Riflescopes: Under $200

 

Updated in January, 2024

The way prices have been changing, there is little or nothing I can say here that was not said last year (below).  No changes.  In this price range, there are a couple of decent red dot sights and basic hunting scopes.  Make sure that whatever you buy has a good company behind it, otherwise you might not enjoy the customer service experience.  Burris Fullfield E1, Vortex Diamondback, Primary Arms red dots.  That what I would be looking at.

 

Updated in March, 2023

Inflation keeps on moving prices upward and under $200 is an increasingly difficult price range unless you find something on close out. 

I know I sound repetitive, but if you are on a budget it is best to resist the temptation to get the most feature rich scope in the known world.  Looks for something with solid fundamentals and strongly consider a used scope or a closeout from a reputable maker that stands behind their product.

However, if a brand is going out of business, I would probably stay away unless you are comfortable without warranty support.  

My sorta standard recommendations for general purpose hunting scopes in this price range have been Vortex Diamondback and Burris Fullfield E1 and Droptine.  They have 2-7×35, 3-9×40 and 4-12×40 scopes to choose from with several under $200.  Burris Droptine seems to be very similar as well.

Note, that I still have not tested the Fullfield IV is out that I have not tested yet.  Earlier Fullfields are made in the Philipines.  Fullfield IV is made in China, so I can not just assume they will be of similar quality.

Sightron’s Philippine made S1 G2 are pretty decent and just over $200.  If you find on sale somewhere it is not a bad option.

 

With enclosed red dot sights, $200 category is more or less owned by Holosun’s 400 series reflex sights, although the sub-$200 Vortex Crossfire is quite decent and well supported, but Holosuns are very nice and some solar powered ones are within a $200 budget.  Also, some Holosuns have a gold color reticle that plays a little better with astigmatism.

If you want something with a little bigger window, Primary Arms MD-25 with ACSS reticle is quite competent.  If you plan to use a magnifier behidn it, ACSS reticle has a lot of advantages.

With magnifiers, I think Primary Arms is a little bit ahead of the game with their Micro 3x magnifier that has ranging Pegasus reticle.  This magnifier with the MD-25 red dot is a very capable and lightweight combination.  Given the price range, Primary Arms offers a lot of value since it has very good warranty suport and QC.

With compact red dot sights for carry, I mostly lean toward higher end products, but I just spent a year carrying Crimson Trace’s CTS-1550 and it has held up quite well.  Its replacement, RAD also seems decent.

 

 Posted by at 8:15 am

  6 Responses to “Riflescopes: Under $200”

  1. How do you feel about the Diamondback 4-12?

  2. I misspoke. That was the AO version:
    http://www.vortexoptics.com/product/vortex-diamondback-4-12×40-ao-riflescope-v-plex-reticle

    The Diamondback HP is indeed a better scope, but the regular DIamondback is not too shabby either.