Our Top Picks
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire Riflescope
This rifle scope is perfect for hunting with a lifetime warranty.Check Price
Best Scope Under $150
UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope
This rifle scope is created to withstand heavy recoil.Check Price
Best Scope Under $100
Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope
This rifle scope performs well in all lighting conditions.Check Price
Buying a “cheap” scope is always a gamble.
After all, you’ll probably keep it for decades, and you don’t want it ruining your hunts for that long.
But among all the available scope brands, how do you know which are reliable and which will just give you endless headaches? Stick around and find out which scopes we picked as the best rifle scopes under $200!
Comparison of the Best Rifle Scopes Under $200
How We Choose + Our Must-Have Features
The range of magnification for low-priced scopes will usually be 3x or less to keep the cost down. And normally, you’ll be looking at only second focal plane scopes.
Don’t expect a 4-24x!
Choose a maximum magnification based on the type of hunting you do more often. 10x is plenty for rimfire while you may want more for whitetails or varmints.
Quality and Construction
If you’ll be shooting regularly, get a scope that’s at least shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof. This way your day won’t be ruined by bad weather. Affordable scopes may not be as tough as those high-end optics. But there are some that are adequate with heavy recoil and everyday use, and we included them in our list below.
Glass and Coatings
Never settle for poor glass quality, even if you’re buying a low-priced scope. Or at least get one that’s clear enough for short-distance use in good light if you’re only shooting targets at the range. We listed options below with anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses so light transmission won’t be a problem whichever you decide to buy.
Finally, you’ll likely want a scope reticle with special holdover points to compensate for possible wind drift and bullet drops that you’ll encounter when shooting at medium to long ranges. So, we picked some optics that are suitable for longer-range applications too.
5 Best Rifle Scopes Under $200
Best Overall: Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire Riflescope
Who said you can’t get generous eye relief and a dependable hunting reticle for less than $200? Well, this Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescope proves them wrong!
We tagged the Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire as our top pick because it gives the most value for money.
Vortex riflescopes ensure shockproof performance since they’re made from aircraft-grade aluminum. It also holds zero well at 25 to 75 yards, and parallax is set at 50 yards. Plus, the Crossfire II is secured with an O-ring seal and is nitrogen-purged for moisture protection.
With the lifetime warranty, you won’t have to worry about it failing on you!
- Vortex Lifetime Warranty
- Fast-focus eyepiece
- Low-quality lens caps
- Requires higher mounts because the rear of the scope is larger than the front
What Customers Say
“Mounted to a Ruger Precision Rimfire used 100+ yards. Glass is great and holds dead on zero. Ok its a rimfire but does get bumped around some in matches. Image is very bright even in less than optimal light. Eye relief is also as good as my other Vortex scopes. If you shoot rimfire this is the scope for you. True the radical is just a simple crosshair and doesn’t have holdover dots but for the price you can’t beat it.”
“I needed something for my MP15-22 and I didn’t want to break the bank. I wanted a variable optic vs a red dot for this rifle, and this is perfect. I got the 2-7x Rimfire model and I really like it! The eye relief is really good, and for $120 I can’t complain one bit! The glass is really good too. I posted some cell phone pictures (best I could take) looking through the scope at 2x, 4.5x, and 7x. Looks good to me!”
Best Scope Under $150: UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope
What we love most about the UTG 3-12×44 Compact Scope is its 36-color EZ tap illuminated reticle. This feature is very helpful when shooting in low light and can’t be interrupted even by heavy recoil. However, it drains the scope’s battery pretty quickly.
The UTG 3-12×44 Compact Scope is capable of remembering the last illumination used, pretty cool, right? You won’t see that feature in a lot of higher-end scopes!
The scope also has parallax adjustments up to 100 yards. And, it allows you to lock the windage and elevation tracking knobs after sighting in, so it stays zeroed no matter how much you shoot.
- Shockproof, fog proof, and rainproof
- Parallax-free from 10 yards to infinity
- Comes with a warranty
- Image gets blurry around the edges at higher magnification
What Customers Say
“I have owned this scope for a year, and even gifted one to a friend. If you have one that works, it is a great scope. Not the ultimate BEST scope, but great. It says 12X, but I mostly keep it on 10x when shooting.”
“The crosshairs are a little thick for my liking and are mil dot wires (marked on the package) and not an etched glass reticle. With illumination on the light reflects off the inside diameter some. But once you get your head centered it’s barely noticeable. All in all and dollar for dollar the scope is very serviceable for those on a tight budget. I gave it 4 stars for what it offers in its price range.”
