Top 10 Best Rifle Scope under $500

It is not always easy to look for the best rifle scope under 500 especially when you are a newbie. However, if you know what you are looking for, it becomes very easy. In this article, we will help you find the best scope that will suit your needs and what you want to use for. The reasons people use it on riffles varies with some looking for spots, long range, night vision, or best rifle scope under 500. This article will enable you to get the best rifle scope with great features.

  1. Vortex Optics Diamondback HP Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

If you are looking for a riflescope with high performance and quality, durable, reliable and has clarity then this will be perfect for you. This is the best scope with extra features that are perfect for hunting and shooting in various ranges. The riflescope has increased magnification which makes target hunting or shooting easy on your eyes. Vortex Optics has a parallel adjustment and a clear view, easy and quick to adjust for elevation. It is durable with an A+ eye relief and gives you clear view in all levels of magnification, even in low light condition, you can still have a clear view since it is a bit thick. The riflescope features an XD dispersion glass which improves color fidelity with resolution and XR fully and multiple coated lenses that maximize shooting light at each minute. Its side focus adjustment can be accessed easily while enabling an optimal mounting height and keeping a low profile at the same time. This riflescope has a dot design that eliminates any guesswork on windage corrections and hold over especially when hunting or shooting. Its second Focal plane Reticle helps maintain same size appearance. You can use it with different firearms such as high powered, rim fire, and black powder rifles, with slug shotguns.

What we loved

  • -Provides a clar view
  • -Easy to adjust
  • -Durable
  • -Best eye relief
  • -Waterproof and fog proof
  • -Side focus is easy to access

What we did not like

  • -It is a bit heavy


  • -3-12x magnification
  • -4 inches eye relief
  • -42mm objective lens
  • -30 yards parallax setting
  • -15 MOA travel per rotation
  • -90 MOA max elevation and windage adjustments
  1. Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scope

If you need a riflescope that is a heavyweight and outstanding performer in light, affordable and a compact package then this Vortex Optics will be perfect choice for you. It provides a bright and clear image in all magnification ranges while withstanding rough usage due to its rugged construction. In case you are looking for a lightweight hunting and shooting riflescope, then this will be ideal for you. You can use it for astronomy and shooting. The objective lens has a diameter of 88 mm that enables to locate target easily especially when hunting. It has XR multi-lenses that are fully coated and has a retractable and built-in sunshade to give you perfect light transmission with clear image. The twist and lock collar enables you move the scope to achieve several glassing positions while its eyecup is adjustable, thus, twists upwards and downwards for comfort. The smoothness, easy use of focus wheel and a powerful zoomable eyepiece makes it the best choice to go for. With nitrogen purge, o-ring and diamond back makes it fog proof and waterproof.

What we loved

  • -Provides big and clear view
  • -Easy to adjust
  • -Affordable
  • -Lightweight
  • -Durable


  • -20-60x magnification
  • -80mm objective lens diameter
  • -22ft close focus
  • -Weighs 4.1 oz
  • -20-16.5 mm eye relief
  • -4-1.3 mm exit pupil
  • -2-1 degrees angular field view
  • -105-51 ft linear field view
  1. Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope, Black, 4-16×50

For a brighter clear view of your target and long range shootings, pick this Nikon Monarch 3. This riflescope provides clarity even in low light vision making it the best to have. Its eye box technology has a 4 times zoom range with 4 inches eye relief. It is also easy to adjust with the loaded spring and zero-reset turrets. If you are using it for shooting, its quick focus eyepiece will enable you to bring reticle to ficus. The clear coat ultra optical system ensures 95% transmission of light which ensures a clear and sharp view at either dawn or dusk. You can be able to make easy adjustment. It is shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof.

What we loved

  • -Easy to adjust
  • -Clear view and sharp sight
  • -95% light transmission
  • -Waterproof, shockproof and fog proof


  • -4 time zoom range
  • -4 inch eye relief
  • -Ultra ClearCoat Optical System
  1. Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, Riflescope, 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane (FFP) 30 mm Tube, Illuminated APMR MIL Reticle,

This Athlon Optics rifle enables you get clear view of target, thus, ideal for  low light situation especially when undergoing tactical training or hunting. Its focal plane reticle enables you utilize it in all power settings as it is able to grow or shrink along your target when zooming it in or out. It has advanced and multi-lenses that are fully coated to provide you with good light transmission for perfect color and brightness. The glass reticle gives you a back up support in case of a complex design and ensures shock resistance. This scope also features and nargon purge which makes it waterproof and provides thermal stability. The aircraft aluminum tube has a unique mechanical integrity and strength that will protect it. As a hunter or a shooter, never miss picking this as it will give you service.

