Long range scopes are designed to help you constantly hit targets at 1000 yards. Even the best marksman may not be able to accomplish high level precision by simply point shooting. You need a quality scope to achieve a precise distance shooting. Finding the best long range scope can be challenging especially when making your first purchase.
Most long range rifle scopes are expensive and most people may be unwilling to spend so much money on a scope only to realize that it does not meet all their long-range shooting needs.
To help you choose the best long range scope that will meet all your long range shooting needs, we will discuss some of the things to look out for in a long-range scope after we share the best long range scope reviews with a quick comparison table. If you would like to skip to the tips for buying long range scope, click on that link.
What is the Best Long Range Scope on the Market?
If you are looking for the quick answer to the 2 most common questions about the best long range scope : what is the best long range scope on the market? or what is the best scope for long range shooting?
The quick answer is this list of our top 10 carefully selected best scopes for long range shooting in the market today. The following is the list of the best long range scopes that you can use for either long range shooting or long range hunting:
Best Long Range Scopes List
- Schmidt & Bender PMII 5-25×56
- Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm
- Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm
- EOTECH Vudu 5-25x50mm Precision Rifle Scope
- Primary Arms PLx 6-30x56mm
- Zeiss Conquest V6 5-30×50
- Swarovski X5i 5-25×56
- Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50
- Steiner PX4i 4-16×56
- Nikon Black FX1000 6-24×50
Now that we have seen the quick list of the best long range scopes, It helps to start the in depth review of each of these long range scopes by highlighting the best long range scope brands that are reputable and have been tried and tested.
5 Best Long Range Scope Brands
The are so many rifle scopes in the market, making it hard for most buyers to identify the most reliable long-range scope. If you do not know which scope to buy, you can try to identify the best long-range scope based on the brands available.
We have provided you with reviews of some of the most reliable long-range scope brands in the market. Here are some of the best long-range scope brands.
1. Schmidt & Bender
The Schmidt & Bender is a family-owned German company that makes quality scopes for competition shooting, law enforcement, military shooting applications and hunting.
Their long-range scope won the Precision Sniper Rifle Program of the US SOCOM (United States Special Operations Command) which gave them a $34 million contract with the US military.
All their scopes are made using the strictest processes in the industry. They are made meeting all ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management.
Their optics are assembled by hand to guarantee quality. Due to the company’s attention to details, they can only produce a limited number of quality optics each year.
2. Leupold & Stevens, Inc
Leupold & Stevens is a reliable long range scope brand that has been designing and manufacturing high quality, American-made optics for five generations. It was founded in 1907 by German immigrant, Fred Leupold and initially focused on repairing survey equipment.
The company started designing and manufacturing rifle scopes after Fred’s son, Marcus, missed a shot on a deer because his scope fogged up. All theirs scopes are designed to provide reliability and impressive glass quality. Leupold scopes are among the best in the world.
They are used by US Army snipers, Navy SEALs, and Secret Service agents. Leupold’s Mark 4 and Mark 6 series of riflescopes are also common amongst Iraeli Defense Forces.
Swarovski Optik is part of the Swarovski group of companies. It is headquartered in Austria. The name Swarovski is known for its crystal and gemstone jewelry but the company is also focused on “capturing the natural magic of light.” They produce high-performance rifle scopes.
Their scopes are made using the best glass quality in the world. Swarovski scopes produce brighter, sharper, and clearer images than most scopes.
4. Carl Zeiss AG
Carl Zeiss AG is a German manufacturer that makes high-tech optical systems and optoelectronics. It was founded in 1846 by optician and scientist, Carl Zeiss.
They make everything from microscopes to telescopes. They are currently designing optical components for the James Webb Space Telescope, which is intended to take the place of the famed Hubble Space Telescope in 2021.
They make high-quality lens using quality materials and cutting-edge technology as they do to the components designed for the Space Telescope.
5. NightForce Optics
NightForce Optics is known for designing and manufacturing some of the most rugged optics in the shooting world. Their rifle scopes are made to perform reliably in any weather condition.
