Best Rifle Scope Under 500 Dollars – Editor’s Picks [2022]

I’m sure most of the hunters right now are getting impatient to embark on the next journey, especially as things have been with COVID!. The next big hunting season is impending, you’re scheduling to make this fun break a success.

We have a variety of different pricing reviews on Clever Shooter, but for those on a medium budget and a little extra to spend we have what we think is a pretty good selection of the best rifle scope under 500 dollars that give you enough options for your next outing.

So here are our top 9 best Rifle Scopes under $500 that will give you supreme ROI.

Best Rifle Scope Under $500

Here are nine of my favorite scopes that caught my attention for the mix of features they hold. Check thoroughly and grab the one that suits the most with your needs.

If you want to buy hurry you can go through the quick list of best Rifle Scope under $500:

Burris 6.5-20 x 50mm – The Ballistic Mil-dot Rifle Scope!

No. 1

The fine superiority optics in Burris rifle scopes bid a wide range of potentials for the hunters who favor long- distance hunting.

Also, it is favorable for those with shots that are partial to shorter- range shooting.

Optics is vital in both kind and the transparency of vision, as well as the ease of alteration, makes these model scopes very convenient for shooters of either type.

The scope offers magnification from 6.5x to 20x which is enough for any kind of distance shooting. The mil-dot objective lens is adjustable, and that’s one huge plus.

The multi-coatings of the lens will increase the performance to a great extent. Also, the scope is water, shock and fog resistant.

It is a good rifle scope that comes with a lifetime warranty to cover and secure the deal. The matte black objectives give you a premium look of a pro hunter.

Also, the one piece tube built-in holds the reticle with care, and the construction quality provides for maximum durability too. In short, the scope is definitely a huge nominee for the Best Rifle Scope under 500 dollars range.

BURRIS FullField II 6.5-20x50 Scope, Ballistic Mil-Dot Reticle, Matte Black (200193)

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  • The vision is very strong in the scope.
  • It is shock, fog and waterproof.
  • It stays very steady while trying to shoot.
  • The scopes stay on the mark most of the time.
  • Even at the fullest magnification, it shows a clear image.
  • It gives a classy hunter statement look.


  • The shipping needs some improvement.

EOTECH 512 Holographic Weapon Sight – The Lord of Ring Reticle!

No. 2

If you’re looking for a clear and bright sight tool for your gun, then one brand that is very much worth viewing is EOTech. There are a lot of lower end players in this market.

However, EOTech with some of the popular models is one such brand that carries the degree of quality that most serious about the use of their gun would be interested in.

There’s a 68MOA ring in the back along with a 1 MOA dot reticle that gives optimum viewing while hunting. The scope goes well with MIL-STD 1913 Rails mostly.

The image quality is good enough to give you enough sharpness and details about the thing you view. Also, the focus is quite accurate to shoot with.

There are a total of twenty brightness settings for the user to adjust with any lighting scenario. So there’s no worrying about too dim or too lit areas.

It covers 10 feet for water resistance and so there’s no fear of sudden rain or drizzle. The manufacturer grants a ten-year-long limited warranty to cover your deal with safety.


  • The battery life is really good and goes a long way.
  • Adjusting the sight is comparatively easy.
  • The circle around the dot helps for short range shooting.
  • The glass quality is nice.
  • Gives enough brightness for dim situations.
  • Comes with auto shut off button that is convenient.


  • The circle around the dot is a bit distracting for longer range shooting.

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

No. 3

Vortex is a popular name in the riflescope market, and it has introduced some excellent range finder for pro hunters.

They always take care of the quality and the value point, and that’s very appreciating.

This model is a high magnification scope with 6.5x to 20x power of zooming.

So all the long ranger can buy this with having enough peace of mind that it would work well for them.

The image quality doesn’t mess up at high magnification. That’s nice! Another good point is the 44mm Mil-dot MOA reticle and the 50 mm Dead-Hold BDC MOA.

