Best Rifle Scope Under 500 Dollars in 2021 – Top 10 Within Budget

Comparison on 10 Best Rifle Scope Under 500

Reviews on 10 Best Rifle Scope Under 500

1. Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 Riflescope

The Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 Riflescope comes with BDC 150 reticle. It helps you to lock the long-range target accurately and hit it without any flaw.

The scope comes with excellent 40 mm objective lens with multi-layers to provide crisp and clear eyesight with maximized brightness to see the objects perfectly.

The multicoated lens gives the light transmission up to 98%. The zoom in system works with 3 to 9x smooth magnification. It helps you to see the target with greater detail.

The turret system of the scope works with hand-turn adjustment with ¼ minutes of angle. The zero reset turret will make your job simple and easy in the field. The built quality is sturdy and design of the equipment is perfect.

It is fully water, fog and shockproof with O-ring sealed and nitrogen filled housing. So, I can recommend u this is one of the best long range rifle scope under 500$.

Features at a Glance

  • Compact riflescope with 3 to 9x magnification
  • BDC reticle
  • Quick-focus eyepiece

2. Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane Rifle scope

With the Diamondback riflescope, you can never go wrong on performance and precision. This rifle scope comes with a precision-glide erector system that makes it easy to zoom lenses and magnify items even in very harsh conditions.

The lenses of the rifle scope are multi coated thus enhancing bright sight and enhances your vision even at night. It also has a glass etched reticle that has a 4x zoom range ensuring you can have an accurate view of your surroundings. The lens covers also stretches from the lens to the back lens making it easy to use.

The rifle scope also has tactical turrets and side parallax knob that makes it easy to aim even on long distances and adjust your scope to the most comfortable view and angle. It also helps you correct errors when aiming to ensure an accurate shot.

It also has a 30mm tube that is built to withstand recoil and impacts the tube is sturdy and ensures the durability of this scope. There are also O-ring seals and nitrogen purging that ensure your riflescope is fogproof and waterproof.

 The Rifle scope weighs 646 grams making it one of the best lightweight rifle scope. The riflescopes reticle is the first focal plane. With the first scope reticle, the size of an object or image might appear to change as you magnify. So this scope is perfect for short range shooting however, the scope happens to be the best first focal plane scope.

This scope is compatible to most standard rifles and the package comes along with sun shades and a glass cleaning cloth.

Features at a Glance

  • 30mm tube
  • Coated lens
  • Removable lens covers

3. Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Mate

The Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Matte tactical rifle scope is specially designed for long-range target shooting. It is one of the best tactical scope under $500 It comes with superior magnification, reticle system and optical lens to provide better eyesight for long-range objects. This rifle scope works perfectly for shooters and hunters. It is among the best hunting scope under $500.

The optical lens is multi coated to provide maximum brightness with light transition up to 98%. The multi-coated lenses are housed in an air-craft aluminum tube that brightens up your surroundings.

The 40 mm objective lens will let you see the target clearly. 3 to 9x zoom in will help you to see the detailed view smoothly and perfectly.

With this excellent magnification system, this scope comes with BDC 600 reticle to improve your accuracy in shooting long-range objects. It provides a circle point for aiming with the hash mark to hit the zone from 100 to 600 yards. It is waterproof, fog proof and shockproof.

This rifle scope also has spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets for quick adjustments.

Features at a Glance

  • BDC 600 reticle
  • Zero-Reset Turrets-Positive click reticle
  • Waterproof/Fogproof-Nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed
  • 40mm lens diameter
  • 3-9x magnification

4. Millett 4-16x50 Illuminated Tactical Riflescope

The Millett 4-16x50 Illuminated Tactical Riflescope is designed for serious hunters, who will not compromise the accuracy and eyesight in shooting long-range objects. This rifle scope ensures precision in shooting even in the most unfavorable conditions.

The 50 mm objective lens will provide a clear and crisp view of the objects. The lens is also multicoated for a bright and clear view of images. It is also a great aid in night vision. Thus, making it the best night vision scope under $500. The 4x to 16x magnification system works with full flexibility to zoom-in on any target without any problem.

With excellent magnification, the scope provides an illuminated Mil-Dot reticle system to see and lock the target more accurately in a lower light situation.

