Best Rifle scopes under $300 (Year 2018)
You can buy a quality scope with any budget. Though a feature or another might be missing on a budget, you will still get an exquisite optic. There are various styles of riflescopes, and importantly, different budgets too. If you are looking to purchase a riflescope with a budget of above $1000 or less than $300, you will get something reasonable. With a budget of between $200 and $300, there are options of various brand companies. There’s no reason you can’t buy a scope that is durable, precise, long lasting and tough, in spite of the price point.
We have put together a buying guide for acquiring the best scope under 300 bucks. We also show you some of the best rifle scopes you can buy within the $300 budget.
Bushnell Throwdown PCL
Vortex Optics Diamondback
Muller Target Scope
Leupold 115388 Mark MOD 1
What type of scope can I buy under $300?
There are three kinds of scopes.
Fixed Scope: These scopes do not have a magnification adjustment. The lenses are immovable, and they are conveniently light weighted. They are used majorly by hunters.
Variable Scope: These are the most common scopes. They give allowance for adjustment of magnification. Shooters can zoom in to get a bigger view of their target in better details. They’re mostly used by long range snipers and tactical shooters due to the long distance of their targets. They are also more expensive than the fixed scopes.
Night Vision Scope: These scopes are used or night hunting, or in dark environments where the targets can hardly be seen. These scopes can be a combination of the variable and fixed scope.
With a budget of less than $300, you can get any of these scopes; only you may not enjoy some premium features.
How to avoid purchasing a cheap glass scope?
With a budget of less than $300, it is advisable to avoid purchasing scopes that promise large magnification at extremely low prices (far lower than $300) because most scopes at such price are made of very cheap glass that would produce blurry, warped and hazy images.
You will eventually regret wasting money if you decide to purchase such glasses with small prices and ironically high magnification. It’s usually recommended to go for quality scopes that have low magnification with a budget of fewer than 300 bucks.
The powerful glass coupled with the low magnification will do great and is a very much better alternative. A good glass makes an excellent riflescope, and as riflescope prices increase, the glass quality increases too.
Can I get a good rifle scope under $300?
People ask this common question about getting a good riflescope with less than $300.Various riflescopes cost over five times this price which is mostly regarded as the top riflescopes.
Nevertheless, technology improves every year, and there are cheaper ways of producing great products. You can get quality and affordable riflescopes that have some of the features which can be found in high-grade optics such as multi-coated lenses for massive light transmission, superb magnification (as much as 20 times magnification), adjustable objective lens and some other features.
How to know which scope to purchase with $300 budget?
Before buying any scope, knowing what you would use the riflescope for is important. The main aim of purchasing a scope is basically to aid shooting, but various activities need different scopes.
Though the exterior parts of most riflescopes look alike (with metal tubes and lenses adjoining various parts), in the interiors there are differences. There are a lot of classes of rifle scopes such as target scopes, tactical or shooting scopes, and hunting scopes. For best-hunting shots, the hunting rifle scopes are perfect.
So, the first step to purchasing the right Riflescope is to know one’s activity. With a 300 bucks budget, you should not be carried away by the various “multi-tasking” rifle scopes available for sale. Almost all riflescopes in the market are designed for one specific shooting activity.
Therefore, it’s important to find out what activity it is and whether it fits what you also want to do with the riflescope.
With about $300 budget, your scope should meet few certain requirements.
- The first requirement is durability. Your scope should be a made of at least high-grade quality aluminum and also able to take a little abuse.
- Your scope should at least be shockproof and fog proof. The inner lenses have to be fog proof; the optic will be useless if the fog is built up in it. Shockproof means that the scope must be able to withstand the force that comes during a shot or the recoil of a very powerful rifle without the scope losing zero.
- Your scope is expected to be waterproof, but at a price of about $300, it will be tough finding a fully submersible scope like an Aim point or ACOG.
- Lastly, precision is expected. Regardless of the price, a requirement of a scope is its precision. If the optic is not precise, it has failed at the job we rely on it for.
Now that you have good knowledge on the requirements of a good scope under $300, you can check out the best rifle scopes under $300 by our recommendation.
1. Leupold 115388 Mark MOD 1 Rifle Scope
Leupold is a rifle scope brand that is legendary. They’ve been manufacturing high grade and quality weapon optics for generations of snipers and shooters.
They have produced for the elite Marine Corps Scout Snipers and many other best shooters around the globe. This Leupold Mark AR Mod 1 is a stunning piece which has been designed majorly for the AR-15 rifle series for hunting, competition, and tactical applications. The Mod 1 Optic has a 20mm objective lens and a 1.5 to 4 power, which makes the scope light, sleek and small.
The AR series isn’t much of a long range rifle when compared to other traditional rifles, and with an averagely skilled shooter is effective as far as 500 yards. The Mod 1 has a limited magnification which is perfect for the AR rifle series.
The 1.5 setting will usually be ideal for a target within 100 yards, and the optic’s extra magnification helps the scope to improve a shooter’s range effectively. The Mod 1 has lenses which are completely multi-coated for the best light transmission. To avoid internal fog, the Mod 1 is filled with argon and is both shockproof and waterproof.
