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  • Writer's pictureCasey Wilson

I Tested And Ranked The Best Budget Rifle Scopes On Amazon

There are a lot of rifle scopes out there on the market. I've gone through thousands of reviews and picked out the best affordable options you can find on Amazon right now.

best budget rifle scopes on amazon

FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.

1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II - 1-Inch Tube Second Focal Plane

Top-rated: 6,514 ratings | 667 answered questions

best budget rifle scopes on amazon


Highlight: Clear, tough and bright.

Helpful review: "I have had this scope mounted on an AR15 (.300 Blackout) for over two years now. It has really been an excellent scope. It has very nice glass for my purposes and holds zero. The illuminated reticle works very well. I do consider myself somewhat of a Vortex "fanboy" as all of my scopes and binos are Vortex and range from high end to budget models. I have never been disappointed in my Vortex products and they all come with the peace of mind of their outstanding warranty!" — AdventureInUtah
Trending review: "Bought this scope to replace an ancient Tasco (4 x 32mm) on my 30 year old Remington Model 742 Woodmaster, 30:06. This rifle has been a super consistent whitetail taker. The majority of my shots are 150 yards or closer. Prior to the start of our gun deer season here in WI, the Tasco took a dump. I did quite a bit of research trying to find a decent scope for under $200. I found this Vortex, was impressed by the price, the ratings and the testimonials. Unfortunately I did not receive the Vortex until the day after our season ended. So I have since receiving it mounted and bore sighted the scope. The vertical and windage adjustments were smooth and accurate, and I love the ability to reset the turrets to zero. The amount of light the scope gathers will make first daylight, and twilight shooting much easier. Plus the BDC feature is great. I can't wait to range fire this unit, and take it deer hunting next year!!!" — Michael Frazier
Reassuring review: "Bought the scope for a Remington 243 rifle for deer/hog hunting. Scope shipped quickly and arrived with plastic lens covers, a cleaning cloth and boxed well. I will be upgrading the lens covers to a flip style as the factory plastic ones with the stretch-strings I don't personally like We installed the scope to the rifle using a set of 1” high rise Weaver brand solid steel scope rings (i prefer steel over aluminum for scope rings). We bore sighted the gun in at 25yrds and began shooting/tuning. 1/4” clicks were smooth and adjustments held up/down/left/right as we dialed in at 25yards. Once dialed, we setup out at 100yard target and within 3 shots and a few more adjustments had the gun hitting bullseye. 3 different shooters (2right hand/1left hand) using the rifle put 3 bullets within a 3” diamond pattern shooting from sand bags using Remington 110grain v-max ammo. Next we set up a deer target to practice vital shots from a sitting position using a tripod shooting stick for the gun rest. First shot was low and would have been under the deer, next 2 shots hit the heart within 2” of each other. Continued shooting proved the scope to be holding very solid. Lenses were very clear and the dead hold reticle was easy to see. We shot from the 4x zoom and adjusted out to the 12x zoom without any issues. Looking through the 12x zoom at 100yrds, we could easily see the bullet holes in the target paper. Only complaint I have (so far), the black coating on the outside of the scope seems thin, I had to break out the black sharpie and color in some scratches that were shining through, and that was after just a trip out to the farm and back, and about 3 hours worth of shooting. As Long as the scope holds true, I can deal with that for the price paid. Approximately 1 week after sighting, we went hunting and my son pulled the trigger on a buck from 75yrds away. It was a perfectly placed vital shot behind the shoulder, scope held true, meat is in the freezer." — The Hunter

Get it from Amazon now: $169.00 & FREE Returns


2. UTG BugBuster - 3-9X32 Scope

Top-rated: 6,403 ratings | 853 answered questions

best budget rifle scopes on amazon


Highlight: Most usually used for Airsoft assault rifles.

