You can consider this article as a buying guide for your next scope. This article will talk about some of the top-notch and best rifle scopes under $200 and also what are the best features of each and every rifle scope.
$200 is a decent amount for a good scope. Companies like Nikon, Vortex Optics and Leupold offer a variety of scope under this range. This price range is amazing for both beginners as well as intermediate hunters.
But the main question is what are you really looking for? Are looking for a ballistic reticle? What kind of a shooter are you, a long or a short range shooter? What kind of a magnification are you most comfortable with? Every buyer has these questions in their, but don’t think too much, this article has got your back.
Read the whole to get an answer to all your questions. Before going any further please make a list of your needs and expectations so that it becomes easy for you to choose.
Best Rifle Scope Under $200 Quick List
|Product Image||Product Name||Check Price|
|Leupold VX-I Rifle Scope 3-9x40mm|
|Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40 Rifle scope|
|Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC|
|Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 Second Focal Plane Rifle scope|
|Vortex Crossfire II 4-12×44 Riflescope|
Best Rifle Scope Under $200 In 2020
Mentioned below are some of the finest rifle scopes under $200, they have all the features and specifications of a top-rated scope along with great value for money.
1. Leupold VX-I Rifle Scope 3-9x40mm
If you are an experienced shooter or a hunter, you have surely heard about Leupold. They provide good quality and durability but they are a little expensive. When compared with other rifle scopes in this price range, Leupold has a better glass without any doubt. The reticle type of this scope is simple duplex and works flawlessly in many situations. It will give a clear and crisp image at all magnifications, unlike some other scopes which are usually blurry at higher magnifications.
The Leupold VX-I Rifle Scope 3-9x40mm is an all purpose scope, one can be used for target shooting, big game hunting and varmint hunting. The glass of this scope is eco friendly and allows maximum light transmission which makes this scope a perfect match for low light hunting adventures.
This scope and all the VX series scopes have Leupold’s Quantum Optical System which means that it is specifically built to give you a whole new hunting and shooting experience. These scopes are made lead free, have eco-friendly glasses and are very affordable with an amazing quality.
2. Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40 Rifle scope
Vortex scopes are everything a person looks for. Vortex manufactured rifle scopes are fully weather resistant, tough, attractive in appearance and practically indestructible. The power ring is variable and easy to twist. The knobs of this scope, that is the windage and elevation knobs can be easily rotated.
Turrets have assertive and solid clicks which makes them very easy to use and control, clicks are not at all soft or mushy. The only downside of this rifle scope is that it has a slightly shorter eye relief when compared to other scopes on this list. It is true that it is not a very fancy scope with a lot of controls, this scope is rather basic but it is tough and high performing.
This scope can be used for target shooting, varmint hunting, big game hunting and small game hunting. This scope has a precision glide erector system which means that it works very well when you change the magnification. All over it is a great scope with a magnification range of about 4x to 12x.
3. Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC
All Bushnell scopes are amazing in quality and great in appearance. These AR series in Bushnell are specifically designed scopes that are great for harsh conditions and low light hunting and shooting experiences. AR series scopes also work great for long range shooting and hunting experiences.
This scope comes with Bushnell’s lifetime warranty. The glass of this scope is made up of very high quality and durable glass to give a clear and crisp image of your target. Magnification of this scope is slightly less (1-4x). Reticle type of this scope is Dead Hold BDC, which again makes it amazing for long range shooting. Diameter of the tube of this scope is 30mm. Turrets are finger adjustable and tactile and easy to adjust. Outer body of this scope is made from fine grade aircraft material aluminum.
The objective lens of this scope is quite big and impressive since it allows a lot of light transmission.
4. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 Second Focal Plane Rifle scope
Vortex Company is a manufacturer of rifle scopes; it produces good quality and a variety of products. Rifle scopes manufactured by Vortex are very hard to beat and compete with. As the name suggests, the second focal plane, the type of reticle present in this rifle is the second focal plane. This scope has an extremely affordable price.
The second focal plane reticle present in this scope helps beginner shooters or hunters to adjust to its easy to adjust controls, also the controls can be easily reset to zero.
Some other features of this scope are, the optics are fully multi coated (with anti reflective coatings) to provide a crisp and clear image of your target. This scope is constructed from a single tube piece with a hard anodized finish to make it waterproof, fog proof and shockproof and highly durable. Well it is not a very fancy scope but it has all the needed features.
The tube is filled with argon making it absolutely fogproof which gives you a better image quality and protects many internal components. Well built construction, good quality glass and optics and it holds zero, are some reasons to choose this scope by Vortex.
5. Vortex Crossfire II 4-12×44 Riflescope
This vortex scope is very basic and is very good in quality too. It is a very good choice for beginners or newbies because it does not have a lot of controls and adjustments. Dead Hold BDC reticle along with a second focal plane is just one of the striking features of this scope.
