • Not the best option for long-range shooting
  • Not for a heavier recoil

Magnification: 1x to 8x
Lens diameter: 24mm
Field of view: 12.45 feet to 105 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 4-inch
Reticle: TDR BDC
Length: 10-inch
Weight: 17.4 oz
Features: Aircraft-grade aluminum, illuminated reticle, low profile turrets

3. Redfield Revolution 2-7x33mm Riflescope

The Redfield Revolution riflescope boasts a 33mm objective lens and a variable magnification that goes from 2x to 7x. It is a pretty decent rifle scope that works well in close as well as mid-to-close ranges. If you are looking for value, this is the best rifle scope under 500. 

It comes with a tube diameter of 1-inch, so light transmission will be pretty good. It also means that you can see those images pretty comfortably and minutely. If you are looking for a lightweight rifle scope under 500, this is a hit because it only weighs around 11 ounces due to its aluminum chassis. 

This riflescope comes with adjustment clicks of 0.25 MOA for elevations and windage adjustments and its lens is made of quality glass. The scope also features an eyepiece with rapid target acquisition features. This best hunting rifle scope under 500 is completely shock, fog, and water-resistant. You can also lock the eyepiece if you don’t want to make any frequent adjustments based on your needs.

What we liked

  • Quick target acquisition eyepiece
  • 2nd focal plane for longer ranges 
  • A pretty decent exit pupil 
  • Lightweight construction
  • MOA clicks for elevation adjustment 
  • Vapor deposited lens coated
  • Accu-Trac adjustments

What we didn’t like

  • Takes time to zero in
  • Shoes blur images at higher zooms
  • No lean cover included

Magnification: 2x to 7x
Lens diameter: 33mm
Field of view: 17.3 feet to 43.2 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.7-inch to 4.9-inch
Reticle: 4-Plex
Length: 11-inch
Weight: 11.1 oz
Features: Vapor deposited, rapid target acquisition, Accu-Trac adjustments

4. Vortex Crossfire II 4-12x44 Rifle Scope

The Vortex Crossfire II riflescope comes with a 44mm objective lens along with a variable magnification of 4x to 12x. The mid range rifle scope has not only a tube diameter of 1-inch for maximum light transmission, but it produces high-quality images as well. 

With the Dead-Hold BDC reticle, you can zero in quickly on your target. And with a 2nd focal plane, you can also work with targets at longer ranges. Though you won’t get an illuminated reticle, you can still quickly acquire your target with the BDC reticle. 

This best scope under 500 weighs around 17.2 ounces and features aircraft-grade aluminum construction for resilience and durability. The scope is fully waterproof and a suitable option to use in wet conditions. 

This Vortex best rifle scopes under 500 feature a single-piece construction to further add to its robustness. With a hard-anodized finish, it can comfortably stand the test of time. It also comes with a quick to focus eyepiece for fast target acquisition.

What we liked

  • Hard anodized finish for durability 
  • Once-inch tube diameter for better light transmission
  • All-weather performance
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum alloy construction
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Variable magnification
  • Large objective lens diameter

What we didn’t like

  • The lens cover is flimsy 
  • Slow to focus
  • Washed out colors at high zooms

Magnification: 4x to 12x
Lens diameter: 44mm
Field of view: 8.4 feet to 24.7 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.8-inch
Reticle: Dead-Hold BDC
Length: 13.1-inch
Weight: 17.2 oz
Features: Hard anodized finish, fully multi-coated, a quick-to-focus eyepiece

5. Vortex Viper 1-4x24mm PST Riflescope

The Vortex Viper Riflescope features a 24mm objective lens with a variable zoom that goes from 1x to 4x. This scope also comes with a TMCQ MOA reticle that can acquire targets quickly. The scope also comes with a hard-anodized finish to increase its durability. 

A ring mounting type makes it stand out among the best scopes under 500. You can mount it on different weapons easily. As this scope comes with variable magnification, focusing on closer and smaller targets won’t be an issue. Moreover, this scope comes with a 2nd focal plane so you can accurately take out your long-range targets.

It comes with an illuminated reticle and you can focus on your target in low light conditions quite well. The low light visibility makes it the best deer hunting rifle under 500. And with a linear FoV that ranges from 27.5 feet to 98 feet at 100 yards, you get to see the surroundings of your target painstakingly.

