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Best rated budget spotting scope for target shooting – Guide & reviews

Last Updated: 24.06.24


Top Budget Spotting Scopes For Target Shooting Reviewed – Buying guide & Comparison for 2024​


Finding the best budget spotting scope for target shooting implies having enough time to conduct proper research in this field. If you can’t afford this option or you simply don’t feel like wasting your time reading countless reviews of cheap spotting scopes for target shooting, then you will find the information that we deliver in our buying guide and product reviews to be very useful. Our findings show that the first product you should take into consideration is the Nikon Prostaff Target, a fine alternative in many aspects. For example, its adjustable objective will allow you to free view up to 10 meters. The new precision target reticle function is ideal for air rifles and can help you aim with more precision. Last but not least, its fully multi-coated lenses are treated to prevent negative effects from altering the image quality. Should this model be unavailable, we strongly suggest you try the Nikon P-Rimfire instead, as it would make for a great second choice.



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Whenever you’re looking for the best spotting scope for target shooting, you need to keep an eye out for every opportunity that presents itself. However, in finding spotting scopes, you need to pay attention to the various valuable characteristics each of them might have. Make sure you follow the advice in our buying guide to reach a satisfactory conclusion.


Optical system

One of the features that most heavily influences the price of the device you end up buying is the quality of the lenses used to manufacture the optical system. In order to preserve the quality of the image you end up receiving, you need to pay close attention to the type of glass and the layers that cover your item’s lenses.

One option that you have is to go for a product that uses fully multi-coated lenses since these models work best under any circumstances. They aren’t affected by negative lighting effects so they can preserve the image and offer the user maximum brightness and contrast through increased light transmission.

However, you should definitely not neglect other aspects, such as the type of glass used in the manufacturing process. With regards to this particular topic, HD systems or extra-low dispersion glass are the options that you should be considering since time has proven that they deliver some of the best results.

Of course magnification remains relevant, as it is yet another aspect that may raise the price of a device. You should closely evaluate your requirements and make a decision accordingly, otherwise, you might end up paying a much too high price for a feature that you don’t get much use out of.


Construction and protection

Keeping the device safe should be one of your top priorities, since if the interior optical system gets damaged then the entire scope is compromised. One way of doing so is by choosing an adequate material for the protective case that houses the lenses inside.

It should be both strong and light, perhaps metallic and with a matte finish to prevent it from accidentally slipping out of your hand. Aluminum, for example, is a good alternative, given its strength and lightweight. It manages to protect the insides from impact in case of accidents and doesn’t add much to the overall weight of the product.

Another aspect that has to be considered in terms of protection from exterior factors is the way your device reacts in case of a wet environment, for example, if it’s raining outside. In this case, it would be a good idea to have lenses treated against fogging or water infiltrations, since it will be impossible for the water drops to get inside and mess up the optical system.


Other details that you need to consider

Since this is quite a big investment on your part, we figured you might want to check your budget first and see what types of items you can afford. Make sure you establish a balance between the features you need and the price you’re willing to pay, since comparing quality with quantity is always a problem when it comes to making a purchase.

In order to save a few pennies, you can always keep an eye out for manufacturers that pack useful additional accessories alongside the main product, such as transport cases or protective caps, just to make sure your device is safe while in storage.

After all, the important thing is to take your hobby seriously and invest in a fine piece of gear that will be by your side longterm and that perfectly fits your requirements. Trust in established brand names, especially when it comes to optical equipment, and last but not least, trust your intuition, since you’re the only one who knows what you’re looking for.



5 Best Spotting Scopes for Target Shooting (Reviews) in 2024


In order to find the best target shooting spotting scope, you need to have some information on the features that you need to look for. As far as comparing budget spotting scopes goes, it can be difficult to spot certain characteristics without professional knowledge. Through our selection of items, we try to give you the advice you need in order to pick the right assets.



