5 Best Red Dot for AR 15 [UNDER 100]

Best Red Dot Sights For AR 15 Under $100: Maximize Your Precision

The best red dot sights are game changers for modern shooters. It is the fast recognition of targets and easy tactical decision based on the simple attenuation; backed up by the co-witnessed iron sights that makes a good shooter that much better. More than making a shooter better, it puts a good shooter in a position to utilize all the available field of view and offers a fast acquisition point of reference, so you can make quick decisions with accurate results. We’re going to help you find the Best Red Dot Sights for AR 15 Under $100.

With the improvement in electronic sight technology and the easy path to innovation that other market technologies allow, the available options are excellent; even given the low price point of the $100 threshold. In general, the amount of bang for your buck at even a $100 entry point is exceptional.

That said, it’s a battlefield full of land mines that needs to be navigates to uncover the best options at that price point. It will be important to temper your expectations; if you are used to a $450 Red Dot Sight, you aren’t going to be very impressed at the $100/under threshold.

This article will take you through the basics of choosing an inexpensive red dot sight, and help you find the right one with a suggestion that you can take to the bank.

Our Top Five Red Dot Sights for AR 15 Under $100 in 2018

Bushnell Optics TRS-25 Hirise 1x25mm Red Dot...
Ozark Armament Rhino Red Dot Sight - Green Dot...
Sightmark SM26008 Ultra Shot Plus Red Dot Sights
AT3 Tactical RD-50 PRO Red Dot Sight with .83'...
Sale TRUGLO Tru-Brite Open Red-Dot Dual-Color Multi...

The Different Types of Red Dot Sights

Let’s get it out into the open quickly: the idea that red dot sight simply means a sight with a red dot in the view, is outdated and ridiculous. The concept is more all-encompassing than that. You could classify any electronic optic without a lot of magnification as a Red Dot sight and any shooter worth their salt will know what you’re talking about.

The chance that you’ll be teased by your shooting buddies about saying “red dot sight” when referring to a holographic sight with a green triangle reticle, couldn’t be further from reality.

It’s important to note though, that when you are talking about very specific technologies that have a trade name attached to them, or when you are trying to differentiate two or three products, it’s appropriate to clarify the type or brand and model name of the product to help aid in identification of the main attributes of a specific optic.

So here are the main types of “Red Dot Sights”:

# Reflex Sights

A reflector type sight, known as a Reflex sight will act as a mirror that projects a theoretical point of aim onto the target, but does not project anything onto the actual target, simply it shows as you look through the optic, that the target has a specific focal point on it. The point of aim is still viable no matter the angle you look in the sight at. Most of the sub $100 red dot sights are going to be something like this style or firmly within the segment.

# Prismatic Sights

A Prismatic sight will generally offer a sophisticated reticle image etched onto the glass and the chance for optical magnification, which may help with longer distances or for when you want a larger sight picture. It’s similar to a scope, and therefore will have an eye relief component. It may not be suitable for the fastest sight picture in all scenarios, but it will be good for repeatable tasks at a specific range or for longer distances. It starts to get steeper in pricing as you get into this market segment; there are not a lot of options sub $100 in this market segment.

# Holographic Sights

Holographic sights are much more complicated options. They tend to be more expensive as well, the sight will use a laser derived hologram to project onto a target, then takes that image and reconstructs it onto the optic focal point. This allows you to have a full field of view, as well as an accurate point of aim wherever your viewport is. The reticle/focal point will then appear to be at the target for maximum heads up data. It’s rare that you’ll see a true Holographic sight at the under $100 price point.

What Can You Do With a Red Dot Sight That Makes it so Versatile and Viable for a Shooter?

You’ll be able to say cool words like “co-witness”. More than that, you’ll be able to perform it. It’s way cooler sounding than it is exciting. What it means is that you will be able to use two sight-specific options at the same time. Most specifically, if planned properly, you’ll be able to look at your iron sights while simultaneously using your Red Dot Sight. This can be beneficial for a couple of reasons:

  1. You can use the iron sights if the optic dies.

  2. You’ll be able to use both eyes open which will improve your peripheral view and heads up accounting for environmental information.

Is $100 Enough For a Legitimate Red Dot Sight?

Yes, and no. But mostly yes. If you are exploring the concept, you can find quality $100 or less red dots all day long. However, if you have a specified use case that requires a large majority of the benefits of the top tier Red Dot or other electronic optics, then it may be time to look at the next pricing tier at least ($110-$375 or so).

But don’t be too worried, if you know your hard limit, top-end budget is at $100, you’ll easily be able to find something that you can put to good use.

Things To Be Aware of When Choosing a Red Dot Sight For Under $100

  • The battery life can be poor.
  • The materials can be weaker or even seem like afterthoughts.
  • Most of them aren’t built ruggedly enough to ensure that you are able to bang around with them in legitimate hard use day to day.
  • The battery that comes with the unit is likely to be absolutely useless.

Before we dive headlong into the candidates for the best red dot sight for the AR-15 for under $100, let’s talk about how important the practice aspect is.

If you buy a red dot sight, you don’t instantly become a better shooter. You still need the fundamentals and you still need to practice with your firearm while using the red dot sight.

Most importantly, you might need to re-train yourself to use a “two eyes open” approach, that gives you situational and full target awareness, which can in turn make you a more instinctive shooter. A commitment to becoming a better user of your surroundings and the data visualization of your environment will contribute to being better integrated with your new red dot sight choice.

Now to the 5 best choices for a red dot sight or electronic sight for the AR platform that are under $100 right now:

Reviews of The Best Red Dot Sights for AR 15 Under $100

 


1. Ozark Armament Rhino Red/Green Dot Sight Review –

Exceptional customer service


Ozark Armament Rhino Red Green Dot Sight
image credit ozarkarmament.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

It’s an inexpensive sight with a relatively straightforward co-witnessing ability. The 4 MOA focal point will get you on target for tactical and most target shooting. It’s a quick access sight and the variability of illumination and color allow you to play around with your preferences until you decide on a format you like. It’s plenty durable for the money and has exceptional customer service.

PROS:

  • Cheap.
  • Made in the USA and a lifetime warranty.
  • Simple.

CONS:

  • Marketed heavily but doesn’t live up to all the hype.
  • Not as durable as some other options.

 

— Why do you want this Red Dot sight for your AR 15?

You can’t find something made in the USA at this price point that has a lifetime warranty. They are basically asking you to rough this thing up. For the money, you cannot find more bang for your buck, even if you must sacrifice some of the higher end fit/finish/quality and some durability. But don’t question the durability too much: Ozark has that lifetime warranty.

 

Ozark Armament Rhino Red Dot Sight - Green Dot...
966 Reviews
Ozark Armament Rhino Red Dot Sight - Green Dot...
  • GUARANTEED LIFETIME DURABILITY: Every sight from...
  • CO-WITNESS CAPABILITY OUT OF THE BOX: Designed to...
  • RED OR GREEN DOT WITH ADJUSTABLE BRIGHTNESS: Five...

 


2. AT3 Tactical RD-50 Red Dot Sight Review –

Exceptional battery output


AT3 Tactical RD-50 Red Dot Sight
image credit at3tactical.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

This may be the best product on this list, and it is clearly a winning option at sub $100. The adjustability and durability of this unit makes it very nice to have when you need to count on your optic to get you out of a sticky situation. The known brand and good warranty means you can actually count on it longer-term.

PROS:

  • Still inexpensive.
  • Great factory battery and battery life.
  • Riser mount for co-witness.
  • Good quality lens.
  • Lifetime warranty.

CONS:

  • Can tend to “starburst” which can be annoying in the sight picture at times.

 

— Why do you want this Red Dot sight for your AR 15?

