If you’re a seasoned marksman or hunter, then you probably already know what the more expensive AR-15 optics can do for you. From enhancing your long-range shooting to increasing your accuracy in almost any weather condition, there’s nothing quite like these beauties.
However, the price you pay in return for this superior field of view can be steep. The price range for many of these scopes can easily run into hundreds of dollars.
To help you stay on budget, we’ve rounded up our favorite rifle scopes for AR 15 under $100!
While a “cheap optic” might seem like a poor choice for your outdoor activities, you’d be surprised at just what you can get out of a budget scope.
Here are the best five scopes we’ve found for under $100! Also, make sure you don’t forget to check out the best AR-15 cleaning kit.
Table of Contents
- 1. Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope
- 2. Barska 3-9×42 IR Contour Black Reticle Riflescope
- 3. TRUGLO 4×32 Duplex Reticle Rimfire and Air Rifle Compact Scope Series
- 4. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope
- 5. Monstrum S330P 3X Prism Scope
- Why Look For the Best Scope AR 15 Under $100?
- How to Pick the Best Budget Scopes in Your Price Range
1. Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope
With essential features like durable construction as well as waterproof and fog proofing capabilities, you won’t find a better-priced scope than the Simmons 8-Point Rifle Scope to help you in different environments and low-light conditions.
Not only does it provide you with higher brightness levels, but its image quality is also sharp, crisp, and incredibly detailed. Its multi-coated optics help you make quick work of sighting and target shooting.
This durable scope also has a Truplex reticle. And, just like a BDC reticle or Dot reticle, this feature enhances your precision and shooting skills.
The 3x-9x magnification level of this scope is also impressive. Coupled with its 50mm objective lens diameter, you can easily use this scope for both hunting and tactical purposes.
Also, because you get a fast-focus eyepiece, quick target acquisition and sighting won’t be a problem anymore.
We also love the fact that many of this scope’s basic features were clearly designed with user convenience in mind.
For example, the elevation turret and windage adjustments of the Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope are easy to configure even without tools. This means that you can comfortably perform elevation adjustment and leverage its resettable turrets on the go!
However, you should know that you won’t get an illuminated reticle or range compensation marker with this tactical scope.
- It has a durable construction.
- The image quality it provides is astounding, even in low-light conditions.
- It boasts a simple crosshair reticle for increased rapid target acquisition.
- Many of its key features are easy to customize.
- This variable scope lends itself readily to a wide range of uses.
- It offers 3.75-inch adjustable eye reliefs.
- It doesn’t have an illuminated reticle.
- It doesn’t come with range compensation markers.
2. Barska 3-9×42 IR Contour Black Reticle Riflescope
Specially designed for people who want to take their hunting game to the next level, this AR-15 rifle scope inspires easy and accurate target engagement.
Made from high-quality aluminum, this hunting scope has a durable construction and is well-regarded for its glass clarity & reticle finesse.
Its objective lens delivers crisp images in different low-light conditions on par with more expensive scopes, easily making it the ideal scope for you if you’re on a tight budget.
Thanks to the clearer image of its 3-9x magnification, this scope will improve your aim even in poor lighting conditions.
Also, thanks to its illuminated reticles, you get helpful features like adjustable brightness and greater control over the image quality.
We also love that it includes an adjustable .223 BDC reticle.
- It has a nice and compact scope tube.
- It has a durable construction.
- It delivers crisp images in different weather conditions and environments.
- It has an illuminated reticle.
- It comes with fully-coated optics.
- It comes with useful accessories like lens cloth, battery, mounting & rings.
- It is waterproof, fog-proof, and completely shock-proof.
- It doesn’t come with an instruction manual.
- The product may have some quality control issues.
3. TRUGLO 4×32 Duplex Reticle Rimfire and Air Rifle Compact Scope Series
We’ve been huge fans of this hunting scope ever since it first entered the market in 2005.
After all, how often do you see a versatile scope that offers accurate target engagement, crisp image quality, and reliable, tactical turrets all while managing to remain incredibly lightweight?
We guarantee you won’t find too many of those within this price range.
The fully-coated optics and bright reticle of this high-quality scope ensure easy target shooting. And, in addition to offering you a good few inches of eye relief, it also comes with a rubber eye guard so you’re safe in case of recoil.
In addition to easily doubling as a night vision scope, we especially like the fact that this product comes with a lifetime warranty, further ensuring good value for your money!
- It offers superb tactical turrets.
- It comes with numerous helpful features and accessories.
- It prioritizes safety.
- It comes with a lifetime warranty.
- It comes with anti-reflective coatings for more enhanced hunting sessions.
- It has a durable construction and is completely shock-proof.
- You have to adjust for parallax manually.
- The ring arrangement could be better done.
4. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope
With its durable construction, you won’t have to worry about the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope breaking or denting.
This scope also has several additional features like water and fog proofing capabilities as well as nitrogen purging.
