5 Best Long Range Scope ~ Article & Video

Best Long Range Scope
Best Long Range Scope

L.P. Brezny

USA –  -(Ammoland.com)- Author L.P. Brezny literally wrote the book on Long Range Shooting, now in its Second Edition.

In this quick article, Loyal makes the case for his five best long range scopes. Let me say right off that in the business of long range shooting the old standard 3X9 whitetail scope becomes history when we talk about the best long range scopes.

When range is extended much beyond say 400 yards the whole game changes, and as such some very different glass sights are regarded as very necessary.

What the long range rifle scope is, for the most part, is a general advancement of optics quality, internal parts ( turret springs and retaining systems,) and an increase in magnification, as well as some very different and exact reticle systems, that in most cases are etched directly into the optics glass. ( Horus, and Schmidt Bender by example .)

The best long range scopes optic needs to retain a core system so as to elevate to some massively long ranges (1 ½ miles.) by example. This means a turret system that is large in ring size and retains more than enough M.O.A. or Mil graduations so as to allow elevation to hit a target at ultra long range.

When suggesting what I call the five best long range scopes the first consideration is operational quality. In this area price is always higher than your standard hunting optic. Based on the elements just reviewed above, the long range optic selected for the target, hunting, or military applications just can't be embracing any short cuts regarding materials or construction.

Therefore based on this criteria these are my choices in best long range scopes that will carry the mail down range.

Scope BrandSteinerLeupoldVortexNightForceSchmidt Bender
Scope ModelM5Xi MilitaryMark 4 ER/THS-T with VMR-1 Reticle (MRAD)C507 NXSPMII
Scope Size5-25×56mm8.5-25x50mm6-24×5mm5.5-22×56mm5-25×56mm
Most Recent Price$3,257.74 $1,559.99$629.99$2,202.00$3,799.00
Scope DetailsMore InfoMore InfoMore InfoMore InfoMore Info

Steiner M5Xi Military 5-25×56 Rifle Scope

Steiner M5Xi Military 5-25x56 Rifle Scope
Steiner M5Xi Military 5-25×56 Rifle Scope

First of all, I will begin by saying that if I had unlimited resources all the best long range scopes I own would be based on military ( mil specs ). Staying in this bracket, however, would drain the bank account and I would be eating beans seven days a week. That stated my number one scope system, and the one that sits atop my Armalite M-30 A-1 300 Win mag is a Steiner M5Xi Military 5-25×56 Rifle Scope application, a sniper scope system.

With ultra long range milrad settings on this scope our South Dakota grass rats are turned into red mist out to 1000+ yards all day long. This little long distance glass sight system runs up on the credit card to about $3,700 MSRP retail, but it is designed to save a snipers life when return fire is a strong possibility. In terms of an operators needs, price is no object at all.

Leupold Mark 4 ER/T Riflescope

Leupold Mark 4 ER/T Riflescope
Leupold Mark 4 ER/T Riflescope

While the first scope reviewed here used a Schmidt Bender long range reticle in military grade, the second scope that is in effect mounted on my Kimber turn bolt 7.62X51,308 sniper rifle makes use of the standard moa turret settings and a “loaded” turret that can crank additional elevation for almost ever. The scope. Leupold's M-4 the proven battle tested glass sight found on one pile of M-10 7.62X51's in the sand box across the pond. Currently in the Leupold's Mark 4 ER/T Riflescope has a MSRP of $3000.00 and change, but with an internet search you can take this glass sight system home for under $2990.00 and less.

Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24×50 Riflescope with VMR-1 Reticle (MRAD)

Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24x50 Riflescope with VMR-1 Reticle (MRAD)
Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24×50 Riflescope with VMR-1 Reticle (MRAD)

There is good news in this area of advanced best of the best long range scopes systems. Vortex, a newer scope company has broken the reticle glass sealing by introducing long range designed scopes for under $1000.00, and in some cases much less. As applied to my Ruger Precision chassis 6.5 Creedmoor, is a Vortex Viper with a milrad reticle, and combined turret using moa adjustments for additional precision accuracy.

After a full year reviewing the Vortex I can say with confidence that the system works very well when being subjected to coyote forays, long range steel shooting at over 100 degrees F (Gun Sight AZ,) and in general the normal abuse a field rifle is subjected too quit often.