What we liked

  • Convenient ring mount 
  • Long battery life 
  • Extra low dispersion glass lens 
  • XR lens coating
  • Single-piece tube construction 
  • O-ring sealed for waterproofing 
  • 6061-T6 aluminum alloy keeps the scope lightweight

What we didn’t like

  • Not clear around edges at higher zooms
  • The Mil-Dot reticle might not be bright enough for certain conditions
  • The magnification ring is pretty stiff

Magnification: 1x to 4x
Lens diameter: 24mm
Field of view: 27.5 feet to 98 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 4-inch
Reticle: TMCQ MOA
Length: 9.7-inch
Weight: 16 oz
Features: Fully multi-coated, hard-anodized finish, precision shooting tactical

6. Primary Arms 1-6x24mm SFP Gen III Illuminated Riflescope

The Primary Arms Gen III Riflescope comes with a variable magnification ranging from 1x to 6x and boasts a 24mm objective lens. The tube diameter of this scope is over one inch, so you are in for good light transmission, even in low light conditions. 

The scope features a 2nd focal plane to shoot at longer ranges. It also comes with a variable exit pupil, ranging from 4mm to 9mm, that further improves light transmission. So the images you are going to view with this scope will be bright and come with enough details. 

The scope can manage a linear FoV ranging between 19.3 feet to 110 feet at 100 yards. It also has an eye relief that ranges between 3.3-inch to 3.5-inch. The company has used high quality 6063 aluminum for the construction of this scope. So, it not only has lightweight features but is also pretty robust.

What we liked

  • Variable linear FoV 
  • Exit pupil tops out at 9mm
  • Over one-inch tube diameter
  • Aluminum construction is lightweight and durable
  • Nitrogen purged for water and fog proofing
  • Finger adjustable
  • Low profile capped turrets

What we didn’t like

  • 0.5 click adjustment for elevation and windage
  • Partially illuminated reticle 
  • Flimsy lens cover

Magnification: 1x to 6x
Lens diameter: 24mm
Field of view: 19.3 feet to 110 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.3-inch to 3.5-inch
Reticle: ACSS Red illuminated
Length: 10-inch
Weight: 16.9 oz
Features: 6063 aluminum, illuminated reticle, nitrogen-purged

7. Leapers UTG BugBuster 3-9x32 Riflescope

Leapers UTG BugBuster Riflescope comes with a 32mm objective lens with a variable magnification ranging from 3x to 9x. This inexpensive rifle scope comes with a tube diameter of around one inch, so light transmission will be at its best. 

But if you are looking for an option that is truly budget-friendly and doesn’t compromise much on performance, your search is over. This 13.9 oz scope won’t weigh you down and features a Picatinny mount that goes well with most weapons. So it is a good rifle scope for the money.

Leapers’ best budget rifle scope features a 2nd focal plane. You are good to hit the mid to close range targets pretty effectively. The RGB Mil-Dot reticle of this low-cost rifle scope is pretty simple to use and it is quick to zero in. But the good thing is, it comes with red and green illumination. 

Its exit pupil ranges from 3.6mm to 10.6mm and linear FoV goes from 14 feet to 37.7 feet at 100 yards. You also get to make adjustments to elevations and windage at 0.25 clicks. Plus, the inexpensive scope comes with a range of accessories as well for adjustments and maintenance.

What we liked

  • Nitrogen filled 
  • One inch tube diameter
  • Zero lockable scope
  • Emerald coated lens
  • Wider FoV
  • Accommodating eye relief 
  • Illuminated reticle

What we didn’t like

  • Not for long-range shooting
  • Not very quick to focus
  • Edges blur at high power

Magnification: 3x to 9x
Lens diameter: 32mm
Field of view: 14 feet to 37.7 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.2-inch to 4.2-inch
Reticle: RGB Mil-Dot
Length: 8.11-inch
Weight: 13.9 oz
Features: Range estimating reticle, Emerald-coated lens, reticle illumination

8. Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Riflescope

The Leupold VX-3i Riflescope comes with a 40mm objective lens and a variable zoom that goes from 3.5x to 10x. It provides you with enough power to take out your targets at different ranges. The tube diameter of this scope is one inch and will transmit light at a good rate. It means that you can view brighter images with vibrant colors. 

Leupold’s best hunting scope under 500 features a duplex reticle that is quick to reach the target. The scope also comes with a 2nd focal plane and with an exit pupil ranging from 4mm to 11.43mm, you can view the images even brighter in low light conditions. 

The linear FoV of this scope ranges from 11 feet to 29.9 feet at 100 yards and eye relief tops out at 4.4 inches. Leupold has used a 6061-T6 aluminum alloy in the construction of this scope. So it is going to be resilient yet lightweight.

