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  • Writer's pictureNoah O. Thompson

I Tested And Ranked The Best Hunting Scopes Under $500 In 2024

I tested the most popular scopes for hunting to help you find the perfect optic for your rifle. Let’s break down the best options under $500.

best hunting scopes under 500

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


1. Vortex Optics - Diamondback Tactical (6-24x50) First Focal Plane Riflescope


best hunting scopes under 500

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Extra-low dispersion glass and fully multi-coated lenses transmit a crisp, bright sight picture.

Helpful review: "We bought this scope for our young son to teach him to shoot as the rifle (savage axis) didn't come with iron sights. It's definitely more than we expected. Crystal clear image and powerful enough to see heat risers. Easy to zero and it held it like a champ. By the end of the first day at the range he was grouping at 2in and putting bullet within bullet hole at 200yds. We were using a marking target paper and the scope was able to pick up the holes easily in it... no walking down the range to see what's going on.
The adjusting knobs felt good without exaggerated 'wiggle'. They had a nice click that can be felt on your fingers so you can count off the moa. Important when reaching out and/or hunting. We went with the Vortex rings for the mounting. Too many people cheap out with the rings, then complain that the glass isn't performing as advertised.
This scope "does not" have a locking zero. Bummer, but you can't have it all. If you want a locking zero then you have to step up. We did. We now own two scopes and a hoodie. The warranty is real. I had a problem with one of the scopes. Called them up, no hassle, sent it back and got it returned really quick. The scope was fine though.... I screwed up in the mounting... oops. Great scope for the price!
MY FRIEND’S REVIEW:
Buying a rifle scope can be a bit overwhelming because there are so many things to consider. How much magnification? How big of a lens? FFP or SFP? Parallax adjustment? And then you learn that seemingly every expert in the industry recommends you spend at least as much on your scope as you did on your rifle...
"Buy once, cry once" is a phrase I have seen repeatedly in my search for a scope. You can sell a used rifle, but there apparently isn't much of a market for a used scope. Then you see scopes which cost well over a thousand dollars, leaving you to wonder how much you need to spend and how much do I need to cry.
I decided to start out with this scope, at a very moderate and reasonable cost, and see how it goes. I am happy to report that thus far I have been pleased. Of course, I haven't experienced a $2k scope, so I don't know what I'm missing, and I'm ok with that. This meets my needs. I am brand new at shooting rifles, so I am as much of a novice as you can get.
And, I am darn near blind, so I need the magnification. I mounted this scope, zeroed it, and was instantly plinking steel targets at 325 yards. I haven't been able to stretch the rifle and scope past that yet, but I am eager to try it out." — Anthony Kraus

Get it from Amazon now: $399.99 & FREE Returns

 

2. Burris - Fullfield II Hunting Scope


best hunting scopes under 500

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: The simple, integrated eyepiece and power ring has no-slip grip for quick adjustment.

Helpful review: "This scope has clear glass, the eyepiece focus works well enough to handle the needs of my old eyes, adjusting zero is easily done by hand, and the eye relief range is just what I needed for a Marlin 336. If looking for an affordable 3-9 x 40mm scope of this style, then I recommend giving this one a try.
Before making this purchase I searched forums, YouTube videos and visited four local stores asking about this style of scope in the two hundred dollar range. There really were three choices; Redfield, Nikon and Burris were all carried by the mom & pop gun shops and the big box sports stores that we went to. After handling them all and listening to the staff recommendations, I went with this Burris.
Mounted the scope on a Marlin 336 using a DNZ Game Reaper mount ( DNZ Dednutz Medium Mount Black 1in. Scope Tube For Marlin 1895, 336 12042 ), took my time focusing it for my eyes and then mounting for proper eye relief, and then hit the range. Zeroing was surprisingly not all that time consuming; I started with a 30-30 laser boresight that got me onto middle paper, and then finish the job with a handful of live rounds.
Have had no issue at all with the scope holding that zero either. Well balance and looks good on my Marlin. Even though this scope has a 40mm objective, the rear sight of the Marlin is a fold down type and the scope fit fine (about 1/4 inch clearance based on my mounting location) with that sight folded down. No problems at all.
If you are looking for a solid scope of this style, size, power and price, for use similar to what I have described above, then I recommend this Burris 3 - 9 x 40mm Fullfield II based on our experience with it. It seems well designed, looks quite nice, and has worked very well for me." — RatherLiveInKeyWest 

