Best Long Range Rifle Scopes – the 13 Best Optics in 2019

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 exactly 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 13 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 2 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 13 suggestions, click here.

What you need to consider before buying a Long Range Scope

Magnification

The first significant aspect you want to consider is magnification. The exact range that your rifle is capable of depends on the caliber of bullets that you use and the rifle 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 around 10x is a good general target, particularly for novice hunters.

Folks who use even higher power firearms like 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.

You should decide what your maximum operating range is before starting to browse. It won’t do you any good to get an ultra-high-powered long-range scope with fixed magnification at 25x if you attach said scope to a .22, for instance.

We’ve included several scopes with a magnification of 6-24x or similar, which is great for medium to long-range shooting.

Fixed or Variable Magnification

Some long-range scopes have only one magnification settings. 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. It’s true that you can 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.

From our 13 recommendations, 12 are for scopes with variable magnification. There is a great scope for fixed magnification fans as well.

Objective Lens

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. In addition, 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 which 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. They will become smaller as you increase the magnification power of your scope. 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. However, they can become quite small at some of the more extreme magnification powers. They might take a little getting used to and can be hard to work with on very long-range scopes.

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-range 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.

BDC Reticles

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. You won’t often be able to use the same BDC scope for different weapons firing different calibers of bullets.

Durability

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 type of outdoor environment without worrying about them failing you.

Lens Coatings

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.

Eye Relief

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 13 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 .36 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 we use milliradians. In fact, many hunting schools use the milliradian system since tons of gun instructors come from a military background.

Make sure that any scope you choose has measurements depicted in the style with which you’re familiar. Otherwise, you’ll have to go through an extensive learning curve to effectively use your scope.

The 13 Best Long Range Rifle Scopes

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.

So we will categorize our top pick in different budget groups, and thereby try and make your scope search a bit easier.


Long Ranges Scopes Under $500


1. Athlon Optics Argos 6-24×50 FFP Rifle ScopeAthlon Optics , Argos BTR, Riflescope, 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane (FFP) 30 mm Tube, Illuminated APMR MIL Reticle,

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This scope has a wide range of magnification settings, shifting from 6x to 24x, and a first focal plane reticle. The magnification levels are combined with a 50mm objective lens, so you’ll get a generous field of view with sharp focus even at higher zoom levels. The magnification range and the 50mm objective lens are perfect for long-range shooting.

The lenses have also been fully multicoated with exclusive XPL material that provides excellent light transmission and improves your sight picture and color contrast. This coating can be particularly helpful if you’re trying to spot a target that blends in with the environment, which happens often when shooting on long ranges. This coating also protects the optics from grease and scratch damage.

Illuminated reticle

The reticle has been etched solidly onto the glass. It’s illuminated to offer better visibility during the dusk and dawn hours when ambient light levels are low. 

The rest of the scope is similarly durable, as it’s made from a tube of aircraft-grade aluminum that gives the model superior mechanical integrity. The scope has also been argon purged to provide it with waterproof functionality and increased thermal stability. This shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof scope is usable in practically any weather.

It can withstand any recoil your rifle throws at it, as long-range rifles usually pack a punch.

There’s a knob to adjust parallax on the left-hand side of the scope. Parallax adjustment and elimination are particularly useful at farther ranges. It does use the Mil system for its measurements, which is less common in America. In addition, the eye relief provided is 3.3 inches. This is a little low for comfort, but it’s enough that the scope should be fine for use with most rifles.

At this price, you simply cannot beat the Athlon. One of the best long-range scopes out there.

Pros:

  • Great optics and coating
  • The reticle is etched and illuminated
  • A good field of view

Cons:

  • Slightly low eye relief

2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO, SFP Riflescope Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24x50 AO, Second Focal Plane Riflescope - Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA)

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This rifle scope has a reticle on the second focal plane, meaning that it won’t change sizes as you switch between its 6x-24x magnification levels. The reticle is also a dead hold BDC variety. This makes it an excellent choice for long-range shooting. You’ll be able to use the distinctive vertical estimation hash marks on the BDC reticle to account for elevation changes at ranges different from your zeroed range. 

