7 Best Long Range Rifle Scopes [All Categories]

rifle-scopes-line-up

As long-range shooting becomes more popular, more people are getting into this type of shooting where it requires a lot of accuracy, patience, and knowledge. In this ultimate buyer's guide, let's check out the best long range scopes available in the industry today.

Vortex Optics, Leupold, Burris, NightForce, Schmidt Bender and many other brands make some of the best rifle optics for hunting, military applications and sporting.

There are tons of scopes with different specs to choose from and they can cost starting from $500 all the way to $3000 or more.

Generally speaking, a good piece of glass will cost more than the price of the rifle and it's absolutely worth it for extreme long-range shooting, which we will explain why in this guide.

If you're not planning to spend a crazy amount of money, we got you covered as well.

Let's check them out...


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Top 3 Rifle Scope Categories

Shop CQB, Mid & Long Range hybrid scopes for hunting, competition & tactical applications

shooting long range with reticle

Shop mid range to long range rifle scopes capable on most rifle platforms for hunting and just starting out

chris costa shooting long range

Shop 1000+ yard capable rifle scopes that pros use with plenty of magnification and precision reticles

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For Extreme Long Range Shooting

Leupold Mark 5 HD 5-25X56

DD5 with Leupold Mark 5 scope
  • Magnification: 5-25X
  • Objective Lens: 56mm
  • Focal Plane: 1st Focal Point
  • Exit Pupil: 1.9 - 8mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 - 3.8 in
  • Overall Length; 15.7 inches
  • Weight: 33 ounces
  • Tube Size: 35mm main tube
  • Material: 6061 T6 Aerospace Aluminum
  • MOA Adjustment Range: 0.25 MOA / Click

The Mark 5 5-25X56 is recommended for the bolt guns and gas guns, the Leupold Mark 5 HD series rifle scopes are ideal for the hunters, and tactical long range shooters who want:

  • Shoot past 1000 yards with bolt guns and gas guns
  • Hunting
  • Competition
  • Intuitive / user friendly scope features

The Leupold Mark 5 HD is the next generation precision rifle scope upgrade from the previous models by bringing in what has worked in the past and improved what they didn't do so well.

Twilight technology - It allows better color and contrast consistency in low-light environments. It adds up to 30 minutes of illumination while eliminating 90% more glare-producing light than its competitors.

35mm tube for more click adjustments - This first focal plane scope is built for long-range shooting for more turret adjustments up to 100 MOA clicks for elevation and 50 MOA clicks for windage.

Added non-bolt interfering magnification throw lever - The integrated magnification dial throw lever allows for fast dialing, and it stops at the 1 o clock, which doesn't interfere with the action of the bolt on a bolt gun even if the bolt is oversized

Improved rotation identification - Getting lost in the turret is no fun and it causes confusion. The new turret numbering designates the first rotation second & third rotations, the button extrudes on the last rotation so the shooter doesn't get lost in the turret rotations.

Intuitive windage indexing line - Stay behind rifle while adjusting windage without getting over the top of the scope. The new indexing line allows the shooter to work the windage adjustment and stay behind the scope without changing the shooting position

Leupold FFP mark 5 HD 5-25X56 scope

Ruger-Precision-Rifle-with-Vortex-Viper-PST

Why pick Vortex PST - No one scope list would be complete without Vortex products, and in our guide for the best long-range scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 PRC, we have chosen PST II 5-25×50 model from the quality Vortex Viper line.

As its name says, the Viper PST (Precision Shooting Tactical) optics is purpose-built for competition and tactical purposes.

Enhanced Quality Than GEN 1 - Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50 is a second-generation with significant improvements to Gen I. the scope is more durable and comes with better glass, larger eye box and eye relief.

One-Piece Construction - The one-piece 30mm main tube is built from a solid block of aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum for more strength and reliability.

With wide magnification range between five and 25 times, the Viper PST is the versatile choice for 6.5 Creedmoor/6.5 PRC rifle owners that want a multi-use combo for hunting, competition and shooting tactical.

