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

Buckys

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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.
My ~12yr old Bushnell Elite 4200 4-16x50 is still one of my all-time favorite scopes. Great low light scope. They seemed to miss a step after knocking it out of the park with the 3200/4200/6500 Elites but good to see them coming back.
 

Pro2A

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A good used scope would be my choice save yourself some $$$
Good used scope, yes......but, don't try to save money. One can't hit what one can't see. Spend all the money you have....even stretch until you gasp and squeak......and get a good used higher quality glass scope for your price range. For your shorter range application, you don't need huge objective/magnification/ballistic reticles-turrets bells and whistles/FFP. Low light glass performance......maybe illuminated reticle...maybe...... is your critical need, followed by FOV and robustness to maintaining zero......think ROI longevity.....drop/bang/cumulative recoil damage resistance. The sweetness of low cost is soon forgotten with the realization of low performance. Buy once, cry once, happy and proud ever more.....says the really, really old guy. YMMV, but I sincerely doubt it. Been there, done that, paid the learning curve tuition.
 
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jgs8163

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Good to know. Any thoughts about the scope beyond the Japanese glass?
As @FEENIX also states these are phenomenal scopes for the money. Solid Turrets, reticle is great, finish is solid, repeatability back to zero is spot on. Tracking has been spot on. I made a home made zero stop system that was very easy to make, Basically a Rev limiter.
I’m not sure if you know who LOW (Light optical works LTD) is but they’re in Japan and make most of the Bushnell Elite Tactical scopes, they make the NF SHV models, vortex Razor models. They make top tier stuff, nothing they produce is bad and glass is always spot on. I’m not saying you can’t have something defective from them from time to time but they produce solid products.
 
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jgs8163

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Here is the CT 5 series that’s more than half off. Many know that Nikon has exited the scope business and soon you won’t see their scopes anymore. They sold their facility to Crimson Trace which is in the Philippines. That being said the only CT scopes made in Japan were the 2,3, and 5 series, their new models recently released using different model badging are made in the old Nikon factory. My 5 series CT I like better than my Vortex Razor Gen 1.

 

tim1457

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I've bought 2 of the Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50 MOA EBR-2C Riflescopes from EuroOptic on closeout, $449 ($502 out the door with tax, shipping). FFP, illuminated reticle, side focus and pretty light scope. Yes, more than what you need for now but at that price you can't go wrong. I may not shoot over 100 yards during hunting season, but if given the opportunity I have a scope that will handle it and I practice for that in the off season.
 

mercerbear

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Check on ebay, you can find a good used leupold for under 500.00. I recently bought a 2.5 -10 x 50 for just under 500.00. You do not need a tacticle scope for you application. Vortex diamondback however seems to be a good scope, I have and use it while working up different loads.
No offense, but you clearly know nothing about the optic I recommended. And, Diamondbacks are trash, IMO.

There have been quite a few guys on this thread spouting off about other Vortex optics and not specifically about the Razor Light Hunter line.

If you haven’t handled one, how can you have an opinion?
 

M Poling

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I would say to spend a little more and be closer to the 1k range. The difference in glass quality and features is huge from $500 to $1,000.
Yes, I totally agree on the quality and clarity boost by spending a bit more coin. If you can't afford a $800 to $1000 scope, you might try to find the same scope used. If it's truly a good quality scope worth $800 to $1000 then there should be no concerns of a little use. Just make sure you test the turret tracking etc. once mounted.
 

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