Get it from Amazon now: $179.99 & FREE Returns

 

3. Sightmark Wraith - HD (4-32x50) Digital Night Vision Riflescope


best hunting scopes under 500

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: 5 weapon profiles to save zeroes for different firearms and calibers.

Helpful review: "I've been using this scope for a week or so, and I am very impressed with the performance. The listing claims that the unit is good out to 200 yards, but I find that I can see significant details out well beyond 300 yards, even at the lowest IR output setting. That tells me that the included IR illuminator is very powerful and I probably don't need to consider replacing it. I don't expect to be attempting any night shots beyond 200 yards, if that far. I would prefer to use rechargeable batteries for the light. But I guess that it would be difficult to match the power of two CR123A 3-Volt batteries in a package as small as this light.
I HAVE tried a single Sanyo 16650 Li-ion rechargeable battery in the light, and it fits and works pretty well. The 3.7-volt Sanyo battery does not produce as much illumination as a pair CR123A batteries (6-volts total), but it does work and it provides enough illumination to identify and shoot a target (feral hog) out to about 200 yards.
The scope was easy to mount and easy to zero, and the menu interface is simple and comprehensive. I don't know that I will be using the recording features, and I have not done any testing for that. I mainly wanted a scope that will allow me to shoot hogs at night, without breaking the bank, and this one fits the bill nicely. Based on research that I've done, there is probably nothing better that doesn't cost a lot more. A really good thermal vision scope would be nice, but would cost many times what I paid for this system.
The base 4-power magnification is good for most situations, and the digital zoom can be helpful at the first 1 or 2 stages. I haven't tried the zoom in daylight, but I don't think it works very well at night because of the reduced picture clarity.
Fortunately, I shouldn't need the zoom for shooting at targets closer than 200 yards. I don't have any real complaints about this system, considering the relatively low cost, but there some things that could possibly be done differently. This system is rather bulky and heavy. The weight of the scope is 36.3 ounces (with batteries), and it would really be nice if that weight could be reduced.
The control interface includes the ability to reduce the brightness of the display screen, but I find that at night it is still a bit too bright even at the lowest setting. If I could reduce the screen brightness even more, I could recover my night vision more quickly after using the scope. This may be something that could be changed in a firmware update? Mounted on a bolt-action rifle, the scope sits a few inches too far forward for optimum eye relief. An extended mounting base is available, but the cost is $40 or more. As the scope sits now, however, it is still quite usable for shooting. I may save my $40 and apply it to the purchase of a semi-auto AR style rifle that (presumably) would not need the extended mount.
I don't like the idea of buying and discarding CR123A batteries for the illuminator, but I may just switch to using rechargeable 16650 batteries. If I can find an affordable night vision binocular (or monocular) for locating targets at 300 yards and more, I can easily move close enough to shoot with a 16650 battery in the Wraith IR illuminator. It would be nice if the illuminator included a small LED indicator at the rear, to remind the user to turn it off when not needed.
As it is, it is too easy to accidentally leave the invisible IR light on and run down the batteries. Having said all that, I honestly don't think that there is a better night vision scope available that doesn't cost a LOT more than this system, and it has performed better than expected so far." — Forest K. Duncan

Get it from Amazon now: $499.97 & FREE Returns

 

4. Bushnell - Engage Riflescope


best hunting scopes under 500

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: The 0.18-MOA-thick crosshairs are easy to see without obstructing the target picture, and there are hash marks at every 1 MOA for accurate elevation holdover.

