The Best Rifle Scope Under $300 in 2024

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Today I’m going to show you the best rifle scope under $300.

In fact:

I’ve hand-tested over 25 scopes alone for this review.

The best part?

I’ve sorted the scopes by use. So whether you’re on a budget, need the best hunting scope, or looking for great low light performance: you’ll find it here.

Let’s dive in!

Best Rifle Scope Under $300

Category

Price

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO, SFP

Best Long Range Rifle Scope Under $300

$299.00

Leupold VX Freedom 3-9x40mm

Best AR-15 Scope Under $300

$299.00

Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm

Best Hunting Scope Under $300

$250.00

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle 3-9x40mm

Best Low Light Scope Under $300

$90.00

How Much Should You Spend on a Rifle Scope?

There is no cookie-cutter answer to this question. The goal is to find the best scope with the features you want—without burning a hole in your wallet.

So, let’s talk about a few tips that should help you decide whether or not you should pull the trigger on a specific riflescope.

Start by asking yourself…

What’s the purpose of your scope?

How you intend on using the scope is a big factor in deciding what features you’ll want to look for. You don’t need to spend more on specs you may never use in shooting.

If you plan on using it for hunting, then a scope with excellent low light performance and weatherproof construction is ideal.

If you’re a casual shooter with targets in close range, then you’d want something like a 1-4×32 scope with a clear sight picture.

If you’re a competition shooter looking for precision and versatility, then you might want a scope with a wide magnification range such as the Vortex Crossfire II 6-24x50mm.

By the way:

If you’re not sure what the scope numbers mean, I wrote a tutorial that explains it in detail.

Moving forward with the next question…

What is your budget?

Only you can decide what your budget for a rifle scope is.

If you’re in a position where the price tag doesn’t matter, then you have limitless options to choose from.

But, if you’re like me, budget is always a consideration when it comes to my scope spending habits.

Personally, I spend up to half of what the rifle costs itself. So if I bought an AR-15 for $1,000, then I’d usually spend up to $500 on an optic.

This brings me to my next point…

How to Choose the Best Rifle Scope Under $300

Not all budget-grade rifle scopes are created equal. Don’t randomly snag a scope off the shelf without knowing its features first.

To help you pick out the best options, let’s discuss some basic factors to consider when scoping out — pun intended — the best rifle scopes under $300.

But before we continue…

If you’re a visual learner, you can also watch this great video on how to choose the right rifle scope.

Let’s get started!

Glass Quality and Reticle

At a minimum, I look for fully-coated lenses. This means the manufacturer coats the external glass surfaces with at least a single layer.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 GREEN LIGHT

If you find optics with multi-coated or fully multi-coated options for a decent price, opt for those.

Additionally:

If you hunt in low-light conditions, consider purchasing a rifle scope that’s designed for twilight or dusk/dawn operations. This could be a prism scope or one with an illuminated reticle.

Speaking of the reticle…

If you’re a hunter or target shooter, a simple Duplex reticle is a great option. It’s easy, simple, and it works.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 RETICLE

If you do competitions or enjoy long-range shooting, then go for a Mil-dot or BDC reticle for accuracy and precision.

Eye Relief

Aim for at least 3-4 inches of eye relief.

If you’re using heavy recoiling cartridges such as the 5.56×45mm NATO (also called .223 Remington) ammo, a longer eye relief might be necessary.

The bottom line is proper eye relief is crucial for protection from getting a bruised eye.

Weight

Every shooter has their own preferences when it comes to weight. So make sure you consider this when shopping around.

A heavier gun can have less recoil and better stability but it can be miserable carrying it— especially when you’re hunting in the mountains.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 OVERVIEW

The best scopes are compact and lightweight in design.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 OVERVIEW

Be aware though…

Many of the extra lightweight rifle scopes don’t last as long, which brings us to the next key point.

Durability

If you see aircraft-grade aluminum, that optic will be durable and dependable.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 OVERVIEW (1)

If you encounter varying shooting conditions, scopes that are nitrogen-purged and sealed with O-rings will be your friend.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 LENS (1)

Why?

They’re likely to be shockproof, fog proof, and completely waterproof.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 EYEPIECE

Also, I would check whether the manufacturer offers a warranty. Many of the household names in rifle scopes offer a lifetime warranty.

