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. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight
Top-rated: 14,171 ratings | 1000+ answered questions
Highlight: Built to withstand bumps, bangs, drops and the rough and tumble environment of the field.
Helpful review: "I've purchased several red dot sights below $100 and none have been able to withstand the recoil of my AK47. Once they reach the 500 round mark all have failed, even the ones that look cool and say made by veterans. None have survived! This is the ONLY sight under $100 that has survived and maintained its accuracy. I now use it on all my rifle platforms.
Let's begin with the mirror finish on the lens that not only provide excellent light but reduce glare. The water proof gaskets inside every knob are made thick and very durable. The windage adjustments are tight enough so that you can use a dime and make your adjustments and never have to worry about the recoil to loosen them up. It uses the CR2032 battery and I personally have had them go much longer than a year before having to replace them. Just don't use cheap batteries, purchase a reputable brand and you will never find yourself in the woods with your red dot dead.
After testing this sight on my AK47 and shooting a few thousand rounds, I have never had to make any adjustments to them. They are made extremely well and durable. Not to mention they won't fog up in adverse weather nor will they rust, the coating on these is very good." — Sgt. Pitbull
Get it from Amazon now: $110.99 & FREE Returns
2. CVLIFE Red & Green Illuminated Scope with 20mm Mount
Top-rated: 9,380 ratings | 683 answered questions
Highlight: Multi-coated green lens boast much higher light transmittance compared with blue lens.
Helpful review: "This scope really gives you the most bang for your buck that you will find on Amazon, eBay, Craig’s list, etc. The magnification works superbly, offering clarity for close-in as well as distant targets. It doesn’t require batteries unless you want to use the laser and illuminated reticle, and you can shoot bull’s eyes all day long from 25-300 yards. The mil-dot reticle has 1/4 inch per click adjustments at 100 yards for elevation and windage.
The scope is a sturdy one pound of aluminum, glass optics and electronics. While I planned to just ignore the laser and red/green illumination of crosshair functions, seeing as all the batteries were included, I am using them now as needed. The laser helps you zero it in quickly, and since it’s strong enough to be seen in daylight out to almost 100 yards, the laser is an asset for quick target transition, close quarters, and for defensive use of your rifle indoors. Nothing is more intimidating than being painted with a laser. The illuminated reticle in 5 levels of green or red works well for target acquisition in almost any type of daylight. You won’t use it at night, though, as it blinds you of your vision downrange.
In summary, this solidly constructed scope has good optics, with magnification from 2.5 to 10x, and extra bells and whistles in the built-in laser and illuminated reticle. For under $40, this thing is a steal! Oh, and it looks good, too! Definitely has the “tacticool” factor going!" — Erik in AZ
Get it from Amazon now: $65.99 & FREE Returns
3. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane Riflescope
Top-rated: 5,871 ratings | 658 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. I rely on reviews when I make purchases so I put a lot of time into reviewing everything I buy on Amazon for personal and my business. Please show your appreciation by clicking the "yes" below when it asks if the review is helpful!!" — AdventureInUtah
Get it from Amazon now: $179.99 & FREE Returns
4. Pinty 2.5-10x40 Mil-Dot Tactical Rifle Scope with Red Laser Combo
Top-rated: 6,254 ratings | 512 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 a AR pistol but it didn't happen. I tried it on a bolt action 22lr rifle first it took awhile 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 a 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 amazon refunded my money back the same day when I shipped it back to them.
Ok I'm updating my review now to 5 stars. The company sent me s new scope and I mounted it 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. The first scope I got was defective but the company sent me another one right away. If you do happen to get one that doesn't work , contact the company. They will make it right." — Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon now: $55.95 & FREE Returns
5. UTG 3-9X32 BugBuster Scope
Top-rated: 6,348 ratings | 845 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 ur 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. Kinda 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: $143.86 & FREE Returns
6. CVLIFE 3-9x40 Optics R4 Reticle Crosshair Scope with 20mm Free Mounts
Top-rated: 8,146 ratings | 709 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
Get it from Amazon now: $36.99 & FREE Returns
7. Simmons Riflescope 3-9x32mm .22
Top-rated: 3,643 ratings | 410 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 100rnds it held zero. Great budget scope but make sure to get rings." — Hotrodirene
Get it from Amazon now: $41.50 & FREE Returns
8. CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope 6-24x50 AOE Red and Green Illuminated with Free Mount
Top-rated: 6,075 ratings | 958 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: "You can't beat this scope for the price. I own multiple(10+) rifles in calibers 300BLK, 5.56, 308WIN and 7.62x39. So, I run either red dots or scopes and they range from $500 to $1000. I am a range shooter and I own Bushnell, Leupold, Weaver and Vortex. For the money, I think the Vortex Viper series are the best, which I have many of them. This time I bought a 5.56 bolt action rifle for recreational shooting and didn't feel like shelling out hundreds of dollar on a scope. Granted all my other scopes are 30mm main tube and at least 50mm objective lens. Based on the good reviews, I decided to buy this scope to try it out.
