Best Rifle Scopes Under $400 | Budget-Friendly Guide

A riflescope is as important as the rifle itself to shoot a target accurately. With different types of guns, there are different types of scopes for those guns. It is hard to choose the ideal scope with so many options available on the market.

You can get a top-notch rifle scope for under $400, even though there are a few options that exceed $1,000. Here, we have gathered and reviewed the best rifle scopes that are available for under $400.

Despite their shortcomings, these scopes are phenomenal choices that will last a lifetime. You can find everything you need to know in the comprehensive buyer's guide, which walks you through everything you need to know.

The scopes in this list will have you hitting your targets perfectly in no time, blowing your hunting buddies away who wasted their money on an expensive scope.

This review will discuss the best rifle scopes under $400 and describe their advantages and features.

Best Rifle Scopes Under 400 Dollars

Reviews of 10 Best Rifle Scopes Under $400

1. Leupold VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster 3-9x40 Riflescope

Leupold VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster 3-9x40 Riflescope

It's no secret that Leupold's rifle scopes are among the best and most dependable in the industry. A dependable brand, it designs, manufactures, and assembles all its products in the United States, and provides a lifetime warranty on all its products.

The VX-Freedom 450 is no exception. Featuring the brand's twilight light management system, it provides the brightest possible optics, and its 3x to 9x magnification range is perfect for most uses. Furthermore, this scope provides generous eye relief of 3.66" at the highest magnification, and 4.17" at the lowest.

There's no illuminated reticle on this scope, but if there is any scope that doesn't need an illuminated reticle due to how much light it brings in, then this is it.

Features at a Glance

  • Twilight Light Management System Provides Bright Optics
  • Impressive 3x to 9x Magnification Range
  • Generous Eye Relief: 3.66″ to 4.17″
  • Made in the U.S.A
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Great Scope For The Price

2. Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane Riflescope

Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane Riflescope

Vortex's Diamondback series is aimed at beginners looking for a capable optic at a reasonable price. 

The Diamondback features a 30mm aircraft grade aluminium tube that feels lightweight yet sturdy. Finished in a satin black anodizing, it feels smooth and looks sleek.

In case of a downpour, you won't have to worry about it getting damaged because it's waterproof. 

The optic is also fogproof. Nitrogen gas is used in the factory to prevent the lens from fogging up when being exposed to rapid temperature changes. 

Even at such a low price point, the Diamondback surprises with great image quality. The Vortex Diamondback excels here with sharp images, even at long distances.

There are grooves on the rear of the scope's magnification adjustment collar that facilitate changing the magnification.

For windage, elevation, and parallax adjustments, the scope has exposed target turrets. You can manipulate the turrets easily with the correct tension. The parallax adjustment does not make any noise, but it does provide a smooth rotation between distance settings.

It does not come with an illuminated reticle. If you plan to do most of your shooting during daylight hours, then this won't be a problem.  

Considering the performance vs. price of this scope, it's a good match at this price point. The Diamondback Tactical series is a great choice for any shooter, but especially for the beginner who is interested in long-range shooting.

Features at a Glance

  • Lightweight
  • Multicoated lens
  • Waterproof
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 3.8″ Eye Relief
  • Easy To Use

3. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescope

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescope

In addition to providing good quality and repeatable performance, the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 3-18x44 was designed for executing technical, short to long range shots.

The Strike Eagle is a solid and trim package with competitive features that shoppers with a low budget will love. As with most Vortex Optics scopes, this scope features the extra-low dispersion (XD) glass, which significantly enhances the resolution and color of the images. With several anti-reflective coatings on all of its air to glass surfaces, the lens coating is fully multi-coated to increase light transmission to produce bright, crisp images.

For low-light conditions, the scope has an illuminated reticle and takes advantage of the EVR-4 MOA reticle, which is ideal for long-distance shots since it can be used to determine ranges, holdovers and windage corrections. It is also very easy to use the scope and the adjustments in general.

Besides the advantages of this scope, you will also be delighted to know that it includes a CR2032 battery, lens cloth, sunshade, three hex keys, and removable lens covers.

In fact, the Strike Eagle 3's only drawback is it's quite a challenge to maintain perfect eye relief.