Helpful review: "Growing up in central Wisconsin almost required you to become a hunter. It didn't matter whether your passion was rabbits and squirrels, pheasants or ducks, deer or bear. Sometimes it was all of them and when everything was out of season, it was time to go ice fishing. My father gave me my first firearm. I don't remember the model of the single shot .22 but the Leupold scope probably cost more than the rifle. "One shot, one kill" was the order of the day with headshots on small game required.
During the winter we shot NRA targets indoors and in warmer weather we shot rats at the local garbage dump. You active shooters know how important technique and practice is. Good optics are just as critical as the other components of successful shooting, especially when you have 20/400 vision. So the Leupold scope proved itself up to the task and resulted in a lot of game on the table. My father and I used to compete when we hunted and the tie breaker was often a partridge or quail shot out of the air when startled on your stalk.
This Bushnell Engage scope is perfect for my Ruger Precision .22. We live on 2.75 acres outside of town that is bordered by woods and wetlands. For some reason the snakes, bobcats and hawks can't keep the rat and rabbit populations under control -- which occasionally results in river rats in the attic and families of rabbits destroying my lawn and landscaping. Being prey all of their lives has made these animals very difficult to surprise, so taking longer shots is critical to engagement.
Having a good suppressor is important so that the neighbor's don't notice -- and it can also give you the opportunity for a second shot if necessary. (Fortunately that doesn't happen too often).
For the money, this is a very well built and engineered scope. The good field of view helps the shooter to discern the varmints through the thick plants, the glass is clear, the reticle does not overpower the target. and this scope balances well on my Ruger Precision Rimfire. My surging varmint population is now on a serious decline." — Scott E. High

Get it from Amazon now: $449.99 & FREE Returns

 

5. Burris - Scout Scope


best hunting scopes under 500

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Ultra-fast target acquisition with both eyes open.

Helpful review: "After a lot of research and hands-on inspection of multiple models (Leupold, Burris, Nikon, Leatherwood) at outdoor retail stores, I think this Burris Scout 2-7 x 32 Ballistic Plex Scope is the best variable-power scout scope on the market.
The optics are bright and crisp, the reticle is sharp and thin for precise aiming, and there are ballistic drop marks for those who may want to shoot at varying and extended distances without having to adjust the windage and elevation knobs. The variable magnification adjustment knob is also low-profile and stiff enough that it will not move under recoil or minor bumps and jostles inside of a range bag; it stays on whatever setting you put it, which is great.
I mounted this scope on a Springfield M1A Scout Squad using the Burris XTR "Low" rings and this places the scope about as low as possible (barely 1/8" clearance over the upper handguard) for a natural, nearly perfect cheek weld on the standard stock (i.e., without need for a riser).
Some may still want to add an approximately 1/4" to 1/2" riser pad to get a more solid and consistent cheek weld (ideally, you really press your cheek bone down firmly against the stock, but with this scope, you get a better sight picture if you hold your head ever so slightly higher), but this is definitely a very practical and workable solution for those who don't want to use any kind of riser. And it's MUCH lower than if you mount a more traditional scope over the action. In fact, if it were any lower, the rear aperture sight would obstruct the view anyway--not to mention the scope would touch the receiver.
