Hunting and shooting activities sound fun and adventurous until you have to choose and decide which rifle is perfect for you. It really is a tedious task.
While looking for a rifle you should always keep an eye for the things that matter to you the most.
Are you new to this sport or are you someone who is tired of the rifle you purchased five years ago? Is night hunting something that excites or is bright sunshine something that makes you happy?
If you have all these questions in your mind then this article is the thing for you. It will tell you all about different types of rifles, various features a good rifle scope should have and everything from price range to companies that produce the best rifles.
How precise and well-aimed is your rifle scope? It all depends on the quality and the manufacturer that produced the rifle scope, whether you are an experienced shooter or a newbie. A good quality rifle scope has a better aim and hence can help you shoot the target better.
The purpose of your rifle scope also matters a lot when you are choosing it. The basic use of a rifle scope is to magnify and view faraway targets and objects surrounding it.
Best Rifle Scope Under $300 Reviews
$300 is a reasonable price for a rifle scope, hence this article covers many good quality scopes in this price range. Mentioned below are all the top quality brands from Vortex to Leupold and Nikon to Primary Arms, these brands not only provide you with quality and durability but also have a good value for your money.
1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II – Best Long Range
It is a good choice for hunters who are into long-range shooting and are looking for something affordable and durable. Since the magnification range is approximately 4-16x it is appropriate for almost all hunting and shooting situations.
Made from high aircraft-grade aluminum which provides a sturdy and rigid body. The vortex crossfire 2 is an excellent choice when seen from a price point of view.
The multi-coated lens helps to see and spot the target more efficiently. It’s made of good quality glass which presents a clear and distinct view of the target at both high and low levels of magnification.
The aluminum body is also waterproof and fog proof which indeed enhances its performance; it also makes it resistant to high temperatures and humidity.
The objective lens is of about 50mm, which is a reasonable size and hence it lets a lot of light enter. Longer eye relief and minimum parallax error are some other features in the vortex crossfire 2.
Overall it is a great product and is very cost effective. Crossfire 2 is a great pick for newbie shooters and hunters.
2. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 Riflescope
Vortex Optics Diamondback is another great product from Vortex Optics. It is mainly used for medium-ranged to long-ranged shots.
Magnification of a diamondback is 4-12x with an eye relief of 3.1 inches. High grade 6061 T6 aircraft-grade aluminum makes it highly resistant to corrosion. The objective lens is 40mm combined with Dead-Hold BDC reticle.
It is a good choice for people who hunt in severe weather conditions as it is highly waterproof and heat resistant. There are o-ring seals which lock moisture, debris and dust. Also fogging is prevented by argon gas purging, making it fog proof.
The turret adjustments of this riflescope are capped, which gives extra protection. The lenses are multi-coated and anti-reflective which give a great hunting experience in dim/low light conditions.
The black matte hard anodized finish body is highly durable, gives it a great appearance and helps you to camouflage in your environment.
The box of this riflescope includes removable lens covers and lens cloth. This scope is perhaps not the best choice for new shooters since it is not like any standard scope; it has a bunch of different controls and adjustments.
The eyepiece of this rifle scope is very well focused which in turn provides easy and quick reticle focusing. The tube of this scope is 1 inch in diameter which is roughly 25mm, this gives accuracy and improves the visual performance.
3. Mueller 8-32 x 44mm Target Rifle Scope
This scope’s low end of magnification is not that great, hence it is not for all hunters. It is great for hunters who like long-range shooting.
The high end of magnification is 32x which is indeed great in the price that it is for.
The best feature of the scope is that it has an objective multi-coated lens made of good quality glass which is about 44mm with a 30mm tube, though these measurements are standard for a long-range rifle but are very hard to find for this price.
This combination of a larger and a narrow tube is great for low light shooting since it permits maximum light transmission. It has a micro cross hair with target dot reticle which gives a great precision.
The matte black finish body gives it a stunning appearance. This product also comes with a free 3 inch matching sunshade. Dry nitrogen filing makes it waterproof, shockproof and fog proof, hence making it ideal for all types of weather conditions.
Other features of this scope include great side focus, target turret adjustments (which can be adjusted by fingers) and a fast focus eyepiece. It has a considerable weight of about 26 ounces. O-rings and lens covers are not included in this product.
4. Burris Full field II 3-9x40mm
The 3-9x is a classic scope used by many hunters across the world. This is divided into three major categories; 200161 features a classic and a more simple reticle, 200169 (nickel finish) and 200162 (matte black finish) both use ballistic plex reticle.
It is the most premium and popular hunting rifle scope at a reasonable price.
Optical glass is made with high grade material which provides excellent quality and brightness. The tube of this scope is nitrogen filled, rendering it fog proof.
The outer body of this scope is durable, tough and stress free, which withstands shock and vibrations. Ideal for shooting at all distances, long, medium or short.
Adjustment system of this scope is steel-on-steel; this assures repeated accuracy. It is ideal for rugged use and experienced shooters. The Burris Full field is light weight and has a relocated adjustment system.
