Having an AR-15 rifle doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get the best shooting chance. To have an accurate aim and get the best of your shots, you need good-quality accompanying accessories too. This is where AR-15 rifle scopes come in. However, buying a good quality rifle scope for your AR-15 doesn’t necessarily mean you have to dig deeper into your pocket. This review guide will explain to you all the factors you need to take into consideration when choosing the best AR scope under 200. We will also review the best AR-15 scopes under 200.
The Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32 riflescope stands out as the best AR scope under 200 due to several outstanding features. The scope is protected using rugged materials to help prevent shock from firepower. This is the scope to go with if you want to use it for target practice or hunting, no matter the time of day or weather conditions.
Bushnell AR Optics Riflescope is the runners-up, and it stands out to us because it has proved worthy by being durable and reliable. The crosshairs and reticle hold up very well and are designed to help you land your shots exactly where you want them.
Although the rifle scopes we’ve reviewed below are some of the best AR 15 scopes under 200, you can choose other AR riflescopes from the wide range of scopes available on the market. It is particularly essential to keep in mind that your choice largely depends on your specific need and budget.
Reviews Of Top 7 Best AR-15 Riflescopes Under 200
Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32 Riflescope
- Fully multicoated,
- .60 MOA max elevation adjustment
- 30mm aircraft-grade aluminum tube
- Finger adjustable capped reset turrets.
- Fog-proof and waterproof.
- 32 mm objective lens
- 2-7x magnification.
- BDC Illuminated reticle.
This clear, bright, and excellently built Crossfire II, 1-inch, is designed for performance. The hallmarks of this scope is the fast-focus eyepiece as well as the 30mm aircraft-grade aluminum tube.
With a 2-7x magnification range, this one is suited more for short to medium-range shooting. You can use it on targets that are between 200 and 700 yards out.
Though not as effective as a red dot or a true 1x scope, its 2x minimum magnification is still ideal for close quarter tactical uses. Its second focal plane reticle will also come in handy in close quarter situations,
Its fully multi-coated optics guarantee a clear and bright view of your target. While the illuminated reticle comes in handy in low visibility. These two features in particular earned it our best ar scope under 200 title.
- It's easy to use and affordable, making it ideal for beginner shooters and hunters.
- It is both shock and waterproof
- Easy-to-use adjustments.
- Easy to install on AR-15 rifles.
- Compact design.
- Accurate in both low-light and daytime conditions.
- Durable construction.
- Lacks an adjustable objective lens and parallax setting
- Images appear fuzzy when set to maximum magnification
Bushnell AR Optics, 1-4x24 Drop Zone Optics
- IPX7 waterproof rating.
- Fully multi-coated optics
- Shockproof construction.
- 1 to 4 x magnification.
- FOV: 112 - 27 feet
- Aluminum alloy construction
Bushnell AR Optics Riflescope is equipped with side parallax focus and target turrets for accurate adjustments. It has various useful features that make it the best 1-4x scope under 200 on the list.
This budget ar 15 scope is made using an aluminum alloy that makes it sturdy and durable. It is designed for mid-range precision and is perfect with the 55-62 grain.
This Bushnell AR Optics has fully-multi-coated lenses that deliver exceptional brightness and clarity. If you use the .223 round, you will love the drop zone reticle designed for the round.
One of the best things about the scope is the adjustable fingertip turrets. They are easy to use and have a 0.1 click value. The rugged aluminum 1″ tube is the hallmark of this riflescope.
Moreover, the 10-yard to infinity parallax adjustment allows for easy and fast focusing.
- Compatible with different AR rifles.
- Scratch-proof and rust-proof.
- Durable and hardy.
- For its price, it is surprisingly accurate at mid-range distances.
- The 1-4x magnification is the only ideal for short to medium ranges
- Does not come with a mount included
UTG 3-12x44 3mm Compact Scope
- Multi-emerald coated lenses.
- 30mm, shockproof, and nitrogen purged tube.
- Flip-open lens caps.
- Mil-dot and full 36-color EZ Tap reticle.
- Ten yards to infinity parallax setting.
- 3.4" to 3" eye relief.
The UTG 3-12x 44 riflescope is another affordable ar 15 scope that is worth a look at. You may think that the inclusion of the term SWAT is some sort of a marketing gimmick, but it’s not.
The term stands for side wheel adjustable turret. The latter is used to adjust the parallax setting from 10 yards to infinity.
For low light use, it comes with an innovative illuminated reticle. This reticle gives you the option to choose from 36 different color modes. This allows for advanced personalization.
As for the optics, you get multi-coated emerald lenses. While these aren’t fully multicoated they still deliver an impressive image quality.
- Compact and reasonably priced.
- Waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof.
- Mount included.
- Comes with 36 illumination colors to choose from
- The 10 yards to infinity parallax adjustment allows for accurate shots no matter the distance of the target
- It is a versatile scope capable of being used for short and long-range shooting.
- This scope is rather heavy, and you may need a bigger bag to carry it
- For some, the illuminated center dot can be distracting
Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Riflescope
- Features a Dead-Hold BDC reticle.
- Fully multi-coated lenses for bright and crystal clear images under all conditions.
- Features a fast focus eyepiece that allows for easy and quick focusing.
- Hard anodized finish for a durable and shockproof scope.
- O-ring sealed and argon purged
Vortex is an attractive brand that has gained popularity in the riflescopes industry by offering high-quality optics at reasonable prices. The Diamondback 4-12 x 40 Second Focal Plane Scope is yet another good scope for ar 15 under $200 from Vortex.
It features fully multicoated lenses that offer crystal-clear viewing. It is ideal for deer hunting owing to its water and fog-proof construction.
It is equipped with a 40mm objective lens, that is paired with a 4-12x magnification range. This makes it suited for medium to long-range shooting.
The scope is argon purged to make it waterproof while its fast focus eyepiece allows for quick focusing on your targets.
- It is Fog and waterproof.
- Solid and durable thanks to its aluminum construction.
- It is offered at an affordable price.
- Is incredibly lightweight and easy to mount
- Offers bright and clear image quality thanks to the fully multi-coated lenses
- Has a fast-focus eyepiece.
- Poor eye relief.
- Adjusting the reset turrets can be time-consuming
Pinty 3-9 x 32 EG Rangefinder Riflescope
- Green/red dot reflex sight for accuracy.
- 3-9x magnification.
- Five brightness adjustments.
- Five brightness settings.
- Built-in rangefinder.
- Green laser light.
Pinty is an underdog brand that has been growing in popularity. The manufacturer offers a wide range of affordable scopes. And the one that caught our attention was the Pinty 3-9 x 32 EG Rangefinder Riflescope, which is perhaps the best ar 15 optics under 200 from the company.
Despite having a low price tag, the Pinty 3-9 x 32EG Rangefinder Riflescope is a very attractive scope in the features department. It has a green and red illuminated reticle with five brightness levels.
Similar to some of the other models on our list, this one is suited more to short to medium-range shooting. It also features 1/4 MOA clicks, reset turrets, and multi-coated optics, and is waterproof.
Other key features include lens cap, 1″ 20mm high riser, long-lasting battery, and three manuals for all the necessary settings.
- Reasonably priced.
- Has an Illuminated reticle with five brightness settings to choose from.
- It is a 3-in-1 scope combo with a green laser, a rangefinder, and red and green dot sight.
- It is excellent for low light shooting
- At close distances, the laser helps with fast target acquisition
- Doest always mount well on a Picatinny rail
- The 1-inch riser may not be necessary for this model
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9 x 40 mm Scope
- Rugged reliability.
- 100% fog-proof, shockproof, and waterproof.
- Aircraft-grade aluminum construction.
- Twilight light management system.
- 1/4 MOA fingertip windage and elevation adjustment turrets.
- Scratch-resistant lens.
- 3-9x magnification
Leupold VX-Freedom delivers the dependability and performance shooters and hunters have come to expect from Leupold.
It offers several new features and is designed to get the job done at all times. This scope features a twilight light management system that provides unparalleled clarity and brightness by balancing image contrast, glare reduction, light transmission, and resolution.
The seals and gas blend are designed to withstand a multitude of pressure changes. Leupold VX-Freedom is tested to perform between -40ºF and 160ºF.
- It is a Lightweight riflescope.
- Unmatched low light performance.
- It is easy to mount
- It holds zero very well.
- The clicks on the windage and elevation adjustment turrets are not the best
- it comes with standard crosshairs with no holdovers
Bushnell Optics 3-9x/40mm BDC Reticle Riflescope
- 3-9x magnification.
- Fully Multi-Coated optics.
- Features target turrets.
- Made of high-quality aluminum alloy,
- .¼ MOA target adjustment turrets
- Fast-focus eyepiece.
- Weighs 1.31 pounds.
- Parallax adjustment for long-range accuracy.
This matte black scope features target turrets and a side parallax. But that’s not all it has in store.
For starters, while it is a cheap scope, it does not compromise on the optics department. You get fully multi-coated optics, which are not always guaranteed in this price range.
A fast-focus eyepiece helps you zoom in and out on a target quickly. The scope is also nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed, meaning it is 100% water and fog proof.
Bushnell Optics BDC scope is made using durable aluminum alloy, and features anodize finishing that protects the inside from weather elements. This riflescope is scratch-proof, rust-proof, and is designed to match high-end AR rifles.
