Charles holds a Master’s degree in Physics Engineering (optics and photonics specialization), has been teaching physics at school for almost 15 years and recently has star read more
Last updated: September 05, 2022
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Are you struggling to find a scope that will satisfy all your hunting needs? Do you feel that a riflescope under $100 will not be good enough?
Well, the truth is that you can find good riflescopes at affordable prices. We scoured the market to find the best riflescopes under 100 dollars so that you can get the best service being on the budget. We managed to narrow down our list of the best scopes under $100 so that you do not have to do the hard work.
Riflescopes can be deeply personal because your relationship with your rifle depends on a lot of factors. However, certain factors are common when it comes to evaluating the efficacy of a scope. The objective diameter determines what your vision will be like, and the magnification dictates how much you can zoom in on your target. The field of view is an important consideration as well. Moreover, you should also factor in the size, length, and weight of the scope if you care about the portability.
More features: multi-coated optics; one-piece tube; waterproof and fogproof; fast-focus eyepiece
The Bushnell Banner 3-9×40 Rifle Scope is a rifle scope that truly showcases why Bushnell is one of the best rifle companies in the world. If clarity is a priority for you, then you cannot go wrong with this product. The waterproof construction means that you will be able to carry it with yourself even when you are traveling during inclement weather.
This scope comes with multi-coated optics allowing you to nail that perfect target during your next hunting trip. What makes the Bushnell Banner 713947 unique is that it works very well during dawn and dusk. The Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) technology offers excellent clarity even in low light conditions. You will be able to see your target even if you are out hunting at night.
With this scope, your vision will be bright and well-lit, no matter the conditions of your surroundings. Take all the time you need to get that perfect kill when there is nobody else around.
What makes it special?
The Banner riflescope comes with a one-piece tube of nitrogen and an eyepiece that allows for quick focus. The 3-9x 40mm lens is versatile enough to give you the perfect hunting experience. Bushnell riflescopes never disappoint when it comes to precision optics.
What cons did we find?
Product quality has to be more consistent. The construction of the reticle should be more efficient so that people can make necessary adjustments.
Field of view (100 ft):67 ft at 1.5x, 23 ft at 4.5x
Eye relief: 4 in
Length: 5.3 in
Weight: 10.5 oz.
More features: multi-coated optics; one-piece tube; waterproof, fogproof and shockproof; fast-focus eyepiece
Bushnell Banner Multi-X 711545 is a part of the popular Banner Riflescopes series released by Bushnell. When you are hunting, you need to find the perfect spot and the perfect prey. Sometimes, it is often better to set out early in the morning or after the sun has set to avoid the crowd and have your own experience. This riflescope is built to provide you with an optimum experience when you are heading out at dawn or dusk. The Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn series has been specially built just for these situations. This scope is equipped with Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi-coated lenses. They offer clarity and brightness, even when the atmospheric light conditions are not ideal for your hunting session. The 1.5-4.5×32 lens will give you the power to find a target and lock them in. You will be satisfied with the Multi-X reticle that is one of the best offerings of the company.
What makes it special?
The multi-coated optics are typical for most Bushnell telescopes, and this one is no exception. Your vision will be crystal-clear every time. The scope is resistant to fog and shock, which means you can carry it outside without any worry.
What cons did we find?
You can lose the image if you shift even slightly off-axis. While it looks great, the construction can definitely be improved.
More features: multi-coated optics; waterproof and fogproof; parallax adjustment objective
The Barska Varmint 6-24×42 AO Riflescope is the perfect op[tion for those who value precision most of all. With this scope, you will be able to shoot long-range effectively. You will get accurate vision, which will enable you to target your prey. The riflescope has a large objective lens that enhances light transmission.
This scope from Barska can be used for various types of shooting, such as target shooting, varmint hunting, precision shooting, and long-range. You will find that the scope has an Adjustable Objective (AO) that helps in parallax correction. Moreover, the multi-coated optics of the Varmint scope allows for perfect clarity. You will also find the quick access magnification zoom ring useful when you are trying to zero in on your prey of choice.
