Best Rifle Scope Under $200: We Review The Top Scopes In 2024 For Quality & Budget

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This price range has quite the variety, but where do you put your money?

Is it with a low budget brand? Is there a world-name brand in this price range?

Vortex Crossfire on AR15
Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x - Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

We can answer all of your questions with our line-up of the best rifle scopes priced below $200.

Put your seat-belt on because you're in for a roller coaster ride of variety!

Top 8 Rifle Scopes Less Than $200 In 2024

  1. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12X40mm
  2. Vortex Crossfire II 4-12X44mm Deadhold BDC MOA
  3. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9X40mm
  4. Mueller 4.5-14-40 AO APV
  5. Burris Fullfield II 3-9X40mm
  6. Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24
  7. Hawke Vantage 3-9x40 AO
  8. Athlon Neos 4-12x40 Center X

Why Trust Us?

After hundreds of hours of hand-testing rifle scopes in the field and at the range, and thousands more hours researching and writing about them, we feel we earn the title of experts when it comes to optics!

We purchase as many of the optics for our tests as possible, and run them through their paces to make sure they will perform at the range and in the field.

Our combined decades of experience from sporting competitions and recreational shooting, to big game hunting and competitions has been integral in putting together this round-up of the best rifle scope under $200.

Get the inside scoop on how we test optics here.

Best Affordable Rifle Scopes Under $200

If you're shopping in this price range, we can tell you that you've got a decent hunk of cash for a great scope. You can save as much moolah as you can with a cost-conscious brand like Burris or Weaver, or you can maximize value with brands like Leupold, Nikon, and Vortex Optics.

Beginner and intermediate hunters will definitely find the perfect rifle scope for 200 bucks. You just need to narrow down on what does it for you. Is it further reach, a ballistic reticle, or crystal-clear glass? Do you need an affordable scope for your AR-15 or MSR? Whatever it is, one of these rifle scopes is bound to please. You just need a pro on your side helping you to filter out the golden nuggets from the junk. Good news: we're your pro - you're welcome!

tt-table__imageVortex Optics Diamondback 4-12X40
  • Magnification: 4-12X 40mm
  • Reticle: Dead-Hold BDC
  • Eye Relief: 3.1 inches
tt-table__imageVortex Crossfire II 4-12X44 Deadhold BDC MOA
  • Magnification: 4-12X 44mm
  • Reticle: Dead-Hold BDC
  • Eye Relief: 3.9-4.4 inches
tt-table__imageLeupold VX-Freedom 3-9X40
  • Magnification: 3-9X 40mm
  • Reticle: Duplex
  • Eye Relief: 4.17-3.66 inches
tt-table__imageMueller 4.5-14-40 AO APV
  • Magnification: 4.5-14x 40mm
  • Reticle: Duplex
  • Eye Relief: 3.5-3.25 inches
tt-table__imageBurris Fullfield II 3-9X40
  • Magnification: 3-9X 40mm
  • Reticle: Ballistic Plex
  • Eye Relief: 3.1–3.8 inches
tt-table__imageVortex Crossfire II 1-4x24
  • Magnification: 1-4X 24mm
  • Reticle: V-Brite
  • Eye Relief: 4 inches
tt-table__imageHawke Vantage 3-9x40 AO
  • Magnification: 3-9X 40mm
  • Reticle: Mil Dot
  • Eye Relief: 3.5 inches
tt-table__imageAthlon Neos 4-12x40 Center X
  • Magnification: 4-12X 40mm
  • Reticle: Center X
  • Eye Relief: 3 inches

The 8 Best Rifle Scopes Under $200

1. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12X40

Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40 riflescope
Image Credit: Vortex Optics

How do you top a brand that literally exudes quality? You can't. So, you get on their side and check out what they have to offer you. You will have a difficult time finding a decent hunter that doesn't love Vortex. If you do, they ain't no hunter.

