Whether you use your rifle for just the occasional weekend hunting trip or for more demanding tasks such as defending your land from intruders, it certainly helps if you can see long-range to pick up shots at a distance.
To do this, you of course need a really durable and well-built long range scope to mount to your rifle. It needs to easy to manage, have solid adjustments and keep its zero even with heavy jolting.
You have many options when it comes to long range rifle scopes. And the reality is that in the world of optics, you will most certainly get what you pay for, so doing your research is important if you want to make a good investment on a scope that will last you for years to come.
Now, without further ado, let’s dive into this list, shall we?
- 1 5 Best Long Range Scopes For Under $1000
- 2 Bushnell Elite Tactical Hunter 3-12x 44mm
- 3 Burris XTR II 3-15x 50mm
- 4 Vortex Viper PST 6-24x 50mm FFP Riflescope
- 5 Weaver 4-20x 50mm
- 6 SWFA SS 3-15x 42mm Tactical Rifle Scope
- 7 Best Long Range Scope For Under $500
- 8 Bushnell Elite Tactical LRS 10x40mm
- 9 Things To Look For In A Long Range Scope
- 10 Our Final Review for the Best Long Range Scopes
5 Best Long Range Scopes For Under $1000
Designed with the purpose of long range hunting in mind, the Bushnell Elite Tactical Hunter is at the top of the food chain. To be honest here, many hunters and long range shooter will tell you that this scope is just about as close to long range perfection as you can get.
The solid 30mm main tube is sturdy, fairly light and can take some good thrashes and drops. And the reticle on the Elite Tactical Hunter is none other than the G2H reticle. This is a mil-radian based FFP (First Focal Plane) reticle that allows for precise ranging, holdover and easy correction of windage at any of the magnification settings.
The overall low profile and tactical elevation turret of this scope are both on point and very nice. It is, mostly, matted so you won’t ever have trouble with large reflections beaming off of your scope while you are out there hunting. The RainGuard HD coating helps to make sure your scope stays dry and fog free even in the worst conditions, wrapping up this scope nicely.
- 30mm main tube
- 44mm objective lens
- 2 inch sunshade
- G2H FFP reticle
- RevLimiter zero stop
- Side parallax adjustments
- Weight: 24.4 ounces
- Overall Length: 13.4″ inches
- Magnification: 3-12x
Made with 25% more tube thickness than the original XTR rifle scope, the Burris XTR II, is going to give you more rigidity and stability with such a solid frame. The tube is nitrogen filled to keep down any fogginess that might occur otherwise and helps to further weatherproof this scope.
Equipped with a FFP (First Focal Plane) reticle The Burris XTR II is designed to help you get and keep targets within your field of vision without obstructing too much of your lens. It also features a 5 times zoom that allows for a very wide range of magnification going from 50 yards to infinity. The adjustment knobs for this are comfortable and intuitive. Also incorporated is Zero Click Stop technology. This thing is perfect for both close range and long range.
- 30mm main tube
- Ballistic CQ Mil spec illuminated FFP reticle
- Zero Click Stop technology
- Nitrogen filled tube
- Good for precision shooting as well as competitive shooting
- Weight: 1.9 lbs.
- Overall Length: 17.2″ inches
- Magnification: 1-5x
The Viper PST (Precision Shooting Tactical) riflescope is considered to be in the same league with top-tier riflescopes. The difference is that you can get the Viper PST for a fraction of the cost usually associated with features this thing packs.
For starters, the main tube is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum as a single piece to help with waterproofness and provides a great deal of strength to this scope. An ArmorTek coating helps protect your scope from scratches, oil and dirt, while the hard anodized black matte finish makes sure that you and your scope stay camouflaged. Everything is purged with Argon to give you a fogproof experience.
The illuminated EBR-1 (Enhanced Battle Reticle) is a FFP (First Focal Plane) reticle and it uses MOA based subtension lines for ranging, holdover and accurate windage corrections.
- 30mm main tube
- Argon gas purged lens
- Illuminated EBR-1 ranging reticle
- Waterproof and fogproof
- Side focus
- ArmorTek coating
- Anodized black matte finish
- Weight: 23 ounces
- Overall Length: 18″ inches
- Magnification: 6-24x
The scope features tactical reset to zero turrets, side focus parallax adjustment jobs, and multi-coated lenses that are crisp and clear. On top of these features, it also comes with FFP reticles that are extremely unobtrusive to your field of view and aid you in precise ranging.
Oh, and the windage correction with this scope? Yep, it is on point and on par with anything else you will find on the market.
Just like the rest of the scopes on our list, all of this is finished off with a black matte coat that keeps light from reflected off of your scope and keeps you and your scope camouflaged , even in more open environments.
- 30mm main tube
- FFP Mil Dot reticles
- Side focus parallax adjustment
- Weather and fogproof
- Single piece construction
- Weight: 2 lbs.
