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
Primary Arms SLX 1-6x24 SFP Rifle Scope Gen III -...
This riflescope is best for short range shooting. Great Optics for precise shooting. Recommended For AR Platform
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24x50 AO, Second Focal Plane...
If you are a long range shooter or hunter and want to have a great scope without breaking your bank get it without doubt.
Nikon P-Tactical .223 4-12X40 Matte BDC600
Another best long range scope for hunting and shooting. Also it is great option for your AR-15
Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope, Black, 3.5-14x40
Designed for long range shooting and by using high-quality glass lenses it is also a great option for hunting
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 1" Matte (174180)
Designed for short range shooting and great for eliminating pesky varmints in your garden, Ideal for light caliber rifles.
Mueller Target Rifle Scope, Black, 8-32 x 44mm
Versatile scope that works well for long and short range shooting; great scope for the average shooter.
Bushnell 756245B Trophy Xtreme X30 6-24x50 Scope with DOA...
HD rain guard coating, shockproof, sharp images best for big game hunting purposes and another one of the great scopes under 300
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 shock proof.
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 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?
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 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. A higher magnification will result in a narrower field of view, which is not what you want
Illumination will depend on the quality of lenses on a scope and the size of the objective lens. For the hunting with 30-06 cartidge you can mount these 30-06 rifle scopes, Or else I recommend a 32 mm or 40 mm objective lens. To improve the illumination go for scopes with fully multicoated lenses.
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.
Apart from these three factors, there are other factors to consider, which are;
- Durability is one; go for a scope that is made of aluminum as it will be both lightweight and durable
- The quality of the glass will also be important to consider, how clear images appear through a scope
- For a $300 scope stick to 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 price should be easy to focus and adjust
Top 7 Best Rifle Scopes Under 300 Dollar Reviews
Below are the reviews of the top 7 rifle scopes under $300. I have selected these scopes based on their optical performance, durability, magnification as well as illumination.
Best .308 Scope Under $300 : Primary Arms SLx6 1-6x24mm
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 AR platform rifle grab this scope; without any second doubt and thank me later.
Yeah sure, you can name lots of scope which 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 300 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.
At the time of writing this review Pricing under just 300 USD is one of the greatest deals right now on the market.
- 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
- 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
- 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
Finally, if you are looking for the best rifle scopes under 300 dollars 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
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 under $300.
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 precision 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.
- 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 easy to use both at night and during the day
- This is relatively cheaper compared to its competitors that offer similar features
- BDC 600 reticle
- Aluminum housing
- Fully multicoated optics
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
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 turrets for easy adjusting in the field.
- 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
- The lens covers are not adequate at covering the lenses
- 4-inch eye relief
- 1-inch tube diameter
- Adjustable parallax
- BDC reticle
- Fully multicoated optics
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
Looking for a precise long-range shooting optics but don't wanna break the bank - Well Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane is my straight forward recommendation under 300 price tag. It would be your best guilt-free buy under 300 bucks if you want a scope for long-range shooting.
For over 1000 yards shooting especially for coyote hunting my go-to scope is Crossfire II. This scope is perfect for the AR 10 & AR 15. Under 300 price range this is one of the good scope 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 on the target.
It has a 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.
- Adjustable objectives
- Holds zero
- removable sunshade
- easy to install
- clear image quality
If you are vortex lover and wants to get a great long range shooting optics under 300 bucks then it will worth your money for sure.
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm
The Leupold VX-Freedom is the kind of scope you would expect to find in the under $300 price segment. 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.
- 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
- It is only ideal for short range shooting
- 1-inch tube
- Fog proof and waterproof construction
- ¼ MOA finger click adjustments
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 use this scope for 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
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.
- 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
- The interior lens surface is not coated, which causes glare
- 4-inch eye relief
- 30 mm tube
- Waterproof and fog proof construction
- 16.2-inch length
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 6-24x50 Scope
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 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 eye piece makes it easy to focus on targets.
- 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
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- This scope is heavier than most of its competitors
- Fully multicoated optics
- 30 mm tube
- 3.6-inch eye relief
- DAO Lr 800 reticle
- Shockproof, waterproof and fog proof construction
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 you big game hunting purposes. It comes with a large objective lens and a variable magnification making it arguably the best hunting rifle scope under 300.
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 category. Some of the scopes on this list will give you an idea of where to start.