Best Rifle Scope Under 300 Dollars: Top 7 Pick Of 2024

Cheap does not always translate to inferior quality. And this is true when it comes to rifle scopes. As such, not every $300 scope is of inferior quality. Some of the scopes in the under $300 market offer great quality.

However, finding the right scope that offers the right balance between quality and price is not easy. The reason being scopes in this price point vary when it comes to construction material, focal plane position, and magnification. All these things contribute to whether a scope deserves the title of the best or not.

So where should you start your search for the best rifle scope under 300 dollars? In this article, I have compiled a list of 7 scopes that are sure to excite you. But first, let’s have a quick comparison of the seven.

Quick Comparison of Today’s Top Rifle Scope Under 300 Dollars

Image
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12x40 AO, Second Focal Plane...
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Scope with UltimateSlam Reticle,...
Athlon Optics , Argos BTR, Riflescope, 6-24 x 50 First Focal...
Leupold VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster 3-9x40 Riflescope
Eye Relief
3.9"
4.17" - 3.66"
3.3"
4.17" - 3.66"
FOV @ 100 YDS
24.7-8.4 ft.
33.7-13.6 ft.
16.7-4.5 ft.
33.7-13.6 ft.
Reticle
Dead-Hold BDC MOA Second Focal Plane
UltimateSlam Reticle
APMR First Focal Plane IR MIL
Duplex reticle
Click Value
0.25 MOA
0.25 MOA
0.1 MIL
0.25 MOA
Weight
2.15 lbs
0.63 lb
1 lbs
0.76 lb
Price
$168.94
$297.99
-
$292.00
Image
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12x40 AO, Second Focal Plane...
Eye Relief
3.9"
FOV @ 100 YDS
24.7-8.4 ft.
Reticle
Dead-Hold BDC MOA Second Focal Plane
Click Value
0.25 MOA
Weight
2.15 lbs
Price
$168.94
Image
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Scope with UltimateSlam Reticle,...
Eye Relief
4.17" - 3.66"
FOV @ 100 YDS
33.7-13.6 ft.
Reticle
UltimateSlam Reticle
Click Value
0.25 MOA
Weight
0.63 lb
Price
$297.99
Image
Athlon Optics , Argos BTR, Riflescope, 6-24 x 50 First Focal...
Eye Relief
3.3"
FOV @ 100 YDS
16.7-4.5 ft.
Reticle
APMR First Focal Plane IR MIL
Click Value
0.1 MIL
Weight
1 lbs
Price
-
Image
Leupold VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster 3-9x40 Riflescope
Eye Relief
4.17" - 3.66"
FOV @ 100 YDS
33.7-13.6 ft.
Reticle
Duplex reticle
Click Value
0.25 MOA
Weight
0.76 lb
Price
$292.00


Last update on 2024-06-15 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Just because you are spending $300 on a scope does not mean you should compromise on quality. On the contrary, it should be of exceptional quality and durable, especially if you are looking for the best deer rifle scope under $300.

Also, it should be able to withstand recoil for any rifle – from the most powerful deer hunting rifle to squirrels hunting air rifle meaning it should be shockproof.

In essence, it should be able to meet your needs. To help you understand how the characteristics of the best rifle scope under 300 below are things to consider.

Factors To Consider When Buying A $300 Scope

The first thing you should do when selecting a rifle scope is to determine your needs. How often will you be using it? What kind of shooting are you doing? What’s the range of your target? The answers to these questions will help narrow down the best scope for you.

For example, if your target is within 500 yards or so and most of your time at the rifle range is spent plinking with friends, then there’s no need to spend more than $300 on a new scope. If, however, you’re looking for something that can reliably take shots out past 1000 yards in variable light conditions (e.g., hunting), then spending more than $300 may be worthwhile.

What are some criteria we should consider when buying a scope?

