Best Spotting Scope under $500 Target Shooting

Are you in the market for the best spotting scope under $500 target shooting You are in luck! We have put together this post to shed a light on the very best budget-friendly spotting scopes ideal for target shooting.

When it comes to target shooting, having the right gear is important. One of the most vital yet overlooked sighting equipment is a spotting scope. With a quality spotting scope at hand, it becomes an easy task to hit targets accurately across all ranges. Besides, spotting scopes are multifunctional and ideal for use in virtually all lighting and weather conditions.

With the advancements in the field of optics, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get a premium quality spotting scope. Today, the market is flooded with plenty of spotting scopes that are made with budget buyers in mind. But with so models to pick from, the process of trying to figure out which model is right for your needs becomes even more daunting.

We have done the leg work for you and assembled a list of the best spotting scopes for target shooting. We also put together a buyer’s guide to help you figure out which model is right for your individual target shooting needs. But first, let’s begin by taking a look at the features that make a great spotting scope for target shooting.

Attributes of a Great Spotting Scope for Target Shooting

A great spotting scope for target shooting is made of multiple attributes and the first one is premium quality glass elements. With premium glass, the spotting scope yields clear views of targets which is essential for accurate shot placement.

Furthermore, the spotting scope should have a magnification power that is high enough to cover all the ranges you will shooting at. It should also have a large objective diameter which is responsible for providing high quality views of targets at every magnification.

Long eye relief is the other thing that the best spotting scope under $500 target shooting should have. Generous eye relief is important in ensuring comfortable glassing with or without eyewear.

Last but not least, the spotting scope should be optimized for longevity and built for use in all weather conditions. The housing should be rigid enough to withstand all impacts, shock and rough handling. It should also be fully waterproof, fog proof and dust proof.

7 Best Spotting Scopes under $500 Target Shooting

When shopping for a spotting scope for target shooting, don’t let the plethora of options make your selection process a daunting chore. Listed below are the top-performing and budget friendly models that are guaranteed to serve you well in the shooting range. Let’s have a look.

1)Vortex Diamondback HD 20-60×85 Angled Spotting Scope

Best Spotting Scope under $500 Target Shooting



First up we have the Vortex Diamondback HD 20-60×85 Angled Spotting Scope. This angled body spotting scope is an ideal companion for every gun enthusiasts looking for a reliable sighting tool for target shooting.

A defining facet of the scope is optical performance. It delivers bright, sharp and high-contrast images at all magnifications, even in the not so ideal light conditions. The combination of high magnification and superior optical performance also makes this spotting scope ideal for other shooting activities not just target shooting.

Another feature that makes it the best spotting scope under $500 target shooting is the fixed eyepiece. It gives users the ability to dial in distant targets and make detailed observation as well as positive identification. The helical focus system included also eliminates the snag hazard that most knobs are known for.

Moreover, the spotting scope’s chassis is argon filled and sealed with O-rings so it is fully waterproof and fog proof. A retractable sunshade is also included to prevent lens flare and keep rain, snow and other elements off the objective lens.


  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Powerful 20-60x zoom eyepiece
  • High-density, ED glass
  • Waterproof and argon filled
  • Scratcproof Armortek lens coating
  • Retractable sunshade
  • Angled body design
  • Rotating tripod collar


  • Exceptional long eye relief
  • Versatile
  • Quality optics
  • Easy to use


  • Chromatic aberration at high magnification

2) Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope

Best Spotting Scope under $500 Target Shooting



The Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope offers the best balance of value and performance. It boasts an outstanding field of view for easy target identification and superior long-range visibility perfect for target shooting.

Vanguard built this spotting scope for use even in the not so ideal lighting environments. It has premium extra-low dispersion glass that yields exceptional detail and brilliant colors. On top of that, it boasts advanced MultiGuard coatings for high transmission of light.

Regarding construction, the spotting scope is built with durability in mind. It has a robust magnesium chassis that is lightweight yet durable. The chassis is rubber armored to be shockproof and to ensure ergonomic handling in the field.

Furthermore, the spotting scope is O-ring sealed against moisture and dust. It is also nitrogen purged to prevent fogging in extreme weather conditions. The other essential features included are a detachable angled eyepiece, built-in sunshade and stacked, dual-focus controls for making quick, fine-tuned adjustments.


