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A Good Rifle Scope Under $250

How To Select A Good Rifle Scope Under $250

Selecting a suitable rifle scope on a budget can be a difficult process for those who don't know where to look. Most experts will simply say: "Don't buy one for under $500." While there's no doubt $500 -$1000 scopes are typically the best option when it comes to quality and performance, it's no secret that most ordinary shooters or hunters can't afford $1000 optics, especially if they are new to hunting or shooting. But not to worry, you can still find an acceptable scope to meet your needs for $250 or less as long as you know what to look for and what to avoid. We'll help guide you through this exhausting process and get you shooting with an affordable scope in no time.

Make Sacrifices

You can't have it all in a scope for $250, but you can pick out a few key features you want and compromise on the rest. First of all, if you're looking to make spectacular long range shots, a $250 rifle scope is not for you. Ultra long range shots require serious precision lenses and exceptional light transmission abilities, and you typically don't find those advancements in lower end scopes. But if you still want to shoot long range from time to time, variable magnification scopes are a great option for the shooter on a budget. However, you should choose your magnification settings with care. We recommend selecting a "workhorse" variable scope like a 3-9x40 or 4-12x42/50, but you should avoid specialized scopes like 6-12x56 or scopes that start with high magnification settings.


What if you know exactly what distance you'll typically be shooting and don't see much benefit in having variable magnification? We recommend choosing a fixed magnification scope in this case, and generally speaking what you save in variable magnification features can go towards higher quality optics or other another key feature you may be interested in like an innovative reticule design. Also be weary of extremely large objective lenses. While it is true larger lenses are good solutions for gathering more light, this larger objective lens will only make a difference if you dial the magnification way up. As we mentioned before, if you're looking to pull off spectacular long range shots, a $250 Scope is not for you. More importantly, oversized objective lenses will also drive up cost and contribute to heavier scope weight and bulk.


Additional Info: Fixed Vs. Variable Magnification

As The Saying Goes

Remember, shopping for a reasonably priced Rifescope is an exercise in humility. You can't expect a Swarowski rifle scope at this price point, and as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for when you're on a budget. Yet Brands like Vortex, Redfield, and Hawke all have great affordable rifle scope lines with the backing of a familiar brand name. You may be surprised what you can find for $250 that has a brand name you recognize. Finally, we'll be the first to say there's a huge difference between a $50 and a $250 scope, and don't be surprised if a $50 scope doesn't live up to your expectations. A good mentality to have is the $250 or less Rifle Scope you select is a temporary solution. You can feel out which features you want and which you don't, and as time goes on you can save for that exceptional scope if you feel like you need it. Once you can finally pull the trigger on an expensive scope, you'll truly appreciate the quality you're getting, and that is what precision optics is all about.