6 Best Rifle Scopes Under $100

When reviewing hunting rifle scopes in the $100 price range or less, change significantly in terms of what the buyer is getting for his or her money. Plastic lens systems creep into the picture as does pot metal parts. Some scopes in this price range even use plastic main tubes.

My point here is simply this: Be sure of what you're buying in a low priced super budget scope. As I have already stated, you often get exactly what you pay for when it comes to purchasing cheap rifle scopes.

BUT In the following review, I will select some of the best rifle scopes that retain some level of workable lifelines for use in the field or target range.

Name

​Magnification

​Diameter

Price

UTG BugBuster Scope

3-9

32mm

​Bunshell Banner Dusk to Dawn ​

3-9

40mm

Bushnell TRS-25

1

25mm

Nikon Buckmasters II 3X9X40mm

3-9

40mm

Ade Advanced Optics RD30009 Red Dot Sight

1

25mm x 16mm

XOPin Rifle Scope Combo

4-16

50mm

1. UTG BugBuster Scope

best budget rifle scope

The UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope carries a warning in its advertising: "Warning beware of counterfeit scopes shipped directly from China.” This little scope is followed and used among shooters that are looking for a low priced glass sight for informal shooting events.

This scope features a 1-inch tube with a lens coating system that produces maximum light transmission at all times.

The turrets on this scope also retain a zero lockable and reset system that makes use of ¼ MOA per click elevation or windage calibrations. The system follows the big guys at least in terms of feature offerings on a bargain-priced optical system.

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The scope makes use of a ranging MOA reticle (subtension) and has an adjustable objective that focuses from three yards to infinity. Turret adjustments for elevation are an open style for fast changes to increased zero or subtension holdover. Parallax control is on the forward bell housing and marked for range.

The scope includes its own set of weaver style mounts that will fit a weaver designed rail or other rails of the same style. This is a nice feature because the buyer need not run around town trying to fit bases and rings to the product. Believe me, I know, because I have been in that situation far too many times myself.

best rimfire scope under 100

The scope has a red/green dual illumination system for versatile applications. The glass retains a large field of view. The eye relief recoil is ample. However, neither field of view or eye relief is stated in inches. MOA dots number nine in each direction giving ample windage and elevation allowances for this scope.

The scope comes with a pair of eyeshades, flip lens caps, and detachable rings. The tube is sealed to be fog proof, waterproof, and shockproof. Considering all elements, this little scope offers quite a number of features not found on many budget class optical systems. This scope is an interesting glass sight, to say the least.

Available at Amazon

The price of UTG BugBuster Scope varies, so check the latest price at Amazon.

2. Bushnell Banner Dusk to Dawn 

best budget scopes

I can tell a story about Bushnell that dates back almost 50 years. I have had several of these scopes in use today that were bought, mounted, and left alone for quite some time.

Only old gun writers have this knowledge. Within the past several weeks, while helping some old stump jumpers in Wisconsin re-zero their deer rifles which carried very old and still working Bushnell Banner scopes, did I realize just what a tough little glass sight these systems were once--and still are today.

In terms of recoil, two of my three scopes are mounted on test 870 Wingmaster shotguns that have been shooting for many years. This means recoil--and lots of it! Mounted on both rifled and smooth-bore barrels, these scopes have been to hell and back in terms of abuse in the ballistics testing area of my work.

At times hundreds of rounds of both heavy waterfowl, turkey, and deer loads have been sent down the bore. The energy of the recoil passed across the mounts and main tubes of these scopes and never phased them one bit. The end result is that they just keep ticking much like the Energizer Bunny.

The price of each scope back then was about $35, and as such, the scopes are still a total bargain in a get it done working-level budget deer rifle glass sight.

Specifications regarding the Banner series are as follows:

Using 3X9 magnification this is a low light scope with a 40 mm objective lens. Large and light gathering are great words to describe this scope. The Multi-X reticle is easy to acquire in terms of the aiming point on game or targets. The turrets retain ¼ MOA graduations for windage and elevation.

This scope is built on a one-piece design, is gas-filled and is both fog proof and waterproof. The eyepiece system on the Banner provides a fast focus with the ring toward the rear end of the tube. This scope is a multi-purpose sight system and can be used on both rifles and shotguns. Also, let's not leave out the muzzleloader as well.

best budget scope

The mounting length is 5.8 inches with a total length of 12 inches. The scope's weight is 13 ounces.

Be advised that the Banner series of scopes are flexible in terms of configurations. If you don't like one model, by all means, check out another one at the same time.

Available at Amazon

The price of Bushnell Banner Dusk to Dawn varies, so check the latest price at Amazon.

3. Bushnell TRS-25

best sight under 100

The Bushnell TRS-25 proves that getting into a red mil-dot sighting system does not have to be high priced. I ran systems for years on 22 rimfires, crossbows, and shotguns that were all under $50. Enter the Bushnell TRS-25 Hirise 1X25 mm with riser block mount. This scope has a matte black finish.

Bushnell is offering a sporting sight that gets the job done as a very durable lightweight (6 ounces) with 3 MOA red dots.

