The Best Rifle Scope Under $500: Optimal Shooting Performance on a Budget

Click here for the Best Rifle Scopes Under $500 available in 2017!

best rifle scope under 500

While having a rifle is great, having the best accessories to support your rifle is even better. Chances are, if you have taken a look at a rifle lately you have noticed a somewhat bulky item mounted onto the top of it. This accessory is simply referred to as a rifle scope. A rifle scope is much like a telescope or a camera lens. The rifle scope of your gun is an optical device that allows you to zoom in on targets that are further away from you or that cannot be seen clearly with the naked eye. Unsurprisingly, rifle scopes come in a wide range of options and prices. Today, we are going to take a look at our picks of the best rifle scope under 500 dollars. In doing so, we will help guide you towards the best rifle scope for your firearm.

What Is a Rifle Scope

As we mentioned earlier, a rifle scope allows you to magnify your field of vision so that you get a clearer image of the target that you are shooting at. Whether you are doing target practice or are hunting game, being able to clearly see the field can determine whether or not you hit your target or not.

The way of rifle scope operates is not as difficult as it may seem. Generally speaking, a rifle scope carries out this action with the utilization of a series of lenses that are placed inside the scope in order to bend the light that enters the lens so that it magnifies and expands the image.

Technically, a rifle scope magnifies a pinpointed target and puts the users on a parallel visual plane to the target they are aiming for. When you are shopping for the best rifle scope for your needs, there are a wide variety of factors that you need to consider. We will talk about these factors in just a moment. But generally, one of the main factors is the lens size. It is the lens size that lets you know how much magnification your rifle scope can provide you with. The numbers that are marked on the rifle scope indicate the lens size and how much it is able to magnify. 

Unsurprisingly, Rifle scopes range in prices and qualities, from a hundred to a couple of thousands of dollars. To help you find the right scope in your price range, we have compiled a handy list of the best rifle scopes under 500 dollars. 

Before we get into our review of the best rifle scope under 500 dollars, you need to consider several different features when shopping for your rifle scope. It goes without saying that there are a wide range of rifle scopes on the market. Each one will offer something unique and different from the other. Because of this, you’ll need to know exactly what you are shopping for so that you get the right scope for your needs. Here are some of the top features you should look at when shopping for the best rifle scope for your firearm.

Magnification

We mentioned this already but magnification is a big component of any rifle scope. The magnification you need on your scope depends on what type of shooter you are and how you will be using your rifle. If you do a lot of long range target shooting, then you will obviously want a rifle scope that provides adequate magnification. 

Construction 

The construction of your rifle scope is another important feature to consider when shopping around. Depending on the environment you will be shooting in, you will typically want to aim for a well constructed scope that can withstand any rugged environment. You will find that the body of the scope or the main tube will roughly fall under several options including 25 mm, 30 mm, and 34 mm. Purchasing a scope with a longer tube construction will generally offer you a better shot for long distance targets. It should also be noted that the larger the tube, the more durable the mounting rings need to be. Depending on what size you use, the cost of mounting rings can add up. Regardless, this is an important feature to consider in your scope, even if you are shopping for the best rifle scope under 500 dollars. In addition to its construction, you want to pay attention to the materials used in the scope. With lightweight aluminum construction materials, your scope will not be a burden on your rifle. However, with heavier and more rugged materials, your scope can weigh down your rifle down making it difficult to operate.

Weight

The overall weight of your rifle scope is just as important as any other feature. You’ll find that many rifle scopes will vary in terms of weight. You will find a compact size rifle scopes that weigh as little as half a pound to rifle scopes that way up to a pound and a half or even two. Knowing the type of weight you want in the scope is important because your weight can affect the overall performance of your rifle. Many novice shooters may be inexperienced with the additional weight and this can take some time getting used to. Consider the weight carefully when you are shopping around for the best rifle scope. To help in your shopping, we will carefully go over the weight and dimension of each scope we have listed below for you. 

Durability

The durability of your scope ties in a bit with the construction of your scope as well. But specifically, with the durability of your rifle scope, you want to make sure you invest in something that will work in the environment you are primarily shooting in. If you hunt in humid environments or in locations where you’ll come in contact with a lot of water, then you will want to make sure that your rifle scope is waterproof and fog proof. In other environments where there is a lot of rugged terrain and bumps along the way, a shockproof scope would be a good investment. Overall, not purchasing the right scope for the environment you will be shooting in can have a detrimental effect on your overall experience. Luckily, many of the best options on our list come with waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof capabilities. 

