There has been a steady rise in the demand and popularity of hunting rifles recently. If you are one those enthusiasts, you know that a scope is a part and parcel of a rifle. There are a lot of rifle scopes with a variety of features in the market.
Although there are expensive scopes that have fancy design and features, you will be surprised to see that even some scopes with price under $100 also offer stellar performance and amazing features. But you have to be careful while buying and consider some of the features such as durability, optics, adjustment options, weight, etc.
Granted if you buy a scope under $100 you may not get some features and advantages provided by the high end scopes. Still, we can assure you that you won’t be missing much and getting the fundamental features at a really cheap price is definitely a good bargain.
We hope that this article will help you understand which things to consider while buying a cheaper scope.
Best Rifle Scope Under $100 Reviews in 2021
Buying a scope under $100 makes the most sense if you are a beginner and just need a scope for your rifle to get started.
We have compiled a list of 5 best rifle scopes under $100 in the market to make it easier for you to decide which one you want to buy. By doing extensive research and reading user reviews we have decided that the best cheap rifle scopes currently available in the market are given below.
The Bushnell Banner Dusk and dawn is one the most popular and economical scope in the business. The brightness coating in this scope is made by Bushnell’s proprietary process which ensures optical focus, sharpness and clarity, especially during low light conditions. The scope is fog, water and shockproof, so you don’t have to worry about the environmental situation.
The lens in this scope is multicoated which is quite rare to find in a scope that is under $60 price range. You will get a clear and precise view of the target that helps you lock on to your target easily. The lens works best during the low light condition. It also provides you with a wide field of view of 40 to 100 meters with three times magnification.
The scope is called dawn and dusk because any hunter knows that those two times are the most excellent times to find the prey and it provides crystal clear vision at those times despite the low brightness.
Quality optics and HD clarity is the most attractive feature of this scope. The scope has been tested extensively and it held out pretty well. It has a smooth slick design and a strong build. It is the best cheap rifle scope for deer hunting.
As a user, you would most definitely be surprised by the quality and performance of this scope when considering it only comes at a price of under $100. It is also the best rimfire scope under $100.
You can use this scope for various activities like hunting big or small games and even for target practice.
Bushnell Banner Dusk Key features
- Multi-x reticle, ¼ MOA fingertip windage and elevation adjustment
- 3-9x magnification
- Fast focus eye piece
- Dry-nitrogen filled
- Illuminated reticle included
- Can hold up against extreme recoil provided it is mounted properly.
- Smooth black matte finish.
- Mounting is fairly easy.
- Does not have a parallax adjustment feature.
This scope is known for its outstanding performance and strong features that are pretty hard to beat. As this scope is versatile in use and impact resistant making it best to use in a variety of conditions and situations. This scope was developed for military use and for hunting and varmint hunting where it is necessary for the target to be at a safe distance from the hunter.
The Barska 3-9×42 is a sniper scope which is made to be used in tactical environments. It is precise and easy to use in any sort of situation you may find yourself in. Sniper scopes are made to sight distant targets and give the user a high-resolution view of the target. There is a built-in sniper edged sunshade to reduce the glare from the bright sunlight.
The multicoated optics of this scope is the best part of it. It provides crystal clear, sharp and high contrast views in all weather and lighting conditions. The multicoated lens also helps block UV rays and ensures maximum illumination.
The illuminated red and green mil-dot reticle enhances your chance of finding the target and zero in on it perfectly even in low light conditions. The scope has 5 levels of brightness settings so that you can adjust it according to your lighting condition and environment.
The inch tube construction of the scope and easy to grip windage and elevation adjustments help focus better. The parallax adjustment is on the side making it convenient for the user.
This scope comes with mounting rings, a lens cloth, a battery and scope caps.
BARSKA 3-9×42 IR Key features
- 3-9x magnification
- Adjustable reticle brightness
- ¼ MOA click adjustment
- Rigid construction
- Shock-proof, Fog proof and Rain-proof.
- Rugged and accurate even in the harshest of conditions.
