Hunting Guide

Best AR Scope under 500

When it comes to choosing the best ar scope for your needs, you want to ensure that you are getting the most for your money.

You don’t want to spend a fortune on something that you’re not going to use or won’t be happy with it. 

Fortunately, there are some great scopes available for under $500.

This blog post will look at some of the best ar scopes under 500 dollars and help you decide which one is right for you. Keep reading to learn more!

Top 10 Best AR scope under 500

Here we discuss the Top 10 AR Scope in detail. After reading the complete article you have a good idea, which scope is better for your budget and requirement.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Athlon Optics , Argos BTR, Riflescope, 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane (FFP) 30 mm Tube, Illuminated APMR MIL Reticle, Black

Athlon Optics , Argos BTR, Riflescope, 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane (FFP) 30 mm Tube, Illuminated APMR MIL Reticle, Black

9.7
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Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6x24 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - BDC Reticle (MOA) with Sport Cantilever 30mm Mount - 2-Inch Offset

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6x24 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - BDC Reticle (MOA) with Sport Cantilever 30mm Mount - 2-Inch Offset

9.5
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Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer - 2 MOA - 12841

Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer - 2 MOA - 12841

9.1
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Bushnell Optics, Drop Zone Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets, Matte Black, 1-4x/24mm

Bushnell Optics, Drop Zone Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets, Matte Black, 1-4x/24mm

8.8
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Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope - Illuminated ARC-2-MOA

Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope - Illuminated ARC-2-MOA

8.6
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UTG 3-9X32 1

UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings , Black

8.2
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Burris Optics Fullfield E1 4.5-14x42 SF Scope, Ballistic Plex E1 Reticle 200338

Burris Optics Fullfield E1 4.5-14x42 SF Scope, Ballistic Plex E1 Reticle 200338

8
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Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20mm Riflescope, Duplex Reticle, Matte Finish

Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20mm Riflescope, Duplex Reticle, Matte Finish

7.7
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Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600

Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600

7.4
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Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight- 4 MOA Red Dot

Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight- 4 MOA Red Dot

7.2
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1. Best AR Optics on a budget: Athlon Optics

61JsaSAc4IS. AC SL1500

The Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, Riflescope, 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane (FFP) 30 mm Tube, Illuminated APMR MIL Reticle, Black is one of the best ar scopes under 500. It is due to many reasons, mainly because of the company. 

Its company has an established history of producing high-quality optics for hunting and tactical purposes. Athlon Optics has been around for five years now, always looking to upgrade its products so hunters can have a better experience while out in the field. Their products are durable, reliable, and usually come reasonably. They also offer fewer power ones, so everyone will find what they need when buying an optic.

The Argos BTR, 6-24 x 50, comes with a first focal plane reticle which stays valid at all power settings allowing you to fully utilize the specially designed reticle that shrinks or grows along with your target as you zoom in or out. This scope is considered one of the best ar scope under 500 because it has a clear and crisp view and is perfect for any application.

You can use it whether you’re trying to catch a quick glimpse at something 300 yards away or if you want to take long-distance shots with pinpoint accuracy. The optics are made out of aircraft-grade aluminum, making the scope shockproof, waterproof, and sturdy. It also comes with argon purging, which, apart from many other things, including better waterproofing and thermal stability, stops internal fogging while going from hot to cold environments.

Another reason why this optic is considered the best ar scope under 500 is because of the immense eye relief. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about a smaller calibered weapon or a .50 cal rifle. It will make you feel comfortable with aiming through it at all times. To sum things up, The Argos BTR 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane (FFP) 30 mm Tube Illuminated APMR MIL Reticle Black is an excellent purchase for anyone who wants to take their hunting game to the next level without spending too much money.

Pros

  • Clear and crisp
  • Shockproof, waterproof, sturdy, and made out of aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Can be used for any application at long or short distances
  • The eye relief is considerable, so you can comfortably aim even if you’re using a smaller caliber weapon

Cons

  • High Budget price tag

2. Best AR optics under 500: Vortex Optics Strike Eagle

61AayfzGhvL. AC SL1500

The Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24 Second Focal Plane Riflescope – BDC Reticle (MOA) with Sports Cantilever 30mm Mount – 2-Inch Offset is a versatile and dynamic scope that is suited for any shooter. It is designed to be useable in all conditions, from close-range engagements to long-distance shots or anything in between.

