10 Best Rifle Scopes Under $500: Expert Picks for 2024

Rifle scopes are an essential accessory for any firearms enthusiast, they enhance the accuracy, range, and overall shooting experience. In a market flooded with options, finding a quality rifle scope that fits one’s budget can be challenging.

That’s where we come in, with our guide to the 10 best rifle scopes under $500. These scopes are ideal for hunters, target shooters, and anyone looking to enhance their shooting skills without breaking the bank.

The two critical features to consider when selecting a rifle scope are the magnification and the quality of the optics. Magnification is crucial for determining the range to accurately shoot, while the optical quality ensures a clear and bright image.

Other factors to consider include durability, construction materials, and unique features, all of which play a role in the performance and lifespan of a scope.

When selecting a rifle scope in this price range, keep an eye out for compromises in optical quality and construction. While it’s not realistic to expect premium-grade materials and features in a sub-$500 scope, it is possible to find products that deliver outstanding value and performance within these constraints.

Our list narrows down the options, so you can make an informed decision based on your individual needs and preferences.

We spent countless hours researching, testing, and analyzing the market to bring you the 10 best rifle scopes under $500 that cater to a variety of shooting needs and deliver excellent performance and quality. Join us as we explore these fantastic options and discover the perfect scope to elevate your shooting experience.

Best Rifle Scopes Under $500

We have carefully curated a list of the top 10 rifle scopes available for under $500. These scopes offer a perfect blend of quality, performance, and affordability, ensuring you get the best value for your money.

CVLIFE 4×32 Compact Rifle Scope

CVLIFE 4x32 Compact Rifle Scope

If you’re seeking a budget-friendly, compact rifle scope with clear optics and durability, the CVLIFE 4×32 is the perfect fit for your needs.


  • Clear and bright image quality
  • Durable, one-piece aluminum construction
  • Fog, shock, and water-resistant


  • No night vision capability
  • Limited magnification options
  • May not hold zero well on real rifles

With the CVLIFE 4×32 Compact Rifle Scope, we experienced great success while using this relatively affordable accessory on our hunting trips. The fully-coated optical glass provides crystal-clear imagery while in use, making it much easier to aim, especially under varying weather conditions. The construction of this scope is solid, and it is built using high-strength aluminum alloy, providing both strength and durability.

While this scope might be compact, the overall performance didn’t disappoint, and we found it to be quite versatile in the field. The inert-gas-purged tube made it suitable for use under various weather conditions, including fog, water, and shock, ensuring uninterrupted shooting experiences.

However, this scope does come with a few drawbacks. It does not feature night vision, limiting its usefulness in low-light situations. Moreover, the magnification options are limited to 4x, which might not be suitable for all types of shooting scenarios. Additionally, some users reported that the scope may not hold zero well on real rifles, though it works great for airsoft guns.

The CVLIFE 4×32 Compact Rifle Scope is a reliable choice for those who are looking for a budget-friendly option that delivers decent performance. While it might not be ideal for professional shooting environments, the quality, durability, and weather resistance make it a suitable option for casual shooting or even airsoft enthusiasts.

TACTACAM PRM-UMS Under Scope Rail Mount for Crossbow

TACTACAM Under Scope Rail Mount

This mount is perfect for those looking for a reliable and versatile accessory for their TACTACAM action camera.


  • Easy installation and use
  • Compatible with various TACTACAM models
  • Preferred mounting system for crossbows


  • The lock screw could be longer for better hold
  • Not suitable for all weapons
  • No night vision compatibility

We recently had the opportunity to test out the TACTACAM PRM-UMS Under Scope Rail Mount for our TACTACAM Solo Xtreme Action Camera, and we were quite impressed by how easy it was to attach to our crossbow. This mount allowed us to secure the action camera onto the rail of our weapon, ensuring that we could capture high-quality footage during our hunting and fishing adventures.

The mount is compatible with several TACTACAM models, including the 5.0, 5.0 Wide Lens, 4.0, and Solo. Its versatility makes it an ideal choice for those using multiple action cameras.

However, we did notice that the lock screw could be longer, as it doesn’t always provide the best hold when attached to the crossbow. During one of our hunting trips, our camera fell off the mount, even though we had tightened the screw properly. A longer screw would offer more secure threading and grip.

Although this mount works great with crossbows, it might not be suitable for all firearms. If you’re using it with a different weapon, be sure to check its compatibility before purchase.

