Best Rifle Scope Under 300 – Top 11 Reviews with Guide, Ratings, FAQs & More

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While hunting out in the woods, a rifle scope can make or ruin your hunting experience. And yes, it is devastating going home without a single kill. So, a good scope with excellent magnifying power and clear optics can give you more game in fewer shots.

With that said, we’d now look into the best 11 rifle scopes under $300 that will help you to get your target easily.

Before that, first look into our top 3 picks.


Winner

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Its aircraft-grade aluminum body makes it stronger and more durable to resist any harsh weather conditions. Also, it is packed with a bunch of amazing features that make it perfect for hunters.

Runner Up

Its unmatchable features make it the best choice for people who have a passion for hunting. Good performance, BDC and mil-dot reticle, its versatility and accuracy make it an excellent choice even in unforgiving environments.

Also Great



Attributes like brightness, crystal clear image, compactness, light weight and especially its long range shooting ability make it worth every single penny. It provides great value for money.


Best Rifle Scope Under 300 – Top 11 Reviews

For your convenience we have piled up the details of features, pros and cons of top 11 scopes that will surely help you in choosing the best one.


#1: Best Scope for 450 Bushmaster under $300 – Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-inch Tube Rifle Scope Review


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Vortex Crossfire II scope is designed for both hunting and tactical shooting. You’ll love its sleek design which is also waterproof, fogproof, and coupled with considerable shock resistance. Besides, its clear lenses provide excellent light transmission and won’t betray you in low light.

We liked its 4 inches eye relief which eliminates the possibility of the scope hitting the eye, in case of heavy recoil. Not only this, it also offers two kinds of reticles: simple V-Plex reticle and V-Brite Illuminated reticle.

Features of Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-inch Tube Rifle Scope

  • 4-12x Magnification range
  • Dead-Hold BDC reticle
  • Field of view per 100 yards ranges from 24.7-8.4 feet
  • Capped turret style
  • 15 MOA travel per revolution
  • Parallax setting ranges from 10 yards to infinity
  • 50 MOA maximum Elevation adjustment
  • 50 MOA maximum windage adjustment
  • Comes with fully multi coated lens
  • Finger adjustable capped turrets
  • Nitrogen purged scope

Pros

  • Best for hunting and shooting at long range 
  • Economical 
  • Clear and bright glass scopes
  • Durable
  • Best and focused sight picture
  • Long eye relief
  • Great build quality
  • Shockproof
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Waterproof
  • Fog proof

Cons

  • Hard to turn optical bell
  • Blurry image at a large distance

Best Scope for 450 Bushmaster under $300 

Vortex Crossfire II is a top recommended scope for 450 Bushmaster under $300 because it is strong enough to withstand the punches of the rifle. It also offers a generous eye relief for crystal clear sight. Now with this amazing scope, you can take down deer, hog, elk, or even bear with great ease.


#2: Best Rifle Scope under $300 for 7mm Rem Mag – Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm Rifle Scope Review


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If you are looking for a scope under 300 bucks with reliable and excellent characteristics, then this Nikon Buckmasters model will not disappoint you. It comes with a 40mm diameter lens that will give you a crystal clear image of your target.

Despite giving high resolution images, it can withstand heavy recoils too. Its lenses are fully multi-coated which ensure excellent light transmission even during the night. Certainly, you’ll like its waterproof and fog proof design that ensures its longevity. 

Features of Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm Scope

  • Fully multi coated optical system
  • BDC reticle
  • Mil-dot reticle
  • 4-12x magnification range
  • 40mm objective diameter 
  • 3.7 inches eye relief
  • Nitrogen filled
  • Field of view per 100 yards is 23.6 feet at 4x and 7.9 feet at 12x
  • O-ring sealed

Pros

  • Optimum light transmission
  • Long range target scope
  • Bright and high resolution images
  • Great brightness even in low light
  • Consistent eye relief
  • Easy to handle
  • Resettable turrets
  • Shockproof
  • Fog proof
  • Clear Field of view

Cons

  • Lacks range of target turrets

Best Rifle Scope under $300 for 7mm Rem Mag

Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm is the best scope under $300 for 7mm Rem Mag because of its incredible qualities such as crystal clear lens, quick focus eyepiece, durable construction, and ability to resist heavy kicks.


#3: Best Scope for 308 under $300 – Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Scope Review


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This incredible scope is well-suited for predators, especially whose target is at a large distance. Its dead-hold BDC reticle is ideal for shooting and hunting at different ranges where making a guess about the holdover might be a concern. 