It’s easy to stay both eyes open and the adjustability of the reticle and the brightness settings means you have ultimate control over what you see and how it behaves. The battery is not an extra expense as the factory included battery is top quality generally.

 

AT3 Tactical RD-50 PRO Red Dot Sight with .83'...
187 Reviews
AT3 Tactical RD-50 PRO Red Dot Sight with .83"...
  • ACCURATE - Crisp 2 MOA red dot sight allows for...
  • DEPENDABLE - Fully waterproof with sealed housing....
  • INCREDIBLE VALUE - Exceptional battery life - up...

 


3. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Review –

Top-quality materials for the money


Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight
image credit bushnell.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

The Bushnell name counts for something still, despite some harsh words on internet forums in the past. This is the most brand recognition on the list and it shows with the top-quality materials for the money. The Optics are good and the fit and finish are excellent for the price point and relative to peers.

PROS:

  • Bushnell brand name.
  • Good optics.
  • Lightweight.

CONS:

  • Admittedly not Bushnell’s top-quality product.

 

— Why do you want this Red Dot sight for your AR 15?

You get this sight because you want the optical clarity, the durability and the lightweight design with the clearly superior on-board electronics. This is a good choice for any number of firearms not just one of the best red dot sights for your AR 15 under $100.

 

Bushnell Optics TRS-25 Hirise 1x25mm Red Dot...
746 Reviews
Bushnell Optics TRS-25 Hirise 1x25mm Red Dot...
  • Beautiful design and durability built to last
  • Lightweight 6.0 ounce 3 MOA HiRise Red Dot...
  • 11 brightness settings provide optimum...

 


4. Sightmark SM26008 Ultra Shot Plus Red Dot Sights Review

Exceptional optical clarity in any environment


Sightmark SM26008 Ultra Shot Plus Red Dot Sights
image credit sightmark.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

This is by far the most durable unit on this list, and it is ready for doing battle. That said, it’s not perfect. For the money, you can easily dismiss some of the concerns, like the looser quick detachable mount which may require some thread locker. It is weather resistant more than most on this list and at higher price points.

PROS:

  • Durable compared to the rest of the list.

CONS:

  • The nuts on mounts may need additional loc-tite or hard tightening down.

 

— Why do you want this Red Dot sight for your AR 15?

If you need one that can take a beating, there is no other option at below $100. Let that be the sole deciding factor, because all-in, this is a bargain piece of hardware. The lighting is not as good as it could be, but for the money, it’s hard to complain about the performance of the piece.

 

Sightmark SM26008 Ultra Shot Plus Red Dot Sights
351 Reviews
Sightmark SM26008 Ultra Shot Plus Red Dot Sights
  • Red and green reticle illumination
  • Digital switch controls. Field of view :35 meter...
  • Multiple reticles. Item has a one hour shut off to...

 


5. TRUGLO TruBrite Multi-Reticle Dual-Color Open Dot Sight Review

Open sight for the fastest sight work


TRUGLO TruBrite Multi-Reticle Dual-Color Open Dot Sight
image credit truglo.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

TruGlo is a well-known brand and they usually make products that are quite competitive. This Red Dot Sight is no exception. The benefits far outweigh the price point or the drawbacks. It’s the most open sight design on this list and for the money, it’s hard to beat for rapid sight acquisition.

PROS:

  • One of the faster sight acquisitions.

CONS:

  • Can feel a bit cheap at times.

–Why do you want this Red Dot sight for your AR 15?

If you need a 100% open sight for the fastest sight work, this may be your best bet for a red dot sight under $100 for your AR-15. This is a strong contender based on speed and field of view alone. It is decidedly less durable than some other options but it’s not a bad piece of hardware by any means.

 

Sale
TRUGLO Tru-Brite Open Red-Dot Dual-Color Multi...
704 Reviews
TRUGLO Tru-Brite Open Red-Dot Dual-Color Multi...
  • Two choices of reticle color for contrast against...
  • Durable/compact design; unlimited eye relief; wide...
  • 24 x 34mm window for ultra-fast target acquisition...

 


Conclusion

When you need full time situational awareness and quick sight acquisition as well as the enhanced ability to make a trigger pull decision on a target to save time, the Red Dot Sight is a top quality option. The items on this list are all contenders for the title of the Best AR 15 Red Dots for less than $100.

But one will likely stand out to you above the rest. That’s the thing about the modern shooter: there are so many options and so many great deliveries on technology, that it’s really come down to aesthetics and bullet point list items for which one makes sense for you, and that’s not just about picking an inexpensive optic.

Your customizability and choice for optional hardware and accessories makes this shooting thing quite rewarding. It is this customization that spurs the shooter on to get better and become more capable in tactical and sporting situations. We hope we’ve helped you to get a bit better as you read through this list of red dot sights that will put you on target faster and more accurately.

5 Best Long Range Rifle Scope [UNDER 500]

Best Long Range Rifle Scope Under $500: Shooters Guide

Most shooters know the immediate impact that a quality optic can have on accuracy and precision in your shooting. With more and more technological innovations in the optics market and the access to quality materials that has increased as the shooting market has increased, it’s now easy to find excellent quality optics for a reasonable price point. We decided to write this article on the best long-range rifle scope under $500, because we feel you can get the best range of scopes for the best value at this price point.

Sure, there are reasons to buy a $2500 scope if you have the needs in your shooting scenario, but for the most part, you aren’t getting a whole lot at the top end of the market that you cannot also get for right around $500.

Let’s clarify one thing: you can get the same magnification, the same lens diameter and light introduction; the same materials (for the most part) and the same options. The only difference for most top tier scopes compared to a sub $500 scope is the quality of manufacture, the glass quality (not magnification, but coatings and finishing) and the proprietary bits.

We have no complaints about shooting with top tier, high-dollar glass, but we also feel comfortable shooting on a budget rig and we use the sub $500 glass more often than not.

Besides, do you really want an accessory that costs more than your firearm? Do you really want to worry what would happen to your $2800 German rifle scope if you slid down a hill accidentally on a hunting trip during heavy rain and sleet? It’s a matter of understanding the needs you each have, to pick the best fit for you.

At $150-500, you can find a sweet spot for long range rifle scopes (you’ll see in a bit) for anyone that doesn’t need the absolute best of the best and is using the scope for recreation and not for tactical precision shooting or sniper work.

The guys using those $3000+ scopes for that kind of work are limited in what they can use by government or departmental guidelines, and they don’t buy their own equipment, so there isn’t really a carryover.

The important part is this: You can find incredibly good quality optics at the under $500 price point. So, if you want to know how to select the best options and find the best long-range rifle scope under $500, keep reading…

Our Top Five Long Range Rifle Scopes Under $500 in 2018

 

  1. ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope...
  2. Nikon Buckmasters II, 4-12x40mm, BDC, Rifle Scope EDITOR CHOICE 
  3. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal...
  4. BARSKA 8-32x50 IR AO Excavator IR Target Dot...
  5. Simmons Truplex Riflescope (3-9X40, Matte)

 

Reviews of Best Long Range Rifle Scopes Under $500 on the Market Today


1. ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope Review – 

HD video recording and many more


ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day Night Rifle Scope
image credit atncorp.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

This has so much integration and capability that nothing even comes close to it for the money. It’s not cheap though and just barely makes our list at the $500 mark (at the time of writing). The types of functionality you get for the money are ridiculous (in a good way) and the optics are decent; more than capable of keeping up with the other scopes at the price point ($100-500). It can video record and has GPS, tagging, and other functionalities that can help with your future hunting trips and enjoyment factor. It is a high-tech device though, much more than it is a mechanical glass optic.

