Best Scope for AR-15 Under $100: Our Budget Choices

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On a quest to find a Best Scope For AR-15 Under $100, but the budget is giving you trouble? Riflescopes come under all price ranges. However, only the more expensive ones don’t need to serve your purpose well. Most of the time, scopes bought on a low budget work just fine.

Investing in a rifle scope for your AR-15 has many benefits. From reducing the money spent on ammo to improving precision and accuracy, adding a scope to your gear is never going to be wasteful.

Since it is always better to train the rookies on low-level rifles, choosing a scope under $100 is ideal for beginners. Even though a budget rifle scope may not meet as many requirements as a $1000 one would, these products’ quality is never compromised. Here are our picks of the top 10 best scope for AR-15 under $100: 

Best Scope for AR-15 Under $100: Quick Comparison Table

ImageProduct
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Nitrogen purged fog proofing
  • Adjustable eye relief
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
UTG 3-9X32 BugBuster Scope
  • Mil-dot reticle for easy aiming and shooting
  • Durable and ergonomic design
  • Comes with an aim setting and locking system
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
CVLIFE 2.5-10x40e Red & Green Illuminated Scope
  • Multi-coated green lens to assist sight
  • Crafted from high strength aircraft aluminum
  • Has five different illumination levels
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Tactical Armament Predator V1 Red Dot Sight
  • Manufactured by combat veteran-owned company
  • Durable and weatherproof
  • Comes with a built-in mount
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope
  • Unique design for uninterrupted illumination
  • Provides a large field of vision
  • Adjustable eye relief
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Pinty 2.5-10x40 Red Green Illuminated Mil-dot Tactical Rifle Scope
  • Constructed from aluminum alloy
  • Uses green objective lens
  • Simple and efficient design
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Monstrum S330P 3X Prism Scope
  • 3X magnification
  • Has anti-reflective coatings
  • Ultra-compact design for easy operation
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Centerpoint Optics 1-4x20 MSR Rifle Scope
  • Built-in Picatinny rail support
  • 3 MOA dots for quick aiming
  • Long eye relief
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Bushnell Trophy Rifle Scope with Multi-X Reticle
  • Built that offers 91% light transmission
  • Rain-guarded lens
  • 3.9 inches of eye relief
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Simmons ProTarget 2.5-10x40
  • Sturdy build
  • Comes with rings for out of the box mounting
  • Easy side parallax adjustment
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →

1. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope

Quick Summary 

  • Long-lasting battery
  • Nitrogen purged fog proofing 
  • Adjustable eye relief
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x25mm, Black

This Bushnell rifle scope is at the top of the list of the best scope for AR-15 under $100, as it is exceptionally durable and compatible with various mounting systems. In order to prevent the interior optical surfaces from fogging up, the housing is filled with nitrogen. This helps the lens remain dry and dust-free. At the same time, it means that the scope can be used in any weather condition. 

Another notable feature of the scope is that its windage and elevation adjusters are precise and simple to handle. Also, the eye relief on the scope is phenomenal. The scope comes with longer battery life and is weatherproof. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 can be used both indoors and outdoors. The lenses are durable and can withstand several periods of abuse. Also, they also help in firing shots back to back in a short time.     

Featuring a 3MOA Red Dot reticle, the scope makes target acquisition easy even for long distances. To help find the target even in low-light, the amber bright, multi-coated optics are helpful. The red-dot can be adjusted using the knob on the scope. The knob to improve illumination allows viewing the target in any lighting. 

What We Liked
  • Compact size allows for easy transportation. 
  • Wider field of view that facilitates easy target location
  • Good performance even in low-light settings
  • Compatible with most mounting systems
  • Matte black finishing 
What We Didn't Like
  • Blurred images are obtained under certain light conditions. 

2. UTG 3-9X32 BugBuster Scope

Quick Summary 

  • Mil-dot reticle for easy aiming and shooting
  • Durable and ergonomic design 
  • Comes with an aim setting and locking system 
UTG 3-9X32 1' BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings

Designed as a versatile and durable scope for AR-15, the BugBuster has a one-inch tube with an emerald coating. This gives the user excellent images, even in surroundings with little to no light. Red and green dual illumination, along with adequate eye relief, makes the scope perfect for shooters exposed to harsh weather conditions. 

