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Best Rifle Scope Under 500 Reviews in 2018

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Are in the market for one of the best rifle scopes under 500? If you are an avid hunter, it won’t take long before you realize how helpful these rifle scope reviews are. They are compiled after a thorough research and are skillfully written to hold your hand in the search.

It is a daunting task to find the best inexpensive rifle scopes. The industry is dominated by many reputable manufacturers who never cease to amaze hunters with new scopes. These are the best five rifle scopes under 500.

Best Rifle Scopes Under 500 – Quick List

Last update on 2019-01-17 at 08:27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API - Details

Top 5 Best Rifle Scope Under 500 in 2018

1. Sightmark Photon XT Rifle Scope

Sightmark SM18008 Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Riflescope
The Sightmark Photon XT is an incredible rifle scope with magnificent magnification power. Its notoriety as one of the best rifle scope under 500 is rightfully deserved.

This spectacular scope is highly effective and precise regardless of the light conditions. With a magnification of 4.6X42, this is one of the most powerful devices in the modern market. Whether it’s competitive shooting or hunting this stands scope is worth a rigorous consideration. It’s one of the best rifle scopes and will not disappoint.

The scope feature and exquisitely done construction which is lightweight for easier operation, handling, and maneuverability. It stunningly reduces fatigue and strain making all your missions enjoyable and successful. It is acclaimed as a user-friendly devices that make hunting in all terrains a breeze. The scope has been fondly accepted by many hunters because of its versatility and technical enhancements. They bring a tactical advantage that other scopes will not accord.

Moreover, the scope has 6 reticle options across the green, red, and white categories. There are 2 crossbow reticles, a mil dot reticle, a Germany style reticles, and 2 duplex reticles. This gives you a diversified advantage and a wide range of easy application.

One fascinating aspect is the night vision capability which makes it perfect for action after sunset. Even during the night it focuses and magnifies your target with optimal clarity. Besides, it’s a spectacular performer even in the long range shooting.


  • Built in light source
  • Long battery life
  • Compatible with most rifles


  • Stiff controls


2. Nikon M 308 4-16X42MM Rifle Scope

Nikon M-308 4-16X42 Riflescope BDC 800 Reticle, Matte 16463
When it comes to sports optics, Nikon is a force to reckon with. One of its incredible product is the Nikon M 308 4-16X42mm rifle scope. This is a well-crafted scope that is engineered to work with a number of calibers and rounds, but it’s best suited for the 308 7.62mm. The rifle scope features a 42mm objective lens that ensures superior light transmission. The objective Lens measures 13.5 inches, and at 19 ounces it is a bit weight.

The Nikon M 308 4-16X42mm scope has a magnificent eye relief which ranges from 3.7 to 4 inches. In addition, its exit pupil is also laudable and depending on your magnification it can be between 2.6mm and 10.5mm. Moreover, the scope provides adjustable magnification which ranges between 4X and 16X. Its magnification is capable of offering clear, crisp images regardless of the power.

Another noteworthy advantage is the adjustable knob that provides the ease of taking sharp images of the target in a flash. What’s more; the Nikon duplex Reticle gives you the freedom to quickly adjust the elevation depending on your target range.

The optics quality is also worth mentioning. The scope features fully multi-coated optics which guarantee up to 95% of light transmission through its lens. Its excellent light transmission ensures outstanding scope transmittance and provides clear images in all light conditions. In addition, its ultra clear coat optical system provides images with a quality near HD quality.

On the flip side, the scope doesn’t offer a generous field of view. Its field of view stands between 6.3ft at 16X and 25.2ft at 4X magnification, 100 yards from the target. Additionally, the scope is built to last with an optic chamber that is nitrogen purged. Its lens is also sealed using O rings which make the scope to be both fog and waterproof.


  • Excellent accuracy
  • Perfect for large caliber rifles
  • Highly durable


  • Slightly bulky
  • Not easy to adjust its eye relief


3. Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20X50

Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x50 PA SFP Riflescope Mil-Dot MOA
This Vortex Optics rifle scope has stamped its authority as a premium tool that competes well with the best rifle scopes. Though it’s moderately expensive the scope has supreme features that help in delivering incredible performance.

The rifle scope has mil dot reticle which is highly effective and convenient. The reticle helps in the estimation of bullet holdover, wind age, and target range. This makes the rifle scope highly effective for long distance hunters or competitive shooters.

The rifle scope is perfectly sealed with the O rings and the Argon gas purging. This makes the gun waterproof and fog proof as well as aiding its durability. The capped turret settings give you the freedom to quickly re index to zero when you sight the target. Besides, the caps offer maximum protection for the turrets.

