Top 5 Reliable Rifle Scopes under $500

Choosing the right rifle scope can seem like a daunting task especially when you want a rifle scope under $500, but buying a reliable and precise scope doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune. Based on our Customers shopping history, we were able to create this list of some top rifle scopes under $500 to help you stay on target and on budget.

1

Vortex Optics Spitfire AR Prism Sight 1x DRT Reticle Matte

Built from the ground up specifically to maximize the quick-handling performance of AR-platform rifles, Vortex’s new Spitfire AR 1X prism scope delivers incredible optical quality and ultra-fast functionality in a lightweight, streamlined package. The generous, parallax-free, sight picture and forgiving eyebox gets shooters on target effortlessly—even in high-stress scenarios.

Rear facing power and illumination intensity controls are easy to access, simple to operate, stay visually present from the shooting position and are protected from incidental contact. Ten intensity levels let you adjust to perfectly match ambient light conditions. Runs off a single, common, AAA battery. The DRT (Dual Ring Tactical) reticle is designed for rapid shooting at close distances. The dual ring design pulls the eye into instant alignment with the reticle center and target. Etched directly on the prism to assure consistent point-of-aim at all times with selectable red/green illumination of twelve intensity levels to match specific conditions.

An additional yardage-marked turret cap (ballistic-matched to the 5.56 cartridge) allows the shooter to swap out the factory-installed cap for rapid dialing of known-distance shots out to 700 yards. At 11.2 ounces, the lightweight Spitfire AR excels in close to medium range shooting applications where speed is of the essence, making it the ideal choice for AR shooters who needs to get on target fast.  Comes mounted at a lower 1/3 co-witness height of 40.4mm from optic center to base surface. Includes AAA Battery, flip-up lens caps, 556 BDC turret cap, 2mm hex wrench and 3mm hex wrench.

 

 

Features

  • Ballistic Matched 556 BDC Turret Cap
  • Fully Multi-Coated
  • 12 Illumination Settings
  • Compact and Lightweight Single Piece Chassis
  • Nitrogen Purged with O-ring Seals delivers fogproof and waterproof performance
  • Shockproof
  • Hard Anodized Finish
  • Operating Temperature of -22°F-122°F
  • Red/Green Reticle
  • Up to 3000 Hour Battery Life on a Single AAA Battery

What Customers Are Saying

Wonderful for older eyes

I bought the Vortex Spitfire AR to replace, well everything else I have had in a red dot. My other more expensive dots all flared up in my vision. As I got older the red dots got less defined and at 100 yards are larger than my target. The Spitfire AR is sharp, quick to acquire and has all the features I've been looking for. The only thing that could make it better is a motion on activator. As for tactical use, the reticle can be seen from both ends of the optic. But unless I plan to do battle, this is not an issue for me. The Spitfire AR has also been a hit at my gun club. Thanks guys for making a dot us older shooters can enjoy.
- Coverfire, 3/7/2017

About Vortex Optics

People, Products, and Promises – at Vortex Optics, we’re about you. Our products are designed, engineered, and built to work for you, no matter the task. Whether it be punching paper from the bench, or taking that trophy buck from a distance, we’ve got your back with purpose-driven products made by shooters, for shooters. Every Vortex product is backed by our VIP Warranty, which is our promise to the customer that no matter what, we’ve got you covered. Here at Vortex, you’re not just a customer, you’re Family. Welcome to the Vortex Nation.

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2

Hawke Vantage Rifle Scope 3-9x 40mm Adjustable Objective Matte

Simplicity is underrated.  Sometimes, there isn't a need for bells and whistles.  All that is needed is a solid product to do a job.  Vantage scopes deliver performance beyond what is expected at this price point. With the design focus on functionality and performance in the field, the Vantage line represents tremendous value without cutting corners on the things that matter.

Vantage scopes feature a mono-tube chassis to provide stability and durability, to even magnum recoil. A mix of X-ACT ballistic and standard reticle options mean Vantage scopes are at home in almost any environment and with virtually any firearm.

Versatile, affordable, exceptional. Vantage from Hawke is redefining value in optics.

 

 

Features

  • Adjustable objective allows parallax free accuracy
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Low-profile fingertip turrets
  • High torque zoom ring

What Customers Are Saying

Pretty Much a Sure Thing!!

Clarity on par with Leupold VX2 and Sightron S2 (not quite Big Sky level). Outstanding for the price!!! AO goes WAY past 15 yards, into unmarked zone that allows me to focus 15 feet across the room. Hawke X-ACT software, free from the Hawke website, allows you to calculate holdover for ANY zero, any mildot at any distance, with whatever cartridge you want. Effectively adds $200 in value for FREE. Built solidly, enough to handle springer airguns to 7mm Rem Mag in my own stable. These scopes are huge in Europe, basically unheard of here. You won't be disappointed.
- Larry aka GARLANDSEPT, 4/23/2016 Shop Now
3

Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 6-24x 50mm Side Focus First Focal EBR-2C MOA Reticle Matte

The Diamondback Tactical is a long range scope with an affordable price tag. The first focal plane reticle, a feature ordinarily reserved for 4-figure-priced optics, allows shooters to use the information-packed EBR-2C reticles for ranging, holdovers or windage corrections on any magnification. Housed inside its durable, one-piece aluminum tube is a 4x optical system delivering excellent edge-to-edge clarity and sharp resolution. Exposed elevation and windage turrets are low profile enough to stay out of the way in packing situations, but offer the quickness, ease and precision of dialing accurate shots at distance. A side adjustable parallax gives shooters peace of mind by removing parallax error from the equation from 10 yards to infinity. A glass-etched reticle allows for intricate reticle design, and is protected between two layers of glass for optimum durability and reliability.

