When it comes to working with the new Ruger Precision rifles, I think I have the lead in experience.
I have tested six of them, shot and still retain two of the long-range models, and was shooting the early 6.5 Creedmoor within weeks of it becoming a known item, and at that time my testing was about a year before the big box stores saw their first gun come in for retail sales.
The bottom line here is that the Ruger Precision rifle and I go back a very long way, and as far as scope sights are concerned, some of the very best have been applied to these rifles regardless of the caliber among the various Ruger offerings.
Because the Ruger precision centers around a rifle that is an all metal design with a full floating barrel, target grade barrel rifling, and a completely advanced action, this rifle falls into a specialized class of firearms designed for accurate bullet placement at some unbelievable range limits.
Vortex Optics Diamondback
Vortex Optics Diamondback
Vortex Optics Viper HS-T
Vortex Optics Viper HS-T
Burris Optics XTR II
Burris Optics XTR II
TRACT 30mm MRAD
TRACT 30mm MRAD
Night Force SHV
Night Force SHV
Bushnell Lrts 3-12X4
Bushnell Lrts 3-12X4
Nikon Black 1000
Nikon Black 1000
When selecting a scope for the Ruger Precision, keep in mind that this is not your average stump-jumping deer rifle. As such, when you're chambering the 338 Lapua or the 300 PRC, for example, you're talking about a 1-mile down-range accurate rifle. Yes, 1,760 yards or more down range.
The bullet will take four seconds to get to the target at that range, and with a good scope you can do your own spotting straight through the glass sight. Shoot, return from recoil, and watch your target area for the bullet impact.
How do I know this? Because I shoot the Ruger Precision in the 338 and 300 PRC and yes I have a range that is exactly 1 mile in length
When considering the best scopes for use on the new Ruger Precision chassis rifle, it should be understood that any rifle that carries the pedigree of a long-distance gunning system requires a scope system like one of these.
A simple rule to follow is this: As the range extends and the cartridge performance goes up, so must the optic system being used on the rifle.
The Ruger Precision series of rifles start at the 243 Winchester but end with the 338 Lapua. What this says is one rifle is a great 800- to 1000-yard shooting system, while the other is a great 1 mile or more longer-range rifle.
Best Scopes For Ruger Precision Rifle
1. Vortex Viper
The Vortex Viper is a nice long-range glass that matches the lighter cartridges such as the 243 Winchester in the Ruger Precision rifle. This scope is a 2.5 – 10-44. It sets up for hunting and target shooting.
This model is a second focal plane scope, meaning that the sub-tensions will not change with the advancement of the magnification level. In other words, the crosshairs will not change size.
The scope uses the dead hold BDC reticle. While liked by many, it is not a dedicated long-range scope using that sub-tension system. However, this glass system meets middle of the road needs down-range.
I can’t help it, I am a dedicated MRAD/MOA guy. Vortex indicates that the scope can be ordered in 2.5010X44 V-Plex MOA as well.
The advanced optic system on this scope makes use of the XD glass, which renders a sharp, clear image from the edges to the center-line of the reticle. This multicoated lens allows great light retention control and upgrades shooting time at dawn and dusk.
Built on a 30mm main tube, this is a robust tube system. It features quick-set advancing turrets with zero stop and capped turret tops for hunting in rough field conditions.
The 30mm tube allows the turrets to have additional clicks for elevation and windage correction. This is always an issue when the range is increased.
Recently, I observed a young hunter take a sitting coyote at 800 yards with one shot with his Ruger Precision 243 Winchester. His glass was larger, but the principle was the same.
In other words, better glass at longer distances is always a constant at this end of the shooting sports.
This waterproof scope is gas-sealed and features a very tough external finish. I would say this is an entry-level scope for a rifle like the Ruger Precision. However, it is a workhorse optical system and stands the test of time.
2. Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical
Dropping in price a little, but still working with a very usable scope for this kind of work with at least the 6.5 Creedmoor to 1000 yards, is the Diamondback Tactical 6-24X50mm FFP EBR-2C MOA reticle.
This scope is a good buy, and is priced and designed at the mid point when looking for longer-range optics. External elevation and windage adjustments with a side focus parallax correction system makes changing bullet points of impact easy.
