The Best Rifle Scope under 500 Dollars

The fact that there are thousands of different scopes on sale is both a blessing and a curse. Surely, having a large offer before you means that you have a chance to find exactly the kind of the riflescope that you need. However, you might get lost in the vast offer and spend hours, or even days, searching hopelessly for the best scope for your rifle. In order to help you out, we decided to do a research on our own and provide you with reviews of 5 products, each of which deserves to be called the best rifle scope under 500 dollars. Apart from being reasonably priced, these scopes are amazing for a number of other reasons.

First of all, all of them will provide you with a superb image, regardless of the time of the day. On top of that, some of them have a stunning zoom range, so you can use them for your ultra-long range rifle. Some, on the other hand, are compact in size and very lightweight, which makes them a perfect choice for assault rifles.

So, you need to choose the one that fits your needs perfectly, but to be able to do that, first you need to read all of the following reviews. With no further delay, here they are!

1. Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm –An Ideal Scope for Heavy Caliber Rifles

Nikon is a Japanese optics manufacturer with a century-long tradition. During that period the company has established itself as one of the leaders in the world of optical equipment. Their riflescopes are considered among the best in the world for their superior quality and sturdy built.

One Nikon riflescope that definitively deserves your attention is the one with the model make M-308. Why? For a number of amazing features!

Features of Nikon M-308 Riflescope

The zoom range of this scope is 4-16, making it suitable for mid-range shooting, although good marksmen won’t have any problem hitting the targets at a distance further than 500 yards. The lens of the scope is pretty large, making it ideal for heavy calibers.

Because of the multi-coated lenses, the scope provides an amazing image, without any glare. On top of that, finding the focus is very easily done. When it comes to the durability of this scope, you got nothing to worry about! It’s built to last for a long time. Furthermore, the scope is resistant to fog and water, and is also almost impossible to break it.


  • Ideal for heavy caliber rifles
  • Decent magnification range
  • Quality image
  • Durable and sturdy


  • Not great when it comes to long-range shooting


You can be sure that any scope made by Nikon would sever you very well. Still, if you want the very best one, go with Nikon M-308. This product is great for a number of different reasons, including the fact that its price is below 500 USD.

2. Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 PA – The Best Mil Dot Scope under $500

Vortex Optics is an American company, known for the high quality of their products. They specialize in making different kinds of riflescopes. If you are looking for one with a mil dot reticle, then Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 PA is the right one for you!

Features of Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 PA

Because it features a mil dot reticle, the scope enables you to estimate the range easily. It also helps you with calculating the impact of the bullet holdover and windage. This makes the scope ideal for long-range hunters.

Another thing that makes it suitable for long-range shooting is its zoom. The magnification range of the riflescope is 6.5-20, meaning that you can use it for shooting targets that are even more than a thousand yards away from you.


  • Features a mil dot reticle
  • Decent magnification
  • Built to last


  • Image quality is not too impressive


This is probably the best riflescope with a mil dot reticle which costs less than 500 US dollars. That said, you should know that although its image is not the best, the scope can be used for long-range shooting. After all, it has more-than-decent zoom levels.

3. Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S – Digital Night Vision Riflescope

If you’re looking to get yourself a long range scope on a budget, Sightmark Photon XT might be just the one for you! This is not only because of the impressive zoom levels, but also because of the fact that it comes with a digital night vision feature.

Features of the Long-Range Scope

With the maximum magnification level being 42x, this cope is suitable for ultra-long-distance shooting. You can use it to hit the target that’s more than 2,000 yards away from you. Of course, you need a suitable rifle, as well.

Another reason why this scope ended up on our list is the fact that it has a digital night vision, which you can use when there’s not enough light. The night vision is powered by a battery, which is also used for the auto-detection feature.


  • Superb zoom
  • Night vision
  • Auto-detection
  • Decent image
  • Easy to use (comes with a manual)


  • Batteries not included
  • Recommendation


We have no doubt that Sightmark Photon XT is the best long range scope under 500. You will be able to use it for shooting the targets further than 2 thousand yards away from you. The best thing is that you’ll be able to do that even at night, because the scope features a night vision.

4. Leupold 115370 Mark – Superb Assault Rifle Scope

Assault rifles usually don’t feature built-in scopes, but it doesn’t mean you can’t mount one. You just need to make sure it’s good. So, if you’re looking for the best budget AR scope, you should take a closer look at Leupold 115370 Mark!

Features of the AR Scope

The scope is fairly lightweight and compact in size, which makes it ideal for ARs. On top of that, it also has a pretty decent zoom, the maximum being 9. Of course, the zoom level is adjustable, something that can be done easily with one hand.

Leupold 115370 Mark can be used for other types of rifles as well, which makes it perhaps the best rifle scope under 500.


  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easy to mount on all kinds of ARs
  • Decent image quality


  • magnification level is not too impressive


If you’re in a need of a decent scope for an assault rifle, Leupold 115370 Mark is probably your best solution. The reasons for that are numerous, starting from the fact that its price is reasonable. On top of that, the scope provides pretty decent performances in terms of image and precision.

5. Hawke Sport Optics Airmax – Scope with a Good Zoom and an Even Better Image Quality

The last, but not the least is a superb riflescope, with amazing zoom range and an even better image. The good things about this affordable long range scope don’t end there. It’s also amazing because of its sturdy built.

Features of the Riflescope

The zoom range of the scope is 8-32, meaning that you can use it not only for mid-range shooting, but also for shooting on targets that are more than two thousand yards away from you. Apart from the good magnification level, the scope is also superb for its image quality. This is achieved through the use of 16-layer multi-coated lenses.

This riflescope also comes with many other useful features that will make shooting a better experience. For example, it has a very decent eye relief, making it very comfortable to use. It also has a feature for controlling the brightness of the image, as well as an adjustable zoom.


  • Impressive maximum zoom level of 32x
  • Adjustable zoom (from 8x to 32x)
  • Decent image quality
  • Brightness control
  • 30mm mono-tube chassis ensure the sturdiness and durability of the scope


  • None


Even after reading dozens of reviews and checking out professional tests of this scope, we weren’t able to find a single bad thing about it! This can mean only one thing – Hawke Sport Optics Airmax definitely deserves its place on our list of best rifle scope under 500 dollars!

Final Word

A quality scope is an equally important part of the hunting equipment as the rifle itself. In fact, without a proper riflescope, you can’t expect to get anything out of mid and long-range shooting. Not only will a poor-quality scope prevent you from hitting the target at a distance, but it will also increase the risk of shooting someone unintentionally. If the scope is blurry, you won’t be able to see where you’re shooting.

These are just some of the reasons why everyone needs to have a good riflescope. The main reason why that’s not the case is that people don’t want to spend too much money. But, those people obviously don’t know that there are some amazing scopes available at prices lower than 500 dollars. Five of the best ones were reviewed above! Feel free to choose one of those scopes and you’ won’t regret it!

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