16 Best Long Range Rifle Scopes 2024 [Tested Choices]

best long range rifle scopes

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With the increased popularity of longer-range shooting across the USA and the international scene, a good deal of attention has been placed on the development and design of better quality, more efficient long-range scopes.

Rifle scope use can be divided into two categories today. The first group are shooters living east of the Mississippi River, which cuts the country in half, and the second group are the plains and mountain states shooters who can send bullets for almost ever down-range.

long range scopes test

Brezny shooting a 308 Mossberg Scout rifle on a 700-yard AT (Action Target) steel target via a Leupold long-range scope sight.

After all this confusing information, I will now cover a few scopes that are classed in the general area of long-range optical systems.

Here I will offer some suggestions as to the best possible options based on price and quality.




Vortex Optics Viper HS-T


Vortex Optics Viper HS-T

  • Magnification: 4-16
  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Material:Aircraft Grade Aluminum

ADE Advanced Optics


ADE Advanced Optics

  • Magnification: 6-25
  • Diameter:56mm
  • Dimensions : 21 x 5.5 x 4.5 inches

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II


Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II

  • Magnification: 3-15
  • Diameter:44mm
  • Material:Aircraft Grade Aluminum

Athlon Optics Argos BTR


Athlon Optics Argos BTR

  • Magnification: 6-24
  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Material:Aircraft Grade Aluminum

Night Force NXS


Night Force NXS

  • Magnification: 5.5-22
  • Diameter: 56mm
  • Weight:32 oz

Vortex optics Razor HD Gen II


Vortex optics Razor HD Gen II

  • Magnification: 4.5-27
  • Diameter: 56mm
  • Material:Aircraft Grade Aluminum

Vortex Viper PST Gen II

Vortex-OpticsGen II

Vortex Viper PST Gen II

  • Magnification: 5-25
  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Material:Aircraft Grade Aluminum

Steiner Scope


Steiner Scope

  • Magnification: 1-5
  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Battery Type: CR2450

Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR


Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR 

  • Magnification:3.5-21
  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Material: Aluminum

Millett LRS


Millett LRS

  • Magnification: 6-25
  • Diameter: 56mm
  • Material: Aluminum

Nightforce Optics SHV


Nightforce 4-14X56 SHV

  • Magnification: 4-14
  • Diameter: 56mm
  • Color:Black

Burris Veracity Riflescope


Burris Veracity Riflescope

  • Magnification: 4-15
  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Material:Aluminum

Bushnell Elite Tactical G2DMR


Bushnell Elite Tactical G2DMR

  • Magnification:6-24
  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Weight:27 oz

Schmidt-Bender PM II LP


Schmidt-Bender PM II LP

  • Magnification: 5-25
  • Diameter: 56mm
  • Material:Aluminum

Nikon Black FX 1000


Nikon Black FX 1000

  • Magnification: 4-16
  • Diameter: 50mm
  • High speed turrets

Leupold VX-3i


Leupold VX-3i

  • Magnification: 6.5-20
  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Weight:20.4 oz

My selections are by no means the final solution as there are many options available to today’s shooter regarding high-quality glass sights. But this series of offerings is based on my years of experience.

1. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T - Best For The Money

This scope has several variations and, as such, the price will change with options, etc.

The SFF scope makes use of a 44mm objective lens, and has a power range from 4016.

This glass is designed for tactical application as well as for target and hunting requirements.

I regard this scope as an upper end entry level glass sight, which will perform well to the 1000 yard mark on targets if required.

I own several Vortex scopes and have a real feel for them in terms of performance.

My scopes are stressed to the max with long-range requirements and, for the most part, I have been pleased with the performance associated with this glass sight.

The scope uses the Vortex XR lens coating system, which transmits light well even under low light shooting conditions.

It has a zero stop system, so the shooter can click-up for elevation and come back down to a perfect zero once again after the shot.

This Viper makes use of a side focus knob, which gives control over parallax issues that can plague a long-range shooter.