The sub-tensions in this scope are first class and can be obtained in MOA or MRAD types. That means real world drop and windage corrections can be applied here. I vote for this one every time.
3. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T
Moving into a scope that is more in line with the heavies, we come to the Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane scope.
This glass sight is ideal for use in 1,000-yard-plus shooting situations. It is a big scope. It is long and full of power for taking that long-distance shot. Ruger’s Precision rifle is chambered in 300 Win Mag, 300 PRC, or even 338.
Lapua can be a great contender in terms of a match up to this big-bore rifle glass system.
This scope uses open turrets and produces piles of extended elevation adjustment for that two-story out of the air bullet drop at 1 mile down-range. The scope is regarded by Vortex as a multiple configuration scope. That means both hunting and target shooting apply here.
The scope's power settings include 6-24X50. The VMR-1 reticle is right on for the down-range assessment of targets. The barrel length of the scope is 15.5 inches, making this a robust system indeed.
Using a fully multi-coated lens system, this scope increases light transmission and stays clear at ultra-long distances. The second focal plane will not allow the crosshairs to change with the variations in the magnification range.
CRS zero stop is a feature of better grade target scopes. This means when returning to the zero setting the turret knob comes to a stop at the true zero setting. In most cases, that is a 100-yard zero.
This scope is built to allow critical adjustments for far-distance shooting situations. When applying the big 30 cal cartridges and higher, this scope is mandatory, or you're overpowered and under-glassed right from the get-go.
Side focus parallax control makes for quick optical image clearing and allows the shooter to stay in the scope to make turret adjustments. The one-piece tube is “O” ring-sealed, making it waterproof and fog proof.
4. Burris Optics XTR II
I have tied down this scope on no less than a dozen test rifles over the past two years. Today, it is mounted on a Savage Prairie Hunter in .224 Valkyrie - the latest and greatest distance thunder stick system offered to shooters.
This scope is built of very good glass that stays clear and bright all the way down-range (1000 yards and more).
With power settings of 8-40X50, this tube features F-Class MOA sub-tensions and an illuminated reticle. This scope uses a massive 34mm main tube to house the high rotation number elevation and windage advancement system.
Tack a 20 - 40 MOA rail to this glass and you're good to 2,000 yards down-range.
Turret settings retain a zero stop for fast re-zero control, even when spinning those turrets a whole lot for the 800- to 1500-yard shot.
This scope is set up in the first focal plane. That means your crosshairs will increase in thickness as the power settings on the scope are increased in magnification. At longer ranges, this feature is an advantage because it proportions the crosshairs to the intended target surface.
The scope features an F-Class MOA illuminated reticle. This is a major point for this scope as this is high glass used in the lens. The lens is clear and pulls light very well at longer distances.
I have been using one of these on a mountain marmot rifle for several months. Even in almost total darkness and shadowed areas in steep rock face areas, I can pick out targets that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
While rifle glass comes from several areas of the world, this glass is high-quality European or Japanese in origin.
Turret clicks are positive. The lockdown is solid. The reticle coupled with the advance turret elevation clicks makes this a viable competitor when selecting a long-range optical system.
5. Steiner 5-25X56mm SCR
Getting into the big boys, we cross into the world of super long-range shooting and the use of the Ruger Precision 300 PRC, or 338 Lapua. I know this scope because I own it. This is a go-to system for 2000-yard shooting, or even training for the new super class 2-mile shot.
Using my Ruger 338 Lapua, I have successfully made the 1-mile head and heart shot on a simulated mortar position using three bad guys in blue man targets, and a cardboard tube set up mortar. Ammo in this case was standard Federal American Eagle, and the Steiner 5122 scope was set to 19.5 MRADs at 1760 yards.
Priced at under $2000, the $2000 Steiner coupled with the Ruger Precision performed as well as a high-end $5000 rifle, or even the military $24.000 and change ultimate sniper rifle.
The Steiner retains a massive 34mm tube that carries a larger turret ring and, as such, a good measure of elevation capability. This is required at very long distances and it fits the Ruger Chassis rifle in the 338 Lapua to a tee.