PROS:

  • Tons of perks.
  • Great quality.
  • Nothing has specs to match the integration into the shooting experience once you have learned all the gadgetry.

CONS:

  • Pricey.
  • Quirky sometimes on the user interface.
  • If you don’t have battery, you don’t have optics.

What it’s good for: For the people who are constantly looking for the newest tech gadget before all their friends have it and just so happened to really get into shooting. It’s good for analyzing shots, making good calculations on the fly, and recording hunts. The optics are better than average, but they aren’t amazing, so make sure you have an extra battery pack, and that you’re not going out past 600 yards on the regular.

Sale
ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope...
686 Reviews
ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope...
  • Use Day & Night in HD resolution - our HD...
  • Zero range: 100 yard. Day & Night Vision in...
  • Ballistic Calculator - shifts Point of Impact on...

 


2. Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm Scope with BDC Reticle Review –  EDITOR CHOICE 

Best Long Range Rifle Scope Under $500


Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm Scope with BDC Reticle
image credit nikonsportoptics.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

The reticle allows for on-the-fly adjustments out to 600 yards. This distance is perfectly attainable if you learn the bullet drop of your cartridge of choice, with the 12-power magnification and the adequate 40mm objective lens. The Nikon glass is well known and offers sturdy build quality and a good reputation for delivering top tier products at reasonable prices. This is a great lower end model on their spectrum, without any of the concerns that most lower end models from major makers, normally have.

PROS:

  • Good price point.
  • Variable magnification and a quality build.
  • From a value perspective this could easily be seen as the Best Long Range Rifle Scope Under $500 when you actually factor in what you get for the price you pay.

CONS:

  • This is not their (Nikon’s) top tier scope model.

What it’s good for: For the money this scope is very hard to beat. It is a good scope for hunters using it for large game hunting. The high potential magnification and the variability and the decently large objective lens gives good quality pictures despite lower tier glass, which allows excellent performance for low cost. It can be used for hunting, target work or for any other scope need. It is particularly good for deer hunting on meadow and plains terrain in decent light.

Nikon Buckmasters II, 4-12x40mm, BDC, Rifle Scope
345 Reviews
Nikon Buckmasters II, 4-12x40mm, BDC, Rifle Scope
  • Extremely bright sight picture: Allows for...
  • Fully multicoated lenses offer increased light...
  • Patented BDC reticle.

 


3. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO Riflescope Review

High-quality imaging and durable build


Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24x50 AO Riflescope
image credit vortexoptics.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

This is where the scopes start getting a lot better glass quality (around $300), and this Vortex has great clarity up to about 16x magnification. It begins to get a bit grainier after that and even though it will put you at 24x, it’s not the clearest picture. Still, this scope, while massive, is a great bargain for what you get.  It will take you out to 600+ yards. You can get to 800 with the right rifle, but you might be close to the extreme limitations of the optical clarity aspects of this scope.

PROS:

  • Great glass to 16x.
  • Good price point considering glass quality.
  • Exceptional warranty, almost worth the price of admission, alone.

CONS:

  • Some spotty quality control at times.
  • Not made for particularly heavy shooting/recoiling guns but… that warranty though!

What it’s good for: putting on a mid-ranged rifle that needs to go out to about 400-500 yards consistently. This is an excellent choice for longer range rifles with flat shooting cartridges that are actually used at 300 yards more often than they are used at 600. That said, this would be an excellent coyote scope for 500+ yards with something like a .22-250, where you need the optics, and have the round that can match the optical power.

Sale
Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal...
659 Reviews
Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal...
  • The Diamondback 4-12x40 riflescope is one of...
  • Dead-Hold BDC reticle is good for any hunting or...
  • Lenses are fully multi-coated for crystal clear,...

 


4. BARSKA 8-32×50 IR AO Excavator IR Target Dot Riflescope Review

Excellent value for the money


BARSKA 8-32x50 IR AO Excavator IR Target Dot Riflescope
image credit barska.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

For the money, it is an excellent value. It is not, however a super quality scope. It has some concerns at the higher end of the power scale, where the quality of the glass is lacking enough to manifest it on the viewport. Most people shooting this price point for a scope are mounting it to a gun that isn’t capable of actually using the full power of this scope by the numbers anyways. That isn’t an indictment on the buyer or user, but rather the point that this scope offers a lot for the money.

PROS:

  • High end numbers even if they are unusable at the highest levels.
  • Good accessories package included with it.
  • Excellent price.

CONS:

  • It shows its quality at the top end of the spectrum in use. That is to say: it is not as quality as it needs to be to fully be capable of the specifications it touts.

What it’s good for: those who need a simple, capable scope out to 300 yards or so, and don’t want to have to apply for a second mortgage on their house. The all-in value of this optic is very high, but it does have its limitations. Know what to expect and don’t try to put this on a $5000 counter sniper rifle and you will likely be pleased with the performance. It can generally keep up with any mainstream value priced gun on the market without a bunch of hurdles. 

 

Sale
BARSKA 8-32x50 IR AO Excavator IR Target Dot...
8 Reviews
BARSKA 8-32x50 IR AO Excavator IR Target Dot...
  • 8-32x variable magnification with large 50mm...
  • Multi-coated optics with Illuminated Target Dot...
  • Adjustable Objective lens is built with a...

 


5. Simmons Truplex Riflescope (3-9X40, Matte) Review

Another good scope for the budget


Simmons Truplex Riflescope (3-9X40, Matte)
image credit bsimmonsoptics.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

A seriously good scope for a budget riffle build, this is a straightforward easy choice for those who need a bargain price point with good quality to 150-200 yards without all the perks of the more expensive rifle scopes. Yes, the glass is not amazing, but it’s usable. Yes, the build quality is not amazing, but it’s very good; and that’s before you include the fact that it’s priced at the same price as less than a week’s worth of coffee at your local Starbucks to buy one of these.

PROS:

  • Low cost.
  • Good adjustment.

CONS:

  • Glass quality is lower end.
  • Not the best durability.

What it’s good for: budget rifle builds about which, you aren’t sure yet that you want to invest heavily on a scope but still need an optic to have some fun with it. The quality is seriously amazing for what you pay for it.

Simmons Truplex Riflescope (3-9X40, Matte)
474 Reviews
Simmons Truplex Riflescope (3-9X40, Matte)
  • Truezero fingertip windage and elevation...
  • Qta (quick target acquisition) eyepiece for fast,...
  • Fully coated, high-quality optics for bright,...

 


Rifle Scope Buying Guide

Components of a Scope

  • Power – as in the magnification of the glass to show the target to the shooter.
  • Objective lens size – The amount of light (corresponding to the diameter of the lens – the bigger the better the light gathering is) that is let into the view on scope.
  • Tube size and mounting – the size of the actual mounting tubes that allows the scope to be put onto the rifle (we left pistol scopes out of this article).

NOTE: the objective lens and the mounts are important because you have to be able to fit the scope onto the rifle, so you’ll need to know the height of the scope at the mounting location and the tube size to get the right mounts and rings for putting the scope onto the gun.

What is Magnification?

It’s a relatively simple calculation. The magnification number is usually first in the technical name of the scope. For instance, we will take our first scope in the list as an example: Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm Scope with BDC Reticle in this example the magnification of the scope is from 4x to 12x (4 times the size as actual ranging up to 12 times the size as actual, in the scope).

Rifle Scope Magnification

The second part of the technical specification is the 40mm objective lens. This means that the objective lens is 40mm across its face. The larger it is, the more light it can capture, to reflect back onto the image, giving more detail and better attenuation to the eye of the target.

Most scopes are listed for sale in this way. If they aren’t, it’s an easy bit of research to find out the two most important pieces of information.

