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Top 10 Hunting Rifle Scopes Under 1000 € (in 2024)

Choosing the right rifle scope can feel like wandering through a maze of confusing recommendations online. Many lists seem more interested in making a buck than helping you find what’s good for your hunt, and the rifle scopes on them usually only have one thing in common: a high commission paid to the author if they are sold.

We’re taking a different approach, though. At Optics Trade, we believe in honesty, unbiased opinions, and prioritizing customer satisfaction above anything else. 

The following list of Top 10 Rifle Scopes Under 1000 € results from our personal experience as hunters, sport shooters, and gear enthusiasts. Over the course of almost two decades, we’ve done numerous tests and comparisons of many rifle scopes, many of which you can find on our YouTube channel.

Before continuing, we’d like to emphasize that this list includes rifle scopes intended exclusively for hunting, and it was written with an average European hunter in mind. It does not, however, target a specific hunting style. We have mostly included the so-called “allrounder” scopes, which can be used in various hunting scenarios.  

How Much Should You Spend on a Rifle Scope?

To be honest, you can find a decent rifle scope for 500 € or less, and it will be quite capable of getting you started. If you choose right, a 300–500 € rifle scope will be able to handle a .308 kickback and be usable in optimal lighting and weather conditions.

But is it fair to expect anything worth mentioning in terms of optical performance and illumination in this price range? We don’t think so. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a top-notch scope with all the bells and whistles, and generally with anything you’d like a proper scope to have, you’re looking at prices between 3000 and 4000 €. Some of the most popular brands in this price range are Swarovski, Zeiss, Leica, Blaser, and Schmidt & Bender, and all of them are synonyms for quality in the hunting world.

So what’s a good middle ground? That perfect spot that allows you to get good value for your money? We say it’s just around 1000 €.

For most hunters, scopes in the 1000 € range are a good choice. Some of the above-mentioned big-name brands have models in this range, offering good quality without breaking the bank. Scopes that have all the features you need for a successful hunt are the ones we’re focusing on in this list.

Why is the Objective Lens Important?

We divided the rifle scopes on this list into two main categories: scopes with an objective lens smaller than 45 mm and those with a 50 mm objective lens. They each cater to different hunting preferences and conditions, and here’s why:

The rifle scopes with a below 45 mm objective lens are favored by hunters who enjoy stalking and occasionally engage in driven hunts, and only rarely hunt in low light conditions. 

These scopes are also popular for their lightweight build and compatibility with NV or thermal clip-on devices.

On the other hand, rifle scopes with 50 mm objective lenses are the go-to choice for hunters who primarily hunt from raised hides, often in low-light conditions. These scopes are still compact enough for an occasional stalk hunt, and most of them are compatible with at least some thermal devices for night hunts.

At the end of the day, it comes down to your personal preferences and hunting style. We made your choice easier by dividing this list into two categories.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Rifle Scope

These are the factors you want to consider before buying a rifle scope:

Reticle

The choice of reticle can come down to personal preference, and we’re not trying to deny that, but the golden standard for hunting rifle scopes is generally considered the so-called Reticle 4.

It carries different names, such as 4A-i, German 4, and Reticle 60, for instance, but you’ll recognize it by a perfectly centered cross with horizontal lines that are thin in the middle and thickened towards the outer rim. The bottom vertical line is also thickened, except in the middle, while the top vertical line is just thin without any thickening.

an example of reticle 4
This is an example of Reticle 4 from Zeiss Classic Diavari 3-12×56 T* (4) (Source: https://www.optics-trade.eu/en/zeiss-classic-diavari-3-12×56-t-4.html)

Illumination System

Hunting in low-light conditions is a common occurrence, especially in Europe. While the use of clip-ons is on the rise, they are mostly used for boar hunting. Roe deer hunts at dusk and dawn, on the other hand, are usually done with an illuminated reticle instead.  

So if that includes you, you might want to pay attention to the illumination of your rifle scope, since this is a big factor to consider when you are going out for a hunt in those darker hours.