Magnification range:

The number one reason we buy rifle scopes is to be able to have a clear sight of a target. And the one thing that helps us do this is magnification. So how much magnification is ideal for a $300 scope?

magnification of the scope

Given that scopes in this price segment are budget scopes, don’t expect a whole lot of magnification. However, this is actually a good thing as scopes in this price point are best suited for close to the medium-range shooting of roughly 300 to 500 yards.

To get a clear sight of any target from such a range you need a magnification of between 3 and 9x. This way you get a good balance between magnification and field of view. Higher magnification will result in a narrower field of view, which is not what you want.

Objective lens:

The objective lens is the diameter of the front optic. The larger it is, usually means more light can enter and give you a brighter view with less distortion or blurriness in your sight picture. Plus, for a rifle scope that has an adjustable magnification range then this will also allow more light to come into the scope unit at lower magnifications when there are fewer optical lenses through which to direct incoming light.

larger objective lenses gather more light and will typically offer brighter images with less distortion at high powers so these are better for low light situations.

High-quality glass:

For experiencing a brighter image on your scope, higher-quality lenses are necessary along with the good quality objective lens. Also, look for the scope in which glass is scratch-resistant and waterproof.

Precise reticle:

I recommend buying a scope that has precise and versatile reticles, such as the Mil-Dot or MOA style because it makes long-range shooting much easier.

Also, The BDC reticle is probably the most popular type of reticle, especially among Nikon fans. For a mid-range scope, a basic BDC reticle will do the trick. Thus, you do not need to shell out more cash for a scope with a Christmas tree reticle.

Illumination:

Illumination will depend on the quality of lenses on the scope and the size of the objective lens. For the hunting with 30-06 cartridge you can mount these 30-06 riflescopes, Or else I recommend a 32 mm or 40 mm objective lens. To improve the illumination go for scopes with fully multicoated lenses.

The eyepiece of the rifle scope:

A fast-focus eyepiece is a nice touch because it allows you to quickly focus on your target even it’s moving.

Exit Pupil:

Exit pupil is the diameter of the light beam that reaches your eye from an object in low-light conditions (at night). A scope with a larger exit pupil will let you see more detail at nighttime than one with small exit pupils.

Eye Relief:

The rifle scopes have two main types of Eye relief – fixed or variable. Generally, Fixed eye relief means up to 24 inches whereas Variable offers 12 inches minimum but can go as far out as 40 inches or more depending on the model variation and quality level.

Adjustable Turret:

Turrets are the knobs that allow for adjusting the magnification or power of the scope, and they should be easy to use and adjustable in increments of either ½ MOA (minute-of-angle) per click or ¼ MOA per click. Turret adjustments are the most important factor in a riflescope since it determines how accurate you can shoot from different angles. Without turrets, there is no way of adjusting elevation or windage on the fly effectively. So check that the turrets are easy to use, positive in their movement, and adjustable.

Rugged Durability:

The best riflescopes should be waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. It’s also a good idea to get one that is nitrogen-filled so it doesn’t change the internal air pressure.

Apart from these factors, there are other factors to consider, which are;

  • For a $300 scope stick to a second focal plane reticle as front focal plane reticles are ideal for long-range shots.
  • Also, consider how easy it is to adjust the scope in the field, a good rifle scope regardless of the price should be easy to focus and adjust

Top 8 Best Rifle Scopes Under 300 Dollar Reviews

Below are the reviews of the top 8 rifle scopes under $300. I have selected these scopes based on their optical performance, durability, magnification as well as illumination.