Lastly, note that this mount does not offer night vision compatibility. If you’re planning to use it during low-light situations, you may require additional equipment.

The TACTACAM PRM-UMS Under Scope Rail Mount is an excellent choice for those looking for a reliable and easy-to-use accessory for their action camera. Although there is room for improvement regarding the lock screw, its compatibility with various TACTACAM models and easy installation make it a worthwhile purchase.

UUQ 2.5-10x40EG Green Laser Rifle Scope

UUQ 2.5-10x40EG Green Laser Rifle Scope

The UUQ 2.5-10x40EG Green Laser Rifle Scope is a reliable and versatile option for those seeking a high-quality scope under $500.


  • Incorporated high-intensity green laser
  • Upgraded multi-coated green lens for clarity
  • Durable construction with aircraft-grade aluminum alloy


  • Might not hold zero on high-caliber rifles
  • Lens cover doesn’t fit perfectly
  • Laser battery not included in the package

We found the UUQ 2.5-10x40EG Green Laser Rifle Scope’s green laser to be remarkably bright and visible, performing exceptionally well in both bright and low-light conditions. With a range of over 300 yards, it provides impressive precision and target acquisition capabilities. The multi-layer green lens coating ensures a clear and vivid view, making targets easily identifiable.

Constructed from durable aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, this rifle scope offers vibration resistance and is well-suited for various hunting environments. Its floating design, combined with superior waterproof and fog-proof performance, ensures reliability without the need for constant maintenance or replacement. However, some users have reported that the scope might not hold zero on high-caliber rifles, so it might be more suitable for air rifles, crossbows, or low-recoil firearms.

The illuminated mil-dot reticle with five levels of red and green brightness provides a clear view for long-range shooting. It comes with two high-quality 1-inch complementary rings, making it easy to install on any 20mm Picatinny or Weaver mounting rail. One minor downside is that the lens cover cannot fit perfectly, but this can be easily resolved with an aftermarket cover.

The UUQ 2.5-10x40EG Green Laser Rifle Scope offers exceptional performance and value for its price. While there are some minor drawbacks, its combination of high-quality features and solid construction make it a worthwhile addition to any marksman’s gear.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Dead-Hold BDC Riflescope

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

We highly recommend this riflescope for its impressive clarity and performance at an affordable price.


  • Bright, clear views with anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses
  • Long eye relief and ultra-forgiving eye box for quick target acquisition
  • Durable, shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof performance


  • Some users might find it difficult to mount with certain setups
  • No night vision capabilities
  • Front sight visibility may be compromised with high mounts

The Vortex Optics Crossfire II has quickly become a favorite of ours while out on the shooting range. Its 2-7×32 magnification range is perfect for hunting and shooting at varying distances, as the Dead-Hold BDC reticle eliminates the need to estimate holdover. We experienced no difficulty mounting this scope on our rifles, and its capped reset turrets allowed us to easily zero our rifles after sighting in.

What we particularly appreciated about this Vortex riflescope was the bright and clear image quality, which can be attributed to the anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses.

The long eye relief and ultra-forgiving eye box made target acquisition quick and easy. Despite putting this scope through rough conditions, its aircraft-grade aluminum construction proved to be durable and shockproof, as well as waterproof and fogproof thanks to the O-ring seal and nitrogen purge.

On the other hand, some users have reported having to make modifications to their rifle setup to fit the Crossfire II, as it might not clear the eyepiece with some mounts.

Additionally, night vision capabilities are not included in this model. Lastly, using high mounts with this scope may compromise the visibility of the front sight due to the size of the scope tube.

Despite these minor drawbacks, we believe that the Vortex Optics Crossfire II is an excellent choice for both beginners and seasoned shooters, thanks to its reliable performance, user-friendly adjustments, and clear image quality all for an affordable price.

UUQ 2.5-10x40ER Rifle Scope

UUQ 2.5-10x40ER Rifle Scope

The UUQ 2.5-10x40ER Rifle Scope is a fantastic and affordable option for those seeking precision and functionality without breaking the bank.


  • Excellent magnification and red laser capabilities
  • Upgraded multi-coated green lens for a clear and bright view
  • Durable construction with waterproof and fog-proof performance


  • Laser power might be limited in some scenarios
  • May require some trial and error for ideal brightness settings
  • Mount compatibility could be an issue for non-standard rails

Having recently used the UUQ 2.5-10x40ER Rifle Scope, we were impressed with its magnification range of 2.5-10x, allowing clear target acquisition at various distances. The red laser feature further enhances targeting, providing impressive performance even in low-light environments.

