6 Best Rifle Scopes Under $500 of 2021

You can’t shoot something if you can’t see it, and when it’s dark outside and you’re ready to begin hunting, you can’t even think about stepping foot out the door without a decent scope.

The problem is finding a decent scope for less than $500 and which scope you need will depend largely on what you are using your gun for and under which conditions.

If you need a scope that won’t break the bank but that you can rely on when you’re out there hunting, our guide will help you easily find the best rifle scope under $500.

There is a number of different scopes available with different features making it difficult to choose one, but you can compare and contrast the top 6 models below and refer to our tips to help you choose the right one.

Top 6 Rifle Scopes Under $500 Table

PictureNameMountable onPriceRating (1-5)
Mountable on
Rating (1-5)
1. Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope Duplex Reticle 110797Picatinny and weaver mounts$4.8
2. Vortex Optics SPR-1301 Spitfire 1x Prism Scope with DRT ReticleMost rifles (mount included)$4.7
3. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6x24 Rifle Scope AR-BDC Reticle (MOA) SE-1624-1Cantilever 30MM mount$$4.7
4. Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision RiflescopePicatinny and weaver mounts$$$4.4
5. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24x50mm AO Riflescope w/ Dead-Hold BDC ReticleMost rifles$4.3
6. Firefield FF26014T Tactical Night Vision Rifle Scope with Internal FocusingBolt Action Rifles$$$3.8

What to Look For

When looking for a scope, the quality of the image and the clarity of the reticule are two of the most important factors to consider. Durability is also important, as well as being able to adjust the scope to your needs.

Top 3 Best Rifle Scope Under $500 Reviews

1. Leupold VX-2 Duplex Reticle 110797

The sleek, low-profile design of this scope makes it very pleasing on the eye, but it has much more to offer then just good looks. Even in rain and mist this scope gives a crystal clear image and is also effective in low-light conditions. The scope does not fog up in mist and also offers a perfect amount of eye-relief.

The scope is easy to zero, taking just a few shots, and once it is zeroed then it would usually not need any more adjustments for as long as it is attached to the same gun. Any necessary adjustments are made simple with turrets that are easily adjustable by hand.  Although slender in design, the scope is very durable and can take direct knocks without losing its zero, making it ideal for use outdoors. Rubber caps are provided to help protect the lenses when the gun is not in use.

Among the most popular features of this scope is the excellent customer service from the manufacturers Leupold. Many users say that this is the best rifle scope under $500 and is comparable with others in a considerably higher price bracket.

For a quality scope that offers great view range and clarity, durability, aesthetics and superb customer service then this model could be the ideal choice for you.

2. Vortex Optics SPR-1301 Spitfire 1x Prism Scope

This scope uses sophisticated prism technology for excellent clarity of view over range, while the MOA reticule helps with close range fast target acquisition. The fog-proof scope allows for clarity in all-weather conditions while the O-ring seals prevent moisture and particles from entering. It has also been purged with nitrogen gas to help ensure its outstanding level of clarity.

Users can also select from a range of colors and intensities for the reticule dot for use in different environments and conditions. The dots are etched directly into the reticule, making them clear under all conditions, even when the batteries have expired, to help maintain an accurate aim at all times.

This scope is designed specifically for use with AR platforms and is a compact, durable scope that can take some knocks and still remain perfectly functional. The scope can also be used well in conjunction with magnifiers, night visions goggles and other accessories.

For a gun that is packed full of functionality with superb technology, the Spitfire 1X from Vortex Optics is hard to beat.

3. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle AR-BDC Reticle

This scope is ideal for close-mid range targets, while it also works just fine for targets at a distance of up to 600 yards. The crystal clear glass provides perfect images when the scope is used at all magnifications.

The dot on the reticule is bright and clear to see, with different setting available making it ideal for use in the daytime and in low light conditions. The reticule is etched in glass and protected between two layers, meaning you can always count on it being clearly visible. In many cases, the dot is still clearly visible even when it has not been illuminated by batteries.

The scope is a single tube design which helps to give it durability while also helping to ensure water is kept out. The magnification is easily and quickly changed with a lever that firmly clicks into place between each setting.

If you are looking for something that provides excellent clarity with a clearly visible aiming dot in all conditions then this scope could be the best rifle scope under $500 for you.

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