air rifle scope in field

Best Air Rifle Scopes Under $500 [2023]

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Mathew R Reed
November 13, 2022
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Riflescopes under 500 dollars are expensive and ideal for shooting enthusiasts and hobbyists. The amazing performance and precision of these scopes make them ideal for all shooting activities and in any weather conditions.

These scopes also feature different reticles and other advanced features to make aiming easier and clearer.

Investing in a high-quality scope is necessary, especially for gas, spring-piston, or high-powered air rifles which create heavy recoil. With $500, here are some of the top-quality air rifles you can choose from.

Best Air Rifle Scopes under $500 Reviews

CVLIFE 6-24×50 AOE Red and Green Illumination Hunting Rifle Scope

The performance and price point of this scope make it ideal for hunters and recreational shooters looking for an ideal scope for their hardworking air rifle.

It comes equipped with a versatile 6-24x magnification and for clarity, the scope is fitted with a 50mm objective lens which collects more than enough light for shooting even under low light conditions such as shooting at dusk or dawn.

CVLIFE 6-24×50 also gives you a sharp image for zeroing in on a small target. Its illuminated reticle enhances sharpshooting at any light condition and with 5 different brightness levels you get to use this scope under any lighting condition. The adjustable objective lens allows for a sharp target image, parallax elimination, and range estimation.

Furthermore, this scope as one of the best air rifle scopes under $500 features a fully multi-coated lens that enhances light transmission for brilliant image clarity and contrast.

The bonded coatings on the lens are built to last and won’t fade with time. They shed off dirt, fingerprints, oil, and water to provide bright and clear views. This scope is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum which is fully waterproof and fog proof to ensure all-weather reliability.

Features

  • User-friendly adjustment turrets
  • Field Of View: 28 ft @ 100 yards
  • Fast focus eyepiece that is easy and intuitive to use.
  • Fully waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof.
  • 50mm objective lens enhances image clarity.
  • 5 brightness settings for adverse environments application.
  • Red and green illuminated reticle.
  • Sturdy and durable aircraft-grade aluminum construction
  • Click Value: 1/8 inch @ 100 yards
  • Multi-coated optics for brilliant image views
  • Magnification: 6-24x

Simmons 3-9x32mm .22 Waterproof Fogproof Riflescope

This Rimfire riflescope is made to deliver outstanding game performance. Featuring the popular Simmons’ patented true zero adjustment system and the quick target acquisition eyepiece, this scope will deliver unparalleled on-game performance, reliability and offer you great value for your money.

For clarity, it comes equipped with a 32mm objective lens that collects adequate light. Its optics are fully coated to enhance the light transmission required for the production of crisp clear target images and the optics also feature a hydro shield coating that helps maintain a clear sight picture, regardless of the weather condition and keep the optics free of dirt, fingerprints, and oil.

A SureGrip rubber surface on this scope simplifies adjustments while on the field and it comes equipped with a generous eye relief that keeps you safe rifles with heavy recoil.

Its lightweight construction enhances portability and pack-ability even in a backpack. This scope is also nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed to make it fully waterproof and fog proof. If you are looking for a big game hunting scope, this scope has got you covered.

Features

  • SureGrip rubber surface that simplifies adjustments in any weather condition.
  • Fully waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof.
  • Superior edge to edge clarity.
  • Rugged reliability.
  • Lightweight, portable, and packable.
  • Generous eye relief.
  • Fully coated optics deliver bright and clear images full of contrast.
  • HydroShield lens coating offers protection against dirt, oil, and fingerprints.
  • Parallax elimination preset from 50 yards to infinity.

Vortex Crossfire II SFP Riflescope 

Available in different sizes

  • 2-7×32
  • 3-9×40
  • 3-9×50
  • 4-12×44

Made with high-end features for those hunters and shooters looking for a scope to take their shooting skills to a whole new level. With a long and consistent eye relief, Vortex Crossfire II SFP Riflescope will keep your eyes safe from getting hit by high-recoil rifles and allow you to comfortably use the scope with both eyes open.

Its fully multicoated lens enhances light transmission especially under low light conditions to produce bright and clear images full of contrast.

With a customized dead hold BDC reticle with a dot design, this scope eliminates all guesswork on windage and holdover corrections. This makes it suitable for shooting at varying distances where estimating holdover might be of concern.

Vortex Crossfire II SFP Riflescope also comes with an SPF reticle that maintains its size at varying magnification ranges. This scope is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum which ensures great performance and durability and when it comes to all-weather reliability, it is nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed to make it fully waterproof and fog proof.