With premium zero lockable settings and a mil-dot reticle system, the shots' precision while using this scope is guaranteed. Moreover, the lens of the scope is thick, durable, and emerald-coated. Also, the vision on the field is enhanced by one-click MOA. This makes it resistant to harsh weather and, at the same time, enables the user to hit moving targets like animals with ease. 

Furthermore, the turrets of the scope are well constructed and easily adjustable. Built on a specialized True Strength platform, this scope has its housing filled with nitrogen to make it resistant to fog, water, and humidity. It comes with a two-inches long sunshade, a high-quality flip-open lens cap, and quick detachable rings. 

What We Liked
  • Bright image quality guaranteed by emerald coating 
  • Assists sight with the one-click MOA
  • Customizable aim setting and locking system 
  • Sharp scope optics 
  • Well-constructed and easily adjustable turrets 
What We Didn't Like
  • Limited eye relief due to compact design 

3. CVLIFE 2.5-10x40e Red & Green Illuminated Scope

Quick Summary

  • Multi-coated green lens to assist sight 
  • Crafted from high strength aircraft aluminum 
  • Has five different illumination levels 
CVLIFE 2.5-10x40e Red & Green Illuminated Scope with 20mm Mount

One of the best scope for AR-15 under $100, this CVLIFE scope can be used in the light settings of daytime and night without difficulty. With its simple reticle's help that can be adjusted to five different variations according to brightness intensity, viewing the target is easy. Also, the multi-coated green lens gives a clearer image of the target. 

For making aiming at distant targets easier, the manufacturers have included a distancing and targeting laser on one side. Combined with the magnification range of 2.5X-10X, zeroing in on the target is made simple even on the fly. Also, the knob's controlling factors like windage and elevation are easily accessible and adjustable. Additionally, the scope comes with a bonus of a 20mm mount. 

This scope offers a generous field of vision. Along with adequate eye relief, this is one of the most convenient scopes out there. Since it is made from aircraft-grade aluminum, the scope can withstand harsh conditions and remain free from dust and scratches. This scope needs a special appreciation for the use of dihydric adjustment lenses, making it equally suitable for near-sighted and far-sighted users.       

What We Liked
  • Comes with a 20mm mount 
  • Inclusion of dioptric adjustment lens 
  • Exterior is well-protected from dust and scratches 
  • Wide range of magnification 
  • Integrates a powerful laser for precise aiming 
What We Didn't Like
  • Not suitable for high recoil rifles 

4. Tacticon Armament Predator V1 Red Dot Sight

Quick Summary 

  • Manufactured by combat veteran-owned company 
  • Durable and weatherproof
  • Comes with a built-in mount
Tacticon Armament Predator V1 Red Dot Sight | Green Dot Sight | VETERAN OWNED |

Predator from Tactical is a scope that allows the shooter to get fast-paced close-range engagement. This riflescope is ideal for hitting targets that are at a shorter distance. These scopes can be backed up by iron sights to provide better visibility. Doing so helps in switching sights quickly. 

Built from highly durable and weatherproof materials that can withstand high levels of duress, the Predator is equipped with O-rings to prevent dust and moisture from entering the scope. Coming with a built-in mount, the product requires no other tools for installation. The only downside to this feature is that it makes the design bulkier by some users' standards. 

Another notable feature of this Tactical scope is that it allows for five variations of brightness levels. To adjust the intensity, the reticle offers a red and a green dot to select from. It is easier to adjust brightness with the two dots provided by the reticles. An added benefit of picking this scope is that the purchase comes with a lens cleaner and an additional battery. 

