You may have a great rifle but without attaching to it the best rifle scope for the money that you can afford to purchase, it will likely not be effective for all the shots, short, medium and long range, that you'll come up against.
You can easily spend over $1000, $2000 or easily even more for a quality scope to help you successfully manage any shot that might present itself.
Good news! That will probably not be at all necessary if you pay close attention to scope basics and if you only buy the features you need.
Scope companies, even though their products are, on the whole, extremely well made these days, still encourage you to overbuy by doing anything they can to appeal to your pride and to instill as much guilt and doubt as possible into your purchasing equation.
You shouldn't fall for any of it – here's why. . .
There are also quality scopes available for under $600, make sure you do your homework properly and you'll easily find one!
With some careful research, you can easily purchase a great rifle scope for the money without breaking your personal or family budget.
Remember, if you absolutely lose your mind and figure you're well-worth the money you're going to spend on it. . .and you fall for the scope manufacturer's sales pitch for their high-priced scopes, you can still feel free to pay as much for a scope as you paid for your ATV.
Then you can have absolute bragging rights in your group of hunting buddies – you'll be the man, but your wallet will be a lot lighter.
But seriously, let's come back to earth, that way we'll discover that it's definitely and realistically possible to save some serious money while still getting a great scope that is so desirable that your heirs will all be fighting over it sometime far into the future.
The Best Rifle Scope For The Money – Sure Fire Fundamentals
Nikon, Burris, Millet, Sightron, Leupold, Simmons, Bushnell, Tasco, Zeiss, Barska, BSA and others all produce quality rifle scopes that are durable products that will last for many seasons even with heavy usage.
Do yourself a great big favor, shelf your perceived need/want for a $5,000.00 model of rifle scope perfection that falls just short of being a deep space telescope that could probably find aliens on another world if you look hard enough.
Throttle back your “want list” a little and look for a scope with reasonable magnification and high-quality optics that is appropriate for the distance or range you really need.
Your ideal scope should be easy to operate, it should have the appropriate incremental adjustments.
You won't need 1/8″ adjustment increments and snazzy target turrets if you're buying a scope for big game like deer, bear and possibly elk that will, in all likelihood never need to be used at distances greater than 200 yards.
Look for a durable, rugged scope with a good manufacturing pedigree with high-quality, fully coated lenses and a solid internal reticle design – the scope should be waterproof and fogproof, nothing less is really acceptable.
It's also a very good idea to make sure that the scope's exterior finish is long lasting and tough – because where you will be taking it will be a tough environment for the scope to perform in.
There is no room for rifle scope wimps here. . .you need a well built and long lasting, tough scope.
These are the basics you must consider when you want to be sure of getting the best rifle scope for the money
When I say getting the best rifle scope for the money, remember, I'm talking about YOUR money.
Buy A Scope With A Good Warranty
One of the scopes considered to be in the all-round best rifle scope for the money class is the Nikon Pro Staff 3-9×40.
The Nikon Pro Staff 3-9×40 is not the only good scope in its price range, but it's a really good one for a reason – and it sells a kajillion units every year because it meets the requirements in the previous paragraph.
This scope is tough, it's high quality, it looks good and it makes YOU look good.
It's pretty hard to go wrong or to argue against a product like that. . .really.
The numbers in the Nikon Pro Staff designation, for the uninitiated, mean that the scope has a variable three to nine times power of magnification range capability with a 40mm objective lens diameter (that's the scope lens toward the end of the barrel, the ocular lens is the one you look through with your eye when sighting).
This scope is recommended as one of the very best long range rifle scopes in the mid-price range – it could actually be, you guessed it, the best rifle scope for the money.
A scope can't have the kind of stellar sales numbers the Nikon has, it can't have the kind of performance it has and it can't have the kind of long lasting life it has without being one of the industry heavyweight scopes that it is.
Coincidentally, the Nikon Pro Staff 3-9×40 comes with a lifetime warranty, that is a very significant benefit.
It means that Nikon designed and manufactured the scope to be an incredibly tough, capable, high-performance rifle scope that will last.