One of the key features that we love is its simple Dawn Multi-X reticle riflescope. Thanks to how it’s designed, it encourages rapid target acquisition, even for beginners.
The fact that this fast-focus eyepiece doesn’t have frills also adds to the simplicity and efficiency of this compact scope.
Also, for a “cheap scope,” this gadget has some very powerful objective lenses on it, helping it deliver bright image quality with greater consistency. You’ll also be happy to know that its 40mm multi-coated green lens still offers you a wide field of vision in low-light conditions.
With a reasonably high magnification level, you can use this scope to do everything from targeting fast animals to ranging.
The 6-inch eye relief means that you’ll be able to use this versatile scope for longer periods with a greater level of ease.
On the downside, you should know that this particular budget scope doesn’t come with parallax adjustments capability. That being said, it remains an all-around great and affordable product.
- It comes with multicoated optics.
- It’s a fast-focus eyepiece.
- It features a Multi-X reticle.
- It has a rugged construction, fog proofing and is also waterproof.
- It has a high magnification range and offers a wider field of view.
- It produces a bright image quality under different light conditions.
- All its key features are easy to use.
- It doesn’t offer parallax adjustments.
- The maximum elevation adjustment it offers may not suit more demanding marksmen and hunters.
5. Monstrum S330P 3X Prism Scope
This scope is lightweight, has a durable housing, and is made of premium-level aluminum materials.
We especially like how the small size and compact design of the prism scope make it very portable.
Also, if you’re rather particular about image quality, you’ll like the Monstrum S330P 3X Prism Scope because of the crisp images it supplies in various lighting conditions.
This AR-15 scope also increases your quick target acquisition because it provides you with a black reticle and red crosshairs for better targeting. And, because you can push its magnification scope up to 500 yards, you get a much wider field of view.
While it doesn’t offer as many inches of eye relief as some of its counterparts in this price range, we’re still confident you’ll enjoy the superior vision its focal planes give you.
- This AE-15 scope is more compact than most.
- It has a glass prism optical system.
- It comes with a black reticle as well as red and green crosshairs to enhance your target shooting.
- It has a durable construction and is completely shock, fog, and waterproof.
- It has a fixed magnification level.
- It doesn’t offer unlimited eye relief.
- It has backward adjustment knobs which can be difficult to use for many people.
Why Look For the Best Scope AR 15 Under $100?
While many marksmen and hunters generally prefer more expensive scopes, keep in mind that a higher price doesn’t always translate to superior quality.
What’s more, the 5 scopes we’ve reviewed here offer you a lot more than many scopes double their price tag!
This is why it helps to have a seasoned guide.
If you’re just starting out, getting a budget scope is always advisable as it helps you enhance skills like your aiming, shooting, and targeting. Once you’ve got those basics down, you can then get something better suited to your tastes.
How to Pick the Best Budget Scopes in Your Price Range
If you want the best optics under the $100 price target, there are some variables you need to look out for.
Where magnification is concerned, you have to choose between fixed and variable. The former is usually only useful in certain conditions and is inflexible. However, its construction is more durable.
Variable magnification scopes, on the other hand, enhance quick target acquisition but are invariably more fragile and carry more extra parts.
Type of Reticle
You have various options here as well. These range from Duplex reticle to Dot reticle, BDC reticle, and Mil-dot reticle.
These reticles will typically offer different focal planes as well.
Most people tend to go for illuminated reticles as these offer superior light transmission.
Parallax Adjustment Features
Parallax is the image distortion observed when viewing objects through a high-powered rifle scope. Picking a scope with good parallax adjustments ensures your shooting remains accurate.
Sturdiness and Durability
Because you’ll mostly be using this equipment outdoors, you must pay attention to what your scope is made of. Go for optics made from durable materials that are shock-proof and resistant to the elements.
Adjustable Eye Reliefs
Eye Care is important while you hunt which is why the distance between the ocular and your eyes is so important.
The bigger the eye relief, the less your eyes will be strained.
Lastly, you need to consider the ease with which you can configure the basic and extra features of the optics.
To that end, make sure you opt for scopes with easy-to-adjust knobs. In addition to this, ensure that these knobs are appropriately sized and won’t cause any discomfort during use.
1. Is Getting Affordably Price Optics Worth It?
When you get the right one, yes.
These scopes ensure you get a complete outdoor experience even on a tight budget. Also, they tend to be much easier for beginners to handle as opposed to their more expensive and usually more complicated counterparts.
2. Can These Scopes Work on Any Type of Equipment?
No, they can’t.
While some of the optics on our list can easily work with rifles and crossbows, a few of them are specific to guns like the AR 15.
3. What’s the Best Rifle Scope for Under $100?
We recommend the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope. Its numerous features make it a great value for your money while giving you the optimal hunting and ranging experience.
By finding the best scope for AR 15 under $100, you get the full hunting experience without having to break the bank. Every scope on our list will help you greatly enhance your skills as a marksman.
Before you settle on these optics though, make sure you see what a reflex sight can do for you first!