Best Scope Under $500 in 2018 | BestGunScope.com’s Top Picks

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Finding the best scope under 500 dollars isn’t easy, you say? First, nothing could be farther from the truth! Finding the best scope under 500 isn’t that hard if you know what to look for. Furthermore, this helpful guide will do just that: With the advice here, you can find the best scope under 500 depending on what you want to do with your gun. That’s because there are lots of reasons gun owners “hang glass” on their rifles. Maybe you just need to know the best rifle scope under 500 dollars in general, or maybe you want to find the best spotting scope under 500 dollars. Maybe you’re interested in the best long range scope under 500 dollars. Or it’s possible you believe military specifications make a difference. If that’s true, you’ll want the best mil dot scope under 500 dollars.

What Are Your Choices?

Best ofImageProduct 
Rifle Scopebest rifle scope under 500Vortex Optics DiamondbackCheck Price
Spotting Scopebest spotting scope under 500Vortex Optics DiamondbackCheck Price
Long Range Scopebest long range scope under 500Burris Fullfield IICheck Price
Mil-Dot Scopebest mil dot scope under 500Nikon Prostaff 4Check Price
Night Vision Scopebest night vision scope under 500Firefield FF16001Check Price
AR Scopebest ar scope under 500Nikon P-223Check Price
Hunting Scopebest hunting scope under 500Nikon MonarchCheck Price
FFP Scopebest FFP scope under 500Athlon ArgosCheck Price

Your choices don’t stop there, though.  Some scopes have night vision. Do you want the best night vision scope under 500 dollars? Or maybe you love the AR platform of rifles. We can help you find the best AR scope under 500 dollars. But what if you want the best hunting scope under 500 for the next time you want to take a deer? Or even the best FFP scope under 500 dollars? Whatever your needs, you’ll find what you want here. Given all the information readily available on the subject, it just makes sense to do your homework before you invest hundreds of dollars in a scope.

Related: Best Rifle Scope

So, how do you go about finding the best scope under 500? It seems like there are an overwhelming number of choices, and that’s probably true at first glance. Take the time to do just a little research with this helpful guide, however, and you will find that the problem is easy to solve. Most of all, you will get the best buy for your dollar. That’s what investing in a scope is all about. You don’t want just any scope that happens to be under your price range. You want the best scope under 500 dollars, right?

Starting the Search Process

Well, to find that best scope under 500 bucks, ask yourself some questions. First, what are you looking for in a scope? What qualities should that scope have? Second, what will you be using your scope to do? Will it be used for general shooting? Will it be used for a specific task? Finally, ask yourself if there are any “deal breakers” for you. What qualities would you find unacceptable in a rifle scope? After all, when you are looking through a scope and squeezing that trigger on your target, a lot is riding on your aim.

You can’t afford a scope that won’t perform… But you also can’t afford a scope that won’t perform consistently. You may be in a hurry to go out and buy a scope, yet there’s no point in wasting money. If you do a little research ahead of time, you will be happier with your purchase.

Best Rifle Scope Under 500 Dollars – Vortex Optics Diamondback HP best rifle scope under 500

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Choosing the best rifle scope under 500 dollars might seem like a challenge. The topic might seem pretty broad at first, too. The best scope under 500 dollars, for your rifle, could be one of several scopes. If we have to pick the best scope under 500 for rifles overall, then our pick is the Vortex Optics Diamondback HP . 

—What Makes it the Best Scope Under 500 Dollars in this Category?

What makes the Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16×42 the best rifle scope under 500 bucks? Well, think about it: You’re looking for the best scope under 500 dollars, generally speaking, so obviously you’ll want to balance price and performance. Additionally, you need to take features into account. The best rifle scope under 500 dollars is more than just the best scope under 500 bucks. It’s also the one with the best balance of cost against features to produce the best bang for your buck.