The Viper PST Gen II series turrets and the reticles are available in MIL or MOA versions. The PST-5259 model comes with a glass etched EBR-7C reticle set in a first focal plane.

The EBR-7C MRAD illuminated reticle features 1/10 MRAD per click impact point correction. The exposed tactical turrets have total travel of 20 MRAD for elevation and 10 MRAD for windage adjustment ranges.

All interior lenses are XR fully multi-coated, whereas the outer lenses have an additional protective layer named ArmorTek.

With the large 50-millimeter objective lens diameter and extra-low dispersion glass, this Viper PST riflescope offers excellent light-transmission, image quality and even contrast similar to the premium Nightforce but without the hefty price tag.

The EBR-7C and EBR 2C reticle are similar, click here to learn how to use them to range target distance & hold

vortex 5-25x50 viper PST Gen 2

Leupold Mark 5 HD 7-35X56 on M110 rifle with Aimpoint Micro offset
  • Magnification: 7-35X
  • Objective Lens: 56mm
  • Focal Plane: 1st Focal Point
  • Exit Pupil: 1.9 - 8mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 - 3.8 in
  • Overall Length; 15.7 inches
  • Weight: 33 ounces
  • Tube Size: 35mm main tube
  • Material: 6061 T6 Aerospace Aluminum
  • MOA Adjustment: 0.25 MOA or 0.1 Mil / Click

Leupold’s Mark 5HD is a middle-ground, high-precision scope that excels in a variety of environments. The Mark 5 will not win the best at any single feature. However, the Leupold Mark 5HD holds its ground against the best scopes in its class.

A 56mm objective lens and 35mm main body give the Mark 5 excellent light-gathering abilities and wide turret adjustments for shooting past 1000 - 2000 yards.

Lighter than other 7-35X scope - With all the great features on this scope, the scope weighs less than most scopes in its class

Added non-bolt interfering magnification throw lever - The scope has an integrated throw level built in the riflescope magnification dial for fast adjustment, and the throw lever stops at the 1 o clock, which doesn't interfere with the action of the bolt on a bolt gun even if the bolt is oversized

Included fast eyepiece adjustment - Any shooter can get behind the scope and adjust the eyepiece to fit their vision need

Never get lost in the turret rotation - Unlike scopes with 4-5 turret rotations, getting confused on which rotation the turret is in results in frustration and missed shots, the Mark 5 HD only has 3 rotations to make things easier to remember and navigate

Prevents inadvertent adjustment - M5C3 ZeroLock Adjustment Dial System requires the shooter to press on the button to turn

Improved rotation identification - First rotation and the lock button stays protruded, second & third rotations, the button recedes back into the housing, so the shooter doesn't have to guess which rotation the turret is on

This scope is ideal for

  • Long-range shooters past 1000 yards with bolt guns and gas guns
  • Hunting
  • Military
  • Competition
  • Shooters who want intuitive features
Leupold FFP mark 5 HD 7-35X56 scope

For Mid Range Precision Shooting

Vortex razor 1-10x on ar
  • Magnification: 1-10X
  • Objective Lens: 24mm
  • Focal Plane: 1st Focal Point
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 in
  • Overall Length; 10.1 inches
  • Weight: 21.5 ounces
  • Tube Size: 34mm main tube
  • Click Adjustment: 0.25 MOA or 0.1 Mil / Click

Why RAZOR 1-10X - The Vortex RAZOR 1-10X FFP is the newest low power variable optic on the market today that's considered a true CQB and long range hybrid optic compared to its 1-6X and 1-8X predecessors.

The new 10X magnification doesn't change the weight of the scope, in fact, this 34 mm scope is weighs similar to the Vortex Razor 1-6X, and while the 1-6X has been highly successful, Vortex wanted increased magnification range, a first-focal-plane (FFP) reticle and no increase in weight.

Improved ocular lens for bigger eye box at 1X - For running and gunning type of shooting, it's important to get on target fast with a full field of view.

