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  • Casey Wilson

The Best Rifle Scopes Are Actually Cheap (And Very Durable)

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.

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


1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane Riflescope

Top-rated: 6,237 ratings | 667 answered questions



Highlight: Clear, tough and bright. The hard anodized single-piece aircraft-grade aluminum tube is nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed for waterproof and fogproof performance.

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: $179.99 & FREE Returns

 

2. Pinty 2.5-10x40 Mil-Dot Tactical Rifle Scope with Red Laser Combo

Top-rated: 6,399 ratings | 524 answered questions



Highlight: Solid aluminum alloy construction; quick and secure attachment to all Picatinny or Weaver rails.

Helpful review: "I had hoped to mount this on an AR pistol but it didn't happen. I tried it on a bolt action 22lr rifle firs. It took a while to get it sighted in but once I did it held zero... also the laser seemed to hold also... The glass was clear and the magnification was good. But after 100 rounds of 22s being shot, the o-ring popped off the front lens causing the lens to come loose. This would have never held up to a 556. The good news is that amazon refunded my money the same day when I shipped it back. The company sent me a new scope and I mounted it on my AR 556. I have now ran 150 rounds of 233 and 556 and both the scope and laser are holding zero. I did have to put some blue loc-tite on the adjustment screws on the laser but it's holding. The furthest I've been able to test the scope has been 110 yards but that's plenty far for me. I was able to see the laser out to about 45 yards on a cloudy day. If you happen to get one that doesn't work , contact the company. They will make it right!" — Bill in TX
Trending review: "For an inexpensive scope it did not appear cheaply made at all. At this time I have have not used it on ranger so I didnt answer the accuracy part. It is perfect size for what I wanted. Has 2 light colors, red and green and they both have multiple intensities. Also has a laser that you can just hit a button on back instead of having a long cord with pad. The button is very easy to turn on not sure why they dont all have that feature?? So far I am very satisfied and it came the next day. Also the scope adjustment controls actually has knobs to make it easy instead of using a coin. It does zoom from 2.5x40 to 10x40. Like I said really surprised by all the bells and whistles it has at such a cheap price set. Will find out it if it all holds when I hit the range next week." — Tim Richter
Reassuring review: "Really sweet scope. I've been testing it for a few months now and it has preformed very well. It has held up to some pretty rough handling and "abuse" so far and has held ZERO. It is a nice compact optic with some great features like the integrated laser and green & red reticle with various brightness settings. The view through the optic is very clear and sharp. It is a very nice optic for the money. HOWEVER, I would love to see it with a GREEN LASER option but that's the only "Non Positive" thing I have to say about it at this time. It looks really great and has a reasonable price on Amazon. I would recommend this to anyone." — Rougarou Review

Get it from Amazon now: $55.95 & FREE Returns

 

3. UTG 3-9X32 BugBuster Scope

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



Highlight: This scope is most usually used for Airsoft assault rifles.

Helpful review: "Have this mounted atop my factory bushmaster .223, no mods at all on this weapon. This replaces a worthless red dot, hated that thing 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 at 50 yards. However I went back yesterday to try it out longer range. 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 your 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 tho.
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

 

4. CVLIFE 3-9x40 R4 Reticle Crosshair Scope with 20mm Free Mounts

Top-rated: 8,406 ratings | 713 answered questions



Highlight: The smart design makes the scope shockproof and provides more precise windage and elevation adjustment. The scope mount fits standard 20mm (0.79 Inches) Picatinny or Weaver rail.

