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The Best Rifle Scopes For Under $300

It’s been said before many times that you should spend as much for your optics as you did on your gun – or some variant of that. Well, we’re here to tell you that’s simply not true. Sure there are plenty of amazing high-end and high-dollar rifle scopes out there but you can get an incredible scope for under $300.

Whether you’re looking for a scope for your AR-15 or your Remington 700, you’ve got a lot of options. Here’s a word of advice: remember that there’s a huge difference between a $100 scope and a $300 scope, but there’s much less of a difference between a $300 scope and a $1,000 rifle scope. Definitely a case of diminishing returns for rifle optics.

best scope under $300

In this post, we evaluated several scopes under $300 for their overall value for the money, durability and optical clarity.

Here’s our list of the best scopes under $300 you should be considering:

Bushnell Trophy XLT Multi-X Reticle Rifle Scope

If you are looking for a solid 3-9x scope, this offering from Bushnell might be the one, though the silver coloring definitely won’t be for everyone. The lenses are fully multi-coated, allowing up to 91% total light transmission, and it comes with flip-open scope covers.

The tube is nitrogen filled and made from a single piece of aluminum with an integrated saddle. Bushnell offers a lifetime warranty on these scopes, so you won’t need to worry if something happens to it.

The 40mm lens produces a comfortable exit pupil for night shooting at lower powers. A solid all around scope for under $300.

Nikon ProStaff 4-12×40 Black Matte Rifle Scope

More power, a fully multi-coated optical system, and amazing light transmission. The zero-reset turret is spring loaded for adjustments on the fly. Turn your hunting rifle into a sniper weapon with this one. Click in, fire, and you will be ready for the next target. The tube is nitrogen filled, O-ring sealed, and fog-proof.

The quick-focus eyepiece is fast to activate, though it might be a little stiff for some. Same goes for the windage and elevation adjustments. You can fit it easily with a Nikon 40mm sunshade too, if you like. It will work, sold separately.

We’ve recommended this scope many times before in our rifle scope reviews and it’s a proven winner.

BARSKA 6-24×44 IR SWAT Extreme Tactical Scope

If you are looking for a powerful Mil-dot scope, this offering from Barska runs out from 4-24 times magnification. The primary optic is large, but for this zoom range might feel a little small, at 44mm. Even so, this is a very large scope that will definitely make your rifle stand out.

It comes with flip-up covers and high-set see-through scope rings. Also comes with an extra long sun shade to reduce glare.

With an eye relief of 3.5”, your eyes will stay comfortable, even at higher magnifications. The turrets are zero adjustable. As far as high magnification zoom scopes, it’s pretty hard to beat this one for under $300.

Nikon P-308 4-12×40 Matte BDC800

Another Nikon scope in this price range, the BDC 800 reticle is specifically designed for .308 (see our post on the best .308 scopes) or 7.62 chambered rifles.

Every glass surface has multiple layers of anti-reflective coatings for maximum light transmission. This scope holds zero perfectly, and will compete directly with other makers that cost two or three times more.

Great glass, built rugged, and a wonderfully bright picture. Fiddling with the windage and elevation turrets is probably the only drawback, but with this scope, as well as most Nikons, you’ll only need to worry about that once.

If you are just looking for great performance without all of the bells and whistles, this is definitely the scope for you.

Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×50 Rifle Scope

A 3-9x scope with the V-Brite illuminated reticle. The battery system illuminates the central dot for low-light shooting, but it’s hardly required during the day.

Constructed from a single piece of aircraft aluminum, the tube is plenty rugged, and o-rings keep the nitrogen gas purged interior safe from moisture, dust, and fogging.

The brightness adjustment is located directly on the eyepiece for easy reach, without bumping into other knobs, or accidentally unscrewing the wrong thing in the dark. The glass is fully multi-coated for optimal performance.

If you want a solid rifle scope with a simple, lighted reticle, then this one is a great option. Vortex is known for making great rifle scopes for the money and is highly regarded among the AR-15 community for great scopes. Check this scope out on Amazon right now.

Is $300 Enough For a Rifle Scope?

The $300 range is perfect for a middle of the road scope that is going to last you quite some time. At this price point, you’re definitely upgrading from budget rifle scopes and you’re getting into some quality optics.

Look over the options we listed above for the best scopes under $300 and decide if any of those are right for you.