This means they trust in the durability of their product and are willing to repair or replace the optic if it breaks.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 WARRANTY

Less headache in the long run.

Magnification

The magnification range you need is highly dependent on your rifle usage.

If you use your rifle primarily for close-range operations or home defense, a magnification between 1-4x works well for shooting targets up to 150 yards.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 MAGNIFICATION

On the other hand, if you’re into long-range or precision shooting, a magnification between 9-12x is a great choice.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II MAGNIFICATION (1)

You’ll hear many people tell you to buy as much magnification as you can. Do me a favor, don’t listen.

Why not?

You’ll waste money buying a feature you won’t even use. Getting the right amount is practical and more cost-effective with a budget rifle scope under $300.

Let’s move on to mounting…

Mounting

The good news is there are unlimited mount options on the market.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II MOUNT

Ideally, you’ll want to look for the best rifle scope that has mounting options for the rail of your rifle. This will save you a lot of time and effort.

On a related note:

If you’re looking for the best scope mounts, I made a list just for that!

Final Thoughts

There’s a wide variety of scopes on the market, and there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” optic.

I hope this guide has helped you choose the best scope under $300.

By the way:

If this is your first rifle scope or you’re new to optics, here’s a quick guide on how to adjust a riflescope. Knowing this is key to making the most out of your optic.

To save you time and research, I’m going to show you the best ones that will make your setup a whole lot better.

Keep reading…

The 4 Best Rifle Scopes Under $300

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best rifle scopes under $300:

  1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO, SFP: Best Long Range Rifle Scope Under $300
  2. Leupold VX Freedom 3-9x40mm: Best AR-15 Scope Under $300
  3. Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm: Best Hunting Scope Under $300
  4. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle 3-9x40mm: Best Low Light Scope Under $300

1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO, SFP Riflescope: Best Long Range Rifle Scope Under $300

The Vortex Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO Riflescope is the best long-range shooting rifle scope under $300.

Best Long Range Rifle Scope Under $300
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x24 Second Focal Plane Riflescope -...
3,183 Reviews
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x24 Second Focal Plane Riflescope -...
  • The 1-4x24 Crossfire II riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The V-Brite reticle uses the V-Plex format with an illuminated the center dot.
  • With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box, you'll be able to quickly get a sight picture and acquire your target. Anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses provide bright and clear views...
  • The fast focus eyepiece allows quick and easy reticle focusing. Capped reset turrets are finger adjustable with MOA clicks that can be reset to zero after sighting in.

In fact:

I’ve had this scope mounted to my Savage 10 FCP-SR in 6.5 Creedmoor for about a year now and it’s never failed me.

If you’re looking for long-range performance without breaking the bank, then this scope should be on your crosshairs.

Why? Keep reading…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The Vortex Crossfire II comes with multi-coated lenses to give you clear and bright images.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II LENS

This scope’s image quality is impressive and on par with the more expensive long-range scopes.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II MAGNIFICATION

Fortunately, newer technology makes image quality more accessible and cost-effective.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II CLARITY

The Vortex Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO model features a dead-hold “BDC” reticle— which stands for bullet-drop compensation.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II RETICLE

This means better holdover and windage corrections when aiming, perfect for those of you who constantly shoot at varying distances.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II MAGNIFICATION (1)

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The Vortex Crossfire II comes with 4 inches of eye relief.

This scope also has an ultra-forgiving eye box.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II EYEPIECE

On the other hand, the field of view is slightly narrow, but it’s not hard to see around and over.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II RETICLE

Durability and Weight

The Vortex Crossfire II is incredibly rugged and robust.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II OVERVIEW (1)

In fact, I’ve used it under various field conditions, and this scope performed like a champ.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II MOUNTED

It’s made with aircraft-grade aluminum, nitrogen purged, and O-ring sealed— making it practically weatherproof and fog-proof.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II OVERVIEW

One minor setback:

Weighing in at 23 ounces (about 1.5 lbs), the Crossfire II isn’t exactly lightweight.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II MOUNT

If you add scope rings or a mount, your 7-pound rifle now becomes a 9-pound set-up.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II EYEPIECE (1)

It’s not a big deal to some, but it’s a good thing to point out.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The windage and elevation adjustments move smoothly and feature an audible and tactile click.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II TURRETS (1)

The maximum adjustments you can get out of this scope are 40 MOA at the rate of 1/4 MOA per click.

