Long-range shooting is fun, and in this buyer's guide we show case some of the best long range scopes under $1000.

These scopes are great for starters to learn the basics without committing too much money into it.

At the end of this guide, you will understand what to look for and pick the best affordable scope for your rifle.

Let's check them out...

Popular Long Range Scopes Under $1000



  • Best Overall
  • Best For The Money
  • Best For Beginner
  • Best High End Class
  • Best Budget Grade Turrets
Vortex Viper PST 5-25x50

Magnification - 5-25x

  • Objective Lens Diameter - 50 mm
  • Adjustment Graduation - 1/4 MOA
  • Eye Relief - 3.4 inches
  • Tube Size -  30 mm
  • Focal Plane - Second
  • Length - 15.79 inches
  • Weight - 31.2 oz

Why people love Vortex Optics - By now, everyone in the industry knows the Vortex brand. They make a large selection of optics for shooters.

The Vortex Viper PST 5-25X50 is a second focal plane scope with a sharp glass quality, no noticeable distortion of any colors, and it has great light transmission than other scopes.

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.

The Gen 2 version also finally upgraded the turret adjustment similar to their high-end Razor line, which means no more shims for adjusting your zero stop.

The Viper PST is the versatile scope for 6.5 Creedmoor caliber rifle owners that want a multi-use combo for hunting, competition and shooting tactical with its glass etched EBR-7C reticle.

Sig Sauer Tango 4 6-24X50 scope
  • Magnification - 6-24x
  • Objective Lens Diameter - 50 mm
  • Adjustment Graduation - 1/4 MOA
  • Eye Relief - 3.3 inches
  • Tube Size -  30 mm
  • Focal Plane - Second
  • Length - 15.6 inches
  • Weight - 22.9 oz

Why give Sig Optics a try - The Sig Sauer optics has a very unique greyish color scheme that makes them stand out among other scope brands.

The Tango 4 6-24X50 performs extremely well, but the markings on the scope is a bit too much with lines and indication marks all over the place. 

There are two illumination controls, one for the reticle and one for the adjustable parallax. The dial closest to the tube is used to adjust the parallax.

This control has parks from 50 yards up to 500 yards, and the final marking is for infinity. 

As far as shooting performance goes, it holds zero and it’s accurate if using the right scope mount. 

The standard reticle has hash marks indicating the number of MOA for range finding. Each mark delivers 2 MOA, the reticle has a small opening in the middle with a dot.

In addition, there were finer 1 MOA hash marks in two locations, which allows for even finer scoping.

If you like the edgy looks of the Sig Sauer product, then this is a great tactical long range scope to get under $1000.

Nikon Black FX1000 6-24X50
  • Magnification - 5-25x
  • Objective Lens Diameter - 50 mm
  • Adjustment Graduation - 1/4 MOA
  • Eye Relief - 3.6 inches
  • Tube Size -  30 mm
  • Focal Plane - First
  • Length - 15.2 inches
  • Weight - 24.5 oz

Why some people love Nikon Optics - For under $1000, I’m not sure there’s another scope on the market that can compete with this thing. This is a math grade first focal plane tactical scope that is great for hunting and precision shooting.

What makes it different among other similar Nikon optics around the $1000 price range is the first focal plane reticle for long range precision shooting, which generally shoots up the price of a scope beyond $2k.

Competition-ready straight from the box - BLACK FX1000 features a proprietary new glass-etched tactical reticles paired with precise, high-speed turrets allow fast, repeatable distance corrections and intuitive hold-off points.

Rapid return to your zero - Nikon’s all-new BLACK Return-to-Zero integral zero-stop is built-in the adjustment turret for fast adjustment on the go, and it makes zeroing much easier.

World's top camera manufacturer making superior rifle scope glass - The Nikon glass is super high quality being from a camera manufacturer, they definitely know what they’re doing.  

For the money, it’s hard to beat the deal you get out of this scope. Please click on our link below and shop for the best deal. 

NightForce SHV 4-14X50 F1
  • Magnification - 5-25x
  • Objective Lens Diameter - 50 mm
  • Adjustment Graduation - 1/4 MOA
  • Eye Relief - 3.6 inches
  • Tube Size -  30 mm
  • Focal Plane - Second
  • Length - 14.8 inches
  • Weight - 28.5 oz

Reasons NightForce is the best to buy - The NightForce brand in our experience is like the Ferrari in the optics World. The SHV optics line is the only exception here that has a 4 and a half to 14 high power magnification.

Superior in-house quality control - Every NightForce product goes through additional quality check in house to ensure the customer get the best precision rifle scope product in this world.

NightForce products are used by government agencies - Team NightForce has been supply high-end rifle scopes for the military and tactical communities for many years, people trust their products and they don't compromise quality for speedy production.

Better precision - NightForce scopes go through restrict quality check to ensure every specs and tight tolerance standards are met before putting them on the shelf, 

I will point out something that other shooters would agree with me which is You don’t really need more than 18X power during a competition to make shots up to 1200 yards.

In fact, it’s often desirable to zoom out in order to increase your field of you. The 14X maximum power on the NightForce will not hold you back in any way.