The Viper with 30mm tube will hold the reticle and built-in for a long period providing good functioning even at rugged usage.

Also, the varying ranges of shooting would feel easy and hassle-free most of the time. The premium coatings are complete and durable with the lens.

The extra low dispersion feature ensures the resolution quality never disappoint and always gives optimum brightness.

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 1-6x24 SFP Riflescope

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  • The optic is outstanding.
  • Glass quality is very optimum.
  • The price for the scope is also reasonable.
  • Easy to mount and set up.
  • It is great at the long range shooting.
  • Comes with good magnification power.
  • The images are very clear and bright.


  • Not a suitable pick for closer shots.

Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BCD Riflescope – The Black Shooter Scope!

No. 4

Nikon scopes might be a bit more pricey, but for palpable reasons. These scopes have it all counting features like the anti-reflective as well as multi-coating lenses.

Also, they offer precise, repeatable, correct adjustments. These scopes do come with a forever full warranty. So if anything ever goes wrong, you will be safe.

The 4.5x to 18x magnification range is ideal for both closer and longer shots.

So you would find it useful if you are more used to both distances. Also, it offers patented BDC reticle which is great in image quality.

The circles help a lot for the time when we use it for long ranging. Adjustments are super simple, and most of the time they are fast.

The complete optic coatings will ensure you always go for the premium brightness quality. This scope also gathers light quite well, and so the light transmission is up to the mark.

The quick focus will help you to get your prey within no time, and you will shun missing targets. Also, the scope is completely waterproof so you can fight well in rainy seasons too.

Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BCD Riflescope

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  • The setup needs less effort and time.
  • MOA group shooting is very easy at 200 yards.
  • The construction quality is solid.
  • Also, the accuracy is perfect most of the time.
  • There is a sunshade too.


  • Doesn’t provide good support during night time hunting.

Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope – With the Eye Box Technology Master!

No. 5

Nikon has plenty of new rifle optics to get. Three scopes are making up the new Monarch African Series with optimum features and quality.

Every scope has Nikon’s complete multicoated optics to offer sharp and strong viewing. This power series has a design that can handle fast shots with a perilous game.

The eye box technology is what makes this model an eye-catcher. With four times zooming to sixteen times zooming you are fully covered for both long and short distance shots.

The eye relief is comfortable and almost four inches. The zero rest turrets will ensure that the user can have a very easy adjustment accessibility every time.

Moreover, with 95% light transmission, there’s no chance for blurry or weak quality images. The quick focusing will at all-time make sure you never miss your prey and always hunt at first shot. With the Ballistic technology, the rifle scope outperforms in most of the basic categories.

Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope

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  • Provides good power support for shooting accuracy.
  • The clarity of the picture is one of the finest.
  • The glass is superior in quality and visibility.
  • Light gathering is enough and effective.
  • Easy to handle and set up.
  • The zero reset is quick and efficient.


  • Elevation sometimes is a problem.

Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x50mm Riflescope – The Twilight Max Light!

No. 6

Leupold offers top of the line scopes, and the price implies it. There are frequent models and disparities this brand has to offer. Also, these scopes are built to last.

All their scopes go together with a full lifetime warranty promising you that the company stands behind their tool. Also, it verifies that they produce a superior product.

This rifle scope is waterproof, fog proof and also shockproof. The construction includes a hundred percent fibers.

The main tube is about one inch, and it holds the lens with safety. It’s quarter MOA adjustments are accessible easily, and with a duplex reticle, you get good images and enough brightness.

The scope offers a minimum 4.5x zooming option that goes well for close range shooting. Also, it can maximize up to 14x.

With a matte finish, the scope looks very high quality, and the dual spring correction schemes work very well to provide convenient usage every time.

The argon or krypton purging is there to ensure the water resistance provides enough fighting. Overall, the model is a good scope to go with anyone’s shooting requirements.

Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x50mm Riflescope

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  • The image is huge and bright.
  • The sharpness details are very on point.
  • This scope also has easy turret settings.
  • It offers a really fast focus on prey.
  • The adjustments are easy, and magnification is pretty helpful.
  • Easy to hold and use with the rifle.