Also:

Thanks to the capped turrets, you can quickly reset your zero after sighting in without the need for tools.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II OVERVIEW (1)

On that note, I was able to zero in the scope within 5 minutes. No issues holding zero as well.

Magnification & Parallax

The Vortex Crossfire II sports a wide magnification range of 6-24x.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II PARALLAX

It also comes with a 50mm adjustable objective to provide the shooter image focus and parallax removal.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II EYEPIECE (1)

One of my favorite features!

Mounting & Rings

Unfortunately, the Vortex Crossfire II doesn’t come with mountings or rings.

I recommend the Vortex Optics Pro Series Riflescope Rings. They attach to either Picatinny or Weaver bases.

It comes in either 30mm low, medium, high, or extra-high so you can easily choose what’s best for your specific build.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II MOUNT

I mounted the Crossfire II on my Remington 700 SPS .308 using the medium height rings.

VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II MOUNTED

If you’re looking for the best quick detach scope mounts, check out this list instead.

Also:

I would highly recommend skipping the bikini covers that come with the box.

If you want to protect your objective lens from dust and abrasion, use the Monstrum Rubberized Flip-Up Rifle Scope Lens Covers (49-54mm diameter) instead.

Sale
Monstrum Rubberized Flip-Up Rifle Scope Lens Covers (Objective Bell |...
  • Rubberized flip-up rifle scope lens covers that conform tightly around your rifle scope tube, protecting your lenses from dust and abrasion
  • IMPORTANT: Sizing is not based on the objective lens size of your scope - a 3-9x40mm scope will not fit with a 40mm sized lens cover. For the correct fitting lens cover, you must physically measure...
  • Each package includes one Rubberized Flip-Up Lens Cover

Is the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO, SFP Riflescope worth it?

With the versatility of this optic and the quality of its glass, you won’t regret pulling the trigger on buying the Vortex Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO Riflescope.

Best Long Range Rifle Scope Under $300
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x24 Second Focal Plane Riflescope -...
3,183 Reviews
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x24 Second Focal Plane Riflescope -...
  • The 1-4x24 Crossfire II riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The V-Brite reticle uses the V-Plex format with an illuminated the center dot.
  • With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box, you'll be able to quickly get a sight picture and acquire your target. Anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses provide bright and clear views...
  • The fast focus eyepiece allows quick and easy reticle focusing. Capped reset turrets are finger adjustable with MOA clicks that can be reset to zero after sighting in.

Here’s a recap:

  • Sharp glass
  • Holds zero well
  • Weather-resistant
  • Positive turret clicks
  • Adjustable objective
  • Ample eye-relief distance
  • Mil-spec, aircraft-grade construction
VORTEX OPTICS CROSSFIRE II PACKAGING

Plus:

If you’re worried about breaking the scope, Vortex’s Lifetime VIP warranty has you covered: they’ll repair or replace it at no extra cost.

Without a doubt, you’ll achieve great things with the Vortex Crossfire II 6-24x50mm AO scope.

2. Leupold VX Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope: Best AR-15 Rifle Scope Under $300

Leupold is a household name when it comes to affordable, high-quality riflescopes.

The VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm was designed to be the best rifle scope for multiple rifles and a wide range of shooting applications.

Best AR-15 Scope Under $300
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope, Duplex CDS (174182) (174182)
  • Model No.174182 - VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope with Duplex CDS reticle and Matte finish
  • 100% Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
  • Made with 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum and punisher tested to guarantee a lifetime of performance even under harshest recoil

I’ve personally tested and tortured this scope on a few AR-15s. Trust me: Leupold hit the bullseye.

Here’s why…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The Leupold VX-Freedom glass is crystal clear.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 VISUAL

It’s constructed with hardened surface coatings for a scratch-resistant objective lens. There is no distortion, even at maximum magnification.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 WARRANTY

Here’s a great feature: Leupold’s Twilight Light Management System.