Magnification

Most if not all modern rifle scopes have a variable magnification, and the vintage fixed-magnification rifle scopes are a dying breed.

It goes without saying, then, that you should opt for a rifle scope with a variable magnification.

The minimal magnification setting of a good “allrounder” hunting rifle scope starts at around 1.5x to 3.0x, while the maximum magnification usually doesn’t exceed 15x.

These are the basic guidelines for magnification, which is not to be confused with a zoom factor.

Zoom factor

The zoom factor is the ratio between the minimum and maximum magnification of the rifle scope.

For instance, if your rifle scope’s minimal magnification is 3x, and its maximum magnification is 15x, its zoom factor is 5.

Most scopes in the 1000 € price range have a zoom factor of either 4 or 6, which is pretty decent. 

But here’s the thing: for some hunters, a clear picture and a good light transmission is much more important than zooming in super far. This is why many prefer a scope with a smaller zoom factor if that means better clarity and brighter images, especially when you’re out hunting in low light or trying to hit a target from far away. 

Parallax

An adjustable parallax setting allows you to line up your reticle with your target object in a proper plane, which brings you a proper focus, better sight image, and better accuracy.

This is especially useful in competitive sport shooting where the slightest margins can mean the difference between a first and last place on the scoreboard.

For hunting rifle scopes, however, an adjustable parallax is not all that important, especially in the 1000 € range. 

This is why even though some of the rifle scopes on the list come with adjustable parallax, we would be willing to bet that most of their users never touch it, as the basic setting at 100 m is usually all one needs.

Scope brand

When it comes to choosing a rifle scope in the 1000 € price range, paying attention to the brand can make a big difference. 

In this bracket, you’ll mainly encounter Japanese and American brands dominating the market. These brands have earned their reputation through years of expertise and innovation. They have stood the test of time and are likely to stick around in the future.

Why does this matter? Well, for starters, it affects the resale value of your rifle scope. If you ever decide to sell it down the line, a recognized brand will hold its value better.

Plus, buying from a reputable brand ensures that you’ll have support if anything goes wrong with your scope in the distant future. 

So, while it might be tempting to go for a lesser-known brand to save a few bucks, investing in a trusted name can pay off in the long run.

Optical performance

Optical performance is the main factor when we’re talking about hunting rifle scopes, and it was our top priority in crafting this list. 

There’s no easy way to judge optical performance without putting scopes through rigorous testing and comparing them side by side.

That’s why we want to emphasize that every scope on this list has been thoroughly tested, along with many others that didn’t make the cut. Our recommendations come from hands-on experience in the field, ensuring that we’re speaking from real-world use.

Now, you might be wondering why you don’t see graphs or charts detailing the light transmission rates of these scopes. Well, that’s because each scope’s variable magnification means that measurements would have to be taken at different magnification levels, making it impractical.

So, while we can’t provide you with fancy graphs, rest assured that we’ve put these scopes through their paces to ensure they deliver the optical performance you need out in the field.

Construction

We carefully evaluated the construction quality of each scope on this list, as this can be a decisive factor when purchasing a good hunting rifle scope. 

During the testing of these rifle scopes, we tried to determine their durability and overall build quality.

Considering we are proudly one of the largest online retailers of sport optics in the EU, we have unique insights into the long-term reliability of the products we sell and are familiar with their fail and service rates. 

This is how we were able to sift through the problematic ones, and only the ones that were able to pass the standards in terms of reliability and quality have made it onto this list.

Turret Type

The preferred turret type for a hunting scope are usually the low-profile, capped turrets. They are ideal for quick adjustments in the field without the risk of accidentally knocking them off zero.

While a lot of modern hunting scopes feature Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) turrets, you want to tread carefully with them in the 1000 € range. Finding a well-designed BDC turret in this price range can be like finding a needle in a haystack. 

That’s why we recommend sticking with the classic turrets. While they might not have the adjustability of the BDC turrets, they get the job done reliably.

Warranty

Last but not least is the warranty. It’s important to understand your rights as a consumer, especially in the EU. Here, manufacturers are required by law to clearly state warranty conditions in years, without hiding behind fancy names or confusing fine print.