—Features of the Best Rifle Scope Under 500 Dollars

The Diamondback HP 4-16×42 offers a great mix of features that make it the best scope under 500 dollars, generally, and the best rifle scope under 500 dollars, specifically. Do you like to hit what you aim at from a long way off? Are you a hunter who appreciates a good, solid scope for distance shots? Then the Diamondback is definitely for you. The heart of the Diamondback is its Dead-Hold BDC reticle. This helps you to shoot your target not just at extreme ranges, but also at different ranges along the way. Hold over need not trouble you when you have the Diamondback HP 4-16×42 to back you up.

The features of our pick for the best rifle scope under 500 dollars don’t stop there. We consider the Diamondback HP 4-16×42 the best scope under 500 dollars in this category for good reasons. This scope features extra-low dispersion glass. Its lenses are multi-coated. This allows for better light transmission and a nice, clear, sharp view. The zoom range is up to 4X, and the side focus makes it easy to adjust while you’re in position to take your shot. Finally, we consider this the best rifle scope under 500 dollars because it has a fast-focus eyepiece, finger-adjustable rest turrets, and strong o-ring seals. The unit is shockproof, which is yet another reason we consider it the best rifle scope under 500 dollars.

—Reviews of the Best Rifle Scope Under 500 Dollars

Online reviews indicate the Vortex Optics Diamondback is an excellent choice for shots of 500 to 800 yards, offering a nice, clear view from edge to edge. Those who’ve bought our pick for the best rifle scope under 500 dollars love its parallax adjustment. Most importantly, though, many buyers of this scope say that you can’t beat this feature set for the price. This, to us, makes the Diamondback HP 4-16×42 the best rifle scope under 500 bucks.

Best Spotting Scope Under 500 Dollars – Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scope

best spotting scope under 500

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We know you are shopping for the best scope under 500 dollars. Here is something to consider. The best scope under 500 dollars might not be the best rifle scope under 500 dollars. It might just be the best spotting scope under 500 dollars. You won’t always be looking for a scope to mount on your rifle. Your search for the best scope under 500 dollars is sometimes a search for a “terrestrial telescope.”

A “terrestrial scope” is a spotting scope. It is a telescope designed for use by day. A spotting scope is mounted on an ordinary tripod. It is used to spot things… hence the name. Shooters use spotting scopes when they are on the range and want to see where their shots are going. This is usually done while sighting in a rifle. It doesn’t always have to be, though. Our choice for the best scope under 500 dollars in the spotting scope category is actually two scopes. We’re talking about the Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scopes. These come in angled or straight models. Choose the angled scope for more ergonomic use. Choose the straight scope if you prefer a more traditional look.

—What Makes it the Best Scope Under 500 Dollars in this Category?

The Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scopes get our vote for the best scope under 500 dollars in this category for one reason. That reason is performance. They are also nice and light. They are easy to use and very tough. When you combine all these qualities, you have the best spotting scope under 500 bucks.

—Features of the Best Spotting Scope Under 500 Dollars

First, the Vortex Optics Diamondback is the best spotting scope under 500 dollars because it offers XR full multi-coated lenses. It also has a retractable sunshade built right in. The scope is sealed with o-rings and nitrogen purged, so it is waterproof and fogproof. The whole scope is clad in rubber armor, too, making it durable. This is a must for the best spotting scope under 500 dollars, without question. The Diamondback series did not disappoint.

— Reviews of the Best Spotting Scope Under 500 Dollars

Customers who’ve purchased our pick for the best spotting scope under 500 dollars praise its clear picture. They like how easy it is to focus the scope and to operate the adjustable eyecup. Reviews online indicate that when they’re at the range and trying to see where they’re hitting the target, the Diamondback series offers a nice, bright image throughout its magnification range. This scope is also our choice for best spotting scope under 500 dollars because Vortex offers a lifetime warranty.

Don’t forget that a spotting scope isn’t just for shooting. Our pick for the best spotting scope under 500 dollars can also be used for observing… anything. If you like looking at wildlife, or you just want to pick out details in the landscape, this is the spotting scope for you. We recommend it highly.

Best Long Range Scope Under 500 Dollars – Burris E1 4.5-14×42 Ballistic Plex Riflescopebest long range scope under 500

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The best scope under 500 dollars is not just about cost. You have probably thought this yourself: The best scope under 500 dollars is also about performance. Performance, when it comes to scopes, means hitting something from far away. Performance is about long range. Our pick for best long range scope under 500 dollars could also be our pick for best scope under 500 bucks overall. The Burris E1 4.5-14×42 Ballistic Plex Riflescope is, hands down, the best scope under 500 dollars if you want to hit something from far out.

