The 4 Best Rifle Scopes under $300 – Reviews 2019

best rifle scope under 300

Photo by John McStravick / CC BY

So why get the best rifle scope under $300? Well, buying aquality optic can be done on any budget, but for scopes between 200 and 300 dollars, you have great options from several name brand companies. Despite the relatively low price point, there is no reason you cannot buy an optic that is tough, precise, durable, and long lasting.

At the $300 price point, your optic should meet a few simple requirements. First off is durability, your optic should be made from at least a good high quality aluminum and capable of taking a little abuse. Next your optic should at least be fogproof and shockproof. Fogproof is in regards to the inner lenses; if fog builds up here, the optic is basically useless. Shockproof means the optic should withstand the recoil of a powerful rifle or the force of a short drop without the optic losing zero. Water proofing should be expected, but at 300 dollars you’ll be hard pressed to find a completely submersible optic like an ACOG or Aimpoint.

Lastly, one should expect precision. At any price point, precision is a necessary requirement. If the scope fails to be precise, then it fails at the one job we depend on it for.

(Disclaimer: Though these products usually are under 300 bucks, there are price fluctuations. The real, current price is the one found on the Amazon page.)

Here are our recommendations for the best rifle scopes under $300 on the market:

Muller Target Rifle Scope

  • Mueller Target Rifle Scope, Black, 8-32 x 44mm
  • Price: $207.96
  • Price as of 06/24/2019 08:33 PDT
    (more info)
    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

The Mueller Target scope is designed for long range shooters with a special focus for hunters and competition target shooters. Anyone looking for an extremely precise instrument for making long range shots will be well served with the Mueller Target. The Mueller provides an extensive range and magnification, with a minimum magnification of 8 and a max magnification of a stunning 32 power. If you’d want a long-range optic, this is among the best rifle scopes you can buy.

The Mueller target scope is made to be as tough as nails, and can be used on a wide variety of powerful long-range cartridges, including the .338 Lapua, and the .416 Barrett. The eye relief is 4 inches, which is plenty of room for avoiding scope eye with magnum rounds. The scope can withstand the heavy recoil these rounds offer and retain zero without issue. The scope can be turned around and used with light long range calibers like the 6mm and .22-250 and serve brilliantly.

The optic has fully multi-coated lenses and a wide 44 mm objective lens for maximum light transmission and minimal glare at extended magnifications. The 32 power magnification is only suitable for long ranges and does work well when focusing on small objects close up. The Mueller Target Scope is one of a few on a very short list for high-powered target scopes in this price range. Again, the Mueller is an excellent option for the long range shooter.

Cricket Checks out the Mueller 8-32X44 target scope

Primary Arms Orion

When it comes to powerful, long-range scopes under this price range can be a challenge. But being a challenge and being impossible is two very different things. To prove this let’s take a peek at the Primary Arms Orion. This 4-14x44mm optic is a perfect example of reasonably priced long-range optic. What sets it apart from its price is the fact it’s a first focal plane optic. This means the reticle grows and shrinks as your magnification increases or decreases. This allows the reticle’s drop and windage system to remain relevant at any range.

First Focal Plane scopes, or FFP for short, are typically extremely expensive. Primary Arms has found a way to deliver a high-quality FFP scope for cheap. The scope is also quite tough made to take a recoil based beating from modern long range cartridges. It’s perfect for your hunters, your competitors, or your long-range hobbyists.

It’s water and fog proof as well, and utilized HD glass for a crystal clear sight picture. Combined with a proper lens coating and you get a great low light optic. The BDC and reticle are tuned for a variety of cartridges and are simple to use. The ACSS reticle means no more data books, dope notes, or dialing in. Just zero and forget it.

Primary Arms 4-14 FFP Orion .308/30-06/.223

Nikon Prostaff 5 Scope

  • Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope, Black, 2.5-10x40
  • Price: $226.95
  • Price as of 06/24/2019 09:01 PDT
    (more info)
    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

I’m continually impressed by how Nikon has gone from a company that only produces optics for hunters and target shooters to a company that produces optics for everyone. This includes the ProStaff series. The Nikon ProStaff 5 is the latest incarnation and it’s a fantastic optic for a wide variety of roles. This includes the hunter, the marksman, the competitor, and anyone who needs a high quality, but affordable optic. The Nikon ProStaff 5 gives the ends user a crystal-clear sight picture that grants shooters something more than just their average optic.

