Finding a budget-friendly rifle scope can be tricky. Sometimes, manufacturers compromise on durability and other factors when rifle scopes start to dip into the under $200 price range.
That said, it is possible to find a quality rifle scope at an affordable price, but you have to know what you’re looking for.
With that in mind, I’ve done some research and compiled the best rifle scopes under 200 that I could find. I hope this article will help you find the budget-friendly rifle scope that’s perfect for your needs.
Our Top Choice
For the most bang for your buck, we’re going with the Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40 Riflescope. It has some of the best optics of all the scopes in this article and is durable and weatherproof. It’s a scope you’re sure to have for years to come.
The 7 Best Rifle Scopes Under $200
Rifle hunting is better with high-quality optics, which is where the Vortex Diamondback stands out. It’s built for long-range and medium-range hunting, with glass that is clear and maintains its clarity when adjusted between 4x and 12x. It has an excellent field of view and visibility.
The Vortex Diamondback riflescope is an excellent value for the money. It has a 40mm tube constructed out of aircraft-grade aluminum, making it extremely durable even in the harshest hunting environments. Plus, it has pop-up dials for simple adjustments for wind, elevation, and other factors.
Overall, it’s a precise piece of equipment, with sharp crosshair focus. Its optics have been treated with argon gas to prevent fogging and to make the scope waterproof. The pop-up dials make audible clicks as you make adjustments that can easily be counted and quickly changed. In other words, it has all of the basics, so while it doesn’t have any premium features, what it does have works beautifully.
- Durable and weatherproof
- Clear and bright optics
- Precise pop-up dials and erector system
- 4x to 12x optical zoom
- Excellent quality for its price
- Relatively short (3.1”) eye relief, so it requires an adjustable mount
The Final Verdict
The Diamondback rifle scope lives up to its Vortex name. It’s waterproof, weatherproof, and practically indestructible. It’s a basic scope with excellent quality. While it doesn’t have premium features, what it does have, it does well.
The Bushnell AR Optics Riflescope is a strong choice in this price range. It features quick-change magnification settings for fast adjustment. What’s more, it has a Drop Zone 223 reticle that sharpens images in low-light situations. It also has accurate holdovers as far as 500 yards.
This rifle scope includes a second focal plane accessed by a lever, enabling you to make fast power changes. This feature is particularly helpful for adapting to changing environments. On top of that, its optics are clear and bright, with a protective coating that repels water, oil, and dirt.
Bushnell’s AR Optics Riflescope is a prime choice for medium-range hunting. It’s easy to mount, and sighting is simple. It’s durable enough to withstand most hunting environments and perfect to get the job done.
- Excellent low-light performance
- Second focal plane to change magnification with ease
- Fully coated optics for protection from water, oil, and sand
- Precise and easily-accessed adjustment turrets
- Heavier than some comparable rifle scopes
The Final Verdict
The Bushnell AR Optics Riflescope is good for what it is, a basic scope with optics that can be adjusted quickly because of its second focal plane design. It’s also excellent for low-light situations, making it a solid choice for certain types of hunting environments. All in all, you get a lot for the price.
This one from Nikon offers precision, brightness, and clarity for a scope designed around the trajectory of a .22 Long Rifle Rimfire round. It has open circle aiming points for firing anywhere between 50 and 150 yards with perfect accuracy. It also has a 50-yard parallax setting for additional precision.
While the Nikon P-Tactical Riflescope only has magnification settings between 2x and 7x, it offers all of the precision settings you need, including hash-marked reticles for calculating elevation and windage. Plus, it has spring-loaded turrets that are easy to access, manage, and can be instantly reset to zero.
It’s made out of aircraft-grade aluminum, and its optical system is multi-coated to combat adverse weather conditions. In other words, it can handle some abuse. It’s waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof, while always maintaining brightness and light transmission.
- Open circle aiming points for precision between 50 and 150 yards
- Nitrogen-filled lens for fog proof and waterproof performance
- Scope provides clear and bright images
- Precision turrets for accurate adjustments
- Nikon is discontinuing their rifle scope line
The Final Verdict
For a reliable and high-quality scope, the Nikon P-Tactical won’t let you down. The optics are particularly top-notch, providing clear images. It is designed for sighting speed and accuracy, and its turret system enables you to make quick adjustments, making this Nikon one of the best scopes on this list.