Please note: not all optics or glass for that matter, are created equally. Premium glass will perform better than cheaper glass.  But that does not mean you cannot get very good comparative value for much less money if the general parameters are close/match. 

What is Field of View?

FOV or field of view is the amount of the target area you can see at different magnifications at different distances. The further away the target is, and the closer you want the details to be in the FOV, the smaller the FOV will be.

The field of view is the reference information that frames the target, in conjunction with the target. From a practical perspective, with higher quality scopes you’ll see more and with greater clarity.

Rifle Scope Field Of View

What is Eye Relief?

Eye relief is the amount of distance it takes to position your eye to see a full view of your scope’s objective lens. This means it is how close your face will need to be to see the complete projection of the target in your lens. The eye relief will have some effect on the mounting and placement of your scope.

What is the Difference Between Focal Planes?

Focal plane is the reference to your reticle size relative to the magnification in the scope.

FIRST FOCAL PLANE: The first focal plane is where the reticle size changes based on the increase or decrease in magnification.

SECOND FOCAL PLANE: The second focal plane allows for the reticle to stay the exact same size in the viewport regardless of the amount of magnification that is applied to the scope.

Knowing this basic information will give you the tools you need to make a more informed decision about which scope will perform best for you and your needs.

If you are unsure about how a specific scope fits into the grand scheme of things, you can view each of our listings “What it’s good for” section. What follows, is a list of our favorite scopes for long range shooting that are also under $500.


Conclusion

When you need to find an optic that can take you out to extreme distances, but you aren’t ready to spend 3 times what you would on a top tier rifle on just the optics, the $100-$500 range is a very nice place to be. Some of our best choices in this price range are actually closer to 100 than they are to 500. That’s an interesting point, because it proves that for basic utility, when the optical clarity at super long distances and the proprietary perks aren’t the main focus, you can get very good value at the lower price points.

Note: these aren’t scopes that can barely handle a .22LR at 100 yards; this list of the contenders for the Best Long Range Rifle Scope Under $500 is a list of capable, versatile scopes that can legitimately provide value in the field going after big game or on the competitive circuit for competition and target shooters.

7 Best Binoculars for [WESTERN HUNTING]

Best Binoculars for Western Hunting: Step Up Your Game

Can’t choose the perfect binocular to go? Well, I can’t blame you. Choosing the perfect binocular is difficult if you are a western hunter. You have to deal with a really long distance with different terrains’ types while hunting.

That’s why you’ll need more horsepower on your optics just like any other gear. A binocular with a great bright and crisp image quality that will help you locate your target even from a great distance. If you ask me then, money shouldn’t be your first concern. A powerful binocular will cost you but in the end, it will be worth it.

My personal favorite is Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 binoculars. But there are other binoculars that can give you that extra boost in your hunting. You don’t want to waste your money on buying a cheap pair with dull images and a lot of eye strains now, do you?

 

Take a loot at Our Picks

 


Key Features to Consider When Buying Binoculars

You can’t just swoop in and buy the first pair you see. You need to dig a little deeper to find the best one that matches your needs. Follow up these key features while you are looking for the perfect one.

 

# Magnification and Objective Size

When it comes to magnification, a bigger number won’t make it a better choice. Dealing with long distances, you’ll need a magnification between 7x to 10x for western hunting. More than this will lower the steadiness. You have to hold the binoculars steadier than usual and this will become a problem after a long hike.

Binoculars Magnification

 

On the other hand, a larger objective size means greater details. You will get a clearer vision within 40mm to 42mm. Although you can try out 50mm lenses. They will do wonders when you are hunting at night. Although they are a bit costly.

Binoculars Objective Lens

 

# Field of View

Wouldn’t it be great if you could cover more grounds while hunting? Choosing a binocular with a larger FOV would be perfect for any western hunting session. A number higher than 325ft. will give a wide area view.

Spotting Scope Field Of View

 

# Exit Pupil

There’s no guarantee where you may go hunting or will it have enough light to see clearly. To cover any environment on the west, you’ll need to choose a pair with a greater Exit Pupil size. A higher number (greater than or equal to 7mm) means more light will get into the lens making it easier to see.

Binocular Exit Pupil

 

# Optical Coatings 

Go for fully multi-coated  ones. They’ll have a clearer view and imaging than multi-coated ones. It will provide you with the perfect imaging for any hunting scenario.

Lens Coating For Neutral Light Density Filtration

 

# PRISM Type

Roof prism binoculars are so much popular now than Porro ones. They are lightweight, slim and perfect for going on long hikes in the west.

# EYE RELIEF

If you wear glasses then this one is extremely crucial for you. Longer eye relief will be more comfortable in the long run. And if you wear glasses, you should definitely go for a pair with at least 15mm or greater eye relief.

 

Reviews of Best Binoculars for Western Hunting: Grab Your Favorite Pair


1. Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8×42 Binoculars Review – TOP PICK

One of the best hunting binoculars in the market


Magnification: 8x

Objective Size (mm): 42

Field of View (ft./1000yds): 330

Eye Relief (mm): 19.5

Extra Features:  ED glass, turn-and-slide rubber eye-cups, Eco-Glass lenses

Used For: bird watching, hunting, hiking

The Nikon 7576 Monarch 5 is a superb binocular which is perfect for any western hunters. It’s one of the best hunting binocular out there in the market. The Monarch 5 comes with a magnification of 8x with an objective diameter of 42mm which is just perfect for any wide terrain types.

Giving you a crisp wide view, this binocular has a FOV of 330ft/1000yds. To give you an experience of a lifetime, Monarch 5 has an exit pupil of 5.25 mm. So, you can use it even in dim light environments. No target can get away from your watch now.

If you wear glasses then this binocular is definitely for you. It comes with a 19.5mm eye relief, so you won’t have any eye strains or headache session after using it. Also, the fully multi-coated optical lens gives a brighter output in any situation.

It’s also waterproof, fog proof, shockproof, lightweight and extremely easy to use. You just name what you need and Monarch 5 will give you all of it. It’s an all-rounder binocular made solely to satisfy your needs to the fullest.

 

Related: You can also try out the CASE for Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8×42 Binocular and Nikon 6121 PROSTAFF Bino Harness for easy carrying. The harness provides better weight distribution making it suitable for a long hike.

 

Pros

  • High magnification power.
  • High-quality imaging.
  • Suitable for eyeglass users.
  • Wider FOV.
  • Waterproof, fog proof and shockproof.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • A bit pricey.
  • Poor close focus.

Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8x42 Binocular (Black)
578 Reviews
Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8x42 Binocular (Black)
  • All MONARCH 5 binoculars are now built with...
  • Almost an ounce lighter than its predecessor, the...
  • Fully Multicoated Eco-Glass Lenses provide a high...


2. Gosky 10×42 Binoculars for Bird Watching and Hunting Review  – BEST SELLER

Compact HD professional binoculars


Magnification: 10x

Objective Size (mm): 42

Field of View (ft./1000yds): 307

Eye Relief (mm): adjustable

Extra Features:  waterproof, dust-proof, shockproof, green film optical lens, smart phone adapted

Used For: climbing, hiking, hunting, watching wildlife

Gosky 10×42 Compact HD professional binoculars are one of the best binoculars you can get for hunting in West. A powerful pair with 10x magnification and a 42mm objective diameter will help you locate your target even from a great distance.

Field of View is 307ft/1000yds which is pretty great as higher magnification tends to make the FOV narrower. But still, you’ll be able to cover a vast area with this FOV.

For a brighter image, Gosky comes with an Exit pupil of 5mm being fully multi-coated. So, you can use them in any environment. Although they are more suited for daytime hunting. The compact roof prism design makes it really lightweight and easy to carry around in longer hikes.