While this scope may be basic as far as premium features go, it's premium in every way with the features it does have. Expect nothing but the best when it comes to its fully multi-coated optics, single-piece tube body, and zero reset turrets.

This thing is impervious to magnum recoil, and it's practically indestructible, so feel free to expose it to all sorts of abuse. Really though, don't. Just do what you intend to do with it, nothing more, nothing less. There's no need to throw it into a pond just because you can, come on now!

Available at: Amazon and Optics Planet (use code TTAMERS for 5% off at Optics Planet)

2. Vortex Crossfire II 4-12X44 Deadhold BDC MOA

Vortex Crossfire II 4-12X44mm Deadhold BDC MOA riflescope
Image Credit: Vortex Optics

Vortex just does things best. It's evident by the happy masses and the quality rifle scopes they pump out. If you're surprised to see a Vortex land in twice in the top reviews, then you need to check them out right now. There's a reason why they practically make almost every top pick in ours and every other's best pick lists.

The Crossfire II series has quite the variety when it comes to selecting a model. But, this one has just the right amount of style to impress the hunting crowd. Maybe it's because of its high power range, the Dead-Hold BDC reticle, or the indestructible single-piece tube body. Who can say?

It might even be because of its weatherproof and shockproof assembly or the aircraft-grade aluminum construction. Point made. It's Vortex's over-all quality they put into their scopes!

Available at: Amazon and Optics Planet (use code TTAMERS for 5% off at Optics Planet)

3. Leupold VX-1 3-9X40

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9X40mm rifle scope
Image Credit: Leupold

It's official.  The Leupold VX1 and VX2 lines have been discontinued.  What's there to replace them?  The VX Freedom line.  They're an upgrade to the VX-2, but they're still priced just right.  When budget is somewhat tight, it could mean everything to a hunter and shooter to still afford Leupold quality.  But, what does the VX-Freedom 3-9x40 have to offer?  Let's find out.


  • Price
  • Lightweight/compact
  • Twilight Light Management System
  • Weatherproof
  • Finger click turrets


  • Mushy turrets

Straight out of the horse's mouth, the Freedom line is supposed to have upgraded lens coatings and improved adjustments.  There's also supposed to be some cosmetic changes too.  Without hashing through the nitty gritty of what they are, let's look at what one of the cheapest Freedom scopes does offer.

This scope has a good 3-9x40 platform for a hunter.  It has Leupold's simple Duplex reticle in the second focal plane.  Turrets are capped, are in 1/4 MOA clicks, and the 1" tube offers 60 MOA adjustment travel for both windage and elevation.  The turrets are also finger adjustable which is an excellent feature on a cheap scope.  No tools, no stress, no fuss.

But, there has been more than one mention about mushy turrets.  They're not as crisp as most users would like, and this might affect accurate dialing action at the range or in the field.

It's super compact in design weighing in at 12 ounces and 12.4" in length.  Mount it to your scouting and hunting rifle and you'll be grateful it weighs barely anything after a day of stalking, quartering, and hauling.

It seems the Freedom line of scopes are a welcome addition to the Leupold family.  New or old, Leupold does well.

Available at: Amazon and Optics Planet (use code TTAMERS for 5% off at Optics Planet)

4. Mueller APV 4.5-14X40 AO

Mueller APV 4.5-14x40 AO Riflescope Review
Image Credit: Mueller Optics

Looking for a cheap scope to mount to your varmint rifle? The Mueller APV is a viable option that will put your crosshairs on that pesky gopher. When you’re spending less than $150 bucks for AO, ruggedness, and zero retention, you’ve got value in a cheap buy.


  • Price
  • AO
  • High magnification
  • Ruggedness
  • Lightweight


  • Build quality issues

For a mass-produced scope built this cheaply, there will be some duds. Don’t worry about it. Mueller Optics takes care of it with a limited lifetime warranty. But there are a few things to know to avoid having to send it in.