Best Scope Under $100: Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope
Aside from 9x magnification and a powerful 40-mm objective lens, Bushnell Banner scopes are made of Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi-coated lenses. The lenses are constructed to perform well even in low light, making hunting during dusk or dawn easier.
Quick target acquisition is also guaranteed with the Bushnell Banner’s Multi-X reticle and features 1/4 M.O.A. fingertip windage and elevation adjustment. That’s not all, it’s also waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof, as it’s nitrogen-purged.
The only missing feature is parallax adjustment, which is a small compromise for the long-lasting durability and reliability that this scope can offer.
- Long eye relief
- Performs well in low light
- Comes with parallax adjustment
- No lens caps
What Customers Say
“Over the years I’ve owned several Bushnell banner scopes. I purchased this scope to sit atop an ar15 I’m planning to carry while accompanying my wife on her first deer hunt. With this said I wanted a cost-effective scope that could deliver enough magnification for the ranges we plan to hunt “150yrd at max”. The glass in the scope seems to be of good quality & transfers light well.”
“t’s a nice enough scope. Unfortunately, the only reason I bought it was due to the claimed consistent 6-inch eye relief. The relief changes as magnification changes. So I’ll use this one for a different rifle and continue my search for a consistent scope.”
Simmons 510513 Truplex Riflescope
Our next pick offers quick and easy adjustments because of its audible-click elevation and windage turrets. These reliable knobs also hold zero perfectly and consistently no matter how heavy the recoil your rifle makes. You can shoot a hundred rounds with this scope and its zero won’t drift.
However, it’s worth noting that the adjustment knobs require a little bit of effort to twist and turn at the beginning.
The Simmons Truplex Riflescope also features glass that’s surprisingly clear for its price! There’s a slight blur around the lenses’ edges like with the Bushnell Dusk to Dawn series, but you have to compromise to get a price this low.
- Waterproof, fog proof & shockproof
- Truplex reticle
- Long eye relief
- Does not perform well in low light
What Customers Say
“Bought this 3-9×40 to replace a 4×32 Centerpoint that comes with a Crosman Venom. Having used the Centerpoint for a month, the first time using this Simmons after a quick install was like night and day. Where there was haze and blurring with the Centerpoint is now crisp and clear and bright with the Simmons. I’m not sure how more expensive and higher quality optics will look but for the type of shooting (up to 30 to 40 yards) this is perfect for the price I am willing to pay.”
“I read lots of reviews and articles for a scope and this one popped up for my CVA Wolf .50cal. Crystal clear sight looks great and performs better than expected”
Barska Huntmaster Pro 3-12×50 IR Riflescope w/ Illuminated Reticle
Last on our list is the Barska Huntmaster Pro Infrared Riflescope. This reliable optic performs well in low light. So it’s a great buy if you’re looking for an affordable scope that’ll make hunting at dawn or dusk easier.
The focus all throughout its 3-12x magnification is also pretty good given its price. It’s not as sharp as premium scopes, but it’s sharp enough for your daily shooting needs. This reliable scope also holds zero well even after a few hundred rounds.
- Waterproof, shockproof, fog proof
- 30/30 infrared cross reticle
- Fully multicoated optics
- The reticle is too thick for infrared
What Customers Say
“Mounted this on a 30-06 and have had absolutely no issues with this scope. It holds zero perfectly, handles the recoil of the 30-06 with ease, has clear glass, good adjustments. The illuminated reticle is a real nice feature for early morning or dusk conditions. Prefer using only the first or second setting though as the others seem just too bright for my liking. This scope outperforms the high-end, Nikon, that I had mounted on the rifle previously and it just now sits in my safe gathering dust. BTW for those who may be questioning or nay-sayers, I do not baby my hunting equipment. I don’t abuse it, but it gets a good workout every day in the field as well as at the range. Barska has come a long way and is making some great scopes!”
“I wanted a new scope for my PCP (pre-charged pneumatic) air rifle and this scope was exactly what I needed for evening lowlight pest control! The nice thing is that I can get this scope to focus down to 15-20 yards with a magnification of 12 times which is ideal for ratting in lowlight conditions!. The illuminated center reticle is a very nice feature, on setting #1 it’s dim enough and not a distraction like a few other scopes that I own!!”
If it’s your first time buying a scope, all of our picks above are great beginner optics that you can use until you’re ready for the major league. For now, make sure to practice regularly to improve your shooting skills.
Check out this article if you decide you don’t want to compromise on low light performance and want a peek at the mid-tier and premium scopes.
Last update on 2023-11-14 / Images from Amazon Product API