The illuminated glass-etched BDC reticle has 11 different settings on the illumination system, allowing you to adapt your lighting needs at any given point. The Strike Eagle 1-6×24 even features an extra battery storage area on the windage cap, and with this cantilever mount, it is perfectly positioned for optimal effectiveness and ease of use.

The Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24 Second Focal Plane Riflescope – BDC Reticle (MOA) with Sports Cantilever 30mm Mount – 2-Inch Offset is an excellent scope for anyone looking to maximize their accuracy and utility.

Pros

  • The illuminated glass-etched BDC reticle has 11 different lighting settings
  • Extra battery storage area on windage cap

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Extra battery storage area on the windage cap may fail after prolonged use.

3. Red Dot Sights for AR 15: Aimpoint PRO

The Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer – 2 MOA – 12841 is designed to deliver premium performance under harsh conditions, making it one of the highest quality red dot optics available. The sight is built tough with a design that can hold up against horrible weather conditions and other challenging situations.

Its 2 MOA dot has ten brightness settings for accurately targeting various lighting conditions. It also features an automatic setting that will adjust between 6 different levels based on the lighting around you, giving you optimal visibility when you need it most.

The Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer – 2 MOA – 12841 is high-quality optics that deliver value in terms of durability, brightness, and long battery life when compared with similar optics. This quality red dot sight is made of sturdy materials with an aluminum-alloy body, rubberized anti-reflective coating, and heavy-duty construction. It has a 2 MOA dot reticle which makes it great for close to mid-range targets and reasonably lightweight at only 6 ounces.

This optics offers windage and elevation adjustments that are easy to make even when wearing gloves to its tool-less mounting features. You can adjust this optic for any lighting condition with ten different brightness settings without compromising visibility or accuracy. The automatic feature ensures you won’t be caught in a low-light situation with limited visibility as it automatically adjusts your brightness settings based on the ambient light around you. When combined with the parallax-free design, you will get a clear, crisp reticle that stays in focus while you shoot, allowing increased accuracy.

Pros

  • Parallax free design
  • Easy to adjust and operate even while wearing gloves

Cons

  • May not be great for long

4. Best AR 15 scope 2021: Bushnell Optics

61asXRWdBpS. AC SL1100

Bushnell Optics, Drop Zone Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets, Matte Black, 1-4x/24mm is designed for mid-range precision. The scope has a drop zone 223 BDC reticle for 55 to 62 grain, 223 REM 5.556 loads aiming at 500 yards.

It is calibrated with the target turrets (0.1 mil click value) for pinpoint precise adjustments that make it more accurate than before. The Drop zone 223 BDC ballistic reticle is calibrated for 55 to 62 grain, 223 REM 5.556 loads aiming at 500 yards.

The fully multi-coated optics of this Bushnell riflescope offer incredible brightness for high accuracy and optimum visibility in all light conditions. It also has a fast-focus eyepiece that allows shooters to bring reticles into sharp focus quickly.

The Bushnell Optics, Drop Zone Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets, Matte Black, 1-4x/24mm is a versatile 223 rifle scope used for mid-range precision. It offers shooters an outstanding close-quarters accuracy with the drop zone BDC reticle calibrated for 55 to 62 grain, 223 REM 5.556 loads with aiming points out to 500 yards.

The scope has target turrets (0.1 mil click value) for pinpoint precise adjustments that make it more accurate than before. It has a fast-focus eyepiece that makes it easy to bring reticles into sharp focus, further maximizing performance.

Pros

  • The Drop zone 223 BDC ballistic reticle is calibrated for 55 to 62 grain, 223 REM 5.556 loads with aiming points out to 500 yards
  • The scope is made of high durability aluminum alloy, anodized finishes, and sealed to protect the inside from elements
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • The fully multi-coated optics offer incredible brightness for high accuracy and optimum visibility in all light conditions

Cons

  • Not for magnum calibers

5. Primary Arms SLX

61wrqczvUYL. AC SL1500

The Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope – Illuminated ARC-2-MOA is a versatile and practical optic choice for the AR platform. This scope is equipped with an ARC-2 MOA illuminated reticle calibrated to be always true through the 4-14X magnification range of this variable power scope.

