12 Best AR Scopes under $500: Short and Long Range for Rifles

When it’s hunting season, you can have all the right gear, proper attire, and have the best gun for taking down your prey. But what good is all that expensive equipment without a scope on your gun? Hell, even hitting the range requires a good scope set up for proper practice.

A proper scope for your assault rifle is essential for you to have the best hunting experience possible. A good scope adjusts for both young and old eyes. Even imperfect eyes can get a clear shot if they’ve got the right scope making the image clear.

Do you need a red dot or a green dot when you are aiming? What magnification or objective lens do you need for your eyes? How big does you scope need to be for the gun you own? What reticle pattern do you need from your scope? What type of power does your gun produce? Do you take more short or long range shots?

All these questions are things you must consider when deciding what scope is perfect for your assault rifle. And with all these factors in mind, here is a list of the 12 best AR-Scopes under $500 on the market today.

Vortex Optics SPR-1303 Spitfire 3x Prism Scope with EBR-556B Reticle (MOA), BlackVortex Optics SPR-1303 Spitfire 3x Prism Scope with EBR-556B Reticle (MOA)

The reticle offers you total control over your AR, from the first shot to the final one. This scope offers three times magnification and has been designed for specific use with an AR. The Vortex Optics SPR-1303 Spitfire 3x Prism Scope with EBR-556B Reticle has an enhanced battle reticle that has been designed to fit around the 5.56 by 45 cartridge. It is able to help with rapid shooting both far away and nearby. This offers excellent ranging references and holdover references from any distance between zero and 500 yards. The reticle of the Vortex Optics has been etched right onto the prism in order to ensure that there is a constant point of aim at any given time. It has your choice of green or red illumination that comes with five different intensity levels in order to help you out, no matter the conditions.


UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD RingsUTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope

Ready to help you make the most of your target practice or hunts, the UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope is a lightweight, easy-to-handle scope that will help improve your accuracy with each use. This UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope features a one-inch tube that has been given an emerald tubing which is able to facilitate the most light transmission possible. It has premium zero locking and resettable turrets that offer .25-MOA per click adjustment. There is a range estimator as part of it through the mil-dot reticle which provides optimized shooting and aiming performance. it is able to find an objective and adjust as close up as three yards away. There is a green and red dual illumination that offers many applications as well as an ultra large field of view to ensure that nothing gets past your sights. It comes with two-inch sunshades and a top-quality flip open lens cap.


Barska 1-4x28 IR Hunting ScopeBarska 1-4×28 IR Hunting Scope

With the Barska 1-4×28 IR Hunting Scope, you are getting a top quality scope that will significantly improve your accuracy levels. Thisscope features a glass-etched illuminated reticle that you can choose to light up in either black, red or green colors depending on your preferences. No matter what distance you are currently shooting from, you can change the magnification from anywhere between one to four times magnifications. There are external target turrets on this scope which can be locked in order to stop any sort of movement of the scope’s elevation and windage. Ideal for taking with you on early morning hunting trips or rainy ones, all the same, the Barska Hunting Scope comes with an O-ring that has been completely sealed to provide 100 percent waterproofing as well as a CO-2 nitrogen-purged design, helping you get protection from rain and heavy fog all the same.


Nikon 8496 P-223 3x32 Matte BDC CarbineNikon 8496 P-223 3×32 Matte BDC Carbine

With the Nikon, you can safely and effectively shoot, no matter how lightweight the rifle is or how heavy the recoil cartridges might be. The Nikon 8496 Scope offers a BDC carbine reticle has been made to fit perfectly with a .223 Rem or 5.56 NATO round with a 55-grain polymer tip bullet. It offers a 200-yard crosshair that delivers hash marks at both 400 yards and 600 yards.

The Nikon 8496 P-223 3×32 Matte BDC Carbine features a fully multicoated optical system that gives up to an impressive 98 percent light transmission and impeccable brightness, no matter what time of day you go shooting. It offers an ultra precise half-MOA hand turn system that is designed in a tactical style. The zero reset turrets positive adjustments to be made on the reticle offers you the ability to hone in on your target more quickly.


UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, RingsUTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope

The UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope is a completely sealed scope that is filled 100 percent of the way with nitrogen. This scope is resistant to any sort of moisture, whether that be a bit of fog or a lot of rain, making it ideal for hunting or shooting in any weather environment. It is also resistant to shock to ensure that it will not crack when dropped. It has resettable and lockable turrets that will give you the best precision and consistency, allowing you to always maintain a proper zero. It comes with sharp .25 MOA click adjustments to complement the rest of its abilities. This scope also features an integrated and angled sunshade that provides you with a clear shot even during the brightest parts of the morning. The flip-open lens cap and quick-detaching rings help to make it more efficient than any other scope of similar caliber.


Bushnell Optics FFP Illuminated BTR-1 BDC Reticle-223 Riflescope with Target Turrets and Throw Down PCL, Matte Black, 1-4x/24mmBushnell Optics FFP Illuminated BTR-1 BDC Reticle

The Bushnell Optics Riflescope is an ultra lightweight and durable AR scope. It has a ballistically calibrated reticle that is fully illuminated. It is ideal for use with 5.56 rounds and can provide the perfect level of aim and ranging at as much as 600 meters of distance. This scope comes with fully multicoated optics that provide you with anywhere between one to four levels of magnification depending on your unique shooting situation. The throw down PCL allows for super swift power changes, and it features a precise 1 mil click adjustment. The ar15 or rifle scope offers outstanding low light performance and boasts precise holdovers as far as 500 yards at a time. Target turrets are featured which offers ultra precise adjustments.