What we liked

  • Fog, water, and shockproof 
  • The ring mount is pretty comfortable to use
  • 0.25 clicks for elevation and windage adjustment 
  • Solid aluminum alloy construction
  • 2nd focal plane for long-range shooting 
  • Duplex reticle for quick target acquisition
  • Variable zooming for better close-range shots

What we didn’t like

  • Bikini lens cover doesn’t stay on
  • Mount rings need to be correct
  • No reticle illumination

Magnification: 3.5x to 10x
Lens diameter: 40mm
Field of view: 11 feet to 29.9 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.6-inch to 4.4-inch
Reticle: Duplex
Length: 12.6-inch
Weight: 12.6 oz
Features: Aluminum alloy chassis, DiamondCoat 2, Twilight management system

9. Leapers UTG 3-12x44mm SWAT IE AO Mildot Compact Riflescope

The Leapers UTG SWAT Riflescope boasts a 44mm objective lens with a variable magnification ranging from 3x to 12x. Its tube diameter is bigger than one inch, so light transmission is not going to be an issue at all. And the Mil-Dot reticle of this scope is pretty simple and conventional. 

This budget rifle scope comes with a range of different accessories that will assist you on the field pretty well. These include the likes of a 3mm Allen wrench, high powered lithium battery, Picatinny/Weaver rings, Mil-Dot chart, hex screw, etc.

It is one of the best budget rifle scopes that comes with an exit pupil that ranges from 3.9mm to 13mm. It means you will see pretty clearly from the scope and images will be quite bright. However, at 23 ounces, you might notice this scope is slightly heavy. And if you are not used to holding heavy guns in your hands, you will have to use a rifle stand or some other support to go with it.

What we liked

  • 2nd focal plane for longer ranges
  • Variable magnification for better close-range shooting 
  • Over one-inch tube diameter for better light transmission 
  • Wider exit pupil 
  • Picatinny mount rings are good to use with different weapons 
  • Handles recoil pretty well
  • Illumination Enhancing Reticle

What we didn’t like

  • Not a very wide linear FoV
  • Slightly heavy
  • Not that great in low light conditions

Magnification: 3x to 12x
Lens diameter: 44mm
Field of view: 10 feet to 32 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3-inch to 3.4-inch
Reticle: Mil-Dot
Length: 11.1inch
Weight: 23.1 oz
Features: IE reticle, 7 different brightness settings, zero locking

10. Burris Fullfield E1 3-9x40mm Riflescope

Burris FullField riflescope features a variable magnification that goes from 3x to 9x and an objective lens of 40mm. It allows you to hunt in different weather conditions. This is a great rifle scope with a separate eyepiece and power ring, allowing you to use your flip-up lens cover conveniently. 

The scope is equipped with a 2nd focal plane and you can conveniently shoot at around 500 yards. High-quality glass lenses are there and you will always get decent images with adequate coloring. You can also use this scope on bigger rifles as it can easily take heavy recoils too. 

If you are looking for a riflescope with a wider exit pupil, you need to go with this scope as its exit pupil tops out at 13mm. Linear FoV could have been better, but it stays within 13 feet to 33 feet at 100 yards. But the best part is that it is a lightweight scope and only weighs around 13 oz.

What we liked

  • Hi-Lume multi-coating lens
  • Fog and waterproof
  • Parallax free
  • Aluminum construction
  • Wider exit pupil
  • Customizable adjustment clickers
  • Can take heavy recoil

What we didn’t like

  • Non-illuminated reticle
  • Not a wide FoV
  • Pretty stiff magnification ring

Magnification: 3x to 9x
Lens diameter: 40mm
Field of view: 13 feet to 33 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.1-inch to 3.4-inch
Reticle: Plex
Length: 12.2-inch
Weight: 13 oz
Features: Hi-Lume coating, 2nd focal plane, fog proof

11. SightMark Wraith HD 4-32x50 Digital Riflescope

The SightMark Wraith HD Riflescope features a 50mm objective lens with a whopping variable magnification that goes from 4x and tops out at 32x. With this high magnification, you will not get much FoV. Therefore, if you are looking to shoot at smaller objects at a distance, this scope will work pretty well for you. 

The SightMark’s best low light scope under $500 comes with 10 different preloaded reticles. You can conveniently use any of them according to your requirements. These illuminations are available in different colors, including orange, red, green, gold, yellow, and white. Additionally, this riflescope also features night vision for up to 200 yards.

As it is equipped with a 50mm objective lens, the scope is already going to be a high performer in low light conditions. But you can also enhance your range if you use the night vision features. The  2nd focal plane makes it the best tactical scope under 500, so you can shoot accurately at long ranges.