Athlon optics argos bTR riflescope 6-24 x 50 first focal plane

Athlon Optics , Argos BTR, Riflescope, 6-24 x 50 First Focal...
  • First focal plane reticle stays valid at all power settings allowing you to fully utilize the specially designed reticle that shrinks or grows along with your target as you zoom in or out.
  • Advanced Fully Multi-Coated lenses gives you better light transmission to bring optimum brightness and true color across the entire light spectrum.
  • Reticle etched on the glass that provides excellent backing support for complex reticle design and offers great durability and much higher shock resistance to recoil


Last update on 2024-06-15 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane (FFP) 30 mm Tube, Illuminated APMR MIL Reticle, Black is an excellent riflescope that I have been using for a few months. The glass of this scope is crystal clear and the reticle is well calibrated to be very accurate at all ranges of magnification. If you are looking for a great quality long-range scope for hunting or target shooting this will not disappoint.

The first focal plane reticle of this scope makes it easy to make adjustments for bullet drop and windage. The reticle is illuminated so you can see the aiming point in low light conditions, but there are also several brightness levels that allow me to use this scope all day long without being blinded by heavy sunlight.

This reticle is designed to be very accurate at long and mid ranges shooting. The APMR IR MIL reticle enables me to quickly range targets and holds for windage. The illuminated 18 mil span cross lines with 0.5 mil hash marks make it easy for me to quickly and accurately lock onto the target, as well as easily track moving targets.

This scope is very rugged being able to withstand the recoil of most rifles, but it’s also lightweight so I don’t get too fatigued after a long day shooting on the high mountains. The scope is well balanced, which makes it easy to use the rangefinder without moving my head from side to side while aiming.

The tube is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum and has a black anodized finish. Also, the scope is waterproof, shockproof, fog-proof, and offers complete protection from scratches and abrasions.

The only downside I found on this scope is the throw lever is tough to move. And honestly don’t expect performance like the SWAROVSKI OPTIK from this budget constraint scope.

But, For the price, this is a great scope for any shooter looking to get into a long-range shooting that wants an affordable optic with all the bells and whistles of more expensive models.

Primary Arms SLx6 1-6x24mm 

Primary Arms SLX 1-6x24 SFP Gen III Riflescope - Illuminated...
  • EXPORT CONTROLLED ITEMS: These items are controlled for export and may require an export license from the U.S. Government. Buyer acknowledges that Buyer is responsible for obtaining all export...
  • Variable 1-6x magnification second focal plane scope features the ACSS Standard reticle for 5.56 .45.308
  • ACSS reticle combines BDC, wind holds, moving target leads, and range estimation in an easy to use system


Last update on 2024-06-14 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In this section, we would like to introduce the Primary Arms SLx6 1-6x24mm SFP Gen III. This riflescope is designed for 5.5, 5.45, and .308 caliber rifles. For that good reason if you have an AR platform rifle grab this scope; without any second doubt and thank me later.

Yeah sure, you can name lots of scopes that are outstanding but for the money, this scope is #1 at this tight budget. Especially if you want to get the best .308 scope under the price point.

This scope is fog proof and IP67 certified waterproof. The build quality of this scope is sturdy enough and can name as a beast.

The glass is dang sharp and crisp clear, For aiming their patented ACSS reticle excellent. By the reticle, it is easy to see and use. Well about the accuracy the chevron allows you for precise shooting … BOOM it’s a bullseye.

I use this scope on my American defense scout and PSA 16″ build and honestly speaking, I couldn’t be happier enough with this product.

Specification

  • Eye Relief Low: 3.50 in / High: 3.30 in
  • FOV : Low: 110.00 ft / High: 19.30 ft
  • Magnification: 1-6x
  • 1/2 MOA
  • Second Focal Plane

PROS

  • For a quick shot at 400 yards or 15 yards, it is the best.
  • Amazing ACSS reticle.
  • Crisp clear glass.
  • Chevron center point helps tremendously for precise shooting.
  • Easily can be used with no illumination.
  • Smooth magnification right.

CONS

  • not recommend for long-range shooting such as 600 yards.
  • cheap covers come with it – which is actually not a big deal with the scope performance.

Finally, if you are looking for the top notch rifle scopes without spending arms and legs, compromising some of the drawbacks, and live with not suitable for long-range precise shooting then grab it.