Apart from this drawback, the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescope is well worth adding to your collection. AT this low price point it is at the same level as many other scopes that cost hundreds of dollars more.

Features at a Glance

  • Fully Multi-Coated with Anti-Reflective Layers
  • Extra Low Dispersion (XD) Glass
  • EVR-4 MOA
  • Many Accessories Included

4. Sightmark Citadel Riflescope

Sightmark Citadel Riflescope

The Sightmark Citadel 3-18X Rifle Scope is loaded with features. Besides having an illuminated Christmas tree reticle in the first focal plane (FFP), it also has lockable, exposed turrets for adjusting elevation and windage. 

Citadel does a superb job when the targets are one minute of angle (MOA) or larger during daylight hours. During the day, the Citadel does a commendable job if you are shooting at a 6-inch target from 600 yards.

Sightmark Citadel owners will be able to experience one of the best Christmas tree reticle optics I have ever seen without having to spend a lot of money. Shooters can use this to decide if they like the concept or not.

Illuminated reticle is no different. There are many people who like the idea of an illuminated reticle and will spend a lot of money on one without ever using it. You can pick up a Citadel for a very reasonable price, and then decide if it is worth paying more. 

Scopes with locking turrets are another feature typically found on scopes costing much more. The Citadel's turrets are super easy to use. The turret is unlocked by pulling it up, rotated to the desired position, and then locked once again. This is as easy as it gets.

I like a lot of little aspects of the Citadel. Having both the side focus and the illumination on the same turret is good. The scope is kept uncluttered and simpler to use.

Additionally, the fast-focus diopter ensures quick and easy reticle focusing for the shooter. The Citadel also comes with a sun shade that protects the objective lens from direct sunlight. 

With its long list of features, the Sightmark 3-18x50mm Citadel LR2 will satisfy any long-range enthusiast. With a lifetime warranty included, you won't find a scope that offers more for less.

Features at a Glance

  • Illuminated reticle
  • Easy T Use Adjustments
  • Eye Relief 3.5 inches
  • Sun Shade Included
  • Multi-Coated Optics
Burris Ballistic Plex Hunting Riflescope

The Burris Ballistic Plex Hunting Riflescope is a lightweight scope that is on the shorter end of the scope spectrum. Maintaining a compact profile, it won't create an overly top-heavy feel or overwhelm the rifle.

The mounting position on the barrel is also meant to be in the forward position. Your high-recoil caliber rifle has an exceptionally generous eye relief of 9-12 inches in this position.

With two internal spring-tension systems, true power ranges will be maintained through all the recoil, knocks, and vibrations you can dish out. Lens assemblies are hand-fit to ensure tough, consistent placement.

In addition to its minimal power of 2x, the Burris scope offers a versatile zoom up to 7x. A reticle like the Ballistic Plex is perfect for Scout scopes because it is easy to see and draws the eye right to the center. This model also features hash marks for holdover points out to 500 yards.

The glass is crisp and clear and it works just like a scout scope should.

If you want the greatest return on investment, you can't do better than this.  You're covered for any action that might occur in the field with the right specifications and the right warranty!

Features at a Glance

  • Extra-Long Eye Relief  9.2-12 inches
  • Burris Forever Warranty Included
  • Fast Target Acquisition
  • Moisture Protection

6. Millett 4-16x50 Illuminated Tactical Riflescope

Millett 4-16x50 Illuminated Tactical Riflescope

Millett Illuminated Tactical Riflescope comes with a bulletproof and sleek design.

Other than that, the 50mm objective lens, 30mm tube, and professional glass etched Mil-Dot design contributes to precise shooting on serious missions.

Thanks to the technology used, you’ll get a glare-free bright view of your targets. The Mil-Dot green reticle can be reset.

The windage and elevation turrets have big knobs for the easy adjustment process. You can adjust the clicks my .1mm which is most accurate by far. The thin line dot can be customized for precise targeting. You can fine-tune the green reticle by yourselves.

With the eye relief of 3.5 inches, it is the best long range weapon that gives you 16X magnification as well.