Helpful review: "Have this mounted atop my factory bushmaster .223 (not the gun in the photo). No mods at all on the weapon. The UTG replaced a worthless red dot, which I hated with a passion. Took it to the range last week, zeroed at 50 yds and put out 10, 4.5" clays. Hit them 15 times of 15 shots, so you know by the end I was shooting at tiny pieces left from the first shots. This was at 50 yards.
However, I went back yesterday to try it out on longer ranges. Started with 100 yds, only change needed was 1 mil left. Skipped 200 and went to 300. So here's where the fun began. I had NO dope on this scope and my guesses at mils needed were based upon my dope from my .308 based in MOA. This being a MUCH lighter round I was using an "educated" guess at what I needed.
What round you ask? Monarch 55 grain off the shelf from Academy Sports at $7/box. So, I allowed myself 5 shots to get on target, then 5 shots to test repeat ability. Surprisingly my guesses were all VERY close, the only one off was actually 300 yds. I started at 4.5 mils and came back down to 4.1. 400 and 500 I hit on the money first shot out. Well, I must say I was impressed, not at my guesses but at the scope. I shot at 300, 400, and 500 yards. At 300 and 400 I hit 5 of 5. At 500 I hit 3 of 5, I missed the first 2 just high right and left. My fault, nothing else. The last 3 had the 10" gong swinging in the wind. At 300 I went up 4.1 mils, at 400 up 8 mils, at 500 up 13 mils with more left in the scope. Took me less than 30 minutes to shoot all 3 distances.
That's all based off the 50 yd zero, and still only 1 mil left at all those ranges with the cheapest .223 ammo you can get off the shelf. I used to hate shooting this rifle, the red dot was a royal PITA. Couldn't hit a clay at 50 yds to save my tookus!
Now it's almost impossible to miss! It's also a whole lot cheaper to shoot than my .308, but that will still be used for the 1000 yards shots.....maybe. I'm gonna have to give it a go, I just have to now. Tho seeing that target at 500 was tough, not sure if I'll be able to see it at 1000. Eye relief at 3 power is awesome, gets a bit tight at 9, but collapsing the stock about 1/2 way gets you right in there consistently. No tighter than my 6-24 at full power though.
Only thing I have yet to check is to set it back to my 50 yd zero and get after some more clays. I'm guessing it will be perfect. So, bottom line is I love this scope! for the price you absolutely can't beat it. Kind of like the $139 6-24x44 I have atop my .308 that reaches out to 1000 yds consistently.
You don't have to spend a fortune to get there. I shoot 1000 yds with an $800 off the shelf setup, including the glass! $800 total cost, NO mods done to the rifle other than changing the scope base from 0 to 20 moa, and adding a $17 muzzle break. It can be done, I'm proof. My Bushmaster .223 cost more than my entire 1000 yd .308 setup! But now it's a bad a$$ 500+ yd shooter. Mikey likey!" — Mike

Get it from Amazon now: $159.97 & FREE Returns


3. CVLIFE - 1-6X24 LPVO Rifle Scope

Top-rated: 155 ratings | 16 answered questions

best budget rifle scopes on amazon


Highlight: 100% rain and fog proof performance.

Helpful review: "If you're like me and looking to spend more money toward training and ammunition, I would HIGHLY suggest you go ahead and order this LPVO now! This not only feels great but has thus far been very reliable under normal usage. It is currently mounted to a 30mm cantilever on a 5.56 build. I honestly cannot recommend more for a decently built optic that will get you training fast! Yes, of course there are other brands within the same price point that offer decent optics as well, but this one really works. Nothing fancy, no cluttered reticle, simple to zero and remain in place. The clarity isn't bad for the price either. Don't expect a Vortex Razer HD, of course. But expect enough clarity to accurately place shots back to back at near and far distance. I'm not a snob who claims to have Nightforce or EoTech optics and will not try and compare this optic to them. Instead, I'm a normal everyday guy who likes to train with my tools the most cost efficient way possible. This optic allows me to do that. If you're wanting to get the higher end for the warranties, I completely understand as you will not get that with this. But if you want to get into shooting and training or even a veteran shooter that doesn't feel the need to throw $$$$ on glass just to plink, do not hesitate to buy this optic. Honestly, for the price (and I have done A LOT of shopping for "budget" optics) I would highly recommend this LPVO over others. Save money, train hard, get better, buy higher end later. I am considering purchasing another to throw on a simple build and get my older children into shooting!" — Jason Hauer
Reassuring review: "I bought this scope a few weeks ago and loved it. But I did notice a few imperfections on the reticle. I contacted customer service to see if it was common with the scope, and they told me to send a picture to see what I was referring to. I immediately responded and stated these imperfections were definitely not supposed to be in the scope. They apologized and immediately sent me a replacement which got to me within 3 days of my inquiry! and I dont even have prime :) This replacement was perfect. Amazing, no-hassle customer service! I really like the scope. It seems solid built, has clear glass, nice little integrated throw lever, and I really love the eye relief this scope has. I'm very happy with this purchase, and now that I know about their amazing customer service I would not hesitate to buy more scopes from this company." — Armando Shultz

Get it from Amazon now: $129.95 & FREE Returns


4. Simmons Truplex - .22 MAG 3-9x32 Riflescope

Top-rated: 5,309 ratings | 437 answered questions

best budget rifle scopes on amazon


Highlight: Waterproof and fogproof. Parallax correction preset from 50 yards to infinity.

