Clarity, durability, and magnification are all features you should pay close attention to when shopping for a rifle scope. The eye-relief distance is also important so that you have some freedom with your sight. You’ll need more eye relief if your AR-15 has high recoil.
Finding a good scope for under $100 is not an easy task even after you familiarize yourself with the important features. Some are well-rounded scopes while others are only good for certain locations and weather conditions. If you like to diversify your activities often, then try to get as much balance as possible from your scope.
Bushnell is the only leading company we found that makes high-quality scopes in this price range. Our comparison looks at three of their best scopes under $100 by analyzing their key features and versatility in the field. Since their price tags are very similar, the design and performance will make all the difference.
Banner 3-9x 40 Multi-X, 3″ Eye Relief
The Bushnell Banner series of rifle scopes uses multi-coated lenses for increased clarity at dusk and dawn. Whether you’re shooting practice targets or hunting game, early in the morning and at dawn, these multi-coated lenses offer impeccable clarity.
The 3-9x magnification seems more than enough for a scope in this price range. With just a bit of skill and a good AR-15, you should have no problem hitting your target. The scope helps your accuracy a lot beyond 100 yards.
Although eye relief is not the most sought after feature, it is important that your scope has a decent eye relief distance. The Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 3-9x40mm scope has a 3 inch eye relief. This offers decent ease of sighting and protection from recoil.
The Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm is only 12 inches long and weighs roughly 13 ounces. It’s not heavy enough to slow your movements down and it’s remarkably durable for its size. This rifle scope is fully waterproof and shockproof which make it useful under a variety of weather conditions.
Because having a clear line of sight is important, the Banner Dusk & Dawn series also offers fogproof lenses. The same multi-coated lenses treated for ambient lighting are designed to improve clarity when zooming in on a foggy day.
Banner 3-9x 40 Multi-X, 3.3″ Eye Relief
A very similar design to the above is the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 3-9x40mm rifle scope with 3.3 inch eye relief. You have the ability to stay a bit further back from the ocular lens without compromising your angle of sight. Although 1/3 of an inch may not seem like much it is noticeable when zooming in on long-range targets.
The same patented multi-coating technology is used to provide you with increased clarity at dusk and dawn. You also have fog protection as with all models in the series. At the magnification range of 3 to 9x, the 40mm objective lens is all you need. Shopping for a scope with 50mm objective lens will make more sense if you require higher magnification.
Both of these scopes from the Banner Dusk & Dawn series also come with ¼ MOA for elevation and windage adjustments. This increases your accuracy on non-level grounds and windy days. If you enjoy hunting, you’ll have a higher chance of not going home empty-handed.
The price point of this 9x40mm with 3.3” eye relief rifle scope is interesting, to say the least. It is the lowest one on our list and yet it matches all the features of the 9x40mm with 3” eye relief. A slight increase in recoil protection and the same lens treatment make a good selling point.
The Bushnell Trophy3-9x-40mm comes with some interesting changes compared to the Bushnell Banner. The Trophy’s Dead on Accurate (DOA) 600 reticle is what increases your accuracy and field of view dramatically. This scope is designed to make you a successful long-range hunter.
At just 12 inches in length, 13.8 ounces in weight, and equipped with an integrated saddle, the Trophy 3-9x40mm is one of the most popular and cost-effective scopes from Bushnell. You get a 39 feet field of view at 100 yards which is great if you’re an amateur looking to hit the target dead-center. You also have an adjustment range of 60 inches at 100 yards.
The 4 inch eye relief offers more freedom than the previously mentioned Bushnell scopes. At the same time, you get the same quality and durability. 4” offers more recoil protection against the semi-automatic firing mode of the AR-15 rifles than the Banner Dusk & Dawn scopes could provide.
The Trophy 3-9x40mm is waterproof, shockproof and fogproof for use at all seasons. The Butler Creek flip-up caps are perfect for protecting this scope against unwanted moisture and the possibility of getting the lenses blurred. The abovementioned waterproofing is achieved with a dry nitrogen fill process. All these features really come together to form one of the best rifle scopes Bushnell has ever made in this price range.
Bushnell is hands down the leading manufacturer of affordable and efficient rifle scopes. The 3-9X40mm rifle scope with 3” eye relief is one of the easiest to use on AR-15 rifles. The scope performs well in both hunting and tactical scenarios.
The 3-9x40mm 3.3” eye relief model from the BDD series is the most affordable scope on our list. It has some extra protection from recoil without sacrificing visual clarity. You can’t find this combination of eye relief, durability, and lens treatment against ambient light at a lower price.
The Bushnell Trophy 3-9x40mm scope is the best design for AR-15 rifles we’ve seen in this price range. The 4” eye relief works great with the semi-automatic firing mode of the AR-15 as it provides more recoil protection. The scope has a better accuracy at 100 yards than the BDD series and allows for more adjustments.