12 Best Long-Range Riflescopes for Under $1000

best rifle scope under 1000

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When selecting a riflescope for target work at long-range, or even for long-distance hunting, the price point is going to dictate to a great extent how much scope you’re going to actually get when it comes to down-range performance.

Design elements such as turret size and the ability to carry a great many elevation and windage clicks, BDC markings, thickness of the main tube (steel or aluminum) and, above all, the quality of the glass are going to be major considerations.

Long-range shooting demands quality internal parts, such as springs and prisms, and mounting systems for each type of internal.

When the shot’s going down-range, the need for a glass sight that will not develop target-fade, rainbow edge rings, or even loss of sub-tension presentation should be considered before buying the product.

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

BEST FOR WIDE RANGE

Leupold VX-31 4.5-14x50

Leupold VX-31 4.5-14x50

  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Magnification: 4.5-14x
  • Length: 12.2 in
BEST FOR WEATHER

Leupold VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster 3-9x40

Leupold VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster 3-9x40

  • Diameter: 40mm
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Length: 12.39 in
BEST FOR HUNTING

Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44mm Side Focus

Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44mm Side Focus

  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Magnification: 3-15x
  • Length: 13.5 in
BEST FOR LONG RANGE

TRACT 3-15x50 Long-Range

TRACT 3-15x50 Long-Range

  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Magnification: 3-15x
  • Length: 13 in
BEST FOR CLEAR IMAGE

Vortex Viper PST Gen II 3-15x44

Vortex Viper PST Gen II 3-15x44

  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Magnification: 3-15x
  • Length: 14.3 in
BEST FOR ACCURACY

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50 FFP

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50 FFP

  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Magnification: 5-25x
  • Length: 16 in
BEST FOR LONG RANGE

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T SFF

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T SFF

  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Magnification: 6-24x
  • Length: 15.5 in
BEST FOR HUNTING

Zeiss Conquest V4 3-12X44

Zeiss Conquest V4 3-12X44

  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Magnification: 3-12x
  • Length: 33 in
BEST FOR ACCURACY

Zeiss V4 3-12X56mm

Zeiss V4 3-12X56mm

  • Diameter: 56mm
  • Magnification: 3-12x
  • Length: 14.5 in
BEST FOR HUNTING

Night Force SHV 3-10x42

Night Force SHV 3-10x42

  • Diameter: 42mm
  • Magnification: 3-10x
  • Length: 11.6 in
BEST FOR PLINKING

Night Force NXS5.5-22x56mm Riflescope

Night Force NXS5.5-22x56mm Riflescope

  • Diameter: 56mm
  • Magnification: 5-22x
  • Length: 15.2 in
BEST FOR WEATHER

Bushnell 51H

Bushnell 51H

  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Magnification: 4.5-18x
  • Length: 14.3 in

The following riflescope selection is based on sight glass and metal tubing that, when coming together, will get the job done at ranges between 600 and 1000 yards.

After that, all bets are off, as many issues start to show up over the view down-range through a riflescope.

You won’t understand any of this until you have spent a few hundred hours shooting at targets that range from 600 yards to over one mile in distance.

I will also illustrate a scope in this review that shoots one mile, and you don’t need to spend but a few bucks over a grand to get hold of one

Here are 12 of the best riflescopes for longer-range shooting under $1000.

Leupold Scopes

1. Leupold VX-31 4.5-14x50

best scope under 1000

This riflescope is a bargain optic as it is set up with Leupold glass, gas-filled and totally waterproof.

But the major factor is that the scope carries the quality internals for long-range shooting, a good Duplex reticle that can be changed out directly at Leupold for MOA or MRAD setup in sub-tensions, and is currently set up with ¼-MOA hashmarks (clicks).

As usual, Leupold will be dead-on when repeating a zero after advancing clicks for adjustments.

Built of aircraft-grade aluminum and O-ring-sealed, this is a better quality scope at a working guy’s price point.

