Best Rifle Scope Under $1000 (Best 10 We Recommend)

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Most people think you have to pay a fortune to get a scope that gets the job done. And while expensive models are often better than affordable ones, you can also get exceptional scopes for a reasonable cost.

Whether it is for hunting or training your aim in a shooting range, a scope doesn’t need to cost an eye. In fact, you can find well-priced and still incredibly practical scopes for any use. 

Here, we’re showing you the best rifle scope under 1000 by reviewing reasonably-priced yet still worth-having scopes that won’t disappoint in the slightest.

After reviewing tons of scopes, we ended up with a list of scops we couldn’t dismiss. Check below and find out why!

10 Best Rifle Scopes Under $1000 Reviews in 2021

Mid-range riflescopes for people who want quality. That’s what you’re going to find within our reviews. But most importantly, you’ll find the best of all of them. Want to know what made us choose each? If yes, check our reviews out:

Image Product
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen I Riflescope
  • Associated with top-tier riflescopes
  • Shock proof 30mm tube
  • Waterproof
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Nikon Black FX1000
  • 30 mm main body tube
  • Side focus Parallax adjustment
  • Prevents eye damage with guard & long relief
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical Riflescope
  • Shock proof 30mm tube
  • Waterproof and fogproof
  • Fast-focus eyepiece allows quick aiming
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint Riflescope
  • Advanced fiber-optics
  • Waterproof- 10feet
  • Battery-Free Illumination
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Riflescope
  • Fully multi-coated
  • Extra-low dispersion lenses
  • High-end construction withstands any use
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Nightforce Optics SHV Riflescope
  • 56mm objective lens
  • Smooth & quick turrets
  • Waterproof and fogproof
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II Riflescope
  • Bright and clear lens
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum construction
  • Works in any environment
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Leupold VX-5HD Riflescope
  • Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
  • Lightweight
  • Ideal for lowlight conditions
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Athlon Optics Midas TAC Riflescope
  • Fully multi-coated
  • Extra-fast and smooth turret adjustments
  • 300 mm tube diameter
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Leupold VX-3i LRP Riflescope
  • Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
  • Lightweight construction
  • Unparalleled low light performance
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →

1. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen I Riflescope

Quick Summary

  • Associated with top-tier riflescopes
  • Shock proof 30mm tube 
  • Waterproof
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen I 6-24x50 FFP Riflescope - EBR-2C Reticle (MOA)

Some brands will never disappoint you. One of them is Vortex Optics. Designed to improve your accuracy exponentially, the PST Gen is an almost perfect example of why Viper stands out. 

The 4-16x power level matches with a 50mm objective lens. This combination is more than enough for mid and long-range shooting in any situation. Add the 30mm main tube that improves light transmission exponentially, so you’re never low on brightness.

Another useful feature related to the image is the extra-low dispersion glass and the anti-reflective coatings. They ensure maximum clarity and image quality, even in the hardest of situations.

What’s more, the scope comes with various reticle options to pick from. The most popular is the EBR-1 in MOA. You can also get an MRAD version. And for those who want slightly more complex aiming, the EBR-2C with MOA measurement is also worth considering.

The reticles pair up well with the fiber-optic turret rotation system with CRS zero-stop turrets, making adjustments a piece of cake.

Lastly, the entire scope is made of high-grade aircraft aluminum that withstands any use. For a decent cost, this scope will be ready to tackle any shooting job with no drawbacks.

What We Liked
  • It is available with 3 different reticles
  • Boasts a practical CRS turret system
  • Can handle extreme scenarios with no problem
  • Offers an outstanding image quality
  • You can pick two different magnification levels
What We Didn't Like
  • May discolor at the highest magnification levels 

2. Nikon Black FX1000

Quick Summary

  • 30 mm main body tube
  • Side focus Parallax adjustment
  • Prevents eye damage with guard & long relief
Nikon black FX 1000 6-24X50 M Illuminated Reticle FX-MOA

Even though Nikon has discontinued many of its scopes, the FX1000 is still out there, making every user happy. And it’s not a surprise why, as this scope is ideal for almost any type of shooting. 

Coming with 4-16x magnification, it works for mid and long-range shots. And if you want to take it a step further, you can always go for the 4-26x model. Either way, it boasts a 50mm objective lens, large enough to provide an outstanding image quality on every peek.

As for the reticle, you can enjoy the proprietary Black FX scope. You can pick this reticle with MOA or MRAD marks. To make it more versatile, you can choose the standard reticle or the illuminated one. There are enough reticle options for any use.