The sight reduces battery loss by turning off when left unattended. The sight regulates brightness according to natural light produced from any external source. When the protective power hood is attached, the sight automatically powers down to save your battery.

Available at Amazon

The price of Bushnell TRS-25 varies, so check the latest price at Amazon.

4. Nikon Buckmasters II 3X9X40mm

best rifle scopes under 100

Here is a quality scope that will run a few dollars more than the previous scopes, but retains the BDC reticle so well accepted by hunters. Its construction mimics a “big rifle” scope in my opinion.

Nikon makes use of their “Spot On” ballistics match technology. These improvements work well on this scope just like they do on the higher-end products. "Spot On" allows the shooter to dope in exact reference points for the ammunition to make long distance first-round hits.

best value rifle scope

Nikon uses the BDC reticle that makes use of a series of horizontal rings that are open to the inside allowing the target to be placed within the ring at various ranges. This system is so good that I took the very scope, attached it to the Remington Super 50 Cal muzzleloader and drilled 400-yard targets with consistency.

All lens surfaces on this scope are multicoated to provide a bright, sharp image on the glass surface. This pulls light and gives a clear target image.

Add the lifetime warranty provided by Nikon and you have a field scope for general purpose or big game applications that will return many years of service to the hunter/shooter.

Available at Amazon

The price of Nikon Buckmasters varies, so check the latest price at Amazon.

5. Ade Advanced Optics RD30009 Red Dot Sight

best cheap scope

The final sight in my selection of budget sights for rifles is a small HUD display type sight that only makes use of the basic red dot. This sight is designed in the USA and has been upgraded since its introduction in 2014.

The final sight in my selection of budget sights for rifles is a small HUD display type sight that only makes use of the basic red dot. This sight is designed in the USA and has been upgraded since its introduction in 2014.

The ground and polished lens system in this sight eliminates parallax and returns a clear, sharp sighting surface. This unit comes with an installed Weaver-style mount for fast application to any rail style receiver mount.

best scope under 100

Being fully windage and elevation adjustable, the sight features an unlimited eye relief, 5 MOA, and 5 illumination settings. It is powered by a CR2032 battery.

This sight can be mounted as a secondary sight over a scope or as a separate unit. It is small and would work on handguns. For a quick sight in low light, this will fill the bill just fine.

Available at Amazon

The price of Ade Advanced Optics RD30009 varies, so check the latest price at Amazon.

6. XOPin Rifle Scope Combo

best rifle scopes for the money

This is a new product and just launched for sale to the sporting public. This is a multi-use scope, laser, and Holo sight. You can look through the sight with subtensions or point a laser for a dead-on hold.

I have built these systems by tacking on extra products on a Weaver rail. I have shot them at night and day for predator control for the past 30 years. Now, the industry has developed this concept of multiple sighting systems with the new XOPin Rifle Scope.

Here is what the scope can do and how it is built and configured.

Using a red laser on a selector and mounted to a standard Weaver-style rail, the scope is simple to install and zero. The scope uses high quality, fully coated optical lens material, as well as a dry nitrogen filled tube making it waterproof and shockproof.

best cheap rifle scope

Scope magnification 4X12 gives it a flexible application in terms of both day and night function. The included rail mount is built of T6061 aluminum. This is exactly the same grade material found on many much higher priced scope systems.

The scope retains a five-level, multi-color (red/green) reticle for the night or very low light work. The reticle can also be controlled with regard to light intensity.

Field of view amounts to 10 to 27 inches at 100 yards, The windage and elevation clocks are ¼ increments on the turret settings. Eye relief is 3.4 inches.

The scope retains a fast-focus eyepiece and uses resettable windage adjustments. The unit makes use of a detachable laser light that has an independent switch away from the main scope body. Laser sights are valuable when quick sighting is required or when getting onto a target in low light conditions.

Holographic sight retains a 33mm reflex lens aperture and provides for a wide field of viewing. This scope carries a 12-month guarantee. The company provides full service for scope repair.

Available at Amazon

The price of XOPin Rifle Scope Combo varies, so check the latest price at Amazon.

When I started to reference material that was dealing with very low priced budget optical systems, I did not have much hope for success. I was wrong in that assumption because there are indeed systems that can get the job done at some very affordable prices. Be sure to check all the sources for the latest prices.

Do not assume that any of these scopes and red dot systems are advanced enough for professional use, military application, or police service. They are to be sure not that at all.

What we have are sights that a local backwoods deer hunter can bring home the meat with, a Sunday afternoon paper target shooter can use to pound some holes in his favorite 22 rimfire with, or a rancher can use to dust off a nasty barn rat that is getting into the corn pile.

While I have indeed tested and owned scopes that ran upward of $2000, I also have shot many budget systems that have carried their open weight as well. Modern technology has indeed advanced manufacturing to a point that even budget gear will return good performance and last the shooter a long time.

L.P.Brezny has been writing and reviewing products as well as how to projects for the past 50 years. He has authored four books on shooting with three on long range, and one covering shotgunning.(Amazon) With 26 years in a metro police department as a street officer and the rank of SGT / training L.P. has covered all the bases regarding weapons and street survival.

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