At 2X the scope has a decently generous eyebox that is easy to find for snap shots, and really it seems easy to align for a crisp picture all the way up to 5X or 6X. Only at 7X is it a little finnicky. At 7X, the eye relief is still perfect, but you have to be aligned exactly behind the reticle to see clearly because the eyebox is fairly narrow/unforgiving at that point.
Any little offset in head placement off of the central viewing axis (up/down or side to side) will cause a haze/blur effect over part of the picture, and offset a little further, you'll quickly see the tunnel of the scope intruding into the picture or blacking it out entirely.
This is really not a problem, as the Burris seems to tolerate variable head placement as well as or better than any of the other options I compared it to, and it is well within reasonable allowances for any appropriate head placement. (If you're really struggling to get your eye aligned with this scope, there's either a problem with your technique, or you didn't mount the scope with the correct relief.)
In terms of eye relief, I can move my head pretty far up or down the stock--at any magnification level--and see fine, which is awesome since some other scout scopes get ridiculously finnicky on eye relief at the higher magnification levels.
Just for reference, I have the rear edge of the scope placed approximately 1/8" rear of the chamber (i.e., the scope only overhangs the action by 1/8" or less). This provides PLENTY of clearance for casings to eject naturally, or to access the action for clearing a jam or whatever, and yields a bright clear picture almost anywhere you can put your head on the stock (again, provided your eye is in line with the central axis of the scope/reticle, of course).
Add in the fact that Burris has a lifetime, transferrable warranty and choosing this scope is almost a no brainer. Yes, the Leatherwood Hi-Lux LER scope is pretty good too at half the price, and the Nikon Force ER is nearly as good for typically about $50 less, but the combination of clarity, durability, unbeatable warranty, and company reputation for excellent service are what ultimately sold me on the Burris.
Now that I have some range time behind this scope, I'm thrilled with the choice and recommend it highly to others.
If I were going to quibble over anything, the only improvement I can envision (and really, not necessary) is that it would be even cooler if the low end of the magnification dialed down to a 1X or 1.5X for even faster sight acquisition at really close distances. At 2X, I still think it's quick enough for hog hunting, but there is enough of a magnification disparity between what you see between your two open eyes that, if you were using this for extremely close quarters snap shots, you might lose a half-second to a second (compared with, say, a red dot optic) due to very momentary disorientation as your brain processes the sight picture.
Of course, I can say from experience with other scopes that this can be overcome with training, but you do have to keep training to keep it up or the disorientation returns if you haven't practiced looking through your scope for a few weeks/months.
If you're looking for scope covers, I found that the "Vortex Optics Flip Cap Optic Cover, Size 4" fits both ends of the scope very snugly. While I can't speak to the durability of these covers (these are the first Vortex brand scope covers I've tried), I like them better than my Butler Creek covers on another scope because they fold open almost 270 degrees and nearly lay flat across the scope instead of sticking straight out like the Butler Creek covers, which impedes the surrounding field-of-view and/or peripheral vision when you're shooting with both eyes open.
Also, the portion of the cover that attaches over the end of the scope is a semi-flexible vinyl-like material instead of rigid plastic, and since it has to be stretched into place, it fits very snugly and hangs on under recoil. By contrast, I've always had to use a wrap or two of electrician's tape to keep my Butler Creek covers in place, even when using them on scopes/rifles that recoil less than the M1A does." — Candid Joe