Their scopes are thoroughly tested to withstand saltwater, wind, dust, and mud. The accuracy of NightForce rifle scopes is even proven in extreme temperatures, ranging from -80 degrees to 250 degrees Fehrenheit.
The company was awarded a $25.8 million contract to make scopes for US Special Forces and Marine Corps snipers in 2010 after losing a bid or the US military’s Precision Sniper Rifle to Schmidt & Bender in 2009.
Top 10 Best Long Range Scopes Review
We have done a thorough research of all the long-range scopes available in the market to identify some of the best long-range scopes that offer you value for your money. The scopes we have selected are based on their performance and their reliability out in the field. Here are reviews of some of the best long-range scopes available in the market today.
Best Long Range Scope Reviews Quick Comparison Table
|1 Schmidt & Bender PMII 5-25×56
|2 Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm
|3 Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm
|4 EOTECH Vudu 5-25x50mm Precision Rifle Scope
|5 Primary Arms PLx 6-30x56mm
|6 Zeiss Conquest V6 5-30×50
|7 Swarovski X5i 5-25×56
|8 Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50
|9 Steiner PX4i 4-16×56
|10 Nikon Black FX1000 6-24×50
Schmidt & Bender PMII 5-25×56 – Best Long Range Scope
The Schmidt Bender PMII 5-25×56 is one of the best long range scopes available in the market. The scope features 26 mrad of elevation in two turns of the turret (DT – Double Turn).
The first turn of the turret has a 14 mrad of travel and the second turn goes from 14 up to total of 26 mard of reticle elevation travel. When you turn the turrets for the first time, color in the windows is white and in the second turn the color turns yellow.
The long-range scope comes with an illuminated reticle which is designed for low light use or for use with NV devices. It has a Parallax adjustment with Side Focus knob that enables shooters to focus from 10m to infinity.
The scope’s housing is filled with nitrogen allowing you to use the scope at really low temperatures without any fogging on the inside. It is waterproof even at a depth of 25 meters. The rifle scope is available in 58 different combinations of reticles, turret clicks and turret rotation direction.
- The long-range scope is a popular choice police and military snipers.
- It comes with generous magnification and broad range adjustments.
- The scope has a visible rotational indicator that changes color to indicate one full rotation.
- Users can choose from a range of reticle designs available in first or second focal plane options.
- It is waterproof up to 25 meters.
- The objective lens of the rifle scope is made of high-quality glass and an advanced optical coating to maximize the scope’s light gathering ability for clearer and quality images.
- Schmidt Bender PMII 5-25×56 has a nitrogen filled housing to ensure that the scope does not fog on the inside even at very low temperatures.
Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm
Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm Long Range Precision (LRP) is a reliable and quality rifle scope that is great for hunters and competitors who are looking for accuracy at long distances.
This scope from Leupold provides you with precise adjustments that match the reticle increments for exact tracking. It features a travel indicator that is visible from a variety of shooting positions.
The long-range scope has a Zero Stop to prevent over-rotations, and has a throw lever that makes magnification changes quick and easy. It has target-style click turrets offer simple ¼ MOA adjustments for windage and elevation.
The scope comes with an ultra-lightweight design built that is rugged enough to stand-up to punishing recoil and hard use, making it ideal for hunting with .300 Win Mag or .338 Lapua.
The scope comes with Leupold’s proprietary Twilight Max Light Management System that helps to eliminate glare, providing maximum edge-to-edge clarity. It has a side focus parallax adjustment that allows for easy focusing.
- The long-range scope features Leupold’s proprietary Twilight Max Light Management System to help eliminate glare, providing maximum edge-to-edge clarity.
- It has an ultra-lightweight design that makes it easy to hold and operate.
- The rifle scope comes with a travel indicator that is visible from a variety of shooting positions.
- It has a Zero Stop to prevent over-rotations, and a throw lever for quick and easy magnification changes.
- The Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm Long Range Precision (LRP) scope has a FFP reticle that magnifies with the image for easier range estimation.
- It is one of the best long-range scopes for under $1000.
- The scope’s reticle is not illuminated.
Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm
The Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm Riflescope is a reliable scope that is designed to maximize the performance of premium long-range rifles and ammunition. It is a rugged scope that is made of quality material to ensure durability. The scope’s housing is filled with a proprietary blend of inert gases to prevent internal fogging so as to ensure crisp, undistorted images.
This long range scope is o-ring sealed and tested for a multitude of pressure changes, allowing you to use it even in extremely low temperatures. It is waterproof up to a 33-foot depth, making it a great scope for hunting.
The rifle scope comes with an illuminated FFP reticle available in a variety of configurations ideal for hunting, competition, or tactical applications.
The turret adjustments make audible clicks to help take the guesswork out of windage and elevation adjustments in low light conditions.
- It has a lightweight design that makes it easy to use.
- The long-range scope has exceptional glass clarity at all magnifications to ensure high quality images.
- It produces audible clicks to help take the guesswork out of windage and elevation adjustments in near dark conditions.
- The scope comes with a lifetime warranty.
- It is a rugged long-range scope that hold up under demanding recoil.
- The rifle scope’s main housing is filled with a proprietary blend of inert gases for crisp, undistorted images even in low temperatures.
- It has an illuminated reticle available in a variety of configurations.
- The scope is o-ring sealed and tested for a multitude of pressure changes.
- It is waterproof up to a 33-foot depth.
EOTECH Vudu 5-25x50mm Precision Rifle Scope
The EOTECH Vudu 5-25x50mm Precision Rifle Scope is one of the shortest long range optic that has a squat design that allows you to easily add night vision or a thermal device. It is over 11 inches long, making it ideal for AR-15 or other short platform rifles. The scope has a quality objective lens that is made of clear XC high-density glass for impressive light transmission and sharp image clarity.
The scope includes an MD3 FFP reticle that pops at 5x, 25x, and in between. It has a throw lever quick magnification changes and the push-button reticle illumination with 10 brightness settings and a two-hour automatic shutoff which is suitable for long distance shooters.
The long-range scope has elevation turret that locks in place, and the windage turret is capped to prevent accidental adjustments. The scope’s turrets are solid with audible clicks. The turrets allow you to re-index to zero without any problem.
- It comes with an MD3 FFP reticle that pops at 5x, 25x.
- The long-range scope includes a throw lever quick magnification change.
- It has an illuminated reticle with 10 brightness settings.
- The scope has a two-hour automatic shutoff to save the battery life of the optic.
- It includes capped windage turret to prevent accidental adjustments.
- The turrets are solid and produce audible clicks to let you re-index to zero easily.
- It features clear XC high-density glass for impressive light transmission and sharp image clarity.
- The scope is suitable for AR-15 or other short platform rifles.
Primary Arms PLx 6-30x56mm
Primary Arms PLx 6-30x56mm is a quality and reliable scope that is from Primary Arms’ PLx series of high-end scopes. Most people do not expect to fins a scope from Primary Arms in the list of the best long range scope since they are known for their budget rifle scopes. The scope is designed to meet all the quality and features required in a long-range scope.
The Primary Arms scope is made using high-quality Japanese glass to ensure that the images are bright, clear, and crisp from edge to edge. It comes with a 56mm objective lens that ensures maximum light transmission for clearer and quality images.
The scope has precise click adjustments that are both tactile and audible. It also has easy zero reset turrets, and is backed by a full lifetime warranty.
The rifle scope has 6-30x magnification range that is capable of reaching out past 600 yards. It includes a first focal plane DEKA AMS MIL reticle that is an updated version of the combat proven Mil-Dot commonly used by military forces around the world.
The reticle is compatible with any caliber and features 5 MILS of holds for easy ranging on extreme distance targets. It also includes full red reticle illumination that stays true through the range of magnification.
The reticle is night vision compatible on the lowest illumination setting and is easily visible in full daylight on the brightest setting.
- It made of high-quality Japanese glass to ensure quality images.
- The scope comes with first focal plane DEKA AMS MIL reticle that features 5 MILS of holds for easy ranging on extreme distance targets.
