Best Low Light Scope Under $500

Whether you are a hunter or target shooter, buying a rifle scope can be a tricky affair because it involves a wide range of factors and various varieties. While cheap rifle scopes do not offer good quality, the mid-range ones can provide a great blend of value and performance. The rifle scopes are used to magnify objects by the diversion of light via the internal lenses and a high-quality lens is a very good investment for shooters. The accuracy of a rifle scope is dependent on various factors and you need to take into account each of these factors when you need to choose the right model.

 

Before you want to use your rifle scope, you need to consider where you want to use your rifle scope and its purpose. So in this article, we will provide you with some of the most important aspects that you need to keep in mind. We have also chosen some of the best scopes from the current market to ensure that you can pick the right unit that can fully satisfy your requirements.

Buying guide for a low light scope.

These are a few points that one needs to consider while buying a good low light scope.

Magnification

It is important to consider where you hunt and what you hunt when selecting the magnification factor. The ability to magnify the target not only enhances the accuracy but also makes the hunting process much safer by reducing the chance of hitting something or someone that you shouldn’t. The basic hunting rifles generally come with fixed 4x or variable 3-9x scopes that fulfil the purpose. The modern rifles often come with 12x-20x when you are shooting long distance.

Lens quality

The lens at the shooter’s end is called an ocular lens and the one at the target end is the objective lens. The objective lens is the most important aspect as a larger objective scope produces a much brighter image. At the same time, mounting a rifle scope as low as possible without the objective bell touching the barrel is important. In addition, the lens should have some hydrophobic or hydrophilic lens coating along with multiple layers on all air to glass surfaces. This ensures better transmission of light and more clarity.

Construction

The construction of the scope is an important aspect that has to be taken into consideration. The main tube of the scope can vary in diameter and buying a scope with a large tube provides more space for interior components and increases the range of adjustment. The larger diameter also needs the use of special mounting rings and results in a higher price. A durable and sturdy built is an important point to consider. While most modern scopes are nitrogen or argon-purged to prevent fogging and are waterproof and shockproof as well, it is best to check out the features before purchasing.

Other features

The most common eye-relief figures range around four inches and lesser quality scopes boast only 3 to 3.5 inches. Shorter eye relief is not an ideal choice for high recoil rifles. The choice should also be made regarding whether the reticle is positioned in the first or second focal plane. The position at the first focal plane means that the reticle maintains the same perspective with the target size throughout the range of magnification. When places at the second focal plane, the reticle size remains the same irrespective of the zoom level.

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Objective Riflescope

This is a versatile and reliable scope that is especially useful in low light conditions and also offers great performance in harsh conditions.

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Overview

Bushnell has been making scopes since 1947 and established a reputation in the market. The name “Dusk to Dawn” indicates the special treatment that they offer thy glass to enhance low light visibility. With a lifetime warranty, you will find this unit as extremely dependable.

Feature and Benefits:

Effective magnification

The scope offers a variable zoom from 4X to 12X that offers sufficient flexibility to the hunters in the long-distance shooting. The field of view is also very good at this price range.

Objective lens diameter

The scope has an objective lens of 40 mm diameter that delivers clear and vivid images. The objective lens is adjustable to allow for parallax correction that is useful for long shots.

Optical quality

The scope comes with specialized Dusk and Dawn coatings that offer superior image quality. The unit is also water and fog proof and you can use it in any weather condition.

Additional features

This scope offers adjustments of the windage and elevation factors so that every shot can be utilized effectively. The 3.3 inches is effective for preventing any accidents.

Key Specifications:

  • Tube size: 40 mm
  • Eye relief: 3.3 inches
  • Length: 12 inches
  • Magnification: 4-12x

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • A shockproof construction.
  • Parallax correction feature.
  • Excellent performance in low light.
  • Fog proof and waterproof.
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
.
Cons
  • The eye relief could have been better.

Conclusion

This is one of the best scopes in this price range that offers a wide range of effective features and can even compete with scope above its price range.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope

With a range of premium features and an affordable price, this is one of the bestselling rifle scopes in the current market that offers an impressive performance.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes

 

Overview

The superior quality of these lenses offers haze-free and bright images that will serve you perfectly in low light conditions. Even though this is a budget-friendly unit, the quality is top-notch in every aspect, making it an effective choice in most hunting situations.

Feature and Benefits:

Superior build

The scope is crafted from a single piece aircraft-grade aluminium tube that offers excellent durability. The unit is also shockproof and nitrogen purged for versatile use.

Great optics

The fully multi-coated lenses increase light transmission for less haze and extra-vibrant colours. The durable hard-coat-anodized finish reduces glare for better visibility.

Illuminated reticle

The high-quality V-Brite reticle uses the V-Plex format with battery-powered electronics to illuminate the centre dot and provides you with great support in low light conditions.

Weatherproof

The unit is waterproof and the effective nitrogen purging makes it fog proof too. The O-ring sealing helps to keep the unit sealed from dust and dirt.

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Objective lens dia: 44 mm
  • Eye relief: 3.9 inches
  • Length: 14.5 inches
  • Tube size: 1 inch

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • The reticle on the second focal plane.
  • A fast-focus eyepiece.
  • Fully multi-coated lenses.
  • Waterproof aluminium tube construction.
  • Capped turrets with zero-reset.
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty.
.
Cons
  • The adjustment knobs do not offer clear and precise “clicks”.

Conclusion

This riflescope offers high value at an affordable price along with great build quality and optical performance that will keep you extremely satisfied.