The price of the Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24×50 Riflescope with VMR-1 Reticle (MRAD) with a glass and aircraft aluminum tube system comes in at $640.00, or about the same prices as a better quality whitetail optic.

NightForce C507 5.5-22×56 NXS Riflescope

NightForce C507 5.5-22x56 NXS Riflescope
NightForce C507 5.5-22×56 NXS Riflescope

When searching out the best long range scope my final selections cover two more of what I like to call ATAT systems. Nightforce, the logo on almost all sniper filmed shooting sequences being observed slightly through camo paint or in your face black and white, is with question a bench mark product in long range applications. The NightForce C507 5.5-22×56 NXS Riflescope was a primary go to optic when shooting test loads for the new Hornady ELD-X bullets to 1300 yards near Grand Island NB, the home base of Hornady, and the Charlie Sisk shooting school at Gun Sight AZ during the early summer of 2015.

In both cases when I pulled off the Nightforce glass and switched out rifles my scores dropped. Enough said regarding that matter it would seem.

Pricing on the Nightforce is competitive with others at $2000.00.

Schmidt Bender PMII 5-25×56 Rifle Scope

Schmidt Bender PMII 5-25x56 Rifle Scope : 5 Best Long Range Scopes
Schmidt Bender PMII 5-25×56 Rifle Scope

As the final optic selected as the best of the best it comes down to the folks at Schmidt Bender and their outstanding PM II. This Schmidt Bender PMII 5-25×56 Rifle Scope 4-P 0T system that is military grade all the way. Installed with their own reticle of a milrad projection, or the Horus Milrad Christmas tree, and you have a world class long range system.

Pricing on this optic will run high at $3,799,00, but if you a professional bad guy hunter, or need a bloody end gate on the pickup truck to prove success to clients, this is just the cost of doing business.

While some will argue that picking the Best Long Range Scopes may be subject to personal choice, the five listed above are rock solid long-range optics and well worth the investment by serious operators or hunters.

Best Long Range Scopes Resources:


About the Author L.P. Brezny:
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.

  • 241 thoughts on “5 Best Long Range Scope ~ Article & Video

    1. The main point that people miss when comparing long range scopes is where they are made! The only one on the list that is worth buying is the leupold as it is made in America by an American company. Leupold scopes are built as well if not better than the foreign scopes you talk about.think I’m wrong? Just ask a marine or army sniper, and remember the next time your hungry because you have no job you can try to eat your foreign made scope. Good luck

      1. Sorry to burst your bubble but Leupold uses Japanese glass and some parts, it is assembled here in the states though. the only company that makes there own scopes including they’re own glass is U.S. Optics.

    2. How many hillbillies does it take to miss the point? ALL OF THEM.

      Thanks for a concise and well thought article. I do think an quick discussion of SFP and FFP would be helpful to those just considering an LR scope. However, if you’re considering these scopes as options, then you probably have a grip on FFP/SFP.

      Not sure how all this swerved into deer country or “why don’t you think about the common man?” Shit, just to shoot LR in Virginia, I have to travel to a private range, 1:45 away from home and pay $200/year to maintain a membership. Shooting long-range is not just showing up on the firing line and “shoot the one ya brung.” At my club, you don’t even uncase a weapon at 1K unless you’ve qualified your equipment, ammo and shooting skills. That may not be for the “common man”, but if hitting a man-silhouette at a click was easy, everyone would be able to do it. Shooting LR requires chrono-ing your loads, knowing your dope and hittting what you aim at – and that requires time, brainpower (maths), practice and good equipment for repeatability.

      Buy once and cry once. I have a case full of lesser glass that equals twice the cost of the S&B I’m about to buy for my LR rig.


    3. Old marine sir no disrespect of ur service at all but wen I deer hunt and rarely get presented a 300yd shot but wen I do I want be able to make it

      1. @Go, I’m sure that you don’t confine yourself to shooting when you are hunting. You must check your equipment, and practice with your rifle and scope. So don’t you ever put a beer can or an orange down in front of a stump or other backstop, and move back 400 yards, just to see how you do? And when 400 yards is no longer a challenge, maybe move back to 500 yards? At some point you get so good at it that you out grow your rifle and scope system. Then you want something better? Maybe?