Objective Lenses

The lenses on your scope are just as important to making your experience a good one and anything else your scope offers. Basically, the larger the objective lens on your scope, the more light that can enter through it. This abundance of light ultimately means the ability to shoot accurately even in low light settings. The sizes for objective lens range anywhere from 20 mm to 72 mm. It should be noted that the higher your objective lens is, the higher you will need to mount your rifle scope as well.

Once you’ve picked out your objective lens size, you’ll want to consider the type of coating that your lens uses. There are several types of coating that are available on a rifle scope. These are as follows: 

Coated: Coated lenses will typically have a coating on at least one of the lens surfaces. This coating will typically be a single layer of coating protection. This is the lowest level of lens protection available.

Fully coated: Fully coated lenses will have a coating layer on all surfaces of the lens that are exposed to the air.

Multi-coated: Multi-coated lenses are much like coated lenses in the sense that at least one lens is coated with protection. However, the difference is that this coating is more than just one layer.

Fully multi-coated: This last option of lens coating is the best option to go with when you are purchasing a rifle scope. A fully multi-coated scope ensures that all lenses on the scope that are exposed to the air are coated at least several times with production.

The importance of a lens coating is something that you should not ignore. If your lens is coated, then you can avoid the annoying nuances such as a glare that can happen when you are in certain lighting situations. Additionally, lens coatings can make your field of vision a lot clearer and brighter than when they are not coated. Lastly, some coatings offer more protection over the lifetime of your lens as opposed to when they are not coated.

Eye Release

This next feature may not seem like an important one until you realize you need it. Eye relief is essentially the distance between the scope and your face. Not having adequate space between you and your scope can result in a recoil that ends up giving you a black eye. Typically, you want an eye relief that is roughly around 4 inches in length. Some scope models offer eye relief that is anywhere from 3 to 3.5 in. This can be a determining factor in whether or not the scope you are purchasing is a quality one or not.

Vertical and focal plane

With many rifle scopes, you will likely find something called the reticle or the crosshairs. These are essentially the lines that form a cross on your scope that allow you to target your object more accurately. The construction of the crosshairs of a scope can be basic with just four lines or they can have little ticks on them to help you further analyze your shot. There are two types of reticle options you can expect to find. The first is the reticle that is located on the FFP or the first focal plane. This essentially means that your reticle will give you the same perspective regardless of the magnification range. This is often the option that long range shooters prefer to go with. The other reticle options you can find is the SFP or the one in the second focal plane. This reticle option means that when you increase the power zoom, your target on the other end will look larger even though your reticle will stay the same size.

For more advanced shooters, you will also find reticle options that are illuminated. This illumination will allow you to use your scope even in the harshest of lighting conditions  such as dawn and dusk 

Turrets

Another facet of your rifle scope that you need to consider is the turrets. The turrets are the knobs that help you control the windage and elevation of your shot. There are many types of turrets available and each type of turret serves a different purpose depending on the scope. There are two common types of adjusting systems with your turrets. The first is the MOA or the Minute of Angle. The MOA is measured in inches and is typically one inch per 100 yards. The other type of system is the MRAD. The MRAD  is a bit more complicated as it comes out to one MRAD equals 3.6 in at a hundred yards. Generally speaking, this type of system is used for long range shooters. More commonly, you will see the Minute of Angle system used.

Brand

This last factor really depends on your personal preference. The brand of the scope is something you may want to pay attention to if you prefer to shop with a particular brand in mind. Certain brands like Bushnell and Nikon are known for specific features. For many customers, they have grown to appreciate a specific brand over another. Again, for the most part, the brand does not affect the overall performance of your scope. Rather, it boils down to personal preference. However, there are some brands that are more notable in the scope world than other brands as you will soon see on our list. 

Now that you have a bit of an understanding about what to look for when you are shopping around for the best rifle scope, it’s time to look at our list of the best rifle scope under 500 bucks. Our list of the best rifle scopes under 500 bucks will break down the details of some of the more popular scope options on the market right now. Just because the scopes are under 500 dollars does not mean you do not get the durability, dependability, and performance that higher priced scopes are associated with. Rather, this list will shed light on getting a quality product at an affordable price. Let’s get started! 

