Great scopes for under $500

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Great equipment is awesome but you don’t have to break the bank to get that. Hunting is not a cheap hobby after all. With improvements in manufacturing and technology plus the competition from so many new players, you can get great optics without the premium price tag that used to come with them.

We do quite a bit of crop protection (under spotlight) as well as spot and stalk hunting where you tend to be shooting early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Because of this, we tend to go with scopes that have a larger objective e.g. 40mm or wider.

As always, have a think about the kind of hunting that you do to decide what features will be beneficial in a scope.

You can click on any of the scope images and it will take you to the eBay listing for that scope.

Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×50

This scope is a favourite of Jess’ – currently mounted on her Ruger American Compact .243. This lens is very clear, lightweight and has a fast-focus eyepiece.

The 50mm objective is great for taking in as much light as possible and paired with the illuminated reticle, it makes this scope a great option for dawn/dusk shooting or spotlighting.

At 520g, it’s on the heavier end of the scopes in this article but still a great option if shaving off every last gram is not important to you.

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40

The Leupold VX-Freedom scope is both practical and user friendly.

The scope is both waterproof and shockproof making it a great option if you’re likely to be bashing around thick bush or if you do a lot of wet weather hunting.

This is the lightest (346g) of the scopes in this article. It is a durable scope that carries the surety of the well known Leupold brand name.

Burris Droptine 3-9×50

The Droptine range is a great entry into Burris optics. The glass is incredibly clear and paired with the larger 50mm objective, this scope is great for any low light conditions.

It weighs 482g and is both weather and shockproof with a double internal spring tension system to ensure the scope holds its zero even with larger calibers.

It also comes with Burris’ no questions asked Forever Warranty if any harm does befall your scope.

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