The scope has a 1″ tube construction and is equipped with a 30/30 reticle. It has very high windage as well as elevation turrets. With the Barska Varmint, you will not have to worry about bad weather because it is waterproof and fog-proof. If you are planning to travel with the scope in a car, you should be fine because it is shockproof. Designed specifically for parallax correction, this riflescope is ideal if you have one rifle that you want to use for multiple purposes.
What are its best features?
Since the scope has a 30/30 crosshair reticle, you will find is much easier to target. It can also withstand the reverse recoil of the airguns. The Adjustable Objective makes it very easy to correct the parallax error.
What could be improved?
The scope could be more well-constructed. The windage adjustment tends to break easily. The height adjustment turret can sometimes pose problems.
More features: fully multi-coated optics; 2-piece tube; waterproof; lifetime warranty
The Barra Optics 3-9×50 H20 Compact Riflescope is an excellent option if you are looking for something that will stay true to your needs and serve you for a very long time. It is a second focal plane hunting scope that comes with capped turrets. If you are a regular hunter, you know that Barra is known for creating excellent scopes that are versatile and efficient. The fast-focus eyepiece of this scope lets you use the reticle when you want to focus on your target. If you are interested in enhanced target acquisition, then you cannot do better than this. On top of everything, the H20 3-9X50 offers low-end magnification. This means that you will have access to the most maximized version of the spectacular field of view. The high-end power helps to optimize the accuracy of the machine.
If you love heading to the woods for a quick hunt, then you need to get your hands on the H20 3-9X50. The design of the scope is compact, and you will feel no change in the way you perceive the rifle. The Barra Diamond Standard Warranty is very assuring since you know that the company always has your back.
What stands out?
The multi-coated optics provide clear vision. Since the scope is waterproof and weatherproof, you can carry it with you everywhere you go.
What cons did we manage to find?
The adjustments can be sharper so that users find it easier to focus on their target. Gas leakage is also a problem that some users have faced.
Field of view (100 yds): 25.1 ft at 4x; 8.4 ft at 12x
Eye relief: 3.5 in
Length: 12.2 in
Weight: 14.8 oz.
More features: fully coated optics; waterproof and fogproof; fast focus
If you love the idea of going hunting early in the morning or just after sunset, then you will absolutely adore the Barra Optics 4-12x40mm H20 Compact Rifle Scope. Equipped with multi-coated lenses, these riflescopes are ideal for all types of hunting jobs. They come with an adjustable objective which results in bright clear vision. In fact, you will be able to see your target well even in low light conditions.
The riflescope is filled with nitrogen that allows it to operate even in bad weather conditions. Designed to be waterproof and fogproof, this scope is the one you should carry when you are going into a forest. It is easily portable since the size is compact size. The Barra Optics 4-12x40mm H20 Hunting Scope is an excellent tool to use when you do not have a lot of space available around you. Complete with low-profile capped turrets, this riflescope is extremely versatile and will get the job done.
The field of view is linear at 25.1 ft in 100 yds. On the other hand, the Objective Lens Diameter is 40mm. You will find that the adjustment click value of 0.25 MOA and adjustment range of 30 MOA is more than sufficient.
What do we love it for?
The scope is nitrogen filled and sealed so that it can remain waterproof in all circumstances. The adjustable objective makes it easy to see clearly.
What were we disappointed with?
While this scope is good for beginners, it might not impress users who expect more advanced features. It could be upgraded in terms of performance.
More features: fully multicoated lens; suitable for .22 up to 5.56; second focal plane duplex reticle; waterproof and fog resistant
If you are looking for a good, versatile scope that will allow you to shoot across long distances with ease, then you will find the Primary Arms 3-9x44mm SFP Riflescope to be an excellent bet. It is built to cover a variety of distances, and you will have no problem irrespective of the kind of shooting you are looking to do. The scope comes with a duplex crosshair reticle that does the trick, even though it might seem like a lowkey addition.
This riflescope is very easy on the pocket, and that is an advantage you should definitely take into account if you are a beginner. It offers plenty of eye relief, which makes it a good scope to use over extended periods of time. The Thin Edge Technology is meant to provide edge-to-edge image clarity.
You will find finger-adjustable turrets on the scope, but they are capped for protection so that you can travel safely. While this scope is excellent for many purposes, it truly shines during plinking and target shooting.