 

Best Rifle Scope Under 500

 

1. Leupold VX Freedom 3 – 9 x 40 mm Rifle Scope 

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Design 

The design of the Leupold VX Freedom 3 – 9 x 40 mm Rifle Scope is one that is sleek, standard, and blends well with any rifle type. It is constructed with a 6061 – T6  aircraft quality aluminum casing. This allows it to be durable and dependable in a variety of environments as well as lightweight so that it does not overbear your rifle. When it comes to the specifications of this scope, you will find that it is rather large as it measures out to 14 in by 3.4 in by 3 in. Because this is one of the larger scopes on our list of the best rifle scope under 500 bucks, you’ll find that it is also rather heavy as it weighs around 1.2 lb.

Performance

What makes this one of the best rifle scope under 500 dollars is the fact that it’s got plenty of features for even the most basic of scopes. This model is great in any environment as it is 100% waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. Additionally, because of its durable construction, it will outlast even the most powerful recoil. Some great features you can look forward to include the Twilight Light Management System. This neat system allows you to have 10 minutes of extra shooting light once you’re light source has been terminated. You will also find that there is a reduced glare so that you have complete clarity in your field of vision.  Speaking of clarity, the scratch resistant lenses are coated so that you never have to worry about damaging them either. Plus it helps that these lenses are advertised as resistant to military standard extreme abrasion. 

Adjusting your shot is easier than ever with the precision 1/4 MOA finger click adjustment. This adjustment lets you take control over the windage and elevation time and time again.

What Customers Have to Say about the Leupold VX Freedom 3 – 9 x 40 mm Rifle Scope 

Generally speaking, customers who have purchased the Leupold VX Freedom 3 – 9 x 40 mm Rifle Scope enjoy this scope. Gun owners who have purchased this edition have consistently rated it a solid 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Some of the highlights customers enjoy include the quality craftsmanship of this scope. There is also praise for the knobs on the turrets that allow you to accurately pinpoint your target time and time again. Additionally, customers appreciate the clear and bright objects that the additional light source technology allows you even after you have lost your light source. To top it off, customers really appreciate the quick feedback of the brand. Customer service with the Leupold is seemingly one of the best. The only major downside seems to be the size of the rifle scope. For some users, the heavy weight scope does take some getting used to once it is mounted onto your rifle.

Price Point

What makes this one of the best rifle scopes under 500 bucks is the fact that you get quality craftsmanship at an affordable price range. The price point guarantees that you will get the basics of a rifle scope at a reasonable price. Because of this, this is one of the best scopes to shop for if you are just getting started.

 

2. Nikon Prostaff P3 3 – 9 x 50 Matte Nikoplex Rifle Scope

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Design

Our next option of the best rifle scope under $500 is the Nikon Prostaff P3 3 – 9 x 50 Matte Nikoplex Rifle Scope. The Nikon Prostaff P3 3 – 9 x 50 Matte Nikoplex Rifle Scope comes from one of the most trusted brands in the business. Nikon is well known in the Imaging world for putting out quality products that are able to withstand the test of time. The design of the Nikon Prostaff P3 3 – 9 x 50 Matte Nikoplex Rifle Scope is a great example of this quality. The Nikon Prostaff P3 3 – 9 x 50 Matte Nikoplex Rifle Scope measures out to a length of 12.5 in and only weighs 17.8 Oz. The exterior construction is made out of a durable aluminum housing that enables it to be strong yet lightweight.

Performance

The Nikon Prostaff P3 3 – 9 x 50 Matte Nikoplex Rifle Scope is the ideal scope to go to if you are just getting started in the scope world. You will find that the scope features a reticle with a 3X Zoom ratio. This capability allows you to use the zoom lens in a variety of settings making it ideal for both close range and long range shooting. You will also find that there is an ample amount of eye relief and that when you are using the reticle focus you will be able to aim at your target quickly without worrying about compromising your field of view. With the lenses, you can expect to find fully multi-coated optics that feature an anti-reflective coating. Coupled with a maximum light transmission capability, your brightness and contrast will never compromise your field of view. The lenses on this scope is one of the aspects that Nikon has perfected exceptionally. When you are done using your scope, you can conveniently clip on the lens caps that come with this bundle. Lastly, the turrets are spring-loaded and give you instant zero resets. Overall, operating this scope is so easy that it makes for the best scope if you are just getting started. 