Features:

  • Extra-low dispersion glass
  • Glass-etched reticle
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum, single-piece tube construction
  • First focal plane reticle
  • Exposed tactical turrets
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Water, fog, and shock proof

 

 

What Customers Are Saying

Awesome Scope for the Price!!

I recently purchased a new Browning X-Bolt 6mm Creedmoor and was in the market for new scope to outfit it with. I wanted something with tactical turrets because I prefer to dial my yardage when possible. When I saw this new Diamondback Tactical model was available in 6-24x50 with FFP, I did not hesitate to order it. In my opinion, Vortex did a great job with this scope. For the price point, you get a lot of features that you don't even get with certain more expensive scopes (FFP, Sunshade, 24x Zoom, etc.). And the quality is what I would expect from Vortex. Magnification is clear throughout the zoom range and the turrets have positive clicks and didn't feel mushy to me. Not quite at the level of the Viper PST that I have on my Ruger Precision Rifle, but that's a whole other level of scope, and for my hunting rifle this scope fits the bill perfectly. I mounted it and after zeroing it in, I was consistent with sub-MOA groups. Vortex produces some great optics and their warranty is hard to beat as w...
- M. King, 8/20/2018

About Vortex Optics

People, Products, and Promises – at Vortex Optics, we’re about you. Our products are designed, engineered, and built to work for you, no matter the task. Whether it be punching paper from the bench, or taking that trophy buck from a distance, we’ve got your back with purpose-driven products made by shooters, for shooters. Every Vortex product is backed by our VIP Warranty, which is our promise to the customer that no matter what, we’ve got you covered. Here at Vortex, you’re not just a customer, you’re Family. Welcome to the Vortex Nation.

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4

Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 4-16x 44mm Side Focus First Focal EBR-2C MOA Reticle Matte

Try not to spit out your coffee as you check the price of the Diamondback Tactical FFP after reading about its impressive performance and features. The first focal plane reticle, a feature ordinarily reserved for 4-figure-priced optics, allows shooters to use the information-packed EBR-2C reticles for ranging, holdovers or windage corrections on any magnification. Housed inside its durable, one-piece aluminum tube is a 4x optical system delivering excellent edge-to-edge clarity and sharp resolution. Exposed elevation and windage turrets are low profile enough to stay out of the way in packing situations, but offer the quickness, ease and precision of dialing accurate shots at distance. A side adjustable parallax gives shooters peace of mind by removing parallax error from the equation from 20 yards to infinity.

Features:

  • Extra-low dispersion glass
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum, single-piece tube construction
  • First focal plane reticle
  • Exposed tactical turrets
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Fiber optic radius bar 
  • Water, fog, and shock proof

 

 

What Customers Are Saying

Dead on

Mounted this scope on a 7mm Rem Mag for elk hunting. On a lead sled, it took 5 shots to bring it to zero at 100 yards. Then it put 3 rounds through the same hole. What is not to like about that?
- Troxman, 8/28/2019

About Vortex Optics

People, Products, and Promises – at Vortex Optics, we’re about you. Our products are designed, engineered, and built to work for you, no matter the task. Whether it be punching paper from the bench, or taking that trophy buck from a distance, we’ve got your back with purpose-driven products made by shooters, for shooters. Every Vortex product is backed by our VIP Warranty, which is our promise to the customer that no matter what, we’ve got you covered. Here at Vortex, you’re not just a customer, you’re Family. Welcome to the Vortex Nation.

Shop Now
5

Leupold VX-Freedom Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 4-12x 40mm Side Focus Custom Dial System (CDS) Tri-MOA Reticle Matte

The new VX-Freedom delivers the legendary Leupold performance and dependability hunters and shooters have demanded for decades, combined with a host of new and improved features. The VX-Freedom is guaranteed to get the job done every time.

Features:

  • Twilight Light Management System
  • 3:1 Zoom Ratio
  • Locking Eyepiece
  • Scratch-Resistant Lenses
  • Ergonomic Power Selector
  • Waterproof & Fogproof

 

What Customers Are Saying

A GREAT rifle scope!

First, the back story. I purchased a scope from a different manufacturer for a Browning BLR in .308 WIN. This manufacturer boasts a "lifetime" warranty, same as Leupold. Well, "lifetime warranty" at Leupold means just what it implies - warranted for life; no fuss, no muss. Not so with the "other guys." Long story short, the other scope would not adjust. So, I called the manufacturer. After an hour of runaround on the phone, I returned the scope and bought this Leupold scope & mounted it on the BLR; something I should have done in the first place. This Leupold scope works perfectly. Very, very clear, edge to edge. Easy to mount, easy to adjust, easy to see through and acquire targets. Very clear in early morning and twilight. Puts bullets exactly where you're aiming. I really like it and I'd buy it again. I treat my rifles and scopes like the precision instruments they are. Therefore, I can't tell you anything about how this scope holds up to rough handling. But then, I've always thought tha...
- Dave, 2/17/2019

About Leupold

At Leupold, we hold ourselves to a higher standard of leadership. A major part of that is bringing new technology and innovation to our industry. Whatever it takes to give you the most clarity, brightness, and ruggedness, you can bet we will be at the forefront making it happen and leading the way.

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