What we loved

  • -Durable
  • -Shock resistant
  • -Waterproof
  • -Provides a good light transmission

What we did not like

  • -It has low eye relief


  • -6-24 magnification
  • -50mm objective lens diameter
  • -100 yard field view
  • -3.3 inch eye relief
  • -Weighs 29.6 ounces
  1. Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Duplex Reticle Matte Riflescope

This Leupold VX-3i riflescope is made in USA. It is made of aluminum and is perfect for hunting since it is more of plain, simple, provides an outstanding performance in low-light and has a tougher and lightweight design.  You can be able to have clear view when the light is low by the help of the twilight max light management system. At high or low-powers, its vlong eye relief with best eye box will give your head a perfect latitude position, brightness and clear image view. It features a Diamond Coat 2 ensures high light transmission, clarity and contrast and perfect brightness. This riflescope also has a minimalist duplex reticle that enables a simple and easy acquisition of your target while the peripheral lines eliminate any compromise.

What we loved

  • -It provides a high light transmission
  • -Clear view
  • -Lightweight
  • -Long eye relief uddsd


  • -Weighs 357g
  • -4.4-3.6 eye relief
  • -40mm objective diameter
  • -52 MOA elevation and windage adjustment range
  • -29.8-11.0 Linear FOV (feet)
  • -9.9-3.7 linear FOV (meters)
  1. Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope, Black, 3.5-14×50

If you love hunting, then this Nikon Prostaff 5 is the perfect scope for you. It features bright optical system, hand-turn reticle adjustment and loaded spring with zeo-reset turrets, quick eyepiece focus and up to 4x zoom ratio to enable you adjust even in a shooting position. The best thing about it is that it has a high quality scope with very clear picture, best light gathering for long-range shooting, best eye relief, great magnification and huge field view to enable you be on target in bushy place. You can see your target better than just using your naked eyes. It is easy to adjust sight and windage to make sure you get a clear view of your target. In case of low light, this scope still works perfectly. The match technology helps eliminate any guesswork while shooting. Its optics is fully multicoated to maximize transmission of light even when the environment has an extreme low light.

What we loved

  • -Very clear pictures
  • -Quick eyepiece focus for you to bring reticle to focus
  • -Best eye relief
  • -Multicoated optics ensures maximum light transmission and brightness
  • -BDC reticle for great long range shooting
  • -Up to 4x zoom ratio
  • -Wide field view
  • -Function even in low light transmission


  • -50mm objective diameter
  • -3.5-14x magnification
  • -4 inch eye relief
  • -Weighs 19.4 oz
  • -BDC reticle
  • -50 yards parallax setting
  • -14.3 inch length
  1. EOTECH 512.A65 Tactical HOLOgraphic AA Batteries Weapon Sight

This scope enables you have a quicker and perfect closer range when shooting your target. EOTECH 512 is easy on batteries and has metal housing. It holds its zero and the sight is easy to adjust and easy to install. At night, its sight becomes dim to enable you shoot at long range and becomes brighter when the sun is bright. It is perfect for fast acquisition of target and close-quarter combat. This Eotech has 20 levels of brightness that enables you control brightness in low or bright light. You can be able to shoot perfectly within shorter range. Its battery only lasts for 1,000 hrs. It uses AA batteries which available and affordable. The scope’s holographic sight greatly improves acquisition of target, accuracy and control in shooting environment.

What we loved

  • -It is fog proof
  • -Durable and sturdy
  • -Easy to install and adjust
  • -Unlimited eye relief

What we did not like

  • -Rain drops make it hard to see
  • -Bulky
  • -It lacks night vision abilities


  • -1x magnification
  • -Waterproof up to 10 feet
  • -40 MOA travel adjustment range
  • -1.2 by 0.85 inch window dimension
  • -110,000:1 brightness adjustment range
  • -1,000 hours lithium and 600 hours alkaline battery life
  • -Weighs 10 ounces
  • -at 8 hours shutdown and 4 hours programmable
  1. Nikon ProStaff 7 4-16X42 BDC Riflescope

This Nikon Prostaff 7 is clear and bright so you can aim at your target easily. When hunting, you will be assured of uncut optic corners. It has full multicoated lenses for brightness and perfect view of pictures at any time, 4x zoom range, and 30mm body tubes that gives a maximum adjustment range crucial in windage and elevation adjustments, thus, making it the best to take out for hunting. This riflescope also features a Spot On technology which enables you discovers aiming points on your reticle in different yards. The reticle has BDC circles which enables you shoot over a long range while having normal pictures for short range when crosshair acts as the aiming point.