Besides, this scope features multi-coated lenses perfect for clearer and brighter images. You’ll like its quick focus eyepiece that offers fast and easy reticle focusing. Also, it offers repeatability and precise tracking. 

Features of Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Scope

  • Second Focal Plane
  • 3.5-10x magnification range
  • Dead-Hold BDC reticle
  • 3.3 inches eye relief
  • Capped turret style
  • Multi coated lenses
  • Focused eyepiece
  • Argon purged
  • O-ring sealed

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Long range shooting scope
  • Crystal clear images even in low light
  • Simple reticle focusing
  • Sturdy
  • Fog proof
  • High-quality
  • Shockproof

Cons

  • Lacks in proper adjustments of eye piece

Best Scope for 308 under $300

The best scope under $300 for your .308  winchester is Vortex Diamondback Second Focal Plane Scope because of its durable construction. It allows you to take shots, even at a large distance, via clear and high resolution lenses.


#4: Best Scope for 200 Yards under $300 – Bushnell Optics 3-9x/40mm Rifle Scope Review


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This scope offers Drop Zone-223 ballistic reticle that will help you to shoot precisely up to 500 yards. We really liked its anti-reflective lenses which provide great clarity, high-resolution and bright image of the target.

Not only this, it features a lever which can be set to two different levels. This will give you the option to customize the scope just like you customize the rifles. However, it is heavy due to the combination of large objective lens size and tube.

Features of Bushnell Optics 3-9x/40mm Rifle Scope

  • Side parallax focus
  • 3-9x magnification range
  • BDC and mil-dot reticle 
  • Nitrogen purged
  • Made with high grade aluminum alloy
  • O-ring sealed scopes
  • Drop Zone-223 BDC reticle
  • Second Focal Plane
  • 3.7 inches eye relief
  • Field of view per 100 yards is 31 feet at 3x and 11 feet at 9x

Pros

  • Good performance
  • Optical accuracy
  • Reliable
  • Fog proof
  • Shockproof
  • Rustproof
  • Scratchproof

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Scope for 200 Yards under $300

Bushnell Optics 3-9x/40mm scope is the top affordable scope under $300 for 200 yards as it provides ideal magnification for such distance. Additionally, it offers optical accuracy, high durability, precise adjustments, and a generous field of view. 


#5: Best Rifle Scope for Varmint Hunting under $300 – Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12×56 30mm Tube Rifle Scope Review


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This amazing scope under $300 is a good option to use in low light conditions. Its objective lens is adjustable which ensures image focus and also provides parallax removal to the hunter. Moreover, its lenses are multi-coated and anti reflective, enhancing the image quality and adding more joy to your outside adventure.

You’ll like its long eye relief that will help you to acquire a picture of the animal and aim at your target precisely. Hunters will love hunting hogs and pests with the help of this guy.

Features of Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12×56 30mm Tube Rifle Scopes

  • 3-12x magnification range
  • Anti-reflective lenses
  • Fully multi coated lenses
  • V-Brite reticle
  • Aircraft grade aluminum body
  • Strong O-ring seals

Pros

  • Clear images even in low light
  • Waterproof
  • Best light gathering
  • Perfect adjustments
  • Allows to take images from heavy cover

Cons

  • Fogs up easily during snow
  • Tough to turn light switch of reticle

Best Rifle Scope for Varmint Hunting under $300

Vortex Crossfire II is the best scope under $300 for varmint hunting because of its unmatched and clear shots even in dim light like in dawn or dusk. Besides, its V-Brite reticle and enlarged lenses help a lot  while hunting in low light.


#6: Best Rifle Scope under $300 for Beginners – SWFA SS 3-15×42 Tactical Rifle Scope Review


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This model by Swfa gives excellent optical quality. It comes with a 30mm tube that provides 40 MILs of internal adjustment and turns out to be best for long or short range shooting. It’s perfect to be used with air rifles and rimfires, as its focus distance is quite short i.e. 6 yards.

It is usually a good option for air rifle shooters because of its FFP MIL Quad reticle. This high-end product is fully multi-coated to resist any weather conditions. Certainly, you will love its innovative design with matte finish. 

Features of SWFA SS 3-15×42 Tactical Rifle Scope

  • First focal plane reticle
  • Patented mil-quad reticle
  • Rear parallax adjustment
  • 3-15×42 magnifying range
  • 30mm tube diameter
  • 49.4 mm objective diameter 
  • 4.2 – 3.8 inch eye relief
  • 0.10 Mrad turrets
  • 6m-infinity side focus

Pros

  • Light-weight
  • Waterproof
  • Shockproof
  • Fog proof
  • Stiff turrets
  • Durable
  • Great parallax knob design
  • Multi-coated
  • Can be used for long range 
  • Premium zero locking 
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • No illuminated reticle

Best Rifle Scope under $300 for Beginners 

SWFA SS 3-15×42 Tactical scope is the top recommended scope under $300 for beginners because of its accuracy, versatility and high performing capabilities. Its valuable aspects make it more reliable and it is a great scope to start with.