Helpful review: "I purchased this scope for my Ruger 10/22. As most have noted, the rings that come with the scope are not compatible with the OEM Ruger rail so you should consider purchasing new rings if you decide to purchase this. Looking through the scope is fairly clear and crisp. The eye relief could be a little better but you can't complain for the price of this scope. Also, you do need a screw driver to adjust the elevation or windage. It's easy to get spoiled when your other scope are easy turn and clicks turrets. In the end what matters is performance. It only took a few adjustments to zero in the scope and I probably shot my best grouping at 25yds ever. After 100 rounds it held zero. Great budget scope but make sure to get rings." — Hotrodirene
Trending review: "Great rimfire scope for general plinking and squirrel/rabbit hunting. The glass is clear and bright. The crosshairs are of adequate thickness for hunting and has all the zoom you will need for woods or backyard plinking. Do not mistake this for the long range target scope for long distance rimfire competition, because that it is not. For sub 100 yard shots on animals and backyard targets it's perfect. If you are looking for mildots, separate parallax adjustment and that sort of options this is not for you, go with a pricier target scope. I have one of these on a Browning BL22 and another on a Marlin XT22MAG, and can hunt for days with either. Excellent affordable scope, but know it's purpose and limitations." — Beam-me-up-Scotty
Reassuring review: "This is my 3rd Simmons 22mag 3-9x scope. The first two have performed flawlessly for 7 years, one on a Ruger 10/22 and the other on a Ruger American bolt 22mag. I've lost zero one time and it was not the scopes fault (gun fell off the hood of a truck), I re-zeroed the scope and its been great since... I've used the included rings on 2 of my guns with no issues. This 3rd scope went on my Marlin 60 with the included rings. As with the case of any "screw" on any gun, take the small extra effort and use some blue loctite - it will save you from some possible future headaches. If you have the bank account to go out and purchase a high end rimfire scope, do it, I would also. But, since I do not have that bank account lol, I do not feel like I'm "settling" with this scope. It really is a solid scope for the money." — Tammy

Get it from Amazon now: $49.99 & FREE Returns


5. Bushnell Banner - 3-9X40 Dusk & Dawn Riflescope

Top-rated: 2,992 ratings | 237 answered questions

best budget rifle scopes on amazon


Highlight: Quality optics with stunning HD clarity.

Helpful review: "For the price, this turned out to be way better than I expected. I put this on my Marlin 30-30 just in time for deer season. Sighted in at 100 yards with 4 rounds. My friends and I put another's 100 rounds though it at the range that day and it held it's zero perfectly." — Amazon Customer
Trending review: "This is now my 6th scope of this model I have mounted on my deer rifles. I could not be happier. I started replacing scopes about 2014. I realized my eyes were getting old and cheap scopes didn't cut it anymore. I tried several, including a Bushnell Trophy and a Bushnell Elite-- all with Dawn to Dusk coatings. Honestly, I cannot see a whole lot of difference between this model and the $300 Elite. As I aged, I was not seeing as well in low light. I had pretty much given up 10 minutes either side of legal hunting. These Bushnell Banners brought that all back and then some. I've tried this scope on the stand at 20 minutes BEFORE legal hunting and seen the hair on the side of whitetail deer at 50 yards. The scopes are sufficiently rugged. I've not had problems with them losing zero through normal use. Also, if I dial 4 clicks up and 4 clicks right and then reverse it, I get back to the original aiming point. That is huge. I can also extrapolate that I need another 8 clicks in one direction or another, and I end up where I meant to go. This consistency is better than some scopes I've had that were over $200." — Dorf D'Impaler
Reassuring review: "Compared it to a few other hunting buddies' scopes when it was clear past dusk and early dawn. Highly recommend it. Did a lot of research for a good scope and realized you can only shoot deer 30 min before sun up and after sun down. This goes beyond that and holds zero on my 6mm. Why spend more for a scope than a rifle if not shooting past 300 yards? I thought the reticle would be hard to see in twilight but it isn’t. It's clear where center crosshairs are." — Brandon U.