Built of a one-piece aluminum tube construction, the scope is watertight, fog proof, and designed to take a pounding. I have had no issues with my scopes in this area whatsoever.

long range scopes

As offered in either MOA or MRAD, the scope is flexible in terms of the shooter wanting quick advanced graduations in range click, versus the shooter who wants the fine adjustment features of the MOA graduation system.

My scopes in this brand are set up in both types of range and windage systems.

Vortex is what I call a “new age fireball” company that has offered the shooter a better grade scope at a very workable price tag. This scope retails from $442.52 - $747.85

best long range rifle scope

The reader should keep in mind that there are a vast number of good quality scopes that have not been included here. Time, space, and seller inventory all play into the picture. 

Try and remember that a scope with clear optics, the ability to stretch elevation and windage, by way of good sub-tension settings installed, is critical.

The standard deer hunting style glass is NOT going to work out well for the shooter pushing bullets much beyond about 400 yards.

It is a bit like this: Upgrade or don't play the game at all.

In general, you're going to spend more on your optics than you did on your rifle when entering the game of long-distance shooting.

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T

The price of Vortex Optics Viper HS-T varies, so check the latest price at

Want to know how that scope works? Check out our detailed Vortex viper HST 4-16x44mm review

2. ADE 6-25x56 35mm - Budget Long Range Scope 

best budget long range scop

This optic retains a ¼ click turret that retains a total of 140 MOA adjustment graduations.

Built on a 35mm tube, the scope allows a turret click selection that offers an increase in elevation that is much required when adjusting the scope’s sights for ultra-long-range shots.

The locking windage and elevation turrets make getting back to zero after running elevation up or making bullet wind drift changes a snap.

The scope has been well thought out and is a lower end copy of the very high-end long-range optics used by both professional shooters and the American, British, Canadian, and Australian military.

precision rifle scopes

This scope could be considered a good start when checking out the world of long-range shooting while not getting tied up in a house payment or two when buying a first-time scope sight.

Equipped with mounting rings and sunshade, the scope is sold as a complete package. My friends who have used this also provided me with good comments.

500 yard scope

I started my quest for the ultimate long-range optic about 60 years ago and bought a very low-end optic that lasted a solid 20 years before it bit the dust. As a single FFP 10X tube, it served me well on military converted “A3-03” 30-06 Springfields of the day.

ADE35mm Mildot

ADE 6-25x56 35mm

The price of ADE 6-25x56 35mm varies, so check the latest price at

3. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 3-15X44 - Best Long Range Hunting Scope

long range scope

Vortex Optics is fast becoming a major big-league player in the long-range rifle scope business. I own several of these tubes, and I can say that the scopes measure up to a high quality.

The Viper is the scope sight that got the company rolling toward some major industry and buyer recognition within the past few years.

long range rifle scopes 1000 yards

This scope as a second generation optic is a class act all around. It retains quality tactical features that make it a professional shooter’s choice.

These include 3-14X44 SFP optics, which means the crosshairs and dot etched into the reticle will increase in size as the power settings on the scope are changed. 

The second focal plane is often preferred by longer-range shooters because of this feature.

Shooters can dial their turrets for bullet drop and wind drift.

The scope makes use of laser-etched turrets, adjustable parallax, and the RZR zero stop system when returning to the correct base zero after advancing for windage or elevation.

precision scopes

This rifle scope is designed to react well at ultra long-range targets that require a high grade of optical glass. Max range in this case when utilizing 40 or more canted MOA bases is 1 mile.

Remember, you can’t hit what you can't see, but this Vortex system will get your bullet all the way to the target while you watch it splash upon impact.

This system works as a hunting model and also for ultra long-range applications for steel target or sniper work.

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 3-15X44

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II

The price of Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II varies, so check the latest price at

4. Athion Optics Argos BTR Riflescope 6-24X50 FFP

If you're in the market for an entry level long-range scope, this could be the direction you may want to turn.

This Athion scope is full of features found on much higher priced scopes, but as to quality, you can expect there to be some reduction here in terms of glass quality and parts used in the system.

Save for all that speculation, the scope is a package seemingly worth the price.

