When you are on a tight budget, $100 can seem like a lot of money. But when you want to invest in a quality rifle scope, it can seem inadequate. However, contrary to what you might think, some of the top-rated rifle scopes cost less than $100.
Riflescopes priced at below $100 can offer you great value. And in this article, we will be looking at some of the best scopes for ar 15 under $100.
Now it is important to note that these best budget scopes for ar 15 might not tick all your boxes.
However, their performance and quality may surprise you considering their price point. With this in mind, let us look at some of the top rated-scopes for ar 15 under 100 and what to look out for when shopping for the best budget scope for ar 15.
Our Top 3 Best Budget AR Scope Picks Under 100 and 150 USD
Last update on 2024-02-22 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Top 8 Best Scope For AR 15 Under 100 and 150
UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope: Cheap Scopes For AR 15
The BugBuster Scope from UTG is one that offers an impressive set of features at a surprisingly low price point. One feature that stands out is the illuminated reticle. Introduced in early 2003, the mil-dot reticle has been a staple of UTG ever since.
With 21 different aiming points for windage and elevation adjustment, this reticle provides accuracy and precision. Also, most similar scopes come with 11 aiming points. Besides, the reticle is illuminated, and you can switch between red and green.
Lockable and resettable tactical turrets allow for adjustment of windage and elevation. Also, zeroing the scope is easy. But what impressed us was the parallax free view you get from as close as 3 yards to infinity. This is quite close compared to that of other similar scopes.
The BugBuster is an ideal scope for your AR15, and its illuminated reticle will make it a great companion when hunting in dense foliage. It comes with an extra layer of lens protection in the form of a flip-open lens caps.
- Durable construction and is waterproof
- Excellent picture quality at all times of day thanks to an illuminated reticle
- Comes with adjustable knobs that turn with precision
- Has a 2-inch sunshade
- Comes with a range estimating reticle with 21 aiming points for precision and accuracy
- The 1-inch tube has an emerald coating for maximum light transmission
- Is a bit bulky and rough
- Has a poor eye relief
- 1-inch tube with emerald coating
- Range estimating mil-dot reticle
- Red/Green dual illumination
- 2-inch sunshade
- Flip open lens covers caps
- 32 mm objective lens
- 3-9X magnification levels
Best suited to larger rifles and in particular, to AR 15s, this scope is an excellent option for hunting in dense foliage. You can adjust the illumination to the time of day you are hunting. Red is an ideal color for hunting during the day.
Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle: Good inexpensive scope for ar 15
One of the most beautifully designed scopes on our list and indeed on the market is the Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X reticle riflescope. But it’s not just easy on the eyes as it is easy on your wallet as well.
But more importantly, it has some exciting features. It comes with 3.3-inch eye relief and a fast-focus eyepiece. The optical quality of this scope is exceptional. Images appear clear and bright even during low light.
The dawn brightness multi-coating of the optics improves light transmission in low light. As such, you can use it during the day as well as at dusk and dawn.
Something else that makes it a great option, especially for a AR 15, is how lightweight it is. Measuring 12 inches in length, it only weighs 13 ounces. Thus, it does not add any significant weight to your rifle.
- It is waterproof, shockproof and fog proof
- The 3.3-inch eye relief is excellent and so is the fast focus eyepiece
- Has multi-coated lenses that improves light transmission in low light
- Weighing 13 ounces, it is a lightweight riflescope
- Has problems holding zero
- This is best suited for short to medium range aiming
- 3-9x magnification levels
- Dusk & Dawn brightness multi-coated lenses
- Multi-x reticle
- ¼ MOA elevation and windage adjustments
- Fast focus eyepiece
- 40 mm objective lens
- 3.3-inch eye relief
There is nothing fancy about this scope, except maybe for its beautiful design. However, it’s very well made and will serve you well. For a cheap price tag, the craftsmanship and materials used are of high quality.
Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm BDC 1in Waterproof Matte Riflescope
Nikon has a plethora of optical products under its brand, from cameras to rifle scopes. And the Buckmasters II is one of the company’s most advanced optics. With a 40 mm objective lens, it offers flawless light transmission.
The overall construction of the scope is excellent. Capable of surviving in different weather conditions, it is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. Also, the material it is made from is sturdy and will withstand the occasional and accidental knocks and falls.
Zeroing in your target is quick, and hassle-free thanks to the ¼ inch click adjustments. The side focus wheel turns smoothly and even for objects that are far away. The quick focus helps bring the reticle into focus quicker.
Another great thing about this budget ar 15 scope is its exit pupil. Ranging from 4.4 to 13.3 mm, it has one of the best exit pupil diameters in its price point. This adds to its effectiveness when hunting in low light conditions.
- Offered at an affordable price tag
- The image quality is good with crystal clear quality
- The fast-focus eyepiece helps you zero in on targets quicker
- Is a durable rifle scope and is completely waterproof
- The drop compensation attribute is not accurate
- While it is fog proof, it may have issues in thickly wooded areas
- 40 mm objective lens
- 3-9x levels of magnification
- Multiple layers of anti-reflective coating on glass components
- Positive click reticle adjustment
- 3.6-inch eye relief
- 33.8-11.3 ft field of view at 100 yards
- 4.4-13.3 mm exit pupil diameter
Nikon is known for producing optics of unmatched picture quality. This Buckmasters rifle scope is no exception. In terms of picture quality, very few AR-15 optics at this price point come close to it. Which is saying a lot about its optical performance.
Pinty Rifle Scope 3-9×32
In the budget friedly price range, it is hard to find scopes with numerous additional features. Most offer the basic features you would expect from a rifle scope. However, the Pinty Rifle Scope is a class above the rest.
With this rifle scope, you get a green laser rangefinder as well as a red/green dot sight. The reticle comes with four green patterns. Both the rangefinder and the dot sight have five levels of brightness control..
Thanks to the brightness settings, you get a high-resolution and clear image quality. It also has an impressively wide field of view. All optics are multi-coated, which helps with the picture quality you get.
In regards to scope mount, it comes with a Picatinny mount. The latter is capable of fitting both the 22mm and 11mm Picatinny and Weaver rails. The O-ring seal and nitrogen filled interior make this scope waterproof and fog proof.
- Has adjustable windage and elevation adjustment with ¼ MOA click adjustments at 100 yards
- You get four different accessories within this scope including a laser rangefinder
- Comes with batteries included for the laser rangefinder, and reflex sight
- The images appear bright and with a high resolution
- Comes with an HD119 red/green reflex sight
- It does not mount properly with a Picatinny rail
- It may feel a bit taller than most scopes
- Multicoated optics with O-rings
- HD119 red/green reflex sight
- 3-9x magnification
- 32 mm objective lens
- 13.41′ to 40.38 fields of view at 100 yards
- 3.3mm to 10mm exit pupil
In terms of what it has to offer, this is a bargain. With a rangefinder and a reflex sight, it is well worth your money. Also, it has all the other basic features you would expect from a rifle scope priced at this range.
Xoping is not the most popular brand in the optics manufacturing industry. But the company does produce some exciting hardware. A prime example being the AR15 C4-16x50EG. The latter is a budget rifle scope designed primarily for the AR 15.
The brightness and image clarity offered by the scope is impressive, considering its price. This is mostly thanks to the optical system used. Inside, you get fully coated lenses that do a superb job of directing light to your eyes.
As for the reticle, it is a Multi-X reticle with red and green illumination. You can, therefore, switch between these two colors depending on the time of day. On top of this, it comes with a massive 50 mm objective lens that sucks in lots of light.
On top of the scope tube is a 33mm reflex sight, which is a great addition to an already great product. As with any other reflex sight, this one will help you acquire and target moving targets with ease.
