Although the term “long range” differs from one shooter to another, a range of 600 yards is generally considered long enough to take into account different ballistic factors, while above 1000 yards falls into the “extreme long range shooting” category.
When you get into higher quality long range scopes they’re all pretty similar. But for mid-tier scopes when you don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket, you’ll have to be careful and do your research.
Many factors will come into play here. For instance, do you need a scope that has a lot of adjustments (up/down and left/right), can easily be returned to its original position, has a simple or complex reticle, is light in weight, and fits your budget? Also, do you need the scope to have excellent clarity for viewing targets at a particular distance and size?
Whether you’re looking for your first long range scope or thinking about upgrading an existing scope, we will help you find the best long range scope from a myriad of choices. Get ready, it’s time to master long range shooting!
Best Long Range Scopes – Affordable & Quality Optics
So, what is the best long range scope on the market? We’re about to get there. We’ve put our shortlisted choices into different categories, depending on their types, price points and other factors that you’ll see for yourself. Let’s get down to business …
Long Range Scopes Under 500 USD
1 Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes
Despite it being one of the cheapest in our Top 10, this scope is incredible value for money and has lots of premium features. It will certainly exceed all expectations from what you would expect from an affordable long range scope.
This scope has a longer eye-relief and a fast-focus eyepiece as well as a resettable MOA turret that is improved in both design and functionality. It also has multi-coated lenses.
It is fabricated from a single piece of aluminum tube that is nitrogen purged. It is both fog-proof and waterproof. The eyepiece has a fast focus and there are readjustable MOA turrets.
- The scope measures 14.5 x 2 x 1.7 inches and weighs 2.2lbs. Its power is 6-18×44 and is, therefore, adjustable. There is a BDC reticle making it good for shooting and hunting at a variety of ranges.
- It has a fast-focus eyepiece with an eye box that is really forgiving and long eye relief. These features mean you can easily sight your picture.
- The reset turrets can be adjusted easily with your fingertips and have MOA clicks that are resettable to zero once you have sighted in.
- Great value for money
- Adjustable magnification
- BDC reticle
- Great warranty for the price
- Not great quality zoom above 5x – can appear a little blurry
- Not great in low light
We believe this is the best long range scope because you can’t fault its value for money. It’s clear that other users love it too, especially the .22 LR users. It’s one of the highest rated products on top eStores. These figures speak for themselves!
2 CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope 6-24×50 AOE Red and Green Illuminated Scope
The CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope is such an impressive find that it made it into our second spot. It has a magnification range of 6-24x50mm and a field of view of 28 feet and 100 yards making it an ideal scope for those on a budget.
We couldn’t believe how great this scope was for its price. What we really loved about this scope was that it didn’t go blurry for short distance (i.e. less than 20 yards) as do many inexpensive scopes that have fixed parallax distances of around 50 yards.
The scope comes with a battery included as well as a lens cover and 2 scope mounts for a 20mm weaver dovetail rail.
- 6-24x magnification
- 50mm objective diameter
- 28-foot field of view (at 100 yards)
- 1/8” click value (at 100 yards)
- Red and green illuminated
- 2lbs in weight (approximately)
- Takes a CR 2032 battery (included in the purchase)
- Excellent price and value for money
- Clear focus right down to as little as 10 yards
- Clear optics
- Slight too long
- Turrets aren’t great
This is a great companion for your long range shot so you don’t have to go back home empty-handed. What’s more, it’s so cheap that if you really don’t like it, then you haven’t spent a lot of money. However, we think you’ll love this product and so placed it in our second spot.
3 Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope
The Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope is a game-changer. It is such an innovative scope that you can see it as a great piece of kit for your rifle. It has a Quick Target Acquisition (QTA) eyepiece that has lots of eye relief.
I liked how easy this scope was to adjust too. The SureGrip adjustments were great when I was shooting in colder weather and my fingers were chilly!
In terms of features, it has been constructed with one piece, meaning it is stronger and more durable. What’s more, the optical glass is fully coated so the images are sharp and bright and have excellent contrast. Finally, it is fog proof waterproof and shockproof – excellent characteristics for extreme weathers and all users!
- 3-9×32 in size
- Matte color
- Dovetail mounting rings (3/8”)
- Field of view (100 yards) = 31.4
- 75” eye relief
- .25 click value
- Adjustment range of 60
- Well made
- Good quality for the price
- Very good light transmission for its price
- Excellent clarity
- Turrets are difficult to use
- The rings are a bit tricky to use
Once again, this is one of the best long range scopes for the money. If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced yet high-quality scope that could help you take a precise shot 1000 yards away, Simmons 511039 is a good find.