There’s a knob on the left-hand side of the scope to allow you to completely remove parallax and give you greater image focus, especially at long ranges. In addition, the lenses have been fully multicoated to provide excellent scratch protection and exceptional light transmission. The views through the eyepiece of the scope are clear and bright with color contrast.

Good Eye Relief

This scope has four inches of eye relief, so it’s excellent for use with long-range rifles that have a lot of recoil. The eye box is forgiving, as well, and is designed with a coordinating fast-focus eyepiece. The eyepiece helps you catch your target quickly and focus your reticle snappily.

It’s also quite durable, being made from aircraft-grade aluminum and boasting waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof functionality. It’s nitrogen purged, and O-ring sealed to prevent water or fog from entering the scope’s delicate interior or fogging up the lenses.

This scope uses MOA measurement settings, which is the more common of the two in America. The only major downside to this scope is that the reticle has a very dim red dot in the center of the crosshairs. This is a little difficult to see during bright daylight hours. However, it’s very good when it comes to lowlight shooting situations during dusk or dawn.

Pros:

  • Excellent BDC reticle
  • Good eye relief
  • Bright and durable optics

Cons:

  • Dim center dot

3. Nikon Monarch 3 BDC Riflescope, Black, 4-16x42mmNikon Monarch 3 BDC Riflescope, Black, 4-16x42

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This Nikon riflescope features a magnification range between 4x and 16x with a 42 mm objective lens. The lens is coated with an Ultra ClearCoat Optical material that provides 95% light transmission. Given the relatively low asking price, this is excellent and allows for a very bright sight picture even if the optics aren’t as durable as the scopes we looked at above.

The reticle is another excellent BDC type, although it doesn’t have the windage or elevation hash marks like before. Still, it’s a good reticle for firing beyond your zeroed range at higher power.

Four inches of eye relief is available, allowing for easy combination of the scope with high-powered rifles without worrying about the chance of bruising your brow or eye. In addition, the eyepiece has been designed to allow you to bring the reticle into focus quickly. This way, you can track your target and make a shot as soon as you see the opportunity.

Instant zero-reset turrets

You can adjust the scope easy with a few instant zero-reset turrets. You can adjust your elevation or windage calculations on the fly and listen to the audible clicking sound that the turrets make to keep your eye on the target at all times. A side focus knob allows you to adjust your parallax with long-range magnification settings.

The scope is water, fog, and shockproof and is constructed from a single piece of durable metal. The rings inside have been spaced to ensure that fog doesn’t cover the lens, even in inclement weather. 

The scope comes with a lens cover to protect the optics while they aren’t in use, adding even more value for money.

With its BDC reticle and excellent light transmission, this scope is a great choice for medium to long-range shooting.

Pros:

  • BDC reticle
  • Good adjustment turrets
  • Comes with lens cover

Cons:

  • Optics aren’t scratch-resistant

4. SWFA SS 10×42 Tactical RiflescopeSWFA SS 10x42 Tactical Riflescope Mil-Quad Reticle 1/10 Mil Adjustments Rear Focus SS10X42MQ

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This scope is the first fixed type that we’ve looked at so far. It has a set magnification power at 10x with a 42 mm objective lens. At 100 m, you’ll have about a 3.9 m field of view. The lens has been fully multicoated to protect it from scratch and dirt damage. It also improves overall light transmission to provide a brighter sight picture and optimal color contrast. 

It offers 3.9 inches of eye relief, which is good for use with rifles that have a bit of kick to them. Acquiring your target is snappy thanks to the provided sight picture.

The matte coating that covers the scope helps to reduce sun glare and can let you maintain your camouflage your position for longer even in direct sunlight.

MIL Reticle

The scope uses the Mil measurement system, and you can make adjustments to your windage or elevation marks at 1/10 Mil. A side parallax adjustment knob lets you switch this value from 10 m to infinity at your leisure.

All of these adjustment knobs feel extremely tactile and precise. It’s easy to get the perfect adjustments every time and especially when you need to take an accurate shot fast. They feel stiff enough to remain locked in place unless you apply real pressure to move them. This eliminates the possibility of them shifting if the scope bumps or recoil is high. 