    4. All you fancy fancy guys out ther shooting just to hear the rifle make noise I’ll put my 3-9-50 bushnell legend ultra hd rifle scope up against any thing you have I’m a deer hunter and upto 300yds my guns are deadly accurate

      1. Oldmarine to Georgiaoutlaw
        I thought this was supposed to be a discussion about long range scopes. When I went thru USMC Boot Camp in 1953 we all had to qualify up to 500 yards with iron sights “NO SCOPES” . I admit that a scope helps but to need one at 300 yards or less seems to me kind of fluffy. I always think of “LONG RANGE” as 600 yards or more. Alaskan hunters do a lot of hunting at ranges more than 300 yards and probably for more than just deer.. military Snipers routinely make shots between 800 and 1500 yards but a scope isn’t necessary even at 800 yards. During WWI the when the Germans first meet Marines, the closest they could get to the marine line was 800 yards and earned the Marines the ” DEVIL DOGS ” title. because they killed the Germans at 800 yards with Iron sights on Springfield 03 rifles. LONG RANGE usually means in excess of 600 yards. If you have never made a kill at that range then you are not a long range shooter scope or not. Shooting at Long Range requires more than a scope but also an understanding of ballistics for any given ammunition. Long Range shooting is almost a science with more than trigger skills and a awareness mere point and shoot and scopes of 9 power or less are insufficient for accurate consistent kill shots. When you can hit a 10 inch target ( paper or live) at 1000 yards then you have entered the long range game. Shooting at Long Range usually requires two people, the Shooter and the Spotter. Deer hunting is a very poor example of Long Range shooting, Have fun with your chosen scope and make clean shots but at 9 power it won’t cut the mustard for Long Range.

        1. OLD Marine
          Long range scopes come in many manufactures and the most expensive I find to be “out of line” price wise. The expensive scopes are selling name more than actual product and are mostly out of date with new tech. Few scopes are really made in the US but I find that one of the true American made scopes that is made in Florida and Nebraska. I found out about these scopes by researching scopes used by big game hunters in Africa and Alaska. The scope brand is “Shepherd” now produced by Salvo Technologies Inc. a large international company but originally started by Dan Shepherd was started in 1981 but now part of Salvo Technologies. Their scope have the latest innovations (double reticle) and at about 1/2 of the prices of any major manufacture. The big game hunters and military (Snipers) use them because you can shoot at unknown ranges without touching your scope. Salvo also makes many other products for military, industry and law enforcement. I have used A P1 ( 6×24 50 )scope on my M1A1 for about 4 years now and find it to be the fastest I’ve ever seen. I have just purchased a new Shepherd scope for my .22 Magnum Research Carbon barrel rifle good for over 500 yds (first Shot kill ). This is long range for a 22 Mag. If you shoot at unknown ranges the Shepherd scopes are customized to your rifle or Ammo and will out shoot any other scope at unknown ranges. Check-out the company and scopes, I believe you will be surprised. >>>> Old Marine

    5. That’s all fine and dandy but I’ve got a 3-9-50 bushnell legend ultra hd & a Nikon prostaff5 2.5-10-50 and the legend beats it out in every way for deer & pig shooting the legend can’t be beat better than my Nikon but both are great scopes

    6. Old vet thot u was my web site friend the genestar is having trouble hope ur not ganging up on me old vet the legend lives on say genestar ol pal get ur self a legend unfortunately ther now made in China under very strict American supervision ther supposedly still a great scope mine is 10 r 11 yrs old fantastic scope for the money if ur a hunter like myself

    7. My particular bushnell legend 3-9-50 ultra hd rifle scope made in the phillipines is very very good glass better than another 3-9-50 leupold the legend is much more clear I’ve never missed a target with the bush legend fine rifle scope for all my hunting needs this legend is definitely a legend in its on time don’t believe it look thru one u will c very fine glass by bushnell I love mine hope u will to

    8. First let me say I am new to this but I thought that for Long Range shooting there was a preference of FFP scopes versus SFP scopes. I like the Vortex you listed but I was wondering if you could clarify? Thanks

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