- Ergonomic rubber design protects the scope and make the grip stronger.
- The parallax adjustment might not work properly at a long distance.
The CVlife hunting rifle scope is quite well made and it stands out among the other scopes because of its optics. It made of aluminum alloy making it durable. It provides a clear and bight field of view and a high contrast image to the user. Best use for this scope would be for hunting.
You will get a high range of magnification of 6-24x from this scope. Which is pretty impressive. This feature comes in handy while hunting as you can easily focus and zoom in on the target no matter the distance.
There are 5 different brightness control which the users really admired. The hunter can adjust the brightness according to the environment easily. This scope has an adjustable objective that has 11 settings to choose from. This is by far the best feature of this scope as you can adjust the colors so that you can lock on to the target against any back drop.
You do not have to worry about accuracy as this scope has you covered in that area. Due to its magnification and optics quality you will get air rifle accuracy easily without having to sacrifice any power. This is mainly due to the scope’s two colored red and green reticle.
It also comes with accessories such as lens caps, sun-shade, mount pair and a carrying case.
CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope features
- Fully coated ocular glass
- 50mm objective diameter
- Field Of View: 28 ft. @ 100 yards
- Click Value: 1/8 inch @ 100 yards
- mil-dot etched glass reticle
- Fully floating reticle.
- Shock-proof, Fog proof and Rain-proof.
- Nitrogen filled.
- Easy to install on a rifle.
- Fast focus adjustable eye piece.
- There may be some distortions while zooming.
Bushnell is popular optics brand, and it is best known for its brand of rifle scopes. The reason for this popularity is because they provide excellent quality optics at a low to mid-price range. This particular scope is best to use for hunting and target practice. The product is called red dot sight rifle scope because of its reticle is red. When you turn it on a red dot will be seen at the middle of the lens.
One of the key features of the Trophy TRS-25 is that it has 11 brightness settings. So the user can customize the brightness any way he/she pleases. Due to this feature can go out hunting with having to worry about visibility due lighting conditions.
It is completely sealed so that the components remain dry. It is O-ring sealed. This product has been test by submerging it fully in water, so it can easily withstand rain, sweat etc. As it is nitrogen-purged temperature and humidity do not stand in your way while getting a clear and crisp view of the target.
The durability of the scope is quite impressive. It can withstand bumps, bangs, drops and rough environment.
Because of its unique design and specs, it can be used in a wide range of activities such as shooting at the range, competitive shooting or hunting you are guaranteed to get the optimum performance.
Buying this scope would definitely be a good decision considering the price and the optics quality it provides.
Key features of Bushnell Trophy
- Multicoated lenses
- Unlimited eye relief
- Extended battery life
- Rubber scope over
- 3 MOA Red dot reticle
- Matte finish
- Water, fog and shock proof.
- Compatible with any modern rifle or handgun.
- Finding the best optics setting can be a little tough.
Do not think this is some ordinary scope the just by looking at the scope’s price tag. The UTG’s bugbuster 3-9X32 scope has some outstanding features that even puts some of the expensive high-end scopes to shame.
This scope has RGB swat illumination where you get a wide range of brightness settings to pick from. This can really help to improve the view through the scope depending on the lighting condition.
As the reticle in this scope is the 9 dot Tactical Range Estimating mil-dot reticle. In total, you will get 21 dots as there are also inner edges and the center to consider. The BugBuster is outfitted with true strength platform and it has UTG’s smart special structure(SSS) this provides a strong tube to secure accurate adjustments even under heavy recoil of the rifle.
This scope comes with a 2’’ sunshade to prevent glare from the sun during a sunny day. It also comes with high quality flip-open lens caps and quick-detachable rings. Windage and elevation adjustment with the turrets is pretty easy. Also by having quick access to reticle light locking on your target becomes easier.
A wide range of rifle can use this scope. It is also air gun rated. UTG has tested this scope on air guns and found that it does withstand the heavy forward and reverse recoil of an air gun.
