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18 Best Hunting Rifle Scopes For The Money [2024]

Best Hunting Rifle Scopes For The Money
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The best hunting rifle scopes for the money will be budget friendly without sacrificing build quality. This post has sorted the best short-range scopes, mid-range scopes, and long-range scopes by price. This way you can find the best scope within your budget quickly.

This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Of course, you are not obligated to use my links, but it does help fund these posts in hopes of bringing more value to you!

Terminology To Know When Buying Hunting Rifle Scopes

More Terminology Here

Best Hunting Rifle Scope Criteria

  1. Build-Quality & Clarity
  2. Waterproof, Fogproof, Shockproof
  3. Length & Weight
  4. Field of View (FOV)
  5. Eye Relief
  6. Forgiving Eye Box
  7. Low-Light Performance
  8. Warranty
  9. FFP vs SFP
  10. Reticle Type
  11. Illumination
  12. Price

Best Short Range LPVO Hunting Rifle Scopes For The Money

True 1x Magnification

Short-range hunting rifle scopes with a 1x magnification are great options for fast-paced and close-range shooting. This is because a 1x allows you to keep both eyes open just like regular iron sights. However, not all 1x scopes provide a true 1x experience, and low-quality 1x optics can have a fish-eye effect making it hard to shoot with both eyes open.

LPVO scopes with quality 1x magnification make target acquisition extremely fast because there is little to no change in your eyesight when you look through the scope. Not only are they great for close-range hunting but they also can be magnified and used for longer ranges. This makes them extremely versatile and is the reason for their growing popularity as LPVO design and manufacturing become better.

True Daylight Bright Illumination

True daylight bright LPVO optics are tough to find in budget LPVO options under 500$. Although cheaper scopes won’t likely have true daylight bright illuminations they will still work in most hunting scenarios. You can also shut them off and use the regular black reticle. Just be aware of this factor when buying a new hunting rifle scope.

Top 5 LPVO Rifle Scope Specs

Vortex Crossfire IIVortex Viper PST Gen II (1-6x24)Burris RT-6Trijicon Huron (1-4x24)Trijicon TR-24 (1-4x24)
Best Short-Range Rifle ScopesVortex Crossfire IIVortex Viper PST Gen IIBurris RT-6Trijicon HuronTrijicon TR-24
Award#1 Best Budget#1 Best Overall Value#2 Best ValueBest Non-IlluminatedLightest & Battery Free Illum.
Magnification1-4x241-6x241-6x241-4x241-4x24
IlluminationWorks On/OffWorks On/OffWorks On/OffN/aAccuPoint
Focal PlaneSFPSFPSFPSFPSFP
Weight14.822.717.415.914.4
Length9.610.810.310.410.3
FOV (Max-Min)96.1-24.1110-26116.5-19.2112.5-18.894.2-24.1
Tube Size (mm)3030303030
Eye Relief43.53.53.83.2
Price*200600310500769
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*Price at the time of this post

 

Vortex Crossfire II 1-4X24 Budget LPVO Hunting Rifle Scope

The Vortex Crossfire II is one of the most well-known scopes on the market because of its low price, excellent reviews, and industry-leading warranty. You can buy this scope in different magnification ranges including this low-powered 1-4×24.

This scope is illuminated with a V-Brite reticle and has multiple illumination brightness options. If the battery dies on the Crossfire II it can still be used because the illuminated red dot will be replaced by a black dot.

The Crossfire II does have poorer sharpness and a pickier eye box compared to more expensive models. However, for the price, you can’t complain.

Best Vortex Short Range LPVO Hunting Rifle Scopes For The Money

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Athlon Talos BTR 1-4×24 Budget LPVO Hunting Rifle Scope

The Athlon Talos BTR 1-4×24 is another great short-range scope if you’re on a budget. It’s a unique 1-4 when compared to the other short-range scopes on this list because it has an exposed tactical turret. This scope has a great eye box and a very true 1x magnification.

This scope is illuminated and has multiple illumination brightness options. If the battery dies it can still be used because the illuminated red crosshairs will be replaced by black crosshairs.

The biggest downside to this scope is how big the body of the scope is which reduces the sight picture when trying to use both eyes.