#7: Best Affordable Long Range Scope under $300 – Mueller Target 8-32 x 44mm Scope Review


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If you are looking for a cheap alternative to optics of high performance, then this scope under 300 bucks is the best option to consider. It comes with micro fine crosshair, mil dot reticle and also provides parallax adjustments to the hunter. 

Mil dot reticle provides a specific pattern along each axis. Also, it acts as a range finder tool. This scope offers an eye relief of 4 inches which avoids hitting the eye. Moreover, it has a quick focus eyepiece to get the target in no time. 

Features of Mueller Target 8-32 x 44mm Scope 

  • Eye relief of 4-4.5 inches
  • Tube size of 30 mm
  • Fast-focus eyepiece
  • Magnification range of 8-32x
  • Mil dot reticle
  • 44mm objective diameter
  • Fully exposed target turrets
  • Edge-to-edge transparency
  • Side focus parallax adjustment

Pros

  • Smooth windage adjustments
  • Best performance optics
  • Vivid images
  • Clear field of view
  • Crystal clear glass
  • Optimal light transmission
  • Accurate body alignment of scope
  • High power scope

Cons

  • Sloppy turrets

Best Affordable Long Range Scope under $300

Mueller Target 8-32 x 44mm scope is the best affordable long range scope under $300 as it offers 8-32x magnifying range that can cover thousands of yards. Besides, its micro fine crosshairs and a mil dot reticle make it an alternative to high cost optics.


#8: Best Rimfire Rifle Scope under $300 – Nikon P-223 BDC 600 4-12×40 Rifle Scopes Review


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This scope under 300 dollars has got all the features that a hunter craves the most. It makes it easiest for the shooters to target animals present at large distances. Additionally, it features a clear glass surface that has multiple layers of anti reflective compounds to improve its durability and light transmission capabilities.

After trying it out, we really liked the field adjustments that are quite easy to set. It also helps the hunter to immediately bring the reticle back to the focus and get the next shot. 

Features of Nikon P-223 BDC 600 4-12×40 Rifle Scope

  • Spot On ballistic match technology
  • 4-12x magnification range
  • 1 inch tube diameter
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • BDC 600 and mil-dot reticle
  • Fixed parallax adjustments
  • Second Focal plane
  • Zero reset turrets
  • 3.7 inches eye relief
  • Comes with all long range shooting features

Pros

  • Maximum brightness
  • Bright images
  • Easy adjustments
  • Light weight
  • Compact
  • Multifaceted 
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Hard to meet precision aiming

Best Rimfire Rifle Scope under $300

The best rimfire scope under $300 is Nikon P-223 BDC 600 reticle scope because of its great immediate precise reference points through its spot-ON ballistic match technology which will provide you with accurate aiming points.


#9: Best Eye Relief Rifle Scope under $300 – Vortex Optics Crossfire II 30mm Tube Scope Review


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If you are looking for a scope with easy turret adjustments and quick reticle focusing, then this Vortex Crossfire II will be the one for you. It offers a varying magnification range that enables you to adjust the magnification according to your need. Its fantastic lenses will give you clearer and brighter images, even for distant targets.

This scope under 300 dollars comes with a great quality along with a 30mm tube diameter that is shockproof, waterproof and fogproof. Also, its easily adjustable turrets give precision and accuracy to the hunter.

Features of Vortex Optics Crossfire II 30mm Tube Scope

  • 30 mm tube diameter
  • 4-16x magnification range
  • 50mm objective diameter
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Dead-hold BDC reticle
  • Second focal plane
  • 3.7 inches eye relief
  • Finger Adjustable turrets
  • Aircraft grade aluminum body

Pros

  • Best for hunting at varying ranges
  • Easy reticle focusing
  • Sturdy
  • Anti-glare lenses
  • Vivid Field of view
  • Best eye relief
  • Waterproof
  • Shockproof

Cons

  • Becomes blur beyond 150 yards
  • Focus changes after each shot

Best Eye Relief Rifle Scope under $300

The best eye relief scope under $300 is Crossfire II as it provides longer eye relief that will save you from an eye injury while hunting at long or short ranges.