The 56mm objective lens housing pulls in light quite well, and lacking this ability, distance targets become fuzzy and dull, lacking contrast and as such become very poorly sight able targets. Steiner makes the world look better then it actual is when viewing targets even out to 1400, through 1760 yards down-range.
The special competition reticle is offered with cut adjustments for groups down to the 1/10 mil, and the quick throw lever allows for very fast magnification changes.
The turret retains a second rotation indicator that shows the shooter he or she has passed a full turret revolution of 120 clicks. As you can see, the scope is set up for next zip code shooting to say the least.
6. TRACT 30mm MRAD Long Range Riflescope
TRACT is a newer company, but don’t let that hold you back. I shoot TRACT on a 300 Win Mag Precision and a 300 PRC by Hornady in the Ruger Chassis rifle.
This scope is nothing but outstanding. Here is the best part. Whatever you pay for it can be doubled in the level of quality you're getting for your dollar.
A review of this scope needs only to allow me to think back to the many days I have shot the system in the field. Both in target work on a long-range steel plate and against warm targets, this scope has returned nothing but high-quality performance.
The scope uses an ultra-high-definition optical system that controls light to the max and brings back a crisp clear image.
The scope uses the heavier 30mm one-piece tube housing. The elevation turrets are large and carry a high degree of adjustment for those ultra-long shots.
When used on the Hornady 300 PRC, one of the very new Ruger Precision rifles released in 2019, I have shot just under a mile on junk cars mounting paper human targets for testing and advancing some long-range sniper training techniques.
The first focal plane puts the glass at a professional sniper level performance standards. This is not your daddy's rifle scope. It is a look at the 21st century level of shooting glass sights.
The MRAD adjustments allow for the rapid advancement of elevation when cranking up those turrets and is necessary for a very long-range, 1 mile or more, shot.
The scope features a multi-rotation zero stop system that works, and it allows a fast re-zero to the point of the stop even after cranking MRAD notches two times around the turret.
Coated in a flat gray color and tough as nails in the field, this great scope gets a gold star in my book of optical knowledge. It would take $2000 to purchase a scope in another brand name that matches the excellent qualities of this one.
7. Night Force SHV 5-20X56mm
Just like the precision-style rifles, Night Force has become a named brand that fits the mold in terms of sitting right in the driver's seat for high priced, top end glassing systems. These sights are very good, and right up there with others listed here.
This model is a mid-range scope among the manufacturer's line of longer-range optical systems. The SHV is a scope with a 56 objective lens that will pull light and, like the previous big scopes, is a natural for distance work as applied to the Ruger chassis rifle systems.
The scope is set up in the SFF mode, and that makes it a scope that can be used to push range, but also in the hunter's class optical system. Turret adjustments are in MOA settings, and that keeps it in the 1000-yard performance group.
It is well suited to the best 6.5 Creedmoor rifle, 243 Winchester, or 308 Winchester rounds, which are all three Ruger Precision rifle offerings.
The 30mm turret allows ample turret elevation adjustment for longer-range work. Parallax adjustments are located on the left side of the turret.
8. Bushnell Lrts 3-12X4
This scope is near the top of its manufacturer's scope product line. It is large, high-powered at 3-12X44, and designed for longer-range applications.
It features larger turret knobs for great range in elevation and windage. According to Bushnell, the scope is designed primarily for hunting use. It is an adequate hunting scope for mid-range cartridges like the 308 Win and 243 Win, and possibly the newer 6.5 Creedmoor.
The scope features a tube diameter of 30mm, which allows for the increased size in parts, strength and added MRAD click corrections for elevation or windage.
This is a model one below the Bushnell scope I have on one of my 338 Lapuas in a 1999 Montana turn-bolt rifle. (sniper grade 1-mile rifle).
Bushnell scopes require exactly 19 MRADs for enough elevation for 1-mile shots. The turret elevation adjustment runs out and requires using a one-half setting (halving) for the last few MRAD click requirements.
This scope functions as workable up to 1 mile with the correct rifle/cartridge. Its side focus parallax provides quick accuracy up to 25 yards downrange. The scope's length is 13.1 inches with a weight of 28 ounces.