Sure enough, the adjustments don’t stay behind. A quick-focus eyepiece with a rubber guard plus a parallax adjustment with smooth-turning rings will make focusing a no-brainer. Its generous eye relief and high-speed turrets make it even easier. 

The main tube is 30mm in diameter. This pairs well with an O-ring sealed construction and a nitrogen-purged interior. Whether in highly humid or foggy places, the scope won’t let anything cause damage. Even if you drop the rifle, the scope will not break down easily.

What We Liked
  • Super-long-range magnification for any use
  • Works in almost any situation 
  • Prevents eye damage with guard & long relief
  • Comes in either MOA or MRAD marks as needed
  • Offers extra-precise yet smooth and quick turrets 
What We Didn't Like
  • The reticle looks distorted at low magnification

3. Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical Riflescope

Quick Summary

  • Shock proof 30mm tube
  • Waterproof and fogproof
  • Fast-focus eyepiece allows quick aiming
Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24x50 First Focal Plane Riflescopes - EBR-2C (MOA) Tactical Reticle, Black

Not all scopes need to be for hunting or grouping. The Diamondback Tactical from Vortex is an excellent example of what a more casual scope under 500 can offer.

It all starts with its first focal plane EBR-2C reticle. Available in MOA and MRAD marks, you can pick whatever you feel more comfortable with. 

Along with different reticle options, you also get the chance to choose between the 4-16x or the 6-24x power levels. They are 44mm and 50mm in the objective lens accordingly. Whatever you go for, you’ll receive a bright and clear image, especially with the extra-low dispersion and fully-multi coated glass. 

You can enjoy all of this with the exposed tactical turrets. There’s even a side parallax turret for magnificent convenience. Whether you’re in relaxed plains or the thickest forest, these adjustments will help you enormously.

What’s even more critical, the riflescope is extremely well-made with a 30mm main tube, seal-proof construction, O-ring seals, and a recoil-resistant design. An aircraft-grade aluminum build and hard-anodized finish will ensure an even more resilient product overall. 

What We Liked
  • The lens and glass deliver a super-bright image
  • It is available in different magnification levels
  • Comes with either MOA or MRAD reticles
  • Fast-focus eyepiece allows quick aiming
  • It is one of the most affordable on the list
What We Didn't Like
  • Gets a bit distorted at high power levels

4. Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint Riflescope

Quick Summary

  • Advanced fiber-optics
  • Waterproof- 10feet
  • Battery-Free Illumination
  • Practical & smooth turrets make adjustments easy
Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20x50 Riflescope MIL-Dot Crosshair with Green Dot Reticle, 30mm Tube

Some brands are specifically designed for demanding users who don’t care about price as long as the scope gets the job done. Trijicon is one of those user-focused brands. And with the TR23 AccuPoint, you’ll understand why.

First and foremost, you can use this scope in the day or at night. You get a battery-free illumination system with fiber-optic technology. Along with a tritium phosphor lamp, you can set this scope for any environment at any moment. It can also adjust automatically to outside conditions. 

The image’s quality is exceptional, mainly for the 50mm objective lens and the multi-coated lenses. No light will escape the scope, so you can see everything clearly and distortion-free.

It gets even better with the 5-20x magnification. One of the best options from Trijicon is ideal for hunting big game and shooting on target at distances of over 1,000 yards.

Sure enough, you get next-level adjustments with a second focal plane reticle, a 3-turret design with parallax, and a green-dot reticle that never lets you lose the center of the aim.

And if all that wasn’t enough, you can still expect a high-end build with the aircraft-aluminum housing. Wherever you are, the scope will be ready for any type of shooting. 

What We Liked
  • Boasts an ultra-low light illumination system
  • Allows low-light performance in any situation
  • Offers ideal magnification for any shooting range
  • Practical & smooth turrets make adjustments easy
  • It boasts a simple and easy-to-install design
What We Didn't Like
  • Turrets don’t have a locking mechanism

5. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Riflescope

Quick Summary

  • Fully multi-coated
  • Extra-low dispersion lenses
  • 4x zoom
  • High-end construction withstands any use
Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50 SFP Riflescope VMR-1 MOA , black

The Viper series comes with an outstanding array of riflescopes that can tackle almost any situation. One of the most versatile among them is the HS-T version. It combines the accuracy of a hunting rifle with the ease of use of a tactical one.

As soon as you aim with this scope, you’ll realize the 4x main power level. It works perfectly with the 16x of maximum magnification with a 44mm objective lens. Or, if you prefer, you can get the 6-24x model at 50mm of objective. 