To keep it simple, this means you never need to compensate for bullet drop or wind drift with your aim – sight in at 100 yards and hold “dead-on” from there. In addition, each illumination dot is calibrated to represent one inch of real life at 200 yards as well as 16 inches low profile at 100 yards, making it ideal for close-quarters use as well as long-distance targeting.

This scope’s first focal plane design lets you take full advantage of its variable magnification capability on the fly. If you’ve ever struggled to sight in a scope, adjust for elevation or windage, or make corrections at long range, this is the optic for you.

The PA 4-14x44mm is a versatile and powerful optic choice for the AR platform. The ARC-2 MOA illuminated reticle is calibrated to remain valid through the 4-14X magnification range of this variable power scope. It means shooters no longer have to compensate for bullet drop or wind drift – sight-in at 100 yards and hold “dead-on” there.

In addition, each illumination dot is calibrated to represent one inch of real life at 200 yards and 16 inches low profile at 100 yards, making it ideal for close quarter use and long-distance targeting. The first focal plane design of the PA lets you take advantage of its variable magnification capability on the fly.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Powerful
  • Easy to use
  • Offers the ability to make on-the-fly adjustments

Cons

  • None!

6. UTG 3-9X32 1

71D1NWiCDGS. AC SL1500

The UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings, Black is an excellent scope for any airsoft beginner or enthusiast. The bug buster is one of the most popular scopes on amazon and has been rated five stars by many people.

The UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings, Black comes with a complete set of accessories such as extra lens caps and rings, which makes it easier for you to attach it to your gun without taking too long setting up adjustments on your ar rifle scope. It also has a prominent display that does not distort your view or vision when looking through the laser beam or even during daytime use. This bug buster variant includes emerald coating, which is targeted at maximizing light transmission so that you can use it both day and night.

When I first tried out the UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings, Black on my ar airsoft rifle, I was surprised at how light it was felt even though it came with high-quality features. It did not make my gun feel any heavier than usual, which is essential when operating during wars or missions where speed and agility are vital to winning. You do not want to be weighed down by heavy accessories like scopes because they will only cause you hassle when trying to perform different movements simultaneously. The scope also had a simple setup, which made it easy for me to attach to my gun without taking too much time out of the box and connecting all the necessary parts.

The UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings, Black also has a clear lens that does not distort your vision when looking through the display. Hence, you will pinpoint where you want to shoot or aim accurately even in dim-lit conditions, especially if you switch on the green laser for night use. The low light performance is of high quality and gives off a bright green laser which is very visible, thus giving you a better chance of shooting and hitting your targets during wars and missions.

Pros

  • Complete set of accessories which makes it easier to attach
  • The clear lens that does not distort your vision when looking through the display
  • Quality materials that are durable and your money will not go to waste
  • Exceptionally ergonomic design and does not feel bulky on your air gun

Cons

  • Bit heavy

7. Burris Fullfield E1

51b3BVqNF2L. AC SL1000

The Burris Fullfield E1 Hunting Scope is ideal for hunters looking for a sophisticated yet straightforward reticle design. This scope features high-grade optical glass with excellent brightness, clarity, and lasting durability. It has low-profile turrets that are finger-adjustable to allow users to dial in on their targets quickly. As far as optics go, this Burris scope is easily one of the best ar 15 scopes under 500 on the market today!

This scope has revolutionized my shooting form. I was never very good at getting an accurate shot off before because it always seemed like too much work to line things up just right. The first time I used this, I was able to take down three pigs from over 600 yards away. I was nearly in tears! Such an incredible product.

Pros

  • Extremely bright and clear
  • Long-lasting durability
  • Simple yet sophisticated reticle design
  • Finger adjustable turrets
  • Does not fog up in the rain or cold

Cons

  • None!