In the 1000 € price range, you should expect a warranty of at least 5 to 10 years

This is another reason why opting for a reputable brand is so important. 

These companies tend to stand behind their word and prioritize customer satisfaction, meaning that if your rifle scope breaks even years down the line, you will get a proper service or maybe even a replacement.

Our Top 10 Rifle Scope Picks Under 1000 € (in 2024)

Let’s now dive into our list of Top 10 Rifle Scopes Under 1000 € in 2024. As mentioned above, we divided the list into two categories: scopes with an objective lens smaller than 45 mm and scopes with a 50 mm lens.

We’ll cover the latter first.

Rifle Scopes With a 50 mm Objective Lens

Steiner Ranger 4 2.5-10×50

Image of Steiner Ranger 4 2.5-10x50

Coming first on our list is the well-known Steiner Ranger 4 2.5-10×50.  We’re starting at the higher end of the 1000 € goal, and this scope is just a little over this mark, but even with just a 10 % discount, which isn’t that hard to come by these days, you’ll be able to get the price below 1000 € quite quickly.

Because Steiner is so well-known in the hunting community, many forget that they have only recently started producing rifle scopes.

For the longest time, they have been known as the biggest binoculars manufacturer in Europe, and probably also the most renowned one, but their endeavor into the hunting rifle scopes market has been swift and successful. 

Their first generation of Ranger rifle scopes has already been a huge success, and their second one only further built on it. 

Ranger 4 2.5-10×50 belongs to this second generation and it’s a testament to how well Steiner understands an average European hunter.

Their scopes are made in the US, and since the Baretta group backs Steiner, they have almost unlimited funds to utilize their ideas, resulting in the continuous production of great products synonymous with quality. 

These are the positives and negatives of the Steiner Ranger 4 2.5-10×50:

Positives:

  • Great optical performance, probably the best in this class.
  • Good light transmission rate and edge-to-edge sharpness.
  • Finely tunable illuminated dot in the center of the reticle, specially tailored for low-light use.
  • Recoil proof for any magnum caliber.
  • A 10-year warranty and a great service center in Bayreuth.
  • Can be used with clip-on devices.

Negatives:

  • A relatively low zoom factor (4).
  • Reticle illumination is not suitable for daytime use (the brightness is too low).
  • It can only be mounted with rings. There’s no option for Zeiss ZM/VM rail mounting.
Steiner Ranger 4 2.5-10x50 CTA

Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10×50 CDS-ZL

An image of Leupold-VX-3HD-3.5-10x50

Second on the list of top 10 hunting rifle scopes under 1000 € is the Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10×50 CDS-ZL.

Leupold stands tall as one of America’s most esteemed brands in the realm of sports optics. 

They are revered for both their exceptional optical quality and the remarkably lightweight design of their scopes. 

Their Custom Dial System (CDS) turrets rank among the finest BDC mechanisms available for hunting rifle scopes, and having such a scope available in this price range is a blessing.

Furthermore, their reticle illumination with an optical fiber is one of the most advanced in this class.

Beyond its products’ quality, Leupold is also recognized for its exemplary customer service and support, which is without a doubt a big plus for any hunter.

Here are the positives and negatives of the Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10×50 CDS-ZL:

Positives:

  • Great optical performance as expected from Leupold’s products.
  • Best BDC turret in its class, especially in the 1000 € price range.
  • Most lightweight rifle scope with a 50mm objective lens.
  • Very robust and durable, and can handle any recoil.
  • Very good fit and finish. 
  • Amazing reticle illumination system.
  • Can be used with clip-on devices.

Negatives:

  • A low zoom factor (3). It is very rare for modern scopes to feature such a small zoom factor.
  • At its minimal magnification (3.5x), the field of view (FOV) can be quite narrow compared to its competitors.
  • ¼ MOA clicks instead of 1cm/100m.
Leupold VX-3HD 3,5-10x50

Delta Optical Titanium 2.5-10×50 HD 

Delta Optical Titanium 2.5-10x50 HD image

Next in line: the Delta Optical Titanium 2.5-10×50 HD

Delta, formerly known as Delta Optical, has now been in the business for more than 20 years and has established itself as one of the most reputable brands in the EU.