I have budget scopes in my selection cabinet that are not only priced low, but have been with me for many years, seeing all kinds of service both in the field and on the range.

long range shooting scopes

Being in the first focal plain, this scope returns a what-you-see-is-what-you-get image, and the sub-tensions will expand right along with the power settings.

This is a sniper-style scope feature, and very nice for sighting a longer range target and wanting the crosshairs to march the power setting.

The main tube is a 30mm housing, and is built as a single unit from aircraft aluminum grade metal. No seams or leaking edges to worry about here.

The reticle is an etched glass system, which is often found with high-priced scopes. This was a major surprise to me, given the low scope MSRP tagged price over the counter.

Built also as a 50mm objective lens system, this scope will pull extra light versus that of some others -- another feature in higher priced scope production.

For the most part, this is not the first time I have come across a scope builder like a rifle builder who is offering some add-on design elements found in the higher price brackets.

What you have here in this scope is an entry level glass that will do the job to a reasonable range, and it's a “stack on” system of extra features, which allows the shooter to gain experience using those systems but is lacking the price tag in the thousands to do so.

The focus/parallax side-mounted knob adjustment is a part of the major league offerings, as is the large tube and beret-grade sub-tension design system.

With the illuminated MIL reticle, the scope is an early starter in the day, and workable right into silhouette background night shooting if required.

The 6061T6 aluminum housing is also a step up in quality, but the question is, how long will the scope last?

As I have not had this brand of scope system in house for real-time testing, I can’t answer that question yet.

Athion Optics Argos BTR Riflescope 6-24X50 FFP

Athion Optics Argos BTR Riflescope

The price of Athion Optics Argos BTR Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

How does this scope performs? Check out our complete review on Athlon Midas TAC 6-24×50.

5. Night Force 5.5-22X56 NXS Illuminated MOA reticle

This best long-range scope, is capable of elevation adjustments to .250 clicks. The manufacturer builds these scopes to be used for sniper work as well as in the civilian marketplace by long-range mountain-to-mountain big game hunters.

I call this optic “beast”, as it retains many pro-level features. This high power scope makes use of a 56mm objective lens and provides maximum clarity and resolution that is required of a long-distance optic. 

Anything less won't get the job done, and it is hard to learn that lesson when you’re sighting down-range at 1000 yards, and everything goes fuzzy on the edges.

Because I shoot many different ultra long-range optics, and after writing three books on the subject, I can say that among the best of the best, it fits right into a very selected group of optical systems. And it retains a full lifetime warranty as well.

Explore the in-depth review of the Night Force 5.5-22X56 NXS right here!

Night Force NXS Tactical Scope

The price of Night Force NXS  varies, so check the latest price at

6. Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27X56 - Extreme Long Range Scope

long range scopes

This high power scope is first focal plane reticle and set up in MRAD versus MOA graduations. The former adjust 5.6 inches per click at 100 yards, then compounded for every additional 100 yards.

The latter clicks adjust for elevation to one inch per graduation click at 100 yards.

best long range scope

This is a pure as fresh snow sniper scope and designed for very advanced ultra long-range shooting. The 1 mile shot, for example, is not an issue with this system.

A point in fact is that this scope could be pushed regarding range extension to a much greater limit.

Built for dialing in long-range precision shots, the L-TEC turret features a locking system that prevents any accidental adjustment shifting.

best 1000 yard scope

A built-in visual rotation indicator helps the shooter keep track of the exact number of turret rotations completed prior to making the shot. So returning to base zero is much easier.

Optics in this scope are very clear and hold back negative light sources for a clear image, even at very long-range limits.

tactical long range scopes

Why the price is so high? After shooting a target at 1000 yards, it takes about $100.00 per each additional 100 yards in equipment upgrade to stay in the game regarding ultra long-range target applications. The scope is only one part of a very complex puzzle. You get what you pay for.