  • The claim that it is made in the USA isn’t true.

Nikon M-Tactical 3-12x42SF Matte MK1-MRAD Riflescope – The Powerful Nikoplex Reticle!

No. 7

Nikon offers great eye relief and would keep all the stress on the barrel end. The lower power range has shooters on the mark in quick, “both eyes open” shots.

The light, easy to grip, great objectives come together with decent durability to hold the rifle without worry.

Its Nikoplex reticle will take the accuracy game to another level with great picture quality and aiming ability.

The 4x to 16x magnification is a standard range to have for any type of shooter.

Both the close and long ranges will be under control with this powerful magnification system.

Also, the big and giant lens is what gives the satisfaction of owning a high-end caliber rifle. To get the momentous targeting, a scope must allow for the fastest focusing, and this model from Nikon makes sure to grab that point.  The quick focus eyepiece will decently find your target and allow you to make a clean shot in no time.

Nikon M-Tactical 3-12x42SF Matte MK1-MRAD Riflescope

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  • The turret adjustments need less time and effort.
  • The side focus is really helpful.
  • The zero set lasts for a long time.
  • The drop correction is easy and right.
  • Mounting this rifle scope is quite simple and hassle-free.
  • The built-in quality is decent.


  • There is no manual to guide the user.

Vortex Optics Viper HS Second Focal Plane Riflescopes – No Hold-Over Issue!

No. 8

With top notch customer service, an array of finishes, sun shades, flip open lens covers, anti-reflective device Vortex stands out with each model.

This one too is a great version that comes with a bunch of features to be helpful in hunting journeys.

The magnification ranges from 4x to 16x, the ideal gap for any distance shooting.

The multiple configurations will make sure you can go for various ranges without having any hold-over concerns.

Also, the fast reset turrets feature a cap and would rapidly reset your zero once you finish viewing. The augmentation of elevation and windage with the 30mm tube is smooth and fast.

The optical system is a huge point here since it provides bright visual that is mostly because of the multiple coatings on the lens.

The scope is shock-water and fog proof, and so you would be able to carry it with you no matter what the weather or situation. Also, the coatings on the lens make the optics scratch free and super durable.

Vortex Optics Viper HS 4-16x50 Second Focal Plane Riflescope

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  • A great scope that holds perfect zero.
  • The adjustments clicks are accurate.
  • The lens coating provides better durability.
  • The clear optics provide sharp images.
  • Very well made with good construction quality.
  • The reticle is also good.
  • Can resist rough usage.


  • Magnification adjustments need a bit time.

Nikon MONARCH 3 Black, 4-16×50 Riflescope – The Super BDC!

No. 9

Coupled with Nikon’s ground-breaking BDC Reticle, the Special riflescopes have a design for the needs of slayer hunters.

The only one of its type, the great optic, and accuracy not unclear the target, making shots on a progressing predator simple.

And so with utmost quality, Nikon will always be one of the top brands to provide hunting gears and tools as usual.

The zooming range with eye box technology starts from 4x to 16x. That’s enough for almost any type of shooting.

The 4-inch eye relief will shun any pain or stress to the corner and give you a clear and comfortable viewing angle.

The zero resetting, turret adjustments are very easily accessible and also the adjustments are made quickly to give the shooters the speed they need.

The reticle helps to focus in no time so that no prey is ever missed when you target on it. The optical system is high quality, and it efficiently allows 95% light transmission. Overall the scope would suit almost any level hunter from beginner to pro.

Nikon Monarch 3 SF FFP M BDC Rifle Scopes

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  • The mounting was perfect and easy enough.
  • The alignment was excellent.
  • Shoots accurately on the aiming point.
  • Focusing is correct and quick.
  • The light gathering needs minimum time.
  • Optics are clear and sharp image holder.
  • The side focus is really good and convenient.
  • 100 yards shooting becomes easier.