Burris XTRII 5-25X50 SCR MIL MRAD FFP Scope
  • Magnification - 5-25x
  • Objective Lens Diameter - 50 mm
  • Adjustment Graduation - 1/4 MOA
  • Eye Relief - 3.5-4.25 inches
  • Tube Size -  34 mm
  • Focal Plane - First
  • Length - 16.31 inches
  • Weight - 32.1 oz

The Burris XTR 2 is the best budget tactical scope out of this guide. The main feature this scope has the SCR MOA / MIL reticle made for special competition.

This reticle is also available for 2-10X, 3-15X, 4-20X and 5-25X.

The XTR II is Burris top of the line tactical scope designed for pinpoint accuracy at long distances.

Enlarged Field of View - The 5X zoom system provides the shooter wide field of view at the lowest power setting for better situational awareness.

Added Zero Stop Adjustment Knob - Tactical turret allows the shooter to return to zero easily as most high quality scopes on the market have. Eliminated the need to count clicks to get back home or get lost in the turret.

1000 Yard Shot Possible - The XTR 2 has up to 25X magnification to see targets clearly far away, and the turrets use a 100 click rotation (25 MOA in one rotation), enough to shots out past 1000 yards in competition

Lifetime warranty - Protect your investment with Burris' Forever Warranty, no paperwork needed even if you got the scope from a previous owner.

For $1000, What To Look For?

Pick The Right Focal Plane 

Focal Plane Low Power Variable Scopes Difference

There are two types of focal planes, First 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.

Use an Illuminated Reticle

Each of the optics listed above has an illuminated reticle, which is powered by a single CR 2032 battery located inside the adjustment knob.

You can change the brightness setting up and down depending on the lighting condition.

This feature is very helpful in indoor shooting ranges and other low light environments.

Pick The Right Turret Knob

Every one of these scopes has zero stop feature zero stop, which means your elevation turret for a long range shot you can quickly and easily turn the nob back down to your original zeroed distance.

Zero point and the turret will lock and stop at that exact point. So you never have to second guess if you returned to your zero or not. Is a very handy feature in the competition world, and it’s absolutely vital when doing things quickly on a timer.

Learn more: Ballistic Turret Vs Ballistic Reticle

Get The Right Tube Size

There are 30mm, 34mm and 35mm scopes and ring mounts available on the market, and each categories have different price points and capabilities.

The larger the tube the higher the exit pupil dimension, which result in more light transmission through the scope.

So for better low light performance, a bigger tube is better. 

30mm is the most standard and weighs the least, and 34mm and 35mm offer more click adjustments for long range shooting.

You can learn more about them in a comparison article here

Pick The Right Reticle

Many long range precision rifle optics comes with various tactical reticles with holdover mil dots. Some reticles are so complicated that people think all those lines would clutter up the target and get in the way of seeing the target.

One benefit of having an optimal reticle is so that you can quickly hold over for windage and elevation without manually adjusting the knobs.

If you understand the caliber you are shooting as far as its ballistic performance, then you can make some educated decisions on which reticle to use.

Weight & Price

All of these scopes weigh roughly 2 pounds and stretch about 15 inches in length, and they all have the same magnification range from 5 to 25X power.

The objective lenses are all identical at 50mm. For scopes with 30 to 34mm diameter lens the prices vary slightly, but their costs are all near that $1000 mark.

Scope Shadow Consideration

Scope Shadow

Reference: Rimfire Blog Worldwide

Scope shadow can affect your comfort behind the rifle, and it’s due to improper eye relief distance, or your eye isn’t centered from the scope.  When you see someone non-stop adjusting their head position is because they’re trying to get the perfect eye relief distance and get that scope shadow out of the way.

Some scopes have quite a bit more scope shadow than the others. Not only the shadow is annoying at times, but that evil black ring also creeps in an obstruction field of view when your eye isn’t perfectly lined up in the scope.

Lastly, the point of aim will be thrown off because of the slight parallax of the scope. I have tested many so-called “parallax free scopes and red dot sights”, and they all have slight parallax.

When you see the shadow, it means your eye isn’t centered, so the reticle isn’t exactly on the target you think it is. This makes a huge difference for long range shooting where 1-inch deviation at 50 yards can be 5 inches off target at longer distances.

Please remember the fact there is no way you can adjust for parallax and get dead on. Focusing a rifle scope should be a one-time adjustment that shouldn’t be done over and over again.

Pick The Right 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.

Like I mentioned above that competition shooters actually prefer dialing down the magnification so they get a better field of view.

Wrap Up

The NightForce and the Vortex optics are great budget option long range scopes and they have all the features you could possibly need for entry level hunting and long range shooting. All the controls just make sense and they're intuitive to the shooter

Night force scopes are virtually indestructible and vortex has the best warranty in the business. I have literally nothing bad to say about either of these 2 scopes.

In addition, It’s also important to pick the right magnification of your scope based on your applications. For extreme long-range shots, for every 100 yards, you need 1X more power.

For medium-range such as competition or hunting, anything below 8X is plenty for you to work with.

Making your long-range rifle close range ready is super easy just by installing an offset 45-degree sight, so you can engage close fast-moving targets through a 1X sight.

Hope you find this resource useful, and please check out our website for other interesting content.

Read More: Best Fixed Magnification Scopes