Regarding competitive shooting and small-game hunting, air rifles are some of the most popular choices available.
They’re fast, light, and inexpensive, so anyone can easily learn how to handle an air rifle.
However, for people that want to maintain accuracy in multiple situations, the original sights of an air rifle scope may seem insufficient.
If you want to ensure your shots find their targets, you should consider getting the BEST air rifle scope as much as possible.
With so many models and brands on the market, it’s not simple to find the best air rifle scope UNDER 100.
To help you out, allow me to recommend some of my favorites that have helped me over time and are sure to help you as well!
- Top 5 Best Air Rifle Scope Under $100 – Full Reviews
- Air Rifle Scope vs. Regular Rifle Scope
- How to Find the Best Scope for Your Air Rifle
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Top 5 Best Air Rifle Scope Under $100 – Full Reviews
Getting a new scope or budget scope can be daunting. If you feel confused and need some suggestions, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ll introduce you to some of the best air rifle scopes on the market.
In addition to that, if you’re new to air-driven firearms, I’ve also written a quick shopping guide and some tips and tricks.
1. UTG Compact CQB BugBuster
- Magnification: 3 – 9x
- Diameter: 32 Millimeters
- Weight: 13.9 Ounces
For people that want reliability and accuracy, the UTG Compact CQB BugBuster is an excellent choice.
Expect clear and fog-free images thanks to the nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed adjustable objective lens.
As a result, the UTG scope can perform exceptionally in a wide variety of environments and weathers.
This scope comes with a robust lock system too, which allows me to conveniently lock down my settings at any time.
Once the lock’s engaged, the scope will hold its setting even when you drop it on the ground or hit it by accident.
In terms of operation, I like the UTG Compact CQB BugBuster because it’s got ergonomic and rugged turrets that help me make precise adjustments.
With its mil-dot reticle and the parallax-free view from 3 yards to infinity, you’ll easily hit your targets.
For the reticle, the UTG scope offers you 2 choices of reticle illumination: Red and Green.
Just turn the side wheel with your finger to change the scope illumination setting.
On the downside, I wish it had more eye relief. 3 inches is not the worst, but I would’ve liked a little more.
2. Barska Reverse Recoil Airgun Scope
- Magnification: 3 – 12x
- Diameter: 40 Millimeters
- Weight: 18.1 Ounces
This air rifle scope is designed to be compatible with spring-operated air guns. The Barska Reverse Recoil Airgun Scope is capable of enduring extraordinary recoil.
Say goodbye to scope eye for good!
I think this sight stands out in its “Reverse Recoil” system. It’ll ensure your air rifle scope remains intact after YEARS of heavy use.
I’ve used it a lot over the years, and it still performs as if I got it yesterday!
Featuring a fully multi-coated 40-millimeter objective lens and a flexible power magnification, expect nothing short of the HIGHEST level of accuracy.
Long-range shooters will have a field day thanks to its 12x maximum magnification.
In addition to that, the scope’s mil-dot style reticle provides you with consistent accuracy.
Since the airgun scope utilizes a fully coated objective lens, you don’t have to worry about glares and distortions of target images.
This sizable, adjustable objective lens also comes with a generous 4.2-inches of eye relief. This focus eyepiece helps provide the shooter with a comfortable shooting experience.
The Barska Reverse Recoil Airgun scope is waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof, so it can endure virtually everything.
The scope is backed with a limited lifetime warranty which says a lot about its quality in the field.
However, I would’ve liked more vertical adjustment and better quality control.
- High-quality, objective lens coating
- Straightforward installation
- Rugged click-positive turrets
- Limited vertical adjustment
- Quality control should be improved
3. CVLIFE Tactical R4
BEST BUDGET PICK
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- Magnification: 3 – 9x
- Diameter: 40 Millimeters
- Weight: 12.2 Ounces
If you’re shopping with a tight wallet, I’d like to introduce you to the CVLIFE Tactical R4.
With a high-quality multi-coated lens and robust aluminum body, this budget scope suits hunting and competitive shooting.
With a light transmission rate of 90%, acquiring sharp and bright images was easy-peasy!
The scope magnification settings of the CVLIFE scope should be enough regardless of what you’re doing.
Built to tackle less-than-ideal shooting conditions, the CVLIFE Tactical R4 is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.
Because of that, you could easily put the scope to good use in demanding environments.
I’ve taken this scope out in the rain and snow and have had ZERO problems!
I like this scope because it has reliable magnification, windage, and elevation adjustment mechanisms.
You shouldn’t have trouble setting up this scope however you like!
Plus, since the CVLIFE Tactical R4 comes with 2 mounts for 20mm rails, it’s possible to use it straight out of the box.
With a weight of 12oz., the CVLIFE scope shouldn’t affect the overall balance of your air rifle.
Unfortunately, I have to deduct points for the reticle as it sometimes rotates or is just off.
