Best Rifle Scope Under 400 Dollars (TOP 3 PICKS) – 2022

A riflescope is one of the most fundamental components for precise shooting and will impact your overall hunting experience. It is a necessity both for the professional and beginner to achieve perfect accuracy.

A good quality rifle scope is the key to making your rifle perform at its best, as long as you know how to use it!. But choosing the best rifle scope under 400 dollars isn’t the easiest decision to make.

The best rifle scope should be feature-rich, with target adjustments, weather resistance, and durability. There are a lot of options on the market.

But do you know what will be the best scope for your budget?

In order to find the best scope for the money, we will help you throughout the article. Let’s get started.

Here’s Our Best Rifle Scope Under 400 Dollars

As you will find too many rifles in the market, you will be definitely confused about which one will be perfect for you. To help you to find the best scope under $400, we will present the top 5 best scopes for the money.

Here is a quick list of the top 3 rifle scopes under $400:

Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16X44 Riflescope

No. 1

The Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16X44 Riflescope is an inspecting device that has features both for hunting and shooting.

The riflescope comes as the latest addition to the optic devices. In this Vortex Optics Diamondback HP Riflescope review, we will discuss the scope’s various features.

The scope magnification allows you to zoom in and view every detail of your target.

Also, the zooming feature confirms your safety as you can now keep a significant distance between you and your target. This can be done without forfeiting your ability to see it well.

Also, the scope uses an accurate glide erector system to ensure a charming and exact magnification.

The scope’s BDC reticle helps you to correct for the influence of normal winds on your bullet while shooting and hunting. This is one of the best scopes for the money.

The Vortex riflescope gives you extra-low dispersion glass to enhance image quality. Its accuracy glide erector system is great for attractive magnification.

It has also a resettable zero feature. The scope has a side focus for parallax correction. 4-16×44 magnification allows you a full view of the target.

Durable design makes the scope less disposed to damage. And its dead-hold BDC reticle confirms a more precise aiming.

Multi-coated lens confirms a clear view experience. Long eye relief of 4 inches prevents scope bites. It has a hard finish enhancing safety. Vortex will give a lifetime warranty for the riflescope.


  • Durable and rugged scope.
  • Protective lens caps.
  • Multicoated lens ensuring maximum light saturation for very clear images
  • A shock-resistant construction, waterproof and fog proof
  • Crisp and sharp images.


  • Experiencing struggle while trying to maintain a proper eye relief
  • No additional batteries are included in the scope’s package

Primary Arms 1-6X24mm – The Third Generation SFP Riflescope

No. 2

Primary Arms 1-6 x 24 mm Rifle Scope 30 mm Second Focal Plane
  • Red Partial Illumination
  • Fast Focus Eyepiece
  • Nitrogen purged
  • Fully Multi-Coated
  • Capped Turrets, Low Profile, Finger Adjustable

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This is great rifle scope from Primary Arms that has the special second focal plane design for accurate target shooting.

It would keep the reticle at the same mark even if you have variable magnification alterations. You can enjoy an enhanced reticle functionality at a maximum of 6x magnification power.

The 22LR reticle will give an easy sighting experience no matter what the climate and the lighting is. It comes with bullet drop recompense, holding winds, and range management with the utmost seamless integration at your service. The optics are clear, and the tube gives dense protection to the reticle.

Also, the construction quality is optimal with 6063 aluminum as the primary material. The purging of nitrogen makes the scope an all-weather scope for targeting that can combat water and fog with grace.

Eleven illumination settings are operated by battery charge. With the scope, you will also have a lifetime warranty that will provide a replacement or repair for certain defects.


  • The reticle is light up and in hand for dark targets.
  • Gives decent magnification for targeting.
  • It has the most versatile zooming variability.
  • The built-in quality is optimum, and it includes a lifetime warranty.
  • The image is clear and bright with perfect sharpness.


  • There should be a recommendation for the bullet.