Either way, you’ll enjoy fully multi-coated lenses with extra-low dispersion glass that leave no space for distortion. More importantly, you get XR coatings that improve light transmission like no other.

The reticle also varies. It is a VMR-1, but you can get it in either MOA or MRAD. Whatever you pick, you’ll have the CRS Zero Stop turrets, including one on the side for the parallax. 

When aiming, you can also use the parallax removal and the fast-focus eyepiece—no need to waste a single second when aiming at your target.

And despite all of that, Vortex still manages to offer an argon-purged and O-ring sealed construction with Armortek lens protective coating. 

What We Liked
  • Available with either MRAD or MOA reticle
  • Comes with super-clear lens coatings
  • You can pick two different power levels
  • Quick and lockable turrets for extra precision
  • High-end construction withstands any use
What We Didn't Like
  • Its parallax can be difficult to adjust

6. Nightforce Optics SHV Riflescope

Quick Summary

  • 56mm objective lens
  • Smooth & quick turrets
  • Waterproof and fogproof
  • 2nd focal plane
NightForce SHV 4-14x56 .250 MOA 30mm Riflescope, Black, Moar Non Illumintated Reticle, C520

Being on the verge of our price range, the Nightforce SHV riflescope enters the list as the most expensive. But it is not just for the sake of being pricier. This scope is outstandingly good, easy to use, and extremely well-made.

It starts with 4-14x magnification. You can get from a short-range 4x power level to a long-range 14x magnification. Either way, you’ll find the 56mm incredibly effective at increasing overall brightness and clarity when compared to less expensive scopes. 

This magnification and objective lens work perfectly with the MOAR reticle. It is a unique hunter-designed option that leaves no space for distractions. When hunting, this reticle will be immensely helpful with MOA adjustments.

It is a second focal plane reticle, though. This matches with the capped turrets, ideal for taking your adjustments to the next level. There’s even a parallax turret, so you can adjust the scope to the max. What’s even better, it works with almost any rifle, including 30-06 caliber ones. 

Finally, it is a highly reliable scope overall. Being waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof, it will certainly last as long as its price dictates. 

What We Liked
  • Delivers an ultra-broad and illuminated objective lens
  • Has a uniquely practical and easy-to-use reticle
  • Smooth & quick turrets make aiming a no-brainer
  • Offers excellent magnification for any usage
  • Works well in low-light environments and nights
What We Didn't Like
  • Feels a bit heavy 

7. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II Riflescope

Quick Summary

  • Bright and clear lens
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum construction
  • Works in any environment
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50 FFP Riflescope EBR-2C MRAD

Once again, we find a Vortex Optics scope. This time, it is the Viper HST Gen II. As the continuation of the first scope in the list, this one offers all the same tactical features but with a touch of spiciness for extra versatility.

For example, this scope is available in 2-10x, 3-15x, and 5-25x magnification levels. They are 32mm, 44mm, and 50mm accordingly. Whichever you pick will come with extra-low dispersion glass, XR fully multi-coated lenses, and RZR Zero Stop adjustment turrets, including a fiber-optic rotation indicator. 

But adjustments don’t work alone. You’ll need a quality reticle to put the bullet on target. Here’s where the six different reticle options come into play. With an EBR-4, an EBR-2C, and EBR-7C in both MOA and MRAD, you’ll have the perfect array of reticles to pick from.

As for durability, this scope also stands out. Boasting an O-ring seal, argon-purged build, and an aircraft-grade aluminum tube, it will withstand harsh environments without breaking a sweat. 

What We Liked
  • It is available in three different magnification options
  • Comes with three reticle alternatives to pick from
  • Lets you pick between MOA or MRAD adjustments
  • Has an incredibly bright and clear lens 
  • Will work perfectly in any environment
What We Didn't Like
  • The short eye relief can be problematic 

8. Leupold VX-5HD Riflescope

Quick Summary

  • Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
  • Lightweight
  • Ideal for lowlight conditions
  • Works with any rifle
Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44mm Side Focus Riflescope

Some brands will never let you down with quality scopes for any use. One of them is Leupold, and one of those scopes is the VX-5HD.

The 3-15x magnification with the 44mm objective lens will deliver excellent brightness. Yet, the Twilight Max HD system makes the scope an almost perfect addition to any shooter looking for clarity in low-light environments. It adds up to 30 minutes of light and avoids glare.

But image quality without the ideal reticle is useless. That’s why you can also enjoy a FireDot Duplex reticle, boasting an illumination system and Motion Sensor Technology. This helps you work in low-light environments and still save battery power when it is no being used.