The best part is that it’s smartphone adapted, so you can take a shot with your smartphone in any situation! Isn’t that just great? The twist-up eye cups provide an adjustable eye relief, which suits perfectly with any eyeglass users.

Pros

  • High magnification.
  • High-quality imaging.
  • Suitable for eyeglass users.
  • Waterproof and lightweight.
  • Cheap price.

Cons

  • Narrow FOV.

Gosky 10x42 Roof Prism Binoculars for Adults, HD...
280 Reviews
Gosky 10x42 Roof Prism Binoculars for Adults, HD...
  • COMPACT ROOF PRISM 10X42 BINOCULAR -- 10X power...
  • QUALITY OPTICS -- 42mm Fully multi-layer coatings...
  • Durable Framework and Rubber Armor - Its tight...


3. Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter Review

Really high magnification power


Magnification: 15x

Objective Size (mm): 70

Field of View (ft./1000yds): 230

Eye Relief (mm): 18

Extra Features:  ultra-firm grip, waterproof, tripod adaptable

Used For: bird watching, hunting, astronomy

Skymaster is not one of those average binoculars you know. They will not only give a crisp view of the west terrains but they would also provide a high-quality night view. With a 15x magnification and a 70mm objective lens, you will get the maximum brightness in any dark environment. Spotting your prey from a long distance would just be a piece of cake for you.

Skymaster seems to have a narrower field of view of just 230ft/1000yds for its higher magnification score. Having a clear view with multi-coated lenses and a protective rubber to give a better grip, this model is surely full packed with features.

Eyeglass wearers would have a blast with this one as Skymaster has an eye relief of 18mm, which is really great! Moreover, it comes with a Tripod Adaptor, making it the perfect balance of vision and steadiness.

 

Related: You can also try out Celestron 93524 Binocular Tripod Adapter. This adapter is made only for providing convenience and stability.

 

Pros

  • High-quality imaging.
  • Really high magnification power.
  • Longer eye relief.
  • Best for the low light environment.

Cons

  • Narrow FOV.
  • Porro prism makes it a bit heavy.

Sale
Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with...
3,000 Reviews
Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with...
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Large aperture perfect for low light conditions...
  • Tripod adapter. 13 mm (0.51 inch) long eye relief...


4. AUCEE 10×42 Binoculars for Adults Review

Best suited for a longer hike


Magnification: 10x

Objective Size (mm): 42

Field of View (ft./1000yds): 367

Eye Relief (mm): adjustable

Extra Features:  waterproof, fogproof, anti-slip grip, ED glass

Used For: climbing, hiking, hunting, watching wildlife

If you want a greater magnification power with a wider FOV then AUCEE is definitely for you. With a 10x magnification and 42mm objective lens this binocular comes with a FOV of 367ft/1000yds. A really powerful pair with a wide range of view.

This roof prism binoculars are really lightweight and best suited for a longer hike. The fully multi-coated lenses provide higher contrast and sharpness with minimal aberrations giving you an outstanding image resolution.

Want to capture every moment perfectly? AUCEE will definitely help you with that. Go to any distance or any poor lighting environment, you will always get the best output every time.

Twisted eye cups adds a perfection to this pair. With this, you get adjustable eye relief so even eyeglass wearers can use it on a hunt.

Pros

  • High magnification power.
  • High-quality imaging.
  • Suitable for eyeglass users.
  • A wider FOV.
  • Waterproof and fog proof.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Poor quality fog proofing.

AUCEE 10x42 Binoculars for Adults, Professional HD...
47 Reviews
AUCEE 10x42 Binoculars for Adults, Professional HD...
  • 42MM Roof Prism With 10X Magnification: Compact...
  • FMC Fully multi-coated optics: garentee the key...
  • Waterproof & Fogproof &Durable: Our product has...


5. Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars Review

Impressive color fidelity


Magnification: 8x, 10x

Objective Size (mm): 42, 50

Field of View (ft./1000yds): 278, 319, 347

Eye Relief (mm): 16.5, 19, 20

Extra Features:  HD glass, XR lens coating, tripod adaptable, waterproof, fogproof

Used For: hiking, hunting, watching wildlife

These binoculars come in a wide range of magnification ranging from 8x to 10x and a wide range of objective size from 42mm to 50mm. Vortex Viper HD Roof Prism binoculars are another great pairs of binoculars for your western hunting environment.

Viper HD series has a wide range of FOV starting from 347ft/1000yds to 278ft/1000yds. Although the FOV slightly decreases with the magnification power but still it will cover a vast area for you.

The Viper HD binoculars have a great image quality with fully multi-layer coating giving you a great view even in low light situations. The ED glass provides a higher resolution imaging, with impressive color fidelity. A hard exterior gives it a robust look that is waterproof and fog proof.

Valued pairs with an eye relief from 19.5mm to 16mm makes it a perfect choice for eyeglass users.

Pros

  • High magnification power.
  • High-quality imaging.
  • Suitable for eyeglass users.
  • A wider FOV.
  • Waterproof and fog proof.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Poor quality fog proofing.

Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars
3 Reviews
Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars
  • The Viper HD binoculars have an advanced, high...
  • Dielectric, multi-layer prism coatings provide...
  • A compact, rubber-armored chasis and armortek...


6. Vortex Optics Crossfire Roof Prism Binoculars Review

Durable quality binoculars


Magnification: 8x, 10x

Objective Size (mm): 42, 50

Field of View (ft./1000yds): 325, 393

Eye Relief (mm): 15, 17

Extra Features:  tripod Adaptable, waterproof, fogproof

Used For: hiking, hunting, watching wildlife

If you need durable quality binoculars then Vortex Crossfire Roof Prism binoculars are here to save the day. The Crossfire series is to die for, giving you excellent quality at a reasonable pricing.

With a magnification ranging from 8x to 10x and a wide range of objective size from 42mm to 50mm, these binoculars have an “incredible aesthetic look”.

All the series are lightweight, that includes Rainguard technology making it waterproof and fog proof.

The lenses are fully multi-coated and they have a wide range of FOV starting from 393ft/1000yds to 325ft/1000yds. So, if you want a pair with both high-class magnification and FOV then these can be your premium choice.

Want to know more?

All the series are suited for eyeglass users, with an eye relief of 15mm-17mm. Not only that larger exit pupil will give you high-quality imaging, but also will make everything even brighter.

 

Pros

  • High magnification power.
  • High-quality imaging.
  • Suitable for eyeglass users.
  • A wider FOV.
  • Waterproof and fog proof.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Not best suited for night time hunting.
  • Fog proof seems to have poor quality.

Vortex Optics Crossfire Roof Prism Binoculars
1 Reviews
Vortex Optics Crossfire Roof Prism Binoculars
  • This Crossfire is a quality, performance driven...
  • A wide field of view and enhanced depth of field...
  • Twist-up eyecups, a smooth center focus wheel, and...


7. Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars Review

High performance and superior quality


Magnification: 8x, 10x, 12x

Objective Size (mm): 42, 50

Field of View (ft./1000yds): 241, 345, 420

Eye Relief (mm): 16, 18

Extra Features:  phase correction, tripod Adaptable, waterproof, fogproof

Used For: climbing, hiking, hunting, watching wildlife

Diamondback comes with a wide series of high performance and superior quality at a really affordable price. Smooth focusing lenses have a magnification ranging from 8x to 12x along with objective sizes at 42mm and 50mm, a perfect pair for the west.

Diamondback takes the lead in providing quality output in the low light environment. With the widest FOV ranging from 241ft/1000yds to 420ft/1000yds, these binocular will surely give you a wide view of a lifetime.

Suitable for any glass eye users these are also waterproof, fog proof and durable. This can be one of your prized possessions if you ask me.

