Top 5 Best Low Light Scopes For The Money in 2018 - Rifles HQ

5 Best Rifle Scopes For Low Light Conditions

best low light scope for the money feature

Why are people using the best low light scopes when they are shooting in harsh weather and light conditions? Simply because it is the only way to be accurate and efficient at mid-range and long-range distances. You just have to use the best rifle scope for low light conditions if you want to take a deer from 300 yards in a foggy dawn, and as the distance is growing, the chance you will need a better optics is bigger.

If you are an experienced hunter, you know how essential is to use the top optics for hunting from dusk till dawn, or on those cloudy, rainy days.

What to Look For When You Are Buying the Low Light Scope

The high quality low light rifle scopes are mostly quite expensive, and if you have an unlimited budget and you know your needs, you’ll easily get the right one for your gun. However, there are some products on the market which work just fine for a reasonable amount of money. You only have to know what to look for when you are buying at lower prices.

If you want a good light transmission, you need a quality made optics, and those for low-light shooting are mostly multi-coated with illuminated reticles. Without a properly made optics, you cannot build the best hunting scope for low light conditions. You can save the money on some parts of the scope, but don’t spare on optics, simple as that.

You will also need at least 30mm objective lens, while bigger numbers are for those who want a bigger field of view, and more light to provide a brighter picture. If you are a true long-distance shooter and you are regularly aiming beyond 500 yards, you will definitely need at least 40mm objective lens.

The power of magnification is also an important feature, particularly how efficient it is with frequent usage. Adjustment turrets should be easy to use and accessible to your hand, and your desirable scope has to hold zero well. You can choose between 1” or 30mm tube diameter, and these days 30mm scopes are pretty popular because of the better light transmission.

All these features are important and to help you choose the best low light scope for the money, here’s the list of the top products on the market for the year 2018:

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn

The low-light hours are the sweetest time for some hunters, and if you are one of them this sturdy build Bushnell’s scope could be a real bargain. It possesses a quality made and fully multi-coated optics which will provide a superb clarity and bright picture. A 40mm objective lens will allow enough light transmission so you won’t have any troubles to aim your target up to 500 yards.

The nine power magnification works pretty well even with a frequent usage, but it has some problems at upper magnification, while elevation and windage adjustments are easy for management. A big, six inches eye relief and a multi-x reticle will allow you to keep the focus. However, there are no windage or drop marks. The tube seems to be durable, and this Bushnell’s Dusk and Dawn scope is waterproof and fog proof. Certainly, you cannot find a better offer in this price range.


  • Durable & sturdy build
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Superb clarity and bright picture
  • Six inches eye relief
  • Easy elevation and windage adjustments
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Great quality for a low price


  • Small problems at upper magnification
  • No windage and drop marks

Leopold VX-1 Duplex Matte

Produced with a particular nitrogen sealing procedure, this beautiful and durable Leopold’s scope is sufficiently rugged, waterproof and fog proof, so it should last on the field for years with constant usage in all weather conditions. The multi-coated optics will provide excellent clarity from edge to edge of your field of view even in harsh light conditions, and you will be surprised how bright images you’ll get.

The transparency could be a problem in the shorter range, but if you are aiming at the longer distances, you will be pleased how it works.

The precise adjustments for elevation and windage are pretty easy to control, while the 40mm objective lens will allow you a vast field of view (14.6 to 34.6 ft at 100 yards), conceding just enough light to bring you a clear picture. This unique scope has a 3 to 9 power magnification which works just fine. No Mil dots could be an issue for some hunters, but in this price range, it could be the best low light scope under 300.


  • Durable, fully rugged, waterproof and fog proof
  • Multi-coated optics for excellent clarity at longer distances
  • Precise adjustments for elevation and windage
  • 3 to 9 power magnification works fine
  • Good quality for the price


  • Blurring at short range
  • No Mil-dots

Nikon Buck Master II

If you are looking for the best low light rifle scope for deer hunting, you certainly need a high-quality optics, and Nikon is surely one of the leaders in producing great optics and reliable scopes. This Nikon Buck Master is a compact and durable riflescope, and it has a quality, fully multi-coated optics which will provide you an excellent light transmission so that you will get almost a 100% of available light.

A 40mm objective lens will give you a full field of view, while a powerful 12x magnification works well when you are aiming at longer distances, but there are some issues at short range sighting, and pictures get blurry at the highest magnification.

With a BDC reticle and easy-to-control windage and elevation adjustments, this scope will allow you to react quickly on the field. It is filled with nitrogen, and it’s fully waterproof and fog proof. The crosshairs are pretty thick, and it could be annoying sometimes. However, you will get an outstanding quality for a decent price, and it could be the best low light scope under $500.


  • High-quality multi-coated optics
  • Excellent light transmission
  • Wide field of view
  • Easy-to-control windage and elevation adjustments
  • Fully waterproof and fog proof
  • Reliable piece for a decent price


  • Pretty thick crosshairs
  • Blurry images at the highest magnification

Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope

Here is another Nikon’s product on our list, simply because they are producing some great stuff for low light hunting. This Monarch 3 could be a perfect choice for those hunters who want the best low light scope under 1000. It will provide up to a 95% of light available so that you will get a nice and clear picture even in the toughest light and weather conditions. All these will work because of the first-class multi-coated optic system along with a 50mm objective lens.

A four inches eye relief will allow you a nice focus, while this scope is produced to work with a Nikon’s special ballistic match technology. It is shockproof, waterproof and fog proof, so if you choose this Nikon’s piece, you will get a durable and reliable scope. The crosshairs are a bit large, and it could be annoying for some shooters, especially at long-range distances.


  • Nice and clear picture
  • First-class multi-coated optics
  • 50mm objective lens
  • Four inches eye relief
  • Works with Nikon’s ballistic match technology
  • Shockproof, waterproof and fog proof


  • Crosshairs are large, especially at long-range distances
  • A bit pricey

Vortex Optics Diamondback

Vortex is well-known for making quality scopes with nice optics, and this one is made of aircraft-grade aluminum, and it is highly resistant to rifle’s recoil. The multi-coated optics will provide you a sharp, crystal clear picture, and with a 40mm objective lens, you will get a wide field of view. A 4 to 12 power magnification is well-made to assure smooth changes even under the harshest weather and light conditions.

This sturdy build scope is lightweight, waterproof and fog proof and it has a unique BDC reticle along with windage and elevation adjustments. However, the eye relief should be bigger and images are a bit foggy at the highest magnification, but if you choose this Vortex scope, you will get good quality for your money.


  • Good quality multi-coated optics
  • Smooth changes of magnification
  • Sturdy build and lightweight
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Unique BDC reticle
  • Good quality for the money


  • A bit foggy at the highest magnification
  • Needs a better eye relief


Having the best low light scope for hunting is a must in 2018 if you shoot at long distance, and if you prefer to hunt from dusk till dawn. There are so many products on the market, but if you pay attention to features we talked about, you will find the perfect fit for your rifle, and hopefully, our list will help you with a decision. Just remember to follow your needs, and don’t spare on optics, because it is an essential part of every proper scope.

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