Long range rifle scopes are a great way to increase accuracy and distance. The best long range rifle scopes are tough to find, but we have made it easy for you.
We’ve compiled the top four rifle scopes on the market and reviewed them below so that you can make an informed decision before buying. Read on now!
Each long range rifle optic I own, I paid for with my cash. So the pricing was the same for me as it was for everyone else.
I was not compensated in any way for this review (I wouldn’t consider accepting any). I also do not take money from scope makers as sponsorships or other forms of payment. So it is an entirely neutral evaluation of each rifle scope.
- Things To Consider
- Magnification and Distance Involved
- Best Long Range Rifle Scopes
- Final Thoughts
Things To Consider
Let me put it this way:
Which long range scope is the best? You would not be in this article if you did know.
I have put together this buying guide on long range rifle scopes to help you save both time and money.
Magnification and Distance Involved
For long range shooting, how much magnification is required? Most individuals will respond with something like: “More is always better,” as the saying goes. But long range shooting does not require a lot of magnification.
There are two main types of long range shooting distances:
- Long range: 300 to 350 yards
- Extreme long range: over 400 yards
Should you pick anything at the high or low end?
Long Range and Extreme Long Range
It is the range at which the majority of large game hunters use their firearms. Because the MPBR of most hunting cartridges, which is typically 300-350 yards. Included: .257 Weatherby, 264 Win. Magnum, .300 Magnums, .308 Winchester, .308 Winchester.
What is the significance of this? In other words, before bullet drop starts messing with your aim, you can strike your target precisely. When this occurs, you will have to start calculating how much of a hit you have missed. To avoid this, you’ll require: Magnification ranges from three to ten times (3-10x). A fixed 6x rifle scope is an option if you go large game hunting in a wide area. As a result, your image will be brighter, and your scope will be lighter.
Long range competition shooters primarily utilize this. It is dependent on how you want to utilize it. But in general, you need a magnification ranges of over 12 times (12x+).
Wild Games Hunting?
In the event that you are on the lookout for any of these like bears, wild cats, bovines. Using a low-powered variable optic with the following features is what I would suggest:
- Magnification ranges from 1 to 4 times (1-4x)
The finest holographic sight with magnification or the finest red dot sight with a magnifying lens are alternatives to the 2.5x fixed scope. It is the quickest way to acquire a target. (I recommend you to read my best handgun red dot guide)
What causes this little magnification difference?
Hunting large predators between the 50 to 150-yard area is highly recommended by several hunting professionals for high precision.
You do not require a lot of magnification. Decide on how far you want to go and how much power you want to utilize. Everything else falls in place on its own. Use a variable-powered scope if you plan on shooting from various distances. You may shoot from multiple distances using it.
After reading this, I feel you are well-prepared to make an informed decision on your long range rifle scope purchase.
Best Long Range Rifle Scopes
1 Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-8×24
When it comes to long range optics, I have a few preferences. The most important characteristics to look for are adaptability, durability, and simplicity of usage. The Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-824 is my favorite because of this.
It includes all of these features, as well as several others. As a result, I believe it to be the greatest long range rifle sight available.
The glass on the Strike Eagle is amazing.
Even in low light, the display is crystal clear and sharp. The lenses have been thoroughly coated by Vortex to ensure maximum light penetration. Long range shooting necessitates a crystal-clear sight image, which this scope provides. Even at almost 600 yards, I can make out the minor features on my targets.
The reticle on this scope is lighted and is called the BDC3.
Using the ranging lines at the top eliminates ambiguity about your target’s distance, which is useful for hunting. In addition, long range shooting necessitates adapting quickly to changing wind conditions, which is made possible by the 5mp windage lines.
The lighted center dot and horseshoe also help to bring attention to the center.
It is possible to pick between 11 different brightness levels. Therefore, the ideal locations for daylight and nighttime photography were easy to discover. Moreover, night vision is supported.
The 1-8x has 3.5 inches of eye relief. Even with high-powered rifles, this is plenty of room to prevent scope bite. The eye box is also relatively spacious, but the maximum magnification tightens up slightly.
A particular portion of aircraft-grade aluminum was used to create the tube, making it both strong and light. Overall, the scope is lightweight for a long range optic at just 17.6 ounces.
This fog proof and the waterproof tube is enclosed with an o-ring and nitrogen purged.
The Vortex Strike Eagle’s turrets are simple to operate and dependable.
Turrets are hand-adjustable and have good, firm clicks when rotated (that’s always a bonus).
It allowed me to zero in extremely precisely for long range shooting because they adjust by 12 MOA every click.
This scope has a zoom range of 1-8x. This magnification range is fantastic. It is usable in a million different ways. I can use this optic as a typical red dot at proximity with the lowest magnification setting. Using 8x, I can reliably hit targets out to 650 yards. You may use it for target shooting, hunting, or self-defense with this versatile scope. Additionally, the scope wobbling may be corrected with the side parallax adjustment knob.