9. Nightforce Beast
This scope is a 5-25X56. This is the only Night Force scope I have used in the testing of products for the industry over the past 10 years. It is a new, quality scope that performs well and costs a great deal of money. It is perfect for the 300 PRC, the 338 Lapua, or on any weapon like the Ruger Precision chassis rifle systems.
This tube controls target images to 1 mile and more. It uses the MRAD system and works when boxing in a target out in the next zip code.
I shot this scope when reviewing the T/C sniper rifle for Gun Digest two years ago. The weather was cold and nasty, but the scope pulled through very well. This professional glass system is great for military-grade applications.
Night Force has indicated that the Beast is called that because nothing like it has ever been created. That's not true. The British, Canadian and German military have some monster sniper engineered optical systems.
I have seen them, used a few, and handled a dozen or so over the years at the great American Shot Show, held annually. Some are so complicated that they will actually switch from MRADs to MOA with the flick of a knob. That is just one example of what these good scopes can do in the field.
Sold in the $4,500 price range, this scope does not lack a darn thing. It features that best glass, etched reticle, a massive range of elevation and windage cranks on the turret knobs, and top of the line parts.
The scope has an illuminated reticle and parallax adjustment to 45 yards through infinity. It is in the first focal plane. The high-quality scope is built like a Russian tank.
10. Nikon Black 1000
This scope is the one I currently have mounted on a Ruger Hawkeye Long-Range rifle in 300 Win Mag. It was loaned to me two years ago by Nikon. It never went back because I found a home for it right here at Ballistics Research & Development. This scope is about as much for the buck as you are ever going to see.
Priced at half the going rate of a lower-priced long-range scope, the Nikon Black carries a 4-16X50 mm objective lens, or a 6-24 X50. This scope features an etched glass reticle on good glass and has a very positive functioning zero stop on the turret.
The scope has a side-mounted lighted reticle control found only on some glass systems in a higher price range. The system is set up in a sniper's first focal plane.
The main tube size is a full military standard 30mm. This means that the parts are large and tough inside the pipe. The reticle can be used to estimate range and produce the correct holdover in MRADS or MOAs. This system is a buyer's choice.
11. Leupold VX-3i 6.5-20X50mm
The VX-3i illustrated here is just about minimum in terms of an effective long-range shooting system. The manufacturer offers this scope in a fine Duplex CBS reticle that can make the trip down-range to 1000 through 2000 yards if required.
This matte black finished scope is built as a one-piece aluminum tube optical system. It is fog proof and waterproof, for hard and harsh condition shooting.
The scope can have a custom ranging turret dial cut exactly to the cartridge/load you're shooting. This eliminates holdover manually, or counting clicks as in MOA or MRAD targeting systems. Standard ¼ MOA settings are the dial-in system less the custom options.
A word here is in order. I learned to shoot both MOA and MRAD target elevation and windage correction systems. Learn that and you can shoot just about anything reasonably well. Military doctrine is presented here.
This scope has the no-messing-around Twilight Max (Light Management System) employed throughout its high-quality optics system, This is no joke and not some fluff set into motion by an advertising department working for the company.
It will pull late in the day or early in the morning light, giving you that final total hours shooting when other glass has given up the fight.
Leupold is one of the very best scopes in this area of performance. This company builds the scopes here in the USA, all internal parts are hand-fitted and no glue is used to hold elements together (lenses, for example), and the scope is a lifetime investment. I have been shooting one for more than 60 years.
The aluminum tube housing is a 30mm design and that means there is room for ample adjustment. If there is not enough elevation, the sub-tensions and turret adjustment can be doubled up, and also 20 through 40 MOA rails can be added.
Let us not forget the newer prism system TACO, or Night/Force unit, that can be ordered for an add-on zero at 600 yards re a starting point for the 1-mile shot (Optics Planet).
Is the Ruger Precision worth the price?
Yes. The rifle is pound for pound and performance rated the best buy on the market today in relation to chassis rifles that are chambered in a wide range of practical long-range rounds. Distances of 1000 through 2000 yards and more with advanced low BC bullets can be considered workable limits.
I currently own three of them. Need I say more?
I can tell you this in complete honesty. If you can find a better scope for the money, don’t waste a minute more of your time. Buy it!
Want to know about Ruger Precision Rifle Upgrades? Check out our guide.