What Customers Have to Say about the Nikon Prostaff P3 3 – 9 x 50 Matte Nikoplex Rifle Scope

Customers who have purchased the Nikon Prostaff P3 3 – 9 x 50 Matte Nikoplex Rifle Scope are impressed with all that it has to offer. You are not overwhelmed with hard to use features. Rather, users will find all the basics they need to get out and started with a scope. Additionally, many customers certainly appreciate how crystal clear the optics are and how easy it is to focus on your targets. Overall, the consensus is one of popularity when it comes to the Nikon Prostaff P3 3 – 9 x 50 Matte Nikoplex Rifle Scope

Price Point

What makes the Nikon Prostaff P3 3 – 9 x 50 Matte Nikoplex Rifle Scope a great option to go with is the fact that when you purchase this scope you have the option of purchasing the bundle. The bundle will come with all the accessories you need to maintain and keep your scope clean and field ready. Even at the bundle price, this is still one of the best rifle scopes under 500 dollars. Considering that it comes from a brand that is an icon in the scope world, you certainly cannot go wrong with this option. 

 

3. ATN X – Sight II HD 3 – 14 Smart Day / Night Rifle Scope 

ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope w/1080p Video,...
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Design

If you are looking for a high powered scope that offers all the top features yet do not want to spend too much, then this next scope is a great option to go with. The ATN X – Sight II HD 3 – 14 Smart Day / Night Rifle Scope  is one of the best state of the art rifle scopes that remains to be one of the best rifle scopes under 500 dollars. With this scope, you can expect to find a durable exterior housing. This is also one of the most compact scopes as it only measures out to 11.6 in by 3.4 in by 3.1 in. The downside, however, is that it weighs a whopping 2.15 lb. This is significantly heavier than many of the other scopes on our list. Regardless, it is still exceptionally durable and packs enough power and shooters of all sorts appreciate having it on hand.

Performance

There is plenty for you to look forward to with the ATN X – Sight II HD 3 – 14 Smart Day / Night Rifle Scope. For starters, this is one of the best scopes that can be used in both day and night time shooting scenarios. With the scope, you can expect full quality HD resolution that gives you a clear vision of your target at all times. The day and night vision in millions of colors technology allows you to have the utmost quality and clarity regardless of the environment. With your field of view, you can expect to find a thousand yards to 240 foot adjustment per pixel.

When it comes to the accuracy of your shot, the ballistic calculator allows you to shift the point of impact so that you can quickly calculate where are your shot will take place. This is especially handy for long range shooting and angle shots. Additionally, with the smart range finder, you can identify the range of your target so that you get an estimate of the distance. And with the 2 – 14 magnification, you will always be able to zoom right in on your target no matter how far you are. Other neat features you can look forward to include the 1080p HD video recording and photo capability. There is also a recoil activated video and Wi-Fi streaming capability that allows you to keep track of all your hunting shots. Not only that, but you can upload your footage and share it with your friends. This is a great resource for hunters who like to capture videos while they are out on the field.

What Customers Have to Say about the ATN X – Sight II HD 3 – 14 Smart Day / Night Rifle Scope 

Customers who have purchased the ATN X – Sight II HD 3 – 14 Smart Day / Night Rifle Scope are really surprised at the number of features they get with this affordable scope. It is for this reason that it is one of the best rifle scopes under 500 dollars. Customers really appreciate the long battery life of this scope as well. You do not have to worry about stopping mid hunt to recharge. The ATN battery pack will last you over 22 hours of continuous use. Other neat features including the ballistics calculator and the range finder. These are great sells that you can’t find on any other type of scope.

Price Point

It goes without saying that the ATN X – Sight II HD 3 – 14 Smart Day / Night Rifle Scope is one of the best rifle scopes under 500 dollars because it has so much to offer at such a great price. Customers really appreciate the use of technology with this scope because oftentimes, being able to record in high definition and track your target the way the scope allows you to is unheard of at this price point. Although it is one of the priciest scopes on our list, it certainly is considered to be the best rifle scope under 500 dollars by many users. 

 

4. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Rifle Scope

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Design 

Another one of the best rifle scopes under 500 dollars is the Vortex Optics Crossfire II Rifle Scope. This rifle scope comes from a popular rifle scope brand and delivers on all aspects of quality and performance. The Vortex Optics Crossfire II Rifle Scope is constructed from a single piece to of aircraft grade aluminum. This construction allows it to be incredibly durable yet lightweight. However, because it is such a long tube, it does weigh a little bit more than many of the other options on our list. The Vortex Optics Crossfire II Rifle Scope  Measures out to 14.5 in by 2 in by 1.7 in. It weighs in at 2 pounds as well.