What We Liked
  • Lifetime warranty 
  • Lens cleaner and additional battery provided
  • Built-in mount that makes installation onto the AR-15 simple 
  • Parallax free design 
  • Strategically placed adjustment dials for easy tuning 
What We Didn't Like
  • Considered bulky by some users 

5. UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope

Quick Summary 

  • Special design for uninterrupted illumination 
  • Provides a large field of vision 
  • Adjustable eye relief 
UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings

Particularly noticed for its performance and built, this scope comes designed on the True Strength Platform. Equipped with zero locking and resetting turrets, it gives the best aim and precise shots. The 30mm tube has the best emerald coated lenses for maximum light transmission. This becomes especially useful in low light settings. 

For better vision in low light conditions, the reticle system is enhanced with a red and green dual-color mode. In order to operate well in all weather conditions, there are 36 multi-color modes to counter lighting variations. Another feature of the mil-dot reticle is its ability to offer greater accuracy while aiming. 

To yield better shots while operating outdoors, the reticle comes with an angled sunshade. The flip-open lens cap well protects it. This UTG scope is shockproof, fog-proof, and rain-proof. Thus, the product earns its spot on the list for the best scope for AR-15 under $100. 

What We Liked
  • The sturdy design suited for professionals as well
  • Suitable for high recoil rifles 
  • Lockable and re-adjustable turrets
  • Wide range of magnification ranging from 3X-12X 
  • Commendable eye relief 
What We Didn't Like
  • Comes on the slightly heavier side 

6. Pinty 2.5-10x40 Red Green Illuminated Mil-dot Tactical Rifle Scope

Quick Summary 

  • Constructed from aluminum alloy 
  • Uses green objective lens
  • Simple and efficient design
Pinty 2.5-10x40 Red Green Illuminated Mil-dot Tactical Rifle Scope with Red Laser Combo - Green Lens Color

The durability of this scope is its primary attraction. Made from a solid aluminum alloy, with its simple and easy to use design, this Pinty rifle scope catches shooters' attention requiring precision. To further enhance the precision attained, the windage and elevation adjusters do a great job. 

In fact, to keep the shooter's focus on the target, the built-in dioptric adjustment lens removes image distortion chances. For better image clarity, the scope uses a multi-coated green objective lens instead of blue ones. Crafted especially for close-range shooting, the shooter can achieve sharp and accurate shots within 100 yards.      

With its five varying brightness levels, this riflescope performs well under any light conditions. Also, the red laser helps in zeroing in onto the target in any situation. As the Pinty scope is waterproof and fog-proofed using O-rings, it can be relied on for tactical performances. 

What We Liked
  • Perfect for close-range shooting 
  • Higher light transmittance
  • Faster target acquisition owing to the red laser. 
  • Ideal for tactical shooting 
  • Easy to use 
What We Didn't Like
  • Can only be mounted on Picatinny and Weaver rails

7. Monstrum S330P 3X Prism Scope

Quick Summary 

  • 3X magnification 
  • Has anti-reflective coatings
  • Ultra-compact design for easy operation
Monstrum S330P 3X Prism Scope | Black

Monstrum has packed durability and dependability into this lightweight design of the 3X Prism Scope. With the housing sealed to withstand adverse weather, this scope can be relied upon to perform well in any condition. The anti-reflective coatings on the lenses prevent glares and allow for optimum light transmission to view the target clearly in all light settings. 

The glass prism design of the scope gives way to better optical clarity. One major feature to note about this riflescope is its reticle design. With multiple brightness levels to suit different conditions, the red or green crosshairs make sure that the brightness level matches the surroundings.

Also, the reticle gives a clean image with or without illumination. Even though the scope is not ideal for making long-range shots, the 3X magnification makes it highly effective for short to mid-range shooting. 

What We Liked
  • Comes with a one-year warranty 
  • Easy to operate
  • Great budget option for short to mid-range firing 
  • Rapid target acquisition in the range of 500 yards
  • Has an eye relief of 3.5 inches to prevent injury from recoil 
What We Didn't Like
  • Does not come with batteries or a dust lens cap

8. CenterPoint Optics 1-4x20 MSR Rifle Scope

Quick Summary 

  • Built-in Picatinny rail support 
  • 3 MOA dots for quick aiming
  • Long eye relief 
Centerpoint Optics 1-4x20 MSR Rifle Scope with Offset Picatinny Mount and Glass Reticle

CenterPoint Optics brings the best scope for AR-15 under $100 for beginners. Designed for accurate shooting up to the range of 250 yards, the etched glass reticle allows for quick aiming. Also, the 1-4X magnification is best suited for close-range point-blank shots. 