Athlon Talos BTR (1-4x24) Best Short Range LPVO Hunting Scope For The Money

Athlon Talos BTR 1-4x24 Reticle
Athlon Talos BTR 1-4×24 Reticle

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Burris RT-6 1-6×24 Short-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

Burris’ RT-6 is a 1-6×24 short-range rifle scope. However, it has the capability of reaching 6x magnification making it very versatile for longer range shooting than a 1-4×24. This is the best value 1-6x hunting scope in this review because the other 1-6x short-range scopes cost significantly more.

This scope is illuminated and has multiple illumination brightness options. If the battery dies it can still be used because the illuminated red circle and dot will just turn black like a regular scope. It appears that this scope only comes with the “Ballistic 5x” reticle, I wish more options were available.

Best Burris RT-6 (1-6x24) Short-Range LPVO Hunting Rifle Scope For The Money

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Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 Gen II Short-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

The Vortex Strike Eagle LPVO has the best field of view of any of the rifle scopes reviewed and has a forgiving eye box at low magnifications which is great for picking up animals quickly at short ranges. Because of the price, warranty, and great reviews, it’s earned its spot on the list as one of the best hunting rifle scopes for the money.

The fish-eye effect can make it difficult to use with both eyes open and the 1-8×24 version is known to have clarity issues at magnifications >6x. The illumination is pretty good, daylight visibility is about average for a scope in this price range. The only reticle available with this scope is the AR-BDC3.

Best Vortex Strike Eagle II (1-6x24) Short-Range LPVO Hunting Rifle Scope For The Money

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Trijicon Huron 1-4×24 Short-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

The Trijicon Huron was designed specifically for hunters and is one of the most affordable scopes that Trijicon makes for this reason. Trijicon wanted to make something great for hunters that wouldn’t break the bank. This scope does not have illumination, which can be nice because it’s not always needed for hunters and it greatly reduces the overall price of the scope. The Huron is a lightweight scope with excellent glass making it a great LPVO option for hunters.

Trijicon Huron (1-4x24) Budget Short-Range LPVO Hunting Rifle Scope

Trijicon Huron 1-4x24 Reticle
Trijicon Huron 1-4×24 Reticle

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Vortex Viper PST Gen II 1-6X24 Short-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

The Vortex Viper PST Gen II 1-6×24 is arguably the best of the best LPVO scope on the market for the money. It does command a higher price but it’s well worth the money because of how much value you get.

For example, it has a true 1x magnification, industry-leading warranty, crisp and clear glass, true daylight bright illumination, and excellent reviews it earns its spot as one of the best short-range LPVO hunting rifle scopes for the money.

This scope is so good it is often said to undermine Vortex’s Razor Series 1-6×24 LPVO scope (which are +/- 2000$). The Vortex Viper is much better than the Vortex Strike Eagle, so if you can save your money, buy on sale, or buy used, it is definitely worth it.

Best Short Range LPVO Hunting Rifle Scope For The Money (Vortex Viper PST Gen II 1-6X24)

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Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4×24 Short-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

The Trijicon TR24 has been around for a long time and is a popular LPVO scope and features a very true 1x magnification. It’s been out for over 10 years and is still going strong. One of the most unique features of this rifle scope is that it uses AccuPoint fiber optics to illuminate the reticle, this means it does not need batteries to function. During the daytime, it’s illuminated by fiber optics, during low-light conditions tritium illuminates the reticle.

This is also the lightest weight LPVO scope in this review. For the money, it’s tough to beat especially because its price has decreased in more recent years since the next generation TR-25 1-6×24 has come out.

Best Trijicon Short-Range LPVO Hunting Rifle Scope For The Money

Best Mid-Range Hunting Rifle Scopes For The Money

Athlon Optics Neos (3-9x40)Leupold VX-Freedom (3-9x40 Non-CDS)Burris Fullfield E1 (3-9x40)Vortex Diamondback (3-9x40)Vortex Crossfire II (3-9x40)
Best Mid-Range Rifle ScopesAthlon Optics NeosLeupold VX-FreedomBurris Fullfield E1Vortex DiamondbackVortex Crossfire II
AwardBest Budget#1 Best Value#2 Best ValueBest FOVWell-Rounded w/ Illumination
Magnification3-9x403-9x403-9x403-9x403-9x40
IlluminationOptionalOptionalNoNoOptional
Focal PlaneSFPSFPSFPSFPSFP
Weight1712.21314.414.5
Length12.412.512.211.612.0
FOV (Max-Min)37.8-12.633.1-13.633-1344.6-14.834.1-12.6
Tube Size (mm)25.425.425.425.425.4
Eye Relief3.14.23.43.33.8
Price*117300125246134
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*Price at the time of this post