Performance 

There are several features you can expect to find with the Vortex Optics Crossfire II Rifle Scope. For starters, you will notice that O rings are sealed and that the nitrogen purged construction allow it to be waterproof and shockproof. Not only that but because there is an adjustable objective that is coupled with a dead hold BDC reticle, this makes for the ideal hunting and long range shooting gun scope. With the adjustable objective, you will always have a clear and crisp field of vision. And with the fully multi-coated lenses, you do not have to worry about a glare either. Instead, you will have a crisp and clear view that allows you to quickly focus in on your target. The turrets that are adjustable with the MOA clicks give you the option of more accuracy as well. And with enough eye relief on hand, you do not have to worry about the impact of your recoil ever. Overall, intermediate and new shooters will appreciate the power of the Vortex Optics Crossfire II Rifle Scope. It offers everything you need an affordable price making it one of the best rifle scopes under 500 dollars.

What Customers Have to Say about the Vortex Optics Crossfire II Rifle Scope

Customers who have purchased the Vortex Optics Crossfire II Rifle Scope are generally satisfied with this rifle scope. It offers everything you could need in a basic rifle scope without going into any unnecessary bells and whistles there are geared more towards advanced shooters. Because of this, the Vortex Optics Crossfire II Rifle Scope is the ideal rifle scope to have if you are a novice or intermediate hunter. The only downside to the Vortex Optics Crossfire II Rifle Scope that customers have expressed consistently is the size and the weight. This is one of the longer rifle scopes. Because of that, you can expect to find that it is a bit heavier than many of the other options. With two additional pounds on your rifle, it does take some getting used to in order to properly and effectively understand how to use the scope. 

Price Point 

As we mentioned before, all the features that the Vortex Optics Crossfire II Rifle Scope comes equipped with are ones that you would expect to find in any scope. Because of the versatility that is provided, this is one of the best rifle scopes under 500 dollars that you can get. While it is certainly not the cheapest option on our list, it certainly does provide you with a quality experience that enhances your overall performance when you are out on the feild.

 

5. Vortex Optics Viper PA Rifle Scope 

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Design

Our next option of the best rifle scope under 500 dollars is another scope from the Vortex brand. The Vortex Optics Viper PA Rifle Scope is a rugged scope constructed out of a hard anodized finish and is built on a 30 mm tube. It measures out to 14.4 inches in length and is one of the longest tubes on our list. Surprisingly, however, because of the construction material, it only weighs about 1.35 pounds making it a great option to go with if you are looking for something that is lightweight.

Performance

There is so much that the Vortex Optics Viper PA Rifle Scope has going for it. For starters, this hunting rifle scope features a look that originates from the Marine Corps. With the scope a neat feature you will find is the Mil Dot reticle that is perfect for estimating your range, as well as your windage and bullet. Other features you can expect to find are fully multi-coated lenses that allow you to have a crisp and clear view regardless of your environment. With the anti-glare technology, you don’t have to worry about the natural elements obstructing your view.  Additionally, the XR coatings allow you to have an enhanced light gathering capability that further enhances your view. The cap to reset the turrets allow you to quickly re-index back to zero when you are using the rifle scope. Also, you will find the parallax adjuster on the side knob for easy and quick adjustment as well. The eyepiece is also a fast focus eyepiece that will allow you to aim at your target while manipulating the magnification. With all that it has to offer, the Vortex Optics Viper PA Rifle Scope is one of the best rifle scopes to use if you engage in long range predator shooting. If you don’t hunt, don’t be dissuaded as this is also the ideal option to go with for target shooting as well. With capabilities such as waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof features, you can easily use the Vortex Optics Viper PA Rifle Scope in a variety of settings without compromising your experience.

What Customers Have to Say About the Vortex Optics Viper PA Rifle Scope

Customers who have purchased the Vortex Optics Viper PA Rifle Scope have rated it on average a solid 4.4 out of 5 stars. Customers really appreciate the clarity in the field of view. The reticle and turret capabilities also allow users to have an accurate shot when they are using the scope. Although this is one of the longest scopes on our list, it is conveniently lightweight making it ideal to use on a range of rifles. There is not too much of a learning curve that you have to get used to when you are using the scope.

Price Point

Perhaps one of the best aspects of the Vortex Optics Viper PA Rifle Scope is the fact that it is so well priced making it the best rifle scope under 500 dollars. For all that you get at this price point, many users really appreciate this purchase. You get exactly what you need without added bells and whistles at an affordable price. Better yet, when you purchase the scope you have the peace of mind that you are purchasing from a dependable and reputable brand as well. 