Pros

  • Good magnification power.
  • High-quality imaging.
  • Suitable for eyeglass users.
  • A wider FOV.
  • Waterproof and fog proof.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Lower FOV at 12x magnification power.
  • Blurry edges, poor sharpness.

Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars
4 Reviews
Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars
  • These Diamondback binoculars are the workhorse of...
  • Dielectric, fully multi-coated lenses transmit...
  • A sleek, short hinge design with rubber armor and...


To Sum It Up,

Western hunters deal with a lot of difficult environments. If you are one of them you must know the struggle of choosing the perfect binoculars that suit your style. That’s why I’ve put together this list to help you choose the perfect one to accompany you on your hunt.

Although all of them are really good, I would strongly recommend you try out Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8×42 Binocular. These binoculars have everything you need for a difficult environment like the west. So, why don’t you try it out and see for yourself?

Check Out Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8×42 Binocular Now!

 

 

5 Best Spotting Scopes For [DIGISCOPING]

The Best Spotting Scopes For Digiscoping: Complete Guide

Remember that falcon you saw diving from the sky at 60 miles per hour during your last vacation? You tried to snag a picture with your camera, but it was too far away to get a good picture. There has to be away to bring home quality pictures of amazing sights without having to drag around a professional array of photography equipment.

Good news! Thanks to digiscoping technology, you can record the breathtaking vistas and exotic animals you encounter during your many adventures.

Digiscoping is using a spotting scope, typically used in shooting or wildlife observation, and using a specialized attachment that allows a camera to mount to the eyepiece. The advantage of using a spotting scope to capture photos and videos is a light and quick method to get in close to capture amazing photos.

Spotting scopes use a combination of magnification, coated lenses, light and durable materials, and tripod mounting to increase the capabilities of both your digital camera, and your smart phone. This guide reviews the best spotting scopes that can be used for digiscoping. Scopes like the Gosky 20-60X 80 porro prism spotting scope are a great choice to capture your memories.

Our Top Five Spotting Scopes For Digiscoping

Sale Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope-...
landove 20-60X 80 Prism Spotting Scope- Waterproof...
SVBONY Spotting Scope Telescope 25-75x70mm Bird...
Sale Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope
Sale Gosky 15-45X60 Spotting Scope - Waterproof Scope...

What You Need to Consider When Buying Spotting Scope For Digiscoping?

#1 Magnification

The magnification power of a spotting scope refers to how much closer an animal looks than it actually is. Magnification is generally expressed in a range, and can be either fixer or variable. We have selected scopes that have variable magnification, because it makes them more versatile.

In general, spotting scopes should have a magnification range between 15 and 20 times, and are represented by the marker “number-numberX.” For example, the Gosky has a magnification range of 20-60x, which means it will make the cougar like 20 to 60 times closer than it actually is.

#2 Close Focus Distance

Along with magnification, a good scope should allow to capture pictures of animals that aren’t miles away. Often when spotting smaller animals, like birds or rabbits, you can be a little closer. The close focus distance will allow you to get a beautiful view of closer animals without having a blurry image. Close focus distance for a scope is good if it can give you clarity at less than 20 feet.

Close Focus Disctance On Spotting Scope

#3 Lens Coating

What makes spotting scopes great for photography and digiscoping are the specially coated lenses. The coatings in the lenses allow the scope to transfer more light from what you are looking at to your mounted camera, while simultaneously reducing glare. The result is brighter and more colorful images.

For the best result, you want to look for scopes that have fully multi-coated lenses. The fully multi-coated lenses mean that each lens in the scope has multiple coatings that give consistent performance in both the objective (forward facing) lens, and the eyepiece lens.

Lens Coating For Neutral Light Density Filtration

#4 Objective Lens Size

The front lens on your scope is called the objective lens, and it is one of the most important parts of your scope for digiscoping. A larger objective lens allows the scope to intake more light, and more light equals brighter, naturally colored pictures.

While you sacrifice extra weight with a bigger objective, you want to stick to a lens that is at least 60mm. Any smaller, and you lose too much light through the scope. The little extra weight is a worthwhile sacrifice to ensure you get ample light for your pictures.

Spotting Scope Objective Lens

#5 Tripod Mounting

One of the most important features of a spotting scope it the ability for the scope to rest on a tripod. Novice and experienced photographers alike know how difficult it can be to get a blur-free picture when using magnification.

To be counted among the best for digiscoping, a scope needs to be capable of mounting to a tri-pod to provide perfect stabilization to catch the perfect shots.

Nikon Digiscoping Spotting Scope On Tripod

 

Reviews of Best Spotting Scopes for Digiscoping


1. Gosky 20-60X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope Review – TOP PICK

Waterproof scope for bird watching and target shooting


Gosky 20-60X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope
Gosky 20-60X 80 Porro Prism – image credit gosky-optics.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

+ Magnification: 20-60x

+ Lens coating: fully multi-coated

+ Objective lens: 80mm

+ Close focus: 19 feet (6m)

Topping the list of best spotting scopes for digiscoping is the Gosky Porro Prism scope. This scope is one of the best all-around scopes in its class thanks to the combination of features that work in harmony to create an easy to use and consistent piece of hardware.

The Gosky is designed specifically with animal watching in mind, and comes with an included digiscoping adapter that allows you to mount your smartphone quickly. The fully multi-coated lenses ward away glare from bright sunlight, while the 80mm objective lens lets enough light in to bring vivid colors to the photos you take with this scope.

The magnification range of the Gosky is a variable 20 to 60 times, and has a smooth zoom to allow you to get a closer view of your subject without losing them in the lens. Drop this scope onto a tripod to give yourself the best opportunity to catch one-of-a-kind photos.

Related tip — I suggest the Gosky Heavy Duty TripodYou can also pick up a standard tripod like the AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod will provide an easy to carry, yet effective solution to the tripod weakness.

Pros:

  • 19 foot (6m) close focus range.
  • Lightweight only 2.7 pounds.
  • Waterproof and rainproof.
  • 365 free exchange warranty.

Cons:

  • You will definitely need a better tripod.

 

 

Sale
Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope-...
303 Reviews
Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope-...
  • Fully multi-coated 80mm green film objective lens,...
  • Variable 20x to 60x magnification and dynamic lens...
  • Durable Magnalium Framework and Rubber Armor - Its...

 


2. Landove 20-60X 80 Prism Spotting Scope Review

Waterproof scope for bird watching and target Shooting


landove 20-60x 80 prism spotting scope
Landove 20-60x 80 Prism Spotting Scope – image credit mokeyinternational.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

+ Magnification: 20-60x

+ Lens coating: fully multi-coated

+ Objective lens: 80mm

+ Close focus: 19 feet (6m)

The Landove spotting scope is a great go-to option if you are looking at getting into digiscoping thanks to the large 80mm objective lens and full multi-coating. The result is crisp and bright images you can easily capture with the included digiscoping smartphone adapter.

Capture close up shots down to 19 feet (6m), and have the ability to go long range with the 20 to 60 times magnification capability.

The body of the Landove scope is built to travel, and perform in all weather conditions. A nitrogen filled solid metal frame is sealed against the elements, and coated in a durable rubber armor to keep this scope safe and ready on perfect sunny days, or even in a downpour.

Related tip — to give the Landove a little more versatility, try picking up the Landove spotting scope camera adapter that will allow you to bring a more powerful camera to the digiscoping game.

Pros:

  • Easy to use smartphone adapter.
  • Strong and durable build.
  • Crisp and bright view.
  • Easy to maintain subject while zooming.

Cons:

  • Only comes with a table top tripod that is flimsy.