Nikon P-Tactical .223 BDC 600 Riflescope

Nikon P-Tactical .223 4-12X40 Matte BDC600
  • The BDC 600 reticle offers Shooters unique open circle aiming points and hash marks from 100 to 600 yards
  • One inch body tube
  • Spring loaded instant zero resets turrets


Last update on 2024-06-14 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

There are three scopes that have the P-223 designation, and of the three the Nikon P-223 600 with a 4-12X configuration is ideal as a long-range rifle scope.

Being a .22lr long-range scope, this riflescope comes with a 40 mm objective lens and fully multicoated lenses. These two combine to give you clear and bright images both at night and during the day. While it uses the same BDC 600 reticle as the 3-9X P-223, it is more accurate and precise, and longer.

In particular, this scope gives you accurate and precise shooting for up to 600 yards. Thus, with it you can shoot at targets as close as 100 yards and as far as 600 yards. And that’s not all; the Spring-loaded zero-reset turrets make it easy to adjust while out in the field.

Specification

  • BDC 600 reticle
  • Aluminum housing
  • Fully multicoated optics

PROS

  • The zero-reset turrets are spring-loaded making it easy to adjust
  • Comes with fully multicoated optics that take in up to 98% of light for brighter and clearer images
  • Has a reticle that changes shade based on brightness making it easy to use both at night and during the day
  • This is relatively cheaper compared to its competitors that offer similar features

CONS

This P-223 is the long-range version of the popular 3-9X P-223 also from Nikon. Additionally, this new scope is designed for the AR-15 platform and use with the .223 Rem round. Therefore, if you are looking for a long-range rifle scope for your AR-15 that does not cost a lot, this Nikon P-223 model is the scope for you.

Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope

Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope, Black, 3.5-14x40
  • Features Nikon's patented BDC reticle with see-through ballistic circles for superior long-range shooting
  • Adjustments are made easy with Spring-Loaded Instant Zero-Reset Turrets
  • Made with Nikon's fully multicoated optics for maximum brightness and light transmission


Last update on 2024-06-14 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I recently tested the Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC on a Remington. The scope proved to be a great accessory for the rifle. Weighing 17.2 ounces and measuring 13.6 inches long, it is not the lightest scope out there. However, it does not take up a lot of space on your rifle, which compensates for its relative bulkiness.

What I really loved about this scope is how versatile it is thanks to its 3.5X to 14X magnification. With this kind of magnification, I could hit targets from a range of 100 yards and a range of over 600 yards. The quick focus eyepiece was a great piece of equipment for bringing the reticle into focus whenever I needed to. Similar to other Nikon models, this PROSTAFF has a spring-loaded zero-reset turret for easy adjusting in the field.

Specification

  • 4-inch eye relief
  • 1-inch tube diameter
  • Adjustable parallax
  • BDC reticle
  • Fully multicoated optics

PROS

  • The lenses on this scope are bright and give a clear view of your targets
  • Comes with a quick focus eyepiece, which makes adjusting the objective lens easy
  • It is an affordable scope compared to some of its pricier competitors
  • It does not take up much room on your rifle
  • It has a bullet drop compensating reticle

CONS

  • The lens covers are not adequate at covering the lenses

When it comes to long-range rifle scopes at an affordable price, you can never go wrong with this Nikon PROSTAFF. In summary, this scope is designed for long-distance shooting. Also, its high-quality glass lenses make it a great scope for all-day hunting. In other words, there is no time of day you cannot use this scope.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 30mm Tube Riflescopes

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24x50 AO, Second Focal Plane...
  • The 6-24x50 Adjustable Objective Crossfire II riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The Dead-Hold BDC reticle is good for hunting at varying ranges where estimating...
  • The adjustable objective provides image focus and parallax removal. Anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses provide bright and clear views. Capped reset turrets are finger adjustable with MOA...
  • With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box, you'll be able to quickly get a sight picture and acquire your target. The fast focus eyepiece allows quick and easy reticle focusing.