Nikon has installed their fully multi coated optics to give shooters the ability to see a clear and bright sight picture even when the light is low. This makes it perfect for hunting in the evenings and mornings when deer are more likely to be moving. It also makes it possible to see in a dimly lit indoor range. The Nikon ProStaff 5 comes in a variety of magnification levels, and the 2.5 to 10 power optic is my preferred model.

The low 2.5 power setting makes it, so I can see and shoot targets from 10 yards and beyond with ease. As I crank it up to higher settings I have the ability to see further and to spot smaller targets without issue. The turrets are zero reset turrets that make field adjustments possible. The BDC uses unique holdover marks that are transparent circle that allow you to zero in on your targets and still see them as you make a hold over for bullet drop. The ProStaff 5 was designed for shooter by shooters, and it’s a fantastic design that isn’t just a bargain but an excellent deal overall.

Bushnell Throw Down PCL Rifle Scope

The Bushnell Throw Down PCL has a long name but is aptly described. The Throw Down gets this long name from the lever attached to the magnification ring, and PCL stands for Power Change lever. The Thrown Down lever allows instant and rapid adjustment of the optic magnification. This lever allows gloved shooters easy access to the turret, which is something very handy in the tactical and competition realm. Even hunters in cold environments can benefit from an easy to use lever.

The Throw Down is designed for a modern medium-range carbines like the AR or AK series. The scope features a variable magnification of 1 to 4 power, with a 24 mm objective lens. The scope features a battery-powered, illuminated reticle for easy access in the dark. The optic is equipped with a bullet drop compensator for use out to 500 yards and is very precise.

The Throw Down features multi-coated optics that provide an incredible level of light transmission and allows the optic to gather a surprising amount of light. The optic is made from anodized aluminum and is very solid in its construction. The optic is sealed and provides an excellent protection from the outside elements including water, dust, and debris. The Bushnell Throw Down PCL is an excellent option that is not reliant on a single gimmick. The scope’s quality is overall brilliant and is one of the best rifle scopes for the money.

Bushnell AR Optics 1-4 x 24mm Scope Testing and Review

The Best Rifle Scope under $300 — Saving Dough

Saving some scratch when you can is important. Setting a budget is rudimentary when it comes to owning firearms, but this does not mean you have to make sacrifices in quality. A good optic is a good optic regardless of whether it costs 1,000 dollars or 1 dollar. The optics listed are all terrific, and I would not have an issue trusting any of them on my rifles. Good luck!

6 responses

  1. I looked at the Vortex 4×16 42mm hp ,for my 300 Weatherby and I was very impressed,it was a tissue between the Nikon prostaff in 3×14.5. as far a brightness and sharpness and fir 100.00$ I liked the vortex and it had good eye relief even at the highest magnifcation

  2. Now that i have had it for a while,the more i love this diamond back 4×16 hp at lower power settings 4-6power the low light transmission is incredible the edge to edge clairity ,the quick focus adjustment and 4power zoom really brings the target into sight,but wait there still is the side parallax adjustment the really sharpens things up ,there are better performibg scopes out there but youll be spending 100s of dollar’s more!
    The Vortex ballistics calculator is also another great tool thatbyou can use it brings all atmospheric conditions into play ie,elevation ,humidty wind and weather where you live and all major factory loads along with customs loads which is another grat tool that doesn’t get enough credit! Thank you Vortex i was originally looking at Nikon but this scope blew everything out of the watwr i must have drove the salesman crazy i spent over an hour comparing all scopes in this price range well you all know what i ended up with!

  3. The bushnell 3-9-50 legend hd is best rifle scope I’ve ever owned better than Simmons tasco even little better than my nikon5 prostaff2.5-10-50 this bushnell legend is a great rifle scope

  4. Lol the bushnell legend 3-9-50 is one fantastic rifle scope for deer hunting Whitetails & pig and they hit were ur aiming at pretty damn good best I’ve ever used for a hunting scope

  5. Have a Nikon ps 5 2.5-10-50 rifle scope and a bushnell legend 3-9-50 ultra hd it’s the best scope I’ve ever owned for hunting rifle get itself one u will love it don’t be scared of made in China it’s under extreme American supervision will not disappoint check one out

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