The upgraded multi-coated green lens is a standout feature of this scope. It significantly reduces light scattering while delivering a clear and vivid view, making target identification a breeze. This lens quality ensures excellent visibility in both bright and low-light situations.

The UUQ 2.5-10x40ER Rifle Scope’s durable construction is another aspect we appreciated. Made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, this scope is both vibration-resistant and well-suited for hunting. Its floating design, coupled with superior waterproof and fog-proof capabilities, ensures reliable functionality across different environments without constant maintenance.

However, the laser power of less than 5mW might fall short during some scenarios, and the brightness settings may take some experimentation to get ideal results. Additionally, make sure to double-check your rifle’s mounting rail compatibility, as this scope is designed for 20mm Picatinny or Weaver mounting rails.

The UUQ 2.5-10x40ER Rifle Scope offers great value with its strong performance, durability, and versatility at an affordable price. If you can overlook minor shortcomings and have compatible mounting rails, this scope is worth considering for your next hunting adventure.

YINPOM 4-16x50AO Rifle Scope Combo

4-16x50AO Rifle Scope Combo

We highly recommend the YINPOM 4-16x50AO Rifle Scope Combo for its versatility, quality, and affordability.


  • High optical clarity and light transparency
  • Illuminated red/green reticles with brightness control
  • Detachable green laser with a wide range


  • Flashlight quality may vary
  • Batteries may be difficult to find
  • Heavier due to added accessories

The YINPOM 4-16x50AO Rifle Scope Combo offers all the essential features necessary for a great shooting experience. The full multi-coated lens ensures superior light transparency and high optical clarity, making target acquisition a breeze even in low-light conditions.

The red/green illuminated reticles with adjustable brightness levels also provide optimum visibility regardless of the surrounding environment.

What sets this rifle scope combo apart is the inclusion of a detachable green laser and a 5-mode flashlight for added functionality. The green laser has an impressive range of 200-400 meters, while the versatile flashlight helps light up your path in the dark. However, some users have reported issues with the flashlight’s quality and finding replacement batteries.

Despite its added accessories, the YINPOM rifle scope combo is easy to mount on any 22mm rail. Made of aluminum, it has passed a 1000G shockproof test, ensuring durability and stability during use. The scope is also waterproof and fog-proof, making it suitable for various weather conditions.

The YINPOM 4-16x50AO Rifle Scope Combo is a reliable and feature-packed choice for shooting enthusiasts looking for a versatile scope under $500. However, be prepared to manage the extra weight from the added accessories, and make sure to test the flashlight upon receiving the product.

Burris Fullfield E1 Hunting Scope 4.5-14×42 mm

Burris Fullfield E1 Hunting Scope

We recommend the Burris Fullfield E1 Hunting Scope for enthusiasts seeking impressive accuracy and functionality at an affordable price.


  • High-grade optical glass for brightness and clarity
  • Easy-to-grip power ring and adjustable low-profile turrets
  • Shock and vibration-resistant with a double internal spring-tension system


  • Turret zero resets may be too easy to move
  • Not as clear as some higher-end scopes
  • Lens covers can be stubborn

As avid hunters, we’ve had the opportunity to try out the Burris Fullfield E1 Hunting Scope with its 4.5-14×42 mm capabilities and must say we’re quite impressed. The high-grade optical glass utilized in this scope provides excellent brightness and clarity during use. Its durability is not to be underestimated, as the scope is designed to withstand shock, recoil, and vibrations without losing its zero.

The power ring is easy to grip and turn, even with gloves on, making it a practical choice for hunting in cold and wet conditions. Additionally, the finger-adjustable low-profile turrets create a sleek profile and allow for effortless adjustments. One small drawback we found, though, was that the turret zero resets can sometimes move too easily, making it essential to double-check settings.

While the Burris Fullfield E1 Hunting Scope might not be as clear as some higher-priced alternatives, it still offers incredible performance for its price range. The nitrogen-filled scope tube ensures that fogging won’t be an issue, even in the most extreme weather conditions. As a bonus, the Burris Forever Warranty guarantees the quality of this scope.

We believe the Burris Fullfield E1 Hunting Scope is an excellent choice for anyone in need of a high-quality scope at a reasonable price.

With its easy adjustments, good clarity, and rugged durability, it’s an indispensable companion for any hunting expedition.

