Best rifle scope for deer hunting under $200

For the impassioned deer hunter navigating financial constraints, the task of selecting an ideal rifle scope can be formidable. The market teems with choices under the $200 bracket, but discerning the truly superior option remains elusive.

Within this exhaustive manual, we delve into appraising ten preeminent rifle scopes designed for deer hunting, all priced below the $200 threshold. Each scope undergoes scrutiny, evaluating pivotal specifications, features, authentic user feedback, and an overarching assessment of its value proposition. The culmination promises a lucid comprehension of which scopes stand out as the epitome of performance relative to the invested capital.

Commencing our exploration involves an examination of general considerations vital in the pursuit of an affordable rifle scope tailored for deer hunting:

Pivotal Considerations:

  1. Magnification: A critical metric lies in the scope’s magnifying prowess. Experts advocate for a variable power scope, typically in the 3-9x or 4-12x magnification range. This versatility allows seamless transitions between lower magnifications for target acquisition and higher magnifications for precision in extended-range shots. Anything beneath 3x might prove inadequate for confident shots exceeding 100 yards.
  2. Objective Lens Size: The objective lens, positioned at the forefront, functions as the light collector. Larger objectives facilitate enhanced light transmission, yielding a luminous, high-contrast image. For low-light scenarios like dawn or dusk hunts, a minimum 40mm objective lens is recommended, as anything 32mm or smaller may result in suboptimal brightness.
  3. Eye Relief: This parameter delineates the distance between the eyepiece and the eye for a complete field of view. Scopes with extended eye relief, surpassing 3 inches, engender a more comfortable shooting stance and accommodate optics on firearms with constricted eye relief constraints.
  4. Reticle Options: While most budget-friendly scopes sport a basic crosshair reticle, considering an upgrade to a multi-plex or illuminated reticle becomes prudent for low-light hunting conditions. Scopes equipped with Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) reticles aid in precise long-range shots on deer.
  5. Optical Quality and Coatings: Optimal performance hinges on multi-coated lenses that diminish glare and augment light transmission during crepuscular periods. Full-multicoated optics take precedence over scratch-resistant or non-coated alternatives. Additionally, the lenses should boast fog-proof and waterproof attributes to ensure reliability in all weather conditions.
  6. Durability and Warranty: The durability litmus test entails gauging a scope’s resilience to the rigors of hunting. Nitrogen purging and O-ring seals thwart internal fogging, fortifying the scope against the elements. A lifetime warranty serves as a testament to enduring confidence in the field.

Armed with these considerations, let’s plunge into critiques of the top 10 budget rifle scopes for deer hunting:

Burris Fullfield II 3-9x 40mm Scope:

Embarking on our roster, the Burris Fullfield II 3-9x 40mm scope commands attention. Revered for its consistent acclaim as an exemplary variable power riflescope under the $150 mark, it bestows premium features and optics that outshine counterparts priced double.

Specifications:

  • Objective Lens: 40mm
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Eye Relief: 3.7 inches
  • Focus Range: 10 yards to infinity
  • Reticle: Fine duplex crosshair
  • Turrets: 1/4 MOA clicks, resettable
  • Length: 12 inches
  • Weight: 16 ounces

The Fullfield II’s distinguishing feature lies in its superlative glass quality and fully multicoated lenses, culminating in remarkably bright, high-contrast imagery, even in low-light conditions. Augmenting its allure are the extended eye relief and the expeditious focusing parfocal eyepiece, ensuring comfort during prolonged hunts.

A noteworthy attribute includes the 1/4 MOA windage and elevation adjustment turrets, offering precision in shot placement with resettable capabilities for swift zeroing. Its waterproof and fog-proof construction renders it impervious to diverse weather conditions.

Real-world user testimonials consistently extol the unparalleled clarity and light transmission afforded by Burris glass within this budget tier. Many attest to confidently taking down deer and other game beyond 200 yards using the Fullfield II. Bolstered by Burris’ lifetime warranty, it stands as an unequivocal choice for novices or seasoned hunters seeking optimal value.

Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×33 Scope:

Segueing to another highly lauded optic, the Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x33mm riflescope, priced just under $150, amalgamates stellar optics with robust, dependable construction, emblematic of the Vortex commitment to quality.

Specifications:

  • Objective Lens: 33mm
  • Magnification: 2-7x
  • Eye Relief: 3.5 inches
  • Focus Range: 10 yards to infinity
  • Reticle: Crosshair
  • Turrets: 1/4 MOA clicks, finger adjustable
  • Length: 11 inches
  • Weight: 12 ounces

Vortex, a paragon of quality, manifests in the Crossfire II, boasting fully multicoated lenses and XR coatings for exceptional light transmission. The 2-7x variable power range seamlessly accommodates close-quarters woodland shots and extends proficiently to 100+ yards for deer hunting.

The 1/4 MOA finger-adjustable turrets confer precision in repeatable elevation adjustments shot after shot. Nitrogen purging and O-ring seals fortify its resistance to internal fog and fortify it against the vicissitudes of the hunt.

Real-world assessments echo the Crossfire II’s clarity and compact design, endearing it to hunters for its fatigue-free integration with rifles. The legendary lifetime Vortex warranty underscores the unwavering commitment to quality. Whether affixed to a budget bolt action or an entry-level AR, the Crossfire II stands as a reliable performer.

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope:

Priced around $180, the Leupold VX-Freedom beckons with commendable value, aligning with Leupold’s exacting standards for accuracy and durability, encapsulated in an accessible package.

Specifications:

  • Objective Lens: 40mm
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Eye Relief: 3.7 inches
  • Focus Range: 10 yards to infinity
  • Reticle: Duplex crosshair
  • Turrets: 1/4 MOA clicks, finger adjustable
  • Length: 12 inches
  • Weight: 16 ounces