Some people fast, some people go on a cruise or visit a day center. I get out in the woods with a rifle. That’s how I relax - Chris Pratt
Whether you’re a hunter or a target shooter, a scope is an essential piece of kit.
Accuracy is everything, and while a good scope can keep your aim sharp and true, a bad scope can send your rounds astray and put a serious dent in your confidence and ability to make the important shots when it matters the most.
But in these difficult times, every cent counts and we all need to make every dollar stretch as far as possible.
Which doesn’t leave a lot in the average working stiffs budget to pay for the kind of scope that’ll help you to hit dead center every single time you squeeze the trigger.
But having less to play with doesn’t mean that you can’t find the right scope for your AR-15. It just means that you have to be a little more determined and focused while you’re looking for one.
Or, you can trust someone else to do the hard work for you. And in this case, that someone is us. That’s why we’ve found five of the best scopes that you can fit on your AR-15 for less than one hundred dollars.
Just because they cost a little less, it doesn’t mean that they’re not as good as the big-budget monsters; they absolutely are.
So, come with us and find the scope that you’ve been looking for that you didn’t know you could easily afford.
Top 5 Best Scopes for AR-15 Under $100
OUR TOP PICK
CenterPoint Optics believes in an uncomplicated and undemanding credo - “When what you see matters”.
For them, like you, it’s all about finding and zeroing in on your target, and making sure that when the moment you want to take your shot arrives, you don’t, and won’t miss.
Purpose designed for ArmaLite style semi-automatic rifles, this scope is made to handle the kickback without passing it on to you.
Effective at up two and hundred and fifty yards, this one-inch scope features one to four magnification and is ideal for mid-range targeting and hunting.
With five different brightness levels a Quick-Aim reticle and a three MOA (minutes of angle) center dot, it’s fashioned to be precise and exacting when you need it to be.
Big enough to collect and make effective use of any and all available light, it’s as on the mark during dusk as it is in the day, and won’t be swayed by encroaching darkness.
Light, durable, and strong, this scope might bear the CenterPoint name, but it’s actually engineered and made by one of the most trusted names in scope manufacture, Crosman.
So even if you don’t have faith in the CenterPoint name, you can always depend, just like thousands of other shooters do, on their parent company, Crosman.
- The five-point dial illumination and it’s surprising effectiveness in low light scenarios give this scope the sort of versatility that we wouldn’t expect to see at this price point.
- And while we’re on the subject of price, the CenterPoint sails way under the budget limitation of one hundred dollars and should leave you with enough change to treat yourself to a solid, three-course diner meal.
- It’s Quick-Aim etched reticle and three MOA center dot means that, in the range, it’s been made to handle, this scope is incredibly accurate and effective. It does everything that you’ll need a scope to do at a price that won’t inflict any pain on your pocketbook.
- It’s a mid-range scope and has difficulty focusing on anything past the three hundred yard marker. Stay within those parameters and you’ll be fine, but the minute you try venturing outside them, you’ll almost certainly come unstuck.
- There have been some less than happy reviews that have honed in on the scopes build quality, which is kind of surprising given the parent company who actually manufactures it. Thankfully the complaints are few and far between and the number of shooters who swear by it far outweighs those who won’t, and refuse, to succumb to the CenterPoint’s numerous charms.
Monstrum is a relative newcomer to the field of tactical scopes and rifle accessories.
Starting out just twelve years ago, they’ve rapidly made a name for themselves by rigidly adhering to their founder’s vision of making and supplying the sort of scopes and other equipment that shooters of all calibers want, at a price they can afford.
And to achieve their aims, Monstrum obeys a three-word mantra, that lies at the heart of everything they do. Durability. Practicality. Versatility.
This tactical scope boasts three to nine times magnification, is effective at up to five hundred yards, has five-point dial illumination which allows it to make the most of fading light and range finder that’s designed with functionality in mind, so you hone in your target quickly and efficiently.
It’s AO (adjustment objective) lens means that whatever you’re shooting at looks much clearer and helps to eliminate range estimation. In other words, it’s sharp, focused, and incredibly precise.