- It features a 56mm objective lens to ensure maximum light transmission for quality images.
- The long-range scope has precise click adjustments that are both tactile and audible to take away any guess work.
- It is backed by a full lifetime warranty.
- The Primary Arms PLx 6-30x56mm has 6-30x magnification range that can reach out past 600 yards.
- The scope’s reticle is night vision compatible.
Zeiss Conquest V6 5-30×50
The Zeiss Conquest V6 5-30×50 is a highly reliable scope that features state-of-the-art, high light transmission glass (92 percent) with T star six-layer multi-coatings, fluoride lenses, and a wide field of view for crisp for high-contrast images even when you’re shooting in twilight.
It comes with a special LotuTec protective lens coating that is waterproof, fingerprints, and dust proof to ensure that you have a crystal clear, unimpeded view in all weather.
The scope’s exterior is built for tough weather conditions. It features a hard shell and hard core exterior with a high-quality seal to protect your optic from rain, snow, and sweat.
The long-range scope is extremely reliable even in extreme temperatures. It has an ultra-fine illuminated reticle that produces minimal target coverage, even at the strongest magnification level for use in extreme distances.
The Zeiss Conquest V6 has a that reticle operates on a fiber optic system for improved precision on the smallest targets at the greatest distance.
- It is made using high light transmission glass (92 percent) with T star six-layer multi-coatings, fluoride lenses, and a wide field of view for crisp for clear and quality images.
- The scope comes with an ultra-fine illuminated reticle that produces minimal target coverage, even at the strongest magnification level.
- It is very reliable even in extreme temperatures.
- Zeiss Conquest V6 has a special LotuTec protective lens coating that is waterproof, fingerprints, and dust proof.
- It includes a hard-shell exterior with high-quality seal to protect the optic from rain, snow, and sweat.
Swarovski X5i 5-25×56 (
The Swarovski X5i 5-25×56 is a quality and reliable scope from Swarovski. The brand is known for making products that offer precision and clarity.
The X5i series is one of their best scope series that has serious premium features that make the X5i rifle scope ideal for long range shooting.
It comes with a revolution windows on the scope’s turret that lets you quickly and easily see which revolution you’re on, preventing costly mistakes when dialing out past a full turn.
The scope has 20 MOA of adjustment in each full turn, losing count of your revolutions is easy. To get and exact scope setting, multiply the number in the window by MOA and you’ll know exactly where the scope is set. It features a “sub zero” option that allows you to dial 10 MOA below your set zero.
The sub zero feature helps to increase the versatility of the scope, allowing you to shoot accurately beyond your zero without sacrificing short range accuracy.
The scope has thicker walls in the main tube and integrated steel parts in the turrets and inversion system to provide maximum stability, even with the most powerful calibers.
- The scope features a “sub zero” option that allows you to dial 10 MOA below your set zero and increase the versatility of the scope.
- It includes a revolution windows on the scope’s turret that allows you to quickly and easily see which revolution you’re on, preventing costly mistakes when dialing out past a full turn.
- The rifle scope has thicker walls in the main tube and integrated steel parts in the turrets and inversion system to provide maximum stability and durability.
- It is made of quality glass to ensure quality and clear images at all magnification levels.
- The scope works well for .30-06 as it does on your .338 Lapua.
- It is from a reputable brand that is known for making quality and reliable scopes.
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50
The Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II Scope is a quality long range scope that allows you to make accurate shots at targets in long ranges.
The scope features extra-low dispersion glass, fully multi-coated lenses, and Amortek protective coatings that ensure crisp resolution and color fidelity you’d get from a much more expensive optic.
It features Viper PST’s laser etched turrets that are easy to adjust. The long rang scope comes with an adjustable parallax, and RZR zero stop.
The scope’s tactical style turrets deliver crisp, clean, audible clicks with the perfect amount of resistance. It has a detailed illuminated FFP reticle that really shines at maximum magnification. The reticle offers detail for holdovers, ranging, and windage corrections.
- It comes with tactical style turrets that deliver crisp, clean, audible clicks to take away any guess work.