This technology provides increased light transmission at dusk and dawn. Don’t we all love getting that extra 30 minutes of hunting?

The objective lens also reduces the glare significantly which produces a clear image quality.

This Leupold VX-Freedom is equipped with a duplex reticle placed in the second focal plane.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 RETICLE

You can also get the Wind Plex reticle— which has the windage marks— if you send the scope to Leupold for a reticle swap.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The Leupold VX-Freedom provides a generous 3.7 inches of eye relief in high and 4.7 inches in low magnification.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 OBJECTIVE BELL

It comes with a large eye box. So you don’t have to be perfectly lined up to get a good field of view on your second focal plane.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 RETICLE

Durability and Weight

The Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm is built like a tank.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 MOUNTED

I’m confident in saying that because I’ve torture tested this scope myself. It shrugged off heavy recoil and drop tests like it was nothing.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 WINDAGE KNOB

The VX-Freedom can function in temperatures between -40ºF to 160ºF and is waterproof up to 33 feet.

Weighing about 12 ounces, it features a slim, compact, and lightweight design— plus a matte black, scratch-resistant finish.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 OVERVIEW

Additionally, the Leupold VX freedom line is produced and assembled in the USA, which I know some shooters prefer.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 WARRANTY

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The Leupold VX-Freedom comes with positive, tactile windage and elevation adjustments.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 WINDAGE KNOB

Here’s a unique feature: This scope comes with Custom Dial System (CDS) turrets.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 TURRETS

All you have to do is range your target, turn the dial to that number, and aim dead on. You don’t need to worry about holdovers or ballistic calculators.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 OVERVIEW

Wait, that’s not the best part…

Leupold provides one free custom dial for every CSD scope.

You simply provide Leupold your exact ballistics and environmental conditions and they send you a custom-made elevation turret.

How cool is that?

I fired over 200 rounds, and this second focal plane scope never had issues holding zero, plus the return to zero was excellent.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 VISUAL

Magnification & Parallax

The Leupold VX-Freedom’s 3-9x magnification range provides versatility.

It works great for close to mid-range shooting— hence why it’s one of my best M&P 15-22 scopes as well.

Its ergonomic 3:1 zoom ring is super easy to use. It turns smoothly even with thick gloves and cold, wet fingers.

The parallax is fixed at 80 yards and the image is clear from 30 yards to infinity.

Mounting & Rings

The Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm doesn’t come with mountings or rings.

I highly recommend the Leupold Rifleman 1” Medium Detachable Rings. They come with a hex key and set screws.

These rings make installation easy and hold up well to powerful cartridges (like the 45-70).

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 WINDAGE KNOB

Quick side note:

If you do use the 45-70 cartridge, I just made a detailed review of the best 45-70 scopes.

Also:

I personally don’t like the bikini caps that came with the package so I replaced them with the Leupold Alumina Cover Kit. It provides superb protection against the elements.

Leupold Alumina Flip Back Lens Cover Standard Ep 59055
  • Model #59055 - Alumina flip back lens cover kit in standard EP

Is the Leupold VX Freedom 3-9x40mm worth it?

If you’re looking for the best rifle scope for your AR-15, get the Leupold VX Freedom 3-9x40mm rifle scope.

Best AR-15 Scope Under $300
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope, Duplex CDS (174182) (174182)
  • Model No.174182 - VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope with Duplex CDS reticle and Matte finish
  • 100% Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
  • Made with 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum and punisher tested to guarantee a lifetime of performance even under harshest recoil

Here’s why: it’s got…

  • Quality glass
  • 3:1 zoom ring
  • Long eye relief
  • Precise, sturdy turrets
  • Twilight Management System
  • Robust, dependable construction

With Leupold’s Lifetime warranty, they’ll repair damages or replace the scope at no charge: even if you aren’t the original owner or lost the receipt.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 WARRANTY

Now you know why the Leupold VX Freedom 3-9x40mm is the author’s choice for the best all-around AR-15 scope.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 OVERVIEW

If you want to see more of the best Leupold riflescopes, check out this review!

3. Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm Riflescope: Best Hunting Scope Under $300

The Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm is one of the best hunting scopes available on the market.