- Highly affordable
- Comes with free mounts
- Performs well for its cost
- The reticle build quality is barely acceptable
- Some customers received damaged products
4. BSA Air Rifle Scope
- Magnification: 3 – 12x
- Diameter: 44 Millimeters
- Weight: 19 Ounces
If you have money to spare and want to use a high-powered air rifle scope, I think the BSA Air Rifle Scope is what you need.
With a 44-millimeter lens diameter, the light-gathering ability of the BSA scope is far superior to other products on the market.
My targets were crystal clear; it was ALMOST like seeing it with the naked eye!
If you want to take out paper targets with your air rifle, this quality scope won’t let you down!
While the layout of the scope mainly gears towards competitive shooting, hunters can also expect good results.
The BSA Air Rifle Scope is designed with versatility in mind so it’s compatible with ordinary air rifles.
Whether you use a spring-operated rifle or an air-compressed one, you can mount and use the BSA scope with relative ease.
Featuring a duplex reticle style and 3-inches of eye relief, you can expect to shoot accurately and comfortably in many situations.
While this scope is quite expensive, I’d say the value it offers justifies its price tag!
It gives you a great field of view and will help take your shooting or hunting to the next level.
- Fine reticle pattern
- Powerful and high-end scope
- Tough one-piece body
- Commendable field of view
- High acquisition cost
- Unsuitable for magnum air rifle
5. Hammers Magnum Spring Air Rifle Scope
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- Magnification: 3 – 9x
- Diameter: 32 Millimeters
- Weight: 25.6 Ounces
This is the last item on my air rifle gun scope list, but it’s certainly not the least.
If you’re looking for a scope that can deal with the recoil of a high-power air gun, then the Hammers Magnum Spring Air Rifle Scope won’t let you down.
This one-piece air gun scope possesses 3 clamping screws and 1 integrated removable stop pin, which keeps it firmly secured against powerful recoil.
You can shoot with admirable precision using this versatile scope from as close as 10 yards to as far as 100 yards.
The Hammers scope is fully compatible with standard 3/8 inch dovetail mounts, so I found it relatively simple to set up.
Equipped with user-friendly fingertip-adjustment turrets, this scope lets you QUICKLY and COMFORTABLYmake windage and elevation changes.
The innovative integral ring setup also leads to the much better alignment of the Hammers scope.
Thanks to the anodized black matte finish, the scope is both rugged and aesthetically pleasing.
I have to mention that this scope isn’t a high-tech optic, but it can take on any challenges associated with an air rifle.
I was also unfortunate to experience a few parts coming loose, which is just a hassle to deal with.
Honorable Mention: Simmons 8 Point 3-9×40
This scope wasn’t made to cater to air rifle scopes, but it’s still compatible to be used with one (plus it’s STILL under $100!).
That’s why I felt the need to recommend this as an honorable mention on this list.
For more details about this bang-for-buck riflescope, you can go through my review of the Simmons 8 Point 3-9×40.
Air Rifle Scope vs. Regular Rifle Scope
Air rifle scopes aren’t that different from regular rifle scopes. They both provide you with clear, magnified images of your target from a distance.
The only difference is that air rifle scopes do better in the RECOIL department. Air rifle scopes can withstand the higher amount of recoil that air rifle scopes have.
A regular scope can’t do that! You don’t want to put just any scope on an air rifle.
There’s a reason why air rifle scopes are ONLY COMPATIBLE WITH AIR RIFLES and not regular rifles. The resulting recoil would be disastrous.
How to Find the Best Scope for Your Air Rifle
Air rifle shooting isn’t very common among beginner shooters, but I’m glad you’re interested!
As promised, here are some helpful tips that have helped me choose the best scope for my air rifle.
Check Out the Magnification Power
Given the limited range of projectiles, there’s no need to use a magnification scope higher than 12x for an air rifle.
In my experience, 2 – 4x rifle scopes were enough to meet my demands for targets between 35 and 50 yards.
At the 50 to 80 yards range, I advise getting a scope with a magnification power of 6 – 8x.
If your usual shooting distance falls into the 80 yards, 100 yards, and up to 150 yards range, you’ll have to look to 8 – 12x air rifle scopes.
Take the target distance and your shooting skill into account, and you can easily figure out what magnification power for your scope is most suitable.
Inspect and Evaluate the Mount
Generally speaking, there are many mounting options for the best air rifle scopes. There are different structure designs and operating mechanisms.
Since the mount considerably influences the scope’s performance, you must pay special attention to it.
I would recommend sticking with well-known mounts because of their simplicity and reliability. I don’t see any point in choosing lesser known brands.
With these mounts, you could switch between the scope and the iron sights depending on the situation.
Look Through the Scope Lens
The sharpness and image quality, along with the shooter’s field of view, relies on the scope’s lens.
The best scopes possess multi-coated lenses that give you a reasonable light transmission rate to compensate for poor lighting conditions.
On hunting trips, I sometimes shoot in low-light conditions like dusk or dawn.
A scope with multi-coated lenses helps me keep track of my target and shoot with precision and ease, and they’ll help you too!