Nikon KNOWS it will last and they stand behind it with the full strength of the Nikon corporation.
Is this Nikon scope a $5,000.00 scope that will let you see and shoot at night, will it let you pick flies off at 600 yards, will it let you win a benchrest match at 1,000 yards?
The simple answer is no, but scopes, like anything else are generally a collection of compromises designed to develop a great product that will benefit a lot of people during a long product lifetime.
The Nikon scope does that, it does it well and it does it over a very long life span while being guaranteed to do so by Nikon.
The Nikon Pro Staff scope is a perfect example of what you should be looking for in your quest for a rock-solid, continually high-performing rifle scope that will bring home the bacon for you season after season.
As I mentioned before, the Nikon is not the only scope to meet these qualifications, but it's a great example and an excellent choice for anyone wanting to have a great scope for a reasonable price.
I think I've made a pretty good case for buying a solid, durable scope with appropriate features for a reasonable price here.
If you buy a Nikon Pro Staff or similar quality scope, it's likely you'll still have a few extra bucks to drop into the kids' college fund, or to get the roof fixed on the house, or to get a cool set of new tires on the pickup, or. . ._____________(feel free to fill in the blank here), you know how to spend your money a lot better than I do. . .
If you choose to put your extra dollars into your kids' college fund, I want partial credit for trying to get the younger generation educated. 🙂
For those of you who always want another alternative, try this scope out for size. . .
It's the highly recommended mid-priced scope that also sells well and it's built by Bushnell.
It's the Bushnell Tactical Elite 3200 5-15x40mm that performs well even if you get caught in wet and rainy conditions.
It has a special waterproof rain-guard coating, it’s also fogproof and Bushnell always makes sure in their ads that you know it's recoil-proof.
You'll see the “fogproof” feature advertised a lot on certain models and types of scopes. Why is that?
Mostly because it's so darned important.
A lot of hunters (like those in the desert southwest for example), don't really need or use the fogproof feature very much but I can tell you this with great conviction. . .if you need a scope to be fogproof and it isn't, you're looking at a pretty bad hunting day.
Here's a great motto to have, give it some thought – now repeat after me: “No Bad Hunting Days Allowed”
Always make sure that whatever scope you choose is going to be fogproof – ALL the time. ‘Nuff said. Moving on. . .
Great Scopes Can Be Had For Reasonable Prices
A few of the other scopes to add to the best rifle scope for the money list are the Yukon NVRS Tactical 2.5×50 Night Vision Scope and the Barska 6-24X50 IR Sniper Scope.
The Yukon scope belongs to fixed power group of rifle scopes that offer a single magnification only.
The Yukon includes a laser pointer and a lifetime warranty – there's that lifetime warranty thing again.
The Barska scope is designed for precision shooting, it's equipped with side parallax focus and without a doubt, it's built for long range shooting.
The cost though, comes in at a modest price and can be found for under $200.
Three other Barska scopes certainly worth the time and consideration for your rifle scope purchase choice are the Barska 6.5-20×50 AO Varmint Target Dot Rifle Scope, the Barska 3-12×50 IR Huntmaster Pro 30/30 Cross Rifle Scope and the Barska Point Black Rifle Scope AC113392 6-24×40.
This just goes to show you that there are a lot of different options available but unless you take the time to check out all the different possibilities, you could miss a great value for a great price. Don't do that, don't miss anything!
Variable Power Scopes Give You Excellent Flexibility
Those of you who enjoy even more alternative choices will like this short list of scopes that are a little off the beaten path while still being good considerations for your dollar as you search out your best rifle scope for the money.
Some cost more than a Nikon, some don't.
The following scopes also deserve your consideration as the best rifle scope for the money:
- The Osprey 10-40×50 Long Range Tactical Scope
- the Firefield 10-40×50 Illuminated Long Range Tactical Rifle Scope
- the Simmons Predator Quest 6-24×50 Rifle Scope
All three of the scopes above are dependable, durable scopes with clear optics for a reasonable mid-range price.