Get it from Amazon now: $389.32 & FREE Returns

 

6. Vortex Optics - Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes


best hunting scopes under 500

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: A solid one-piece tube with a hard anodized finish creates a shockproof and durable scope while helping camouflage the shooter's position.

Helpful review: "This was a hard call, but I own the Diamondback AND Diamondback HP models, and I am comparing the two. That may not be the most fair comparison, but it's why I gave this 4 vice 5 stars--the HP model spoiled me.
Look, if you can find this on sale between 150-170, then buy it. It's a great scope in it's own right--especially for a 4-12x40 scope (THIS model might benefit from the 50mm occular). Knobs are easy to turn, turrets adjust with strong audible clicks, good glass, and it holds its zero--not to mention the warranty [if it breaks in ANY way--you drop it out of a tree onto rocks, gets busted in an avalanche, wife beats you over the head with it until it snaps in half (the scope, not your head--they can't warranty your head)]. It performs as well as any other scope in it's range. I would rather have this than a similar Burris, Bushnell Legend Ultra, or Leupold VX1--those are really this scope's competition. I'd rather have a Bushnell Elite or a VX-2, both of which have significantly less glare in the last few minutes of legal light.
To be fair, the glass is crisp and clear with good contrast and it's at or near the top of its class. The Athlon Talos gives similar performance with better features and the same warranty. Hopefully that inspires Vortex to step up its game a bit. Give us Diamondback HP glass at or below the current price point and Vortex would stop losing market share. Vortex has grown complacent, in my opinion.
The real issue I have with these vice the HP, like I mentioned, is the performance at very first or last light with the sun in front or behind you. It causes too much flare/glare for my taste and can be difficult to acquire your target (maybe it's my eyes going bad). If the choice between these two is a matter of $30-50, then it's a no brainer--get the souped up model. It's when that difference goes between 90-140 that I'd be hard pressed to justify that--but that's just me.
UPDATE:
Vortex apparently discontinued the HP models, feeding my image of them having grown complacent. They have also raised the price of the Diamondback without giving any commensurate rise in performance. At this price point, Vortex is competing against the new Leupold VX-Freedom line, which has VX2 glass at VX1 prices. So Leupold has learned to innovate due to pressure from Vortex. Vortex will need to do the same. Until they do, I'll spend my money on better glass or better features. It's all about value for your dollar and Vortex is slipping behind the curve.
I have almost all the guns I REALLY love already dressed up with nicer scopes. For those that I take to the range, or just aren't my "go to" guns I automatically grab when I head out, these do fine. For my kids guns? This is (when it's on sale) a hard one to beat to introduce your kids to the fact that the $35 scope is not the bargain you think.
No one can tell you how to spend your money. If you NEED a 4-12x and you can't spend the extra, then get this. If this is cheaper than the 3-9x40mm DBack, yeah, I'd probably go with this one too. If I could have the HP instead of the regular, I'd do it. Your next jump up is to the Viper. However, at Viper prices, I have found many better bargains with superior optics.
BOTTOM LINE:
This is a solid scope with optics and features that make it better than some others in its class. Good glass, but you get a real step up with the HP if you can spring for it. At the end of the day, buy the best glass you can afford. I've never heard anyone I know complain about spending money on good glass. Poor glass? You bet. This is NOT, however, poor glass. It's in the class of scopes that TO ME, represent the minimum level of acceptable scope." — Warren Putnam

Get it from Amazon now: $299.00 & FREE Returns

 

7. Leupold - VX-Freedom Series


best hunting scopes under 500

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Designed, machined and assembled in the USA.

Helpful review: "This is the scope I chose for an AR15. I had narrowed down my choices between a low powered variable scope and a red dot. I went with this scope because of all the positive features and not having to worry about batteries or my astigmatism. I wanted an optic that was high quality, lightweight, had clear glass and would not cost too much. Leupold did this with the Freedom scope line. My experience with this scope was positive and some details are listed below.
Adjustments- The power dial was easy to adjust, the turret adjustments for windage and elevation while soft, were adequate and stayed put once zeroed. I prefer these capped turret adjustments vs. the more expensive Leupold AR scope with exposed dials. I personally am not making adjustments after my zero is set.
Optic clarity- Even with the small diameter objective there was more than enough light that came through and the glass was clear. The duplex reticle was large enough to see quickly but did not obstruct the target. At all power levels I could leave both eyes open and make hits. My AR set up with a fixed front sight. On 1.5 power you can see a ghosting of the front sight in the very bottom of the scope. It might be distracting if you are sitting around looking through it, but on the range I did not have time to notice it. At higher magnification it was not even visible. Eye relief was adequate and paired with the right mount, easy to set on the rifle.
Durability- It can hold up to the 5.56 round easily. I only used for target shooting but Leupold's warrant is lifetime if I happen to drop and break it.
I paired this scope with an Aero Precision Ultralight 1" Standard Scope Mount. It gave enough height to clear a Magpul backup sight and enough room to adjust on the top rail to find the right spot for the scope. Overall I am very happy with this scope. Perfect for my static bench rest range deployments." — Sarge

Get it from Amazon now: $299.00 & FREE Returns

 

8. Sightmark Wraith - HD (2-16x28) Day/Night Scope


best hunting scopes under 500

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: High resolution imaging with video recording in 1080p HD.

