The best hunting scope under 500

Last updated on August 11th, 2021 at 09:52 am

Bringing the maximum potential out of your guns, a good rifle scope is what creates the whole difference. Whether you are an amateur hunter or a professional shooter a good rifle scope is a must have to attain maximum aim. There is always a need for additional sight and you will find the best hunting scope under 500 that does not compromise the quality and performance.

Editor's Pick


Vortex Optics Diamondback Riflescope

Magnification:  6-24x
Reticle: EBR-2C MOA
Eye relief: 3.5 inches

The best scopes under 500 work the same as the ones with expensive price tags. What matters the most is specifications and features that create the whole difference in the working of the rifle scopes as per your needs and requirements.

The market is full of hunting scopes that are one of their kind ranging differently from the performance, quality, durability, and price. To find the best hunting scope under 500, you need to understand the features and how they affect the performance along with personal preference.

Things to consider before buying

To make sure the product you are going to invest in is worth the time, money, and effort you are putting into finding the best scope under 500.

Let’s look into these key features that directly affect the performance of a rifle scope.


  • Magnification settings have a drastic impact on how much accuracy you will get at extended range.
  • A great starting point for the best scopes under 500 must be around 10x or higher.
  • 10x is a bit overkill for long range scopes like .22.
  • Even with the higher power firearms there is a need for more power with the best rifle scopes.
  • Long range scope usually have upper magnification settings of around 20x to 30x.

Fixed or variable magnification

  • Long range rifle scope have one magnification setting; known as fixed scopes.
  • The rifle scopes that can flip between different zoom levels are called variable rifle scopes.
  • Fixed or variable magnification is more of a personal preference than a key feature.
  • You can find the best long range scope under 500 with fixed magnification but there are also affordable variable magnification hunting scopes available in the market.
  • To add extra versatility to your weapon, it is better to go for the best variable rifle scopes.

Objective lense

  • Objective lense determines how much light will be allowed inside your scope’s tube.
  • The wider the lens, the more light will be collected by the scope.
  • Better light inside the tube offers better sight.
  • Bigger lenses offer a wider field of view with high magnification power.
  • Even the best long range rifle scope under 500 with high power magnification and a wide objective lens offers ultimate sight without compromising the field of view.
  • Scopes with substantial objective lenses are heavier and bulkier than the scopes with smaller objective lenses.
  • Bigger lens limits the type of weapons you can use them with.

Try to balance your objective lens with the size of your weapon for convenience and better handling.

Reticle type

  • Reticles appear on either the first or the second focal plane.
  • First focal plane changes size when you switch between magnification levels.
  • Second focal plane reticles do not change even when you switch between magnification powers.
  • These reticles are fixed at one magnification setting on a given scope; highest power possible.
  • First focal plane reticle is more accurate with the best long range rifle scopes.
  • Second focal plane reticles can be unyielding on variable scopes.
  • The best long range scopes also come with illuminated reticles; they are great for accurate targeting in either very low light or the brightest hour of the day.
  • Always check brightness adjustment settings for illuminated reticles as it allows you to fine-tune the reticle for your eyes.

Eye relief

  • Eye relief is a difference between your eye and the scope. You can accurately see the full sight picture offered, which helps in maintaining the accuracy.
  • Eye relief is essential for the rifles that have a lot of recoil with the pull of the trigger.
  • To get the most out of your rifle scope and the weapon, go for at least 3.5 inches of eye relief at a bare minimum.
  • It helps in preventing bruises around your eye or on your eyebrow as you lean to take a shot.
  • If you wear glasses, try to find a scope with even more eye relief for better sight and safety.


  • Durability corresponds to how long it lasts. It matters the most especially for the expensive scopes.
  • The best rifle scope under 500 offers reasonable durability without compromising the performance.
  • Always look for the scopes that are made with aircraft-grade aluminum or similar sturdy metal, especially for the body and main tube.
  • Aluminum or similar metal offers better life than cheaper alternatives and are also rust resistant.
  • Look of an anodized coating as it is great in decreasing the glare of the scope that helps in blending in the environment more efficiently.
  • Durability also counts for fog, water, and shock proofing.

A durable scope helps you in attaining extra convenience and durability in every kind of environment and situation.

Top 5 best hunting scopes under 500

You will find plethora of rifles scopes in the market that does not mean that every hunting scope is up to the mark as per the performance, quality, and durability regardless of the price.

Vortex Optics Diamondback RiflescopeView Product
UTG Mil-dot hunting scopeView Product
Vortex Optics Crossfire II RiflescopeView Product
Barska IR ST riflescopeView Product
Vortex Optics Strike Eagle RiflescopeView Product

Here, we have categorized the best hunting scopes that will make it easier to go for the one that perfectly fit your needs and requirements.

1.     Vortex Optics Diamondback Riflescope – best 1000 yard scope under 500

Vortex Optics Diamondback Riflescope - best 1000 yard scope under 500

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Vortex offers a relatively simpler design that comes with the best features. From performance to quality and durability, vortex optic diamondback riflescope is one of the best you will find in the market. This scope gives you premium features under $500. If you are looking for the best 1000 yards scope, this is the one. This best long distance scope offers high magnification and MOA reticle.