#10: Best Durable Rifle Scope under $300 – Monstrum Tactical 6-24×50 Scope Review


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This amazing scope under 300 dollars will help hunters shoot at a distance of 1000+ yards. It offers the first focal plane MOA reticle, with easily readable ranging information. Moreover, the objective lens can be adjusted to get more precise focus and target image.

We were amazed by its illuminated reticle that is controlled by an inline dial with more than one brightness options. You’ll find this feature quite useful while hunting the wildlife in low light conditions or in dark.

Features of Monstrum Tactical 6-24×50 Scope

  • Magnification ranges from 6 to 24x
  • 50 mm objective lens
  • Eye relief ranges from 4 to 4.5 inches
  • First Focal plane
  • Illuminated rangefinder reticle
  • Heavy-Duty scope rings
  • CR2032 battery
  • Nitrogen sealed

Pros

  • High precision
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Sharp focus of image
  • Better reticle visibility in low light
  • Spot on adjustment increments
  • Clear optics
  • Long range scope

Cons

  • Tight turrets with minimal adjustments
  • Scope rings are too high

Best Durable Rifle Scope under $300

The best durable rifle scope under $300 is Monstrum Tactical 6-24×50 as it is well-built and features heavy-duty scope rings.


#11: Best  BDC Reticle Rifle Scope under $300 – Nikon P-Tactical .308 4-12X40 Matte BDC800 Review


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This great rifle scope under 300 bucks comes with all the qualities that will maximize your hunting experience. Its multi-coated optics are amazing which are housed in tubes and ready to brighten your low light environments

Not only this, it also features a strong aluminum body that adds to its strength and responsive windage and elevation adjustment turrets for easy adjustments.

Features of Nikon P-Tactical .308 4-12X40 Matte BDC800

  • 1 inch tube
  • Spring loaded instant zero resets turrets
  • Elevated windage 
  • BDC 800 reticle
  • Magnification ranges from 4-12x
  • 40mm objective diameter
  • Provides open circle aiming points 
  • O-ring seal
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum tube
  • Precise and ergonomic turrets

Pros

  • Best in dark conditions 
  • Wonderful light gathering
  • Generous eye relief
  • Crisp clear optics
  • Great entry level scopes
  • Accurate adjustments

Cons

  • Lacks in field of view
  • Magnification ring can be tricky to use

Best  BDC Reticle Rifle Scope under $300 

Nikon P-Tactical .308 4-12X40 Matte BDC800 is the top recommended scope under $300 with BDC reticle. Its innovative BDC reticle has hash marks that will help you to aim precisely between 100 and 800 yards.


Buyer’s Guide

rifle scope under 300

Are you still confused and can’t decide which would be the best rifle scope under $300 for you?

Then, there’s no need to worry. Here comes a detailed guide that will definitely help you in choosing your scope under 300 dollars.

What to expect from the rifle scope under $300?

Compared to the pricey scopes, you don’t have to expect less from your 300 dollars scope. Today, there are many scopes in the market that offer incredible features at a low cost. These are ideal for hunters and shooters with a limited budget.

However, while choosing a scope below $300 you need to opt for the right option so that you can make the most out of it. So, following are some things that you can expect from the rifle scope up to $300.

  • Reticle

Scopes under $300 can also offer a great reticle with precise aiming points to give you optimal accuracy while taking down the target animal.

  • Turrets

Turrets of a scope play a pivotal role during shooting. And scopes under $300 can offer easily adjustable windage and elevation turrets for frequent and precise adjustments.

  • Optics

Many brands provide high quality glass that is both clear anti-glare. Not only this, such scopes feature a high optical system with excellent light transmission.

  • Durability

It doesn’t mean that cheap scopes will be fragile and will not last longer. There are many models that offer sturdy aluminum bodies while others are made from high-grade materials that are shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof.

  • Magnification

You can expect a decent magnification from your budget-friendly scope, as there are many scopes with flexible magnification ranges ideal for both long and short range shooting.

How to choose the best rifle scope under 300 dollars?

Following are some major features that you should look for while buying a scope under $300. 

  • Easily adjustable turrets

It is an amazing feature of the rifle scopes. Turrets are actually small knobs on scopes that will help you in making necessary adjustments. Moreover, good turrets will hold zero and offer you to make precise adjustments for your scope.

  • Magnification range

Magnification plays an important part while shooting or hunting. The best magnification range will be the one which gives you a clear image of your target. You may miss the shot if the magnification power is too low or too high.

Furthermore, the magnification range helps you to customize it according to the distance of your target. Go for the scope that offers a magnification range suitable for both long and short range shooting. 

  • Eye relief

It is the distance between your eyes and the scope. Every rifle recoils to an extent when it is fired. So, a long eye relief plays a vital role in saving you from the injuries during the recoil of a firearm. 

