Cartridges that can shoot on long ranges are more popular than ever.
However, to be able to bring out the maximum potential of these guns, you’ll need to be equipped with the right scope to go along with it.
Whether you are an amateur game hunter or a professional shooter, there may come a time when you will require something more than what standard sights can offer. And that’s precisely when a long-range scope comes in.
But the current market is filled with a variety of scope models, each ranging differently in price, specs, and features.
So, if you’re having trouble picking the one that can best suit your needs, we’re here to help. And in our guide, we will go over everything you need to know about long-range rifle scopes along with what we believe are the 20 best long-range scopes.
You can check some of our guides on long-range calibers/rifles:
Understanding what is Long Range
While the specific range can change from rifle to rifle or hunter to hunter, in most cases, your long-range efficacy will depend on two factors mainly, your chosen caliber and rifle barrel length. Different firearms are suited for different maximum ranges. For instance, a .22 rifle user would probably classify long-range as around 100 to 150 yards or so.
Meanwhile, a 6.5 Creedmoor user could potentially push their accuracy out to 500 yards or more with the proper long-range scope. In fact, certain Creedmoor rifles can get up to 1000 yards, particularly if they have the right optics to go along with the user.
Therefore, there isn’t a single operational range that we can define as “long” for everyone. You’ll have to know your rifle’s ballistics to determine what long-range means for you. You can check your cartridge ballistics, on websites like GunData.org
Because of this variety, the scopes we’ll discuss below come in all kinds of configurations. In addition, each of our choices will have at least some of the aspects we think you should include in an optimal long-range scope. Let’s get into those aspects now.
If you are already familiar with rifle scopes and want to skip our buying guide and go straight to our 20 suggestions, click here.
What you need to consider before buying a Long Range Scope
The first significant aspect you want to consider is magnification. The exact range that your gun can reach depends on the caliber of bullets that you use and the weapon itself. But your magnification settings also have a drastic impact on how accurate you can be at extended ranges.
For many rifles, magnification settings of around 10x or higher is a great starting point. Obviously, for lower-range weapons like a .22, this might be a bit overkill, but approximately 10x is a good general target, particularly for novice hunters. If you want a scope for a .22, you probably shouldn’t be reading this guide anyway.
Folks who use even higher power firearms like the 6.5 Creedmoor, or even farther range weapons, will want magnification that can bring even more power to the table. Many of the best long-range scopes will have upper magnification settings of around 20x to 30x.
We’ve included several scopes with a magnification of 6-24x or similar, which is excellent for medium to long-range shooting.
Fixed or Variable Magnification
Some long-range scopes have only one magnification setting. These are called “fixed” scopes, while those that can flip through different zoom levels are called “variable.”
The fixed/variable difference is more of a preference than a factor that will drastically alter a scope’s price. You can indeed find many cheaper long-range scopes that only have one magnification setting. But plenty of affordable scopes also have plenty of variation in their magnification.
We’d recommend variable magnification in most cases since having the extra versatility to draw back your sight and see more of the terrain when necessary, could be invaluable during specific hunting scenarios. However, if you find a scope that has a magnification power setting at a range that’s ideal for your needs, there’s no downside to purchasing that model. Just be aware that you won’t be able to change how far the scope zooms.
The objective lens size has a direct impact on how much light is allowed inside your scope’s tube. The wider the lens, the more light is collected by the scope, and the better your sight picture. Bigger lenses create a brighter image for your eye and provide a wider field of view, even with high magnification power. Therefore, scopes that have high power magnification and a wide objective lens will let you see far away without compromising your field of view.
However, more substantial objective lenses will require a higher mounting on your rifle and are bulkier compared to scopes with smaller objective lenses. A big lens might limit the types of weapons that you can mount on a particular scope. Besides, a big objective lens will alter the weight and balance of your firearm, although hunters who shoot while prone won’t necessarily experience this problem.
Try to balance the objective lens size of your chosen scope for your uses. Bigger is often better, but take care not to buy a scope that’s too big for your firearm.
We’ve tried to include scopes that do not have an excessively big objective lens.
Reticle Type – First or Second Focal Plane and More
Reticle type is equally as important as the factors above. For starters, reticles appear on either the first or second focal plane.
First focal plane reticles will appear to change size as you switch between magnification levels. This function keeps the reticle’s estimation hash marks the same relative to the target, even if the size of the points appears to diminish. They will always represent the same distance.
First focal plane reticles don’t require you to perform quick mental math or guess as to the new values of those points.
Second focal plane reticles don’t appear to change even as you switch between magnification powers. These types of reticles are fixed at the one magnification setting on a given scope: usually the highest power possible. This design means that the estimation points on the reticle are only truly accurate for one zoom level.
Every other magnification setting will require you to adjust your estimates either with quick math or spatial guesswork. While this isn’t much of an issue with scopes that only have a few magnification settings to switch between, it can cause problems when switching from, say, 30x power to 12x power.
For these reasons, most experienced long-range hunters and shooters will prefer a first focal plane reticle more often than not. Although they take a little getting used to, they help maintain accuracy through a variety of magnification powers and don’t require you to guess as much. The choice is ultimately your own, but remember that second focal plane reticles can be unwieldy on variable scopes.
