How Much Should You Spend on a Rifle Scope? – All You Need to Know with Tips & More

Budgeting for a rifle scope can be confusing because you want to balance the price with the quality and utility. 

When you search for the answer to this question on the internet, you get a wide variety of answers.

Quick Summary

In this post, we will discuss at length how much you should spend on a rifle scope and what factors should influence your decision. 

Let’s get started. 

What Does the Internet Tell You? 

As briefly mentioned above, if you search on the internet for answers to this question, you’ll likely end up more confused than before. 

This is because you’ll run into people telling you all sorts of different things regarding how much you should spend. 

You’ll see people telling you to spend “at least half of what you spent on the weapon” and you’ll also see people telling you to spend “no more than $200”. 

The reason why you get such varying opinions regarding this question is that everyone’s weapon is different and so are their needs. 

These are general rules of thumb but if you want to buy a scope that’s effective and comfortable to use, there are some factors you’ll have to consider. 

Hence, these factors will help you identify the type, quality, and budget range of the rifle scope you should get. 

Let’s discuss these factors: 

Note: If you want to know a complete guide about scopes click HERE.

What Weapon Do You Have and What Will It be Used for? 

rifle scope

By far, the biggest factor in deciding what type of scope you get will be your weapon and what you’ll be using that weapon for. 

For example, if you’re going to be using your rifle to hunt deer, then you’ll typically be shooting from a distance between 70 and 100 yards. 

In this case, you’ll be looking at rifle scopes that operate best at 100 yards. You’ll also probably be looking for a scope with ballistic turrets. 

Ballistic turrets allow you to make big adjustments to the scope settings with every click of the knob. 

These types of turrets are the best for hunters and field shooters. 

Considering that you need a rifle scope with a ballistic turret, this may drive the cost of your rifle scope up since ballistic turrets are expensive. 

On the other hand, if you’re doing bench-rest shooting or long-range shooting, you’ll have to invest in a scope that works at much longer distances (between 300 and 1200 yards). 

So naturally, if you need a rifle scope for long-range shooting, scopes that work at longer distances are going to cost you a lot more. 

In many cases, people are looking to buy a single rifle scope that can fulfill many purposes and goals. If that’s the case with you, then definitely consider carefully all of the uses that you have planned. 

Note: If you want to know Who Makes UTG Scopes click HERE.

Do You Need Any Specific or Special Features?

Be sure to think about any special features you want on your scope before you buy one. 

For example, if you hunt at night a lot, you may want to get a rifle scope that is good at processing images in low-light. 

Many rifle scopes come with mechanisms that can make it easier to discern targets in dark and/or low-light conditions. 

Naturally, rifle scopes that have these additional features will be more expensive than regular rifle scopes. 

You may also want to get an illuminated reticle. Illuminated reticles are great since they are very easy to make out when you’re looking through the scope. 

Furthermore, they can be customized to lower their brightness, change color, etc. 

Another example would be if you do most of your shooting at relatively close range. In this case, you may need a rifle scope that has an adjustable objective that will focus down to 30 or at least 50 yards. 

An adjustable objective essentially allows you to focus the image on the target. 

Naturally, if you’re shooting at close range, you want the adjustable objective to be able to focus at shorter distances. 

These are just some examples but when you’re buying a rifle scope, be sure to consider what your needs are. 

Note: If you want to know How to Dial in a Scope click HERE.

How Much Magnification Do You Need?

Again, in order to figure out how much magnification you need, you’ll have to map out what you’ll be using your weapon for. 

In most cases, the higher the magnification of a rifle scope, the higher its price will be. 

While the 3-9 is still the most popular rifle scope magnification, scopes with higher magnification such as the 4-14s are starting to catch up. 

Let’s take our deer-hunting example from earlier:

If you’re going to shoot from a distance of 70 to 100 yards, then you’ll need a rifle scope that has a power of at least 4-12. 

We would suggest that you go even higher if you can, like something in the 6-20 range. 

So, in this case, if you have the budget for it, you should go for higher magnification. Otherwise, you should go for the magnification that may not be ideal but it can at least get the job done with relative ease. 

This is just one example but you can pretty much apply this concept to any other scenario. 

It would just involve you thinking about what you’ll be using your weapon for and how much magnification you’ll need for that particular task. 

It’s always good to invest in a rifle scope with higher magnification capabilities but sometimes, your pocket does not allow you to do that. 

While the magnification is important, you also have to consider the quality of the glass. 

You may find that a certain rifle scope with extremely high magnification power is being sold for a very cheap price. While it may look like a steal, it’s highly likely that the scope is cheap because it has been built using cheap-quality glass. 

Never compromise on glass quality for higher magnification on a rifle scope. 

Note: If you want to gain information on How Much is a Night Vision Scope click HERE.

Wrapping Things Up… 

At the end of the day, you should not be worrying about how much you should spend on a rifle scope. 

What you should be worrying about is whether or not the rifle scope you are choosing fulfills all of your specific needs or not. 

Spend what you want to spend on a rifle scope, not what other people tell you to spend. 

How much did you spend on your first rifle scope? Let us know in the comments below. 

If you want to know more information about scopes click HERE.


  • John Moses

    John is the Editor in Chief here at The Outdoor Stores. His area of expertise ensures that there is no one better to suggest which rifles are most suitable for your hunting experience. He is also available for you to contact him personally to discuss the types of animals you want to hunt and the terrain you will be hunting on. Feel free to read his posts for expert opinion on Rifles, Scopes, Rangefinders, Bonoculars and Monoculars.

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