Currently, I shoot five different Leupold products when running bullet tests for industry-related projects, or just shooting to stay sharp over my crosshairs.

Leupold won’t build a junk scope regardless of the price, but this scope at its low price has to see some undercutting in a few elements of its design. In this case, the scope is basic. 

But carry glass that will not cause target-fade, colored rings at the objective edge, and when turning for elevation turret settings will return to a correct zero every time.

best hunting scope under 1000

Shooting these scopes, I often run a box pattern in that I start from the right with seven clicks, come back across the horizontal line with another shot, and then finish the box shape coming back to my old dead-on zero hold point.

The result is always a correct re-zero. If that changes at all, Leupold will fix the issue as they stand behind this American-made product.

This riflescope, being a 4.5-24x50, is willing to carry a whole lot of magnification and also pull light like crazy. Small targets like a coyote’s ears and face can be picked up well past the general range of most rifles and cartridges. 

In some cases, name-branded scopes sell at double the price of this glass in order to gain the same performance results.

If you check this scope out at your local sporting goods dealer, take it outside. Do not view the product indoors. That is a bad idea as the lighting will be poor, the distance is not there, and it will tell you nothing whatsoever about how that glass sight will perform.

Pick an object as far away as possible and dial-in on it using the focus ring. After that, check for edge color and whether or not the target seems to be falling away into a gray mass with very soft edge lines. My bet is the answer will be no.

This system also works for just about any scope worth a darn as a long-range glass sighting system.

Leupold VX-31 4.5-14x50

The price of Leupold VX-31 4.5-14x50 varies, so check the latest price at

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

2. Leupold VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster 3-9x40

best long range rifle scope under 1000

This is a hunting scope with external elevation and windage knobs. As such, this optic is pre-set for light long-range work to 800 yards. The scope has the Leupold light management system and is set up for ¼ MOA clicks.

The main tube is one-piece construction and retains a 40mm objective. Sub-tensions are the Duplex style pattern, using Leupold elevation and windage ballistic match holdover drift points.

This is a good scope for a compact varmint rife. I shoot a scope very much like this 450 on my Rock River AK/AR hybrid when hunting called coyotes in tight shooting conditions.

Want to know more about that scope? Check out our detailed Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 review

Leupold VX-Freedom 450

The price of Leupold VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster 3-9x40 varies, so check the latest price at

If you are looking for a best scope for 450 bushmaster, then must check out our guide.

3. Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44mm Side Focus

best rifle scope under 1000

I currently shoot this scope on a Valkyrie chambered custom Mauser, and I have found it effective when light conditions are correct.

The fine crosshair is a varmint setup for longer-range work and, as such, will not transfer to very soft pre-dawn light conditions, even though the scope's light transmission is impressive both early and late in the day by way of its Leupold light management system.

This scope has a zero-lock turret with open elevation adjustment, but capped windage knobs. Side focus parallax adjustment allows the shooter to make quick correction while staying sighted through the scope on a possible target.

Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44mm Side Focus

The price of Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44mm Side Focus varies, so check the latest price at

If you are looking for some similar option, then must check out our Leupold  VX 5HD review

4. TRACT 3-15x50 Long-Range

best long range scope under 1000

Here is an all-round scope that will work well on the prairie dog town or when taking on called bobcats in Texas brush country. 

The scope has the TRACT exclusive treated glass that takes on all types of light conditions and gives back clear target mimics as well as a clear image all the way to the edges and a lack of target-fade as well using that large 50mm objective lens.

The sub-tensions are glass etched and the eye relief on the scope is a full 4 inches, giving way to use of heavy Magnums as well as light recoiling rifles. Here at BR&D (Ballistics Research), I run three of these scopes with different turret and sub-tension configurations.

This scope is of good quality and I have found when dialing in elevation, the zero setting repeats exactly as it was previously.

best long range scopes

Surface treatment in this scope is a light matte gray and different from others. I like the lack of glint given off by the argon-purged main tube, which is complimented by the anti-glare lens coating (the objective lens is also threaded for a sunshade for those extra-sunny days)

And also the general look of the scope as it fits well on a wide range of rifles in terms of general balance and looks, which means a whole lot to shooters with nice-looking rifle rigs.