Last update on 2024-06-14 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Looking for precise long-range shooting optics but don’t wanna break the bank – Well Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane is my straightforward recommendation. It would be your best guilt-free buy if you want a scope for long-range shooting.

For over 1000 yards of shooting especially for coyote hunting my go-to scope is Crossfire II. This scope is perfect for AR 10 & AR 15. Under the this price range, this is one of the good scopes for a 6.5 Creedmoor.

When I zoomed the scope all the way out I was impressed by its amazing clarity. Brother and sister honestly this scope has a sharp clear imaging functionality. Also with both eyes open it is very easy to get a good image of the target.

It has long eye relief quality turrets. Easy to adjust and moreover it can produce a pretty clear picture even in the evening hog or deer hunting.

PROS

  • Adjustable objectives
  • Holds zero
  • removable sunshade
  • easy to install
  • clear image quality

CONS

  • Little bit bulky for me

If you are a vortex lover and want to get great long-range shooting optics then it will worth your money for sure. 

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 1" Matte (174180)
  • Leopold Model #174180 - VX Freedom 3-9x40mm with Duplex reticle and Matte finish
  • 100% Waterproof, fog proof, & shockproof
  • Made with 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum and punisher tested to a lifetime of performance even under harshest recoil.


Last update on 2024-06-14 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Leupold VX-Freedom is the kind of scope you would expect to find. It has all the features of an affordable short-range scope. As such, it comes with a variable magnification of 3-9X, which is sufficient for hitting targets from up to 400 yards. And while it has a smaller objective lens compared to some of its competitors on this list it produces some pretty bright images.

The scope’s 40 mm objective lens performed surprisingly well in low light conditions. Where this scope really dominates is in regards to weight. Weighing only 12.2 ounces, this scope feels like a feather when compared to some of its competitors.

To add the cherry on top, this scope comes in not one but three reticle variants. Thus, you can choose among duplex, Duplex CDS, and Tri-MOA reticles. For fast focusing of the reticle, you get a fast-focus eyepiece.

Specification

  • 1-inch tube
  • Fog proof and waterproof construction
  • ¼ MOA finger click adjustments

PROS

  • It is relatively cheaper scope than most of its rivals
  • Comes with premium optics that guarantee 94% light transmission
  • Comes in a diverse selection of reticle
  • Has a generous eye relief for comfortable viewing
  • Comes with the Leupold lifetime guarantee

CONS

It is only ideal for short-range shooting

This scope’s features point to it being designed for short-range shooting. Therefore, this might not appeal to long-range tactical shooters. Instead, this is a scope designed for target practice and eliminating pesky varmints in your garden. I have used this scope on my 17 hmr for shooting varmints. Also, thanks to its ease of use and lightweight construction it is ideal for light caliber rifles.

Mueller Target, Black, 8-32 x 44mm

Mueller 8-32×44 Side Focus Target Scope
  • Crystal-Clear Optics: Enjoy unparalleled clarity with the Mueller 8-32×44 Target Scope, featuring a micro fine crosshair with a true target dot on the 2nd focal plane, ensuring a sharp and precise...
  • Precision Sighting: Achieve pinpoint accuracy with side focus parallax adjustment from 10 yards to infinity and fully exposed target turrets. The field of view ranging from 9.3 feet (8x) to 2.5 feet...
  • Durable Performance: Built to withstand the toughest conditions, this scope is dry-nitrogen filled, 100% waterproof/fog-proof, and shock-proof, guaranteeing its durability and reliability in any...


Last update on 2024-06-14 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

At first glance, the Mueller Target looks long and cumbersome. However, although it is long measuring 16.2 inches, it is lighter than most scopes as it weighs 1.6 pounds. Similar to the Trophy Xtreme, this is a 30 mm tube with an affordable price tag. And thanks to its design, it is easy and fast to focus the eyepiece while out in the fields.