Helpful review: "I mounted this scope to a Marlin 981t bolt action 22 rifle. I had to provide my own scope rings. The rings that come with the rifle are suitable for a picatinny rail. I needed rings that worked on the 3/8" dovetail found on many 22 rifles. The scope mounted up pretty easily. 1st shots were 2" left at 50 yards. Scope adjustments are 1/4" per click at 100 yards. At 50 yards, it took me 24 clicks to get my shots in the center, but they got there. Once dialed in, I was hitting center target easy on paper and a steel spinner. I haven't tested the scope in at 100 yards, but intend to soon. I really don't have anything negative to say about this scope so far." — Chad
Trending review: "Is this a 5 star scope over all? No, not even close. Is this a 5 star scope for the price? DEFINITELY!! The design is sleek and simple, no bells or whistles here. The only adjustment you can make is the magnification, which makes it about as easy as can be! The image is clear, the crosshair is well defined and the lighting is solid! The only thing that I found to be a little lacking is completely expected for a scope this cost... the parallax is ALL OVER the place. So to sum up, shooting some cans in the back yard or want to get your kiddo a scope for their rifle? This is the perfect one for the job. Doing pest control or competition shooting? Gonna have to open the wallet a bit wider there, Daddy Warbucks." — James B.
Reassuring review: "My original intent buying this was to just use it on my Savage Minimalist 22 mag untill I was able to get a better scope but now I just plan on keeping this on my rifle. Ok so the reticle is real basic but works just fine. The eye relief is pretty good and it is easy to obtain a clear sight picture quickly. Adjusting is very easy, the knobs on the dials for windage and elevation is a nice touch. It took about 10 shots to get the scope dead on at about 50 yards. After putting 50 rounds down range I saw no deviation to point of aim. Rifle and scope worked together perfectly. The scope ring bases are very secure and easy to tighten. I can't really recommend this scope enough. It is a plane jane but I tell ya, it just flat about works and works well. For the price the value it provides is phenomenal." — T.K.

Get it from Amazon now: $36.99 & FREE Returns

 

5. Simmons 22 Mag Series Riflescope

Top-rated: 5,079 ratings | 437 answered questions



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: $46.99 & FREE Returns

 

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

Top-rated: 7,670 ratings | 937 answered questions



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: "I recently purchased a semi-custom built AR-15 with a Bushnell red dot scope. At the sight-in range of 25 yards, and even 50 yard the red-dot was not problem at all but at 75 yards and up my eyesight just ain't what it used to be at all! So I started the search for a workable but inexpensive scope. I was planning on something along the lines of a 4-9X/30 and hoping to keep the price under a hundred bucks. I found this page and scope digging thru Amazon and the numbers of positive reviews and the price kept me reading and eventually ordering it. I ordered it on a Friday evening and it was delivered a full day ahead of schedule the following Thursday! A shooting friend, looking at the unmounted scope, thought I probably paid at least 300$ up for this scope. I still have not told him the actual cost. So.... a review:
1. The scope arrived in perfect shape in a box big enough for maybe 8 scopes this size. The rest of the box was filled with those airbag thingies.
2. When I first picked the shipping box up I was amazed at how light this thing actually is.
3. The internal box contained the scope wrapped in bubble wrap and several items: The scope itself with it's transparent covers (one, the rear, is yellow) in place, a card with the cvlife website and an 800 number to call if you have a problem of some kind. a bag containing a wiping cloth and a hex allen wrench for the rings, and another with the 2032 lithium battery for the reticle lighting (that 2032 will be installed with the + or positive side up!). There was a warning label about the L-ion battery on the shipping box big enough for a 12 volt car battery
4. After reading perhaps a hundred plus reviews or more, both the positive and the negative, I figured I was pretty well prepared for what might be coming, both positive and potential negatives. Before doing anything else, I checked for the location all of the possible adjustments, the range ring at the front, the aperture or focal ring at the rear just to see if it all worked, the reticle luminosity control and the battery location, the power ring and the scope adjustments themselves. Out of the box with the forward range ring set for 75 yards (or meters, not specified) and the power level set to 6X, and with just a bit of adjustment to the rear focus ring I could easily read the phone number on the 5"X8" alarm sign under the mailbox across the street, about 200' away. (1-822-protect). I found the illumination settings, for red in red numbers 1-5 and green in green numbers with the off setting at either the green G or the red R. They are there around the base of the control but kind of faint. Putting the battery in the proper spot and I got the green or red illumination expected. in bright sunshine the lighting with a fresh battery seemed to be sufficient for my old eyes set on 3 in either color. So I went back to black. I played with the power setting and found that a bit stiff to turn but again, looking at the alarm sign across the street found the 24X setting pretty comparable to my 20X-60X spotting scope at the same setting. The image on the cvlife scope is bright and sharp and the reticle is also sharp from edge to edge as is the illumination in either color. (I also forgot to turn it off and eventually killed the battery. As I said elsewhere the indicator numbers are faint!)
5. Now for the fun part, installing the scope on my AR15. I have a full length rail in two sections on my AR, with the forward grip section a free floating ADR setup. One of the things I knew to do from a bunch of years ago was to figure out just where I was going to need to install the scope to match my eyesight. Per the specs you need about 3.5" between your eyeball and the rear glass. My first mistake was trying to install the scope with the rings attached to the scope. You are far bett