And thanks to being made from aircraft-grade aluminum, having a multi-layer, protective lens coating, and a nitrogen-charged tube which makes it water and fog-resistant, the Monstrum AO is light, strong, and insanely durable. It’s built to last and keep you on target, and not a lot else.
Which is exactly what it’s supposed to do.
- The AO (adjustable objective) lens and five-point illumination mean that it’s scarily accurate. If you point your AR-15 at something while you’re using this scope, the chances are, you’re going to hit it.
- It’s a hardy, well-designed, and engineered piece of equipment. And the fact that it exists at the price point that it does, is a little puzzling. It should cost a lot more, but for some perplexing reason, it doesn’t. But you know what they say about making hay while the sun shines, right? Don’t ask why just buy.
- With an effective range of around five hundred yards, it’s still a medium-range scope, but it pushes the boundaries of what that term actually means, and how you, as a shooter, will think about distance. In layman’s terms, it’s very, very good at what it does.
- Trying to get to grips with Monstrum’s return policy and guarantee can be a headache-inducing nightmare, as it’s filled with more terms and conditions than a credit card application form. Read the small print carefully and stick to it like glue, because Monstrum will, and does.
- If you’re not used to tactical scopes, zeroing it in and effectively marking yardage can be a little daunting at first. But don’t give up and stick with it, and your perseverance will eventually pay off.
Sometimes, with the sheer volume of cheap scopes flooding the market from non-specific companies and unknown brands, it can be difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff and find a good scope among the unknowns.
This scope, that’s designed, engineered and manufactured by Chinese firm, XOPin, is, fortunately, one of the good ones and for what you’ll pay for it, is fantastically good value for money.
Fully water and fog proof, this scope features four to twelve times magnification, five-point dial illumination, and has an effective range of around four hundred yards.
Forged from cast aluminum, it’s stronger than backwoods West Virginia Mountain Brandy and thanks to its FastFocus eyepiece, will help you to pick off your targets rapidly and accurately.
While we’re as attached to brand loyalty as the next shooter, sometimes we’ve found that it’s necessary to step outside of our comfort zone and take a chance on the unknown.
Using the XoPin was one of those times, but it proved itself to be precise and error-free and tracked true, allowing us to send a couple of rounds downrange and hit the targets we were aiming at.
We may not be the best of shots, but while we were using the XOPin, we felt like we could make the impossible happen.
- The FastFocus eyepiece, five-point illumination, and green laser made it feel like an old friend was calling our shots and guiding them home. It’s ridiculously easy to use and terrifyingly accurate.
- It’s made to take a beating and keep right on going. As the Uncle who taught us to shoot was so fond of saying, “It’ll take a licking and keep on ticking”.
- And part of its inherent tougher than Hulk Hogan in the closing moments of Wrestlemania appeal is the fact that as well as being water and fog proof, it’s also shockproof. Even if you do drop it, the lens won’t crack and the laser won’t misfire.
- As a number of reviewers have keenly pointed out, the XOPin suffers from manufacturing quality issues. Not only is it difficult to fit, it can also work itself loose, which appears to happen, if the said reviews are to be believed, at the most inopportune moments. Even though we didn’t have any problems fitting and using the XOPin, it would seem that other shooters weren’t quite as fortunate as we were.
Tacticon is a veteran-owned company, whose products are designed by ex-soldiers who have seen action and in the course of their duty, regularly put their lives on the line for the rest of us.
Regardless of the fact that the scope is made in China, it was designed by Tacticon and as far as we’re concerned, if we’re going to put our weight behind any company, it’s always going to be the one that’s owned by combat veterans.
That said, it helps that the Predator V1 is a great, medium-range scope that’ll help to transform the way that you shoot. But then, you wouldn’t expect anything less from a veteran-owned firm, would you?
A medium-range, red and green dot zeroing scope with five-point dial illumination, the Predator is an aluminum cast site that uses additional O-Rings and nitrogen charging in its construction to ensure that it’s water and fog proof.
Effective at around three hundred yards, it’s a scope that’s forged to be precise and strong and resemble the ones that it’s designers put their faith in, and learned to use, on the battlefield.
The trust that you put in this scope, will be returned tenfold as it was engineered to be as accurate the ten-thousandth time it’s used as it was when you first broke it out of the box.