  • A bit small barrel.

Guide to Finding the Best Rifle Scope under 500 Dollars

A rifle scope is made from a bunch of elements — the eyepiece, exit pupil, power ring, ocular lens, elevation adjustment, the objective lens, windage adjustment, objective bell, and so on.

When getting the best rifle scope for the money, you must first ensure that it suits your gun and bullets. Also, have in mind that dissimilar manufacturers are not equal in conditions of covering quality. Since particular of them have exclusive, occasionally patented, coatings that give better functioning.

There are several important characteristics you need to judge, such as – magnification, image quality, eye relief, FOV, length, weight, objective diameter, light transmission, brand.

Make sure you know the complete picture and short down your requirements. Only then you’ll be able to get the most suitable pick for your shooting style.

Criteria for the Best Rifle Scope Under 500 Bucks

There are so many dissimilar variations out there as soon as it comes to rifle scopes. It’s no wonder when hunters have a tough time choosing the finest fit for them.

Do you grip scopes that offer stability, but no image clarity? How about one that specifies the perfect clarity, but no kind of adjustment proficiency? Is there even one that arranges for all of these features?

All great queries, and today you will find get the answers.

The Modification

Enjoying this option is very important. The best hunting scope under 500 dollars would certainly offer them. Consider if the aiming setup would be similar after every shot.

If not then it would be a waste of time, and obtaining rifle scopes will do absolutely no good. The finest thing to do is make sure the reticle has no kind of drive.

However, there should be slight moving capabilities, but not to the extent to where it would make a huge difference.

Image Clarity

If you’re not capable of seeing your target, it’s going to be tough to take down your prize. One of the prime parts of the best target scope under $500 surrounds image clarity.

In order to get the very superlative resolution, there have to be loads of lighting vacant. The two go hand in hand, and you would undeniably notice the variance from rifle scopes that don’t offer this help.

It’s also a worthy idea to pick the right size as well. The greater the lens, the higher you would be able to see the whole lot in the path you’re looking at.

The lens of the rifle scope should have coatings to achieve less light loss plus glare. Optical coatings are very chief because they raise the amount of light that comes in the scope. This will result in superior clarity, contrast, and color tenacity.


There isn’t much to the strength process. Either the rifle scopes you are seeing have it, or they don’t.

There is no in-between here, and it’s typically based on the kind of materials it uses. This will define whether or not they would pass the test. Then again, you must consider these areas well.


You certainly don’t want any kind of rifle scopes that are hefty and bulky. When you go hunting, they would weigh down the gun. This would make it nearly unbearable to hit your target exactly. You need a scope that is lightweight and offers enough constancy for mounting.

Large Prey Targets

The perfect situation is getting a scope that is precisely designed to find large prey. This guarantees that the hunting tool would work with the weapon that you will take down the game.

These scopes are often higher to increase the span between the hunter’s eye and the rifle. Accordingly, there is better protection.

Huge scopes also have aspects that other scopes do not have. For example, the crosshairs make it laid-back to track huge animals.


Before getting the scope, see how strong it is. Especially when it comes to enlarging power. For the big game, the perfect level is up to 9 times its standard size.

The aptitude of the scope to produce stronger images can be quite priceless when it comes to shooting. Numerous animals require a hit in an exact location to stop them from being able to get away.

Getting a scope that has the aptitude to create greater perceptibility can safeguard an increase in fruitful shots.

The magnification power is spoken in a series of figures. For example 3-9x or 4x. On some rifle scopes, you can by hand adjust the level of intensification as given in 3-9x, which denotes that the magnification can get an adjustment from 3 to 9.

Low power rifle scopes are extra suitable for nearby range and moving marks. Since they have the maximum effective light organization.

Also, they have a wider field of view even in low-light situations. So for close shooting, it’s finest to get a rifle scope with 4 times magnification power.

The 2nd number which comes after the ‘x’ denotes the diameter of the objective. It is usually given in millimeters. For instance, 6×60 means that the power of exaggeration is 6.