The scope is advertised as both a rimfire and big game scope. While you may want to put this scope on a 30-06 Springfield, it’s really better suited to .223 Rem and rimfire rifles. Reticle cant and loose objective assemblies have been the result with kicker loads. It should be aimed towards the varmint hunter, and in that application, it performs excellently.

It’s great for close-range hunting since it has the tried-and-true duplex reticle - sorry, no bullet drop compensation here. But to help you achieve max clarity at distance if you’re confident in your shots is an adjustable objective (AO). With FMC coatings, decent ¼ MOA turrets, and a completely water and fogproof build, the Mueller APV offers good performance. At the lowest price point possible from a scope of this caliber, it’s a value buy.

5. Burris Fullfield II 3-9X40

Burris Fullfield II 3-9X40mm riflescope
Image Credit: Burris

Strong. Reliable. No fuss. That's what the Burris Fullfield II is all about. At below $200, this scope is about as fair as it can get for the price.

If you're sick and tired of losing your focus every time you switch up the power, forget about it. The Fullfield II uses an integrative system that allows the eyepiece and the power range to be controlled in one movement. With a fast focus eyepiece, you'll be in control of your clarity with every single movement you make on the scope.

Its durability is something of note with its double spring tension assembly. It's even got HiLume multi-coated optics to ensure you're seeing crystal-clear images every time you put face to scope. There's a pattern here. "Every" shot you take, "every" distance you range, you'll have quality "every" time you depend on the Fullfield. It seems that "every" penny is going to be well-spent here!

Available at: Amazon and Optics Planet (use code TTAMERS for 5% off at Optics Planet)

6. Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24

Vortex Crossfire II LPV on 15:22
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

The Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24 is a great scope for casual applications like plinking, training, and target shooting. It’s a budget scope that would be fantastic to get on sale, but in general, it’s under $200 and fits the budget and comes complete with Vortex’s VIP warranty.


  • LPVO
  • V-Brite reticle
  • Rugged & tough
  • 0.5 MOA adjustments
  • Smooth eyepiece


  • Not true 1x

As is expected, the Crossfire II LPVO doesn’t have true 1x. There’s also noticeable fisheye, but it doesn’t render the scope useless in my opinion. To mitigate these drawbacks, I used the Crossfire with my shooting eye open and the other closed 90% of the time.

Moving past what could be possible deal breakers for you is the good. I actually think the image resolution and color were excellent for a Crossfire optic even at 4x magnification. The adjustable eyepiece (diopter) will be needed to get a good balance between sight picture focus and the reticle, and it has smooth movement, so it’s easy to find that sweet spot.

I really like the V-Brite reticle. It’s clean, simple, and easy to use. The floating dot is 1.5 MOA and some will say it’s small. In my experience, it’s actually bigger than the center dots I’ve seen in other LPV scopes. The illumination is not daylight bright which is a disappointment, but it’s fantastic for dark conditions.

One of the greatest things about this scope is that it’s tough. It’s truly waterproof and withstood my water-testing process better than I expected.

I don’t think the Crossfire II has the tracking precision required for professional applications, and I wouldn’t dial with it for the hunt. But there are those that have been able to make it work for some kinds of hunting without holding over and I say that’s great. But I think for the money, it’s better suited to recreational use on a .22LR or AR-15.

7. Hawke Vantage 3-9X40 AO

Hawke Vantage 3-9x40 AO Riflescope Review
Image Credit: Hawke Optics

The Vantage scope from Hawke is a scope that’s worth buying every time, every day. This is a scope that performs, and it performs because it has quality.


  • Price
  • AO
  • Recoil-proof
  • Weatherproof
  • Lightweight



The Vantage may be an immediate strikeout for some buyers as it incorporates ¼ MOA turrets and a mil-dot reticle. It’s not a complete deal breaker if you know your MOA and MIL stuff, but it’s not your long-range, beyond the pale type of scope anyway.