Obviously, this point is moot for fixed power scopes since they only have one magnification setting anyway.
The scopes we believe are the best come in both first focal plane and second focal plane varieties. This way, you can find a scope that’s right for you, no matter your preference.
Many long-range scopes also have illuminated reticles. These can be great for accurate targeting in either low light conditions or the brightness of daylight. Whenever a scope has an illuminated reticle, check to see how many different brightness settings come along with it. Various settings allow you to fine-tune the reticle for your eye.
Scopes that make use of BDC, or bullet drop compensation, reticles get a bonus point in our eyes. BDC reticles have a series of estimation points that are stacked in a vertical line directly beneath the center of your crosshairs. These estimation points correspond to your rifle’s zeroed range and allow you to place a shot’s impact point at alternative ranges accurately.
Put simply; a 100-yard zeroed rifle with a BDC reticle might have elevation estimate points corresponding to 100 yards apart beneath the crosshairs. You can still fire a target 400 yards distant by using the BDC elevation points; use the third marking beneath the crosshairs as your aiming target and be amazed by the accuracy.
A BDC reticle is an excellent benefit to any long-range scope, and they don’t take much practice before you get used to them. While they don’t account for wind adjustments, they can take a lot of pressure off of elevation estimates.
BDC reticles are sometimes adjustable for different distance amounts, but they’re usually calibrated for specific ballistics, which is a downside. You won’t often be able to use the same BDC scope for different weapons firing different calibers of bullets.
The durability of your long-range scope often corresponds to how long it lasts. Durability is an essential factor when it comes to more expensive scopes. After all, you don’t want to purchase a brand-new model and have it fall apart after your first hunting expedition.
You should always look for scopes made with aircraft-grade aluminum or a similar sturdy metal for the body or main tube. These kinds of materials will last a lot longer than cheaper stuff and are often anodized or made to be rust-resistant. An anodized coating is particularly great since it decreases the glare of the scope can help you blend into your environment more efficiently, as well.
You should also check to see if the scope is water, fog, or shockproof. These scopes will be resistant to water, fog, and shock damage, so this kind of extra durability is a great advantage. You’ll be able to use these kinds of scopes in inclement weather and virtually any outdoor environment without worrying about them failing you.
Wondering what is the best caliber for long-range shooting? Follow the link to find out.
Durability extends to the optics, as well. Some of the best long-range scopes will have optics made with a particular layer of Armortek coating or a similar material. This coating will prevent the optics from becoming scratched as quickly.
Other chemical coatings that might be placed onto your optics can improve light transmission across the board. The more light that gets collected into the scope, the better your sight picture, so optics that can improve this factor are certainly better than their counterparts.
It’s usually a great idea to try to look for long-range scopes that have multicoated optics, combining both the protective and light transmission capabilities described above. However, keep in mind that many scopes that have multicoated optics will be a little pricier than models that have optics with only one coating of material.
The eye relief matters as well, particularly for rifles that have a lot of recoil with every pull of the trigger. Eye relief the distance between your eye and the scope where you can still see the full sight picture offered and thus maintain accuracy.
Try to find scopes that afford you at least 3.5 inches of eye relief at a bare minimum. This will hopefully prevent you from accidentally receiving a bruise around your eye or on your brow as you lean in intently before taking your shot.
Remember to find a scope with even more eye relief if you wear glasses when you use your rifle.
All of the scopes we’ve included in our top 20 list have adequate eye relief.
Mil or MOA?
The difference between the units of measurement above can matter a great deal. Judging distance between you, your target, and various estimation points are critical when it comes to long-range shooting. While both Mil (milliradians) and MOA (minute of angle) are acceptable measuring systems for scopes, which should you choose?
1 Mil equals 3.6 inches at 100 yards, while 1 MOA equals 1.047 inches at 100 yards. You can convert either measuring system value to the other by multiplying your number by 3.43, but this isn’t an easy mathematical equation to do in your head. This difficulty is why many long-range scopes will have either Mil or MOA measurement approaches rather than both. A few will have combination systems that inform you of both values, but these are somewhat rare.
Ultimately, which of these two you preferable come down to personal experience and likely your geography. Many United States hunters use the minute of angle system while people in other countries or military organizations use milliradians. Many hunting schools use the milliradian system since tons of gun instructors come from an army background.
As there are a plethora of riflescope models in the current market, it won’t be fair to pin the less expensive ones to the more high-end models.
The 5 Best Long Ranges Scopes Under $500
1. Athlon Optics Argos 6-24×50 FFP Rifle Scope Gen 2
Athlon Optics is well known for its affordable but high-quality scopes, and this is a great example. Here’s a first focal plane model – meaning that the reticle shifts in size as you switch magnification settings – that also comes with fully multicoated lenses. In a nutshell, these lenses will let you experience greater clarity across the entire spectrum. They will produce a more colorful sight picture whenever you sight into the optic.
We also really like the overall design of the optic. It’s made from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum, providing superior mechanical integrity and weatherproof functionality. In this case, weatherproof means that it’ll work even in harsh weather conditions and is resistant to “shock” or impact damage.