- The scope comes with detailed illuminated FFP reticle that reliable even at maximum magnification.
- It has features extra-low dispersion glass, fully multi-coated lenses, and Amortek protective coatings to ensure that you have clear and quality images.
- The RZR zero stop makes it easy for the optic to hold the zero.
Steiner PX4i 4-16×56
Steiner 5221 P4Xi 4-16x56mm Tactical Rifle Scope is a reliable tactical scope from German manufacturer, Steiner. The scope is designed to survive tough conditions while providing you with bright, clear images.
The scope’s main tube is milled from solid high-grade aluminum. It does not have welds or seams to ensure strength and rugged durability that easily endures rock slams, freezing cold, or sand.
The scope comes with windage and elevation knobs that are refreshingly stiff and tactile for military precision and accuracy, even at targets beyond 1000 yards. The white circle turns green after one full rotation to help you keep track of your revolutions.
It includes Steiner’s Special Competition Reticle (SCR), that has etched glass FFP that is designed for serious precision shooting. It has an extended illumination area to let you easily engage targets in low light.
- The windage and elevation knobs are stiff and tactile for military precision and accuracy.
- It features a solid high-grade aluminum construction with no welds or seams to ensure strength and rugged durability.
- The long-range scope is designed to survive tough conditions.
- It has Steiner’s Special Competition Reticle (SCR) with etched glass FFP for reliability at all magnification levels.
- The scope windage and elevation turrets have white circle that turns green after one full rotation to help you keep track of your revolutions.
Nikon Black FX1000 6-24×50
Nikon Black FX1000 is a budget scope that is suitable for beginners in long range shooting or those who don’t want to spend so much money on a scope.
It is designed to optimize your sight picture by providing you with crisp and clear images at all magnification levels. It may be a budget scope but it provides you with some of the features you need in a long-range scope.
The scope may not provide you with sharp contrast and high image resolution of a pricier scope, but the glass quality is unexpectedly clear for an optic in this price range.
It features a high quality etched FFP illuminated reticle that allows you to make quick and accurate ranging, holdover, and windage corrections. The scope’s reticle maintains contrast in the dimmest light conditions, making it ideal for deer hunting at dawn and dusk.
- It is a budget-friendly scope that offers you value for your money.
- The scope is made of quality glass that ensure clear and bright images in all weather conditions.
- It features an etched FFP illuminated reticle that allows you to effectively make quick and accurate ranging, holdover, and windage corrections.
- The scope is from a reputable brand.
- It is great for hunting deer at dawn and dusk.
Tips for Buying Best Long Range Scope
Rifle scopes may look alike but they all do not have the same features and capabilities. Some rifle scopes can only be useful in close range shooting and may not be ideal for long range shooting.
Understanding what makes a scope suitable for long range shooting will help you understand what to look out for in the best long-range scope.
Here are some of the things to look out for in the best long-range scopes.
The size of the objective lens is very important when choosing a long-range rifle scope. It is located at the end of the scope close to the target while shooting.
The objective lens is larger than the rest of the scope. It allows light to get inside the scope to ensure that you have a clear and bright image of your target.
The larger the objective lens, the more light will get inside the scope thus you will have clearer and quality image of your target.
The objective lens has a number that follows the x on the label to indicate the diameter of the objective lens in millimeters. Most long-range scopes have a large objective lens of about 50mm or larger.
It is important to note that despite large objective lens providing quality images, they have their drawbacks. One of the major drawbacks of a scope with a large objective lens is that it makes the scope large and heavy. You need to mount the scope to get a good view of your target.
It is hard for you to see targets that are kilometers away with your bare eyes. You need a gadget with enough magnification to see targets that are far away.
The best long-range scopes come with a powerful magnification to let you have a clear view of targets that are far away. The scope’s magnification is often indicated on the numbers preceding the x in the scope’s designation. The bigger numbers show the extent at which you can zoom in closer on distant targets.
There is no specific amount of magnification that is suitable for long range shooting. The amount of magnification you need is relevant to your target size.
