The 10 Best Rifle Scope Under 500 in 2023
A rifle scope is an optical sighting device that features some form of graphic image pattern in its optical system. When it comes to shooting your target, this piece of equipment gives you an accurate aiming point so that you can zoom in and accurately shoot your target.
Finding the best rifle scope under 500 dollars is a little bit challenging task. But, if you know what to consider when purchasing a rifle scope, it may get easier for you.
You need to be sure that you are going to get a high-quality shooting gear that matches your hunting style. You also have to know how accurately you’ll be able to see the target through your rifle scope.
If you want to purchase a medium-range rifle scope within this price range, 500 dollars might be a reasonable amount for you. Don’t think that those riflescopes are temporary optics. But they are special ones with unique features.
Table of Contents
- Reviews of the Best Rifle Scope Under 500
- 1. Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600
- 2. Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic
- 3. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen I Riflescopes
- 4. Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, Riflescope
- 5. Vortex Optics Viper PA Second Focal Riflescopes
- 6. Leupold 115370 P5 Dial Duplex Reticle Riflescope
- 7. Vortex Optics Viper HS Second Focal Riflescopes
- 8. Vortex Optics Diamondback First Focal Riflescopes
- 9. Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, Riflescope
- 10. Leupold VX-3i 3.5x10x40mm Rifle Scope
- Buying Guide of the Best Rifle Scope Under 500
- Final Thoughts
Reviews of the Best Rifle Scope Under 500
Everyone usually expects that their optics will be from durable materials. The best rifle scope under 500 dollars is the construction of high-grade aluminum with shockproof and fog proof features. So, it allows you to shoot your target in any condition.
Besides, the best riflescopes are usually waterproof, but you shouldn’t assume that the scopes within this price range will be completely submersible. Most scopes will give you a range from 3x to 9x, as well.
We have picked the best rifle scope under 500 dollars, which are the best riflescopes in this middle ground price range. We hope this review will help you figure out which one is the most suitable according to your needs.
1. Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600
The Nikon Mate BDC 600 is one of the best rifle scope under 500 dollars for multiple styles of shooting, including long-range shooting as much as possible.
It is a construction of polymer with a fully multi-coated optical system, which is usable for many different AR platforms. This riflescope also comes particularly with the purpose of those who adjust their scope quickly to get their target.
The riflescope provides a useful magnification with a wide field of view that goes from 3x to 9x, which can produce a crystal clear view through its high resolution.
With the reticle of this scope, you will be able to shoot anywhere from 100 to 600 yards away. As a polymer tip bullet, this riflescope is used for the 0.223 Rem / 5.56 NATO round.
Besides, the riflescope has a 40mm objective lens. You will have pretty much light into the riflescope with a brighter view of your target so that you can get enough eye relief. Also, the single-precision adjustments come with a zero-reset functionality, so you don’t need to keep readjusting while taking the same shot.
Again, the interior is filled with nitrogen sealed O-ring so that you will never have any moisture going into your riflescope. You can take out your riflescope in any weather without worrying about a foggy lens.
- A fully multi-coated optical system
- Easy zeroing in extreme sighting speed
- Powerful parallax setting
- Improves range hash marks
- Offers accurate shooting far from 100 yards
- The optic doesn’t come with flip caps to cover the objective lens
2. Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic
Aimpoint is a famous, high-quality tactical optics manufacturer, which produces one of its best rifle scope under 500, The Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic. It is made of hard-anodized aluminum with a sophisticated matt black finish.
It also comes with a fully multi-coated front and rear lens with an anti-reflex layer and right color intensity, which provide increased protection through a back lens cover against impact damage and scratches to the lens system.
Besides, this excellent optic provides unlimited eye relief with a parallax-free feature. The 30mm objective lens also protects an efficient circuit of 3V lithium battery so that the scope can be remained turned on for as many as three years.
This means this excellent piece of equipment is always ready to use. Again, the riflescope is the modular QRP2 mount with a removable spacer, which is compatible with a wide range of rifles such as M4 and AR15 and other types of firearms.