Their Titanium rifle scopes are made in Japan, and share similarities with scopes from other renowned European brands that offer Japanese-made rifle scopes, such as DD, GPO, and Alpen.

Thanks to its competitive pricing strategies, Delta sets itself apart by consistently offering exceptional value for money. 

Some of our experts have more than a decade of firsthand experience with the Delta Titanium scopes, so we can truly attest to the outstanding value they provide.

Here are the positives and the negatives of the Delta Optical Titanium 2.5x10x50 HD:

Positives:

  • This scope truly offers great value for money.
  • It has a robust build, capable of withstanding most of the magnum calibers.
  • Its fiber dot illumination system is very good and can be finely tuned for low-light conditions.
  • A 10-year warranty with a reputable company standing behind it.
  • Can be used with clip-on devices.

Negatives:

  • Its FOV is a bit on the narrow side.
  • It is quite long, which can be a hindrance to some. 
  • ¼ MOA clicks instead of 1cm/100
  • Due to its robust build, Delta Optical Titanium 2.5-10×50 is more on the heavier side, especially compared to the competitors on this list.
Delta Optical Titanium 2,5-10x50 HD cta

Vector Optics Continental 2-12×50 SFP

vector_optics_continental_2-12x50_sfp_3_ image

At least one Vector Optics rifle scope simply had to be on this list, and the Vector Optics Continental 2-12×50 SFP fits perfectly.

Vector Optics is without a doubt a rising star within the affordable segment of the optics industry, garnering attention for its prices. 

Some observers draw parallels between Vector Optics and Holosun, noting the latter’s remarkable success in the affordable red dot market. 

Particularly noteworthy are Vector Optics’ Continental rifle scopes. Just one glance through them will strike you with the astonishing optical quality they offer for their price point.

The Vector Optics Continental 2-12×50 SFP boasts a high zoom factor (6), a wide FOV, and impressive edge-to-edge sharpness. It is a proper tease for all of us who wonder what’s more to come from Vector Optics in the future.

Its positives and negatives are:

Positives:

  • Probably the best price-to-value ratio in the market.
  • A relatively high zoom factor of 6.
  • An impressively wide FOV.
  • You can use it with clip-on devices.

Negatives:

  • The illuminated central dot in the reticle is a bit big for our taste, and it can end up covering too much of the target.
  •  ¼ MOA clicks instead of 1cm/100m.
  • Since we talked about how important it is to choose a well-established brand when buying a rifle scope, we need to point out that Vector Optics is not that well-established quite yet, and brand awareness is still low.

Burris Four Xe 2.5-10×50

burris_four_xe_2_5__1

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t appreciate a good Burris rifle scope? Because it couldn’t be us.

It is no wonder then, that the Burris Four Xe 2.5-10×50 found its way to this list.

Burris stands out as one of the rare, if not the only, American brands that truly grasps the needs of European hunters.

Being part of the Beretta group gives them a special advantage in understanding European perspectives, which reflects in their scope designs.

The Four Xe and especially the Six Xe models rank among the best affordable American rifle scopes tailored for European hunting styles. 

With the Four Xe, Burris placed significant emphasis on the illumination system. Its design offers enough low-intensity levels for most low-light situations.

These are the main positives and negatives of the Burris Four Xe 2.5-10×50 riflescope:

Positives:

  • A good build quality ensures that this scope can withstand even some of the larger calibers’ recoil.
  • A good value for money. With a discount, you can get this rifle scope for even less than 500 € on the European market, and with the performance it offers, it’s a really good buy.
  • As mentioned above, one of the main advantages of this scope is its finely adjustable illumination. 
  • Can be used with clip-on devices.

Negatives:

  • A bit big illuminated central dot in the reticle.
  •  ¼ MOA clicks instead of 1cm/100m.