Helpful review: "I ordered this scope a few months ago after feral hogs started destroying my property and so far it has performed very well. I use a thermal monocular to locate the pigs, then move in and take the shot with my bolt action 7.62x39. So far I've killed 3 large hogs with this set up.
One at 25 yards, one at 70, and one at 80. At these distances using the IR light that came with this scope I'm having no problem seeing the hogs clearly and dropping them. (There is a video on YouTube about focusing this IR light properly and it does make a difference). I doubt I will ever shoot more than 100 yards and I would highly recommend the 2x version of this scope if you're going to be shooting less than that. The 2x makes target acquisition at close range much easier than the 4x and if you'll be shooting medium to large game inside 100 yards you probably won't even need to zoom in. As much as I like this scope there are a few things that you need to be aware of.
Number 1: this scope feels very solid and well made, but as a result it's very heavy. I mean this thing is a brick. So you will want to put it on a very light weight rifle if you plan to do a lot of walking.
Number 2: while the night vision is very crisp and clear the daytime setting is just "pretty good". It would never replace even a budget glass scope for daytime hunting. It's adequate and you won't have a problem hitting the target but it's just not as defined as looking through glass and it's noticeable. This is above all else a night hunting rig.
Number 3: battery life. The scope itself will run for MAYBE 2 hours on 4 AA batteries and the IR light gets noticeably weaker after 30-45 minutes of use so this is very much a turn on, shoot, and turn it back off affair. You don't want to use this unit to locate game. It's strictly for making the kill shot.
And last of all, the rubber eye piece comes off easily and I lost mine the second time out. This doesn't make any difference as far as looking through the scope and many people take it off anyway. But if you want to leave it on, I'd recommend using a ziptie to hold it secure.
So at the end of the day you need to understand exactly what this scope is and what it isn't... It's not an amazingly clear daytime optic, and due to its weight and battery life, it's not good for locating game at night and you will definitely need another method for that like thermal, a spotlight, or a motion sensor feeder light.
Once you've located the target, it's time to move in, turn this scope on, and shoot... and it works very well for this and you'll get many hunts out of the batteries this way.
I would also like to say that the 1 shot zero worked surprisingly well (again there's a YouTube video to help) and the controls are very easy and user friendly. Once you get this scope set up, it's a very simple process to turn on, record, shoot, and turn off. I wish I could give it 4.5 stars since most of the cons I listed don't really make a difference if you're using this scope as intended but I would like to see a little more battery life and lighter weight and I'd call it perfect for my needs." — Tom

Get it from Amazon now: $499.97 & FREE Returns

 

9. Vortex Optics - Viper (6.5-20x50) Second Focal Plane Riflescopes


best hunting scopes under 500

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Side knob for quick and easy adjustments (with range numbers visible while in the shooting position).

Helpful review: "This is one of the best (if not the best) scopes you'll find in this price range. I bought mine about 6 months ago. I also bought a Vortex 50mm sunshade and a pair of Butler Creek scope covers. The scope has one of the best glass you'll find. Although it's not at the same quality as the $1,000+ scopes, it's pretty darn close (and you won't notice the difference unless you compare them literally side-by-side).
The scope is well-built and sturdy. The scope turrets have an excellent tactical feeling. I really like the "easy zero" feature of the turrets. Basically once you dial in the elevation and windage, you pull out the turret (which is held by a spring so you can't easily pop it off), turn it to 0, then release the turret. The large 30mm tube and 50mm objective lets in a lot of light so everything is extremely clear and bright. I have mine mounted on a .308 rifle, and after 500 rounds it's still holding zero.
One of the best features of this scope is the warranty. Vortex will literally replace your scope should it become damaged, no questions asked regardless of how or who damaged it. Basically you could run over your scope, accidentally, and they'll replace your scope. I haven't put this to the test, but that's one great warranty.
Bottom line is, if you are looking for a great scope without breaking the bank, this is the scope to get. One last thing, if you're going to go get the sunshade, do note that the outside diameter of the sunshade is a few millimeters smaller than the scope's objective. When it's attached, it doesn't look that bad because we're talking 1 maybe 2 mm of difference.
A FEW WORDS FROM A FRIEND:
I am now hooked on Vortex scopes, I am a firm believer that they just can't be beat. The clarity of this scope is just unbelievable. As soon as I place my cheek on the stock I have an instant clear view. The eye relief is just phenomenal. This thing is more like a telescope than a rifle scope. Yeah, I am not kidding! This has serious glass in it, just as good or better than Leupold at an unbeatable price. No one can top the Vortex warranty, no one. It is extremely well packaged. Be sure to get the Vortex mounting rings and the Vortex inch/lbs torque wrench unless you already have torque wrench. This scope is top quality, it is the second one I have gotten in a month. It will not be the last. Don't hesitate, try a Vortex. You will not be disappointed. Good luck and happy hunting." — Guardrail