- Comes with useful additional features such as the holographic reflex sight
- Targets are displayed with ample brightness and clarity
- The inside of the scope is filled with nitrogen to make it fog proof
- You get five levels of brightness settings for both red and green
- Can be mounted on most rifles with a Picatinny rail
- The scope might be cumbersome for some ar 15 rifles
- The illuminator switch could do with some improvements
- 50 mm objective lens
- 4-12x magnification power
- Red and green Multi-X reticle
- 33mm reflex sight
- Fast focus eyepiece
- ¼ MOA field of view and parallax adjustments
The quality of this riflescope is undeniable. It manages to pack a lot of features within a very reasonable price. This is the main reason we picked it as one of the best budget scope for ar 15 on the market.
MidTen 4-12×50 Dual illuminated scopes
Yet another scope that manages to offer more for less is this MidTen 4-12x 50 mm objective lens. A dual-color illuminated reticle helps with accuracy. With a red and green illuminated dot, the reticle performs at different times of the day.
The lenses, on the other hand, are multicoated for superior optical performance. Also, the multicoated lenses combined with the 50 mm objective lens offer impressive light transmission. With these two, you get bright crisp images in low light condition. But please dont expect quality from it, as like a $1000 high-quality scope.
There is also a holographic reflex sight mounted atop the scope. This sight helps with fast target acquisition. On top of this, you also get a laser sight, which adds to the scope’s plethora of features.
The red laser sight comes with independent electronics and comes in handy for fast target acquisitions. For this fast target acquisiton feature this scope is one of the best tactical scope for AR 15. By the way, good thing is, It is powered by a 3 x AG13, which is included in the package.
- Comes with a dual illuminated rangefinder reticle
- The battery for the laser sight is included in the package
- The two reticle colors red and green make it a versatile scope
- Has a reflex sight mounted on it
- Comes with a large objective lens for improved light transmission
- The battery for the holographic sight is also included
- Is a bit bulkier than other similar models
- The included battery for the laser sight does not last long
- 4x-12x magnification power
- 50mm objective lens
- Five levels of brightness
- Red and green illuminated reticle
- Red laser sight included
- Holographic reflex sight included
It may not be the most lightweight scope out there, especially in its price range, but it’s a small price to pay. You get three different sights rolled into one. This is a pretty great bargain when you think about it.
Monstrum 3-9×32 Rifle Scope with Rangefinder Reticle and High Profile Scope Rings
The Monstrum 3-9x 32 riflescope has a rather basic design. It’s the kind of design you would expect from such a rifle. However, a closer look at its features and its clear there is nothing basic about it.
With a variable magnification power of between 3 to 9x, it can be adjusted using a detachable throw level. The latter allows for quick adjusting of the magnification. As for the reticle, it is an illuminated rangefinder reticle.
It can be viewed in either red or green light illumination. Also, its brightness level can be adjusted to match your needs. Furthermore, you can use the default black color without illumination. I have used this scope for hunting and shooting purpose. This tactical scope can be your best investment if you need a basic go to shooting and hunting AR-15 optics.
The lenses on this scope have a multi-layer coating for protecting them from scratches and fog. This lens layer also helps improve the light transmission and clarity of your target. Inside the tube is filled with nitrogen to make it water and fog proof.
- The scope is waterproof and fog proof
- Has an illuminated rangefinder reticle that works well in different light conditions
- Images appear clear and bright thanks to the multicoated lenses
- The brightness levels can be adjusted to fit different light conditions
- Manufactured using aircraft grade aluminum it one of the high quality scope
- Is only ideal for close to medium targeting
- The eye relief should be longer
- 3.2-3.8 inch adjustable eye relief
- Glass rangefinder reticle
- Red and green reticle illumination
- 32 mm objective lens
- 3-9x magnification power
A great scope that comes packaged with a lot of amazing features. And while it is not without its fair share of drawbacks, it still excels in different light conditions. It holds zero very well, considering its price.