 

 

landove 20-60X 80 Prism Spotting Scope- Waterproof...
56 Reviews
landove 20-60X 80 Prism Spotting Scope- Waterproof...
  • Fully coated optics; Fully multi-coated 80mm green...
  • Dynamic lens focusing system makes it easy to zoom...
  • 100-percent waterproof and fogproof; tabletop...

 


3. SVBONY 25-75×70 Bak4 Prism Spotting Scope  Review

Entry level spotting scope


SVBONY Spotting Scope
SVBONY 25-75×70 Bak4 Prism Spotting Scope – image credit svbony.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

+ Magnification: 25-75X

+ Lens coating: fully multi-coated

+ Objective lens: 70mm

+ Close focus: 16 feet (5m)

The SVBONY spotting scope is a great entry level spotting scope for someone new to the hobby that wants to start out with a budget option. You won’t get the same performance as some of the other scopes on the list, but you still will get a solid spotting scope to introduce yourself to digiscoping.

SVBONY has a 75mm fully multi-coated lens that does a good job of allowing light into the scope, while reducing glare and maintaining color. With a 26 foot (8m) close focus, you can’t get the clos in shots with this scope, but it has a wide variable magnification of 25-75X, letting you get even closer to that bear out in the meadow.

Strap on the included smartphone adapter, and you have yourself a memory capturing set-up that is sure to impress your friends and family.

Related tip — Consider upgrading the tripod with the AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod.

Pros:

  • Very light weight.
  • Comfortable to hold, and durable construction.
  • Easy to use smartphone adapter.
  • Sunshade to protect from sun and rain.

Cons:

  • Higher magnification isn’t as crisp.
  • Needs a better tripod.

 

SVBONY Spotting Scope Telescope 25-75x70mm Bird...
47 Reviews
SVBONY Spotting Scope Telescope 25-75x70mm Bird...
  • zoom scope 25-75x variable zoom magnification;the...
  • 70mm large objective lens bird scope for shooting...
  • High index Bak4 prisms;multiple layers of...

 


4. Celestron Ultima 52250 Spotting Scope Review

High powered scope


Celestron Ultima 52250 Spotting Scope
Celestron Ultima 52250 Spotting Scope – image credit celestron.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

+ Magnification: 20-60x

+ Lens coating: multi-coated

+ Objective lens: 80mm

+ Close focus: 27 feet (8m)

A 45-degree eyepiece greets you as you step up to the Celestron Ultima. This popular eyepiece angle is a great comfort if you have the scope mounted, because you don’t have to bend or crouch to look into the eyepiece. When digiscoping, the Ultima’s eyepiece makes it easy to see the screen of your camera from a standing position.

An 80mm objective lens is multi-coated to reduce glare, and is large enough to allow ample light flow through the body of the scope. You can quickly dial in on your subject from as close as 27 feet (8m), or as far as your eyes can see. A magnification of 20-60X makes all of the far away beauty feel like it is within arm’s reach.

Related tip — this scope doesn’t come with a digiscoping kit, but you can add the Gosky Universal Cell Phone Mount to turn this high powered scope into a strong and functional scope for taking pictures.

Pros:

  • Bright light transmission.
  • Easy to maintain target while zooming.
  • Brilliant color at 20x magnification.
  • Strong, waterproof casing.

Cons:

  • Lens can add blue color to fringe at high magnification.
  • Doesn’t come with a tripod.

 

Sale
Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope
681 Reviews
Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope
  • 80 mm Refractor Spotting Scope. Multi-Coated...
  • 45° viewing angle. 20-60x zoom eyepiece
  • Waterproof & Soft carrying case. Limited Lifetime...

 


5. Moutec 15-45X60 Spotting Scope Review

Single streamlined scope


Sale
Gosky 15-45X60 Spotting Scope - Waterproof Scope...
7 Reviews
Gosky 15-45X60 Spotting Scope - Waterproof Scope...
  • This compact and powerful spotting scope is fully...
  • Variable 15x to 45x magnification and dynamic lens...
  • Ergonomical Design:Its durable magnalium framework...

+ Magnification: 15-45X

+ Lens coating: fully multi-coated

+ Objective lens: 60mm

+ Close focus: 27 feet (8m)

Wrapping up the list is the Moutec spotting scope. This scope is a little different than the other on the list due to its direct eyepiece that makes this scope a single streamlined scope (similar to what you would see on a rifle, but much larger).

The straight on design makes the scope a little easier to aim, since it is aligned with the direction your eye is facing, but it can also be tougher to use with a shorter tripod, since you have to bend and crouch to get a good view through the eyepiece.

Thankfully, this scope is still good for digiscoping that takes some of the bend out of looking through the 60mm objective lens. The lenses are also fully-multi-coated, so you still get the benefit of reduced glare and enhanced color. Getting up close is easy with the 16 foot (5m) close focus distance and the variable 15 to 45 times magnification.

Pros:

  • Durable build.
  • Easy to use smartphone digiscoping adapter.
  • Great for observing wildlife

Cons:

  • Smaller objective lens.
  • Blurry at high magnification.

Digiscoping Adapters

If you already have a quality scope, and are looking into digiscoping you are in luck. While most of the scopes on the list come with an adapter, there are plenty of other options to adapt your current scope. Options such as the Gosky Universal Cell Phone Adapter Mount, will allow you to turn almost any magnification scope into a digiscoping platform for your smart phone. Using one of the cell phone adapters lets you instantly record, and share, all of the amazing sights you encounter while out exploring the wilderness.

For those of you who would prefer to use a camera that is better suited for photography than a cell phone, you can also get your hands on adapters that will allow you to mount digital cameras, DSLR cameras,

Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm...
1,201 Reviews
Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm...
  • This Photo4Less Top Value Camera And Lens With USA...
  • Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR camera body -18-55mm EF-S...
  • Transcend 32GB SDHC Class 10 Flash Memory Card -...

and even the classic film cameras. The Solomark Universal Deluxe Clickstop Slr/dslr Camera Adapter and the Gosky Classical Digiscoping Camera Adapter give you the option to connect just about any type of camera you want to your spotting scope.

These adapters will even allow you to hook in a video camera to capture high definition video of the pod of dolphins leaping through the water on your next cruise.

I recommend going for this style, because the digital camera adapters will also work with your smartphone, making this a one and done option for digiscoping.


Digiscoping awaits you

If you want to take your photography to the next level, then digiscoping is the hobby for you. Getting in close to rare and exotic animals, or capturing the beautiful plumage of the bird in your backyard are within easy reach when you strap your favorite camera to a quality spotting scope.

— More Readings: Best Spotting Scopes for 1000-Yards

Giving close attention to the Gosky porro prism scope will set you on the right path to your new digiscoping lifestyle. My final recommendation would be to upgrade your tripod. Spotting scopes come with table top tripods, but for digiscoping, I would advice to get a collapsible tripod that can reach up to above 50 inches to give you more portability without having to crouch to get your favorite shot.

#3 Best [SPINNING REELS] Reviews

Best Spinning Reels Under $50, $150 & $250 Reviews

It doesn’t matter if you fish lakes and rivers for bass and catfish or inlets and estuaries for speckled trout and redfish, a well-made spinning reel is what you need to get the job done. So whether you’re searching for the latest and greatest or simply need a high-quality but affordable first reel, this article will fill you in on the three best spinning reels currently available.

Take a loot at Our Picks

 


Who Should Choose a Spinning Reel?

But before we get into the reels, let’s address a common question… who should choose a spinning reel?

The short answer:

Anyone who’s serious about fishing and wants a reel capable of handling a wide variety of fishing scenarios and species.

Why?

First, spinning reels are hands-down the most versatile fishing reels ever made. They come in a huge range of sizes from small, ultra-light models made for finesse techniques to giant-spooled behemoths with extra-heavy drags capable of hauling in a tuna.

