When Galileo put his theoretical knowledge on optics into practicality and molded the first ever telescope, seldom would he have fathomed that the same logic he had used to gaze at the shooting star would be used years later on to shoot!
Though there is historical evidence of wars fought with bare eyes and loaded guns, one cannot deny that even a trained shooter or hunter – regardless of his experience and genetically gifted optical power – cannot manage without a rifle scope.
Top 5 best rifle scopes under $300
|Vortex Crossfire II
|Best Optical Quality
|Best Long Range Scope
|Best for Low Light Shooting
|Best Target Scope
Merging the optical concepts of the world of Physics and technological advancements of the time, many manufacturers have come up with a perfect companion for hunters – a rifle scope.
A rifle scope helps in providing greater magnification properties and enhances as well as adjusts the vision in accordance with the external light. Such innovation in the world of Sports Optics makes it easier to obtain better vision, target, and then eventually a better shot. And today we are going to discuss about the best rifle scopes under $300 in depth.
The benefit of an instrument like the riflescope can be examined through the economic boom it has created in the emerging market of Sport Optics. The greater the demand the higher the price!
There is no denying that there have been personal experiences wherein purchasing a scope required as much as or even more money than the rifle itself. To avoid such scenarios, and to bring to you pocket-friendly yet good quality equipment, here goes a compilation of the Best Rifle Scopes Under $300.
1. Vortex Crossfire II 6-18×44 AO Rifle Scope
Coming from an American veteran-owned manufacturing company, the Vortex Crossfire with its upgraded aerodynamic appearance is undoubtedly a smoother version with respect to its appearance as well as functionality. It is highly accurate owing to the magnification scale between 6-18x as well as the Second Focal Plane Reticle that guarantees better magnification without any reticle variations.
Additional features like a fast-focus eyepiece along with an extended eye relief period makes Vortex Crossfire II the best fit for timely and effortless target focusing. The one-inch tube is rather reliable since it is designed out of aircraft-grade aluminum. The fully multi-coated optics and the additional sunshade helps in integrating the target by guaranteeing ideal experience at times of low as well as high external lighting.
2. Primary Arms 1-6x24mm SFP Gen III Illuminated Riflescope
Based in Texas, Primary Arms is a reputable firearms and optics manufacturer and distributor. The Primary Arms 1-6x24mm SFP Gen III Illuminated Riflescope is an addition to Primary Arms’ target of merging innovation with affordability.
Though the magnification scale rests between 1-6x, the striking feature of the Advanced Combined Sighting System (ACSS) reticle makes it a product worth owning. This ACSS provides additional benefits like advanced range estimation, bullet drop compensation as well as moving target leads.
Furthermore, its Second Focal Plane reticle is also integrated with an auto-ranging feature based on a 10inch circle for targeting fast pacing objects like pigs, coyotes, or other species of the same build. The Primary Arms 1-6x24mm SFP Gen III Illuminated Riflescope has a Nitrogen mixed with 6063 Aluminum scope body smoothened to an anodized black matte outer layer.
3. Mueller Optics 8-32x44mm Side Focus Tactile Riflescope
Mueller Optics, which runs by the motto of providing a ‘lower-cost alternative’, is a US-based rifle scopes manufacturer. Their Mueller Optics 8-32x44mm Side Focus Tactile Riflescope focuses on providing optimum clarity with an 8-32x range magnification and a fast-focus eyepiece.
Its distinct feature is the mil-dot reticle which is more popular among shooters. This is an easier means of reading as well as communicating elevation values especially if it is in meters and not yards. The side focus parallax system ensures a sharper target focus. It has a 30mm tube and an overall black matte finish.
4. Leupold VX-Freedom 4-12×40 Riflescopes
Owned by a family-run sport optical manufacturers, Leupold has established a place for itself within the firearms industry. It’s uncompromising quality and availability within an affordable price range makes it a must-have for any dedicated shooter. With a magnification range of 4-8x and Second Focal Plane Reticle, it provides good accuracy.