The improved ocular lens gives a bigger eye box and more head movement at 1X for the shooter to throw the rifle to their shoulder quickly and then get a full field of view and acquire the target before squeezing one off.

At 1X the field of view is the best we have seen to date on the market.

NEW EBR9C To Maximize Reticle Versatility - The new EBR9C is optimized for CQB and at 10X magnification with a bright center red dot followed by 4 hash marks to guide the shooter's eye quickly to the center for fast target acquisition.

At a higher magnification range, the EBR-9C reticle on the first focal plane provides a full feature hashmarked reticle using MOA based subtension lines for ranging and windage corrections.

Improved Horizontal Line Subtension - The added horizontal line features 0.5 mil harshmark for finer adjustment with thick 1 mil hashmark for moving targets.

When you need to range and engage targets down range with precision, go with the EBR9-C reticle

Improved Magnification Dial Ring - Unlike other LPVO with stiff magnification dial ring, the RAZOR 1-10X is much easier to turn without feeling stiff, and the scope comes with a quick magnification switch lever to help the shooter change power faster

vtx_rfl_razorhd3_1-10x24_cap_br_w

Primary Arms 3-18x50 ACSS apollo reticle scope on 6.5 rifle
  • Magnification: 3-18X
  • Objective Lens: 50mm
  • Focal Plane: 1st Focal Point
  • Exit Pupil: 1.9 - 8mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 - 3.8 in
  • Overall Length; 13.2 inches
  • Weight: 25.4 ounces
  • Tube Size: 30mm main tube
  • Material: 6061 T6 Aerospace Aluminum
  • MOA Adjustment Range: 0.25 MOA / Click

Why buy Primary Arms - The SLx optics are the heart of Primary Arms optic lineup. This 30mm size first focal plane 3-18X50mm scope has plenty of magnification and a balanced light gathering capability with that 50mm objective lens, but what's most important is the ACSS Apollo 6.5 Creedmoor reticle built specifically for the 6.5 ballistics and 224 Valkyrie. 

What's NEW with the ACSS Apollo reticle - 6.5 Creedmoor Apollo got some evil capability that makes 1000 yrd shot with a 6.5 CM so deadly accurate, intuitive and easy to use. The Reticle's BDC line with wind holds out to 1,000 yards in up to 20mph cross winds.

The auto ranging scale from 400 to 1000 yards, which helps the shooter to range human size target distance super fast using stadiametric ranging technique without the need of laser rangefinder.

No need to take your eye off the target you are always looking at it through the scope, and you can immediately shoot within about half second of ranging.

Precise Chevron Aiming Point & Unclutter Reticle Center - The Chevron aiming tip is the most precise in the shooting world without obstructing the target at long distance, and the dots spaced 0.2 Mil apart provides uncluttered sight picture for target observation, so the shooter can index the turrets and see exactly where the last bullet hit.

1/10 Mil ranging scale for targets at extreme distances - When the target is so far and so small to see, and the 1/10 mil ranging scale gives very precise Mil distance reading on the target, then apply the math:

(Target height [Inches] X 27.77) / # Mils measured = Distance (Yard)  

Super Affordable - You don't have to spend a million dollars, just a couple hundred dollars you can get this Amazing scope to hit accurately with your 6.5 CM rifle out to 1000 yards & beyond with no problem, assuming everything else is setup correctly. 

Very soon this type of reticle will be applied to other higher power magnification scope to seriously enhance the shooter's performance with the 6.5CM.

Click on our link below to get the best deal

primary arms 3-18x50 ffp ACSS

Features Smart Aiming Technology

Sig Sauer SIERRA3 BDX 6.5-20x52mm Riflescope

sig sauer bdx sierra 3 BDX
  • Magnification: 6.5 - 20 x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 52 mm
  • Exit Pupil Diameter (mm): 6.1 Low – 2.6 High
  • Eye Relief: 3.43 - 4.21 inches
  • Reticle: BDX-R1 Digital Ballistic Reticle
  • Turret Style: Capped low-profile turrets
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Weight: 25.9 oz

Sig Sauer BDX optics series includes 2 devices – Sig Kilo rangefinder and Sig Siera3 riflescope to provide the shooter an illuminated auto-holdover dot on targets up to 800 yards out.

