7 Best Scopes for 500 Yards

scope magnification for 500 yards

If you’re looking for the best scope for 500 yards, you are definitely looking for a long range scope with a high magnification range that can allow you to hit a long-distance target. Each scope will have different ranges and other considerations, so here we will talk about the best long range scope for each situation.

Finding the best scope for 500 yards is partially a matter of preference and partially a matter of what trade-off you are willing to make in terms of price vs technology. For example, you may prefer the configurations of the Nikon but the price of the Primary Arms.

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

BEST FOR ACCURACY

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44

Vortex-Optics-Crossfire-II-4-16x50-Review

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44

  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Magnification: 6-18x
  • Length: 13.5 in
BEST FOR HUNTING

Bushnell AR Optics 4.5-18x40mm Rifle Scope

Bushnell AR Optics 4.5-18x40mm Rifle Scope

  • Diameter: 40mm
  • Magnification: 4.5-18x
  • Length: 12 in
BEST FOR PERFECT SHOT

Primary Arms 4-16x44mm SFP Rifle Scope

Primary-Arms-4-16×44-SFP-Rifle-Scope-Review

Primary Arms 4-16x44mm SFP Rifle Scope

  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Magnification: 4-16x
  • Length: 14.75 in
BEST FOR CLEAR IMAGE

Athlon Optics Neos 6-18x44 Rifle Scope

Athlon Optics Neos 6-18x44 Rifle Scope

  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Magnification: 6-18x
  • Length: 13.5 in
BEST FOR DURABILITY

Burris 4.5-14x42

Burris 4.5-14x42

  • Diameter: 42mm
  • Magnification: 4.5-14x
  • Length: 13.8 in
BEST FOR MAXIMUM RANGE

Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x56mm Riflescope

Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x56mm Riflescope

  • Diameter: 56mm
  • Magnification: 3-15x
  • Length: 13.58 in
BEST FOR TACTICAL SHOTS

Trijicon TR29 AccuPoint 4-16x50 Riflescope

Trijicon TR29 AccuPoint 4-16x50 Riflescope

  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Magnification: 4-16x
  • Length: 13.9

Before we dive into each scope we’re reviewing to find the best scope for 500 yards, let’s go over some good information to understand first.

Long Range Shooting Priorities

Magnification

There’s a misconception that you need huge amounts of magnification, like 24x magnification, to make shots at 500 yards. In reality, with practice, shots can be made at 500 yards with 10x magnification or even less, so if you’re looking for a rifle scope for 500 yards, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what’s available (you really don't need 24x magnification).

It’s typical for a rifle scope that has enough magnification for 500 yards to start its magnification levels at a lower point like 4x or 5x. If you will only be using your rifle scope for 500 yard shots, then it doesn’t really matter, but if you want to use it at other ranges, then it’s something to pay attention to. The best scope will have the magnification ranges you need.

Often with longer magnification you’ll end up with shorter eye relief. You’ll want enough eye relief to keep you from getting a third eyebrow, but for the most part eye relief around 3.5 inches will be fine. 

Getting a high enough magnification range to shoot long distance at a 500-yard target doesn’t mean you have to be super close to the ocular lens.

Reticle

A good rifle scope for 500 yards will have a reticle that fits with what you’re doing, whether you just need good shot placement for hunting or competition shooters who need to get the tightest groupings possible.

Most reticle choices for shooting this far out will be some form of duplex reticle. You have the Mil Dot reticle like the Primary Arms has, the V-plex on the Vortex Optics Crossfire II, and other variations. 

Mil dot reticles

You may want a reticle that is illuminated to prevent eye strain in low light, or you may want some form of bullet drop compensation on your reticle for overhold shooting.

I think that the reticle makes or breaks the scope, and that is no less true of scopes for 500 yards than it is for a one power scope. In fact, it may be even more true of scopes for 500 yards because more of your target area can be obscured due to the higher magnification range.