Features

  • Waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof.
  • Heavy-duty aircraft-grade aluminum construction.
  • Unlimited eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box.
  • Low weight construction which enhances pack-ability and portability.
  • Great performance and reliability.
  • Fast focus eyepiece that is easy to use.
  • Resettable MOA turrets.
  • Superior edge to edge clarity.
  • An anti-reflective and multi-coated lens provides bright and clear views.

Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Riflescope 

The rugged performance and decent features make this scope a great option for those looking for a high-performance optic at a budget-friendly cost. Its versatile magnification ranges between 3x-10x which is ideal for both short and medium shooting.

Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Riflescope’s lenses are completely scratch proof offering the greatest level of abrasion resistance and are fully coated to enhance light transmission.

Its Twilight Light Management system provides the best brightness and image clarity by balancing the transmission of light, reducing of glare, and image contrast.

This scope is made with 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum which makes it very durable and when it comes to weather reliability, this scope is argon purged for total waterproof properties and nitrogen sealed to avoid moisture damage, fogging as well as clouding. This scope also features ¼ MOA tactical-style turrets. Another good thing about this scope is its long and consistent eye relief.

Features

  • Long and consistent eye relief.
  • Clear images and sharp reticle.
  • Versatile 3-10x magnification.
  • Scratch-proof lenses provide the greatest level of abrasion resistance.
  • Multi-coated lenses produce brilliant target views
  • Low weight, rugged performance.
  • Aggressively knurled, ¼ MOA Finger clicks adjustments.
  • Twilight light management system.
  • Fully waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.
  • Legendary Leupold ruggedness.

Factors to Consider when Buying the Best Air Rifle Scopes under $500

In order to buy the best scope, here are the key factors you should look out for before finally settling on one specific scope.

Magnification – At this price category, go for a scope whose magnification will give you the best possible image of your intended target. In addition, remember that with air rifles, the image of your target might suffer at higher magnification. Air rifles scopes also tend to max out. So, it’s best if you go for a scope with moderate magnification. Typically a 3-9x magnification or lower is best.

Scopes lens – A 500 dollar scope might seem to have a lens that’s exactly as that in a 1000 dollar unit or more. The main difference will be the quality of the lens. The type of coating found on these two is what makes a huge difference. To determine the quality of any scope, check out the lens coating that it has. This will give you a general idea of how well it will perform on the field. You can also check on the reviews of other customers and then get an idea of how the scope performs. Ensure that you get a scope with coated optics since they enhance light transmission that results in the production of bright and clear target views.

Weight – With air rifles, lightweight, and handy scopes will work best. Attaching a heavy optic throws it off balance and consequently affects its ease of handling and portability as well. This might act against you when shooting fast-moving targets and make you lose the target.

Construction – A scope under 500 dollars should have a reliable and heavy-duty construction. It should also be equipped with a wide eye relief to provide the user with comfortable target views. Furthermore, it should have dependable weather sealing and protection against shocks and hard impacts. This will ensure great performance, durability, and all-weather reliability.

Objective lens – A large sized objective lens means that your scope gets maximum light resulting in the production of bright and clear target views. However, a scope with a large objective lens might be heavy and throw off balance causing fatigue. On the other hand, a medium-sized objective lens sits closer to the barrel increasing accuracy and simplicity in use as its body is lightweight.

FAQs about the Best Air Rifle Scopes under $500

Which is the best magnification for air rifle scopes?

This will greatly depend on the shooting activity you intend to take part in. Furthermore, with air rifles, the image of your target might suffer at higher magnification. Air rifles also tend to max out at around 100 yards. So, it’s best if you go for a scope with moderate magnification. Typically a 3-9x magnification or lower is best.

Are Scopes under $500 worth investing in?

Yes, they are. Although they might lack some minimal features found in 1000 dollar scopes, they still are manufactured to meet high quality. These scopes also feature impressive image clarity and quality as well as rugged performance in all weather conditions.

Has Nikon discontinued their riflescope line?

Unfortunately, yes. Since 2022, Nikon stopped producing their rifle scopes. Other sports products such as binoculars and rangefinders are still in production though.

Advantages

  1. Brilliant optical quality.
  2. Reliability in all-weather conditions.
  3. Heavy-duty construction enhances durability.
  4. Effective scopes for short and medium ranges.

Conclusion

In order to own a decent scope, you must be ready to spend more. If you are interested in owning a scope under this price category, we hope that in this review you get the best scope for your needs.

Mathew R Reed

Mathew R Reed is a professional gun seller who runs a dedicated gun store in the suburbs of Oakland, CA. A hardcore hunting enthusiast since childhood, Reed has ample experience with guns and accessories. He is the founder of ArmorHoldings.com and creates some of the most helpful gun-buying guides and explainers. If not in the gun shop, you can find him on the nearest hiking trail or nearby hunting spot.