The scope is also completely water, fog, and shockproof. This design, combined with the matte coating and the protected optics, makes one of the most durable and affordable scopes all in one lightweight package. It weighs less than 20 ounces and is relatively compact, to boot.

Overall, this is one of the most affordable scopes you can get that provides consistently good performance at 10x power. Hunters or rifle owners that want to target practice without purchasing all the bells and whistles will appreciate this piece.

Pros:

  • Great adjustment knobs
  • Good eye relief
  • Excellent lens

Cons:

  • Only has one magnification setting

5. Vortex Optics Diamondback 6-24x50mm FFPVortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24x50 First Focal Plane Riflescopes - EBR-2C (MOA) Tactical Reticle

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This first focal plane riflescope has magnification settings along with the standard powers of 6x-24x. You’ll be able to use the windage and elevation hash marks consistently throughout any of its magnification levels. It uses the MOA style of measurement, more common among American civilians than anywhere else. The glass-etched reticle is sturdy and stable and won’t shake or move even after repeated use and lots of recoil. 

The scope is bolstered by low dispersion glass that collects and focuses light from the environment much more effectively than many counterparts. The lenses have been multicoated to provide a crisp sight picture with plenty of contrast between the colors. At the same time, the lenses are resistant to scratch or ambient damage from dirt and debris in the air.

The eye relief is generous, and the eyepiece allows for fast focusing on your reticle.

Changing magnification is enhanced thanks to a precision glider rector system. This system uses premium components inside the zoom lens to make switching from power to power smooth and snappy. Such speed could be potentially critical for catching a target at a distance and having to go to a higher magnification quickly. A magnification rib on the inner ring facilitates fast switching, as well.

Easy Adjustments

The scope has exposed tactical turrets and a side parallax knob. All of these allow the shooter to adjust their windage, elevation, and parallax values to their liking. The knobs are also relatively flat and don’t take up as much space as many other scopes’ knobs.

Finally, the scope is made from a single 30 mm tube of aircraft-grade aluminum, which has been enhanced to become water, fog, and shockproof. Its O-rings have are sealed, and the body has been nitrogen purged to guarantee that no fog will cloud the optics. Furthermore, the body has a hard-anodized finish to lower the glare that the scope gives off in direct sunlight and which resists corrosive damage over time.

For a scope under $500, this is an absolute steal given all the features and functions that come inside its compact package. The only real improvement that could be made would be a boldening of the reticle, which is a little dim and thin in bright daylight conditions.

Pros:

  • Great construction and durability
  • Switches magnification settings quickly
  • Good optics/light transmission

Cons:

  • The reticle is a bit thin/dim

Long Range Scopes between $500 and $1000


1. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50mm SFPVortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50 SFP Riflescope VMR-1 MOA

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This rifle scope also has magnification settings ranging from 6x to 24x, but its reticle is on the second focal plane. The reticle won’t appear to change size from the 24x setting, although this will require a bit of estimation on your part at lower power levels.

The lenses are coated with two types of materials: XR and Armortek. The XR coating improves light transmission and boosts the sight picture provided by the scope. The resolution and color fidelity it brings are at higher levels than many competing models. The Armortek coating protects the lenses from scratch damage and helps them maintain clarity even after long periods of use.

Precise Turrets

There are exposed target-style turrets on each main side of the scope. These allow you to adjust your various windage, elevation, and parallax values with finger adjustable clicks. There’s an included Zero Stop feature that lets you return all your values to zero after making some corrections or adjustments.

In addition, a radius bar is included with the turrets. The bar lets you adjust the turrets through tactile sensation much more precisely and reliably than you might think.

Another mechanical improvement is a precision glider rector system that ensures smooth magnification changes in a hurry. This system prevents the lenses from jamming as you switch from power to power. 

The scope offers a generous amount of eye relief, but the eye box is a little narrow. The eyepiece is a fast focus type that lets you adjust the reticle to your eye quickly. 

