What’s the best deer hunting scope for under $500?

jimbo111

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Mar 19, 2012
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I agree, he doesn't need a FFP scope, however the Diamond back Tactical is a good entry level scope with options for different hunting conditions. The only thing missing is a zero stop and when it's on 4x the reticle is very small and can be difficult to see. For the money it is adaptable to several different types of hunting, I have 2 of them, one is on a 6.5 PRC and the other is on a .300wsm both have not failed me. As I said, for the money, you get options!
 

jeffreyjwilliams

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Dec 7, 2020
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texas
Jeffrey, I also deer hunt in Arkansas and used to live in Texas as well so I'm familiar with the terrain you are hunting. Some of the suggestions would not be great for your conditions.

One of the primary factors to consider before you even choose a brand is reticle visibility at dawn and dusk--especially under the dark canopy of deep woods. Many scopes that are fine for wide open spaces fail inside the woods where the shade and dark and the brush and briars are thick.

First of all, you can pretty much rule out FFP scopes for your terrain.
You also do not need to dial elevation and big tall turrets will only get in the way.

You do need wide FOV since you will probably take most shots under 100 yards. Unless you hunt pipelines or Right-of-Ways, there are not a lot places you can get shots farther than that where you hunt.

I have a Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16X on one of my deer rifles for that very reason. My others have been OK for close shots even with Burris Black Diamond 4-16X. But you don't want or need to go any higher than 4X on the low end of magnification.

What kind of reticle do you need for this--highly visible--maybe an illuminated center dot would enable you to take shots at dawn and dusk.
Very helpful!
 

FEENIX

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Great Falls, MT
Hello,
I am looking for a new rifle scope for deer hunting. Hoping to keep it under $500. I will be hunting in Texas and Arkansas. The likely range will be less than 200 yards. Most of the time we will be shooting from deer blinds. I am shooting a Tikka T3x lite in 6.5 cm. I have been checking out the vortex diamondback tactical but looking for some other options.
Thanks in advance for your recommendations.
Too bad you missed the opportunity but I got these (Crimson Trace 2 4-16 FFP illum reticle) at Midway for $299 each.

Crimson Trace 2 4-16x50 x2.jpg

Crimson Trace 2 4-16x50 1 of 3.jpg

Crimson Trace 2 4-16x50 2 of 3.jpg

Crimson Trace 2 4-16x50 3 of 3.jpg
 

Deputy819

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I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest keeping an eye out for a Bushnell ‘Elite’ 3200 w/ Rainguard or something along those lines. I picked up a 4-12x40 here on our classifieds a few days ago for a SML build I’ve got going. The glass is very nice (I have Leupold, Sightron and Trijicon by comparison) and for $275.00 shipped I’m happy with it. 👍
 

Roughrice

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hawk45

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Wide field of view and low light capability will be keys. I would be looking low power fixed 4x with illuminated dot for simple point and shoot. If want variable, look for something 9x/10x max, set it at 3x-4x, lock it in and zero, done. You don't need a 20oz + scope with dial turrets, you want to zero it, set it, lock the caps down and be done. Point and shoot. Spend some $ on good binoculars if you need to scan/glass. No need for a 12lb rig for 200 yds. Just my .02.
 

jgs8163

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I've read only good things about these in their price point. Of course, the users of only top tier scopes will have a different perspective.
I’ve got 2 of these scopes as well as 2 of their 5 series. All made by LOW in Japan. Great glass.

 

Backcountry sports

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Bend Oregon
I agree, he doesn't need a FFP scope, however the Diamond back Tactical is a good entry level scope with options for different hunting conditions. The only thing missing is a zero stop and when it's on 4x the reticle is very small and can be difficult to see. For the money it is adaptable to several different types of hunting, I have 2 of them, one is on a 6.5 PRC and the other is on a .300wsm both have not failed me. As I said, for the money, you get options!
Vortex crossfire
 

M Poling

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Jul 10, 2019
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Oregon
I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest keeping an eye out for a Bushnell ‘Elite’ 3200 w/ Rainguard or something along those lines. I picked up a 4-12x40 here on our classifieds a few days ago for a SML build I’ve got going. The glass is very nice (I have Leupold, Sightron and Trijicon by comparison) and for $275.00 shipped I’m happy with it. 👍
I too would take a look at the Bushnell scopes they have definitely stepped up in quality in the last couple years.
I like shooting long range and recently got a Bushnell Forge for around $500. It definitely holds it's own to a lot of $1000 to $1500 scopes. Just saying anything Bushnell in the $250 to $500 should not disappoint.
If on a budget I like primary arms scopes (not supper high end or anything fancy) but you can usually find some pretty decent reticles if you so desire.
My 2 cents.
 

Buckys

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