- Compatible to use with M4 and AR15 devices
- Easy target acquisition
- Comes with a transparent rear lens
- Affordable price
- Might miss a brightness adjustment setting
3. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen I Riflescopes
Vortex Optics produces a lot of tactical gear nowadays. The Viper PST Gen I Riflescope is one of them, which features a one-piece, shockproof 30mm tube, ample windage and elevation adjustment.
It is the construction of aircraft-grade aluminum to match ballistic reticle and turret measurements. It also allows accurate and fast dialing shots, even in low light visibility, to capture crisp, sharp images of the target.
Besides, the extra-low dispersion glass and the multiple anti-reflective coatings also boost light transmission on all air to glass surfaces. The turrets have a very stiff and stable click to them, and the zero stops can be rotated to find zero after making temporary adjustments quickly.
Argon gas purging and O-ring seals also provide both waterproof and shockproof performance. Furthermore, this riflescope has enough magnification and a perfect zeroing system to make any adjustments well-suited to handling the shock load from any rifle.
Vortex also has an incredible lifetime warranty, so if your scope gets damaged or isn’t holding up for any reason, you will get service from the vortex.
- Solid construction
- Quality optical
- Easy to use controls
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Affordable price
- Illumination in bright daylight appears to be weak and washes out, especially if the background is also bright
4. Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, Riflescope
Athlon Optics produces a wide range of scopes that come in under 500 dollars. The Athlon Optics Argos BTR is a scope that comes in multiple configurations. It’s a first focal plane riflescope, so you can use your reticle for range and windage estimation even when you change the magnification power.
This riflescope offers one of the highest quality glasses at this price range with fully multi-coated lenses in several layers for excellent image quality and accurate color.
It is also equipped with the waterproofing, fog-proofing, and shock-proofing with a proprietary extra coating that improves scratch resistance on the lenses.
Besides, long-range shooters will find that the Argos provides the image sharpness they need to hit competition targets at maximum distance.
The rifle scope also offers excellent light collection for hunters who like to get out early and stay out late. It again features an etched reticle for exceptional reticle crispness in all light conditions and environments.
- Excellent optical clarity
- Good quality for the money
- Perfect of rapid zero adjustments
- Best for long-range shooting
- Awesome magnification
- Magnification adjustment might be tight
5. Vortex Optics Viper PA Second Focal Riflescopes
The Viper PA Second Focal Plane Riflescope from Vortex Optics comes with a 30mm main tube with a hard-anodized finish. This high-quality shooting gear has fully multi-coated lenses that bring excellent resolution and color fidelity.
While Armortek coating shields the lenses, the XR coatings of this riflescope provide enhanced light gathering capability. Besides, the magnification of this riflescope is vital in long-range shooting, especially when you’re hunting and may need to zero in on your target quickly.
So, it comes with a massive magnification with a 50mm objective lens. At the lowest magnification, this optic provides a wide, 17.4 feet field of view. At the highest magnification, it gives you a field of view of 6.2 feet.
Again, the scope’s mil-dot reticle helps you calculate a wide range of windage and elevation adjustments while shooting the target. While the capped turrets include a range of 65 MOA, this optic has a good eye relief of 3.1 inches. Remember that you need to be cautious of the focus knob, which may be tough to use with flip-up lens caps.
- Provides excellent light transmission
- Ensures crystal clear pictures
- Has quick focus eyepiece
- Includes easy zero reset function
- Features simple adjustment controls
- It might be blurry for a close-range shot
6. Leupold 115370 P5 Dial Duplex Reticle Riflescope
The Leupold P5 Dial Duplex Reticle Riflescope Matte is such a riflescope, which is the USA made optic with polymer aluminum construction. This scope comes with a fully multi-coated 40mm objective lens that allows for plenty of light transmissions.
It features comfortable 4.3 inches eye relief, so you don’t have to worry about the scope striking you in the eye or forehead when you fire. It also provides optics chambers that are nitrogen-purged, and O-ring sealed to make them waterproof and fog proof.
Besides, you’ll get actual magnification ranging from 3.3x to 8.6x. Also, the field of view is a generous 14.1 to 33.5 feet at 100 yards, depending on the magnification level you set.
You also get the cream of the crop here in the scope’s reticle. The Firedot-G TMR reticle with an illuminated green dot at the center offers a total of ten range compensation markers in all directions, which allow more natural target acquisition regardless of the lighting conditions.