Talking about the number of features it provides compared to other devices, it is an excellent choice. I often use my versatile rifle scope for long range shooting, and it does not fail to be effective. A lifetime VIP warranty is a good point.
This is a fantastic scope for distance shooting practice.
Mounting & Rings
Unlike other arms, there are no out-of-the-box rings or mounts on the Strike Eagle. The medium size Tactical 300mm Riflescope with rings and vortex optics is an appropriate option. They help me aim ideally and hit targets with a single shot. Interestingly, it is pretty expensive to acquire.
There are excellent optics with flip caps as some designs come with a cloth that serves as a cleaning lens and a spare battery.
2. Leupold Vx-3I 3.5-10×40 – Best for Hunting
The Leupold VX-3i is the only hunting scope I would suggest. This scope’s super clear glass provides transparent, vivid images.
Leupold’s Twilight Max coating, a trademark of the company, aids in drawing in artificial light. As a result, low-light visibility will be improved.
The Leupold VX-3i offered the clearest image and finest sharpness and picture clarity compared to other scopes in the budget category that I have had.
The quick focus eyepiece that accompanies this scope is a bonus. Because of this, you may get to your prey faster while hunting lesser, faster-moving animals.
The Duplex reticle is my favorite feature of this scope.
Target acquisition is ramped up thanks to the broader crosshairs on the outside and the sharper crosshairs in the middle. It is also straightforward, leaving you with a clear picture.
The scope retains a 4.4–3.6 inches eye relief, this scope’s substantial eye relief is one of its greatest assets. With an increase in magnification, the eye relief becomes more restricted. However, while shooting from a distance, I take my time to ensure I have a good cheek weld, this makes it easy for me. The VX-3i is very durable.
The scope is built of aircraft-grade aluminum, which is both lightweight and durable. It is also dust-proof, waterproof, and shockproof. It also makes use of a dual bias erector spring to extend the life of the parts.
Leupold’s scratch-resistant optics and lifetime warranty round up the package.
There is 1/4 MOA click adjustability on the windage turrets and elevation.
The click of the turrets is rather audible. However, like many other previously used scopes, I do not have a mushy feel about them. When it came to zeroing, everything was spot on. After three attempts, I was able to perfectly zero it.
It is my favorite hunting scope, so I’ve never even bothered to calibrate it to zero yet. However, it has wonderfully held up to the test of time.
The scope makes use with Zero Lock Custom Dial System. For long range shots, it makes elevation changes consistent and straightforward.
The magnification ranges from 3.5 to 10x, making it ideal for close-range shooting.
If you are a professional shooter, you can get away with using it for some long range shots. For example, with this scope’s 10x magnification, I could tag a target at a distance of 700 – 800 yards.
It readily covers the typical spectrum of my hunting regardless of what I’m hunting. Furthermore, there are no abnormalities regardless of the magnification since the parallax is fixed on the scope.
In a nutshell, it is the ideal hunting scope. The Leupold VX-3i 3.5-1040 is ideal for hunting scope on the market, so give it a go. You will be glad you made an effort.
Rings and Mounting
You will have to buy rings and mount each if you plan on using this scope. The Leupold Weaver-style rings that I purchased work well with my scope and scope mount.
3. Vortex DiamondBack 4-12X40: An Affordable and Efficient Long Range Rifle Scope
Do you know that there is no need to empty your bank account before getting an appropriate long range scope? For as low as $200, you can get a comparable and quality Vortex Diamondback scope. Although the price looks cheap, the effectiveness is excellent for its budget. I find the scope appealing because;
The glass contains a fitted multicoat that ensures a perfect image view at night or during the day. Irrespective of the time during the day, the scope does not disappoint as it projects an excellent view.
The reticle might appear different from others but works perfectly. However, it requires enough attention because it is a second focal plane reticle. Unlike other optics, it does not zoom, so use the magnification feature if you want a better experience. With this approach, you get the best accuracy for every shot.
Whenever I mount this scope on my rifle, I get a spectacular view as my brow is safe from the eyepiece. In addition, I can adjust the eye relief from 3.4 to 3.1 inches instead of changing my cheek weld to get a clear picture.
The turrets are pretty different, unlike those in other scopes, but they ensure an adequate job when required. I think a little louder click is quite solid, but you will not experience any disturbance during your quarry. You can use the finger for necessary adjustments without tools or spare change. Furthermore, they are good to return to zero security with no hassle. In summary, the Diamondback has one of the best solid capped turrets.
The 4x options allow easy shooting to hundreds of ranges from your location, and if you want to hit your target with a single shot, use the 12x and get an overkill at a single instance. With this rifle scope, you can hardly miss a 100 yards tin can at a single shot.