The scopes below have a few extra bells and whistles – check them out:
- The AOE 6-24×50 DUA Illuminated Rangefinder Rifle Scope (it's also a long range scope that's a range finding rifle scope),
- the UAG 10-40×50 Dual Red and Green Illuminated Tactical Rifle Sniper Scope (it works in any lighting conditions, day or night)
Don't Overlook The Fixed-Power Scopes
Fixed power rifle scopes are more simple to use and most moderate fixed power scopes mounted on deer rifles shoot with as much accuracy at normal firing distances as the rifles do with higher powered variable scopes.
Fixed scopes may not seem as fancy or glamorous but sometimes the variable powered scopes are really not even needed if you have a quality fixed power scope which is designed for the normal distances in your hunting area(s).
Fixed power scopes are much more likely to be lighter and brighter due to having less optical glass inside.
When you're considering which is the best rifle scope for the money, it is also reasonable to match a scope to the rifle's size and purpose.
A trim, neat Browning, Remington, Savage, Winchester or Marlin just will not look right with a massive scope overbalancing it and making it top-heavy for hunting.
Huge scopes are generally designed for various types of target and/or benchrest shooting.
It's a good bet that a large scope can/will affect the balance of the gun.
Remember, when hunting eastern/southern whitetail deer, most shots average only about 100 yards or less.
You can generally use a fixed, four power scope when shots are not farther than 100 yards without any problem at all.
Rifle scopes that have fixed magnification are economical in size, price and ease of use – all these attributes are really good news when you are trying to save money.
Fixed magnification scopes thankfully tend to weigh less as well, this is good news if you will be walking or hiking for long distances.
Do You Really Need A Range Finding Scope?
Read and heed here my friends. . .purchasing a range finding rifle scope is where you can spend some serious money.
That being said, there are some very good range finding rifle scopes that actually will not break your piggy bank, nor will they require you to search through couch cushions for spare change to complete your purchase.
Do some due-diligence during online scope shopping to see what is available before purchasing, this is time well spent when comparing prices and features.
Also, try to drop into a brick-and-mortar store to see if you can get an actual look through the glass of scope models you're considering.
Most hunters really have no need of the range finding feature unless they're hunting on the open plains or in southwestern desert mountains where it is sometimes very difficult to determine the distance between you and your target.
If you only hunt in that type of geography once in a lifetime, do you want to make an expensive purchase due to features that you will seldom, if ever use?
If you do hunt that type of habitat every year, then you will definitely want to make the investment but don't take the purchase lightly and it's a good idea to sleep on your purchase as well before you actually part with your hard-earned money.
Weigh the pros and cons of scope features carefully to get the best deal for your style of hunting – buy the actual necessities that you'll use and benefit from, but try to view unneeded features for what they really are – unneeded.
Choose Based On Your Own Needs And You'll Get The Right Scope
There is a perfect scope choice for everyone out there, use the right criteria, some self control and you'll find exactly what you need and want.
- The Weaver Classic K-Series S Scout Rifle Scope 4x28mm Dual-X Reticle Matte
- the Leupold FX-11 Scout Rifle Scope 2.5x28mm Intermediate Eye Relief Duplex Reticle
- the Barska Huntmaster 4x32mm 30-30 Reticle Matte
These three scopes in the previous list are certainly all great examples of good quality, fixed power hunting rifle scopes that could turn your hunting experiences into great, lifetime memories. . .and the price is right.
- The Burris Eliminator 3.5-10x40mm Laser Range Finding Scope
- the Bushnell Yardage Pro 4-12×42 Scope
The two scopes above are fine range finding scopes for hunters looking for reasonably priced hunting scope that will help them estimate range more accurately.
No matter whether you decide on a fixed power scope, an adjustable power scope with an adjustable objective, a range finding scope or a scope with some combination of these features (or some of the many other scope features available), you will have the best rifle scope for the money once you carefully match your actual needs to the appropriate features.
Congratulations on learning how to select and own the best rifle scope for the money – it will be just what you need to help you have an outstanding, personalized and successful hunt.