Leupold VX

51v1Z03Ct1L. AC SL1001

The Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20mm Riflescope, Duplex Reticle, Matte Finish is a great scope for those looking for something high quality but don’t want to break the bank. The sturdy aluminum housing prevents damage from moisture and other environmental conditions. The matte finish makes it perfect for highly low-light use and bright sunny days.

The Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20mm Riflescope, Duplex Reticle, Matte Finish is a fantastic value considering the detail put into product research and development by Leupold*. This riflescope can be found on sale online for under 500 dollars which is a steal as it is as durable as functional.

This Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20mm Riflescope, Duplex Reticle, Matte Finish has everything you would expect from a product created and produced by Leupold and more. It was built using the highest standards and achieved outstanding results for years to come. The low price point makes it an attractive choice for any hunter or marksman looking to invest in high-quality optics at a fair value.

Pros

  • Crafted from 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum for maximum durability
  • 1/4 MOA precision finger clicks offer intuitive, simple adjustment over a lifetime of dependable use
  • Complete waterproof and fog proof integrity: ready for a lifetime in the field, in all conditions
  • Twilight Light Management System for superb visibility in low-light conditions
  • Leupold’s limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • None!

9. Best Tactical Scopes: Nikon P

51WkaGzA68L. AC SL1001

30mm tube, allowing it to be more durable and withstand a higher impact. This scope is designed for tactical use, allowing it to hold up in harsh conditions for a long time.

The Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9×40 Matte BDC600 is one of the most reliable optics on the market, loaded with features ideal for precision sharpshooters. At under $500, this scope can compete with scopes that cost twice as much.

The Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9×40 Matte BDC600 features an easy focus eyepiece that allows shooters to bring the reticle into sharp focus quickly.

This scope uses Nikon’s rangefinding EZ-TAP system based on ambient light conditions. It makes use of Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match technology, allowing you to input your rifle and ammunition information. Hence, you know precisely where the aiming points are at different yardages. Once the info is applied, turn dials up or down to hold over or under for various distances.

Pros

  • 30mm tube, allowing it to be more durable and withstand a higher impact
  • This scope is designed for tactical use, allowing it to hold up in harsh conditions for a long time

Cons

  • Some shooters have reported problems with the turrets being a bit too touchy.

10. Vortex Optics Strikefire II

81HG1n5yc1L. AC SL1500

The Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight is a new red dot sight that is a rugged, reliable red dot sight that is at home in a variety of shooting applications.

It has aesthetics and functionality in mind; the power controls are at the rear of the Strikefire for easy access. The Strikefire II Red Dot runs off a CR2 battery and is updated with improved battery life up to 80 000 hours on setting 6.

An offset cantilever mount is provided, allowing you to move the sight forward to be used in conjunction with a magnifier and backup iron sights all on the same rail.

Fully multi-coated lenses provide a clean and bright, unobscured point of view. Unlimited eye relief allows for rapid target acquisition. The single-piece chassis is compact and lightweight but still delivers shockproof performance withstanding recoil and impact. Nitrogen purged and o-ring seals ensure fog-proof and waterproof performance.

Vortex Optics manufactures high-performance optics for hunting, shooting, and outdoor recreation. Vortex produces binoculars, spotting scopes, riflescopes, red dot scopes, laser rangefinders, night vision devices, and the Razor AMG UH-1 Holographic sight. Vortex products are designed with input from hunters and shooters to make them as enjoyable as possible.

With their complete line of sport optics from entry-level to professional models, they can use in any application, including birding, wildlife observation, boating navigation—or even home defense. These Vortex products are built for high durability and reliability. The company is engaged in several industry organizations, including the NRA, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and more. Vortex products are manufactured in the U.S. They offer a VIP unlimited lifetime warranty (the best in the business) on their entire product line, ensuring customer satisfaction with every purchase.

The new Strikefire II Red Dot is a rugged, reliable red dot sight at home in various shooting applications, allowing users to operate between 11 illumination settings, with the lowest two settings being night vision compatible.