The green illumination helps you target to shoot from a long distance. The 3.5 inches of eye relief will provide proper safety of your eyes and eyebrows. The Millett 4-16x50 scope is built with high-quality materials with O-ring sealed and nitrogen-filled housing to be entirely water, shock with fog-proof.

Features at a Glance

  • Tactical riflescope
  • Reticule excels in varied lighting conditions
  • Multi Coated optics produce bright
  • Focus range is 15 yards to infinity

5. Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic

This Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic is designed for maximizing the eyesight performance to improve accuracy in challenging conditions, in particular for law enforcement.

The red scope works with a 30mm tube with an efficient circuit system, which provides sight continuously for 3 years without changing the battery for a single time. 

The Patrol Rifle Scope comes with an excellent optical system with exceptional band-pass coating. You can use this scope for most of the night-vision devices due to the 10 brightness settings. The angle red dot works up to two minutes to increase accuracy for all range shootings.

The sturdy built quality of this scope comes with hard-anodized aluminum alloy and rugged housing. It is water and shockproof. The threaded front lens opening helps you to use this scope on sub-machine guns or on shotguns.

The rifle scope is vibration and shock-resistant. It is also submergible up to 150 feet. The red dots of the AIMPOINT Pro Patrol optic are also parallax-free so they remain parallel to the bore of your weapon no matter the angle your eye. You can also correct any errors on your scope that may result in inaccuracies.

Features at a Glance

  • 2 minute of angle red dot for accurate target engagement
  • Service date and battery change
  • Red Dot
  • Flip-up lens covers

6. Vortex Optics SPR-1303 Spitfire 3x Prism Scope

The Vortex Prism Scope is designed with unique features for use with AR platforms.

The optical system is based on a prism with full multi-coating to provide better light transition and reliable eyesight.

 You will have images with more brightness and contrast to lock it accurately.

The scope works perfectly for mid-range shooting with its 3x magnification system. The maximum adjustment of the elevation is 120 MOA. The MOA reticle features a dual ring tactical.

The illuminative reticle system can process with green or red color, depending upon the shooting environment. You will have a perfect aim in the night or day. The built quality is sturdy and lasting with aluminum-made, nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed housing.

The scope comes in a package consisting of two pica tinny rails, T-15 Torx wrench, 2mm Hex wrench, CR2032 battery and flip caps. It has a life time warranty and you can have the scope repaired or get another scope in case it gets damaged.

It is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. You do not have to worry about the weather. With a good budget then, I must say this is the best-illuminated rifle scope under 500 dollars.

Features at a Glance

  • Fully Multi-coated lenses
  • Nitrogen Gas-Purged
  • VIP Warranty
  • Prism design

7. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Rifle Scope

This rifle scope belongs to the popularly known Bushnell Banner Rifle scope series. This scope has a dusk and dawn brightness making it the best low light scope under $500. It is the best hunting scope under $500 this is because the hours of dusk and dawn are the best hunting hours.

This scope has quality optics with clear visions. The materials are used and tested to prove 100% working capacity. You can use this scope for most long range and medium range shooting.

The 3-9x magnification capacity allows you to focus on an object even at a distance. It also has a 40 millimeter objective lens for a clear vision.

The scope comes with ¼ MOA fingertip windage and elevation adjustment so you can cover a wide area in minutes.  The elevation adjustments aid in focusing and aiming your shot.

It also has 6 inches of eye relief so you will not hurt your eyes when focusing and shooting. The scope is also 100% water-proof and fog proof.

The scope is flexible and it can work with different rifles as long as you can mount it perfectly. It weighs 0.81 pounds and measures 16.3x2.5x3.1 inches.

  • Multi-coated lenses
  • Parallax adjustment
  •  Elevation adjustment aids

8. Gamo Air Gun Scope LC4X32 with Rings

ATN X-Sight LTV Day Night Hunting Rifle Scope  (Bonus)

The gamo scope is a perfect accessory in your shooting especially if you are a medium range or long range shooting. It has a 4X magnification making it easy for you to focus on your target.

The rifle scope has a 32mm diameter and you can make windage and elevation adjustments. The objective lenses are fully coated for a bright and clear view of objects and images.

The scope is designed for adult air guns or rim fire rifles. It has a 30/30 reticle for clear vision. The reticle of this scope is placed on the second focal plane so your objects remain the same size despite the magnification. It also has a 3.5 inches eye relief and one inch body tube this ensures that your eyes are not bruised when shooting. It has a maximum elevation of 100 yards.