Using Picatinny rails for mounting, the scope can remain on the target without being affected by intense recoil jolts. The durability of the product is outstanding, and it also works well for airsoft guns. Describing the ability to zero in on the target, the crosshairs of the reticle are ideal for rapidly shifting from short-range to long-range targets. 

This is because the crosshairs remain consistent at all the magnification levels. Upon the reticle can be set as red or green, but without illumination, it remains black. Additionally, the 3 MOA dots help shoot with precision and estimate the target distance. 

What We Liked
  • Comes with support accessories 
  • Designed for fast action 
  • Great for switching between the long-range and close-range firing 
  • Glass etched reticle 
  • Can handle heavy recoil jolts well
What We Didn't Like
  • Mount and center dot are not easily adjustable. 

9. Bushnell Trophy Rifle Scope with Multi-X Reticle

Quick Summary 

  • Built that offers 91% light transmission 
  • Rain-guarded lens
  • 3.9 inches of eye relief
Bushnell Trophy Rifle Scope with Multi-X Reticle

With its Trophy Rifle Scope with Multi-X Reticle, Bushnell gives a great affordability versus quality ratio. Giving the shooters features like high-contrast imagery and multi-coated lens within a budget, this scope ranks well in the top picks for the best scopes for AR-15 under $100. 

In order to provide great optical performance, the lens has color-enhancing and anti-reflective coatings, which eliminates distortions. The rain guard layer of the lens repels moisture, which gives the scope a longer life. Most importantly, the 91% light transmission gives crisp images that lead to a precise shooting in dimly-lit conditions. 

The one-inch tube of the scope is made from aluminum, which guarantees sturdiness. At the same time, this Bushnell gear is exceptionally resistant to denting and scratching. It is also lightweight, which makes it easy to transport and store.

What We Liked
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Has high-contrast imagery 
  • Does not dent or scratch easily 
  • Fit for shooters with weak vision 
  • Easy to transport 
What We Didn't Like
  • Some users find it difficult to set up.

10. Simmons ProTarget 2.5-10x40

Quick Summary 

  • Sturdy build 
  • Comes with rings for out of the box mounting 
  • Easy side parallax adjustment 
Simmons 2.5-10x40 Protarget Black FC Wp/Fp T Turrets, Multi

A scope that guarantees functionality along with affordability, Simmons puts forward this scope with a 40mm objective lens with WP/FPT turrets. This makes the gear suitable for competition and training purposes. The adjustable external elevation and windage are the most attractive features of the scope. 

Working well with flat rail and elevated mountings, the scope is an excellent AR-15 tactical training option. The purchase comes with rings to allow a snug fit while mounting out of the box. Also, the matte black finishing of the scope gives it a sophisticated look. 

With fully multi-coated lens surfaces, the manufacturers aim to avoid glares in bright light settings. Distortions are not an issue when it comes to these lenses, and flip-up scope caps also protect them. The scope is shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof, making this gear fit for use in various conditions. 

What We Liked
  • Flip-up scope caps give additional protection to the lenses.
  • Excellent construction 
  • Turrets can be easily adjusted. 
  • Great lens quality and clarity 
  • Classy matte black finish 
What We Didn't Like
  • Lateral and parallax adjustment is not satisfactory to all users 

What Makes The Best Scope For AR-15 Under $100: Things to Look For?

While looking for the best scope for AR-15 under $100, the specifications and the sheer amount of information available can be overwhelming. To help you find the best product under this category, here is a set of features to keep an eye out for.

  • Magnification

This specification determines how powerful the scope is going to be. With this feature, the shooter can view the image in a larger size and aim better at targets placed at longer distances. Figuring out the ideal magnification range offered by the AR-15 scope gives way to more accurate shots.