4 ATN X-Sight II HD Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope w/1080p Video
If you are planning to use your rifle scope in low light or, say, in the dark, you can’t go wrong with the ATN X-Sight II HD. We put the scope to test from our end and were impressed by its result. We used different levels of brightness to test it and it stood out from the rest of its peers. They call it Smart HD Optics Technology, and you can rest assured that your photos will be crystal clear.
In terms of magnification, the scope flaunts 3-14x power with smooth zooming capacity which feels premium.
What was even more exciting for us was the ability to film your shoots in HD with RAV (Recoil Activated Video). This is something that, personally, I could spend hours poring over!
Another great aspect of this long range hunting scope (LRHS) is its built-in rangefinder because it makes things so simple when trying to range a target. So, you no longer have to carry another piece of gadget dedicated for rangefinding.
This scope calculates the distance for you so that you have the most accurate shot every time. It also has a ballistic calculator so you don’t need to look at charts. It’s a great piece of kit!
- 22 hours of battery life with 20000mAh battery
- 240ft field of view (at 1000 yards)
- 1/8” adjustment per pixel
- Measures 11.6 x 3.4 x 3.1 inches
- Weight – 2.15 pounds
- Magnification 3-14x
- Excellent nighttime shots
- HD video playback
- Battery can be recharged
- Has WiFi
- You need a micro SD card (but this isn’t included)
If you want to playback your shooting, this is a great lightweight scope. We loved being able to test this at nighttime as well as during the day and the quality is still excellent no matter the light level. It’s important to note that this scope won’t work if you don’t have high power, which might be off-putting for some. We still love it though and thought that the pros definitely
5 Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
We’ve listed this best long range hunting scope in our next category as it is more expensive. However, you can really see the improvement in quality with this product.
This is a great scope for those who want to shoot at close and medium range. The turrets are etched by laser and are easy to use. There is also a rotation indication which helps you to keep track of your turret’s position too.
The Vortex Optics Viper PST also has an intuitive reticle that has 10 intensity levels. It is also equipped with a red dot for your convenience.
The lenses are multi-coated, which helps to increase light transmission. What’s more, this scope is both fog-proof and waterproof as well as durable. It has a rugged construction that is shockproof and made from a single piece of aluminum.
- Measurements 1 x 1 x 1 inches
- Weight 1.42 pounds
- Available with lots of different magnifications
- Available in first focal plane and second focal plane types
- Fog and waterproof
- Multi-coated lenses increase light transmission
- Excellent turrets that are easy to use
- Rotation indication is great
- Great rugged exterior
- The red dot is bright
- Barely audible clicks
- Some complaints about sight picture not being the best
Overall, this is a great product. The reviews online are overwhelmingly positive and back up our thoughts on this product. If you just want a scope that you can zero at one-inch-high from 100 yards away, this isn’t the scope for you as you will be paying for features that you don’t use.
6 Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
This is certainly a high-quality product priced under 1000 USD and has multi-coated lenses that are able to give enhanced light gathering. The turrets are well designed and easy to use with clicks.
This is a versatile long range shooting scope that is great for all types of shooting whether it’s at home, out hunting or target shooting and tactical applications. It is manufactured using a single piece of aluminum, which makes it super strong and durable.
- VMR-1 reticle (great for use with moving targets and wind)
- Hashmark second focal plane reticle
- Fiber optic turret rotation
- Airplane-grade aluminum
- Dimensions: 19.8 x 4.2 x 4.5”
- Weighs 2.65 pounds
- 1/4” MOA
- Very good optic
- Great clarity
- Crisp clicks
- Great ‘repeat zero’ setting on the reticle
- Heavier than a lot of others in this guide
- Zero stop and return-to-zero can be a bit of a chore to use
Vortex is a reliable name whether you need a 308 scope or a 300 blackout scope or a 223 scope. The brand is on top even in manufacturing rimfire scopes. This is a great scope for the money and has great glass considering its price. We found it easy to relax and fire consistently. One final thing that impressed us is the fact that Vortex offers a lifetime warranty. This so something you that definitely can’t be beaten!
7 Burris Optics XTR II Rifle Scope – 5-25x50mm
The first thing that struck me about this scope is just how clear the glass is! When you compare this to other high-end scopes with a similar magnification, it holds its own.
The body has a large diameter and is robust without losing its tactile feel. The knobs are precise and crisp and also look high quality.
In terms of brightness, the lens is great and, with the larger tube, you don’t lose any of the light.
