The 9 Best Budget Rifle Scope

Last Updated: by Aiden Williams

There was a time when it was unthinkable or even laughable to buy a riflescope for less than $100. Nevertheless, today, there are many rifle scopes under $100 with impressive features and build. The numerous options in the market have even made it somewhat difficult for people to pick the best budget rifle that does not go beyond $100.

In this article, we will walk you through some of the best rifle scopes that you can buy for less than $100. Nevertheless, when shopping for this device, a limited budget only takes you so far.

You should not be surprised that the low-end riflescope market is filled with low-quality devices, which is why many shooters are looking for the best budget scopes under 100. Fortunately, there are still some great options below that price ceiling.

Our top pick is the Simmons 511039 3-9x32mm Matte Black Riflescope. This riflescope is way less than $100 and it features a great magnification range. It is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof, fully coated, and lightweight.

The Best Budget Rifle Scopes Are:

ProductDetails
1.Simmons 511039 3-9x32mm Matte Black Riflescope

  • 12 inches
  • 3 to 9x
  • 13.2 ounces
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2.Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9X40MM BDC

  • 12.3 inches
  • 3-9x
  • 13 ounces
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3.UTG 3-9X32 1” BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings

  • 8.11 inches
  • 3 to 9x
  • 13.9 ounces
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4.Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight

  • 2.4 inches
  • 1x
  • 3.68 ounces
  • Matte
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5.Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, Riflescope 6-24x50 FFP

  • 14.1 inches
  • 6 to 24x
  • 29.6 ounces
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6.Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm Duplex

  • 8.11 inches
  • 5x
  • 13.9 ounces
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7.NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope

  • 12.2 inches
  • 5x to 20x
  • 29.1 ounces
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8.Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope 3-9x40mm

  • 14 inches
  • 3 to 9x
  • 13 ounces
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9.BARSKA 3-9x32 Plinker-22 Riflescope

  • 12 inches
  • 3 to 9x
  • 11.46 ounces
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1. Simmons 511039 3-9x32mm Matte Black Riflescope — Best Budget Scope

Simmons 511039 3 - 9 x 32mm .22 Mag(R) Matte Black Riflescope

If you are looking for the best cheap rifle scope for a .22 rifle, then you should consider the Simmons 511039. This is the cheapest rifle scope on our list, and it still has a lot to offer despite its price.

The length of this scope is 12 inches, and it weighs just 13.2 ounces. This scope is of average weight and size that fits nicely on .22 rifles. The magnification range of this riflescope is 3 to 9x, which is also average.

When it comes to image resolution and clarity, we would not say it is the worst, but it is also not the best. The image is clear enough, but not as other high-end scopes with larger price tags. With this scope, you can hit targets up to 200 yards.

However, one of the most fascinating things about this scope is its field of view. At a magnification level of 3x, the field of view was an impressive 31.4 ft. at 100 yards. Many users are also impressed with the rimfire rings that come with this scope, as they fit very well with rifles 3/8-inches rails.

It features high-quality fully-coated optical glass lenses. The HydroShield lens coating also ensures a clear sight picture. You can preset the parallax correction from 50 yards to infinity.

Specs

  • 12 inches
  • 3 to 9x
  • 13.2 ounces

Pros

  • You can use it under any weather condition
  • Fully coated optics
  • Inexpensive
  • It is easy to grip and focus, even in wet conditions

Cons

  • The rings are not compatible with weaver and Picatinny rails.

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2. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9X40MM BDC

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 Riflescope BDC Matte

Nikon has been making lenses for quite some time now and the firm has a good reputation in making ultra-clear glasses that you want on a rifle optic. This riflescope some with the quality and clarity of Nikon at a very affordable rate. The most fascinating feature of this tool is its clarity. Nikon used their multi coating and proprietary lens system to deliver 92 percent light transmission and a very clear and bright image, even in the dusky light.

This scope comes with an ample 40mm objective lens. If you are a competition shooter or hunter that usually shoots in low light, this is one of the best budget riflescopes for you. This riflescope also comes with a BDC reticle that is designed for range estimation and rapid target acquisition.

This feature comes in handy for shooters that need easy and quick shots at multiple distances. The zeroing and eye relief system is super adequate for a .308 rifle. You can mount this scope on any rifle with heavier recoil, thanks to the long eye relief.

The Buckmasters II from Nikon is 100 percent waterproof and nitrogen purged. With this feature, water cannot get inside the device and the lenses will not fog, even if you use it more often in wet climates or bad weather.

This riflescope comes at a fairly reasonable price despite its great performance and features. The downside to the scope is that it is difficult to focus at ranges under 30 yards. Even at a magnification of 3x, the image is not very clear at short ranges.

Specs

  • 12.3 inches
  • 3-9x
  • 13 ounces

Pros

  • Nitrogen purged
  • Adequate zeroing system
  • Waterproof
  • Long eye relief

Cons

  • Difficult to focus under 30 yards

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3. UTG 3-9X32 1” BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings

UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings

This riflescope is one of the most budget-friendly rifle scopes in the market. As stated in the name, this pocket-friendly scope comes with a standard 1-inch tube. This one-inch tube contains a bright green-coated lens that significantly enhances the image brightness and clarity of the scope. If you have bought a scope below the $100 price range before, then you would know that it is very difficult to find a riflescope with good illumination.