Long range scopes are power. Power, in the field, is being able to hit something from very far away. That long range ability to “reach out and touch something” is exciting. It is thrilling. It is also the reason most people mount a scope on their guns in the first place. After all, what is the point of hanging glass on a rifle? It is making it easier for you to see things that are far away. If you can see it, if you can put your sights on it, then you can hit it! It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you can put your sights on it. Our pick for the best long range scope under 500 dollars will do that for you. It will do it very well, in fact.

—What Makes it the Best Scope Under 500 Dollars in this Category?

Our pick for the best scope under 500 dollars excels at long range. It is, without doubt, the best long range scope under 500 dollars in terms of cost versus features. The folks at Burris have obviously put a lot of thought into this unit. They’ve made it tough and they’ve made it well-thought-out.

—Features of the Best Long Range Scope Under 500 Dollars

First, our choice for the best long range scope under 500 dollars is waterproof. Second, it is fogproof. Third, it is shockproof. Additionally, the whole scope is a one-piece construction. The tube has reinforced quad-seal gas seals. Finally, our choice for the best long range scope under 500 dollars features Hi-Lume multi-coated lenses. You can’t easily beat a combination of features like that. The Burris Fullfield II variable power adjustable objective scope really has a lot to offer.

— Reviews of the Best Long Range Scope Under 500 Dollars

People online have a lot to say about our pick for the best long range scope under 500 bucks. Customers who’ve bought the Burris praise this unit’s “forever warranty.”  More importantly, they love how tough it is. The Burris can withstand the shock of some powerful rifle rounds. This makes it a great choice if you shoot a powerful, large-caliber weapon. Finally, our pick for the best long range scope under 500 dollars is easy to use and easy to maintain. This combination of features and value make the Burris very popular with shooters interested in long range accuracy.

Best Mil Dot Scope Under 500 Dollars – Nikon ProStaff

best mil dot scope under 500

 

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What is a Mil Dot? Actually, it sounds a little complicated at first. Essentially, Mil is short for “milliradian.” This is a military unit of angle. If you don’t already know what a Mil Dot scope is, you probably don’t need one. If you are familiar with what a Mil Dot is, our pick for the best Mil Dot scope under 500 dollars is definitely relevant to your interests.

First, ask yourself this: Do you want built-in aiming points? Second, think about this: Do you want to make adjustments fast and easily? Third, do you want a quick-focus eyepiece? If you answered yes, a Mil Dot Scope is for you. Most of all, our pick for the best Mil Dot Scope under 500 dollars should be your pick for the best scope under 500 dollars. It is the  Nikon ProStaff 4-12×40 Riflescope w/ MILDOT Reticle 6732.

—What Makes it the Best Scope Under 500 Dollars in this Category?

First, Nikon is a great brand. Second, it is well established. Furthermore, you could argue that it is famous. Everyone instantly recognizes the name Nikon when it comes to optics. As a result. it is no surprise that Nikon would be one contenders for best scope under 500 dollars. It’s very hard to beat in the category of best Mil Dot scope under 500 dollars.

—Features of the Best Mil Dot Scope Under 500 Dollars

Our pick for the best scope under 500 dollars, and the best Mil Dot Scope under 500 dollars, boasts many features. First and most important is the Mil Dot reticle. This has built-in aiming points. Second, elevation adjustments are easy with the Nikon Prostaff. Third, the optics are multicoated. Additionally, the scope has spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets. Finally, this scope is optimized for use with Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology. This is an app that provides precise aiming points. Most of all, the technology does all the work for you! This is fantastic reason to choose the Nikon ProStaff. Gun technology does not have to stay in the last century. Our pick for best Mil Dot scope under 500 bucks is a great way to step into the future.