  • Premium ED glass
  • Rubber armored magnesium chassis
  • Detachable angled eyepiece
  • Waterproof and nitrogen purged
  • Fine and coarse focusing wheels
  • MultiGuard lens coatings
  • BaK4 phase-coated prism


  • Bright and clear optics
  • Premium build quality
  • Relatively simple to use


  • The image views deteriorate with increase in magnification

3) ESSLNB Spotting Scope

ESSLNB Spotting scope


Next up we have the ESSLNB Spotting Scope. This spotting scope is remarkably affordable but it doesn’t compromise on quality or performance. It is designed with a ton of quality features that offer top-notch performance similar to models with a higher price tag.

The selling point of this spotting scope is optical finesse. It is built with high index BaK4 prisms that transmit bright and contrast rich image views from dawn till dusk. In addition to that, this optic has anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses that limit internal reflections and ensure high levels of light transfer.

Not only is the spotting scope ideal for use in all lighting conditions, but also in all environments. It has a high-level sealing property that effectively shields the internal optics from dust, moisture and any other debris. It also filled with high-purity nitrogen to prevent buildup of fog internally.

In addition to everything else, the scope has a durable framework to withstand tough weather conditions and a shock-absorbing rubber armor for better protection from elements and rough use.


  • High index BaK prisms
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Durable framework
  • Extendable sunshade
  • Fully multi-coated green film objective lens
  • Dynamic lens focusing system
  • Fold down eyecups


  • Unmatched versatility
  • Excellent picture quality
  • Sturdy and solid build
  • Multiple accessories included


  • Cheap threading at the mount

4) Athlon Optics Argos HD 20-60×85 Spotting Scope

Athlon Optics Argos HD



Fourth on our list of the best spotting scope under $500 target shooting is the Athlon Optics Argos HD 20-60×85. The spotting scope is designed with ease of use in mind. This makes it a great companion for all shooters, even the beginners.

The build quality of this spotting scope is outstanding. It has a lightweight composite chassis that is optimized for durability. Moreover, it is rubber armored for added protection from elements and rough handling.

Optically, the Argos spotting scope has wide band fully multi-coated lenses and phase-coated Porro prisms. Coupled together, the two maximize light transmission to bring clarity and brightness within the reach of all gun enthusiasts.

Moreover, this product is built for use under any weather condition. It is waterproofed and filled with dry nitrogen gas to drive out internal moisture and maintain thermal stability. In addition to that, it has a built-in extendable sunshade that limits flare and reflection.


  • Waterproof and argon purged
  • HD glass elements
  • Extendable sunshade
  • Rubber armored body
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Durable composite chassis
  • Angled body design


  • Lightweight and portable
  • Solid construction
  • Comfortable and convenient angle of observation
  • Multi-functional


  • Narrow depth of field at highest magnification

5) Bushnell 887520B Trophy Xtreme Spotting Scope

Bushnell 887520B



Bushnell has grown its name to become one of the most popular optics brands and it is for a good reason. It manufactures a ton of premium-quality, reliable and versatile optical devices and the Bushnell 887520B Trophy Xtreme Spotting Scope is not any different.

This spotting scope gives shooters the advantage from the world’s high point of clarity, sharpness and edge-to-edge detail no matter the shooting environment. This is made possible by the high-definition optical system that combines key technologies including ED glass, premium BaK-4 prisms and fully multi-coated lenses.

Another feature that makes it the best spotting scope under $500 target shooting is balance of power and size. It has a broad magnification power and large objective lens built into a compact size for ease of portability.

In terms of construction, the spotting scope has a rubber armored body that is able to endure any abuse you subject it to. It is also IPX7 waterproofed and purged with nitrogen gas for protection against fog.


  • Built-in sunshade
  • Twist-up eyecup
  • Durable rubber armor
  • Rotating tripod collar
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Molded in objective cover
  • Fully waterproof and fog proof


  • Compact and portable design
  • Clear image views
  • Sturdy and durable construction
  • Easy to focus and change magnification power

6) Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope

Gosky 20-60 X 80


Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope is a multipurpose sighting tool designed for a ton of applications including target shooting. It boasts a variable 20x-60x magnification power and an intuitive design that makes it ideal for beginners.

Built with fully multi-coated 80mm green film objective lens, the scope enhances low light performance by ensuring high levels of light transfer. As a result, the magnification power is useful even at the highest 60x level.

In terms of construction, the spotting scope has a durable Magnalium framework that makes it usable even in the most unforgiving shooting environments. Even better, it has a rubber armor and a waterproof design that ensures reliable performance in rain, fog and other wet conditions.