Vortex optics Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27X56

Night Force NXS

The price of Night Force NXS  varies, so check the latest price at

best long range rifle scopes review

This shooter is shooting at a target in the thin line of trees ahead of the muzzle just beyond one-mile down range. The shelter belt of metal (line near the middle of the photo is 1000 yards) Spotter is watching the round go down range via the shooter’s bullet vapor trail and calling the shot as a hit or miss. Scopes for this work are not budget models and need to be top grade in terms of construction. The Razor is designed for just this kind of work.

long range scope test

Brezny shooting across two country roads, over a ranch house, and across a pasture. After the bullet leaves that area, it crosses an additional half-section of land down range and meets a one-mile steel target as it falls three stories out of the sky. It takes a whole lot of very high-quality equipment to accomplish this task. The rifle scope needs to be top-of-the-line in this case.

7. Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25X50

1000 yards scope

This Viper PST is much like previous Vortex offerings in this price range, but with a change in power settings.

long range rifle scopes

Vortex has moved up in both quality and selection so that it can offer a $3000.00 and change masterpiece for professional work on this mid-range and lower priced system for general long-range use.

best sniper scope

Owning this system is far less stress on the family budget, but still returns great results in the field. All the features of the better grade Vortex scopes are built into this glass sight.

Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25X50

Vortex Viper PST Gen II

The price of Vortex Viper PST Gen II varies, so check the latest price at

Want to know more about that scope? Check out our detailed vortex viper pst gen ii review

8. Steiner Optics M-Series Rifle Scope

I run two of these scopes, one on 300 Win Mag and the other one on 6.5 Creedmoor, with a switch to a Savage 110 in 338 Lapua upon occasion. This scope is the top-of-the-line at Steiner and is German Army-qualified for snipers. The glass is nothing less than outstanding, sub tensions clean and easy to read when shooting ¾ mile on a 12X12 steel plate.

With very precise windage and elevation on this first focal plane reticle scope, long-range targets are easy to DOPE in correctly. This best scope retains an illumination control feature and parallax adjustments on a side focus combined turret and light control.

Of note, I have found that it is necessary to zero for each range used, as power settings will change bullet impact from 100 yards to an extended range limit. This is common with some FFP scopes.

As target shooters and snipers shoot per set DOPE cards, this has been no issue with me. My scopes are in MRAD settings (military), and I have set up DOPE cards for both optical units.

I believe that some shooters who buy these sniper-based tools don't understand how to use them. The Steiner M-Series is military-based, and a finely tuned piece of ultra long-range shooting equipment. And it retains a full lifetime warranty as well.

Steiner Optics M-Series Rifle Scope

The price of Steiner Optics M-Series Rifle Scope varies, so check the latest price at

9. Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR II-I 3.5-21X50

I selected the DMR 3.5-21X50 G3 because it fits my needs, and I am sure it would fit yours as well. Within a week’s shooting, the glass sight IO had jumped my effective range from 1400 yards to 1 mile. (1,760 yards fence-to-fence on a section of ranch land).

Sub-tensions are offered in both MRADS and MOA etched crosshairs.

The large turret retains ample rotations for ultra long-range work at full sub-tension levels and when completely bottomed out the turret on the scope will push 338 Lapua bullets at 300 grains to over 2,300 yards.

Now install the TACO periscope system, and this range instantly jumps to 5000 yards. Yes, that is just under 3 miles down-range. Optic quality on this scope is outstanding.

Bushnell Elite DMR

The price of Bushnell Elite DMR varies, so check the latest price at

Want to know about best DMR scopes? Check out our guide.

10. Millett 6-25X56 LRS

best budget long range scope

This is an entry level scope by Millett. I have included it because I have in the past and currently own Millett glass and have found it to be quite workable in the field. Clear optical glass with little or no distortion on the lens edges in bright light, and solid repeatable adjustments.

Based on the price, I would assume this scope to be a middle-of-the-road optic, but very workable for getting a shooter started in the long-range game without missing a bank payment on the house.

best long range scope for the money

This rifle scope has been indicated to be ideal for the “tactical operator”. In effect, I don't think so, but very workable for shooting steel targets that don't shoot back.

Tactical operators I know personally are well beyond this optical system. When your life is hanging in the balance, scope glass is a far better investment than a tombstone.