 

6. Vortex Viper PA 30 mm Tube Rifle Scope

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Design 

Unsurprisingly, our next option of the best rifle scopes under 500 dollars from the Vortex brand. This scope is the Vortex Viper PA 30 mm Tube Rifle Scope. This rifle scope has a lot going for it starting with its durable, sleek, and enhanced construction. It measures out to 14.4 in in length and weighs just under 1 and a half pounds. Its light weight capabilities are mainly due to its aircraft grade aluminum construction.

Performance

The Vortex Viper scope did not make it on the top list of scope brands, but it wins the hearts of many as it cannot be overlooked in the market. In fact, it is included on the top fixed rifle scopes in the market today.

Vortex rifle scopes are well-known for their high quality performance and first-class features, hence, this brand makes the ideal scope for long-distance shooting, target pinpointing, and other applications. It comes with one-piece tube that is in 30 millimeters long. When it comes to the field of vision, you will find that it operates on a second focal plane reticle.

The Vortex Viper scope features simple field adjustments and quick light transmission. Its side knob parallax adjusts helps in easy and fast adjustments for versatility. In fact, it is designed with a patented spring system to make all adjustments easier and repeatable. The etched numbers can be seen in the shooting position. Its features multi-colored optics that allows as much as 95% of light transmission which enhances your field of view. The special features in this scope would be the Vortex Viper’s aircraft-graded aluminum body, mil-dot reticle, side knob parallax adjustments and extra-low dispersion XD lens.

What Customers Have to Say about the Vortex Viper PA 30 mm Tube Rifle Scope

Customers who have purchased the Vortex Viper PA 30 mm Tube Rifle Scope appreciate that it offers plenty of precision and power without requiring too much on the price point. This single piece is one of the best when it comes to maximizing the light in your field of view. This is thanks in part to the enhanced light transmission that this scope provides you with.  Currently, customers who have purchased the Vortex Viper PA 30 mm Tube Rifle Scope rate it on average 4.4 out of 5 stars.

Price point

This is yet another one of the best priced rifle scopes the tops our list of othe best rifle scopes under 500 dollars. With that, you get the durability, dependabiliy, and customer satisfaction that this reputable brand is so well known for.

 

7. Nikon Buckmaster 4.5 – 14 × 40 Rifle Scope

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Design 

Unsurprisingly, Nikon debuts yet again on our list of the best rifle scopes under $500.
Nikon is indeed a real market leader in the production of damage-resistant scopes as the Nikon Buckmaster 4.5 – 14 × 40 Rifle Scope is guaranteed as water, shock, and fog proof. This durability in the rifle scope allows it to withstand against tough shooting and hunting conditions. Along with construction, this scope measures out to 14.4 inches in length and is 17.6 ounces in weight. although it is one of the longest scopes on our list, it is also the most lightweight in comparison to its size. This makes it a great option to go with if you are looking to avoid the additional weight on your rifle.

The Nikon Buckmaster’s offers bullet drop compensation (BDC), or mil-dot, choice of Nikoplex reticle and it comes with ¼-minute hand turn reticle adjustments. Additionally, the Nikon Buckmaster is the ideal rifle scope for hunting rifles muzzle loader and rimfires. It arrives with 40 millimeters objective in diameter and a 4.5 x to 14 x magnification. 

This scope ensures maximum optical clarity and light transmission because of its anti-reflection mechanism. Its multi coated optics deliver up to 92 percent light transmission. The Nikon Buckmaster will amuse shooters with true color rendition and flare-free viewing.

What customers have to say about the Nikon Buckmaster 4.5 – 14 × 40 Rifle Scope

Customers who have purchased the Nikon Buckmaster 4.5 – 14 × 40 Rifle Scope have given it a consistent rating of 4 out of 5 stars. There is plenty that Shooters appreciate with the Nikon Buckmaster 4.5 – 14 × 40 Rifle Scope. For starters, a solid light transmission and predictability and consistency when aiming has allowed users to enhance their skills when they are on the field. The only downside that a couple of customers have complained about are related to mounting issues. To ensure that you get the quality performance out of this scope, it is imperative to have it mounted correctly or else it may not work as you would wish it to.

Price Point

This is yet another one of the best priced rifle scopes that tops our list of the best rifle scopes under 500 dollars. With that, you get the durability, dependability, and customer satisfaction that this reputable brand is so well known for. 