The body of the scope is made from a single tube of aircraft-grade aluminum and is o-ring sealed and argon purged. These measures ensure waterproof and fog-proof performance. The hard-anodized finish makes the scope shockproof and reduces glare, as well as improving rust resistance.

Pros:

  • Excellent durability
  • Good magnification switch consistency
  • Tactical, responsive turret adjustments

Cons:

  • The eye box is a bit too narrow

2. Nikon Black X1000 6-24x50mm SFP Riflescope Nikon Black X1000 6-24x50SF Matte IL x-MOA

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This scope also has a second focal plane reticle. The scope can magnify at powers between 6x and 24x. A 50 mm objective lens provides ample light collection and a good field of view, even at the maximum magnification power. Interestingly, the reticle is designed for use at the 18x power setting rather than the maximum of 24x. This setting means the scope will be genuinely accurate with its hash marks at 18x power.

The lens has been glass-etched and is illuminated. You can control how bright the reticle is with a small control on the side of the scope. There are 10 different levels of red illumination, plus an “off” setting if you want to rely on the scope’s unilluminated etched marks.

Multicoated Lenses

Furthermore, the lenses are multicoated. These coatings combine antireflective and light boosting capabilities, simultaneously stopping light from reflecting into the scope to create glare while collecting as much of it as possible. They also help to protect the optics from damage.

There are windage and adjustment knobs, of course, along with a side-focus parallax adjuster as well. You can switch all of these and rely on the tactile clicking without having to look up.

As a whole, the scope is water, fog, and shockproof and is made from aircraft-grade aluminum. It’s been O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged to ensure reliability in all weather conditions.

Pros:

  • Good optics
  • The reticle has 10 brightness settings
  • Durable

Cons:

  • The reticle isn’t optimized for highest power magnification

3. Bushnell Elite Tactical G2DMR FFP Reticle Riflescope Bushnell Elite Tactical G2DMR FFP Reticle Riflescope (6-24x50-mm)

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This riflescope has a reticle on the first focal plane. It magnifies between 6x and 24x power, combining with a 50 mm objective lens. The optics have been fully multicoated, improving light transmission, image clarity, and lens durability all at the same time. Rain Guard HD technology enhances this aspect even further and has been integrated to prevent fogging or moisturizing of the lenses even in extremely humid or rainy conditions.

Switching between magnification settings has never been easier, thanks to the Throwhammer tech integrated with the scope. This tech lets you change magnification power with a quick flick of your finger. 

MIL

The scope uses the Mil measurement system, so keep this in mind if you are used to MOA. A side parallax adjustment knob set to .1 Mil values per click is available. This makes your long-range accuracy even better, and the windage and elevation turrets are similarly precise.

The scope is of a single piece of material that’s been argon purged. This construction gives it improved durability and reliability even after heavy use. 

In addition, the scope comes with a 3-inch sunshade to protect both your eye and the lens in bright daylight. There are also a scope cover and a turret tool. A limited lifetime warranty is included, too. This warranty covers manufacturer defects, so it’s a nice boost to value for money.

Pros:

  • Easy to switch magnification levels
  • Accessories and warranty
  • Great optics and coatings

Cons:

  • Not fully fog or shockproof

4. SWFA SS 3-15×42 Tactical Rifle Scope FFP SWFA SS 3-15x42 Tactical Rifle Scope FFP Mil Quad Reticle 1/10 Mil Adjustments SS315X42MQ

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This scope has magnification powers through 3x to 15x and boasts a 42 mm objective lens with a first focal plane reticle. This is smaller than the lenses of many of the long-range scopes we’ve looked at so far. But it also has the benefit of keeping the scope lightweight and compact. It’ll be easier to balance on more rifles due to its smaller objective lens. 

The reticle is a patented Mil-quad type. This reticle has a longer downward mark with more elevation estimate hash marks. While it’s not a BDC reticle, it does have some of the better elevation adjustability you’ll see from that type. The optics have also been fully multicoated to improve light transmission and prevent scratch damage.

It also has a matte finish. This finish makes the scope look great, of course, but its real value is in reducing the sun glare that the scope will reflect. It’s easier to remain hidden in brush from your target with this kind of finish.