What stands out?
Offering a wide field of view, this scope is an excellent investment because of its versatility. Built to be sturdy and weatherproof, it is perfect for traveling and short hunting trips. The capped turrets make it even easier to use.
What cons did we manage to find?
The warranty could be a little extended considering the fact that a scope is meant to be a long-term purchase. It also lacks advanced features.
Field of view (100 yds): 44 ft at 1.5x; 16 ft at 6x
Eye relief: 2.7 in
Length: 13 in
Weight: 18.1 in
More features: multi-coated optics; illuminated “center-lit” reticle; fast focus; waterproof, fogproof and shockproof
Barska IR Huntmaster Pro Illuminated Rifle Scope AC10054 is something that will impress both the professionals and the amateurs. If you are looking to upgrade your scope, then this one should definitely be on your list. Offering high-quality optics, this scope is built to be rugged and durable. Once you invest in this scope, you will be able to use it for years to come.
What truly sets this scope apart is its tendency to be accurate all the time. Barska Riflescopes tend to be advanced as it is, and this model is no different. You can take the HuntMaster Pro Illuminated Riflescope out to hunt anytime you want because it is both fog-proof and waterproof. The scope will not suffer much damage even if it starts raining when you are out. The large objective lens allows for more light transmission, and it is parallax-free at 100 yards. You will be impressed with the center-lit Illuminated Reticle as it offers 11 brightness settings. If you tend to hunt in low-light conditions, you will never have to worry again. With the 1.5–6x magnification option, you will be able to target accurately and then make further adjustments.
What makes it stand out?
The multi-coated optics of the scope offers excellent clarity. You can adjust the brightness easily with the illuminated 30/30 reticle. There will be no parallax to worry about also.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Some users have complained that the product they received did not have the specified features, which could be because of quality control issues. This is not a compact scope.
More features: fully coated optics; TrueZero Flex Erector System; quick target acquisition; waterproof, fogproof and shockproof
The Simmons 22 MAG Series Rifle Scope is a customer favorite, and justifiably so. Equipped with Simmons’ patented and unique TrueZero adjustment system, this scope provides you with fast target acquisition. This Rimfire Rifle Scope is designed to deliver an excellent performance irrespective of your location. The patented system is the substitute for the traditional spring design and is much stable. The True Zero dial is made up of a ball bearing and spring detent system, which gives you firm clicks. This is helpful when you are trying to make accurate adjustments.
The QTA fast-focus eyepiece is a Simmons’s exclusive as well, and it can offer 4″ of constant eye relief. You will have access to a large eyebox so that you have the space to move. With the Simmons Rifle Scope, you will enjoy unparalleled light transmission, glare control, and brightness. The HydroShield Lens Coating ensures that you can see your surroundings even during rain. The rubber surface of the power rings offers excellent grip.
Why is it special?
The high-quality optical glass ensures that you have bright vision while. The Truplex reticle is very effective. This scope is resistant to rain and fog, which means that you do not have to worry about going outside.
What are the flaws?
The picture tends to become blurry, even if you move slightly. The adjustments also tend to break down pretty soon.
More features: SuperCon coating; waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof; 30/30 reticle
This stylish Tasco scope will be a great companion for your next hunting trip. Whether you are aiming for big game or small game, you will find that the scope is versatile enough to accommodate both. Equipped with a 30/30 reticle and built with world-class materials, this is one of the scopes you can get in this price range. If you do not want to burn a hole in your pocket but not compromise with your experience either, then this is the one for you.
You can carry this scope with you whenever you go on a trip. You do not have to be scared of rough weather conditions since the scope is built to be waterproof and fog-proof. It is also easy to travel with it in a car since it is shockproof.
Rugged and sturdy, this scope is going to last a fairly long time if maintained properly. The SuperCon coating lets you view sharp and bright images even if the lighting is not that strong. You will also be able to change the magnification to suit your plans for the day.
What are our favorite features?
The scope comes with fully coated lenses so that you can see clearly and not miss any detail. The capped turrets can be easily adjusted with your fingertips when you are getting ready. It has an excellent grip as well.