The Leapers UTG BugBuster is one of the most budget-friendly scopes in this article. We found it to be an excellent optic for anyone on a budget. It’s shorter and lighter than some of the other scopes but still performs quite well.
It has a 32mm lens with a 3-9 optic range. For most rifles, this is sufficient, and its objective lens provides decent light transmission, so images are bright and easy to see. It also has a range estimating Mil-dot reticle. It’s surprisingly powerful for its size.
This scope has a main body made out of aluminum with supplemental polymers, but it feels solid, and its controls are easy to use. It has two turrets so that you can adjust for windage and elevation, and its reticle has an optional illumination mode. Despite the price, the Leaper UTG BugBuster is surprisingly durable and well constructed.
- Excellent quality for the price
- 4.5” eye relief
- Mil-dot rangefinder improves accuracy
- Locking turrets and tight controls
- Not ideal for long-distance shooting
The Final Verdict
The Leaper UTG BugBuster is one of the best budget scopes on the market. It’s excellent for mid-range shooting and an ideal scope for beginners. While it does have a small objective lens, it’s a solid scope for anyone on a budget.
With rugged construction and optical clarity, the Atibal Striiker rifle scope is sure to improve your shooting experience. It’s made from aircraft-grade aluminum that houses and protects the glass from rigorous use. Even in adverse weather conditions, this scope can withstand the wind and the rain and continue to perform.
The Atibal Striiker is exceptionally durable while remaining lightweight. It has a 60 MOA adjustment range with audible clicks for precision adjustments. It also has optimal optical clarity, able to maintain 80 percent light transmission even while targeting downrange.
Overall, this is an excellent scope for short and mid-range shooting. It can handle low-light and high-light conditions. Plus, it’s durable for every type of hunting environment, rated for temperatures between -22 and 122 Fahrenheit.
- 60 MOA adjustment range
- Multi-coated lenses to repel water and grit
- Extremely durable
- LED illumination
- Requires a CR2032 battery for the illumination function to work
The Final Verdict
This is a great scope. For under $200, you’re getting top-rated durability and reliability. Even if you decide to upgrade in the future, this is a scope you’re going to have for a long time. On top of that, the 60 MOA adjustment range provides you with excellent precision.
This rifle scope from Primary Arms features an illuminated center dot and duplex reticle. It’s built from quality materials and performs amazingly well for being a budget scope. The illuminated center dot enables you to make very precise shots.
The turrets are finger-adjustable with ½ MOA per click. They’re easy to handle and enable simple adjustments for windage and elevation. The center dot has 12 brightness settings, so you can bring it up or down depending on the light situation. You’re also able to move the scope into different shooting positions due to its generous eye relief.
It’s a durable scope that is built to last. The lens is waterproof and fog-resistant and allows for optimal light transmission for bright, crisp images. It also has a second focal plane and a fast-focus eyepiece.
- 12 brightness settings
- ½ MOA per click finger-adjustable turrets
- Illuminated center dot for precision
- Built out of durable aluminum that’s built to last
- Large and a little unwieldy
The Final Verdict
This scope comes with a wide range of features, including a duplex reticle, excellent magnification, and a second focal plane design. What’s more, the 12 brightness settings enable you to shoot with precision in a range of settings, from low-light to bright daylight. The Primary Arms Illuminated Riflescope is a solid choice for novices and professionals alike.
The final rifle scope we recommend is the Simmons ProTarget. This surprisingly affordable scope doesn’t have a lot of frills, but it does the job and does it well. It has a magnification range of 3x to 9x, which is sufficient for most rifles. Plus, it’s made of durable aluminum that should hold up over the years.
It has a multi-coated lens to shed water, oil, and whatever else you might come in contact with out on the field. What’s more, it prevents dust and light glaring issues. It has a decent viewable area and a side parallax adjustment for range shooting and hunting.