Excellent Eye Relief

The eye relief of the scope is particularly generous, measuring in at about 4.2 inches. This eye relief is plenty of space for even higher power rifles that have a lot of recoil with every shot.

There are windage and elevation adjustment knobs, as well as a side parallax adjuster that goes from 6 m to infinity. All of these knobs use the Mil system of measurement.

The scope is water, fog, and shockproof. It has quite a bit of durability despite its small size and compact frame. Altogether, it’s a versatile and practical model that justifies its high price with a lot of sound construction and design choices and an excellent reticle.

Pros:

  • Good reticle design/lots of eye relief
  • Matte finish
  • Compact and light

Cons:

  • Somewhat narrow eye box

Long Range Scopes over $1000


1. Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27×56 FFPVortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56 FFP Riflescope EBR-2C MOA

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This scope has an etched glass reticle on the first focal plane and can switch between magnification powers of 4.5x to 27x. These magnification settings combined with a 56 mm objective lens that allows for a wide field of view and optimal light transmission.

In addition, the lenses are XR and Armortek coated to improve light transmission and provide you with exceptionally bright sight pictures. This coating also prevents glare from the sun from interfering with your accuracy during high-light conditions, as well as passively improving overall lens durability and lifespan.

Illuminated Reticle

The reticle has 11 different illumination settings to switch between based on your preferences and the ambient light level around you. These settings can be controlled via the parallax adjustment knob on the left side of the scope. This knob alone serves a dual purpose that can be a little clunky at first, although once you get used to it, it’s not so bad. 

The elevation windage and adjustment knobs have a locking mechanism to prevent you from accidentally switching these values when you don’t intend to. This is a great addition since they’re a bit bulky and liable to snag on equipment if you’re not careful. These knobs and the other markings on the reticle all use the MOA style of measurement.

The eyepiece is a fast-focus model. The reticle will be brought into sharp focus very quickly, so this scope can be particularly useful when you spot sudden motion outside the eye box and dive back down to get a closer look.

Of course, a scope that’s this expensive is water, fog, and shockproof. It’s made from durable aircraft-grade aluminum and has been O-ring sealed and argon purged. The lenses have Armortek coating to add to its durability. This coating prevents scratch or oil damage.

The magnification power here is among the highest we’ve seen so far, marking this scope as a good choice for long-range shooting.

Pros:

  • 11 illumination settings
  • Good durability
  • Great optics, durable
  • Fast-focus eyepiece

Cons:

  • Illumination and parallax controls on the same knob

2. Nightforce Optics 5.5-22×56 NXS Riflescope Nightforce Optics 5.5-22x56 NXS Riflescope, Matte Black Finish with Illuminated MOAR Reticle, Zero Stop Turrets, .250 MOA, 30mm Tube

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This scope has a reticle on the second focal plane and can switch between 5.5x and 22x power. The objective lens measures at 56 mm to provide an ample field of view and plenty of space to collect light for visuals. Keep in mind that this larger lens might require a significant mount for your rifle depending on your model.

The reticle is illuminated and built for durability, although you can also turn this illumination function off if you’ll perform better without the glow in your eye. It depends on your ambient light level. The lenses are also coated to improve their light transmission and prevent them from suffering scratch or oil damage.

Zero-Stop Adjustment Turrets

This scope makes use of zero stop adjustment turrets. This functionality allows you to stop your turrets from moving past your zeroed range as you adjust them without looking. The chances of accidentally messing up your windage and elevation estimates are, therefore, quite low.

This addition is very nice for a similar reason as the above Vortex scope: the knobs are bulky and liable to be accidentally nudged if you’re not careful. The knobs allow for up to 100 MOA of internal adjustment.

The scope has one of the snappiest eye boxes we’ve seen. It allows you to focus your eye to the reticle very quickly in tense situations, although the eye box width could be a bit larger.

The scope is constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum and is resistance to water, fog and shock damage for ultimate durability and value for money. A matte black finish prevents sun glare from revealing your position to animals, and matte coverings are good for their lack of scratch risk, too. Glossier materials end up looking worse over time.