What could be better?
The cross-hairs can easily come loose if not handled properly. The waterproofing could be better.
Simmons makes some of the best riflescopes on the market. The 510513 Blazer 3-9x40mm Riflescope is an excellent option for everyone looking to buy a premium scope at an affordable price. It is one of the best options at this price point. With the Simmons 3-9x40mm Blazer Riflescope, you will have access to the company’s patented TrueZero adjustment system. This means that you will be able to make accurate adjustments with the clicks locking in your decision. The scope also has a QTA eyepiece that is known for being fast-focus. The lens will lock on to your target swiftly so that you can take a shot without wasting much time.
Offering a magnification of 3 – 9x, this scope will give you enough versatility to try out different types of shooting. The Truplex reticle is an interesting addition to the scope. Made with superior-quality optical glass, this scope allows for great light transmission. You will see bright and clear images when you are trying to lock down your target.
Why are we impressed?
The scope has fully coated optics that cut down on unnecessary light reflection. Your vision remains clear and bright. There is a HydroShield lens coating that keeps your vision blemish-free even if the weather conditions become rough.
What negatives must you be aware of?
This scope is not ideal for longer rifles. There is no auto-focus, which means that you are the one who has to lock down the target.
Things to Consider
Buying the correct scope can make all the difference between a pleasant hunting experience and a bad one. If you happen to buy a scope that is incompatible with your rifle, you will fail to make the shots that you target. Hence, you should be very careful when you are picking a scope.
If you buy your scope in the store, then you should always check if it is a perfect fit for your rifle. However, if you are shopping online, you have to rely heavily on your research. You need a scope that gives you crystal-clear vision at all times everywhere.
Things to consider before getting a scope under $100
Buying a budget rifle scope can feel like a gamble, but it is really not if you do your research beforehand. All the scopes we have listed are under 100 dollars, but they are excellent in terms of performance. While you should not have very high expectations, it is perfectly fine to expect the scope to deliver on its promises since you are spending your hard-earned money on it at the end of the day.
When judging a rifle scope, there are certain factors that you should keep in mind. It will make it much easier for you to narrow down your options.
The diameter of the objective lens will determine the size of the lens. The higher the objective diameter, the bigger the lens. Large lenses tend to be on the bulkier side, so they might not be for you if portability is your main concern. However, they also offer a wider field of view and allow more light to enter, which is a boon in low-light conditions. The Barska Varmint 6–24×42 AO Riflescope has an objective diameter of 42 mm, and it operates very well in low light.
You need to decide how much magnification you want before you even think of making a purchase. The power to zoom in can improve your hunting game immensely, but you need to determine whether you need that extra feature. Fixed scopes are usually adequate for short-range shooting. However, if you love long-range shooting, then you might like a variable scope that allows you to change the magnification. The Bushnell Banner Multi-X, our Editor’s Choice, allows magnification between 3x and 9x and is a popular choice.
Field of view
Field view refers to the area that you can see through the lens. Alternatively, you can describe it as the wideness of the area you can see at 100 yards through the scope. As you increase the magnification. the field view automatically decreases as the lens zooms in. The design and the focal length of the lenses change the FOV significantly. For quick target acquisition, you need a wide field of view. The Bushnell Banner Multi-X Riflescope has a field of view of 67 ft. at 100 ft. at 1.5x magnification.
Eye relief refers to the distance between the eye and the ocular lens when you are looking through the lens correctly. You need to prioritize eye relief so that your eyes are safe from harm when you are shooting. The eye relief of a scope is the comfortable distance at which you can hold the scope and still see the full view.
You can usually make lateral adjustments when mounting the scope so you can figure out your ideal eye relief. The larger the rifle, the more eye relief you need.
If you value portability more than anything else, you need to pay attention to the length of the scope. Bigger scopes are inevitably heavier, and they can hamper your balance in case your rifle does not match with them.
You will be carrying your rifle for a fairly long time, so it is very important that you are comfortable when holding it. If the scope is too heavy, it can weigh you down over time. There is no doubt that large objective lenses and variable magnification are effective tools, they also add to the weight of the rifle. If you want your rifle to feel light, then you should opt for a compact and fixed-power scope. The lens should be of medium size so that it lets in enough light.