Accuracy-wise, it was easy to zero and the scope performed exactly as the spec says it will for each adjustment made. It was almost perfect every time and had a perfect zero return. It can easily cope with large ranges to 1000 yards and beyond.
It is certainly worth the money and you can rest assured with the unconditional warranty it comes with.
- Size: 20 x 5 x 5 inches
- Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Magnification: 8-40x
- Lens: 50mm
- MOA illuminated reticle
- Main tube: 34mm
- Front focal pane
- Zero click stop adjustment knobs
- Great optics
- Fantastic precision
The only off-putting thing about this scope is its cost. However, you do get what you pay for. As soon as you take this out of the box it is clear that it is a high-quality scope that has been well designed and well manufactured to the highest specifications. We certainly enjoyed experimenting with this scope on our AR15 and 6.5 creedmoor rifles as well as different cartridges, such as .338 Lapua Magnum, .50 Browning Machine Gun (BMG), and .30-30 Winchester; and seeing what it was capable of! If you consider yourself a sharpshooter and have the money to spend, this is a good find.
8 ATN ThOR HD 384 Smart Thermal Riflescope
This scope has an excellent image. Its 384×288 sensor is perfect for shooting during the dark as it detects heat rather than light. This means that even in complete darkness, you get a good image of what you’re shooting.
We tried this in pitch-black darkness and we have to say that we found this to be an exciting piece of kit! The ballistic calculator means that you can calculate your bullet’s trajectory and so you can hit your target more precisely.
Another thing that we loved about this scope was its zoom and the built-in hunting rangefinder. Unlike many scopes that have a step zoom system, with this scope, you get a smooth zoom and you never lose what is in your field of vision.
The cost of this scope is obviously going to be a factor for many but we found that you get a lot for your money. The HD video and photos were good quality. This scope also has RAV (Recoil Activated Video) as well as Wi-Fi streaming so you can take a close look at all of your shots. You can also use a phone or a tablet
- Size: 10 x 6 x 6 inches
- Weight: 2 pounds
- 384×288 heat energy sensor
- Recoil Activated Video
- 1080p HD video and images
- ATN Ballistic calculator
- Built-in rangefinder
- Smooth zoom
- Requires 4x AA batteries
- Excellent image performance
- The smart rangefinder is good
- Excellent ballistic calculator
- Zooming beyond 100 yards often requires refocusing
This is the most expensive choice of scope on this list and with that, you get some of the latest technology. It is a great entry-level thermal scope but much better at regular distances than anything over 100 yards. We also found it difficult to zero on things that weren’t a “hot” target. The image does become pretty pixelated when zooming at 5x but overall, for the price, it is a pretty good find for a thermal scope.
9 Bushnell Engage 6-24X50 Riflescope
This scope was developed alongside military experts and law enforcement and you can certainly tell! We found this scope to be reliable, even more so because it features all the latest breakthroughs by Bushnell Optics. What’s more, it was precise. You can see how good the quality control is.
The Bushnell Engage scope has a 44 millimeter objective lens with 30mm tube, allowing enough light for late and early shooting. The protective coating of the lens is high quality for repelling liquid, mist, dust and debris.
We found it housing amazing eye relief and parallax adjustments could be maintained by a side-mounted dial, making the job easy. The eyepiece diopter was also adjustable.
The illuminated Deply Moa reticle is a great piece of kit and is multi-coated so its images are clear and well lit even in mid or short-range targets, thanks to the built-in elevation adjustment hashmarks and 1-MOA windage.
The tool-less-zero-reset-locking-turret in the device makes the dialing simple.
Finally, you won’t need any additional tools for releasing or locking-in turrets. It has a blacked-out finish so that you can blend into the background.
To help with low lighting, the ultra-wideband coating helps the transmission of light and boosts the brightness of the shot at dusk and dawn. This product also has a limited lifetime warranty, which we think is great!
- Weight: 23.7 oz
- Magnification: 6-24x
- Lens size: 50mm
- Field of view: 18? (at 6x, 100 yards), 4? (at 24x, 100 yards)
- Eye relief: 3.6”
- Length: 14.3”
- Finish: Matte
- Mounting length: 6”
- Travel per Revolution: 8 MOA
- Premium anti-reflection lens coating
- Water and dust proof
- Fogproof performance
- Nice controls
- Firm clicks
- Lifetime warranty
- Holds its zero well
- Quite big – not suitable for low bases
The Bushnell Engage was popular amongst our testers and we certainly found it to have a clear and precise view. One of the great things is that it has a limited lifetime warranty so you can rest at ease with spending so much money for a scope. What’s more, as this scope holds its value, even if you don’t get on with it or want to upgrade in the future, it’s a great item for trade or resale.