When shooting large game such as moose or elk at about 300 yards, you do not need the same level of magnification that you would need to shooting groundhogs from the same distance. The smaller your target, the more magnification you need your scope to have.
Magnification alone can not help you get a clear view of your target; you also need your scope to provide reliable resolution. You also need to ensure that the glass used to make the lens is quality, preferably it should be fully multicoated.
Fully multi-coated glass ensures that enough light enters the scope resulting in clear and high-quality images of your target.
Fixed vs Variable Scope Magnification
A rifle scope can have a fixed or variable magnification. A scope with a fixed magnification power has only one level of magnification.
The scope will have a single number before the x to indicate the magnification power of the scope. Scopes with fixed magnification are often less expensive and easier to use than those with variable magnification.
Scopes with a variable magnification on the other hand are quite complex and require the user to have some knowledge and experience using it. They provide you with a range of magnification levels, letting you zoom in and out for different shooting conditions.
The magnification range on a variable scope have two numbers separated by a dash preceding the x. A scope with a 6-12x magnification is capable of magnifying 6 times at its lowest setting, and the image will appear 12 times larger at full magnification
Rifle scopes with variable magnification are harder to zero in and need parallax adjustment. They are also bigger and heavier that scopes with a fixed magnification.
The best long-range scopes should have a variable magnification power. They are very versatile, have a wider field of view (FOV), increase light transmission for brighter twilight shooting, and eliminate mirage distortion; making them ideal for long-range shooting.
The reticle is another very important feature to look out for when shopping for the best long-range scope. Different scopes have different reticle styles.
Some reticle styles are useful for long range shooting while others may not be ideal for long range shooting. The reticle style does not play a large role in determining the performance. You only need to ensure that whatever reticle style you choose has MIL or MOA marks.
The MIL or MOA marks help you effectively compensate for windage and range. They are angular measurements that are important in long range shooting.
MIL stands for milliradians while MOA stand for Minute of Angle. MOA is a measurement of 1/60th of a degree and is equal to 1.047 inches at 100 yards. MIL is 1/1000th of a radian and is equal to 3.6 inches at 100 yards.
First Focal Plane vs Second Focal Plane
The location of the reticle is important especially in long range shooting. Scopes with a first focal plane also referred to as “front focal plane” or FFP reticle work based on the scope’s magnification.
The reticle grows proportionally to the magnification. Scopes with a second focal plane (SFP) reticle are static and don’t change size with magnification.
Majority of long-range shooters opt for an FFP reticle, because they can use it to effectively compensate for bullet drop and windage across the scope’s magnification range.
Parallax is the visual effect that happens when your reticle appears to shift when you move your head. The effect causes the target’s position to seem offset from the reticle center.
Parallax often occurs when you are using a scope at higher magnification. The effect can be a serious issue at distances over 250 yards. The parallax adjustment helps to prevent you from missing important shots.
You can get scopes that are “parallax free,” meaning the parallax is set up internally and locked in place for all ranges of magnification.
Parallax free scopes are designed for low range shots that are less than 400 yards. When using a scope with variable magnification power, you need to adjust for parallax using a knob found on the side of the scope. When the parallax has been adjusted correctly, the reticle will be locked in place.
Rifle scopes come with windage and elevation knobs to help you zero the scope at a set distance. Most scopes have small turrets that have a low profile.
For long range shooting, look for a scope with target turrets. They are specialized turrets that are tall, easy to turn, make audible clicks and come with external markings to represent MOA or MIL.
The target turrets help long range shooters make fine adjustments for wind and range.
Shooting at long range can be exciting especially if you have the right scope. No matter what your target is, hitting a target at long range can feel great. If you are a beginner in long range shooting, you must be wondering how professional snipers and competitive shooters make hitting marks at 1000 yards. Choosing the best long-range scope is the key to making hitting marks at 1000yqrds and beyond.
We hope that this article was informative and useful in your search for the best long-range scope. Feel free to let us know which of the 10 scopes we have reviewed you found to be more reliable at long range shooting. You can also share with us some of the tips you use to make accurate shots at targets at long ranges.