As for adjustments, you get the ZeroLock CDS turrets. They adapt to any need, so you can shoot precisely on target every time.

And because it is one of the most expensive scopes, you can also expect superb construction quality with a waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof capacity. It can withstand 33-feet of depth, the recoil of a .308 rifle, and extreme temperatures simultaneously. 

What We Liked
  • Boasts a fantastic low-light illumination system
  • Top-notch turrets make adjustments super-quick
  • It works with any rifle without drawbacks
  • Comes with decent magnification for any purpose
  • An illuminated reticle makes it super-handy on any place
What We Didn't Like
  • Takes a long time to turn on and off

9. Athlon Optics Midas TAC Riflescope

Quick Summary

  • Fully multi-coated
  • Extra-fast and smooth turret adjustments
  • 300 mm tube diameter
Athlon Optics Midas TAC Riflescope 6-24x50 30mm APRS2 FFP MIL Reticle

It doesn’t matter what type of scope you prefer. The Midas TAC will meet your standards either way. It offers the whole quality package, including 3 different reticle options.

Starting with the APRS2, you can get a practical yet decently simple MIL reticle for any type of shooting. You can also get the APLR4 with MOA marks or the more complicated APRS3 with MIL markings. Each reticle is a first focal plane, meaning it adjusts automatically to the desired power level. 

Whatever you pick, you’ll enjoy the Precision Zero Stop System with smooth adjustment turrets. There’s a parallax adjustment turret, adding up the extra touch of convenience for precise shooting every time.

On top of adjustments, you’ll enjoy an HD Glass plus a fully multi-coated scope. This combination ensures exceptional light transmission and sharpness. Add the XPL coating for a bit of protection, preventing scratches and damage from oil or dirt.

What We Liked
  • It comes with three different reticle options 
  • Boasts exceptional lenses for sharp aiming
  • Extra-fast and smooth turret adjustments 
  • The housing and lenses withstand any use
  • Comes with an anti-scratch and resilient finish
What We Didn't Like
  • It is only available with first focal plane reticles

10. Leupold VX-3i LRP Riflescope

Quick Summary

  • Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
  • Lightweight construction
  • Unparalleled low light performance
  • Delivers an extra-bright, clear, and sharp image
Leupold VX-3i LRP 8.5-25x50mm Side Focus Riflescope

If you want a high-end riflescope below the $1000 mark, then you’ll have to consider the VX-3i LRP from Leupold. There’s nothing to complain about it.

As soon as you put your eye on the piece, you’ll realize how clear, bright, and sharp it is. The addition of a Twilight Light Management System and the 50mm objective lens work to provide an almost perfect image. More importantly, it helps you see things even in the darkest scenarios. 

This matches well with the 8.5-25x magnification. Perfectly designed to fit the longest-range needs, the Long Range Precision (LRP) design will help you get every shot on target. Especially with the super-simple yet highly effective TMR reticle that makes every shot a no-brainer.

Despite all of that, you can enjoy the first focal plane system. This reticle will change depending on the magnification level, making it even easier to make accurate shots.

And lastly, it boasts an outstandingly resilient build. It is waterproof and pressure-proof, withstanding over 33 feet of depth if needed. This goes well with the recoil resistance, holding up even after 5,000 shots from a .308 rifle. And what’s even better, it can handle extreme temperatures with no drawback.

What We Liked
  • Unique turret system makes adjustments super-easy
  • Comes with excellent magnification for long-range shooting
  • Can handle even the harshest of environments
  • Delivers an extra-bright, clear, and sharp image
  • The exterior design looks gorgeous on any rifle
What We Didn't Like
  • The eye relief is too short for big-caliber rifles 

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Rifle Scope Under $1000

As soon as you start looking for a riflescope that gets the job done, you’ll realize the enormous number of features to consider. If you aren’t well-aware of what the best rifle scope under 1000 should come with, you may end up with a product that doesn’t match your needs. 

Below, we explain what factors to consider if you want to prevent that: 

Magnification

The first thing to look at is obviously the power level or magnification. This refers to how far you can aim with the scope. Obviously, a higher magnification means you can see at a longer distance. For a scope below the $1000 mark, you can pick whatever you find more enticing.

Here, you will most likely find scopes starting at 3x and offering up to 25x magnification levels. For us, it’s all about your needs. But try to get as high of a magnification system as possible. You don’t know when a long-range magnification could come in handy.

Objective Lens

Along with the magnification, you want a high-diameter objective lens. The objective lens is the first glass on the scope. It is where the light comes in, meaning it catches the light to present you everything in front.  