Even better, the scope has a reticle that’s etched right onto the glass. Such a design means that it won’t jostle or wobble whenever you combine this scope with high power, long-range rifle. The reticle is also illuminated. This provides you with better visibility during the low light hours of the day, and it will help you hit long-distance shots even when your target is in the shadows.
- Comes with an illuminated reticle
- The reticle is etched onto the glass for better durability
- Works in any weather conditions
- Lightweight and durable overall
- Includes parallax adjustment knob
- The reticle is in MIL, less used than MOA
The Final Verdict
Ultimately, this optic is a great choice for long-distance shooting at a budget price. Its durability, light weight, and the illuminated reticle will all help you land your shot when it counts.
2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO, SFP Riflescope
Vortex Optics is arguably the best name when it comes to affordable and high-quality riflescopes, and for a good reason. Their Crossfire II series sees a lot of use with both beginner marksmen and experienced hunters. This model comes with magnification settings between 6 and 24x and 50 mm objective lens. These ranges are typical for many long-range scopes and are great choices for both zooming in close to your target and zooming out to track them as they move.
This scope also comes with plenty of eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box. Thus, you can pair it with a high recoil weapon and not have to worry about your eye-getting smashed by the scope edge. The scope is made from anodized aircraft-grade aluminum and works in both inclement weather and foggy environments.
Of particular importance to long-distance hunters is the BDC, or bullet drop compensation, reticle. This reticle is located on the second focal plane, so it doesn’t change size as you swap magnification settings. But it does allow you to better estimate where your bullet will land across vast distances thanks to the hashmarks on the bottom of the reticle. Estimating bullet drop has never been easier, making this one of the best scopes for long-distance shooting.
- Comes with excellent BDC reticle
- Adjustable objective allows you to eliminate parallax
- Lenses are multicoated for durability and clear views
- Has great eye relief
- Finger resettable turrets are easy to adjust
- Some recoil can offset the reticle
The Final Verdict
It’s an affordable and excellent long-distance rifle scope for hitting targets at different ranges. The BDC reticle makes it an excellent choice if you’re a beginner or just want to thoroughly compensate for gravity’s pull on your projectile.
3. LUCID Optics Advantage 6-24x50mm Sniper Scope
This fantastic sniper scope features magnification settings between 6 and 24x with a 50 mm objective lens. It also features a second focal plane reticle that works throughout every one of those zoom settings, so you don’t need to get used to different reticle sizes as you zoom in and out. Hunters that practice long-distance shooting against rapidly moving targets will appreciate this aspect.
Furthermore, this scope has excellent eye relief ranging from 3.25 to 4.25 inches, depending on your zoom setting. Feel free to use this with high recoil, long-distance rifle! The scope can be adjusted for parallax between 15 yards to infinity and allows for up to 92% light transmission thanks to its lenses’ exceptional coatings.
As any long-distance shooter knows, being able to compensate for windage and elevation is critical if you want to land your shot. This scope allows you to adjust both turrets quickly and easily, and they can be locked to prevent you from accidentally jostling as you move. Thus, you’ll never offset your shots as you move from place to place. They click with a satisfying tactile sensation each time you move them.
- Turrets are easy to use and lockable
- Lenses are multicoated for durability
- Light transmission is top-notch
- The scope is lightweight overall
- Matte finish reduces glare in the sun
- Max eye relief could be a better
The Final Verdict
All in all, this is an exceptional sniper scope that’ll be a favorite for hunters that primarily target fast-moving creatures at farther distances. The windage and adjustment turrets are so good that you’ll wish that other sniper scopes had ones just like them.
You can also read our full guide on the best rifle scopes under $500.
4. Vortex Optics Diamondback 6-24×50 Riflescope
This Diamondback scope provides us with the same quality and innovation that we’ve come to expect from this top-tier brand. It’s a first focal plane optic with zoom settings between 6 and 24 times and a 50 mm objective lens. It also uses extra-low dispersion glass and multicoated lenses. In other words, the sight picture you can expect from this optic should be second to none. The reticle is etched on the glass for added stability and quality, and it features enhanced hashmarks to help you estimate windage and elevation even while scoped in.
Furthermore, the scope is made with aircraft-grade aluminum and is guaranteed to work in wet or foggy conditions. It has exposed tactical turrets and a side parallax knob to allow you to compensate for these effects as you take long-distance shots. Even better, the scope is equipped with a precision glider erector system; this lets you swap zoom settings quickly and smoothly in order to keep up with your target’s changing distance.
Any long-distance hundred knows that being able to sight into your optic quickly is the difference between hitting your target and missing. This scope features a fast-focus eyepiece that enables you to focus on your target quickly, even after meeting back to get a broader view of the surrounding environment. When combined with the excellent eye relief inherent in the scope’s design, you’ll be more than pleased.
- Has a fast-focus eyepiece
- The reticle is etched onto the glass
- Lenses are multicoated and excellent
- Can swap zoom settings quickly and smoothly
- Features parallax and windage and elevation turrets
- Turrets can’t be locked
The Final Verdict
Ultimately, we feel that this scope will be an excellent choice thanks to its fantastic and innovative features, including the fast focus eyepiece and the wonderful reticle. Long-distance hunters will appreciate how easy it makes landing far-off shots.