 

Athlon Neos 3-9×40 Budget Mid-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

The Athlon Neos is the most affordable mid-range hunting rifle scope in this review. It’s very inexpensive, yet it has excellent reviews everywhere. You have the option of buying an illuminated scope or other non-illuminated options. Athlon is a well-known optics brand with an excellent warranty. For the money, it’s tough to beat. One con of this scope is its weight when compared to the other scopes within this review (17 oz).

Best Athlon Neos Hunting Rifle Scope For The Money

Athlon Neos 3-9x40 ReticleAthlon Neos 3-9x40 Reticle

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Burris Fullfield E1 3-9×40 Mid-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

The Burris Fullfield E1 is a strong contender for being the top mid-range hunting rifle scope for the money. It’s a simple scope that just plain works great. It does not offer illumination but it’s rugged + lightweight which is a great combination for those who hunt on the move. This is the second-lightest scope in this entire review. Burris backs up their scopes with a lifetime warranty so you know you’re getting a quality product.

Best Mid-Range Burris Fullfield E1 Rifle Scope For The Money

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Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40 Mid-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

The Crossfire II shows up a second time in this review. The 3-9×40 version, like the 1-4×24, is one of the best hunting rifle scopes for the money. This version of the Crossfire II comes with multiple reticle options. One of which is an illuminated V-Brite reticle, just like the 1-4×24 but it is nice to have the option to choose whether you want an illuminated scope or not. This is one of the best mid-range illuminated scopes at this price.

Best Budget Vortex Crossfire II Hunting Rifle Scope

Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40 Reticle
Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40 Reticle (more available)

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Vortex Diamondback 3-9×40 Mid-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

The Vortex Diamondback doesn’t need much of an introduction, it is one of the best mid-range scopes for the money because it is a durable scope with an industry-leading lifetime warranty. This scope is time-tested (over 10 years) and has excellent reviews (5 out of 5) just about everywhere you look. This scope does not include illumination which helps keep the price low.

Best Vortex Diamondback Scope For The Money

Vortex Diamondback 3-9x40 Reticle
Vortex Diamondback 3-9×40 Reticle

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Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 Mid-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

Leupold’s VX-Freedom takes the cake for being the best mid-range hunting rifle scope for the money. Although, it is the most expensive scope you get a lot of value. For example, it is the lightest scope in this review, durable, backed with a lifetime warranty, has very clear glass which makes it excellent in low-light hunting scenarios, and offers a generous 4.2-inches of eye relief. You can get illumination, for an additional cost. The Leupold FireDot is excellent and is one of the brightest illuminations. Anyplace you look this scope is getting just about a 5/5 star rating.

Best Value Leupold VX-Freedom Mid-Range Rifle Scope

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 Reticle
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 Reticle (More Options Available)

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Best Long-Range Hunting Rifle Scopes For The Money

Burris Fullfield E1 (4.5-14x42)Burris Signature HD (3-15x44)Vortex Diamondback Tactical (4-16x44)Athlon Argos HMR (4-20x50)Maven CRS.2 (4-16X44)Leupold VX-3HD CDS-ZL Duplex (4.5-14x50)
Best Long-Range Rifle ScopesBurris Fullfield E1Burris Signature HD Vortex Diamondback TacticalAthlon Argos HMRMaven CRS.2Leupold VX-3HD CDS-ZL
AwardBest Budget + Value#1 Best Value Overall#1 Best Value FFPGreat Value w/ IlluminationSuperb GlassBest High-End Budget
Magnification4.5-14x423-15x444-16x444-20x504-16X444.5-14x50
IlluminationN/aOptionalN/aOptionalN/aOptional
Focal PlaneSFPSFPFFPSFPSFPSFP
Weight15.320.423.12116.916.9
Length12.613.214.113.211.612.3
FOV (Max-Min)22-7.537.5-7.526.9-6.727.9-5.625.6-6.420.5-7.6
Eye Relief3.83.83.83.63.54.4
Tube Size (mm)25.425.43025.425.425.4
Turret StyleCappedPush/PullTall ExposedCappedCappedCDS (Lockable)
Price*200415350330550700
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*Price at the time of this post

 

Burris Fullfield E1 4.5-14×42 Long-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

The Burris Fullfield E1 might be the least expensive long-range hunting scope but it has a lot to offer. It comes with a parallax adjustment and two long-range reticle styles. This is the lightest long-range rifle scope in this review (15.3 oz) making it a great choice for long-range hunters that are on the move. Glass quality of this scope is excellent for the price.

