SCOPES

Best Budget Rifle Scope: Aiming to Save Money

Riflescope mounted on custom rifle
Nick Stucker
Written by Nick Stucker

Whether you are an amateur or a professional hunter, you will definitely need a rifle scope since it will determine the precision of your game. The correct riflescope will give you the advantage of accurately targeting your prey.

Therefore, it is imperative that you choose the most suitable rifle scope and not only the one that suits your style but one that suits your pocket and is within your budget. Fortunately, we have found some of the best budget rifle scope options.

These rifle scopes are some of the leading ones on the market that give you the option of choosing different lens diameters, physical sizes, reticles, and objectives. With our comparison table and reviews available, you can decide which optic is the best cheap rifle scope for your shooting needs.

Our Top Picks

We hope that we have helped you with the important features when choosing your high-quality scope, let us look at some of the best cheap scopes available on our comparison list.

Product NameMagnificationObjective LensDurabilityPrice
Bushnell 3-9x503 - 9x50 mmMagnum recoil proof construction in a one-piece 1-inch tubeCheck price on Amazon
LP VX-1 ( 3-9x40)3 - 9x40 mmQuantum Optical System with lead-free glass and Multicoat 4 lens coatingsCheck price on Amazon
Weaver Kaspa 3-12X503 - 12x50 mmExcellent optics and finger adjustable turrets that promote accuracy and precision.Check price on Amazon
Zeiss Terra 3X3 - 9x42 mmDurable enough to be fully submerged in water and fog proof.Check price on Amazon
Nikon Buck Master II4 - 12x40 mmoptical system that transmits up to 98 percent of available lightCheck price on Amazon
Droptine 2-7x35mm2 - 7x35 mmHigh quality multicoated lens that allows the hunter to clearly view the target in low light settings.

Check price on Amazon
VC  2-7x322 - 7x32 mmNitrogen purged and O-ring sealed for a lifetime of waterproof/fog proof performance
Check price on Amazon

If you are looking to purchase a rifle scope then there are a few things that you should bear in mind.  Therefore, in order to make your life a bit easier, we have highlighted some key things to consider:

Main Features to Consider Before Purchase

Optics

If you are thinking about going hunting or purchasing any kind of rifle scope then you should definitely purchase one that has excellent optics. Be sure to select scopes that come with multicoated optics or allow more than 90% light transmission.

Precision and Accuracy

Accuracy and precision should be at the top of the list so you should purchase scopes with focus eyepieces, preferably finger adjustable turrets, great windage, and elevation clicks.

Durability

Most hunters have to navigate extremely rugged terrain and it is, therefore, imperative that you purchase a scope that is durable. It should be either nitrogen or argon purged so that it can be used in heavy fog and it is also a good idea to purchase one that water resistant and shockproof.

man with rifle

Additionally, it should be strong enough to withstand some of the most powerful recoils.

Lightweight

Not all rifle scopes are created equal and therefore you should choose one that is lightweight enough to be carried around.

Affordability

Choose the scope that gives the best results at the most reasonable price because there are high-quality scopes that are pretty inexpensive.

Warranty

Do not simply buy a scope without checking for a warranty.

Boresight a Rifle

This might just come in handy.

Top Products on the Market

We have rounded up a number of the best choices that we could find on the market.  Keep in mind while you go through them your particular needs.

Vortex Crossfire II

Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32Price: Approx. $129

Magnification:  2 – 7x

Material: Aircraft-Grade Aluminum

Length: 11.3 inches

Reticle pattern: V-Plex Rimfire Reticle

Specific features: 2-7x Magnification, 9.45 inch Eye Relief, Single Piece 1-inch Aircraft-Grade Aluminum Tube, Field of View: 5.2-18.3 feet/100 yards, Nitrogen Gas purging, and secure O-ring Seals

Best use: Ruger 10/22, AR 15, Marlin 336W 30-30, 50 cal muzzleloader

Description: Vortex Crossfire II Rifle Scope is manufactured to meet the demands of the hunter.  It is one of the best rifle scopes that falls under $200. Remarkably, it comes with a 9.45-inch eye relief that is more than most rifle scopes and this will give the user much more room and will withstand some of the most powerful recoils.