Secondly, spinning reels are the easiest-to-use style of reels available — that’s why they’re widely recommended as the best fishing reels for beginners. Simply pinch the line to the rod, flip the bail, and cast away. Make sure the drag is properly adjusted and you’re all set — no complicated braking systems to fuss with and minimal risk of the infuriating tangles that are so common when using baitcasters.

Finally, high-quality spinning reels are incredibly durable. The models we’ve chosen made the list because they’re stout enough to take a beating and can stand up to the stress of hard fishing. And the good news is, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great reel that will last for many seasons to come!

Now the question is:

Which spinning reel should you choose? After all, there are hundreds of spinning reels on the market across a wide range of prices. How can you tell what’s good and what’s junk?


Review Criteria: What Makes a Good Spinning Reel?

Here are the five most important things to consider when shopping for a spinning reel:

#Rigidity

Affected by gearing, rotor, and body material. In simple terms, the more rigid the reel, the more hook setting and fish fighting power it has.

# Corrosion resistance

Reels with sealed bodies and non-corrosive materials like graphite can withstand rust from water and corrosion from saltwater.

# Bearing count

Typically, the more bearings a reel has, the smoother it casts and cranks.

# Drag material and strength

The drag material used affects the smoothness and fish-stopping power of a reel.

# Reel size and line capacity

Most reels come in several different sizes which hold different amounts of line. Generally, the bigger the fish, the more line needed.

Fishing Spinning Reel

These parameters affect everything from a reel’s casting and fish-fighting ability to its long-term durability and overall performance. The three reels we’ve chosen surpass the competition in all these areas, making them the best reels for each budget level.

Now, without further ado, let’s dig into the nitty gritty of our reel selections…


1. Best Spinning Reel Under 50$

Okuma Ceymar


Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel
Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel – image credit okumafishing.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

Highlights

  • Multi-disc oiled felt drag system.
  • 7 stainless steel ball bearings, 1 Quick-set anti-reverse roller bearing.
  • Precision-cut brass pinion gear.
  • Corrosion resistant graphite body.
  • Precision Elliptical Gearing system.
  • Machined anodized aluminum spool.
  • Cyclonic Flow Rotor.
  • EVA foam handle grips.
  • 5 sizes available.

When you compare this reel’s spec sheet with its price, it almost doesn’t make sense… How can such a smooth, powerful, and all-around high-quality reel cost so little?

But even if you aren’t shopping for a budget-friendly reel, you shouldn’t pass up the Okuma Ceymar. With a lightweight and corrosion resistant body, machined anodized aluminum spool, and Okuma’s Cyclonic Flow Rotor design, the Ceymar is an amazing reel for first-time anglers and perfect for anyone searching for an inexpensive but high-performing backup reel.

The Ceymar has plenty of fish-stopping power thanks to a straightforward-but-effective Multi-disc oiled felt washer system. Seven stainless steel ball bearings give it silky smooth action on the retrieve and its EVA foam handle is easy to grip even in wet conditions. And although it isn’t completely sealed, all of the Ceymar’s components are corrosion resistant making it ideal for both freshwater and saltwater use — just be sure to give it a good rinse with fresh water after each use.

Overall, the Okuma Ceymar is lightyears beyond all other reels in the under-$50 price range. Check it out!

Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel Size 10 - 5Lb Max Drag...
249 Reviews
Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel Size 10 - 5Lb Max Drag...
  • Multi-disc, oiled felt drag system, Max Drag...
  • Quick-set anti-reverse roller bearing
  • Precision machine cut brass pinion gear

 


2. Best Spinning Reel Under 150$

Abu Garcia Revo SX


Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel
Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel – image credit abugarcia.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

Highlights

  • 8 stainless steel HPCR (High-Performance Corrosion Resistant) bearings, 1 anti-reverse roller bearing.
  • Computer optimized precision machined gears.
  • Carbon Matrix hybrid drag system.
  • IM-C6 (insert molded C6) carbon fiber body.
  • Lightweight graphite rotor.
  • Rocket line management and spool lip design.
  • Braid-ready machined aluminum spool.
  • Stainless steel main shaft.
  • 4 four sizes available.

If you have some extra money to spend on a reel but still want something reasonably affordable, there’s no reel finer than the Abu Garcia Revo SX.

Although Abu Garcia is most well-known for their baitcasting reels, they’ve clearly stamped out their place in the world of spinning reels with the Revo SX. And like their baitcasters that are hugely popular with hardcore bass anglers, the Revo SX is a phenomenal reel for targeting largemouths thanks to an extremely lightweight design that’s ideal for long days of repetitive casting.

The Revo SX’s feather-like feel in the hand is largely due to Abu Garcia’s signature IM-C6 carbon fiber body and graphite rotor. The reel is also very rigid and responsive thanks to its X-Craftic gearbox that keeps the precision machined gears in perfect alignment. Further, its machined aluminum spool features Abu Garcia’s Rocket Lip design that allows the line to peel off the spool without resistance for longer, more accurate casts.

Think of the Abu Garcia Revo SX as the fast, nimble sports car of spinning reels. And if you’re a bass fanatic who’s hooked on baitcasters, the Revo SX is a great reel to expand your arsenal.

Sale
Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel
55 Reviews

 


3. Best Spinning Reel Under 250$

Shimano Stradic CI4


Shimano Stradic CI4 Spinning Reel
Shimano Stradic CI4 Spinning Reel – image credit shimano.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

Highlights

  • 6 shielded stainless steel ball bearings, 1 anti-reverse roller bearing.
  • Magnumlite rotor.
  • CI4+ (Carbon Interfusion) body.
  • Hagane cold-forged gears with X-ship pinion bearings.
  • Coreprotect water-resistant sealing.
  • Aero Wrap II two-speed line oscillation system.
  • Super Stopper II anti-reverse bearing.

If you’re looking for a bomb-proof spinning reel that will crossover from freshwater to saltwater, look no further than the Shimano Stradic CI4. Although it isn’t Shimano’s most expensive reel, it features many of the company’s most advanced technologies making it completely corrosion resistant, extremely rigid and powerful, and lighter than practically any reel in its class.

The secret to the Stradic CI4’s lightweight design is found within its name — “CI” stands for Carbon Interfusion, and “4” represents the number of electrons in the carbon atom. According to Shimano, the Stradic CI4 weighs 25% less than similar sized reels thanks to its carbon fiber body and rotor. It features a Hagane cold-forged gear with Shimano’s X-Ship system which adds bearings to both ends of the gear drive to maintain perfect alignment even under heavy loads.

Greatly increasing the lifespan of the reel, the Stradic CI4 is fully sealed with Shimano’s Coreprotect system. The parts of the reel most susceptible to water penetration and corrosion including the roller clutch, body, and line roller, are sealed without inhibiting the smooth action of the reel. So while you will spend more money on the reel up front, the Stradic CI4 will likely outlive any reel that isn’t sealed — now that’s a wise investment.

Sale
Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB Spinning Fishing...
93 Reviews
Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB Spinning Fishing...
  • Gear Ratio: 6.0:1, Weight: 5.60 ounce
  • Mono line capacity lbs/yd: 2/270, 4/140, 6/110
  • PowerPro Line capacity lb/yds: 10/95, 15/85, 20/65

 — Related video —


Choosing the Best Spinning Reel For You

As with most things fishing-related, reel selection depends on many different factors including the type of water you fish, the species you target, and the techniques you use. Simply put, a reel that does it all doesn’t exist.

But if you’re looking for the most versatile reel possible, one that you can fish for bass one day and flounder the next, consider choosing one of the three spinning reels we recommended today. Be sure to choose the right size for your endeavors and pair it with a suitable rod. Then, it’s time to go fishing!