There are so many things you need to be careful about. Even if you are a new shooter, do not worry. This article will have all the information you need to know about the best rifle scopes under $400. Since a $400 riflescope is a huge investment, you have to be careful too.
Brands like Vortex, Nikon, Leupold, etc give you the best shooting or hunting experience of all time. They are durable, have a good light transmission and so much more. Obviously one is better in something and one in something else, what are your needs that is something that matters the most.
Misconceptions about rifle scopes are everywhere. Many people believe that a rifle scope must be very expensive in order to be high quality. This is a myth.
Before buying a scope, ask yourself some questions like, what animals are you going to hunt with your new scope? How much shooting experience do you have? What are the weather conditions in which you are going to hunt?
Come on let’s be honest, you don’t buy scopes every day. The only thing you have to be clear about are your needs. Have a clear picture in your mind so as to what you are exactly looking for in a rifle scope; maybe write it down on a paper if you can.
Compare your needs and expectations from the products given below and then choose the scope which you think is best for you.
Best Rifle Scope Under $400
Apart from the brand and the outer appearance of the scope there are a lot of things that should be considered while buying a new rifle scope. Here are some of them:
Field of view: The basic definition of field of view is, for every 100 yards the magnification should be 1x. So if you want to hunt for about 400 yards then your magnification should be at least 4x. Hence it is important to know your field of view.
Lens size and light transmission: The larger your lens better will be the light transmission of your scope. The objective lens should be in the range of 40-44mm at least, a lens of this range will give approximately 98% light transmission. Good light transmission ability will help you see better in the dark, making your scope perfect for low light hunting.
Eye relief: Eye relief is basically to protect your eyes hence make sure that your scope has an eye relief of at least 4 inches.
Mentioned below are some of the best rifle scopes under $400. These particular scopes are chosen after extensive research and reading. They have all the features and characteristics a good quality scope should have.
1. Bushnell Trophy XLT Multi-X Reticle Rifle Scope
It is true that this scope looks like any other scope in appearance, but in fact it is so much more than that. This product is made to satisfy your needs and expectations of a perfect scope, not to have a blazing appearance.
It comes with a crazy magnification range of 3x to 9x, pretty cool, huh? Not to forget that it gives a clear and distinct image of your target at all magnifications.
For a great focus this scope has a multi X aiming reticle. While aiming or stalking your target, you do not have to alter the resolution of this scope, since it gives you the same magnification and clarity at all the magnifications.
One should be careful before buying this scope is because of the mounting length. The mounting length of this scope is about 5.5 inches so make sure you have a good space before you buy it.
The optics is fully multi coated and are assured to be free of reflection and glare while you are using it. Field of view is approximately 40 feet at 100 yards.
Warranty on this scope is a limited lifetime warranty with a 100% money back guarantee. So even if you have any problems with scopes after you have purchased, don’t worry, Bushnell has great customer service!
Elevation and windage adjustments of this rifle scope are easily adjustable since they are finger clickable. Though there are some down sides to this scope like the reticle is not illuminated and the mounting rings are not included, but overall it is a great scope for its price.
2. Athlon Optics, Argos BTR 6-24 x 50, Rifle Scope
Athlon optics is a new player in the game, but it is no less. You can expect the best quality and features from this scope. Scopes manufactured by this company have fully multi coated lenses, a magnification range of 6x to 24x, adjustable turrets and so much more.
Outer body of this scope is constructed from aircraft grade aluminum (which gives the scope superior mechanical integrity) and is very durable and is completely waterproof, shockproof and fogproof. The glass of this scope gives a very crisp and clear image of your target, according to its price, the glass is better than expected.
Magnification range and eye relief of this scope is from 18x to 24x and 3.3 inches respectively. Turret adjustments are very easy to understand and they move without any resistance. The parallax is absolutely flawless in its performance; it starts at about 10 yards, which is very rare.
3. Leupold VX-1 3-9X40mm Rifle Scope
Leupold is a brand which will never disappoint you, its scopes have high ratings and a good review. This scope manufactured by Leupold is an all purpose scope, it is good for long range hunting and shooting and also for target hunting but it is not so great for low light hunting.
It is fully recoil proof, water proof, shockproof and fog proof (tube is filled with argon/krypton). Outer appearance of this scope is a blazing matte black finish. Turret adjustments are finger clickable but are not resettable to zero.
Lens in this scope is very sensitive, hence while cleaning the lens, clean it as you will clean a camera lens. Since the company Leupold has a very high selling value, every scope manufactured by it also has a very high selling value.
The fully multi coated lens offers a very bright, crisp and clear image of your target. This scope sure does have some down sides like the reticle is not illuminated and the mounting rings are not included, but all its other features make these cons seem insignificant.
4. Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope
This scope is light weight with amazing features and specifications; it is perfect for new shooters. Magnification range of this scope is 4x – 12x with an objective lens diameter of 42mm and eye relief of about 2.8 inches.