Best Hunting Scope Under $300
Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope -...
  • The Diamondback 4-12x40 riflescope is one of multiple configurations in the Diamondback lineup and is ideal for big game, predator/varmint, muzzleloader, slug shotgun, and long range applications....
  • Dead-Hold BDC reticle is good for any hunting or shooting at varying ranges where estimating hold-over would be a concern
  • Lenses are fully multi-coated for crystal clear, bright images from dawn till dusk The fast focus eyepiece allows for quick and easy reticle focusing

In fact:

Vortex designed the Diamondback line specifically for hunting deer, elk, coyotes, varmints, and more.

The question stands: is it a bang for your buck?

Let’s find out!

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The Vortex Diamondback comes with clear and crisp glass.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 EYEPIECE

Everyone knows better image quality generally equates to a higher cost, but this optic is better than average for the price point.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 DAYLIGHT VISUAL

The anti-reflective and fully multi-coated objective lens allow increased light transmission, perfect for low light shooting.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 LENS

It’s not an illuminated reticle, but it takes in minimal light to counter the argument.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 RETICLE

A great feature I’d like to mention is the fast focus eyepiece, which allows quick and easy reticle focusing.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 EYEPIECE

Speaking of the reticle…

The Vortex Diamondback is designed with a BDC focal plane reticle placed on the second focal plane. SFP means the reticle won’t change sizes regardless of the magnification power.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 CLARITY

The BDC focal plane reticle is a great option for hunters who shoot at varying distances since it eliminates the need to guess on hold-over and windage corrections.

However, if you’re the kind of hunter that prefers a simple red dot, check out my Vortex Razor vs. Trijicon RMR review.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The Vortex Diamondback has an average eye relief of about 3.5 inches.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 EYEPIECE

The field of view measures 11.3 feet at 100 yards. It has a smaller viewing window when sighting your target.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 RETICLE

But let me tell you something:

I recently mounted the second focal plane scope on my Savage Axis II in .270 and shot out to 300 yards. The field of view was pretty clear.

Durability and Weight

The Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm is as tough as Thor’s hammer.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 FINISH

Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration.

Thanks to its aircraft-grade aluminum exterior and nitrogen-purged O-ring seals, it can withstand the harshest weather conditions— and unreliable accessories.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 OVERVIEW

I recently had my sling break, which caused my rifle to fall off my shoulder. It rolled down the gravel road I was walking on, and the scope hit hard enough where it suffered some scratches.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 PACKAGE

To my surprise, it was still dead on!

Plus, with the Vortex Diamondback, nothing will stop you from hunting on a rainy day– except maybe your warm, dry bed at home.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 MOUNTED

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The Vortex Diamondback comes with sturdy, audible windage and elevation knobs.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 TURRETS (1)

The ¼ MOA clicks allow for finer elevation adjustments, especially when you’re pursuing smaller targets.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 TURRETS

The capped turrets allow you to reset to your original zero position easily.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 FINISH

I can tell you firsthand the optic performed exceptionally well, and I had no issues with zero at all while shooting.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 LENS

Magnification & Parallax

The Vortex Diamondback sports a 4-12x magnification range with a 40mm objective.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 EYEPIECE

At 4x, I can shoot comfortably for short-range targets within 200 yards. At the max magnification of 12x, I can shoot out to 500 yards just fine.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 DAYLIGHT VISUAL

Additionally, this optic comes with an adjustable objective lens. This feature gives you the ability to remove parallax— enhancing your accuracy.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 LENS

Mounting & Rings

The Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm doesn’t come with any mounts.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 PACKAGE

I recommend using Vortex’s Pro Extended Cantilever 1” Mount

Vortex Optics Pro Extended Viper Cantilever Riflescopes Mounts
  • Vortex Pro 1 inch cantilever ring mount provides the correct height and forward placement for proper scope mounting.
  • The cantilever ring mount positions the center of the riflescope tube at a height of 1.435” (36.45mm) from the base.
  • Base Clamp Screws - 30 in/lbs | Ring Screws - 18 in/lbs

or Vortex Optics Pro Series Riflescope Rings (1” medium height).

Also:

This scope comes with attached flip-up covers, but they’re flimsy and break easily.

