Best AR-15 Scope Under $200

Bushnell Drop Zone-223

Nikon P-Tactical

UTG 3-12X44

If you have used a scoped rifle, then you must have noticed the enhanced sight, target acquisition, and shot accuracy that you get. It is perhaps why you are looking to get one for your AR-15. If you are new to the platform, then this is a good place to start for many reasons.

A good sight attachment to start with should not come at a high price. You may not feel as advanced to benefit from some of the features they would offer, thus, getting the best from them becomes challenging. Some experts also like to seek affordable AR-15 scopes, which are handy in training.

A low-cost sight could be a good way to work up your shooting, targeting, or tracking skills. But what if you are running low on finances or are working with a tight budget? You do not have to strain, following that there are products available that can serve your needs just as would be sufficient for the price.

Low-cost AR-15 scopes have some things in common, like their delivery of features you would expect with more expensive models. Due to the durability of most brands, you may decide to stick with a product for years before considering a replacement or upgrade.

But, of course, if you intend to practice without breaking the bank, then there is no harm in upgrading your piece with time. So, where do we begin with the best sights for these rifle platforms? There are plenty of products available in the market.

Each offers a design, make, or features that could serve you differently, making it hard to determine which product is the best. In this article, however, we are going to discuss some of the best brands available for AR-15 scopes and help you make suitable distinctions.
Our list is as follows:


Top AR-15 Scope Under $200


1

Bushnell Drop Zone-223

Are you looking for a reliable scope for your AR-15 rifle? This product by Bushnell could be a good consideration. The company has over time gained prominence for its high-quality scopes, offered in a range of prices. For low-cost optics with features that will serve you well, Bushnell’s Drop Zone has got you. Let us have a look at what it has to offer.

One of the things to love about this product is its BDC reticle, which not only comes in a great, simple design but also promotes higher accuracy. You may also notice the clarity of the images you get—they cannot compare to more expensive options but are less distorted as possible.

Its stocky dials are crisp, and its turret design makes dialing easy. With each turn you make, you should also expect a click, which helps with assurance. You may find it to be lightweight, thus ideal for use through long distances or practicing for long hours.

That is not all; this is a durable scope that comes waterproofed, so, you should be able to use it for long, with varying conditions. That these features come at an affordable price makes this scope difficult to ignore; it is perhaps what you need for that start or without straining your budget.

Summarily, you may love this product’s simple BDC reticle, which provides higher accuracy. The scope delivers crisp images and features a great turret design. It is lightweight and waterproof and comes at an affordable price. If you are looking for a good quality AR-15 scope for short and medium ranges, then this could work well for you.

A notable setback is that you may not find it consistent with retaining the zero, following that it does or does not work at times.

Pros

  • Suitable for medium-range shooting
  • Simple reticle
  • Reliable dials
  • Clear images
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Inconsistent zero retention

2

Nikon P-Tactical

Another consideration for low-cost scopes that do not disappoint, is this product by Nikon, which provides the quality you need. What does it have to offer? You may find its performance to be as good as high-cost sights and could perfectly suit your .223 caliber AR-15

Clarity is one of the things you may love about this product; it delivers crisp images for medium-range distances of up to 600 yards. Using it over short distances of as little as 25 yards could thus exceed your expectations. Sighting or practicing should, therefore, be easier.

What more that you may love with this product, is its instant zero-reset, should you prefer to alter your preferences. It also offers great turret dynamics, which you may find to be helpful when dialing. That is not all; this product provides sufficient eye relief, thus making it easy and fun to look through its crisp clarity.

Summarily, you may love that this product delivers clear images through short and medium ranges. It also features an instant zero-reset and comes with great turret dynamics, besides the sufficient eye relief. A notable setback, however, is that some users reported issues with the scope’s reticle, which they found to be too small for dark background shots.

Pros

  • Suitable for medium and short-range shooting
  • Great turret dynamics
  • Great glass quality
  • Sufficient eye relief
  • Instant zero-reset

Cons

  • Some users found the reticle unsuitable for dark background shots

3

UTG 3-12X44

Are you looking for a scope that you can use long-range, enjoying high magnification and great quality? This could be a good consideration. You may be drawn by this scope’s design and the high accuracy you get with its turret dynamics. Thanks to their large size, the dials are easy to adjust to your preference.

You may also love how well it retains its zero. That is not all; the glass quality that you get from this product is not so different from what you would expect with high-cost pieces. Coming under $200, you will find that it provides value for your money.

At the 12x setting, it ensures the least distortion, delivers crisp images and it also comes with a handy UTG lens hood, which can help take care of glare. What is more, is that it comes with a Mil-dot reticle, which promotes high accuracy. Your sighting and aiming can be clearer and better with this scope.