Another incredible feature for this scope is the single piece 30mm tube. It maximizes the alignment for optimum vision performance, improved accuracy, and strength. The precision Glide rector system ensures the zoom lens mechanism uses premium components for smooth magnification adjustments


  • Excellent light transmission
  • Quick focus eyepiece
  • Has 3 reticle styles
  • Unlimited lifetime warranty
  • Intuitive adjustment controls


  • Not good at close range
  • Does not hold zero well


4. Vortex Viper PST 1-4X24 Rifle Scope

Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24 Riflescope with TMCQ Reticle (MOA/Capped Turrets)
The Vortex Viper is a moderately priced rifle scope that comes with features of a high-end scope. All its features work in unison to deliver unmatched performance in all light conditions.

The highly regarded one piece 30mm tube is crafted using aircraft caliber aluminum. This provides exquisite rigidity and supplies ample room for long distance wind age and elevation adjustment. In addition, the scope has a fast focus eyepiece which gives it reticle a quick and easy focusing.

The illuminated reticle is another sell for this rifle scope. Because of the electronic illumination, the reticle work incredibly well in low light conditions. It’s easier to turn on or off the illumination with a simple click between the intensity levels. This gives you the freedom to select your preferred illumination setting with ease. The XR multi coated lenses help in delivering bright images with excellent light transmission even under low light.

Moreover, the glass etched reticle offers optimum reliability and durability. The customizable rotational stop (CRS) zero stop prevents you from dialing multiple rotation below zero. This helps to avoid losing the zero when you dial large elevation corrections amounts.


  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Has illuminated reticle
  • Incredible illumination control
  • Comes with a CRS zero stop


  • Lines are not easy to see in dim light


5. Nikon Monarch 3 BDC Rifle Scope

Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope, Black, 4-16x50
The Nikon Monarch is an incredible rifle scope that stands top of the medium range echelon. If you are a hunter who usually stalks big games, you will not be forgiven if this is not one of your tools. It’s one of the best rifle scopes in the modern market.

This rifle scope has all the features of a high-end device despite being moderately priced. It is a single piece tool that is made of high-grade aluminum and weighs only 20oz. its lightweight nature coupled with its compactness make this scope one of the best for long hunting sessions. All its moving parts are up to snuff. Its focus and magnification rings function perfectly without any grinding.

In addition, this scope has an excellent optical quality. Its chromatic aberration is exquisitely controlled at all its magnification levels. The excellent chromatic aberration is aided by the sunshade adaptable feature.

The 50mm ocular lens feature Ultra Clearcoat Optical System that gives every hunter/shooter bright and sharp flat sight picture. With a theoretical 95% light transmission, this rifle scope delivers incredible clarity without any blurriness.

Another sell is the interchangeable turret technology is easily customizable with the windage and target style elevation caps and knobs.


  • Quick focus eyepiece
  • Excellent Ultra ClearCoat Optical system
  • Intuitive adjustments control
  • Reasonably priced


  • Problematic crosshairs


What Is The Best Rifle Scope Under 500 In The Market Now, and Why This Is Best?

The technological advancement recorded in the rifle scope space is commendable. With just $500 or under you can get your claws on a high-quality scope that will compliment your skills. The market is flooded with many products and selecting the best is a daunting task.

We have saved you the hassle and researched thoroughly to give you’re the best of the best in the market right now.


This is arguably the best rifle scopes under $500 in the current market. Although the brand itself (vortex) doesn’t rank highly, this particular rifle scope cannot be overlooked. Its status as the best premium rifle scope cannot be easily shaken. So what makes this rifle scope unique?

The Vortex Viper PA has an extra low dispersion (XD) lens element that enhances resolution and color quality. This results in sharp and crisp images of your target all the settings of zoom. In addition, the lens is XR fully multi coated. This proprietary coating increases the light transmission thanks to the multiple anti-reflective coatings. Moreover, there is a second focal plane reticle which ideally sized appearance. The reticle sub tensions is incredible at estimating holdover, range, and wind drift correction.

The rifle scope feature a single piece 30mm main tube that is made from aircraft caliber aluminum. The single piece aluminum maximizes alignment for optimal visual performance and accuracy. Besides, this ensures the water proofness and strength of the rifle scope.

Moreover, this scope has specially designed capped reset turrets. This allow the turrets to be quickly reidexed to zero especially after sighting. Additionally, tits side scope which are featured on the left side allow for easier accessibility. This comes in handy when the hunting or shooting condition becomes less favorable.

The internal mechanism design is also spectacular. The scope uses a precision force spring system that is made using premium component. This erector spring system accords optimal ease of adjustment and guarantees maximum repeatability.

The rifle scope is also impressive with its smooth magnification. The precision glide erector system has premium components in its zoom lens mechanism.

Generally, the structural integrity of this rifle scope is second to none. It has a rigidly constructed body that is capable of withstanding recoil and impact. This is a good rifle scope to use in all-weather condition whether rough or smooth.

Finale Verdict

The availability of high quality the best rifle scope under $500 is a good sign that the industry has really progressed. It’s becoming truly daunting to get the best out the market especially for the newbies.

Our list comprise of only the best. It has been compiled after a thorough research and because it’s difficult to pinpoint the best we gave listed five. This is to give you the freedom of selecting the one that suits your best.

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