The $100 price range can be a bit dicey when it comes to rifle scopes. There are plenty of quality options out there. But there are a lot of lemons, too. It’s important to sort the wheat from the chaff.
To help you spend your cash wisely, here are the best options for those looking to get an optic on a $100 budget.
If you’re anxious to get out and pick up a scope:
Our Best Choice
UTG 3-9x32 BugBuster
Grab the UTG 3-9x32 BugBuster. You can’t go wrong with this scope, no matter what rifle you put it on or what sort of shooting you do.
Our Top Choices
Best Long Range Scope Under $100
Twod Tactical Rifle Scope 6-24x50
The Twod Tactical Rifle Scope 6-24x50 packs a ton of features into a super affordable package, without compromising on the core stats of a rifle optic.
First, the Twod Tactical is fitted with multi-coated lenses that are also anodized to improve hardness and scratch resistance, so you get good image clarity and the durability you need to cart your gear around on hunting and range excursions.
The scope itself is quite capable, sporting a nice 6-24 magnification range and a 50mm objective lens. This spec sheet is excellent for any normal hunting distance, and is enough to push your shots out to the far reaches of the competition range.
Additionally, the Twod Tactical collects enough light to shoot in the early morning and late evening hours, when the light starts to go gray.
To assist with those low light shots, the Twod Tactical employs an illuminated reticle that can be set to either red or green, with 5 brightness levels for each color. The reticle is a mildot reticle, with graduated range lines on the lower half of the vertical post.
The reticle gives a lot of functionality for range estimation and holdovers. However, some shooters may find that it clutters the field of view.
Also, the illumination is powered by a CR2032 battery, which gives the scope a long operating time, but is an uncommon battery that may be difficult to find in stores.
The Twod Tactical is nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed for waterproof and fog-proof performance in any weather.
The Twod Tactical also comes with lens covers, rings, and an eyepiece extension, so there’s a lot of value in the package. The rings only fit a 20mm weaver rail, so you may need to buy rings separately if you have something else.
Overall, the Twod Tactical is a great buy, with some of the best long-range capabilities in the sub-$100 category.
Best Hunting Scope Under $100
Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Rifle Scope
Bushnell is an American classic when it comes to optics manufacturers. Bushnell scopes offer impressive quality for the price. The Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Scope is one of their best values when it comes to hunting scopes.
The Banner is built using high quality glass that delivers a high definition image, and virtually no distortion at all magnifications. The lenses are also multi-coated with a Dawn & Dusk Brightness coating that maximizes light transmission, especially in low light conditions, so you get a crisp image no matter when you’re shooting.
Bushnell designed the Banner with hunters in mind, and built it with a classic magnification range of 3-9x, which gives you the best performance at the most common hunting distances, and is versatile enough to take to the competition bench.
Additionally, the objective lens is 40mm, which is wide enough to collect all the light you need during morning and evening shooting, but slim enough that your scope won’t get banged up while toting your rifle around in the woods.
The reticle is Bushnell’s proprietary Multi-X reticle, which is essentially a duplex reticle with extended vertical and horizontal posts. The reticle is minimal and presents very little image obstruction, but some shooters may prefer a reticle with windage and elevation hash marks for overholds and estimations.
As is standard for quality optics, the Banner is purged and sealed for waterproofing and fog-proofing, so the conditions won’t hold you back.
In the end, this is a scope that’s purpose built for hunters, and will be right at home on any hunting rifle. But the Banner is capable enough that shooters could dual-purpose this scope as a competition optic as well.
Best Value Scope Under $100
UTG 3-9x32 BugBuster
UTG is known for high-quality optics and affordable prices. The UTG 3-9x32 BugBuster is one of their most popular scopes because it offers such an outstanding blend of affordability and performance.
The BugBuster is equipped with ultra-clear lenses and UTG’s proprietary Emerald Coating that maximizes light transmission and cuts down on glare, so you get a high definition image at noon or at night.
UTG designed the BugBuster for versatile performance, with just a slight emphasis on tactical use. The 3-9x magnification range will present familiar function to hunters.
However, the eye relief is nearly 4 inches, and the minimum parallax adjustment is 3 yards, so the BugBuster delivers performance at CQB ranges, for more tactical viability.
The objective lens is 32mm, which will collect plenty of light for dawn and dusk shooting or poorly lit tactical environments.
To improve low light target acquisition and sight picture alignment, the BugBuster also features an illuminated reticle with graduated brightness adjustment so your reticle will never be too bright to pick up your target.
The reticle is a mildot reticle that assists with range and windage estimation, but is very minimal and presents an unobstructed field of view.
As you’d expect, the BugBuster is waterproof, fog-proof, and shock-proof for performance and durability in both hunting and tactical applications.
Lastly, the BugBuster is a complete package. UTG includes quick-detach rings, lens caps, and a sunshade with the BugBuster, so you have everything you need in the box.
Ultimately, the BugBuster is easily the best value scope under $100, and one of the best tactical scopes you can pick up on a budget.
Something to note: UTG warns against buying UTG products directly from China, as these may be counterfeit products.
WHAT WE RECOMMEND
UTG 3-9x32 BugBuster
The UTG 3-9x32 BugBuster is by far the best buy for shooters looking for a capable optic that comes in under $100.
The specs are great for hunting, but it’s capable enough to mount on a tactical platform like an AR-15, and it comes with all the hardware you need.
So, if you were wondering what the best way to spend $100 is, now you can spend that $100 confidently!