The 4 Best Rifle Scopes To Buy for Under $200

Not everyone is rich and can buy a top of the line $1,000 scope right off the bat after spending $1k+ on a nice rifle like an AR or maybe even a Remington 700. That’s why we set out on a mission to find the absolute best scopes under $200 that will perform well, provide good optics and hold up to a beating.

best scope under $200

Here are our top picks for the best rifle scopes under $200:

Barska 1-4×28 IR Hunting Scope

The illuminated reticle is glass etched for daytime use, and illuminated in either green or black lighting for nighttime use, though the illumination works well during the day also.

The scope is nitrogen purged and protected by O-ring seals to keep the weather out, and the fog down. The 28mm primary optic collects more than enough light for the 1-4x zoom range, though some hunters will find that range a bit lacking, especially those who spend a lot of time punching targets at long ranges. For a battle scope or a standard hunting rifle, however, it’s ideal.

The reticle itself is a mil-dot variety, and the scope is constructed for rugged use in harsh environments. It’s hard to top the value on this scope. It comes with a lithium battery and cantilever scope mount with a see through bottom. It also comes with a lifetime limited warranty.

Barska is known as an optics “budget brand” but they do make some pretty nice optics for the money. You can buy this scope for a little over $100 and it’s well worth it.

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 BDC

Nikon’s quality optics at a steal of a bargain. The anti-reflective, multi-coated lenses provide 92% light throughput, and the telescopic setup is 3-9×40, a standard calibration for hunting optics.

The scope is 100% waterproof, nitrogen purged, and fog-proof. The one piece tube is O-ring sealed, and should never be penetrated by moisture, and there is a lifetime warranty to guarantee that. The scope itself is a collaboration between Nikon and Buck Masters, to produce the ideal hunting scope, and sell it at a budget price. The BDC reticle is the standard design that you would hope for.

No frills, just a classic, iconic, rifle scope that’s great for both plinking and hunting alike.

Monstrum Tactical 3-12×42 AO Rifle Scope with Mil-Dot Reticle

This scope from Monstrum Tactical is a bargain that performs outside of the standard box. Let’s face it, every scope from this manufacturer is a bargain, but for a lot less than $200, you get a wide range of magnification, from 3x – 12x, and all the objective power that you need to support it.

The primary optic is a slightly over-sized 42mm for extra light transmission. Includes parallax adjustment, a lighted mil-dot reticule, five brightness levels, two colors, and the tube is constructed from 6061 aircraft grade aluminum. It’s also sealed and purged with nitrogen, making it water and fog resistant.

As an added bonus, the elevation and windage adjustments are precise, in increments of ¼ MOA per click. The kit includes offset scope rights, 3V battery, and a set of lens covers.

It’s everything you could want in a quality hunting scope, and is versatile enough for many other uses as well. At this price, it’s definitely worth considering.

UTG 4-16X44 30mm Compact Rifle Scope

If you are looking for a compact design that has everything going for it, including long-range sighting, then check out this scope from UTG. The magnification runs from 4 to 16x, it comes with a big 44mm objective lens, and the reticle is saturated with 36  color mil-dots that can be tuned to any weather or lighting condition you can imagine.

The windage and elevation turrets adjust with precise ¼ MOA clicks, and the multi-coated lenses provide a very nice amount of light transmission. Not quite as much as a Nikon, but you also get rings, flip-up lens caps, parallax adjustment, and a shockproof housing. Nitrogen purging and O-rings are standard.

So Can I Get a Good Scope for Under $200?

The simple answer is yes. The $200 price point for rifle scopes is kind of a magic number. You’re not going to get Zeiss clarity or extreme durability that will be ready for war but you will get a good scope that can be used to acquire targets at distances.

If you’re looking for a scope to throw on your rifle at the range, choose one from the list above. If you want something better, check this post we recently made.