The reticle refers to the aiming point present in the scope. You will also find many users calling it the “crosshairs” because of the two wires that cross each other. There are different combinations of crosshairs such as dots, pointed posts, multiple dots, and others. The duplex or multiplex design is a common design where the crosshairs are designed to offer easy viewing. The Primary Arms 3–9x44mm Classic Riflescope comes with a duplex reticle. You must choose a reticle that suits your shooting style.
You will go out hunting even when the weather is less than ideal, so what is the solution then? As it happens, many scopes priced at less than 100 dollars are actually waterproof and fog-proof. They come with sealed nitrogen tubes that prevent any harm to the scope when it is exposed to rough weather conditions. You should always go for a weatherproof riflescope even if you do not plan to go out during the rain because you might find yourself stuck one day. Most of the rifles on our list are weatherproof.
Extra-low-dispersion glass (ED glass) help to form sharp images and accurate colors. ED glass helps to narrow and focus the wavelengths of visible light in a singular point to remove the chromatic aberrations. This HD vision is due to higher light transmission. Optical coatings help to prevent reflection of light and enhance light transmission.
Low-budget riflescopes are not something you should underestimate. Although they provide lesser features in some cases, they usually deliver on what they promise. If you want to find a riflescope that works efficiently even in rainy weather, you should go for a model that is filled with nitrogen and sealed. This helps the scope become waterproof and even fog proof. You should be able to use it easily even when it is raining outside. Having said that, there are limits to the resistance capabilities of a scope. It is not recommended that you hold the scope under pouring rain if you have a choice to not do so.
Once you invest in a great rifle scope, the onus is on you to preserve it for as long as possible. When cleaning it, make sure that you are not scratching the lens. The key is to be gentle and strategic. To begin with, you should always dust off the lens before rubbing it, or else minuscule particles can often cause friction with the lens. Microfiber cloths are the best for rubbing the smudges off your lens.
Most papery materials or fabrics should be avoided. If you have to use a lens cleaner, you should spray it on the microfiber cloth. Now, you should take a Q-Tip and clean the small corners that you could not reach before. If you want a shortcut to cleaning lenses, you can always invest in a LensPen.
Fixed power scopes give you access to just one level of magnification. If that is enough for you, then you should definitely opt for fixed power scopes as they are swift and affordable. On the other hand, if you know that you will need multiple magnification options, then you have to go for the variable scope. There is no right answer to which one you should go for. It will ultimately depend on how you plan to use your rifle. Hunting across short distances for small game needs a magnification of 1–4x and a fixed power scope should get the job done easily. However, if you tend to hunt for larger game in forests or other big spaces, you might need to change up your magnification often. In that case, a variable scope is the one to choose.
If you are interested in hunting with a rifle, then it is imperative that you understand the importance of MOA, which expands to minute-of-angle. With the help of this figure, you will be able to estimate the rifle’s accuracy and understand how you can make the most of your scope.
A minute represents a tiny portion of an angle and is used to measure the accuracy of a rifle in objective terms. To be precise, each minute represents 1/60th of a degree. When you are hunting with a riflescope, a difference of a minute can change your shot completely. The MPI is a number and it indicates the size of shot dispersion at 100 yards.
Now that you are aware of best scopes under $100, you can choose the model that suits your requirements the best. We do have our favorites.
The Bushnell Banner 3–9×40 Rifle Scope 6″ Eye Relief Matte Multi-X with its 3-9x magnification and multi-coated optics emerged as the winner. It is weatherproof and will work perfectly well in every situation. Moreover, the fast-focus eyepiece will help you lock down your target rapidly and get that perfect shot.
The Bushnell Banner 1.5–4.5×32 Multi-X Riflescope with an objective diameter of 32mm and magnification of 1.5-4.5x is also an excellent option. It offers bright and clear optics so that you can navigate the surroundings properly.
The Barska Varmint 6–24×42 AO Riflescope wins in terms of versatility. It offers an objective diameter of 42mm and a high magnification of 6-24x. The parallax adjustment objective is a boon.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best scopes under $100.