The glass quality is acceptable and the eye relief is okay too, BUT for the price this scope is UNBEATABLE! Yes, at higher magnifications; this scope is not good. You want better quality glass, then pay for it. The Vortex Viper is better, but the cost is 15 to 30 times higher depending upon which Viper you get. The scopes are not comparable, but for the price, I was surprised at how decent it was. Keep in mind that I do not intend to shoot further than 300yrds, so I won't be using the higher magnifications. To conclude: This scope is worth every penny as long as you are not too picky. Know it's limitations." — John L.
Get it from Amazon now: $46.99 & FREE Returns
9. Pinty 3-9X40 Optical Rifle Scope
Top-rated: 2,816 ratings | 364 answered questions
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.
UPDATE 1/22/2019: I have to change my rating on this. One of the lenses inside the scope has moved, and now the objective has darkened a bit and become blurry, with no perceivable way to address it. So after 100 shots, it is it's way back to Amazon (kudos to Amazon for prompt customer service in this regard). I can't speak for the exact reason why the scope failed, whether it was just junk internals, or if it was human error at the factory, etc. It's a shame because it felt like it had solid construction to it until that happened.
UPDATE 11/2/19: I decided to give this scope another chance for a .22LR build, so I ordered another one. I am glad I did. The glass is very good for the price. I ran about 250 rounds through the rifle today and it held zero start-to-finish. The parallax is also very forgiving between 50 and 200 yards. For under $30, I can't see how it can be beat. Hopefully it continues to hold up well." — Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon now: $33.99 & FREE Returns
10. Pinty 3-9x32 Riflescope Combo System
Top-rated: 2,838 ratings | 355 answered questions
Highlight: This 4-in-1 combo comes with a rangefinder riflescope, a green laser sight and a red/green dot sight.
Helpful review: "I ordered this scope for my new Ruger AR 556. After reading the reviews, it seemed the most problems others had were with the laser. I took a chance that I may be one of the lucky ones but it didn't work out that way. The laser never worked, straight from the box. I was hoping that it was just an old/bad battery but a new one didn't help. That's the reason for the one star. Maybe the manufacturer could take a hint and start 100% testing before they package these things! Other than that, the scope and reflex sight seem pretty nice for the price. I'd have been much happier and given a much better review if they just kept the laser and lowered the price a few dollars. If you are looking to get what you pay for and expect, I can't recommend this purchase.
Second chance: Like several other buyers, I gave a less than stellar review because of problems with the product. Then I had the same experience that some of them had with Banyan's customer service. Within hours of posting my review, I received an email apologizing for the problem and an assurance that a new laser was being shipped. It got here in a couple of days. I just opened the box and the new unit works great! Thanks Banyan! Great customer service means a lot!!! I'll always look for your name when searching for similar products." — Stu
Get it from Amazon now: $119.99 & FREE Returns
Looking for a reliable, affordable home-defense option? Check out my review of the iconic Remington 870.
11. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Adjustable Objective - 30mm Tube Riflescope
Top-rated: 1,683 ratings | 388 answered questions
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 don't think you'd find a better scope for the money. Obviously, the more expensive scopes are nicer. And anyone who says this is comparable to a $1000 + NightForce has never shot the NightForce. That said, I am not the type of person who believes you should spend more than $300 on a scope unless you are match shooting and in the below $500 price range this is the best scope I have come across. I put it on a 338 Lapua with the Vortex rings and it's awesome. It's very clear and you can see the bullet holes out to a couple hundred yards. Very accurate and you can shoot well over 1000 yards with this scope no problem. I use it to coyote hunt. I take care of my stuff but this still gets knocked around a bit and it holds zero well. You won't be disappointed!" — Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon now: $199.00 & FREE Returns
12. Bushnell Banner 3-9X 40mm Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope with 3.3-Inch Eye Relief
Top-rated: 1,937 ratings | 237 answered questions
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
Get it from Amazon now: $90.56 & FREE Returns
13. CVLIFE 4x32 Tactical Rifle Scope
Top-rated: 2,357 ratings | 244 answered questions
Highlight: Crisp image for accurate focus. With the green multi-layer coated lenses, this tactical compact scope can focus fast and precisely.
Helpful review: "I am a relatively new gun owner, however I learned everything I know about guns and scopes in the military. I served for 6 years and deployed 3 times with the same unit to Iraq. I had many different armorers that would teach me little things here and there. What I can say is that this scope has performed better than expected, I zeroed it in at 75ft in under 6 rounds. The adjustment dials were reverse what they indicated, the scope adjusted down when I was clicking up. It has great clarity and held zero after 60 rounds of 55 grain range ammunition 5.56.
Taking it out to a private range on families property to see how well the zero reaches out to about 100yards. If it stays true after a couple hundred rounds of cheap WPA Polyformance ammo and some movement drills. I am giving it a 5 star rating because at the price and quality of this product I have recommended it to friends, and a bunch of guys at the range were impressed by it before I told them I paid $50 for it on Amazon..." — Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon now: $63.99 & FREE Returns
14. HIRAM 4-16x50 AO Rifle Scope Combo with Green Laser, Reflex Sight and 5 Brightness Modes Flashlight
Top-rated: 1,044 ratings | 166 answered questions
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 day...it'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: $114.99 & FREE Returns
15. UUQ Prism 4x32 Red/Green/Blue (Triple) Illuminated Rifle Scope with Top Fiber Optic Sight and Weaver Slots
Top-rated: 1,387 ratings | 159 answered questions
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!