Summarily, you may love that this product comes with a clear lens and repeatable turret dynamics. It has a great zero retention and comes with a hood, handy for glare-protection. You may find its reticle easy to use. A notable setback, however, is that it is heavy. If you are hoping for easier maneuverability, then you could find this heavy.

Pros

  • Repeatable turret dynamics
  • Great zero retention
  • Glare-protection
  • Simple reticle
  • High clarity

Cons

  • It is heavy

4

Vortex Optics Diamondback

If you enjoy hunting deer, then you may appreciate the high performance that this scope can provide, besides serving you optimally in other areas. Coming at an affordable price, you may find its features to be just what you are looking for.

Like you should expect from a quality low-cost sight, this product’s scope features a glass that matches premium quality. The lens provides high clarity. What is more, is that you can easily track fast-moving targets, thanks to its fast-focus eyepiece.

Thanks to its durable build, this scope should last you a long time of use without requiring replacements. If you will be hunting through varying weather and environmental conditions, then you may be happy with the protection that this scope offers, ensuring that you get the best performance throughout your use.

What more you may like about this option is that it ensures no challenges with the zero. You will thus not have to make adjustments unless you change your spot. Summarily, you may love this product for the quality of its lenses. It also features repeatable dials that have great precision.

Its strong build ensures that you use it for long without the need for replacement. That is not all; you also get great zero retention and can use this product for a variety of purposes, besides hunting. A notable setback, however, is with its dials, which you may find to be small. Adjusting the scope’s turrets, therefore, can prove challenging and worse with thick gloves on.

Pros

  • Great zero retention
  • High-quality lenses
  • Repeatable dials
  • Solid build
  • Suitable for a variety of uses

Cons

  • Small turrets

5

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

Coming fifth is another option of AR-15 scopes that comes at an affordable cost, while not compromising on its delivery. What does Vortex Optics have to offer? You may be familiar with the company for their prominence in the manufacture of rifle scopes. Its Crossfire II is a good pick for upping your tactical performance with an AR-15.

This product features a premium glass that you may love more than some costlier brands. You may also note exceptional quality with the scope’s lens. What more you may find to be impressive is its V-Brite reticle, which features a black dot in its center that changes color to red at night.

This reticle’s illumination makes it possible to use the scope at night with comfort and ease. You should be able to position the crosshairs right. That is not all; this product also comes with capped turrets, which are handy when making adjustments. It features a quick focus eyepiece and a strong, durable build, which should see you through use in harsh weather and rough terrain.

Summarily, you may love this product for the quality and high clarity of its glass and lens. It comes with a V-Brite illuminated reticle; whose dot sight turns from black to red when night falls. It also has capped turrets and a quick focus eyepiece. Expect a strong, durable build.

A notable setback, however, is the fisheye effect that it causes and happens when your sight is not aligned with the scope’s ocular.

Pros

  • High clarity
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Capped turrets
  • The eyepiece is easy to focus
  • Strong, durable build

Cons

  • Notable fisheye effects

6

Vortex Optics Strikefire II

Coming sixth is another scope that could work well with your AR-15. It is not only the affordable price that is impressive about it but also its delivery and performance. Let us have a look at what the scope has to offer. First, is a great lens.

Like you should expect with a good-quality product, regardless of its cost, this scope comes with a lens that you may love for its clarity, and following that it eliminates distortions. It also promotes accurate aiming and fast shooting. The provided caps provide protection and thus make the glass more durable.

That is not all; this product’s brightness settings can be easily adjustable, unlike what most products offer. This feature makes it possible to easily acquire and lock onto targets and is not easily affected by varying conditions in the environment.

You may find this product to be suitable for a variety of functions and thanks to its compact design and lightweight, you can easily move around with it and increase your chances of successful shots. Summarily, this scope provides high clarity and features adjustable brightness. It is also weatherproof and comes in a compact, lightweight design.

The included lens cap offers protection to the glass, thus promoting its durability and you may find its offset cantilever mount to be handy. A notable setback, however, is with the edges of the red dot. They are not as regular as you would expect them to be.

Pros

  • High clarity
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Weatherproof and durable
  • Included cantilever mount

Cons

  • The red dot has irregular edges

7

Pinty Rangefinder

Are you looking for a unique scope that can guarantee quality without costing you more than you are planning to spend? This could be a good consideration, following that you not only get two sights at an affordable price but also a great performance from its rangefinder. Let us have a look at what it has to offer.

You may first notice this product’s unique design, offering a combination of two scopes. The conventional piece has a reflex sight on top, which can work just as well as a holographic sight does; the beauty here is that you do not have to strain your budget for it.

Something else that you may love is the clarity of the images you get with its glass. While it does not match up to premium brands in every aspect, you will find its range to be exceptional for the price. You should also expect easy adjustability of the reticle’s brightness, which eases the scope’s use in varying light conditions.

