Top 5 Best Rifle Scope Under 500 Dollars in 2018 – Buyers Guide!!

Choosing the best rifle scope involves a lot more than just getting the measurements right. Scopes are basically metal tubes with lenses. If we broadly classify, there are three main categories of rifle scopes; target scopes, tactical scopes and hunting scopes. Each one serves a different purpose.

To put rounds on target, a rifle needs to have particular features thereof. Take into consideration the following mentioned things before making a decision:

Things to keep in Mind before Buying a Rifle Scope

  1. Purpose– For what purpose will the scope be used? A lot of general purpose scopes are available, but they don’t always serve the purpose well. So buy the particular one suited for the purpose. Long range or target scopes are the most expensive scopes on the market and are all about long range shooting. Hunting scopes are the most simple type of scope while Tactical scopes offer adjustments for focus.
  2. Budget– Now this is one of the most important features that need consideration. Riflescope works on a simple phenomenon that “Quality comes at a price.” Flexibility is very important as the suitable scope may exceed your range. The rule here to remember is that more magnification is not always the key. So, always go for the best brand and the best glass. Just beware of cheap imitations of popular models.
  3. Fixed or variable power– Variable power scopes are user adjustable while the fixed ones have a particular degree of magnification. Fixed scopes are simpler and have less magnification than variable power scopes.
  4. Magnification– One of the most important factors that should be considered before buying a rifle. Sometimes even a cheap glass tend to have high magnification numbers, thus don’t fall prey to cheap glasses. Ensure that the lenses are fully multi-coated for maximum brightness and light transmission.
  5. Turrets and reticles– Usually the turrets will have caps that are threaded over the adjustments. The adjustment here is utmost important. Go for turrets that can be easily adjusted.
  6. Main Tube– The main tube of riflescope generally measures 1”, 30 mm or 34 mm in diameter. Rifles with large-diameter main tubes are heavy in weight and help in long-distance targeting. Always go for a waterproof and shockproof rifle.

With an ever-increasing array of options, it becomes difficult to choose the right one. Take a look at the following mentioned Best Rifle Scope Under 500 dollars: 

Best Rifle Scope under 500 Dollars

Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16×42 Riflescope

Headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin USA, Vortex has made its mark in riflescope industry. The company keeps on bringing something new to the market with their every new product launch.
The Votes Optics Diamondback is constructed from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminium that provides the adequate strength to this riflescope.

This duplex lens is modified with hash marks on the horizontal and lower-vertical axes is undoubtedly one of the best hunting rifles. It features Extra-low dispersion (XD) glass that produces crisp and clear images with accurate colour representation.
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The Vortex Optics’s proprietary XR optical coatings increase light transmission. The customized dot design of the dead-hold BDC Reticle helps eliminate guesswork on hold-over and windage corrections.

This scope includes 1″ main-tube that features a built-in zoom eyepiece that provides for optimum visual performance. The turrets are capped to provide external protection and they are re-settable to zero.

The parallax adjustment, located on the left side of the riflescope is easily accessible and provides optimal image focus. The hard Anodized Finish is highly durable and comprehends well with the shooter’s position.

The exterior optical surfaces are coated with ArmorTek coatings that provide protection from scratches and abrasions.

It is equipped with precision-glide erector system that ensures smooth magnification changes with the large zoom lens mechanism. It is backed by Vortex Optics Lifetime Limited Warranty.

With argon filled that prevents internal fogging and O-ring sealed, this rifle is waterproof, fog proof and shockproof. With a 4x zoom, this riflescope offers highly versatile magnification. The windage and elevation turrets allow for 1/4 MOA per click and provide eye-relief of 4 inches.

This is one of the best hunting rifles that will magnify your vision by one of the best brands in the riflescope industry.

Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 BDC

Vortex Optics has a product range that caters to all type of users and pockets. Not only they offer quality products, but also 100% guarantee in case the scope faces any kind of default in the functioning.
Viper which is made in the Philippines is equipped with some of the most amazing features. This scope looks large than other riflescopes and has an excellent zoom power.

Its XR anti-reflective coatings provide amazing colour properties and increase light transmission on all air-to-glass surfaces. So with this model, you no longer have to deal with blurred images. It also contains a premium high-density glass that increases resolution and colour fidelity and provides crisp and sharp images.


The customised dot design of the dead-hold BDC Reticle helps eliminate guesswork on hold-over and windage corrections.The scale of reticle maintains the same ideally-sized appearance.

It is constructed from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminium that provides the adequate strength to the riflescope. The 30mm body tube is of one-piece construction and maximises alignment for improved accuracy and provides for optimum visual performance.

With argon filled that prevents internal fogging and O-ring sealed, this rifle is waterproof, fog proof and shockproof.

The tube is adjoined with a long and tapering objective bell. The turrets are capped that provide external protection for the turret. It allows for quick re-indexing of the turret to zero after sighting in the riflescope.

The hard Anodized Finish is highly durable and comprehends well with the shooter’s position. The exterior glass surfaces are treated with an ArmorTek coating that protects from abrasion damage and resists the scratches.

It is equipped with precision-glide erector system that ensures smooth magnification changes with the large zoom lens mechanism.

The parallax adjustment turret enables the person to maintain his shooting position while adjusting parallax on the side. The force spring system is patented and provides for easy windage and elevation adjustments.

This is one of the best and handy scopes for long distance shooters. It provides 3.1 inches of eye-relief. The scope cover lets you shoot with precision even when it turns dark.

Given the excellent features this riflescope comes with, its price tag is completely justified. It has quality features and components that speak of quality and makes it one of the best rifle scope for the money.

Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm Duplex, Matte

The company located in Beaverton, Oregon has been building telescopic sights in the U.S.A. for over 100 years. Every Leupold riflescope is waterproof, fog proof, and built for a lifetime of guaranteed performance.

This fixed scope is designed from a single piece tube of high-grade aluminium. It is designed in a way that it will be mounted forward on the barrel rather than the receiver.


The lenses feature Leupold’s Diamond Lens coating that makes it scratch resistant. Due to this coating, this rugged body rifle can handle even the extreme abuse. Even as the lenses are as per the Leupold standards, they offer the best low light performance.

It features a compact design and low magnification that allows you to take shots of the entire field while keeping both eyes open. For a naturally rapid target acquisition, it provides eye relief at 9.3 inches.

This scope uses a simple duplex reticle that provides a crisp and clear image. The turrets are adjustable but it becomes difficult to reach out and adjust them quickly. Overall it is the shock, water, and fog proof and offers a full lifetime warranty. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best rifle scope for the money. 

Nikon ProStaff 2-7 x 32 Black Matte Riflescope

Nikon basically offers three sub-brand series; Monarch, Buckmasters, and Prostaff series. Out of all the three, Prostaff series is the most affordable one. Nikon products speak of quality and deliver excellent performance.

It is constructed from a lightweight sturdy aluminium. It integrates Nikon’s fully multicoated optical system that consists of fully multi-coated lenses, which boosts light transmission for bright, high contrast views. With nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed, this rifle is waterproof, fog proof and shockproof.


The main highlighting feature of this rifle is the Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology. With this technology, you can find out the exact aiming points on your scope’s reticle.

It is equipped with BDC Reticle Patented Technology that makes hunting so much easier. This technology is equally good for short range as well as long range type of shooting and can be used in any kind of weather.

This feature makes this piece of hunting equipment one of the most necessary equipment for hunters. It even saves a lot of money that would have otherwise been used in purchasing varied scopes for different weather conditions.

It features precise hand-turn 1/4-inch click adjustments that get you zeroed quicker and maintain your setting even with heavy recoil. The zero-reset has an adjustment knob that is spring-loaded.