The dual illumination feature of this tool sets it aside from other cheap riflescopes. With the dual illumination feature, you can choose between green and red illumination. This scope features premium zero lockable and resettable turrets with .25 MOA per click adjustment. It has a large field of view and most accommodating eye relief for optimum critical CQB missions.

It also comes with 2-inches sunshade, high-end flip-open lens caps, and quick-to-detach rings. This riflescope is completely sealed and nitrogen filled. It is also waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. It features finger adjustable W/E knobs, which is a better lock system than the other red dot. This allows you to lock your settings and aim perfectly at any time.

Specs

  • 8.11 inches
  • 3 to 9x
  • 13.9 ounces

Pros

  • It features 3x to 9x magnification of the scope is great for .22 rifles
  • Dual illumination system
  • Affordable
  • Excellent resolution across all zoom levels

Cons

  • Not the best option for long-range shooting

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4. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x25mm, Black

The next option on our list is the Bushnell Red Dot Sight. This red dot sight is the number one choice for many hunters and shooters. While this device is no Aimpoint Pro, it is a highly functional sight for the money. It comes with a fascinating design, which many admire. The controls are also very easy to reach, as they are all located conveniently on the top of the scope.

This device weighs just 3.68 ounces, which makes it conveniently light even on a pistol. When it comes to performance, this red dot sight is quite a performer. It appears very clear and bright and it features an emerald amber coating for enhanced brightness. This riflescope comes with a 25mm objective lens, which when combined with the 1x magnification adds to the surprising optical performance of this scope.

This scope features a matte black finish with a 3 MOA Dot reticle and 11 brightness settings. It is also compatible with shotguns, pistols, muzzleloaders, and rifles, and it mounts easily on most Picatinny rails. It is nitrogen purged, which ensures interior optical surfaces will not fog due to rapid temperature change or humidity. It is also shockproof and waterproof.

Specs

  • 2.4 inches
  • 1x
  • 3.68 ounces
  • Matte

Pros

  • It comes with a mount
  • It is compatible with both Picatinny and Weaver rails
  • 11 brightness settings
  • Shock, water, and fog proof

Cons

  • It uses a 3v lithium-ion battery that is not very strong

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5. Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, Riflescope 6-24×50 FFP

Athlon Optics , Argos BTR, Riflescope, 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane (FFP) 30 mm Tube, Illuminated APMR MIL Reticle,

This scope features a wide range of magnification settings, as it allows you to shift from 6x to 24x. The magnification levels combined with the 50mm objective lens of this scope offers a generous field of view with sharp focus, even at the highest zoom levels. This feature also makes this tool perfect for long-range shooting. The lenses are multi coated with exclusive XPL material, which enhances your sight picture and color contrast. It also provides great light transmission.

This coating comes in really handy if you are trying to spot a target that blends in with the environment. The coating also protects the tool from scratch and grease damage. This scope offers better visibility even when ambient light levels are low, as the reticle has been engraved onto the glass.

It is also argon-purged to increase its thermal stability and has a water-resistant feature. It is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof, and you can use it under any weather condition. It is also built to withstand any recoil that comes from your rifle. It comes with a knob for easy parallax adjustment on the left-hand side. It also features 3.3-inches eye relief. While this scope is over the $100 price range, it is still a great budget option.

Specs

  • 14.1 inches
  • 6 to 24x
  • 29.6 ounces

Pros

  • Great field of view
  • Well-illuminated
  • Great coating and optics
  • Argon purged

Cons

  • Slightly low eye relief

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6. Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm Duplex

Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm Fixed Power Riflescope

This is another great budget-friendly riflescope that comes with plenty of amazing features. The Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm Duplex is constructed in a one-piece tube and it has only very few moving parts. It features just enough magnification for precise shots to 250 yards. This tool is also very light, as it weighs only 7.5 ounces, which adds minimal bulk to your rifle.

It features a matte black finish with a length of 10.1 inches. This riflescope is 100 percent waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. It is also backed by the lifetime warranty of Leupold. This device features a twilight max light management system, which adds up to 20 extra minutes of shooting light. It also reduces glare for premium edge-to-edge image quality.

This scope offers just the right eye relief for scout style rifles. The magnification range is 5x, and the eye relief is 9.3 inches. The diameter of the main tube is 1 inch.

Specs

  • 8.11 inches
  • 5x
  • 13.9 ounces

Pros

  • Fog proof and waterproof
  • Lightweight, rugged performance
  • Designed, machined, and assembled in the USA
  • Unparalleled low light performance

Cons

  • A higher magnification level would have been better

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7. NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope

NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope,30mm,.250 MOA,MOAR Non-Illuminated Reticle

NightForce is one of the top manufacturers of scopes, and this brand produces models that offer top-notch performance. This brand is known for its glass clarity, and this particular model is no exception. It offers a bright and sharp image at all magnifications. You will not find any trace of distortion, even at the edges of the lenses. It is ideal for spotting game at a long distance, as it allows for easy focusing in low contrast environments.

