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Best Rifle Scopes Under $400 That Will Leave You Wondering Why You Ever Spent More.

As technology continues to advance, better and better devices are getting thrown into the market, and the cut-throat competition has brought the prices down to an all-time low. So let’s look at some best rifle scopes under $400. While this is a great situation for the buyer to be in, it can also get really confusing and dangerous. Who can you trust? Are fancy-sounding features actually useful on the field? This new brand sounds great, but is it fooling you? What really is the best rifle scope under 400?

When you have a budget like $400, the riflescope market can be a scary place. That’s why we’re here. Using our expertise in the field, we shortlisted 5 of the best rifle scopes in this affordable price range and reviewed them for you.

Top 5 Best Rifle Scopes under $400

NameSpecsUSPToday's Price
Vortex Diamondback6-24x50Best overallClick Here
Leupold VX-3i3.5-10x40Best low light scopeClick Here
Bushnell Engage4-16x44Best glassClick Here
Burris AR-3323x32Best at the lowest priceClick Here
SightMark Citadel3-18x50The most user friendlyClick Here

1. Vortex 6-24×50 Diamondback Tactical FFP Riflescope

Vortex 6-24x50 Diamondback Tactical FFP Riflescope - Best Rifle Scopes under $400

Vortex Optics is a trustworthy family-operated business that supplies well constructed, USA made optics. They have a couple of affordable series, out of which the CrossFire II and Diamondback are the most popular.

If you’re looking for a good, versatile FFP scope under 400$, you should consider the Vortex Diamondback. The 6-24x magnification range makes it suitable for close range as well as long-range shooting.

The optics on this scope are fully multi-coated for clarity. Further, the glass comes with a special anti-reflective coating to bring glare to a minimum and immensely boost light transmission. I love the quality of images that this riflescope provides.

The Diamondback comes packed with an illuminated reticle, so you don’t have to strain your eyes in low light. It also has a fast-focus eyepiece to make sure you waste no time in acquiring your target. Switching between magnification values is a seamless experience thanks to the clever precision glide erector system. The parallax is adjustable from 10 yards to infinity. I like the crisp elevation and windage turrets, especially because they can be reset to zero.

The scope comes in a compact 30 mm tube. Vortex has used aircraft-grade aluminum to make sure it’s tough. It’s also completely weatherproof and shockproof, so you don’t need to second-guess yourself before you mount it on your favorite rifle. Another pro is the Vortex VIP warranty.

At almost 25 oz, the scope can prove to be a little weighty. Another thing I found was that it’s hard to see the crosshairs of the reticle over light backgrounds.

Pros

  • FFP scope
  • Versatile range
  • Illumination on reticle
  • Precision glide erector system
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Good, convenient adjustments
  • Rough and tough
  • Warranty

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Visibility of reticle over lighter backgrounds

What’s The verdict?

The Vortex 6-24×50 Diamondback Tactical FFP Riflescope is a power-packed FFP scope under 400. You can rely on the illuminated reticle and unique construction to give you the best performance possible on the field.


2. Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Riflescope

Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Riflescope

Leupold is easily one of the most trusted brands out there. Almost every seasoned hunter owns a Leupold rifle scope. The VX scopes bring forth quality at a great price.

What I love about every Leupold scope is the famous Twilight Max light management system. It brings together a number of features and factors to give you images of the highest resolution possible and stretch your playtime beyond sunlight. The glass also features blackened lens edges to fight dispersion and minimize any problems caused by stray light. It’s a great scope to use if you regularly hunt in less-than-satisfactory low light conditions.

The rifle scope lenses come with a Diamondcoat 2 lens coating that provides not only sharpness, but also scratch-resistance. This is actually a military-approved feature. The eyepiece locks in and lets you focus quickly and effectively. Another signature detail is the twin bias spring erector system that ensures that your scope doesn’t shake up after kickback from your cartridge.

The reticle of this scope sits in the second focal plane and maintains its thickness when you zoom in and out. This is suitable for a short to a mid-range scope like the VX-3i.

I love how light the body is, almost half the weight of the last scope. It comes in a durable aluminum body with argon waterproofing. It can withstand anything you throw at it, or throw it into. Leupold’s lifetime warranty is always nice.

I wish I could adjust the parallax.

Pros

  • Twilight Max system
  • Special military-grade lens coating
  • Lens edges are blackened.
  • Convenient eyepiece
  • Twin bias erector system
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Warranty

Cons

  • Fixed parallax

What’s The verdict?

The Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Riflescope is another masterstroke by Leupold. Great optics and durability at an even greater price.


3. Bushnell Engage 4-16x44mm Rifle Scope

Bushnell Engage 4-16x44mm Rifle Scope

Established in 1948, Bushnell is an experienced player in the optics field. They are dedicated to rolling out unique, well-built devices at a friendly price.

Clarity is paramount. Therefore the Bushnell Engage comes with fully multi-coated optics and an additional EXO barrier lens coating that is immune to all kinds of particles. You won’t even find fingerprints on the lenses of your Engage rifle scope. I like the 4-16 x magnification range, it’s quite versatile. The deploy MOA reticle has crosshairs that are thick enough to be visible but thin enough for peak accuracy. Since this is an SFP scope, the reticle maintains its size across the zoom range.

The riflescope has a convenient side parallax adjustment. The turrets are finger adjustable, and they can lock down and hold zero. They’re audibly crisp. Sighting in is simple. The eye relief stands at a decent 3.6 inches.

This is one sleek-looking rifle scope. It is undoubtedly durable and holds advanced waterproof functions. The matte finish helps you stay hidden in the jungle. The scope comes with lens covers but no sunshade.

The scope can get slightly heavy at 20 oz.