Optics are not only multi coated but also are coated with many layers of anti reflective glass which allow maximum light transmission making this scope perfect for low light hunting. This scope comes with insurance and is fully weather resistant also the turrets are fully capped and resettable to zero which ensures maximum protection in any and every weather.
This scope has a single piece tube body which gives you ultimate strength, structure and integrity. The only downside of this product is that the image quality drops after the magnification of 9x, but since it has a vast magnification range of 4x to 12x, it gives the best results for lower magnifications.
What to Expect From the Riflescope Under $200?
- Eye relief: a good eye relief helps you to keep your eyes safe and gives you a good shooting experience. During recoil it keeps your eyes safe from any shock which can damage your eyes. So to keep your eyes safe your scope should have a minimum of 3 inches eye relief.
- Durability: You will be using your new rifle scope for a lot of hunting and shooting activities which means that one is bound to take one’s scope in rough conditions.
To survive those conditions and to give a fantastic experience, your scope should be durable. It should be made from high aircraft grade material which is long lasting.
- Brands: Some people trust some brands. The main reason behind this is that they are using a rifle scope of a particular brand for a long time. Hence they trust that brand and know about its quality. Often new brands have a lot to offer to you. The brand which you are following might be amazing in something but the other company might have something else for you.
- Magnification, lens and controls: Long and mid range shooting activities require a magnification of at least 3x. The range of 3x to 9x is ideal for magnification. This range is accurate for short, mid and long range hunters.
Talking about the lens, your lens should have a considerable diameter so that your scope works great in low light conditions. A diameter range of 40mm-45mm, should be good. Be careful that your lens should not be too big, since it will make the scope heavy.
Turret, windage and elevation adjustments are another thing to look for, they should not be too complex. Your turrets should resettable to zero. If you are a new shooter, try buying a simple scope since you still do not know how to handle many controls and adjustments of a scope.
What You Need to Know to Make the Smart Buy?
- Purpose: There are many reasons to buy a new scope. A rifle scope has many uses like self defense, hunting or shooting targets and each of these uses require a special feature. Hunting and shooting require a good magnification and a big lens and frankly speaking if you are looking for self defense rifle scope is not the best choice.
- Parallax adjustment: Parallax error is basically the error that comes when you shoot at a really long range. So if you are looking for a long range shooting scope, make sure to look for parallax error. The parallax error should be very less so that you can aim better.
- Focal plane: There are two types of focal planes in a rifle scope; first and second focal plane. The first focal plane is basically for people who shift between magnifications a lot. It helps you to grow the reticle smaller or larger when you make your magnification smaller or larger.
First focal plane helps you to adjust and shift between magnifications. The second focal plane is for new shooters or hunters. It does not have a lot of controls and adjustments and is easy to understand. But it is a little unclear so if you are an experienced shooter, definitely go for the first focal plane. Nevertheless both reticles are effective if you know how to use and control them.
How to Choose the Best Riflescope Under $200?
Choosing the ideal rifle scope is indeed a difficult task, but we are here to help you. Price doesn’t really matter unless the scope has all the basic features in it. Magnification, reticle type, turret and parallax adjustments are some of the things you should look for.
Make a list of your needs and then compare it with all the scopes that you read about. For beginners it is best that they do not chose a scope with too many adjustments and controls. That will only confuse and annoy you more.
Choose a simple scope which is easy to understand. Always remember that your turrets should be resettable to zero. The lens of your scope should be big so that an ample amount of light can travel through your glass making it perfect for low light hunting activities.
Which scope do I need for 500 yards?
Magnification works this way, for every 100 yards the magnification should increase by 1x. So if you want a rifle scope that can work perfectly for a distance of 500 yards then the magnification of your scope must be at least 5x.
Which reticle should I chose for my rifle scope?
Well we have talked before in this article about reticles and how they work. There are two types of reticles, first focal plane and second focal plane. The first focal plane reticle is good for long range shooting also it has a lot of controls, so experienced shooters should think about it.
The second type is second focal plane, it is not very good for long range shooting but it has less controls and adjustments.
What is parallax adjustment and what do I need it for?
Parallax error means the error that comes when you shoot at long distances. Parallax adjustment in your rifle scope helps you to adjust that error and minimize it. You need parallax adjustment to minimize your parallax error so that you can aim and shoot better.
Some basic things that you should look for in your new rifle scope are; magnification, objective lens diameter, light transmission, price, and parallax error and turret adjustments. For $200 you can get a reasonable riflescope with all the features mentioned above.
If you have been using a scope of a particular company and you find a new rifle scope of a different company more appealing go for it. Make a list of the things you expect from your new rifle scope. Then while reading this article compare your needs with the ones mentioned above. At the end I would just like to say that there exists a perfect riflescope for each person, be patient and you will find your match. Happy hunting!