When addressing the best scopes for use on the new Ruger Precision chassis rifles, it should be understood that any rifle that carries the pedigree of a long-range 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 up 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 one mile or more long-range rifle.
Vortex Optics Viper HS-T
Burris Optics XTR II
TRACT 30mm MRAD
Bushnell Lrts 3-12X4
Nikon Black 1000
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 the middle of the road needs downrange.
I can’t help it I am a dedicated MRAD/MOA guy. That is the end of that story right now. Therefore, Vortex indicates because of guys just like me 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 centerline 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 coyote 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 long range 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 the entry-level scope for a rifle like the Ruger Precision. However, it is a workhorse of an optical system and stands the test of time.
2. 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 plus yard shooting situations. This scope is big. 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 eveen 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 one mile downrange.
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 (MOA) is right on for the downrange assessment of targets. The barrel length of the scope is 15.5 inches making this a robust system indeed.
Using fully a multicoated lens system, this scope increases light transmission and stays clear at ultra-long-range 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 elevation and windage adjustments for long-range shooting situations. When applying the big 30 cal cartridges and higher, this scope is mandatory or your 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.
3. 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 long-range thunder stick system being offered to shooters.
This scope is built of very good glass that stays clear and bright all the way downrange (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 downrange.
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 (FFP.) That means your crosshairs will increase in thickness as the power settings on the scope are increased in magnification.
At long range, this feature is an advantage because it proportions the crosshairs to the intended target surface.
This 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 long range.
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 my 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.
4. 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: What you pay for this scope can be doubled in the level of quality you're getting for your dollar.
The scope's designers and its family of shooting glass didn’t like what they were seeing in the scope world. They built their own based on experience. The result is TRACT scopes. Believe me, they are nothing less than outstanding.
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 elevation 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 one 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 in 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 is necessary for a very long-range, one mile or more shot. The scope features a multi-rotation zero stop system that works.
This system allows a fast re-zero to the point of the stop even after cranking MRAD notches two times around the turret.
Coated in flat gay color and tough as nails in the field, this 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 great scope.
5. Bushnell Lrts 3-12X4
This scope is near the top of the Bushnell scope product line. It is large, high powered at 3-12 X 44 and designed for long-range applications.
This scope features larger turret knobs for great range in elevation and windage. According to Bushnell, this scope is designed primarily for use as a hunting model.
This 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 what the Bushnell scope I have on one of my 338 Lapua’s in a 1999 Montana turn bolt rifle. (sniper grade one-mile rifle).
Bushnell scopes require exactly 19 MRADs for enough elevation for one-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 one mile with the correct rifle/cartridge.
This scope's 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.
6. 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 deadly perfect for the 300 PRC or 338 Lapua in any rifle like the Ruger Precision chassis rifle systems.
This tube controls target images to one 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.
Nightforce has indicated that the “Beast” is called that because nothing like it has ever been created. That is not true. The British, Canadian military and Germany have some monster sniper engineered optical system.
I have seen them, used a few of them, 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 a 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. This scope is in the first focal plane (FFP). The high-quality scope is built like a Russian tank and is sold on Amazon.
7. Nikon Black 1000
This is the final scope on the list of good options for the Ruger Precision rifle and others like it. This scope is the one I have currently mounted on a Ruger Hawkeye Long-Range rifle in 300 Win Mag.
This scope 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 Nikon is about as much scope for the buck as you are ever going to see.
Priced at half of 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 (FFP).
The main tube size is a full military standard 30mm. This means that the parts are large and tough inside the pipe.
This reticle can be used to estimate range and produce the correct holdover in MRADS or MOAs. That system is a buyer's choice.
I can tell you this in complete honesty. If you can find a better scope for the money don’t waste a minute of your time, buy it!