Target

This may seem obvious, but it’s important to think about your target when purchasing a long range scope. What is the size of the target? Are you aiming at a man-sized target or are you trying to peg a clay pigeon hanging from a branch? The smaller the target you’re aiming at, the more you should expect to pay for a scope that will make those shots possible.

14x may be plenty to hit big game at 500 yards, but you may need to go all the way to 18x if you want to hit competition targets.

Best Scope For 500 Yards

Also, if you’re target shooting, then you may want a more simple reticle since you have time to make adjustments, as opposed to hunting when you may have to make your shots quickly. Shooting at 500 yards is a long range, and it takes impressive scopes to be able to handle it.

Strength and Durability

If you’re shooting at 500 yards, you are probably using a larger caliber rifle like a .308 or 6.5 Creedmoor. You will need a scope that can handle the recoil and not lose zero. Strong construction and a solid warranty are what you should look for.

What you don't want to do is put a scope on a larger caliber rifle that was designed for an AR-15 or something similar. Since those cartridges aren't great for 500 yards, most of the rifle scopes you'll be looking at shouldn't be designed for them, but if you're considering using a scope you already have, you want to make sure that scope wasn't designed with a less powerful cartridge in mind.

Features and Specifications

Long enough eye relief, high image quality, a large objective lens (larger the lens the better), and low dispersion glass are all important features to look for when looking for the best long distance scope. 

A scope designed for long range may not have a lot of bells and whistles because so much is put into the image clarity mechanism.

That said, a side focus knob to adjust the parallax in the lens is a great feature to look for. You’ll want to make sure the scope is fog proof (which most scopes are), and that each lens is fully multi-coated. Fully multi-coated lenses are critical for a clear sight picture and good performance in poor light conditions.

Having very low MOA adjustment clicks is also an important feature for a long range riflescope. .25 MOA will be the standard for most, though some will have a .1 mil click, which is about the same as ⅓ MOA.

You may be tempted by a scope with illumination, and if you're hunting then it may be worth it, but unless you know you will be shooting in poor light conditions, then you can put your money towards a scope that has better optical quality.

1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44

Vortex-crossfire-II-Review

The 18x magnification power that the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44 brings to the table is plenty for a 500 yard shot, and makes it a great long range scope. Your image is clear and bright, the Vortex scope comes with a fast focus eyepiece, is nitrogen-purged, and has capped turrets to protect them during your shooting sessions.

The Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18xcomes with your choice of the dead hold BDC reticle, V-plex, and V-brite, which is much like the V-plex but has an illuminated dot in the middle. The Dead-Hold BDC reticle is a duplex with dots for bullet drop compensation.

Eye relief is a comfortable 3.7 inches, so eye strain shouldn’t be bad even at the max magnification. Parallax adjustment is done with the adjustable objective lens.

Vortex Optics has a VIP warranty that comes with all of their scopes, and is one of the best warranties in the industry. What’s great about the Crossfire II is the fast focus eyepiece, which can help you hit those 500-yard shots quickly and easily.

This scope is a household name and it comes in multiple configurations, each with a different magnification range and objective lens, and first-time users are consistently surprised at how great the scope is in different light conditions and how clear it is at the maximum zoom.

Vortex Optics Crossfire-II

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44

The price of Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44 varies, so check the latest price at

2. Bushnell AR Optics 4.5-18x40mm Rifle Scope

Bushnell AR Optics-Review

Like the Vortex, the Bushnell scope is a second focal plane reticle instead of a first focal plane (FFP). They have similar magnification ranges up to 18x, but the Bushnell has a handy throw lever on the magnification ring. 

There's a lot to love about this scope, and the features are aimed more at hunters, though other shooters will find much to like about this scope as well.

This scope is waterproof and nitrogen purged. The multi-coating is anti-reflective and it has tactical windage and elevation turrets. Like the Vortex, the lens coating gives a high definition picture that will let you make a 500-yard shot. This scope will also let you shoot accurately at different ranges with its drop zone reticle.