This objective lens is measured in millimeters (mm). With a high diameter, you get high light transmission. But this also depends on how much light you need. 

Generally, scopes are between 32mm and 44mm. That’s more than enough for most uses. But if you’re working on low-light scenarios, a 50mm or 56mm objective lens that catches more light could be a better choice. 

Glass & Coatings Quality 

Believe it or not, the glass quality that goes in the scope also affects how well you can see through it. For example, an extra-low dispersion (XD) glass will be a lot better than standard glass because it prevents distortion and increases clarity. 

Similarly, you’ll want the ideal lens coatings. Here, your best bet would be a fully multi-coat. These coatings cover the entire lens system for maximum light transmission. 

Reticle 

Most hunters and consistent shooters know the importance of quality reticle. That’s why they put so much effort into picking the right one. As you should too.

But here, it’s more of a personal choice more than anything. Some reticles are easy-to-use and straightforward, as the Duplex. Others are more complicated, like the BDC, VMR, or EBR. And you can also find proprietary versions, often boasting tons of hash marks for maximum adjustment on the job.

If you’re a beginner, go for a simple MOA reticle as it will ease up your aiming. But if you’re experienced and want to take your shooting game to another level, then going for an MRAD or MIL reticle could be a wise decision.

Turret Adjustments

Adjusting the scope’s windage and elevation is vital. Especially in windy areas or places where elevation varies, you’ll want something that can make it easier to aim. In that case, we recommend click turrets with a zero-click feature that can hold the adjustments on every shot.

In case the scope you’re going for has variable parallax (how the reticle adjusts to the scope’s image), you may need a parallax side turret as well.

Extras

Other features that scopes offer may also come in handy. One of these includes a long eye relief. This can prevent accidents. Similarly, an eye guard will keep you safe even with the largest of rifles.

Nightvision or low-light systems can also add up to the experience. Some scopes can work in the dark of the night, while others may give you the chance to work in the dusk or dawn if necessary.

Tube Diameter & Build

Last but not least, you’ll want a scope that doesn’t break even if you take it to the harshest of places. For that reason, high-grade aluminum construction is essential. Don’t forget proper sealing and purging, so it adds the extra touch of resistance against exterior factors.

For extra resilience, we recommend thick 30mm diameter tubes. But you can always pick 1-inch tubes if necessary. Being slightly thinner, these can be a bit fragile. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Now that you’ve learned enough about riflescope under $1000, it’s time to relieve doubts. Below, we answer some common questions buyers have. You may get your doubts relieved with them.

Are riflescopes under $1000 ideal for deer hunting?

More than ideal. Most scopes we talked about will work with the smallest .22-250 rifles for varmint and the largest Marlin .336 rifles. Either way, you’ll obtain all their best qualities with no disadvantage.

What is the difference between first and second focal plane?

We mentioned how some scopes above have either a second focal plane (SFP) or a first focal plane (FFP). This refers to the type of reticle in the scope. 

The difference is that FFP changes with magnification. It is an excellent alternative if you’re looking for super-accurate aiming. However, this typically works with MIL and MRAD scopes.

SFP reticles will stay the same way independently of the magnification. These make aiming a lot easier and usually work with MOA. Yet, they may affect accuracy in places where holdover and windage are essential. 

Should I pick MOA or MRAD on a scope?

An MOA (minute of angle) is a measurement of angle that helps users calculate their aim when shooting. It refers to a 1/60 of a degree. Due to that, it is generally easy to use and understand at first. 

An MRAD (milliradian) is the same thing. However, it is a bit more complicated but more precise. For long-range shooting, MRAD is more effective. Yet, it requires more effort and experience. 

If you’re a beginner, go for MOA adjustments and hash marks. But if you want maximum precision to get the most out of your experience, then go for MRAD without a doubt. 

Should I get a Vortex or a Leupold scope?

It all comes down to your needs. For example, Leupold scopes are typically more expensive because the overall constructions and set of features tend to be better than Vortex. However, the latter focuses on affordable pieces that still offer exceptional results, sometimes to the level of Leupold at half the price. 

Conclusion

The time it took to review and organize this list was enormous. But it is nothing to the time and money we’re saving you. 

If you’re genuinely looking for the best rifle scope under 1000, you’ll probably find it within our reviews above. Once you have it, not only will you start shooting more accurately, but you will also enjoy something that genuinely holds valuable relative to its price.

For us, that’s what we strive for. Helping people make their best choices in scopes saves them time and effort to choose one that they eventually regret.

Choose one of these riflescopes above, following your needs and demands, and you’ll be ready to tackle any shooting job with confidence. What are you waiting for?