5. Bushnell Engage 6-24×50 Riflescope 30mm Tube
This quality rifle scope comes from one of the best manufacturers in the business: Bushnell. It can swap between magnification settings through 6 and 24x and has a 50 mm objective lens. To protect those lenses, flip open covers for both the objective and eyepiece lenses are included with the purchase. These are great not only for protection from dirt and debris but from degradation under direct sunlight.
The scope is also bolstered with weatherproof conditioning and a premier protective lens coating to repels water, oil, dirt, and debris. Long-distance sharpshooters will definitely notice the antireflection coating that provides excellent brightness and true color sight pictures no matter what time of day it is. This will let you hit distant animals that somewhat blend into their environment more easily than you would otherwise.
This scope’s best features are its turrets, bar none. All of the turrets can be locked to prevent you from accidentally bumping them out of place. But they also don’t need any tools to be operated with precision, making this scope a great field use tool. You can also adjust for parallax thanks to the side-mounted dial: another critical feature for any successful long-distance shot.
- Allows you to compensate for parallax well
- Has moderate eye relief at 3.6 inches max
- Turrets lock
- Made to work in any weather
- Has several lens coatings
- The reticle can occasionally fall out of alignment
- The reticle is a bit too small for some people
The Final Verdict
The 5 Best Long Range Scopes between $500 and $1000
1. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50mm SFP
Here’s another great Vortex Optics scope that magnifies between 6x and 24x with a 50 mm objective lens. It also features multicoated and extra-low dispersion lenses. These increase overall resolution and color fidelity across the spectrum, so it’ll be easier to appreciate the natural landscape and spot your target at distances close to 1000 yards. These lenses are also bolstered by special coatings that protect them from dirt or debris.
But we also want to point out the fast focus eyepiece that allows you to properly adjust the reticle to your eye in a blink. This will allow you to scope into a fast-moving animal in the far distance faster than many other scopes would enable.
Turrets of Quality
Here, there are windage and elevation adjustment turrets that make wonderfully audible clicks every time you move them. But we also must point out that you can zero stop them whenever needed; in other words, they can go back to zero quickly after being dialed to temporary elevation or windage conditions. Parallax adjustment is enabled as well.
This scope also features on our best scopes under $1000 guide.
- Can zero-stop your windage and elevation turrets
- Lenses are well-made and coated
- Includes a fast-focus eyepiece
- Made of quality materials all around
- Provides a great sight picture
- Included lens covers are a bit cheap
- Adjusting magnification requires a bit of force
The Final Verdict
All in all, this is a fantastic rifle scope that’s well worth the asking price due to its wonderful lenses and exceptional turrets. Don’t forget the fast focus eyepiece that will make your long-distance hunts that much easier!
2. Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm Riflescope
Leupold is one of the best names in rifle scope manufacturing, and this rifle scope demonstrates why. It’s a 100% waterproof and fog proof optic, with additional protection against shock damage. It also features a first focal plane reticle that magnifies alongside the image, allowing you to better estimate range and track your target at long distances.
Furthermore, this phenomenal scope is an ultra-lightweight model, so it’s easy to pair with tons of rifle builds. It disperses recoil energy better than almost any other scopes on the market, making it a perfect partner for high-powered rifles suitable for shooting up to 1000 yards.
Twilight Max Light Management System
By far, the most impressive feature of the scope is the proprietary Twilight Max Light Management System. In a nutshell, this system combines premium lens clarity and full-spectrum lens coatings to provide you with an extra 20 minutes of shooting light. This can make all the difference when you are trying to hit a target at long distances during dusk or dawn shooting hours.
- Very lightweight and durable
- Great eye relief between 3.7 and 5.3 inches
- The reticle is phenomenal
- Leupold quality
- Parallax may come into play
The Final Verdict
Any hunters that prefer expeditions taking place in the dawn or dusk hours of the day will really appreciate this rifle scope, as they’ll benefit from additional minutes of light thanks to the light management system.
3. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50mm SFP Riflescope
This is Vortex’s response to many of the top-tier riflescopes suitable for shooting at long ranges. It features magnification settings between 5 and 25x and has a 50 mm objective lens. The reticle is set on the second focal plane, so it’ll remain the same size even as you swap between magnification settings. The reticle comes with several intuitive hold points but is remarkably uncluttered, making it a perfect design for long-distance shooters that might need to adjust for several elements before they take a shot.
The lens glass is also extremely high quality. Its extra-low dispersion to increase resolution and color fidelity. Other coatings increase the lens durability and protect it from scratches or dirt. The scope as a whole is argon purged, and o-ring sealed, enabling it to work in any kind of weather.
The scope also comes with a set of some of the best turrets we’ve ever seen, which is important for any long-distance endeavor. The turrets are laser etched, making them great for those who need to adjust for wind compensation or bullet drop. Parallax can also be adjusted, and all the turrets can be set to zero-stop. Lastly, the turrets come with a fiber-optic rotation indicator so you can keep track of each turret’s position with ease.