This scope is also shockproof and fogproof. Therefore it can withstand tough conditions. The rings included in this item aid in mounting this rifle scope, they are of medium height and have a one inch-diameter. With the rings the scope is mounted easily on the rifles.

The scope is a perfect fit for most standard rifles. At the rear of the scope is where you adjust and turn to aim on your target.

Features at a Glance

  • Fully coated objective lens
  • Availability of rings and lens covers
  • Reticle focal plane

9. TRUGLO TRU-Brite Xtreme Compact Rifle Scope

best compact rifle scope

This scope comes with fully coated objective lenses that provide maximum brightness and enables you to see the objects and images clearly. It also has 5.5 inch eye relief so you can’t hurt your eyes when focusing and in your shooting escapades.

It comes with a reticle, this enables you to determine and estimate the distance of objects. This way you can approximate and measure the wind drift and trajectory when aiming making you an accurate shooter. This makes it the best mil dot scope under $500.

It also comes with rings that are essential for mounting. It has a magnification of 4X giving you a clear vision of objects even at a far distance. The reticle is dual color and can illuminate in red and green color hence giving you a clear vision.

It also comes with a multi-dot reticle that allows you to determine and approximate the distance of an object or image. It also gives a quick trajectory and wind drift aiming reference.

The body of this scope is durable and scratch resistant. So, you are assured that even in harsh environments the scope will not get damaged. It also has a non-reflective finish making it one of the best scope for $500.

It weighs 1.1 pounds and is 9.8 inches long. Its warranty is limited, but it can be returned shortly after damages or a malfunction to get a replacement or repair.

Features at a Glance

  • Illuminated reticle
  • Aluminum material
  • Rings and lens caps
  • Coated lenses

10. BelOMO POSP 4X24VM (BM). Optical Rifle Scope

high budget optical rifle scope

The POSP scope has a 4x magnification capacity hence it is an excellent scope for long range and medium range shooters. It has a built in retractable sunshade and side rail mount for easier usage. The side rail mount makes it easy to mount the scope on your rifle.

The scope comes with a six degree angular field of view making it easy to view images and objects even at a long distance. It also comes with an illuminated reticle with 1000-meter SVD Rangefinder. It gives you a clear vision of images and objects and this scope can be used by those in the military and army.

The scope also has nitrogen filling this helps prevent moisture from entering in the scope and oxidation. The optics are also crystal clear and this scope is also waterproof making it easy to use even in wet areas or during the rainy seasons.

The lens has a clear aperture of 24mm, the exit pupil distance is 68.2mm and the diameter is 6mm this helps protect your eye. It also has a V-clamp that makes it easy to mount on any rifles with a standard sized rail. 

The scope comes in a package containing one optical scope, one storage pouch and a manual. It weighs 0.75kgs making it the best lightweight rifle scope.

Features at a Glance

  • Illuminated reticle
  • Retractable sun shade
  • Clear optics

11. ATN X-Sight LTV Day Night Hunting Rifle Scope 


budget friendly night hunting rifle scope

The ATN X-Sight scope is one of the best scope under $600 It comes with ATN obsidian LT core meant for low power consumption. This scope is perfect for both day and night vision. It is actually one of the best night vision scopes under $600.

The lenses are 30mm and the scope has a magnification of 3 to 9x giving you a clear vision and better focus. It is, therefore, an excellent rifle for long range shooters. It also has a micro display of 1280x720px enabling you to have a clear vision of your image or object.

The scope also has 30mm rings included making it easy to mount on a rifle. It is powered by internal rechargeable batteries that are not removable. So you do not need to keep on buying batteries every now and then. The battery expectancy life is 10 hours and it also comes with an illuminator for clear night vision.

This scope weighs three pounds and is made of aluminum material that is highly durable. It also comes with a warranty of two years, so if your scope malfunctions within this time you can have it replaced for free or repaired.

Features at a Glance

  • Reticles
  • Microdisplay
  • Charging port

What should we look for in a Rifle Scope under $500

Reticles and Focal planes: 

When looking for rifle scope with a limited budget, you need to ensure that you are going for quality. In this case, consider the reticles and focal planes. When it comes to reticles, you need to know there are different types of reticles and they vary in their performances. You can go for the original reticle, this reticle has a single horizontal and single vertical cross that crosses at the center creating an aiming point. You can choose the dot reticle, this reticle has a red dot at the center that helps you aim and focus. Another reticle is the Mil-dot reticle. This is common among hunters and extremely long-distance shootings.