The Vortex Crossfire II  guarantees accuracy and precision because it comes with a second focal plane V-Plex Rimfire reticle that estimates range holdover and accurately maintains wind drift correction at the highest magnification.

This device also comes with an adjustable objective lens for focusing image and removing parallax. Additionally, it features multiple anti-reflective lens coatings that prevents too much glare and allows for clearer viewing.

The Crossfire II is made from aircraft-grade aluminum which makes it durable and it also comes with O-ring seals that lock out dust and a nitrogen film that makes it fog proof.  Lastly, it comes with detachable lens cover and lens cloth for cleaning.

PROS:

  • Great eye relief
  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Excellent field of view
  • Great price

CONS:

  • Thin crosshairs

Related: The following items can be used with this rifle scope and you might consider purchasing the Vortex Optics Hunter 1″ Medium Rings Set or Vortex Optics 1 Inch Riflescope High Rings since they will help mount the scope to your rifle.

Check the price on Amazon

Leupold VX-1

Leupold VX-1 3-9x40Price: Approx. $185

Magnification: 1 – 3x

Material: 6061-T6 Aluminium

Length: 12.6 inches

Reticle pattern: Duplex reticle

Specific features: Multicoat 4 lens coatings, finger-adjustable dials (1/4-MOA per click), oxygen purged and nitrogen filled, FOV at 100 yards: 14.6′ (9x), 34.6′ (3x), eye relief: 3.7-4.2″

Best use: .223, Howa 6.5×55 SE hunting rifle,

Description: The Leupold VX-1  is a preferred brand that guarantees excellence and high performance. This rifle scope does exactly what it was manufactured to do and the raving reviews are a testament to this.  This riflescope produces some of the sharpest and clearest images since it offers 3x to 9x magnification range.

It also comes with a 92% light transmission that illuminates the object in just about lighting condition. Additionally, it comes with excellent color correction all aberrations are masterfully corrected.  This rifle scope comes with a generous eye relief that can be used with the most powerful guns.

The Leupold VX-1 is ergonomically manufactured to withstand the ruggedness of the hunt. It comes with a hard anodized, matte black finish. It guarantees precision because it offers you the option of adjusting the lock ring and turning the ocular bell until the reticle is sharp.

The windage and elevation adjustments click in ¼ MOA increments. The dials can be easily adjusted and zeroing is relatively easy. It is fog proof and water resistant.

PROS:

  • Great eye relief
  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Excellent field of view
  • 92% light transmission
  • Great price
CONS:

  • The Turrets are not repeatable
  • Does not come with a lens cap

Related: The following are accessories that you should consider purchasing along with your scope:  The Alumina Flip Back Cover Kit – 40mm and Standard EP, which is designed to keep your lens safe while moving around and, Leupold Rifleman Detachable See-Thru High Rings which do a fantastic job mounting the scope to your rifle.

Check the price on Amazon

Burris Droptine

Burris Droptine Riflescope Ballistic PlexPrice: Approx. $215

Magnification: 2 – 7x

Material: Aluminum housing

Length: 11.4 inches

Reticle pattern: Ballistic Plex .22

Specific features: Finger-Adjustable, Low-Profile Adjustment Turrets, Trajectory Compensating Reticles, Double Internal Springs, Positive Steel-On-Steel Adjustments for Repeatable Accuracy, Rugged 1″ Tubes,

Best use: 22 mag, .22 caliber long rifles

Description: The Burris Droptine Hunting Riflescope is one of the best cheap options that you can purchase. This rifle scope is one of the leading riflescopes on the market. It is designed to offer quality, accuracy, and precision.

The Burris Droptine comes with a high-quality multicoated lens that allows the hunter to clearly view the target in low light settings.

The simple, rugged reticle on the Burris Droptine has holdovers for snapshots at extended ranges. It also comes with turrets that can be manually adjusted.

It is also durable enough to be used in bad weather and is fog proof to top it all off. Additionally, it has internal assemblies that have a double spring mechanism that makes it shockproof and the lifetime warranty makes this one of the best cheap rifle scopes that you may opt to buy.