Again, mounting your scope on an AR–15 or M–16 platform will be painless and straightforward. The scope also comes with the required rings for attaching it on a Picatinny rail. Once you’ve mounted it, use your laser bore-sighting tool to get started, and then head to the rifle range.
- Highly precise 0.1 milliradian windage and elevation adjustments
- Second-generation argon fog proofing
- Includes the mounting system for Picatinny rails
- Provides ease of use in low-light conditions
- Nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed
- No zero stop on elevation or windage controls
7. Vortex Optics Viper HS Second Focal Riflescopes
The Viper HS Second Focal Plane is one of the best scopes you can get under 500 bucks. It is a durable, hard-anodized matte black finish riflescope, which is famous for a wide variety of hunting applications.
Scratch-resistant Armortek coatings protect the outer lenses of the scope, providing fog proof and waterproof performance as well. Besides, it comes with a 30mm main tube, which increases the amount of elevation and windage travel for optimal adjustment.
XR multi-coated lens allows you to capture the most light from dawn till dusk. Also, the 4x zoom range will work effectively. Again, a straight MOA reticle is the best option as it matches with turrets.
Though they don’t have the same level of adjustment as higher-end models, you can still get plenty of the turrets. Also, it is a durable riflescope. The interior of this scope is sealed and argon-purged to keep out water and fog.
- Offers a wide field of view
- Has a solid construction with intuitive adjustments
- The reticle is practical and uncluttered
- Comes with an audible click turret for quick tuning
- Provides a generous eye relief
- The magnification adjustment might be stiff
8. Vortex Optics Diamondback First Focal Riflescopes
Vortex introduced two new scopes in the Diamondback series. They offer some quite interesting things, including the reticle on the first focal plane that allows for quick target acquisition as well.
Most shooters immediately mean these riflescopes are expensive, but both are below 500 dollars. Firstly, the aircraft-grade aluminum 30mm tube is shockproof, ruggedly built to withstand recoil, and impacts.
These riflescopes also have reliable O-ring seals, and nitrogen purging guarantees waterproof and fog-proof performance. They come in either MOA or MRAD to hold eleven adjustments and windage.
Besides, the lenses are multi-coated and anti-reflective to provide clear images, even in low light conditions. Also, the turrets are exposed to precise adjustments for windage and elevation. The side parallax knob gives shooters long-distance precision shooting.
- Features 30mm tube
- Comes with FFP reticle
- Provides glass-etched reticle
- Offers affordable price
- Ensures a wide field of view
- There might be no zero stop
9. Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, Riflescope
The Athlon Optics Argos BTR riflescope is an optic that you can get under 500 dollars. It comes with an aircraft-grade aluminum 30mm tube, which provides exceptional strength and superior mechanical integrity and gives you up to 60 MOA/18 MIL adjustment travel to get you pumping off rounds at further distances.
This scope is sealed with argon-purged nitrogen gas to keep the optic safe from water and fog. Besides, this scope has fully multi-coated lenses and extra protective coatings, which will provide you crystal clear images and give you a better light transmission to bring optimum brightness.
Reticle etched on the glass offers superb backing support for complicated reticle design. It also provides excellent durability and much higher shock protection to recoil.
Again, this riflescope is approximately 360 millimeters long and 835 grams heavy. It has a matte black color with a 30-millimeter tube diameter. The field of view is 1.85 meters on 100 meters, and eye relief is 83 millimeters.
After all, this riflescope includes lens covers, lens cleaning cloth, CR battery, and rifle scope manual. If you buy this rifle scope for your shooting or hunting, we think you won’t get disappointed.
- Sealed with argon-purged nitrogen gas
- Provides a wide field of view
- Ensures Eye relief
- Has fully multi-coated lens
- Offers affordable price under 500 bucks
- Zero stop system is absent
10. Leupold VX-3i 3.5x10x40mm Rifle Scope
When you are after the best rifle scope under 500 dollars, the Leupold VХ-3і іѕ one of them and an excellent all-round riflescope for all skill level hunters.
This rifle scope is assembled in the USA and provides maximum brightness and color contrast. This rifle scope also comes with a range of reticle options, which is an ideal general-purpose reticle.