That stated, the Millett 6-25X56 LRS carries some of the options that make it a workable glass sight. The scope carries repeatable adjustments, and a one-piece 35mm base tube that means lots of elevation clicks on a large turret. 

affordable long range scope

With a dot bar reticle, the shooter can use the sub-tensions of the reticle and also crank elevation from the turret. This means you're pulling elevation from both systems on the scope tube when stretching bullet drop numbers at ranges exceeding 1000 yards. (All this is dependent on the exact rifle and bullet employed.)

Millett 6-25X56 LRS

Millett LRS Scope

The price of Millett LRS Scope varies, so check the latest price at

11. Night Force  4-14X56 SHV

top long range scopes

This scope is considered at the starter level of scope brands.

I have shot Nightforce scopes glass that topped $4000.00 and change, and this scope is far from that level of cost. This scope is a non-Illuminated type, meaning the crosshair and hashmark graduation in the lens won’t light up at low or no light.

The turret knob adjustment retains a .250 MOA level of elevation, which is quite workable as 1000-yard shooting scope.

This scope uses a 30mm main tube that is of one-piece construction, as close as I can tell There is no information on this area of the scope's construction. The larger main tube allows for a far more robust turret house than the smaller 1 inch variety scopes allow.

best tactical rifle scope

With the larger objective lens diameter of 56mm, the ability to pull in low light should be very good. However, again I have not real-time hands-on tested this optics system, therefore I can’t say for sure what can be observed through the glass itself.

I looked through this basic scope during Shot Show 2020, but that was an indoor experience and not very dependable in terms of detecting any issue in light transmission, etc.

In my work researching guns and loads, I have shot the this manufacturer's beast, and being at the very upper end of the price scale I am not sure we are talking apples to apples here at all.

With the magnification range level at a full 14 power, the scope is very workable on longer range targets. As for exact distances, that would be determined by real-time field-testing. In general, 14X allows accurate bullet placement to 1000 yards, providing there is no glint or distortion involved.

A word on the side here. Snipers across the board have used about 10X for their very serious work in the field. Enough said on this subject, to be sure.

Night Force  4-14X56 SHV

Night Force SHV 4-14x56

The price of Night Force SHV 4-14x56 varies, so check the latest price at

12. Bushnell Elite Tactical G2DMR FFP Reticle 6-24x50mm

long range scopes for 308

Bushnell is advancing like a rocket on rails. The company has made a 360 turn-about in design and production and as a result of this change via the new Vista corp, Bushnell is not your daddy’s scope builder anymore.

I shoot a variant of this rifle scope on my Model 1999 Montana 338 Lapua against steel targets to 1 mile all summer long. Having my current settings with my MILRAD reticle, I can accurately factor my computer-generated drop figures to within inches at the above indicated range limits. 

If you want to know about the good scope for 338 lapua magnum, visit here.

best ffp scope for the money

In effect, Bushnell delivers the mail in spades, my friends. You can bank on it.

This scope is about in the middle of the upper-end market. It retains all the features regarding water protection and surface metal treatment, and carries a MOA with marked sub-tensions for elevation correction on long shots.

1000 yard scope on a budget

This optic is very workable to 1000-1400 yards, and over 1 mile with proper weather and light conditions. You get this performance without paying three times the money that is required in some cases.

Bushnell Elite Tactical G2DMR FFP Reticle 6-24-50mm

Bushnell Elite Tactical G2DMR FFP

The price of Bushnell Elite Tactical G2DMR FFP varies, so check the latest price at

top long range scopes

13. Burris Veracity Riflescope

The Burris Veracity series is a group of optics that fit the needs of the hunter as well as the long-range shooter. I own and have used the Veracity on a Ruger Precision 338 Lapua for ultra long-range work out to 1500 yards.

The optical quality of this scope is solid and trouble-free. Set up in MOA clicks, the large turret on the 30mm housing allows ample elevation adjustment for shooting inside 1 mile. I like the system at 1000 yards the best, and it has proven to be a quality optical system overall.

The scope retains side focus parallax adjustment, and zero stop turret adjustment that is easy to use. The optical quality is outstanding with no distortion at the lens edges and with clean images at longer distances.