  • Fully multi-coated objective lens
  • Durable Magnalium framework
  • Waterproof design
  • Variable 20-60x magnification
  • Rugged rubber armor
  • Dynamic lens focusing system


  • Lightweight design
  • Great quality for the price
  • Easy to mount and use


  • The tripod included is very flimsy

7) Leupold SX-2 Alpine HD 20-60x60mm

Leupold SX-2 Alpine



Lastly on our list of the best spotting scope for target shooting under $500 is the Leupold SX-2 Alpine HD 20-60x60mm. Carrying the highly respected Leupold name, this sighting tool is a must have for avid shooters looking to take their target shooting skills a notch higher.

Leupold optical devices are known for their ruggedized construction and the SX-2 Alpine HD 20-60x60mm spotting scope is not any different. It is incredibly rugged to stand up to whatever punishment you throw at it. Besides, it is 100% waterproofed and fog proofed for use in all kinds of weather conditions.

Optically, the spotting scope features an oversized 60mm eyepiece that allows for comfortable all-day glassing. Moreover, it boasts a Twilight Max Light Management System which helps the user see more detail of targets in dismal environments. A hydrophobic Guard-ion lens coatings is also incorporated to keep the lenses clean and provide addition shield from scratches, dust and dirt.

Moreover, the spotting scope has an extremely smooth focusing system for bringing targets into sharp focus quickly. It also comes with an angled body design and an integrated sunshade that is responsible for glare reduction.


  • Angled body design
  • Waterproof and fog resistant
  • HD lens material
  • Built-in sunshade
  • Twilight Max Light Management System
  • Built-in 1/4-20 rotatable tripod adapter port
  • Guard-ion lens coating
  • Twist-up eyecup


  • Premium edge-to-edge lens clarity
  • Generous eye relief
  • Rugged and reliable construction
  • Lightweight design


  • The clarity leaves a lot to be desired

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Things to Look for in a Spotting Scope for Target Shooting

Investing in a worthy spotting scope is key if you want to make your target shooting expeditions fun, memorable and rewarding. Listed below are the factors to consider when shopping for the best spotting scope under $500 target shooting.

Straight or Angled Eyepiece

A spotting scope has either an angled or straight eyepiece. The best spotting scope under $500 target shooting is built with an angled eyepiece. Such scopes are comfortable to glass with without causing strain on your neck. Besides, the spotting scopes with an angled eyepiece can be easily rotated into different viewing positions during use.

Magnification Power

Magnification is an important part of every spotting scope. How far you be will shooting will determine which scope magnification power you get. For most target shooting applications, it is best to get a 20-60x spotting scope. With the broad zoom, you will have the flexibility to take shots at vast ranges.

Eye Relief

In spotting scopes, eye relief is a measure of how far your eye has to be from the eyepiece during use. It is important to get a scope that has a long eye relief of 15mm and above. With ample eye relief, it becomes easy to use the spotting scope even with eyeglasses on. Long eye relief is also important in alleviating discomfort during long glassing sessions.

Image Quality

There are two facets that determine the quality of images a spotting scope produces, glass elements and lens coatings. We recommend that you get a spotting scope that utilizes premium glass elements such as fluorite glass, extra-low dispersion glass or high-density glass.

The best spotting scope under $500 target shooting should also have premium coatings on all the lenses. With multiple layers of anti-reflective lens coatings, light transmission is enhanced. As a result, the scope produces bright, crisp and sharp image views, even in the poor lighting environments.

Build Quality

Another important thing to take into consideration is the spotting scope’s build quality. The overall construction quality affects the performance of the spotting scope and determines how dependable it will be.

We recommend that you go for a spotting scope that is made with either magnesium or aluminum alloy. Additionally, the housing should be armored for added shield from shock, impacts and elements. It should also be waterproofed and fog proofed for dependable use in all weather conditions.


  • How far can the best spotting scope see?

A spotting scope with high magnification up to 60x and premium quality optics can provide clear views of targets out to 1,000-1,500 yards. However, the range will vary depending on other factors including the lighting and weather condition.

  • Do I need a spotting scope for target shooting?

Absolutely. Spotting scopes are widely used to score targets in the shooting range. Besides, they make a handy companion for all types of target shooting, be it recreational or competitive.


Knowing the features you need in a spotting scope is a good starting point when looking to buy the best spotting scope under $500 target shooting. All the models we have outlined above have all the essential facets avid shooters require to get things right in the shooting range. No matter the model that you end up getting, it is our hope that this post has steered you in the correct direction.