— Reviews of the Best Mil Dot Scope Under 500 Dollars

People interested in the best scope under 500 dollars, and in the best Mil Dot scope under 500 dollars, have a lot to say about the Nikon ProStaff.  Users who have bought the Nikon praise its quick-focus eyepiece. They rave about the Spot On Ballistic Match app. Most importantly, they love the Nikon’s no-fault repair and replacement policy. Additionally, they like the light weight and the streamlined design of the scope.

Noteworthy comments on the Nikon also include these: First, users say it is a great buy for the price. Second, they rate it highly for accurately. Finally, and most importantly, they find its picture clear and sharp. Yes, this is easily the best mil dot scope under 500 dollars.

Best Night Vision Scope Under 500 Dollarsbest night vision scope under 500

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Are all scopes the same? Obviously, they are not. Furthermore, different scopes are useful for different things. The best scope under 500 bucks is useless if you can’t see through it. Many of the best scopes under 500 bucks must be used when there is enough light to see. Of note, though, is the fact that not all of them do. The best scope under 500 dollars that can see in the dark is, therefore, the best night vision scope under 500 dollars. If you want the best night vision scope under 500 dollars, you want the Firefield FF16001 NVRS 3x 42mm Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope.

—What Makes it the Best Scope Under 500 Dollars in this Category?

The best scope under 500 dollars has to beat lots of great competition. There are many great scopes on the market. Compared to those scopes, though, there are far fewer great night vision scopes. The best night vision scope under 500 bucks must still hold good value to get our recommendation. The Firefield FF16001 does this for several reasons. First, it is ergonomic. Second, it is strong. Third, it has great attention to detail. Additionally, it offers a great image that has nice resolution.

Our pick for the best night vision scope under 500 dollars is a serious one. Too many shooters don’t take the need for night vision seriously. They think they won’t find themselves in a low light situation. Because they doubt the need, they never consider the possibility. As a result, they usually don’t shop seriously for a night vision scope. We did, though, and the result was our firm belief that the Firefield FF16001 is the best night vision scope under 500 dollars.

—Features of the Best Night Vision Scope Under 500 Dollars

The best scope under 500 bucks that is also the best night vision scope under 500 dollars offers many great features. First, the Firefield FF16001 offers 3X magnification. Second, it is built to be ergonomic. Third, it has built-in IR. Fourth, it has a strong, light, titanium body. Additionally, it offers great battery life. This battery life is even longer without the IR. Most importantly, the scope has a quick detach weaver mount and built-in, high-power IR illumination.

— Reviews of the Best Night Vision Scope Under 500 Dollars

Customers searching for the best scope under 500 bucks that is also the best night vision scope under 500 dollars had a lot to say about the Firefield FF16001. While some buyers praise the scope’s incremental brightness adjustment, others like the resolution. It seems like many users find it easy to use, while others are more interested in its durability. Still other users seem most impressed by the price. You get a lot of night vision scope for less money than competing brands. For all these reasons, the Firefield FF16001 gets our vote for best night vision scope under 500 dollars. We honestly think you will think so, too.

Best AR Scope Under 500 Dollars – Nikon P-223

best ar scope under 500

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We can’t talk about the best scope under 500 dollars without also talking about the best AR scope under 500 dollars. There are several reasons for this. First, the AR platform is the most popular rifle in the United States. Second, the AR is very accurate. This therefore makes it a great weapon for a scope. Finally, the 5.56 round demands accurate shot placement. It is a light and fast moving bullet. Hence, it must be fired accurately for the best results. There is no better way to produce accurate long-range shots with an AR than with a good scope mounted to the rifle. The best scope under 500, when it comes to the AR, is definitely the Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600.

—What Makes it the Best Scope Under 500 Dollars in this Category?

So why did we pick the Nikon as the best scope under 500 dollars for the AR? There are several reasons. First, the Nikon has consistent eye relief, which is important for comfort and performance. Second, the Nikon is waterproof. Third, the Nikon is fogproof. Finally, and most importantly, the Nikon eliminates parallax for precise shooting. These features in any scope would place it close to the win for best scope under 500 dollars. In the Nikon, this set of features make it the best AR scope under 500 dollars for serious shooters. You will get the performance you want from the Nikon as a dedicated AR shooter. The scope will not disappoint you. You will agree that it is the best scope under 500 dollars for the AR.