I have used many add-on long-range lens systems with the 3-15 model, and with the second zero option manufactured by a different name, the TRACT is zeroed for 100 yards.

With a flip of the second zero lens, a re-zero for 600 yards is completed. I have been shooting this on a 224 Valkyrie custom Mark X Mauser for two years.

Stretch shots with the scope to over 800 yards under field conditions are very doable indeed, especially with the scope's generous field of view.

The TRACT scope system is well made with a quality aluminum main tube, and built with current advanced technology. This is a solid buy for what the hunter or long-range shooter is getting into the field.

TRACT 3-15x50 Long-Range

The price of TRACT 3-15x50 Long-Range varies, so check the latest price at

Vortex Scopes

5. Vortex Viper PST Gen II 3-15x44

best long range scopes

Here we have the Vortex Viper PST Gen II 3-15x44. This scope carries the FFP design, MOA current settings (clicks), and is set up for long-range varmint- or big game/target-shooting.

The all-around glass sight is very workable on large to medium frame rifles. One-piece tube construction and high-quality glass that pulls light well.

Vortex glass can keep copper rings at the edges down or non-existent, and the target-fade element when sighting is low at high power. When advancing the power settings, this can and often is a major problem when using low-end glass sights.

best long range rifle scope under 1000

This manufacturer makes use of good quality multi-coated lens glass, a fast-focus eyepiece, and etched sub-tensions that do the deed well when it comes to hitting something in the next zip code.

Zero-stop click-return is positive on this scope as it uses the same basic Vortex turrets I have on my own Vortex glass sight here at BR&D.

This manufacturer started in business not long ago and has advanced massively over the past several years. Today, Vortex is a major player in the long-range scope game and the examples illustrated here show that to be the case.

Vortex Viper PST Gen II 3-15x44

The price of Vortex Viper PST Gen II 3-15x44 varies, so check the latest price at

6. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50 FFP

best rifle scope under 1000

This second Vortex scope is pushing toward the larger heavy powered models and is a good choice for long-range prairie dog shooting or called coyotes when they camp out just beyond a smaller rifle and scope’s shooting range.

The scope is set up with military-based MRAD sub-tensions and is able to take large chunks of elevation quickly when making the click turns for the long shot on your turret knobs.

The scope uses large turret knobs with a good deal of elevation when required. The large objective pulls light and I have found the glass to hold off rainbow effect and target-fade quite well.

And because it is a first focal plane optic, your reticle will stay the same size throughout the entire magnification range.

best scope under 1000

This scope and its partners illustrated here are good buys for what the shopper is getting for his or her money, offering quite a bit of versatility in terms of magnification.

This scope retains the solid one-piece main tube zero-stop returns on the turrets, and with the illuminated reticle the system is a day/night applied glass sight.

If you want to stay to dark, or glass a deep draw for coyotes at midnight, the lighted reticle will allow this to happen even when using low-grade standard spotlights on varmints.

Rheostat-controlled, the scope will return exactly what you are wanting to use in terms of light control as well.

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II

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

7. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T SFF

best rifle scope under 1000

Here we have a very high magnification scope that is designed to push crosshair distance to 1000 yards and more with a price tag that is in the ballpark of a normal budget. 

This 6-24x50 is another model in the flexible configuration designed by Vortex Optics. There are at least three scopes that fall into this class of sight and price range.

This riflescope retains the VMR-1 reticle that gives the shooter at least seven sub-tension generated elevation clicks without touching the turret settings. When that won’t work or is not necessary, the turret clocks set in MOA clicks can handle the rest of the problem.