Get it from Amazon now: $126.95 & FREE Returns


6. CVLIFE - 6-24x50 Hunting Rifle Scope with Mount

Top-rated: 7,843 ratings | 937 answered questions

best budget rifle scopes on amazon


Highlight: The adjustable objective (AO) lens can be moved by the parallax dial at the end of the scope. This adjustment allows for a sharper target image, elimination of parallax and range estimation.

Helpful review: "Honestly, I'm amazed so far! I can't believe I almost didn't buy this based on some negative reviews. A handful of people said the scope was blurry. Yes, when you adjust the zoom it gets blurry fast, but when you adjust the focus you can find that sweet spot that works for the distance you are looking at.
I have successfully had a clear view at the furthest and shortest settings on this scope. It was crystal clear! I have also successfully been able to adjust the zoom and focus at other random distances in between the max and min.
Most rifle scopes I have used has had only a zoom, and your eyes are the focusing lens. Maybe the negative reviewers are used to just adjusting one knob? This scope has three knobs total to adjust. One zoom and 2 focus (the end near your eye unscrews out a ways, this is your second focus. It was hard to notice and that might be the answer for some other reviewers and their blurry problems).
So yeah it takes more effort to focus and zoom for sure, but it's not like it is impossible to get a clear view through the scope as some people claim. The red and green light feature is pretty cool, I was happy to see it wasn't required to be on to use the scope. That wasn't clear from the description. The scope is just a normal scope with crosshairs, the lights just reflect off of it to make it easier to see in certain lighting conditions. If your battery dies no biggie, the scope still works!
The build quality is nice too. If you gave this scope to me a week ago when I didn't know anything about it, I would have guessed it cost $300-$400. To get it for $60 is a steal. Now there are two other important factors that I have yet to test with this scope:
1) Does it hold up to recoil? Will the crosshairs float and come loose? (I am only going to be using it on a Feather AT-9 which is a 9mm carbine rifle. It doesn't kick that much.) I bought a Barska Plinker-22 scope for it a few months ago, but the crosshairs rotate freely inside the scope. Yes the scope was made for a 22, but I didn't think a 9mm in a heavy rifle would hurt it. It did.
2) Will it hold zero? My 9mm carbine is very accurate. It is a fun plinking rifle. I wanted a nice scope on it to easily and accurately snipe potatoes. Potatoes are a very cheap, reactive, biodegradable targets. I can buy 10 lbs of potatoes at my local grocery store for $2.00. Hours of fun right there. Yes, I could spend more on a scope, but I don't want the cost of the scope to be worth close to the value of my gun.
I will update my review when I can test its ability to resist recoil and hold zero. Even if it doesn't the magnification ability would make it an awesome spotting scope for $60. I can't find that kind of magnification for that price anywhere." — K. Lawrence

Get it from Amazon now: $60.99 & FREE Returns


7. Pinty - 3-9X40 Optical Rifle Scope

Top-rated: 3,982 ratings | 394 answered questions

best budget rifle scopes on amazon


Highlight: Two 1’’ complementary scope rings to be easily mounted onto any 20mm Picatinny or Weaver mount rails.

Helpful review: "I have owned several scopes, from cheap $20 junk to $600 Nikon-quality scopes. I must say that for just over $20, the optics on this scope out-of-the-box are very clear. I won't dare say that the glass is Nikon-clear, but it's darn close. I zeroed this on a .223 and it has stayed dead-nuts accurate. I am highly impressed for the performance so far at this price-point, it is better than any other sub-$100 scope that I have bought, and I am saying that based off of the clarity of the glass, and the reliability of holding it's zero without hesitation. On a sub-note, it also mounts up as expected, with a nice aluminum body and overall solid construction to it. I'd recommend buying one of these before the price goes up, because they could charge triple the price and I would still give it 5 stars." — Amazon Customer
Trending review: "When one considers the price, the construction, and the features of this scope, five stars is easy! If it were installed on a rimfire rifle, the recoil wouldn't be an issue. But even on a Gamo Big Cat air rifle, it's not a problem either! The only glitch in me replacing the original scope (more like a Coke bottle) with this Pinty 3-9X40 was my air rifle had dove tails, and these mounts will not match up. A Weaver or picatinny rail will accept them. I merely used the mounts from the original scope, and that worked perfectly. It took 6-7 shots to zero it at 50 feet. Spin out the focus on the rear until you see the crosshair clearly, and you're ready to have fun! The colored reticle choices work best in low light. Great value, and that's coming from a Nikon fan." — ActiveShooter
Reassuring review: "Perfect for airgunning! This is a perfect scope for budget air gunners like myself. Holds zero just fine. Easy to zero. Easy to mount. I can also confirm that it will hold up on soringer style air rifles. The range finder and adjustable focus (not AO) are nice too." — M. Thompson
Popular review: "I love this scope. I have it mounted on a Daisy Winchester 1000 fps air rifle. I had to get different scope mounts to mount this on the air rifle. The illumination is nice, I really like the green. It was not long before I had it zeroed in and my son and I were consistently having dime size groups at 15 yards. The scope looks sweet on the air rifle. It's easy to use and sends to be made of quality materials. I would love one in silver for my 22 rifle." — Ron Shurts

