Best AR-15 Scopes Under $200 – 2020 Complete Buyer’s Guide

All shooters out there must be familiar with this ongoing debate: is it better to get the best gun, or should one consider investing in a nice and updated scope?

If you ask for our advice, we will say that investing in a quality scope is a better idea.

So, here we present a complete buyer’s guide to AR-15 scopes that are under $200, so that you don’t have to spend too much. 

Comparison of the Best AR-15 Scopes Under $200


Nikon P-223 3-9x40

  • Best overall that comes with the multicoated optical system
  • Waterproof and fog-proof feature makes it perfect for every weather
  • Shooter-friendly build provides eye relief
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Vortex Optics Strikefire II

  • Runner-up that comes with fully multi-colored lenses
  • Compact and extremely lightweight
  • Power control is placed at the rear of the piece
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UTG 3-12X44 30mm

  • Features sealed and nitrogen filled platform
  • Comes with 30mm tube built
  • Has premium lockable and resettable turrets
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Barska 1-4x28 IR Hunting Scope

  • Comes with 30mm main tube diameter
  • Equipped with fully coated optics
  • Comes with well-illuminated Mil-Dot reticle
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Can You Find a Quality AR-15 Scopes Under $200?

If you want to get the job done and achieve efficiency, then it is better to invest in a good scope. With a decent scope, you can perfect your aim at the target and achieve the results that you desire. An AR-15 rifle without a scope is not very useful, so investing in scope is a must! Don’t worry; we have listed the best scopes on the market that cost less than $200. Glance over their properties, main features, pros, and compatibility and choose the one that gives you ultimate precision, and never miss your target again!

What Makes a Great AR-15 Scope?

Many factors are to be acknowledged in order to define an AR-15 scope as a truly great one! Some of those factors are given below:

Sturdy Built

Make sure it is sturdy and stable enough to stand and perform effectively in harsh conditions. In addition to this, make sure you know what you are going to use this scope for.

High Optical Range

A great AR-15 scope always has a great optical range. If you are investing in a scope for hunting purposes, then make sure that your scope offers you a nice range so that you would last at least one hunting season.

Resistant Features

Guns are made for use in tough conditions, so make sure the scope that you are getting is water, shock, and fog-resistant. Most of the guns that we have here are built to survive harsh weather conditions, and most importantly, these scopes are easily affordable as well. Most of them would last a lifetime if used properly.

Quick Take | Best AR-15 Scopes Under $200

Here are the best AR-15 scopes under $200:

Review of the Best AR-15 Scopes Under $200

Read on to discover what recent buyers have to say about these top AR-15 scopes, along with all of their main features, pros, and cons. All of these are present under $200 so that they’re easy to afford. 

Best Overall:
Nikon P-223 3-9x40

Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Mate BDC 600


  • Offers extreme sighting speed
  • Perfect for extremely bright platforms
  • Provides superior long-range efficiency
  • Offers more than 98% of light transmission
  • Zero reset turret feature and field adjustments


  • Lack of flip caps reduces the accuracy
  • Comes with smaller BDC dots as compared to the others

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the recent buyers of this riflescope were very happy about their purchase. One of the buyers reported that her aim has strengthened a great deal after she started placing this scope on the top of her rifle. Other buyers reported that this scope provides visual clarity, despite extreme humidity in the atmosphere.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We were thoroughly impressed by this scope's numerous high-quality features. One of those many features is its ability to perform highly well in the water and fog. This feature saves you some time from cleaning and wiping the glass again and again. It addition to this, it comes with a 100-yard parallax feature that allows you to eliminate all the precision-related errors.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an ideal scope to be placed on a rifle that is supposed to be used for centerfire short or midrange. In addition to this, it comes with a multi-coated optical system, making it perfect for shooting in well-lit places. So, take advantage of its light transmission feature and use it to its fullest.

Bottom Line

Choose this product and you will be able to take advantage of its excellent features, such as optical range, water, and heat-resistant body. Along with that, you will also get to enjoy parallax features, extremely lightweight construction, and a wide range of other features. So, what are you waiting for? Take your shooting game to the next level after investing in this AR-15 rifle scope.

Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight - 4 MOA Red/Green Dot


  • Offers the choice of dot color
  • Comes with parallax free feature
  • Features are extremely easy to adjust
  • Mid-range price and performs effectively
  • Cantilever design promises rapid target acquisition


  • Front of lens offers loads of light
  • Left-hand shooters find it difficult to use

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost every recent buyer of this scope was extremely satisfied with this Vortex optics. One of the recent buyers said that this is the best red optic scope on the market. Another buyer reported that even after 1000 rounds, he was able to maintain zero. Overall, users reported that this scope was extremely cost-effective.

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the many features that make this scope stand out to us is that it comes with a red or green dot version. The very fact that the shooter is not able to lose zero even in the harshest of weather conditions makes it truly remarkable.

Who Will Use This Most

Shooters or hunters who want to experience the shooting at the supreme level should invest in this scope. It is a fair deal because you get a wide range of stellar features without spending a great deal of money. Using this scope will allow you to enjoy the quality of a higher-end optic range.

Bottom Line

The Vortex StrikeFire 2 is definitely worth the investment. Remember, you are paying one-third of the price as compared to other comparable optics, but you won’t be compromising on the quality. Reap all the benefits of parallax-free sight after investing in this stellar scope. 

UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings


  • Adjustable wheel turret
  • Compact, durable, and sturdy build
  • Illumination enhancing technology
  • Parallax free view from 10 yards to infinity
  • Come with True Strength (TS) platform increasing its life


  • Objective lens is a bit large
  • Lack of excellent turret exposure
  • Light transmission is only satisfactory

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers are extremely satisfied with this scope. One of the recent buyers was impressed with its sturdy build; he said that this scope passed all the tests that he puts it through. Another buyer says that he keeps it moving from zero to 900 yards, and this scope still performs exceptionally well. Other buyers also say that it is a complete package, and overall, it was a nice experience.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This scope is blessed with several features and perks. Primarily, it stands out to us because of its premium lockable and resettable feature. Through this feature, it is easier to make all the adjustments. It offers ease and convenience to its users, making it a beneficial investment. In addition to this, the very fact that it is extremely easy to carry makes it stand out to us.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an ideal riflescope for all the hunters that use their rifles in harsh conditions. It is waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof. Users can use it as freely as possible, and they can place it easily on hard and rough surfaces without worrying about its well-being.

Bottom Line

This is one of the very best scopes on our list. It might not be an ideal scope for long-distance shooting and long-range shooting. However, as far as short-range shooting is concerned, this is one of the best AR-15 rifle scopes that can be had under $200.

BARSKA 1-4x28 IR SWAT-AR Mil-Dot Tactical Riflescope (AC11872)


  • Turrets caps make it easy to use
  • Allows you to customize your view
  • Comes with covers to prevent damage
  • Waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof
  • Improved efficiency due to glare reduction


  • A bit heavy
  • Some find it difficult to mount

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the users of this Barska hunting scope were extremely happy with their purchase. One of the recent buyers was very shocked yet highly satisfied with the quality and clarity of the glass that is fixed in this scope. Another reported that he did not experience any problem in mounting his scope; he even said that mounting holes and nuts made the entire process very easy.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The very fact that it is shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof makes it one of the very best scopes on our list. If you need a scope for hunting purposes, then it does not get better than this. Don’t forget one thing; you get all of these remarkable features for less than two hundred dollars, so it is a fair deal.

Who Will Use This Most

All the shooters out there, especially hunters, should pay special attention to the features of this rifle scope. With the clarity of vision that it offers, you can be the shooting champion of the year. So, if you consider yourself a competent shooter, then take advantage of this stellar scope.

Bottom Line

Exceptional magnification, illuminated mil-dot reticle, remarkable clarity, extremely easy mounting, and multiple other features make this scope a solid investment. Apart from all of these irresistible features, its stellar design makes sure that this lasts much longer than anticipated. So, when considering buying a new scope, make sure this one makes the list.

Nikon 6729 ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope (BDC)


  • Offers quick-focus eyepiece
  • O-ring sealed housing
  • Multi-coated optical system
  • Transmits up to 98% of the available light
  • Fine body made up of polymer and aluminum


  • Diameter is a bit larger than the rest
  • Does not come with parallax adjustment

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers report that they were extremely satisfied with this scope. One of the buyers claimed that he had used it during deer season and was very happy with the results. Another recent buyer reported that after setting his scope to 11x power, he was able to make shots from 200 to 600 yards.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Nikon scope stands out to us for many reasons. One is that it is very easy on the pocket; secondly, its internal tube is filled with nitrogen. This nitrogen-filled tube prevents the internal glass from fogging. Plus, it comes with an O-ring seal that maintains the waterproof feature of this scope.

Who Will Use This Most

Shooters and hunters who wish to take their shooting skills to the next level and want to perfect their aims should consider this scope as a valuable option. It is extremely easy to mount, and it is gifted with stellar features. In addition to all of these perks, this scope is easily affordable, so those on a low budget will benefit from it the most. 

Bottom Line

Lastly, the Nikon ProStaff scope is an ideal investment for those who don’t wish to use parallax adjustment and are comfortable with sightseeing without illumination. Once you get your hands on Prostaff and use it to its full capability, you won’t go back! So, invest in this scope and change your shooting game.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying?

Now that we have reviewed AR-15 rifle scopes that cost less than $200 in detail, it’s time to make your pick. However, before doing so, make sure you consider the following factors:

Use of the Scope

Before making your final pick, you need to address your needs. Do you need a scope that works well in daylight or at night? How much range do you need? How long is the walking distance that you have to travel while carrying the gun? Remember, a heavy scope won’t do you any favors if you have a long walk ahead of you.

Quality of the Scope

The next factor that you need to consider before buying a rifle scope is its quality. Ask yourself questions such as, will this scope be durable and reliable in foggy weather? Also, it is better to cross-check the weather of your shooting location with the quality of the scope that you intend to buy.


Other than the quality and use of the scope, you must take the price under consideration. If the scopes that are under $200 fulfill your shooting needs, then there is no need to spend more money on an expensive scope. Finalize your budget and needs and pick an AR-15 rifle scope that addresses your needs and falls within your budget.


Pay special attention to the main features of the above-mentioned rifle scopes so that you know their material, optical range, sustainability, weight, tube diameter, and other significant properties. Investing in a high-quality scope usually enhances the quality of the rifle. So choose the one that enhances your shooting ability.