As hunters and shooters, we all love to get a great deal. Who doesn't love to find a bargain on that perfect piece of gear to add for an upcoming season? And while there is some discount gear we can get away with there's a lot that simply won't work. This includes rifle scopes. When you've spent thousands of dollars for the hunt of a lifetime and it all comes down to a 400-yard shot, you'll want the best long range scope that your budget will allow.

Long Range Scope

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In this article, we'll break down some of the best long range scopes on the market. Today's optics industry is loaded with options from high-end customs through bargain basement options and everything in between. With so maany great choices, however, it can be hard to know which are truly the best long range scope options for your weapon. The bad news is that there is a lot of junk out there masquerading as quality glass. The good news, however, is that there are more affordable options out there today than ever before.

Optics are an easy place for many hunters and shooters to cut corners, but we think that's a huge mistake. We get it. Spending the extra money on the best long range scope you can afford isn't as exciting as a new pack or high-end reloading system. But when the clock is ticking in your next competition or you've got the bull elk of a lifetime in the crosshairs, you'll be thankful that glass was a top priority. So if you're ready to get serious about your optics this season and learn who makes the best long range scope on the market then roll up your sleeves. We're about to go deep.

Product FAQ

1. What are Long Distance Scopes 

2. How Do Long Distance Scopes Differ from Other Optics?

3. What Should You Look for in the Best Long Range Scope?

4. Who Makes the Best Long Distance Scope?

5. What Types of Shooters Need Long Distance Scopes?

How We Reviewed

In our search for the best long range scope, we dug into a wide range of products from today's top optics brands. We looked at things like price, warranty, magnification, weather protection, lens coating, and availability. We also offered a few quick pros and cons to serve as a reference as you jump around in this article.

Our top overall pick was chosen for the best combination of price, performance, durability, looks, and overall value. No optics maker offers the perfect scope for every shooter out there, but our top pick is a worthy candidate for any hunter or sport shooter's rifle.

Overall Price Range

Prices can vary widely for long range scopes, but for this article we focused on scopes that range between $350 and $3,000. Higher-end scopes often include features like premium glass for superior clarity and definition at long distances. 
 
These are heirloom quality products that can be handed down through many generations of hunters and shooters with the proper care and maintenance. Lower-end scopes these days are usually super durable and easy to use but lack some of the visual clarity of their high-end counterparts.

What We Reviewed

  • Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II Riflescope
  • Leupold VX-1 3-9x40mm Compact Riflescope
  • Nikon M-308 SF 4-16x42mm Riflescope
  • Bushnell Trophy Xtreme X30 6-24x50 Riflescope
  • Nightforce Optics 5.5-22x56 NXS Riflescope
  • Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Riflescopes
  • Nightforce Optics 5-20x56 SHV Riflescope
  • Nikon Black X1000 6-24x50mm Riflescope
  • Millett 6-25x56 LRS-1 Tactical Riflescope
  • Bushnell Elite Tactical Riflescope

PROS

  • Superior quality glass
  • L-Tec turrets for on-the-go adjustments
  • 6X optical zoom
  • Easy to zero for the power

CONS

  • More expensive than some comparable scopes
  • Features
  • Price
  • Where to Buy
  • Magnification
  • Weather Protection
  • LENS COATING

A lot of shooters and veteran rifle enthusiasts consider Vortex to be more of a high-end scope manufacturer that caters more to the professionals than the domestic game hunters. But let us assure you that it’s simply not the case.


Take their Crossfire II SPF scope, for example, it represents one of the best value for money models that Vortex has to offer, and for an amateur shooter, this is probably the best place to start.

PROS

  • Low price
  • Special internal gas blend for fog reduction
  • 3:1 zoom ratio
  • Illuminated with multi-distance reticle

CONS

  • Lower clarity than higher-end scopes
  • Features
  • Price 
  • Where to Buy
  • Magnification
  • Weather Protection
  • LENS COATING

Leupold's VX-1 scope offers a lot of power and versatility with a low weight and price point. This scope has a powerful 3:1 zoom ratio which has become a favorite amongst Leupold's diehard fans. This ratio helps cut down on the overall weight without having to sacrifice any of the zoom power that is required in the critical moments of a hunt. These scopes feature Leupold's proprietary Argon/Krypton gas blend within the 30mm that will fight off any fog that results from sudden changes in temperature.

PROS

  • Adjustable MOA turrets
  • Low profile 30mm tube
  • Adjustable parallax focus
  • Low cost

CONS

  • May be less durable than some comparable scopes
  • Features
  • Price 
  • Where to Buy
  • Magnification
  • Weather Protection
  • LENS COATING

Bushnell's 756245B Trophy Xtreme X30 6-24x50 is a high-powered scope with great durability and an affordable price. This scope has a slim 30mm main tube and 6X magnification factor for a crisp, clear view at long distances. With 1/4 inch hand-adjustable MOA turrets and both zoom and parallax adjustments, this is a versatile scope for hunters and shooters who truly need a dialed-in shot.