Get it from Amazon now: $49.99 & FREE Returns


8. Vortex Optics Crossfire II - 30mm-Tube Second Focal Plane

Top-rated: 2,375 ratings | 424 answered questions

best budget rifle scopes on amazon


Highlight: The 1-4x24 Crossfire II Riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The V-Brite reticle uses the v-plax Format with battery-powered electronics to illuminate the center dot for hunters/shooters during extra-low light conditions.

Helpful review: "I found it! That perfect rifle scope! Exactly what I was looking for a a price I could afford. Originally I purchased a Bushnell 1-4x24mm AR Optic and it was a swing and a miss as described in the review. This scope has everything the way it should be inside and out. Outside it looks great, has a nice smooth and easily operated zoom control and focus, has a solid illumination control with 11 settings right on top of the eye piece so you can clearly see it, capped turrets and nicely accommodates Vortex flip caps.
On the inside it features actual crosshairs you can actually see in most scenarios as opposed to the the tiny "tactical" reticles other scopes have, and in the few scenarios you can't see your impact point you get a nice crisp red center dot which is all you need. It's not overwhelming in your sight picture and it won't drain your battery.
On a 6 illumination setting which you'll use 90% of the time you'll get 3 days of continual use of battery life! Clear images on all power settings and on 1x power you can use it just like a dot sight with both eyes open for CQB.
The most versatile scope I've ever had and I really hope it performs the way it should at the range. As long as it holds a zero I'm good! Don't have any doubts though, I have a Vortex Strike Fire dot sight and it's performed amazing on multiple 5.56 platforms so I have great confidence in Vortex.
Not to mention I had my order fulfilled by Amazon so even IF something goes wrong they'll make it all better like they always do. Worth the extra $50. Buy with confidence on this one!
Update: Took it to the range not too long ago and this baby rocks! Slapped it on top of my Tavor with some UTG rings and up to 100 yards it was right on the money! Took minor tweaking at around 200 and 300 yards but it was minimal and with the hand turned turrets under the caps it was super easy to adjust. Even marked so you can reset with no issues. At $200-300 for the scope rings and caps this thing is a friggin steal!" — Ellie’s List

Get it from Amazon now: $199.00 & FREE Returns


9. HIRAM - 4-16x50 AO Rifle Scope Combo with Green Laser

Top-rated: 1,757 ratings | 232 answered questions

best budget rifle scopes on amazon


Highlight: Includes the 4-16x50 rangefinder rifle scope for long-range targets, trusted holographic reflex sight for short to medium range targets, green laser pointer for short-range/close quarters, and a 200-Lumen LED tactical flashlight for dark environments.