The snappy eye box and large lens improve light collection and user accuracy: two qualities that are essential for good long-distance shooting.

Pros:

  • Very durable
  • Good optics
  • Zero stop turrets
  • Illuminated reticle

Cons:

  • The eye box is narrow

3. Primary Arms 6-30X56 FFP Scope with Illuminated DEKA MIL Reticle Primary Arms 6-30X56 FFP Rifle Scope Platinum Series with Illuminated DEKA MIL Reticle

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This scope has a wide magnification range, going from 6x to 30x. You can easily land shots past 600 yards with the upper end of these levels. All of these powers work well with a 56 mm lens and a first focal plane reticle that’s designed to be illuminated for easy sighting in variable lighting conditions.

The reticle glows red and can switch between multiple different illumination settings depending on your needs. At its lowest settings, it can be utilized in conjunction with night vision equipment. On the higher end, it’s bright enough to allow excellent accuracy even in broad daylight.

Excellent Reticle

The reticle is etched onto high-quality Japanese glass to provide enhanced clarity and light transmission. This also lets it be seen more easily if you choose not to use the illumination feature at all. It, and the windage and elevation adjusters, all use the Mil style of measurements.

The turrets are locking in zero resettable, so you can make your estimate adjustments without going over or under. As these knobs are quite bulky, this safety measure is very welcome to anyone who’s ever snagged their scope on their other gear.

The scope is also heavy-duty and made with a high strength tube that’s been anodized and is resistant to water, fog, and shock damage. The black finish also prevents the scope from suffering from corrosive damage over time, as well as reducing sun glare and keeping your profile low when you don’t want to be noticed.

But if the scope is damaged, it’s covered by a lifetime manufacturer warranty that covers any defects from the materials or workmanship, as well as normal wear and tear. That’s phenomenal value for money, even with the high asking price. For even more value, a sunshade and flip cap are also included.

The highest magnification setting we’ve seen means that this scope is fantastic for long-range shooting and hunting. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed.

Pros:

  • Lots of value for money
  • Zero resettable, locking turrets
  • Illuminated reticle

Cons:

  • No scratch-resistant coatings on optics

4. Burris Optics XTR II 5-25x50mm Riflescope

Burris Optics XTR II Rifle Scope - 5-25x50mm Riflescope - Tactical Shooting, Long Distance Shooting

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This rifle scope has a nicely varied magnification range. It’s capable of going from as low as 5x power to as high as 25x power. Each setting makes good use of a 50 mm objective lens. This provides plenty of space to collect light while allowing for a generous field of vision, even at the higher end of the magnification range.

It uses a Mil-dot reticle and measurements, so take care when purchasing if you’re more used to the common MOA style. The reticle is also illuminated, so you can rely on it for placing your shots accurately regardless of the ambient light level.

Durable

The optics come from a high-grade glass that provides excellent durability and clarity all at the same time. While the eye relief is great, the eye box is still a bit narrow and snapping to your reticle isn’t as reliable as some other models.

The windage and elevation adjustment knobs are particularly precise and allow for smooth shifting through tactile sensation. A parallax adjustment knob is located on the left-hand side of the scope to help eliminate parallax at farther ranges.

The scope also comes with sunshade to help justify its price. This sunshade can help guard your eyes, or the lens itself, in bright daylight. But an even better aspect is the forever warranty included with the purchase. This warranty allows you to contact Burris if the scope ever declines in function due to manufacturing errors or regular wear and tear.

While this doesn’t replace the rifle from a catastrophic accident, it’s nice to have this financial safety net in place due to its high asking price.

Altogether, the parallax adjustment knob and fantastic maximum magnification setting make this scope a great pick for long-range shooting.

Pros:

  • Good adjustment knobs
  • Good optics
  • Comes with sunshade
  • Lifetime warranty included
  • Illuminated reticle

Cons:

  • Not a super-snappy eye box

Price Ranges

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.

Under $500

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.

Over $1000

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 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.

Conclusion

No single rifle scope no matter how perfectly built and designed can cater to every customer 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.

Hope you enjoyed our guide today.

Till next time!