- Turrets are extremely easy to use
- Parallax can be compensated for
- Glass lenses are phenomenal
- Works in any weather condition
- Comes with great eye relief – max 3.4 inches
- Eye window could be a bit bigger
The Final Verdict
This pricy rifle scope is nonetheless worth the money thanks to its fantastic functionality and its wonderful set of turrets. Long-distance shooters will appreciate being able to compensate for any scenario.
4. Burris Optics Veracity 5-25×50 Riflescope
Here’s another top-tier long-range rifle scope for up to 1000 yards. In fact, it’s already been designed for shooting up to 700 yards, in particular, making it a great scope for hunters that operate around this range frequently. It can magnify between 5 and 25x and has a 50 mm objective lens, and you can zoom five times in a blink using the turning dial near the eyepiece.
The side-mounted and top-mounted turrets allow you to adjust for windage and elevation or compensate for parallax depending on your needs. Each turret rotates smoothly and clicks audibly, so you don’t get lost with your position. The only downside is the lack of visible markings for the turret settings.
Of particular note are the fantastic lenses that come with this rifle scope. These lenses allow for almost unparalleled brightness and clarity no matter what time of day you try to shoot. Long-distance shooters will appreciate this more than most since they’ll be able to more easily spot targets that are far away and somewhat hidden in shadow.
- Lenses provide fantastic sight pictures
- Turrets rotate smoothly
- Machined for action up to 700 yards
- Can swap zoom settings quickly and easily
- Turrets don’t have clear markings for all settings
The Final Verdict
All in all, it’s a specialty scope for marksmen going up to about 700 yards. The lens quality and overall functionality of the optic will make it a favorite for most so long as you don’t need to keep excessive track of your turret positions.
5. Rudolph Optics Tactical T1 6-24×50 Riflescope
This long-range optic can magnify between 6 and 24x with a 50 mm objective lens: these are standard features for riflescopes for sharpshooters. It also comes with a T3 reticle, which enables you to take advantage of special holdover points for estimating windage and other bullet-affecting factors. It’s located on the second focal plane, so it remains consistent for both your long-distance shots and your closer, more traditional hunting scenarios.
This scope also benefits from extremely consistent eye relief. It only ranges between 3.7 and 3.8 inches regardless of your magnification setting. In other words, you won’t need to worry about the scope bumping into your eye and causing injury even if you combine it with a high recoil weapon. The scope’s body is made with lightweight, aircraft-grade aluminum, and it functions in any kind of weather.
Lens Sharpness is Unrivaled
The lenses here are truly fantastic. They come with several top-tier coatings that allow for efficient light transmission regardless of your magnification setting. They also provide weather resistance and scratch resistance, meaning that the scope should last for a long time to come even if you use it in frequently-sunny environments with lots of dust in the air.
- Has consistent eye relief all around
- Lenses are excellent in quality
- Has matte finish for aesthetic and function
- The reticle is great for hunting
- Turrets could be a bit smoother/more tactile
The Final Verdict
It’s a great long-range scope for distant sharpshooters thanks to its wide magnification spectrum, efficient lenses, and excellent reticle. It’s also very consistent and comfortable, thanks to its narrow range of eye relief.
The 10 Best Long Range Scopes over $1000
1. Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27×56 FFP
Here’s a great Vortex Optics contender for the best riflescopes for over $1000. It has a reticle on the first focal plane, enabling you to adjust no matter how far you zoom in or out, and it can swap between 3x and 18x magnification with a 50 mm objective lens. This shorter zoom maximum means it’s just as good for hitting up close and personal targets as it is for hitting targets over 1000 yards away.
But it also features a locking turret system that can prevent you from accidentally changing your windage or elevation values. It also comes with a visual rotation indicator to let you keep track of your turret revolutions very easily. The low dispersion and anti-reflective glass coatings make it an even better scope overall.
Of particular importance to the long-range sharpshooter is the illuminated reticle that can be swapped between 11 different intensities. Basically, you can use this rifle scope for far away hunting both at high noon and at low light levels of the day, thanks to the quality of this reticle. The reticle is etched on the glass for added durability and stability.
- Has an excellent illuminated reticle
- Made with great windage and elevation turrets
- The reticle is etched on the glass
- Lenses are antireflective and high-quality
- Altogether suitable for any weather
- Lens caps are not very good
The Final Verdict
With the exception of the rather cheap lens caps, this is one of the best long-range rifle scopes on the market. Its turrets, lenses and illuminated reticle make it a fantastic piece of equipment worthy of the asking price.
2. Nightforce Optics 5.5-22×56 NXS Riflescope
This long-range optic can magnify between 5.5x and 22x, and features a slightly wider than average 56 mm objective lens. This enables it to collect more light and makes it a great choice for shooting over 1000 yards away. Like the last scope, this choice also has an illuminated reticle to let you take advantage of its excellent visibility in any type of light environment.
The scope also comes with an excellent, aircraft-grade aluminum body that keeps its overall weight down and its durability of. Furthermore, the scope has a matte black finish. This is great for any long-distance stealth hunter, as it will prevent the sun from glaring on the surface of your optic and alerting your target to your presence.
Another great aspect that makes this ideal for long-range shooting is its turrets’ ability to “zero-stop,” resetting once you need to bring your windage and elevation aspects back to normal. This allows you to better compensate for either variable when you are taking distant shots and lets you move around rapidly without having to take lots of setup time in between each shot.