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope

No. 3

Our Pick
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope
  • 1/4 MOA Finger Click
  • 3:1 Zoom Ratio
  • Scratch Resistant Lenses
  • Twilight Light Management System
  • Waterproof & Fogproof
  • 6061-T6 Aircraft Quality Aluminum
  • One inch Maintube

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The Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope is designed for medium-range shooting. And it features the Leupold quantum optical system with index matching lenses to make the most of the light transmission. The sharp design is encouraged by the use of Diamond coat protective lens coatings.

The waterproof and fog proof performance are also confirmed by the use of krypton or an argon gas mix. The externally eased quick-focus eyepiece is designed for rapid focusing. This is one of the best rifle scopes that features a Duplex reticle. It is one of the best scopes for the money.

Tactile power indicator allows you to control the scope’s magnification. It can be done without removing the eye from the eyepiece.

Advanced multicoated 4 lens system is excellent for light transmission in any light conditions. The scope is second generation krypton or argon waterproofing. Index matched lens system removes reflections and gets the most out of light transmission.


  • Delivers clear Images
  • Very high built-in quality
  • Best rifle for the price
  • High-Quality User Experience
  • Durable and high resell value


  • The single piece main tube being too narrow
  • The device weighted slightly over 11 ounces

Buying Guide For Best Rifle Scope Under $400

Choosing a rifle scope can be a very difficult decision to make. Maybe you are a beginner who is in the market for your first rifle scope. Or maybe you are a professional hunter who is looking to upgrade your rifle scope.

But choosing between the varieties of riflescopes on the market can be very hard. You also need to consider the price also. Finding the best rifle scope for the money is also hard.

With so many different choices available in the market and special features to consider, it can be easy to end up with a riflescope that is bad for the purpose.

That’s why we come here! You can see our professional’s opinion about choosing the rifle scope. We are here to help you choose the best rifle scope for your hunting experience.

Why should you use a riflescope for shooting and hunting?

Benefits of using riflescopes

Using a riflescope for shooting or hunting has many benefits. All of them will eventually increase the chances of hitting your target.

Target magnification:

A riflescope magnifies the picture you see means you can view your aim more clearly. It increases the chance of striking it.

The ability to see a target in more magnification before dragging your rifle trigger also makes for safe hunting. You have more chance of watching what is exactly behind your target.

Thus, it will reduce the chance of hitting any object or someone that you shouldn’t hit.

Shooting in low-light:

A Rifle scope highlights the available light to provide images. The images are brighter than those of the naked eye.

Using a riflescope means that you can shoot or hunt early in the morning or in the evening. These are often the best times to shoot the big target.

Increasing shooting accuracy:

Riflescopes consist of visual markers is known as crosshairs or reticles. It shows the hunters exactly where their shot will go when they pull the trigger.

These pointers make it much easier to be more accurate about your shot. It increases the chances of hitting your target.

Understanding a riflescope’s specifications

When choosing the best rifle scope for you, it’s very important to understand the variances between the different types of riflescopes available in the market.

To do this, you will need to understand the specifications of a riflescope. Also, you need to learn the differences in specifications can significantly touch the performance of a riflescope in various situations.

The specification of a riflescope is at all times specified by two sets of numbers. Finally, these two sets of numbers show the magnification strength or power of the riflescope and its light assembly ability.

The magnification power of the riflescope is on the first set of numbers. The second is the thickness of the riflescope’s objective or front lenses. These two components influence how the binoculars will perform in different situations.


Usually, a riflescope will be stated in a series of numbers such as 3.5-10×50 or 4x. Power expresses the magnification as a factor equal to the naked eye.

So in a fixed power scope, the object in view is magnified 4 times. An objective would appear to be four times closer than it would with the naked eye. So, a higher number has a higher magnification.

Most scopes sold today are variable powered, such as the 3.5-10x mentioned overhead. This allows greater flexibility for the shooter who can change the magnification from 3.5 to up to 10.

The power that you select relies on the kind of shooting you will be doing. If you are planning on hunting in close cover, you will want either a low-power fixed scope, such as a 4x, or a variable that goes down to 3.5X or even lower.