However, the diameter of the objective is 60mm — the superior the number, the more powerful the lens. This will result in a broader field of view.

Also, it will ensure that a greater amount of light enters the scope. And so you could get a clearer image, mainly in low light conditions.

Eye Relief

One more feature that scope requires to have is eye relief. If you do not want to get upset with minor pains and stress in your eyes then definitely think about this feature.

It might sound not so important but imagine while hunting you can’t focus because of a tension felt on your eye. That would be very distracting. And so it is important to check a good eye relief.

This term mentions the rubber caps or shades that are combined into the design. This is present to stop the scope from hitting the eye.

When a rifle is shot, there is a trend for the scope to jerk in reverse because of recoil. Having the right eye relief will increase relaxation. It will even avert injury for the hunter.


There are some reticles to pick from today. While some have a preference for Nightforce Reticles, others choose for Ballistic Reticles or Dead-Hold BDC Reticles. Now, let us converse about the various reticles. We’ll talk about how they are good at doing certain jobs.

In the previous days, the plain crosshair was the only pick of the reticle. It was the first class option available. The aiming point is made by this through the steep arrangement of crisscrossing lines.

Therefore, the aiming point is bent at the center. This helps shooters to point at the target easily — many favors this simple approach as the top one.

If a hunter is in a rush to aim or is aiming in low light situations, this type of reticle not might be a great one. Now, if the upright lines are present darker, the mid aiming point turns out to be less correct.

So, plain crosshair reticles must be not a choice for a hunter if he or she needs to aim fast or hunt at dim light conditions.

The Bullet Drop Compensating (BDC) Reticles can give a clear idea about the bullet route. When shooters aim with a straight barrel gun, the bullet does not ground at the target. It always lands minor.

Why is this so? This is for the gravitational pull. Imagine a shooter aims the eye at a deer. When he shoots the aim, the bullet hits the jaw of the deer.

Therefore, a shooter has to recompense the effect of gravity on the bullet. For this, an individual needs to aim upper than the spot he plans to hit with the bullet.

Two things must be in your mind here. The first is how quickly the bullet is traveling. And the second is how far away the target is from the shooter.

That’s why maximum manufacturers provide Bullet Drop Benefit or BDC reticles. Usually, the brands provide laser range locators.

Several rifle scopes come with lit reticles. These are very helpful as they create crosshairs observable even in low light conditions.

In some of the inexpensive rifle scopes, the slightest brightness of crosshairs is now and then too bright. Too much intensity of the reticles also comes in the way of seeing the aim.

This crops up as the main problem. However, this difficulty has a solution if you get the top-quality riflescopes that have minutely variable digital controls. These scopes also offer trial and error detections.

Other Important Factors

I don’t believe that you can go off beam when you get a scope from any of the well-known and trustworthy brands. None of them is going to throw a piece of jumble out there. Be conscious that, if you are viewing for a quality piece of optic you would have to pay. It mostly works that way.

It perhaps seems obvious to you. However, I need to state that when anticipating a new rifle scope you think of the intention. Humble, right?

Not everything is for everyone. Many folks don’t know that there are rangers that are particularly made for airguns. Seems strange to some, but there is a motive.

Air guns have a lot of recoil in both orders. And the scope for this usage will take that into thought. So get a scope that will particularly impact your weapon a bit more than others.

You will need to use a bit of common sense. You won’t get excellence if you care more than normal about economizing and penny squeezing. Ultimately, the choice would be yours.

The Military Scopes vs. the Normal Scopes:

Military rifle scopes have turned out to be a standard factor in today’s infantry weapons. These are popular throughout the world to help the regular combat soldier obtain his target with greater ease and exactness.

Today’s military rifle scopes are much more accurate, hard-wearing, and consistent instruments than the normal ones.

The scopes put out by numerous top brands are waterproof, lightweight, and have an unbelievable array of ocular features that put the normal riflescopes to shame.