Nikon Buckmasters II, 4-12x40mm, BDC, Riflescope

With superb optical quality and generous eye relief, this high quality and affordable scope from Nikon is often termed as a dream for a deer hunter.

Nikon Buckmasters II, 4-12x40mm, BDC, Riflescope

 

Overview

With superb optics and the high-quality BDC reticle from Nikon, this scope offers great features that make it an ideal choice for your next hunt. The simple but effective design and the budget-friendly price makes it a popular choice for hunters of all levels.

Feature and Benefits:

Great optics

The fully multicoated design ensures that it transmits up to 98 per cent of available light in the shooting area. The contrast levels at low light conditions are also very good.

Good reticle

The reticle comes with special see-through ballistic circles offer an incredible advantage for long-range shooting as well as for shorter-range shots.

Superior turret

The turret design allows you to lift the spring-loaded adjustment knob and rotate to zero to re-engage the position. It maintains its position effectively even under heavy recoil.

Additional features

The unit is waterproof and the effective nitrogen purging and O-ring sealing make it fog proof too. The generous eye relief makes it easy to use under heavier recoils.

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 1.60 pound
  • Objective lens dia: 40 mm
  • Eye relief: 3.7 inches
  • Length: 14 inches
  • Magnification: 4-12x

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • Excellent BDC reticle.
  • Comes with an adaptable sun shed.
  • Fully multi-coated lenses with 98% light transmission.
  • A zero-reset turret.
  • Water and fog proof.
.
Cons
  • The lens is slightly blurry along the edges.

Conclusion

This is a basic scope that is a great choice for hunters and budget-conscious shooters who are looking for a quality scope.

Nikon Monarch 3 BDC Riflescope

This flagship scope from Nikon is designed for serious hunters and offers plenty of effective features along with fast and effective performance.

Nikon Monarch 3 BDC Riflescope, Black, 4-16x42

Overview

Designed for long-range shooting, this scope from the house of Nikon will keep pro-hunters satisfied with its top-class optical performance. The scope offers great durability and first-class precision that makes it an extremely popular choice among hunters.

Feature and Benefits:

Superior optics

The lens comes with an ultra-clear coat that offers a maximum of 95 per cent light transmission. It produces clear and bright images even in low light conditions.

Effective controls

The controls in this scope are smooth and nice and the turrets are adjustable by a finger. The turrets are aluminium coated and you can feel the clicks when you rotate.

Advanced features

Nikon has incorporated a side focus for the self-adjusted parallax compensation in the scope. The eyepiece is fitted with a quick focus that allows easy and fast focussing.

Weather-proof

The rugged design comes with nitrogen purged optical chambers that make the unit fog and waterproof. You can use the scope in adverse weather confidently.

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 1.19 pound
  • Objective lens dia: 42 mm
  • Eye relief: 4 inches
  • Length: 13.5 inches
  • Magnification: 4-16x

 Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • Superior BDC reticle.
  • Ultra ClearCoat optical system.
  • Spring-loaded adjustment knobs.
  • A compact and durable design.
  • Easy to mount.
.
Cons
  • Non-illuminated reticle.

Conclusion

Nikon is a much-trusted brand and this scope with its excellent performance and longevity will prove to you the reason for the same.

ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope

Blending the latest technical features with a traditional design, ATN has brought forth the digital hunting experience that impresses with its performance.

ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope - Ultra HD 4K technology with Superb Optics, 120fps Video, 18+ hrs Battery, Ballistic Calculator, Rangefinder...

 

Overview

This is a highly advanced smart scope that not only offers legitimate, effective night vision but also provides the option to record your hunts. The additional features like range finder and ballistic calculator make this scope a real value for money for pro-shooters.

Feature and Benefits:

Ultra HD sensor

The sensor comes with an Obsidian 4 dual-core processor that offers higher resolutions and a rich range of colours. It also offers also has the photo and video capabilities with SD card recording option.

Night vision

The scope offers an HD Night Vision mode through an infrared attachment. It is one of the few scopes that allow you to shoot in the dark without breaking the bank.

Ballistic calculator

The calculator will take into account the factors like range, wind, multiple-weapon profiles, angle to target, temperature, humidity and others to ensure an accurate shot

Advanced features

The powerful batteries offer more than 18 hours of continuous operation and the unit can also stream videos to your mobile effectively.

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 2.20 pound
  • Sensor resolution: 3864×2218
  • Eye relief: 90 mm
  • Length: 14.9 inches
  • Magnification: 5-20x
  • System Resolution: 600 LP/mm

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • Offers night vision.
  • Dual Stream Video Recording
  • Ultra-Low Power Profile.
  • Recoil activated the video.
  • Effective ballistic calculator.
.
Cons
  • Poor after-sales service.
  • Some users faced software issues

Conclusion

This is a highly advanced scope that is loaded with features and also offers night vision at a price that is extremely affordable for the hunter or a casual target shooter.

Conclusion

So these are some of the best low light rifle scopes that offer superb performance along with an affordable price. The quality of glass in these units is high class and the multiple coatings allow you the best visibility in a dawn or dusk setting. For those who prefer a digitally equipped device along with night vision, we have also included a model that will serve the purpose. These scopes also offer top-class reliability and most of them come with a guarantee that will further enhance the dependability. Among these models, the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn objective riflescope can be termed as the best choice based on its features and performance.

The scope is designed with a special coating on the glass to ensure that it performs in a superior manner from dawn to dusk when the light levels are low. In addition, it also has a shockproof and weatherproof built that will withstand rough weather and handling. Bushnell is also a dependable brand so that you will be able to rely on the quality and reliability of the device even after years of use.

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