Crosman 1-4×20 Rifle, Long Eye Relief 72002
The Crosman 1-4×20 riflescope is designed for close to medium shooting range. Its 1-4x magnification does not do well for long-range shooting. However, for what it is built for it excels.
One noticeable thing about this scope is that its 1x magnification is more in the region of 1.25x. With it, you can hit targets from distances of about 250 yards and below. Thus, it still does an excellent job at point-blank and close to medium range
The reticle is a dual illumination reticle featuring red and green illumination. There are five brightness levels you can opt for. These brightness levels give you the flexibility to use the scope at any time of day.
The reticle has a 3MOA center dot that is etched into the glass. The thinking behind this seems to be for quick target acquisition.
- The 3MOA center dot helps with fast target acquisition
- Dual illumination means it can be used at any time of day regardless of light condition
- It is available at a relatively affordable price tag
- Comes with a Picatinny rail complete with mounting rings for easy mounting
- Has a rugged construction for durability
- Some users have complained of build quality
- Quick aim reticle with 3MOA center dot
- 1-inch diameter tube
- 1-4x magnification power
- 20 mm objective lens
- Picatinny rail with mounting rings included
The Crosman is best suited to close and medium-range shooting. And its features point to it being a great scope specifically for this. Thus, it is an ideal option for people who are on a tight budget.
Buying Guide Of Best Cheap ar 15 Scope – Things To Consider
Scopes priced under $100 are notorious for being poorly made and having inferior optical quality. With the exception of a few, some of which are listed above. That being said, you have to be very careful when selecting a budget ar 15 scope. Here are some of the things you should look at.
1. Magnification Power
When it comes to magnification, more is not always better. The opposite is true, for scopes priced under $100. Scopes in this price point are usually designed for short to medium-range precise shooting and their magnification reflects this.
Ideally, a maximum of 9x magnification levels is enough for this purpose. A higher magnification at this price point might be overkill.
2. Eye relief
Eye relief is an essential factor to consider. Having Eye relief of less than 3 inches may be disastrous. The short eye relief may cause you eye injury when your rifle bucks from recoil. Thus a more extended eye relief of not less than 3 inches is ideal. Some scope offers unlimited eye relief which let you to sight the target more fast. This unlimited eye relief is best suited for target shooters.
3. The reticle
There are many different reticle options, from illuminated, BDC, mil-dot to the duplex reticle. Given the price range, don’t expect any fancy or sophisticated reticles. However, an illuminated reticle will be a bonus for your ar 15 rifle.
An illuminated reticle allows you to hunt even when the sun goes down or before it comes up.
The exterior casing of a scope protects the interior components from damage. As such, it should be tough enough to withstand weather conditions. A scope made of aluminum will be an ideal choice.
Aluminum is both sturdy and lightweight, which is what you want. Also, the housing should be well protected from moisture and fog. Nitrogen purged interior is an essential feature for any scope. And so are O-ring seals that prevent water from entering the scope.
Considering the price point, don’t expect any fancy technologies when it comes to lens coating. However, at the bare minimum, the scope should have multicoated lenses. This will help produce sharp and clear images.
In this price range turret quality isn’t the best. Most have 1MOA and 1/2MOA adjustments. However, some come with either ¼ MOA or 3MOA adjustments. Consider the elevation turrets adjustment knob quality if you want functionality beyond maintaining zero.
The AR 15 rifle is a versatile one that can be used both for hunting and tactical purpose. Also, there are many scopes designed for this specific type of gun. Some cost hundreds of dollars while others, such as the ones listed above, cost less than $100.
Nonetheless, the best scope for ar 15 under $100 is the one that best suits you and your shooting style. It is essential to evaluate a scope’s features before splashing money on it irrespective of how much it is you are spending on it.
About The Author:
Lake Streeter, A Gun enthusiast, and loves to hunt in the middle of the wood. Always check the latest hunting gears out in the market and try to share his honest opinion with the audience in Hunting Nook.