The Bushnell has high magnification, and is in fact tied for the highest magnification on our list. It has a side focus parallax adjustment. The objective lens is 40mm, which should have decent light transmission, and you have fully multi-coated lenses. You have a few different reticle choices, and all are fairly minimalist.

The Bushnell is a great choice for hobbyists and shooters who are interested in starting to learn the ropes of long distance shooting. It's not so entry-level that you will quickly grow out of it, and it's not so expensive that it requires a massive commitment before you know if it's something you want to do more of.

The wide range also means you can use it for shots much closer than 500 yards if you decide that long-distance precision shooting isn't your cup of tea.

Bushnell AR Optic 4.5-18x40mm

Bushnell AR Optics 4.5-18x40mm

The price of Bushnell AR Optics 4.5-18x40mm varies, so check the latest price at

3. Primary Arms 4-16x44mm SFP Rifle Scope

Primary-Arms-4-16×44-SFP-Rifle-Scope-Review

The Primary Arms 4-16x44 is one of the best rifle scopes for 500 yards for the money and gets you a high zoom range of 16x. You have comfortable eye relief at around 3.5 inches, and an illuminated reticle for low light conditions. The illuminated reticle can help prevent eye strain and preserve your vision in bad weather conditions.

This scope is one of the most affordable riflescopes on this list, and you still get the flexibility to shoot at multiple ranges, tactical turrets, and a high definition picture. This is a great scope if you're just starting out with long range shooting. The 16x gives you plenty of scope for the money and will get you started learning the ropes.

This scope from Primary Arms will help you with target acquisition, whether you’re shooting at competition targets or a moving target. Light transmission is good here, as the lenses are fully multi-coated, but even the low dispersion glass here is not on par with the light transmission from the Leupold or Trijicon.

You have 12 brightness settings and a Mil-Dot reticle to help you get the right amount of elevation holdover. It’s a solid scope that has great performance at a low price point. Competition shooters may like this scope, but pros will want a riflescope that is even more high quality.

Primary Arms 4-16x44mm SFP

Primary Arms 4-16x44mm SFP

The price of Primary Arms 4-16x44mm SFP varies, so check the latest price at

4. Athlon Optics Neos 6-18x44 Rifle Scope

best long range rifle scope under 500

The Athlon Optics Neos has a minimum magnification of 6x, meaning it will be even less suited to close-range shots than any of the other scopes on this list, but since you’re looking for the best scope for 500 yards, that probably isn’t much of a concern.

You have side parallax adjustment for taking shots quickly. And a field of view between 17.5 and 5.9 ft at 100 yards.

Shooting at 500 yards is helped by .25 MOA windage and elevation turrets. The turret system is capped. You can get the Athlon with a BDC reticle for holdover estimations or a more standard duplex reticle. The Neos is fog-proof and can withstand poor weather conditions.

You won't get the same performance shooting at short ranges, but the 18x is one of those features that will give you great clarity and performance in the field for long range situations. 

The more experience you have, the more you'll be able to adjust for windage, and the more precision you'll be able to shoot with. This Athlon is a great scope to start that journey on.

It's not as expensive as the Crossfire, and it lacks a few of the features that make the Crossfire great, but it has a tough aluminum construction and will give perfectly decent performance even in situations where you're adjusting for windage and elevation.

Athlon Optics Neos 6-18x44

The price of Athlon Optics Neos 6-18x44 varies, so check the latest price at

5. Burris 4.5-14x42 Rifle scope

best scope for 500 yards

You don’t get as much magnification with this riflescope, but 14x should still be plenty high magnification for 500 yards. You may not even need to put the zoom setting all the way up to 14x. The Burris has a ring-sealed design and is nitrogen purged to make it fog-proof.

Light transmission is one of the best features on the Burris riflescope thanks to their Hi-Lume lens coatings. The Burris is a single piece, aircraft grade aluminum tube construction. 

You can cover a variety of ranges, and get great field performance and clarity considering its cost. The turrets on the Burris are a low-profile design and give you .25 MOA clicks

The Hi-Lume coatings do a great job reducing glare while maintaining brightness. It's impressive technology and something pros will certainly appreciate. Glare reflecting off the lens can scare off game, so having it reduced can improve the performance of the scope substantially. That said, pros will more likely be interested in one of the more premium options.