Compared to its price value, it has everything I want in a rifle scope. Its excellent features include; rugged housing, nice eye relief, decent zero turrets, and crystal clear glass. Vortex Diamond 4-12×40 is one of the best within its class and will satisfy any hunter that loves to get down deers for its pocket-friendly price.
Interestingly, it comes with a warranty; and if anything happens to your scope during shooting practice, Vortex is ready to provide the solution.
Rings & Mounting
I always mount these features on Vortex Pro-Series Rings because they are durable and easy to carry (lightweight). Currently, they have one of the most effective scope rings in the market. It comes with a soft lens covered in a box, but I advise purchasing Vortex flip caps to hold more firmly with better lens protection.
4. Vortex Optics Razor HD GEN 2 3-18×50 (Appropriate for Extreme Distance)
Far is not too far with this weapon. If you require extreme distance scope, choose Razor HD as your choice today. During shooting practice, I cover as far as 3,000 yards repeatedly with this weapon. Other designs can reach the range. With your basic knowledge of shooting fundamentals, a Razor HD is easy to use. I use Razor HD as my go-to optic distance shooting because it targets to aim at the first instance.
During operation, my target image was superb, with no need for frequent magnification. Most times, I get an exact sight picture like the target is in close range.
Target is always within picture range with appropriate coloration. The picture might appear dim in a low-quality lens, so you might have to look at the scope edge for perfection, but Vortex Razor does not operate in this manner, making it an appropriate choice.
When you notice the scope optic has extra low dispersion glass and high density, it illustrates that the optic is top-notch. In addition, mirrors with clear sight provide appropriate image sharpness and color fidelity.
The lenses have anti-reflective coatings with full multicoat, which ensures that enough light reaches the eye to project the image view instead of reflecting away from the glass. As a result, the Vortex Razor HD Gen 2 provides a very clear picture at maximum magnification level.
The presence of the first focal reticle makes it easier to etch the glass for a better optic view. When I adjust the magnification range, the size of the FFP (reticle) changes. The reticle line is smaller and better at lower powers. Note that when you increase the power, the reticle appears more significant and the lines heavier.
At appropriate light settings, I can use the illuminated MOA reticle to see clearly. EBR-7C provides windage, bullet drop, and elevation.
The reason is that I often prefer my holdovers for elevation, bullet drop, and windage to stay uniform throughout the optic exercise. At this position, it reduces my guess and sharpens my aim for long range shots.
This ưcope retains a 2.7 inches eye relief, I always have enough space in the optic, irrespective of how challenging the target is.
With its nitrogen purge and o-ring seal, you can get the best experience in a test exercise. It can still hit the target perfectly during extreme weather, but not for an extended submersion.
During my sniper training school days, I drag, knock, mud, and abuse this device, but it does not reduce the effectiveness. (Speaking of sniper shooting, if you need a good scope, read my best sniper scopes guide).
The hard anodized coating rarely scratches as the lens AmorTek coating helps to repel fingerprints, dirt, dust, and grime.
Whenever I make any adjustment, a tactile click in the turrets makes it easy to attain the aim.
The External Rotation Indicator has been immensely helpful. When I aim my target quickly, I get settings reference that enables quick adjustment on the motion.
This rifle scope can reach 3-18x the range of other weapons, making it an all-around device for hunting and practice.
The excellent glass quality and upper magnification power make it easy to reach more than 2000 yards with its 6-inch steel plates. The HD Gen 2 3-18×50 makes it easy to lock down targets within 25 yards and beyond with the side parallax knob. In addition, the illumination controls are in the parallax knob. The control optics in Vortex is something you will always enjoy.
The truth is among numerous scopes available in the market today; the Vortex Razor HD Gen 2 3-18×50 is appropriate for extreme distance shooting because it contains all features required for long distance views. So, in summary, this scope is a solid choice to get the best experience during long range shooting practice.
Mounting & Rings
I prefer using 34mm TAC rings despite the scope having a 34mm tube. They work effectively on Picatinny rails and are pretty affordable.
I hope you enjoyed my best long range rifle scope guide. So as a recap: If you’re looking for the perfect hunting weapon, get Leupold VX-3i 3 5 10×40 or if sharpshooting at extreme distances is what gets you out of bed in the mornings, then go with Vortex Strike Eagle 1 8 24mm rifle scope.
But no matter which option suits your needs, there’s nothing wrong with picking up any from this excellent long range rifle scope. We hope you enjoyed our list of the best long range rifle scopes. Whether you’re looking for a hunting scope or target shooting, we have something on this list that is perfect for your needs. If there are any other features you’d like to see us include, please let us know!
With more than 50 years experience in the field and the testing lab, author L.P. Brezny is one of today’s most recognized shotgun experts and authors. He is a contributor to dozens of firearms publications, such as Wildfowl, Shotgun Sports, and Varmint Hunters, and he is a regular columnist in the Gun Digest annual as well as AmmoLand News.