10 Nightforce Optics 5.5-22×56 NXS Riflescope
The Nightforce Optics 5.5-22×56 NXS Riflescope is an excellent scope. The objective lens is simply outstanding and gives maximum resolution and clarity even to its longest ranges.
This is clearly one of the most advanced scopes available and its magnification is so wide that it sets it apart from its rivals. It is just as good at shooting at 5.5x as it is at 22x.
Our testers found it to be fast and accurate in every situation. It is obvious that great care has been taken over this design and the execution of it. You can tell that it has undergone rigorous testing too.
However, this is a top of the range scope that costs in excess of $2000. Unless you’re a professional or a serious enthusiast, you do not need to spend a sum like these scopes for long range target shooting.
- Weight: 3.3 pounds
- Adjustments: 100 MOA internal adjustment
- Magnification: 5.5-22x
- Lens: 56mm
- Zero stop turrets
- Tube size: 30mm
- Illuminated MOAR Reticle
- Finish: Matte black
- Material: 6061-T6 aluminum (aircraft grade)
- Battery: 1 x lithium-ion (included)
- Glass is exceptional
- Excellent tracking
- Fantastic reticle in all light situations (including no light)
- Excellent zero stop
- Amazon reviews are all 5 stars (12 reviews)
This exceptional scope is the best companion of any sniper in all aspects. It certainly meets all your scope needs for every situation. However, the off-putting thing about this scope is its price. Retailing at the $2000 mark, it is a serious scope for serious long range shooters. Of course, this scope is worth it, but there are many more reasonably priced scopes that do a great job for half the price or less.
Best Long Range Scopes [Buying Guide]
The first thing to consider when looking for a long range optic is the magnification power. It is often tempting to choose something more powerful than you need so don’t go overboard!
2. Fixed or Variable Magnification
Long range rifle scopes are either variable power or fixed power. One that is fixed will be written like 10x35mm. This means it is a 10 power scope so what you see is 10 times larger through the scope. A scope that has variable power will be written like 5-15x30mm. This means that the magnification will be between 5 and 15 times larger.
3. Objective Lens
When we look at the power, the second number refers to the size of the lens on the end (not the one you look through). When a lens is bigger, it will let more light enter the scope and so you will have a brighter image.
4. Reticle Type – First or Second Focal Plane and More
The different reticle types have different uses and advantages. It can be hard to decide on a preference. With a First or Front Focal Plane (FFP) reticle, the reticle size appears to change when the magnification changes. With a Second Focal Plane (SFP) reticle, the reticle will be the same size no matter the magnification.
There are several more types, including circle, fine crosshair, dot, German, duplex, illuminated, non-illuminated, old and modern rangefinding, bullseye, SVD-type, Christmas tree, and so on.
5. BDC Reticles
A BDC reticle has hash marks at the positing marking 6 o’clock on the reticle. This helps the shooter calculate where their shot will land after a certain distance. The hash marks are sometimes circles, likes or chevrons.
6. Adjustments: Clicky Clicks and Turny Turns
Riflescopes mainly use adjustments that measure ¼ minutes of angle (MOA). One Minute of Angle is the equivalent to 1/60th of a degree. With a scope with ¼ MOA adjustments, the bullet impact with move ¼ inch at a distance of 100 yards with one click.
The adjustments are usually in turret form. Usually, there are 2 or 3 turrets and each adjusts a different setting.
If your scope has variable power, there will be an adjustment called the power ring. This is typically found on the front of the ocular bell.
7. Tubes: Length, Construction, Purge
The center of the scope is often referred to as the “erector tube” or “main body tube” and it usually has a diameter of one inch. With a larger tube, you will have a heavier scope.
Tubes are often manufactured using aluminum that is resistant to corrosion. When a tube is purged, it means that is has been completely sealed using O-rings and has been completely emptied and filled with a special gas like argon or nitrogen. A purged tube is essential as it keeps moisture out.
8. Lens Coating
There is usually one single chemical that coats objective lenses. All exposed optical surfaces will have been coated with a single chemical. A lens that is multi-coated, will have seen a large number of chemicals.
9. Eye Relief
A scope’s eye relief measures the distance of your eye from the eyepiece while you’re still able to see everything. Wearers of glasses should choose a scope that has a longer eye relief.