1. Nikon Prostaff Target EFR AO Matte Precision Reticle


A fine piece as far as Nikon budget spotting scopes go, this particular model has a quick focus eyepiece and an adjustable objective that can allow you to freeview down to ten meters. The new technology precision target reticle is perfect for air rifles and will let you aim with much more precision than other types of optical devices.

This is also what makes this product so well suited for outdoor activities, and given its price range, it certainly offers reasonable quality standards. For example, think of the fully multi-coated lenses that are covered in protective layer with the role of avoiding negative effects and enhance light transmission so that the image you perceive is flawless.

That feature alone would make an item slightly more expensive, especially considering the fact that this is a Nikon scope which has several other professional-grade functions. The zero reset turrets allow you to return to your initial settings in the blink of an eye.


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2. Nikon P Rimfire Nikoplex Rifle Scope


Another viable option again from Nikon is this product, similarly priced and offering much of the same useful features. One of them would be the Nikon Eco-Glass lens used in the optical system, which is made without lead or arsenic and is fully multi-coated in order to maximize light transmission and enhance the quality of the rendered image.

This model is specifically meant for shooters that prefer dialing their shots in at a known distance, since it offers a precise ¼-inch target-style hand turn adjustments that work for up to fifty yards. It’s basically an optimized alternative to other items from Nikon’s line of precision optics.

Designed to allow for extreme sighting speed, it reacts best when used for outdoor activities, due to its superior accuracy derived from the long rifle cartridge. Needless to say, when looking for a cheap target shooting scope, this is one of the options that you definitely should be considering.


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3. Athlon 214061 Argos BTR Direct Dial Side Focus Riflescope


One of the priciest alternatives in our collection, this Athlon Optics shooting scope does make up for it by showing off many useful features that make it a great choice. For example, the first focal plane reticle stays valid regardless of your power settings, allowing you to use it at all times, especially since it shrinks and grows as you zoom in or out.

Another useful asset is the optical system, made using fully multi-coated lenses, covered in protective layers that serve the role of enhancing light transmission and repelling negative effects. This way, the image that you get is as bright and clear as it can be, and the contrast level is kept high.

The reticle etched to the glass provides the user with excellent support and allows you to aim better, while also protecting the insides from mechanical shock and offering increased durability. The aircraft-grade aluminum tube has good strength and its mechanical integrity will further protect the optical device regardless of the impact it endures.


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4. Mueller Tactical Side Focus Mil Dot Reticle


Another alternative in the same price range as other products in our list is this Mueller budget shooting scope, a model that manages to combine many useful functions with a good looking design. For example, a side focus knob allows you to adjust quickly without losing sight. The 4-inch eye relief is comfortable for any type of user.

A fast focus eyepiece combined with a mil-dot reticle allows you to aim with a higher precision rate, meaning this item is best used for outdoor activities that imply range shooting. The 30-millimeter mounting tube is comfortable to hold and durable enough to protect the optical system inside.

Its matte black color makes it stand out amongst other pieces of gear you may be carrying, so that it’s easy to find in any situation. Also, the matte finish means it offers a safer grip for the user and increasing stability.


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5. Nikon P-308


This model features a BDC 800 reticle that was developed specifically to perfect the trajectory of the 308 win/7.26 NATO round with 168-grain hpbt match bullet at 2680 feet per second, meaning it is perfect for range shooting and can allow you to aim more precisely. This product is great for outdoor activities and delivers quality worthy of its price tag.

Multiple protective layers cover the lenses in the optical system and serve the role of helping maximize the light transmission and repelling negative light effects, thus resulting in a higher quality vision, a high level of brightness and contrast and a clear image perceived by the user.

Like many other Nikon products, this affordable rifle scope is optimized for use alongside Nikon spot on Ballistic match Technology, since it upgrades its features and completes the many useful aspects it already has.






Ioana Moldovan

Ioana’s professional experience in the optics field has helped her understand the value of passing her knowledge forward. Her curious personality helps her gather useful information for her readers and her goal is to make technical information fun and accessible to everyone.

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