What we loved

  • -Great performance in low light
  • -Waterproof and fog proof
  • -Spot on ballistic match technology
  • -It is clear and bright in all situations
  • -Lightweight


  • -4-3.7 eye relief
  • -4.2 mm exit pupil
  • -30 mm tube diameter
  • -Up to 100 yds a quarter inch reticle adjustment
  • -42 mm objective lens diameter
  1. Nikon M-308 4-16X42 Riflescope BDC 800 Reticle, Matte 16463

Nikon M-308 is ideal for heavy rifles and perfect for long-range accuracy, thus, ideal for hunting or shooting. Its optical system is fully multicoated to ensure that light transmission and brightness is great at dawn or dusk. This riflescope has 4 inch eye relief ensures your brow is safe when using lightweight rifles or in severe angles of shooting. You can be able to have a high or low magnification range and quickly change magnification with zoom control. It is easy to install and use with high quality glass and BDC reticle. Its magnification range is large and lens oversize to make sure you achieve accurate shots when using heavy caliber rifles. This riflescope also features a spot on technology which enables you know your rifle’s aiming points. The loaded spring zero-reset turrets ensure field adjustments are made simple. These features make it the best riflescope for shooting and hunting.

What we loved

  • -Fully multicoated lenses improves light transmission to ensure images are bright and clear
  • -Waterproof and fog proof
  • -4x zoom technology
  • -Shockproof
  • -It has a quick focus eyepiece
  • -It features spot on ballistic match technology


  • -2.5-10.5 mm exit pupil
  • -3.7-4 inch eye relief
  • -BDC 800 Reticle
  • -6.3-25.2 ft at 100 yards
  • -49.3 mm objective diameter
  • -42 mm eyepiece diameter
  1. Leupold VX-R 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope, FireDot Duplex illum. Reticle, Matte Black

The ability of this riflescope to manage light ensures that your eye gets important light to form a crisp and high contrasting image. Its lenses have coating applied on it to maximize the transmission of both red and blue and to make sure colors are balanced for high contrast. It features an MST (Motion Sensor Technology) which will deactivate illumination automatically when inactive for 5 minutes but reactivate later in case a motion is detected. The best thing about its duplex illuminated and firedot reticle is that you can still aim at your target even when darkness falls. When using it for hunting or shooting, the reticle’s bright dot will draw your eye while centering it on your target to make sure you place a precise shot.

What we loved

  • -Twilight light management system
  • -Totally fog proof and waterproof
  • -made of aircraft quality aluminum
  • -The reticle has duplex style and illuminated firedot for easy aiming when dark


  • -3:1 zoom ratio
  • -3-9x magnification
  • -30mm main tube
  • -106-5mm eye relief
  • -Weighs 434 g
  • -1.6 inch objective diameter

What to look for in a riflescope

Optical power

it is crucial to know the magnification you will require for your activity. A lower magnification means that shooting is more intuitive and fast and better tracking of `target while high magnification means target resolution is high but it is large, heavy and expensive.


After you have known the exact magnification you need, you will have to consider the size of objective lens. Large objective lens have high magnification ranges and transmits more light to your eye making image clear and bright while a smaller one is the opposite. A larger lens is however more heavier.


Duplex reticle-they are best for hunting and shooting targets since it focuses your eye towards center of scope and outer bars aiding you when light is low.

Mildot reticle-Its enhancements are powerful and when target is known, it determines the range and allows you make fast elevation and wind adjustment. Ideal for rifle used beyond 300 yards.

BDC reticle-it ensures an accurate shooting in various target ranges without having to make adjustment to the elevation. It is perfect for ranges more that 500 yards.


These are systems for scope adjustment.

MOA-it stands for Minute Of Angle and allows precise zeroing compared to MRAD scopes. Increment of adjustment is small making it perfect for zeroing in long range.

MRAD-stands for milradian representing an angle section and found in reticle scopes. The adjustments are simpler and the process is the same in all ranges.

Focal plane

It includes first and second focal plane. In first plane, the scope’s reticle will scale up or down when the magnification changes, thus, accurate BDC markings or milradian measurement regardless of magnification. In second focal plane reticle remains the same if changes magnification level occurs to give clear pictures at every magnification level.


The riflescope you purchase should be able to recoil to fit your firearm and withstand the terrain especially when hunting.


Parallax refers to change in position of reticle to target by moving the head a bit. In specific distance, magnification with low scope is parallax free while ones with high magnification require a parallax correction knob. If you don’t want a parallax correction knob, pull back your head until you achieve equal scope shadow in every side of the scope’s reticle.

Eye relief

Choosing the best eye relief is very important to avoid any black eyes when viewing your target.

Quality glass

Make sure its quality is high mainly made of ED, EX or HD and the coating be prism and be scratch, weather and debris repellent to make sure it is not damaged.


Your riflescope must have a warranty for assurance that in case there are damages you didn’t see it will be repaired or replaced.


Once you have known what you want, it is important that the scope you pick does not drain your account.


There are various riflescopes under 500 in the market and we have gone through many of them and settled on the ten as being the best to pick. The scope you pick depends on what you want to use it for. If you want to shoot up to 300 yards, pick one with a magnification of 25x. The above scopes are all good since they have been used and received very positive reviews from various shooters and hunters. If you pick any of the above, you will never be disappointed and we assure you that your shooting and hunting experience will be more fun.

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