When choosing reticles you should also look at whether they are illuminated or non-illuminated. The non-illuminated reticles are usually black in color and do not have any ability to illuminate. Illuminated reticles illuminate and can be used even at night.

When it comes to focal planes there are two types the first focal plane and the second focal plane. The difference between the two is that for the first focal plane, an object changes in size as you increase or decrease magnification. While for the second focal plane, the image remains the same despite the magnification. The second focal plane is more preferred in long range shooting.

Turrets and Adjustments

When aiming or targeting using a rifle, you need a wide elevation. Turrets adjust the height of the scope giving you a better and clearer view. When considering a scope of below $500 make sure the windage adjustments, elevation adjustments, and parallax adjustments are perfect.

Windage adjustments are done by turning the scope turret at the top. The elevation adjustment measures the bullet’s angle in a vertical direction. It is located at the top of your scope.

The parallax adjustments are mostly used for long range shooting. The parallax adjustments are also known as tactical scopes and they help correct errors with the focal plane.


Whether you are purchasing a long range shooting scope or a short-range scope you need to consider the magnification. By magnifying, you are able to get a clear view of a target. When considering magnification, you can either choose a fixed or variable scope. The variable scope allows you to change magnification for different shootings and aiming. For instance, if a scope is 3-9x means you can magnify from 3x to 9x.

The fixed scope is one that you cannot change the magnification if the magnification is 3x it cannot go beyond that or below that magnifying power.

You can choose any of the scopes provided they work well for you and give a clear vision. There are many scopes below $500 dollars with good magnification.


When choosing a rifle scope, you need to know what you are going to use the scope for. You can use the scope for hunting, competition, home defense and target shooting.

With the different uses, you might need different scopes or you can choose one scope that can fit in all your schedules and uses. Long range shooting, for example, will require a scope with good magnification and with reticles that can focus a long range target. Also, in competitions, you will need a very accurate scope. Therefore, for each purpose get a scope that will serve you best.


You can get your eye bruised when shooting and targeting. So, even if you are going for a below $500 scope get one with eye relief.

Most quality scopes have an eye-relief of four inches. Some scopes still come with an eye relief of 3 to 3.5 inches this is a short distance for some rifles and it could bruise your eyes.

When dealing with a powerful rifle, you need a long eye relief scope. You can easily get 6 to 16 inches relief. So, even with a tight budget, make sure you get a rifle with a long eye relief for your safety.


Whether you are purchasing an expensive or cheap rifle scope, you need to check its construction. Ensure that the construction material is quality and durable. Rifle scopes are used in harsh environments, so you need to ensure that your rifle scope can withstand the tough conditions. Ensure the outer material is shockproof and dent-proof to maintain the original look of your rifle scope over the years. Aluminum material is among the best material that ensures longevity.

It is also important that you consider features like having nitrogen filling, this ensures that your rifle scope is waterproof and fog proof, hence, you do not have to worry if your rifle is in contact with water or you are required to use it in water.

What To Consider when buying a Hunting Rifle Scope


When hunting, you can be 200 yards or more from your target. Therefore, you need to be careful on magnification when picking a rifle scope. You need a scope with a magnification of more than 3x. With the magnification, you also have a choice of fixed and variable magnification scopes.

Fixed magnification scopes are perfect when you require to take short-range and quick shots. But if you are a more experienced hunter you will require high degrees of magnifications so you need a variable scope.

Objective lens

The scope of an objective lens transmits light to a hunter’s eye. The most common objective lens for a hunting rifle is about 40mm. There are hunters who will require a wider field view so you will need up to 50mm objective lenses.

The objective lenses of hunting rifles should also transmit light during dusk and dawn hours. This is because the dusk and dawn hours are the best hunting times. If your rifle scope cannot transmit light at night it will be nearly impossible to hunt.


Reticles come in different forms. When picking a reticle for a hunting rifle you need to get something that will help you focus and aim accurately. You can choose a BDC reticle or an MOA reticle. The BDC reticle makes use of three to five horizontal hash marks below the main crosshairs so a hunter has the choice of a hash mark to aim for the distance intended.