Hunters, particularly those who have recently been serving in the military choose these kinds of scopes over an average hunting scope.

A few of the main differences you’ll get in military rifle scopes would incorporate things like better reticle lighting for use in low-light situations. Also, they have settings or ballistics capacities data obtainable through the sights themselves.

Understanding the Geometry of the Most Popular Scope Reticle!

MilDot Reticle is the most popular reticle for the scopes and is also a bit confusing for a few beginners. This consists of crosshairs with dots consistently spaced over the horizontal and vertical axes.

Every dot in the reticle is one milliradian in width. Without having too bogged down in geometry, a radian is an angular depth of a circle. A milliradian is one one-thousandth of a radian.

Using direct geometry, we can then diagnose how the mil-dot smears to range finding. Try to comprehend the scope to be the midpoint of a circle. Now deliberate the distance to the item to be the radius of the circle.

Then you would understand that the dot shelters an arc of the circle. Now, using the above method, we can use the guileless formula that a mil-dot counterpart is one unit per thousand units.

How Do Focal Planes Work?

Rifle Scopes have two focal planes. These are known as the First and Second focal planes. Reticles can stay in the first or second focal planes.

When the reticle is in the first focal plane of inconstant magnification scopes, the mil-dot reticle could use any exaggeration. Since the reticle would shrink or grow with the intensification level.

When the reticle is in the second focal plane of scopes, the reticle extent is static notwithstanding the magnification level.

If this is the situation, the mildot is typically calibrated for the uppermost magnification level. It typically helps to communicate with the manufacturer or look at the details that came with the scope to be certain.

Though testing the range-finding scheme against already known target size would reveal the standardization.

Is Range Finding Tough? Practice!

Talking of testing the range-finding scheme, using a mildot reticle for range finding needs practice and a lot of it. Other than accepting the use and size of the mildot, you should know the size of the mark for judgment purposes.

It is vital to set targets of discerned sizes at distances you believe you might want to use the mildot rangefinder. Simply see them through the scope.

Then check what you see. Does it work? Does it make sense to you? Does it? Perfect! Now you need some more practice to be flawless.

Our Top Pick

BURRIS FullField II 6.5-20x50 Scope, Ballistic Mil-Dot Reticle, Matte Black (200193)

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Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 1-6x24 SFP Riflescope

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Burris 6.5-20 x 50mm
Brand: Burris Optics
Color: Matte Black
Dimensions: 19.5″ x 3.5″ x 3.5″
Sport Type: Hunting
Weight: 538.64 Grams
EOTECH 512 Holographic Sight
Color: Black
Dimensions: 8″ x 6.5″ x 3.5″
Sport Type: Hunting
Weight: 309 Grams
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
Brand: Vortex
Color: Black
Dimensions: 14″ x 4 “x 5”
Sport Type: ALL
Weight: 3 Pounds

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Rifle Scopes Under $500

Will my Weaver-style rings fit a Picatinny base?

Weaver style rings would fit on a Picatinny style base while the converse is less probable to hold. Where this does not grip truly is with rings that overlap the base and do not bolt within the recoil lug. Also, some Picatinny rings are tinny enough to mount within the recoil lug.

What is the difference between the Picatinny Arsenal mounting & rail mounting?

The main difference between the double-style mounts is in the shrinking lug. The recoil lug is the sideways slots in the mounts. These keep the tools from sliding onward during the recoil of a firing occasion. The recoil lug is huge, more common, and more consistently spaced in the MIL-STD 1913 rail. This offers a greater elasticity for rifle scopes.

What should be my choice for rings & bases?

When gathering rings and bases to mount your rifle scopes besides other shooting gears, the safe choice is to, where achievable, remain regular. Pick Weaver Style Rings that match with Weaver and the similar with Picatinny style rail. Or else you run the risk of recurring to get bits and pieces straining to fit a miss matching system.

What are the good locking materials for mounting?