10. MIL or MOA?
Whether your scope measures in MILS (Metric Milliradians) or MOA (Minutes of Angle), it doesn’t matter. The difference is simply that MOA is an imperial measurement whereas MILS is a metric measurement.
11. Weather Protection
It is important to protect your scope from the weather elements during cold, sunny and humid days – no matter the type of shooting disciplines you’re involved in. Many scopes are purged to prevent fogging and condensation on the lenses.
What Exactly is a Long Range Scope?
What do we think of when we use the words “long range”? Do we mean 50 yards? 100 yards? What about 500 yards?
In order to understand what we mean by long range, we need to think about what type of scopes we’re referring to. It’s probably best to judge a scope on the distance when the iron sights are no longer effective when shooting.
Most experts consider 300 yards to be the distance point when we begin to talk about long range scopes. As for the maximum? You can’t put a number on it like you can do on a golf rangefinder, but there are some long range scopes that will reach 1000 yards.
So, a long range scope, therefore, is one that can hit a target of at least 300 yards well but you should also be able to go further than that. For a scope to be effective at distances like these, it will need some extra features.
For the entry level shooters, an extended range scope should have 10 power at least with good optics and parallax focus. It should also have a BDC reticle and turret adjustments.
In our search for the best long range scope, we came across a vast array of great choices. What surprised us most was just how many online reviews scopes get. Obviously, reviews aren’t the be-all and end-all in our conclusions on the best long distance scopes but we found that, for the most part during our experiences of the products, we agreed with what we read online. A product’s popularity certainly adds weight to the decision when deciding which scopes to put into our list of the best scopes for long range shooting.
There are so many different scopes for sale and there is something for everyone, regardless of budget. Of course, manufacturers know that buyers have different requirements and tastes, which is why there are so many different options.
We hope that with our long range scope reviews we’ve succeeded in helping you make your decision about which scope to buy, or at least helped you narrow down your choices! If you’re struggling to make your decision, our Number 1 pick won’t disappoint.
1. What reticle do most snipers prefer?
Ans. The mil dot reticle tops the chart since it helps snipers make precise adjustments when shooting past or in between a rifle’s zeroing range.
2. What scope magnification do I need for a 1000-yard shot?
Ans. If you’re hunting, in a tactical situation or taking part in a competitive shooting event, you’ll need over 18X magnification at the very least. But for target practice at the range, 10X will work fine for you.
3. What is a return-to-zero stop on a scope?
Ans. A return-to-zero stop is a feature that allows you to quickly and accurately return your scope to its original zero point. This is important for long-range shooting because it allows shooters to make adjustments without losing their original zero point, which helps improve accuracy.
4. What are the different types of long range shooting competitions in the USA?
Ans. Here are the most popular competitive long range shooting in the USA:
a) Precision Rifle Series (PRS): This is a series of matches that tests the shooter’s ability to engage targets at varying distances and from different shooting positions. There are several stages in every match, with each stage requires you to engage a set of targets within a specified time limit.
b) National Rifle League (NRL): The NRL features a variety of shooting scenarios, including positional shooting, timed stages, and team events. They’re known to place a strong emphasis on safety and ethical hunting practices.
c) F-Class: F-Class is a long-range shooting competition that focuses on precision shooting at distances up to 1,000 yards. The competition is divided into two classes: F-Open, which allows any caliber and optics, and F-TR, which restricts shooters to .223 or .308 caliber rifles and bipods for support.
d) King of 2 Miles: The King of 2 Miles challenges you to engage targets at distances up to two miles. This competition involves different shooting positions and scenarios, including shooting at moving targets often at extreme angles.
e) ELR (Extreme Long Range) Central: If you take part in ELR Central, you’ll have to engage targets of different sizes and shapes at distances beyond 1,500 yards.
5. How much to spend on a long range shooting scope?
Ans. A good quality long range scope will cost you several thousand dollars. Entry-level scopes typically start around $200-$300, while mid-range scopes can cost around $500-$1,000. High-end, premium scopes can cost upwards of $2,000 or more.
6. Is there any difference between a long range hunting scope and a long range scope for sports?
Ans. Yes, they’re not the same. Long range hunting scopes come with features tailored to hunting, such as lower magnification ranges for quick target acquisition, rugged construction to withstand harsh outdoor conditions, and reticles optimized for hunting scenarios.
On the other hand, long range scopes for sports, such as precision shooting competitions or tactical applications, usually have higher magnification ranges, more precise and complex reticles, and adjustable turrets that allow for quick and precise adjustments to the scope’s zero. But there are also some long range scopes that can be used for both hunting and sports.