It comes with a huge 56mm objective lens that accumulates a lot of light for low light shooting. You can also use this scope to shoot in dusk and dawn, thanks to its exceptional light transmission. If you are an extreme long-range enthusiast, then this is one of the best budget rifle scopes for you.

This scope features an excellent magnification range of 5x to 20x, which is ideal for competition shooters and big game hunters that basically work at very long ranges. 5x is also great for medium range shootings, but it might be too powerful to be comfortable for short ranges.

The eye relief of this scope measures 3.54 inches in diameter. It features tactical MOA turrets for easy magnification and non-illuminated MOAR reticle. It is also fog proof and waterproof, which means you can use it under any weather condition.

Specs

  • 12.2 inches
  • 5x to 20x
  • 29.1 ounces

Pros

  • Several adjustment options
  • Excellent magnification range
  • Ideal for long-distance shooting
  • Great for shooting at dusk and dawn

Cons

  • Not the best option for short-range shooting

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8. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope 3-9x40mm

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope with 3.3-Inch Eye Relief, 3-9X 40mm

This is another fascinating low-budget riflescope that comes with an impressive 3.3 inches eye relief. This scope boasts of great performance even in low light. It comes with multi coated lenses that deliver sharp images with a great resolution at all zoom levels. This device has proven to be a great optical aide considering the fact that it has a better eye relief.

This scope was made with 100 percent quality materials, which is why it offers stunning high-definition clarity. This low-light scope features a magnification range of 3 to 9x with an objective lens of 40mm. This multi-x reticle features .25 MOA fingertip windage and elevation adjustment.

It also features a 100 percent fog proof, waterproof construction, which allows you to use it under any weather condition. This unit weighs only 13 ounces, which makes it a very lightweight option to use on any rifle. This is a great scope that truly has good light for dawn and dusk.

Specs

  • 14 inches
  • 3 to 9x
  • 13 ounces

Pros

  • Exceptionally bright in low light
  • Great design
  • It holds zero in all ranges
  • Long, great eye relief

Cons

  • The maximum magnification is not ideal for long-range shooting

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9. BARSKA 3-9×32 Plinker-22 Riflescope

BARSKA 3-9x32 Plinker-22 Riflescope

The last budget-friendly riflescope on our list is the BARSKA 3-9x32mm scope. This unit is cheap and it is designed specifically for .22 rifles and rimfire rifles. This scope is lighter than most of the options on this list, as it weighs only 11.5 ounces. The optics of this scope are very clear and bright. It also features a stunning design that is appealing to the eye. In addition to the stunning look, this tool feels great in the hand also.

It is also durable, and it would take plenty of hits to show any sign of damage. This riflescope also features fully coated lenses, which help to increase the brightness. Another outstanding feature of this scope is its nitrogen-filled tube. With this feature, you will not experience any fogging.

It is also 100 percent waterproof, which means you can use it under any weather condition. This scope is designed to provide striking performance, and it features a magnification range of 3 to 9x. It is also shockproof and it is adjustable for windage and elevation.

The diameter of the tube is 1 inch and the overall length of the tube is 12 inches. It comes with a 32mm objective lens for clearer and HD images. This unit has 3.5 inches of eye relief, which is pretty impressive considering the price. It comes with lens covers, mounting rings, and lens cloth. This unit is durable and it is perfect for hunting or target practice.

Specs

  • 12 inches
  • 3 to 9x
  • 11.46 ounces

Pros

  • 100 percent waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof
  • It comes with a set of 3/8 dovetail rings and scope caps
  • Fully coated optics
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • The rings are not compatible with weaver or Picatinny rails

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Things to Consider Before Buying a Riflescope

Your Needs and Budget

The first thing you need to consider when buying a riflescope is your needs as well as your budget. While you are looking for a budget-friendly option, you must still have a price range.

Your budget will determine the features to look for, the glass quality, as well as the overall usability of the product. It would also streamline the options for you by removing the optics that will not apply to your financial limits and hunting needs.

Magnification

There are two types, fixed and variable scope. If you are going for a variable scope, chances are you might be paying a little bit more for higher-powered optics.

This would also determine how effectively you can use your BDC reticle, the type of targets you are hunting, the distance you hunt in, and if you are going to need parallax adjustment or not.

You should also consider the magnification range. If you would be doing more of long-range shooting, make sure the magnification range is large enough to cover the distance you want.

The Size of the Objective Lens

In order to save some cash,  stay away from the hype of low light myths of big objective lens sizes. Although they offer more exit pupil space, you might still need to weigh it up against some factors.

How much weight it would be, if you want to mount it on your scope high or not, the quality of the glass, the usable magnification ranges and more.

Conclusion

While these scopes have one or two limitations due to their prices, they still come with some great functionalities and they do a great job as well.

From the products above, the clear winner for the best rifle scope under 100 is the Simmons 511039 3-9x32mm Matte Black Riflescope. This riflescope is way less than $100 and it features a great magnification range. It is waterproof, fog-proof, shockproof, fully coated, and lightweight.

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