To keep the lens clean and protected from scratches, you can buy the Vortex Defender Flip Caps (Eyepiece Size: E-10) (Objective Size: O-40).

No products found.

Is the Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm worth it?

If you’re looking for the best hunting scope that boasts impressive specs, get the Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm rifle scope.

Best Hunting Scope Under $300
Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope -...
  • The Diamondback 4-12x40 riflescope is one of multiple configurations in the Diamondback lineup and is ideal for big game, predator/varmint, muzzleloader, slug shotgun, and long range applications....
  • Dead-Hold BDC reticle is good for any hunting or shooting at varying ranges where estimating hold-over would be a concern
  • Lenses are fully multi-coated for crystal clear, bright images from dawn till dusk The fast focus eyepiece allows for quick and easy reticle focusing

Here’s why: it’s got…

  • Excellent glass
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Zero resetting turrets
  • Dead-hold BDC reticle
  • Waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof build
VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 OVERVIEW

And to top it all off:

Vortex’s Lifetime VIP warranty covers any repairs or replacements— all without charge and no receipts required.

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12X40 PACKAGE

If you want to serve up dinner with the deer or elk you tagged, get the Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm scope for your next hunt!

If pork is on your menu, I just made a review on the best hog hunting scopes. Don’t miss out on reading it!

4. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope: Best Low Light Scope Under $300

The Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 3-9x40mm is the best low-light scope that won’t break the bank.

Best Low Light Scope Under $300
Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Riflescope, Dusk & Dawn Hunting Riflescope...
  • Bright. Accurate. Dependable. We'll assume your stand is in the right spot and suggest our Banner Dusk & Dawn series to capitalize on the latter. With their Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi-coated...
  • This Banner 3-9x40 scope is in the tried & proven 3-9x40 configuration that's a classic magnification for hunting. What makes this model unique from other 3-9x40 scopes is that is has an extended 6...
  • Fully Multi Coated - Multiple layers of anti-reflective coating on all air-to-glass surfaces deliver bright, high-contrast images

But I know what you’re thinking: will I really get a quality scope for less than $100?

You’ll learn everything you need to know in this review, starting with…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn riflescope comes with exceptional glass quality.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 GREEN LIGHT

It features Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi-coated lenses for clarity in low light conditions.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 LENS (1)

But if you prefer the best night vision scope for the AR-15, check out my latest review.

This scope features the Multi-X reticle, offering a classic sight picture. It’s very similar to a 4-plex, with thick cross lines that switch to a thin cross-hair in the center.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 CLARITY

At first, I thought the reticle would be hard to see in twilight but it isn’t. You can clearly see where the center crosshairs are.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 MAGNIFICATION

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The Bushnell Banner 3-9×40 comes with 3.3 inches of eye relief.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 EYEPIECE

At the lowest magnification, it’s super comfortable. But it starts to get a bit tight as you max out the magnification.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 MAGNIFICATION

A word of advice:

If you’re using this scope on a high-caliber rifle, make sure you mount it properly! You don’t want to end up with a black eye.

If you’re looking for longer eye relief scopes, check out the best muzzleloader scopes on my list.

Durability and Weight

The Banner Dusk & Dawn is lightweight yet durable.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 OVERVIEW (1)

No one wants to turn around and miss a hunt just because of less than ideal weather, right?

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 OVERVIEW

Thankfully, with the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn scope, you won’t have to! It’s dry-nitrogen-filled and constructed to be 100% waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 TOOLS AND RINGS

The Banner Dusk & Dawn measures 12 inches in length and 13 ounces in weight. It didn’t feel like an added burden on my setup when I had to take long walks during hunting.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 RINGS ATTACHMENT

Also, Bushnell designed this scope to withstand heavy recoil.

So as long as you mount it properly, larger caliber bullets and long rifles aren’t an issue.

Speaking of mounting, I’ve got a great list of the best SKS scope mounts— especially if you’re looking for ones that can pack a punch.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The Bushnell Banner’s adjustment knobs are super durable.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 TURRETS

The resettable turrets adjust in 1/4 MOA increments and provide tactile feedback. They audibly click each time you move them back or forth.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 TURRETS (1)

They’re also “finger-adjustable”— which eliminates the need for a tool or coin— and capped for protection from accidental bumps.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 TOOLS AND RINGS

Within the first 20 rounds, I was able to zero the scope without difficulty.