This is a great scope for varmint hunting as it has more than enough magnification to get it done. Glass quality is good if you consider edge-to-edge clarity at max power good. You’re going to need to get to max power since the mil-dot reticle is in the rear focal plane.  

While it’s a perfect scope for rimfire rifles, it’s absolutely at home on bigger cartridge rifles used for hog hunting or game. It won’t weigh you down because it has reasonable optical specs and a 17-ounce weight.

You can count on the Vantage pulling through to clear the ranch of pests or fill your tag in the worst weather since it’s waterproof and fogproof. It also doesn’t matter if you’re plinking at 25 yards or taking down coyotes at 150 yards. The AO allows you to get parallax free and sharp views every time – just don’t forget to use it.

For a scope with dependable performance that is sure to hold zero regardless of what you’re shooting, this is the kind of $200 buy that’s worth it.

Available at: Amazon and Optics Planet (use code TTAMERS for 5% off at Optics Planet)

8. Athlon Neos 4-12x40 Center X

Athlon Neos 4-12x40 Center X
Image Credit - Athlon Optics

Athlon is the type of brand that people turn to for quality and reasonable price points. The most affordable scope series offered by the well-known manufacturer is the Neos. For many things hunting and target shooting, the 4-12x configuration is King.


  • All-purpose 4-12x
  • 3 reticle options
  • Side focus
  • Great optics
  • Compact/lightweight


  • Short eye relief

The Neos is available with three different reticle options, the Center X, BDC 500 IR, and BDC 22 Rimfire. They’re all great, but if you’re taking down game where you don’t need a complex reticle, the Center X will get it done.

One of the most talked-about features of the budget Neos series is its surprising optical quality. Athlon dished out the scope with wide-band FMC coatings and many have praised its ability to keep up at max 12x magnification to see groupings at 100 yards.

The side focus can be focused all the way down to 10 yards and the SFP reticle remains highly visible in lowlight conditions and throughout the entire magnification range. True to hunter style, the ¼ MOA turrets are capped. If you happen to need those long-range shots to compensate for drop, dial it in and you’ll likely have plenty with the 60 MOA of travel.

It has approximately 3” of eye relief. That could be considered short especially for those who like big, forgiving eye boxes or if you have a rifle with a lot of kick. Honestly though, it’s comparable to a lot of scopes in its price range.

The Athlon Neos is ready for the hunt having been shock, fog, and water tested to handle the conditions of a cold, wet season.

Available at: Amazon and Optics Planet (use code TTAMERS for 5% off at Optics Planet)

What to Look for in a Rifle Scope in this Price Range?

There's quite a lot more quality in your favor when you up the ante with an extra hundred bucks. You're just starting to see the kind of premium features that could change your hunting game in this price range. But, it's a given that you must require absolute, solid quality out of the fundamental features of a rifle scope. You want durability, better glass, and brand reputation behind your buy. Here's how you find that!

Glass & Coatings

Overall, most scopes in this price range will have non-ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass. While there is no definitive standard for what goes into a FMC (Fully Multi-Coated) formula, it does ensure multiple layers on all air-to-glass surfaces for anti-reflective benefits to better light transmission.

Vortex DiamondbackNon-EDFMC
Vortex Crossfire IINon-EDFMC
Leupold VX-FreedomNon-EDFMC
Mueller APVNon-EDFMC
Burris Fullfield IINon-EDFMC
Vortex Crossfire IINon-EDFMC
Hawke AdvantageNon-EDFMC
Athlon NeosNon-EDFMC
Riflescope Glass & Coatings Comparisons

Magnification & Objective Lens (Configuration)

On average, you’ll see a variety of scope configurations for under $200. Anything from an LPVO to long-range scopes, the market has it. However, given the typical optical quality at this price point, the all-purpose 3-9x and 4-12x configurations deliver great performance for the money.

Even at this price point, some scopes with over 10x magnification will offer a side focus or an adjustable objective for parallax correction/focusing.