This Vortex scope has Dead Hold BDC reticle assuring an amazing performance. This Vortex scope is highly recommended for game hunting and varmint hunting and also excels at mid ranges hunting.
Ruggedness and durability are just some additional features of this scope; built from hard anodized material, nothing will happen to it if you accidentally drop it or even if it hits the ground several times.
The reticle of this scope is independent which means that it can be used with or even without illumination. The need to power the optic with a battery before shooting is not necessary because the black reticle is solidly imprinted on the optic’s glass.
This scope comes with powerful batteries like lithium batteries which have a lifespan of about 3000 hours, now nothing can stop you from that hunting trip you always wanted to take!
5. Burris Scout 2-7 x 32 Ballistic Plex Scope
Burris scopes are no less in the optics game. In fact, it is one of the best rifle scope manufacturing companies. This scope is loaded with a lot of special features like double adjustment springs, quad ring seals and clickable adjustments.
This scope is great for all weather conditions, since it is fogproof, waterproof and shockproof. Nothing can stop you if you have this scope. Comes with a generous eye relief of 7.3 inches with an objective lens diameter of 32mm. With such eye relief (the distance between your eyes and the lens of your rifle scope) it is impossible to have dark rings around your eyes.
The outer body finish of this scope is matte black in nature. Lenses are fully multi coated and work amazing in low light conditions. Turrets are very accurate and finger adjustable. The reticle type of this scope is ballistic plex type which is simple, elegant yet very accurate. Parallax setting is about 100 yards.
This scope has some negative points which have to be kept in mind and these are, it is not accompanied with mounting equipment and mounting rings, which means that you have to spend some extra money for them.
What to expect from the Rifle Scope under $400?
You should expect three basic things from a rifle scope under $400, which are:
- Night vision
Magnification: your scope should at least have a magnification of 3x to 9x. Anything less than 3x is too less and such a scope is not good for hunting at long distances.
Night vision: it is an absolute must for your scope to have a good light transmission. Since a lot of animals are night crawlers, many of your best hunts will be available at night.
Simplicity: newbie shooters should always look for a scope which is simple. The scope should have less controls and adjustments. Experienced shooters can opt for a more complex scope.
What you need to know to make the smart buy?
Rifle scope is a big investment. It does not matter whether you are a beginner looking for a scope or an experienced shooter looking to renew your old one. You should know everything from what is new in the market to what you need your new scope for. Some points which you should keep in mind are:
Power: There are two types of scope when your talk about, one is fixed and the other is variable. Fixed scope is a scope in which the power (magnification) is fixed and variable is the one in which you can change the magnification according to how far your target is. It is better to buy a variable scope since you do not know how far your target will be from you.
Objective lens: Ideally the objective lens of your scope should be large. Anything around the diameter of 50mm should be good enough. A large objective lens will help you see better and also allow more light to enter making your scope perfect for low light hunting. But a very big lens can make your scope heavy so be careful.
Tube: The diameter of the tube of your scope should be at least 30mm. More than this can make it difficult for light to pass from your scope’s tube easily and hence you would not be able to see properly. Remember the tube should be filled with either nitrogen or a combination of argon and krypton. These gases make the tube fog proof.
1. What are the other reticle options do I have?
There are mainly 4 types of reticles; duplex, BDC, MOA and mil-dot. For long range shooting duplex will be the best choice. Short to mid ranges can be easily handled by BDC.
2. What type of magnification is best for me, fixed or variable?
In a fixed magnification you cannot change the magnification. If your hunts are almost at the same distance every time go for fixed. It will help you save some money as well. But if your hunt is not at the same place then variable is the thing for you.
3. What should i know about the turrets in my rifle scope?
Your scope’s turrets should be finger adjustable and resettable to zero. Do not go for many complex adjustments if you are a new shooter. Turrets which are resettable to zero are easier to handle and less complex. Finger adjustable turrets need less work manually.
Well these are the best scopes under $400. Scopes mentioned in this article have all the basic features that will never dishearten you. The best scope for you can only be decided by you.
Some of the best brands like Leupold, Athlon, Bushnell etc are mentioned in this article. These brands provide you with every possible feature your scope should have. Some of them even have illuminated reticles and other features required for night vision hunting and shooting.
Prioritize the expectations and needs which you have from your scope. After you have made a list of your needs and expectations, read the review of each and every rifle scope very carefully and then compare it with your list.
Consider this article to be your ultimate guide. It is written after extensive research, hence it covers everything you are supposed to know about rifle scopes under $400.
Some of the scopes mentioned in this article don’t have a good or shining appearance but don’t judge them just by that, they have some amazing features and characteristics.
Look for things like a generous and good eye relief, diameter of the objective lens and the tube. Check for your scope being waterproof, shockproof and fog proof. Reticle and the field of view of your scope.