 

8. Nikon Monarch 3 4 – 16 x 50 mm Side Focus Rifle Scope

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Design 

Yet again, Nikon grazes our list With another one of the best rifle scopes under $500. The Nikon Monarch 3 4 – 16 x 50 mm Side Focus Rifle Scope is Considered to be one of the best and most popular Scopes by a wide range of shooters. For starters, this stroke measures out to 4.7 in by 5.4 in by 20.1 in. Although it is the longest scope on our list, it is also one of the most lightweight as it weighs around 1.2 lb.

Performance

Customers are unsurprisingly satisfied with the performance of the Nikon Monarch 3 4 – 16 x 50 mm Side Focus Rifle Scope. For starters, the Nikon Monarch 3 4 – 16 x 50 mm Side Focus Rifle Scope comes equipped with 4 to 16 x magnification and with a larger than normal objective lens. The lens is in 50 millimeters in diameter. It is well-known for having an Ultra Clear Coat Optical System which allows up to 95 percent light transmission. This ample light transmission allows the shooter to bring the reticle into focus in an instant because it has a quick focus eyepiece.

Furthermore, the best feature of the Nikon Monarch 3 is the Eye Box Technology that allows for a 4-time zoom range and for a 4-inch eye relief. It is also optimized to be used with the Nikon’s Spot on Ballistic Match Technology. Also, its Spring Loaded Instant Zero Reset Turrets allow you to easily adjust the Nikon Monarch 3. 

What Customers Have to Say about the Nikon Monarch 3 4 – 16 x 50 mm Side Focus Rifle Scope

Customers who have purchased the Nikon Monarch 3 4 – 16 x 50 mm Side Focus Rifle Scope find it to be one of the best scopes that the Nikon brand has to offer. You get a wide variety of magnifications that allow you to conveniently locate your target. This control and magnification are what consumers really appreciate about this scope. Additionally, rifle owners appreciate that you get such a quality scope without having to compromise the weight. This is not something that you can find in many scopes either.

Price Point

Because this is such a popular scope from the Nikon brand, it ranks as one of the best rifle scopes under $500 because it offers so much at such an affordable price. This is another aspect of the scope that users really appreciate and applaud Nikon for.

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Advantages of Using a Rifle Scope

Rifle scopes are designed to produce a perfect and clear vision of the pinpointed target. When the users aim through a good rifle scope, they can reduce accuracy problems and make accurate shots with no difficulty. By simply pinpointing and magnifying a particular target, it can help the user to get an accurate and perfect aim. There is no trouble of losing focus as well as there is no need of lining the front sight up with the rear one once the alignment is completed, which makes it easier for the shooter to hit the mark.

Choosing the Best Rifle Scope

Whether you are planning to join for a hunting season or for a sports tournament, choosing the best scope is the first thing you must consider to find out how accurate you will be able to hit the mark.

Choosing a right riflescope is not a straightforward process. There are a variety of scopes available in the market, but it can be quite difficult to choose from due to the vast collection of rifle scopes.

When choosing or using a rifle scope, here are the things you should remember.

  • Know the purpose of using your rifle.
  • Ask yourself what is it that you are going to be shooting at.
  • Know of what kind of shot you are planning on having to take.
  • Check its features by considering its size, mobility, accuracy and simplicity.
  • Check the scope’s milling reticle. This will support you to guesstimate the distance between the pinpointed target and you.
  • Ensure the scope has high grade and sharp lenses. This will help you to shoot distant targets with very tiny intensification.

There are different types of air rifle scopes available online at Amazon.com but before choosing the rifle scope, you must look for the details in order for you to make sure that it will meet your expectations and will suit in your requirements.

Some rifle scopes cost from 40 up to thousands of US dollars depending on what type of rifle scope you opt for. If you do not want to spend a lot of money, it is more than reasonable to start out by shopping from a list of the best rifle scopes under 500 dollars. Once you get your hands dirty in understanding how to operate a scope, it is then that you can upgrade your scope to the more heavy duty and feature prone scopes. Be sure that when you are shopping around that you are also doing your research and reading the customer reviews that previous owners have left about the scope. Understanding how someone else has experienced the scope will allow you to make a better decision in whether or not this is the right scope for you.