Features at a Glance

  • Tactical Facility
  • Exit pupil
  • Reticule excels
  • Multicoated optics

7. Leupold 110802 VX-2 Duplex Rifle Scope

Leupold 110802 VX-2 Duplex Rifle Scope

This riflescope is wonderfully built as well as you will get a power indicator that will provide you the opportunity to magnify towards your target without repositioning your eyes.

The 4 lens multi-coat system provides you with 94% clear light transmission for better sighting of the target.

Instead of Nitrogen, Leupold uses Argon and Krypton filling to make the scope waterproof. It provides stellar contrast and brightness without lowering the quality of the target image.

It fits onto Ruger rifles really well. The mounting rings are good fits for similar guns. Long eye-relief makes it suitable for moderate range hunting.

The manufacturers offer you a lifetime warranty on the VX-2. It comes with clear dials that let you do precise adjustment of targets for your advantage.

Features at a Glance

  • Tactile power indicator
  • Multicoat lens
  • Waterproof

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

Vortex Optics SPR-1303 Spitfire 3x Prism Scope

Vortex SPR-1303 is an excellent riflescope designed for AR rifles within $400. It is built especially for people who prefer close to mid-ranged shooting.

It is a prism scope with DRT reticle etched to provide top notch targeting and zooming facility.

You can have precise targeting with this ultra-lightweight scope.

You can also switch between red and green reticles. It has 5-level intensity setting that makes it suitable for night time shooting. It has the magnifying power of 3X which works well for deer hunting.

The CR2032 battery powers up the scope for 12 hours straight. The company will provide you a lifetime warranty, and without any strings attached. This product is covered for all the damages that may occur while using.

Features at a Glance

  • Full Multi coated lenses
  • Nitrogen Gas-Purged
  • CR2 batteries

9. Burris Scout 2-7 x 32 Ballistic Plex Scope

Burris Scout 2-7 x 32 Ballistic Plex Scope

Burris Scout 2-7 x 32 Ballistic Plex Scope is designed with the idea of legendary Colonel Cooper's Scout Rifle concept.

It is made for the shooters, who want a scope with improved accuracy and adjustable power for multipurpose low to mid-range shooting.

This scope features with forward mounting feature with the extra eye relief system.

The mid-range magnification optics allows you to see things clearly while smoothly zooming the targets. The optical lens comes with high quality to provide excellent clarity and brightness.

You can use the scope with opening your both eyes for fast target acquisition. You can carry the 13 oz. Lightweight scope very easily. The low profile turret can be easily adjusted with the fingers. The built quality of this scope is sturdy to last longer.

Features at a Glance

  • Fog and Water proof
  • Multi-coated lenses
  • High quality glass

10. Nikon Buckmaster 4.5-14x40 Riflescope

Nikon Buck Master II Scope

Nikon Buckmaster 4.5-14x40 Riflescope is renowned for its excellent built quality. It is constructed with a special vacuum process by filling the scope with nitrogen and sealed it with O-ring.

The scope is fully waterproof and Fogproof. The outer design made it sturdy to endure the shock. You do not have to think about the weather to use this scope.

The multicoated lens gives clarity in the vision with 92% light transition for better brightness. You will have brighter and superior resolution of the targets with this high-class optics.

The elevation and windage adjustment of ¼ MOA prevents scope from reticle creep.

The scope comes with 40 mm objective lens with 4.5 to 14 x magnification system. You can zoom in objects smoothly for better details and shoot the target accurately.

Features at a Glance

  • Fully multicoated lenses
  • BDC reticle
  • Versatile magnification range

Final Verdict

This review has discussed some key features and advantages of the ten best rifles under 400 dollars available in the market. The list of the best rifle scopes under $400 will help you to determine the perfect scope for you.

You can find a good rifle scope for under $400 if you have the right information. You can find a scope that suits your needs and you can even tick off some of the items on your wish list. If you feel that the scope cannot fulfill your basic needs, do not settle for anything less. There are numerous rifle scopes for under $400, so finding the best scope for under $400 is doable.

On the other hand, if you have high expectations and requirements like seeing your target unobstructed or requiring high magnification, then you should relax your purse strings and be willing to spend a few hundred extra dollars.

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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!