Hi-Lume multi coatings along with an objective lens of diameter 49mm are excellent for low light hunting adventures. Forget getting any black eye because this rifle scope has a generous eye relief of 3.9 inches.
5. Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5-28mm
The Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5-28mm has an extremely fast target acquisition which makes it a perfect choice for a variety of shooters.
It has a black matte finish body which is simple looking and rugged which is made up of 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum. The high grade outer body material makes it waterproof and shockproof, nitrogen filled in the tube makes it fog proof.
A fixed parallax adjustment gives it precision and minimizes parallax error. Length of this scope is 10.1 inches and eye piece is lockable which helps you to focus better on the target and is of 2.3 inches in length.
Overall this scope has great specifications and features for the price it has. This scope offers excellent sharpness from the center to edge.
Elevation adjustments are of the ¼ MOA click type. It is an amazing rifle scope to use in low light conditions because the objective lens of this scope is 28mm in diameter and is coated with a diamond coat for maximum light transmission.
The tube has a diameter of 1 inch along with with a crosshair reticle type both which improve the accuracy.
6. Redfield Revolution 4-12x40mm Accu-Range
The Redfield Revolution scope is reborn in Oregon, USA under Leupold’s hand, comes with a magnification of 4x – 12x and is really very easy to set up.
Redfield is ideal for fast shots up close and also works well for long- range precision. Its body has a perfect black matte finish with a weight and length of about 13.1 oz and 12.3 inches respectively.
Accu – trac adjustments are resettable stainless steel finger clickable. It has the best reticle for long range precision and speed. Eyepiece is lockable and acquires the target rapidly. Zoom ratio of this scope is 3:1 which serves a variety of hunting scenarios. Eye relief is comfortable for prolonged viewing.
The accu – range reticle design is based on the duplex reticle design with the circle in the center where the cross wires intersect.
This scope with no doubt offers precision and accuracy over both short and long range. There is not even a slight chance for you to get a black eye or anything else that will damage your eye because this rifle scope has a great eye relief of more than 3.9 inches.
7. Vortex Crossfire II 4-16x50mm AO BDC
Vortex has become a common for long – range shooting enthusiasts. This crossfire optics has resettable turret adjustments compatible with turret dials and it offers parallax adjustments to minimize parallax errors.
Tube is built from a single piece of anodized aircraft grade aluminum, and is also filled with nitrogen rendering it fog proof. Has a matte black finish body with a weight of 23.6 ounces and 14.2 inches in length.
Longer eye relief along with a fast focus eyepiece are some other features of this product. Body is made from single piece hard anodized aircraft grade aluminum along with a tube that is filled with nitrogen and o-rings are sealed for a waterproof and a fog proof performance.
Reticle is of the type dead hold BDC which is good for hunting and shooting at varying ranges.
The box of this rifle scope is accompanied with a number of accessories like a sunshade, a removable lens cover and a lens cloth to clean the lens.
The battery life of this rifle scope is about 150 hours. Overall it gives you great specifications for a reasonable price.
8. Zeiss Terra 3X 3-9×42 Riflescope
It features Carl Zeiss engineering and QC, is a little expensive scope when compared with other scopes in this article.
The lens though is very well coated, well polished and has anti reflective coatings to give a clear and a bright picture of the target.
Some features of this scope are magnification- 3 – 9x with an objective lens of 42mm. And of course it is waterproof, fog proof and shock resistant. This is a parallax error free product. The objective lens coating is anti reflective for precision aiming and also works well for low light hunting situations. Turret caps are made of aluminum.
The Zeiss rifle scope is a little advanced and difficult to use, hence it is recommended for experienced hunters. The stylish matte black body is adaptable to almost any hunting and shooting adventure.
The plex permits for a precise shot with thin crosshair are perfect for long range shots. Though the diameter of this rifle scope (24.4mm) is a little less when compared to other scopes in this article but this makes the scope lightweight and compact, hence it can be easily moved around.
9. Nikon Prostaff 4-12×40
It is made from high grade aluminum mixed with a little polymer. Prostaff has a magnification of 4-12x which is suitable for short and long both range type shoots.
The objective lens which is about 40mm in size is fully multi coated and transmits up to 98 percent of the available light. This type of high light transmission is great for low light hunting. A constant eye relief of about 3.7 inches keeps you safe even with the heaviest recoil cartridge.
Some other features of Prostaff are nitrogen filled housing, the o-rings are sealed which makes it waterproof, shockproof and fog proof, rendering it perfect for diverse environmental conditions.
It comes along with unique BDC reticles which provide an incredible long range shooting experience. Such a combination of high glass quality and affordability is difficult to find.
The product box includes black matte finished scope, turret caps and a lens cover. The BDC reticle is good for shooting and sighting targets of up till 600 yards. Turrets of this scope are zero turn reset which makes it very easy for you to turn back to your zero settings without disturbing your turrets.