The scope uses a sub-tension reticle that makes use of very fine hashmark adjustments for competition target shooting at long distance. I have switched this scope onto 300 Win Mag rifles (Ruger Hawkeye Target).


Burris Veracity Riflescope

The price of Burris Veracity Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

14. Schmidt-Bender 5-25x56 PM II LP

long range shooting scopes

While I have never owned a Schmidt, if I was being shot at across a mountain ridge by an insurgent, I will assure you that the Schmidt would be considered a real option for counter-sniper applications.

long range hunting scope

With its 34mm one-piece scope tube, large high-value turret elevation adjustments, and some of the best-in-the-world German optical glass installed, this scope is state-of-the-art, but with a price tag that would allow you to buy a nice used Harley Sportster for about the same cost.

long distance scopes

If you’re a professional operator, considering this scope would not be the worst idea you ever came up with.

Schmidt-Bender 5-25-56 PM II LP

Schmidt-Bender PM II LP

The price of Schmidt-Bender PM II LP varies, so check the latest price at

15. Nikon Black FX 1000

This scope is a wonder. The wonder story is how they can build this for the price they're asking. I have this scope mounted on a 300 Win Mag Ruger Hawkeye long-range rifle. It is nothing short of outstanding, shooting Sierra 168 grain MKs to 1400 yards all day long without a single hitch.

This FX retains an etched ranging reticle located at the first focal plane. Like all long-range optics, the scope retains a left-side turret knob for parallax adjustments, and turret clicks are at a high count considering the need for multiple numbers for increased elevation settings.

The scope retains a 30mm tube and zero stop settings on the turrets.

Nikon Black FX 1000

The price of Nikon Black FX 1000 varies, so check the latest price at

16. Leupold VX-3i LRP Side Focus 6.5-20x50mm 30mm

best scope for 6.5 creedmoor

I shoot Leupold on two different Creedmoor rifles (6.5 and 6mm). This scope is outstanding at an affordable price if you’re going to hang in on the long-range shooting game.

best long range scope for 6.5 creedmoor

The Twilight Max light management system ensures sharper images in low light conditions. The scope is offered in both first and second focal plane (MOA & MILS). This is unique, but be advised that Leupold will custom install your style of the reticle.

I have the Horus custom installed in my Leupold Mark V, making it best 6.5 creedmoor scope system as applied to the Browning A-Bolt heavy long- range target rifle.

leupold long range rifle scope
long range scopes review

With the 30mm tube, this scope can make use of high revolution long-range turrets and maintains great internal American well-built parts and glass optics.

Leupold VX-3i LRP Side Focus 6.5-20x50mm

Leupold VX-3i LRP

The price of Leupold VX-3i LRP varies, so check the latest price at

long range scope shooting

Brezny shooting Leupold Mark V Horus system on the Browning A Bolt rifle.

The reader should keep in mind that there are a vast number of good quality scopes that have not been included here. Time, space, and seller inventory all play into the picture here. 

6.5 creemoor long range scope

Scope and bases set on a Savage 110 long-range 6.5 Creedmoor rifle.

Try and remember that a scope with clear optics, the ability to stretch elevation and windage, by way of good sub-tension settings installed, is critical. The standard deer hunting style glass is NOT going to work out well for the shooter pushing bullets much beyond about 400 yards.

It is a bit like this: Upgrade or don't play the game at all.

In general, you're going to spend more on your optics than you did on your rifle when entering the game of long-distance shooting.

Want to know about best DMR scopes? Check out our complete guide.

Best Long-Range Rifle Scopes

Author with 338 Lapua, shooting long-range to 1000 yards on a column of junk cars that carry blue man targets. Tactical grill at ultra long-range. Big scopes with good power and light-gathering abilities are required here.

When selecting a longer-range rifle scope, there are some basic rules to follow: 

First of all, you're not buying into the standard deer hunters' market in terms of glass quality and service ability. The long-range scope is a unit that is designed for some very specialized sighting work and, as such, the price will always run into some high figures due to the internal elements involved in building such a system.

Also, even the basic size and complexity applied to these glass sights comes into play.