It can be obtained in MTAD sub-tensions and turret controls, and with a main tube built from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum, the internals are large enough and built well enough to hold up to continuous click adjustments over the scope's lifetime.

best 1000 yard scope

This scope has high turret towers with ample clicks to gain proper bullet compensation when shooting long-range. 

Is this a sniper scope? Yes, to some degree. While it will not meet the standards of military-grade glass, the gaming sniper using this on steel targets, or the small police department wanting a general urban-grade glass system, could get by with this scope.

Optical quality and sight picture on Vortex scopes are good, even at the maximum 24x magnification. The zero-stop system in the turret mounts is repeatable and accurate, and the model I shoot will run clean to 1000 yards or more when required. 

Target-fade is low, light is positive, and the ease-of-use category is on the high end of solid.

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T SFF

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

Want to more about best vortex scopes? Check out our complete guide

Zeiss Scopes

8. Zeiss Conquest V4 3-12X44

best long range scope under 1000

In this riflescope we have German glass and German production development. I shoot this scope on several different rifles and will be mounting one on a new Savage rifle coming within a month.

Why select this scope for the test series being undertaken here? Because it is among some of the best material you can bring together in a riflescope system today.

Built on a 30mm tube housing, this Z-Plex scope is able to bring in long-range targets as clean as a diamond, lacking any distortion whatsoever. Setup with generous turret clicks in MOA, the elevation and windage adjustments are positive and return to zero with accuracy.

The external material coatings on the tube are above average and in terms of durability, the scope can take a pounding. I have been using my test sample for over a year and have noticed no issue with surface condition as such.

best hunting scope under 1000

Currently, the scope is being tested via the Mossberg Scout rifle in 308 Winchester between 800 and 1000 yards. Shooting steel torso targets the size of a man is clearly effortless with the correct DOPE factored into the turret corrections for elevation.

About the only issue I have noticed with my sample scope is that my zero point at 200 yards is actually printing bullets for the 200-yard mark. Additional adjustment will be required regarding scope mounting height, with a changeover to the new rifle quite soon.

In effect, the low-end clicks are a bit short regarding turret advancing and retarding MOA graduations. A small issue with a great scope, however.

Target distortion is zero, target-fade is none, and color rainbow effect is non-existent. In general, the German design allows for low-light conditions, as on the other side of the pond they like to hunt late in the day or at night. Most scopes built by these folks take this element into account.

Zeiss Conquest V4 3-12X44

The price of Zeiss Conquest V4 3-12X44 varies, so check the latest price at

9. Zeiss V4 3-12X56mm

best ffp scope under 1000

Just like other Zeiss products, this SFP riflescope is built to take on light control with a special coating used for just this purpose. The lens is German perfection, and the 56mm forward window allows a massive amount of tight into the scope.

As previously stated on the other models reviewed, this scope is designed for early morning and late in the day shooting. 

Even at that, the scope with its power and ultra-quality glass is a natural for pushing the range of a bullet to its maxim performance range, especially since Zeiss' scope construction means extra-low dispersion glass.

Eye relief on the Zeiss is ample for heavy recoiling rifle cartridges. This scope has been shot on the 300W in both the spotter model and the heavy chassis long-range rifles here at my test and evaluation operation.

best long range rifle scope under 1000

With the heavy rifle, I have shot the scope one-handed on the sandbag bench-rest, and normal hunting mode two-handed with the CZ American custom turn-bolt big game rifle.

The capped turrets on this model are designed to be zeroed and set for the hunter, but today the hunter is pushing bullets well past the target shoot of old.

This means any good scope in this price range needs to be flexible at the least.

With a second focal plane reticle, the optics are static in terms of crosshairs. However, the V-Plex sub-tensions take over in terms of offering elevation adjustments regarding holdover down-range.

Zeiss V4 3-12X56mm

The price of Zeiss V4 3-12X56mm varies, so check the latest price at

Night Force Scopes

10. Night Force SHV 3-10x42

best hunting scope under 1000

In this riflescope we have a model that is right at the limit regarding the $1000 glass sight. Night Force is a quality product and world known as a sniper glass and top-end long-range optical system regardless of the model being used.