Helpful review: "To anyone complaining about this combo scope...please get your head checked. This set is AWESOME!!!---for the price. No it's not going to be perfect. But then again, it's less than bill. I've always heard rule of thumb, whatever you spent on your rifle, you should spend at least half as much on the scope. Considering my Savage Recon AR was roughly 800 bucks, that would be at least 400 dollars.
This scope lives up to some scope combos in that price range, especially with the features added in. The actual scope range and clarity is probably the weak point on this---but it's not bad actually. I would say it ranks around some 150-200 scopes alone. I have had no issue with clarity or focus at 100 yards. I haven't gone beyond that.
The many different combinations of range find lights, and red/green dot lights is awesome. Sadly the laser is only green, not both, but this does not bother me, since I am used to greenasers anyways. The laser itself is decent. It's not crazy bright, and on a sunny's not gonna pick up very well, but that's to be expected. I do not like the fact the flashlight is not pressure switch, it is button press, along with the red Dot and laser as well.
But again, some corners had to be cut to make this under 100. Fortunately it is possible to upgrade the laser and light in the future since each accessory is attached to it's on picatinny rail that is attached to the scope.
I did not have any issues with batteries being dead. I did have an issue with the front dust cap on the scope being loose, but a bit of adhesive can fix this easily.
I do like how the caps are flip up hinge types so they can stay on the scope 24-7 with no issue of losing either the front or back cap. I had a slight issue with the flashlight rail screw rubbing a dot of paint off the scope when adjusting it, but a qtip and paint is an easy fix. But then again if your gun and accessories stay pretty their entire life, then you're probably not having enough fun with your gun.
Regardless, of these tiny little quirks, I would recommend this scope and I am debating on buying another for are style shotgun. Really awesome deal people, so feel comfortable buying, and please don't expect 500 dollar quality for less than 100. But do expect to be pleasantly surprised with how great of a deal this is." — Hunter Green

Get it from Amazon now: $149.98 & FREE Returns


10. UUQ Prism - 4x32 Red/Green/Blue Illuminated Rifle Scope

Top-rated: 2,049 ratings | 159 answered questions

best budget rifle scopes on amazon


Highlight: Fits all 20mm weaver and 3/8inch dovetail rails.