The MOA reticle works almost the same way as the BDC reticle but the hash mark below the main crosshair corresponds to minute of angle elevation drop points. This reticle requires some bit of calculation, so without the knowledge of these calculations, it could mess you up.


The main reason behind purchasing a rifle scope is to ensure you can hit your target accurately with one shot. The best way to get rid of errors is by getting a scope that corrects parallax errors. Not all scopes have this feature, so you need a scope that corrects parallax errors. Basically, the parallax adjustment ensures that your target and the reticle are on the same focal plane. One way to identify an error is when you see the reticle move when you are moving your eyes. When you get the error corrected you can move your eyes in different directions and the reticle remains in the same position.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the best rifle scope for long range/1000 yard shooting?
  • Answer: Getting a long range rifle scope can be a hassle. Firstly you need a quality scope since it needs to be accurate and in most cases, it comes at an extra cost. But the most important features you should consider are adjustments and magnification. For 1000 yards, you will require a magnification of 18to 25x to get an accurate shot. For adjustments, you will need a scope you can adjust to get a wide and well-elevated view and one you can focus on your image clearly.
  • What power scope do I need for 500 yards?
  • Answer: For 500 yards, you need at least 5x magnification for targets that are not too large. Experts advise that for 500 yards you get a magnification of 10x for a good shot. However, the magnification might differ when the target is too small or too large. If the target is very small, you will need greater magnification.
    You need a scope that will deliver clear images and one that has a high magnification for clearer focus and better magnification.
  • Are expensive scopes worth it?  
  • Answer: In most cases, expensive scopes are more durable studier and better. The features of the most expensive scopes are better and you will enjoy using the scope more. However, this is not always the case, some scopes can be overpriced and still have poor performance. In the question of price, first, get your facts right on the features and decide what scope to pick without necessarily picking the most priced or least priced scope.
  • However, if you still insist on picking the pricy scopes, go for brands that are known to have quality and sturdy scopes.

  • What is the most powerful rifle scope?
  • Answer:  As of now, the most powerful rifle scope you can buy is the March X Series 8-80x56mm. This scope has a 34mm main tube and a 56mm objective lens. This rifle scope has a 10x zoom ratio and up to 80x magnification.
  • This rifle scope is very accurate and has minimal distortion since the ed lenses are high-quality and provide superior image resolutions. The main tube is made of quality billet aluminum making it durable and sturdy

    This rifle scope perceives images more accurately and it can focus 1000 to 1100 yards. This rifle is ow very popular in the field rifle air completion. This is because the field competition high degree accuracy and the March X series offers this feature.

  • Who makes the best rifle scope in the world?
  • Answer:  When looking for a product that will not disappoint you need to pick the best brands and manufacturers that are well known. Some of the best rifle scope manufacturers in the world include Vortex optics, Leupold, leapers, Bushnell and Nikon among others. These manufactures have a wide variety of rifle scopes even on a tight budget.
  • The features of the scopes from these manufacturers are quality and the scopes are made to withstand even harsh environments and conditions. You are assured that your scopes will not fail or malfunction during your escapades.

  • What is the best scope for a 308??
  • Answer:  The 308 is a rifle for long range shooters. Long range shooting requires a rifle scope that will enhance accuracy. Some of the rifle scopes that will work perfectly with a 308 include: Nightforce NX8 F1 Rifle scope. This scope is perfect for long range shooting and has an 8x zoom range that allows you to identify and aim at targets at long range.
  • Vortex optics Viper PST GEN II Rifle scope. This scope has a side focus adjustment knob for easy access and also for better performance. A glass-etched reticle for better focus. You can also choose the Leupold VX-6HD Rifle Scope for a 308. It has a 6:1 zoom ratio and delivers clear images.

Final Verdict

With a limited budget, your best bet is to analyze what you need the riflescope for. With a good rifle, you need a good scope; otherwise, you won’t get optimum performance. When looking for a scope look for features like magnification, reticles, lenses and eye relief.

These five best rifle scopes under $500 are some of the premiere sight-assisting tools and are suited for different purposes. Scout through and you will find some of them are good for nights; some of them work with a specific gun and gear. So, prior to buying an ideal scope for your rifle, you should consider these aspects.

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About the Author Steve

I'm Steve & I've been handling firearms and hunting most of my life. I'm passionate about sharing what I've learnt with anyone who is interested, from beginners to seasoned marksmen and hunters. Riflescopely helps me do just that!