When it comes to AR-15 scopes, there is a number rating that indicates the variable zoom scope. For example, in Simmons ProTarget 2.5-10x40, 2.5-10 suggests that the image can be magnified from 2.5 times to 10 times the original size. At the same time, 40 shows the diameter of the objective lens in millimeters. 

While choosing the rifle scope, make sure to pick one with a wide range of magnification. This makes hitting the target much more comfortable than with fixed magnification. Moreover, this feature allows for more light and image clarity.

  • Reticle 

Reticles are a critical feature to consider as they help in estimating the distance of the target. Depending on the brand and design of the scope, reticles come in four different types: 

1. Duplex reticles are the simplest reticles out there. They offer the least obstructed view of the target as the crosshairs get narrower when the target is closer. This type of reticle is not ideal for shooting on the go.

2. Illuminated reticles can light up and glow. These reticles look the best and perform considerably well. They allow the user to customize the color, brightness, and appearance based on the time of the day and personal preference.   

3. BDC reticles, unlike duplex reticles, allow for precise shooting on the fly. Standing for Bullet Drop Compensation, these reticles have crosshairs with markings that relate to various ranges. This removes the need to be in a specific range to see and shoot at the target. 

4. Mil-dot reticles are complex but become effective and easy to use with familiarity. Unlike the other reticles, these have a circle at the center for the focal point instead of a crosshair intersection. Also, they include markings showing ranges like the BDC reticles.  

Remember to consider the functions of your AR-15 before choosing a scope. Illuminated reticles are better suited for low light shooting, while reticles like BDC allow for shooting while moving. Ensure that personal preferences are considered before deciding on a scope. 

  • Parallax 

The parallax effect lets the shooter believe that their aim is spot-on when it is not, and it is mostly seen while using high-powered rifle scopes. In order to counter this, scopes need to have parallax compensation options. Make sure to compensate for the parallax effect before shooting in order to not miss the target. 

  • Size 

Always pick the optics based on the purpose of the AR-15. Some users only need scopes that are a few inches long, while some long-range shooters need optics that are nearly a foot long. Remember that the longer the optics are, the more difficult it is to transport. If the rifle is used regularly or only used for short to mid-range shots, then larger scopes are not the best option. 

  • Weight 

Taking this feature into consideration is important because lugging around heavy gear affects performance. Long-range scopes with high magnification range might even weigh up to two pounds. An alternative to this is the red dot optic scopes that are not very heavy and easy to transport at the same time. They are ideal for competition shooting as well. 

  • Eye relief 

Eye relief specifications suggest the distance between the eye and the ocular lens. Again, the ideal eye relief of scope depends on individual preferences and purposes the rifle is used for. More significant eye relief is typically preferred to avoid exerting excess strain on the eyes and avoid recoil-related eye injuries. Scopes with adjustable eye reliefs help customize the feature to the user's comfort. 

  • Ease to maneuver 

Being able to maneuver the gear easily is crucial in getting the best shots. To allow easy usage, the knobs of the scope should not be complicated. They should also be of the right size because knobs that are too long or too short give rise to complications. Additionally, the turrets should be easy to adjust. Only then will it be easy to zero in on the target correctly. 

Ensure that the scopes purchased come under a comfortable price range. Also, be sure to get a durable scope. Scopes that break down while aiming or shooting are going to be of no help. Acquiring a durable scope of good quality is an intelligent investment as they last for years and allow you to aim and fire whenever desired. 

Conclusion 

In conclusion, it is unnecessary to compromise on quality to purchase a good scope for the AR-15. Some examples of the best scope for AR-15 under $100 are far better than their more expensive competitors. Also, investing in a durable scope under $100 can help the amateurs understand what they need from a quality rifle scope. 

Our top pick from the best scopes under $100 is the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope. With its durable and fog-resistant design, this is a capable device that can be used both indoors and outdoors. Guaranteeing precise and accurate shots, the target acquisition of this scope is commendable. This scope is elementary to maneuver and transport as well.  

Our choice does not have to be the best option for you. Keep researching until you find the right scope that meets all your requirements. I hope this guide shed some light on the things to look for in an ideal AR-15 scope, and we hope you make an intelligent purchase.