Best scope for $100 and $200


January 2, 2005, 04:33 AM
Well, I finally got two rifle for my wife's two young cousins to take deer hunting next year... both are Savage in 243 :) They will get them next month for their 14th birthday present :D I plan on taking them to the range for target shooting all year until the hunting season so I had to set aside some money for their practice ammo. Now I need to get some scopes for their rifles but my budget is limited. I can spend about $100 per scope with possibility of going up to $200 per scope :(

Our land offers some possibilities of 400+ yard shots but most likely boy's shots will be limited to between 60 yards to 200 yards. For this reason I would like to get variable scope with about 3 to 9 power.

What scope with about $100 price tag would be the best choice and how about for about $200? :confused:

I know there are a lot of good scopes in $300 range but two scopes at such price range would be way over my budget. I only have about $200 (maybe $300) left in my budget for two scopes :o

Thank you.

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January 2, 2005, 04:37 AM
They will get them next month for their 14th birthday present

I should have added that boys are twins :)

January 2, 2005, 06:46 AM
There are many to choose from. My favorite in the $120.00 range is this one

Check the Exact Track area from their home page to read about the adjustment system in these scopes.
Lifetime replacement warranty. I got mine from MidwayUSA.

January 2, 2005, 06:54 AM
You can't go wrong with the Sightrons. I have a Bushnel Trophy mildot that I paid $99 for mounted on a Mini Ranch and I am starting to suspect that it isn't holding POA.

January 2, 2005, 07:09 AM
Simmons Aetec 2.8x10.44. great reputation. long eye relief.

$130 from

January 2, 2005, 08:38 AM
In Georgia wally world sell's a nikon for under 150 thats as clear and bright as any and both of mine work well

January 2, 2005, 09:54 AM
Leupold VX-1 are pretty easy to find for $200. Great scopes, I've never been able to justify paying more for "better". Might also look at their new lower priced "rifleman" line, but I've no experience with these.


January 2, 2005, 12:15 PM
Leupold VX-1 for $179-199(2x7 or 3x9) in my area on sell.
most of my under $100 scopes are bushnell's w a couple of tasco's
i perfer the bushnell's about $79-120 depending on the series.
also look for deals on redfields between $100-200.

January 2, 2005, 12:27 PM
3 x 9 x 40 Burris Fullfield II Ballistic Plex and FREE 20 x 50 Spotting scope.......$189.97 (

January 2, 2005, 02:41 PM
I just bought a Bushnell Legend to go ona Marlin Model 60. Nice scope, and under $160.

January 2, 2005, 03:06 PM
Don't overlook Millet.
Mine is a Buck Lightening 1.5 x 6 w/lighted recticle for $165 thruogh Midway. I've had a little trouble with the light switch, but the quality of the glass is excellent.
Millet is sending me a UPS call tag to replace the scope, no questions asked.

January 2, 2005, 03:14 PM
I'll give a good word to the Aetec. I've been using mine for deer hunting for 5 years now, it has never fogged up or unzeroed itself.

January 2, 2005, 03:35 PM
You should be able to find the Nikon Prostaff 4X32 for $99 or the 3-9X32 for $129. Nikon has a lifetime warranty.
If you'd like something closer to your top end, try these:

January 2, 2005, 03:42 PM
I wouldn't buy a $200 scope for a $200 rifle, for a kid....They will drop it, bang it, etc...Kids are not too carefull.
My take on scopes, is to go to the store, and compare them, side by side. I did it, and bought a Tasco World Class 3x9, it beat the low end Simmons, BSA, Barsa, the middle of the road Bushnell, and was really close to the $150 Nikon, Sightron, Millet, and Redfield. Yes, it is made offshore, so are most of the others til you get up to the Leopold.....the owners of RCBS bought the company, I heard, and improved the scope. I bought mine for $29 after a $10 rebate, at Dumhams.
It seems scopes are either in the $50-$75 range or $140-$200 range. For the higher range, buy a Leopold. For the lower range, buy the Tasco World Class. I think it is this years best buy....

January 2, 2005, 11:58 PM
I'll second the vote for a Tasco. They get bashed a lot. But I will tell you this, I bought a 3x12x40 in 1988 for $79 (back when I was a starving college student), mounted it on my Remington .270 BDL, and have had zero problems with it. I've shot maybe 25 or so deer with it, and various hogs, turkeys, etc, and it has never let me down. I've had to sight it in exactly 2 times. First, when I mounted it and had 50 rounds of handloads made up by a friend. And once again, about 8 or 9 years laters, when I went to using Hornady Light Magnums.