Furthermore, its 8-32X variable magnification gives you exceptional clarity and picture detail. With this magnification, it is easy to spot small targets from long distances. And for maximum brightness, the scope is equipped with a 44 mm objective lens.

One of the exceptional things about this scope is its optics. Mueller went all out in designing this scope’s optics. With it attached to your rifle, you can clearly spot objects even at maximum magnification.

Specification

  • 4-inch eye relief
  • 30 mm tube
  • Waterproof and fog proof construction
  • 16.2-inch length

PROS

  • The high variable magnification remains consistent throughout
  • Has high-quality scope that offers clarity and brightness in all light conditions
  • The turrets are easy to adjust and easily click into position
  • It costs less than other scopes with similar features

CONS

  • The interior lens surface is not coated, which causes glare

It is hard to classify this scope either as a long or short range. As such, this scope is for anyone looking for a versatile scope that works well for long and short-range shooting. While it might not be the best rifle scope for 300 WSM, it is a great scope for the average shooter.

Bushnell Trophy Xtreme X30 6-24×50 Scope

Bushnell 756245B Trophy Xtreme X30 6-24x50 Scope with DOA...
  • Fully multi coated optics and rain guard HD offer 91 percentage light transmission in any weather
  • 100 percentage waterproof, Fogproof and shockproof 30mm one piece tube construction with integrated saddle
  • 6 24X magnification with doe Lr800 reticle and 3.6 inch eye relief. ¼ MOA fingertip windage and elevation adjustments


Last update on 2024-06-14 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

30 mm rifle scopes are rare and expensive. But thankfully, Bushnell thought it wise to produce an affordable 30 mm scope for long-range shooting. Dubbed the Bushnell Trophy Xtreme X30, this scope is the very embodiment of affordable quality.

Coating its lenses is an HD rain guard coating that guarantees clear and bright images regardless of the time of day. As if that’s not enough to get you excited, the scope boasts of an extra-large 50 mm objective scope. This objective lens is backed by a variable magnification of 6 to 24X. And while it is not the lightest scope out there, it is shockproof meaning that it is compatible with most rifles, including heavy recoil rifles.

Moreover, the scope measures 14 inches meaning it will not take up a lot of space on your rifle. The fingertip adjustable windage and elevation adjustment make it easy to use. On the other hand, its fast-focus eyepiece makes it easy to focus on targets.

Specification

  • Fully multicoated optics
  • 30 mm tube
  • 3.6-inch eye relief
  • DAO Lr 800 reticle
  • Shockproof, waterproof and fog proof construction

PROS

  • Lets in plenty of light for bright and clear images in all light conditions
  • Has a beautiful matte black finish
  • Comes with a long eye relief for comfortable viewing
  • Holds zero
  • It is easy to adjust thanks to its fast-focus eyepiece

CONS

  • This scope is heavier than most of its competitors

According to most online reviews, this is a value for money scope. And while it is a little bit bulkier than other similarly priced scopes, it is well worth it.

In essence, this is the kind of scope you will want to get for all your big game hunting purposes. It comes with a large objective lens and a variable magnification making it arguably the best hunting rifle scope.

Conclusion

When you go rifle scope shopping, you will be bombarded by a wide array of options, from scopes under 1000. However, the right scope will most likely be in the under 300 categories. Some of the scopes on this list will give you an idea of where to start.

2 thoughts on “Best Rifle Scope Under 300 Dollars: Top 7 Pick Of 2024”

  1. In addition, while some less expensive scopes may provide more than adequate clarity and accuracy, they’ll tend to break down sooner and with more regularity than a well-engineered scope, simply because they’re engineered to less precise tolerances from lower quality materials

    1. Scott Man, Yes that’s true. But there are some scopes that are really great in regards to price, usability, and durability. Which I have listed above.

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