Importance of Field of View on a Rifle Scope

Field of view is the capacity that you can see from left to right at a distance through your rifle scope. Usually, the field of view on a rifle scope measures at every 100 yards. Your field of view can be adjusted by simply adjusting the magnification of the scope. Technically, the two are at inverse relation, because if you reduce the magnification of your scope your field of view will increase. This is usually more significant with the use of variable scopes because the difference in magnification can change the field of view radically. For example, if you were to choose a 3 – 12 × 42 rifle scope, if the magnification is set to 3 then your field of view will be 100 yards in distance. Nonetheless, if your magnification was turned closer to 12, your field of view will decrease at around 10 to 14 yards.

Ideal Objective Lens Size

The standard object lens size ranges from 40 to 44 millimeters. There are objective lenses in the market that are larger in size, but these are often necessary. It’s because, the larger the objective lens, the more difficult it is to hold your rifle correctly. It can also be less comfortable for you to shoot due since it can make you feel more disturbed and heavier with your rifle.

Importance of Eye Relief and Light Transmission

Always pay attention to the eye relief and exit pupil that a scope provides before buying it. An exit pupil can be found by holding a scope out at arm’s length from the shooter. The tiny circle of light that can be seen in the eyepiece when doing this is the exit pupil. The exit pupil is important when considering eye relief because the larger the exit pupil is, the less important head positioning in relation to the scope becomes. Eye relief is the distance between your eye and the ocular lens of the scope. It provides a clear image of your pinpointed target. For now, the largest eye relief available for any typical rifle scope is 4 inches. If you are using the rifle in an appropriate manner, then 4 inches of distance from your face and the rifle is ample room to avoid the impact of the recoil. 

Etched Numbers as an Indication

Before using any rifle scope in action, you need to know what the etched numbers on your scope indicate. As an example consider the Nikon M-223 3-12 × 42 SF rifle scope to understand the importance of the etched numbers.

The number 3 indicates that any targeted image will appear three times closer to you than it would to the naked eye. The number 12 simply means the same thing. It indicates that you can perceive your target 12 times closer through the scope than with the naked eye. The last number, 42, is the objective lens diameter in millimeters. If you see a number like this on the rifle scopes, these are classified as variable scopes. You can choose among these numbers depending on what magnification you wanted to. Your pinpointed target can be magnified 3 times up to 12 times. The larger the magnification range of the scope, the higher the cost will be. It is because the wider the range, the more versatile that scope will be.

Different Types of Scopes

It is important to be familiarized with the different types of scopes as well as know the advantages and disadvantages that they have to offer. Apparently, there are three different types of scopes to choose from, Here are the types of scopes that are commonly found in the market and/or even online at Amazon.com:

  • Fixed Scopes: These scope types are rather less complicated than the variable scopes. They are only better if the shooter knows exactly the specifications required when shooting the rifle. Unlike variable scopes, you cannot simply adjust the magnification on fixed scopes. For that reason, these types of scopes are highly recommended on certain events and for certain guns.
  • Variable scopes: If magnification of the target is needed for a clean shot, these scopes are often useful. With these types, the shooter can modify the magnification of the target that they are pinpointing. These rifle scopes arrive with a variety of magnification variables and depending on the purpose of usage that is very important. Some shooters use variable scopes, because these rifles are used at a much farther distance than a typical hunting rifle.
  • Night Vision Scopes: These are considered as special types of scopes as they can be a combination of a variable scope and / or fixed scope. In fact, what makes them unique is they are used for hunting occasion at night or at times of day whilst there is an insufficient amount of sunlight to see the target that will be pinpointed. But bear in mind, before choosing a night vision rifle scope, you should first ensure that it is indeed worth the price. It is because they cannot be viable if you attempt to shoot in the dark.

Final Thoughts on the Best Rifle Scopes Under 500 Bucks

If you haven’t realized it by now, it goes without saying that there are a wide variety of the best rifle scopes under 500 bucks. Because of all the options available, it is imperative that you do your research to understand what the best type of scope is for your needs. Knowing what your needs are will then allow you to shop for the best scope for those needs. You will find that what might work for your rifle may not work for another shooter and their rifle. It all starts with knowing what you need your rifle scope to do for you and then going from there. 

All of the listed rifle scopes have different advantages and benefits that they may give to you. Therefore, it all depends on you which one suits you best. There is only one thing is for sure, these are all the best value for your money since these are considered as among the best rifle scope under 500 bucks. Is there a rifle scope that you find to be the best and is right under the $500 range? Let us know below and share your experience!

Click here for the Best Rifle Scopes Under $500 available in 2017!

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