What we liked

  • Quality display resolutions
  • Video recording features
  • Night visions capabilities 
  • Best long range scope under 500
  • Equipped with 2nd focal plane 
  • 10 different preloaded reticles
  • Long eye relief
  • Multiple accessories included

What we didn’t like

  • Pretty heavy
  • Not the best option for short ranges

Magnification: 4x to 32x
Lens diameter: 50mm
Field of view: 21 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 2.4-inch
Reticle: 10 preloaded reticles
Length: 10.5-inch
Weight: 36.3 oz
Features: Preloaded reticles, night vision, IP55 water resistivity, video recording

12. Nikon PROSTAFF P5 2.5-10x42 Riflescope

The Nikon Prostaff P5 riflescope can zoom from 2.5x to 10x and you can use its 42mm objective lean to focus on your targets at different ranges. It comes with generous but consistent eye relief and has fully multi-coated lenses. 

Nikon also has nitrogen-purged the scope and made it shock, fog, and water-resistant. Its tube diameter is one inch, so the images you will see through this scope will be bright and clear. You can conveniently focus on your targets pretty fast. Its eyepiece also does a fine job as it allows you to quickly focus on the target, saving you a lot of time. 

The zero-reset turrets of this scope are spring-loaded, so you can conveniently make those elevation and windage adjustments. The Nikon’s best scope for 500 dollars features a 2nd focal plane. It implies, shooting at longer ranges won’t take much time either. This budget-friendly scope is ideally suitable for experienced shooters. 

What we liked

  • Spring-loaded turrets
  • Quick zero reset
  • Adjustment knob for side parallax
  • Fast-focusing eyepiece
  • One-inch tube diameter for maximum light transmission
  • Fully nitrogen purged for all-weather performance
  • A good choice for hunters

What we didn’t like

  • Not for long-range shooting
  • Doesn’t feature an illuminated reticle
  • Slightly weak at higher zooms

Magnification: 2.5x to 10x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 10.1 feet to 40.3 at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.8-inch to 4-inch
Reticle: BDC
Length: 12.6-inch
Weight: 15.5 oz
Features: all-weather construction, fully multi-coated, a fast-focus eyepiece

What to Expect from a Rifle Scope under $500?

Looking to spend around $500 to buy a riflescope? Then don’t worry much about its quality. The good thing is, there is a range of different scopes available in this price range and from good brands.  

But most of these scopes focus on medium to long-range shooting needs. Some of them can also shoot at closer ranges, so they will be suitable for mid to close ranges. 

At this price range generally, you are not going to get those ultra-high powered magnification scopes for shooting anywhere over 500 yards. These scopes are also not great for close ranges. So you’ll compromise one way or the other. If you regularly shoot between 100 to 300 yards, these scopes will work well for you. 

Expect a very good performance for these rifle scopes under $500 because you will get objective lenses around 25mm to 50mm and magnification ranging from 1x or 2x to over 15x and even more. At least one-inch tube diameter is the standard here, so plenty of light transmissions are promised. 

Moreover, you should expect these scopes to be at least water, shock, and fog-resistant. And they should be able to hold their zero without any issues. 

Of course, the features and optics will be far better above the $250 range as compared to below the $250 range. But the primary feature of a $250+ rifle scope comes with a one-inch tube diameter and a larger objective lean with a bigger exit pupil as compared to a rifle scope under $250.

But don’t expect a top-tier performance from these scopes and they don’t come with the best optics either. If you’re looking for that, go for scopes above $1000.

FAQ

What is the best rifle scope under $600?

With all the accessories, the best rifle scope under $600 is the Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 PA Matte Riflescope.

What is the best rifle scope under $500?

The best rifle scope under $500 without all the accessories is the Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 PA Matte Riflescope. And if you are looking for night vision features, choose the SightMark Wraith HD 4-32×50 Digital Riflescope.

What is the best rifle scope under $400?

The best rifle scope under $400 is the Atibal XP8 Mirage 1-8x24mm Riflescope. But you can also consider the Vortex Viper 1-4x24mm PST Riflescope, and the Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Riflescope.

What is the best rifle scope under $300?

The best rifle scope under $300 is the Primary Arms 1-6x24mm SFP Gen III Illuminated Riflescope. But you can also consider buying the Burris Fullfield E1 3-9x40mm Riflescope.

What is the best rifle scope under $200?

The best rifle scope under $200 is the Redfield Revolution 2-7x33mm Riflescope. You may consider Leapers UTG 3-12x44mm SWAT IE AO Mildot Compact Riflescope and the Burris Fullfield E1 3-9x40mm Riflescope.

What is the best rifle scope under $100?

The best rifle scope under $100 is the Leapers UTG BugBuster 3-9×32 Riflescope.