Best Long-Range Burris Fullfield E1 Hunting Rifle Scope For The Money

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Athlon Argos HMR 4-20×50 Long-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

The Athlon Argos HMR is an excellent long-range rifle scope for the money. The 50mm objective lens is great for bringing in more light at higher magnifications and in low-light scenarios. Because it is 50 mm there is more glass making it a fairly heavy scope. The wide magnification capabilities are great for being versatile in many different hunting scenarios, especially long-range. There are three types of reticles, and two of the three are illuminated.

Best Budget Long-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

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Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-16×44 Long-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

The Vortex Diamondback Tactical is a recent addition to the Diamondback line (in 2019). With this new addition comes one of the best long-range scopes for the money. It’s a First focal plane (FFP) scope with a Christmas tree style reticle and parallax adjustments for easier long-range shooting.

Additionally, it comes with tall exposed turrets for making quick in-field adjustments, it’s the only long-range scope in this review with a 30mm tube (bringing in more light), and it comes with that Vortex industry-leading lifetime warranty. This newcomer has excellent reviews (5 out of 5) just about everywhere you look.

Best Vortex FFP Hunting Rifle Scope For The Money

Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-16x44 Reticle
Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-16×44 Reticle

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Burris Signature HD 3-15×44 Long-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

Yes, there’s another Burris on the list, this time it’s the Burris Signature HD. The reason this scope is one of the best long-range scopes for the money is because of its clarity and crisp glass (hence the HD). Also, the turrets are low-profile and are push/pull for locking and unlocking.

This scope comes with two different reticle types, one of which has the option of being illuminated. This is a simple scope that works very well and is backed by Burris’s Forever warranty.

Best Value Burris Signature HD Long-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

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Maven CRS.2 4-16X44 Long-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

The Maven CRS (Classic Rifle Scope) series is quite new to the market, it came out in January of 2023. The CRS.2 has high-quality glass made in Japan and it offers 88% light transmission. The 44mm objective lens is plenty big with the 88% light transmission for low light situations at high magnifications. It is the shortest long-range scope in this review and is one of the lightest. These scopes are durable and backed by Maven’s Unconditional Lifetime Warranty.

It is one of the more expensive riflescopes on this list but it is a great value because Maven is direct-to-consumer so they cut out the middle man. This allows their optics to be sold at lower prices. Basically, you can get better optics at lower prices.

Best Long-Range Maven Hunting Rifle Scope For The Money

Maven CRS.2 4-16X44 Reticle
Maven CRS.2 4-16X44 Reticle

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Leupold VX-3HD 4.5-14×50 CDS-ZL Long-Range Hunting Rifle Scope

Leupold’s VX-3HD with CDS (Custom Dial System) is one of the best long-range hunting rifle scopes for the money. What makes this scope unique is the CDS system where you can get a custom top dial for your scope that will allow you to easily and quickly adjust for distance based on your specific rifle ballistics.

In addition, this scope has excellent glass quality and is very lightweight for having a 50mm objective lens. You can get a FireDot illumination reticle for an additional cost. Leupold’s FireDot is one of the best and brightest illuminations. Anyplace you look this scope is getting just about a 5/5 star rating.

Best Long-Range Leupold Hunting Scope For The Money

Leupold VX-3HD Duplex Reticle
Leupold VX-3HD 4.5-14×50 Duplex Reticle

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All Hunting Rifle Scopes Specs In This Review

Best Hunting Rifle Scopes For The Money Spec Spreadsheet
*W,F,S = Waterproof, Fogproof, Shockproof

More Hunting Optic Resources:

Find the best hunting gear faster by navigating to one of my more specific articles:

Best Hunting Optics

Best Brands To Look For When Buying Hunting Rifle Scopes

Brands To Avoid When Buying Hunting Rifle Scopes

  • Nikon (they stopped producing rifle scopes)
  • Cheap off-brand Amazon scopes (not worth the money)

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Article Written By: Jason Tome

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