And the fact that it’s priced at just half of the budget that we set has made sure that we haven’t stopped smiling since we first used it.
All you need to know is that Tacticon is a veteran-owned brand that makes the sort of scopes that other brands wish they could at a price that’s well within budget.
- This weatherproof scope is the sort of gift that any shooter would be more than happy to find waiting for them under the Christmas.
- Tacticon is veteran-owned. Do we need to say any more than that?
- Actually, we do need to say a little more as this easily affordable scope, thanks to its green red targeting, simple to use, and even easier to fit scope will hit anything you aim it at up to three hundred yards. We have to admit, we’re a little bit in love with this scope.
- There have been some overly negative comments about the build quality of the Predator V1, which is a little disheartening and while we were more than pleased with the way it performed on the range, other shooters weren’t quite as impressed as we were. It’s something that’s worth bearing in mind before you make your mind up.
Everything that CVLife does is designed to make you a better shooter. It’s what they do and it’s all that they do.
While they’re not a well-established brand that can compete, or go toe to toe, with the big dogs, they are good at what they do and this close range scope proves that they’re real contenders on the shooting stage.
Using a combination of laser mounting, a mil-dot site, and two and a half to ten times magnification with accurate wind and elevation dials, the CVLife scope is more suited to the outdoor life than the indoor range but is just as at home being used on the latter as it is in whatever wilderness you choose to go hunting in.
With five-point illumination and fast sighting, this scope will help you to track, trace, and eliminate any target within a hundred yards.
As we’ve said before, names aren’t everything, and more often than not, we place far too much emphasis on them.
Occasionally, we need to let go and embrace new things, especially when those new things are as accurate and affordable as this scope is.
- The CVLife earned its cast-iron reputation among the hunting set the hard way. By being good at what it does, when it matters the most.
- Incredibly affordable, the CVLife packs the sort of budgetary punch that your pocketbook will be more than happy to take.
- The combination of mounted laser and targeting system that the CVLife uses means that it’s precise, efficient, and straightforward to use. It’s that ideal site for beginning shooters that’s found favor with long time devotees.
- The CVLife hasn’t escaped the wrath of a minority of the shooting and reviewing brigade, who have pointed out that it’s plagued by build and manufacturing quality problems. But that said, what budget scope isn’t?
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is An AR-15?
The AR-15 is a semi-automatic, lightweight rifle whose design is based on the original ArmaLite AR-15, which in turn was a shortened, modified version of the AR-10, a combat-ready rifle that was and is a weapon of choice of various special forces.
Marketed as an MSR (Modern Sporting Rifle) the AR-15, which is manufactured by Colt, is a favorite weapon with hunters and target shooters due to its accuracy, durability, and dependability.
A lightweight weapon that’s made to be taken into, and can be used effectively in, any environment that AR-15 is also ideally suited to home defense and security.
While it is frequently called “America’s Favourite Rifle” by the National Rifle Association, the AR-15 is loved and loathed in equal measure and has become, due to the ease with which it can be purchased and misused, symbolic of a rising tide of gun violence.
What Is A Rifle Scope?
A rifle scope, also known as a telescopic sight, is a device based on a refracting telescope that is designed to improve the accuracy of a shooter.
Using a combination of magnification, crosshairs or dot sites, laser guidance, and mechanical dials to adjust its precision according to elevation and wind-speed, a rifle scope is an indispensable part of any modern hunter and target shooter's equipment.
Lightweight, durable, and strong, the riflescope has helped and enabled many shooters to become far better at their chosen pastime and by doing so, has indelibly stamped its presence on mainstream culture and society.
Which AR-15 Scope Is The Right One For Me?
While all of the scopes on our list are similarly priced and fall within the parameters of an imminently affordable budget, the choice of scope is entirely your decision.
And that decision is one that will undoubtedly be made according to what you want to use the scope for, target shooting, home defense or hunting, and their associated range and accuracy factors.
However, if you were looking for our recommendation, we wouldn’t hesitate for an instant and would happily steer you toward the Predator V1.
It’s a scope made by a veteran-owned company, that’s also proficient, precise, and durable and for all of those reasons and more, it’s also the scope that we tend to favor and use.
Choose your scope wisely, load up and we’ll see you on the range.