I often been asked by others about what’s the best value under $200 rifle scope. Other than a red-dot sight, my go to for a budget rifle scope at that price point is the Weaver Classic V3 1-3x20mm. It features Japanese glass and it’s made in Japan. Since, it’s build for handling full caliber cartridge for dangerous game hunt, it can withstand heavy recoil and it has a quick reticle. The price varies from $150-$180 online.
The Weaver Classic V 1-3×20 is a compact rifle scope that only weights at 8.5 ounces (241 grams), which is about half the weight of many 1-4x on the market. Its 9.15-inch (232.5mm) length is shorter than the majority of the 1-4x scope. I think all of that make it a good optic for a lightweight black rifle build.
Although the Weaver Classic V 1-3x20mm is made for hunting rifle, it works just fine as a short to medium range AR optic. For how tiny it’s, the eyebox is better than I expected thanks to its ample exit pupil size. Like the any Weaver rifle scope, the 1-3x20mm comes with a lifetime warranty.
The turret adjustment is in 1/4 MOA value. While I like the capped low-profile turrets, the adjustment click is rather mushy and imprecise. In spite of that, the Weaver 1-3×20 holds zero without issue during my test.
At the 1x, it’s not a true 1x but it’s very close. Other than some lost of resolution at the extreme outer edges, there’s no annoying distortion and fisheye as found on the rebranded Opticsan made 1-4x and 1-6x. The contrast and resolution at the center is very good. The field of view at 1x is 87 feet at 100 yards distant is a bit tight..
At the 3x magnification. The center resolution remain decent, although the contrast drops a bit. The view remain distortion free with the edge resolution improved a bit at 3x. However, the field of view of only 29.5 ft. at 100 yds is also on the small side, considering that many 1-4x has equal or bigger FOV at 4x.
Now, lets take about the drawback of the Weaver Classic V 1-3x20mm in addition to the mentioned small FOV and mushy turret adjustment. First, its a old optical design with a simple reticle. The Weaver 1-3×20 have been in production for over 20 years. Although, it also means it’s a mature design with proven reliability.
2nd, it has the old style slow focus eyepiece instead of the now more common Euro-style quick focus. That means it requires many turns to adjust focus and its focus setting is not the same at 1x and 3x. So, you need to choose one of those magnification for the reticle to be in focus. 3rd, it doesn’t has illumination. Probably to keep it simple, lightweight and low cost. Lastly, its packaging rather spartan, it doesn’t even come with lens caps. Aftermarket Butler Creek #1 cap would fit the objective, the Butler Creek #9 cap fits the ocular piece.
Even with all of those, I would still recommend the Japanese made Weaver Classic V 1-3x20mm over any rebranded cheap Chinese 1-4x (PA, Bushnells, Vortex, etc) for about the same money.
Weaver Classic V 1-3x20mm Specs:
|Length:||9.15 inch (232.5mm)|
|Weight:||8.5 oz. (241 g)|
|Eye relief:||4.13 inch (105mm)|
|Exit Pupil:||14.3mm @1x|
|Adjustment per click:||1/4 MOA|
|Adjustment Range:||53 MOA|