Re: best low budget reliable scope?
You can't go wrong with a leupold, as suggested. You can often find good deals on used ones on fleabay. A couple of other suggestiongs: I just got a e3940sf bushnell for $200 locally. Great scope; I was surprised at how good it was for that price. I was given a Bushnell Trophy about 7 years ago, not expecting much, but it's held up well and never got out of sync. Not the clearest glass, but it would do for what you described. Plus they're in the $100-125 range, and still Bushnell's great waranty.