However, there are a lot of counterfeits of this scope in the market, so we urge you to be careful while buying. Buying from a licensed retailer should solve this problem.
UTG BugBuster Scope Features:
- 1-inch tube with emerald coating for maximum light transmission
- Zero lockable and resettable turrets with ¼ MOA click adjustment
- Adjustable objective form 3 yards to infinity
- Built on true strength platform
- High durability.
- Compact design.
- Clear and sharp optics.
- Completely Sealed and Nitrogen Filled, Shock-proof, Fog proof and Rain-proof.
- Limited eye relief.
Things to consider while buying a cheap rifle scope under $100
Even if you consider buying a low budget rifle scope under $100, you will be surprised to find that you have many options where you will get great features from the scopes available at that price range. Still, you have to be careful as most of the rifle scopes are rifle specific. So you have to figure out which scope best fits your rifle.
Let’s say you have if you have an air gun rifle you should buy a scope that is air gun rated otherwise your scope will be damaged while firing because air rifle scopes have to be more strong and durable.
What distinguishes air rifle scopes from regular scopes are their ability to withstand bi-directional recoil. When an air gun fires a shot the compressed mainspring’s energy is released and it causes a backward recoil but it also causes the piston to go forward and collide with the end of the compression tube. Normal scopes will not survive this violent process and break.
So when choosing an air gun rifle you have to consider how strong and durable the scope is and will it be able to handle the recoil caused by your rifle.
The main task of a scope is to give the user a clear view of the target and help him/her lock on to it. So, optics is the most important feature of a scope. Some of the key features you should consider while buying a scope are.
The scope has to be able to withstand any kind of recoil, especially the double recoil caused by the air rifles. So try to buy a scope that is built on true strength platform.
Quality of the glass
If the glass is coated than it makes it more clear and gives a user a sharp and crisp view. So try to look for a scope that is of higher quality and has a coating on it.
There are two kinds of scopes in terms of magnification- (1) variable and (2) fixed. Both has their own merits and demerits.
For example, the Barsaka 3-9×42 scope is a variable scope that can magnify the view from 3 times to 12 times the original size. This is extremely helpful while spotting and locking on the target. You get the precise view and it enhances your chance of hitting your target more efficiently.
On the other hand, in a fixed scope has the magnification remains unchanged. This has an advantage in regard to brightness. As fixed rifle scopes have more brightness and that helps provide a clearer view.
The rifle you are using is probably already quite heavy so you should be opting for lightweight scope. A lightweight scope will help you get a better shooting experience.
The crosshairs of the reticle help pinpoint the aim on to target. So, while choosing a scope you should look for scopes that have reticles with many dots and multiple color settings. The varied color settings give you the ability to customize it according to your environment and lighting condition.
The parallax adjustment option is used to prevent the parallax effect from happening. So check if the adjustable objective of the scope works properly or not.
Air gun rating
If you have an air gun rifle, make sure the scope you buy has air gun rating. Because not all scopes are compatible with the heavy recoil of an air gun. Also try to make sure that the manufacturer has properly tested the scope under different environments and on different types of rifles.
Many rifle scopes come with a lot of accessories like lens caps, sunshade, mounting rings, etc. But don’t be fooled by them as sometimes these extra things added to cover for the quality of the scope. So, you don’t need to worry too much about whether the scope comes with accessories or not.
Final Thoughts – Best Optics Under $100
If you are a hunter and you’re looking for a scope for your rifle, it would be quite tempting to buy a high-end expensive scope like NightForce SHV 5-20X56. But it does not make sense to spend $1300 to buy a scope when you can find so many cheaper options which also provide quality optics and overall reasonable and satisfactory performance.
According to our research, the UTG 3-9×32 1’’ Bugbuster is the best scope in the market that you can buy with a budget of less than $100.
The other four scopes we have included in our list are also not that far behind from the bugbuster when it comes to performance and affordability. The Bushnell banner dusk and dawn scope comes in at a close second. As scopes should be chosen while keeping the type of rifle in mind we suggest you look for the features specific to your rifle and choose accordingly.
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