Reticle type is critical in a long-range optical system. Here the command post at the center, or a standard crosshair, won’t cut it at all. These sights require adjustment hashmarks, both for elevation and windage. Some systems use a “Christmas tree” system, as found in the Horus etched sub-tension reticle designs.

While there are other Rube Goldberg affairs out there, the two sub-tension systems I have indicated are military and target shooter standard. Why? Because they work. Remember, you could be separating background material from a 4 x 4 foot steel plate at a mile or more nowadays, the way this element of the shooting sport is heading.

Now you need to use hashmarks in the event your turret adjustments run out of graduations (number of turret turns). For example, when shooting my 338 Lapua at exactly 1 mile, 1760 yards, I use up all my turret graduations and am forced to also use three MRADs through my scope's sub-tension display.

It is called “halving”. You're using the turret setting and the view through your scope as a paired unit. If this sounds complicated, guess what? It is just that to be sure. Long-range requires the weaponizing of general math in some cases.

Get a computer program (like many offered by brand manufacturers of bullets) for free over the net. Or use a Kestrel system, for example, to gain the exact data required to place your bullet at the correct impact point down-range.

When you have all that data, your scope comes into play as a system that sorts all the information out and makes for a hit at 800, 1000, or 2000 yards, and into the next time zone.

When you move into target glass or a sniper system at this level, the scope needs to be able to take a lifetime of turret adjusting. This is the twisting back and forth of the adjustment knobs, and also adjustment for down-range parallax and eye piece focus.

The manufacturers understand what is required of a good long-range scope and, for the most part, brand name systems will have taken some of these elements into account well ahead of any buyers handling the product.

Even basic main tube size, as with a real long-range optical system, is anywhere from 30mm though 35mm in size. Why? Because the guts of the turret have to be installed in order to allow the shooter to gain a whole lot of MOA or MILS when adjusting for a long-range shot.

At times you will notice that a long-range scope retains very large turret knobs with graduations, or if not wide in size the knobs are very tall. Either way, these knob adjustments have to deliver a large number of turret graduations. I will illustrate this as we start to talk about specific scope brands and systems in this review.

MOA graduations or MIL settings, which is the best way to go here? For my money I prefer MILs when it comes to the settings installed on my long-range glass. MILs are and were developed by the US Marine Corps for snipers to use at long-range.

When you move one graduation (single), the elevation changes 3.5 inches at 100 yards, or very close to that figure, but a full 35 inches when using MIL settings. When you move one graduation in an MOA scope, the elevation at 100 yards changes a single inch, or 10 inches at 1000 yards.

I shoot a Weaver Tactical in MILs on which, at a 100-yard zero (zero hold on center), I only move my settings on the MIL turret 2.9 graduations. The scope carries 1/10th marks for very precise target grouping at ultra long-range.

Remember: When you run out of elevation or sub-tension hashmarks in the glass, you're shooting as blind as a bat! You have no idea where that bullet is going to impact the target area, or if it is even going to get there at all.

Hunting Mark has a detailed article on Best Sniper Scopes by 'Loyal Brezny'.


One Reply to “16 Best Long Range Rifle Scopes 2024 [Tested Choices]”
  1. I have used Nightforce glass on my .50 an .416 Barrets for many years now and would not consider changing to anything else currently in the market.
    Several years ago, however, I traded out my Schmidt-Bender for Vortex glass on my Sako TRG42/.338L and found a match made in heaven. This new glass allowed me to again lock up targets with confidence at the extreme outer engagement envelope for the .338 Lapua. It’s not the S&B don’t produce excellent glass, because they most certainly do! I just found the these old eyes did better with the Vortex glass. The S&B is now mated with my Tikka T3/.300 WM EDC hunting rifle and for the ranges I hunt in Alaska works very well thank you.
    I have, however, replaced most of my hunting glass with the Vortex product line and to date never been given a reason to complain
    Excellent in low morning and evening light I have noted an increase in hunting time of around 40 extra minutes.
    I would also suggest that one might give a hard look at the Vortex Sporting Scopes that the offer.

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