Besides, this scope features duplex reticle and matte finish with 100% waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof performance. It also has a diamond lens coating with a 40mm objective lens for higher light transmission and the most excellent level of abrasion resistance.
You will also have a precision of 1/4 MOA finger click adjustments for windage. Plus, it includes a max light management system that combines up to 20 extra minutes of shooting light and reduces glare for premium edge-to-edge image quality. After all, it has beautiful light-gathering abilities and perfect quality glass.
- Excellent quality glass
- The USA made optic
- Multi-coated quality
- Fast-focusing system
- Multiple models available
- Narrow field of view
Buying Guide of the Best Rifle Scope Under 500
The most expensive scopes on the market are long-range and target scopes because they allow you to shoot longer distances. While there are general-purpose scopes available, they might not be the best for every situation. Before buying a scope, it will be better to identify the specific purpose of using a rifle scope. Therefore, experts always recommend choosing a scope that meets your needs best.
Besides, while purchasing a new one, it is also essential to consider some other crucial factors regarding rifle scope. The following consideration will help you to get the best one within your budget.
Fixed or Variable Power
Variable power scopes have a wide degree of magnification that the user can change. Whereas fixed scopes always have a particular degree. They are simple in design and have fewer magnification options compared to variable power scopes. But variable power scopes allow you to adjust the magnification depending on the situation.
Magnification is one of the most important aspects to take into consideration before buying a rifle scope. Sometimes even cheap scopes tend to have high magnification. Besides, it’s best to get a scope with a fully multi-coated lens. Before going for a specific one, you should always check the magnification that has been written on. This number will help you to purchase something with the highest possible light transmission and the best glass.
Threaded caps (adjustments) are usually present in turrets. These turrets allow for easy adjustments. It is essential to maximize the potential of your rifle scope. Therefore, look for turrets that allow for quick and easy adjustments. Besides, some scopes have turrets that are difficult to adjust, so when it comes to adjustment, make sure you get turrets that you can adjust easily.
The diameter of your rifle scope main tube will affect your accuracy. It is usually 1 inch 30 mm, or 34 mm in measurement. A riflescope with a larger diameter main tube is heavier and more robust. It’s generally capable of better long-range shooting.
Waterproof and Shockproof
For extreme conditions, it will be better to go with a waterproof and shockproof rifle scope. If you get a rifle scope that can withstand rain or shock, it ensures you can use your rifle in any weather condition.
Frequently asked questions
Q: What is a rifle scope?
A: A rifle scope is an optical device that helps you aim at a target more accurately by magnifying the image.
Q: Why do I need a rifle scope?
A: A rifle scope can help you shoot more accurately, especially at longer distances. It can also improve your overall shooting experience and enjoyment.
Q: What should I look for in a rifle scope under $500?
A: When looking for a rifle scope under $500, consider features such as magnification, objective lens diameter, reticle type, and durability.
Q: Can I use a rifle scope under $500 for hunting?
A: Yes, many rifle scopes under $500 are suitable for hunting. Look for scopes with appropriate magnification and objective lens size for your hunting needs.
Q: Can I use a rifle scope under $500 for long-range shooting?
A: Yes, some rifle scopes under $500 have the necessary features and magnification for long-range shooting.
Q: Are more expensive rifle scopes better than those under $500?
A: Not necessarily. Many rifle scopes under $500 offer excellent performance and features for their price range.
Q: What is the warranty on rifle scopes under $500?
A: Warranty varies by manufacturer, but most rifle scopes under $500 come with a limited warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
Q: Can I get a good quality rifle scope under $500?
A: Yes, there are many high-quality rifle scopes available for under $500 that offer excellent performance and features.
Q: How do I zero my rifle scope?
A: To zero your rifle scope, you will need to adjust the windage and elevation until the reticle is aligned with your target. This can be done through trial and error, or with the help of a bore sight.
In short, thousands of hunters have already used the best rifle scope under 500 dollars. The feedback for all the ones listed above has been overwhelmingly positive. If you pick one scope from here, you won’t go wrong.
There are several other scopes out there. We don’t assume or think we’ve seen them all. However, we’ve tried our best to review the ten best rifle scope under 500 above and figure out about each one differently. Now, you have to find out your needs and match them.
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