Helpful review: "Let me start with two facts: 1) I received this scope at a substantial discount for a promise to thoroughly review it; and 2) I don't need another scope--I have all I need, and don't really have anything on a gun under $200, but I like to review gear and see if there are hidden gems, or sleepers worth more than their modest prices indicate.
I'm a long-time hunter, and I have shot a great deal of bad glass over the years. If there's something I can do to help other hunters or shooters--especially those starting out, or who simply can't drop $200 or more on a scope--make informed decisions, I like to do so.
Upfront, I was really not expecting much from this scope. I expected some cheap piece of plastic mall-ninja-tacticool-2016-version-of-a $10-Rambo-knife-from-the-1980s scope that would have little practical value. I mean really? Tactical rails on the side? (Waaaaaaait a minute....those are actually useful).... I could not have been more wrong. This scope is solid and has exceeded my (admittedly low) expectations at every step of the way!
That said, if you want the glass of a Vortex Spitfire, you can't get it for this price. Anyone telling you otherwise is trying to sell you something. UUQ represents a budget scope with decent glass for what it is--and what it is is not a bad thing, by any stretch. I struggle, from that perspective, with how to grade it. Compared to a higher-end prism scope, it would not score a 4 or 5 star rating. But among budget-end scopes, I'd say this is easily at the top of its class.
I would expect to pay well over $100 for the quality of the glass, BEFORE taking into account the other features, which SHOULD push it over that price. So long as UUQ keeps it's price point, it represents a really great value for beginners, budget shooters, or someone that just doesn't want to spend more money on another gun, but wants a decent value for the price. Let me break this down piece by piece...
This has really clear glass for a sub-$100 scope. Contrast is fairly sharp and it was generally well focused. There is substantial aberration at the very edges, leading to a sort of "fish eye" effect. Truth be told, if I didn't say anything, many people would not notice.
It's only going to impact you if you focus in on it. It is NOT, however, present in the Spitfire, which is clear edge to edge. My Spitfire, however, is NOT magnified, so for me, the aberration would be a decent price to pay for a 4x magnification. There is always a trade off--especially on scopes in the range. But this is a genuine prism scope with a 4x magnification. Solid value.
Relief is about 3", maybe a bit more--generous enough that a 223 is no problem, neither would a heavier caliber, on the AR (except the 458/500 etc). The eye box is less forgiving and more critical than other red dots I've used, but then again, it's magnified and the others are not. So kinda a wash on that count.
This is a very INTERESTING reticle. Remember, that as a prism scope, the reticle is etched in the glass and lights up, making it useable even if the battery goes out. The reticle itself has hash marks with numbers, indicating holdover marks out to 400 yards and beyond. Works well as a simple crosshair, which some prefer to the bullseye reticle of the Vortex. Also gives you aiming points for further out.
These are reeeeeally tiny, but well-defined, and would be useful if you are focusing on a target further out (i.e. they are not so big as to interfere with your sight picture even out to 400 yards). However, my range is just 100 yards, so I can't try it out further there. I assume it's designed as holdover points for a 55 grain bullet. By the way, the reticle is the only part that lights up. It lights up in three levels in three different colors. I was partial to blue--less overpowering and more subtle than red or green.
While I didn't "shoot the box" to see if its repeatable and accurate adjustments, I don't know what the point is with a 4x scope. Adjustment is done via small knobs that probably require a dime or penny to turn (I used the small screwdriver on my Swiss Army Knife). Clicks are positive--something lacking is scopes with higher pricetags sometimes! There was enough internal adjustment and to spare to get me on target and zeroed in fast.
I ran about 30 rounds through it today and it held zero. I know that hardly constitutes a torture test, but I have seen scopes this price fail with less. I contacted the manufacturer to ask about the durability. If it wasn't designed for a shotgun, therefore I'm not going to put it on one so I can watch it fail on purpose.
How does that help you or any of us? If it's meant for a 223 and you want it for a 223 and some guy blows it apart on a 300 WSM, you might say "Wow! I don't want a scope that will fall apart!" when in reality, this scope may be perfectly useful for its intended application (which was also the one you wanted). Rather, I'd prefer to give you an evaluation based on its limitations so you can decide if you can deal with the parameters of what the equipment is designed for.
Heck, I wouldn't through a Leupold Rimfire scope on a 300 WSM and expect it to hold together well, but that doesn't make the Leupy a bad scope--just mated to the wrong gun. THAT SAID, I was PLEASANTLY surprised when the owner wrote back and CHALLENGED me to throw this on a shotgun and try it out with slugs for deer. "It can take it" was the response I got. Well ok. In that case, throw this on whatever you want I guess. I haven't verified it, but it seems solid and I have no reason to doubt the man. Time--and further testing --will tell.
Remember, this is a prismatic scope--there are no wires to break on the cross hairs--and there is a simple, yet solid, erector in the middle that holds zero. If the erector holds, the zero holds. I plan to test on a 44 mag lever gun and a slug gun. It's not the MOST extreme punishment I can imagine....but it's pretty close. I've seen plenty of scopes shaken apart by a slug gun's recoil.
I really like the fiber optic sight on top. For a 300 Blackout or shotgun (or 44 mag for that matter), it's a handy feature. I question it's resilience given lack of structure over the top of the fiber optic, but will enjoy it while I can, and given it really is ancillary to the scope, I'm not whacking off a star for it.
I would, however, STRONGLY encourage UUQ to add some struts across that fiber optic to help it stay in place just a little longer. I WOULD note that Bushnell put a top sight on one of their big clunky Red Dots, but it is neither fiber optic nor adjustable! Take THAT Bushnell! The whole thing appears one piece, including the rail attachments on the side. Good place for a light and/or laser--I'd prefer a laser since I am used to mounting my lights further down.
However, if you are hunting with a bolt gun, shot gun, or other gun with no front rail for a light for night hunting, here you are. No more excuses to put off buying that 1100 lumen light :).
Battery life seems good. I accidentally left it on overnight on high and it wasn't drained the next day--still as bright as the day before. My older Bushnells would have died. Again, not a torture test.....more like an accidental annoyance test of the gear's capabilities.
I recommend this scope to someone wanting an AR scope who is on a budget. Sure, there are better scopes, but you will pay twice as much or more for them. For some, the extra money is worth it. If not, this is a solid performer. It's not a $300 scope, but it's good for what it is, and I think you will be satisfied with it.
If you don't have $450-1000 to drop on optics at the moment, do NOT let that stop you from getting in the game. UUQ is a SOLID value. If you can only afford glass under $100, this is probably among if not the best scope you can buy for that price. My limited insight so far says "impressive." — Dogtired

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11. Monstrum - 3-9x40 AO Rifle Scope

Top-rated: 1,022 ratings | 82 answered questions

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Highlight: Adjustable 3-9 times magnification, for targeting out to 500 yards and beyond.