As a small helpful hint, be certain to use a medium-strength thread locking element when safeguarding those pieces of your mounting system that you won’t be regularly undoing. This would help keep the rifle scopes from pulsating loose during firing and transport.

Is it okay to buy a scope without a warranty?

Of course, it isn’t. Make sure the brand you choose gives you great coverage. These days it isn’t rare for brands to give lifetime warranties on their tools. Check it out. Go for the ones that cover the maximum and for the longest. With all of the rivalry for your rifle scope money, there is no need to take a back step.

What type of scope do I need for long-range shooting?

The ideal scope for long-distance shooting is a scope with a high magnification range between 4 and 10x, an objective lens diameter of over 50mm, and a BDC reticle. Various factors can, however, affect your scope requirements. 

The term “long-range” can mean different things for different hunters and for different types of rifles. Most hunters consider a target distance of 500 to 1000 yards to be long-range. However, most big-game hunters consider 300 yards the maximum target range for ethical shooting because the risk of simply injuring your target is significantly higher beyond this point. 

Since the general conception of long-range shooting varies so much, it is probably a good idea to first consider your preferred maximum shooting distance.

Scope requirements in terms of magnification

For shorter-range shooting up to 100 yards, it is usually best to get a scope with a magnification range of 1 4x.

For shots up to 200 yards, you will need a scope with a magnification range of 5-8x.

If you consider targets beyond 200 yards as long-range shooting, then you will need a scope with a magnification range of at least 4-12x. 

For targets up to 500 yards, a minimum magnification of 4-5x is required, but most marksmen prefer a magnification range of around 10-15x or 6-18x.

Those that want to shoot targets at great distances of up to 1000 yards should look for a scope with a magnification range of 12-24x.  

The general shooting specs vary so much because factors other than just your magnification can impact your ability to see clearly. 

For example, scopes with variable power can have more than one magnification setting and allow you to see clearer at different ranges. 

Scope requirement in terms of the objective lens

A bigger objective lens usually means a much brighter view, which is a huge help if you are firing at long-distance targets. 

With that in mind, you should also be careful not to choose a scope with an overly large objective lens since this can increase the weight of the firearm. 

In most cases, a 50mm or larger diameter is a good objective scope diameter for long-distance shooting. 

Scope requirements in terms of the reticle

BDC scope reticles are best for long-range shooting because they can help you estimate the bullet drop and give you other variables that allow you to make a more accurate shot.  

What type of rifle scope do I need for short-range shooting?

For short-range shooting, hunters usually prefer a scope with a low magnification ratio of 1-4x, a smaller objective lens diameter of around 28mm and under, and a duplex or mil-dot reticle. 

For a 25-yard target, only about 1x magnification should be sufficient since most human eyes can see pretty well at this distance. A magnification ratio of 4x is usually needed for targets that are about 100 yards away, but some people prefer a larger rifle scope so that they can also use their rifle for longer distance shooting or for hunting at about 150 yards.

Objective lens diameter of around 28mm should allow plenty of light to enter the scope and will give you a good view, but if you want to enjoy target shooting in low-light conditions, then a larger scope is a better option. Most close-range shooters do, however, prefer a smaller objective lens because the larger lens is going to add on a lot of weight.

Duplex or mil-dot reticles usually feature a simple crosshair pattern that is ideal for target shooting or hunting at close distances because this reticle is visible yet doesn’t overpower your view.  


Although not all costly scopes are of high character, it is yet a good idea to reflect the scope as an asset. The best scopes mostly come at a price so in buying one, it is not perfect to get cheap.

This is especially factual when it comes to choosing the best Rifle Scope under $500 that are designed for huge prey.

Go for the scopes that offer materials of top-notch in order to create better pictures. A good look at your prey will save you both time and effort!

We hope that this guide has helped you find the best rifle scope under 500 dollars. If you are looking for something more budget-friendly then you should have a look at our other guide where we compare the best rifle scopes under 400 dollars. On Clever Shooter, you can find a rifle scope for any type of weapon and for every need, including night vision scopes.

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