The turrets are finger adjustable, making it easy to account for elevation and windage, and simple to reset to zero. This scope is also shockproof, so it can handle recoil without falling out of alignment. It also has a truplex reticle that is perfect for target practice.
- Good lens clarity and brightness
- Finger adjustable turrets
- Side parallax adjustment
- Durable and shockproof
- Reticle is not illuminated
The Final Verdict
For the price, this is an excellent rifle scope. While aimed mostly for beginners, the Simmons ProTarget Rimfire scope provides decent magnification, durable construction, and a quality lens. On top of that, the truplex reticle ensures accuracy and precision.
What to Look for in a Rifle Scope Under $200
It can be tricky to find the best scope under 200 in this price range. Some scope may look like a great deal, but if they have even a single feature that is off, they’re really not worth it. For example, excellent optics mean very little if the scope can’t handle serious recoil and won’t hold zero or reliably adjust.
When looking at rifle scopes, you need to examine each one for durability and fundamental features. Consider the following:
Let’s be honest; most hunting situations are not gentle on your gear. You may have to contend with rough terrain and adverse weather conditions. When you do, you’ll be glad to have a durable scope. Plus, it’s critical that your scope can handle not only your personal style of hunting but also the recoil of your chosen firearm.
The higher quality of glass the rifle scope has, the better. You always want to make sure the glass is coated to protect it from rain, oil, and grit. It’s also helpful to have nitrogen or argon filled lens to make it fog proof. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how well the scope is constructed if it doesn’t have a high-quality glass with optics that are clear and bright.
- Magnification Power
Another thing to look for is magnification power. For most hunting situations, up to a 9x is sufficient, but you may want to go a little higher. Most rifle scopes can go up to 12x or higher, even in the under 200 price range. When looking at magnification, make sure that your image remains clear and bright at high magnification, as lower-quality scopes may cause distortion.
- Ballistic Reticles
While the type and style of reticles is somewhat a matter of personal taste, it’s best to ensure they offer the accuracy you need. For some, basic crosshairs may be enough, or a simple center dot, but for others, you may want additional ticks to account for windage and elevation.
- Eye Relief
Eye relief is essential for several reasons but is especially critical for rifles with serious kick-back. We’ve all seen inexperienced hunters with black eyes because they were positioned too close to their scope. In general, the eye relief should be at least 3 inches or more. Nevertheless, some firearms may require more, or you may need an adjustable mount to ensure comfort and accuracy.
- Turret Quality
Lastly, you should consider turret quality. It’s critical that your dials are able to maintain position from shock and recoil. You don’t want to have to readjust your positioning every time you’re using the scope. Also, look for turrets that are easy to use that you will be able to adjust quickly, so you never miss a shot.
It’s also worth noting that brand reputation can be a good way to find the scope you’re looking for. Brand trust and loyalty are essential. For instance, Vortex, Bushnell, and Nikon are all respected brands. Once you’ve found a brand you love, you can look at its products to get the best value for your buy.
Still have questions? We’ve got answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below:
Are expensive rifle scopes worth the money?
Generally speaking, more expensive rifle scopes are constructed using higher quality materials, making them more robust. They also may have cleaner resolution and provide a clearer image. That said, as we’ve seen in this article, there are still some quality rifle scopes you can get for under $200. For the most part, it depends on if you’re looking for premium features or happy with a basic scope as long as it gets the job done.
What is the best scope for a .30-60 caliber rifle?
If you’re getting a scope, you likely have a particular rifle in mind. For this reason, it’s critical to consider how the scope mounts on your rifle and the eye relief it offers to ensure you’ll be able to use the scope comfortably. For a standard .30-06 rifle, the Vortex Diamondback is an excellent choice. However, Nikon scopes tend to work well, and Simmons makes budget-friendly scopes perfect for this caliber.
For my money, the best rifle scope under $200 is the Vortex Diamondback. Vortex is a brand I trust for quality and craftsmanship. It’s made out of aircraft-grade aluminum, with multi-coated glass, accurate reticles, and high-quality glass.
While a lot of rifle scopes on this list have similar features, the Vortex scope has them all. Its turrets provide precision, and it’s built to last. For even the most rugged of hunting situations, it won’t let you down.