Hunting AR15 Tactical Rifle Scope Combo C4-16x50EG with Green Laser and 4 Holographic Red&Green Dot Sight (12 Month Warranty) for 22&11mm Weaver/Picatinny Rail MountHunting AR15 Tactical Rifle Scope Combo C4-16x50EG with Green Laser and 4 Holographic Red&Green Dot Sight (12 Month Warranty) for 22&11mm Weaver/Picatinny Rail Mount

Make every single shot you take with the ultra precise XOPin Hunting AR15 Tactical Rifle Scope Combo. The Rifle Scope Combo offers a top quality optical lens that has been fully coated and is filled with dry nitrogen to ensure that it is fog and 1200G shock proof while also being 100 percent waterproof at the same time. It offers a huge range of magnification options depending on your shooting needs. Choose between four to 16 times magnification for impeccable precision at any range. It has a green laser as well as four holographic green and red dot sights. There is electric control over the dot sights which allows for greater precision and accuracy when faced off against quickly moving objects. There are .25-inch fingertip resettable elevation and windage adjustments to ensure that you are always able to adapt to a new environment at a moment’s notice, keeping you precise and on your toes.


Vortex Optics Spitfire AR 1x Prism Scope with DRT (MOA) ReticleVortex Optics Spitfire AR 1x Prism Scope with DRT (MOA) Reticle

The Vortex Optics Spitfire AR Scope Reticle has been crafted from start to finish with the idea of being able to optimize any rifle and its quick-handling demands. It offers super fast functionality available in a simple-to-use, incredibly lightweight package. Its comfortable eye box and its sight picture, totally free from parallax, offers you a clear and effortless shot every time, even when you are in a chaotic environment. The Vortex has rear facing illumination and power controls, making them simple to access and use at a moment’s notice. It is simple to operate and offers you 12 different intensity levels so that you are always able to match any sort of light condition. Hunt in the early hours of the morning or in the afternoon all the same with this scope.


Leupold 113769 VX-R Patrol FireDot Illuminated Rifle Scope with Motion Sensor Technology, Black Matte Finish hunting scope for assault rifleLeupold 113769 VX-R Patrol FireDot Illuminated Rifle Scope with Motion Sensor Technology

Made from a durable blend of polymer and aluminum, the Leupold 113769 VX-R Patrol FireDot is a lightweight, yet powerful scope that is best intended for use with short-range firing. It offers an easy-to-view FireDot which helps you to land the most accurate shot every time, no matter what sort of low light environment you might find yourself in. The Scope also comes with excellently placed and easy-to-navigate elevation and windage adjustment so that you are always prepared for the changing environments you hunt in. There is a diamond coat exterior on the lenses that offers you total abrasion resistance as well as optimized light transmission, making the Leupold one to be used in any situation.


Primary Arms 1-8 X 24mm Scope ACSS BDC Illuminated Reticle PA1-8X24SFP-ACSS-5.56Primary Arms 1-8 X 24mm Scope ACSS BDC Illuminated Reticle PA1-8X24SFP-ACSS-5.56

The Primary Arms 1-8 X 24mm Scope is versatile and lightweight. It is sure to make you more accurate than ever before. It offers a magnification of anywhere between one and eight times so that you can be sure you are landing the shot, no matter how close or how far away you might be. It can move quickly from zero to 300 yards and is at its most precise between 300 and 800 yards. This durable scope comes with a patented design that has wind holds, bullet drop compensation and moving target leads that all work together to bring you the best shot possible. The Primary Arms 1-8 X 24mm Scope ACSS BDC Illuminated Reticle offers you a totally comfortable eye area and is light enough that you won’t have to worry about it adding any significant weight to the weapon upon which it is placed.


Nikon 16381 X1000 Matte x-MOA Reticle Spotting Scopes, 4-16x50SF, BlackNikon 16381 X1000 Matte x-MOA Reticle Spotting Scopes, 4-16x50SF

Delivering unparalleled precision, the Nikon 16381 X1000 Matte x-MOA Reticle Spotting Scope is a heavy-duty rifle scope that packs a powerful punch without all of the debilitating weight. It is a precision scope that is made with a rugged, tough body built to step up to all of your hunting challenges. It is made out of aircraft grade aluminum alloy for its main body that measures 30 millimeters. This scope offers 90 total MOA internal adjustment space to travel, offering you incredible control over your shots. The turrets on the Nikon 16381 X1000 come with .25 MOA click adjustments that offer 12 MOA for each revolution that it makes. The reticle in this unit comes with a second Focal Plane. This allows for the ranging, holdover corrections and any other sort of measurement to be completed with an impressive magnification range of up to 16 times.


Primary Arms 5X Compact Prism Hunting Scope w/ ACSS Reticle PAC5XPrimary Arms 5X Compact Prism Hunting Scope w/ ACSS Reticle PAC5X

This scope features the famous patented ACSS reticle that provides you with swift ranging, moving target leads and wind holds for a number of different weapon styles. This sighting system offers up to five times magnification so that you can always land the perfect shot at a short-to-medium-range distance. There is no illumination needed in the etched reticle, but it does come with five green and five red brightness levels for you to choose from. This Primary Arms 5X Compact Prism Hunting Scope is tough and rugged, designed to take on any extreme weather condition and handle any sort of heavy recoil situations. You can use the scope in nearly any sort of environment thanks to its rugged nature, and with its removable base, this scope becomes versatile in a way that you have yet to see from a scope.