- With its fully multi-coated optics, it delivers an exceptional image quality.
- The target turrets ensure pinpoint-accurate adjustments.
- The inside of the scope is nitrogen purged to make it water and Fog proof
- The high-quality aluminum tube protects the scope from elements.
- Has Rust-proof and scratch-proof anodize-finish.
- The riflescopes erector cap assembly may limit the use of low or extra-low scope rings on AR optic scopes.
- It is a bit heavy
How To Choose The Best Scope For Ar 15 Under 200 USD
Before you go shopping for the best scope for AR 15 under 200, it is essential first to determine what you'll be using the riflescope for. Keep in mind that there is a wide range of different scopes to use in different scenarios, such as tactical and hunting.
Also if you want to get cheaper options under 100, you can find a plethora of cheaper options in this price segment. So what are some of the things to keep in mind when shopping for a AR 15 rifle scope?
There are many different options for magnification. However, it's essential to note that image distortions are common in higher magnifications. However, there are several AR15 scopes designed to reduce distortion, and the scope you choose depends on your specific needs.
For instance, if you want to use your scope for hunting, a 3 to 10x magnification will be ideal. For long-range target practice, you will want a higher magnification than 10x.
For short to medium-range shooting, you will want a scope with a variable magnification of 2x to 10x. For a longer range, a 10x or more max magnification will be ideal.
Rifle Scope reticles can be placed either in the first or second focal plane. Both have their pros and cons, and your choice will depend on your use.
In the second focal plane, the reticle will appear the same size irrespective of the magnification. On the other hand, a first focal plane scope's reticle will appear to change the size of the reticle with an increase in magnification.
For tactical purposes, the second focal plane is ideal. However, the first focal plane reticle can be beneficial for higher magnification.
Parallax is when the focal plane of your scope is not aligned. To test this view, a target from 100 yards. While on target glance at a different part of the image and see if it moves.
If the image moves, then your parallax is not aligned. This can, however, be rectified quickly. But when you are in the field, you need a way to adjust it quickly, and this is why parallax adjustment is essential.
For hunting, you will want a scope with a parallax adjustment to save you time in case your focal plane is not aligned.
The reticle is the part of the scope that you use to aim at a target. There are many different types of reticles. So which one is best for you?
Well, it all depends on what you do with your rifle. For hunting, a simple duplex reticle with minimal distractions will do. Also, in the under 200 price tag, you may not fit a lot of scopes with fancy reticle technologies.
All the same, a BDC or Bullet Drop Compensator reticle is recommended. This is a reticle that has holdover points to accommodate for bullet drop.
These are the most basic and most popular types of reticles. They offer a simple cross over the target for simple target acquisition. Other types of duplex reticles include long-distance reticles that function just like the basic duplex but with additional marks or rings for different distances. This allows you to decide what range you need.
Mildot reticles offer the same functionality as duplex reticles. However, in addition to covering the vertical distance aspect of your scope, mildot reticles also show rungs for your scope’s horizontal aspect. This is particularly handy when your target is moving because you can easily take speed into account and accommodate accordingly.
BDC reticles offer the same functionality as duplex long-range reticles, but with additional detail into the distance rings. Duplex long-distance reticles typically show 25 to 100 yards, but BDC reticles typically show 25 to 600 yards making them more versatile, particularly for tactical use of the AR 15. The BDC reticle is most commonly used by tactical shooters and law enforcement.
Weight and length
Riflescopes come in a variety of weights and length sizes. A large scope will not be ideal for a hunter. Mostly additional accessories are what makes a scope bulkier. Apart from weight, you also don't want an overly long rifle scope for hunting.
Given scopes in this price category don't have advanced features and accessories; you will most likely find lightweight options.
Fully multi-coated vs. multi-coated optics
The general rule is that the more the layers of coating on a scope's lenses the better the image quality. As such, you will want a scope with fully multi-coated optics. All the same, given the price, a multi-coated scope is also not a bad option.
Fully coated optics are found in lower-end scopes, so for the under 200 price point, fully multi-coated and coated optics are what to opt for.
Using the best rifle scope for your AR 15 comes with many advantages such as magnification for pinpoint accuracy, game recognition, and higher range, among others. Although there are many riflescopes available on the market, choosing the right scope for your AR 15 rifle makes all the difference. Therefore, you should invest time in research and pay attention to both good and bad reviews.
Moreover, it is essential to make sure your rifle and the scope you choose are compatible with each other. If you want the best performance, be sure to match your gun with the bullets and scope. The best scope for ar15 under 200 allows for pinpoint accuracy with minimum adjustments.