- Has excellent windage and elevation turrets
- Lenses are made with excellent quality
- Made with lightweight but durable aluminum
- Has matte black finish
- Much too expensive for beginners
- Some long-range scopes can zoom in a bit more
The Final Verdict
While it’s not the farthest range scope on the market, it does a great job of balancing agility and long-range functionality. The turrets and lenses make it a quality piece of equipment.
3. Schmidt Bender PMII 5-25×56 Riflescope
This long-range riflescope is from a manufacturer that doesn’t usually compete with more common companies, but it’s well worth your time and money. It has a wide magnification range between 5 and 25x with a 56 mm objective lens. This enables it to collect plenty of light for long-distance shots. The reticle is on the first focal plane, and you get a great field of view between 5.3 and 1.5 m depending on the zoom level.
Furthermore, you get excellent eye relief of about 3.5 inches even at maximum zoom. Durable aluminum makes up most of the body, and it’s finished with a matte black cover that can prevent you from exposing your position to your target. The reticle can be illuminated between 11 different settings, and the lenses benefit from almost 100% light transmission.
Innovative Turret Design
We’d like to point out the presence of excellent windage and elevation adjustment turrets, and a separate parallax turret that allows you to compensate from 10 m to infinity. But more importantly, this scope includes a unique color-coded double turn elevation knob. This gives you an instant reference to where the elevation is set and allows you to compensate quickly if your target moves up or down, like if you are hunting on a mountainside.
- Elevation turret has a unique feature that makes it great
- Made with an excellent body
- Lenses provide good light transmission
- The reticle is illuminated between 11 settings
- Good eye relief overall
- Expensive compared to most
The Final Verdict
Ultimately, this long-distance and high-powered sniper scope will be a great choice for those who have a little extra cash to spend and who are interested in the innovative turret’s design.
4. Trijicon AccuPower 5-50×56 Riflescope
This long-range rifle scope can go farther than any other we reviewed so far: it can magnify between 5x and 50x, easily enabling you to hit long-distance shots. It also has a 56 mm objective lens, which is great for hunting or target shooting. The scope is bolstered by extra-low dispersion glass that can help your sight picture deliver true color no matter the light level.
The lenses are multicoated even more to eliminate glare and prevent light loss. The body of the scope is made with hard-anodized aluminum to protect it from the weather and any corrosive damage. The only negative thing about this scope is that the reticle is on the second focal plane, which will be a bit tricky to use, given the wide range of magnification settings.
This scope also has an excellent illuminated reticle with 10 settings in total. Five are red, and five are green, so you can decide which color works best for your background environment and your surrounding light level at the time of your shot. This is all controllable via a single knob that moves smoothly.
- Includes an excellent illuminated reticle
- Magnification is very smooth
- One of the longest range scopes around
- Made of great construction materials
- Lenses are phenomenal
- The reticle is clunky on the second focal plane
The Final Verdict
This rifle scope will be a great choice if you want to hit targets as far away from 1000 yards as possible, and you can compensate for the immobility of the second focal plane reticle.
For something less powerful, see our .223 optics guide.
5. Zeiss Conquest V4 6-24×50 ZMOA-1 Reticle
This rifle scope is a classic and functional sniper’s optic, capable of being zoomed between 6x and 24x with a 50 mm objective lens. The reticle is on the second focal plane, and it’s boosted by the presence of six layers of transmission coatings to improve color and resolution across the spectrum. It features a decent eye box, too, which enables you to rapidly acquire your target.
Furthermore, the scope is made from aircraft-grade aluminum. It’s also entirely functional in any kind of weather and features a stealthy matte finish for reduced visibility on the part of your target. Changing between magnification settings is rapid, thanks to the smooth design of the main ring near the eyepiece.
We’ll always appreciate optics with zero stop turrets since they offer a critical function for any long-distance sniper. These allow you to reset your windage and elevation values back to zero if you need to make an adjustment. But the turrets are also great in general, with tactile feedback and great turning precision.
- Turrets are well made and can zero-stop
- Good eye relief overall at 3.5 inches
- Decent-sized eye box
- Good matte finish
- Lens coatings are great
- Turrets have to be adjusted with a wrench
The Final Verdict
For the most part, this riflescope is an excellent piece of equipment that won’t let you down in any weather. The lenses, turrets, and weatherproof body all make it a great optic for sniping at any range.
6. Vortex Optics Golden Eagle HD 15-60×52 SFP
This long-range optic can go beyond most others on the market, reaching an upper magnification setting of 60x with a 52 mm objective lens. This will seriously enable you to hit targets that are extremely far away, especially since the scope benefits from high-density lenses that are index-matched and multicoated. This all means that they provide you with high definition images and have antireflective properties, so you enjoy maximum brightness even at the highest magnification setting.
It’s a little heavy overall at 29.5 ounces, but the body is made from just a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum. The scope comes with extra-fine resolution turrets that allow you to make adjustments of just 0.125 MOA per click. It’s a precision tool for a precision marksman.