ProductMagnificationObjective LensParallax
Vortex Diamondback4-12x40 mmFixed 100 yards
Vortex Crossfire II4-12x44 mmFixed 100 yards
Leupold VX-Freedom3-9x40 mmFixed 150 yards
Mueller APV4.5-14x40 mmAO
Burris Fullfield II3-9x40 mmFixed 100 yards
Vortex Crossfire II1-4x24 mmFixed 100 yards
Hawke Advantage3-9x40 mmAO
Athlon Neos4-12x40 mmSide focus
Riflescope Magnification, Objective Lens & Parallax Features

Reticles & Adjustments

In general, the reticles are going to vary but you will find an abundance of duplex style reticles in the second focal plane (SFP). Reticles in the first focal plane (FFP) can cost more, and it really depends on your application and comfort zone in what type of reticle is preferred.

Some scopes may offer illumination. Putting aside all other factors, you can also improve your precision with a scope that has ¼ MOA (0.25 MOA) adjustments.

ProductReticleFocal PlaneAdjustment Value
Vortex DiamondbackBDC SFP0.25 MOA
Vortex Crossfire IIDead-Hold BDC SFP0.25 MOA
Leupold VX-FreedomReticle choices availableSFP0.25 MOA
Mueller APVDuplexSFP0.25 MOA
Burris Fullfield IIPlex, Ballistic PlexSFP0.25 MOA
Vortex Crossfire IIV-BriteSFP0.5 MOA
Hawke AdvantageMil-dotSFP0.25 MOA
Athlon NeosReticle choices availableSFP0.25 MOA
Riflescope Reticle, Focal Plane & Adjustment Value Comparisons

Build Quality

Nearly every manufacturer these days are enforcing good durability practices by testing their products and implementing quality control measures. The most important factor is that the scope must hold zero. Secondly, it should be fog and waterproof, meaning, O-ring sealed and gas purged.

Other factors to consider is overall bulk. How much will it add to your rifle? For the money, any included accessories might not be worth using, so you’ll need to know the tube size to buy quality mounting rings or a cantilever mount.

Vortex Diamondback12”14.6 oz1 inchYesYes
Vortex Crossfire II13.1”17.2 oz1 inchYesYes
Leupold VX-Freedom12.4”12.2 oz1 inchYesYes
Mueller APV13.75”17.5 oz30 mmYesYes
Burris Fullfield II12.2”13 oz1 inchYesYes
Vortex Crossfire II9.61"14.8 oz30 mmYesYes
Hawke Advantage12.7”17 oz1 inchYesYes
Athlon Neos12.56”18.1 oz1 inchYesYes
Riflescope Length, Weight, Tube Size, Waterproof & Fogproof Comparisons


Warranties vary between manufacturers and sometimes between scopes from the same manufacturer. There is coverage, like Vortex’s VIP Warranty, that applies to all optics and is what I call industry-leading coverage. However, many scopes in this price range will offer 30-day money-back guarantees.

Vortex DiamondbackVIP Warranty
Vortex Crossfire IIVIP Warranty
Leupold VX-FreedomLifetime Guarantee
Mueller APVLimited Lifetime
Burris Fullfield IIForever Warranty
Vortex Crossfire IIVIP Warranty
Hawke AdvantageLifetime Warranty
Athlon NeosLifetime Warranty
Riflescope Warranty Comparisons

Be Brand Specific!

Now is the time that you'd start looking at what brand does it best. You want to put your money behind a brand that you can trust and be loyal to. That extra hundred bucks can set the stage for your hunting success. So, who is it? Is it Leupold, Vortex, Nikon, or another? Compare them and put them head to head to see who remains standing. Being brand specific might get you the best value out of your buy!

Further Reading

Photo of author

Simon Cuthbert - Founder

Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the founder of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. Simon has contributed to notable publications online and teaches beginners the technical side of optics through his extensive library of optics guides.

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