I hadn't shot it in about 3 years, and I took it out a few months ago before deer season, put some Hornady's through it, and it was dead on. I shot a nice buck with it 3 wks ago. I keep thinking one day I'll spend the money on a high dollar scope, but I'm from the school of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I just can't justify spending $250 on a Leopold. That would pay for a LOT of ammo, another couple of milsurp guns, range time, etc. etc.

January 3, 2005, 12:32 AM
There's a lot of talk about scopes and which are the best buy, I consider the Bushnells in the $100-$200 class to be a great deal, I just bought a Bushnell Legend 5-15 scope for just under $200 and it is super!

I have done a lot of research on scopes recently and found that the low end Leupolds aren't that great, you can get the Leupold Rifleman or VX-1 for just under $200, BUT I've read a lot of reviews on the Leupolds and the low end models seem to have a problem with fogging, this is inexcusable on a $200 scope! It would appear that if you want a good Leupold you need to get a VX-2 or VX-3, good scopes but not a bargain by any means, and many writers have said the Bushnell Elite series are better scopes than Leupolds and less money, and you can get into the Bushnell Elite series for less than $200.

January 3, 2005, 12:45 AM has some good prices.

My opinion is the 3-9x is a good choice on your part.
IMO, the two best choices under $200 are the Nikon Buckmasters, and Bushnell Elite 3200. Both are excellent. The Elite 3200 has the advantage of Rainguard coatings that shed water and resist external fogging something like RainX on a windshield. But this coating is permanent. That said, I otherwise like the Nikon just a little better. But both are available from the above source for $169.

If you need to get a little cheaper, I would suggest the Simmons Aetec. At the above source $125 for the 2.8-10x. And only $129 if you went with a 3.8-12x with AO. Maybe not a bad choice on a flat shooting .243 rifle.

January 3, 2005, 12:12 PM
Thank you for all your replies.
Anybody here know or heard anything about the quality of Simmons 44Mag scopes? I can get one for $100 including shipping. I'm tempted to get a pair.

January 3, 2005, 12:36 PM
I've only seen my VX-1 fog up once and that was right after I took it out of a warm dry truck into a pea soup and cool fog in the mountains. It cleared up after about 2 minutes and remained clear the rest of the weekend.


January 3, 2005, 12:52 PM
As an interesting aside - I never realized how much chromatic abberations the low end scopes had until this past weekend. Dunno how much better it gets as you move into and beyond the VX-3 portion of the scope food chain, but I can tell you that both my Nikon Buckmaster and Burris Fullfield II displayed some pretty severe issues when viewing a bright orange 1" dot in the middle of a 4" black circle on a white 8"x10" target @ 100 yards. In both cases, the orange dot 'floated' up/left in comparison to where I knew it to be (centered in the black circle). Of the two, the Nikon was better (less bad?) than the Burris.

Now I'm not gonna run out and trash these scope, because it's not often that I shoot at blaze orange as opposed to more muted colors. But it is a potential data point...

January 3, 2005, 01:49 PM
Tasco World Class 3-9x :)

January 4, 2005, 04:42 PM
You could look into the fixed-power Weaver K4s for about $125 per each. They are rugged, clear, and their magnification should be more than adequate for the distances you plan to take shots.

January 4, 2005, 05:45 PM
For $100, I would try to find a Simmons WTC18 while you can. I think SWFA ( still has some at that price. If you are looking for just a 3-9 then for $200, I would get a Sightron SII 3x9x42 from E-bay.

January 5, 2005, 01:52 PM
Simmonds 44Mag. is a good scope. I have one on my 30/06 for 20 years now.

January 5, 2005, 02:08 PM
The Simmons ATV scope, on sale at Sierra Trading Post (even linked through for $63.96.

They're great scopes--originally $170; sold atWal-Mart for about $120.

You can get a pair, and be well under your $200 limit.

Check it out:

January 8, 2005, 02:11 PM
Damn, that Simmons ATV is a good buy! It even has an adjustable objective, if thats actually a pic of the scope.

January 8, 2005, 03:31 PM
Damn, that Simmons ATV is a good buy!

The only experience I have ever had with Simmons was not good. Save your money and get a scope with some QC behind it.

January 9, 2005, 09:39 AM
the best scope for under $200, without a doubt in my mind, is the nikon prostaff.. clear as hell..

January 10, 2005, 10:26 AM
The Simmons ATV does indeed have an adjustable objective. It's a great scope for the money.

I'm thinking of buying a couple more just as investments. I don't think that nice a scope is going to be that cheap ever again.

For some reviews, a search on will turn up some positive comments from other who actually own and use the scope.

Good luck!

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