Helpful review: "Purchased a Ruger Precision .22lr to see if I liked the platform before I went with it for a 6.5 Creedmor. As the RPR .22 was only $350 I felt a little silly mounting a Burris or Leopold optic on a range toy. Saw the reviews on the Monstrom sights and figured for this price I would be getting an optic with lots of corners cut in build quality and components. It's cheaper than a box of good ammo so I really thought this would be on my rifle for one range trip then end up in my box'o'' old parts.
Well I was surprised by the build quality. The tolerances on the tube, adjustment points, and even the mount felt and looked really good. Optic is a bit heavier than the specs but I will let that slide as it's a couple ounces. The glass that I thought would be super cheap with irregular appeture and poor clarity was pretty clear. This does not have the pristine image and sharp clarity of a Leupold's VX entry optic but you are paying $300 less. I have ZERO complaints about the quality and construction of this optic for less than $60 bucks. It exceeded my admittedly very low expectations by a wide margin.
The reticule is also very basic and the manual did not provide adequate explanation of the mils appropriate caliber and load to provide what I think is a requirement for this style reticule.
Don't think your getting a true FFP range finders on this glass. But, again it's a 50 dollar scope you shouldn't. The AO dial did allow a guesstimate of the distance to target by assessing the optical sharpness. It is a feature that you really should not see at this price point and it works.
That is probably because the biggest surprise of this optic was the glass. It is not just adequate I would definitely say it is very good. The parallax adjustment was not spectacular but was comparable to what I would expect on a mid range Burris or Vortex. Bottom line it's good glass that allows for an adequate range calculation and provides a more than adequate visual acuity even at 9x. Again, I have seen better but this is the best glass and controls you will get for the money.
So I mounted this shockingly good quality optic to the Ruger and headed to the range. Mount was super easy, it's a picatinny if you can't figure it out you should not be playing with a firearm.
So I started at 100 yards and was off paper the first shot at min magnification. Turned the elevation and windage dials one rotation unit each and missed again. Gave them a couple more twists and I was on paper. Took a couple shots to figure out the mils, which are set to I think.
62 grain 5.56 or .223, definitely not a .22lr. I took a couple more shots from a full mount and got the feel for the reticule mils and the drop on the Hornady .22 I was firing. I pulled back to 50 yards and found zero in a 3 shots Pushed back out to 100 and was able to get a good zero after learning the system and adjustments. The Optic was a bit more than the round I was shooting should have so I put that on me underestimating the Scope.
Windage and Elevation have nice firm click and resistance. Once you know what a rotational unit is going to do this optic is easy to zero. The Mag and AOcontrols worked well and the parallax was minimal. Eye relief was excellent. I was shooting a bolt action precision chasis rifle so recoil was almost non-existent. That said this optic easily held zero over probably 200 shots that day.
The caps were ok more than I expected but the cheapest feeling component of the system. But I have to say I was blown away that a scope with the quality and accuracy of this optic was in junk toy scope price range. Is it a $2,000 scope? NOPE. It is comparable or better than many $300 - $500 dollar optics I've had from Burris and Vortex. Best damn scope I've ever used that was $50 bucks without a doubt.
The Monstrum never went in the box'imparts it is still on the Ruger. Shoots great. For the money this is a no brainer and could easily be used with .223 or .270. I'm not sure how it would handle .308+; but it probably would hold a zero and be a great optic for hunting open terrain.
I can't say this and mean it more, if your learning to distance shoot this is would be a great way to learn fundamentals. Without breaking the bank. A low end Rem 700 and this scope will leave you hundreds to spend on instruction and practice ammo. It exceeds all expectations and will give you a scope that feels and performs like one that is 6 times it's price.
The best optic for your money period. Just don't put one on a Ruger Precision because that is a crack gun and gets you hooked fast and will quickly result in desire for one of his big brothers. I really loved the chasis and trigger and shockingly the optic. I have subsequently added a Alpha FFP1x6 24 to an AR race gun that my buddies all admitted shot as well as their $600+ FFP's.
Beginning distance shooters can't go wrong with this high value optic you won't be out shooting your glass anytime soon. Seasoned shooters looking for a bargain or a practice rifle scope will be pleased as well.
This optic changed my old rule the optic should be at least the cost of the rifle and double or triple if your going to 1,000+ shots. I can assure you this rifle can out to 200 yards with quality .22lr. It's the round not the optic that is limited the range and the optic was 1/8th the price of the gun.
When I get the Ruger Precision in 6.5 I will likely give a G3 Monstrum the first crack at the picatinny rail. That will buy me a ton of rounds to enjoy the gun over the Leupold I would have been saving for months to buy. Fully recommended not just a good scope for the money but just a good scope period!" — Shannon Credle

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