PROS:

  • Durable
  • Great price
  • Great field of view
  • Shockproof
  • Water resistant

CONS:

  • May not be compatible with certain long weapons

Related: Burris recommends that you use the Burris Optics Signature Pos-Align Offset Inserts for greater precision or Burris 420084 Zee Rings 1-Inch, Medium for a good mount.

Check the price on Amazon

Zeiss Terra

Zeiss Terra 3X RiflescopePrice: Approx. $300

Magnification: 3 – 9x

Material: Aluminum

Length: 12.4 inches

Reticle pattern: Plex reticle

Specific features: Multi-coated lenses, durable 1″ construction, Objective Diameter: 50 mm., FOV at 100 Yards: 35.9 feet (at 3x), 12.3 feet (at 9x). Eye Relief: 90 mm. Parallax Setting: 100 yards.

Best use: Howa 6.5×55 SE hunting rifle, Weatherby Vanguards, .338 Win. Mag

Description: Zeiss Terra 3X Riflescope has gained a reputation for being one of the high-quality low-cost scopes. Even though it comes at a reasonable price, its affordability belies its superior quality.

The Zeiss Terra  has MC-anti reflective coatings designed to capture crisp, bright, and clear images which mean you will be able to zero in on your target with absolute precision and accuracy and these images will be clean clear whether you are on an early morning hunt or looking to get a game at dusk or late at night.

Additionally, Terra 3X scopes feature rear plane reticles (which remain constant despite changes in power mode) and the eyepieces allow for rapid target focus which makes this scope ideally suited for hunting.

It is important to note that this riflescope is durable and can work effectively even if submerged to 400 millibars (equivalent to a depth of about 12 feet), and functional in temperatures from -13 to 122 degrees F.

Furthermore, they are nitrogen purged so that the user will be able to use them in extreme conditions and you will also be able to easily navigate a foggy environment.

This scope also comes with a limited that you may find valuable and it is a testament to the quality and the confidence of the manufacturers.

PROS:

  • Durable
  • Excellent opticals
  • Great field of view

CONS:

  • A bit heavier than some of the average rifle scopes
  • Does not come HD glass

Related: Zeiss Terra recommends that you use the Zeiss Victory 1-inch Rings for an effortless mount.

Check the price on Amazon

Weaver Kaspa

Weaver Kaspa 3-12X 50 Dual-XPrice: Approx. $120

Magnification:  3 – 12x

Material: Aluminium

Length: 12.4 inches

Reticle pattern: Dual X- Reticle

Specific features: Crisp 1/4″ moa adjustments for elevation and windage, fully multi-coated lenses for clarity, contrast and excellent light transmission, one-piece 1″ tube construction, nitrogen purged

Best use: .243 rifle

Description: The Weaver Kaspa comes in an ergonomically designed encasing that can definitely handle the ruggedness of a hunt. This scope comes with a beautiful anodized and aluminum finish.

It also has turrets that can be manually adjusted and comes with a total of approximately seven turns of the dials. This scope also has click values marked as ¼” at 100 yards and this will enable the user to easily zero in on targets even if the mount is not the most effective.

The Weaver Kaspa Dual-X Scope comes with great optics that is especially good for long range viewing. It is also shockproof, waterproof and fog resistant. It also falls into the category of being one of the best cheap rifles on the market and it comes with a Weaver’s Lifetime Guarantee.

PROS:

  • Great optics
  • Durable
  • Waterproof, shockproof and dust-resistant
  • Finger adjustable turrets
  • Great Price

CONS:

  • Incorrect click direction markings
  • Soft and vague clicks

Related: The Weaver Kaspa recommends that you use the Accushot UTG High Profile Picatinny/Weaver Rings as a mount or you may opt to use the AccuShot Picatinny/Weaver Medium Profile if you are looking for your scope to ride a little lower on your rifle.

Check the price on Amazon

Bushnell Elite 3500

Bushnell 353950 Elite 3500Price: Approx. $219

Magnification:  3 – 9x

Material: Aluminum

Length: 17 inches

Reticle pattern: Multi-x Reticle or DOA 600

Specific features: 3-9 times magnification, 50mm objective, multi-x reticle, fully multi-coated optics, Fog proof and shock proof performance, audible and resettable windage and elevation adjustments

Best use: 22 mag, .22 caliber long rifles

Description:  Bushnell Elite Riflescopes Series ensures high performance and produces clear and crisp images over both short and long distances. It is manufactured to withstand powerful recoils because the magnum recoil proof construction in a one-piece 1-inch tube is sturdy enough to be used with some of the most powerful weapons.

