Long-range shooting is an art and a science. It's about precision, speed, and understanding the tools of the trade. When it comes to long-range rifle scopes, you need something that's up to the task.
From the reticle systems to the structural integrity, a good long-range scope must be top-notch.
When you're looking for the best, you can't cut corners. Here's where you should be spending your hard-earned cash:
12 Best Long Range Rifle Scopes
NightForce NXS 5.5-22X56 MOA Scope
This scope is a beauty. It's built for serious shooters, whether you're hitting steel or live game. With NightForce, you get more than you expect:
- High power
- Illuminated reticle
- 2000-yard ranging distances
The NightForce 5.5-22x56 NXS Rifle Scope is a top-tier piece of equipment designed to meet the demands of military, law enforcement, and avid hunters. Combining ruggedness and innovation, it offers broad magnification, 100 M.O.A. elevation travel, and exceptional optical integrity.
Constructed from 6061-T6 Aircraft Grade Aluminum, it's waterproof, weather-resistant, and includes a proprietary titanium beta erector spring for enhanced performance. Users praise its clarity, precision, and compact design, with one even highlighting its ability to zero in on targets at a 400-yard range.
Available in a ZeroStop version for returning to zero, this scope is highly recommended for those seeking quality and performance in both long-range and close-range shooting.
Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25X56
Leupold is a big name in long-range shooting. The Mark 5 HD is packed with features:
- Horus-designed reticle
- Aircraft-grade aluminum
- European fast-focus eyepiece
The Leupold Mark 5 5-25x56mm Rifle Scope is renowned for its long-range capabilities and robust design. Tested on Leupold's recoil simulation machine, the scope's glass is built to withstand powerful blasts, and it's both waterproof and fog-proof. Users benefit from the Twilight Max HD Light Management System, which provides extra shooting light and eliminates glare, ensuring premium clarity.
Additional features like scratch-resistant lenses, a 5:1 zoom ratio, and a Fast-Focus eyepiece contribute to its top-tier status. Users have praised the scope's clarity, comparing it to high-end astronomy scopes, and have commended its outstanding tracking and performance, even under severe conditions.
The scope's lightweight design, clear visuals, and user-friendly adjustments make it highly recommended for mid-range to long-range shooters. It's also backed by Leupold's Full Lifetime Guarantee, reflecting a blend of innovation, quality, and user satisfaction.
Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25X50 FFP EBR-2C MRAD
Vortex is a household name, and the PST Gen II is geared towards expert level shooters:
- High magnification
- Glass-etched reticle
- Illuminated reticle
- 30 mm tube
The Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50 Rifle Scope is a game-changer for long-range shooters, offering unparalleled precision and adaptability. Its Extra-low dispersion (XD) glass and proprietary coatings provide crisp, sharp images, ensuring that every target is in clear sight, even at distances up to 900+ yards.
The innovative Rapid Zero Return (RZR) feature and Tactical-Style Turrets allow for fast, accurate adjustments, giving you the confidence to make those critical shots when it matters most. Constructed with aircraft-grade aluminum and equipped with waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof features, this scope promises unwavering performance in the most challenging conditions.
Choose the Vortex Viper PST Gen II, and elevate your long-range shooting experience to new heights.
Zeiss LRP S5 5-25x56 – Best for Competition
Zeiss is known for quality optics. The LRP S5 is made for precision shooters:
- Excellent optics
- FFP illuminated reticle
- Precision mechanical integrity
- Locking turrets
The ZEISS LRP S5 525-56 is a first focal plane riflescope that comes with a 34 mm main tube, offering a substantial amount of total elevation travel right out of the box. This feature enables shooters to engage targets at distances up to 1,500 yards or 1,375 meters and even further.
It's specifically designed for PRS and NRL type competitions, this riflescope provides competitors with the advantage needed to not only participate but to win. Available in both Milliradian and Minute-of-Angle configurations, it encompasses the most sought-after magnification range for precision rifle competitions, making it an outstanding choice across various rifle platforms.