Sightmark Citadel Second Focal Plane Riflescope 1-6×24 CR1

Sightmark Citadel Second Focal Plane Riflescope

The Sightmark Citadel 1-6×24 CR1 is worth considering for its versatility and maximum value under $500.


  • Clear, crisp glass quality
  • User-friendly illuminated reticle
  • Durable aluminum construction


  • No parallax adjustment feature
  • No included mounts
  • Relatively small eye box

Upon using the Sightmark Citadel Second Focal Plane Riflescope, we found the clarity and crispness of the glass to be quite impressive. It’s on par with many high-end scope options. The illuminated reticle is very easy to use, even in low-light conditions or when shooting at dark targets. We also appreciate the durable aluminum construction, which ensures that this scope will hold up well during hunting, paintball, airsoft, or any other outdoor activities.

One downside to this riflescope is the lack of a parallax adjustment feature. Some users pointed out that it’s advertised but not available on the actual product. Although the absence of parallax adjustment may not be a dealbreaker for some, it’s essential to be aware of this discrepancy.

Another limitation is that the scope does not come with mounts, so those will need to be purchased separately. Lastly, the eye box is relatively small, which may make it slightly inconvenient for extended use.

Despite its limitations, the Sightmark Citadel 1-6×24 CR1 delivers excellent performance at an affordable price point. It offers some great features such as clear glass and an illuminated reticle that provide enhanced shooting experiences.

The durability and versatility of this riflescope make it suitable for various outdoor sports and activities. Overall, we recommend the Sightmark Citadel as a solid option for those seeking quality rifle scopes under $500.

Monstrum G3 6-36×56 FFP Rifle Scope

Monstrum G3 6-36x56 FFP Rifle Scope

If you’re looking for a versatile and robust rifle scope under $500, the Monstrum G3 6-36×56 is a solid choice.


  • High-performance magnification for long-distance shooting
  • First focal plane MOA reticle with easy-to-read ranging information
  • Parallax adjustment dial for sharper focus and range estimation


  • Some clarity issues at the highest magnification
  • Challenging installation on certain rifles
  • Parallax adjustment may not be effective at all ranges

We recently took the Monstrum G3 6-36×56 FFP Rifle Scope out for a test run and were impressed by its high-performance magnification, which allowed us to shoot accurately up to 1000+ yards. The first focal plane MOA reticle provides easy-to-read ranging information that remains constant regardless of magnification, allowing for faster range estimation and holdover correction.

The parallax adjustment dial is a useful feature that allows for sharper focus on the target, elimination of parallax, and range estimation. However, we did notice some clarity issues at the highest magnification level, which could potentially detract from the overall experience.

The scope comes with a set of high-profile Picatinny scope rings, a detachable honeycomb filter sunshade, and spring-loaded flip-up lens covers for easy maintenance. Despite these accessories, we found it a bit challenging to install the G3 on certain rifles with fixed bases, as the scope rings might not fit properly.

The Monstrum G3 6-36×56 FFP Rifle Scope offers excellent value for its price point, though it does come with a few minor drawbacks. However, if you’re searching for a reliable, budget-friendly scope for long-distance shooting, this could be a great option for you.

Burris Signature HD Hunting Scope 3-15x44mm Plex

Burris Signature HD Hunting Scope

A top choice for hunters seeking high-quality performance and versatile magnification at an affordable price.


  • Exceptional multi-coated glass for clear and bright images
  • Numerous magnification options for various hunting scenarios
  • Durable construction with waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof features


  • Some concerns about Chinese-made glass quality
  • No included rings or mounts
  • May be considered pricey for some buyers

The Burris Signature HD Hunting Scope offers an impressive range of magnification levels, making it a versatile option for shooters needing clear views at various distances. The choice of either Ballistic E3 Illuminated or Plex reticle allows for precise shots in both near and far situations. The Plex reticle, in particular, provides a clean, simple aiming device that lets you zero in on a game of nearly any size.

Built with a 1-inch nitrogen-filled tube, the Burris Signature HD scope is designed for rugged hunting conditions. The new push/pull locking turrets and zero-stop feature on the elevation turret make setting your zero distance easier than ever.

Additionally, the scope’s 5x zoom system and premium multi-coated glass ensure a crisp and bright image, perfect for spotting your target in any lighting situation.