Pros

  • EXO barrier lens coating
  • Deploy MOA reticle
  • Side adjustable parallax
  • Good turrets
  • Easy to zero
  • Nice look and finish
  • Tough

Cons

  • No sunshade
  • Slightly heavy

What’s The verdict?

The Bushnell Engage 4-16x44mm Rifle Scope has a lens that is unaffected by anything you throw at it. It’s a good looking scope under 400 with a convenient reticle.


4. Burris AR-332 3x32mm Prism Red Dot Sight

Burris AR-332 3x32mm Prism Red Dot Sight

Burris is another great brand that packs its devices with special features to help you rule the jungle while keeping it affordable.

Burris always equips its devices with unique features to stand out from the competition. One such feature is the Ballistic CQ reticle that is used for competitive shooting and military combat. It’s a highly accurate reticle that is designed to let you engage with your target at an unmatched speed. It comes with two illumination color options – green and red. Hence, it becomes strain-free to use over any terrain. The reticle is crisp even when not illuminated.

The optics come covered in Burris’ signature Hi-lume multi-coating to maximize light transmission and serve brilliant images. The magnification on this scope is fixed at 3 x so you can comfortably shoot close range up to 80 yards. The scope is incredibly easy to zero. I was able to do it in 4 shots. I have no complaint with the turrets. I find that it can hold zero well.

This lightweight Burris scope will look nice sitting on your favorite rifle. It is easy to install and doesn’t require any rings. It feels durable and well-constructed. I love how they included the lens covers and sunshade. Burris’ forever warranty makes for a safe purchase thus making this one of the best rifle scopes under $400.

However, I’m disappointed that the eye relief is only 2.5 inches. And if this really is a deal breaker for you, feel free to check out our Burris AR 536 Review.

Pros

  • Dual-color illumination
  • Ballistic CQ military-style reticle
  • Special lens coatings and fully multi-coated
  • Easy to sight in
  • Lightweight
  • Sunshade included
  • Forever warranty

Cons

  • Short eye relief

What’s The verdict?

The Burris AR-332 3x32mm Prism Red Dot Sight gives you army level accuracy at the lowest price on this list. This is the definition of a steal.


5. SightMark Citadel 3-18×50 LR2 Riflescope

SightMark Citadel 3-18x50 LR2 Riflescope

SightMark is a trusted rifle scope brand that provides military-level optics at a commoner’s price.

Our last device is another affordable FFP rifle scope. The SightMark Citadel is a good scope for both professionals as well as newbies. Light transfer is at an all-time high with the fully multi-coated lenses and 50 mm objective. The simple reticle comes with a red LED illumination for increased visibility over unfavorable landscapes and bad lighting conditions.

The Citadel has pop-up turrets. You simply pull up when you want to make adjustments and push down when you want to lock in the turrets. The parallax is adjustable from 15 yards to infinity. I think the zoom ratio provides a pretty flexible shooting range. Since the reticle sits in the first focal plane, you can travel across this range quickly without worrying about any calculations.

The riflescope is constructed nicely with good weatherproofing. It’s a good looking scope. I really like how it came with accessories like the sunshade and throw lever attachment at this price. The device is covered by the SightMark Limited Lifetime Warranty.

This is the heaviest scope and one of the best rifle scopes under $400.

Pros

  • FFP scope
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Great turrets
  • Flexible shooting range
  • Well-constructed
  • Sunshade and throw lever attachment
  • SightMark Limited Lifetime Warranty

Cons

  • Quite heavy

What’s The verdict?

The SightMark Citadel 3-18×50 LR2 Riflescope will give you more than you bargain for. The turrets and reticle combine to give you a pleasant, user-friendly experience.


Things to look for when you’re purchasing the best rifle scope under 400

Even though 400 is a reasonable price, looking for the best rifle scope under 400 is not easy. Look out for the following factors:

Clarity

You can never risk compromising the clarity of your glass. Today, practically every scope out there comes with fully multi-coated lenses. Some brands take it a step further with more advanced coatings. Larger objectives also go a considerable distance in improving the brightness of your image. If you’re planning to shoot long range with an affordable scope, you need to make sure it gives you a crystal clear view of your target. With the scopes on this list, you don’t need to settle for anything less.

Range

The larger the magnification range, the more expensive the scope. Don’t buy the magnification that impresses you, buy the magnification you need. Fixed magnifications are the cheapest, so if you find a value that suits you, then this is great. Variable magnifications are more versatile. For an average hunter, a 3:1 zoom ratio is more than enough.

Material and durability

While most rifle scopes come with an identical matte black finish, the material within varies. An aluminum alloy is your best bet. It’s also important to check for weatherproofing. 400 is no small amount, and the best rifle scope under 400 should be able to serve you for a few years, at least. A warranty is always a good thing to look out for if you’re buying a scope that you’re not sure about.

Versatility and compatibility

Imagine spending 400$ on the scope and realizing later that it’s only loosely compatible with one low recoil cartridge (true story!) It’s important to have your most frequented weapon in mind when you’re shopping for a scope. Your device should sit well on your rifle and be able to withstand recoil. No matter how great or lockable your adjustments are, if your scope doesn’t mount tightly onto your rifle, you’re going to have a bad experience.

Conclusion

That concludes our list of the best rifle scopes under 400. As we just showed you, this amount of money can actually fetch some pretty kick-ass features. Between precise reticles, advanced lens coatings, and elegantly designed bodies, these rifle scopes make sure you never have to settle again. But still, you couldn’t find the perfect fit for you, you can check out our guide of the best rifle scopes under $500 – Though it’s a little bit pricier but if you can find the perfect fit for you, it might worth the extra money.

We hope we’ve helped you make a good decision today. Be sure to come back and check this space the next time you want more information about what scope to buy to fit your needs. I’ll see you then. Happy shooting!

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