Being able to sight into your target quickly, even at a distance, is imperative in a good long-range scope. This optic allows you to do just that thanks to the design of the eyepiece. You can focus your reticle quickly and easily, even against a moving target. The reticle also comes with several holdover points to help you estimate bullet trajectory from afar.
- Has a great eyepiece overall
- Made with quality materials
- The reticle is simple and easy to understand
- Turrets allow for fine adjustments
- Comes with an aluminum objective and eyepiece caps
- A bit heavy compared to most other scopes
- The lowest setting isn’t good for the closer, traditional hunting ranges
The Final Verdict
This slightly bulky optic is nonetheless a great choice if you want fantastic performance and functionality at distances over 1000 yards on your next hunting expedition or target practice competition.
You can also check our full review of Vortex.
7. Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm Riflescope
This Leupold rifle scope doesn’t disappoint in any measure. It can magnify between 5 and 25x and has a 56 mm objective lens, providing excellent light transmission at any of the zoom values. The reticle is on the first focal plane, and the lenses are boosted by extreme military-standard scratch resistance. Feel free to take this scope into the desert, as it’ll even continue to function in a sandstorm!
It’s also durable all around, thanks to its aircraft-grade aluminum construction and weatherproofing. Furthermore, it’s lightweight and can help disperse recoil energy. Pair it with a high-powered rifle, and you’ll see what we mean. The turrets are steady and can provide 30 Mils of adjustment with three revolutions.
Twilight Max Light Management System
This classic Leupold innovation returns once again, allowing you to take advantage of limited light in the dusk or dawn hours of the day. We can’t stress enough how important this is for long-range shooting. It’ll let you hit shots on distant targets that you wouldn’t be able to see without the system’s presence. All in all, it’ll give you about 20 extra minutes of shooting light every day.
- Includes Twilight Max Light Management System
- Made with fantastic materials
- Withstands recoil quite well
- Lenses are coated very well
- Turrets are steady
- Eye relief never quite reaches 4 inches
The Final Verdict
This top-tier scope is almost unparalleled on the market. Its innovative design and fantastic features make it a great general sniper’s optic or a choice scope if you want to hit your targets in the early or late hours of the day.
8. Primary Arms Platinum Series 6-30×56 FFP Rifle Scope
This rifle scope is an adaptive long-range optic, with variable magnification settings between 6x and 30x. The 56 mm objective lens comes with a first focal plane reticle, which is itself and optimized and updated version of a classic Mil-dot variant. The lenses are coated for extra durability and better light transmission.
Furthermore, the scope as a whole is built with heavy-duty materials and top-of-the-line Japanese glass. It weighs over 38 ounces in total, making it a little heavier than average. But it’ll work in any weather, and the scope is covered by a lifetime manufacturer warranty for any defects. Thus, it’s great value for money, even with the high asking price.
This scope boasts a fantastic illuminated reticle. It’s bright red but is compatible with night vision accessories on the lowest setting, making it a great scope to combine with nighttime expeditions or tactical operations. It also works great in full daylight hours on the highest setting. The scope comes with a matching sunshade and flip caps for added value.
- The illuminated reticle is great all around
- Made with durable materials and a hard-anodized black finish
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Lenses are made with great clarity
- Includes a few minor accessories
- A little heavier than average
The Final Verdict
All told, this phenomenal rifle scope will be a favorite for anyone used to MIL-style reticles in the first place and anyone who will benefit from combining their optic with night vision equipment.
9. NightForce ATACR 7-35x56mm F1 Riflescope
This rifle scope is another great choice for optics intended for use over 1000 yards. It has a relatively unique magnification range between 7x and 25x, and a 56 mm objective lens for extra light collection and better clarity. The lens is even better because it has an illuminated reticle that will allow you to use the scope in low light conditions or bright conditions alike. It’s on the first focal plane, which gives it added versatility for long-range engagements.
The scope is waterproof, and fog proof for added durability and the lenses are multicoated for increase light transmission and better protection against dirt and debris. The scope never becomes too heavy even with all these improvements.
Tactical MIL Turrets
This scope comes with some of the best turrets around. Each turns at .1 Mils and provides you with responsive, tactile feedback with every click. They’re laser etched and easily marked, enabling you to see exactly where you turn them. An additional sunshade rounds out the scope’s offerings.
- Comes with great turrets
- The purchase comes with a sunshade
- Lenses are made with multiple coatings
- Good materials overall
- Reticle is illuminated
- Stock amounts can vary, may be difficult to find
The Final Verdict
Ultimately, this top-tier long-range rifle scope is a precision optic that’s ideal for those who hunt at varying elevations. Use the turrets to their fullest extent, and you get the most bang for your buck out of this scope.
10. Burris Optics XTR II 5-25×50 Riflescope
Here’s a pricey yet high-quality Burris rifle scope that can alternate from 5x to 25x magnification with a 50 mm objective lens. It’s an excellent long-range optic suitable for hitting targets over 1000 yards away thanks to its absolutely amazing lenses. These are designed with special coatings to facilitate top-tier light transmission, making it even easier to distinguish animals with fur that blend in your environment.