—Features of the Best AR Scope Under 500 Dollars

There are many features that make the Nikon P-223 the best AR scope under 500 dollars. First, its consistent eye relief makes it less likely that the scope will come back to injure you. This is very important with heavy cartridges that produce a lot of recoil. It is also important when firing relatively light rifles. This is a key characteristic of the AR platform. The rifle is lightweight because it was designed to be so. While the 5.56 round offers relatively light recoil, the AR can be chambered for much heavier rounds. Heavier rounds in light rifles produce great recoil. This makes eye relief very important to avoid being struck by the scope when shooting. The Nikon P-223 incorporates this. Hence, it is a great choice for the AR.

— Reviews of the Best AR Scope Under 500 Dollars

Customers interested in buying the best AR scope under 500 dollars had a lot to say about the Nikon P-223. For one, they loved the eye relief. Two, they like the adjustable magnification. Three, they consider it very rugged and durable. One reviewer, in fact, said it was so durable that he trusted it for any use. Most importantly, several reviewers said the scope offers a clear picture at an excellent price. This is the best AR scope under 500 dollars.

Best Hunting Scope Under 500 Dollars – Nikon Monarch 3

best hunting scope under 500

 

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Hunting unites so many shooters. This is a sport loved by countless gun owners. Yet no two hunters agree on the best scope under 500 dollars. Our pick for the best hunting scope under 500 dollars will convince you. If you are shopping for the best scope under 500 dollars generally, and the best hunting scope under 500 dollars specifically, our pick for the best scope under 500 dollars is sure to impress you. It is the Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope, Black, 4-16×50.

—What Makes it the Best Scope Under 500 Dollars in this Category?

Nikon is well represented among all our best scope under 500 dollars categories. For one thing, it is easily adjustable. For another thing, it can be used with Nikon’s high-tech app for ballistics. Most importantly, it takes the win for best hunting scope under 500 dollars because it has up to a four inch eye relief. Nikon’s MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope takes the win for best hunting scope under 500 dollars for these reasons.

—Features of the Best Hunting Scope Under 500 Dollars

Our pick for the best scope under 500 dollars in the hunting category boasts many great features. We have hinted at some of them. First, the scope has a 4X zoom. Second, it offers up to four inches of eye relief, which is generous. Third, it has a quick-focus eye piece so you can bring the reticle into focus fast. Fourth, the optical system is coated for clarity. Third, and most importantly, Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology app provides precision aiming points. The app does the work for the shooter, making the shooting experience easier and more enjoyable. When accuracy counts, our pick for the best hunting scope under 500 dollars counts most.

— Reviews of the Best Hunting Scope Under 500 Dollars

Online reviewers shopping for the best hunting scope under 500 dollars have said a lot about the MONARCH 3. First, they have praised the scope for how easy it is to mount. Most importantly, they have said that mounting it for accurate shooting was very easy to do. Second, online reviewers cannot say enough good things about Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match app. Additionally, they gush over having the app do a lot of the hard work for them. Everyone loves automation, after all. Nikon owners would seem to be no exception. While there are many other positive comments about the Nikon, a few stand out. Compliments on the scope’s clarity in low light are especially relevant here.

The MONARCH 3 is the best hunting scope under 500 dollars for all these reasons. We can argue over the little details, but in the broad strokes, this is a fantastic hunting scope. Our pick for the best hunting scope under 500 dollars should be your pick for the best scope under 500 dollars, period. It has a lot to offer at a very reasonable price. This makes it a great choice for you.

Best FFP Scope Under 500 Dollars – Athlon Optics Argos BTRbest FFP scope under 500

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We have saved the most complicated “best scope under 500 dollars” category for last. This is our pick for best FFP scope under 500 dollars. If you don’t know what “best FFP scope under 500 dollars” means, don’t worry. We will explain it to you. our pick for the best scope under 500 dollars in the FFP category is a scope with a “first focal plane reticle.”