Field adjustments can be done easily without any complications.

Eye-relief of 3.8 inches helps to prevent any eye damage that can be caused by the strong gun recoil. It even ensures comfort to the eyes. The targeting system is accurate due to which there is clarity in the images.

Given all the features, Nikon ProStaff is just the perfect one. At the price it is being offered at, it is win-win deal. Truly, it is one of the best rifle scope for the money.

VX-2 3-9X40Mm Duplex Matte

A lot of best-hunting scopes are available in the market. When it comes to Leupold’s VX-2 series, they have left no stone unturned to achieve the best optical performance via this rifle series. The brightness, clarity, contrast, and resolution is simply unmatchable. It is one of the best rifle scope under 500 dollars.


The Leupold VX-2 3-9X40 is a lightweight rifle scope that is perfect for field hunting. The 1’’ main tube is constructed of 6061-T6 aluminum and filled with Leupold’s proprietary new Argon/Krypton gas blend.

The matte black comes with the diverse choice of reticles and colour finishes, but the duplex reticle suits it the best.

Like every Leupold rifle, this one is also 100% waterproof and fog-proof and comes with a Leupold Gold Ring Full Lifetime Guarantee.

It comes with a Duplex reticle that provides the excellent aiming facility and features Leupold’s Index Matched Lens System for excellent light transmission.

It is equipped with advanced optic technology and up to 94% light transmission guaranteed by premium optic features. The DiamondCoat lens coatings on exterior lens surfaces boost the boost light transmission and provide scratch resistance.

Adding on, the lenses are enhanced by blackened edges that minimises any type of diffusion. It is easy on the eyes in every way possible and provides eye relief of minimum 3.7 inches. The eye-box is spacious enough to present a vivid picture to the eye.

The selected models come with a Custom Dial System (CDS) supported the version that is built around a specific caliber bullet, which can be custom changed as per your specifications. Adding on to the features, it has a new finger-adjustable “click” turrets and a smooth-rolling, knurled power-adjustment knob that allow for easy adjustments.

The turrets are covered by screw-on aluminium caps and feature 1/4-MOA click increment finger adjustments and are also resettable to zero.

This is undoubted, one of the best riflescopes by one of the most recognized rifle scope manufacturers around. This moderately priced rifle is durable and the most desired one.

Comparison Table Best Rifle Scope under $500

Below is the comparison table of the above-mentioned products, which will help you make a better choice:

Model Length Reticle Eye-relief Lens Coating
Vortex Optics Diamondback 12 inches Dead-hold BDC Reticle 4 inches XR anti-reflective coatings
Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 BDC 14.4 inches Dead-hold BDC Reticle 3.1 inches XR anti-reflective coatings
Leupold FX-II Scout 10.1 inches Duplex reticle 9.3 inches Diamond Lense coating
Nikon ProStaff 2-7 x 32 11.5 inches BDC 200 Reticle 3.8 inches Anti-reflective multicoating
VX-2 3-9X40Mm Duplex 12.6 inches Duplex reticle 3.7 inches DiamondCoat protective lens coatings

Good optics come at a price, so plan well-in-advance as far as your budget is concerned. There is no point of buying an overly simple scope or an overly complex scope.

Broadly speaking, according to your purpose begin to narrow down your choices significantly. Focus more on selecting a right scope than on the rifle. Make a good choice and you won’t regret it.

Rating Table of Best Rifle Scope under 500 USD

Best Rifle Scope under 500
  • Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16×42 Riflescope
  • Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 BDC
  • Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm Duplex, Matte
  • Nikon ProStaff 2-7 x 32 Black Matte Riflescope
  • VX-2 3-9X40Mm Duplex Matte
4.8

Conclusion

Choosing the best rifle scope can be a daunting task. Purchasing it is a major investment decision, thus thoroughly plan and research before you invest.Make a good choice and you won’t regret it.

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