Get it from Amazon now: $499.00 & FREE Returns

 

10. Vortex Optics - Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes


best hunting scopes under 500

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: The new illuminated BDC3 reticle focuses the shooter's eye to the target faster. Holdovers allow for immediate use out to 650 yards for targets of known distance.

Helpful review: "Hello Everyone, I just wanted to give a review on this scope to try and help others. First off, this scope seems very well-built from the knurled focus knob to the little low profile bump on the zoom knob to assist you in changing your zoom.
Windage and Elevation adjustments have nice clean clicks. The body is thick and solid, seems like it could take a couple bangs and some light drops. The glass is very nice for the price, not as good as the XD Glass (Extra-Low Dispersion) Vortex offers in other scopes such as the Viper PST. If I had to be picky, yes, the XD Glass is nicer, but only by 15-20% give or take, this is just my opinion though.
With that being said, I am more than satisfied with the glass on this scope. It is very close to true 1x, if your inside a small room you will notice a bit of fish eye, but you can still use it with two eyes opened, once you get a little further away about 20ft or so, it is true 1x from there on out.
Illumination, isn't as bright as most people would want it. On a nice sunny day, your probably gonna be running it at the max setting which will definitely do the job, you can still see your reticle in red, but it's not very eye catching, more like "hey, my reticle is red". I would say the max setting on the Strike Eagle is probably the 8-9 setting on an Aimpoint Micro H-1. I never found myself using the illumination much anyways. Especially outdoors, the etched reticle was more then visible.
There's two things I didn't like about this scope. First, the Eyebox on this scope is tight, practicing with this scope and making sure your cheekweld is consistent is going to be important to get a correctly centered, full field of view sight picture, when looking through the scope. The higher in magnification you go, the tighter the eyebox gets. It does have very good eye relief at about 4 inches, I shoot nose to charging handle so I mounted my scope slightly more forward and it worked great to help me get a very consistent cheekweld giving me the same correct sight picture everytime. If the eyebox was wider, I think you would be able to run this scope a lot faster but most of the times you only see good eyeboxes in more expensive scopes so I can't complain much. Practice and consistent cheekweld will definitely help you with this problem.
The other thing is the reticle. I couldn't get use to it. Using it in close quarters just didn't feel right, I would much rather have a dot in the middle instead of placing a busy crosshair on target. Especially when you are in a place with barricades and obstacles I think a dot in the middle would've been better suited vs the crosshairs.
The horseshoe is great for close quarters but it covers a lot of your target and will never be as precise vs. having a dot in the middle, but some people just want combat effective hits as quickly as possible and the horseshoe will do that. The crosshairs were more suited for long range precision shots which is where I think this reticle excels. I used this scope on and off the bench successfully, but when I was on the bench or using something for support for long range shots, I found this crosshair to help me be more accurate vs. a dot. But when your shooting offhand which is what I mostly do, I think this reticle is harder to use vs a dot because it is more busy and you will see more moving around rather than just focusing on putting a dot on target.
I think this reticle offers what you need, horseshoe for quick target acquisition, and crosshairs for more precise shots out at further distances, but I feel a dot in the middle of this reticle would have suited me better because it would produce a simple clean sight picture allowing me to be faster and letting me see more of my target.
I'm pretty picky when it comes to buying the right gear for my firearms and I always look for the best I can get out of my money, this scope is definitely an exception to that if you can't afford the 900+ 1-6x scopes.
This is a very quality 1-6x scope for the price sold by a company that has a lifetime no questions asked warranty, I think the biggest question is, Do you like the reticle? I don't think you will know until you use it in person. If you do like this reticle, do yourself a favor and like the other reviewer said, Just get it." — CB 

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