This will give you a broader field of view. Also, it will allow you to acquire a target fast in close cover. Instead, if long-range target shooting is in your strategies, you might need a scope that goes as high as 16x or even 20x.

For all-round shooting, a range of 3.5-10 or 4-12 will allow some serious range difference.


The second number in scope, such as the “50” in a 3.5-10×50, is the distance of the objective lens in mm. A larger number gives you a larger lens.

Large lenses are more massive. But they also offer a bit larger field of view and let in more light. It makes your image clearer, especially in the low-light settings.

The low light performance is due to the extreme exit pupil offered by a larger objective. The exit pupil can be calculated easily by dividing the distance of the objective lens by the power. As a result, a 4×32 scope has an exit pupil of 8mm.

On a bright day, the human pupil will differ from 2mm at noon to 4mm later in the day. Your eyes become adjusted to dark situations, such as pre-dawn and after sunset.

When the big game is moving, the pupil will change from 5mm to a maximum of 9mm.

On a bright day, having a scope with a longer exit pupil will have a slight effect. The only variance you may notice is that you will be capable to move the scope and maintaining the picture.

In low light, the exit pupil is the major factor in getting as much light as likely to your eye.

The diameter of the tube

The majority of the scopes on the marketplace come with the main tube having a 1-inch dia. Some European models and others also come with a 30-mm tube dia.

The larger tube does not permit brighter ones to reach your eye. The exit pupil declared above controls this.

Yet, a larger tube diameter gives further strength and strictness due to the larger cross-section area and larger rings and mounts.

Also, a bigger tube diameter allows for a bigger range of adjustment for windage and elevation.

Measurement and weight are needed to carry your rifle for a long time. We will be benefitted thorough bigger objects and variable power. The extra ounces rapidly add up all these features.

If you are thinking to minimize the weight of a rifle that you will be carrying a lot of the time, consider a fixed-power and compact scope with a medium-sized objective.

It will provide a big exit pupil with a bright image than a variable power scope.

How the scope works


ED glass or extra-low-dispersion glass gives you sharper images and superior color dependability. The various wavelengths made by standard lenses are broader and focused at various points along the optical axis.

ED glass narrows and directs the wavelengths of visible light into a single focal point. It virtually eliminates chromatic aberrations and produces true-to-life colors.

Often High Definition (HD) glass is a term that refers to ED glass. On the other hand, HD is fairly understood by the public. But it is also used to describe other optical features.

In fact, HD is not a type of glass or lens. But it is a term that labels a higher light transmission or picture resolution. So HD goes beyond what the human eye can observe.

Optical Coatings

The largest limitation of light transmission in riflescope is mirrored light. Anytime the light strikes a glass surface, up to 5% of the light can be mirrored back.

Nevertheless, if a thin chemical film is used to coat the surface of the glass, the reflection can be eliminated. The optical coating reduces light loss and glare and increases light transmission and results in clear, images.

At times, the effect of the coating is bigger by limiting the amount of mirrored light to 0.25% to 0.5% per glass surface with various films.


The reticle is the targeting point within the rifle scope. It is commonly called a crosshair. The standard arrangement is two thin wires that cross.

They are also available in different combinations containing pointed posts, bars, dots, and multiple dots. One of the most common reticles is a duplex or multiplex design.

The main crosshairs are thicker for easier viewing, especially in the low light. The crosshairs become very fine while they cross nearly. This is great for targeting at the background with a solid cover.

You will need a reticle that displays MIL or MOA marks for long-range shooting. Illuminated reticle varies greatly in their application. Sub-MOA-sized patterns are ideal for hunting in the long-range.

Red dot rifle scopes and other illuminated reticles are for fast target acquisition and for close-range hunting. You have to choose a reticle that suits your style of shooting.

Focal Planes

Front-focal-plane or first-focal-plane reticles sit before the magnification mechanism. So the reticle scales with magnification for a correct airborne ladder at any range.

It is able to sight in at any part of the magnification scale. Also, this allows a range to estimate the target size comparative to the MILs on your reticle.

Second focal plane, also known as the rear focal plane. It is the simplest and most common reticle placement style just behind the magnification mechanism.

