Hunting scope season - the best of the cheapest?


Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2022
I hate to pass judgement, but somebody waiting until August to pick up a cheap scope for rifle season is hard to take serious. They are likely a 50-250 yd shooter, less than an hour from the box store where they can get another.

Frankly, I buy most optics from Black Friday through year end due to pricing. I mount over the winter and try to get load development done before April when it gets hot. Then in August, I start thinking about running that load out to 700 or so.

vortex diamondback hp 3-12x42
- These scopes are clear and bright for the money. It is surprising.
- Get the BDC reticle, I’ve shot successfully with those.
- The turrets worked well sighting in, but I never tried dialing.

SWFA SS 10x42
- It works
- It dials
- Good enough reticle
Maybe in this forum it’s hard to take this post seriously because of the membership, but realize that probably 95 percent of whitetail deer are taken at less than 250 yards, including trophies. Every hunter has his goals, budget, tactics, and enjoys hunting no matter the equipment he uses or the yardage he shoots at.


Well-Known Member
Oct 7, 2003
Lizton, IN
I'd vote a Burris in that price range. I've had really good luck with them at all ranges. Funny to see people recommending Nikon when they exited the scope business years ago. I've seen more variability in Vortex across prices. Bushnell, absolutely very different quality expensive vs cheap scopes. And I won't even touch their higher priced scopes anymore because Burris is a much better value. The mid to high Vortex I've had good luck with.

Lenny Foffa

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2017
I just saw a new Leupold VX 3, 4.5X to 14 X Fire Dot for $499.99 in gun shop in Eastern , Pa. Yes, Thats more than $300.00 but perhaps you would consider saving up another $200, and getting a pretty decent medium-Priced scope. Another thought is the purchase of a good used scope. As so many guys are getting Super High-quality scopes, with many hi end features, for Long Range Precision shooting, there seems to be a lot of really "Good " Used Leupold VX 3 and VX 5 scopes available on e bay. Also in the $350-to-$450-dollar range. Just a thought!!


Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2019
Lima, PERU
Well, some of the suggestions really go beyond the budget.
And some brand names don't show up at all. 😊
Here's my 2c of research:

🔸 Two Scope Specs Tables, with 130+ scopes compared.
Because it's hard to compare the features of each scope as they are spread over many webpages, with important info often hidden away.

▪ With prices; mostly $500 and below
▪ Warranty info
▪ Reticle type, exposed turrets, MIL or MOA
▪ Separated by SFP and FFP
▪ Weight/ length

Happy scope shopping! 😊


❌ Attachment 1: Scope Specs Table:
3-12x | 3-9x | Light/short scopes

❌ Attachment 2: Scope Specs Table:
4-16x | 3-18x | 4-20x


  • SCOPE Specs Table. For SHORT Scopes -and- 3-12x (3-9x) Scopes.pdf
    224.7 KB · Views: 24
  • SCOPE Specs Table. For 4-16x or 3-18x or 4-20x Scopes.pdf
    284.5 KB · Views: 21


New Member
Mar 13, 2013
@glock24 what's the Meopta pricing like in the US?

My Meoptas have been good.

Looking at the Meopta Optika5 ,

Considering the 2-10x42 as an option for my brother around $500 here.

It meets his requirements so that's my suggestion to him.
One more vote for Meopta. Made in the Czech Republic. Until 1989 they fabricated optical devices for the Soviet Army. I have a Optika5 2-10x42 SF on backorder for a pig-hunting rifle (with NV Clip-On device).


Well-Known Member
Dec 24, 2010
I got a great eBay deal on a Nikon, but the reticle broke. I found out their warranty required both the receipt and the warranty card. I'll never buy anything from them again.

The rest of my rifles have Leupolds on them. Never a failure, even from the 2x7 Compact VX-1. I left a cap at the range, and when I called Leupold, they sent me a new one for free.

I believe that for most hunters, a Ballistic Reticle scope is a better choice than a dial scope. Most hunters are not long range shooters.