  • Durability

Go for the scopes that ensure durability as it’ll make your scope to withstand the repeated recoils of the rifle, and increase its lifespan too.  

Are rifle scopes under 300 dollars worth it?

Of course, a rifle scope under 300 dollars is no match for a $2000 or $3000 one in terms of quality.

However, if you’re a recreational hunter, a 300 bucks scope would be enough to get the job done. Yes, it’s true that in the past cheap scopes lacked certain important features, such as a proper focal plane, clear optics, and adequate knobs. But today less expensive scopes manage to have such features and more.

So, many scopes under 300 dollars offer great value for the money, and won’t betray you in big-game hunting.

FAQs

Let’s look into some frequently asked questions about the best rifle scope under $300.

What kind of scope do I need for 300 yards?

A 4x scope would be enough for 300 yards. It’d be best for your big-game hunting. Usually, the best magnification is the least one which gives you a clear image of your target. However, you may want more magnification for shooting small animals, such as prairie dogs. In that case, a 6x scope would work fine.

What is the best rifle scope on the market?

Following are some best rifle scopes on the market.

  • Vortex Crossfire II 30mm Tube Scope – Best for Varmint Hunting
  • Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm Rifle Scope – Best Scope for 7mm Rem Mag
  • Nikon P-223 BDC 600 4-12×40 Scope –  Best Rimfire Scope

What is the best rifle scope for under $200?

Following are some top rifle scopes under $200

  • Vortex Crossfire II 1-inch Tube Rifle Scope – Best Scope for 450 Bushmaster 
  • Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm Scope – Best Scope for 7mm Rem Mag
  • Nikon P-223 BDC 600 4-12×40 Scope –  Best Rimfire Scope
  •  Vortex Diamondback SFP – Best Scope for 308

What are the top 5 rifle scopes? 

Top 5 rifle scopes include:

  • Vortex Crossfire II 30mm Tube Scope – Best for Varmint Hunting
  • Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm Rifle Scope – Best Scope for 7mm Rem Mag
  • Bushnell Optics 3-9x/40mm Scope – Best Scope for 200 Yards
  • Nikon P-223 BDC 600 4-12×40 Scope –  Best Rimfire Scope
  • Vortex Diamondback SFP Scope – Best Scope for 308

Is a 50mm scope better than 40mm?

Yes, of course, a 50mm one is better than a 40mm one. Greater the objective lens size greater will be its ability to gather light. So, a 50mm objective transmits 55% more light than a 40mm one. However, a 40mm objective offers less parallax, lower cost, and a greater depth of field.

What is bigger, 30mm or 1 inch?

30mm scopes are bigger than the 1 inch ones. A 1 inch scope has 25.4mm or 1 inch tube diameter, whereas a 30mm scope has 30mm tube diameter. Besides, a 30mm scope offers larger internal adjustment range, making it well-suited for long range hunting and shooting.

What magnification do I need for 500 yards? 

A 5x magnification scope would be enough for 500 yards.

5x is the minimum level of magnification you may need for a target 500 yards away. But, some hunters won’t be satisfied by this as it is a little on the low side for most of the shots. In that case, go for 10x magnification for a good shot.

Does scope height affect accuracy?

Yes, scope height affects accuracy. The scope’s ring height has a great impact on the accuracy and on point blank range. As the scope height increases, point blank range will be shorter. Usually, the closer the centerline of the scope is to the center line of the bore, the more accurate it will be. However, you can also use a ballistic calculator too.

Do you need low, medium or high scope rings?

According to the rule of thumb, you should mount the scope as low as possible, making sure that the scope won’t touch the barrel, or any portion of the rifle. Besides, for many tactical applications, a higher scope height is preferred due to different reasons.

How far back should a scope be mounted?

You should mount the scope between 3 and 5 inches.

After mounting the scope between 3 and 5 inches, move your head back and forth behind the eyepiece and note if the edges are getting blacked out. If so, then this means that you’re not in the correct eye relief distance

Final Thoughts

Scopes are made to make aiming easy for a hunter. So, choose the one according to your needs. However, now you would have the clear idea of which one is perfect for you from the above mentioned 11 best rifle scopes under $300.

You surely want to buy a scope that is budget friendly and offers incredible features like clear optics, great magnification power, easy adjustments, and able to withstand weather and rifle kicks. Therefore, we would recommend you to invest in Vortex Crossfire II 30mm Tube Scope, Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm Rifle Scope, or Nikon P-223 BDC 600 4-12×40 Scope.

These options will certainly enhance your hunting experience. Happy hunting!