The Bushnell Elite 3500  comes with mechanisms that will increase focus and result in a greater degree of accuracy. The audible and resettable windage and elevation adjustments and fast-focus eyepiece are features that will definitely come in handy.

This is designed to meet the needs of the hunter and will perform optimally during a downpour, in extreme or heavy fog and it is also shockproof enough to handle the harshness of a hunt.

PROS:

  • Clean and clear optics
  • Durable
  • Excellent magnum recoil
  • Audible and resettable windage and elevation adjustments
  • Waterproof, shockproof and fog proof

CONS:

  • Only the Basic features

Related: Bushnell recommends the Alumina Flip Back Cover Kit for added scope protection.

Check the price on Amazon

Nikon Buck Master II Scope

Nikon Buck Master II ScopePrice: Approx. $119

Magnification: 4 – 12x

Material: Aluminum

Length: 12.4 inches

Reticle pattern: BDC Reticle

Specific features: Compact riflescope with 4 to 12x magnification and 40mm objective lens, fully multicoated optical system transmits up to 98 percent of available light, zero-reset turret sealed housing for waterproof, fog proof performance, BDC reticle; quick-focus eyepiece; with spring-loaded adjustment knob; 3.7 inches of eye relief, nitrogen-filled, O-ring-measures 14.1 inches

Best use: 22 mag, .22 caliber long rifles, savage FCP-K.223, AR-15, 308 AR 10 rifle

Description: Nikon Buck Master II Scope comes with some very impressive optics and the fully multicoated optical system that transmits up to 98 percent of available light. It also comes with a zero-reset turret with a spring-loaded adjustment knob that allows for greater precision and accuracy and the quick focus eyepiece makes this scope top quality.

The Nikon Buck Master II Scope also comes with generous eye relief and it is durable. This scope is encased in an O-ring-sealed housing which makes it waterproof and fog proof for the ultimate performance. This scope comes at an affordable price. In fact, it goes for approximately $ 119 and this makes it one of the best rifle scopes under $200.

PROS:

  • Excellent optics
  • Great eye relief
  • Price
  • Durability
  • Waterproof and fog proof

CONS:

  • Will experience difficulty in holding zero on certain weapons

Related: Nikon recommends that you use the Nikon A-Series Medium 1” Scope Rings for an easy mount or you may try the AccuShot Picatinny/Weaver Medium Profile Rings for a similar result.

Check the price on Amazon

Final Thoughts

If you are going to purchase a scope, be sure to choose the one that suits your needs and then you may upgrade to flashy but make sure it is not simply aesthetically pleasing but it is functional.  Above we have rounded up the contenders for best rifle scope under 200.

Tactical scope for rifle

A scope is really not a scope if it does not have excellent optics, does not have turrets, great windage and elevation and eye focus to guarantee accuracy and precision. Be sure to purchase one that has generous eye relief and it should be durable enough to be used in the rain, in extreme fog and should be shockproof.

It should also be strong enough to withstand the effects of a powerful recall and lastly, it should be affordable since no one should go bankrupt trying to purchase a riflescope scope

Don’t forget to share this piece out on social media; you never know when your friend might be looking for a low-cost rifle scope. Finally, it is your turn. We would love to hear which selection you went with and why. Let us know in the comments below. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Stucker
Nick Stucker

Nick is passionate about weapons. He likes history of companies like Colt or Lockheed Martin, but also latest scopes, binoculars and laser sighters on the market and everything in between. Nick writes about different gear that could be useful during hunting, astrophotography, night vision or just for self-defence.

  • Nick Stucker

    The Zeiss Terra is without a doubt a high performing scope and a favorite choice for over 20 users. It is also budget friendly compared to most high performing riflescopes.

  • Nick Stucker

    A good number of users talk of the high performance of the Vortex Crossfire II. So, it is worth the investment.

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