Yet, the most important feature of this model is its Twilight Light Management System. This feature works to efficiently tackle any external light condition by providing extensive brightness and contrast adjustments along with a glare reduction option.
The 1/4 MOA Finger Click offers the chance to make easy and quick adjustments on the windage and elevation scales. Made of 6061-T6 Aircraft Quality Aluminum, the product is sturdy and durable.
5. Monstrum G3 6-24x50mm Riflescope
Monstrum is a California based manufacturer and online distributor of Handguards, Optics, and Rifle Accessories. Focusing on First Focal Plane reticle, the Monstrum G3 6-24x50mm Riflescope is one of the best fit for long-distance shooting that spans even beyond 1000 yards. The higher magnification and lens diameter ascertains better lens quality and light transmission. The added eye relief setting within the range of 4 and 4.5 inches makes it more suitable for a rifle with the higher recoil power.
Yet, what stands out for this model is the illuminated MOA reticle that helps in better reticle visibility even in dim-lit surroundings. Furthermore, the adjustment touch button system for reticle illumination control is replaced with a smooth side dial system. The windage and elevation turrets are also easily adjustable and hold well at zero. Made of an Aircraft Grade 6061 Aluminum construction with a hard-anodized outer finish, the Monstrum G3 6-24x50mm Riflescope has a classic look.
Things to Keep in Mind while buying a rifle scope below $300
- First and foremost, get the worth of your money. Lesser the price does not necessarily mean lower the quality. Riflescopes under $300 can also be expected to last long and perform efficiently.
- Weight: Certain scopes may be made of high quality, durable material, or wider lens. This might add to the overall weight of the scope, thereby making it unfit for mobile shooting.
- Magnification: Depending on the distance and kind of target choose a magnification scale that suits the purpose at hand. For example, a 3-9x magnification scale can be used for shooting moving targets at a distance of 100 yards or shooting squirrels, coyotes, etc.
- The diameter of objective lens: The greater the diameter, the higher the capacity of the lens to take in light.
- Lens Coating: Coatings prevent light glares and stimulate absorption over reflection. In ascending order, the light transmission capability and extent of lens coating can be classified into Coated, Fully Coated, Multi-Coated, and Fully Multi-Coated.
- Turrets – Elevation or Windages Adjustments: Understand the basics of turret adjustments. Most manufacturers would keep these adjustments capped in order to prevent minor accidental changes. But for certain long-distance shots, such adjustments are necessary. Hence, know your needs and then select a capped or high profile turret knob accordingly.
- Reticle: Reticles ascertain the precision of a shot. There are mainly two broad categories- (i) First Focal Plane (meant for long-distance shooting as it provides magnification) and (ii) Second Focal Plane (here the reticle does not change in size even during magnification). Furthermore, an illuminated reticle provides better conditions for sight even in low lit environments.
- Eye Relief: As a precautionary step, look for scopes with eye relief or else it might lead to serious recoil accidents. Four inches is sufficient to avoid scope eye.
While the above list of Best rifle scopes under 300$ summarizes all that you need to know before adding your rifle scope into the cart, this is not the first or final step. Know your needs and do your research carefully before you purchase a rifle scope. Any scope becomes valuable and beneficial only if it matches your needs. While Leupold VX-Freedom 4-12×40 Rifle Scopes might have uncompromising quality, it might not be fit for a 1000 yard off shooting episode.
So will a Monstrum G3 6-24x50mm Riflescope be more useful to you? Figure out. Know your preferred time for hunting, the target of hunting, the distance between you and the target, the size of the target, and then choose wisely. Also, remember that below 300$ need not be about the cheapness of the product but about attaining optimum utility within the price range.
Galileo spent a lifetime looking at stars with his bare eyes until he figured out the mechanism to zoom into it. So maybe you should also spend a day thinking and researching about what you need before jumping into conclusions. Choose wisely. So off you go on a hunt for the perfect rifle scope. Happy shopping!