Reticle is a ballistic plex, which is a duplex with small ballistic lines that help you make adjustments for holdovers without needing your windage and elevation knobs. The design is a black, matte finish, and will be great for shooting sessions at 500 yards.

Burris 4.5-14x42mm aFullfield II Ballistic Plex Riflescope

Burris 4.5-14x42

The price of Burris 4.5-14x42 varies, so check the latest price at

6. Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x56mm Riflescope

best rifle scope under 1000

The Leupold VX is the choice of many pros and competition shooters, and for good reason. The objective lens is a massive 56mm, which would make it clear and bright in low light conditions even if Leupold didn’t also have their Twilight Max HD Light Management System, which can give you an extra 30 minutes of shooting vision in dusk & dawn lighting conditions.

The 5HD is a riflescope Leupold has designed for unparalleled glass quality, high definition resolution, and top-of-the-line precision in different situations. This rifle scope is fully multi-coated and anti-reflective so it won’t glare and give away your position.

For competition shooters and hunters alike, it’s hard to beat the photography grade glass of a Leupold. This is a great scope, and is the standard that other scopes are held to. It does all the basic things right like being fog-proof and having different reticle options to assist with holdover estimations, and the brightness is fantastic at all times of day.

Eye relief is 3.7 inches, and field of view is between 38.3 feet and 7.7 feet at 100 yards.

Leupold-VX-5HD

Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x56mm

The price of Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x56mm varies, so check the latest price at

Want to know more about leupold vx 5HD, then must check out our Leupold  VX 5HD review

7. Trijicon TR29 AccuPoint 4-16x50 Riflescope

best rifle scope for 500 yards

Trijicon may be best known for their prism scopes, but the TR29 AccuPoint is a high quality riflescope for shooting at 500 yards. Field of view will be similar to the scopes in this range, about 35 feet to 7.7 feet at 100 yards. The Trijicon boasts low dispersion glass, and is fog-proof.

Trijicon’s illumination uses Tritium and does not require any batteries, which means you can shoot in low light without having to worry about power. Light transmission is fantastic so you’ll have high quality image clarity and a clear and bright sight picture.

The TR29 is an incredibly tough scope, and it's designed to withstand military use. It's waterproof, fogproof, and can operate at temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Parallax can be set from as close as 10 yards (which is incredibly close for a scope with this range), and out to infinity.

You have a side focus parallax knob for parallax adjustments, and everything you might want in a high-end scope for 500 yard shots.

Trijicon TR2a9

Trijicon TR29 AccuPoint 4-16x50

The price of Trijicon TR29 AccuPoint 4-16x50 varies, so check the latest price at

Nikon Black FX1000 SF M BDC vs. Trijicon TR29 AccuPoint

These two scopes are very similar, and the Trijicon comes with additional features like the battery-free illumination. Both have a 4x-16x range and a 50mm objective lens, along with a side parallax knob.

The Trijicon is more expensive than the Nikon, but both have photography grade glass and provide a fantastic shooting experience. The Nikon has their SF M BDC, while Trijicon has a huge selection of different reticle choices to keep you from making an error while shooting.

The eye relief on the Nikon scope is a little over 3 inches, and the eye relief on the Trijicon is 3.6 inches. If you’re looking for another great scope, either the Nikon or the TR29 can be good choices.

Nikon Black FX1000

The price of Nikon Black FX1000 varies, so check the latest price at

Conclusion

The equipment you choose will make a big difference in the success you have at 500 yards. Getting a scope for 500 yards isn’t the cheapest proposition, as these tend to be expensive scopes, but getting the right scope allows you to shoot at 500 yards with the accuracy and precision you want, regardless of your target size.

Check out these different rifles scopes to see which is best for the categories of shooting that you’ll be doing. If this buying guide was helpful, let us know in the comments.

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