  • Magnification:  6-24x
  • Reticle: EBR-2C MOA
  • Eye relief: 3.5 inches
  • (fully multi-coated) optics
  • XD (extra-low dispersion)
  • First focal plane reticle
  • 65 detailed MOA
  • 24.6 ounces in weight
  • No zero stop features

Vortex has made its name in the best hunting scope under 500 without compromising on the quality. You will not find a cheap long range scope better than this in the market.

2.   UTG Mil-dot hunting scope – best mil dot scope under $500

UTG Mil-dot hunting scope - best mil dot scope under $500

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Finding the best scopes under 500 is not as easy as it sounds because we do not want you to get something that is not worth the price. This scope is the best rifle scope under 500 that not only maximizes your performance at different distances but is also the most durable.

This best mil dot scope under $500 has illuminated reticle with different colors and brightness intensities, which makes it the best hunting scope under 500.


  • Magnification: 4-16X
  • Reticle: Mil dot
  • Eye relief: 4 inches


  • UTG 30MM AccuShot
  • Zero Lockable/Resettable Target
  • Illumination Enhancing 36 Colors
  • Multi Emerald Lens Coating
  • High Quality Flip-open Lens Caps
  • Rings are not durable

3.   Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescope – best cheap long range scope

Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescope - best cheap long range scope

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Vortex optics crossfire II is the best long range rifle scopes for the money when it comes to performance, quality, and durability. There is nothing that can beat this one on the field. From features and quality to unbeatable price this brings it to top long range scopes. Single piece tubes and anti-reflecting properties of this scope add additional value to it. Finding long range scopes on a budget is not a myth anymore. A good long range scope does not have to be expensive. If it offers the features that suit your needs and requirements it is enough for you to go for it. What is the comparison for.


  • Magnification: 1-4x
  • Reticle: V-brite MOA
  • Eye relief: 4 inches


  • Better illuminated dot in low light
  • Long eye relief
  • Anti-reflective
  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Zero stop
  • Aircraft grade aluminium
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Sometimes picture blur and snap back to focus

4.   Barska IR ST riflescope – best tactical scope under 500

Barska IR ST riflescope - best tactical scope under 500

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This best long range rifle scope under 500 is built to operate under the most exceptional and demanding conditions. Designed to deliver premium performance it offers the best quality, durability, and operation at long distances. Its multi-coated optics, illuminated MIL-Dot reticle, and 30mm monotube construction makes it the best rifle scopes under 500 amongst other alternatives.


  • Magnification: 6-24x
  • Reticle: MIL-Dot IR
  • Eye relief: 3.5 inches
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Illuminated glass etched MIL-Dot reticle
  • Adjustable brightness for reticle
  • Monotube construction, 30mm
  • Side adjustable parallax
  • Click adjustment; ⅛ MOA
  • 5 inches sun shade
  • Flip-up scope caps
  • Only goes with long distance rifles

5.    Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Riflescope – cheap long range scope

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Riflescope - cheap long range scope

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Vortex offers the best long range scopes to the beginners and professionals as well. This best long range rifle scope is defined by its speed and versatility. Vortex optics Eagle Strike riflescope can be adapted to a wide range of scenarios. It offers illuminated reticle along with fast dual eye quick focusing adding additional benefit to convenience making it the long range scope on a budget for everyone without compromising the quality.


  • Magnification: 1-8x
  • Reticle:  illuminated BDC3
  • Eye relief: 3.5 inches
  • Thread-in throw lever magnification
  • Fast focus dial eyepiece long range scope
  • Anti-reflective coating
  • Water and fogproof
  • 30mm shockproof tube
  • It does not include a mount

This is one of the best long range rifle scopes offered by Vortex that does not compromise despite the price.


Finding the best hunting scope under 500 is not only about looking at the price but the features as the technology has made quality and performance available to everyone at lower price. The best long range scope does not necessarily call for huge price tags. Do not let anyone fool you with that. To make sure the product you are getting is accompanied with the key features and fit your personal preference. Once you are sure of what your needs and requirements are, it is not hard to find the best scope for 500 yards or even the best cheap long range scope.


1.     How much zoom is 1000 yards?

10x for some of the cheapest scopes available in the market will resolve a 1.5-2 MOA target at 1000 yards. For long distance shooting all you need is a good optics, clear and crisp. For instance, a good 3-9×40 scope is enough for 1000 yard big game hunting.

2.    What is a good scope for 500 yards?

Finding a good scope for 500 yard is all about knowing what creates the whole difference when it comes to key features. Vortex Optics CrossFire II 4-12×50, Burris 4.5-14x – 42mm Fullfield II, and Nikon Monarch 3 3-12×42 are one of the best scopes for 500 yards when it comes to performance and operation.

3.   What is the best scope magnification for 1000 yards?

The power needed for a 1000 yards shooting in hunting is 10x. It works completely fine without compromising the quality and performance. A good 3-9×40 scope is all you need for 1000 yards hunting.

4.   Is 10x magnification enough?

When it comes to long range shooting a maximum of 10x magnification is enough for a good targeting. whereas , if you are using more than 10x magnification you may need a support like a bipod.

5.    What is ffp hunting rifle scope?

FFP stands for first focal plane. Ffp scopes allow the scope to zoom in on the target along with reticle zoom simultaneously. Ffp scopes are a new addition to the hunting gear but they have gained massive popularity because of the benefit it offers.



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