- Has a 20mm objective lens
- Magnification level of up to 1.5 to 4 power
- Lightweight scope
- Multi-coated lenses for great light transmission
- Filled with argon to avoid fog
- Shockproof and waterproof
Overall, the Mod 1 gives a very precise and crisp sight picture or image for the shooter. The optic is designed to suit a low budget, but yet with the essential attachments. The scope’s adjustment turrets are easily adjustable, and for every adjustment, it returns tactile feedback. The Mod 1 is a wonderful optic, perfect for the AR rifle series if you want, and comes at a wonderful price.
2. Bushnell Throwdown PCL
The Bushnell Throwdown PCL has got a long but fitting name. This long name is as a result of the lever which is attached to its magnification ring. Hence PCL means Power Change Lever. This Throw Down lever allows room for rapid and instant adjustment of the scope magnification.
The lever gives quick access to the turrets for gloved shooters, which in the competition and tactical realm usually comes handy. In cold areas, even hunters can benefit from this simple to use throw down lever.
The Throw Down is manufactured for modern average-range rifles like the AK or AR series. The optic has a variable magnification up to 4 power, and an objective lens of 24 mm. The scope has a battery powered, lightened reticle to aid a shooter in the dark. The scope is efficient and precise for a target within 500 yards.
The Throw Down has optic which is multi-coated to produce a high-level light transmission which allows the scope to gather an enormous amount of light. The scope has a very solid construction and is made of anodized aluminum. The optic is tightly sealed, and this prevents all outside elements like dust, debris, and water.
- 24mm objective lens
- Multi-coated optics for brightness
- Magnification of up to 4 power
- Made of anodized aluminum and sealed tightly to avoid elements
- Target turrets for pinpoint-exact adjustment
- Click adjustment of 1 mil
- PCL (Power Change Lever) for instant scope adjustment
The scope has an overall brilliant quality and is among the best scopes at your budget.
3. Vortex Optics Diamondback
The Vortex Diamondback High-Performance Riflescope is a medium range scope which has a very strong power level about 4 to 16 power. It is a very high-quality scope with many amazing features all in an incredibly affordable package you can’t resist.
The Diamondback’s lens is completely multi-coated, but beyond the usual lens, the coating is made using Vortex’s proprietary coating (XR) which provides a non-reflective coating and light transmission at a high level. This non-reflective coating will prevent scope glare during shooting and also glares experienced by shooters at adjusted magnification levels.
The Diamondback scope is purged with argon, which prevents the build-up of internal fog in the optic. For all clicks, the scope provides precise and easy adjustments. The Diamondback reticle is a premium Vortex bullet drop compensator type. This bullet drop compensator helps shooters in making accurate and precise adjustments for windage and range.
- Magnification level about 4 to 16 power
- BDC reticle prevents guesswork on windage corrections and holdovers
- Argon purged to prevent internal fog, and also waterproof
- Alloy construction to resist magnum recoil and indestructibility
Overall, the Diamondback scope provides an excellent sight picture, with clear and precise adjustments. The riflescope is good for the big game, slug shotgun, muzzleloader, predator/varmint, and long range applications.
This optic and its major features are not commonly found in this price range. At your budget, the Diamondback is an incredible value.
4. Muller Target Scope
The Mueller Target scope is made for long range shots, with competition shooters and hunters in mind. Any shooter looking for a very precise scope for shots at long range will enjoy the Mueller Target. It allows an extensive magnification and range, with magnification level of between 8 and 32 power. If you are seeking for an optic for long range, this is one of the best scopes you can acquire at the budget.
The Mueller target rifle scope is designed to be tough and would fit for various powerful cartridges meant for long range, including the .416 Barrett, and the .338 Lapua. It has a great eye relief of 4 inches, which provides enough room for preventing scope eye with any magnum rounds. This scope will withstand any heavy recoil that the rounds produce and still retain zero with no issues. The Mueller target scope can also be turned the other way and used with a long ranged caliber such as the .22-25 and 6mm and still serve efficiently.
The optic comprises a wide 45mm objective lens and completely multi-coated lens for minimal glare and high light transmission at adjusted magnifications. With a magnification up to 32X, the scope is suitable only for long ranges and works well when targeted at small objects which are quite close. The Mueller target scope is among the best powerful target scopes within your budget.
- A wide 45mm objective lens
- Fully multi-coated for minimal glare and large light transmission at adjusted magnifications
- Designed to be quite tough and durable
- Magnification range of 8- 32 power
- Eye relief of 4
- Tube size of 30mm
Overall, the Mueller target scope with a magnification level up to 32X is suitable only for long ranges and works well when aimed at small objects which are close. The Mueller target scope is among the best powerful target scopes within your budget.
It is important to save some dough when you can. When purchasing firearms, having a budget is good. But more important is making sure to get great quality. A great optic will always be great regardless of its price, whether $1 or $1000.
If you have a budget of less than $300 and are looking to purchase a great riflescope, this is just the perfect buying guide and reviews you need. The listed riflescopes fall between 200 and 300 bucks, and I wouldn’t have a problem any on my rifle. They are the best scopes under 300 bucks.