In any case, remember to consider the rifle balance and your shooting posture so you don’t end up with a bulky scope.
What Type of Reticle Are You Going For?
Your reticle is your little assistant that aligns your weapon to the target.
Choosing the right type could be the difference between landing a direct hit or going off-target completely.
Like standard rifle scopes, air rifle scopes have the same types of reticles, like fine crosshair, duplex, mil-dot, BDC, or MOA, to name a few.
There are even more advanced ones, but I mainly use the duplex. It’s simple and doesn’t really have any confusing numbers.
Of course, if you’re the type to do calculations, a BDC or MOA reticle will do the trick.
Think About the Scope Resistance
For hunting purposes, air gun scopes should function consistently regardless of the weather.
A dependable scope for me needs to be purged by nitrogen or argon and be O-ring sealed.
These features should make the scope fogproof and waterproof, which is really handy if you have to deal with wet terrain and high humidity.
While the recoil of air rifles isn’t as powerful as propellant-burning firearms, selecting a shockproof scope is still a good idea.
When it comes to accessories for hunting rifles, DURABILITY is one of the most important priorities!
Warranty and Post Purchase Support
It’s nice to know that if something bad happens to your rifle scope, the manufacturer can help you out.
As a result, I’d say it’s definitely worth the time and effort to research the product warranty and related supports.
Usually long-term warranties often indicate the confidence of the rifle scope manufacturers in their products’ quality.
You can use the terms and policies of the product warranty to gauge its performance in the field.
Fixed Scope vs. Variable Scope
As you may already know, fixed power scopes don’t have adjustable magnification levels.
In contrast, a variable power scope lets you change the magnification as you see fit.
For people that prefer a robust and straightforward experience, a FIXED scope is an excellent option because of its design. All you have to do is sight in the scope.
It gives you a simple, easy-to-use, and fixed magnification.
If you plan on shooting at different distances and want some degree of versatility, I recommend choosing a VARIABLE power rifle scope instead.
In my experience, variable power designs require more adjustments and refinements compared to their fixed counterparts.
Standard Scopes for Air Rifles
Air rifles often produce two separate recoil reactions, which means using conventional rifle scopes is unwise in many cases.
Because of how energy is delivered through the recoil system, an air rifle can quickly destroy an ordinary hunting rifle scope.
Therefore, for air rifles in general, you should always use purposefully designed products instead of scopes for propellant-burning firearms.
The last thing you want is for your expensive, standard scope to abruptly fall apart on your air rifle.
Famous Brands on the Market
You could theoretically grab any scope that matches your need, but if possible, I’d advise getting your scope from reputable names on the market.
CVLIFE, UTG, BSA, Barska, and Leupold are some brands you should watch when shopping for a suitable air gun scope.
Products from these brands are well known because of their excellent quality, so they can probably satisfy your demands without fail.
If you’re considering spending a little more, I also recommend some scopes from these brands in my Complete Air Rifle Scope Buying Guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re new to air rifle scopes, and air rifle shooting you may have some additional questions not discussed previously.
Let me help you gain some further insight!
Can I Use an Air Rifle Without a Scope?
Yes, you can use an air rifle on its own.
Technically, you can use any rifle without a scope, but don’t expect the best results.
The whole purpose of a scope is to increase your accuracy and chances at landing a direct shot at your target.
But if you want to be daring and try to get a hit without a scope, by all means!
How Much Should I Spend on a Good Air Rifle Scope?
Most air rifle scopes go for rather affordable prices, with some ranging from around $50-$100.
Some scopes with better features or higher magnification will go for higher, at around $200.
Consider your shooting needs to determine what your budget is.
- How far will you be shooting?
- Will you be spending on other things to help with your shooting experience?
- Do you need any of the additional features?
Ask yourself questions like these, and you will come up with a budget that is worth it!
Can I Use an Air Rifle Scope on a Regular Rifle?
Yes, an air rifle scope will work just fine on a regular rifle, but NOT the other way around.
I REPEAT. DO NOT USE A REGULAR SCOPE ON AN AIR RIFLE.
Regular firearm scopes aren’t designed to handle the strong recoil of an air rifle, meaning it could lead to a broken scope.
Which Scope is Better for Target Shooting, Air Rifle or Firearm?
I wouldn’t say one scope is better than the other. They are both good at what they do individually.
Air rifle scopes are strong and durable and can handle the unique recoil of air rifles. They also perform better in shorter-range shooting.
Meanwhile, regular scopes are better suited for regular firearms and target shooting at longer ranges.
It’s not a matter of which is better; it’s just a matter of deciding what’s best for you!
There’s no “best rifle scope” and “one-scope-fits-all” kind of product.
The best you can do is to go for reliable brands with a good reputation and a good price point.
I hope this budget air rifle scope review will help you pick out the most suitable optic for your next hunting trip!
FINAL TIP: If you have a SPECIFIC budget in mind, you can check out some options in our Under 500 Dollars Riflescopes Guide.