10. Primary Arms 4-14×44
With a magnification of about 4-14x, this scope is built for long range precision. Lenses are fully multi coated for maximum light transmission and will give clear images at all ranges.
The objective lens is about 44mm in size which allows you to have a clear picture of the target even when the light is low. Parallax is side adjustable with a fast focus eyepiece. It has a narrow main tube diameter of 30mm and the eye relief is of about 3.14-3.22 inches which protects you from heavy recoil and ensures that your eyes are comfortable.
Primary arms have all your expectations in mind, hence this product is waterproof, shockproof and fog proof, making it ideal for all your adventures. The most striking feature of this product is its mil dot reticle which is best for aiming.
Overall body and quality of this product is very good, since it has a black matte finish sturdy body made with aluminum to ensure recoil resistance and durability. Turret features of this product are capped and finger adjustable turrets. First focal plane (FFP) quality is amazing for the price it is for.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE RIFLE SCOPE UNDER $300?
A lot of factors are to be considered while buying a rifle scope. Since the major use of a rifle scope is hunting, it should be durable, that is it must be made from good quality aluminum. It can also be made of alloys of aluminum like steel etc, but it has to have a good amount of aluminum, since aluminum is a light metal.
A sturdy body and design is also a must as it affects the precision of the optics. The size of the lens has to be reasonable, since larger the size, more light can enter the center allowing it to perform better in low light conditions.
Other requirements that the scope should fulfill are being shockproof, waterproof and fog proof. For people who like hunting and shooting in the dark, thermal imaging is a must for them. Thermal scopes display temperature variation which helps you to easily spot and hunt your target in the dark.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO MAKE THE SMART BUY?
Rifle scopes are mainly used for hunting and shooting activities like deer hunting, long-range shooting and varmint control. All of these activities require different features and attributes, hence the reason you are buying a rifle scope should be well known before buying it.
People sometimes only see the precision and the lens of the scope, try looking for an all-rounder, which has at least 2-3 of the above mentioned qualities. If you are a newbie, go for a scope which is simple to handle and yet appropriate for your adventure.
Don’t go for a complex scope which has a lot of adjustments and controls like turret adjustments which helps you take long shots but are equally difficult to master.
Amateurs can opt for a slightly lower priced scope with fewer features. It will help you save a lot of money. A rifle scope is a big investment.
It is very important to know the terms and conditions of your warranty and what it covers and what it does not. Please carefully read and understand the warranty information before purchasing the rifle scopes.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST RIFLE SCOPE UNDER $300?
Are you using your rifle scope for hitting targets, hunting activities or is it just for self-defense. Rifle scope is simply not the best weapon choice for self-defense. Rifle scopes are mainly used to hunt and hit targets.
Another thing to look for is magnification. A magnification about 3.5x-9x is best for recreational hunters of new target shooters. Anything above 10x will be a little expensive and is only meant for experienced hunters.
Before actually taking your scope to like a forest or a hunting ground test your scope in your usual environment. If the body and design of the scope feels tough, check for solid construction and stiffness. Not all scopes are built to resist and tolerate extreme heat and humidity; hence you will have to make some adjustments for that.
Eye relief is another important characteristic to consider. Eye relief is basically the distance from your eye to the ocular lens when your eye is properly positioned. The eye relief should be a minimum of 2 inches or you will end hurting yourself.
For long-range shooting, reticle selection is also necessary. Reticles with single dots that spread out vertically as well as horizontally are perfect. The lens of your scope should present a clear and distinct view of your target at both high and low levels of magnification.
Smaller scopes which are used for shooting short distance targets are mostly parallax free. Parallax error basically means that the crosshairs in your scope do not stay in one place when you either move your head or eye or both. It is important to have a scope with no or at least minimum parallax error.
Rifle Scope Under $300 FAQs
What scope do you need for 300 yards?
The basic rule is that you need 1x magnification for 100 yards, hence for 300 yards a minimum of 3x magnification is required.
Why a good amount of eye relief is necessary?
A good amount of eye relief can keep your eyes comfortable and you will feel less tired after viewing your target for a long time. Hence a good amount of eye relief is very important.
FINAL WORDS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The rifle scopes mentioned in this article are few of the Best Rifle Scopes Under $300 available in the market. Almost all of these scopes provide a great value for money.
The rifle scope that is best for you totally depends upon what you are looking for in a scope. It solely depends upon what kind of a shooter/hunter are you: amateur or experienced, what are you actually using your scope for: hunting, shooting, or just self defense, what are the weather conditions you will be shooting the rifle scope in.
But yes we do have three top picks for you and that are Vortex Optics Crossfire II – Best Long Range, Primary Arms 4-14×44 – Best Tactical, Nikon Prostaff 4-12×40 – Best Overall.
But again you should keep in mind the basic necessities that are the scope can withstand harsh weather conditions, minimum parallax and focal errors, and of course it should have a tough and sturdy body. Look for a warranty always since you will be using your scope harshly sometimes and it might need repair from that.