But it’s also an excellent rifle scope for its durability and versatility. The scope is made primarily from aircraft-grade aluminum and is designed to work in any type of weather. The reticle is illuminated for even more benefits during low light conditions. You can choose between five different reticle types depending on your prior experience and preference, making this one of the more customizable rifle scopes for long-distance hunting on the market.
This scope also benefits from a set of excellent tactical turrets for windage, elevation, and parallax adjustment. Each of these turrets clicks audibly and rotates smoothly. Plus, the turrets adjust to their associated values quickly and accurately to let you compensate for a moving animal even at far ranges.
- Very good windage and elevation turrets
- Can easily compensate for parallax
- Has great lenses all around
- Made to work in any weather
- A little heavy compared to many other scopes
The Final Verdict
Overall, this long-range riflescope is a great pick both because it allows you to tackle parallax (a key issue for any long-range optic) and because of its phenomenal turrets and lens design.
You might also be interested in our Remington 700 optics guide.
As you can see, long-range scopes can be found within several different pricing points. This is great since it allows even hunters on a budget to still purchase a great model of scope that has plenty of features to make it worthwhile. Of course, the most expensive scopes are often the best when it comes to the sheer number of features or the quality of the construction.
Scopes that are under $500 will have a standard assortment of features and capabilities. Nearly all of them will have a protective coating or materials of some kind, with many of them being water, shock, and fog proof.
Between $500 and $1000
Scopes between $500 and $1000 will have a few more features and advantages compared to their cheaper counterparts. In general, scopes around this pricing range will offer a slightly better quality of construction. Many scopes around these prices will also come with some accessories or other trinkets to improve the value of the purchase.
Scopes that are $1000 or higher in cost are the cream of the crop. They’ll be made with the best materials, and many of them come with lifetime warranties to help make up for their initial first hit to your wallet. These are among the best scopes you can buy for long-range accuracy.
Overall, the type of scope you should buy heavily depends on your budget and your needs. We’d recommend sticking with a pricing point that makes sense for how often you go hunting or use your rifle for long-range shooting. For instance, if you only occasionally take your firearm out to hit targets with your friends, it doesn’t make much sense to purchase one of the most expensive and high-quality long-range scopes when you could easily make do with a cheaper model.
If, on the other hand, you’re a hunter that takes long-distance accuracy seriously, and you and your companions head out every hunting season to take home new trophies, purchasing one of the higher end scopes is something you should consider. When it comes to firearms and their accessories, you get what you pay for.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a focal plane?
The reticle is placed in either the first (front) or second (back) focal plane in rifle scopes. The relationship between the reticle and the target does not alter with magnification when using a first-focal plane reticle. This means that a graduation of 10 MOA at 5X equals 10 MOA at 10X with a graduated long-range reticle. Reticles in the second focal plane do not amplify the target. This means that at 10X, a reticle with a graded mark that extends to 10 MOA at 5X will extend to 20 MOA.
Because the reticles are bright and simple to see at low magnification, second-focal plane rifle scopes are popular for hunting. Because the sub-tensions of the graduation markers used for windage and elevation holds fluctuate with magnification, they’re not popular for long-range shooting.
What is the difference between first focal plane and second focal plane?
When you zoom in or out on a second focal plane (SFP) scope, the reticle remains the same size. That implies the hashmarks will represent various distances at different magnifications and ranges when it comes to holdovers. They are normally set to a standard zero distance of 100 yards by the manufacturer.
A reticle on a first focal plane (FFP) sight changes size with the image as you zoom in or out. This ensures that the hashmarks for holdovers will be accurate at any magnification and distance. FFPs are, of course, more expensive.
Ideally, you’ve gained a better understanding of what a long range rifle scope entails, and you’re ready to choose one. Keep these suggestions in mind, and you’ll be on the right track.
What budget should I have for a long range rifle scope?
Within 600 meters, a sub-$1,000 scope is commonplace, with many of them costing significantly less than a grand. Long-range shooting is a very different ballgame, and scope cost reflects this dramatic distinction. Misses on far targets might be unpleasant or puzzling due to a lack of visual clarity, ruggedness, and high-quality construction.
Quality is expensive, and finding a reliable scope for long to extreme long distances for less than $1,000 is like finding a year-old Corvette for $25,000. It happens infrequently, and when it does, you’re left wondering what the catch is. However, if your definition of “long-term” is more subjective, there’s a chance you’ll strike it rich.
How much magnification is needed for long-range shooting?
A good long-range scope will have a magnification range of roughly 5-20x, depending on your caliber and shooting purpose. This range should be powerful enough for practically any long-range shooting scenario.
What is the longest range scope?
The plethora of long-range scopes on the market today can be daunting, but the March Genesis ELR 6-60x is currently the most powerful scope available.
What is a good long-range scope for a rifle?
This is somewhat dependent on one’s definition of long-range. However, most long-distance shooters should look for a scope with a magnification range of 5-20x, a first focal plane MRAD or grid-style reticle, and completely coated lenses.
No single rifle scope, no matter how perfectly built and designed, can cater to every customer’s needs and demands. So, before you pick a scope, make sure that the model you are willing to go for has all the particular specifications that you need and want. And more importantly, always keep your budget in mind before you feel like putting a hole through your savings for the more higher-end scopes.
I hope you enjoyed our guide today.
Till next time!