The reason this is important when picking the best scope under 500 dollars is because of the FFP itself. A fixed focal plan reticle works at all power settings of the scope. The reticle gets bigger or smaller as you zoom in and out. This keeps the reticle the same size relative to the target. This means when you’re compensating for trajectory, the marks on your reticle are valid no matter how far you zoom in. Our pick for the best scope under 500 dollars in the FFP category is the Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope, 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane (FFP) 30 mm Tube, with Illuminated APMR MIL Reticle.

—What Makes it the Best Scope Under 500 Dollars in this Category?

While FFP might sound complicated, it really isn’t. We chose the Athlon for our best scope under 500 dollars, at least when thinking about the best FFP scope under 500 dollars, for a bunch of reasons. First, it is very durable. Second, it is well made of high quality materials. Third, it has lenses coated for optimum brightness. Finally, it has argon purging, making it waterproof and thermally stable. All these qualities make the Athlon the best scope under 500 dollars in just about any category. They also make it the best FFP scope under 500 dollars.

—Features of the Best FFP Scope Under 500 Dollars

There are many features that make the Athlon the best FFP scope under 500 dollars as we see it. First of all, the FFP feature is obvious. This is not available on all scopes, so the presence of FFP on the Athlon stand out. While the multi-coated lenses offer optimum brightness, they also provide “true color” across the light spectrum. This prevents odd color distortions when you look through the scope. Most importantly, the reticle is etched on glass for excellent baking support. Additionally, this construction makes the scope resistant to shock. That is important when firing powerful cartridges, which send shockwaves through the rifle.

— Reviews of the Best FFP Scope Under 500 Dollars

Customers who wanted the best FFP scope under 500 dollars had many good things to say about the Athlon Argos BTR Riflescope. Some of them praised the low price, saying it was not possible to buy a better FFP scope for the money. Still others praised the company’s customer service, while some buyers were pleased with its ability to hold zero.

So Let’s Talk About Your Goals

So, to sum it all up, let’s talk about your goals. Your goal is to find the best scope under 500 dollars, right? We hope this breakdown of the best scope under 500 in all these different categories helped you. After all, there are a lot of categories to consider. Remember, before you shop for the bets scope under 500 bucks, you need to know more than your price limit. You have to ask yourself what you really want. Do you want the best rifle scope under 500 dollars, in general? Do you want the best spotting scope under 500 dollars for your trips to the range? Are you instead looking for the best long range scope under 500 dollars? (This could very well be the case if your goal is simply to reach out from far away with your trusty rifle.)

Don’t Stop There, Though

In addition, ask yourself if what you want is the best mil dot scope under 500 dollars, or maybe even the best night vision scope under 500 dollars. For that matter, maybe what you are looking for is the best AR scope under 500 bucks. The AR platform is the most popular rifle in the country, after all. You might be a hunter; hence, the best hunting scope under 500 dollars is more your focus. Then again, you might want the best FFP scope under 500 bucks. Whatever your specific needs, we know you’ll find the best scope under 500 dollars if you trust this helpful guide.

No, Scopes Are Not All Created Equal

Scopes might at first seem all the same. Take the time to compare them. You will find that, while they all look similar, they are in fact very different. Yes, all scopes are based on the same idea. Modern scopes are all built on the same technology, too. Yet this does not make all scopes the same. Each scope has qualities that might make it great for you, or might not. Either a scope fits your needs or it does not. But that scope must also fit your budget. Hence, a scope either falls within your price range, or doesn’t.

Conclusion

Does it seem like the task of find the best scope under 500 dollars just got easier? There’s no reason finding the best scope under 500 should seem difficult. At least, it shouldn’t seem difficult after you’ve gone through this guide. All it takes is some attention to detail. Let’s review one last time. First, figure out your needs. Next, decide why you’ll use your rifle. The best scope under 500 isn’t the best for you if it has flaws. Flaws will be anything that kill the deal for you.  Finally, remember that the scope has to work for you in all things or it isn’t, truly, the best scope under 500 for you. It’s just a scope that falls within your budget. The best scope has all the features you’re looking for. A scope must have nothing you don’t want if it is truly the best, though.

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