The best rifle scope under $200 is this Leupold VX-I. Leupold’s VX-I scopes are offered in 2-7x33mm, 3-9x40mm, 3-9x50mm, and 4-12x40mm. They all have Leupold’s classic fast focus eyepiece with a low profile lock ring that makes reticle focus easy to achieve and maintain. They’re all Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) reticle available. Made of 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum, these scopes are durable, waterproof, and fogproof.
These scopes have a 3:1 zoom ratio and ¼ MOA finger click for windage and elevation which offers absolute repeatability and dependability over a lifetime of use. The durable lens cover is another great feature because it adds protection from dirt and damage. The tactile power selector and proprietary nitrogen fill process are all in one tube, too. Its Multicoat 4 greatly contributes to the gathering of all available light that reaches your eye. At the same time, it minimizes the reflections of the sky on the outer eyepiece.
On the contrary, when you uncover the turret adjustments, they don’t seem to “click”, making adjustments a little difficult and inaccurate. Some reviews also mentioned that it can be strenuous and time-consuming to get a clear reticle. Some even complained that there’s nothing special about it. But of course, it’s always better to look for the silver lining amidst all these complaints.
The Quantum Optical System with lead-free glass and Multicoat 4 lens coatings on these VX-I rifles makes them great. The finger-adjustable dials (1/4 MOA per click) allow quick and easy zeroing and adjustments in the field. You can bend rings and shoot bases loose, and the scope adjustment won’t wiggle. The VX-I rifles have Leupold’s classic lockable eyepiece so you don’t have to worry about securing your focus. Another great thing about them is they are oxygen purged and nitrogen filled, making them waterproof and fogproof for years, even decades!
The scopes, based on satisfied customers, work nicely when mounted on Ruger American Rifle 30-06, Ruger Mini-30, Ruger 77/.22 Rock River Arms .223 AR, CZ-USA CZ 550 Varmint, .308 Win., Savage Axis 223, Marlin Model XS7, Barrett M99 .50 BMG rifle, Mossberg 100 ATR (.270), Tikka T3 Lite Bolt Action .308, CZ-USA CZ 550 Varmint, .270 Win., Henry .22 LR Golden Boy Lever-Action Rifle, and Weatherby Mark V.
VX-I rifles have fine reticles that are great for hunting especially if you’re in a thick bush. These rifles can also withstand the recoil from 1000+ rounds of 5.56 as well as several hundred rounds of 6.8, making them perfect for RWS air rifles.
VX-I rifles are lower end rifles from Leupold but don’t let that discourage you. They are clear, bright, light-weight, and most importantly, they hold zero. This advantage will work well with rifle enthusiasts and even with newbies.
Though they produce clear images at the highest magnification power, some VX-I rifles have issues producing clear images at a shorter range. They have no Mil-Dot reticles as well. Some shooters found it hard to find the eye-relief distance and for them, they had to frequently adjust the distance from their eyes to the lens to find the sweet spot.
If you are expecting these VX-I matte finish to be the same as VX-1 gloss finish, you will be disappointed. They are not the same and are completely different in several ways. VX-1 gloss finish are more expensive but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the VX-I scopes are substandard. They still provide clearer, and brighter images compared to the other scopes within their price range. Even with a large shock of firing from a large caliber, these scopes will support every time the gun is fired. The zero will not move and the glass will still be held up. You won’t have problems sighting these scopes in at 200 yards.
If you’re worried about your eyes, then you should not anymore. You won’t be needing eyeglasses with these scopes because you can just adjust to compensate for your reading glasses and the images will still be crisp and bright. There’ll be no blur and no color distortion. These easy to set up scopes also work well in near dark situations because they allow a lot of light in. You can hunt in the early moonlight of a full moon with these scopes and they will still give you good light transmission. You can never really go wrong with Leupold. The engineering in their products is undoubtable. Even marine marksmanship instructors would recommend Leupold products. They have been in the business for years and are well-known for the quality of their scopes. Don’t forget the lifetime warranty.
Bottom line: These Leupold VX-I rifle scopes are proven and tested. So if you want a hunting scope that’s of quality, then choose the perfect magnification power for you and start hunting.