After firing over 100 rounds, the turrets tracked true and proved to be reliable.

Magnification & Parallax

The Bushnell Banner sports a 3-9x variable magnification and 40mm objective.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 MAGNIFICATION

It’s also worth mentioning the fast-focus eyepiece.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 EYEPIECE

For hunting or tactical shooting, this lets you get a clear sight picture for hunting or tactical shooting as quickly as possible. That way, you don’t miss a good shot.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 TOOLS AND RINGS

The parallax is factory set to 100 yards.

Some shooters don’t like the lack of parallax adjustment turrets on the Banner Dusk & Dawn. If you ask me, it’s a forgivable flaw considering this scope’s price tag.

If you want an adjustable objective, the 4-12X40mm model of the Bushnell Banner offers it.

Mounting & Rings

Unfortunately, the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn package doesn’t include a mount or rings. But for under $100, I’m not upset at all.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 PACKAGING

I mounted this scope on my Ruger 556 using my trusty Burris 420084 Zee Rings (1-Inch, Medium, Matte Black). They’re solid and you don’t have to lap them for a perfect fit.

Burris 420084 Zee Rings (1-Inch, Medium, Matte Black)
977 Reviews
Burris 420084 Zee Rings (1-Inch, Medium, Matte Black)
  • Burris 420084 zee Riflescope rings
  • 1 inch, medium, matte
  • This product is manufactured in United States

If that height doesn’t work, the Zee rings come in low

Burris 420083 Zee Rings (1-Inch, Low, Matte Black)
  • Included Components: Zee Rings, 1" Low, Matte
  • Sport Type: Hunting
  • Weaver Style

and high as well.

Sale
Burris 420087 Zee Rings (1-Inch, High, Matte Black)
  • Sport type: Hunting
  • Weaver Style
  • 1 inch pair of rings

So you can easily try which one fits your rifle configuration and eye alignment, then return the other.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 MOUNT RINGS

I also bought the Monstrum Rubberized Flip-Up Rifle Scope Lens Covers (49-54mm diameter) for dust and scratch protection.

Sale
Monstrum Rubberized Flip-Up Rifle Scope Lens Covers (Objective Bell |...
  • Rubberized flip-up rifle scope lens covers that conform tightly around your rifle scope tube, protecting your lenses from dust and abrasion
  • IMPORTANT: Sizing is not based on the objective lens size of your scope - a 3-9x40mm scope will not fit with a 40mm sized lens cover. For the correct fitting lens cover, you must physically measure...
  • Each package includes one Rubberized Flip-Up Lens Cover

Is the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope worth it?

If you’re looking for excellent low-light performance and reliability, then the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 3-9x40mm is for you!

Best Low Light Scope Under $300
Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Riflescope, Dusk & Dawn Hunting Riflescope...
  • Bright. Accurate. Dependable. We'll assume your stand is in the right spot and suggest our Banner Dusk & Dawn series to capitalize on the latter. With their Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi-coated...
  • This Banner 3-9x40 scope is in the tried & proven 3-9x40 configuration that's a classic magnification for hunting. What makes this model unique from other 3-9x40 scopes is that is has an extended 6...
  • Fully Multi Coated - Multiple layers of anti-reflective coating on all air-to-glass surfaces deliver bright, high-contrast images

Here’s why, it’s got:

  • Exceptional glass
  • Fast-focus eyepiece
  • DDB multi-coated lens
  • Super affordable price tag
  • Great low light performance
  • Compact and durable construction
BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 OVERVIEW (1)

To top it off:

Bushnell guarantees a Lifetime Warranty.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 RINGS ATTACHMENT

If the scope breaks, they’ll repair or replace it for free regardless of the original owner.

BUSHNELL BANNER 3-9X40 PACKAGING

For under $100, the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 3-9x40mm is a scope that’s hard to beat as far as price to performance goes.

It’s definitely a game-changer.

Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my take on the Rifle Scopes Under $300.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which sub-$300 scope will you pick for your rifle or firearm? Or perhaps you already have one and would like to share your thoughts.

Either way, let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

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