The scope can also be used without a rangefinder, with preset ballistic groups pre-loaded onto your BDX scope to plot multiple aiming points at various distances.

BDX calculates holdover point for you - Want advanced technology to calculate accurate holdover for you without thinking? the BDX Bluetooth technology allows the shooter to input data into the app and automatically calculate adjusted elevation holdover and windage adjustment on the reticle

sig bdx system
Sig Sauer BDX app smartphone

MOTAC (Motion Activated Illumination) – It enables the reticle to powers up when it senses motion.

SpectraCoat lenses – This ultra-wide broadband lens coating reduces surface reflections and paired with a large 52mm objective lens provides superior light transmission.

LevelPlex digital anti-cant – It automatically increases digital level sensitivity on longer shots.

KinETHIC kinetic energy transfer indicator – The innovative system offers hunter help in providing an ethical hunt by displaying when energy on target drops below a fast kill threshold.

Integrating the newest electro-optics technology into traditional riflescope, the Sig Sauer developed game-changing optics equally good for hunters, target shooters, military and law enforcement operators.

sig sierra3BDX 6.5-20X52

Buyer's Guide - What To Look For

Pick The Right Focal Plane 

There are two types of focal planesFirst Focal Plane (FFP) and Second Focal Plane (SFP). These two determine the clarity of the scope as well as how your reticle responds to magnification settings for the purpose of range estimation.

Second Focal Plane has the magnification lens in front of the reticle, which means the reticle with range estimator is only true at the highest magnification setting. If you’re shooting under 6X magnification, the SFP scope will be just fine. Anything over 6X goes with an FFP scope.

First Focal Plane is desirable for long range shooting, and it’s the ultimate choice, but it will cost a little more.

The reticle inside the scope is in front of the magnification, which means the reticle increases in size to match the distance, and the reticle holds true on any magnification setting.

We actually have a detailed guide explaining the difference between F1 and F2 on our site, which you can check out by clicking on the highlighted link.

Magnification

For every 100 meters, you need 1X more magnification on your scope.

Is it actually a rule of thumb to follow? Here are a couple of questions you gotta ask yourself first.  

  • What’s your preference?
  • What’s your shooting application?

These factors are an important link between you and the target. Having a higher power isn’t something we used to do, and it’s not a must. You just need higher magnification power for extremely long distances.

If you can see better, then you can shoot better. This is very practical for military applications.

Conversely, In the hunting and competition world, where your shots are not gonna go past 1 mile, so having a super high power scope isn’t practical unless you just want to have it as gadget collections.

Pick The Right Reticle

Many long range precision rifle optics comes with various reticles with holdover dots, wind hold dots and ranging capability. Some reticles are more complicated than others, and it's an important spec people should learn about before buying a scope.

MOA or MIL reticle? If you like to work with the metric system, the MIL reticle will be the way to go. 

Bullet Drop Compensator reticle are not recommended for long range shoot as the BDC isn't calibrated for your specific ammo, scope height or rifle platform.

The most popular long range shooting reticles should have a grid system like the H59 Christmas Tree style reticle that helps the shooter to perform the following tasks:

  • Range target distance
  • Measure known target sizes placed at different angles
  • 0.1 Mil subtension to measure targets at extreme distance
  • Uncluttered reticle center for observing impact

Pick The Right Turret

Every one of these scopes has zero stop feature, which allows the shooter to quickly and easily turn the turret back to zero.

The best turrets are tactical turret that is exposed so the shooter can quickly get his/her on the turret and adjust as needed. 

For long range shooters who like to dial instead hold, a minimum rotation turret with very positive click & clear marking is the way to go.

Should you hold or dial? Learn more here

Get The Right Tube Size

Currently, 30mm and 34mm are the most popular. The larger size tube gives a long range scope more click adjustments.

However, it's not the spec that determines the light gathering capability.

You can learn more about them in a comparison article here

Additional Resources