Rifle Scopes With an Objective Lens Smaller Than 42 mm

GPO SPECTRA 8x 1.6-13x44i

gpo_spectra_8x_1 image

We are now switching over to the rifle scopes that are below 1000 € and have an objective lens smaller than 45 mm, and we are continuing the list with the GPO Spectra 8x 1.6-13x44i.

GPO is a relatively new player in the sports optics scene, but it was founded by experienced individuals from renowned companies like Zeiss and Meopta. But despite their newcomer status, their expertise has propelled them to swift success in the industry. 

Their products primarily cater to hunting enthusiasts, but they’re now also venturing into the tactical market. 

The GPO Spectra 8x 1.6-13x44i rifle scope is a brand new scope that caught our eye right from its debut at IWA 2024.

Let’s take a look at some of its positives and negatives.

Positives:

  • It has an 8-time zoom factor, which is at the very top of this list. If the zoom factor is a big thing for you, this is the scope you want.
  • It has a relatively wide FOV, which most hunters find handy.
  • The build quality is really good. This scope will surely withstand most if not all magnum calibers.
  • It comes at a reasonable price.
  • It’s quite compact. We are especially impressed by how short it is, considering everything it offers.
  • Can be used with clip-on devices.

Negatives:

  • It may be short, but it’s quite heavy, especially for a 44 mm lens rifle scope.
  • No BDC turret option at the moment.

Alpen Optics Apex XP 1.5-9×45

Next on the list is the Alpen Optics Apex XP 1.5-9×45

Alpen Optics was established in 1996 by Tim Gardner and remained under his operation until 2018 when the brand was acquired by the Bresser group, which brought it to the European market.

Today, Alpen offers a wide range of products across all categories of sports optics. Their rifle scopes are made in Japan and share similarities with many competitors that also source products from the same OEM producer. 

However, Alpen distinguishes itself with unique features that set it apart from the crowd. For instance, their scopes boast an auto turn-off system designed to conserve battery life, along with external markings for magnification and illumination settings that emit a very dim glow in the dark. This allows the users to easily see the scope’s settings, but it’s subtle enough to be unnoticeable to the animals. 

Here are some of the positives and negatives of the Alpen Optics Apex XP 1.5-9×45

Positives:

  • A 6-time zoom factor.
  • It has a very useful magnification span.
  • The scope’s optical fiber illumination system is very well designed.
  • It features the auto turn-off system we mentioned above, which preserves energy.
  • The users can easily see at what magnification and illumination settings they have the scope since it features dimly lit markings designed especially for that. 
  • 30-year warranty. Yes, you read that right, it comes with a 30-year warranty. This scope is designed for many generations.
  • Can be used with clip-on devices.

Negatives:

  • Not the widest FOV when you look through it.
  • It is a bit pricey. It is just over the 1000 € mark, but we’re sure you can get the price down with some discounts.
  • It is quite sizable and weighty for a 45 mm lens rifle scope. 

Delta Optical Titanium HD 1.5-9×45

Delta finds itself on the list yet again, attesting to the wide range of quality products it offers.

Delta Optical Titanium HD 1.5-9×45 is actually quite similar to the Alpen rifle scope we mentioned above, but it lacks some of its features. 

On the flip side, though, it comes at a quite lower price, which can be a deciding factor for many hunters. 

You can take a look at some of its positives and negatives, compare it to the Alpen scope, and decide for yourself.

Positives:

  • It has a 6-time zoom factor, which is usually more than enough for most hunters.
  • It has the same useful magnification span as the Alpen Apex XP above.
  • The optical fiber illumination system is excellent.
  • Delta Optical Titanium HD 1.5-9×45 comes at a lower cost than the Alpen Apex XP above, and it’s generally on the more affordable side.
  • Can be used with clip-on devices.

Negatives:

  • Not the widest FOV out there.
  • A bit on the big side for our taste, and it’s also quite heavy for a 45 mm lens rifle scope.

DD Optics Nachtfalke III 1.5-6×42

DD Optics was founded in 2004 and operates under a similar business model to companies like Vixen, Delta, Alpen, and GPO. 