Additionally, the ZEISS LRP S5 5-25x56 model, with its higher magnification setting, is well-suited for other target shooting activities, including ammunition testing, load development, and long-range hunting. Its best-in-class total elevation travel, daylight-visible illuminated reticle, and highly repeatable and tactile turrets further enhance its appeal and functionality.
Vortex Viper HS Long Range 4-16X50
Vortex delivers quality at a friendly price. The Viper HS Long Range is a great example:
- High-powered for 1000 yards
- Large light-transmission objective lens
- 30mm tube with 75 MOA elevation adjustment
Are you in search of precision, reliability, and value in a long-range scope? Look no further than the Vortex Viper HS 4-16x50 Rifle Scope. Engineered for accuracy, this scope offers 4x optical zooms and an ultra-friendly eye box, taking the guesswork out of long-range shots. Its rugged construction, featuring an ultra-strong 30mm one-piece machined aluminum tube, ensures it's waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof, promising Nightforce quality at half the price.
But what truly sets this scope apart is its incredible value. With features like Aircraft-Grade Aluminum, ArmorTek, and a Fast Focus Eyepiece, you're investing in a product that delivers excellence without breaking the bank. Backed by a VIP lifetime guarantee, the Vortex Viper HS 4-16x50 is more than just a scope; it's a commitment to elevating your shooting experience to a whole new level.
Athlon Midas TAC 6-24X50 HD
Athlon's Midas TAC line is top-notch. This scope has everything:
- Tactical features
- FFP reticle
- Mil reticle
- HD glass
Burris XTR II 8-40x50 F-Class MOA
Burris XTR II is high power for long-range performance:
- 8-40x magnification
- FFP reticle
- 1/8 MOA adjustments
- 34mm tube
Primary Arms PLx 6-30X56 FFP
Primary Arms PLx stands for Platinum Series, and it's top-of-the-line:
- Japanese Glass
- FFP reticle
- 34 mm tube
- Illuminated reticle
Sig Sauer Sierra6 BDX 2-12x40 - Best Smart Riflescope
Sig Sauer Sierra6 BDX is a smart scope with the BDX feature:
- Rapid ballistic solutions up to 800 yards
- Night-vision compatible
Vortex Diamondback Tactical 6-24x50 - Best Under $500
The Diamondback Tactical is a recognized long-range scope for the money:
- 6-24x magnification
- EBR-2C reticle
- ED glass
- FFP reticle
Long Range Scope Buying Guide
Three main types of rifle scopes are popular among shooters:
- Long-Range Scopes: These allow you to shoot accurately at much greater distances.
- Low-Power Variable Scopes: These bridge the gap between close-quarters battle (CQB) and long-range shooting.
- Prism Sights: These provide a glass-etched reticle, offering more clarity than a standard red dot sight.
Choosing the Correct Focal Plane
Two types of focal planes exist: First Focal Plane (FFP) and Second Focal Plane (SFP), each working differently with magnification changes.
- SFP: Here, the magnification lens is in front of the reticle, meaning the reticle's range estimator is only accurate at the highest magnification setting.
- FFP: Preferred for long-range shooting, the reticle inside the scope is in front of the magnification. This means the reticle's size matches the distance, and it holds true on any magnification setting.
Selecting the Right Magnification
For every 100 meters, you'll need 1X more magnification on your scope. Consider your preferences and shooting application. Higher power isn't always necessary; you'll only need more magnification for extremely long distances. If you see better, you'll shoot better.
Understanding Reticle Types
A variety of reticle designs exist, each with unique features. The most advanced reticle may not be suitable if you lack the knowledge to use it properly.
- Christmas Tree Reticle: Recommended for long-range shooting, it offers range estimation, windage, and distance holdover. It works with various rifle calibers and is based on ballistic data.
- BDC Reticle: This bullet drop compensator reticle takes specific ballistic performance into account, making it great for mid-range applications where pinpoint accuracy isn't a priority.
- Trijicon ACOG Prism Scopes: These feature reticles designed to engage fast-moving targets with range estimation capability.