- Overall Length: 22″ inches
- Magnification: 4-20x
The SWFA SS 3-15×42 Tactical rifle scope is a high quality scope for those who need something that gets the job done just as well as a $1,000 scope. The main 30mm tube is fitted with strong glass that is clear but not quite what you would call high-definition. The reticle is FFP. This scope goes from 3-15x magnification and the 6m-infinity side knob works really well and can do both audible and tactical clicks to help you make sure you are on point in any situation.
Oh, and as you should come to expect from any quality tactical scope, this is all finished off with a solid black matte coating that will keep you and your scope camouflaged at all times.
- 30mm main tube
- Patented mil-quad reticle
- Side focus (6m-infinity)
- .10 Mrad turrets
- Black matted finish
- Weight: 24 ounces
- Overall Length: 13.66″ inches
- Magnification: 3-15x
Best Long Range Scope For Under $500
So now that we’ve looked at the top five long-range scopes for under $1,000 how about we take a look at what you can get for just under $500 in case you’re on a budget?
Boasting a full and solid, Argon purged 1 inch tube, a mil-dot aiming reticle, and the ability to magnify your field of vision up to 10x, the Bushnell Elite Tactical is a keeper.
What really makes this thing shine is the Ultra Wide Band Coating that is used to improve light transmission to help boost the brightness at both dawn and dusk. Couple that with the multi-coated optics and you are assured of consistently crisp and clear views of just about any target within range.
To further help prevent moisture build up and fog in your lens, this scope also uses a proprietary formula known as RainGuard HD. It’s black matte finish makes sure that you and your scope are always camouflaged and not throwing out any reflections that may scare away your target or otherwise give away your position.
- One inch body tube
- Argon purged
- Fixed-power target scope
- Mil-dot reticle
- 10x magnification with 40-millimeter objective lens
- RainGuard HD anti-fog technology
- Multi-coated optics
- Black finish
- Weight: 15.9 ounces
- Overall Length: 11.5″ inches
- Magnification: 10x
Things To Look For In A Long Range Scope
When deciding on which scope to buy, there are a few things that you may really want to pay attention to if you want narrow down your options just a bit. If you pay attention to the following specifications, you are sure to find just the right scope for your gun.
When it comes to rifle scopes, weight is probably the single most important factor in helping you decide if it is the right scope for your purposes. If you are doing competitive shooting and need to be a good deal more on the agile side of things, then you, obviously, benefit from a lighter scope.
However, if you are going on a hunting trip this weekend and don’t really need the lightweight build or plan on setting up in a deer blind, then a heavier scope may fit you better.
Your scope is only as good as the lens it is equipped with. Most rifle scopes add some level of optical magnification which means that they allow you to zoom into and view targets that are far away. If you were to use a long range scope with a 9x lens, you would have the ability to view targets at 9 times the size they would appear in your normal range of vision.
While having a scope that can provide you with plenty of magnification power is extremely useful, it’s not really needed. You will find that more often than not, you won’t need more than about 4x-5x magnification for most common applications. And even at that level, you are still dealing with ‘long range’. But if you can afford a tactical long range scope with some more magnification to it, why not?
When I say durability, what I really mean is toughness. Whatever long range scope you decide to buy, make sure that it is actually going to withstand some abuse. A well-built rifle scope should be able to take a beating, some jolting and even a few good drops and still keep itself zeroed.
Besides the sighting issues that can occur with heavy use and abuse of your scope, you also need to be concerned about leaks. Rifle scopes nowadays commonly have lenses that are filled with nitrogen or some other heavy gas such as argon or krypton. The gas acts as a sort of seal that keeps out any moisture from creeping into your lens and creating a foggy view, obstructing your vision through the scope.
To sum it up and get on to our list of the best long range scopes under $1000, just remember these three things and you will be better able to pick out the right a scope to meet your needs:
- Find a scope that is easy to carry and support. It should not weigh down your barrel but should be stable.
- Make sure the lens is free of leaks, can handle moderate jolting and bumps, and is either nitrogen or argon.
- Most importantly, make sure the material and assembly isn’t absolute junk.
Our Final Review for the Best Long Range Scopes
In this article you looked at the top long-range scopes for under $1,000 for 2018. We also took a quick look at the best long range scope for under $500.
While not every one of these scopes are new additions for most avid hunters and gun owners, they have been included here as they are either staples of the industry or they are still valid contenders to this day. If they’ve been around for a few years and have still made it on this list, that is a good sign for sure!
When it comes time to make your decision just like with any other piece of tactical gear it’s really all about what you will be utilizing that tool for. We hope that we have outlined our top choices for best long range tactical scopes for 2018 efficiently enough to help you make that decision.
If we have left out any of your favorites or any long range tactical scopes that deserve to have a spot on this list or future articles, please let us know!