Pros

  • Multiple applications and consistent with night vision
  • Small and lightweight, yet durable and shockproof
  • Easy access power controls

Cons

  • Limited battery life

Buyer guide of Best ar scope under 500

It is eye-opening that many people find it very expensive to purchase the right kind of scope for their weapons like rifles. Some think that buying a scope with high Magnification is enough to improve the weapon’s accuracy, but this cannot be further from the truth. High Magnification doesn’t necessarily equate to more accurate shooting. It comes down to more than just how many times it can magnify, but also on other factors like clarity and ease of use. The more expensive scopes have better optics and thus offer better features than cheaper ones. Still, they may not matter if you’re only managing 100 yards of accuracy for your weapon, which is why rifle scopes can still serve the same purpose without requiring you to spend too much.

Must Read: Best Bow Stabilizer

Some things need to be considered before investing in a scope. They are just based on your preference for what will work best for your needs. Here are the essential factors that should not ignore when buying an ar scope under 500.

1. Magnification: The magnification power of the optic is directly related to its price because good quality optics have better lenses and prisms, which allows it to magnify with more clarity. Lenses tend to be more apparent at higher magnification levels, so if you want a highly accurate shot, you might want to consider opting for scopes with high magnification levels. However, this does not mean that scopes with less Magnification will give you a lower quality shot. Most scopes with magnification levels of 3-9 times are sufficient to take long-range shots within 300 yards.

2. Objective Lens Diameter: This is the part that gathers the light inside your scope, thus making it more or less bright when you’re shooting in low light conditions. The bigger this lens is, the better it can gather light even from distant objects, which means that there are fewer chances of getting a poor sight picture due to lack of lighting during dawn and dusk hours. These lenses usually measure between 20mm and 50mm, so if you want to take advantage of natural lighting at different times throughout the day, choose an ar scope under 500 with a big objective lens.

3. Reticle Style: Reticles are the patterns of lines that you can see when looking through your scope. They provide crosshairs on the FOV, so you will know exactly where to aim and shoot, but their style varies from one optic to another. Some have thin and thick reticles or fine and wide ones depending on the shooter’s preference, but it’s up to you to choose what is best for your shooting needs. Make sure you understand how each type of reticle works before choosing one because they will work differently if used for different kinds of firearms.

Must Read: Best Rangefinders for Hunting

4. Durability & Strength: You may not realize this, but rifle scopes like the best ar scope under 500 are pretty heavy because of all the different lenses and prisms inside. They’re also subject to harsh conditions like extreme heat, cold, moisture, and dust, which is why you must choose an optic that won’t break easily. Optics should be made from quality materials which means they’ll stand steady even if they fall or are subject to severe recoil by your weapon.

5. Tube diameter: This refers to the size of the scope tube, but not necessarily its magnification capability. Generally speaking, scopes with larger tubes allow for more powerful magnifications without getting distorted around the edges due to their increased internal diameter. However, it’s still possible for smaller scopes like CQB sights to perform just as well. There have been many debates about this, but only very few people have gone through the trouble to measure it themselves, so choosing what suits your needs best may still depend on personal preference.

6. External Turret Adjustments: The adjustments function allows you to fine-tune how much elevation and windage you want in your shot which is especially important when zeroing in on long-distance targets. Scopes with external turret adjustments usually require the shooter to set their turrets with reference points from a specific direction like magnetic north or some other known source for better accuracy. Still, some scopes allow you to make quick changes by simply pulling out a knob and rotating it without needing to go into any particular setting first.

Must Read: Best two way Radios for Concrete Buildings

7. Parallax Adjustments: Parallax is the effect you feel when your scope is out of focus, even if your reticle appears to be perfectly fine for taking a shot, which can affect accuracy because it shifts your point of aim. The only way to correct this problem is by adjusting the parallax setting found on scopes with adjustable parallax that provides optimal precision for longer-distance shots. Otherwise, you’ll have to set it according to how far your target is through coarse adjustments, which means you won’t have much control unless you’re firing at targets within 300 yards or less.

Must Read: Best Crossbows For Under $1000

Conclusion

These are just some of the essential features that you should know before purchasing any rifle scope, but there may be other things that you may need depending on your specific setup as a shooter. Make sure to check as many reviews as possible so you can compare different optics and see which ones would work best for your preferred style of shooting.

The best ar scope under 500 is the Vortex Optics Strikefire II because it comes with many impressive features that we’ve already mentioned.

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