This quality scope uses a large 30mm main tube, built in the second focal plane, has an illuminated reticle and also mounts the side controls on the turret head. The reticle is intuitive to use and anyone with experience shooting a mil-dot scope should have no problem adjusting to this one.

As setup, the scope comes with open elevation turrets. This is a priced model that, when compared to the other high-end scopes, carries a lot of added value, and also rest assured this scope can deliver the mail to long-range targets just fine.

best scope under 1000

Overall, the light control on this long-range glass sight is exceptional, and this is in keeping with the Night Force brand. 

Again, as with other models, I have shot Night Force for industry review work and never found the scopes to be an issue regarding loss of target due to fade away, color distortion or rainbow effect at the objective lens edges.

The outer surface on this scope is tough and can take a pounding, and Night Force designed the scope to be fogproof, waterproof, and shockproof.

Internals are designed to be messed with and turning elevation all day long or for the life of the scope is expected with the Night Force system in place.

Night Force SHV 3-10x42

The price of Night Force SHV 3-10x42 varies, so check the latest price at

11. Night Force NXS 5.5-22x56mm Riflescope

best long range scopes

The final scope illustrated here is again a Night Force model and this time the scope is offered with a massive 56mm objective lens for long-range light- and target-pulling abilities, is waterproof and fog-proof, retains a side-controlled parallax adjustment knob, and is offered in the second focal plane.

The scope uses capped turrets for the hunter/shooter that works with a preset zero.

The reticle is not illuminated, and the crosshairs are setup as fine. This could present an issue in low- or very early morning light. Crosshair fade or even total loss is an issue with target-grade sub-tensions on a possible hunting scope, or varmint applied system against, say, coyotes.

Night Force NXS5.5-22x56mm

The price of Night Force NXS5.5-22x56mm Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

Bushnell Scopes

12. Bushnell 51H

best long range rifle scope under 1000

At just a bit over $1000 and change, the Bushnell advanced long-range scope in the Bushnell Elite Tactical LRTS 4.5-18x44 G3 FDE comes to the forefront.

I shoot this scope in an earlier version and I have recorded my first one-mile head- and heart-shots on life-size bad guy targets by way of my 338 Lapua model 1999 Montana turn-bolt rifle.

In terms of advanced design, Bushnell has moved well up the range in terms of long-distance scope design and product quality. These scopes are top dog and are winning events in long-range shooting across the country. 

When testing ELD Hornady bullets for the 338 and turning to this glass sight, I can say if I can hit at one mile lacking any special aids save for a rangefinder computer ranging the drop for me and a sandbagged rifle, the scope is second-to-none in terms of getting the bullet to the target accurately.

best ffp scope under 1000

This scope makes use of Rain Guard (a system developed by the manufacturer), gas purges for total protection inside the aluminum tube (all backed up by a lifetime warranty), and high-click carry turrets that can ramp-up elevation to long-range lacking the need for MOA rails and other assist tack-on items.

At one mile and shooting my 338 Lapua, I can pull 19.5 MRADS, which walks to the full 1760-yard target. Shooting a zero-elevated base system in 20-40 <OA, I only need two mils through my sub-tensions to get that rewired election. Turret settings are maxed-out at this range.

Target contrast is clear. My marker 10-mile blaze orange is sharp, and my 1-yard side-to-side white marker rock also stands out well. You can have ultra-long-range in hand at a budget price factoring in the element of cost.

In some cases, the one-mile glass sight is running $4000 and change from some other brands. Also be advised that this basic scope took top gun honors this year in the two-mile course of fire competition.

Bushnell 51H

The price of Bushnell 51H varies, so check the latest price at

What do you think about these long -range scopes? Have any caught your interest? Is there another scope that you think that I should have included? Share your thoughts in the comments. And if you are looking for a scope that will let you shoot under 1000 yards, then check out our guide on best 1000 yard scopes.

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