PROS

  • Superior lens quality
  • Wide variable magnification
  • Large optical lens for superior clarity
  • Reflection-free matte black finish

CONS

  • More expensive than some scopes on this list
  • Features
  • Price 
  • Where to Buy
  • Magnification
  • Weather Protection
  • LENS COATING

The Nightforce Optics 5.5-22x56 NXS Riflescope is a premium option for hunters and shooters who need maximum flexibility in the field. With a 56mm objective lens, this may be the best long range scope for hunters and shooters who need the maximum light transfer. With an impressive range of 5.5X to 22X, this scope has plenty of power to keep you deadly accurate at a distance but also offers quick target acquisition up close.

PROS

  • Excellent value for the price
  • CRS Zero Stop technology
  • O-ring sealed and argon purged
  • One-piece tube

CONS

  • MOA adjustments may be more complicated than some mid-range hunters need
  • Features
  • Price 
  • Where to Buy
  • Magnification
  • Weather Protection
  • LENS COATING

Vortex's Viper HS-T is amongst the best rifle scope options for shooters and hunters who need excellent quality with a middle-of-the-pack price. This scope offers a 4X base magnification with adjustable turrets for windage and elevation. Your zero will never be far off, however, with Vortex's CRS Zero Stop technology. This allows you to bring your scope quickly back to zero even after drastic changes due to long shots and cross breezes.

PROS

  • Zero Set adjustments
  • MOAR reticle
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Matte black finish

CONS

  • High cost
  • Features
  • Price 
  • Where to Buy
  • Magnification
  • Weather Protection
  • LENS COATING

Like the NXS model, Nightforce Optics' 5-20x56 SHV Riflescope is a premium-grade long range option for advanced shooters. This scope offers Zero Set adjustment for a quick return to zero after dialing the MOA turrets. It also boasts the same impressive 56mm optical lens as the NXS. With the MOAR reticle, limited lifetime warranty, and Nightforce's proven quality, this is a scope for big-time shooters who need the best long range scope for their money.

PROS

  • Illuminated reticle
  • X-MOA reticle pattern
  • Lead- and arsenic-free glass
  • Multi-coated surfaces

CONS

  • Oversized turrets could seem clunky to some shooters
  • Features
  • Price 
  • Where to Buy
  • Magnification
  • Weather Protection
  • LENS COATING

The BLACK X1000 6-24x50mm scope from Nikon offers an impressive X-MOA illuminated reticle to help gain target acquisition even in low light conditions. With fully adjustable MOA turrets and a parallax turret for fine focal adjustments, this superb value scope makes it easy to get set for a long-range shot. The lenses on this gun are made with lead- and arsenic-free glass and they are multi-coated on all air-contacting surfaces.

PROS

  • 140 MOA adjustment
  • Great value for the price
  • Single-piece 35mm tube
  • Super durable

CONS

  • Turrets could seem unwieldy to some users
  • Very large body
  • Features
  • Price 
  • Where to Buy
  • Magnification
  • Weather Protection
  • LENS COATING

$$$

PROS

  • Premium-grade at mid-range prices
  • 50mm objective lens
  • Excellent weather protection
  • 30mm tube purged with Argon

CONS

  • Could seem too long for some shooters
  • Features
  • Price 
  • Where to Buy
  • Magnification
  • Weather Protection
  • LENS COATING

The Bushnell Elite Tactical G2DMR FFP Reticle Riflescope is an impressive long range scope for shooters who want extra control at a reasonable price. With a 6X to 24X variable magnification, this scope has a ton of zoom power. It also offers a 50-millimeter objective lens, so it's got a nice combination of powerful light capture and manageable size. This scope also features Bushnell's Ultra Wide Band Coating for increased clarity and their proprietary Rain Guard HD anti-fog to keep your sights clear no matter the conditions.

The Verdict

If you're a Western hunter or a long-range competition shooter, then you know how critical optics can be. When the chips are down, there's no room for an avoidable error caused by a low-quality, poorly functioning scope. From binoculars to spotting scopes to riflescopes, it's critical that you've got the best target acquisition possible before you squeeze your trigger and send that projectile down range. The tricky part is that there are so many good quality scopes out there and it's often hard to tell the difference between $300 products and their $3,000 competitors.

Choosing the best long range scope is ultimately a personal decision. You've got to do the best you can with your budget while also getting a stellar performance if possible. With that in mind, our best long range scope from this list is the Nikon BLACK X1000 6-24x50mm.

This is a beautifully made and technologically advanced scope that offers top-end features without a top-end price. What we love about this scope is the combination of a 50mm objective lens and a quality illuminated reticle. It's not so large that it will break your back humping across ridges all day, but it will allow for superb light transfer and clarity that you'll notice immediately.

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