This means the reticle maintains a similar size through the whole magnification range. With this focal plane, the point of influence moves as you move through the magnification range.

This is why the scope needs to be sighted in at extreme magnification. As soon as you zoom out, the change is almost invisible.

Hybrid reticles are becoming the scopes with an automatically illuminated targeting point. The focal point of the reticle is in the second focal plane.

There it stays at the same size. The remainder of the reticle zooms with your target so that the hold-over compensation is accurate through the whole magnification range.

Custom Turrets

Some manufacturers can make custom windage and elevation turrets based on the ballistic you send to them. The patterns of the new turret usually correspond to the distance shot and to eliminate holdover.

So the factors include caliber, cold-bore temperature, make type, ballistic coefficient, bullet weight velocity, zero distance, sight height over the bore line, and elevation.

Parallax Adjustment

The standard aiming knob on all scopes adjusts the reticle to your eye. Parallax happens when viewing distance targets and the reticle appears to shift or move.

The parallax adjustment puts the reticle on the same focal plane as the aim. So while moving your head, the crosshairs stay right where the bullet is going to be.

Most riflescopes without adjustable aims are reset to compensate for parallax and focus at an ideal distance of 100 or 150 yds. Usually, Parallax is only the issue at magnification over 10X.

Read Also: Best 1000 yard scopes

For long-distance targets in a higher power, an adjustable objective is a good choice while looking at a scope.

Gas removal

Gas removal helps the waterproofing process by avoiding fogging in the inside of the lenses. The most common gases are argon and nitrogen gasses with some mixtures of the two.

Eye Relief

The comfortable distance a scope can be held from the eye. It still allows the shooter to see the entire image. This is exactly the distance of your shooting eye to the eyepiece.

It will be stated as a range. Since it is a variable-power scope, the eye relief can change with power. Adjacent tuning can be made while mounting the scope.

It is to give the single shooter optimal eye relief. On a rifle, the more generous is the eye relief, the better. This will allow you to obtain the target more quickly which is a must for running shots. 3-inch to 4-inch is a good number that will fit most hunters.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the best riflescope magnification?

Answer: Riflescope comes with a variety of magnification and some scope has a variable zoom that allows you to change the power of your scope. Also, it is depending on the level of magnification you should require.

Overall, low-power rifle scopes are great for shooting at short range. And, medium power scopes are ideal for hunting long-range targets. For example, deer at medium range. High-power riflescopes are ideal for shooting quiet targets.

What is a reticle of a riflescope?

Answer: A reticle of a riflescope is the visual marker built inside a riflescope. It provides the shooter with a targeting point. Reticle comes in various kinds of designs.

And it is also important that you should choose a reticle that is appropriate for the activity you expect to use your scope. It is for and the distance that you plan for shooting.

What height rifle scope rings do you need?

Riflescope ring comes in various kinds of designs. Different height scope rings let you securely attach variously sized scopes to your rifle.

Some scopes will need larger rings to clear the area for scopes with the larger objective lens.

  • Extra or super high rings or ultra-high rings
  • High rings
  • Medium rings
  • Low rings

Which type of riflescope reticle should you choose?

To find out exclusive details about the best riflescope reticle to use for shooting or hunting, long-range shooting or for use in low light, please read our riflescope buying guide.


Here in this list, all the scopes are performing great, hold brand value, and are well-built. Each of them may beat many luxurious riflescopes too.

But if we were to choose the best rifle scope under 400$, we would choose Nikon Prostaff 5 BDC for its excellent performance.

  • Nikon dominates the budget’s best rifle scope in the marketplace because of keeping its price reasonable for everyone.
  • This riflescope has a 3.5-14x magnification level.
  • It contains 4x zoom ratio and 40-mm objective lens.
  • It works very well at any conditions and long eye relief make sure a clear view of the target.
  • BDC reticle is also somewhat mentioned
  • Apart from these features, it has taken the place of most recommendable because there are much more. So, it will be one of the best scopes for the money.

Thanks for being with us. Hope you enjoyed a lot throughout the article.

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