Summarily, this product provides great, tactical performance. It comes in a unique design and has clear sights, which deliver images with such high clarity. You can easily adjust the brightness settings and the product's solid construction ensures that you use it for long enough, without the worry of affected or dwindled performance.

A notable setback, however, is that it may not offer the best fit for all AR rifles, following that it sits pretty high on other variants. While you can cut down this height by removing its reflex sight, you will fail to achieve the product’s purpose.

Pros

  • Great performance and efficiency
  • Unique design
  • High clarity
    durable
  • Adjustable settings
  • Solid construction

Cons

  • Unsuitable for some rifles

8

Leupold VX-Freedom

A costly scope does not mean high quality, and neither does this product’s affordability mean that it is going to disappoint you; on the contrary, it offers great performance and comes in a durable build that you can trust to see you through harsh weather and environmental conditions. What more does it have to offer?

You may be drawn by this product’s magnification, which is comparable to some premium models. With it, comes high clarity of images, making sighting and shooting easy and comfortable. You should be impressed with what you get with this product’s low magnification, which, like at 7x, shows no distortions.

You do not have to cut your hunting shot or end your shooting because of the dark. Its reticle is simple and its light transmission technology ensures that you get the time you need to make your hunt. It also enhances accuracy by providing a clear vision, ideal for sighting, targeting, and tracking.

That is not all; you may also love its turret responsiveness and features a great zero retention. Summarily, you may love this product’s quality lens and advanced technology. Its glass is also durable and scratch proof. The repeatable turrets offer precision, and its reticle is easy to use.

A notable setback, however, is with its range, which you may find to be short.

Pros

  • Precise, repeatable turrets
  • Advanced technology
  • High-quality lens
  • Simple reticle
  • Durable

Cons

  • Unsuitable for long-range use

9

TRUGLO TRU-Brite

Coming ninth is another good consideration for low-cost AR-15 scopes that do not compromise on quality. You may not only love this product’s looks but also its performance. What does it have to offer? First, are images with high clarity, making it easy to sight and target.

You may also be happy with the quality of its glass, which allows you to use the product for long without performance issues. Unlike a number of other AR-15 scopes, this product is easy to mount. What is more, is the illumination offered by its reticle.

You can enjoy easy compensation of shots and precise dials with good feedback. This product also features high adjustability and a great zero retention. A notable setback, however, is with its weight—you may find it to be very heavy.

Summarily, you may love the precise turret adjustments that this scope offers, besides its great zero retention. It also features an illuminated reticle and provides high clarity. It should be easy to mount and is durable.

Pros

  • Precise turret adjustment
  • Great zero retention
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Easy mounting
  • High clarity
  • Durable

Cons

  • Heavy

10

Monstrum G2

Are you looking for a reliable AR-15 scope with range-finding capabilities that will not disappoint? This last option in our list could serve you well, thanks to its great aiming and sleek design. What does it have to offer?

An FFP scope is good for the precision it offers and the increasing size of its reticle, which makes it an excellent choice for ranging, compared to an SFP type. You may, therefore, love that this FFP scope comes at an affordable price, as you would expect it to be pricier.

What more you may love about this product is that it features an illuminated reticle, which uses a CR2032 of 3 volts, rather than tritium. That is not all; this product also provides sufficient relief. You can enjoy the clarity of images you get at 4 inches, even without the need for tunneling.

The scope’s body design promotes its durability and makes it possible to use through a variety of conditions and environments. A notable setback, however, is with its turret dynamics, which you may not find to be reliable, following their inconsistent and thus, inefficient retention of settings.

Summarily, you may love this product’s illuminated reticle and sufficient eye relief. For an FFP scope, it is affordable. It also comes in solid construction, featuring a lightweight design.

Pros

  • Illuminated reticle
  • Sufficient eye relief
  • Affordable FFP scope
  • Solid construction
  • Lightweight design
  • High quality
  • High clarity

Cons

  • Unreliable turret dynamics

Bottom Line


If you are using an AR-15 platform for the first time or are looking to hone your skills, then a low-cost scope could be what you need. We have discussed some of the best available brands and what each product has to offer. If you are running low on or working with a tight budget, then you do not have to strain yourself.

Among the options that we have looked into are products that do not disappoint, low-priced as they are. I would like to recommend that you buy the Bushnell Drop Zone-223. You may love this product’s simple BDC reticle, which provides higher accuracy.

The scope delivers crisp images and features a great turret design. It is lightweight and waterproof and comes at an affordable price. If you are looking for a good quality AR-15 scope for short and medium ranges, then this could work well for you.
Buy the Bushnell Drop Zone-223 today!

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