Like these counterparts, DD Optics sources the majority of its products from Japan and China. The rifle scopes though, are entirely manufactured in Japan. 

What sets DD Optics apart, however, is its inclination towards modifying the design of OEM scopes to a greater extent than its competitors. With DD products, you’ll often find special turrets and reticles that deviate from the norm, boasting features not commonly seen in similar products. 

It could be said that the DD OPtics Nachtfalke III 1.5-6×42 embodies a vintage design, drawing inspiration from some of the most renowned brands from the past. Veteran hunters might be able to find some similarities with older Zeiss and Kahles scopes.

But that doesn’t mean this rifle scope is not suitable for a modern hunter. Let’s again take a look at some of the positives and negatives.

Positives:

  • This scope is both lightweight and compact, making it perfect for prolonged hunting sessions.
  • As mentioned above, this scope has a very traditional design. This might be especially appreciated by some of the veteran hunters out there.
  • It has a robust build, so a few bumps and heavy kickbacks certainly won’t get the best of it.
  • Optical fiber reticle is well designed and it does its job. Its illumination adjustments are suitable for most hunters.
  • Can be used with clip-on devices.

Negatives:

  • Its zoom factor is only 4, and we feel it could benefit from being a bit higher.
  • The FOV could also be wider in our opinion.
  • Illumination turret position.

Yukon Jaeger 1.5-6×42

Last, but certainly not least, is the Yukon Jaeger 1.5-6×42.

Yukon is a subsidiary of Yukon Advanced Optics Worldwide, probably most widely known for another one of its brands: Pulsar. 

The Jaeger rifle scopes are generally considered to be legacy products within Yukon’s portfolio, but they continue to maintain a timeless sense of quality that suits the reputation of their parent company. 

Yukon Jager 1.5-6×42 stands out in its price class for its ability to withstand even the most powerful recoil. 

The manufacturer claims that it can handle the recoil of a 375 H&H, and from personal testing on 9.3×62 and 300WM rifles, we can assure you one thing above all else: they are durable.

Additionally, the illumination system in the reticle is finely adjustable and proves genuinely useful in low-light conditions. All in all, this scope is a great value for its price, but let’s take a look at the positives and negatives.

Positives:

  • Size and weight: Yukon Jaeger 1.5-6×42 is very compact and light enough for any prolonged hunt.
  • It has a traditional design which will likely see appreciation from more seasoned hunters.
  • It is built to last. We can attest by telling you that in the last 10 years of selling this scope, we have seen exactly zero returns due to recoil problems. 
  • Small illuminated dot in the center of the reticle (the smallest among scopes around 500 eur).
  • Finely tunable illumination system for low-light conditions.
  • A very competitive price.
  • Can be used with clip-on devices.

Negatives:

  • Its zoom factor is only 4, which is a bit on the low side.
  • When you look through the scope, the image has a bit of a yellow tint. It doesn’t affect the clarity of image in any way, but it could be a bit annoying for some hunters.
  • Not a daytime usable illumination.

Conclusion

In summary, if you’re a hunter seeking a rifle scope priced below 1000 €, this list is a perfect place to start the search.

It’s based on rigorous testing and years of hands-on experience of our team. We wrote it with typical European hunting styles in mind, for an average European hunter who enjoys stalking, raised hide hunting, and low-light hunts. This is why all of the scopes on this list are so-called “allrounders” and can be used in various situations. 

We also made sure that all the rifle scopes on this list are compatible with clip-on devices which are gaining in popularity among European hunters. 

We vow to transparency and unbiased opinion, but if you believe we made a mistake with any of the recommendations, please reach out to us at [email protected].

Summary
Top 10 Hunting Rifle Scopes Under 1000 € (in 2024)
Article Name
Top 10 Hunting Rifle Scopes Under 1000 € (in 2024)
Description
This is the most comprehensive list of Top 10 Hunting Rifle Scopes in 2024. We wrote it based on two decades of experience.
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Optics Trade
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