While the Burris Signature HD Hunting Scope has many advantages, there are some potential drawbacks to consider. Some users may be skeptical about the quality of the Chinese-made glass when compared to offerings from Austria, Germany, Japan, or the US.

That being said, the scope still offers exceptional performance for its price range. Additionally, the scope does not include rings or mounts, which could be an added expense for some shooters.

The Burris Signature HD Hunting Scope is a solid choice for hunters seeking a high-quality scope with versatile magnification options at an affordable price point. Its durable construction, premium multi-coated glass, and user-friendly features make it a worthy addition to any hunting setup.

Buying Guide

When looking for the best rifle scope under $500, there are a few crucial factors we need to consider. In this buying guide, we will go over the essential features to help in making an informed decision.


The magnification level determines the clarity and range at which an object is viewed. For most applications, a variable magnification scope with a range of 3-9x is suitable. However, for those who require more precision, a higher magnification might be necessary. Keep in mind that anything above 12x might require a stable platform, like a bipod, to ensure accurate shots.

Objective Lens Diameter

The objective lens diameter affects the light-gathering ability of the rifle scope. A larger diameter allows for better light transmission, providing a brighter and clearer image. This factor is especially important for low-light environments such as dusk and dawn hunting. Typically, a 40-50mm objective lens is a good compromise between size, weight, and performance.


The reticle is essential for shot placement and accuracy. There are multiple reticle patterns to choose from, including classic crosshairs, BDC, and illuminated reticles. Depending on your preferred shooting style, you may find one reticle type more suitable over the others.

Eye Relief

Eye relief is the optimal distance between your eye and the scope’s ocular lens. Adequate eye relief is essential for both comfort and safety when shooting. Look for a scope with at least 3.5 inches of eye relief to allow for a comfortable and safe shooting experience.

Durability and Weather Resistance

A quality rifle scope should be able to withstand harsh shooting environments. Keep an eye out for scopes with features like waterproof, fog-proof, and shock-resistant construction. An aircraft-grade aluminum housing and lenses with scratch-resistant coatings will help ensure the scope’s durability.

Here’s a quick reference table to highlight the key features:

Magnification3-9x variable (higher for precision shooting)
Objective Lens Diameter40-50mm
ReticleCrosshair, BDC, or illuminated
Eye ReliefAt least 3.5 inches
DurabilityWaterproof, fog-proof, shock-resistant

By considering these features, we can confidently select the best rifle scope that fits within the $500 budget range without sacrificing performance or quality. With the ideal scope in hand, we can take our shooting experience to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top features to look for in a rifle scope under $500?

When searching for a rifle scope under $500, we recommend looking for the following features: good light transmission, durable construction, reliable tracking, and a reticle that suits your shooting style. Additionally, consider the scope’s magnification range, field of view, and ease of use.

How do performance and reliability compare among budget scopes for hunting?

In the budget category, there can be noticeable differences in performance and reliability among scopes. However, many budget scopes offer excellent value for their price. It’s essential to research and compare scopes within your budget to find one with a balance of quality, performance, and durability.

Which rifle scopes under $500 offer the best clarity for low-light conditions?

Several rifle scopes under $500 provide good performance in low-light conditions. Look for scopes with large objective lenses, quality glass, and multicoated optics to enhance light transmission and minimize glare. Examples of such scopes are the Vortex Diamondback, Nikon Prostaff, and the Bushnell Banner.

Can you find a high-quality 6-24×50 rifle scope for under $500?

Yes, it is possible to find a high-quality 6-24×50 rifle scope for under $500. Options in this price range include the Athlon Argos BTR and the Primary Arms SLx 6-24×50 FFP. These scopes offer good glass clarity, sturdy construction, and precise adjustments to suit your shooting requirements.

What are the best options for a long-range rifle scope under $500 that can reach 1000 yards?

For a long-range rifle scope under $500 capable of reaching 1000 yards, consider the Vortex Diamondback Tactical FFP, Athlon Optics Argos BTR, and the Nikon Black X1000. These scopes offer suitable magnification, first focal plane (FFP) reticles, and turret adjustments for long-range shooting.

How do Vortex, Leupold, and Burris budget scopes under $500 stack up against each other?

Vortex, Leupold, and Burris are all reputable brands that offer budget scopes under $500 with good value for money. Vortex is known for its high-quality glass and excellent customer service. Leupold offers durable and lightweight scopes, while Burris scopes usually boast unique reticle designs. Despite their differences, all three brands provide reliable and well-performing rifle scopes within this price range.

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